Tag Archives: 90s grunge

My Pattern: Grunge Tea Dress

One thing as a plus size woman that I struggle to get is a good dress.  I always feel that i look frumpy or that I shop in Dorothy Perkins and am a lot older than my years!  The fashion shops are filled with cute little dresses for the nymphs and waifs and teeny breasted women… The plus size is sort of forgotten about.

One thing I miss from my 90’s fashion ( I say miss as I can remember it first time round I am that old!) is a good grungy tea dress. Reference Courtney Love,  because she is the Queen of Grunge:

So with very little luck on the high street and thrifting, I set about a plan to make one.

It started with an Idea, which was catapulted forwards once I found the most perfect fabric.  I had done some rough sketches of how I wanted the dress to look, and tackled practicalities of making it in my sketch book.  I then took my first trip down to Maggie’s fabrics in Lewisham, where I got a decent long length of this beautiful ditsy print on a khaki background.  Just a note I got A LOT of good fabrics for a very good price from them, I just really need to get my ass back there and have another nosy!

So How did it Sew?


Date Completed:  

As you can see, the olive ditsy print is perfect.  I have paired it with Bold red lips, distressed High Tops and Large fishnets (honestly, those fishnets are so fiddly to get on but I just love the look) and of course, the crazy washed out hair.

The pattern was a simple bodice that I cut in four and fanned out the bottom to get a good flare.  Here is the diagram I worked from that explains it a little better:

The sleeves I had to have a think on, and in the end I went for a ruched elastic shape that really suited this type of dress.  I was worried that I had cut it too big, so I included a belt at the back to hold it all in, only on the middle panels.  Its a nice cute touch but I needn’t worry, the fit was perfect and the flare was so flattering.

The one big mistake I made was cutting the V at the front too low.  I fiddled around with how to hem it neatly, and ended up chopping a bit too much off.  I am not too disappointed as i will wear this with a lacey vest, which I think adds to the grunge ascetic. But on the next attempt, I will measure it out better.   Another thing I want to add on my next one; I will have a continuous row of buttons.  In a rush of wanting it finished I settled on some natural abalone type buttons, instead of waiting and ordering a lot of smaller ones, and spaced them out.  A full solid row would suit this better.

Hopefully,I will be able to perfect it and this is a dress I would really like to make into a pdf for you guys to down load.




Made By Me – Luisa – Wear Lemonade

Today is a bit of a two for one as I will clump both Luisa makes into one blog post.

One brand of Pattern makers I am loving has to be the very beautiful and quintessentially French, Wear Lemonade.

I stumbled into their patterns purely by chance, I fell for the design and the graphics, so i just had to get some.  I am now the proud owner of a Luisa and a Dita.

What I really thought was lovely about these guys was the video accompanying me through my make.  I am a very visual person, so armed with very basic french language skills, I was able to tackle the project much easier than just using the English instructions.  Not that the instructions are not good, they are excellent and have beautiful photographs to support the words, its just my personal preference.  Its a bit like how I like looking at reviews before I buy, I got to see the garment made before i myself attempted it.  Its a nice way to work.

So how did it Sew?

1st attempt: Completed – 25th July 2016

I used a very light black semi sheer fabric that I had gotten in a bundle of cheap fabric on ebay for very little.  It has a soft matte feel and a beautiful drape, perfect for the luisa trapeze shape.

The pattern was extremely simple and I love the finish of the yoke and how neat and easy it is to achieve.  I chose not to add a bow as suggested by the pattern…its an option definitely not for me.

Unfortunately, I was so worried about it not fitting over the bust (which it did just fine) I completely disregarded the fabrics lack of stretch and how it would effect the sleeves. THe arms are very snug… as you can see me awkwardly standing in a picture with my arms to the right.

My next attempt will resolve this and go for a knit jersey…

2nd attempt:  Completed – 23rd October 2016

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This has turned out much better in the Jersey Knit fabric.  I just love the witchy coven vibe from the dark tie dye print.  This version was completed on my overlocker, and Jersey is the way forward with this pattern.  The arms are still tight BUT are actually not a problem and more wearable (as in I can actually move)  I was concerned that the knit would hang to heavy, but this dress has amazing movement when in motion.

This pattern is now my perfect shift dress make. I feel that I could do with a few more colours, and possible experiment with a High polo collar (and maybe lose the yoke) for winter and Christmas version.

Watch this space for more Luisa…