Category Archives: Rip

High Street Inspo or just flat out copies. Normally of garments I love that are not available in plus size!
Basically a Rip off!

My Pattern: NFD Shirt Dress Rip

As I have mentioned before, one of the reasons I make my own clothes is because most of the clothes I love and want to wear don’t come in plus size.  I am left to either spend forever finding something similar in my size.  Unfortunately, I am not too fond of the fit of plus size clothing… they don’t work well on someone with small shoulders, or someone not willing to wear shape-wear on my stomach everyday.

One brand I love is Never Fully Dressed.  Fortunately, I do fit into some of their more oversized pieces… others i have no chance, mainly the sized items.  One thing I feel in love with, but knew it wouldn’t go near the boobs, was the Leigh Shirt Dress.

Leigh – Never Fully Dressed

Just having pictures as a reference was slightly difficuly, I picked out a few key features:  Insert placket, Rolled sleeve and tab, High front/low back and possibly due to the size of the item, some front seams.  I drew up in my sewing book a rough pattern guide to get the ultimate flair:


I had in my stash a thin Linen fabric with a slight stretch to it, and being quite hot, I needed to use it.

So How Did it sew…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From the off, I found it easier to cut the back and front out as one piece, instead of using the inserts as planned.  This was mainly because the fabric had a smaller width than i had panned.  But the measurement was perfect for the flair of my shirt.  It was a simple case of cutting the front, laying in on the next piece and drawing the drop from that.  so Simple, yet effective.

This piece was a complete Frankenstein monster of different pieces… The collar and placket were from the Kalle I had recently fallen in love with,  The arm holes and sleeve were from Merchant and mills the dress shirt.  I also borrowed a placket from a Jude I believe it was, for the sleeve. (I will correct in the comments if I am wrong)

After sewing up the piece, I realised that the shoulders (something I hadn’t used the pattern for) were far too big.  In fact it was far to big over most of the bust area, so I decided to place some insets in.  These were made simply by folding the what i needed and sewing it down.  I took it across the bust slightly to give it a better shape.  I had to do it twice but I really like the effect.  As an added fit, I put in some darts on the back, to balance the low drop back.

Overall, I am so happy wit this piece, I love a good oversized top that I can just chuck on and look great in.  I also love having something that covers me for the summer that is light and airy.   I have worn this so much over the last months of summer.  I am considering another in a thicker cotton fabric to take me through winter.

Hopefully, I will also be able to make one as I had originally planned to capture the beautiful fair out of the original.


Made By Me: 90’s Daisy Swing Dress

I have probably mentioned before my love of Motel Rocks –  I based one of my favourite makes on their style;  The Cross Swing Dress.  Using this same pattern I had drafted, I decided to do something I don’t tend to do… like ever….and that was to shorten the sleeves.

This was mainly inspired by the gorgeous fabric I picked up.  It is very light and has a slight stretch.  The pattern is printed on one side and is light on the other.

So How Did it Sew?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Date Completed: 30th May 2017

I feel this Daisy pattern pops up in a lot in the 90s inspired fashion at the moment.  I did want to add daisy buttons. But I felt that might be daisy overkill and I risk looking like an overgrown toddler.

I love the fit, I did add some darts in the back so it wasn’t as oversized and gave some shape.  The only issue is due to the material being so light, it likes to catch a breeze, definitely one to be wearing with shorts underneath.  I have considered taking in the sides a bit to combat this, but I really don’t want to take too much away from its swing ascetic.

I dressed the look up with my grunge makeup, boots and hat.  I will probably wear this with some form of choker IRL.  The Tights are super cute from Boohoo Plus/Curve.

As for the shorts sleeves, I can honestly say I don’t mind them, in fact I find them more flattering than if I had just done long sleeves as I usually gravitate too.  Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with my arms.

I have a scrap of this left over, I am tempted to make some more cute things with it… and yes maybe with daisy buttons!


Rip! Mod Dolly – Shirt Dress

This Dress has been forming in my mind for a while before it came to be.  But it was finding the perfect fabric combined with already making a good shirt dress that moved it on.

In my online fantasy shopping ( we all do it) I again looked at ModDolly.  I know that they have out sized me, but a lot of their styles lend themselves to flattering a plus size figure like mine, that’s why I love their stuff; The day they figure this out and make my size is the day I become very poor.

Already having copied their Black and white Peter-Pan collar dress (see here) I spotted this beauty and the plans started to form:

(photos from ModDolly)

I then found a brown plaid fabric, which was extremely similar to the Rust from Mod Dolly:  I spotted it on the end of a massive fabric shop, and chucked it in.  This piece was made off the back of a Grainline Alder shirt dress, so I decided to adapt and hack the pattern to make this:

So How did it Sew?

(Completed: 28th February 2017)

It was an easy Sew, considering I had just completed a Grainline Alder with sleeve hack, just before this one.  The only adjustment was the skirt:  I simply folded the front of the pattern at the required length and cut it out, adding a simple straight rectangle gather skirt to it.  I am a very Lazy sewer!

I love this cute little grungy Dress, I love the fabric as it has a soft light feel and it is extremely close to my original inspiration.  I am considering adding a belt to give it more structure as apposed to just being the kind of dress you chuck 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 – The Striped Skater

Recently on one of my many stalks around Instagram I came across an amazing picture of a model wearing a horizontal striped dress.  After some research I found that it was from ASOS, but no longer available.  I had pined for previously, not being able to get my size I had looked elsewhere; I had seen one in Topshop a while back  called a nautical stripe, despite it having long sleeves, it also had a pleated skirt and very low neckline. Not for me!

Seeing this picture reignited my want for a black and white striped skater dress, obviously after all this time I still had a hole in my wardrobe only it could fill, so I decided to make my own…

This wasn’t just one of my live and learn makes, I put some effort into sourcing exactly the right fabric and making proper plans for this particular garment.  Luckily, I also had my over locker so i could make it almost perfect, and make it to last.

The fabric I bought was a great quality thin woven stripe from Tia Knight Fabrics.  I have in the past bought many pieces from them and the have a lot of good fabrics, really worth checking out.  A well laid out site.

Once happy with my fabric choice, I searched through my patterns for a skater,  I went with the Colette Patterns: Moneta as it had no darts on the bust.  I was really eager to pattern match the seams, so i didn’t want any interruption on the pattern.  I think mismatched patterns are something that a lot of highstreet readymades do, and it does look mass produces and cheap.  This piece had to match for my own OCD sanity ( or at least have a damm good attempt)

So how did it sew?…

It turned out perfect, and I love it!  I elongated the sleeves so they feel over my hands, but can also be pushed back up, something I find lacking in store bought items.  I also learnt how to do a blind hem on my overlocker, its a game changer and will use it ALL the time now as it is fantastic.  I also rose the neckline as it was something I had noticed on my previous Monetas, I also ended up shortening the bodice quite a bit as well.

I didn’t use the Moneta Skirt pattern as it was curved, so I ditched it in favour of a more smock like rectangle skirt, gathered at the top and attached.  This gave me more ruffles to play around with and ultimately I did chop a few off the ends so it wasn’t too bulky. Everything matched up on the side seams.  Even the sleeve, although the lines don’t match onto the bodice, as the are going different directions to the bust, they are symmetrical to each other.

I had to narrow it as I overshot on my size, again, not as fat as I think I am, but I would rather it be too big than too small.

I absolutely love this dress, and to date it probably one of my fave makes.  I feel that little extra thinking time and planning, and picking the perfect material really added to final result.  I feel that this is how I will move forward with my sewing, gone are the days of learning and doing as much new stuff as I can, getting caught up in the excitement.  I can now pour all that energy into making beautiful pieces, and still enjoy them.

Check out my instagram for up to date makes


Made By Me – White A line Dress

One of the reasons I got into sewing was firstly, I hated paying A LOT of money for good basics that were never quite how i wanted them.  Also, another reason was that I can’t get things in my size, or ‘oversized’ is filled out by my plus size frame. This brings me to one of my first ever makes (Instagram says 24 weeks ago) My white A-line Dress:

I have a couple of independent labels that i tend to gravitate towards, and always check out for outfit inspo… sometimes at a push I can order from them.  Most of the time I am too big (they tend to stop at a uk 14)  One of these is Scarlett Black London.  I have ordered a couple of twist front tops from them and I have been very pleased with them (and worn them to death)  I fell in love with this beautiful Basic:


How beautiful and elegant is that, not to mention how pretty the model is.

Now here is my version:

As with the original, I went for a white crepe stretch.  This gave the dress a bit more structure than a normal jersey knit and sat out better.  I used a swing style dress pattern I already had in my stash, but really extended the flair of the bottom right out for maximum swing.  The original dress had this really nice 4 point shape to it, not a handkerchief, but sort of (if that makes sense)  this was a little fiddly on the mock up but i feel i really captured the hemline well.  As with most of my things I added longer sleeves, again from the original pattern.

The Only issue that I really have is again I have made it too big… I went for a 20 (why?) and it drapes at the back.  I have considered putting some darts in the back but I am so concerned with messing up how it falls, especially with the bottom detail.  When on it isn’t too noticeable, and does give a small cape like feel to the garment.  Strangely my boobs seem to fill out the front and it sits perfect.

This was such a simple make of just adapting an old pattern.  As this was one of my first self drafts I have worn it loads and can honestly say it is a wardrobe staple.  It really looks great with the monochrome style, and the slight thickness to the crepe means I can wear this into Autumn, and layer up.

Please check out Scarlett Black London as they have some amazingly designed pieces and are a total wardrobe inspiration for me… it’s where i want to take my DIY wardrobe.

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram for continuous updates on what I am sewing…

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.