Tag Archive | Dressmaking

Skater Renfrew mash-up

It is no secret that I love the Skater dress pattern by Kitschy-coo, I have already made three versions (the grey one, tiger one and flamingo one) I have now made another version but this time I mixed things up a bit by adding a cowl to the neckline.


This was made in a fairly heavy fabric which I felt would be perfect for a winter dress. I have had the fabric in my stash for about a year and I had about three meters so perfect for giving the cowl a go. To make the cowl I borrowed the cowl from the Renfrew Sewaholic top. I basically added the shape of the neckline from the Renfrew onto the skater dress and then used the cowl as it was from the Renfrew:


As with my grey version I added three inches to the bottom of the skirt so that it is the perfect length to wear with boots (although it is worn here with my yellow shoes). The bodice as with all the others has one inch taken from the length.

I have already worn the dress to work, it is very comfy and warm. The pattern of the skater dress is so easy to wear…I love it!

New Look 6674 – The Parisian Wrap Dress

Way back in October last year I had the pleasure of fabric shopping in Monmarte, Paris and selected a whole range of fabric as part of my capsule wardrobe challenge. Last Thursday I managed to get around to actually making up one of the item and today I wore it to work.

Newlook dress pattern

Please forgive the photos, it is so wet and dull in the UK at the minute and regardless of what we did Little One insisted on photo bombing me. Here is the dress on:

New Look 6674 Dress


Firstly with the actual making, I made up view C, although I did not have a contrast band I wanted the band because when I have worn wrap dresses previously I prefer the way the band makes the dress sit. I also wanted the longer length so that it would go perfectly over my winter boots. Clearly the pattern included only options for short sleeve or no sleeves, I know that I would never wear a dress without sleeves and I kind of dislike short sleeves so I nicked the 3/4 sleeves from the Skater Dress pattern.

Overall I am mainly happy with this make, my main issues were the instructions, I felt that they weren’t the clearest (maybe I have been spoiled with indie pattern instructions which are incredibly clear) and the band took me about three attempts to put on, that seamripper is not my friend!

I am very happy with the way the pattern matches across the wrap, this took a fair bit of working out but I am so pleased that I did:

New Look 6674 front

However the pattern on the skirt is ever slightly wonky, massive unhappy face, having clearly defined stripes on the pattern of the material makes this very unforgiving. I also would have liked the ties, which I have no pictures of to be a bit longer, I can fashion a knot that will not come undone, however they are no where near long enough to tie into a nice bow.

Wearing this dress today has however indicated one major issue, the wrap shows far to much breast curve for my liking and I spent the whole day fiddling with the fold trying to feel comfy with the amount of exposure…not a good look, especially when trying to chair meetings.  The next time I wear this it’ll be teamed with a vest of some description.

Grey Skater…my final version!?

Considering that I have already made two skaters, my tiger one and my flamingo one it may come as no surprise that I love this pattern.

Here is my third version, a nice simple grey one:


This time I made the long sleeve version because it is made in a much heavier fabric and I wanted something suitable for winter. I have done the same alteration in the bodice as my previous two, taking one inch off the length of the body.


I also decided I wanted the skirt to be a bit longer so I could wear it with my knee high boots so I added three inches onto the lenght.


It now goes pretty perfectly with my boots. I did have two mishaps with this make however, firstly because I extended the skirt I found out, after cutting out the skirt that I did not have enough material left for the front of the bodice which is meant to be cut on the fold. I there cut out two halves with a bit extra and have ended up with a seam down the middle of the front. I am not too worried about this mishap, it adds quite a nice bit of detailing to the front of a simple dress.

My second mishap happened when I attached the neckband onto the dress, I don’t know how I managed it but it was massively wonky. The only thing I could do was take it off but because I had overlocker it the seam had been cut, I therefore had to cut out another neckband piece and the neckline is lower on this dress than my previous two:


Again as mishaps go this wasn’t too bad, the neckline isn’t obscene so it is still perfectly wearable. I have already worn this dress twice, once to the knitting and stitching show and then again to Newmarket Races, it is surprisingly warm so a great make for the cooler months. I have also teamed the dress up with another make that I am very excited about, more on that tomorrow.

The tiny seamstress- scarf and top

Hello again today was the day I did some sewing with sew much choice and we made a top:


First we drew the pattern using a ready made one but just altering it a little bit to fit. We used Laurel by Colette patterns for me we needed size 0 then sew much choice and I took a bit of material of the chest and arms. Here is a close up of my arms.


Instead of doing ribbon around the edge of the neck we did a facing here is a picture of it.


We also made an infinity scarf made out of cherry fabric.First we cut the fabric straight so that when sewed it together it would be neat.Next we folded it right side together. Next we sewed it down the long side.


Then we attached it at the ends so it made a loop and we left a gap to turn it right way out. I’m very happy with the things I made and I look forward to telling you about the other cloths I make 🙂

A Festival Outfit

This Sunday I went to the Lovebox festival at Victoria park. On Saturday I thought I would make a skirt to wear and once I started a skirt I also thought…um I’d quite like to make a top. I really set Saturday up as a day of speed sewing.

Here is the outfit that I made:


Firstly I made the skirt. It is the Miette by Tilly and The Buttons, my parents brought me this pattern for my birthday (thanks mum and dad) and as soon as I got it I was itching to make it. I settled on making the one with the pockets, thinking deep pockets for a festival would be prefect. I am particuarly happy with my top stitching on the pockets:


I originally wanted to bind my seams, I haven’t ever done bound seams before and I thought the wrap skirt would be the ideal first go…however the denim I used was quite heavy and I didn’t want to add any bulk to the seams so I finished them off with the zigzag stitch and the cut the fabric close:


The skirt was surprisingly quick to make and Tilly instructions are genius, I love the tick boxes that kept me on track throughout the process. I am already planning another make, probably without the pockets this time and in a lighter fabric so I can have a go at those bound seams.

I then set about making myself a top. I chose this lovely fabric I had in my stash:


I thought it would make the ideal summer top being quite light and airy. I selected the Laurel Colette pattern, version 4 and set about cutting out my fabric. I cut the sleeves to take advantage of the scalloped edge on the fabric:


I then sew the top together but used French seams because the fabric is ever so slightly see through so I wanted a nice neat edge:


I absolutely love this top and the fact that is sew together in about 90 minutes is a great bonus, I think Laurel and I will have a long relationship. I particularly love the back shaping:


It gives it a nice feminine feel, there will certainly be more Laurels made soon.

Overall I couldn’t be happier with my festival outfit, it was perfect for the day. The denim skirt coped well with sitting on the floor, and the top was very light and girly. I was happy with the fact it had sleeves, no sun burn here but the light fabric kept me lovely and cool…big thumbs up for these makes!

Unveiling the Eco Dress – Butterick 5882

Now that I have finished the Eco dress and given it to Miss Cambridgeshire I wanted to share the finished item with you. Here it is styled without the underskirt:



And here it is with the underskirt:



I am a big fan of the look with the underskirt, such a classic shape. The bits that I am particularly happy with are the coffee filter flowers, which feel very pretty against the pink:



and the lining, really happy with the way there are no exposed seams:



The tricky bit with this dress was the straps that also go across the bust, I really felt they were not sitting very well and that they only really got sorted when I added in the coffee filter flowers. The other problem was that the fabric frayed a lot and because I unpicked the lining twice, this became a little problematic around on of the bust pieces. Overall I am very happy with this project, although I was nervous about handing it over.

The cost of this dress is a bargain:

Main fabric: Bed sheet bought from a charity shop = £1:50

Contrast fabric: Men’s shirt brought from a charity shop = £5

Underskirt: Refashioned from tutu and remaining fabric of bed sheet = £0

Sequins and seed beads: From stash = £0

Flowers: Made from coffee filters given to me = £0

Zip: From stash = £0

Pattern: Butterick 5882 = £3.75

Total cost = £10.25


Lining The Eco Dress – Butterick 5882

Today I have been working on the lining of the Butterick 5882 dress that I am making out of recycled fabric. The lining for the bodice was relatively easy to cut out but the lining for the skirt presented a few more problems, firstly I did not have enough of the bed sheet left to go the full width of any of the skirt pieces. Because this is an eco challenge I really wanted to make the most put of the fabric I had to hand and therefore created a sort of patchwork to cut the pattern from:


The skirt consists of seven pattern pieces and I could get five from the sheet once I had sewn it together. The other two pattern pieces for the skirt came from the man’s shirt that I used to make the bra section. This has meant that the majority of both the sheet and shirt have been used, resulting in very little waste.

I managed to complete the skirt lining and attach it to the dress:


I then managed to insert the zip. It was my first time using the invisible zipper foot….wow, it makes the zip insertion very easy!


I finally started the bodice lining including adding the boning:


This is how the dress is currently looking, all that is left is to add the bodice lining and hem it. Then I’ll work on the coffee filter flowers:


The Eco Dress – Butterick 5882

Over the bank holiday weekend I made a great start on the eco dress. I am using the Butterick 5882 pattern to turn a bed sheet and man’s shirt into a wearable dress for the eco round of the Miss England competition.

This is how the dress currently looks, on request I shortened the skirt by six inches:


The bed sheet is the main body of the dress and the shirt is the bra section. Here is a close up of the bust bit:


When I brought the shirt from the charity shop I never thought about the fact it had a bit of stretch in it, it made sorting the pleat detail out pretty tricky! Currently the bra part is only pinned in because on Monday the person I am making it for came around for a fitting, fortunately measuring her beforehand has really paid off and there is very little to alter. I am particuarly please because I got the seams to meet up beautifully when attaching the skirt to the bodice:


Now I know the fit is right I need to make up the lining, including the boning before adding the coffee filter flowers. Making this dress really has me thinking about fabric, it is unbelievable that this was a bed sheet originally.

An Exciting Project

I am usually quite a selfish seamstress, preferring to make things for myself. I know how much work goes into each item I make and I get so much pleasure out of wearing/using what I have made. My massive exception to this is usually presents that I make for my family for birthdays and Christmas. That said however I have recently taken on a project because when I was asked if I would do it I found it a vet interesting and exciting thing to be involved in.

Basically a lady who I work with asked me if I would make an eco friendly dress for her daughter who is in the Miss England competition. I met up with them both and exchanged some ideas and we settled on this Butterick pattern:


I was very happy with this because as soon as I saw it on Gertie’s blog I knew it was a dress I would love to make. I went shopping in the local charity shops and came away with a shirt:


And a bed sheet:


To add something a little different I am going to make up some flowers road to the skirt, for the flowers the main material will be:


Coffee filters! The dress is being handed over on the 13th June, hopefully what I have pictured i my head will work out.