Tag Archives: me made wardrobe

French Navy Forsythe

Another Black Friday grab, the Forsythe from French Navy has been on my radar for a while now.  I have always wanted this pattern, but never felt I had the right fabric for it.  So I re-purposed some Jersey stripe from Girl Charlee that was originally intended for my grunge dress that has failed to materialise into existence.

The main thing I love about french navy is the illustrations – I love a good sketch.  I don’t know if it is because I appreciate it more as someone with a background in art, or that it just looks better in a pattern as apposed to a photograph.  Either way it is perfect and something I would like to do if I too made patterns.

I already have the Orla Dress Free pattern (if you don’t, i recommend you get that here)  but I am yet to use it, despite many plans for it.

So How Did It Sew?

 

Overall, I think this particular Jersey may have not been the best idea and a stiffer fabric would be better.  Although I tried to pattern match, it seems I lost my way around the pocket area and it was a complete fail.  The dress is comfy and I like to wear it, but the pattern and draping feel a bit off to me.  This is purely my choice of fabric, that I had purposely bought for another project.  I have some lovely linen like pieces in my stash that I would love to give this another go with in the future.

The pattern itself is amazing, and I love that the instructions have photographs!  As much as I praised the main illustration, and was surprised this trend didn’t follow throughout, I still loved the neatness and precision of photo instructions.

Please check out the PDF here, you won’t be disappointed and it is a staple sustainable sewer pattern.

Ready to Sew: Jamie x2

Ready to Sew are one of my favourite pattern companies, including my recent purchase I have Seven of their patterns, and the Jude I have made a ridiculous amount of times.

My latest purchase was with the release of the Jack cardigan.  Oh what a perfect little cardi it is!  I was so happy with my first make that I dug deep into the stash and made a second, which I also equally love.

So How Did It Sew?

First, lets talk about the pattern.  As having a lot of experience with their patterns, this is no different.  It is a perfect pattern for all levels, and a great beginner (the Jamie itself it classed as Advanced Beginner)  The Layout and Diagrams in the Instructions are close to perfection by sewing standards.  They are so simple and easy.

What I love about Ready to Sew Items is that they are fashionable and timeless.  I make them the most because they just slot into my everyday wardrobe so easily.  And the Jamie is no exception.  It just adds something to my wardrobe, since the arms are slightly puffy at the cuff I get a more Bomber/sports jacket feel to it, other than just a cardigan.

I choose to use an old Scuba with a grey pattern, and a black and white geometric grid pattern.

The Grey Version:

This fabric was from my cheap shop and it is a Jersey scuba.  It is very thick and perfect for a more heavyweight cardigan such as this.  The pattern placement was key with this piece and I even pattern matched the pockets.

The Geometric Version:

This has a slight beige tone to the fabric, and came from an ebay haul I did way back when I didn’t know much about fabrics.  Turns out it is perfect for a Jamie, and has a nice stiffness to it that gives the cardigan some shape.

Overall I think I have finally found a go to Cardigan Pattern.  I would also like to hack it and maybe bring it down over the bum and to the thigh area, but after two in such a short time I will leave that for future me.

 

Denim Shirt Dress: Simplicity 8014

One thing I do love is a shirt dress.  And what I love more than that is a Denim shirt dress.

For a while I struggled to purchase Denim, in the end I was lucky enough to stumble upon some in my cheap shop.  It was more of a chambray but had the diagonal weave shape in the fabric.  I think with Denim it is best bought when you can get a feel for the weight and colour in real life, as apposed to online purchases.

Another good selling point of this fabric is that is was BLACK…

Despite having a pattern stash FULL of shirt dresses (like the kalle, the sahara to name but a few) I felt I needed another, but one that was a bit more dress like.  I love simplicity patterns in the sense that it is a back to basics in patterns after being spoilt by the beautiful and varied world of indie patterns. There is just something about the brown tissue paper and yellowish instructions that I find quite nostalgic.  Simplicity always do good solid basics and this is no exception.

So How did it Sew?

 

Apologies for the pictures, it seems of the five I only took of this dress, all pictures were quite bad and inconsistent.  But you get the idea.

As with all simplicity patterns, the make was straight forwards.  I am one of those weird people that like doing collars,  cuffs, yokes and other fiddly bits, so I was in my element here.  The fit was tighter and more body con than I anticipated, I wish I had now hacked it to have a cute circle skirt or just more of an A line, but I love it all the same.  I love the fabric, despite being from my cheap shop, i have a feeling that it has been sorced from somewhere that uses quality fabrics.  the extra bit of stretch gives a great shape to this garment.

I struggled to find buttons for a while, I was concerned I might have to go for more of the denim hardware with studs and rivets, all extra costs with tools for someone who has not yet ventured into it.  But luckily I came across these basic brass buttons that were perfect and could be sewed on, no extra effort.

I also added a basic belt (not included in the pattern) and belt loops, to give me more options whilst wearing it.  As always I added in a placket to roll up the sleeves. I like having options to get the most wear out of my pieces.  Since making it I have also worn it open and on it’s own as a dress with a brown belt.

Overall I am very pleased with this dress and would like to revisit this item in a lighter material, like a linen,  to see the outcome of that and how it can be worn differenty.  It is also begging for a hack, maybe a wider skirt in a more chambray-esque lighter denim fabric.

 

Pattern: DP Studios – Le 604

I think that the DP Studios is one of those sewing pattern companies that just get me.  I often feel slightly on the fringes of the sewing community.  I tend to shy away from the endless tea dress patterns made up in gaudy floral prints, instead I opt for a muted palette and style that boarders fashion design as apposed to quaint homely dressmaker.  Just a note, there is nothing wrong with this type of sewing, it just is at times I am treading a very lonely path in my seining adventure and finding it harder to find patterns and fabrics that may not appeal to the masses.

FInding DP studios bridges that gap – Its home sewer meets high fashion and high design.  Its modern and timeless rolled into one and I feel so inspired by their pieces that it just makes me want to make them all so they can sit together in my very own beautiful capsule wardrobe.

So How did it Sew?

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There was no hand holding with this one guys!   Some seams caused a bit of a headache.  You are given one page of instructions and that is it.  They have very good diagrams though, I think as someone who works more visually I loved the more graphic approach to instructions.

The box itself is amazing, No fiddly pattern envelope that you are trying to squeeze the paper back into, this has depth!  Its amazing how such a little detail can cause so much convenience.  Why aren’t all patterns like this, we shouldn’t have to struggle.

I chose to make this in a very fiddly, but beautiful, leopard print fabric.  I had been lusting after long tunic/ dress shirts in leopard print, but sheer was all i could find, apparently i am very fussy with animal print sizes and densities.  In hindsight it may have not been the best choice, but after fiddling around with all the bust seems and using a guide stitch, all the trouble was worth it for the result.

As well as the epaulettes on the shoulder, the shit also comes with a detachable collar embellishment.  Its cute, and really gives this design another dimension.  I did eventually leave the points on the collar off.  In fact, I snipped them off and it looked fine.  They just kept sticking in me and not staying where i want them.  But that is the beauty of sewing, it can be suggested rather that carried out.

I am definitely making this again.  Now i have done one, i feel like the next will be smooth sailing, although I really enjoyed having a project where I was trying something new, this made me pace out the work and not speed through like I normally do.  I definitely think I will make it longer next time.

Check out Le 604 Here.

 

The Gothic Marshmallow

I had this Idea for a Sheer oversized dress/tunic rolling around in my head for the longest of times before i realised I had the perfect pattern in my collection:  Cocowawa’s The Marshmallow Dress

This isn’t the first dress I have made, I made myself a Christmas dress with it one year in a beautiful blue tartan (check that out here)  When it was first released I loved seeing other peoples versions online; i swooned over the peter pan collars, bows and gorgeous fabrics they used.  Overall it helped me confirm my wanting to make this dress, but I also think sometimes it can be distracting to see a patterns full potential, especially in a sheer fabric.

One version I loved above all, was The Petite Cats’s version;  a copycat of the red Valentino dress (see that here)  This was the first time from all the makes I have seen online that really put the potential of this pattern into perspective.  It lifted it from homemade crazy patterned clothing to high end functioning fashion in one pic.  Not to mention that beautiful pussy Bow.  And so (sew?) the seed of inspiration was set.

So How did it Sew:

I decided to go down the sheer basic black for my version, thus creating THE GOTHIC MARSHMALLOW (also my metal band name if I ever have one!)

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This dress, is an easy make, not just because I had made one before, but because I picked the most streamline basic version of this pattern (no collar, no bow, just the dress)

The fabric was a pain in the Booty to cut, but strangely not an issue to sew as it sort of held to itself.  I think it helped that I avoided pinning and just rammed it through the over locker, which has become my style lately.  To be honest I COULD have done a french seam here, but it really doesn’t notice at all, even though the sheer fabric.

The only fiddly bit was the buttons, but that can be said for all buttoned patterns.  What I like about this dress is the freedom to wear it wither way/ back to front.  Depending on what look i want to go for.

I absolutely love this dress, so much so that after my mini photo shot i put it back on and wore it for the rest of the day.

I love the casual Gothic aesthetic this dress has, almost like a comfy vampire.  I love the subtle ruffle detail that gives it an amazing shape.  For someone who wears mainly oversized clothing, these little details are really important and add a lot of variety to your silhouette.

I am tempted to make, like the petite cat, a more dressed up version with a gorgeous Pussy bow.  But for now this plan is shelved and put into the ‘needs the perfect fabric’ pile.

 

Made By Me: Sew House 7 – Bridgetown Backless

Thank god for Black Friday sales.  Honestly It has taken a significant chunk out of my future buys list that weekend.  This pattern being one of them that has lingered on their for a while.  I bought this along with both versions of the Toaster jumper.  Both of which I cant wait to make.

This is obviously more of a summer pattern.  But I really wanted to see it made, to see if it suited me being plus size.  so I used some basic bulk white I had to make one up as a test run.  What I have ended up with is probably the most perfect little holiday dress ever.  One that, as is, I will definitely wear and definitely make more of.

So How did It Sew?:

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The graphics on the pattern instructions are beautiful, simply laid out and easy to follow.  The actual make was so simple to put together, but still looks great on.  What I love about this pattern is how it has a ready made feel about it.  Something I strive to achieve in my sewing is not looking like I am wearing me made clothing, almost like i am bridging the gap from store bought to me made and proving it is sustainable with fashion.  And this type of good basic pieces to throw on in summer do just that.

Another thing I love the name Sew house 7, to me it sounds like the title of a Quinton Tarantino movie, so I just think its amazing.

I am definitely making more of these for the better weather, I now have a similar black fabric so I can make another good basic for my wardrobe.  I think some sort of lace panel in the back would look amazing too, and maybe give the dress a bit more support in shape.

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!

 

 

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: 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)

130A-062015-B_large

 

130-062015-M_large

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.

Perfect.

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

x

 

 

Update: August 2017

August flies by at such a speed!  The bank holiday is already upon us, and the festival I have been planning for is suddenly Tomorrow.  All the other important events have come and gone.  Despite having Laptop issues (every god damm time I update…) I have been a little quieter on Instagram.  Mainly I have gone to bed and forgot to post.

Its not for the lack of sewing: I have been busy working at a steadier pace than my ‘MAKE ALL THE THINGS’ and enjoying it.  This was the plan, the plan of slowing the makes down and typing them up straight away, but alas, I haven’t even posted a picture of them, let alone type.  Its like they don’t exist.

August makes are:

  • Tie Dye Smock Dress
  • Oversized linen Hi/Low Shirt (white)
  • Black lace insert Dress, complete with hand sewn flower patches.
  • Black Shirt dress – really important piece as its what got me into this sewing lark!  (more in blog as and when)
  • The Burda Dress Nightmare!
  • A lot of mini refashioning projects…

I have managed a fabric haul in which I bought sensible fabrics that can take me into cooler weather, and I have printed off and constructed many new Pdfs.

New skills I have learnt include Re-sizing existing patterns (properly)  And I love it.  I am that weird person who likes the odd jobs, Pdf patterns, Building flat pack furniture, and now measuring 100 times to make things a size bigger!  I had to up the Darling Dress By Meagan Neilsen as my boobs are so big.  Its currently waiting to be finished.

Well, hope you lot have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend.  I will see you lot on the other side

x