Friday, 22 November 2013

Sweet Dress Book: Dress C

A quick dress with lovely pleats.

This is dress C from The Sweet Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori.  Oh so quick to cut out and sew, done in an evering, then hemmed the next day.  How I hate hemming - it is just not fun, it's fiddly and it's boring.  But must be done, I suppose.

Talking of hems - that looks wonky! It is just the way I am standing, honest.

This is an easy dress to wear it is light and layers well. I'm going to make it again and with a big pattern fabric, as used in the book.   Sadly it does not seem to photograph well.  I think that could be the pattern of the fabric, which is actually rather pretty flowers in a nut brown and black - perfect for Autumn.

Photographs come courtesy of a very, very bored seven year old boy. My four year old wants to take the pictures for the next post.  So, there might be a lot of out-of-focus shoes and walls in that one!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Make do and mend

My newly acquired sewing skills have found a use. Immy (my darling daughter) has way out-grown a cherished dress; but, rather than consign it to the charity shop, I've taken a leaf out of the grandmother's book, and employed the skills of make do and mend.

Essentially,  all I did was chop off the tiny bodice...

...then, all I needed to do was cut out a bigger bodice shape from toning fabric.

Finally,  I sewed the new bodice onto the skirt.  Obviously, Immy likes to carefully supervise and make sure I'm doing things right.

Ta da! A new, bigger, dress.  Finished with bias binding to tie it all together, and a little fabric flower.

Ironically, it is now a little too big for her! But only slightly.  I feel really chuffed to have given it a new lease of life.  They out-grow things so quickly, and this was a good way to give a nice dress a longer life span. Very easy and very quick to sew.

And (although I'm biased) rather wonderfully modelled by my little girl.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Stylish Dress Book Vol. 3 Design A

Oh no.... I don't like it!  

I worked really hard on it: it is finished with beautiful French seams; it has lovely pleated tucks, and floaty sleeves.

The trouble is it just doesn't feel right; the sleeves look silly on me, like I'm wearing dress up clothes.

As I see it I have three options:

1. Unpick the floaty sleeves
2. Cut it up and use the fabric for something else.
3. Charity shop it.

Am I sad or disheartened... no, not a bit.  I really enjoyed making it. And my husband likes it.  Actually, make that 4 options:

4. Make matching trousers and wear them as PJs in bed, that way the hard work won't be wasted.  Now there's an idea.

NB: this post's photographs were taken by my 7-year-old son!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Making This More Me

I spend a lot of time reading sewing blogs.  I love the advice, the inspiration, but best of all I love the pictures.  Some bloggers' photography and staging is exquisite.

This is from - a beautifully styled blog which I can spend hours reading. Another stunning blog is

The photos are like those you'd expect to see in a glossy magazine.
Why am I mentioning these blogs?  Because, although I find them inspirational and I certainly won't stop reading them, they are not my style.  I don't mean that the clothes aren't my style, but the lifestyle bears no relation to my life.

That got me thinking: does my blog represent my style, and me?

My strapline mentions the things that get in the way of my sewing and I haven't mentioned this until now.  My wonderful children don't mean to get in the way of my sewing... they just do.

My tin of sewing threads is often full to the brim with Lego. My pin cushion is constantly being stolen.  And this is what my sewing space looks like three times a day:

Not a photo you'd expect see in a glossy magazine!

I literally have to scrub my the table within an inch of its life each time I want to sew!  But it doesn't stop me wanting to sew.  In fact it spurs me on even more.  I LOVE sewing, at the moment it feels like an addiction: each make is the next hit, and no sooner is one item complete than the next is being planned, cut out, sewn.

I digress. Over the next few weeks I'm going to try and find my style within my blog.  Find a way to show what sewing means to me.  Well, that's the plan - whether you'll be able to see any difference remains to be seen!

Friday, 1 November 2013

An easy win

A quick and easy refashion of a dress that just didn’t suit me.

It had a fake wrap top which gaped and flashed far too much.  But the pattern was nice...

... and the fabric floaty.  I figured it would be really easy to turn from a dress to a skirt and I was right.

The waist was already gathered with shirring; so, all I needed to do was cut off the bodice and neaten the raw edges.

I used black bias binding to finish the edge.  It was a little tricky holding the fabric taut, as it naturally wanted to gather as I sewed.  But I think this was just my inexperience in sewing showing.

Quick, fun, and I now have a floaty skirt.

Easy to wear too.