Saturday, 20 September 2014

McCalls 6788 ~ Fashionstar ~ A little bit of old, turned into new

Over a period of several months this pattern went through the process of 3 different fabric combinations, which is why it has taken me this long to make a pattern I bought 12 months ago.

On purchasing McCalls 6788 it was with all intent to buy some tweedy looking jersey matched with some beigey looking jersey. But hey ho I couldn't find any at the time to compliment one another so on the back burner it went. 

I am a member of the MAGAM Challenge  and the challenge for last month was to make up an item of clothing using up fabric from your stash. I already had a project I wanted to complete for last month but the stash buster challenge led me anyway to sifting through what I already had. I came across some fabulous crushed velour in bright burgundy which went perfectly with some ponte roma I also already had.

 This dress would have looked amazing in this! Yet when I checked the fabric quantity I had nowhere near enough of the velour (groan). Having had the fabric that long (and when I say long, I mean loooooong! It's so old I've had it 20 years!) I had totally forgotten it was only 90cm wide and McCalls 6788  requires a minimum width of 150cms for the bodice of this dress. So that was that idea also blown away and back to the drawing board I went once again.

As it turned out I also had this red and black (viscose?) jersey (also 20 years old!!) in just the right amount of fabric and this pillar-box red Ponte roma (only last year old), also in just the right amount! 

I didn't particularly want to make this pattern in black and red; especially as my last sew was red, but I was determined to use up what I had. And you know what...? Not a bad selection of fabrics after all!

As you can see from the pattern diagram above, the pattern calls for a shoulder bow which I omitted as it made it look to dressy for my casual look. And to make it even more casual, this is a great dress pattern to throw on a long sleeve top underneath for those cooler autumnal days

If you have seen any of my previous makes, you may have noticed that I tend to chop the skirt length off to above the knee (more so on dresses for autumn/winter) just because its a personal preference as for me they are easier to wear this length. Almost did the same with this one, only when I tried it on for fitting I just thought "you know what... I'm going to leave this as it is. Just for a change!" So I did!

I love how the armholes are actually made from leaving part of the shoulder seam open. And it fooled me. Before I read through the instructions my mind was telling me the armholes went in the side seams. Just goes to show... don't ever assume you know best lol

I often wonder why Pattern Companies add zips to jersey dresses? Err it's jeresy...?! This pattern also had a zip but in this case, the pattern has a waistband. I didn't want the zip (they rarely look nice in stretch fabrics anyway) so I made it up without the waistband and threw a belt on instead. Job done!


Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Vogue 8648 ~ Hey look it's Pac-man!

Anybody recognise these little chaps...?

 These were the social phenomenon of what is now an icon of 1980's popular culture. I'm not a gamer myself, never have been, but these little chappies definitely make an eye catching and colourful fabric that I couldn't resist.

The pattern is Vogue 8648, A perfect pattern for colour blocking. Or in my case, pac-man blocking! I made View C (yellow dress on the pattern envelope)

The pattern calls for you to cut this pattern on the cross grain. (Well from memory at least some of it, if not all...?) Not sure why? Didnt think the little chappies on the fabric would appreciate being lopsided anyway so I went with the straight grain for the most part and just did the waistband on cross grain. Well it worked for me!

I have no idea where I bought the fabric from but it's a quilting cotton that was beautiful to work with. I didn't have a huge amount (1m) so I just had to play around with pattern pieces to see what fit. 

Ok, I can see that the photos aren't that great and you're having to take my word for it that these are actually little pac-men and not just coloured in dots so how about a bit of a zoom in....

Oh look, there they are!

 I love that Vogue Patterns add lining to a lot of their dress patterns. I just love the finish of a lined dress not to mention the comfort of wearing it! And yet I never wore this dress other than for these photos. My sister-in-law is now the proud owner of it. Well, perhaps I am being rather over confident in the word proud lol but owns it she does, proud or not! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sewing 
Dawn :)x

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Butterick 5747 ~ Hello Sailor!

August is traditionally the month that us British take to the coast for a bit of fresh sea air, sand in our toes, ice cream and fish and chips. Our bank holiday is generally the last chance to make the most of what's left of our summer before the children head back to school and early autumn heads our way.

I however, live by the sea so rarely participate in any of those activities during summer. Especially August! But, living by the sea, it was time to have a nautical themed dress. And this is it...

So where is the sea you may ask..? Well August for us is our busiest time. So as much as I wanted to head down to the beach for some photos of this dress, time just didn't allow.

The pattern, Butterick 5747 lends itself to make the perfect little sailor dress

I made a combo of both: the Bodice of View A and the Straight skirt of View B using a pillarbox red luna cotton. It creases like crazy but cool and fresh it certainly is!

Oh look careful and you can actually see the sea!! Getting out on our balcony is the closest I got to "seaside" photos!

I made a couple of changes to the pattern but only slight. I didn't want the big winged collar so I altered this and rounded it off. The dress also features a detachable dickey giving the option to wear the dress with or without it. Hmmm, without tends to give rather a lot of over exposure, especially if you are pigeon chested like me! Yet making the dickey the size of the pattern piece gives the feeling of serious strangulation!! So I made the dickey considerably smaller and this works perfectly :)

For the nautical vibe I added the red and white grossgrain ribbon and nautical red and white anchor buttons both available HERE and HERE

These buttons just add the perfect finishing touch

Fabric, Buttons and Grossgrain Trim were all purchased from

I also purchased a red and white striped belt for this dress to match the red and white trim. Only I actually prefer the dress without the belt!

This dress was also my August project for the MAGAM Challenge. Had I not joined this wonderful inspirational group, I really don't think this dress would ever have made it in time to see the summer out....!

To read my Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Simplicity 1418 ~ Summer Dreams

What a breath of fresh summer air this little number is. I'd seen so many pretty summer dresses around on Pattern Review and Sewing Blogs that I was starting to feel very left out!
So when the July theme for the MAGAM Challenge was to "Make Your Wish" it was time to make that pretty summer dress that I so wanted for myself. 

Originally I was going to use Butterick 5747 for my pretty summer dress but then I realised I still had Simplicity 1415 from last year still not made up. So I had a quick change of plan and I now have some fabulous fabric and notions at the ready for the Butterick make. Watch this space for that as I am so excited to get that project on the go...

So this was the chosen pattern
Far more suited for a pretty floral print me thinks

I made View B with the shoulder straps and off the shoulder sleeves. Shown better here from the pattern diagram

I had some blue cotton fabric left over from a previous project which contrasted so well with this floral print. For the Butterick pattern I was going to use it for a contrasting collar. For this I decided to add a little self made piping. And first time self made piping I hasten to add!

The blue just went so well I had to incorporate somehow!

The dress Fabric I used was a soft and drapey viscose from Minerva Crafts (I think I should be on commission for them lately lol!) However it seems to be taking me so long from buying fabric, to making up, that the fabrics I'm using are sold out by the time I post on the Blog. So the blue is no longer available but they have the same fabric in a different colour HERE

I have to say I totally wasn't feeling it half way through making up this dress. I was starting to think that I wasn't going to like it and that I'd probably never wear it. But when I tried it on for fitting, Oh my gosh I loved it! Better still, other than quite a drastic shortening of the shoulder straps it needed no crucial fit adjustments what so ever. Don't you just love it when that happens :)

This dress feels great on. I love it and I love that it fits so well. Summer seems to have disappeared again here in the UK but providing we get a second wind, I can foresee me wearing this often. I finally have a my very own pretty summer dress for 2014... YaaY!

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time :)
Dawn :)x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Time for a new cover...

So, I have a new dress to post and you get to see my new ironing board cover instead! Reason: Hubby (photographer!) and I work such long hours in Summer and we have not had a day off together in ages. So the photography is down to me today and it's much easier to take a picture of the ironing board than it is of myself in a dress!

Ok, so the ironing board cover is not that interesting nor exciting, but I made it (the old one was embarrassingly brown and dirty) and so for me that counts as being logged on the Blog. Plus, the fabric by Henry Glass is super funky and that alone is worth sharing :)

I bought the fabric from Plush Addict back in April. It's no longer available from there but man they have some awesome funky cotton prints well worth checking out! For anyone wanting a similar one to mine, there is a lovely pink version of it on Etsy HERE

The cover was easy enough to make as I just drew around my ironing board adding extra for hemming, and then pulled a draw-cord through for fitting. Bingo... you're done! But for anyone needing a tutorial there is a very useful one HERE

Hopefully I will have a lovely pretty summer dress to post once the photos are done, so check back soon!

Until next time :)

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Vogue Paris Original ~ Some 80's nostalgia

Never let it be said that the 1980's won't ever come back into fashion. It's already started to creep back in with skinny jeans, high waistlines and cropped tops. And what of all the "falling off one shoulder" tops? Who growing up in the 1980's doesn't remember a sweater version of this thrown in with some leg warmers?

Most of us cringe when we think of the 80's with big hair, big shoulder pads, and those huge boxy jackets that made women look like an American Footballer!
But not all fashions were bad (the rock chick look still, well, rocks!) and some fashions from the 80's are even re-appearing on our high streets with a vengeance some 30 years later.

I made this skirt in 1987 (yes you read that right!) 1987!!! And to me, this is one of those few in the "not all bad" category. Somehow it has never dated and somehow it still fits. And yes, I still wear it.

Even this high/low hemline is fashionable again now.

 It's a Vogue Paris Original Pattern confirmed by the label I stitched on one of the back pockets. If memory serves me right, it was an "Individualist" pattern designed by Claude Montana. Although I am not 100% certain so if anyone can clarify this I would be over the moon!
I contacted Vogue to see if they could find the pattern number for me, but although they were kind enough to reply they were unable to help.

So much detail went into this skirt. It has a high low waist as well as hemline, a shaped back yoke, front pockets, back pockets, fly zip, fitted to the hip then a fit and flare lower skirt, the hemline is faced and everything is top-stitched. (Phew, pause for breath!) 
Why did I ever throw this pattern away?!!

I have hunted high and low for a photo of me wearing it in the 80's but to no avail boo hoo. It's quite unbelievable really that I still have the skirt yet I no longer have the pattern. It had a shirt pattern included in the same envelope and the 2 together with white boots(!) was my favourite outfit for months! Although I no longer have the shirt, ironically, I actually do have a photo of it....

You can almost see the Vogue Paris Original Label I also sewed onto the sleeve!

I was so proud of those 2 welt pockets on the front; they were my first attempt and turned out rather well! Mum was proud anyway lol! The shirt got worn over and over again and consequently wore out many many years ago but the skirt has after all these years lived to tell the tale.....

And finally, Just had to add a photo of this lovely wrap I'm wearing. I now have 3 of these in total. There are so many gorgeous ones I could buy them all! Pop over to Pennies From Heaven and see for yourself. Prices are very reasonable too :)

Thanks for stopping by

Happy Sewing!
Dawn :)x