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A Cocowawa Plum Dress

O.k, we all know that I love a pretty dress and a good ruffle. Throw in a button back and I’m 100% on board!

This is the Plum Dress  from Cocowawa Crafts. It’s a cute little baby-doll dress which has a relaxed fit, choice of lengths, and options to make the sleeveless ruffled version or the 3/4 length sleeves.

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Image from the Cocowawa website

I clearly went for the sleeveless ruffles, and glad that I did, because I have hardly any sleeveless dresses, although to be fair with the lovely dropped shoulder and ruffles they kind of look like little sleeves, which is great for someone like me that prefers to keep their bingo wings covered!

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In terms of sizing, the pattern is designed to be loose fitting. What I was after was something a little less relaxed. So after checking the finished garment measurements and also after reading beautiful Amy’s really helpful review here,  where she also was aiming for this kind of fit, I opted to jump in and make the size 2 bodice and size 1 skirt. My measurements at this time are 36-30-40 (they change all the time – up and down like a yo-yo)!

This worked incredibly well, although it’s very slightly tight around sleeve opening, which will need adjusting next time, but apart from that the bodice fit and the gently gathered skirt is just what I was after.

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The neckline sits a little too high for me, so would also lower that for future makes, probably by a couple of inches. Whilst we are on the subject of the neckline, this is beautifully finished off on the inside with bias binding. I have lots and lots of home made bias binding that I have made with leftover cottons and picked a ditsy pink floral for this dress. I know you can’t see it, but it’s a pretty detail that I will enjoy each time I put it on. Of course you can always use shop bought bias tape too.

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This beautiful cotton poplin is from Crafty Sew and So  and has been in my stash for a few months whilst I waited for the warm weather and the perfect pattern. The fabric combines gorgeous lilacs, lime greens and chestnut browns, and whilst this pic and was taken in the shade (it was a very hot day), I think you can get the idea of how sweet it is.

The pastel pink acrylic button necklace is available from my shop x

As mentioned I absolutely love button-back garments, and this is such a pretty feature on The Plum. I used these cute wooden buttons and lime green thread. After I sewed all the button holes, I realised that I only needed the top two to allow the dress to slip on and off over my head, so the top two are the only working buttonholes, the rest are just buttons sewn on over the top of the uncut buttonholes right through all the layers.

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On to the adorable ruffle sleeves. When I first gathered and attached them, I felt that they were a smidge too wide for me, especially with the poplin having that extra bit of body to it, so I narrowed them down by about 1.5 inches. I simply did this by trimming the long curved edge of the sleeve ruffle by that amount.

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Ooh, I also kept the hem of the skirt horizontal – the actual pattern has a little shaping to the hem.

Not forgetting the pockets of course!

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These pics were taken in the grounds at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. It’s the first time that we have ventured out doing anything like this since lockdown began, and whilst I still feel a little nervous around others, the numbers were strictly controlled by a ticket booking system.

Finally, a bit of fun. When you realise your husband is in the shot too! Ha!

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Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Fibre Mood Lola

The latest edition of Fibre Mood magazine is available from today (issue 10), and I was lucky enough to receive a preview of the patterns and had the opportunity to choose my favourite and sew it up in time for the launch. *

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Whilst all of the patterns for issue 10 are contained in the magazine, they are available to purchase individually too.

This is the Lola, a dreamy ruffled sleeveless top, with an open back and neck ties, and as soon as I saw the selection for issue 10, this was the one that I was drawn to (although it was a difficult choice….) Regular readers will know that I have this thing for ruffles and ties, and this ticked both boxes!

 

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My fabric choice is the sweetest embroidered floral cotton from Lucky Fashions, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Excellent customer service from them by the way.

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I used the A4 print at home option of the PDF, and foolishly printed it out in it’s original format. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, you will end up with every size, including the cutting lines and stitching lines of each size. As you can imagine this was quite ‘busy’ to look at and pick out the cutting lines that I wanted to trace off, so I highlighted the lines I needed before I traced out my size. If only I had followed the Fibre Mood guidance video here.

The pattern consists of 9 pieces, and is rated by Fibre Mood as a 3/5 in terms of difficulty. This project isn’t for the faint at heart, and is quite challenging to sew, and a fair bit of sewing experience under your belt is necessary I feel. The written instructions and illustrations are good, but sometimes I needed to bring in a bit of my own knowledge to fully understand them. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed sewing this blouse, and was delighted how well it came together.

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The only addition I made was to top stitch above the ruffle, catching in the seam allowance just to make sure that the ruffles behaved themselves and lay nice and flat. I mean, nobody has time for badly behaved ruffles do they! Ha!

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If you think that the blouse is pretty from the front – check out the back! How sweet is the elasticated open back and the neck tie?

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I made a straight size 38, and I think next time that I make this I will need to make a gaping neckline adjustment to the two back pieces where they attach to the neck ties (to allow those pattern pieces to lay more flat). A gaping neckline adjustment is something that I often have to do, and I feel that this would improve the fit for me at the back greatly.

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I hope that you like it as much as I do, it’s the perfect cool top on hot Summer days…

To celebrate each magazine launch, the Fibre Mood website showcases all of the garments that have been made in advance by bloggers from that issue. This is called a Link Party. The link party for this new magazine issue is called Link Party #14 and you can see my blouse along with lots of other inspiring makes from the latest magazine here.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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*This pattern was very kindly gifted to me to sew and share my honest opinions with you today, and this blog post contains affiliate links x