Posts Tagged ‘dress’

All Wrapped Up

Today I dashed outside before I missed the two minutes of sunshine and managed to photograph a few of my makes. It was bloody freezing out there so I had to work quick! I thought I’d show you my wrap dress I made in November (I think?). It’s taken me what feels like forever to finally get round to photographing this dress, between the crazy run up to Christmas and the bad weather I really struggled.

I love wrap dresses, I think they look beautiful, they can be so flattering, but only if you get the fit right. Now this is where I have a problem, I’ve come to realise that I’m quite short from shoulder to chest and have a large bust, because of this I find it hard to buy a wrap dress. I had a thought when shopping one day “I can make that!” So that’s what I did.

I chose the Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress as a few sewing friends had made and recommended it. I’ve got to be honest and say I’m not sure I would buy a pattern from here again. The pattern shows two sleeve and skirt length options but these are not marked on the pattern, the instructions are straight forward but I would say on the minimalist side, it doesn’t give you any fabric recommendation other than “Jersey” so I was a little bit nervous as to whether the fabric I chose would be too stretchy. I think the pattern is better suited to people who have attended the associated class (run at the Sew Over It shops) or have more experience in dress making. The dress did come together quite quickly but I did struggle with the fit. The pattern explained that there was not much ease and would be quite fitted so I was half expecting the Size 12 that I was making not to fit. Boy was I wrong!

While I was making the dress I kept trying it on ( as you do) to check it was fitting ok and it all seemed fine. Once the dress was finished and I tried it on I realised it wasn’t wearable. I had excess fabric across the chest so even if I over wrapped the dress still gaped. I was so disappointed. After a pep talk from my mum I decided to take the dress along to our next sewing club meet up and see what the gang thought before taking my trusty seam ripper to it. I’m so glad I did as Rachel had the great idea of gathering at the shoulders to fix the problem. Amazing! It took me all of 2 minutes to do and the dress was saved.

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As you can see the dress is definitely wearable although I do still have to over wrap it a little and I have to wear a vest underneath too.

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I am pleased with the length of the dress but half wish I had made the sleeves 3 quarter length, I still might.

I guess overall this dress turned out ok but I’m not really sure how much I will wear it. It was a good lesson for me though. I now know just how much I hate facings, they really get on my nerves, I much prefer binding to finish. I also learnt that as longer as I fit the standard pattern measurements I am fine but still have A LOT to learn about fitting. I guess it will come, slowly, with experience, well I hope so anyway.

Now I know I said I wouldn’t buy another Sew Over It pattern but I am glad I bought this one. It has shown me a little more about my sewing style and what pattern brands fit me best. We have to realise that we are all different and like ready to wear clothes some patterns suit some body types better than others.

Handmade Wardrobe – Joni Top

I was lucky enough to get to test this fab pattern for my IG buddy Leanne Fanny. The Joni has a dress and top version, I tested the top version in a size 14 (to fit my big bangers in). I did have to take the side seams in a little extra but it fit me perfectly across the bust.

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This is the first pattern Leanne has released, you can find it here, in her Etsy shop. I really like the shape of the neckline on the Joni and love that the back is the same shape.

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The pattern is great for beginners as there are plenty of photos and comprehensive instructions to follow. The dress version has an elasticated waist which looks cute, but I haven’t had a chance to make it yet.

I had fun picking fabric for this top. I had originally planned on using the leftover blue floral print from my Myrtle dress but I didn’t have quite enough. Instead, off I trotted to Fabricland where the classic cars caught my eye. Lucky for me they had a plain lilac polycotton in the same shade as the cars in the print and exactly the same weight. A match made in heaven don’t you think?

Before I go I just want to say sorry for the scary stare in these photos, I don’t know what happened? Think I lost the ability to smile. Seriously what was I doing??

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Myrtle, She’s My Best Friend

I’ve got a new best friend. Her name’s Myrtle. She looks good in every colour and print imaginable and what’s best of all she likes both woven and jersey fabrics!!

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This is the first Colette pattern I’ve tried and I was really pleased with the results. The Myrtle has two length versions, I started with the short version in a metallic stripe Jersey from Fabric House (of course!). There is also an option to add epaulettes but I decided to make it without.

Seriously how awesome is this fabric?!

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The dress goes together reasonably quickly. I pre-cut and took it to our August Sewing club meeting, I managed all the sewing while I was there except closing up the waistband and hemming. Well actually I did get the waistband done but the stitching was a mess because I was rushing so I redid it when I got home.

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Next up, a woven version.

IMG_4766v2The garden was really wet this morning, hence the wellies, although I think I can pull it off!

Although the pattern is supplied with instructions for making the dress in Jersey you can find instructions for using woven fabrics on the Colette Patterns website. I got some bargain, blue, floral viscose (I think) for something like £2 a metre from a shop in Goldhawk road. It was light and had a nice drape so I figured lets give it a go. I found some ready made bias binding in Fabricland which went perfectly with the fabric for the back of the neckline and armholes. It’s the first time I’ve used binding instead of facings and I love the finish, I’m not really a fan of facings so will try using binding more often.

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I opted for the longer length and I think it works really well. Next time I make a woven Myrtle I would add a little extra to the seam allowance just to give me room for a nicer finish.

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The dresses are so easy to wear, the jersey version was great on holiday with both heels and flats. The floral one I’ve worn since we’ve been home with a shawl for a party at a friends house and also dressed it down with a grey, boyfriend fit, cardi and a pair of converse. I really like the fact there are in-seam pockets too.

This is a great dress for me as the pattern is easy to follow and the finished dress looks a lot more complex than it actually is to make. I love how easy to wear the Myrtle is while the neckline adds a bit of interest. It’s definitely versatile too, how great would a velvet version look for winter with tights and boots? Or maybe even a maxi length version?

Handmade Wardrobe Update

Well I think I’m getting the hang of the overlocker, I even had to rethread it, which I managed without too much trouble.

This week I had another go at the Mission Maxi pattern only I opted for the vest version. I love a jersey vest, they’re an easy wear in summer, layer well in winter, small to pack for holidays and most of the time you can get away without ironing them. I have a bit of a thing for animal prints and this neon pink was crying out to be a vest.

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This fabric was quite a lot stretchier than the fabric I used for my dress, although I used the same pattern size (12) I had to make alterations to the vest. The extra stretch meant that the straps were too long so I had to shorten them.

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I’ve also started on a Mortmain Dress. It says it’s for “ambitious beginners” at least I’m definitely a beginner! The pattern is easy to follow so I think I’ll be ok.

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After lots of coaching and encouragement from my lovely sewing club friends I made up a muslin of the bodice in a size 12 and got the fit right (I think?!), then set to cutting out the dress from this amazing wax print.

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One bodice done.
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I’m just waiting for my exposed zip and some dark thread for my overlocker to be delivered and then I can finish the rest of the dress.

I had so much fabric left after cutting the dress out that I’m also going to make a simple gathered skirt too. Something simple and easy to wear for running round after the monsters, but hopefully still a bit girly. I haven’t got a pattern for this one, think I’ll just read a few tutorials then wing it. Yup I love to live on the edge lol.

Handmade Wardrobe – Mission Maxi Dress

The monsters went back to school this week which means only one thing in casa JAK & GEEGEE – peace and quiet, perfect for me to spend some quality time in my sewing room. Now my make list is getting pretty long but the first thing I wanted to do was have a play with my new overlocker. It took me all of 30 seconds to decide on a Mission Maxi dress, I have it on good authority that this pattern is simple to follow and quick to sew, perfect.

After reading the manual cover to cover I plucked up the courage to turn on the overlocker. Thankfully it was already threaded so I didn’t have to get my tiny brain round that task but I did have to slightly adjust the knife position. I’m pleased to say the overlocker wasn’t as scary as I remember from school (yup that’s the last time I used one!), a little practice and then I got going on my dress.

The Mission Maxi was a great first project. The pattern is super simple and very easy to follow. I had the dressed finished in no time at all. Having said all that my dress is by no means perfect, it’s my first attempt using my overlocker and I’m a beginner when it comes to making clothes. Before I show you I should warn you that, as well as being a novice dressmaker, I’m also a novice model! I can’t really work out why I look so miserable in these photos so try not to look at my face and focus on the dress ok? Thanks!

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The pattern gives the option of leaving the bottom as a raw edge or hemming, I opted for hemming mostly to give myself extra practice with the overlocker. The fabric was from my shopping trip a few weeks ago to Walthamstow market, it was great to work with and wasn’t too stretchy.

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I made the tank top version but the pattern does have halter neck and godet versions too. It also gives you the option to make a vest rather than a dress.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the first item in my handmade wardrobe. I chose the size 12 and didn’t make any adjustments. Next time I make it I would like to tweak the back slightly as I had a small amount of excess fabric in the small of my back. The dress is just the type of thing I like to wear in summer and easy to take on holiday to wear day or night. I’m already planning a second dress and a few vests. So success I guess!

I’ll leave you with this beaut of a photo, seriously why do I look so grumpy??

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I promise the next handmade wardrobe post I will try my best to smile!

Roly-Poly Pinafore Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today it’s my turn on the blog tour for Imagine Gnats ( also known as the lovely Rachael) fab new pattern – The Roly Poly Pinafore.

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I know why the hell would I be making a pretty little girls dress? For any new visitors I should explain I am a happy mother or two, two boys that is. So why would I jump at this chance for a spot on Rachael’s blog tour? Well I keep saying that this year I’m going to try and stretch myself, step out of my comfort zone and attempt to make more clothes. I really want to learn new skills. Then a few weeks ago I was noseying (that’s a word right?) around on Instagram and I saw the cutest little pinafore that Rose & Dahlia (Joanne) had made. I don’t know why but I just knew I had to make it, so I asked her where she got the pattern and started mentally listing all the little girls I knew trying to decide who to make it for.

Luckily I have a lovely friend who happens to have an equally lovely little girl who would look adorable in a new pinafore. That afternoon I told my friend the plan and bought the pattern. A few days later I chose some fabric and got to work.

Here’s the finished pinafore, I opted for AMH Field Study and some plain pink cotton. I think the bright pink buttons are just right don’t you?

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I really enjoyed this project. The pattern was great and simple to follow, you have the option of adding pockets, which on this one I didn’t but when I make it for an older child I would. The pattern covers ages 6 months to 10 years so you can definitely get your money’s worth! My favourite feature on this pinafore is that it’s reversible, lets be honest when kids are little they are always spilling something so at least if you’re out you can always turn it round and nobody will ever know.

I think it’s really versatile, it’s just as cute on its own for summer as it is with a long sleeve T-shirt and leggings for those chilly days.

Now here’s the really exciting bit, not only is this the first time I’ve been involved in a blog tour but its also my first ever giveaway! That’s right, thanks to the generosity of Rachael I have one copy of the Roly Poly Pinafore PDF pattern to giveaway!! All you need to do to enter is follow me in one of the following ways

Follow my blog
Follow me on Twitter @jakandgeegee
Follow me on Instagram @jakandgeegee
Like my Facebook page

then come back and leave a comment to let me know you’ve done it. If you already follow me then just comment below saying so. Simple as that.

If you do all of the above make sure you comment for each separately, that way you’ll have more chance of winning. Please remember to leave an email address as without this I won’t be able to contact the winner. No email = no prize. This giveaway is open internationally, I will announce the winner a week from today, Good Luck!