Tag Archives: dress

My Pattern: Black Babydoll

I tend to do things in quick concession, especially when I am chasing that train of thought.

My attempt at the self drafted baby doll has urged me on to make another so soon, and apply the tweeks I learnt from the first to get an almost perfect version.  This was mainly the issue with the sleeves not being as oversized as they could have been.

This time I used a black silky material.  Although its quite thin, it was not as see through as the purple first version.

So How did it Sew?

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It would be silly to go into detail on the sew as it was basically the same as the previous.  Although I will add the material was a little fiddly a times (as is the nature of silky fabric!)

Overall I am really pleased with this version, its more wearable than the first.

The only issue is the sleeves feel a bit flat, but I liked the overall look.  In future I could easily insert a netting to give it some shape, but this is entirely dependant on the fabric I choose.

Pattern Repeat: The Shirt Dress

Some pattern repeats just need to be made in a basic black.  This was definitely one of them.  As much as I love my first attempt I made in a grey feather fabric, sometimes having something to chuck on in plain black is a lifesaver.

Plus this pattern,  with the detail on the front lends itself well to plain colours and natural fabrics.  Maybe because that is what Merchant and mills are all about.  Check them out here.

For some reason I got it in my head that the bib was interfaced.  I have no idea why I thought this, but i cut it out regardless, and only on the re read of the instructions did I realise I was an idiot!

So How did it sew?

Date Completed:  10th May 2017

As with merchant and mills its always a pleasure to construct.  Quick and simple, But don’t let that fool you, you end up with amazingly structured pieces.

Being short I chopped a bit off the length, and this time round I lengthend the 3/4 length sleeve.  I had decided that if it was wrong, I could happily chop them down to the original length, but I think this is the way forward for me with this pattern.

Having this as a Black Basic is a god send. One thing I love is those single items that you pull on and are ready to go.  No fuss fashion.


Made By Me: I AM Cassiopée

I have previously made an I AM pattern – twice as I loved them so much.  Check them out here.  I love them, and wear them a lot still.

As with all their patterns, they are just effortlessly cool.  And all are extremely wearable and modern, they have that feel of a ready made off the shelf, but with the quality of a me made.

The packaging was amazing, i loved the gold embossed envelope, with a see through side, so the instruction booklet becomes part of the casing.  Although I did love their previous brown envelope patterns, I am happy they have changed and I still like it just as much.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that I would have to trace the pattern,  If I had I probably would have gone for a PDF version;  I like to print of multiples and cut them out, its a kinda long winded lazy way of doing things.  So not only did i wait for the pattern (which wasn’t long at all) I then had to wait for the delivery of my swedish tracing paper!  An error on my part, but a warning if you are reading this prior to buying your own pattern.

On a side note, I get my swedish tracing paper from The Creative Industry,  I have ordered from them a couple of times and had no issue.  I am also eyeing up one of their makers workbooks, altough I think if I bring one more note book into this house my partner might have a heart attack (fabric he’s fine with, notebooks he doesn’t understand)

In the end, it was worth the wait as this basic raglan sleeve dress is a wardrobe staple:

So How did It Sew?

Date Completed:  16th May 2017

From cut to finish, the Cassiopée is a quick sew.  The only long part was the tracing and prep, but that is done once, then all other makes are simply that, just the making.

I did have to shorten it as I am too short.  I measured it and it seemed fine, once on the short legs struck again and I cut a substantial chunck off the bottom.

The fabric was from the cheap shop, and I love it, its so beautiful.  I wish i had bought more, but I feel that I have pushed myself enough recently with pattern (we all know I would live in the safety of black, white and grey plain clothing if I could!)

This pattern came about just after I had made my other simple dress pattern in polka dot.  I feel that this pattern will gladly replace that attempt as a best basic wardrobe staple and my go to casual dress.  Many more shall be made!

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?

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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!


Made by Me: Polka Dot Dress

I nabbed this thin woven Polka dot from my cheap shop.  I fell for the type of polka dot instantly, it just felt so 80s to me;  Big black dots, spaced well apart, combine with the lightness of material, i felt it was say ‘batwing’ to me.

When I got it home, I instantly regretted only getting three metres of the stuff.  I should have doubled the length as I ended up wanting to use it for a Wear Lemonade Dita, which needs about 5-6 metres depending on pattern repeat.  The last Dita I made was too heavy with the choice of fabric being a slightly thick Jersey, so I am desperate to get a decent summer version.

I did pop back to the store for some extra, but it was in vain; They have a very high turnover and it was gone.  This left me in a slight predicament, But at least I had a general Idea of shape and style I wanted for the fabric.

After a few sketched ans some internet Inspo, I decided to just go for it and do something I have never done before:  I worked straight into the fabric, literally just cut out a dress shape and just sewed it up!

So How Did It Sew?

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I was so shocked at how stupidly simple it was, then questioned why I had never attempted something like this before.  All I did was have a few rough measurements, add some where i wanted to insert a waist, and shortened the neck at the front.

For the waist I measured out some elastic and just sewed it into the fabric.   I had considered some elastic casing, or drawstring inside.  But the lazy in me come out.  I will add that adding this after the dress is constructed is a bugger to get straight, even though its quick, its not without its difficulties of stretching and pinning.  In fact its very awkward on the machine and I ended up holding the elastic taunt with my mouth as I sewed!

Since I felt I hadn’t done much to the dress, I decided to add a belt and some loops, the rest of the garment was just hemming.  I chose black over white thread to add an accent, as with the elastic.

I honestly can’t recommend giving something like this a go yourself.  Going back to basics is a learning curve in itself, plus for very little effort I now have something I would consider a vintage replica dress.

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.




Pattern: Jolene – Ready to Sew

Well, What a flood of great patterns I have seen on Instagram of late.  It seems the moment I go on an official pattern ban is the exact same time everyone releases new patterns.

One of these was the absolute Divine Jolene from Ready to sew.

Now, these guys already make one of my favourite sewing patterns:  The Jude (Its definitely in the top 5 fave patterns of all time).  In total I have made four Judes, one I have worn to death, one was experimental faux leather, the other two are Black and white basics I am yet to blog about.

I felt an affinity with the Jolene as soon as I saw it.  For someone with large breasts, the ruching on the side paired with the flat of the front looked like it could help tone down this area on me.

I had a beautiful light woven fabric in red in the stash.  This particular one was a reject from the bulk buy of fabrics I bought for costumes.  So its not a colour I am used to, or ordinarily would go for. But In attempts of stash busting it pushes me out of my comfort zone.  Plus it being £1.10 a metre meant that even if I didn’t love it, at least it was a wearable Toile.

So How Did It Sew?

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Date Completed: 5th April

Omg, I love this pattern!  I loved sewing it, I loved piecing it all together.  I am just so in love with it on too!

The instructions (as with all ready to sews) are amazing:  Simple and well explained, I love the little drawings/diagrams… and a recommended playlist is always a must.

The fit is perfect for me as a plus size.  I was so worried that the size I went for wouldn’t fit but I am glad I didn’t over size my garment as I usually do.  It is slightly snug on the waist band, but it doesn’t notice with the grouped buttons.

Overall, I love this dress, I have already found some left over fabric from my shirt dress to make a lone sleeve short version.  I feel I need a good basic shirt in my wardrobe to layer up with, and this is perfect.


My Pattern: Black Woven Ribbon Dress

When I want to repeat a pattern, I always try to make it as different in some way.  So taking Inspo from the spring fashion sneaking in, I wanted to emulate this Ribbon Insert style I have been seeing a lot of.  This seems quite an easy was to make something look completely different.

I wanted a more Aztec style trim, yet I fell in love with this Red and Purple Rose from Mokshatrim check them out, they have amazing Ribbon (the exact one I purchased doesn’t seem to be there at present)  I feel the Roses are more me, a bit more goth too, plus a hit of purple matches the hair.

I decided to Hack a Hack of a Sway dress:  I folded and cut the back piece, but with the front I did separates, plus a seam allowance.  This is because i wanted to attach the ribbon, then join then together to form the front.  I also raised the collar to get a more square finish, this also helps as I left the top part open to just above the bust and it sat nicely on the decolletage.

So How Did It Sew?

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(completed: 16th March 2017)

I sewed on the ribbon first, then carefully joined them just on the edge to form the front.  This was easier than anticipated, although it was done mainly through feeling the edge of the ribbon than by sight… Eeep! The V neck it forms at the front means that i can just slip this dress on over my head.

I had already hacked the sleeve for the sway pattern a while back, so I just used that to make the Bell sleeve with a ribbon insert hiding the join.

I love this dress, its very comfy and casual, It has a bit more of an Asian feel to it than a Boho one, but I think with a hat and some sandals I can work it.

Pattern Repeat: Sudley by Megan Neilsen

If you haven’t seen my previous Sudley make, check it out here. I love this pattern and do sing its many praises in that post.

Basically, I want this dress in as many options as my wardrobe can physically hold, all of them, one for everyday of the year.  But luckily I have paced myself by being fussy with getting the most perfect fabrics suited for this pattern.

So How Did It Sew?

(completed: 4th March 2017)

 The material was from my cheap shop, its a very light chiffon type fabric.  I adore the pattern, which is rare for me.  I originally bought it to wear with my pink hair (it has a touch of the baby pink through it) But the Purple really compliments my current colour.  It was a challenge with this fabric due to the lack of colour and pattern in my wardrobe.  But I also know will need it in the summer, and it has become the perfect Sudley.

I did consider lining it, but to be honest, I would rather layer it as an extremely light layer than attach a permanent lining.  Plus I have many slips stored away somewhere in the depths of my wardrobe… somewhere.

The only issue I had was the hem… I fucked it up guys!   Everything was going so well until I decided to Re-hem it much shorter.  I should have just left well alone, it now is slightly higher at the front than the back.  That is what happens when you rush… although it is still completely wearable.

Hamsa Pattern Tie Back Dress

I think the slight glimmer of sun in the English sky has prompted in me the need for summer clothing.

It started with seeing a few tie back items pop up whilst shopping and nosing through Instagram.  Then the idea of a dress started to form in my mind.  I have been stalking Motel rocks for inspo for a while now,I made my cross dress with them in mind; they really know how to do a good 90’s style dress and are pattern fabric experts.  Check them out, you will not be disappointed.

I also took sleeve inspo from Urban outfitters (see below)  I will also be trying to imitate the shape of that dress in future sews!

The fabric that spurned on this dress I picked up as a random splurge in my cheap shop in Watney market.  It was a bit dearer than the £1.10/£1.50 rolls, i think it was £2,75 per metre, which is still extremely cheap.  As it was a spur of the moment with no plans, I only got a couple of metres… for a dress with a repeating pattern of this size, it was a bit of a squeeze.  But with a bit of a juggle I managed it…

So How Did it Sew?

I actually drafted up a pattern for this AND made a Toille (just of the tie back bodice and arm to see if it works)  The Bodice was once a Moneta from Colette patterns, but has been traced and adjusted so much its barely a memory of it.  This really helped in positioning the tie to cover the Bra strap for summer.

Completed: 2nd March 2017

Only having two metres meant  I had to do a bit of manoeuvring because the sleeves with the tie attached as one piece were so large,  I ended up cutting them separate then attaching them after. It didn’t effect the final pattern as its not noticeable when tied.

As you can see from the photo, the pattern goes in different directions, but I don’t think this had really affected the overall piece.  This was a pretty simply make but OH MY GOODNESS the hemming…. everything needed hemming!  the ties, neck skirt… doesn’t sound like a lot but it really felt obscene.  I ran it through the over locker, then folded the hem and sewed.   Under the bottom tie is a zip to get in and out of with ease… I keep the top one done up, and just struggle to tie the one on the zip…. once its undone the top can be a bit unruly!

I can’t wait to wear this dress in the summer, its so light and is the right length for me and it’s not just another skater dress, it has a bit of something else.