Tag Archives: Girl Charlee

My Pattern: Easy Tie-Dye Smock Dress

One thing I love about summer (probably the only thing as I prefer the cold) is festivals and Festival fashion.  I had one to go to at the end of August, and I wanted to attempt to take mostly hand made Items.

I had bought a beautiful terry knit from Girl Charlee a while back.  I had bought it for a sweater, but soon discovered it was thin enough to become something better.  Unfortunately it had fallen into that trap of getting fabric that I love, and fearing I would ruin it ended up putting off actually using it.

I had been looking for a decent oversized smock dress pattern.  I had tried to draw some plans out, but in the end I just went with the fabric and jumped in.

So How Did It Sew?

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I only had 2 metres of fabric, but I used every scrap of it just by making it from a series of rectangles.  The top was folded over, and a head hole cut in.  I didn’t finish it with binding, I just pulled the jersey and it held.  I did the same with the hem. The skirt was just a length of the fabric cut in two and sewn together.  The arms again, due to the oversized square nature were just sewn on.  To give it a more casual look, I rolled up the hem and did an invisible stitch to hold it down.  I think it really adds to the casual look of the piece.

I absolutely love this dress, and I wear it constantly.  its ridiculously comfy, but that it due to its size and the softness of the fabric.

I ended up taking this, my long coloured Kimono and a couple of other key hand made pieces to the festival with me.  To be fair, by the end of the weekend, no one really cares what you look like.  Plus all the people there dressed like it was the 90’s and not in a good way!  I saw some shell suit jackets, loads of bumbags and some questionable patterned shirts. But if it weren’t for everyone holding a smartphone I would have been convinced I had travelled through time!

Even though I have described how I made it, and it was a quick sew, it took a bit of planning and thinking.  Once you cut the fabric that is it, so I had to have some idea of where its going.  Most of the time I felt I didn’t, and worried about my fabric, but it turned out perfect in the end.

I highly recommend a visit to Girl Charlee, for someone who struggle with pattern, most of the good pattern I have bought and actually wear is from there.   But with saying that I do need to give some of their basic colours a try.

Pattern Hack: Cross Swing Dress

I had been lusting over 90’s button front swing dresses for a while now.  Maybe because i remember them the first time around, so I want in on that trend again!

This dress had a few incarnations on paper, until I eventually settled on hacking a Luisa from Wear Lemonade.  I dropped the separate yoke by tracing it into the dress front, I then slightly exaggerated the trapeze shape.  The front had a V neck and button front, I simple added a few cementers to the front seam and added a strip of interfacing.

The fabric I used was from Girl Charlee, I bought it a while back and was being far to precious with using it ( I have several patterns to use still in the stash)  It is still available to buy, you can check it out here. It is a lovely light jersey, and the Gothic cross pattern is so me.  I am glad I used it for this dress as I know I will get a lot of wear out of it.

So how did it sew?

Completed:  15th December 2016

Its refreshing when making your own pattern, or hacking a previous pattern, you have the luxury of going rouge and not having to read a pattern.  You kind of just do it as you go, and love every minute of it. The dress is very light, but I think this works with the exaggerated skirt part, it has a beautiful drape.  I got so carried away with the make, i forgot i wanted to do double buttons all the way down and just done singles.  It still turned out fine, a minor detail.  I could have made this even easier on myself and made a faux button front, but I am glad it opens, as I might experiment with wearing it open… although i am lazy and just pull it on over my head rather than deal with buttons.

I am keeping the pattern, I am thinking about doing a floral version, with more tea dress like sleeves, definitely a summer wear.

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 – Keilo

I thought it was about time that I wrote about this pattern as I have worn one of the dresses I have made to death this summer.

Named Clothing are fast becoming one of my favourite pattern brands, I don’t love everything they do, but I adore what I have, and actually wear them regularly.  (For example the Inari!  omg how many do I have now)

At first i was reluctant to order this for myself as it was sleeveless, then the added the free sleeve add on for the pattern, and it definitely sealed the deal for me.

Here is my Keilo – I opted for the long sleeve maxi version:

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(please ignore the small dog that wandered into every shot)

The fabric was a light white burnout Jersey that I got a while back from Girl Charlee.  It was reduced due to being slightly damaged.  To be fair, it was very slight and very easy to cut round.  It is such a great summer fabric and perfect for this make, or any maxi.  I like the slight see through quality as it adds dimension to the piece.

The pattern itself was classic Named clothing, sleek and simple.  The only issue I had with this item is I would have preferred to download and print a PDF.  This is something unheard of from me, as I love Paper patterns, but it was layered therefore had to be traced.  Its not a problem, its just what i would prefer and what i find easier to do.  If i could print it I would have mad a couple then stuck them together, it probably would have been jest as quick as tracing.  But as this was my first pattern for tracing, it forced me into trying Swedish tracing paper, which i never would have tried otherwise.  So it is a positive learning experience.

The actual make it incredible simple, even with the added arm piece to the pattern, it took me no time at all.  Being short i had to chop a bit off the bottom, but thats expected with a pattern, some sizing is required.  One thing I had an issue with, maybe being plus size, was the length of the ties… in my second attempt (which i will blog about in the near future) I made them incredibly long then cut them to size.  This method was more successful.

I made this dress at the beginning of summer, and have worn it SO many times.  Its such an easy piece to throw on and look great.  Being so thing it is the perfect summer dress.  Unfortunately, I wore it so much that i caught it and ripped it… twice.  Totally my fault.  But is easy to patch and not noticeable with the pattern.

I don’t think this would be in my winter wardrobe, even in a thicker material.  The material needs to be light as to not bulk when wrapped around the body.

Overall this is a summer staple now for me. Definitely my go to maxi.