• A Rose Gold Sequinned Papercut Sigma Dress

  • Ok, so I asked myself ‘Jen, do you think a full dress of rose gold sequins is a bit much?’. We all know the answer to this question… hell no! Also, you know, Christmas and that.

    This was my very first venture into the world of sewing sequins. And man, it is a scary place. I diligently started my research into sewing with sequinned fabric, and was kind of pleased to see the advice to just sew  as you would a normal woven fabric. Ok… sounds too easy… but fine. My sequinned fabric, which was from Cotton Reel Studio, was basically mini sequins sewn onto a mesh. This was easy to cut out – I just used a rotary cutter. Some people recommend wearing glasses or something protective for your eyes when cutting out. I didn’t… living on the edge and all that.

    I spent quite some time deciding on a pattern… I wanted something which wouldn’t be ‘too much’ considering that I was entirely using rose gold sequins. I decided to stick to the safety of a pattern I had used before. I went for the Papercut Patterns Sigma dress. I previously made this from a lovely wool fabric (here), and love the style. Really wearable. I knew some alterations I wanted to make from having made this before. Mainly I needed to be rid of the dreaded gapey neckline.

    The sewing process was kind of ok… I did break 2 needles (!) but it was all fairly straightforward other than that. I fully lined the dress using an incredible lining fabric from Truro Fabrics – which really helped make the dress comfy to wear. No-one wants death by scratchy sequins do they?

    Everything was going swimmingly until I discovered that the sequinned fabric was stretching. So when I had roughly assembled the dress and tried on… I could see it was looking a bit sloppy. Nooooo! What a waste of sequins! So I just had to, well, basically, bodge this dress together to make it fit! I removed so much fabric from side seams and the back seam before inserting the zip. It was crazy. But hey. The finished dress fits pretty damn well.

    I’m super pleased with the finish of this dress – and can’t wait to wear it to a festive party. I first need to be invited to one though…!

    Happy Christmas readers!

    Pattern: Sigma by Papercut Patterns

    Fabric: Sequinned fabric from Cotton Reel Studio, Lining fabric from Truro Fabrics

    Size made: XS (bodice) graded to S (skirt)

    Alterations made: Fix for gapey neckline and, well, some bodging this one together if I’m honest

    P.S. Apologies for the dodgy photos. We are lacking much daylight at the minute. I will try to get some better photos very soon

  • 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