Tag Archives: sustainable clothing

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.

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 – Named Clothing – Lexi

Needing something a bit more than just another skater dress and wanting to buy another pattern from Named clothing I went for the Lexi.

I chose a fabric i had worked with previous, in a different shade. I thought the fabric was thick enough so I didn’t plan on the lining for this piece (the fabric inside was extremely soft)

SO how did it sew?

I actually give up on measurements, after some debate with a tape measure I went for the bigger size so it wasn’t snug anywhere and dangle like it does in the picture. I should have just gone with my gut feeling and made the size I am in my clothes I buy as I ended up chopping a lot of fabric off. This is not the patterns fault, its a combination of me thinking I am bigger than i am and not making a toile.

I adore the lover and pleated waistline in this piece, it gives a more formal structured feel. The lining was not missed from this piece, although if I repeat this pattern and choose a thinner material I would be more than happy to line it.
One aspect I completely abandoned was the zip! I had bought a beautiful zip for this dress and all was going well until it was too big. As it was stretch knit and loose I decided to improvise this into a pull on dress. It really helped with the fitting and didn’t effect the piece.
I think with a lining the zip will be more successful.
I am looking forward to possibly hacking this dress in some way in the future, maybe experimenting with pattern and making a feature of the zip as apposed to hiding it.

I highly recommend Named clothing, check them out here although most good uk pattern shops hold them.

Made by Me – Inari…with Pockets

Everyone has that one pattern they just keep coming back to, mine is the Inari by Named clothing.
I also decided I wanted a black version (naturally!) as i am positive i will wear it to death in that colour. But I also wanted to mix it up a bit and opted for some pockets. I do love to do some pocket posing in my clothes, and I am starting to feel lost without them.

So how did it sew?


The fabric I had acquired in a cheap bundle on Ebay, It was a crinkle, black with silver brocade. That had a nice hang to it, yet just enough thickness.

Not knowing what was the right way of the fabric I chose to put the silver shiny side on the inside and use the black with a slight shimmer as the front. Although either way would have looked great. This really looked good when i rolled up the sleeve and as I moved the silver showed on the bottom inside hem.
I can probably sew an Inari in my sleep as i have made so many, so adding the pockets was extremely simple and hardly any extra effort.
Overall I think it is very successful with the pockets. Yes it can be a bit bumpy but i think it is dueto the lack of top stitch that I may go back over. I will eventually sort it out…

Made By Me – Luisa – Wear Lemonade

Today is a bit of a two for one as I will clump both Luisa makes into one blog post.

One brand of Pattern makers I am loving has to be the very beautiful and quintessentially French, Wear Lemonade.

I stumbled into their patterns purely by chance, I fell for the design and the graphics, so i just had to get some.  I am now the proud owner of a Luisa and a Dita.

What I really thought was lovely about these guys was the video accompanying me through my make.  I am a very visual person, so armed with very basic french language skills, I was able to tackle the project much easier than just using the English instructions.  Not that the instructions are not good, they are excellent and have beautiful photographs to support the words, its just my personal preference.  Its a bit like how I like looking at reviews before I buy, I got to see the garment made before i myself attempted it.  Its a nice way to work.

So how did it Sew?

1st attempt: Completed – 25th July 2016

I used a very light black semi sheer fabric that I had gotten in a bundle of cheap fabric on ebay for very little.  It has a soft matte feel and a beautiful drape, perfect for the luisa trapeze shape.

The pattern was extremely simple and I love the finish of the yoke and how neat and easy it is to achieve.  I chose not to add a bow as suggested by the pattern…its an option definitely not for me.

Unfortunately, I was so worried about it not fitting over the bust (which it did just fine) I completely disregarded the fabrics lack of stretch and how it would effect the sleeves. THe arms are very snug… as you can see me awkwardly standing in a picture with my arms to the right.

My next attempt will resolve this and go for a knit jersey…

2nd attempt:  Completed – 23rd October 2016

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This has turned out much better in the Jersey Knit fabric.  I just love the witchy coven vibe from the dark tie dye print.  This version was completed on my overlocker, and Jersey is the way forward with this pattern.  The arms are still tight BUT are actually not a problem and more wearable (as in I can actually move)  I was concerned that the knit would hang to heavy, but this dress has amazing movement when in motion.

This pattern is now my perfect shift dress make. I feel that I could do with a few more colours, and possible experiment with a High polo collar (and maybe lose the yoke) for winter and Christmas version.

Watch this space for more Luisa…