Thursday, 28 February 2013

My first dress from a vintage pattern: Butterick B4790 Pattern review

As I posted previously, on a recent Fabricland excursion I was thrilled at the discovery of beautiful vintage reissue Butterick patterns. I have made up my first, and inevitably went for the simplest to ease myself in: B4790. 

I went for the famous 'walk away' dress and am pretty chuffed wit the outcome. Just look at the enormous full circle skirt! I bought 3 meters of 150cm wide cotton and had just about enough with a little to spare. I also bought and used a colossal 9 meters of navy cotton bias binding, and used every scrap :). Total spend: £11.50. Not bad, I am SO excited for the weather to warm up a bit as I will be swooshing this skirt around all summer.
As tradition states, the dress was incredibly quick and simple to make. I had to make a size 10(UK) on the waist, but take up the shoulders slightly as the neck was uncomfortably large and loose. I also decided to bias bind the hem as sewing a circle hem that enormous really did not appeal to me.
Incredibly, the dress is made in just 3 pieces and ends up looking like this:
Just a front shift pieces, a back bodice and a skirt (attached to the back bodice which wraps around to the front of the dress) It really was incredibly easy, I am recommending it to my friends who is learning to sew for a really satisfying summer make with maximum impact thanks to the swooshy skirt!
And here is one final swoosh to finish off :)
I hope this review was helpful, I would really recommend this pattern with the only modification being the enormous neckline and subsequent raising of the shoulders, but this could just be because I am a pear shape and am prone to this problem in most clothes. Happy sewing

The only question now is, which vintage pattern to try next...?

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

One pattern, four dresses! New Look 6068: Part Four- the finale!


One pattern, four dresses! New Look 6068: Part Four

This autumn I bought 4 different fabrics in the John Lewis sale, in a variety of autumnal colours. I made a set of four little dresses using my New Look 6068 pattern to wear to both work and play all autumn and winter long. It was fun and I felt like a fashion designer as with the similar shapes/features and colour pallet it sort of felt like as close to creating a 'collection' as I am ever likely to get!
You can see the other dresses here: Dress OneDress TwoDress Three

This crazy, bright orange Amy Butler print dress needed no frills, pockets and collars! The vibrant print speaks loudly for itself and just needed a touch of elastic around the waist to add an extra dash of detail and change the shape slightly from the other four dresses. However, the cut A-line skirt remains intact and the collar and sleeves are bound in orange bias binding. A close up of the neck below shows the pretty wooden button on the neckline. 
Although intended to be autumnal dresses, this one, completed in August, just could not wait. See below for me wearing the dress to Notting Hill Carnival 2012. And so although this is a great Autumn frock, it can, and has, been easily adapted for the summer as well.


I really hope this was an interesting series of posts. I enjoyed putting them together and hope someone, somewhere gives this versatile pattern a  try, I love it, clearly! 
Let me know which dress was your favourite, I would love to know.
Or, if you have tried this pattern too, that would also be awesome to see!


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

One pattern, four dresses! New Look 6068: Part Three

One pattern, four dresses! New Look 6068: Part Three

You can see the other dresses here: Dress OneDress TwoDress Four

This autumn I bought 4 different fabrics in the John Lewis sale, in a variety of autumnal colours. I made a set of four little dresses using my New Look 6068 pattern to wear to both work and play all autumn and winter long. It was fun and I felt like a fashion designer as with the similar shapes/features and colour pallet it sort of felt like as close to creating a 'collection' as I am ever likely to get!

Check back tomorrow for Part Four and my fourth and final dress in the series of four.











This has to be my favourite fabric of the four. Just look at those colours! The flash has made them pretty intense but I can say they are not far off in real life. I think the fabric is Amy Butler, but I could be wrong on that one. It really reminds he of her prints if it isn't, just as it is so vibrant and colourful. This dress also features the cut Peter Pan Collar, but I added the cap sleeve from a different pattern as a cap sleeve was not included in 6068. Again, the pockets are interfaced because I like them like that :)
To stop the skirt from riding up between the legs I added a little hooping to just the front portion of the skirt. It seems to work pretty well, I may be trying that trick again!


Monday, 25 February 2013

One pattern, four dresses! New Look 6068: Part Two

One pattern, four dresses! New Look 6068: Part Two

You can see the other dresses here: Dress OneDress ThreeDress Four



This autumn I bought 4 different fabrics in the John Lewis sale, in a variety of autumnal colours. I made a set of four little dresses using my New Look 6068 pattern to wear to both work and play all autumn and winter long. It was fun and I felt like a fashion designer as with the similar shapes/features and colour pallet it sort of felt like as close to creating a 'collection' as I am ever likely to get!

Check back tomorrow for Part Three and my third dress in the series of four.
This a favourite work dress of mine. I love the Peter Pan collar as it adds a girly, youthful feel to the dress. The fabric was a pain in the arse to work with as it kept snagging (unusual for a cotton) but it was worth the hardwork in the end. I added the spotty trim onto the bottom myself but drafting the pattern was easy peasy (even for a drafting-phobe like myself)


Sunday, 24 February 2013

One pattern, four dresses! New Look 6068: Part One

New Look 6068

You can see the other dresses here: Dress TwoDress ThreeDress Four


Ah, an old faithful pattern. This autumn I bought 4 different fabrics in the John Lewis sale, in a variety of autumnal colours. I made a set of four little dresses using my New Look 6068 pattern to wear to both work and play all autumn and winter long. It was fun and I felt like a fashion designer as with the similar shapes/features and colour pallet it sort of felt like as close to creating a 'collection' as I am ever likely to get!

Check back tomorrow for Part Two and my second dress in the series of four.
This first version of the dress features sleeve and neckline bound with bias binding and two contrasting patch pockets on the front of the skirt, with a tiny polka dot print.
The pockets are interfaced to give a lovely firm feel.I like the 60's feel to this one.

Easter Fun at Tiger! A post for my mum, and other Easter enthusiasts

Lo and behold, a treasure trove of Easter whimsy, courtesy of Tiger, the simply awesome new shop in Kingston.
I saw this and instantly thought of my lovely mum, who takes Easter more seriously than anyone I know. Every year she cracks out a gorgeous little Easter tree, a vast mass of sugary pastel finery, eggs, chicks and feathers adorn cherry blossom branches in her sitting room every year. Sadly she does not live near Kingston, so now all I need to do is decide which goodies to buy her when I visit next!

Hope you like them, I am inspired to create my own Easter tree soon!

Check out the awesome Tiger here.




These boxes are my total faves




And to finish off, shot glass chickens :)


Rather British Summer Fashion Collage- inspiration in a cold, dark winter.

As the weather has been spectacularly grim in London, I decided to spend one afternoon of my half term creating this summery collage. Perhaps my idea of a lovely summer wardrobe is not quite what other people might think, but for me this is perfect. Cardigans, stripes, sun dresses with a 50's feel and beautifully cut trench coats for the inevitable British summer showers. Lots of these pictures are from the Cath Kidston Spring/Summer 13 collection, which I would probably buy all of, if I could afford to...
So, what would be on your summer collage?






Monday, 11 February 2013

Floral Wild West dress- Dressmaking project, self drafted pattern

I rarely draft my own patterns, but I really wanted to try out shirring elastic for the first time and couldn't find a pattern I liked. This one has a gathered bodice, a simple gathered skirt and the back bodice is entirely sheered using a sewing machine and shirring elastic (so no zips, my favourite thing to avoid...)


I added some lace to the bodice edge to add some extra prettyness.


 Quite why this dress reminds me of the Wild West I'm not sure, but I love it anyway, and the bargain floral Fabricland fabric :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

My handmade winter coat- part deux!- Dressmaking project

My second (and final!) coat made this winter. This was much simpler and had a lovely, 80's look to the pattern. I especially love the huge red button on the front. The vintage brooch was a gift from a parent last year, and I think sets it all off a treat. The lining is red cotton and the outside is black wool. I love this, somfy, cosy, easy to wear and delightfully vintage looking, a highly recommended pattern!

I kind of want a bright green one for next winter... watch this space!

Handmade spring wardrobe designs- Upcoming dressmaking projects!

Here are some of my initial ideas, based on one old pattern of mine (6141) and two new ones I have recently purchased in the New Look sale with my spring wardrobe in mind(6186, 6886). Many of these ideas will develop and change, but have a little look :)
New Look 6186
New Look 6186 (with mint lace yoke)
New Look 6141
New Look 6186
New Look 6816
New Look 6886
New Look 6886
New Look 6186

Fabric Haul: Walthamstow market

Armed with a twenty pound note, I hit Walthamstow market (longest in Europe, if you're interested) on Saturday for the first time in years.
It did not disappoint. I spent £18 in total and bought 12m of fabric, mainly chiffons but also some jersey and some poly crepe de chine type stuff. Here it is!
Polka Chiffon- £1.20 per meter

Cherry crepe de chine- £1.50 per meter

Panda chiffon (too cute!) - £1.20 per meter

Birdie chiffon- £1.20 per meter

Delightfully tacky mint green floral chiffon- £2 per meter

Pastel pink floral chiffon- £2 per meter

Blue floral chiffon- £2 per meter

Nautical stripe jersey- £1.50 per meter

Look out soon for a post about my plans for these bad boys- spring wardrobe here I come!

Completed red Amy Butler shirt dress- dressmaking project

A few days ago I posted my work in progress here, so let me show you the finished frock!
I used a children's pattern as I couldn't find a shape I liked. I wear a UK 8/10 and cut an age 14, and it was very roomy as you can see.
The pattern I chose was New Look 6171, view A. I think it would fit anyone up to a size UK 12. Its great for work as I can throw it on in the wee hours of the morning and not have to fuss with zips, buttons etc.
Will use this pattern again, look out for updates :)

Gift ideas- dressmaking, craft and jewellery projects

I thought I would make a post of just some of the gifts I have made and given over the past few years. Hope they give someone, somewhere an idea or two :)
Christmas 2012 for chum Clare (who looked beautiful in it, FYI) 

Studded collar details

Chinese silk party dress for lovely Chum Lou Lou- 2011

Party dress with matching jewellery for chum Smale- 2011

Close up for matching jewellery 

Hand knitted snood and scarf for a pair of lovely chums (especially love the knitted hearts)- 2011


Spotty self drafted circle skirt for cousin Fi- 2011



Collage H, just for fun for chum Hellen- 2011

Rag bag birthday bunting for chum Jo- 2011



Glass bead necklace for Mum- 2010

Glass bead jewellery set for Mum- 2010

 
Sweetie Jimjams for BF!- 2011


(Bad photo of) Tartan jimjams for BF- 2011

Self portrait for Chum H- 2011

Map hearts for Mum and Dad- 2012

Lovely Maxi dress for bestest chum :)- 2012

Stocking for...guess who- 2012

Elephant jimjams for Bren- 2012

Cath Kidston half apron for Zinny- 2010

Pillow, frame and lavender bag set for chum Stephy- 2011

Christmas bunting for Jess and Rae- 2012

Mums Birthday dress and earring set- 2012

Hand knitted scarf on the Seine, 2011 <3


Clare's MASSIVE white poofy skirt for the white party 2010


This last one is not a gift I gave myself, but an awesome idea of Clare's I stitched for her as Christmas present for her to give to her BF. Although I cannot take credit for this design, I really enjoyed this little mini project, machine appliqué fun! May do this again for a gift.