Pattern Hack: Cross Swing Dress

I had been lusting over 90’s button front swing dresses for a while now.  Maybe because i remember them the first time around, so I want in on that trend again!

This dress had a few incarnations on paper, until I eventually settled on hacking a Luisa from Wear Lemonade.  I dropped the separate yoke by tracing it into the dress front, I then slightly exaggerated the trapeze shape.  The front had a V neck and button front, I simple added a few cementers to the front seam and added a strip of interfacing.

The fabric I used was from Girl Charlee, I bought it a while back and was being far to precious with using it ( I have several patterns to use still in the stash)  It is still available to buy, you can check it out here. It is a lovely light jersey, and the Gothic cross pattern is so me.  I am glad I used it for this dress as I know I will get a lot of wear out of it.

So how did it sew?

Completed:  15th December 2016

Its refreshing when making your own pattern, or hacking a previous pattern, you have the luxury of going rouge and not having to read a pattern.  You kind of just do it as you go, and love every minute of it. The dress is very light, but I think this works with the exaggerated skirt part, it has a beautiful drape.  I got so carried away with the make, i forgot i wanted to do double buttons all the way down and just done singles.  It still turned out fine, a minor detail.  I could have made this even easier on myself and made a faux button front, but I am glad it opens, as I might experiment with wearing it open… although i am lazy and just pull it on over my head rather than deal with buttons.

I am keeping the pattern, I am thinking about doing a floral version, with more tea dress like sleeves, definitely a summer wear.

Cocowawa Crafts: Marshmallow Dress

I was so excited for this dress after I saw EVERYONE’S makes for it on Instagram, all at the same time, so I eventually ordered it and made it.


Check out Cocowawa Crafts Marshmallow Dress Here.

The pattern is amazing, I have been looking for a big dress like this, with a ruffle detail hem, for quite a while now.  I was also looking for a suitable pattern to whip up out of a bit of Tartan over Christmas. It was a perfect match.  I went for a Dark Tartan, with Navy and Bottle green, I am not 100% sure where I got it from, but it arrived just before December.

When I cut out the pattern I extended down the hem of the sleeve as I planned to make it long sleeve, like a shirt. I use this method a lot to get the perfect fit on a sleeve if a long sleeve version isn’t provided (almost a custom fit in a sense)

So How Did It Sew?

Completed: 4th January 2017 (Majority made in December 2016)

This was a good sew as in the way it goes together, although it has been one of my most challenging patterns, but that was due to my own stupidity:

All was going well until The sleeve!  I had made the majority of the top when I decided to sort out the sleeve before attaching (it was sewn, just needed a taper down to the cuff)  Before that I thought I would slip it on to pin the taper and get a good fit.  This is when I discovered that the upper arm was too tight.  I was devastated as I had already chopped up all the fabric (it was narrower than usual) and wouldn’t be able to cut more sleeves.  So in a bit of a Huff I dumped it into my To Do box to deal with later.

I had planned to have this as my Christmas day dress, so I then whipped up a plan B and went for the Red Crushed Velvet Sudley (see previous post)

After Xmas, in that weird time before New year that no one quite knows what to do in, I wanted to tie up some loose ends, so picked up the Marshmallow again.  Just to see how much I was off by, I slipped on the sleeve to see what I could do… and would you believe it, it fitted!  Honestly i have not lost weight on my arms, I must have just had a stupid moment first time round (blame the Xmas December Madness)

So I finished the dress, with long sleeves that fit, and I love it!  I cannot wait to wear it out properly.  I love how it is floaty, yet doesn’t add volume to my figure!  I highly recommend this pattern, and I can;t wait to see what Cocowawa Crafts has lined up for the future.

Made it Patterns: Groove Dress

I had seen Made it Patterns Drop dress and Top on Instagram, so I finally checked it out, and also found the Groove Dress.  And I am so glad I did…

Left: Made it Drop Dress    –   Right:  Made it Groove Dress

This pattern comes with the free teenage version, as well as having multiple options for you to make: High/low hem line, straight hem, five necks (Round, scoop, slash, cowl or hooded) long or short sleeves… makes for endless possibilities!


So How did it Sew?

Completed: 13th December 2016

I went for the long sleeve, High/low Hem hooded version.  I wanted to make a Goth/Pixie/Festival look dress, one that i can wear layered up with boots and legwarmers.  The fabric had been lurking in my stash for a while.  I had used the lighter version of the same fabric for my yoga pants, so wanted to try something completely different with it this time round.

With all the options, I am very excited to make this again, possibly a short sleeve summer version.  I really love the High/Low hem. I am also looking forward to making the Drop dress in the future, I can see that being a new favourite basic!


Megan Neilsen -Sudley Dress

I have had my eye on the Megan Neilsen patterns for a while, I have seen many makes pop up on my Instagram feed, but I finally took the plunge over Xmas with a 30% off.  I got three patterns: The Sudley dress and top (of which I have completed the Dress) Darling Ranges and the New Karri Dress.  Unfortunately I got so excited adding in all the Patterns, I forgot to add the MAKER tee too.  Honestly, it wasn’t till a couple of days later that I realised!  OH WELL, next time maybe.

I had seen that the sewing community had erupted into a frantic sewing frenzy of crushed Velvet, brought on by the festive season no doubt.  I myself looked on longingly, I really wanted a red velvet dress, but HATED the reds I was seeing… The orange red is really not for me due to a combination of skin colour and my current fake hair colour.   This was until I found the colour CRUSHED BERRY!  Oh the pinky/purple hues were exactly what I was looking for, and one of my fave little fabric stores on Ebay had LOADS (check that out here)

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to make this Dress Christmas Eve… to wear Christmas Day.  We all joke about not making things the night before but we all do it!  I had a bit of a fluff with the previous choice of Christmas me made dress, and had kind of given up wearing something special.  I had been toying with the Idea of using the fabric for a Kimono, but I am so glad I picked the pattern up (although a kimono would have been much quicker)

So how did it Sew?

From pattern cut to complete, this took one evening, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The pattern itself is very user friendly, plus I love getting patterns with more than one option of what to make.  I also adore the graphics on the front, I love the hand drawn feel and they are super cute.  If I ever made a pattern, I would want something similar on the front.

I opted for the version with  no collar and tie strings.  THe pattern does recomend a hook and eye fastening as well as the tie.  I recomend this, even though I had a lot of friction with my fabric, the tie still started to sag and slip open.  It just saves you re-tying during the wear.  I also went a bit rouge on the sleeves and added an elastic, i just prefer the look on me, but might not do thins on a more flowing light material.

I will definately be making this again, I am just going to hang out for the perfect material.  I can see me making many cute summer/festival dresses with this pattern.

I can’t wait to try the other two patterns.



Victory Patterns – Lola Jumper Dress

Well this was a long time coming to completion!

I had cut this pattern and just left it sitting in my to do box for the longest of times… I blame the December madness, it had nothing to do with me not wanting to do it!

The fabric was from my little cheap shop at Watney market, It has been in my stash for quite a while (but not as long as others) I was debating whether to use it for this, or just a plain jumper.  I was concerned that the dots wouldn’t work with the pattern as it has so many pieces to join together.  Being so small it would be difficult to pattern match (if at all)  I took a chance and relied on it being so busy that it won’t notice, and I think it turned out okay for the lack of effort of not pattern matching.

So How Did it Sew?

This is my third victory pattern, but was my first PDF version from them,  I was pleased with the quality of it and how easy it was to piece together.

Completed: December 2016 

This, despite all the sections, is an easy sew. You basically make the top and the bottom and just attach in the middle.  It is easy, but time consuming, even on an over locker, mainly due to the sheer amount of seams and joins, it also takes up a lot of time when cutting.  It can be a bit fiddly lining up all the seems, I was lucky I was consciously being quite neat and not just going with it as I tend to do sometimes (read as: most times…)

I annoyed myself as I forgot to cut the sleeves longer, I prefer a jumper to have a full sleeve rather than a 3/4 length, but I have been wearing all the same, just over some leggings as pictured.  I think for my next attempt I might try a lighter fabric for a more sports lux look.  One thing i would like to hack is a smaller neckline, it was just a little too wide for my liking.

Pattern: Phedra – Ralph Pink

I have raved about Ralph Pink Patterns Before. I tend to live in my oversized shirts from here, and I love my baggy yoga pants too.  But now I also have an amazing tunic top from here too.

Get it HERE

I had to include this picture from the site so you can see all the potential this item has.  I myself ran it up in a white Jersey (see below) This, as suggested in the instructions  should be made from a chiffon or silk for best results.

Here is my Version:

I love this, I love a long/tunic vest and a bubble like bottom is so flattering; and pockets!
I went for a really nice quality, but light, soft knit. I think due to the sheer volume of the pattern with all its shapes it couldn’t be much heavier.
But do a test run/toile first, or as I did in a cheap material (that ended up being the best).

The only issue is, I really struggled with the patterns instructions on this (and from a quick google search in desperation, so did other people) I ended up just going with it and eventually it just emerged as a Phedra. There just seems to be a big disconnection from the instructions to the garment. I don’t want to moan but I honestly think it does not reflect on the finished garment or my love for all the patterns. I just feel indie patterns should be better than that (as most are) Its a basic requirement for a good pattern.

Come summer I will have many of these. I would really like to make a silk one in a similar colour to the version featured on the site, and maybe mix it up with some jersey inserts too.

Made By Me – Oversized Tee X2

I made these both in the same night, at the same time.  Both had the privilege of being made on my overlocker, ii think this was the night I finished one thing and made 3 more… it was a sewing binge!

Both fabrics were from my cheap shop, although i had to make the white version arm from a thicker Jersey as I hadn’t enough.  I hope it doesn’t notice too much, but I do like using my scraps up… it justifys keeping them.

I adore the mink/grey/mauve colour (and its about as colourful as my basics get) it makes a change from the usual black/white.grey repeat i tend to live by.

Both were exactly the same size including the sleeves.

I went for the extremely simple version of fold and attach at the seam with the sleeves.  Its super easy, quick… but also looks extremely neat when on.

RIP: Never Fully Dressed – Me Made Pattern

This was my first completely made by me piece. No pattern, not a lot of knowledge- just an idea and a machine.

I am a long supporter of the independent label Never fully dressed, only issue is that maybe 20% of their clothes I can wear. They don’t do plus, although I can get away with wearing their Alexander oversized Top, I think i have nearly all versions i love it so much.
One thing I adored was the nude dress:

Unfortunately I could tell from the off it would not fit – so i went on a voyage of making my own version:

The shiny lycra was from Tia knight fabric. I braved not getting a sample and was pleasantly surprised with how close a match it was to the original (from the pics online).
The top is and oversized with little square sleeves, all pulled in at the waist with a slight bat wing. I reinforced the neckline for extra support, plus I had had to widen it to fit the bare shoulder in.
I was not a fan of the original skirt, an asymmetrical drop. So I instead looked around for inspo to an alternative. I thought of rouching just one side with elastic to get a similar effect, yet suit my fuller frame. In the end I rouched both sides and created a flattering ripple across the tummy and bum area.
It took a while to figure out the join of the top part and skirt. In the end I got lucky with a band of elastic. I can only describe the technique as a tuck and sew, creating a sealed band cover from folded fabric, then sewing it down one side, leaving it flowing with no stitches on the outside. It was a fiddle, but I feel I really uped my sewing game with this make.
I have only worn this out a couple of times, as it is a party dress. I always get compliments I cant wait to get it back out for the next spec ail occasion.

Made By Me – Wednesday Addams Dress

When I was younger, I was definitely a Wednesday Addams kind of child.  I think she represents the intense kind of childhood that some of us have.  Smart and different and ever so cynical at such a young age…


The world and its friend of alternative clothing do their own version of a Wednesday Addams dress. All seem to want to add their own little something to it and mess with the design. All i wanted was a simple swing with white collar and cuffs.

So that’s what I made:

Completed: 24th May 2016

I have a swing pattern that I have used many time, I am not sure if I trace it or i traced an old pattern and widened the skirt part, But its been very useful none the less.
I just used some fabrics that i had in my stash, the black was a very stretchy, almost Lycra material. I had got it in a cheap fabric binge.

The collar and cuffs was a matte, thick jersey i had just enough of an off cut to do this with.
Using my new found skills in collar making to improvise a collar. It was one without a stand and I just sewed it straight on to the neck line. It did need to be pressed into place, but not bad for a first attempt. I used a thinner interfacing a I wanted it to be more casual.

Overall, its a massive success, I have saved a tonne of money and got exactly what I wanted. Plus I can always pop it in the dressing up box after!

Made by me – My pattern -Raglan Sleeve Top

One thing I got into sewing for was some good basics. In a time when I was rolling out a lot a lot of smart dresses, I needed something casual.
I used some scrap jersey to make this beautiful Raglan top:

Completed:  6th June 2016

I had been watching one on  Asos (no pic… but its basically what I made!)  but refrained from purchasing it because I didn’t know if it would be tight on my stomach area.
So what I did was cut a large rectangle for the base of the garment, similar to how I make all my other oversized ones. And then I traced out the two sleeves, extended to where a neck would be,

It was a simple sew and was in the time before my overlocker so I went for a french seam, I was going to then sew these seams down for an extra sporty jersey look, but i thought against it. I have put it on inside out a few times, but now I have my handmade tags, this shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

I will try this again but i don’t think i will buy fabrics specially for it, It is definitely a make reserves for jersey off cuts and ends.