Hope you’re all having a good week? I’ve been spending lots of time in my sewing room, getting ready for my first wedding anniversary (as we’re making a weekend of it), and planning for our trip to Paris in September! I’m also looking forward to the Craft New House summer party with it’s Italian Riviera theme. You can see my outfit progress over on Instagram if you’re interested.
Life has this stupid habit of getting in the way of essential sewing doesn’t it. Only joking, life is equally as important if a little less fun than sewing. I know I’m pretty lucky to get so much sewing time so it embarrasses me when I takes me months to finish a make. This dress was started in January.
Inspired by a Joanie dress in a similar print I set about making my own version using the Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress pattern. Obviously I’ve used that pattern A LOT and I’ve made TOO MANY SHIRTDRESSES for some people! But safe to say it always makes me feel good. It’s not a brilliant match to the Joanie dress but close enough that I could dive straight in.
This stunning Georgette fabric is from So Sew English who are actually in the US. They offered me two fabrics to review and this one screamed out at me. They’re keen for more international sewist to give them a chance and I have to say the fabrics don’t disappoint! It has a lovely crinkle effect on it and is slightly stretchy.
They also have a UK co-op that all have their orders sent to our person, Casey, in the UK. She then distributes and ships to everyone within the UK. It’s significantly cheaper for us to send large boxes with our carrier then to ship domestically within the UK than it is to ship directly to each individual. The UK co-op is here: https://www.facebook.com
I’m fairly confident with piping and enjoyed adding the pop of white to the collar and placket. Originally I was going to add sleeves with piped hems to my shirtdress but once again fell out of love with the drafting of the included sleeve shape. It is just so tall in the cap and makes a weird hill on the top of your shoulder when you move your arm. And I ran out of fabric to try cutting new ones. Instead I piped the armholes. I just wish I’d had enough fabric for a sash belt too.
I added a couple of cm to the side seams as due to some increased cake consumption I’m now a 31.5″ waist, but working on getting that back down a bit so I keep fitting into all my me-mades. And I added 2″ to the hem to have more knee coverage. I really prefer hiding my knees these days. The back shot above makes me look super bootylicious!
For the facings I used leftover organza from my wedding dress as I thought black interfacing would make those areas too opaque. I’m pretty happy with the result. The buttons are from my stash and the piping was from ebay so it was a pretty cost efficient dress.
I hope you liked a peek at my bazillionth shirtdress. Maybe it inspired you to give piping a go! All I keep thinking with these pictures is to get a haircut asap. I stripped another layer of hair dye off before these pics and my ends are super dry and sad looking. You can see more of my #grombre progress here though which is great even if it’s only a peek. You have to catch me in person for the full effect! I’ll leave you with a few of my faves from the So Sew English site!
I can’t help myself with this pattern, plus I have so many more versions planned!
In case it wasn’t obvious, this is the Vintage Shirtdress from Sew Over It aka the Ultimate Shirtdress in my mind. I wanted to try the pattern in viscose this time and felt I knew enough about the pattern to make it work.
This poly viscose is from possibly the man outside Sainsburys… well it’s definitely from Walthamstow market following a very successful shopping trip with a Emmie, Roisin and Lauren. He just wasn’t quite behind sainsbury’s so who knows!? I thought this print was very Hobbs like or maybe Whistles? Nothing proven but it’s fun to dream and I know TMBS often gets end rolls from the high street.
To keep the viscose from slipping all around I spritzed the uncut fabric with spray starch which was a big help during sewing but hasn’t washed out fully so the fabric is still a little stiffer than I like. These shell buttons were from my stash and I have absolutely no clue when from!
On a plus I think I’m finally getting to grips with my camera settings! I took a few pictures of Chewie Cat and love how they turned out. These were shot on my X30 Fujifilm. It’s a bridge camera so I have the option to adjust my settings or let the camera decide. It’s great for when I’m in front of the camera as it does the hard work but then I get to play when the camera is back in my hands!
Hope all of you are still out there and reading my ramblings. First up, with the WordPress 4.3 update I lost my last post and all your lovely comments. So sorry about that.
Also you may be wondering why I haven’t commented on the recent news in my life yet. Basically, I’m building up to it! It’s a little overwhelming to put into words exactly how it’s changed everything.
One thing I will hold my hands up to is that it’s now almost impossible for me to comment on blog posts. I honestly cannot find the time. Even time for reading blogs has been squeezed. That really upsets me because I always felt like I was part of a conversation in this community of sewists. Instead I have to rely on twitter and IG where I can comment all at once. Maybe you hadn’t even noticed the difference but I’ve absolutely missed it.
So now I’ve bummed everyone out… I have another unblogged make to share with you all. Here is my first Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress. I’ve already made a second!
I saw Emmie’s tester version at the Fashion on the Ration exhibition and wanted to rip it off her hahaha. Instead I bought it the day it came out. I was in such a rush I didn’t even see there was a pattern discount to apply – doh. This is my favourite of all the SOI envelope illustrations.
So where to start. Probably sizing because it’s important. I made a size 8 and it fits me almost perfectly which is insane!!! I made a size 10 muslin fully expecting it to fit me around the bust but need letting out at the waist, shortening in the torso and a narrow shoulder adjustment. But it was almost right which is absolutely bonkers. I’ve got a 35″ bust, a (EDIT! I mistyped my waist measurement by 4 inches on my first post. Sorry!) 34″ waist and I’m 5ft5.
There’s no need to give my hip measurement as it’s safe to say the quarter circle skirt skims over everything and is really flattering on a pear shape. It’s JUST long enough so ladies taller than me, take note. The release pleats are a nice change from darts. For reference I normally make a size 12-14 in Big 4 patterns and a 10/12 in BHL and 36 in Deer and Doe.
I actually used the sleeved cutting lines but then left off my sleeves at the last minute. I think the armholes sit well but the gathers seem a little distorted. I saw a recent pic of Lisa in a blue polka dot sleeved version and it made me a little sad I’d left them off mine but nevermind.
The collar is constructed slightly differently to a regular notched collar as the two pieces of the collar stay separate. I’m comparing this collar to my satin pjs and my Simplicity 1880 shirtdresses. This actually makes it much easier to manipulate and achieve a clean finish. Clever thinking for making this easier for new sewists and a new twist on the style.
The fabric is a dotty chambray I picked up in the M is for Make sale a few months back. It’s a Robert Kaufman chambray in Royal with white woven dots.
I loved the drape and feel so much I recently bought the black colourway from Village Haberdashery! The dots are woven and slightly raised rather than bleached or printed.
It’s finished off with little red rose buttons from Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge. After a bit of headscratching I managed to get them to fit in my automatic buttonhole foot. If I’d had to do a 4 step for this button I’d have been pretty scared of nailing the sizing!
I used navy bias tape and overlocking to finish everything inside. I wanted to finish the hem with bias too but it made it too stiff.
So there you have it! I wear this dress a lot and when I pair it with my red cardigan and shoes I feel like a 1970s schoolteacher or with my navy cardigan it more Matron at a 1950s hospital. Can’t really explain why hahah.
Last week, I had a few days off to sew as I want to make a proper dent in my fabric stash. Now I have four or five dresses, three tops and a pair of jeans to share at some point! I also want to talk about my new job and some of the things I’ve sewn for that! Am I the only one with a blogging backlog? I bet you’re all more organised than me!
I’m so happy to be posting again. I have a few things waiting to be photographed so expect those posts soon. And I’m happy to report I’ve started sewing again following my move (more on that another day)!
So if you haven’t guessed by the name of this post I have something nautical for you today.
Let me present my nautical knot shirtdress, courtesy of the wonder that is Joel and Son Fabrics.
The lovely folk at J&S heard me lamenting on twitter how I’d love to buy some of this linen but I was still on my self-imposed spending ban (we were about to cross the finish line for completing on our new house). They came to my rescue offering me the chance to review their site and this gorgeous print!
This fabric is an amazing tomato red colour with bright yellow and blue knots on it. It makes me happy just looking at it! And if you haven’t ever ordered from J&S you can expect your fabric folded in tissue, sealed with a quality assurance sticker and wrapped in one of their signature bags. I even got a cute mini tape measure in my parcel! Now that’s good customer service.
It’s a linen but happily doesn’t crease too much because it has some viscose in the mix. Think I lie? This dress was pulled out of the suitcase it moved in and WAS NOT IRONED before I took these pics. Brilliant right? And at 140cm wide I only needed 1.5m to make this dress.
I’m a bit of a renegade though. You might have noticed “dry clean” is the suggested handling for the fabric. That doesn’t work for me. I took the risk and washed it on a handwash setting. And… HUZZAH! It only lost a teeny amount of the colour and there was no degradation to the linen weave.
As per the last time I amended the skirt to have a button front, plus I lined the skirt with a poly-crepe (so I wouldn’t get the dreaded tights-sticking issue). I also included a back neck facing and used french seams wherever possible.
I really recommend this pattern for when you don’t want darts to ruin print placement. It was perfect for these knots. I even managed with some clever placement, to get a 99% red collar when looking from the front; I thought that would give a nice clean look. I also fought the temptation to use gold anchor buttons and went for these red shiny vintage lovelies that I had in my stash.
Now my challenge is staying away from the awesome printed silks on the J&S site, like this panda awesome-ness. Or their cottons for that matter, like this pretty little number. I dare you not to find something to lust over on this website!!