• A Special Birthday Ogden Cami

  • This has been a fun little quick-sew make – much needed after just finishing my Cocktail Hour dress!

    The idea for this make was born last weekend at SewBrum (my very first SewBrum!). There I was hanging with the gorgeous Sarah from Like Sew Amazing, talking about our birthdays (she is my birthday twin, sharing 4th November) in Guthrie & Ghani. I had already done my shopping, but Sarah came up with the genius idea of us buying some fabric for each other to make the same garment, by way of a present to each other. We stroked our way around all of the fabric in the shop, and came to this beautiful petrol blue peachskin fabric. Such a gorgeous colour, and a beautiful feel and drape to it.

    So we swiftly agreed on this fabric, and Sarah suggested us making True Bias Ogden Cami tops. This pattern was basically all I heard about at The Sewing Weekender earlier this year. And I must be the last person in the world to not have made it yet! So very happy to give it a stab.

    The pattern was really straightforward to make – involving just 5 pattern pieces to be cut. The instructions were lovely and clear. And the sizing was bang on.

    The fabric was kind of ok to work with… it was tricky to press, which made hemming the lining and outer shell fiddly (and threatened to burn all skin from my hands!). But it just took a bit of patience, and acceptance that I would be no doubt burning myself at some point.

    So here we have it. My very own Ogden Cami, all for me. She’s a super wearable, dreamy, floaty vision of loveliness. The colour seems to work well with my hair I think. I will definitely be living in this in the summer. But for the autumn, I will be keeping a warm jumper nearby at all times!

    Thank you Sarah for coming up with this genius idea. It was so much fun celebrating our birthdays with this make. Happy birthday to us! Be sure to check out Sarah’s Ogden Cami too – here.

    Pattern – True Bias Ogden Cami

    Fabric – Guthrie & Ghani 

    Size made – 4

    Alterations made – None

    Frankie joined in for some posing!

  • The Cocktail Hour with McCall's & The Eve Appeal

  • Finally! The cat is out of this metaphorical handmade bag. I reveal my contribution to McCall’s ‘The Cocktail Hour’ – Vogue Patterns 1484. And isn’t she just darling.

    This dress has been a seriously long time in the making. It was way back in darkest February (I was still pregnant at the time) that I chose this pattern as I hopped aboard the list of bloggers taking part in ‘The Cocktail Hour’. This is one big happy social sew-along involving 20 Vogue Patterns. McCall’s then donate to the fabulous charity The Eve Appeal for every pattern sold. Great idea right?

    I first heard about The Eve Appeal when I took part in the Big Vintage Sew-Along last year (see blog post here). They are a fantastic charity, raising money for research into/awareness of lady cancers. I used to work in the Pathology Department at the hospital in Cambridge, so have seen myself the awful amount of horrible cancers that get diagnosed. I also had a bit of a scare myself a few years ago – so a big shout out is needed to this ace charity!

    Anyway…. to the dress.

    I chose Vogue 1484 as my pattern to tackle. I immediately fell in love with the collar on this – as you know, I’m a fan of a shirt dress. Who isn’t?

    Before getting started on this make, I had already seen that the gorgeous girlies Gabby (Gabberdashery) and Nina (Thumblenina) had also made this pattern for The Cocktail Hour. So thanks to them, I already knew that this pattern came up very large, and that the yoke needed some altering. Thanks both – your beautiful dresses and blog posts helped me no end.

    I had been eyeing up the fabric from Fabric Godmother for quite some time – a crepe backed satin. They have them in a selection of gorgeous colours, and I love the idea of being able to use both sides of the fabric. So I decided it would look really effective with the princess seams on this dress. Sold.

    This make definitely had me kicking myself for choosing a more difficult pattern mid-way through. Probably had something to do with a combination of chiffon… sleeves… and binding…. ah! To be fair, I did choose some pretty slippery fabrics to work with. So this was entirely my own fault!

    For the sheer yoke I ended up using a chiffon fabric from John Lewis. The pattern says to use organza, but I couldn’t find any when I went shopping, so opted for chiffon instead. Does anyone know the difference between organza and chiffon?! All I know is that CHIFFON IS NOT MY FRIEND!

    I made a toile of the dress to start with – a great decision as it turned out. I ended up also altering the bust (which seemed to come up quite large too), and also took some of the volume from the yoke (as well as shortening the yoke too).

    I won’t go into too many details on this make. Mostly because you will tire of me moaning about my fabric slippery choices! The satin was slinky AF and the chiffon was all chiffoney and annoying. My main saving grace was using starch to help stiffen the chiffon before cutting and sewing. But it was still insanely hard to sew. Definitely needed my head in the game on this one, and a nice new sharp needle on my machine.

    The part I found most difficult was definitely inserting the sleeves + binding. Ahhhhh… big headache! I also didn’t factor in that I had shortened the yoke, so this obviously made the armholes smaller. No biggie as I don’t have massive arms/shoulders anyway (although my mummy muscles are impressive, if I say so myself).

    Having moaned my way through this blog post, I have to say I am so happy with the end result. It is a little out of my comfort zone on the glamour stakes… but I think I may have just pulled it off! I love the mix of shiny and matte along the princess seams. Dare I say it, I even like the wretched chiffon yoke. But I think me and chiffon need to go on a break. I wish not to see it again for quite some time.

    Pattern – Vogue Patterns 1484

    Fabric – Crepe backed satin from Fabric Godmother,

    and chiffon from John Lewis

    Size made – 8

    Giveaway time!

    I will be running a giveaway to win a V1484 pattern on my Instagram – so make sure you follow me @gingerthreadgrl to find out more info!

    Getting involved

    If you want to get involved with The Cocktail Hour, then head on over to Sew Direct to browse the 20 Vogue Patterns and choose your favourite to buy. Then share your creation with the hashtag #sipandsew. Simples!

    Disclaimer – This pattern was kindly sent to me free of charge by McCall’s, for taking part in The Cocktail Hour Blogger Tour.

    The Blogger Tour

    Keep your eyes peeled on the remaining bloggers taking part in The Cocktail Hour:

    3rd November – A Stitching Odyssey, Marie Koupparis

    10th November – Randomly Happy, Elena Rosa Brown

    17th November – Sew for Victory, Laura Clarke

    24th November – Ooobop, Janene Spencer


  • A Scuba Deer & Doe Zephyr Dress

  • I’ve been up to my old naptime tricks again… and somehow managed to rush a quick-sew project to wear to The GBSB Live on Saturday! As is my way, I left it so late to make this. And ended up rushing it off of the sewing machine at 11pm the night before I needed it. Classic Jen activity.

    Anyway, here it is. It all of it’s scuba-rific glory.

    For so long I was completely disinterested in sewing or wearing anything scuba. I used to look at garments in the cheaper high street shops and think it looked, well, kind of tacky. But in the last few months I have been hearing more and more positive stories about sewing with scuba. So I thought, what the hell, I’ll give it a go! For one, I was sold on it being great for quick makes, as the seams don’t necessarily need finishing (scuba doesn’t fray). One massive tick from me.

    I came across this gorgeous patterned scuba on probably my favourite website (although my bank account would say otherwise), Fabric Godmother. It arrived and I was so surprised at how soft and smooth it was… and kind of laid to rest my concerns about scuba looking a bit cheap. It has a lovely drape and great swishy movement to it too – not at all what my preconceived idea of scuba was.

    I decided to give the Deer & Doe Zephyr a crack, after being drawn to it for way too long. I made version B (V-neck), and decided to make the bodice from a plain black scuba, with a neckline matching the skirt.

    The whole pattern was super simple and easy. The trickiest part was the neckline, for sure. But the rest was dead simple. Perfect for me stitching this up in a total rush!

    It feels more of a going out/evening dressy dress – but I definitely didn’t let that stop me wearing it to the GBSB Live. No sir-ee.

    I love the fit of this dress so much. I instantly fell in love with it when I put it on mid-make, and gave it a good swish (because that’s just what you do when you are happy in a dress).

    Such an easy make – I will be sure to make this again! I want to dry making the skirt/top versions too.

    Pattern: Zephyr Dress by Deer & Doe

    Fabric: Patterned and plain scuba, Fabric Godmother

    Size made: 40

    Alterations made: None

    Alterations for future versions: I would need to make a slight adjustment for narrow shoulders. There was just a small amount of gape at the top of the back.