Tag Archives: Fashion

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.

 

Made By me: The Grainline Alder with Sleeve Hack

The Grainline studio is something i have had on my radar for a while, yet never actually got round to purchasing,  Yet after seeing Alder after Alder (both versions) on Instagram, I  finally took the plunge and got one.

The pattern itself is beautifully designed, I love the simplicity of it:  Block colours, simple line drawings – it’s a minimalist dream!  This continues into the actually paper pattern pieces.  I have to admit I do prefer a white paper for a pattern.  I am not saying that I hate the brown/cream/beige colours, I just love the crispness of a white, especially when they use a blue print too.  Pattern porn!

The instructions are simple and well illustrated – although I would suggest making the two versions more distinguishable, purely for the ease of coming back to reference the booklet whilst working,  But this is so minor it really doesn’t matter.

So how did it Sew?

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Completed:  30th January 2017

I really enjoyed this pattern, it was simple and easy and quick.  I used a shirt material with tiny burnout holes in it.  I am prepping for better weather, until them this can be layered!

I added sleeves as a bit of a hack for this.  I debated 3/4 length, but in a debate with myself I concluded that a full length can be rolled to a short, and still be worn under a cardigan ( i like the cuff to sit out the bottom of the cardigan sleeve, it looks neater to me)

I achieved the sleeve but tracing round the pattern to start making my own sleeve template… i then discovered, after a bit of a rummage, it was an exact fit for another sleeve I had previously drafted.  Gotta love that when it happens!

The buttons were meant to replace some on another project I had used basic buttons for, but I am not gonna lie, I couldn’t be bothered to cut them off an re sew! So I just used the fancy ones for this.  They really make the dress though, so I am really happy how they turned out.

I even like this dress done right up to the collar, which is rare, especially with gigantic boobs like mine I can sometimes look quite matron like without the open neck line.  But this is Super cute.

I cut this out in the largest size and it is the perfect fit for me.  The is a slight gap at the bust BUT, this happens on everything for me.  Again those pesky gigantic breast always making a bid for freedom.

Overall,  I LOVE this pattern, especially the version I did with the rouching on the side.  It is so flattering on me.  I am planning another in a plaid fabric (again with the sleeves)  I MAY hack it a bit more and do a full skirt instead of a button front… I will see where the fabric takes me.

p.s sorry for the sub-par pictures!  The lack of good lighting combine with the time I haven’t got to optimise that lighting means you are just getting some full mirror shots…. sorry x

Vlog & Mini Update: November Plans

So, here is is, my second video.  Thankfully with a lot less issues than the first… I am learning!

 

Hope you enjoy it, I do love a ramble about my sewing.

Just a mini- update:

At present I am not sleeping… which is not unusual, but my little sleep I do get has declined and become a lot more random.  This has also affected my sewing (eating and general mood)  and left me concentrating on videos and blogs because that’s all i can do the hours i am awake.  This isn’t a problem as its stuff I need to get through, i would just prefer to sew.

Since filming I have made a start on patterns and cutting. I already feel a lot happier when being creative, and hopefully my body clock can get back on track.

Catch you guys later.

Made By Me – The White Shirt Dress

One thing I got quite early on in my sewing is a shirt dress pattern, The McCall’s M6696. I had wanted to copy a Gothic style dress that I had seen online, I thought maybe I could extend the collar and cuffs to make it more similar to the dress.

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I attempted this in a purple: It was a disaster, as was the second attempt. Undeterred, i tried one last time.
I really wanted a modern broderie anglais similar to an expensive on i had seen on john lewis. But having ruined this pattern twice already, I went in search for a cheaper alternative, and stumbled across ths one in my cheap shop: it had a more modern feel with its shapes that some of the other, more floral ones, I had seen.

So How Did it Sew?

Completed: 25th August 2016

The make is pretty simple, despite abandoning the last 2 attempts, I felt confident.
I love doing collars, some people hate them but not me. I love the neatness and fiddlyness, then suddenly a beautiful collar emerges.
I spent a lot of time matching the gaps on the yoke, it was the only piece doubled without interfacing, so i felt it had to look perfect.  This is also where I first got to flex my skills on button holes! Its something I now LOVE. Buttons really finish off a piece.

One thing I don’t do is no sleeves, you may notice I always cover my arms, so this was a bit of a brave move for me. I ended up not wearing it, although i do like it, i just felt it was a bit too pretty for where my style is going.

And yes I realise now I had a black bra on under a semi see through dress.  LOL.

I think I will keep this pattern around for future makes, maybe with the narrow skirt option.

Made by Me – Victory – Simone

I have a rule with shopping, if you wanted it before the sale, definitely buy it. Hence, i am now the owner of two new victory patterns*: the Simone and the Anouk. If you have seen my October makes video you may be familiar with these makes already.  What I love about Victory Patterns is that they, for me, are slightly more challenging with their different shapes and techniques and their unique designs.

So How did it Sew?

Completed:  13th October 2016

The Simone is gorgeous, with it detailed bib and racer back.
I would recommend you do a plain version or toile of this first. I went straight in with a shiny black fabric for all the detailed interfaces parts, Yes it looks stunning, but it was a pain in the Bum for a first attempt. The main part of the dress was a beautiful grey cotton pattern that I had in my stash.

I enjoyed doing the bib, it took some fiddling and folding, but I think it is all worth it for the finale affect.  I still regret that i stupidly cut the grey fabric horizontal, instead of vertical, although it looks great, it would have looked better.  I am a bit of a perfectionist.

I do realise that i made technically a summer item going into winter… which goes against my sustainable clothing /useful makes policy. But as you can see from my pics, i have dressed it up in my coven/witchy style. I can see this under long black cardis.

For something a bit different, and to test the skills of a confident beginner, I would totally recommend you check out victory for a challenge.

*Although I link Victory Patterns, I believe I bought them elsewhere. Although because I am unsure where they were on sale, I have linked you to the main source for the pattern.

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 – Hayden Top

Always making dresses or tunics, I was in desperate need for some separates, mainly tops. Plus I can’t stretch my abilities if I am always making similar things and don’t mix it up a bit.
Scrolling through Instagram, I came across Seamworks Hayden. Seamworks itself has a good variety of basic patterns and the Hayden does not disappoint. Its Princess seam shape is really flattering, especially with big boobs, giving a slimming shape.

So how did it sew?

Using a woven fabric, a quite thick woven, was probably not the best idea. I definitely need to try a fabric with a bit more give, or a woven with more flex.
The make itself was simple, I really likes how the band at the bottom connected and finished off the top. Its also available in a wide range of sizes, so is a good staple for all sewers.
I am looking forward to finding a good fabric for these, the photos on their site show it in a beautiful light fabric.

They really sell it on their site with :

You’re on the perfect summer road trip — sun shining through rolled down windows, sipping a chocolate shake, singing along to your favorite songs on a freshly pressed playlist. You’re going to be in the car for quite awhile, and those long miles between road side attractions call for comfy threads that not only travel well, but look great in all those memorable photos you’ll be taking. That’s why Hayden’s easy fit and stylish silhouette make it the perfect companion for all of your on-the-go activities.

Hoe poetic, but I totally get it.  It is the perfect road trip top… in the right fabric.

I think now, this will be in my next summer wardrobe, I will revisit it next year.

Made By Me – Named clothing – Keil0 2.0

I loved my original white burnout Keilo I made. But Maxi dresses are not always practical, especially for me, who tripped and ripped a hole in it. I am not surprised, I wore it SO much over the summer, it was bound to succumb to my clumsiness, (fear not I have fixed it)
So I decided on a shorter one, being the height of summer I went for my second burnout fabric, like the first, from Girl Charlee.  I checked, it is still available, you can find it here.

Now when I do colour, which we all know is quite rare, I tend to make up for my usual lack of it and go all out, brighter than bright. Its like some balance thing. It’s the  same thinking behind my pink hair, it makes up for my lack of colour in my clothes. Allowing me to wear nearly all black without looking too goth.

So How did it Sew?

Completed: 25th July 2016

The fabric is beautiful, I love a good burnout, they add a new dimension to a piece, and what I love is every thing I make with them looks shop bought. Jerseys in general tend to have this feel for me.
This time I extended the ties and at first I did make them TOO long (much too long) and had to chop them down. But I like that I could wrap it round a couple of times, which was lacking in my original.  Again I used the free sleeve hack Named Clothing supply on their site, definitely makes it a more versatile make. I went for 3/4 sleeves again, and I think next time I will go for full (although it was summer when I made this)
For someone my size I find it extremely flattering across the stomach, which is something I struggle to find in a good pattern.  Some patterns can be hacked and adjusted to suit, but its so nice to just have a pattern that works first time.
Over the summer I wore this so much that I had to blog about it, even in winter!  I will definitely be making some more of these come summer, I think I will chop and change it up by making the front and back two different colours, so when i tie it you can see the colour come through.

And don’t forget to check out Named clothing, I have a few more of their patterns to blog about soon.

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!