• Dresses

    Happy swans Vogue 1102

    Hello everyone! This post is going up while I’m away in France. I thought a little blogging would keep me distracted in the run up to the wedding so I scheduled a few posts. I’m sure the wedding was [insert a phrase here]. Hehe just kidding. I won’t try and guess but I’m hoping it was sunny and merry and full of dancing.

    almond rock vogue 1102 v1102 art gallery fabrics canvas dress

    This Art Gallery Fabrics organic canvas print was a stash points splurge from Village Haberdashery two years ago. Yes I’m afraid this dress has been finished quite a while. The print is quite large but very fun and the canvas is just on the cusp of being unmanageable for dressmaking with its weight and lack of drape. It’s from the Hello Ollie collection and is called Swanlings Bevy in colour “Nightfall”. There’s still some left here!

    almond rock vogue 1102 v1102 art gallery fabrics canvas dress

    This is Vogue 1102. You thought I was done with this pattern? Well THINK AGAIN! I needed to find a style that would work with the canvas and the structured bodice was a great fit. The skirt is perhaps a little bulky but it flares out in a really pleasing way while being worn that I don’t care if it’s unflattering from another person’s viewpoint.

    almond rock vogue 1102 v1102 art gallery fabrics canvas dress

    As you may remember I drafted a higher back bodice and this let’s me wear a bra (essential) but still keeps that glorious exposure at the back. That sounds a bit ruder than I intended doesn’t it! I think the finish at the top of the zipper is so neat given the bulky canvas used. Trimming the top of the zipper is key and not being afraid to trim a lot of the tape. I also lengthened the empire line so it sits at the waist which works better with the gathered skirt. I think this is my last un-blogged version of this dress now! Or should I say… for now!

    almond rock vogue 1102 v1102 art gallery fabrics canvas dress

    I originally photographed this dress on the garden while I had my glorious perm. Look how happy I look even in this screen preview. Hair of my dreams!! Then when the perm was ruined, I fell out of love with the photos… So sad. Renata came to my rescue with a few snaps in the studio though.

    almond rock vogue 1102 v1102 art gallery fabrics canvas dress

    Don’t worry about this being a scheduled post, I’d still love to hear your comments on the post or over on social media. I honestly don’t mind if people read the post here and go over to Instagram to send me a message because the conversation is still going, just in a different location! Chat to you soon xx

  • Other stuff

    The Electric Petunia Belladone Dress

    Hurrah I finished my radioactive purple Belladone!

    2013-08-28 21.15.30_edited-1

    When I was in London for the last meet up I went to the Village Haberdashery. I love surfing the online shop but wanted to see everything in real life.

    Ecstatic to see independent patterns neatly perched on a rack, I bought the Deer and Doe Belladone pattern using birthday money from my little brother. Well done little fro, well done.


    I was really keen on using chambray for the pattern… fast forward 2 minutes and I’m umming and aahing over the gorgeous chambray in stock. After a quick chat Annie ordered me this purple from the distributors and shipped it to me a few days later. How’s that for customer service!?

    For the dress I cut a straight 38. It fit almost perfectly out the packet (love it when this happens). I just made a teeny adjustment to the waist position and to the back skirt pieces.

    2013-08-28 21.15.36_edited-1

    (This doesn’t even do the colour justice. It’s soooo rich. Crocus is a great name for it!)

    This is Robert Kaufman’s Interweave Chambray and its definitely bright. It has a really good pink undertone that makes it pop.

    Crazily I had the perfect size coordinating purple metal zipper in my stash. Throw in hot pink bias tape everywhere and an old bobbin of “Petunia” sylko thread for my top stitching and my colour scheme was set (remind anyone of My Little Pony?).


    (Damn, remember how good and plastic-y MLPs used to smell? Have I gone too weird for you? Let’s get back on course…)

    And of course I made some alterations (why keep anything simple Amy).

    2013-08-28 21.13.49_edited-1

    (THIS ONE shows the kapow colour of this chambray)

    I made the neckline a v-neck like Anna’s latest version as I think that is a touch more flattering on me. For crazy reasons I put in a handpicked lapped zipper. The hem is finished with bias tape turned inside. Plus I added a waistband facing in the same chambray.

    One alteration I didn’t do was line the skirt. Arrrgh why didn’t I do it?! I’m a fool. I totally hate sticking to my tights. And I know I don’t own a good quality slip. Plus no one wants to flash their work colleagues… err unless you’re in a very unusual workplace?

    2013-08-28 21.24.45_edited-1

    Eléonore has made such a simple but elegant dress pattern for us all to play with. I found the instructions excellent. It’s fun to have options with the bias tape – lots on show, some on show or none on show! The English translation is great and the pictorials are very clear. I didn’t really get the need for a hem facing but guess it could come in handy for some fabrics.

    Options for Next Time!

    (yes, yes of course there will be a next time)

    1. Lining. Definitely the skirt, possibly the whole thing. Though I will use something nice and lightweight (getting my zipper sewn in through the double waistband was NOT fun).

    2. Play with stripes, polka dots or gingham! Lauren’s version is mega. So is Amanda’s. I seriously love monochrome dressing. I’d like to try a black and white (or a red and white) gingham or plaid with solid coloured (black or red) bias binding in as an accent.

    Amanda and Lauren

    3. Alter the bodice to make a top; Skip the waistband and just start the bottom of the bodice from there. And move the zip to the side? Crazy or genius?

    4. I’ve already tried this but it’s not fully realised. Turn the bottom of the dress into a skirt on its own; You make a waistband facing and insert a smaller zip. Simple! I got the idea from Rochelle who made a Cambie skirt!

    5. Finally, can I try a different skirt on the dress? Those pockets are adorable but this skirt is a bit too close fitting for my comfort. I prefer a nice bit of gathering and a bit of swish. Not sure how that would look though. Hmmm…

    Okay that’s enough from me. Look out for the Ladybird Likes giveaway winner announcement this weekend!

  • Other stuff

    She Sells Seashells by the Shepherd’s Bush Market

    What a wonderful week! Did you have a good one too?


    I went to London on Friday in preparation for the blogger meet up. And managed to cram in plenty for a two-day trip.

    Friday I popped into the Village Haberdashery and cooed over the coloured chambray, the independent sewing patterns on the colourful racks and also the cutie little baby bouncing away in the corner. I may have left with two little treats… the Belladone pattern by Deer and Doe and the Darling Ranges pattern by Megan Nielsen.


    Then I popped over to Berwick St. The shops there are a little more expensive but is chock full with beautiful high end fabrics. I couldn’t let myself buy any yardage when the fabric I was most attracted to was £55 a metre. So instead I bought two little lace letter As to appliqué onto my sewing.


    Finally, I popped into the wonderfully stocked Shaukat with floor to ceiling Liberty fabrics. Even though the prices are a little more friendly I didn’t want to use up all my spending money for the weekend in one go. I treated myself to a metre of the Kussman fabric from the newest collection. It has tiny shetland ponies in fun pop colours!


    I had a really fantastic catch up with my friends that night, with dinner at Gastronomica in Plimico and a few drinks afterwards. Perhaps I stayed out a little later than planned but it was definitely worth it.

    Saturday morning, the meetup at Goldhawk Road kicked off with a group of early birds having a coffee together before meeting the full group. There were 39 of us and Claire was doing a great job of getting everyone organised. Kat helped with name badges and there was a great mix of familiar and new faces to be seen!

    I did better than last time than and made it into every single shop down Goldhawk Road, but I still didn’t make it into Shepherd’s Bush Market! I let myself buy a 3m bundle of Liberty lawn and some high quality striped bias-binding.


    We had a wonderful lunch and swap during the afternoon where I walked away with 2m of deliciously soft moss crepe that says Valentino on the selvedge (gasp could it be?) and this kick ass sewing pattern. Hello Georgeous!


    And for the meet up I wore a new dress! It’s another Simplicity 2444 in navy with white scallop shells and polka dots. It’s so fun and walks that perfect line of cute but not too cutsie!


    I added a collar in the hopes of being a Jessica Day lookalike but ahem, no it did not suit me in the slightest (and so despite being some of the neatest bias binding sewing I’ve ever done, I unpicked the collar).


    I did a full lining again and lowered the neckline a smidge. And I used an invisible zipper this time, making the effort to enclose it within my lining too so it looks almost as good inside out.


    I know I’ve been so late posting this that it’s almost the weekend again!!
    To everyone who was at the meet up. Thanks for being lovely. I had a great time catching up with sewists I already knew and I got to meet lots of awesome new folk too!