Tag Archives: Sew

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.

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!

 

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!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

 

UPDATE: JULY 2018

Well, hello guys.  Sorry about the long absence, longer than usual, but sewing really has taken a back seat in my life at the moment.

There is the issue of time as always.  As a family we have been busy, had a holiday, went to a couple of amazing concerts and several other mini events over the summer weekends.  So my limited me time is somewhat delegated else where, and sometimes that time is spent just sitting on my booty having a lazy moment amongst the madness.

I am also doing other creative things that take away from the time and energy I have for sewing and blogging.  I also am on a new weight loss programme and the gym is becoming a big go to for me.  I am one of those weird people that love the gym: Air conditioning, people keeping themselves to themselves, not being a mum for an hour and getting a break from my kid… all the great things!

Also, I feel like mentally I have taken a step back from sewing.  Without going into to much detail, I put myself out there in regards to moving forward with my sewing.  Something I never do as I am such a Lone wolf, but I felt confident and it felt right.  Anyway, long story short I got rejected.  I was absolutely fine with this as I still had a slight apprehension, but subconsciously I think I just couldn’t face sewing any more… And still I am not sewing, despite sorting out my fabric stash and buying new patterns.

I think what has concerned me the most is after I did a little look for a certain type of fabric online for a new pattern, I thought ‘Sod it! I will just see what my little local fabric shop has for me’ (not been there in a while) And as soon as I had had that thought, I instantly didn’t want to go… I didn’t want to go fabric shopping… me.  Something is still not right.  And its made me a little sad,  hence why I am now on here.  Hopefully some blogging will get me excited again.  I still have 5 or 6 drafts to edit, they just sat here all this time, abandoned.  They need to see the light of day, I made some beautiful things before my Mojo left.

Sorry to be such a bore, but hopefully this is the first step in moving forward.  I will probably as always be floating round Instagram being nosy at everyone’s stuff!

Keep watching for some updates.

 

 

Made By Me: The Grey Darling – Megan Neilson

Once, Long ago – I bought the Darling ranges from Megan Neilson.  I had loved the Sudley so much I knew I would love this dress too.  Unfortunately, my first attempt with a cute plaid was a complete fail – I needed to add extra to the bust but I didn’t, and it went no where near my boobs!

Sometimes towards the end of the summer, wanting another cute grunge dress, I set about using this beautiful light fabric in this grey/mauve colour.  I added the extra boob room, I have recently been getting into tracing and up sizing my smaller fit patterns, and its a useful skill to have in sewing.

Unfortunately, again, my work was put on hold, but this time it was because I couldn’t find the right buttons.  It then ended up in the TO DO pile and forgotten.

Then, months later in the giant button haul, it finally got finished.  And here it is in its full glory:

 

 

Sew How did it Sew?

Even with the added bust adjustment, this pattern was a breeze.  Its such a simple make but looks amazing on.  Yet despite the simplistic make, it looks really well put together on.  I love how it sort of hints at a tea dress without being too fussy or shaped.

I love this version, the colour and fabric are just perfect for me.  But its far too lightweight for winter, even layered up.  Its definitely a summer dress that I can chuck on.

I love the overall look, it really fits my grunge ascetic I always aspire too.  The buttons are a pewter colour and are perfect.  I didn’t follow the pattern advice and bought a smaller button and added more as I felt needed that, it helps conceal a bigger bust.

I cant wait to make this dress again, but I am definitely waiting around for the right fabric.  I don’t think for how I plan to wear it I would chose a stiffer or thicker fabric, but it definitely deserves some pattern!

 

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 Top 10 Patterns – Part 1: 10 – 6

Disclaimer:  This is about my sewing experience and favourite patterns,  compiled from about a year and a half of serious sewing.  All patterns on this list have been made by me at least once and are in my pattern collection.  I have a pile of newer patterns to try out, so a follow up in the future will definitely be needed… on that note, if you read this and know a pattern I would like, please feel free to leave a comment.  I love a good recommendations (If it isn’t already in the TO DO pile) 

All patterns have been linked, I have put the PDF link where possible, but do search for a paper pattern if you prefer… its just you might want to download it straight away and sew it.

Please not this post has been divided in two, but please be warned its still a long one. x


Part 1:  10 to 6


I have been thinking of this post for a long time, I always say throughout my blog posts that ‘oh it’s one of my top 10 patterns’

But what is that definitive list?

Believe me it was hard to decided just ten, so here they are:

10.  Pauline Alice – Cami Dress

Left and Middle: From Pauline Alice website. 

Right: My version.Check out the Original post here.

This is a very recent addition to the list, but had to be included as it bought my sewing journey full circle .  What I had attempted to draft myself in the early days, I found about 1.5 yrs later in this pattern.  So far I have only made and worn one, but this definitely needs further exploration, and many colours.


9. Made It Patterns – Drop Dress & Top

Pictures from Made It Patterns Website.

This pattern is a bit of an unsung hero of the wardrobe and deserves a place purely for the mileage from one pattern:  I have made many of these in various colours.  Unfortunately, due to them being mainly for my casual round the house wear they don’t lead as glam a life as some of my other hand made pieces.  That’s not to say they are any less important, in fact they do so much more hard work compared to other pieces.  I love this pattern and would also like to include an honorable mention to their other pattern, the GROOVE, which has so much potential with interchanging pieces… including a hood!

My Drop Dress original post is here. If you are curious, the Groove is here.


8. Wear Lemonade – Luisa

ef45e284f14c3f452be6e52591902ce4

Images from Wear Lemonade. Link in title.

Of all the Lemonade patterns I have, I have made the Luisa the most.  With the Luisa I have used it as a base, hacked and shaped it into many other items I love and wear today.  The picture I have shown is the one I love the most and is the Luisa in its purist form.  Of all the smock Dresses I have this one is the most flattering on.

20161102_142456

Original Blog post can be seen here.

Bonus points to wear Lemonade for the Video Tutorial (despite me only knowing basic french) which is a great help when making.


7. Ralph Pink – Sahara Shirt

 

Ralph pink has fast become a favourite of mine, I think it is one of those brands where I feel I want to make ALL they have on offer.  Saying that, my absolute favourite is the Sahara:  It completely embodies everything I love to wear in one garment:  smart, casual and oversized.  I have made a black and a white one and have worn them continuously  for about a year.   You can dress them up, add a belt wear them over stuff.  I will be making more of these soon, hopefully branching out into pattern.  I am just waiting now to find the most perfect fabric to reserve for my favourite garment.


6. Colette Patterns – Moneta

Left:  My favourite Moneta that to date I have made.  See the blog post here. Right:  From Colette Patterns Website.

Moneta has placed quite highly on this list, not just because of the sheer amount I have made, but for how much I have also used it as a base for projects in some way.

It is the ultimate base pattern, and without its help in the beginning of my sewing journey, I may not have experimented as much as I had done without it.

Not to mention how amazing it looks on, all the measurements are perfect.  This is the ultimate basic skater that all Sewers should have in their collection.

Also, a bonus shout out to using about 3 different body types on the site to show how well it suits everyBODY there is.  Thanks guys.


 

So that is my 10 – 6… Part 2 will be published in a few days and before 2017 ends, so keep an eye out here, and definitely on my Instagram.  If you want to join in with the countdown, feel free to add your own with the #mytop10patterns, I would love to see what you think.