This blog post is just a brief glimpse into my latest make. As it is made using fabric kindly gifted by Minerva. I have written my full post over on their blog and you can whizz over to read the full post here.
I chose to use this stunning Lady McElroy cotton lawn which you can see features a busy floral print on a dark navy background. It’s fairly light weight so it might have to wait to be worn until the weather gets warmer, but I look forward to that day as it turned out super cute don’t you think.
Back to the Sydni Shirt Dress. It’s a dress and shirt pattern featuring optional front pleated pockets. You can decide if you want to make a collar on both versions, and the dress has those all important in-seam pockets and a tie belt. Both versions also have a dipped shaped hem at the back. The size range on this pattern is great too, starting at an XS through to 4XL (see measurement chart below). This pattern was very kindly sent to me by the Sew to Grow team, and I love how it has turned out.
The collar is optional on both the dress and the top.
The deep in-seam pockets are a must in my opinion, and I love the slim belt and belt ties that are sewn into the side seam.
I kept the hem horizontal all the way around rather than keeping the dropped curved hem at the back. The side slits are a pretty and useful feature.
Thank you so much to both Minerva and Sew to Grow, who between them have provided me the tools to create such a pretty dress. As mentioned before, lots more detail can be found on the Minerva blog. See you over there!
I’m sure that most of you are familiar with The Stevie tunic and top pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. Did you notice last month that an add-on pattern had been released? This gives you the option to use the original pattern to add longer sleeves or a gathered skirt transforming it into an oversized smock dress whilst still retaining those classic and recognizable Stevie features.
The new dress version could not have appealed to me more! It’s right up my street! Gathered skirt – yes please. Tie back – of course. Swishability – 100%.
This dress is made using the original Stevie pattern plus the Add-on pattern. A bundle of both patterns together is also available here.
*polite/shy cough* I was beyond flattered to be asked by Tilly and the Buttons to model the pattern images for this new add-on pattern and, trust me, I’m still pinching myself.
The sample of the dress that I modelled for Tilly is made up in this beautiful linen/cotton stripe from Lamazi Fabrics and is gorgeous. Immediately that I saw it I desperately wanted to make my version in a linen stripe too and have a bit of fun copying those playful stripe directions.
The fabric that I purchased for my version is a viscose linen from Material Girl Laura. Unfortunately this is out of stock now, but it’s a beautiful mid blue with a narrow white stripe.
The acrylic pastel blue knitting necklace with gold plated chain is available from my shop.
As I needed to be very careful cutting this out to make sure that the stripe was running the correct way on each pattern piece, I drew out a rough sketch of the dress (front and back) and drew the stripes in so that I knew which way to lay each piece on the fabric. This was also important as I knew that I would only have just enough fabric to do this. Guess who despite this still cut out the back bodice piece (the piece below the back yoke) with the stripes in the wrong direction!? Yep, me..
This resulted in some rude words, and some intense pattern repositioning on the remaining pieces and I finally managed to squeeze out that back bodice piece by cutting it as two separate pieces (rather than on the fold) so now there is a little vertical seam running down the centre now. Never mind, you can barely see it ( I hope) and at least the stripes are running in the direction that I wanted.
Oh I also had to cut the sleeve cuffs with the stripe running in the wrong direction as a result of this, as this was the only way I could get them out of the fabric leftovers now, but you really wouldn’t notice this either.
So after all that self-inflicted stress cutting out, I was excited to get started sewing. (I am a straight Tilly size 4 by the way, but for this dress I wanted it a little less oversized so I cut a size 4 in the top grading it in to a size 2 at the waist, and a size 2 skirt). My measurements are 36-30-40 btw and I am 5’2″.
It’s a dream to sew, as are all of Tilly’s patterns, and I really enjoyed seeing it come together especially with all of those fun directional stripes. After adding the cuffs I decided to hand stitch them in place all the way around rather than just using some discreet stitches at the shoulder and side seam. I was trying to avoid the chance of them becoming a bit unturned whilst wearing them, if you know what I mean. Now that I have hand stitched them I feel that they look a bit flat and realise that they would look much better stitched in a couple of places as instructed, so I think I’ll whiz back to them, unpick that stitching and finish them as I should have done in the first place!
One of the things that I love about this dress is the large pocket. It’s fab isn’t it? Sadly I had to reduce the size of the pocket because of my pattern placing error that I mentioned earlier. I simply couldn’t get it out of the fabric with the stripe in the correct direction at it’s original size. So whilst the width of my pocket is the same as the pattern, I had to make it about 4cm shorter. It’s only a little bit smaller than the original and still super cute.
I also placed the pocket so that it’s side edges lay exactly parallel to those vertical stripes on the skirt. The placement markings for the pocket actually means that the pocket side edges are parallel to the side seams (not the fold line/centre front of the skirt) so technically this means that my pocket is actually stitched on a little bit wonky, but it looks straight, because of the vertical lines of the skirt… Gosh does this make any sense? One last thing, I also raised the height of the pocket by about 4cm.
After attaching the skirt I realised that the weight of the skirt had pulled the waist seam down to lower than I wanted ( something that Tilly mentions might happen in her instructions). I felt that I needed to raise the waist seam by about 4.5cm along the front bodice from side seam to side seam. The back bodice didn’t need reducing all the way around, I just needed grade this 4.5cm reduction down to nothing for about 12cm from each side seam in towards the centre back.
There are some helpful and interesting posts on the Tilly and the Buttons blog here, here and here. So do check those out if you need any fitting help or inspiration.
I would also like to say that the add-on pattern was gifted to me when the pattern was released. This was with no obligations or conditions to share in any way. The thoughts in this post, as always, are entirely my own. The original Stevie pattern that is also needed to make this dress was purchased by myself.
I’m quite enjoying sewing through my stash at the moment, are you doing the same? If I’m honest, I just can’t afford new fabric at the moment, luckily I have a quite a few fabrics that will keep me going for a while.
One fabric that has been knocking around in my cupboard for a year or two is this wonderful lilac and brown wide striped knit. As with quite a few things that I have been sewing lately, this too was a great find from a fabric swap. I *think* I might have picked it up at the Sewing Weekender. Thank you to whoever donated it! The moment I saw it I always intended it to be a Linden.
The Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio is a classic pattern that most of us will be familiar with. I have made a couple of versions in the past which I wear a great deal around the house, and as they are on their last legs I thought it was about time that I made another. Also I don’t think I have ever written a blog post on this great pattern, so it’s about time.
For those unfamiliar the pattern gives you the choice of two versions. View A is a classic sweatshirt with long sleeves and ribbing at the neckline, cuffs and hem. View B is slightly shorter in the body, it has short sleeves too and only requires ribbing at the neckband.
I made view A and didn’t use ribbing as I didn’t have any in my stash that was the right colour, so just went right ahead and used the main fabric as it had a nice amount of stretch in it. Due to the width of the stripes I was able to ‘fussy cut’ these pieces to make sure they were all solid brown.
Talking about stripes, although the long side/arm seams are easy to stripe match, the curved shape of the sleeve head means that stripes along the armhole seam won’t often match. On this seam I always try to match at least one of the most prominent stripes and let the rest do what they want! In the case of my sweatshirt, I chose to match up one of the brown stripes. As it has turned out, that brown stripe is matched up perfectly along the bottom edge of the stripe, leaving a ‘step’ in the matching along the top edge. On reflection I perhaps should have matched up the top edge of the stripe for it to look a little better, but not to worry, I’m not going to lose sleep over it! What is your opinion on pattern matching guys? ‘Team perfection’ or ‘Team whatever’?
On a plus note, the back arm seams match wonderfully!! Ha! Maybe I should wear it backwards!
The neckline is a soft scoop, and is a little wider than a lot of my rtw sweatshirts. I like the fit, but I have heard others mention that the neck opening is too wide for their liking.
I left the length of the sleeves as they were – which is something that I rarely do, as my arms aren’t very long. I like this length of sleeve on a cosy sweatshirt, and I also like the sleeve width – not too tight, not too loose.
Lilac is still such a hot colour, and whilst it isn’t a shade that everybody can wear, I feel that the brown stripes are so complimentary. How could I not accessorize this top withmy original lilac scissors necklace, available in my shop.
So whilst it’s great to talk about all the new and exciting patterns out there, it’s also good to re-visit the oldies but goldies like this. Classic wardrobe staples that you can go back to time and time again are great aren’t they?