Denim Shirt Dress: Simplicity 8014

One thing I do love is a shirt dress.  And what I love more than that is a Denim shirt dress.

For a while I struggled to purchase Denim, in the end I was lucky enough to stumble upon some in my cheap shop.  It was more of a chambray but had the diagonal weave shape in the fabric.  I think with Denim it is best bought when you can get a feel for the weight and colour in real life, as apposed to online purchases.

Another good selling point of this fabric is that is was BLACK…

Despite having a pattern stash FULL of shirt dresses (like the kalle, the sahara to name but a few) I felt I needed another, but one that was a bit more dress like.  I love simplicity patterns in the sense that it is a back to basics in patterns after being spoilt by the beautiful and varied world of indie patterns. There is just something about the brown tissue paper and yellowish instructions that I find quite nostalgic.  Simplicity always do good solid basics and this is no exception.

So How did it Sew?

 

Apologies for the pictures, it seems of the five I only took of this dress, all pictures were quite bad and inconsistent.  But you get the idea.

As with all simplicity patterns, the make was straight forwards.  I am one of those weird people that like doing collars,  cuffs, yokes and other fiddly bits, so I was in my element here.  The fit was tighter and more body con than I anticipated, I wish I had now hacked it to have a cute circle skirt or just more of an A line, but I love it all the same.  I love the fabric, despite being from my cheap shop, i have a feeling that it has been sorced from somewhere that uses quality fabrics.  the extra bit of stretch gives a great shape to this garment.

I struggled to find buttons for a while, I was concerned I might have to go for more of the denim hardware with studs and rivets, all extra costs with tools for someone who has not yet ventured into it.  But luckily I came across these basic brass buttons that were perfect and could be sewed on, no extra effort.

I also added a basic belt (not included in the pattern) and belt loops, to give me more options whilst wearing it.  As always I added in a placket to roll up the sleeves. I like having options to get the most wear out of my pieces.  Since making it I have also worn it open and on it’s own as a dress with a brown belt.

Overall I am very pleased with this dress and would like to revisit this item in a lighter material, like a linen,  to see the outcome of that and how it can be worn differenty.  It is also begging for a hack, maybe a wider skirt in a more chambray-esque lighter denim fabric.

 

Made By Me: Nina Lee – Bloomsbury

When I went to the Great British Sewing Bee Live at the Excel (waaaay back last year)  I got to meet some of the pattern creators, and discover some new ones too.

One of these was Nina Lee.  It was so nice meeting the people involved in these patterns,  I think no one can be as passionate about a pattern more than the person who makes it.  Plus both of the ladies at the both (who were lovely btw)  were wearing at least one make and that always helps.

One thing I love about these types of shows is something that crosses over with the fashion world.  Little booths of clothing concessions.  That little stand had a lovely boutique feel to it, and a great rack of pre-mades for me to coo over.   I couldn’t justify buying the Kew Dress pattern that day (I already had invested in a lot of dress patterns) so instead I opted for the Bloomsbury, as it was a blouse, and I was not disappointed.  I think I was also swayed with the sheer amount I had seen on Instagram too at the time.

So How did it Sew?

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I chose a light white cotton with holes in it.   I have used this previously on an Alder shirtdress make.  But when you buy 6 metres, you need to get imaginiative with the different patterns to use and what projects wont look the same.

The pattern itself is beautiful.  I love the chintzy feel of the brand, expressed through its illustrations and colours.

The pattern itself is awesome, I love the lay out and the instructions were a pleasure to work with.

The actual make itself was amazing.  Being plus size I was worried that it wouldn’t fit, since the fabric was woven and unforgiving.  But it fits beautifully, and I would say very true to size.

If you are thinking of tackling  this pattern yourself I would recommend to make a toille first as the wider collar/ruffle may not suit all fabrics.  Its definitely better for softer fabrics as the stiffer ones tend to stick out, unless of course that is what you want,  But be warned.

The make was simple; the ruching was probably the most time consuming element of the whole thing.  But keeping that in mind, it was a surprisingly quick make.

On my version I opted for adding a ribbon to the collar,  I was going for a Victorian- esque vibe and I really love that little embellishment, and it hides the button well.

I wish I had to make a Victorian costume as it would have been perfect.  But don’t let me talking costumes fool you.  I feel like this, at present is really on trend.  Especially heading for Autumn.  The frill like collar and longer chest ruching has been seen throughout my shopping endeavours of late.

I have even seen some gorgeous band tees bought to life with a chiffon ruffle across the chest , which I love as a concept, I think that this with a contrast chiffon ruffle on a bold pattern would look amazing and is definitely a note in my future makes

As for my Version I will probably wear this with some form of pinafore in the future and look to make a hacked version from lace into an oversized bat wing Dress ( For someone who moans about having too many dress patterns and not enough tops I really shouldn’t hack into a dress, but there is space in my life for a dramatic gothic lace dress and this would be perfect)

I am looking at getting both the Mayfair dress AND the Kew Dress in the future and incorporating them into my wardrobe.  Check out Nina Lee Here.