Wednesday, 23 March 2016


The past few weeks have a been a bit of a blur. It's a super busy time at work which has led to many bleary evenings, early nights and not a lot of sewing time. 
I found no inclination to blog, tweet or insta much either. Sometimes life happens you know? It was all made up for a with an amazing long weekend in Barcelona though, mostly for work, for which I feel super lucky. I actually got to go out to a weaving mill and dying plant just outside the city which blew my tiny mind! Maybe I'll do a little post about it it?....but firstly I must talk about this new dress!

I was contacted by the lovely people at The Stitchery in Lewes who asked if I would like to choose some fabric to make up a project of my choosing. I've visited The Stitchery a few times. Lewes is just up the road from Brighton and has been a day trip destination for me all of my life. I have lots of very lovely memories of wandering around the town with my Nan and Grandad, picnics along the river and running around the priory gardens with my cousins. It's the perfect place for a Sunday wander. The Stitchery is based in a little shopping centre of sorts called Riverside, which as a lovely little tea room downstairs, but before I make this sound like a tourism ad for Lewes lets get back to the dress!

So if you can't get to Lewes, The Stitchery of course has a website, I didn't have the time to get out there so browsed all of their fabrics online. I decided on this cute Ladybird print cotton

It's a lovely medium weight, due to the colour it was a tiny bit sheer so I also went in for some lining fabric. They were out of poplin so sent me some super soft muslin, along with an invisible zip and lots of lovely sweeties!

The dress pattern choice? Simplicity 2444 of course! I wanted to use a TNT pattern that I will get loads of wear out of this summer. 

The cotton was a dream to press and sew up. I used the muslin for a full lining so I won't need to wear a slip underneath at all, this will be perfect for when it gets hot (it will get hot right?) and I'm thinking the muslin will feel nice and soft against my skin.

Using a lining for dresses gives such a nice finish to the neck and arm holes, I find it looks so much neater than facings and binding.

The ladybird fabric was a little narrow so I had to alter the front skirt piece just slightly to bring in the bottom hem and fit it onto the fabric width. You could fit it all in if you follow the pattern, the front skirt is actually meant to be two pieces but I would hate to have a seam down the front of the skirt so always cut on the fold.  It turned out fine, you wouldn't even notice.

Ha ha, this is where I get to the flouncing around stage of photo taking, but its the only pic that shows the back so....

I'm really pleased with this dress, it's definitely going to get some good wear out of it. The print is so lovely and the quality of the cotton is great. It's going to survive a lot of summer washing.


I was gifted this fabric for free from The Stitchery but all words and opinions are my own.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

2016 Destash #3......

It's taken ages to photograph this one, but I made this a couple of weeks ago. My third piece of stash fabric getting all used up. 
This was 2 meters of black and white giant gingham cotton, quilting weight so quite stiff but still nice and soft, super easy to sew with.
My inspiration was this dress from Laura Ashley and also this one from Hobbs.Initilaly I was going to wait until it warmed up a bit as I had envisioned this as a summer dress but actually what with the cotton being quite thick, and also me being impatient, I went ahead and got on with it. I used the Anna bodice and predictably the Belladone skirt. I really must leave that skirt alone for a while now, I've used it so many times! 


I'm pleased with the end result. I think the bold checks work well on the simple bodice. It was really hard to get them to make any sense at the waistline. The darts don't match the skirt, the bodice cuts the squares off half way and they don't match up at all, so rather than stressing over it I decided to make up a waist tie with some left over fabric to match the look of the Hobbs version. I really like it in place of a belt. 

 The stiffness of the cotton works well with the skirt shape. It holds the A line well, although it does crease quite a bit but swings and roundabouts hey?

The only vaguely good pic I have of the back is this swishy one, look at me go! This is what happens when you take photos early in the morning before rushing out of the door. I become giddy with self consciousness and end up pulling faces and twirling all around the place. 

I haven't made an Anna for a while now, I really do love that bodice and cute little kimono sleeves. 
I've worn this a couple of times already. I managed a really good fit on the bodice. I made the alterations to the pattern pieces a while back and it was so worth the effort, no gapey necklines here :)

Actually looking at this photo those lines of check actually match up ok moving down the dress so maybe I didn't fair too bad there after all?