Tag Archives: grunge

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.




Rip! Mod Dolly – Shirt Dress

This Dress has been forming in my mind for a while before it came to be.  But it was finding the perfect fabric combined with already making a good shirt dress that moved it on.

In my online fantasy shopping ( we all do it) I again looked at ModDolly.  I know that they have out sized me, but a lot of their styles lend themselves to flattering a plus size figure like mine, that’s why I love their stuff; The day they figure this out and make my size is the day I become very poor.

Already having copied their Black and white Peter-Pan collar dress (see here) I spotted this beauty and the plans started to form:

(photos from ModDolly)

I then found a brown plaid fabric, which was extremely similar to the Rust from Mod Dolly:  I spotted it on the end of a massive fabric shop, and chucked it in.  This piece was made off the back of a Grainline Alder shirt dress, so I decided to adapt and hack the pattern to make this:

So How did it Sew?

(Completed: 28th February 2017)

It was an easy Sew, considering I had just completed a Grainline Alder with sleeve hack, just before this one.  The only adjustment was the skirt:  I simply folded the front of the pattern at the required length and cut it out, adding a simple straight rectangle gather skirt to it.  I am a very Lazy sewer!

I love this cute little grungy Dress, I love the fabric as it has a soft light feel and it is extremely close to my original inspiration.  I am considering adding a belt to give it more structure as apposed to just being the kind of dress you chuck on.

Made By Me: Charlotte Kan – Tie Dress

Never have such a fabric and pattern been destined to go together as much as my Charlotte Kan Tie Dress and my thick white jersey:


To be honest I think it was actually an off cut of a fancy dress costume and has been in my stash forever (in case you were wondering it was Princess Leia outfit)
It just suited this make so much.

So How Did It Sew?

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Completed: 11th September

At first, i was really worried about the sizing so me being me, i panicked and added a couple of inches. I even made a separate pattern to cater for this. Turns out, classic story with me, I am not as fat as i think i am ( or should i say as fat as i measure)
So I made it bigger then ended up unpicking it and cutting it to the original large size of the pattern.

So the dress took much longer to make than it should – but omg it was worth it, it looked so stylish and modern, even the crazy little pocket was super cute. This is definitely one to be worn with some old converse and a checked shirt for that uber grunge vibe.
This is definitely one that will become a staple, but I will be fussy on what fabric I make it from.

Made By Me – Luisa – Wear Lemonade

Today is a bit of a two for one as I will clump both Luisa makes into one blog post.

One brand of Pattern makers I am loving has to be the very beautiful and quintessentially French, Wear Lemonade.

I stumbled into their patterns purely by chance, I fell for the design and the graphics, so i just had to get some.  I am now the proud owner of a Luisa and a Dita.

What I really thought was lovely about these guys was the video accompanying me through my make.  I am a very visual person, so armed with very basic french language skills, I was able to tackle the project much easier than just using the English instructions.  Not that the instructions are not good, they are excellent and have beautiful photographs to support the words, its just my personal preference.  Its a bit like how I like looking at reviews before I buy, I got to see the garment made before i myself attempted it.  Its a nice way to work.

So how did it Sew?

1st attempt: Completed – 25th July 2016

I used a very light black semi sheer fabric that I had gotten in a bundle of cheap fabric on ebay for very little.  It has a soft matte feel and a beautiful drape, perfect for the luisa trapeze shape.

The pattern was extremely simple and I love the finish of the yoke and how neat and easy it is to achieve.  I chose not to add a bow as suggested by the pattern…its an option definitely not for me.

Unfortunately, I was so worried about it not fitting over the bust (which it did just fine) I completely disregarded the fabrics lack of stretch and how it would effect the sleeves. THe arms are very snug… as you can see me awkwardly standing in a picture with my arms to the right.

My next attempt will resolve this and go for a knit jersey…

2nd attempt:  Completed – 23rd October 2016

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This has turned out much better in the Jersey Knit fabric.  I just love the witchy coven vibe from the dark tie dye print.  This version was completed on my overlocker, and Jersey is the way forward with this pattern.  The arms are still tight BUT are actually not a problem and more wearable (as in I can actually move)  I was concerned that the knit would hang to heavy, but this dress has amazing movement when in motion.

This pattern is now my perfect shift dress make. I feel that I could do with a few more colours, and possible experiment with a High polo collar (and maybe lose the yoke) for winter and Christmas version.

Watch this space for more Luisa…