• Dresses

    Feeling fruity New Look 6587

    Oh lemon print fabric how I love you. This is my third dress made from lemon fabric. The second made into New Look 6587 my delightfully ’90s pattern.

    new look 6587, new look patterns, when life gives you lemons, dolce and gabbana, 1950s style, vintage style, vintage sewing, retro sewing, NL6587, simplicity by me, retro style, retro sewing, cotton sateen, dressmaking, sewing

    My pretty sateen is from B&M fabrics in Leeds last year but you can also get it here and the buttons are ebay. They’re so pretty I added two big patch pockets with buttons on them as well.

    new look 6587, new look patterns, when life gives you lemons, dolce and gabbana, 1950s style, vintage style, vintage sewing, retro sewing, NL6587, simplicity by me, retro style, retro sewing, cotton sateen, dressmaking, sewing

    I made view E without the trim in a straight size 12. The skirt is barely gathered which I find quite flattering and works well in this style of fabric. I also added 2″ inch to the length for midi coverage. A tie belt cinches the dress perfectly.

    new look 6587, new look patterns, when life gives you lemons, dolce and gabbana, 1950s style, vintage style, vintage sewing, retro sewing, NL6587, simplicity by me, retro style, retro sewing, cotton sateen, dressmaking, sewing

    There’s something magic about this dress, it instantly lifts my mood everytime I put it on. Oh and course I had to break out my lemon earrings for these photos! They are the best pair I’ve bought in a long time (thank you H&M).

    new look 6587, new look patterns, when life gives you lemons, dolce and gabbana, 1950s style, vintage style, vintage sewing, retro sewing, NL6587, simplicity by me, retro style, retro sewing, cotton sateen, dressmaking, sewing

    I think because its not tight but has enough shape and structure I don’t feel like I’m wearing a sack. I can eat as much as I like without feeling uncomfortable and it fits me regardless of my fluctuating weight.

    What else to add? Well I have two more lemon prints in my stash but I do like the look of Primevera by Rifle Paper Co! Trying to sew my stash first though. There’s a burning desire to shop while cooped up but I have been trying to resist adding to my heaving sewing room. I’ve only bought a couple of patterns and some buttons so far.

    My productivity is having random little spikes of activity during this situation. I photographed three dresses today and whipped up a few garments over Easter. But then I also sit for hours uninspired and exhausted! I imagine that is the same for a lot of sewists. I’d love to hear how you’re coping.

  • Dresses

    Coral eyelet Anna dress

    When I visited New York a few years back I knew I wanted to go to the garment district and was lucky enough to go with some fantastic sewists. I met up with Karen, Sonja, Charlotte and Emma Jayne! Plus Peter joined us for a little bit too which was fantastic.

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    We headed to Mood Fabrics first. A project runway fave. It’s pretty overwhelming as there’s several floors and bolts are stacked so high you have to either know what you’re after or rummage. Swatch is uber adorable though! You can read more about my NY trip here.

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    In a bid to avoid panicking I decided to look for a pretty cotton eyelet as it’s so rare in the UK. The coral that I found was both gorgeous and reasonably priced so I got 2m. Now as is always the case… I should have got more for pattern matching but I made it work. It took 6 months to find the perfect lining then a full year where I painstakingly planned and cut out the dress. Then I put on too much weight to fit into the size I’d cut.

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    If I didn’t make enough of a song and dance about it at the time, 2019 was the year I finally visited Paris. And I wanted to finish this dress and take it with me. I had lost a little weight and I let out the seams and just got it to fit. We had quite a nightmare second day where after no sleep the night before we had to move out of our Airbnb so it was so fun wearing this dress to make me feel better on day 3. The weather was fantastic!!

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    I picked the By Hand London Anna dress because of the bust pleats that come up from the waist. This eyelet was too bulky for darts and the pleats don’t interrupt the pattern too much. I hand gathered the skirt as it was too bulky to baste stitch and I’m pretty pleased with the results. To do this you pin the seams and CF/CB points, then pin the halfway points between those pins and so on until you’re only hand gathering very small sections of around 2″ and you can keep things even.

     
     
     
     
     
    View this post on Instagram
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    A post shared by Amy almondrock (@almondrock_sews) on

    I’m VERY pleased with the pattern matching at the invisible zip. I love pattern matching and try to indulge every so often in a tricky match. Isn’t this video hypnotising!?

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching Here’s a brief guide for this symmetrical fabric which needs to match vertically and horizontally across an invisible zipper:First I pin the left hand side back bodice first with the CB seam allowance on the pattern piece folded under. The folded edge sits straight down the centre of the motifs.

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    Then I unfold the seam allowance and cut out the whole piece. See how the motif looks at the centre back below?Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching sewing

    I then repeat for the right by laying the left cut piece on top of my fabric to find an exact matching location then line up my right hand side back bodice and move the cut left bodice out of the way.Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching sewing

    I ensure that my folded pattern edge is again straight down the centre before unfolding the seam allowance and cutting out the right hand side bodice.Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching sewing

    When installing the invisible zip in the centre back it can help to mark the seam allowance in water soluble pencil and baste the zip in place to achieve the perfect match. This method works for centre sewn regular zippers but you need a different method for a lapped zipper. This approach also works for printed fabrics like florals or scene prints.Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching sewing

    I hope you liked the dress and tutorial. I’m hoping to get some wear out of it this spring and summer somehow!

  • Dresses

    Stupid cupid Mayberry dress

    Hello everyone. I’m currently sat intermittently knitting in front of the telly and thinking about sewing plans.

    Almondrock knitting duck egg deramores stylecraft special xl chunky
    I’ve been playing around with some beautiful pleated fabric and dabbling with ladder trim insertion. Two projects with no deadline and a real desire to make considered choices before getting started. This means pinterest boards, testing machine settings and doodling designs.
    Almondrock sewing couture ladder trim insertion
    In other news I shared a new video for my Sew North Soiree gown plans. I’m making a minty organza dress using a gorgeous sketchy floral with mint satin underneath. Check out the video here for more.
    Almondrock sewing vlogger YouTube fabric gaul video sew north soiree
    This leads me nicely onto today’s topic! Often a fabric would be amazing as a fancy party frock and sometimes it’s fun to make a great everyday dress instead. I picked up this cupid/cherub print twill fabric from Ditto fabrics after squealing at the sight of it. I was very torn between this and the mustard colourway and while I think made the wrong decision, it is still a stunning fabric.
    Almondrock sewing dressmaking cupid cotton twill viscose fabric
    Its a medium weight cotton twill which means it has that visible weave pattern and a lovely floaty drape. It shoots a touch redder than it is in real life. Twill is very prone to fraying and snagging plus standard slippery fabric rules apply. I used fine sharp pins and a size 70 needle.
    Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress almondrock
    I decided to choose a pattern I’d get a lot of wear from… enter the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress with my previous hacks to remove the buttons. See that version here. It’s the perfect dress if your weight fluctuates as the drawstring means you can cinch the perfect amount. I love that feature!!
    Almondrock Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress Ditto fabrics twill
    At the minute my measurements are 36A:32:45 but know my first version still fits so I cut the straight size 12 and lengthened the skirt by 2″. It shrunk a tiny bit in the wash which makes it fit even better actually. My first version was polyester but the twill is slightly stretchy so a tiny bit of shrinkage counteracted this perfectly.
    Almondrock Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress Ditto fabrics twill
    The drawstring is made in self fabric with the seam allowance rolled inside to make it very round almost like roulueau but not cut on the bias. If I’d had any I would have added cord inside. And instead of using eyelets like last time, I sewed buttonholes for the openings.
    Almondrock Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress Ditto fabrics twill
    Proving it can still be dressed up I’ve worn the dress to a) my work leaving do, b) my dad’s 65th birthday dinner and c) the New Craft House Galentines party. The latter was extra special as my #sewingwife Marie of A Stitching Odyssey and I had a lovely weekend in London together seeing the Mary Quant exhibition, having dinner with our friend Allie and then winning the #sewingwife bingo at the party!
    Almondrock Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress Ditto fabrics twill new craft house Galentines party
    Dressing in the same fabric pushed us over the edge into winning I think. Marie’s dress is the Solina by Named with extra long waist ties. She hasn’t blogged it yet but watch this space. The prize was fabric vouchers for the NCH shop and we both ended up buying the same fabric!
    Almondrock Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress Ditto fabrics twill
    I don’t think I’m done with this pattern yet as it’s a great showcase for prints as well as being endlessly comfy to wear. I have some solid chartreuse/mustard twill that could be good and a couple of viscose florals that would work well. Maybe just one or two more versions then…

  • Dresses

    Sunshine indigo

    I’m writing this late at night as storm Ciara batters my house. The streetlamps are noisily rattling and the rain is pelting against the roof. It’s February everybody!Almond rock sewing dressmaking indigo dress tilly and the buttons gold yellow selvedge and bolts viscose floaty fabric cadyJanuary was pretty quiet on the sewing front as I dealt with training my replacement at work, saying goodbye to everyone and joining a totally different company. And though I found time to make a new Jennifer Lauren Handmade Mayberry dress for my leaving do, I lost my sew-jo a little by the end of the month.Almond rock sewing dressmaking indigo dress tilly and the buttons gold yellow selvedge and bolts viscose floaty fabric cady

    Thankfully it’s just starting to come back and I’ve cut out a pair of Juno pyjamas, found supplies for my eyelet trim dress and started a new embroidery project. I even managed to slap on some make-up and take blog photos! Almond rock sewing dressmaking indigo dress tilly and the buttons gold yellow selvedge and bolts viscose floaty fabric cadyThis is my second Indigo dress by Tilly and The Buttons. I made the same view again as you can see but learning from my last version I made a couple of changes. I added back in 1cm to the centre back bodice and 0.5cm to the front.Almond rock sewing dressmaking indigo dress tilly and the buttons gold yellow selvedge and bolts viscose floaty fabric cadyThough this fixed any tightness in my range of arm movement, the dress still has this nasty habit of riding backwards slightly, as if the shoulder and sleeve head isn’t in the right position. Something to tinker with if I make another.Almond rock sewing dressmaking indigo dress tilly and the buttons gold yellow selvedge and bolts viscose floaty fabric cadyThis stunning golden yellow fabric features blue outlined white flowers. It’s a viscose cady from Selvedge and Bolts, run by the gorgeous Dibs who I haven’t had chance to meet up with in like 7 or 8 years, crazy! But her online shop is beautifully curated with designer prints and high quality fabrics. This print is sold out but the ochre tencel twill is also a gorgeous gold colour.Almond rock sewing dressmaking indigo dress tilly and the buttons gold yellow selvedge and bolts viscose floaty fabric cadyWith fine draping fabric like viscose I appreciate having my cutting table as I can really ensure the grain is straight and the fabric doesn’t shift as I cut. The top of my table is covered in a jigsaw of cutting mats so I can use my rotary blade to work speedily.Almond rock sewing dressmaking indigo dress tilly and the buttons gold yellow selvedge and bolts viscose floaty fabric cadyA sharp new needle was required for snag free sewing and I even managed to find four yellow spools for my overlocker to make the insides pretty! I’ve worn this dress to work a few times and I’m super excited to have a shade of yellow that suits me. I think it suits me better when my hair is out of the way as it gets stuck in the neckline sometimes heheh.Almond rock sewing dressmaking indigo dress tilly and the buttons gold yellow selvedge and bolts viscose floaty fabric cadyTime to get back to the sewing room! But here are three more Indigo versions I love. Tiers and pretty colours from Purple Sewing Cloud, classic chambray from Patsypoo Makes, and last but not least a golden make from What Bec Sews.

    Comments Off on Sunshine indigo
  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Tropical Simple Sew sweatshirt

    Happy New Year everyone!! It’s an brand new decade and I’m both nervous and excited for 2020, a classic cocktail of emotions. With only a few days left in my Love Sewing role, I’m getting ready to say goodbye. There is lots to sort in my sewing room too. There’s new work clothes, pattern testing, fun collaborations and probably another destash sale on the horizon!

    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    Enough on that for now. Let’s talk jumpers (aka ‘sweaters’ or ‘sweatshirts’, for my international friends). I’ve made a few sweatshirts and never blogged them but somehow this one is breaking that spell. It’s a bold colourful print which is keeping me very warm!
    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    The Simple Sew sweatshirt is an oldie but a goodie with raglan sleeves and ribbed cuffs, neck and hem bands. I made view B and originally added the hem band but it felt a little bulky and long in this fabric so took it back off and hemmed the jumper shorter. This is the size 10 graded to a 12 at the hips. The structure of the fabric means I should have graded the sleeve hems out a little more to be able to push them up my arms… oh well.
    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    A jumper like this can be totally constructed on your overlocker but there are a few small places it can help to sew… 1) cuff and neckband side seams: to avoid bulk and because you never even see the seam edge. 2) underarm points: If you’re a stickler for a neatly intersecting seam sew the sides up on your machine first to avoid the fabric creeping. 3) Hem: If you skip the hem band like me, you’ll have to hem on a machine, unless you have a coverstitch you lucky thing!!
    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    This loopback palm leaf knit was a gift from wowfabrics.co.uk – look for J173 ABSTRACT FLORAL JUNGLE PRINT. From 2m I have so much leftover it’s crazy! It’s definitely heavier than sweatshirting; a bit closer to scuba and has a lovely fleece backing adhered to it. My overlocker blade hated it so I trimmed all my seams before overlocking them. The ribbing is from Abakhan and I got the co-ordinating teal sweatshirting too. In fact I’ve already made another winter jumper with it!!
    Almond rock, fabric printing, wow fabrics, custom fabric, palm leaf, tropical, botanical, sewing, dressmaking, crafts, simple sew patterns, sweatshirt, jumper,sweater,loopback,Terry,sweatshirting,ribbing,cuff,overlocker
    I liked the fabric so much I’ve decided to join the Wow Fabrics blogger team and have created three of my own fabric designs to test out the print quality of their custom fabric printing service! A satin, bubbled crepe and cotton jersey. More details on that soon!

    Comments Off on Tropical Simple Sew sweatshirt