Tag Archives: plus size

Made by Me – Pattern – The Lottie

When I first started trawling through Instagram for inspiration back when I first started sewing, one pattern that kept popping up again and again as a firm favourite amongst the community was the Christine Haynes Lottie.  So I just had to give it a try.

At this time I had invested in a few boho-esque patterned fabrics – one being this gorgeous cotton paisley in a beautiful ‘grungy’ muted browns and taupe.  I bought this from Oh Sew Crafty, but i think it was their Ebay shop (June 2016)

The pattern itself is lovely, I love the quaint look with the yellow and hand drawn models, which is always a plus with me – a throw back to patterns in a time gone by.   The paper of the book is a great quality with a great choice of font;  both very important to the design geek mind. The pattern itself, blue on white paper seems a bit more fresh than the beigy-brown of other patterns.4

So How Did It Sew?

From the cutting, through the construction to the finish, is an incredibly fast process with the Lottie.  I made the dress with the sleeve option (of all the options it is the one with the most pieces)  and I did it in a couple of hours give or take.

Unfortunately when I put it on, i was not totally thrilled.  I am a Plus size, with skinny person shoulders and this dress was not flattering.  Even thought my bust is big, it gaped around the armpit.  This is the first time I have experienced extra materiel in that area.  I went back to the machine and cut and sewed away quite a large chunk under the armpit and bust sides.  Now, even though at the time it was one of my early attempts as dresses, I still understood that patterns do need adjustments, that is what toiles are for after all.  What I didn’t like is that I felt I had adjusted it beyond being a Lottie, eaten into what gave it some of its individual shape,  It could easily be any shift dress with pockets now.  This is a shame as I had been looking for a good easy basic I could run up in all the fabrics, but so far I am still yet to wear this dress, which goes against my sustainable fashion morals.

Overall, it is just not one for my body shape.  I will possibly attempt the maxi in the future so the pattern was not wasted on me.  But do check out other reviews and Instagram to see other people who really got on with this pattern.


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.




Made By Me – White A line Dress

One of the reasons I got into sewing was firstly, I hated paying A LOT of money for good basics that were never quite how i wanted them.  Also, another reason was that I can’t get things in my size, or ‘oversized’ is filled out by my plus size frame. This brings me to one of my first ever makes (Instagram says 24 weeks ago) My white A-line Dress:

I have a couple of independent labels that i tend to gravitate towards, and always check out for outfit inspo… sometimes at a push I can order from them.  Most of the time I am too big (they tend to stop at a uk 14)  One of these is Scarlett Black London.  I have ordered a couple of twist front tops from them and I have been very pleased with them (and worn them to death)  I fell in love with this beautiful Basic:


How beautiful and elegant is that, not to mention how pretty the model is.

Now here is my version:

As with the original, I went for a white crepe stretch.  This gave the dress a bit more structure than a normal jersey knit and sat out better.  I used a swing style dress pattern I already had in my stash, but really extended the flair of the bottom right out for maximum swing.  The original dress had this really nice 4 point shape to it, not a handkerchief, but sort of (if that makes sense)  this was a little fiddly on the mock up but i feel i really captured the hemline well.  As with most of my things I added longer sleeves, again from the original pattern.

The Only issue that I really have is again I have made it too big… I went for a 20 (why?) and it drapes at the back.  I have considered putting some darts in the back but I am so concerned with messing up how it falls, especially with the bottom detail.  When on it isn’t too noticeable, and does give a small cape like feel to the garment.  Strangely my boobs seem to fill out the front and it sits perfect.

This was such a simple make of just adapting an old pattern.  As this was one of my first self drafts I have worn it loads and can honestly say it is a wardrobe staple.  It really looks great with the monochrome style, and the slight thickness to the crepe means I can wear this into Autumn, and layer up.

Please check out Scarlett Black London as they have some amazingly designed pieces and are a total wardrobe inspiration for me… it’s where i want to take my DIY wardrobe.

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram for continuous updates on what I am sewing…

Made By Me – Keilo

I thought it was about time that I wrote about this pattern as I have worn one of the dresses I have made to death this summer.

Named Clothing are fast becoming one of my favourite pattern brands, I don’t love everything they do, but I adore what I have, and actually wear them regularly.  (For example the Inari!  omg how many do I have now)

At first i was reluctant to order this for myself as it was sleeveless, then the added the free sleeve add on for the pattern, and it definitely sealed the deal for me.

Here is my Keilo – I opted for the long sleeve maxi version:

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(please ignore the small dog that wandered into every shot)

The fabric was a light white burnout Jersey that I got a while back from Girl Charlee.  It was reduced due to being slightly damaged.  To be fair, it was very slight and very easy to cut round.  It is such a great summer fabric and perfect for this make, or any maxi.  I like the slight see through quality as it adds dimension to the piece.

The pattern itself was classic Named clothing, sleek and simple.  The only issue I had with this item is I would have preferred to download and print a PDF.  This is something unheard of from me, as I love Paper patterns, but it was layered therefore had to be traced.  Its not a problem, its just what i would prefer and what i find easier to do.  If i could print it I would have mad a couple then stuck them together, it probably would have been jest as quick as tracing.  But as this was my first pattern for tracing, it forced me into trying Swedish tracing paper, which i never would have tried otherwise.  So it is a positive learning experience.

The actual make it incredible simple, even with the added arm piece to the pattern, it took me no time at all.  Being short i had to chop a bit off the bottom, but thats expected with a pattern, some sizing is required.  One thing I had an issue with, maybe being plus size, was the length of the ties… in my second attempt (which i will blog about in the near future) I made them incredibly long then cut them to size.  This method was more successful.

I made this dress at the beginning of summer, and have worn it SO many times.  Its such an easy piece to throw on and look great.  Being so thing it is the perfect summer dress.  Unfortunately, I wore it so much that i caught it and ripped it… twice.  Totally my fault.  But is easy to patch and not noticeable with the pattern.

I don’t think this would be in my winter wardrobe, even in a thicker material.  The material needs to be light as to not bulk when wrapped around the body.

Overall this is a summer staple now for me. Definitely my go to maxi.


Made By Me – My Pattern – Oversized Tee

So we are a fair way through the #sewphotohop challenge (check it out here) and today made me realise I have a lot in  my back catalogue to blog about.

Since I made two more similar tops recently, I felt it was time to blog about my favourite make, the one I am wearing to death and one of the reasons I am on this mad sewing journey:

The Oversized Tee

I just love this look, i went  for a bold stripe as I had been seeing around a few clothing shops.  One called this stripe: The Pugsly, and I can see why.  It does fall happily into that Addams family goth vibe that i love.  Here i have styled it with the boots, but tbh leggings and some sandals have been paired with this regularly.  It hides a multitude of sins under the excess material, but it can be pulled in with a belt too.

Its so simple to make, you just need a few key measurements (plus your chosen seam allowance)

  1.  Where you want your sleeve to start (i.e. mines just past the Elbow) across to the other.  This is your width.
  2.  The top of your shoulder to where you want it to end (Length) plus hem allowance. (remember as you put it in the bottom corner will drop more than the centre does)
  3. The arms are the same – I made mine slightly longer for a ruched effect, but measure your length, then diagonal cut folded from write measurement to measurement of where the sleeve will sit on the arm.

I have found it easier and quicker to fold in half then cut a head hole, rather than seam a shoulder.  This is entirely up to you. some prefer cutting, i prefer a fold as i feel on me it sits better on the shoulders.  Check out the Diagram below.

Its pretty self explanatory anyways. But because its so simple it is one that everyone must try.  I will definitely be making more, especially as something similar, say, in urban outfitters would cost me a fortune.

I am planning some lace ones for layering this Autumn, just need to get to my fabric shop to make that happen.