Edith Shirtdress and Blouse

What could be better than shirtdress in cool Liberty Tana Lawn to wear in this very hot weather we having in the UK.  I bought this fabric from a  sale at Alice Caroline last year.  Occasional Alice Caroline hold a sale from their stone  barn studio on the edge of the Cotswolds.


I have lots of shirt dress patterns but I wanted a quick sew and cut out a Maria Denmark Edith dress on Sunday, finished sewing the buttons  on Monday after work and wore it to work on Tuesday and it was very cool and comfortable to wear.


I just met the deadline this morning to join in with the  #sewingtogetherforsummer on instagram.


I didn’t have enough of this fabric for a shirtdress but I did have for a blouse version of the Edith pattern.

I can definitely recommend Liberty Tana Lawn as lovely cool fabric for hot weather.  I am off to cool down, this laptop is sooo hot on my legs!

Yes, I made a Wedding Dress

I have done very little blogging this year but I have done a lot of sewing.  Mostly for my son’s wedding, the wedding dress and my mother of the groom outfit.

It’s been a lot of fun, mostly………….. occasionally when things didn’t go well I did wonder what the hell I was  doing.  I won’t bore you with lots of details, especially as I didn’t think to take many photos.

The Design Brief

The Bride wanted a white dress, lace, lace sleeves and not long, but not sure what length.  After a email exchange of pictures and patterns of what I thought might be suitable we arrived at a very loose idea of a strapless boned bodice with a lace bolero, skirt to be decided later.

Which Pattern

This was narrowed down to

Simplicity 4070


and a pattern in The Wedding Dress by Becky Drinan (Florence Bodice)


I started by taking lots of measurements of the Bride as instructed in the book and using the pull out pattern sheet, marked the measurements and joined the dots to create a custom bodice pattern, then traced the bodice pieces on to grease proof paper (I don’t normally ever trace pattern if I can help it and this is all I had to hand, but it worked really well) So I had a front, side front, side back and back bodice piece.


We had a fitting of the two bodices I had sewn up in some old curtain lining to get some idea of the fit.    The bodice from the book was an excellent fit.  The Simplicity 4070 was quite good but needed to be shortened.

The next thing I did was to recut the bodices in calico and add the boning, there is lots of information to be found on the internet regarding boning, but I simply stitched cross grain ribbon  to create channels  over the seam lines into which the boning was inserted.  I thought boning would be difficult, in fact it’s really quite simple.


Bodice cut from Calico with  boning.

So now I had two bodices for two different dresses but  no decision about the length.

I cut the bodices again from an old sheet and stitched them to the calico boned bodice. The skirt for the simplicity pattern  was made as per the pattern with no alterations.


From The Wedding Dress book I followed the Florence dress instructions, the book instructs you to draw your  skirt pattern, the only large sheet of paper I had was the back of the pattern sheet supplied with the book so this became the length of the skirt pattern. I took the two dresses for the Bride to try on and she chose Florence from the The Wedding Dress book and it just happened the length turned out to be floor length on the Bride and she decided she did wanted a full length dress!  But unlike the Florence dress in the book, she didn’t want a corset back or layers of fabric or to change the neckline, she liked it as it was.  Keeping it simple.


Florence Toile


We both ordered a few fabric samples and settled on fabric from White Tree Fabrics

Duchess Satin for the skirt and Duchess  Satin for the bodice with a lace overlay and a lightweight satin for the lining, and the same lace for the bolero.

Dress Construction

The toile was a good fit, but I did need to take out some fabric from the skirt centre back seam,  which must of been a error on my part when drawing the skirt pattern.

The toile was unpicked and then used as pattern pieces.  The calico boned bodice formed the inner bodice of the dress, which was sandwiched between the main bodice and the bodice lining.



The pattern for the Bolero was again from The Wedding Dress book.  The lace had two scalloped edges so the back and sleeve hems were cut to use the scalloped borders.  For the back of the neck and bolero front I carefully cut the scalloped border from the remaining fabric and and hand stitched it to the bolero front and neck.  Satin bias binding covered the side, shoulder and arm hole seams.

We only have few photos so far

the happy couple




If you got this far well done and thanks for reading.




Perfect Pinafore

I just couldn’t decide if i was too old to wear a dungaree style pinafore dress, but in the end I just had to have a go, but I didn’t want to spend any money on an expensive pattern, so after some googling around the internet I discovered that Sew Now had a pattern from a past issue that could be download as PDF pattern.

Sew Now - Issue 3!

Pinafore dress pattern free in issue 3 of Sew Now magazine.

Of course the downside of this is that I didn’t have the magazine, so no instructions.

The fabric is a very nice pincord from John Lewis, but it attracts every bit of fluff, dust and white cat hair that’s in the house.


It turned out a bit on the large size and I had to take in the side seams.  If  I make it again I would alter the pattern to make bib smaller as I am quite short waisted and so it’s a bit long and tends to be a bit baggy when I am sat at my desk.




Overall I am really pleased with the dress and I love the pockets!

Catching up

Oh dear, I really am not very good at blogging consistently, but while we are still in January, I thought I would play catch up and blog my makes from December.

I needed something to wear to the company Christmas Party, a quick make with a pattern that I knew would fit.  I had a light bulb moment and decided instead of making a dress I would sew up an evening skirt and  blouse, I could wear the skirt again and again with different tops.

I found a suitable fabric online at Croft Mill, called “Days of Yore” ??, described as a good quality evening dress fabric, matt on one side and shiny like a satin on the other.  My most used skirt pattern Butterick 5466 only requires 80cm of 150cm wide fabric so at £4.50 per metre it was a bargain.  I wish I had made view B,  without the waistband which I usually use as it does fit better and I think I will change it before I wear it again.   The photo was taken after I had worn it all night so it’s a bit wrinkled.

For the blouse I decided on a sleeveless version of the Lottie Pussy bow blouse with some Crepe de Chine left over from a dress I made couple of years ago, it was such a small piece of fabric  I didn’t have enough to make the bias binding for the sleeve edges or the pussy bow, I got over this by using  black satin ready made bias binding and for the bow plain black Crepe de chine, which I think I order from Minerva Crafts.

I also made a couple of Christmas gifts.

A quilted hot water bottle cover and matching boxy bag in a lovely Liberty Tana Lawn for my sister.  Even the bag lining is Liberty! (yay for half price Liberty fabric sale)

. I trying to catch up with my blog reader and now I just need to blog about January!

#Stitching Santa

This year  I again joined in with the Stitching Santa, organised by the amazing Sheila who blogs at Sewchet


I found it quite difficult to decide what to send my recipient, but finally settled on two 1960’s vintage patterns, a vintage buckle, Wendy Ward MIY sewing tool, a quilted needlebook and mini stocking tree decoration.



I really hope it arrived ok  and she liked it.

I was really lucky with the stitching santa I received from Corrrine at  Applebymakes

I have already taped together the Molly top pattern and sewn it up with the jersey fabric included in my parcel.

Thank you Corrine


Just a Jiffy

I am very behind with blogging my makes lately  so first up is my Pinafore dress or Jumper depending on where you live.

Simplicity Jiffy 1252, some of the reviews, and there are not many, for this dress are not very encouraging bemoaning the fit of the dress, but I stuck with it anyway.

I shorted the pattern at the waist and the length, I didn’t use the facing as I fully lined the dress and so managed to squeeze it out of 1 metre of fabric, a half price bargain from John Lewis  a couple of years ago.   The fabric frays a lot so I added some strips of  lightweight interfacing to  the seam allowance to strength the side seams.



It does have a weird kind of dart  up the front and the neckline is a tad wide, but overall  I like it.




I was a bit unsure about this dress at first but now its a great addition to my work wardrobe.

Finally a Pussy Bow Blouse

Everybody in the sewing universe it seems has made a pussy bow blouse,  I have always resisted as I thought they  were just not me, but lately I have warmed to the pussy bow.

I used the Lottie Pussy Bow Blouse  pattern from Sew Simple, a freebie with Love Sewing magazine a couple of years ago and a  charity shop fabric find



I cut a size 14  down to a  12 around the neck.  I had to cut the neck tie in two pieces and  add a seam allowance  and join them together as I didn’t have enough fabric  left otherwise.  I  used French seams for a neat finish.  I didn’t read the instruction until I got to the stage of adding the neck tie, where if you follow the instructions you have a raw edge, I really didn’t want a untidy neck, so I enclosed the neck edge inside the neck tie, just like sewing a collar.


It’s a great fit, straight out of the envelope. And I love it!!

I am already planning  a Christmas one and a sleeveless one in Liberty Lawn.

Have you ever changed your mind about a pattern and ended up loving it?

Happy Sunday