Tag Archives: fatsew

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!

 

Ready to Sew: Jamie x2

Ready to Sew are one of my favourite pattern companies, including my recent purchase I have Seven of their patterns, and the Jude I have made a ridiculous amount of times.

My latest purchase was with the release of the Jack cardigan.  Oh what a perfect little cardi it is!  I was so happy with my first make that I dug deep into the stash and made a second, which I also equally love.

So How Did It Sew?

First, lets talk about the pattern.  As having a lot of experience with their patterns, this is no different.  It is a perfect pattern for all levels, and a great beginner (the Jamie itself it classed as Advanced Beginner)  The Layout and Diagrams in the Instructions are close to perfection by sewing standards.  They are so simple and easy.

What I love about Ready to Sew Items is that they are fashionable and timeless.  I make them the most because they just slot into my everyday wardrobe so easily.  And the Jamie is no exception.  It just adds something to my wardrobe, since the arms are slightly puffy at the cuff I get a more Bomber/sports jacket feel to it, other than just a cardigan.

I choose to use an old Scuba with a grey pattern, and a black and white geometric grid pattern.

The Grey Version:

This fabric was from my cheap shop and it is a Jersey scuba.  It is very thick and perfect for a more heavyweight cardigan such as this.  The pattern placement was key with this piece and I even pattern matched the pockets.

The Geometric Version:

This has a slight beige tone to the fabric, and came from an ebay haul I did way back when I didn’t know much about fabrics.  Turns out it is perfect for a Jamie, and has a nice stiffness to it that gives the cardigan some shape.

Overall I think I have finally found a go to Cardigan Pattern.  I would also like to hack it and maybe bring it down over the bum and to the thigh area, but after two in such a short time I will leave that for future me.

 

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!

 

Hack: Inari to Basic Tee

Inari by named clothing, to me, is one of the best patterns ever. Not only do you get such a simple, sleek dress and top, but you can also hack this pattern every which way.

If you want to introduce someone to sewing, this is that pattern. Not only is it quick and easy, but its definitely a fashionable item.

Looking at my wardrobe, I decided I was in need of a good basic white tee to tie in a few pieces. Sometimes you need to take stock of your wardrobe, think why am I not wearing certain things more, and link them together with simple basics. Something about ‘dressing down’ a fancy skirt or even putting on a structures blazer over a simple tee is just really chic and effortlessly cool.

I knew I wanted an Inari like cuff on the sleeve, so I decided instead on drafting one, I would just use the Inari. I chose to use my bulk light jersey fabric. It is definitely the ultimate jersey tee fabric – Its very light, has a great drape and if you leave a raw edge, it looks amazing.

So How did it Sew?

Okay, so this tee, from beginning to end took about 45 minutes.

45 minutes from cut to on my body!

I did cut a few corners to make it how I wanted, but it shows things don’t need to take forever.

Whilst cutting it out, I simply folded the rest of the dress pattern to the length I wanted then cut out the fabric.  I was too lazy to even trace it, i just made do.   As I cut the side seam, it went from the armpit and fanned it out a couple of centimetres and followed the ‘bubble’ curve of the top. I also left an extra bit on the bottom so I had some playing room to tidy the hem.

A quick wiz though the overlocker and the top was almost finished. I ended up with the front slightly shorter than the back, but I think it has an edgy look. I tidied this up but using my ruler rotary cutter, the raw edge looks amazing, but only really holds together when cut neatly. I just tidied the dangley bits left by the scissors.

The hand sewing of the roll sleeve was a quick needle thread, and amazingly I fought the perfectionist in me, and it turned out not much different to how it would have if i had spent longer on it.

Overall, I am pleased as punch with this. I had intended to use it as a base to customise it by cutting it and distressing it, But now I love it too much as is.

 

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!

 

 

My Pattern: Black Insert Dress

One thing that dominated summer on the high street, and has moved seamlessly into Autumn, is applique Roses.  I invested in some way back when, with the full intention of using them this summer.   I had planned to make a simple black dress and just jazz it up with the appliques.  But I went a step further than simple… I added inserts and Bell sleeves.  I went full Stevie Nicks vibe on this dress and I love it!

I started with a skater dress bodice that I had drafted with a slightly higher neck.  This pattern was traced and re cut from an old dress in my wardrobe and has become the base of many dresses, good and bad, its’s a perfect fit.

After tracing a copy, I then cut it down the middle front for the lace insert.  I didn’t add any seam allowance here as I was technically just ‘replacing’ the fabric by sewing in a piece of lace.

The Bodice was easy to whip up.  The insert technique I used was to overlock the raw edge, fold it under, then literally sew the lace edge on top of that on the outside. Sometimes it was fiddly, sometimes i had to go back and patch holes, but it just worked.  I was lucky that my chosen lace had a black edge which i used as my visual guide in sewing.

The Sleeve was made on the go, measuring where i wanted the insert to sit on the arm, then flare out into the bell sleeve.  I did a rolled hem on the base of the bell sleeve as It would also be seen as I wear it.  It was a bit of a faff, but worth the extra time and headache it took

attaching the skirt to the finished bodice posed its own issues… one being the lace not being adequate support at the waist, especially with a zip involved.  What i found best was adding some binding to the inside of the skirt.  It meant there was no movement and everything stayed in place as I fiddled with the lace, and then the zip.  Unfortunately I only had Grey binding…. but no worries you cant see it on the inside.

I debated leaving it plain, but then I have endless amounts of black dresses, so I took the plunge and had sewed the appliques on and I am not disappointed.  I am glad I waited to the end to decide to add them, even though it would have been easier to sew them onto the sections, I got the placing right when I tried it up against myself (and avoided and misplaced nipple looking roses!)

I didn’t want it to be symmetrical, and it wasn’t; mainly because when I ordered a pair, they sent two the same. So they could never have sat symmetrical.  So I separated the so called ‘pair’ and put one on the skirt and one on the bust at different angles.

overall i am really happy with this more experimental pieces.  I love how I have ended up with a Free-People-esque boho dress.  The bra needs a bit of a second thought when wearing this (not the grungy white one i was wearing in the pictures!)  But its revealing without being to sexy, mainly due to the bodice neck height.