• A Grey Ikat Grace Dress for Sewing Made Simple Magazine

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    Happy April folks!

    Another dress to show you today, which I’ve been excited to blog about for a while.

    Those of you who follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram may have already seen that I recently wrote a piece for Sewing Made Simple magazine, reviewing my experience of Sew Over It‘s online class to make the very gorgeous Grace dress. And this is she!

    I used a lovely soft drapey cotton from the Sew Over It shop in a black and grey Ikat pattern. I am obsessed with any kind of geometric patterned fabric, so knew I wanted to use this as soon as I saw it.  It was a little bit tricky to use to start with because although the pattern looks as though it is all straight lines, it did have a degree of randomness about it. So when I was cutting out pattern pieces, I kept having to move/adjust because it looked as though I was going all wonky…! But I wasn’t. I just tried to keep looking to the grainline in the fabric to keep me on the straight and narrow 😉

    This was the second Sew Over It dress I have made (first dress is a Vintage Shirt Dress – soon to appear on the blog!). I loved the pattern and instructions were super clear. No head-scratching moments of confusion – just pure dressmaking joy and happiness!

    And the Grace dress online class… well, what a revelation.! Lisa Comfort presents the videos, and gently walks through each step of assembling the dress. It doesn’t assume any dressmaking knowledge – though would be equally fantastic for anyone with beginner dressmaking skills wanting to have a little bit of a refresher and be guided through making a dress, step-by-step. Anyone reading this toying with the idea of trying dressmaking – I urge you to try this class! If I’m honest, I kind of wish that I had done this when I first thought about getting into dressmaking.

    I am a big fan of gadgets and tech, so this online class for me kind of feels like the way forward for learning the skill.

    Anyway, back to the dress! The fabric was lovely to sew, and is SO comfortable to wear. I am sometimes a bit mixed about pockets on dresses. Mostly because I feel as though they can occasionally add to my hips (please no). But the casual, relaxed style of this dress begs for pockets!

    I will definitely be keeping Grace Dress filed in my ‘Make more of these!’ pattern box. A perfect style for relaxing in at the weekend, or for dressing up with accessories for dinner out.

    Check out my review of the online class in Sewing Made Simple Issue 4.

    Pattern: Grace Dress by Sew Over It

    Fabric: Sew Over It

    Size made: 8

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  • A Cosy-Cute Woollen Sigma Dress

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    I finally feel like I’m getting on top of things after the upheaval of moving house *high five to that*! Good news is that this means that I’ve had the time to get making again… in my new sewing room.  I actually feel as though I was getting a bit cranky without being able to sew – proof that it is my therapy.

    I have had so many patterns and fabric purchases backing up and overflowing in bags and boxes. This one has been in my minds-eye for so long – so I’m chuffed to have had the time to finally get round to sewing it!

    The pattern is Papercut Patterns’ Sigma dress, and I chose to make a short-sleeved version 1. I used a wool fabric which I picked up from a M Rosenberg & Son fabric sale in Cambridge a few months ago.

    I spent ages reading up about pre-shrinking woollen fabrics, and after getting a bit scared with some of the methods others have tried, I just sent it to the dry cleaners. Downside to this was cost – but for my first stab at using woollen fabric, I didn’t want to screw it up before I had even made one stitch!

    The pattern itself was a breeze to use. The only alterations I made which were to narrow the back to stop the gaping neckline (as I do with pretty much all patterns anyway) and also changed the dress from long-sleeved to short.  I made the dress between sizes XS and S. XS was for the bodice and S for the skirt. I was pretty organised about making this dress so had previously stitched up a toile, so was able to adjust the paper pattern before committing to chopping up the fabric. I haven’t made a toile in a while, so it felt as though I was being very thorough with this make!

    I did make the long-sleeved version first, but when I put it on it just felt like it needed short/cute sleeves. I felt a bit naughty doing this because I wasted quite a bit of the fabric… but hey… sometimes I need to wear the garment before I get a sense of tweaks that I want to make.

    I am super pleased with how this has turned out. It’s another dress which I would happily wear to work with a jacket – or I could wear it as a day dress or even accessorised I could wear it out to dinner.

    I hope you like anyway 🙂 I am excited to be making again… so more to follow on here soon. Watch this space!

    Pattern: Sigma by Papercut Patterns

    Fabric: M Rosenberg & Son fabric sale in Cambridge

    Size made: XS/S

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    Obviously the fluffy one wanted some attention while we were taking photos!

    Obviously the fluffy one wanted some attention while we were taking photos!

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    Absolutely amazed that my hairdresser managed to get my fairly short hair into a halo braid

    Absolutely amazed that my hairdresser managed to get my fairly short hair into a halo braid

    Very pleased with my seam matching with inserting the (dreaded) invisible zip

    Very pleased with my seam matching with inserting the (dreaded) invisible zip

    Love my nude Springtime nails!

    Love my nude Springtime nails!

  • A lovely little sewing meet

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    Earlier today I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful bunch of dressmaking enthusiasts, at our very first Cambridge sewing meet. This was organised via the genius of The Foldline website, and we met up at Backstitch near Cambridge.

    As this was our first meet, I thought it would be best to keep it casual, and just meet for a natter over tea and cake – and I have to say it was perfect. It was wonderful to just chat about our sewing, current projects, tips and tricks, and swap experiences of using different patterns and fabrics.

    I even managed to bake a cake for the occasion, which I think went down ok! I was really pleased with how it turned out.

    I had a great time meeting these lovely ladies – not a surprise at all, as I have always found the sewing community to be wonderful folk!

    And thank you to Backstitch for hosting us today. It was a pleasure to come and have a browse through the gorgeous fabrics and make some cheeky purchases 😉

    Great to meet you ladies!

    Jen x

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    My haul from Backstitch

    My haul from Backstitch