Category Archives: Dress

Sewing with stretch: Attempt 2

I’ve seen a lot of posts this past week from sewing bloggers reviewing their 2013 makes, highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly and sharing their new year resolutions with the world. This is easy for me. This year I haven’t made enough for such a list, which leaves me with one resolution: Sew more!

After my Christmas dress success I want to use this same pattern and my last few days off work making a couple of dresses to introduce to my January wardrobe. I’ve started with a very stretchy fabric I bought at New Fabric Shop in Walthamstow… I think this would be called an Interlock knit?

Bought for a mere ¬£1 a meter I should have bought a lot more. This fabric came folded in half and on a bolt. Try as I might I can’t get the marks of the edges out of the fabric:


I cut open the fabric on the worst edge to open flat, but I haven’t got enough to miss out the second line altogether. I’m hoping with this type of fabric pattern it won’t be too noticeable?! I’ve also realised I don’t have enough for full sleeves so I’ll be adapting the look to include short ones instead. And one other challenge so far… How to work with these rolling edges?!




Filed under Dress, Fabrics, Homemade, sewing

The New Look 6070

I love this pattern. I really enjoyed making it and it’s a dress that I love wearing! I had a bit of a problem with the fit but after some pinching, pinning and cutting we got there in the end. I think I might just make it again.

PicMonkey Collagedress

Apologies for the headless pictures. These are taken after a long day at work ūüôā


Filed under Dress, sewing

A rediscovered project: Simpliciy 2360

The Little Room of Sewing is back in action! The fishing gear has been removed (sorry Tom, you’re not having my sewing room) and my machines have been dusted down. Just looking at my fabric stash got me excited about the possibilities of what I could be making.

Starting off easy. I don’t know about you but I have a bundle of half finished projects. Or projects that I didn’t like when they were finished. ¬†The Project Runway Simpliciy 2360 pattern, one of my first ever makes, has been picked from the pile to become the work dress it was destined to be!

I remember I took a long time with sewing this dress, and I gave up because I sewed the sleeves on the wrong way! But I dug it out the pile to try it on and see if it fitted, and I don’t think its too bad if I do say so myself.


 There are a few things that need fixing on the dress.

1. The frilly sleeves are sewn on the wrong way! When re sew them, I might take them in by 2cm so they are less frill. What do people think? I’m undecided.

2. I have a gap on either side seam where bodice meets skirt. I don’t know why, I must have wanted to make some change here. Ah well, I’m just going to sew them back up!

3. Its a little tight around the neck line and bust. I was considering changing the neckline to try and solve this but I think I might just open up the back a little (cut a v shape in the fabric and  sew a button to do at the top?). If anyone has seen a blog post/tutorial on how to add this type of adjustment to a pattern I would love to hear.

And then I think I will have a perfect work dress!


Filed under Dress, sewing

Summer make #2: Cynthia Rowley 2250

I’m onto the summer makes because my holiday is coming up very soon. Exciting! And I want to make some dresses to show off the tan once I finally get one. You might remember my blue flowery Sewaholic Cambie? That’s still waiting to get out of the wardrobe.

This week I decided to have a go at the Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 2250. It’s been in my pattern stash for a while now and it’s time to give it a go! I’m going to went for view D, minus the wing things at the back.


I wanted to make a toile of this pattern because it looks complicated and I don’t want to go messing up my fabric, and because I wanted to test the fit. On my Cambie I cut out a 12 pattern, and had plenty of room to move and lots of alterations to make, so I was brave and went for a size 10 in this pattern. I chose a method I haven’t used before, and instead of cutting out my size from the pattern (and risk wishing I could stick the next size back on) or tracing out all the pieces (there are a LOT of pieces in this pattern) for those that I could, I cut out the largest size and folded the pieces down to a size 10. And it worked well. For the more complex pieces I did trace them, and I do prefer doing that because the pieces are a lot sturdier. But in this case I wanted to get on with it and tracing all of them was too time consuming for me!

I’m glad I made up the toile. All those darts confused me! Although the pattern instructions are very thorough, I did end up with a bit of unpicking on my hands. But live and learn.

It was also a little snug. Not too bad, but letting out the side seams 0.5 cm each side meant I could breath when sitting down. Which is always a bonus.

But the skirt… well the skirt just wasn’t very me. I don’t think gathered skirts suit me very much and this dress was no exception. My hips and bum really don’t need to be made to look any bigger, so for the real deal I’ve decided to switch this skirt with the Cambie skirt, and take out the pockets. It feels a bit naughty changing the pattern, but that’s what it’s all about, right? Mix and match to make something that you actually want?

So now to start on the real thing…



Filed under Clothes, Dress, sewing

Sewing for others

First things first. Who watched The Great British Sewing Bee? Tuesday, BBC2, (1)

If you missed it watch it on catch up. I loved it. I thought all the contestants did so well with their sewing challenges. Sew a dress to fit another person? In 6 hours? I was impressed! Well done Tilly and the Buttons – I thought you did great.

Talking of fitting a dress to someone else… This is the moment I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for… Sophie’s dress actually¬†fits Sophie. Thank goodness. And thank you to Sophie for being a wonderful model – isn’t she lovely? And I think the dress fits well. Well done us!

sophie collage


April 3, 2013 · 12:33 pm

Cambie mania and a self drafted skirt

Hello! I’ve been pretty silent on here for a while, and that’s because I’ve been SO busy sewing! I can’t tell you how much I’ve been doing. But ok, I’ll try.

I finished the Cambie dress, and I was very proud of myself – thanks for your nice comments. A good friend of mine also saw the post and asked if she could have one for herself. So project number 1 was Sophie’s Cambie dress.

Did I get over ambitious after I made one, yes, one wearable item? Maybe. But that didn’t stop me agreeing to do it. And it hasn’t been without it’s difficulties. The main one being that Sophie no longer lives round the corner, easy to pop in and poke her with pins for fitting. She lives in Scotland! A whole 400 miles away. Added pressure is that its for a wedding, in April, so I’ve agreed to do it on the condition that she has a back up dress. I don’t sew well under pressure! The good news is that in her jam packed visit to London last weekend I managed to get her to try on the toile and make some minor adjustments. Toile v1 is now in the post on it’s way and if it all fits the real version will be whipped up and put in my suitcase when I go to visit her at the end of the month. Wish me luck!

And when I said I wish I could just keep sewing my favourite pattern from the Sewaholic range, I wasn’t kidding. Because the blue dress is pretty summery I wanted to make a version I could wear now. And so here is the work version:


I had to make some adjustments to the skirt on this dress. The fabric I chose didn’t have the same movement as the previous, so I had to take it in about an inch on each side. This made the waistband pucker slightly but hopefully not too noticeable. The thing that annoys me with this is the zip – it looks puckered but I dont know why! Answers welcome. And sorry for the bad quality pictures – a new camera is on order…

Manic sewing over, Friday night was supposed to be a chill out night. Bottle of wine, Comic Relief on the TV, time to RELAX! But my mind began to whir. Does anyone else find that once you start to understand the construction of clothes anything seems possible? This is what I love about learning to sew. But it’s also meant that I can’t go shopping without that voice in my head saying “I could make that”. I leave empty handed but with something else added to my sewing to-do list. Friday evening I’d tried on a skirt on my way home that was perfect fit and shape, but too short. But I loved the shape. So, I decided to make it. Wine was put to the side and pattern making commenced. Here’s a sneak peak of how it turned out:

skirt flowers

My first self drafted skirt

I’m pleased with it so far. The lining still needs to be added so more to come on this later.

Happy sewing!


Filed under Clothes, Dress, Pattern, Sewaholic, sewing

Horrah! A wearable dress! The finished Sewaholic Cambie.

At last. Hours slaving over a dress and¬†this time it’s¬†wearable outside the house. The difference? This time I made a toile, and¬†I fitted it. I made a second toile, and I fitted it. And by the time I made the real thing I knew what I was doing – and it fit!

blue dress 1
The Finished Sewaholic Cambie Dress

blue dress 2

Now I know I said this dress is wearable outside, and so¬†you might rightly¬†wonder why these pictures are taken in my living room.¬†The truth is, I’m sewing early for summer and it is still waaaay to cold to step outside without being covered from head to toe (can you tell by my hideously white legs!?). But I’m really pleased with the¬†end result¬†and can’t wait for the sun to come out so I can wear it out!

I learnt 2 major things with sewing this dress.

1. If you are a novice sewer like myself, a toile is worthwhile doing. It may take longer, it might seem boring, but as well as you being able to make adjustments before cutting into your lovely fabric, you can also mess the sewing up and it not matter. In my second toile¬†I added the skirt pockets and the pattern instructions fuddled my mind. There was a bit of sewing and serging and unpicking and pondering¬†– but it didn’t matter. And it meant I got it right first time on the real dress.

2. Patterned fabric is a godsend! I’ve tried my best to avoid patterned fabric in the past – the idea of cutting and matching pieces makes me wary. But it hides any imperfections so much better than a plain fabric (not that there are any imperfections on this dress¬†of course… ahem).

So time for the next project. Perhaps I can just make another one of these!?


Filed under Clothes, Dress, Sewaholic, sewing