Tag Archives: diy plus size

Me Made: Oversized Smock Dress

I always like finding out how other sewers work, how they went through the thought process that bought them to a certain garment.

Its a bit of a riddle like what came first, the chicken or the egg?  Was it the pattern or was it the fabric.  Usually with myself, it is the pattern leads to the choice of fabric (although if I was more organised and only bought what I need for patterns I would have a very small fabric stash!)  But this time round, I used a fabric which dictated a pattern to me, I have now made oversized smock dress 2.0.

Way back when I first had this idea with a beautiful grungy coloured tie dye fabric and self drafted a pattern.  I wanted it almost baby doll like and almost too exaggerated.  It worked and I still wear this to death, but it could be baggier! (check that out here)

So into my life via my cheap shop came this beautiful Mauve Fabric.  It was quite heavy, soft to the touch and had an amazing drape.  It also was the most beautiful mauve colour I had ever seen, and for someone who limits her colour palette to black/white/grey&nude, I was in strange territory…

So How Did It Sew?

 

I think I have sussed out what I want from a smock dress.  I think the key for me it the amount of length on the shoulder, from collar to sleeve.  I exaggerated this aspect and it has turned out extremely successful compared to other attempts.  Also keeping it ‘boxy’ and square really gives that oversized feel, with no shape.  I love how the waistband hangs with an arc, and the skirt follows.

The colour looks great on, despite still being quite muted, it IS indeed a colour that has snuck its way into my wardrobe, but a beautiful Autumnal colour at that.!

I can’t wait to wear this layered up over tights and boots this Autumn/winter  the heavier fabric really gives that added warmth to the piece.

I am sure this is not my last oversized smock dress, so watch this space!

 

Made By Me: The Grey Darling – Megan Neilson

Once, Long ago – I bought the Darling ranges from Megan Neilson.  I had loved the Sudley so much I knew I would love this dress too.  Unfortunately, my first attempt with a cute plaid was a complete fail – I needed to add extra to the bust but I didn’t, and it went no where near my boobs!

Sometimes towards the end of the summer, wanting another cute grunge dress, I set about using this beautiful light fabric in this grey/mauve colour.  I added the extra boob room, I have recently been getting into tracing and up sizing my smaller fit patterns, and its a useful skill to have in sewing.

Unfortunately, again, my work was put on hold, but this time it was because I couldn’t find the right buttons.  It then ended up in the TO DO pile and forgotten.

Then, months later in the giant button haul, it finally got finished.  And here it is in its full glory:

 

 

Sew How did it Sew?

Even with the added bust adjustment, this pattern was a breeze.  Its such a simple make but looks amazing on.  Yet despite the simplistic make, it looks really well put together on.  I love how it sort of hints at a tea dress without being too fussy or shaped.

I love this version, the colour and fabric are just perfect for me.  But its far too lightweight for winter, even layered up.  Its definitely a summer dress that I can chuck on.

I love the overall look, it really fits my grunge ascetic I always aspire too.  The buttons are a pewter colour and are perfect.  I didn’t follow the pattern advice and bought a smaller button and added more as I felt needed that, it helps conceal a bigger bust.

I cant wait to make this dress again, but I am definitely waiting around for the right fabric.  I don’t think for how I plan to wear it I would chose a stiffer or thicker fabric, but it definitely deserves some pattern!

 

Made By Me: Sew House 7 – Bridgetown Backless

Thank god for Black Friday sales.  Honestly It has taken a significant chunk out of my future buys list that weekend.  This pattern being one of them that has lingered on their for a while.  I bought this along with both versions of the Toaster jumper.  Both of which I cant wait to make.

This is obviously more of a summer pattern.  But I really wanted to see it made, to see if it suited me being plus size.  so I used some basic bulk white I had to make one up as a test run.  What I have ended up with is probably the most perfect little holiday dress ever.  One that, as is, I will definitely wear and definitely make more of.

So How did It Sew?:

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The graphics on the pattern instructions are beautiful, simply laid out and easy to follow.  The actual make was so simple to put together, but still looks great on.  What I love about this pattern is how it has a ready made feel about it.  Something I strive to achieve in my sewing is not looking like I am wearing me made clothing, almost like i am bridging the gap from store bought to me made and proving it is sustainable with fashion.  And this type of good basic pieces to throw on in summer do just that.

Another thing I love the name Sew house 7, to me it sounds like the title of a Quinton Tarantino movie, so I just think its amazing.

I am definitely making more of these for the better weather, I now have a similar black fabric so I can make another good basic for my wardrobe.  I think some sort of lace panel in the back would look amazing too, and maybe give the dress a bit more support in shape.

DIY: My pattern – White Frill Top

One thing I lack in my wardrobe is good solid interchanging Basics:  These are the types of cheap tops that come in many colours that fill the high street shops.  They know you need them, that’s why there are so many!   It is one thing I miss shopping for in my pursuit of the perfect DIY wardrobe.   Plus are they really a waste of money or bad for the environment if I wear them TO DEATH?

But Self made isn’t without its faults,  I am finding with sewing it is more and more about the ‘event’ piece, normally a dress. How many times do I wear a dress just around the house?  Most of my TOP 10 PATTERNS were good basic pieces.  So I set out about making a top myself.

One shape I kept seeing was the button front with a ruffle ‘shirt’ like frill part.  Using the white fabric I have in bulk, I set about making a wearable toille version that I could perfect before using more expensive fabric.

So How Did It Sew?

 

The pattern was an old traced top I had in my collection.  I traced it, added a V neck and some buttons.  I think next time I will not make actual button holes, instead try and add in some loops with domed buttons instead.  Over all this was a simple sew.  The ruffle was a simple add on, the most time was spent on the hems (when is it not…) Even though I made this from my bulk light fabric, i have found it far more wearable than a thicker Jersey.  I have even worn it open over a dress like a cardigan as i like to cover my arms a lot.

Hopefully I can make a few more of these but as always I find it a challenge to branch out into colour.  Maybe a mustard or wine colour, but definitely a black is a must!

 

 

Update: Jan/Feb 2018

January came and went, but felt like it took forever, and now February is whizzing by as it’s so short.  As for new year sewing, there has not been much, apart from a few adjustments and a (boring) curtain for my balcony door, and occasionally fannying around with the unfinished pile (and making little progress)

So what has been eating into my valuable sewing time?: Organising all of the things! Literally every cupboard, drawer and box has been re-organised (including my fabrics and patterns) Think Premature spring clean in the lull after Christmas.

My wardrobe has been pulled to pieces as I have forced myself to confront my clothing, and the stored stuff coming into spring, and the stuff that doesn’t fit but I hoard as memories of a different time.  After the streamline, I either donated, Ebayed or scrapped what I removed and I feel better!  Also by doing this I feel I can really focus on where  I want to take my sewing in regards to my style and incorporating trends.

This brings me to my 2018 plans.  I think lace and chiffon need to make a comeback for me, incorporated in a boho-esque casual chic… with a good old dollop of goth.  Basically a laid back easy look with some key pieces, good colours and layers.  I love having light fabric pieces to layer into an outfit and can transcend most seasons dressed up or down.

My #2018makenine saw some great contenders.  Even though six of my choices are dresses (these were already on my to do list or i already have the pattern) Hopefully this year I pull back from the dress makes.  Our community is swamped with them from all angles, instead I would like to focus on the basics, and the pieces that are not so glam, but do the hard slog of a wardrobe.  I also want to be really considerate over my fabric choices to get the best from the patterns.

 

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1. I am Patterns – Cassiopee 2. Megan Nielsen – Acacia 3. Mimi G – #8392
4. Trend Patterns – 70s Dress 5. Daughters of Style – knit dress 6. Megan Neilson – Karri
7. Dp Studio – Le 604 8. By Hand London – Sabrina 9. Sewliberated – Metamorphic Dress

 

Also I have made some headway into my blogging.  With the return of the sun in the sky I have managed to photograph everything I have had stored in my drafts section of the blog.  So over the next few weeks you will probably end up seeing most of my December makes roll out, maybe with some edits on what and How i have been wearing them.

Keep up to date with my latest posts on Instagram

x

Made By Me: Sew Over It – Tulip Skirts

One thing I am bad at doing is making ans buying any other pattern other than dresses.   As with the lack of colour and pattern in my sewing (and subsequently my wardrobe) this is something I wanted to make a conscious effort to try and tackle.

So I decided on skirts.  Also, after looking at my wardrobe, it was definitely an area in which there was a need as apposed to just a want.  But needing something structured as well as flattering and that could blend into my wardrobe… and wasn’t a skater skirt, was proving to be a challenge.

After a bit of a search I decided to give the Tulip Skirt from Sew Over It a go.  I still can’t believe I haven’t had one of their patterns before, despite them being so prominent in my social media sewing (read as sewing stalking!)

So How Did It Sew?

I was not disappointed, It was a beautiful on:

I made the fist one as a sort of trial from this scrap of grey fabric.  I was worried about the fit and ended up making it far too big.  i was disapointed for over thinking the measurement that shortly after I went for the second attempt:

The second one was the left over fabric I used on my schoolhouse tunic.  I went for the actual size thinking it would solve the issue, but it was just a slight bit small.  The issue I am having with a lot of patterns is I am just out by an inch or less.  This is something I will definitely tackle on my next attempt.

I feel that with this pattern I have found a good go too favourite.  I love Sew Over it, I really should make more of their patterns,  sometimes I feel I always overlook it as it tends to be a bit prim and proper in florals and their vintage shapes.  But maybe I just need to see it in my own style and colours.  (or lack of colour)

Pattern Repeat & Hack: School House Tunic, rounded sports skirt

I am very good at storage:  this means that if you open my wardrobe, you will see a perfect capsule wardrobe with a few different trends… but with the hot weather, I have had to get the summer clothes out, and juggle it around.  This is where I remembered how much I love the school house Tunic pattern.  My summer one I made last year has practically been worn to death… I can definitely justify another one.

In an attempt to stash bust I found this fabric;  a grey cross/dot pattern that had a good sized repeat.  It was a narrow width, but more than enough for a schoolhouse with some to spare.

So How Did It Sew?

This is another one of those patterns I could do with my eyes closed… well not closed as that would be dangerous, but you get what I am saying.

This time I used a thick band of elastic on the sleeve, and I think it really adds to the overall effect of the sleeve, almost like a cuff.

The main objective of this to make it slightly different to the others was a tapered sport like skirt.  I rounded in the edges and gave them a small split.  I feel it adds just a slight difference to my other makes.  I really liked how it turned out.