Tag Archives: sustainable clothing

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.

 

Made By Me: Nina Lee – Bloomsbury

When I went to the Great British Sewing Bee Live at the Excel (waaaay back last year)  I got to meet some of the pattern creators, and discover some new ones too.

One of these was Nina Lee.  It was so nice meeting the people involved in these patterns,  I think no one can be as passionate about a pattern more than the person who makes it.  Plus both of the ladies at the both (who were lovely btw)  were wearing at least one make and that always helps.

One thing I love about these types of shows is something that crosses over with the fashion world.  Little booths of clothing concessions.  That little stand had a lovely boutique feel to it, and a great rack of pre-mades for me to coo over.   I couldn’t justify buying the Kew Dress pattern that day (I already had invested in a lot of dress patterns) so instead I opted for the Bloomsbury, as it was a blouse, and I was not disappointed.  I think I was also swayed with the sheer amount I had seen on Instagram too at the time.

So How did it Sew?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I chose a light white cotton with holes in it.   I have used this previously on an Alder shirtdress make.  But when you buy 6 metres, you need to get imaginiative with the different patterns to use and what projects wont look the same.

The pattern itself is beautiful.  I love the chintzy feel of the brand, expressed through its illustrations and colours.

The pattern itself is awesome, I love the lay out and the instructions were a pleasure to work with.

The actual make itself was amazing.  Being plus size I was worried that it wouldn’t fit, since the fabric was woven and unforgiving.  But it fits beautifully, and I would say very true to size.

If you are thinking of tackling  this pattern yourself I would recommend to make a toille first as the wider collar/ruffle may not suit all fabrics.  Its definitely better for softer fabrics as the stiffer ones tend to stick out, unless of course that is what you want,  But be warned.

The make was simple; the ruching was probably the most time consuming element of the whole thing.  But keeping that in mind, it was a surprisingly quick make.

On my version I opted for adding a ribbon to the collar,  I was going for a Victorian- esque vibe and I really love that little embellishment, and it hides the button well.

I wish I had to make a Victorian costume as it would have been perfect.  But don’t let me talking costumes fool you.  I feel like this, at present is really on trend.  Especially heading for Autumn.  The frill like collar and longer chest ruching has been seen throughout my shopping endeavours of late.

I have even seen some gorgeous band tees bought to life with a chiffon ruffle across the chest , which I love as a concept, I think that this with a contrast chiffon ruffle on a bold pattern would look amazing and is definitely a note in my future makes

As for my Version I will probably wear this with some form of pinafore in the future and look to make a hacked version from lace into an oversized bat wing Dress ( For someone who moans about having too many dress patterns and not enough tops I really shouldn’t hack into a dress, but there is space in my life for a dramatic gothic lace dress and this would be perfect)

I am looking at getting both the Mayfair dress AND the Kew Dress in the future and incorporating them into my wardrobe.  Check out Nina Lee Here.

 

Update: NO PHONE

So i had been having a few issues with my phone, but it was still working.  I just haven’t had the time to haul me and the toddler out to get it looked at (plus I know he will scream the minute I have to have an adult conversation, especially when its around an important issue such as getting my phone fixed)  Well, the other day it died… Just before I went to take my pictures, on the only morning I had free.  I was so mad.  I now have my (old) camera on charge in prep for tomorrow, but I know it will be a faff just to get them on the PC, then uploaded… if the quality is okay that is (its an old camera)

I consider myself someone who doesn’t need a phone, having grown up at a time without them and then the basic ones in my teenage years… but I have found without Instagram and my camera at my finger tips, Its really hard to be creative.  I don’t know how the original bloggers did it back in the day, Everything I do is so instant.  And I miss looking at other people and just the inspiration… I have put it on my child’s Kiddy pad (it has a kids only section and an adult home screen so he cant get at it) but its clunky and not the best, plus he wants it as soon as i touch it unless he is asleep.

Basically this is just a rant of my absence  from social media.

On another note, I HAVE DONE LOADS of sewing, and last night (although I couldn’t photograph it) I did 8 alterations on things.  Hems, sleeves AND I recycled three garments into skirts!  This was off the back of me clearing out my wardrobe, mixing the seasons around a bit and really streamlining it to only what I really need.

This brings me on to an issue I have only recently encountered:

What do you do with old Me made clothing?

I am an avid Ebayer.  Having worked in fashion most my life i have accumulated a lot of clothing, plus I like to pass on fast fashion once I am done with it.  What I have now noticed is that some of my makes are just not me, and have not been worn (as do most of my bought clothing)

But do I put those me mades on Ebay? Will I technically be breaking some form of copyright?  All the patterns I have bought do say that they are for personal use and not to be distributed/manufactured (or words to that affect) but should my me mades be treated different because I made them, they are still part of my wardrobe, a wardrobe that changes and evolves with me.  Ebay, I see as a very productive way to recycle.  Yet now my wardrobe may be considered un-recyclable. That kinda goes against the whole idea of me making my clothing as a way to combat consumerism and mass consumption of natural resources.

Its a moral conundrum that I am reaching out into the sewing community for help.

The only thing i can think off to make this sustainable for myself, is maybe doing a fabric swap for a me made swap, I cant be the only person with this issue?

Anyway, its a lot of food for thought and something i am interested in hearing from you guys about.

Anyway, hopefully this random update and rant will get you through the absent of blog content.

Love

Sooze

HACK! – Moneta with Longsleeve

Having made a few Colette Patterns Monetas, I decided I needed a full sleeve version.   I had some light grey marl left over from a cardigan. It was just enough (with a bit of a pattern wiggle) for a Moenta.

So How Did it Sew?

Completed: 7th June

Because Monetas are generally about 12 inches too long for me, so I pre-cut (as in folded the pattern hem) the skirt piece.   I scrounged back some fabric by doing this first.
The Moenta is a basic and easy make,made more easy by not including the lining, I skipped that as this is a real casual make.

I love this little dress, its everything I want from a skater style, even using up an end of fabric: something i tend to have quite a bit of.

Moenta is my go to skater dress, and tbh i really don’t see anything else coming close.

Made by Me -Wear Lemonade – Dita

When I first saw this The Dita, it was instant love at first sight. Wrap dress, bellowing skirt, bat wing sleeves and you can turn it round and wear it (technically) back to front!
I was Sold.


At first I was weary of this make, I have already tackled the issue of boobs and wraps in my previous wrap make. So i decided to trace and add some extra inches to the bust as well as make a toile of the adjustment. The main reason was because i t uses SO much fabric in the first place i did not want to get it wrong on my good final fabric.

13774234_663714257115870_1732794139_n

Completed: 25th July

My toile was and ugly, blue material I acquired 6 metres of in some furious Ebay bulk buys. It was only about £2 for THE LOT so it has fast become my go to practice fabric… although what I ended up with is a vintage looking Dita!

So How Did It Sew?

Completed: 23rd August

The main event was a black jersey knit – since dying my hair blonde, then pink I feel I can get away with wearing much more black than i used too…. more black as in all black. without looking like a full goth.

The make is quite simple, it just a bit of a workout with the amount of dress. It wasn’t a fast make, as there were a lot of long hems and seam and belts to me made, but the hard slog is definitely worth the finale result in the end.

There are two things I would change about the make
-The knit fabric: despite being thin and light, in such a volume became quite heavy, this needs to be a very light fabric.
– I would interface or add a fabric rim around the belt hole for extra support.

Overall I adore this dress, and I feel so girly in it.  I find it very flattering on a plus size frame and my boobs feel comfortable and not exposed… plus I can always turn it round for the high neck/low back version.

I have considered making this on a red for the Christmas challenge, I will  have to see what is in my little cheap shop, but red is hard to pull off with pink hair!

Checkout the glamorous ladies over at Wear Lemonade to see how gorgeous they look in it and ALL their amazing creations.

Made by Me – Victory – Simone

I have a rule with shopping, if you wanted it before the sale, definitely buy it. Hence, i am now the owner of two new victory patterns*: the Simone and the Anouk. If you have seen my October makes video you may be familiar with these makes already.  What I love about Victory Patterns is that they, for me, are slightly more challenging with their different shapes and techniques and their unique designs.

So How did it Sew?

Completed:  13th October 2016

The Simone is gorgeous, with it detailed bib and racer back.
I would recommend you do a plain version or toile of this first. I went straight in with a shiny black fabric for all the detailed interfaces parts, Yes it looks stunning, but it was a pain in the Bum for a first attempt. The main part of the dress was a beautiful grey cotton pattern that I had in my stash.

I enjoyed doing the bib, it took some fiddling and folding, but I think it is all worth it for the finale affect.  I still regret that i stupidly cut the grey fabric horizontal, instead of vertical, although it looks great, it would have looked better.  I am a bit of a perfectionist.

I do realise that i made technically a summer item going into winter… which goes against my sustainable clothing /useful makes policy. But as you can see from my pics, i have dressed it up in my coven/witchy style. I can see this under long black cardis.

For something a bit different, and to test the skills of a confident beginner, I would totally recommend you check out victory for a challenge.

*Although I link Victory Patterns, I believe I bought them elsewhere. Although because I am unsure where they were on sale, I have linked you to the main source for the pattern.

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 – Hayden Top

Always making dresses or tunics, I was in desperate need for some separates, mainly tops. Plus I can’t stretch my abilities if I am always making similar things and don’t mix it up a bit.
Scrolling through Instagram, I came across Seamworks Hayden. Seamworks itself has a good variety of basic patterns and the Hayden does not disappoint. Its Princess seam shape is really flattering, especially with big boobs, giving a slimming shape.

So how did it sew?

Using a woven fabric, a quite thick woven, was probably not the best idea. I definitely need to try a fabric with a bit more give, or a woven with more flex.
The make itself was simple, I really likes how the band at the bottom connected and finished off the top. Its also available in a wide range of sizes, so is a good staple for all sewers.
I am looking forward to finding a good fabric for these, the photos on their site show it in a beautiful light fabric.

They really sell it on their site with :

You’re on the perfect summer road trip — sun shining through rolled down windows, sipping a chocolate shake, singing along to your favorite songs on a freshly pressed playlist. You’re going to be in the car for quite awhile, and those long miles between road side attractions call for comfy threads that not only travel well, but look great in all those memorable photos you’ll be taking. That’s why Hayden’s easy fit and stylish silhouette make it the perfect companion for all of your on-the-go activities.

Hoe poetic, but I totally get it.  It is the perfect road trip top… in the right fabric.

I think now, this will be in my next summer wardrobe, I will revisit it next year.

Made By Me – Named clothing – Keil0 2.0

I loved my original white burnout Keilo I made. But Maxi dresses are not always practical, especially for me, who tripped and ripped a hole in it. I am not surprised, I wore it SO much over the summer, it was bound to succumb to my clumsiness, (fear not I have fixed it)
So I decided on a shorter one, being the height of summer I went for my second burnout fabric, like the first, from Girl Charlee.  I checked, it is still available, you can find it here.

Now when I do colour, which we all know is quite rare, I tend to make up for my usual lack of it and go all out, brighter than bright. Its like some balance thing. It’s the  same thinking behind my pink hair, it makes up for my lack of colour in my clothes. Allowing me to wear nearly all black without looking too goth.

So How did it Sew?

Completed: 25th July 2016

The fabric is beautiful, I love a good burnout, they add a new dimension to a piece, and what I love is every thing I make with them looks shop bought. Jerseys in general tend to have this feel for me.
This time I extended the ties and at first I did make them TOO long (much too long) and had to chop them down. But I like that I could wrap it round a couple of times, which was lacking in my original.  Again I used the free sleeve hack Named Clothing supply on their site, definitely makes it a more versatile make. I went for 3/4 sleeves again, and I think next time I will go for full (although it was summer when I made this)
For someone my size I find it extremely flattering across the stomach, which is something I struggle to find in a good pattern.  Some patterns can be hacked and adjusted to suit, but its so nice to just have a pattern that works first time.
Over the summer I wore this so much that I had to blog about it, even in winter!  I will definitely be making some more of these come summer, I think I will chop and change it up by making the front and back two different colours, so when i tie it you can see the colour come through.

And don’t forget to check out Named clothing, I have a few more of their patterns to blog about soon.

Made By me – Wrap Dress – Vouge V8379

Lets talk about Boobs… I have big boobs, always have. I am in no way ashamed of them, but what I do despise is having to deal with the specific requirements they have when it comes to clothing.
One being I can’t just buy an off the shelf ready made wrap dress without my bust attempting an escape.
I have been on this journey a long time, with many trials and errors, with many lace top vests involved to tame the two problematic beasts… I have even attempted the faux wrap in case that would solve the issue, all to no avail.
I had almost given up hope until I realised: I could just make one!

But this wasn’t without more issues, it lead to an extensive search for the perfect pattern.
I would love to find, and also afford a vintage Diane Von Furstenburg one. I had seen a couple on Etsy, but again the sizing would present the same issue.
I then found the very easy Vouge V8379 in the 16-22 size, and I thought it was at least worth an attempt. It also had an optional collar, not that I used it on my first attempt, but I felt it would be better suited for a stretch viscose, or stiffer fabric. Possibly a future make…

I had a bit of a fabric binge at the time, and got a beautiful soft grey from the shop i frequent in lewisham. I chose a knit with extra stretch for the bust.

So how did it Sew?

 Completed: 26th May 2016

The pattern is a pretty standard vouge pattern,  or any mass produced pattern for that matter) Very user friendly, gorgeous design, classic pattern.
The whole thing was a simple sew. This was also one I did before my over locker, yet still very much doable on a more basic machine.

It is still a bit busty, but is a vast improvement of any wrap that has come before. I think i have managed to find my new best basic wrap. It is a shame that I no longer need formal work wear, or this would be perfect. I will probably wear this more in the Autumn, possibly styled with boots.