• A Maternity TATB Indigo Dress

  • Hi folks, hope you’re all safe and well? Strange times we’re living in right now, that’s for sure. While I’m self-isolating at home, I thought I’d share with you this latest make. I made this back in February for a guest blog post with Brother Sewing UK (disclaimer – I provide Brother with guest blog posts, in exchange for loan of a sewing machine and coverstitch machine). If you wanted to check out the full post, it’s available here.

    So I thought I’d drop on here with the photos of this make to show you all. It’s a Tilly and the Buttons Indigo Dress. I bought this pattern as soon as it was released, but by the time I’ve gotten round to making it, I was quite pregnant! No problem – it’s actually a pretty good pattern for working as maternity wear too. I just raised the waistline slightly, and lengthened the skirt. It’s such a lovely smock dress (or top!). I can’t wait to try this after having the baby too.

    I didn’t toile the pattern, which maybe I should have done. I made a size 3, which in hindsight, was ambitious! I should have sized up as my normal TATB size 3 was a little tight across my bust. Lesson learned! It isn’t unwearable – just not as loose and comfy as I would have liked. I just struggle to have enough time to toile things these days – I just want to jump in with the fun part!

    The fabric I used was this lovely cotton from Backstitch. It’s like a chambray, but has these tiny flecks of neon yellow and pink woven throughout – which is so pretty!

    Anyway, I hope you like this. I had fun with all of the gathering – and discovered that my new favourite sewing finish is to topstitch across my gathering. It just looks so professional when finished!

    Stay safe and well people – much love! x

    Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Indigo (Dress version)

    Fabric: Neon flecked cotton from Backstitch 

    Size made: 3

    Alterations made: Raised waistline & lengthened skirt

  • My Hackalong Make with Simplicity/McCalls and The Eve Appeal

  • Hi everyone! Long time no speak. I’ve been a little caught up for the last few months… dealing with a combination of moving house AND morning sickness! Yep, all good news to be expecting – and baby Walker no 2 is due in June. Exciting times! But safe to say that I definitely wouldn’t recommend moving house when struggling with morning sickness!

    So I haven’t exactly had the luxury of time to be able to sew lately. Though, I have been having fun setting up my new sewing room in the new house (full photos to come soon in another blog post!). But just now been able to start dabbling in a bit of sewing in snippets of time here and there. So feels great to be showing you a new make!

    This is a dress I have made as part of the ‘Hackalong’ run by Simplicity/McCalls, which is supporting the fantastic charity, The Eve Appeal. I’m so grateful to have been included in the blogger line-up for this! I’ve been admiring other bloggers makes for months.

    The pattern I chose was the Simplicity 8658 top. I spent such a long time working out a style that would work around a little baby bump. And I figured that this would be large enough to work well. I didn’t want anything too fitted!

    And the fabric I choose was this gorgeous John Kaldor crepe from Minerva (full disclosure – fabric was gifted to me in order to take part in this project). It was an absolute dream to work with – very well behaved, and so super drapey!

    Anyway, back to the hack along! These are the alterations I made to the pattern, in order to magic a top into maternity dress:

    -Lengthened to dress length

    -Sizing graded out from the waist down

    -Shirring added to high waist (above bump)

    I’m so pleased with the result! AND I need to tell you that this was my first ever attempt at shirring. I was terrified of it all going wrong and ruining the whole project! But all was fine – after tonnes of practice on fabric scraps beforehand. I did have to change my bobbin tension so it was a little tighter – which gave lovely ruffles in the shirring. I did 5 lines of shirring over 2 inches (a line every half inch).

    I hope you like what I’ve done with this pattern – it was a little bit scary at points, but so pleased I braved it!

    If you want to follow along with the hack along, head on over to the Sew Direct website here –https://www.sewdirect.com/hack-along/

    And you can find out more about the charity, The Eve Appeal here.

    Thanks for reading!

    Jen x

  • By Hand London Jenna Dress in the Prettiest Double Gauze

  • Well, I’ve been up to a little bit of sewing! It’s been so tough to find time to myself to sew lately – a combination of the admin of about to move house, and a toddler who has been fighting sleep. Not ideal!

    Anyway, I’ve managed to steal lots of snippets of time here and there to sew this. And I’m so pleased to A) Finally finish it, and; B) Show it to you all!

    This is a By Hand London Jenna Dress. As soon as this pattern dropped, I immediately added to the sewing list. It was one of those which I fell in love with, and attached to instantly. But it’s taken a while for me to get round to finding the perfect fabric, and actually having some much needed time to myself to sew!

    And then…. I came across this stunning double gauze fabric at my local haberdashery, Backstitch. And WOW. Just WOW. I love the splashes of colour… the arty Jackson Pollock-ness of this… and the neon pink is just stunning.

    I married this fabric up with the Jenna pattern because I felt as though it was a little bit of a clash of girly cutesy dress with the sort of girly grungey/graffiti kind of look. Anyway, that’s where my brain went in case you’re interested 😉

    The Jenna pattern was just as you would expect from By Hand London. Beautifully straightforward – literally no issues with this at all. It was an absolute joy to sew.

    I tweaked the back neckline to bring it in a little, as it was quite gapey on me. And I think if/when I make another Jenna I will try to just take a little out of the front neckline too. It’s not a big deal, but I think I could tweak that a tiny bit and have the perfect fit. I didn’t bother toile’ing this – time was scarce and excitement was high (sure you’ve been there and bought the t-shirt!).

    The double gauze fabric was a little on the sheer side so I decided to fully line the whole dress with a white cotton lawn – which adds to the lovely soft feel when wearing this. I picked up the lawn at Cotton Reel Studio‘s closing down sale, and have to say it is so lovely. Buttery softness at its best.

    Oh and how did I get this far without mentioning the ties on the sleeves?! They’re so cute. And very easy to sew. These were maybe the main feature which sold the dress to me. I love the girly style they give the dress. The only thing I found was that I wasn’t sure whether or not to double knot them. A single knot looked better, but it didn’t last long before it fell apart. Or maybe I should just stitch them together…. I don’t know…!

    One other small thing I decided to do to this dress – I used a lightweight interfacing and fused it to all of the bodice pattern pieces. I decided this would help with holding the structure, as otherwise the double gauze being a nice loose weave, would have potential for sagging out of shape.

    I also dug out my hand sewing skills for finishing the little details – like the lining along the zipper, and the hem. I feel like when I spend the time to hand stitch a hem, I appreciate the dress so much more! I don’t always do this… in fact I mostly whizz my hems through the overlocker, and then topstitch on the machine… but now and then I feel like a dress is truly worthy of having that time spent on this final detail 🙂

    Anyway, hope you’re into this dress! I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to drop me a comment – or head on over to my Instagram to give me your thoughts!

    Jen x

    Pattern: By Hand London Jenna Dress

    Fabric (shell): Double gauze from Backstitch 

    Fabric (lining): Plain white cotton lawn from Cotton Reel Studio closing down sale

    Size made: 10

    Alterations made: Adjusted back neckline to remove gape (narrow shoulders adjustment)