• My Top Fashion Fabric Picks for Spring

  • I don’t know about anyone else, but I am so OVER this Winter. It has dragged on for too long, and out-stayed its welcome… roll on Spring! And with that in mind, I wanted to share with you a bunch of fashion fabrics I’ve been eyeing up which have me dreaming of blue skies and daffodils.

    These are all fabrics I am genuinely crushing on hard right now. Hope you like my picks! Fabrics all available at time of publishing this post. 

    1. Mint green multi fleck fleece sweatshirt – Guthrie & Ghani

    I love the colour of this fabric, and the coloured flecks too. And with it being a fleece-backed sweat shirting, it will still be perfect for a chilly weather. Maybe a Linden sweatshirt or a Freya sweater from Tilly’s new book ‘Stretch’?

    2. Sky blue cotton linen – Sew Me Sunshine

    Linen really comes into its own in the summer months – and this colour just had me daydreaming of sunny days, BBQ on the go and a cold glass of wine in hand!

    3. Viscose Crepe – Fabric Godmother

    I don’t know why, but I’ve been out of love with floral fabrics for quite some time. But this fabric has me with all of the heart eyes with a darker, less girly, floral design. I love the colour palette on this, with the contrasting splashes of yellow to make it pop.

    4. Spotted Jacquard – The Fabric Store

    I have to admit, I’ve never actually ordered from The Fabric Store. But I find myself lingering on their website on a daily basis, because their fabric and site are so pretty! And they have such a great reputation and following and I hear so many people gush over their fabrics. This spotty jacquard jumped out at me for making a really statement, structured skirt or dress.

    5. Loopback Sweatshirting in ‘Blueberry’ – Guthrie & Ghani

    Ok… sorry… another from Guthrie & Ghani. I was instantly sold on the colour of this one. Because, you know, blue.

    6. Irish Linen – Merchant and Mills

    This gorgeous Irish linen kind of reminds me of my GCSE maths homework, but I’m ok with that.

    7. Bamboo Stretch Knit in Saffron – Ray Stitch

    I really need to get to the bricks and mortar Ray Stitch shop in London. I have only ever ordered a tiny bit of jersey and ribbing from them, and the quality is incredible. So this bright yellow just jumped out at me – isn’t it the perfect shade of yellow?! I feel like I’m shouting that in my head, but it really does have me that excited. It gave me images of ‘that’ Tilly and the Buttons Freya ruffle dress. You know what I’m talking about!

    8. Cotton Lawn – Backstitch

    I feel like my wardrobe has been all about blues/greys for the whole of Winter, and I’m ready to break free and inject some colour into my life. My husband trying to compliment me as looking ‘a vision in grey’ the other day (i.e. head to toe grey) was the moment of realisation. So what the hell, throw this lawn with all of the colours my way!

    9. Printed Cotton Crepe – Seasalt Cornwall

    Yes, Seasalt Cornwall sell fabric – who knew?! Reverting back to my blue fabric safety zone and crushing hard on this crepe.

    10. Broderie Anglaise – Joel & Son Fabrics

    Ok, so this fabric would be my splurge purchase. Imagine a midi length skirt in this, with a slightly shorter navy lining. Mmmmmm. Joel & Son Fabrics have so many other broderie Anglaise colours on their website, but I warn you, you *will* want to throw your purse at them to buy it all.

  • Nina Lee Kew Dress Hack

  • Well, I have been absolutely gagging to show you this dress. It has been a long time coming, for sure! I first dreamt up this dress when I bought the paper pattern at The Great British Sewing Bee Live back in September 2017. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to attempt a hack to remove the buttoned up front, and add an invisible zipper up the back. The pattern? A Nina Lee Kew Dress – and what a beaut she is!

    And it was fate that the Atelier Brunette Stardust double gauze fabrics were released, right at the time I was ready to start this make. I literally raced up to Backstitch to go buy this, and so began my make.

    I will be posting a video on my YouTube channel really soon with details of how I hacked this, but it was essentially fairly simple. I just cut the front bodice and front skirt pieces on the fold, so they were each 1 piece. Then for the back bodice and back skirt pieces, I didn’t cut on the fold (as the pattern asks), and I added 1.5cm to the centre backs, to allow seam allowance. It was pretty simple – though I was pretty nervous to try it on in case I had stuffed it up… that would have been a total tragedy with this fabric!

    This was my first venture into sewing with double gauze fabric. If you haven’t come across double gauze before, it’s like 2 thin layers of fabric joined together with the tiniest almost-invisible stitches. The fabric is quite a loose weave, which had me a little worried for sewing the bodice and skirt together. I could see the seam line between bodice and skirt sagging out of shape quite quickly. So I decided to interface the entire bodice with a lightweight black interfacing first. So happy that I did! It definitely feels like it will hold the shape and structure that is needed on the bodice.

    I had a little bit of a nightmare with hemming. I wanted to shorten the dress, which I wish now that I had done during the fabric cutting. I ended up finishing the hem by a combination of measuring the dress in a flat-lay, and also by eye. It definitely worked out in the end… but I was holding my breath for parts!

    I felt as though this dress/fabric combo was deserving of some real attention to detail, so I ended up finishing quite a few parts by hand. Normally I’m one for avoiding any/all hand sewing, but lately I have found it so therapeutic. So I finished the lining along the zipper by hand, as well as the hem.

    The pattern itself is amazing. Clear instructions, beautiful packaging (illustrations all by Nina too!), and everything just works. The fit for me was spot on – the only change I made was to shorten the shoulder straps slightly – but that’s an alteration I would normally have to make anyways.

    I am chuffed to bits with how this dress has finished up. I feel like a princess wearing it! And will be wearing it to my brother’s wedding in March. I love it that much!

    Pattern – Kew Dress by Nina Lee

    Fabric – Atelier Brunette ‘Stardust Night’ Double Gauze from Backstitch

    Size made – 10

    Alterations made (other than changes for this hack) – Shortened straps