Made By Me: Moddolly Rip – Gingham Dress with Collar

I love online shopping, I love finding cute indie shops and concessions that are not too popular, but cater for a different fashion taste.  One of these is Moddolly.  I just love their cute little dresses, and their simple whimsical style.  I could buy it all… if I was about 3 sizes smaller!  Yes unfortunately I look and love, not look and buy.  I don’t hold it against them for sizing me out, honestly I am fine, I am plus sized, I am overweight that’s my issue.  To be honest, I am thankful as this is one of the driving factors that set me on the path for a DIY wardrobe: I get exactly what I want in fashion, and not have to compromise.

SO on one of my look and love binges I stumble across this:

The Jessica Gingham Collar Smock Dress


Looking at it, I thought I can make that… so I did:

The fabric was extremely cheap as Gingham goes, I ordered 3 meters @ £2.50 per meter, with free P&P.  Most places stock this as a basic, in many colours and sizes, I went for a mid sized grid, not the large, as I felt it was closest to the original.  I also ordered a batch of lace trim zips, one for the dress and more for the stash.  I felt that i could not tackle an invisible zip or a side zip on my own drafted pattern, instead opting to make a feature of said zip.

It started with an oversized smock pattern I had drafted for my oversized tie-dye dress way back when.  I made it slightly smaller and  just gathered a skirt out of the material left over.  Gingham is amazing to work with as I felt I had a reference grid on hand all the time, so easy to cut that way.

The sleeves were just basic short sleeve, but I finished them with a cuff that is similar to the Inari pattern (If you are unfamiliar with that, basically I sew on a cuff and fold out to cover all the seams, then and sew and invisible stitch to keep it in place) the hem was just a simple fold as the fabric sat so neat.

The Peter Pan collar was an issue.  Unlike the original, that has the collar not follow through to the back and just on the front, I decided to do a full collar.  I wanted to be able to sit it over jumpers and tie a bow under it.  There was a lot of trial and error with paper cut outs, but eventually I managed it, and I used an iron on interfacing for structure. The collar has a gap for the zip on the back and I adore it being a big feature,  I think it adds to the overall feel of the piece.

I had planned for it to be oversized… unfortunately when on and being plus sized it made me look very large.  So i added some darts and pleats on the front waist seam and it has just added enough shape without being too tight and just another skater dress.

Overall, I loved the challenge of looking and studying, and just figuring it all out as you go.  In the end I made a beautiful piece.  Even though it is very thin, which is ideal for summer,  I can layer it up with tights, vests and jumpers for autumn.  In the pictures I styled it with my thigh high boots,  I would wear this out but I WOULD NEED TIGHTS.  For summer, wearing it as is with some sandals would do.  I plan to add a black bow tie at some point as well.

Thanks for reading guys, don’t forget to check out my Instagram for the latest sews.





Made By Me: I AM Patterns – Aphrodite x2

I should update more, I just have limited free time and that usually goes on marathon sewing binges! At least this means I am never short of things to write about in my back catalogue.  I have even got a book FULL of notes and thoughts of each piece I make, so I don’t forget (old age….)

I was going to post about these separately, but it may be easier to clump together:

I fell in love with the Aphrodite pattern from I AM patterns.  Its simple, yet well structured, and I loved the option of adding a panel.

Packaging, Instructions and Pattern sample.
Packaging, Instructions and Pattern sample.

The pattern itself is amazing, I love that it came in a printed brown envelope, and the graphics are just divine.  Its very neat and I am a sucker for a good layout. The large font paired with the simple illustration just works.  The fact it is also printed in gold really sets it off.  The pattern itself is just beautiful, If I ever made patterns myself, this is what I would set the bar at.  The instructions were a simple concertinaed fold, each step taking up a section all separated by big thick line, French version on the reverse.  As you can tell I am very passionate about good layouts and credit where credit is due for great design skills, simple isn’t always the easiest to pull off.

For my first attempt, I went ahead with a jersey crepe in black, Similar to the pictures on the web site, for a decent basic:  After looking at the measurements I thought it best to add an inch or so as I am quite big and like my tees loose.  OH WHAT A FLUFF THAT CAUSED.  For some reason, I am not as fat as I always think i am and ended up added to much, this made the back opening bulged!  The extra on the sides of the front panel was fine, the back just lost its shape a little. To redeem this, I folded the back yoke and chopped the extra inches off in the centre and sewed.  With the bottom part, again folded it centre, but this time slowly tapered the extra out down to the hem, this gave me space for my bum and a slight flare to the hem.  Overall it ended being a success after I made it a disaster, the opening in the back is narrower than it should be BUT i have some black lace that will now fit perfectly on to it.

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Feeling a bit annoyed at myself after attempt no.1, a few days later I attempted it again.  I decided to cut up an oversized tee I had made from a beautiful grey Roma I purchased in John Lewis and was unsuccessful.  The Aphrodite is made of a lot of thin smaller pieces and is PERFECT for odds and scraps that I end up with. This time, I just added a cm around as I cut and the result was more successful, and only hugged my tummy a little bit.  As you can see the gap in the back is much bigger than the previous one, I may have to wear a lace vest under this (instead of just a dodgy bra…apologies)

Since making both of these, I have worn them on several occasions, I tend to chuck them on over leggings and i am away.  the back can easily be dressed down with a vest, or a bralette.  (a vest is better as it hides my florescent white back!)

I cannot recommend this pattern enough, it is so easy and so satisfying to make.  It is ridiculously quick to make, and cut as it is really just a series of squares.  I am going to check out more from the guys at IAM patterns, and definitely tackle another in the future.

Don’t forget to add me to Instagram as I am a prolific uploader and ALL pieces are prieviewed on there before blog posts