Sunday, 28 July 2013

Mocking Matilde

 Pattern: Matilde Blouse

Made: April 2013

Fabric: Old cotton bed sheets.

 What I learnt:  This is just a mock up piece of a pattern created by Sewing Bee contestant Tilly (Her blog is fab!)
The blouse was so much easier to make than I thought it would be. After putting the pattern together and deciding upon the size I needed, I mocked it up. I couldn't decide if I wanted the puffy sleeve or not as it isn't something I would normally go for. I even looked at all the other Matilde blouses on Pinterest to see how theirs had turned out to help me decide. As a mock up, I decided to make the sleeve on one side to get an idea of it. I loved the pattern.I also got to practice button holes again as I haven't done them since December time.

Pro's: Easier to make than it looks. Extra details like the sleeves, pin tucks and buttons are great little features. The yoke panel at the front is a first for me, and by chance in the mock up I ran out of fabric and had use a different coloured scrap piece and the contrast looks great - a great inspiration for the proper piece I hope. The pattern is adaptable to the makers imagination which is why I hope I shall make many of these when I eventually get around to making my first one!

Con's: I can't find fabric that I want to use! How lightweight do I want it? 
  Worn: Only for fitting. 
Tilly had a great step by step guide to making her top as well as other useful guides and FAQ's. Worth a look for a newbie sewer or to top up your knowledge.tilly and the buttons

Unfinished Hummingbird

Pattern: Simplicity 6672
Unfinished dress.
Full lenth and detail of the gathered waistline

Made: June 2013

Fabric: Jersey from Fabric Land

 What I learnt: In advanced of creating this dress, I did a lot of research into sewing with Jersey - I read a great blog by Dixie DIY - Never Fear Knits. I was really anxious as my previous project working with a delicate fabric had gone so wrong. However, after buying a ball point needle and taking my time, this project was a breeze. I had already mocked this dress up in left over bed sheets and knew it was a simple enough make. I had to adapt the original pattern as the extra fabric that gathers in the front panels made me look pregnant. This dress would be so beautiful for someone pregnant if you used a nice drapey fabric as it would hand great off a baby bump!

Pro's:I have learn working with knits aren't too scarey if you are prepped. I have learnt a different neckline and working with more pattern pieces as well as taking out fabric and reshaping the dress.

Con's: I don't know if I like the fabric anymore. The fabric is also slightly see through and I don't want to line it so I need to buy a slip to wear underneath.
  Worn:Not worn as I need to decide upon length and hand sew the neck line into place.

50's Gathering

 Pattern: Self Created

In construction

Made: June 2013

Fabric: Leftover Cotton from Fabric Land.
I previously used this fabric to make a blouse:

 What I learnt:  This was another gathered skirt I made using the same pattern ideas as I made my Plain Black Gathered Skirt.
I had some fabric left over from the blouse I made last year(see above) and I had just enough to make a gathered skirt with waistband. I loved the fabric and I knew it was going to look FAB as a skirt as it has a 50's feel to it. So I cut out two squares which followed this formula: Waist (W x 2.1+ Seam allowance) x Length(desired length+2inchs). The back piece I did the same for but cut the fabric in half so I could insert a zip. I also had enough to add some pockets(previous used for Roses are Red dress)

Pro's: Simple skirt, which I know fits and can be made in a day or weekend. No pattern required as it is two square pieces and a waistband(taken from McCalls 4521). I used my fabric gathering skills to create this as well as my mastered zip inserting knowledge.

Con's: Top of Zip at the waistband not 100%.
  Worn: Worn lots to work and in this sunny July we've had.

Floral McCall

Pattern: McCalls 4521

Made: May 2013

Fabric: Cotton and Polyester from Fabric Land

 What I learnt:  This was a remake of a pattern I had previously made before and was made at the same time as Spotted Pencil Skirt. Because of the white floral fabric was lightweight, I decided that it needed lining and learnt how to line(I previously had lined a Spotted Skater Dress-to be posted)

Pro's: Remaking a pattern I knew that fitted me well and learning how to add a lining.

Con's: I do not like using cheap polestyer for a lining but this was what I had available and what I could afford. Does not feel nice enough. After making, I realised I could have done with an extra inch on the hips for more leg movement! But fits nice and snug!
  Worn: Worn numerous times to work. This skirt had received many compliments!

Spotted Pencil

Pattern: McCalls 4521

Made: May 2013
Fabric: Cotton from Fabric Land

 What I learnt:  This was a remake of a pattern I had previously made before.
Pro's: Remaking a pattern I knew that fitted me well. More confident with zips and waistbands and getting them looking neater!
Con's: After making, I realised I could have done with an extra inch on the hips for more leg movement!

Worn: Worn numerous times to work.

Elasticated Floral

Pattern: Self Created

Made:Feb 2013
Fabric: Cotton from Fabric Land
 What I learnt: I created my own very simple pattern. I was looking online for a simple pattern from ne piece of fabric and found a great illustration on a forum where you cut out a hole for the head and shape the sides for your desired dress. I wanted a simple elasticated tunic that I could throw on with jeans. I learn to add elastic waistband- I used bias binding on the wrongside to create a 'tunnel' to thread elastic through
Pro's:So easy to make once I had constructed the pattern and worked out how to add the elastic. The hardest part was working out the shape of the neckline. I might add in darts next time for a more fitted shape.
Con's:  I lost the pattern I made - I want to make more of them.  

Worn: One of my most worn garments - worn to work, pub, days out and more!

Roses Are Red Dress

 Pattern: Taken and adapted from Dressmaking by Alison Smith

Pattern from:

Made: Autumn 2012
Fabric: Cotton from Fabric Land
 What I learnt:  I had to enlarge a pattern from the book which took a lot of time and accuracy as I did not have a photocopier to hand. I scaled up the patterns onto some plain paper. In hindsight, I wish I had supplied myself with some squared paper to help get the measuring right. I adapted the top of the dress from the book to the fitting of the floral top I made previously. I also learnt to add pockets - a key accessory in any outfit.
Pro's: I love the fabric. It fits really well.
Con's: The lace frays and this needs tidying. Somehow I got the pockets wrong so that the seams of the pockets show on the wrong side(see picture above). I need to restitch this as well as the lace.

Worn: I do not think this has been worn out as I want to amend the pocket and lace.

Gathered Black Skirt

 Pattern: Starting point McCalls 4521.

Made: Autumn 2012

Fabric: Cotton from Fabric Land

 What I learnt: Creating a gathered waist for a waistband taken from McCalls 4521 pattern. I added a zip in the back but I created the back with only one piece of fabric creating a gathering of fabric at the bottom of the zip! I learnt how to gather - a time consuming but great technique. 

Pro's: Very easy pattern with lots of tutorials on how to make a gathered skirt online.

Con's: There are a few imperfections which I can make neater on future projects. The back panel should have been up of two pieces not one, which created a nasty gather at the zip. Too much haste.
Worn: I have worn this on many occasions to work with a tank top or t shirt.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Little Black Skirt

 Pattern: McCalls 4521

Made: Autumn 2012

Fabric: Cotton from Fabric Land

 What I learnt: I made a mock up out of old fabric and was able to easily adapt the pattern to fit my body but taking the pattern(an old size 16) in at the waist to a Size 12 measurement. The mockup fitted like a dream. A pattern I know I would use again for work skirts. I need to learn to position zip better and adjust the waistband.

Pro's: A very simple easy pattern with optional skirt lengths. Fits like a ass-hugging dream!

Con's: Still in my early days of sewing, for some reason I still don't know why, I didn't hem the skirt properly! I only turned up the hem once and the cotton frays! Silly me - just need to ammend this which is easy and quick enough. I need to practice sizing waistband to avoid the gap above the zip (see above picture)
Worn: I have worn this skirts a lot to work with various tops. A signature piece in my wardrobe.

Floral Elasticated

Pattern: Self Created

Made: Summer 2012
Fabric: Cotton from Fabric Land
 What I learnt: As a first piece of skirt dress making and using elastic it was a long learning curve. I followed an online pattern tutorial which included adding pockets - something I knew I would want to know! The online tutorial was easy enough but I think I will unpick it and reshape it without the elastic. Elastic skirts which I have bought have a far nicer fitting.
Pro's: A very simple easy pattern and only a metre or so of fabric.
Con's: As a beginner, I should have taken more time and care to make sure that it was to a better standard. The fitting is not great and I haven't worn it out as I am not confident with the shaping on my body.

Worn: No. I probably won't wear it out. I intend to unpick it and change to a normal waistband rather than elasticated.

Floral Lightweight

Pattern: Self Created

Made: Summer 2012
Fabric: Forgotten - From Fabric Land
 What I learnt:  To develop my own pattern and to match a top 
Pro's: Could meet my own demands and was learning to shape a pattern to suit my body frame. I started with an old top and took that shape to make a top that was loose fitting to wear over a tank top or something similar.
Con's: Fabric frayed and I did not fold hem over twice(Why- I do not know!) I should work to a pattern that I know suits my body and learn more before creating own patterns.

Worn: Not yet. I want to neaten the frayed hems.

8702 Simplicity

Pattern: 8702 Simplicity

Made: Summer 2012
Fabric: Cotton from Fabric Land
 What I learnt: As my first piece of dressmaking, I learnt lots of things. Firstly, I made the mistake of not buying an invisible zip! I didn't overlock my inside seams but this was okay as I had some bad sewing down the side seams which I have since unpicked and restitched since these photos were taken. Still needs to be hemmed and worn out.
Pro's: A very simple easy pattern to learn basic skills like darts and general construction.
Con's: As a beginner, I should have done some more research and taken more time and care to make little mistakes.
Worn: Not yet. Still need to hem it!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


My next dress making project shall be the following pattern I bought from Etsy. I couldn't locate a pattern in the UK so I had it shipped from USA.

My aim is to make a nice summer dress for a wedding I am attending, however I am currently on the hunt for some nice fabric - watch this space.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Elasticated and Waisted

Inspired by a wardrobe of dresses, I wanted to make a simple dress with an elasticated dress. I found a great pattern idea through Craftster which was using just one piece of fabric and you essentially just sew up the sides!

I took a pattern for a bodice and a full skirt and created a pattern similar to this and cut out of some floral fabric. It took only a few hours to construct from a mock up to the finished article.

Also, this is the first dress that I worked on when I started dressmaking:

Fabric was bought from Fabric Land.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Knitted Slippers

In December I made some slippers as a Christmas present for a friend. I used a simple tutorial that someone passed onto me (here) and for a novice knitter it was perfect and so very easy!


 Button detail



Monday, 28 January 2013


Finished in January 2013. Fabric was bought from Fabric Land

 The Original Pattern.