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

Sunday, 13 July 2014

McCalls 3650 ~ Pink Flamingo!

Well who'd have thought it? After hoarding this pattern since the 1990's I have now made it twice in as many months! It's also the oldest original pattern that I own. I have had a yearning for all my old sewing patterns of late. I so wish I had kept a hold of them.
This oldie is my second version of McCalls 3650. It's OOP but McCalls have a current pattern (kind of similar!) HERE

McCalls 5050 Current 

My Oldie: McCalls 3650

You can see my first version of this (cropped with long sleeves) blogged HERE. But as much as I love long sleeves, especially the long flowing ones of this pattern, unfortunatley I have found them to be rather impractical. Sleeves in your gravy is not a cool look.

So this time around, I decided to go with the shorter sleeve from View C and the longer length top from View B (Short sleeves, long top) The complete opposite from my first one, just to keep it different!

I also used a completely different fabric this time. I made this one in a Poly cotton, available HERE from Minerva Crafts, which is nice, but it doesn't hang quite as nicely. I've washed it 2 or 3 times and it still feels and looks a bit stiff! A seersucker would be perfect for this, or for the evening look, a chiffon with a lacy top underneath

Still, cotton makes for a nice cool summer wear :)
and the shorter sleeves totally giving the summer vibe!

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by

Happy Sewing Sewers!
Dawn :)x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

SImplicity 1425 ~ Peplum Parade

Quite simply, I was inspired by another blogger for this top. But it has been so long since I came across the photo and saved it, that I can't remember which blog it was, to pass on the credit :(

I chose this top for my June MAGAM challenge because
A) I have wanted to make it for so long
And B) The theme this month was to make something Feminine and Bright.
This fit the bill perfectly so it gave me a push in the right direction to finally make it.

This is the lovely top that caught my eye.  I remember this was purchased so I set out to replicate it

I chose Simplicity 1425 for the pattern

I made View C

I originally intended to make this in a black and white fabric as per the inspiration photo, but as I picked this for the MAGAM challenge, something a little more vibrant was required to keep in with the theme.

 I came across THIS from Minerva Crafts
This catalogue photo shows the colours much better

I just had to have it. Out went the black and white and in came the black, white and red! It was only later that noticed that it is very similar to View C on the pattern envelope!

I guess I am a bit slow (well, more than a bit) jumping on the peplum band wagon. Peplums were something I often wore back in the 80's.

Wooo check out me sporting a peplum back in the day....!!
I made this outfit too but I have no idea which sewing pattern it came from. One of my biggest regrets is throwing out most of all my old patterns. What do you do? Keep or save...? Since I started sewing again, I've kept every one.

McCalls 6844 was a hugely popular sewing pattern last year and I'd never considered wearing a peplum again until then. (You can see that top Blogged HERE

Anyways back to the item in question. I am totally loving this top. It's even made me don a pair of jeans (again!!) I didn't realise until I came to make it that there are pleats in the peplum giving it that extra fluting

I also didn't realise until I read the instructions through, that the back is fastened with just loops and buttons, and only 3 at that. What?!! I have no idea what Simplicity were thinking with that idea.
Another Reviewer recommended an exposed zipper instead so that's what I did. And what a genius idea it was too! FitDiva from the Sewing Pattern Review Website must take all credit for this. I started the zip a few inches down so just used one button and loop at the very top to fasten at the neck.

Look at me getting all brave using a bright contrast red instead of playing it safe with a white one!

I know that this is going to sound ridiculous but this is the first time I have swayed away from armhole and neckline facings! I was always taught to use facings on armholes and necklines but it does seem to look very "old hat" these days.

 So it was time to try a new method and I am now asking myself why I never did this sooner?! It gives a much more professional finish. Not bad either for my first attempt even if I do say so myself! Haven't quite been brave enough to make my own binding yet, (despite my Mum giving me a handy little tool to do so) but I am converted that's for sure.

And finally, I just had to add this final shot as my lovely Hubby was kind enough to trust me on his bike lol

To Read My Sewing Pattern Review CLICK HERE

Until next time

Happy Sewing :)