Showing posts from 2016

It's a Wrap!

Pattern Review: New Look 6301
I am back with yet another wrap dress. This is my second iteration of New Look 6301. I can't get enough of wrap dresses. They are so comfortable and easy to wear. This will be number 4 on my blog! Here are the links to dress 1, dress 2 and dress 3

I don't have too much to add that I didn't blog about in my last wrap dress post. One thing that I did notice is that as this fabric has much more stretch I did find that the bodice is a tad larger than last time. However it is not noticeable with the busy print and still fits well. 

I knew that I would definitely be rotating this in the work wardrobe so I only removed 3 inches off the skirt hemline this time. This will be a transitional dress so I am looking forward to pairing this with tights and a black cardigan in the Autumn months. 

This fabric was purchased from Karstadt in Rosenheim outside of Munich in Germany. I was visiting a friend over New Year and popped in to check out their fabric. …

Making a Maxi

Pattern Review: McCall's 6744
The Summer sewing continues, this time with the maxi dress version of McCall's 6744. I did attempt to make this version of the pattern before here but I ended up having to cut the skirt down. I have been wanting to have another go and finally got around to it as part of my sewing group's Summer Sew-a-Long. 

This time I managed to cut everything out correctly as I had plenty of fabric. This fabric is an ITY knit from Saeed's Fabrics in Walthamstow. I can't remember how much I paid for it, but I think it was around £4-£6 per metre. It washed and sewed perfectly. In fact I rarely have any problems handling ITY knits. 

I made very minor alterations to this. I remembered that the bodice had a large amount of ease last time so I cut a small and graded out to a medium on the hips. I graded in 1" in length on the bottom of the bust which I count as my lazy FBA. Lastly I added a couple of inches on the bottom so I could wear this with hee…

Liberty Eye Mask

Pattern Review: Flo-Jo Boutique Eye Mask Making Kit
Despite having lots of dresses cut out and on my sewing table I didn't have much in the way of hand-stitching to take along to this month's sewing group meetup. This inspired me to sew up the Flo-Jo Boutique eye mask making kit and did this in two leisurely hours whilst chatting and drinking tea!
The kit comes with everything you need except scissors. This includes fabric, pattern, instructions, pins, needle and thread. The instructions are very easy to follow and everything is sewn by hand, no need at all for a sewing machine. My only (and extremely trivial) dislike was that I felt the needle provided was too large for the types of fabric being used. Anyone with any sewing supplies will be able to substitute this, but I did feel that the needle was really quite thick. 

I am delighted with how this turned out. I use eye masks all the time at home, and especially when I travel so I know it will get used. This kit was a Christ…

Using up a long cherished fabric

Pattern Review - New Look 6459 
I am back with another project. This one is pretty belated as I made this dress for a sew-a-long with my sewing group back in April. The theme was to use a fabric that had been in your stash for way too long. 

I picked this cotton that has been in my stash for around 5 years. I purchased this on holiday in France from Toto Fabrics in Poitiers at the price of 5 euros per metre and I lined this dress with lining from Simply Fabrics priced at £1 per metre. 

I decided on a simple dress - New Look 6459 (now out of print). I made this over ten years ago and knew that I would have to tweak the fit. I cut a size 14 and added 1" to the top of the bust for modesty and added 1 cm to the bottom of the bust. I have to say I don't love the fit. It is a bit snug across the bust and I still think that it could do with a tad more length. The hips are a bit tight too so I would grade out to a size 16 on the hips next time. 

This dress is being classed as a wadd…

Summertime Midi Skirt

Pattern Review: New Look 6346
I am getting on well with my Summer Sewing plans! A couple of weeks ago I sewed up this simple midi length skirt pattern - New Look 6346. Initially this skirt pattern passed me by. Looking at the pattern envelope I found the skirt was too wide. However when I saw Mimi G's version of the midi skirt I knew that I wanted to try it. 

I cut a generous size 16 and sewed this straight out of the envelope. I was worried that the skirt would be too wide but actually I think it is perfect as it is. One thing that I would say is that fabric choice is critical. This would not have worked for me if I had picked a stiffer fabric. I french seamed this as I didn't line it and didn't want the fabric to fray. I didn't have enough fabric to pattern match this, but looking at the photos I don't think that this matters too much. 

The fabric is viscose poly cotton blend. I can't remember where I purchased this from but I do know that it was from a Lond…

I Spy a Floral Print!

Pattern Review: New Look 6301
I am addicted to floral prints! I would say a good 85% of my stash is made up of floral print fabrics. Following on from my last two garments (blogged here and here) I decided to stick with the current  floral theme and sewed up this New Look mock wrap dress

My sewing group are currently running a Summer garment sew-a-long and I thought that a this floral fabric would fit the bill. I did sew it knowing that Autumn/Winter time this will be paired with a cardigan, tights and boots so I am really classing it as a transitional item :-)
I cut a size 14 for this dress. For the top of front bodice pieces (i.e. the cleavage) I cut the size 18 lines as I knew that I would want a little extra coverage. This worked perfectly and means it is work appropriate without a camisole underneath - win! 

I changed the construction process slightly for the bodice. I attached the front to the back at the shoulders first so that I could fit and remove some excess (1") fr…

Palazzo Pants

Pattern Review: Palazzo Pants Tutorial by Pinkchocolatebreak
Hello! Well my sewing mojo is well and truly back as here I am with another pattern review. This time with a DIY Palazzo Pants tutorial. 

I have a pair of super comfortable RTW pajamas that are like this and they are so great to lounge around the house with (in fact I rarely wear them to bed!) that I have been on the lookout for a Palazzo Pants tutorial. The tutorial says that they take 20 minutes. I am a slow seamstress so it took me 1.5 hours at a very leisurely pace from start to finish. 

There are a number of tutorials online but the one that I went with is by Pinkchocolatebreak. You need an existing pair of pajamas or pants to do this. I used a pair of slim legged tracksuit bottoms rather than pajamas and it worked out fine. I ended up having to take an inch in at the waist but other than that I had no other alterations. I didn't do any finishing on my seams as I was testing this tutorial but next time I would fini…

Blouse Sewing

Pattern Review: New Look 6303
I have a lovely RTW blouse similar to this in my wardrobe, so when I saw New Look 6303 on sale I had to buy it. 

When I had a look at the pattern pieces I instantly knew that it would be wise to do a toile or wearable muslin. I picked up this chiffon in Dalston Market for either £2 or £3 per metre. It was a bargain and I was initially going to give it to my mum for Christmas. However when I purchased this pattern I felt that the fabric would really suit this top (sorry mum!). I underlined the chiffon with some black stretch fabric from Simply Fabrics for £1 per metre. 

So let's talk about the fit. I cut a size 12 and added 1" to the front and back length. I still find this top a bit short on me and will add at least another 1" when I make it again. My RTW top is also shorter than I would like so it's not too surprising. For the record I am almost 5 ft 8" so taller than the average UK woman. I french seamed everything for a neater f…

Little Black Dress

Pattern Review: Simplicity 1609
Last Autumn my mum and I ventured to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace for the first time. I didn't come away with any fabric but I did leave with a free pattern - Simplicity 1609

As black is difficult to photograph and capture pattern details I have included a copy of the line drawings (courtesy of I was initially very cautious about sewing this type of pattern as A-line shift dresses can end up looking tent like on me. However as this was a free pattern I decided I had nothing to lose and gave it a go. 

I sewed this up in a size 14 and treated it as a wearable muslin. The pattern is unlined and I didn't bother with the facings for two reasons. Firstly I altered the neckline; I cut this as a V shaped neckline as I felt that the original design was too high on me. Secondly I was too lazy to cut a new facing pattern piece for a wearable muslin. Instead I finished the neckline and armholes with bias…

First Summer Dress of the Season

Pattern Review: New Look 6263
I don't seem to be doing very well on the blogging front as here is a dress that I finished at the beginning of April. This is a wearable muslin for New Look 6263.
This pattern came into my life during a fabric/pattern swap with my sewing group. To be honest it isn't one that I would usually choose, but one of my good friends made it and it looked great and I also knew that it would be a nice dress to show off the drape and print of a fabric.

I cut a size 14 straight out of the envelope. For some reason I found sewing the collar a bit fiddly although there is nothing in the construction details that make it challenging. This dress is very tent like in shape so I only ever wear it belted. Therefore, if I were to make this again I would almost certainly make a swayback adjustment (you can see the excess fabric in the back). As this was a wearable muslin I didn't line it, but I did french seam the insides for a neater finish.

The fabric is  a po…

Jumper Dress Geometric Style

Pattern Review: McCalls 7194
I have finally blogged! So I have to admit I finished this dress back in January but haven't gotten round to posting it.

I decided to make McCalls 7194 as my sewing mojo had been low and I fancied some instant gratification. I cut a 14 all over and lengthened it to make it a dress. The only other alteration I made was to take off some of the length of the shoulders as the seam sat quite low on me.

The fabric was purchased from Textile Centre in Walthamstow priced at £2.75 per yard. I really wasn't sure about the fabric and I think that it is still growing on me. The fabric is a super comfortable sweater knit though so that makes up for it. 

This pattern is really easy as it doesn't include any notions, closures or darts. It all came together very quickly. I would definitely make this again and maybe try going down a size for a snug fit. I am sucker for cowl neck dresses as I really like the way they frame the face. 
I made myself hem this dres…

Cross Stitch Crazy

Pattern Review: Framecraft Handbag Mirror
My sewing mojo is still firmly in the gutter so I thought that this severely belated post about an instant gratification cross stitch project might make me feel better.
This was a lovely birthday present from some friends. It is a pocket mirror that comes with the patterns for every letter of the alphabet. You can currently purchase this online here. 

This was easy to complete and I did most of it on the train home to Bristol for Christmas. 
It was a great in between project as I started on my next large cross stitch project: Maia Fan Fair This will take me an age but I am really enjoying it so far. This is what the finished project will hopefully look like!

Wish me luck! And also pray that my sewing mojo returns swiftly.
Happy Stitching