What to Sew…?

shop fabric


What to sew next?  I was given this selection of fabric as a birthday present when I was at my parents’ house, it’s from Fabric Land in Sailsbury.

I used the blue and white stripe for my Aeolian dress, which I have yet to shorten (see previous blog).  I want to make a Scout Tee dress with the pink leopard print – I know NEON PINK LEOPARD PRINT!!  What was I thinking, my Mum looked at me sideways and said “What are you going to make with that?!”

I will use the green polka dot for some wide leg summer trousers, it is a poly cotton mix light suit weight and has some stretch, just trying to find the right pattern.  Maybe the Colette Juniper or the trousers from the Holly Jumpsuit By Hand London.

Image from Colette Patterns website

The plain blue fabric is a scuba stretch that I want to use to make the Morris Blazer from Grainline Studio.  Both sides of the fabric are the same and it doesn’t fray so I thought I would try making it without the front facing and just leaving a raw edge, we’ll see!

Morris Blazer
Image from Grainline Studio website

The white is for a Plantain Tee from Deer and Doe I think, not very exciting but it will get a lot of wear. It’s a FREE downloadable pattern and it fits through the shoulders and bust then widens out to an A-line, very flattering.

Shirt Plantain
Image from Deer and Doe Website

Pretty, Pretty Dress!



I love the look of this dress, its the Zsalya Dress from Kate and Rose Patterns.  Although it fits nicely and I have had quite a few compliments on it, next time I would go slightly smaller across the shoulders.  I’m a RTW size 14 but cut a size L, next time will go to M.

Their patterns have very good instructions, giving the option of a clean finish or a “quick and dirty” version.  I opted for the clean finish as I like garments to feel good on  the inside!  However, if I’m making a quick easy wear garment, I will often cut corners on the finish for speed!  The one thing I would mention is that their seam allowances are VERY small, if you want a larger seam allowance you will have to factor that in when cutting out, they tell you all this in the instructions.

Dress Lining


The trickiest bit is the neck line and facing.  I chose to do the facing/lining in a plain voile fabric and I used a seersucker type fabric for the main body that I bought from  The Fent Shop in Kings Lynn.

The sleeve has a really pretty inverted V that I forgot to take a photo of!


I would like to make their Giselle and Roza patterns too but my list of projects is very looong!

I’m off to shorten my Aeolian dress now and hopefully get another one made.

The Long and Short of it!

I have made the Aeolian T-Shirt Dress from Pattern Fantastique out of a knit fabric that is a dense t-shirt weight. It’s a great pattern that has 4 different lengths from a top to a maxi dress and can be made in a knit or woven fabric.  It’s a PDF downloadable pattern which means you need to piece it together but it was very easy and straight forward.stripe dress arms up


I really love the shape of the sleeves and it is a great, easy to wear, summer holiday dress.  However, now it’s made, I feel I need to shorten it to the knee, does it look too frumpy as it is?  Can I be bothered to alter the hem line!?

Stripe match


I just wanted to show off my stripe matching on the raglan sleeve! Yay! also, I used a decorative stretch stitch to stitch down the back facing.  This photo shows the colour really well.  My Swedish friend said it looks very Swedish, it must be the blue and white, ha!

stripe dress arms down

So what’s the verdict, shorten or not?  Please leave your comment by clicking “comments” at the top of the page, would love to hear your views!

Lilac Misty Jeans! (Style Arc)

lilac misty Ok, so calling these “jeans” is a bit of a cheat.  Actually, they are another pair of Misty pull-on jeans from Style Arc, my new TNT (tried and tested) go to pattern for jeans.  I still want to make the Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Files but haven’t quite plucked up the courage to give it a go yet, and the Misty jeans are soooo comfortable and easy to make! The fabric I got from ebay and it is a stretch denim but a lighter summer weight and it is really soft and comfortable, I think there is still some left if you want to look! A rear view, always a good look ha!  I’m just pleased with my pocket placement so wanted to share that.lilac misty bum   And the waist band is elastic – not much to add as they are exactly the same as my previous Misty Jeans post, made in black denim but this time I did add 1 cm to the inside leg seam which took that out of the length of the crotch to waist and they fit me that bit better this time. lilac misty waist  I did the same full bum adjustment as for the black denim Misty Jeans I made, see earlier blog from May 2015.  I’m a RTW UK size 14 (I think that’s a USA 10), and I made the Misty in size 14. 

 I have been busy sewing summer dresses for my holidays so will be posting again soon!  Please leave a comment by clicking the “comments” box at the top, would love to hear from you ….

Scout Dress

dress fabric

I found this fabric at The Cloth Shop in Wood Green Market, North London.  Its a soft, draping poly mix fabric and it feels very cool on the skin, perfect for summer holidays!  I don’t know where the fabric came from but I was told “its a factory remnant from a top quality high street dress shop” and I think it could be true as it has such a lovely feel and drape.

I used the Scout Tee pattern and extended it into a dress.  My days of short dresses are over, so I made it knee length, taking the measurements from my Penelope Dress (see previous post).       dress no glSorry for the really poor image quality, it was taken by my six year old as he was rushing out the door to go swimming. dress back


It has a slight high/low hem, the front hits my knee and the back dips just below as is the design of the Scout Tee top.

dress neck


I made same fabric bias binding to finish the neckline and just top stitched it down.  You can see in this photo that it fits well across the bust and shoulders which gives it a good shape I think.

All in all, I am very pleased with this addition to my wardrobe!


A New Dress!

We have finally agreed on our summer holiday and booked it, so I am now in panic mode about making a few summer garments.  Part of our holiday will be in a Northen Hemisphere climate and part in a hot climate.  We are having an extra long holiday this year, 3 weeks, so I will need clothes that can be easily washed with no ironing required! Therefore, I am making knit dresses and summer trousers in easy care type fabrics. Dress and Jacket 2

I have started with the Penelope Dress which was a free pattern from Sewing Made Simple Magazine.

I like the style of this dress and it is a really easy make that comes together quickly, however it does come up small! The fabric I used has a lot of stretch and the dress is much more fitted than I would normally wear. I have a thing for tie dye/Batik fabric!  I tried it out with some fabric I had in my stash which was very cheap so it is more of a wearable muslin. I’m a size 14 and cut a Large but next time will go XL.
Dress 1I think it looks ok even though is more “body contour” than I would like, the Mr likes it!
20150602_195629I even managed to find a RTW velvet jacket that I got from eBay that goes with it very well! (Although this is a very unflattering photo which makes me look squat!)

I wore it out for dinner on my birthday!

Next up, more Misty jeans and Kate and Rose dress!


Jersey Scout Tee

I haven’t been able to get much sewing done in the last week and a half as we have been away for a family wedding, then down to my parents in Dorset for a few days and then it’s been half term week so entertaining children!  However, I did the obligatory Ikea trip with a friend and her children and managed to pick up some fabric for a couple of summer tops and a dress, yay! Also, for anyone thinking of starting sewing but not wanting to invest a great deal in a machine, Ikea does a good looking machine for about £45 which is a real bargain (not tested it though!)

I did manage to squeeze in a few 15 minutes bursts of sewing here and there and made a jersey version of the Scout Tee by Grainline Studio (I think this is my new go-to pattern for simple summer tops).

finished jersey scout

I had some ponte fabric left over from my Coco Dress from Tilly and the Buttons, and a Coco Top I made for a friend.  It’s the same fabric but my friend’s was black and white and mine was red and white.  I had a few scraps left and thought I would try to squeeze a top out of it. I cut out a size smaller to allow for the knit fabric and used the pattern strip for a bias neck binding to add a thin neck band, I thought it might be too thin but I think it looks ok.

neck jersey scout


Unfortunately, I had to cut it with the stripes going vertically as I didn’t have enough fabric and the sleeves had to be the red and white but I quite like the contrast.  Also, on the back I cut a yolk with vertical stripes and the rest of the back was horizontal stripes, a bit of a mish mash but heh!  When I pinned the first sleeve in I realised the red and white was true white, the black and white was more cream but I was a bit past caring by then and I think it looks ok, good enough for casual day wear when its hot.

pinned sleeve j scoutCan you notice the difference in white and cream?! Oh well … (This is the sleeve pinned in, it lies nice and flat now it’s stitched in).

Sorry there are no photos of me wearing this but it is a great fit, not too fitted but with shaping so it hangs well.  I feel good to have made this out of scraps so its “free” really, ha!

What have you made out of “scraps”?  Leave a comment in the link at the top of the page, I would love to hear from you!


Misty Jeans – Style Arc

Black misty bum
I know this is not the most flattering photo, who wants to see a photo of my larger than average arse!  However, I thought, in the interests of fitting, I would show you what I have done. As you can see there are some lines down the legs which disappeared a bit when I attached the waist band and  I managed to improve the fit on the second pair.

As I have a rounded bum, I had to add in some extra fabric to accommodate the curve.  There are two ways to do this and I have tried both.  I previously made some wide leg summer trousers and added a triangular wedge into the top part of the pattern.

wedge adjustment 2

This is a good way of adding extra space to the curve but it displaces the grain line and the waist band edge which you need to be careful about when drawing back onto the pattern.  I always used this method, until I recently found this method:

side cut adjustment 2

I cut inside the seam allowance, along the stitching line and pivoted the pattern to create space.  At the waist band I cut the thin seam allowance strip away from the main pattern and moved it out, adding a 1/2″ which created an extra 1″ to the seat area (fabric is folded, so 2 pieces cut).  Then I just straightened the line of the new pattern edge up to the top of the waist band.

side cut closeup 2

I also added 3cm to the length of the rise from crotch to waist as I am a bit taller than average and I didn’t want to be constantly hoicking them up, nothing worse than bum cleavage!

The fabric I used was a black stretch denim with 2% lycra bought from Fabric Land in Salisbury, when visiting my parents. I used an overlock stitch on my Pfaff sewing machine for the side seams

Misty overlock

and a triple stretch straight stitch especially for the trouser crotch seam – I love my Pfaff!  As these are jeggings and not jeans, it was an easy waistband with 2″ elastic.  I made two bands of elastic and attached the first to the waist and then the second one on top so that the fabric edge is enclosed.  I just used a zigzag stitch and stretched the elastic out as I sewed.

Misty waist band


All in all, I am pleased with how they turned out and I have already worn them a few times and they are soooo comfy.  I will definitely be making more!  The only thing I would say with Style Arc patterns is that the instructions are a bit skimpy so you probably need to have had some sewing experience before tackling one of their patterns.  Also, when you order on line you need to give the size you want and they just send you that size so it’s harder to grade between sizes.  However, their patterns are very contemporary and have a stylish look and I am a big fan of them!

Please leave a comment by clicking on “leave a comment” at the top of this page, I would love to hear from you!