• Dresses

    Briar rose McCall’s 6891 shirtdress

    Hello everyone! Here’s a cheer to the weekend!! I actually had a nice short week as I took Monday and Tuesday off work to have a super long weekend. With my in laws staying Saturday and Sunday, it was nice to have the extra two days so myself. On Monday I pottered around sewing and doing jobs at home. Then Tuesday I went to Parcevall Hall Gardens for a walk and a photoshoot. It’s about half an hour drive away, down the end of a winding country road. It’s a private house and stunning garden featuring woodland with special hybrid rhododendrons and a waterfall plus formal gardens at the peak of the hill. 

    If you didn’t realise I LOVE FLOWERS. The rhododendrons were beautiful colours and there were peonies, roses, poppies, alliums and much more in bloom. Plus plenty of shoots waiting to pop later in summer. The climbing roses in the garden seemed like the perfect backdrop for photographing my new rose print shirtdress.

    The print on my fabric reminds me of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, because of the hand drawn quality and colours that are similar to the roses that feature in both films. It’s an Art Gallery Fabrics poplin print called Pruning Roses from the Woodland collection – sku FUS-W-605. You can’t go wrong with AGF cottons. They consistently display a quality of fabric and print.

    I used McCall’s 6891 to make a cool crisp summer shirtdress. This pattern goes up to a 50.5″ bust. I used the view A sleeveless bodice and view D length. I’ve made this pattern once before but had to size up this time. I made a size 10 in the upper body, 12 at the bust and a 16 at the waist/hip. It’s intentionally a little looser but still looks fitted which is just what I wanted. This is the DREAM SKIRT but it is fabric hungry, the dress took 3m.

    I know the collar construction has confused a few people in the past. There are lots of different ways to make a notch collar, but the most common is making a collar then using a back and front facing on top. This adds extra bulk to the back collar you don’t need. Instead the facing and upper collar are attached and then sewn in place so the upper collar acts like the back neck facing. 

    To make this make feel a little more special I created my own bias binding to finish the hem and armholes, and also used it to find the raw edge of the facing and collar. This is such a fancy touch, especially in matching fabric as it’s such a small detail that shows the effort I put into the dress. My buttons are vintage and although there isn’t an exact matching shade of red in the fabric, they do suit the print. I like to finish button front dresses with either a press stud or reverse button at the waist point to stop any gaping when you sit down. 

    It was kind of empowering to go out to the gardens on my own, set up the photoshoot and take these pictures. It was quiet enough that I could take the photos without disturbing anyone’s visit and I met some other amateur photographers capturing the beauty of the gardens. After a tough work week being around the flowers and blue skies my spirits were soaring, and then just as I was leaving the most beautiful eagle flew overhead. I really want to go back soon. 

    This post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission if you shop the products I share. It helps me pay for the running of my website. If you prefer not to use my links you can easily copy the product details and head straight to the websites to shop! 

  • Dresses

    Sewgirl Betty dress

    Hi everyone! I wanted to share my latest make, the Sewgirl Betty dress in Kokka linen cotton mix. I was gifted the fabric as part of the Minerva Brand Ambassadors programme in exchange for a review. With pretty birds and plants this fabric is so bold and beautiful. Plus the block handprinted effect makes the fabric feel so unique.

    I decided to make a transitional spring dress, breezy but with good coverage. The Betty dress features grown on sleeves with turn up cuffs, loose gathered waist and curved hem. It works great in stiffer fabrics so this linen cotton mix is the perfect match. There are black accents in the fabric so I chose to use black buttons and wear a black belt.

    The dress comes together so quickly because it’s unlined and not too many pieces. I’m wearing a size 12 but removed 1″ of bodice length and added 2″ to the hem. Yes there’s a lot of buttons but if you have a 1 step machine it speeds things up! It’s boxy enough to feel comfortable but with a belt it defines the waist a little tighter

    Did you also see my belt sewn from the selvedge? It’s pretty fun but I actually think I prefer my black patent belt because it goes with the shiny buttons I chose. The dress is still nice unbelted but I like how the belt picks up the black in the print.

    My plan is to wear it to lunch with my brother next weekend. It’s going to be so fun to hang out in the sunshine and eat pizza together. Let’s just hope I don’t spill any on my new dress!

  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Sew Over It Libby

    Sewing enthusiasm has finally returned to my sewing room. I’m bursting with ideas again! Today I’m sharing a quick make that is really a wearable toile, the Libby shirt from Sew Over It.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I had been admiring many people’s versions of this cute cropped blouse before buying the pattern. I love notch collars and grown on sleeves so a combination of the two is glorious.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I bought the pdf pattern and sent the copyshop file to get printed at Fabulosew as I like that they print on tissue rather than paper. I made a straight size 10 and the only alteration was to move the bust darts down a bit.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    This fabric is a thick opaque polyester peachskin I got as lining for my coral eyelet Anna dress. There was lots leftover so I’d been waiting for something to use it for. It’s probably a bit thick for the pattern but such a good colour!

    The Libby shirt gets a lot of bad press online because of the back facing/collar construction which can be considered unnecessarily complicated, when you know there are other methods that would be quicker and simpler.

    You attach the back facing to each inner curve of the collar before stitching the collar pieces RST. I’ve constructed this way before on tailored coats and jackets so I didn’t have any bother with it but can see how it would stress many sewists out. There’s a sewalong with nice clear pictures if this is your first time using this method.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I used a set of mixed print Tilda fabric covered buttons from my stash as some had a hint of coral in them. And I chose pink, coral and orange overlocker threads to keep it pretty inside. The turned up cuffs on the sleeves are quite easy to do and only take a couple of hand stitches to hold in place.

    Almond rock coral peachskin Sew Over It Libby shirt blouse

    I don’t think the back is flattering but I like the front and will still get plenty of wear out of it. For my next version I’ll use viscose or crepe de chine for a less thick version. As you can see my love of notched collars continues.

  • Dresses

    Pass the wine ponte Zadie dress

    Today I’m sharing my solid coloured Ponte Roma dress using the Zadie pattern from Tilly and The Buttons. This is my second version of the dress, my first was colourblocked but I knew a solid version would looks fab.

    Look at the lovely diamond seaming and deep pockets!! The longer sleeve option was my immediate preference to make a cosy version. I love the way the seam lines flow across the bodice into the pockets. A stable thick Ponte Roma is perfect for this pattern as it is warm but not too thick at the various seam junctions.

     

    There isn’t waist seam the full way around so you don’t get a really snug fit at the waist but I tapered the side seams a little to help create an hourglass shape. Other than that I made no adjustments to the size 4. A 2 x 2.5 zigzag makes a secure seam on Ponte and I used thin ribbon to stabilise my shoulder and waist seams too. The ribbon helps take the weight of the fabric and avoids it stretching out over time.

     

    I bought the wine coloured ponte a while ago but it’s still in stock. It washes perfectly and the colour is rich and attractive. I get a great amount of compliments when I wear the dress. And it’s perfect for autumn, winter and spring!

  • Other stuff

    Sewing with Minerva Fabrics – New Look 6069

    almondrock

    Recently Minerva Fabrics asked if I’d like to review some items from their site and I figured why the heck not.

    I have used the site before with good results but bad experiences elsewhere put me off Internet fabric shopping for a while.

    Minerva sent me a pattern (New Look 6069), the required fabric of my choice (a lovely multi coloured spot viscose) and a 22 inch black JTL invisible zipper.

    First let’s take a look at the pattern.

    I kind of love New Look patterns because I very rarely have to make adjustments.

    6069

    This dress really spoke to me as view C looks like one of my favourite dresses. Please look past the horrible sample fabrics in use here and see the lovely dresses underneath.

    Let me just say for the record, those longer length puff sleeves look horrific on the model and line drawings. I cannot imagine anyone suiting those. If you’ve made this dress and LOVE those sleeves, please get in touch to see if you can prove me wrong or if you need medical attention because the heat has clearly gotten to you.

    I found this on the Minerva site after a bit of trial and error. There’s no way to filter for different pattern companies. You can only jump straight to the sale (hey that’s not that much of a problem, am I right?). As they stock loads of patterns I just did a search across the whole site for new look dress patterns and combed through the results.

    Onto the Viscose!

    viscose

    I chose this print from the clearance section. It is so cute with all those different coloured oddly shaped spots. There are plenty of other lovely viscose prints I could have chosen, like 1, 2, or 3.

    I wanted to use viscose so the dress could transition from day to night. I’ll probably make it up in an evening fabric at some point too.

    The viscose I chose is lovely and cool to the touch. It’s a medium weight and very drapey. It washed very well with no colour fading and minimal wrinkling!

    almondrock

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    I decided to line the skirt to avoid any sticking to tights so I supplied some black peachskin to this make. I also wanted to get hold of the fabric before picking my interfacing. I had some Vilene “softline” black lightweight interfacing that turns out to be the bees knees. Oh and that invisible zipper? Went in like a flipping charm.

    Right let’s get down to a wrap up of my thoughts!

    almondrock

    Pattern Adjustments? I cut a 12 but then shortened the bodice by 2cm. I also cut the bodice on the fold as I don’t like needless centre front seams. I also added a skirt lining. That’s it!

    Things I’d change in the future? Use a lighter coloured fabric to show off the lovely details a bit better. The yoke gathers and waist band are much clearer in person, but not very photographic. I would also add the sleeves; I have cut and prepped the sleeves for this dress and may add them now the weather is taking a turn for the worse.

    Thoughts about Minerva Crafts? Love em! Why did I stop shopping online?! I do wish there was some filtering of the patterns available but the the fabric is well photographed and the colours were spot on when I received it. Plus after a horrible incident with some viscose from the market that ended up full of holes after its pre-wash, I was very pleased to be working with a reliable company stocking good quality fabric.