Tag Archives: me made pattern

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!

 

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.

Made By Me: 90’s Daisy Swing Dress

I have probably mentioned before my love of Motel Rocks –  I based one of my favourite makes on their style;  The Cross Swing Dress.  Using this same pattern I had drafted, I decided to do something I don’t tend to do… like ever….and that was to shorten the sleeves.

This was mainly inspired by the gorgeous fabric I picked up.  It is very light and has a slight stretch.  The pattern is printed on one side and is light on the other.

So How Did it Sew?

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Date Completed: 30th May 2017

I feel this Daisy pattern pops up in a lot in the 90s inspired fashion at the moment.  I did want to add daisy buttons. But I felt that might be daisy overkill and I risk looking like an overgrown toddler.

I love the fit, I did add some darts in the back so it wasn’t as oversized and gave some shape.  The only issue is due to the material being so light, it likes to catch a breeze, definitely one to be wearing with shorts underneath.  I have considered taking in the sides a bit to combat this, but I really don’t want to take too much away from its swing ascetic.

I dressed the look up with my grunge makeup, boots and hat.  I will probably wear this with some form of choker IRL.  The Tights are super cute from Boohoo Plus/Curve.

As for the shorts sleeves, I can honestly say I don’t mind them, in fact I find them more flattering than if I had just done long sleeves as I usually gravitate too.  Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with my arms.

I have a scrap of this left over, I am tempted to make some more cute things with it… and yes maybe with daisy buttons!

 

My Pattern – Babydoll Dress

This idea had been forming in my mind for a while;  I think its clear by now that I like an oversized simple casual style that I can dress up.  Which sounds simple enough, until you try to shop for this AND are a plus size.  Hence why I sew.  But I still search for inspiration, sometimes things fir the criteria.

One thing that kept popping up was a simple babydoll dress with puff ball oversized sleeves (I am assuming oversized sleeves, but these are on tiny models so just sleeves) So I set about planning one out:

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Again, this was another idea I had to purge, it was haunting me and I found that I had to get it out into the world to move on with other projects (the creative mind!) I had a semi sheer crepe fabric in my stash that wasn’t doing very much, I felt that it could be semi wearable, if not, I have not wasted a good fabric, at least get a wearable Toile out of it.

This work was completely self drafted, I made a practice bodice and one sleeve, adjusted the height of where the skirt would sit on my breasts and hardly needed to adjust the paper pattern before jumping right in.  To be honest, I find this the best way to work, throwing caution to the wind and just doing.

I am not ashamed to admit I watched a few tutorial and read a few blogs for this one.  The online sewing community is amazing, full of talent and an abundance of information.  Use it!  My sleeve was drafted purely from looking at pinterest diagrams!

So How did it Sew?

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Date Completed: 13th April 2017

For a fabric I had little faith in, I am not hating it, its definitely something different in my wardrobe, even though it is a little stiff still.  (I am planning a fabric softener soak if possible)  This dress was simple and quick make, from idea to draft to completion.  This was due to the skirt part just being two large gathered rectangles rather than a drafted piece, but i feel it added to the dress and allowed for maximum gathers.

The bodice part is double layered, despite this I will be wearing it over a slip or the classic vest and leggings due to its sheerness.

One plus about this fabric being stiffer is how the puff sleeves fit.  Depending on the materiel for my next attempt (and there will be one) i may have to consider a mesh or a supporting fabric inside the puff.

A great bonus of self drafting is not having to follow a pattern, and although it was a bit of a freestyle, the freedom is a relief.  Not that I tend to stick to instructions, its just nice to figure it out yourself. Its definitely more fun, and quicker as long as you don’t make a mistake.

I absolutely love this dress on.  As a plus size sewer I was worried about adding volume around the bust without highlighting the waist, but I love the silhouette it gives me.

I have already selected my next material for another of these.  I am even considering a single button at the top as something a little different.

 

Hamsa Pattern Tie Back Dress

I think the slight glimmer of sun in the English sky has prompted in me the need for summer clothing.

It started with seeing a few tie back items pop up whilst shopping and nosing through Instagram.  Then the idea of a dress started to form in my mind.  I have been stalking Motel rocks for inspo for a while now,I made my cross dress with them in mind; they really know how to do a good 90’s style dress and are pattern fabric experts.  Check them out, you will not be disappointed.

I also took sleeve inspo from Urban outfitters (see below)  I will also be trying to imitate the shape of that dress in future sews!

The fabric that spurned on this dress I picked up as a random splurge in my cheap shop in Watney market.  It was a bit dearer than the £1.10/£1.50 rolls, i think it was £2,75 per metre, which is still extremely cheap.  As it was a spur of the moment with no plans, I only got a couple of metres… for a dress with a repeating pattern of this size, it was a bit of a squeeze.  But with a bit of a juggle I managed it…

So How Did it Sew?

I actually drafted up a pattern for this AND made a Toille (just of the tie back bodice and arm to see if it works)  The Bodice was once a Moneta from Colette patterns, but has been traced and adjusted so much its barely a memory of it.  This really helped in positioning the tie to cover the Bra strap for summer.

Completed: 2nd March 2017

Only having two metres meant  I had to do a bit of manoeuvring because the sleeves with the tie attached as one piece were so large,  I ended up cutting them separate then attaching them after. It didn’t effect the final pattern as its not noticeable when tied.

As you can see from the photo, the pattern goes in different directions, but I don’t think this had really affected the overall piece.  This was a pretty simply make but OH MY GOODNESS the hemming…. everything needed hemming!  the ties, neck skirt… doesn’t sound like a lot but it really felt obscene.  I ran it through the over locker, then folded the hem and sewed.   Under the bottom tie is a zip to get in and out of with ease… I keep the top one done up, and just struggle to tie the one on the zip…. once its undone the top can be a bit unruly!

I can’t wait to wear this dress in the summer, its so light and is the right length for me and it’s not just another skater dress, it has a bit of something else.

 

 

 

 

Made By Me – Sewing Bee Draper Dress (FREE)

After sorting out my two printers, I took a foray into free PDF patterns, I basically printed off all I could get my hands on. One of these I got from Sewmag, after signing up (for free also) to their site I was able to access quite a few good patterns.  The one I wanted to trey the most was The Sewing Bee Draper Dress – or as I refer to it, the Origami Top.

I have a weird addiction to PDFs, Probably because i have a small guillotine ruler that speeds things up. I also like doing flat packs, many people do not. I think both these things are in the same part of the brain.
But with saying that, although convenient, I prefer a physical paper pattern as apposed to PDF. I like the packaging, and appreciate the little individual things the designer includes.

So how did it sew…
This pattern is one of those that you need to take a step back and figure out the mechanism of the folds. Once you visualise it, it becomes a simple and effective new technique.

And I was so happy with this make that I made another…

Version 1:

Completed: 23rd July 2016

First I made the peach crepe. When I ordered it i thought it was more nude, but it was worth a try. This definitely needs a thick materiel like the crepe to give the garment more structure. I loved the fit so much for everyday wear, I do like getting a new long top that i can throw on. I am quite pleased it is a colour I don’t usually wear as it is kind of forcing me into wearing something different.

Version 2:

Completed: 2nd August 2016

The second attempt i used a fabric I bought on holiday (fabric shops never escape me, i sniff them out) I loved it so much that i bought it in both the shades of grey they sold it in. This is the darker one, I used the lighter one on a Lexi (see last post)

The second was much easier once I knew what to do with the neck fold. what i love is you can make it out of plain fabric and it looks really interesting with the origami shape, not to mention how it sits on the body in all the right places.

Don’t forget to check out the pattern and give it a go yourself… It’s Free!

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:

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^^^^^^ 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.