Hi Everyone. When the world is feeling scary I find comfort in using my hands and focusing on a sewing task. Watching the news this week has definitely been made easier by being able to head upstairs and create. I recently finished this blouse and wanted to share it.
I do enjoy a quick hack. So I took the new Simplicity 9462 floaty lounge dress and made a new hem cutting line. I made it about 37cm aka 15″ from the centre front large circle notch which marks the bottom of that centre front opening. I wasn’t sure I could pull off the dress length but I adore this blouse and think I’ll make another.
It’s such a cool design. The ruffled neckline is elasticated by a channel where the ruffle joins the neckline. The front opening and facing might seem a little intimidating but when you sew it, the finish on the inside is so nice and clean. I made a video sewalong for the Simplicity McCalls UK YouTube channel to show how it comes together.
Yes I’m also sewing raglan sleeves again. Since I’ve rediscovered them, they seem to be on all my favourite patterns. As they continue into the neckline they are gathered at the head by the elastic and then gathered at the cuff by a tiny 6mm elastic hem channel. This creates a beautiful silhouette that is puffy or pouffy but still fit under a cardigan (essential in my life).
I used a Liberty lookalike cotton lawn fabric from Aliexpress. It’s just as soft as Liberty tana lawn but the colours are slightly different. It’s perfect for this blouse as it’s stable enough to construct the various elastic channels and make button loops from. And the sleeves achieve the perfect full balloon effect thanks to that slight stiffness. But it’s floaty enough that it doesn’t stick out from my body when I wear it. Of course being cotton, it does crease a little but I think a busy print helps hide that!
I’ve been wearing it with the top button undone, as I like to see my neck. That way I get the best of both with the ruffle still visible. The elasticated neckline and opening make it super easy to throw on. It’s great with jeans and red lipstick for a slightly dressier look. I might even wear it to a trade show I’m going to on Monday. Let me know if you’re inspired to make this one – as a dress or a top!
You know how you can look back and laugh at how stupid you were. In my last post I was revelling in feeling better after a bout of stomach flu and little did I know I wasn’t better at all… It’s now day 12 and I’m still struggling to perform normal life activities. Thank goodness I finally got to the doctors and should be well enough to go back to work after Easter.
The perfect time for a blog post! This dress has been living in my wardrobe for a while now. I made it for a lovely wedding in a gorgeous barn for two special people. It was up high on a hill in Cumbria surrounded by sheep and rolling hills and was very very windy. It felt extra lovely as we were newlyweds just back from honeymoon and revelling in the beauty of the Seychelles.
I wanted something quite long in skirt length but a breezy shape and quick to make. I’ve made Simplicity 2444 several times and always swap out the skirt. This time I cut a big gathered rectangle so I’m not calling that “drafting a pattern piece” and let out the bodice a little. Of course I added pockets as weddings need tissues.
The fabric is the real star here. It’s a Liberty of London tana lawn called Archive Lilac on the prettiest green teal base that they call turquoise. (It also comes in 3 other colours.) I really want to wear more strong colours so bought this print to achieve this. I’d originally planned a low cut bombshell wrap bodice but it barely showed off the print so went for more coverage.
It’s super swishy, fully lined, and finished with deep hems and an invisible zipper. It was speedy and uneventful to sew which in some ways I’m a little sad about but it’s still a joy to wear. I wore it to the Sewing for Pleasure show and got lovely comments. Plus I wore it to the Sew Over 50 photoshoot and the ladies liked the print too.
After spending a half an hour taking things out of my wardrobe that don’t suit my life anymore, I’m really pleased this is on the rails. So while it wasn’t challenging to sew or filled with interesting details, I know I’ll keep wearing it. Well, when I finally get out of my pyjamas again I will!!
Waheeeyyyy I finally can share my Sassy Librarian Blouse with you!
(Plus I’ll be announcing my Giveaway winner!)
I was lucky enough to sign up for the course that accompanies this blouse when Craftsy had a free class day.
I’d seen so many great variations of this blouse that it really intrigued me if the style would suit me.
At the blogger meet up I chose a Liberty cotton tana lawn print that had tiny golfers and greens in a purple, lialc and apple green colour way.
Erica also bought this groovy fabric in a red and blue colourway, great minds think alike.
I went for view 2 – with pleats, the bow and the tab. As soon as Christine mentioned Mary Tyler Moore I was like hells yes, that’s what I’m after.
What do you normally do on a sunny evening? Of course you go up to the roof terrace and do a golf themed photo shoot!
I’m really pleased I made this blouse as it’s a pretty different and unique design.
Perhaps I’d make a couple of changes next time though:
- I’d definitely lower the back neckline as it’s a bit too high which makes it gape.
- I’d also lower the front a touch as the tab and bow hit a little too high for comfort when I look down.
- I might also swap out the release pleats for darts as I feel they aren’t as flattering on me as I’m used to.
- I’d also experiment with using more overlocked edges and see if they add any bulk to the insides.
The class was pretty well run and perfectly tailored for beginners.
As I had a little more experience I was chomping at the bit to fast forward a little and see the next step but it probably did me some good to stop and watch all the parts.
I do wish details were added in to explain how to use french seams on this blouse. I figured it out myself but bet loads of people had the same head scratching moments that I did. I much prefer the insides with french seams when using a delicate cotton lawn like this.
I also sneakily sewed down my facings, behind one of the pleat flaps. This way my seams (trapped between my facings and outer fabric) definitely won’t fray which is something I was worried about.
Christine is such a sweetheart, explaining everything carefully and clearly, and I really liked that she always looked well put together and was so softly spoken.
The paper pattern wasn’t too fiddly to print and stick, though I did still end up tracing it out afterwards as I had so many amendments to make after my muslin.
I’d definitely recommend the class and it’s inspired me to see what other classes Craftsy has that I could take.
Giveaway winner announcement!
Now what you’re probably all waiting for.
I’m so happy to post about my new favourite dress!
This is Simplicity 2444; the dress that every man and his dog has made. Well maybe not the dog.
I used an amazingly buttery soft cotton lawn from Textile Express. I really recommend the company. Great prices, they’re very helpful, they send samples and the delivery is super quick!
The aeroplanes are varied in size and the repeat isn’t too obvious meaning no pattern matching to do.
I made a few alterations to the dress.
I did a full lining as you can see. I also took a massive wedge out of the bust which helped as both a small bust adjustment and a petite bodice adjustment, two for one.
As this pattern contains 3 inches of bust ease I think anyone with a bust larger than the rest of their measurements probably won’t need a fba. If I’d been a 34 C instead of a 34 A I’d have been fine.
I tried a lapped zipper for the first time and after a bit of head scratching I suddenly got it! The result was astounding. So professional looking and neat. I love it!
I wore the dress to work last week but no one was fussed.
“Hello!? I’m wearing a plane print dress! What’s wrong with you people?”
But when I wore it to this weekend’s meetup in Birmingham I got a phenomenal response. I was so grateful for everyone’s lovely comments.
You really made me very happy ladies!
The meet up was great fun. I met loads of new sewists, added some new blogs to my reading list and got to chat with lovely familiar faces who were in attendance.
I managed to not spend much (£9 for this metre of Liberty golfer print lawn! Thanks to Barry’s Fabrics giving the meetup group a discount) and I was fortunate with some excellent swaps. More on those later methinks
I hugged everyone goodbye and Claire packed me off to my Megabus with some lovely cookies she’d made.
I arrived home very happy but very tired.
I really do recommend going to meet ups if you’ve never been to one. It’s a great way to make new friends and have a fun day out. Excellent shopping is usually involved too!
Who’s off to the London meet up in early August? I will be if I ever book my train tickets.
During my time in London I got a chance to go to the fabulous and famous Liberty of London.
My Aunt bought me a gift card at Christmas and I managed to wait until I could go in person and see all the wonderful items available up close!
The actual building is amazing. I love its grand Tudor facade in black and white. It was 1924 when this incredible icon was constructed from the timbers of two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan.
We approached from Argyll Street so we could see Liberty’s own flower shop at the entrance. It was a lovely spring day and plenty of lavender and roses were arranged at the doorway.
The haberdashery and fabric section contains plenty to keep you distracted for hours. I had a one hour time limit to select some fabric.
Liberty has a long history of artistic and inspiring collaborative projects on their Liberty Art Fabrics – from William Morris and Gabriel Dante Rossetti in the 19th century to Yves Saint Laurent and Dame Vivienne Westwood in the 20th.
Every season staff scour the archives for historic prints that could be reissued for a modern audience. Watch this video on some of the design processes that go into selecting a new season’s fabrics.
Or this one about the printing process at the Lancaster factory! I swear I was so distraught when I realised I’d been so close to the factory during my uni days. Maybe I could have applied for a part time job or something! Sigh…
Recent collaborations include renowned brands such as Nike, Dr. Martens, Hello Kitty, Barbour and Manolo Blahnik to name but a few. My favourite was the Converse collaboration.
I’m pleased to report I got two metres of lovely Melly paint splodge/splatter style tana lawn which I’ll be using for a happy smile-inducing dress!
Have you been to the Liberty store? Would you love to?