Tag Archives: making

Made By Me – Schoolhouse – 2.0

I have already blogged about one of the SewLiberated schoolhouse tunic I have made way back when in the blog.  I have added some more (nicer) photos of this make to this post, as a little bonus.

One thing I could not get out of my mind was the gorgeous striped version that sew liberated had photographed it in.  I couldn’t find the exact materiel so i settled on a beige-ish grey stripe that was thinner than the photo, in an extremely light seersucker.

So How did it Sew?

Completed: 8th July 2016

The reason why I am now writing about this is because I have worn it so much over the summer and coming up to autumn. It was one of my go to dresses of this year. The seersucker is perfect for this make, its so light and easy to wear.  The make is so simple, and i even went for elasticated cuffs to add a bit more structure to it.
I still love the denim rose one and now it is colder I can wear it to my hearts content:

completed: 28th June

I have considered adding rivets and cord to the front to give it a more hippy/boho/gypsy feel. But as not to ruin this one I will probably make another, maybe in an acid wash black denim.

If you haven’t already got this, get it!  It will become your casual throw on basic.

Made By Me – Named Clothing – Lexi

Needing something a bit more than just another skater dress and wanting to buy another pattern from Named clothing I went for the Lexi.

I chose a fabric i had worked with previous, in a different shade. I thought the fabric was thick enough so I didn’t plan on the lining for this piece (the fabric inside was extremely soft)

SO how did it sew?

I actually give up on measurements, after some debate with a tape measure I went for the bigger size so it wasn’t snug anywhere and dangle like it does in the picture. I should have just gone with my gut feeling and made the size I am in my clothes I buy as I ended up chopping a lot of fabric off. This is not the patterns fault, its a combination of me thinking I am bigger than i am and not making a toile.

I adore the lover and pleated waistline in this piece, it gives a more formal structured feel. The lining was not missed from this piece, although if I repeat this pattern and choose a thinner material I would be more than happy to line it.
One aspect I completely abandoned was the zip! I had bought a beautiful zip for this dress and all was going well until it was too big. As it was stretch knit and loose I decided to improvise this into a pull on dress. It really helped with the fitting and didn’t effect the piece.
I think with a lining the zip will be more successful.
I am looking forward to possibly hacking this dress in some way in the future, maybe experimenting with pattern and making a feature of the zip as apposed to hiding it.

I highly recommend Named clothing, check them out here although most good uk pattern shops hold them.

Made by Me – Inari…with Pockets

Everyone has that one pattern they just keep coming back to, mine is the Inari by Named clothing.
I also decided I wanted a black version (naturally!) as i am positive i will wear it to death in that colour. But I also wanted to mix it up a bit and opted for some pockets. I do love to do some pocket posing in my clothes, and I am starting to feel lost without them.

So how did it sew?

The fabric I had acquired in a cheap bundle on Ebay, It was a crinkle, black with silver brocade. That had a nice hang to it, yet just enough thickness.

Not knowing what was the right way of the fabric I chose to put the silver shiny side on the inside and use the black with a slight shimmer as the front. Although either way would have looked great. This really looked good when i rolled up the sleeve and as I moved the silver showed on the bottom inside hem.
I can probably sew an Inari in my sleep as i have made so many, so adding the pockets was extremely simple and hardly any extra effort.
Overall I think it is very successful with the pockets. Yes it can be a bit bumpy but i think it is dueto the lack of top stitch that I may go back over. I will eventually sort it out…

Made By Me – Ready to Sew – Jude

A few things sold me on the Jude by Ready to Sew:

  1.  This black bleached version on their sitejude-bleach
  2. This leather-look version, also on their sitejude-leather
  3. And just how they style it in general (trainers!)jude-trainers

This is now my favourite pattern.  I just love it.  The way they style it really shows off its full potential as a wardrobe staple, often overlooked in what is considered more ‘simple’ makes.  But this is by far just a basic, it can definitely hold its own as a dressed up piece.  The ruched sleeves are a brilliant understated feature, that really adds to the overall look.  I love it so much I ended up making two versions – one after the other!

So how did it sew?…

V.1:  To start with I went for a shiny fabric I bought for £1.20 per metre at my little place in Watney Market, and it is only the price that is cheap, not the fabric.


Unfortunately, although it looks great, the material is very stiff and has no give, which is okay, apart from the longer sleeve version ends up tight.  same with the band on the bottom, at the moment it is a bit of a wiggle to get into (but once its on, its fine!)

But the Shiny fabric really adds to the piece.  This is definitely a more formal version, and I can’t wait to wear it over Christmas.  One thing I would change is the finish.  Even after the pinking sheers on the seams, it still frayed.  I had  just completed this just before the over locker arrived.

Version. 2:

Using jersey, again from the same cheap place, I went for a more casual knit version:

This is truly amazing, I literally slip it on over leggings and I am good to go.  The only issue with this is that i may have to go back and bind the neck line as the material keeps rolling up.  Even with a top stitch, it is a material issue, but i do think that most makes I do benefit from neck binding.

I can’t wait to make more of these, i have a faux leather I might try in the short sleeved and flared at the bottom.

If you haven’t already tried Ready to sew, check them out here.  They are ridiculously cheap too.  I will definitely be getting more, if not all, their patterns.

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…

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.


Made by Me – The Dress Shirt

Have you ever thought to yourself ‘I wish I had thought of that’?

Well that is basically Merchant and Mills for me…

Honestly, I get it, I get their concept, I buy into it, I LOVE IT.

I sat watching their little videos on their site, and I was just so in love with them as a brand.  Simple, understated backed up with being stylish and well designed.  I am yet to find fault.  I am even impressed how they barged through gender bias and it is simply for ‘Makers’… not just focusing on women traditional sewers.

My chosen fabric was this little beauty from Fabworks.  I am a sucker for feathers, and grey, and this seems perfect.  I really love their fabrics, I will be doing another order from them when I justify it… and maybe when they get the constellations fabric back in stock (hint hint)

I had seen Merchant and Mills about on Instagram, various makes and patterns.  At first I wasn’t overly excited, until I saw The Dress Shirt.  It was exactly what I was looking for, just a simple pull on shirt style dress, casual but with structure.

The pattern is gorgeous, it has that vintage feel of an older pattern, with simple fonts and graphics.  The envelope itself is just a black and white picture of their dress made up, with their logo.  The instructions have amazing little hand drawn pics on, and super easy to follow, if a newbie fancies a challenge, this could be it.

So how did it sew…


It went great. The only adjustment I would make is the sleeves need to be gathered in for me… otherwise it is perfect.  The sizing is amazing and the length is just right.  The grey has turned out quite light, almost blue, therefore I have not worn it as much as some of my me mades.  I feel like Wendy Darling from Peter Pan in it, as it is as comfortable as a night gown, and a similar colour.  I definitely need a black one of these bad boys, and possible a wine colour for Autumn, in a thicker material.

Overall, a massive success.  It is exactly what I wanted, it is timeless piece i will pull out again and I want to make more in ALL THE COLOURS. Definitely recommend.  Just need to figure out what Merchant and mills pattern to try next!

Keep an eye on my Instagram for continuous updates on what i am working on at the mo…

Made by Me: No pattern Smock Dress in Tie Dye

If there is one patterned fabrics I love above all other patterned fabrics, it is the tie dye. Especially grey tonal tie dye.  Its something I always gravitate too and is something that has seeped into my sewing stash.  It gives a pattern without being frumpy, and it also goes with everything.  I picked up some in my early days of sewing, a soft jersey knit.  I had 3 metres worth so it has made a couple of items.

My no pattern oversized smock dress:


This was a simple make.  I drew out a rough oversized smock shape on some brown paper, and used it for the front and slightly adjusted for the back.  I made a simple Bias binding for the collar.  The skirt I simply cut out two rectangles and gathered.  I then attached that to the bodice and it was done.

The bodice slightly flared out and droops down at the sides, which i love.  The material is so light that it flows when on.

I have worn this dress so much since I made it.  Now I have my over locker, I am considering going over the inside to make it more durable for the wearing to come. Although I made this in the summer, I feel i can layer it up and wear it for Autumn and into winter with tights.

I definitely will make something similar in the smock style, i might go for a crush velvet style for winter, or even a thinner stretch denim with a pattern.