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Fibre Mood Dolly.

It’s that time again – Fibre Mood 15 Magazine is out today, and I was lucky enough to take a peek at the patterns a few weeks ago and choose one to make and share with you *

As usual there is a great choice of patterns in the magazine – dresses, tops, trousers and skirts, but as always I was drawn towards the dresses and I eventually opted to make Dolly.

Dolly is a simple loose fitting A-line dress with elbow length puffed raglan sleeves (gathered at the cuff), and a gathered neckline with a statement bow to finish it off. The finished dress length is always your choice of course (as a dressmaker) and I cut this version the exact length of the pattern piece without alteration which you can see hits me just above the knee. I’m 5’2″ for reference. I think maybe I will lengthen the dress next time I make it by a couple of inches.

It also has pockets ūüôā

As mentioned Dolly has a loose cut. My measurements put me into the ‘Small’ size band, but looking at the pattern measurements compared to mine, I decided to size down and cut a size XS as this would still give me plenty of room without the risk of swamping me. I’m so pleased that I did this as I feel the fit is just what I was after. My measurements are 34-29-38 btw.

Ever since I made my black Cassie dress last year I knew I wanted more black Summer dresses in my wardrobe. Something casual that I could pair with trainers or sandals and maybe a straw hat and bag. After ruling out anything in my stash, I came across this pretty cotton lawn swiss dot from Plush Addict. It’s fairly sheer, so I will wear it with a slip.

The dress was nice and quick to cut out and fairly easy to sew. Fibre Mood rate this as a 2/5 in terms of difficulty. The only part that I had to fiddle around with to get it right was the v-neck facing. I always feel nervous about snipping into a v-neck facing before turning it through as you really have to snip right up to the stitching to enable it to lay flat, and I never do it close enough first time. After a second teeny snip I turned it through again and a nice steamy press meant the v-neck lay flat without any puckers (well, maybe a teeny tiny one that nobody will notice on the black fabric, but that’s between you and me only)!

This pattern is sewn with a 1 cm seam allowance.

I like the length of the sleeves and that they are gathered into a sweet narrow cuff band. The opening of the cuff band was just right, and means that the sleeves don’t pull the whole dress up when reaching up for things!

I chose to style this dress with my latest necklace design – the Thimble Necklace, Veja trainers, old straw hat and an old bag from Matalan.

I love the width of the neck bow. I’m not sure that I like the placement of it though. It is attached to the neck opening just below where the neckline bias tape ends. I’m not sure I’m that keen of that placement as it sits below the neckline by approx 1 cm, rather than being a seamless extension of the neckline. Maybe next time I might raise the height of the neck ties. We’ll see.

The gathered neckline continues all the way around the back too.

Last but not least, I really wanted a straw had with black ribbon to complete this look. As I didn’t have one I decided to alter my trusty straw hat with brown ribbon by adding a length of black grosgrain ribbon over the top of the brown ribbon. This is held in place with a few stitches and can easily be removed when I want the original colour back! See the before and after below!

Same hat, different ribbon colour

I’m absolutely delighted with the Dolly. It fits the bill with the vibe that I was going for, and think it would be amazing in a chambray, gingham or seersucker too don’t you think?

* Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted my choice of the Dolly pattern by Fibre Mood to sew and share. As always my review is honest and all opinions are entirely my own. This post contains some affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click through and purchase something that I have linked to.  I only accept the free pattern from Fibre Mood when there is a design that I truly love. Thank you x

Thanks for dropping by. Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to keep up with everything that I am up to! x

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A classic Little Black Dress

Something that my handmade wardrobe is seriously lacking is a classic LBD.

Despite my usual preference of dresses with florals, bows, ties and ruffles, this time I wanted to make more of an elegant simple style with no frills.

I also wanted a dress that was quick to make and didn’t use much fabric.

The Pattydoo Marie seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and as I had only made this dress once before it was perhaps about time that I gave it another go.

The Pattydoo Marie dress is a very simple sleeveless dress pattern with a round neck, and princess seams at the front and back which form the most adorable pleats just below your waist. I wrote a blog about the first version that I made here back in August 2018, and whilst I loved lots about it, I didn’t enjoy the fact that it was sleeveless and disliked my fabric choice.

The Marie Dress from Pattydoo. Line drawing is from the Pattydoo website.

For this version I added short sleeves from another Pattydoo dress that I have (The Chloe dress), and this worked out perfectly. I feel much more comfortable in a garment with sleeves these days.

I also cut the hemline straight again, as I don’t think a shaped hem suits me.

So this is where things might get a teeny bit confusing. Stay with me. Pattydoo are a German pattern company, and unfortunately I don’t speak a word of German. When you visit their website you can click on an English version, but this only has a handful of patterns available on it, (and they are not ones that I want). This is not a problem though because most of the German patterns all have the most excellent sew-along videos which are easy to follow visually despite being spoken in German. The sew-along for the Marie dress is here.

I’ve been holding out for a sleeve add-on pack for the Marie dress but here’s the thing that I’ve just noticed on the Pattydoo site – they now make an Eliza Dress. This looks exactly like the Marie, but with sleeves! So it looks to me like instead of creating an add-on sleeve pattern for the Marie, they have just released pretty much the same pattern but with sleeve variations, and called it a different name. The pattern comes with 3 sleeve lengths. The only difference that I can see is that the Eliza has a straight hemline, whereas the Marie’s hemline is shaped. I can’t find a sew-along video for the Eliza dress, but I would just use the one for the Marie dress linked above and insert the sleeves before sewing up the side/underarm seams.

This is the Eliza Dress. Line drawings from the Pattydoo website.

By the way, did I mention that Pattydoo PDF’s are only 2.99 Euros!!

I used a black scuba (I can’t remember where from) for my dress, which of course holds the pleats at the waist beautifully. I think this dress would look pretty in a french terry or a ponte too, if scuba is not your vibe.

The dress front and back pattern pieces are quite an unusual shape, I don’t think that I have another dress that has a pattern shaped like this!

The neckline is just a simple ‘turn over and sew down’ although you could draft a neckline facing easily enough if that is your preferred method. I used a twin needle to finish the neckline, sleeves and hem.

Seaglass necklace from @lilypad_jewellery

As expected, black is the most difficult colour to photograph. I have done my best to show you the details where possible, but I’m pretty sure that now that I know that I can add sleeves to it, I will want to make more – in colours that will photograph more easily!

The back of the dress has the same princess lines as the front, which gives you the most lovely dress shape all the way around, and gives you a kind of tulip shape.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but there are no fastenings to this dress – it’s a good ol’ pull on and off over the head situation! Win win.

One last look at those pleats before I go …

What is your ‘go-to’ classic timeless dress pattern?

Take care, I’ll be back soon

Kathy x

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The Cassie Dress from Emporia Sewing Patterns

The Cassie Dress is a pattern that I have had my eyes on for quite some time. I first spotted it when I met Clair and Charlotte from Emporia Patterns on their stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show late last year. By that point in the day I had entirely spent out on lots of sewing goodies, but made a mental note that the Cassie looked like a pattern that would be right up my street and would probably look to purchase another time.

Fast forward a few months and I recently noticed lovely Becky from The Sewing Cafe wearing a couple of gorgeous versions and that was it, it had to be mine! By the way I bought my pattern from The Sewing Cafe.

The Cassie Dress is a fairly relaxed fitting tiered Summer dress. It has a simple t-shirt style bodice with bust darts, and to that you can add on your choice of two or three skirt tiers. You can also choose to make it with tie straps at the shoulders too. It has no fastenings at all as it is a ‘pull on and off over the head dress’ which make it super easy and quick to sew too!

The pattern pieces are printed on high quality paper and have different coloured size markings which make tracing or cutting your size really easy. It’s definitely a beginner friendly sewing pattern – but just don’t forget to finish your seams in your chosen way as you are sewing it, as I don’t think this is mentioned in the instruction booklet.

I had a feeling that as much as I like maxi dresses, the three tier version might drown me a bit, so I went for the two tiered option. I also went for the classic t-shirt top rather that the tie straps, because, well, bingo wings…

However I didn’t know where the two tiered length would hit me, and if I would need to alter the depth of those two tiers, so the easiest thing was to pin the pattern pieces together at their (1cm) seam allowance and kind of hold it against me to give me a rough idea. Imagine my surprise when it looked like it would hit my knee at exactly the right place without any alteration!!!!!!

By the way I’m 5’2″ tall and I cut a straight size 12.

My measurements are 36-29-39.

My fabric choice was this gorgeous black Swiss Dot cotton poplin from Fabworks, it has the cutest tufted burgundy dots which just break up the severity of the colour a little.

One thing that I did differently from the pattern was to interface my neck facing pieces. I also ‘stitched in the ditch’ down the shoulder seams to keep them in place.

I really enjoy pockets in a dress so I also added my own inseam pockets using an inseam pocket template from another pattern. The placement on them (for me) means that they sit perfectly within that top tier.

The neckline is just right – not to low, not too high, and the short sleeves are ‘grown-on’ so no separate sleeve piece to ease in too. Happy days! It’s very comfortable to wear and I feel really great when I have it on.

I found the fit to be spot on. Comfortably relaxed and easy to pull on and off over your head, but not so loose that you feel swamped by it. It’s a really fantastic pattern all round that I know I will sew again and again (I already have some fabric in my stash earmarked for another Cassie), and would work well with cute trainers – which is probably how I will more often that not style it myself – and equally wearable in the colder months with opaque tights and boots.

I’m very impressed with this pattern. I like it A LOT. Do head on over to Emporia (linked above) and check out their adult and children’s sewing patterns, and whilst you are there they have a pretty cute selection of fabrics too.

Apologies for the lack of photos on this blog – turns out photographing a BLACK dress in sunny/cloudy/sunny/cloudy weather plays havoc with how the pics turn out!

Hope you’re all keeping safe and well and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Photos taken at Coombe Abbey near Coventry.

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My Colette Patterns Moneta #monetaparty dress

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I was so excited in January when I first read about the #monetaparty challenge. I had owned this pattern for a while and it was certainly very high up on my ‘things to make’ list, but this gave me the nudge that I needed to start planning a very special dress. The party is hosted by Colette Patterns with the fabulous trio of talented sewing bloggers who are Elle from¬†Sew Positivity¬†, Rachel from¬†Rach against the Sewing Machine¬†and Abigail from¬†Sew Abigail¬†I know the girls have been working on this for months and must have put in so much hard work for this to be the success that it is.

Initially I wanted to make the dress using some fabric already in my stash to get an idea of its construction before I started on my competition entry. I knew it was going to be a lovely dress to make as I had read so many positive reviews on it and I wasn’t disappointed. I made this trial dress up using some scuba fabric that I already owned – I wrote a blog on this Moneta dress¬†here¬†. ¬†Although the scuba ¬†was slightly heavier than a regular jersey ( and this meant I had to shorten the length of the finished dress by quite a bit), I was thrilled with the result and it will definitely be a dress I will wear all the time!

Back to the #monetaparty dress. I cannot tell you how long I have spent on the internet researching the perfect jersey for this dress. Literally hours… It had to be right. Eventually I found the PERFECT party jersey. It is an adorable nude jersey with a black lace design. Oh my goodness I could have cried. There’s more.. the black lace design is flocked with glitter.¬†Yes flocking and glitter. I need to sit down.

 

It was really hard to show you the glittery gorgeousness of the fabric in the still photos so hopefully this video will give you a better idea!

Fabric pre-washed and glitter still intact thankfully, I set about making up the dress. Although I had made it before I was nervous to cut into such a pretty fabric, you sewists will know exactly what I mean. No need to have worried of course, it came together beautifully. This pattern is perfect for a beginner, lots of help, advice and information online. It sews up quickly – especially if you have an overlocker, but this is not essential, you can use your regular sewing machine with no problems if you prefer. I love gathering the waist using the elasticated shirring technique and will use this method for sure in the future for gathers. It also has pockets. Say no more.

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Shirring the waist with elastic ensures neat and even gathers every time!

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Love the low back neckline. The neckline edge is simply turned over and stitched using a twin needle, simple – no need for facing or bias on this design.

 

The  pattern was true to size, and needed no alterations at all.

I am a massive jersey fan now, so easy to work with – no fraying has got to be a winner. It’s so comfortable to wear and doesn’t need ironing. Happy days.

 

As I publish this post the entries for the #monetaparty are still being added and I am thoroughly enjoying seeing so many versions of such a pretty dress. The sewing community is such a talented and friendly group to be part of and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful challenge. I must confess to being a little bit in love with this pattern, hope you don’t mind it taking over my blog this month!

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Thanks also to Mr Sew Dainty, dragged out during #stormdoris to take pictures, and then on at least two other occasions until I was happy with the photos. Oh dear.

Do let me know your thoughts on the Moneta dress. Are you taking part in the party? Good luck!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x