Friday, 12 May 2017

Sew Over It 1970s Vintage Shirt Dress

The Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress is inspired by shirt dresses from the 1940s and 50s, but mine is straight out of the 1970s - and we all know how much I love the 70s!


This fabric is an Alexander Henry number called "Greenwich - Black" that I bought last winter when I should have been looking for fabric for my green coat.  Anyway, it went into the stash with a vague plan for a summer dress.

The plan became more definite when I eyeballed this gorgeous Vintage Shirt Dress by Colette on Instagram and then on her blog - seriously, how fabulous is that dress?!  The lovely fabric reminded me of my Alexander Henry fabric, so the decision was made.

At first I thought this fabric had a bit of an oriental look to it because of the lovely big chrysanthemums and poppies, but once I started sewing my dress together, then the 70s goodness started to show - I think it's the colours!

There's not much to say about the construction, as I have made it twice before (here and here), but I did two things differently.  Firstly, the instructions say to press the pleats to the centre front and back, but I pressed mine flat just because I like the look of it.  They remind me of the pleats on the By Hand London Anna dress, which I love.

This is what my pleats look like from the inside.
Secondly, I added pockets, because who doesn't need pockets?  The pattern piece is from Simplicity 2444.  You'd think a dress pocket pattern piece was a pretty standard thing, but it turns out this is my dress pocket of choice, and the pattern piece lives in my blue Ikea trolley to be added to any dress.


The weather has been gorgeous in Belfast for the last two weeks (but it's raining as I type...), and I'm loving how this dress turned out, so the 70s sunglasses and wedge sandals have been making an appearance!
Have a great weekend,


Friday, 5 May 2017

Summer tops

Last year I made this sleeveless blouse (scroll to the bottom of the post) from some fabric that was left over from this dressing gown.  Well, it turns out that I love this blouse, and have been wearing in the winter with a vest top underneath it.  So, naturally, I had to make some more! 

Stash was raided, I have come up with some leftovers to make some tops with, but obviously I had to buy more fabric!  I spotted a Liberty Lawn remnants sale at Alice Caroline on Instagram, and snapped up two lots of fabric.  This one is called "Florence A".


This was a 75cm remnant, and let's just say it's just as well I'm small!  I knew I could get a sleeveless top out of 80 something centimetres of fabric after making this blouse, but it still was a tight squeeze!  Thankfully, I actually had 81.5 cms, and only ended up with scraps.  Here's how it looked with the pieces pinned to the fabric.

Who doesn't love a good game of pattern tetris?!


I made basically the same top again, but without the gathers at the shoulder, and with a bust dart instead, and am delighted with the unintentional flower matching across the front! 


The second fabric is 1 metre of "Fab D", and I decided to make a sleeveless shirt with this one. 

I saw a great idea on Instagram about a faux placket (can't remember who posted it though), and thought I'd give it a try.  I wasn't feeling the love about half way through it, but it turned out really well, so I'll maybe to do a "How To" to remind myself what I did.  

Also, I love what I did with the undercollar and stand. 

The weather has, at long last, taken a turn for the better this week, so hopefully I will get lots of wear out of these.

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Bed Of Roses Shirtdress #sewtogetherforsummer

After making the jacket (thank you for all the love!), I wanted to make something easy.  And now that it's Spring, it's time to start on the summer dresses - although I think somebody needs to tell the weather!  It's been really cold this week, and it started to rain as I was taking my photos...

I spotted the #sewtogetherforthesummer hashtag on Instagram, and needed absolutely no encouragement to join in.  This has been organised by Sew Susan Smith, and click on the link to her blog post here for all the deets, as there is still loads of time to join in.

This dress is all about the fabric, which is a Michael Miller fabric called Bed Of Roses, and the colour is Sapphire.  I bought it towards the end of last year when I was looking for fabric for my green coat (because winter coat and summer dress fabric are so similar!!).  This beauty is from Kittenish Behaviour


I surprised myself by how much I love this fabric, for two reasons.  Firstly; the background is blue, and I don't really suit blue.  But it hints at a tone of purple (but it's definitely blue) , so it doesn't make me look like a zombie!  And secondly, it has a lot of pink.  I'm not fond of pink (and it clashes with my hair, which is a bona fide first world problem), but these roses are gorgeous, and I love the red in them. 

The bodice is my self-drafted shirtdress bodice, and the skirt is the full skirt from McCall's 6696.  I've made this before here, and it's one of my favourite summer dresses, so I decided to make another version.  I had to get creative with the skirt in order to get it all onto the fabric though, and used the selvedges for the skirt fronts.

There's not too much to say about the construction of this dress, and it went together really quickly.  I cut it out on a Saturday afternoon and it was nearly finished by Sunday teatime, but then it stalled because I didn't have any buttons that I loved, and I needed bias tape to finish the armholes.  So it stayed on the dress form for a week until I could into Belfast the next Saturday to get what I needed.

Again, I surprised myself by picking red buttons, and I think they look really nice with this fabric.  


Good luck with your shirtdress if you are joining in, I looking forward to seeing what everybody makes.


Friday, 7 April 2017

The "I've Been Viv-ed" Butterick 4610 Jacket

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have been making a jacket from Butterick 4610This is definitely seems to be the year of the coat for me, as this is number two (the first one is here), and this one was made it using a Craftsy class called "Classic Tailoring: The Blazer".  Just so you know, there are going to be a lot of photos in this post!!

I actually started it last autumn (maybe October?), and made a toile; but I knew I would need to make a few fitting alterations, and didn't have fabric for it yet.  Then it was coming into winter, and it seemed a bit pointless to make something that I wouldn't wear for months because of the weather.  So it got set aside, and I looked at it again when I was off work for a week in the middle of March.


In the meantime I had bought 2 metres of this grey wool fabric from Croft Mill Fabrics.  It was called "Is that a hint?", (their fabric has such random names!), but I don't see it on the website now.  When I decided to have another look at this in March, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with my fabric.  In my head it had some colour flecks through it, but it turned out that it didn't in real life, and I was afraid it would end up looking like a school blazer!


But then the very day I was lying on the sofa, browsing Pinterest (as you do), and this gorgeous Vivienne Westwood number popped up that had been pinned by Sian from Kittenish Behaviour.  I seem to save a lot of things that she pins!  Anyway, after I managed to stop myself from falling off the sofa, I knew I was going to use this as inspiration for my jacket.

So off I went on the search for black trim and gold buttons.  The trim came from ebay and was about £6 for 4 yards.  My buttons came from Sew N Sew in Belfast - the big one was £1.65, and the little ones were 85p.  Inspiration now flowing, I shorted the sleeves and body, and added a bit to the waist and hips; made another toile, and I was good to go.





I was going to just use woven fusible interfacing for the lapels and collar, but couldn't bring myself to do it, and used canvas interfacing instead.  Not going to lie, the hand sewing took for ever, but the lapels and collar are gorgeous!  And then I had to hand sew all of trim.  So. Much. Hand. Sewing!!!  

Under collar with the pad stitching done
And here it after it was shaped with steam on the tailor's ham.
This is how the lapels looked after they had been steamed over some rolled up tea towels.  You can just see the 1/4" twill tape on the roll line and the edges of the lapels.

The class shows how to make a bound buttonhole, but I did a machined buttonhole.  So I cut out a rectangle from the canvas interfacing, and used some fusible woven interfacing for the area where the buttonhole goes.  I also used this woven interfacing on the hem.

This is what it looked like before the upper collar and facings were attached.

My lining fabric is some polyester from Fabrics For Sale that was £4.25 per metre.  I had bought some brown polka dot lining fabric for this, but didn't love it with the grey fabric, and the polyester was in my stash. 

Can you tell I love this lining?!
I didn't follow the Craftsy class completely, and am not going to do a review of it as Manju did a great review here.  I'll just say that I didn't love it, but didn't hate it.  There were great bits on altering the two piece sleeve to create a vent at the wrist (which I did), and also the bits on drafting the back stay and finding the roll line were excellent.  A lot of bits are done off camera though, and there was no explanation on how to sew the sleeve vent lining.


I absolutely love how this jacket has turned out, and have been wearing this week now that the weather is getting better.  Oh, and the reason why I'm calling it the "I've Been Viv-ed" jacket is because my cousin used to work in a Vivienne Westwood shop, and there was quite an amount of Vivienne Westwood accessories in my family at the time.  Every time my aunty got something new, she would say "I've been Viv-ed"!!


Have a great weekend,