• Celebrating Summer with a Vogue V9311 Maxi Dress

  • Well here I am again, swishing my way around summer in a me-made maxi dress! And this one has been a long time coming… I actually made this last summer but it’s taken a whole year for me to get around to blogging it. This is a true reflection of the amount of free time I get as a full-time working mum LOL!

    Rarely do I ever really make many of ‘the big 4’ patterns. I guess I’m just an indie patterns kinda gal at heart. I just couldn’t resist the style of this one though – with its 70s hippy vibes. And the pattern? A Vogue V9311.

    It was a pretty easy/straightforward pattern to sew – not too many tricky areas. I decided part-way through that I would leave the sleeves off. I think at the time it was a bit of a heatwave going on, so the thought of sleeves made me feel a bit sweaty! I was just trying the dress on before the sleeves part of the instructions and just thought it looked great without. Also there was a little bit of me that felt like it may have been too much pattern if I’d have added them.

    The fabric I used was a polyester – not 100% sure on the type, but at a guess, it was maybe like a georgette. It was a little sheer, with this gorgeous floral print on a lilac background. So pretty! I bought this from Sew Essential and it was a total bargain. I think it was around £5 per metre!

    I used a lining fabric to fully line the whole dress, just because the outer shell fabric was just that little bit too sheer to get away with. Unfortunately though, the combination of the slippery lining and shell fabric means that they sort of shift around as their own entities… so I feel as though I need to wiggle and shift it around as I’m wearing it. Which is a little annoying.

    Although, I am super pleased with the hem and slit finishes as I spent hours blind slip stitching all of this by hand. It did take a long time, but it was a really therapeutic process. Sometimes I lack the patience for hand stitching, but more and more I’m finding a real sense of ‘zen’ from doing this… so I intend on biting the bullet and doing this more. After all, the finished look is so much nicer than a rushed machined topstitch – especially on a lightweight fabric like this.

    Another part of this make which I gave my all to was French seaming the entire dress. Again, such a rewarding process! As a result of this, I wrote a tutorial blog post especially for the lovely people at Brother Sewing UK – so head on over to their blog to see all of the steps and photos in detail – http://brothersewinguk.blogspot.com/2019/07/getting-to-grips-with-french-seams-with.html.

    Anyway, it sure does feel good to have this dress up on the blog! It’s been a long time coming 🙂

    Pattern: Vogue V9311

    Fabric: Sew Essential

    Size made: 12

    Alterations made: Finished without sleeves

  • A Silky Yellow Magnolia Maxi Dress

  • Hello sewing fans! Sorry for my absence on the blog lately. I’ve been snowed under with, well… life. But very happy to confirm that I have been managing a little sewing here or there. And this dress is the result of my many bitesize sewing sessions!

    I’m over the moon with it. I had eyed up this fabric quite some time back, on the Ray Stitch website. It is a bamboo silk, and they sell it in a rainbow of the most beautiful opulent colours. This colour is called ‘saffron’, and the moment I saw it I knew I had to have it for a dress…. because, you know, YELLOW IS MY FAV!

    The pattern is a stunner too – it instantly headed to the top of my sewing list! It is a Deer & Doe Magnolia Dress. I love everything about the style of this… the sleeves, the V-neck wrap bodice, and the maxi skirt with a cheeky slit to one side!  My only slight concern about this dress is that it’s… ahem… a bit on the booby side! But I feel like this is ok as it’s long and covers the legs, and also has long sleeves. So otherwise well covered up 😉

    And the fabric/pattern combo… well, what a match made in heaven! This silk is just gorgeous. It is a great weight, so doesn’t feel too sheer to wear without a lining – and also means that the drape is so so lovely too.

    I have written a little guest blog post for the Brother Sewing UK blog where I have revealed how I tackled sewing this tricky slippery fabric. So head on over if you want to find out!

    Anyway, hope you like this make too. I’m super pleased with it 🙂 And watch this space for more makes hitting the blog very soon!

    Pattern: Deer & Doe Magnolia

    Fabric: Bamboo silk from Ray Stitch

    Size made: 40

    Alterations made: None!

  • A Peachy Cocoon Coat of Dreams

  • Well this has been a long time in the making! One of those projects which I have been working on, in little bitesize pieces, for months now. For so long I had wanted to try my hand at making a proper coat, and heck, I’m bloody proud of myself for making this.

    The pattern is the Sew Over It Cocoon Coat, which came with the first edition of Lisa Comfort‘s magazine. I felt like this was a style I could wear really easily for work, as I had been wearing one very similar (RTW) for so long – but it is starting to look a bit sad as I’ve worn it so much!

    The pattern came as a normal printed pattern in a paper envelope. The only difference was that the instructions came printed inside the magazine. And as I wanted to add pockets (obviously!), I just had to download the welt pocket add-on from the Lisa Comfort website. The instructions throughout were super clear. I just had one issue which was to do with the numbering of the steps near the start – I think that may just be a small error. It was easy to work it out, so no real problem. There were no massive head-scratching moments – so all in all, great instructions with clear photos to help guide you through.

    The fabric I chose was this absolute stunner… peach wool coating from Ray Stitch. I was so drawn to this, despite it probably not being ‘my colour’… I just attached to it (online) and just had to have it. Very much an investment piece of fabric (yikes!), but I knew that I wanted to make a quality coat using a premium fabric which I could get lots of wear out of – and really enjoy.

    The lining fabric isn’t a traditional slippery lining. Instead I used a viscose, which you likely already recognise as being one of the ever popular Atelier Brunette viscose fabrics. The background colour of this is a deep green. And some of the strokes in the pattern are an exact colour match to the coat fabric. And I thought to myself about how excited I get when you see a garment, open it up and have that flash of a beautiful patterned lining – and that feeling had me all kinds of sold on putting this fancy Atelier Brunette on the inside of my new coat. And I’m delighted with the result!

    And I can’t write this blog post without mentioning a tool which helped no end with this make – my beautiful clapper which was bought from Sew Essential. It helped me press those bouncy coating seams nice and flat. And I firmly believe that this bit of kit really helps to give the coat a professional finish. Cannot recommend it highly enough!

    I made this coat over the course of maybe 5 months, in tiny snippets of time in the sewing room. This sounds crazy, but I really don’t get much time to myself, to sew. So having finished this feels incredibly satisfying! I didn’t cut any corners or rush any part (as tempting as that is when you’re embarking on a big make!). And for that reason the finish is just beautiful. Sorry if that sounds a bit like I’m blowing my own trumpet. Actually, I take that back… I’m not sorry. It is one gorgeous coat! And I’m super proud of that.

    Thanks for reading guys!

    Pattern: Sew Over It Cocoon Coat

    Fabric: Peach coating from Ray Stitch, with Atelier Brunette viscose lining (I can’t remember where I bought this!)

    Size made: 10

    Adjustments made: None!