Tag Archives: Jersey

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!



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 – My pattern -Raglan Sleeve Top

One thing I got into sewing for was some good basics. In a time when I was rolling out a lot a lot of smart dresses, I needed something casual.
I used some scrap jersey to make this beautiful Raglan top:

Completed:  6th June 2016

I had been watching one on  Asos (no pic… but its basically what I made!)  but refrained from purchasing it because I didn’t know if it would be tight on my stomach area.
So what I did was cut a large rectangle for the base of the garment, similar to how I make all my other oversized ones. And then I traced out the two sleeves, extended to where a neck would be,

It was a simple sew and was in the time before my overlocker so I went for a french seam, I was going to then sew these seams down for an extra sporty jersey look, but i thought against it. I have put it on inside out a few times, but now I have my handmade tags, this shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

I will try this again but i don’t think i will buy fabrics specially for it, It is definitely a make reserves for jersey off cuts and ends.

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.

HACK! – Grey Sway Dress

Having fallen in love with my Sway pattern by Papercuts, I desperately wanted to add sleeves to make it more wearable for me. I also didn’t want to hack it and loose the rolling technique, so I had to figure out the sleeves around it.
I started by tracing out the sleeve shapes from the pattern pieces, this gave me the basic shape. This gave me the basic length of the seam, so I tried to tidy it up as best i can without affecting the measurements.  I went for a 3/4 length sleeve to start with, plus i wasn’t 100% sure at first if i could even roll it in the lining/dress connecting roll technique.

So How Did It Sew?

Completed: 1st September

This time I extended the sway slightly to make up for the fact I had cut short a previous attempt at a nearly midi length dress (see here) Plus I couldn’t justify having another dress that length. Due to how I wanted to wear this I ditched the belt and belt loops.
It worked rather well despite the roll being a bit more of a squish. I used one of my cheap purchased fabrics from my stash, which has a nice fine knit and drape.
I will probably use this technique again as I love a sleeve and I love the sway trapeze shape. I also like how it can be worn with no clear front or back, to mix it up a bit.

Made By Me – The Striped Skater

Recently on one of my many stalks around Instagram I came across an amazing picture of a model wearing a horizontal striped dress.  After some research I found that it was from ASOS, but no longer available.  I had pined for previously, not being able to get my size I had looked elsewhere; I had seen one in Topshop a while back  called a nautical stripe, despite it having long sleeves, it also had a pleated skirt and very low neckline. Not for me!

Seeing this picture reignited my want for a black and white striped skater dress, obviously after all this time I still had a hole in my wardrobe only it could fill, so I decided to make my own…

This wasn’t just one of my live and learn makes, I put some effort into sourcing exactly the right fabric and making proper plans for this particular garment.  Luckily, I also had my over locker so i could make it almost perfect, and make it to last.

The fabric I bought was a great quality thin woven stripe from Tia Knight Fabrics.  I have in the past bought many pieces from them and the have a lot of good fabrics, really worth checking out.  A well laid out site.

Once happy with my fabric choice, I searched through my patterns for a skater,  I went with the Colette Patterns: Moneta as it had no darts on the bust.  I was really eager to pattern match the seams, so i didn’t want any interruption on the pattern.  I think mismatched patterns are something that a lot of highstreet readymades do, and it does look mass produces and cheap.  This piece had to match for my own OCD sanity ( or at least have a damm good attempt)

So how did it sew?…

It turned out perfect, and I love it!  I elongated the sleeves so they feel over my hands, but can also be pushed back up, something I find lacking in store bought items.  I also learnt how to do a blind hem on my overlocker, its a game changer and will use it ALL the time now as it is fantastic.  I also rose the neckline as it was something I had noticed on my previous Monetas, I also ended up shortening the bodice quite a bit as well.

I didn’t use the Moneta Skirt pattern as it was curved, so I ditched it in favour of a more smock like rectangle skirt, gathered at the top and attached.  This gave me more ruffles to play around with and ultimately I did chop a few off the ends so it wasn’t too bulky. Everything matched up on the side seams.  Even the sleeve, although the lines don’t match onto the bodice, as the are going different directions to the bust, they are symmetrical to each other.

I had to narrow it as I overshot on my size, again, not as fat as I think I am, but I would rather it be too big than too small.

I absolutely love this dress, and to date it probably one of my fave makes.  I feel that little extra thinking time and planning, and picking the perfect material really added to final result.  I feel that this is how I will move forward with my sewing, gone are the days of learning and doing as much new stuff as I can, getting caught up in the excitement.  I can now pour all that energy into making beautiful pieces, and still enjoy them.

Check out my instagram for up to date makes


Made By Me – My Pattern – Tie Dye Dress

Recently I got into looking at modest fashion clothing.  I have been following a couple of shops that specialise in religious fashion.

The funny thing is, I am in no way religious, I feel no need to cover what someone tells me to.  BUT I personally like to cover, i tend to go for these types of clothes and they tick all the modest boxes:  They don’t cling to my figure, muted colours, and lots of flowing layers.  All these properties lend themselves to religious attire.

One thing I keep seeing was a long line swing dress.  One site in particular is Mimu Maxi, who I love on Instagram!  I love people who post a lot about things I love.  These are a couple of their dresses that are very me:

And of course I picked out the ones with the most muted colours…

Then there was this from Merricks Art, with actual instructions on how to make it:


^^^^^^ I had been stalking this on pinterset for a while, the yellow is not me, but it is the perfect swing cover up.

So combining all my inspiration, I set about making my own version that would suit my needs.  I used the top of a very old shift pattern dress, but flared the skirt out to the max.  I chose a grey tie Dye from the big fabric shop in Lewisham, which i had been saving quite a while for such a make as this.

So How Did It Sew?

The dress didn’t turn out how i wanted.  Firstly, it was too big and i had to take it in A LOT…

Secondly, I am a complete idiot and i cut it too short.  I left far to much on the bottom to get the perfect length, then i just forgot what i was doing and went and cut it at my usual shorter length.

This is by far not unwearable in any sense,but it is not what I intended.  Unfortunately I now have something very similar to a ready made i already own.  Doh.  It kind of defeats the whole ideals of sustainable fashion.

If I had cut it out at the right length, this would have been a complete success, unfortunately I ruined the best laid plans…. I have worn it, but it is definitely tunic length.  I am in desperate need of something that shows a little less knee.

I will pop this on my sewing this for a second attempt.