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Showing posts from 2018

Still Here!

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I am still here! I have been doing some slooooowwwww sewing whilst working on McCalls 7058. I have really enjoyed the process of making a coat, from muslin to the hand-sewn tailored buttonholes I am currently practising. 

Hopefully I will be back soon, but in the meantime I will get back to my buttonholes (they definitely need some practise). As a parting shot here is a picture of some handmade tailors clappers that were kindly made by my dad! They have been invaluable for this coat :-)

Happy sewing!

Knit V-Neck Dress

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 6413 I pulled out a black knit fabric when I initially was looking at fabric for the #MakeYourStash challenge. I had the idea for simple cardigan or wrap top, but I didn't have any patterns that I felt would work best. In the end I went with Simplicity 6413 which has also been in my stash for a while!


Hilariously, you can't see any of the details of the fabric in these pictures - so I won't bore you all with too many. It was essentially a diamond textural print which was pretty was sheer, almost like lace. I am pretty sure that I picked it up from Goldhawk Road years ago. I underlined the fabric with some black stretch lining from my stash. In hindsight I wish I had underlined it with a contrast colour. You live and learn. 
I cut a size 14 all over. I cut the front on the fold and forgot to take away the additional fabric that would form part of the centre front seam. Therefore the neckline and shoulders are a bit wide for my liking. Again, you …

Black and White Birds Mini Dress

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 8216 When I first tried this pattern a couple of months ago I said that I wanted to make it up in a dress. Fast forward a couple of months and here we have it!

Construction wise I did nothing differently from last time. I cut a size 14 all over. The only thing that I would be wary of is the fact that this really is a mini dress! For me it is fine with tights, but a too short to wear bare legged. For those thinking about making the dress I would definitely bear this in mind (FYI - I am 5ft 8" so a couple inches taller than average). 

When I first finished the dress, I felt that there was too much blouson happening in the back, but viewing the pictures it is fine. It is super comfy to wear and a great work dress. 
The fabric is a polyester that I picked up in the John Lewis sale earlier this year. It was reduced from £14 per metre too £7 per metre which is a bargain. I really love the print of the fabric and how the birds look like they are all flying in…

Polka Dot Mimi G Shirtdress

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 8221 I snapped up quite a few Mimi G patterns back last year during a Simplicity sale and Simplicity 8221 has been in my stash waiting for the right fabric. 
The fabric used was a stretch linen look denim picked up from John Lewis during the sale for £7 per metre. It cut and sewed so beautifully, that I it did make me remember how easy it is to work with wovens sometimes. Especially after my last chiffon dress here!

I cut a size 16, and I think that it fits pretty well out of the envelope. You can see in the photo below that for next time it would be worth doing a swayback adjustment to get rid of the pooling. The line drawings of the pattern show that there there are fish eye darts in the back. However, there isn't a huge amount of shaping, which I think is why a tie belt has been included. 

To tell you the truth, I fell out of love whilst making this dress as I thought that I had made it too small on the hips. I had the right bit of ease at the waist,…

Butterfly Dress

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Pattern Review: New Look 6123 & McCalls 3341 I have been wanting a simple v neck dress with an a-line skirt. I looked at purchasing a pattern, but relaised that I pretty much had all of the elements that I wanted in my existing pattern stash. I decided on combining the bodice New Look 6123 and skirt pattern McCalls 3341.


I was lucky as everything lined up really well in terms of the darts. I didn't have to move anything which was a huge bonus! The only thing I changed was to make the bodice a V-neck as I am not a huge fan of a round neck. 

The main issue I had with this dress was the fabric. Working with chiffon is not the easiest and this was a polyester chiffon that frayed like anything. I finished all of the seams on my overlocker. This pretty butterfly fabric was super cheap fabric and picked up from one of the fabric shops along Goldhawk Road. If I remember correctly is was only £3 per metre. I lined the bodice with some stretch blue lining from my stash. 

I took my time …

Cross Stitcher Bird Needle Case

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Pattern Review: Cross Stitcher Bird Needle Case, May 2018 My PC is broken so I haven't been able to blog too much at the moment. In the meantime, here are a few snaps of my latest finished cross stitch project. This is a needle case from the May 2018 edition of Cross Stitcher Magazine. It was a free mini kit that came with the magazine.

I have no idea why it took me over 2 years to finish. I started it and then popped it away in my bedside table where it languished. Two weekends ago, I decided I had too many cross stitch UFOs and completed this whilst watching Saturday Kitchen.

I trimmed my felt too much, so you can see the stitching from the front. However, it is still 100% functional and I now have somewhere that I can store my cross stitch needles. A collection from my cross stitch kits had been building up in my pin cushion, so it's great that they have a home now. 

I have a bookmark that I finished at Christmas that just needs the back sewing on. I am hoping that it does…

Striped Pajamas

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Pattern Review: Butterick 5432 Can you believe that I have never made pajamas! Other than my failed nightgown here this is the only other time that I have tried nightwear. It's pretty shocking considering pajamas are such a beginner pattern. Butterick 5432 is a great value pattern as it contains so many different options. 

These pajamas are a part of the #makeyourstash legacy. This fabric has been in my stash for at least 5 years! It is a soft cotton t-shirt fabric. I can't even remember where I purchased this, but it was easy to sew and the softness made it perfect for a pajama pattern!

In regards to the pattern I cut a size medium for the top and shorts. For the shorts I added on an inch to the length as I suspected that they may be a bit scandalous without it. I also graded in an inch to the top of the back pieces to account for my larger derriere. 
For the top I sewed this straight out to the envelope with no alterations and it does need a couple of tweaks. There is a bit…

Red Floral Wrap Dress

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Pattern Review: Vogue 9251 As the #makeyourstash challenge has been happening this May, I cut out a couple of long time stash fabrics to try some new patterns. The first one was Vogue 9251. This dress ticks 2 boxes as not only is it a #makeyourstash dress, but also my 5th #2018MakeNine garment. The fabric was purchased at The Great British Sewing Bee Live, which took place in September at the Excel in London. 

I was pretty restrained, and only picked up one piece of fabric - this floral polycotton priced at £5 for the whole lot. I was drawn to the floral print, but I hesitated when deciding what to make with it as the flowers are very directional. Whilst snooping my stash I thought that it would be perfect for a muslin for this woven wrap dress!
Despite some niggles with the bodice (listed below), I really love the style of this garment. It is flattering for my pear shape, is easy to dress up and down and fits with so many of my other wardrobe accessories. 

Fit wise, I cut a size 16 …

Floral Linen Shirt Dress

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Pattern Review: McCall's 7084  This dress has been a slow burner and feels like it has taken me ages to finish. McCall's 7084 is my 4th #2018MakeNine garment.   
One of the reasons this took so long to finish is that is that it has around 20 pieces and to top it off I decided to underline this dress. This lovely floral linen was a post-Christmas bargain from John Lewis in Oxford Street, London. It was initially priced around £18 per metre and I managed to snap up 2.5 metres reduced to £5.50 per metre. I underlined the dress with cotton lining from my stash. I didn't have enough blue lining so some patches are purple! 

The linen was only 110cm wide and I didn't have enough fabric for the undercollar and placket facing. So there are some contrast blue parts on the dress. At first I wasn't convinced it would work but I had spent so long cutting out the pieces that I persevered and I quite like it now. 
I knew that the princess seams (not that you can see them due to …

Navy Midi Skirt

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Pattern Review: New Look 6346 This is my 3rd #2018MakeNine garment! I made this New Look skirt before and absolutely loved it. However, I feel that I'm not able to make the most of the skirt as the UK Summer is not always warm and dry. I knew that I would want a version that I could wear in colder weather.  

I used this floral polyester viscose print purchased from Fabricland. I picked it up in-store when visiting family in Bristol quite a while ago. I think it was around £3.99-£4.50 per metre. It was easy to work with and sew, but I wonder how it will hold up as it has been washed a few times and I have noticed that it is fading slightly. 
The buttons were picked out by my partner in Simply Fabrics. I had been struggling to find a navy button that I liked, but Alex said why not go for a mustard colour button? They were a bargin at 5p each and blend in so well with the print.

I cut a size 18 - a size up from last time as I wanted some more room to play with french seams. This ski…

Tie Bow Blouse

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 8216 Hello, I am back with my 2nd of my #2018MakeNine challenge! I have a ready to wear shirt in my wardrobe with a neck tie and it is one of my most worn items. I have been on the lookout for sewing patterns to replicate it and decided to try Simplicity 8216

For this top I chose view D, but with the neck tie and minus the pocket. I cut a size 14 and made no changes except to add an inch onto the length. As mentioned in other reviews there is a pattern drafting error in the neck facing. It is annoying, but you can work round it. It is a shame as it is could easily stump beginner sewers, which is why I wouldn't class this as an 100% easy pattern. 

I bought this floral crepe fabric in the January sales in John Lewis for around £5-7 per metre (I can't remember the exact price). I snapped up a whole bunch of fabrics (12 metres in total!) that were on their 3rd price reduction.It was a dream to sew with and has a lovely drape that is perfect for this t…

Wrapping up for Easter!

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Pattern Review: New Look 6456 This pattern was inspired by the #makeyourstash challenge! The aim is to promote sustainable sewing by using fabric that has been in your stash for at least 6 months and is an item that you will enjoy wearing! I have had this lovely piece of cotton in my stash for around 3 years and this challenge finally made me put it to use as a wrap skirt. 

I decided to go with New Look 6456 which has also been in my stash for a number of years. I think it cost around $8 CAN at the time and I bought 2 yards. It is quite a light cotton so I lined it with some polyester lining from my stash.

Despite having sewed a number of wrap dresses this was my first wrap skirt. I cut the knee length skirt and a size 14. I sewed it up straight out of the envelope. This is a super simple skirt and would suit a beginner and be a great way to try out sewing a buttonhole. 

When I first finished this skirt I was slightly unsure about the style and thought that I would have preferred a s…

1st #MakeNine Garment!

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Pattern Review: New Look 6301 Welcome to the first make from my #2018MakeNine challenge! I wear a wrap dress at least once per week as part of my work wardrobe and knew that I wanted another one in the rotation. I sewed this one up exactly the same as my previous version here. A size 14 overall, with size 18 on the top of the bodice for modesty and I took 1" out of the centre back. I took 2" off the skirt length so it hit above the knee. 

The fabric is an ITY knit that I bought in NYC, Brooklyn in Belmont Avenue during my holiday laast year. The fabric was $4 per yard and I bought 2! I knew as soon as I saw this print that it would be  a perfect work dress and version of New Look 6301. It washed and sewed up beautifully.

I really don't have anything to add that I haven't covered in my previous reviews. However I will say that the #2018MakeNine challenge has really made me more reflective about my wardrobe needs. As someone who wears so many dresses I knew that a cap…