Tag Archives: fat fashion

My Pattern: NFD Shirt Dress Rip

As I have mentioned before, one of the reasons I make my own clothes is because most of the clothes I love and want to wear don’t come in plus size.  I am left to either spend forever finding something similar in my size.  Unfortunately, I am not too fond of the fit of plus size clothing… they don’t work well on someone with small shoulders, or someone not willing to wear shape-wear on my stomach everyday.

One brand I love is Never Fully Dressed.  Fortunately, I do fit into some of their more oversized pieces… others i have no chance, mainly the sized items.  One thing I feel in love with, but knew it wouldn’t go near the boobs, was the Leigh Shirt Dress.

Leigh – Never Fully Dressed

Just having pictures as a reference was slightly difficuly, I picked out a few key features:  Insert placket, Rolled sleeve and tab, High front/low back and possibly due to the size of the item, some front seams.  I drew up in my sewing book a rough pattern guide to get the ultimate flair:


I had in my stash a thin Linen fabric with a slight stretch to it, and being quite hot, I needed to use it.

So How Did it sew…

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From the off, I found it easier to cut the back and front out as one piece, instead of using the inserts as planned.  This was mainly because the fabric had a smaller width than i had panned.  But the measurement was perfect for the flair of my shirt.  It was a simple case of cutting the front, laying in on the next piece and drawing the drop from that.  so Simple, yet effective.

This piece was a complete Frankenstein monster of different pieces… The collar and placket were from the Kalle I had recently fallen in love with,  The arm holes and sleeve were from Merchant and mills the dress shirt.  I also borrowed a placket from a Jude I believe it was, for the sleeve. (I will correct in the comments if I am wrong)

After sewing up the piece, I realised that the shoulders (something I hadn’t used the pattern for) were far too big.  In fact it was far to big over most of the bust area, so I decided to place some insets in.  These were made simply by folding the what i needed and sewing it down.  I took it across the bust slightly to give it a better shape.  I had to do it twice but I really like the effect.  As an added fit, I put in some darts on the back, to balance the low drop back.

Overall, I am so happy wit this piece, I love a good oversized top that I can just chuck on and look great in.  I also love having something that covers me for the summer that is light and airy.   I have worn this so much over the last months of summer.  I am considering another in a thicker cotton fabric to take me through winter.

Hopefully, I will also be able to make one as I had originally planned to capture the beautiful fair out of the original.


Made by Me: My First Burda – PDF

I have often trowelled though the many Burda patterns online (since I have given up ever buying the mag as it is never in store)  I was never overly impressed with their Plus Size range, until a few months back when they bought out a couple of collections that were extremely wearable, that tackled my frumpy view of Burda.  I had to make one.

So I downloaded the Draped Sleeve Tunic (Plus Size) 06/2015 #130A (added a link because even after I downloaded it I found it impossible to find again)




How Beautiful is it!  And also HOW WEARABLE for me!

As a seamstress who focuses on wear-ability of a pattern, I am getting a bit fed up of all the dresses I know I will wear only occasionally.  Something like this will fit in with my everyday, oversized, slightly smarter than the slob around clothes (but still comfy) AND i could possibly leave the house in it wardrobe.


I decided to make it out of the bulk buy of white Jersey I had, for two reasons; a)  I like the Idea of a wearable toille that I can try then maybe attempt in a beautiful mocha colour like the picture above and b)  even though its knit, I can always attempt to dye it as it is white.

I like having options.

Something I would like to mention before we talk about the Sew, I have heard a lot of negatives about Burda Patterns; The actual pattern themselves as apposed to the final pieces.  This is also something I considered when buying, and maybe why only now, with a bit more confidence level in sewing, that I have chosen to tackle my first Burda.

So How Did It Sew?

Date Completed:  3rd August 2017

The make itself is great, I love the Fit and style its very me… the only issue is the fabric was too thin and stretchy.  Its kind of misshapen the piece.

The sleeves are driving me mad, looking at the above Burda picture, I am thinking this is again to do with my fabric choice.  I tried to combat this by adding an elastic insert… but It failed and I just left it alone.  Another me issue I had was getting the front panel caught in my overlocker.  Honestly of all the pieces to get stuck, it had to be the front centre.  After unpicking it was dotted with holes… I combated this simply by cutting it off and setting the faux overlay further back… a complete lazy cheat tbh, I should have recut that piece.

Now, to the pattern itself…

I completely understand the issue some sewists seem to have with Burda.

I am not a sewer that needs their hand held through a pattern… truthfully, I will skim a pattern quite a bit and figure it our without referencing every single word and it still works.  Yet, I felt it was as sparse as the recipe of a Great Britsih Bake off technical challenge!  Not having pictures also was a bit of a pain in the butt.

Its not a MASSIVE issue, and i do like to challenge myself with my makes, it just seems for a big pattern company that its a bit lazy, skimping on the instructions to just one A4 page.  This is especially annoying when you compare it to the masses of Indie Patterns that their creators pour their heart and souls into really good instructions.

Despite that, I hope this blog is a slight warning to the novice sewer… save a Burda for a bit down the line maybe, and know that even if your skills are good, you will skill at some point start tearing your hair our.

Overall, I love this dress, now i have done it once I know what I am doing.  I probably wont wear the white as I look kinda like an angel in it, but look forward to keeping this on the ‘patterns that need the perfect material’ pile.

Happy Sewing Everyone




Made By Me: Janis – Ready to Sew

Whilst purchasing the Jolene, I snuck a Janis into my basket for good measure.  It seemed to balance out my dress to other clothing items ratio;  I could justify another dress pattern with the purchase of a top.

I am a massive fan of ready to sew, so I was eager to see this completed.

The pattern as a pdf was easy to put together, the instructions as as always excellent from ready to sew.

One thing I will like to mention with them is the absolute beautiful options on the website.  It started with my purchase of Jude, I noticed the extent they went to to show all the possibilities of their pattern.  I know that others do this, but Ready to sew always seem to show things that I myself would like to make and wear.

So How did it sew?


Top Row: Loop at front  – Bottom Row:  Loop on Back

The material I chose was almost ribbed scuba.  It was part of the stash and I had planned to use it for a casual blazer, but I let the fabric speak to me… and it said JANIS!  Ordinarily, I would not have chose this fabric if I had gone shopping specifically for a fabric to use with this pattern.  Next time will definitely choose a thinner fabric.  This one was good for the main part of the garment, but I soon realised that the folded over lining had started to bulk and snag and didn’t look great.  Especially when I lightly stitched it in place.  It may need to be either removed and left with a raw edge, or possibly a wonder Webb or fabric glue job!

It may need a few tweaks before I wear it , but this was all to do with my fabric choice, The actual garment is amazingly beautiful and flattering on… also the fact is doesn’t matter which way you put it on is a bonus for the lazy fashionista in me… I mean come on!  Its white, I am bound to drop something down me, now if i do I can just turn it round and wear it backwards!


Made It patterns – Drop

I am still very much in love with made it patterns.  Their groove dress gives me pattern envy – I wish I had thought of something so basic, yet so good and versatile! The mix and match style means there are all kinds of possibilities that can transition through seasons, and you really get value out of one pattern.

At the time I purchased the Groove, I also got the Drop.  I will admit this isn’t my first attempt… I went for a beige Jersey scrap i had big enough for this.  Unfortunately i messed it up epically, and not having enough fabric to repair, I put the pattern to one side.

Recently, in need of long sleeved light tops, I remembered I had not yet made an worn this pattern.  I was so excited, especially as I had more than enough white fabric to use.

So how did it sew?

Second time was a complete success.  I love this top.  I say top as that’s what I wear it as, although I did use the dress length pattern.  I like my tops long as I have a long body.

It is a simple sew and the instructions are amazing, They give you a couple of choices of finished with the collar.  The asymetrical shape is flattering, as is the ruching on the ‘drop’ part.

I can see this fast becoming as good a basic as an Inari that I reach for.

When I want to make it again (and I will)  it will be just a matter of having the right fabric.

Made by Me: The Geodesic Jumper

As much as I love this pattern, I made it a small disaster for myself by picking the worst fabric!

I think its good for you guys to see that even a year down the line into my fully fledge sewing hobby, I still manage to get it wrong sometimes and I am in no way perfect!  Yes as well as reaping the benefits of my beautiful makes, I also have some of the worst hair pulling moments of rage with it too!

I had searched High and Low for a sweatshirt fabric, or a french terry, knowing I wanted to make the Geodesic Jumper from Blueprints For Sewing I knew I was after a nude, but i could not find any for love nor money.

I ended up spotting some on my Ebay shop i follow, it was a random recommendation e-mail, I felt it was a sign.  Now before I continue, I should stress that this is not a bad fabric, or a cheap fabric; It is purely the wrong fabric for the wrong pattern, it just didnt gel.  I now know that it needs a fabric with more structure.  The fabric I had would have easily suited a normal plain sweatshirt better.

So How Did It Sew?

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I originally went for the long version as i knew I would wear that the most, unfortunately, due to struggleing to match the triangles (even with hand sewing them into place before putting them through the machiene) I abandoned the bottom row and just added the wasit band.

I love the looseness of the fabric and the movement it has.  It gave the whole garment a baggy oversized feel.  Unfortunately, that is what also made it near impossible to control.

I will tackle this pattern again, but definitely on the back burner whilst I wait for the perfect fabric and colder weather!


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.

Best Basics: the 2 judes

I love my Jude, I have worn it so much that the grey Jersey has started to bobble slightly.  I decided it is time for more Judes… as many as possible!  But a good start would be making a black and white version.

The white fabric is very thin in prep for summer.  The black is slightly heavier, but I feel it can transition into Autumn too.

I love sewing a Jude, although I do have to use both my machines to make them ( I refuse to hand gather as a machine is much neater and even)

So How Did They Sew?

With the white I went for an open bottom, purely to vary them slightly, although I do prefer a gathered band bottom.  It’s made from the white Jersey I have bought in bulk, it’s slightly thin but its perfect for summer.  I may have to revisit the hem as it went a bit crazy.  This may be because its my first official Jude without a base band.

The black, due to the give, needed to be taken in at the base slightly.

Both use the blind serger technique on the cuffs which is an absolute must if you love jersey, its just beyond simple.  Just a fold and a press, then if you want you can sew a neat line to hold it in place.  Check it out if you are not already familiar with it.