• A Springtime Anna Dress

  • So just desperately trying encourage Spring to come out and say hello, with this little make. So bored and tired of the seemingly never-ending British winter!

    And this make was a little bit unusual for me, in that I have been very much ‘off’ floral patterned fabrics for some time. So this feels somewhat out of my comfort zone… but I couldn’t help but fall in love with the fabric when it appeared on the Guthrie & Ghani website. You know, *that* feeling when you emotionally connect with a fabric and would do anything including selling your vital organs just to buy it. Yeah, that feeling.

    The fabric was as pretty IRL as it was on the website. It is a crepe with a tiny bit of stretch to it. I was a little thrown off by this to start with… questioning – is it a woven or a knit… what patterns would work for this, given that it has a tiny bit of stretch etc etc. I contacted Guthrie & Ghani to ask, who helpfully replied advising to sew as a woven. I was still a little bit unsure of the perfect pattern, given that it had the bit of stretch to it. I guess my vision when I ordered the fabric was a tea dress, with my new Topshop black biker jacket over the top – probably inspired by some fancy Pinterest photo.

    After much umming and erring, I decided on a By Hand London Anna Dress as the pattern this fabric was destined to make. I have made this before (here), and previously cut a straight size 8. Now, since then, a fair about has happened in life – including birthing a child and eating all of the cake. So my body isn’t quite what it used to be! But I decided to cut the same size, after trying my other version on, and it feeling kind of ok. Plus, with my fabric having that little bit of stretch to it, I thought making a size that tiny bit smaller might actually help the fabric work with the pattern.

    I did make some quite big alterations to the neckline of the Anna Dress. I know it is supposed to be a wide cut neckline, but I have very narrow shoulders – so neck gape is a problem I’m used to fixing on almost every dress/top that I make. However, this neckline needed quite a lot taking out to make it fit. But so pleased that I did! It fits so nicely now.

    BHL are one of my all-time favourite indie pattern designers – and I am so pleased that bought their paper patterns way back when they used to print them. Because they are all of the heart eyes. The Anna is great for beginners too – no sleeves to insert, and the trickiest part is probably inserting the invisible zipper. So it was a fairly quick make – yes to this!

    The fabric, however, was a bit of a headache through the making process. Mostly because it didn’t press very easily, but did burn easily (!), and the fabric pattern leaked onto my ironing board. It was definitely a wrestling match at times – and I used a lot of hand basting and pins to help keep this fabric in check. And newsflash – I’m really getting into handstitching. I used to avoid this at all costs. But now I’m a bit excited to do even a bit of hand-basting or blind slipstitching. I’ve discovered the zen in sewing by hand – took me a while.

    Anyway, hope you like this dress as much as I do. I want to wear it all the time now! I’ve included a photo with me wearing my biker jacket with the dress, which was my vision before I even started making it.

    Hope you are all getting some Easter sewing in guys! And eating all of the chocolate… I know I am!

    Pattern: Anna Dress, By Hand London

    Fabric: Stretch crepe from Guthrie & Ghani

    Size made: 8

    Alterations made: Fix for gapey neckline on front and back bodice

  • 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.