Tag Archives: clothes

Made By Me – Schoolhouse – 2.0

I have already blogged about one of the SewLiberated schoolhouse tunic I have made way back when in the blog.  I have added some more (nicer) photos of this make to this post, as a little bonus.

One thing I could not get out of my mind was the gorgeous striped version that sew liberated had photographed it in.  I couldn’t find the exact materiel so i settled on a beige-ish grey stripe that was thinner than the photo, in an extremely light seersucker.

So How did it Sew?

Completed: 8th July 2016

The reason why I am now writing about this is because I have worn it so much over the summer and coming up to autumn. It was one of my go to dresses of this year. The seersucker is perfect for this make, its so light and easy to wear.  The make is so simple, and i even went for elasticated cuffs to add a bit more structure to it.
I still love the denim rose one and now it is colder I can wear it to my hearts content:

completed: 28th June

I have considered adding rivets and cord to the front to give it a more hippy/boho/gypsy feel. But as not to ruin this one I will probably make another, maybe in an acid wash black denim.

If you haven’t already got this, get it!  It will become your casual throw on basic.

Made By me – Wrap Dress – Vouge V8379

Lets talk about Boobs… I have big boobs, always have. I am in no way ashamed of them, but what I do despise is having to deal with the specific requirements they have when it comes to clothing.
One being I can’t just buy an off the shelf ready made wrap dress without my bust attempting an escape.
I have been on this journey a long time, with many trials and errors, with many lace top vests involved to tame the two problematic beasts… I have even attempted the faux wrap in case that would solve the issue, all to no avail.
I had almost given up hope until I realised: I could just make one!

But this wasn’t without more issues, it lead to an extensive search for the perfect pattern.
I would love to find, and also afford a vintage Diane Von Furstenburg one. I had seen a couple on Etsy, but again the sizing would present the same issue.
I then found the very easy Vouge V8379 in the 16-22 size, and I thought it was at least worth an attempt. It also had an optional collar, not that I used it on my first attempt, but I felt it would be better suited for a stretch viscose, or stiffer fabric. Possibly a future make…

I had a bit of a fabric binge at the time, and got a beautiful soft grey from the shop i frequent in lewisham. I chose a knit with extra stretch for the bust.

So how did it Sew?

 Completed: 26th May 2016

The pattern is a pretty standard vouge pattern,  or any mass produced pattern for that matter) Very user friendly, gorgeous design, classic pattern.
The whole thing was a simple sew. This was also one I did before my over locker, yet still very much doable on a more basic machine.

It is still a bit busty, but is a vast improvement of any wrap that has come before. I think i have managed to find my new best basic wrap. It is a shame that I no longer need formal work wear, or this would be perfect. I will probably wear this more in the Autumn, possibly styled with boots.

Made By Me – Sewing Bee Draper Dress (FREE)

After sorting out my two printers, I took a foray into free PDF patterns, I basically printed off all I could get my hands on. One of these I got from Sewmag, after signing up (for free also) to their site I was able to access quite a few good patterns.  The one I wanted to trey the most was The Sewing Bee Draper Dress – or as I refer to it, the Origami Top.

I have a weird addiction to PDFs, Probably because i have a small guillotine ruler that speeds things up. I also like doing flat packs, many people do not. I think both these things are in the same part of the brain.
But with saying that, although convenient, I prefer a physical paper pattern as apposed to PDF. I like the packaging, and appreciate the little individual things the designer includes.

So how did it sew…
This pattern is one of those that you need to take a step back and figure out the mechanism of the folds. Once you visualise it, it becomes a simple and effective new technique.

And I was so happy with this make that I made another…

Version 1:

Completed: 23rd July 2016

First I made the peach crepe. When I ordered it i thought it was more nude, but it was worth a try. This definitely needs a thick materiel like the crepe to give the garment more structure. I loved the fit so much for everyday wear, I do like getting a new long top that i can throw on. I am quite pleased it is a colour I don’t usually wear as it is kind of forcing me into wearing something different.

Version 2:

Completed: 2nd August 2016

The second attempt i used a fabric I bought on holiday (fabric shops never escape me, i sniff them out) I loved it so much that i bought it in both the shades of grey they sold it in. This is the darker one, I used the lighter one on a Lexi (see last post)

The second was much easier once I knew what to do with the neck fold. what i love is you can make it out of plain fabric and it looks really interesting with the origami shape, not to mention how it sits on the body in all the right places.

Don’t forget to check out the pattern and give it a go yourself… It’s Free!

Made By Me – Named Clothing – Lexi

Needing something a bit more than just another skater dress and wanting to buy another pattern from Named clothing I went for the Lexi.

I chose a fabric i had worked with previous, in a different shade. I thought the fabric was thick enough so I didn’t plan on the lining for this piece (the fabric inside was extremely soft)

SO how did it sew?

I actually give up on measurements, after some debate with a tape measure I went for the bigger size so it wasn’t snug anywhere and dangle like it does in the picture. I should have just gone with my gut feeling and made the size I am in my clothes I buy as I ended up chopping a lot of fabric off. This is not the patterns fault, its a combination of me thinking I am bigger than i am and not making a toile.

I adore the lover and pleated waistline in this piece, it gives a more formal structured feel. The lining was not missed from this piece, although if I repeat this pattern and choose a thinner material I would be more than happy to line it.
One aspect I completely abandoned was the zip! I had bought a beautiful zip for this dress and all was going well until it was too big. As it was stretch knit and loose I decided to improvise this into a pull on dress. It really helped with the fitting and didn’t effect the piece.
I think with a lining the zip will be more successful.
I am looking forward to possibly hacking this dress in some way in the future, maybe experimenting with pattern and making a feature of the zip as apposed to hiding it.

I highly recommend Named clothing, check them out here although most good uk pattern shops hold them.

Made by Me – Inari…with Pockets

Everyone has that one pattern they just keep coming back to, mine is the Inari by Named clothing.
I also decided I wanted a black version (naturally!) as i am positive i will wear it to death in that colour. But I also wanted to mix it up a bit and opted for some pockets. I do love to do some pocket posing in my clothes, and I am starting to feel lost without them.

So how did it sew?

The fabric I had acquired in a cheap bundle on Ebay, It was a crinkle, black with silver brocade. That had a nice hang to it, yet just enough thickness.

Not knowing what was the right way of the fabric I chose to put the silver shiny side on the inside and use the black with a slight shimmer as the front. Although either way would have looked great. This really looked good when i rolled up the sleeve and as I moved the silver showed on the bottom inside hem.
I can probably sew an Inari in my sleep as i have made so many, so adding the pockets was extremely simple and hardly any extra effort.
Overall I think it is very successful with the pockets. Yes it can be a bit bumpy but i think it is dueto the lack of top stitch that I may go back over. I will eventually sort it out…

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 – Pattern – The Lottie

When I first started trawling through Instagram for inspiration back when I first started sewing, one pattern that kept popping up again and again as a firm favourite amongst the community was the Christine Haynes Lottie.  So I just had to give it a try.

At this time I had invested in a few boho-esque patterned fabrics – one being this gorgeous cotton paisley in a beautiful ‘grungy’ muted browns and taupe.  I bought this from Oh Sew Crafty, but i think it was their Ebay shop (June 2016)

The pattern itself is lovely, I love the quaint look with the yellow and hand drawn models, which is always a plus with me – a throw back to patterns in a time gone by.   The paper of the book is a great quality with a great choice of font;  both very important to the design geek mind. The pattern itself, blue on white paper seems a bit more fresh than the beigy-brown of other patterns.4

So How Did It Sew?

From the cutting, through the construction to the finish, is an incredibly fast process with the Lottie.  I made the dress with the sleeve option (of all the options it is the one with the most pieces)  and I did it in a couple of hours give or take.

Unfortunately when I put it on, i was not totally thrilled.  I am a Plus size, with skinny person shoulders and this dress was not flattering.  Even thought my bust is big, it gaped around the armpit.  This is the first time I have experienced extra materiel in that area.  I went back to the machine and cut and sewed away quite a large chunk under the armpit and bust sides.  Now, even though at the time it was one of my early attempts as dresses, I still understood that patterns do need adjustments, that is what toiles are for after all.  What I didn’t like is that I felt I had adjusted it beyond being a Lottie, eaten into what gave it some of its individual shape,  It could easily be any shift dress with pockets now.  This is a shame as I had been looking for a good easy basic I could run up in all the fabrics, but so far I am still yet to wear this dress, which goes against my sustainable fashion morals.

Overall, it is just not one for my body shape.  I will possibly attempt the maxi in the future so the pattern was not wasted on me.  But do check out other reviews and Instagram to see other people who really got on with this pattern.