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.

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

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Florence Toile

Fabric 

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.

bodice

Bolero

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

thc

 

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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

Back to blogging

According to WordPress I started writing this  post 2 months ago!  Not sure were the time has gone……….. work, decorating, holidays, days out and a bit of sewing,  not much clothes sewing  as I am losing weight so hope I will need a smaller size soon.

Anyway on with the sewing stuff  when I  saw this Sweater Knit fabric on Fabworks Online, I thought if would be perfect for the  Oslo Cardigan from Seamworks.

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I didn’t bother to the add the cuffs, as the sleeves were already very long, or  any fastening .

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It really is  long on me, but in the winter with jeans I think it will be fine.  Not put off I made another version in a lovely black sweater knit again from Fabworks.  This time I cut about 8 inches off the bottom of the pattern, but then I am only 5’2″.

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I am so  impressed with this fabric it is very fine and super soft but doesn’t crease, these photos were taken after it had been shoved into my bag all day at work.

As you can see the black version is a lot shorter in length!

I  did manage to make myself  a cozy quilt for the chilly evenings ahead

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The fabric is mostly from  the Makower Juicy range,  all half price bargains from Cotswold Needlecraft apart from the owls, polka dots and plain white cotton which were all in my stash. PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a disappearing four patch pattern which looks much more complicated than it really is.

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I love the cute little owls!

Sew Simple – Chelsea Collection Blouse

Sew Simple Chelsea Collection  pattern for a skirt, trousers and blouse came free  with issue 29 of Love Sewing magazine,  I liked the look V-neck line (without the collar) of the top.

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The fabric requirements are very generous at  2.4m  of 60″ wide fabric, why do we  mix metric and imperial measurements in the UK?.  I had nowhere near this amount of fabric, I have had this cotton lawn from John Lewis in my stash for a couple years, left over from Vintage Blouse Pattern   blogged about in 2014!  I had nowhere near this amount of fabric more like 1.5.

By folding the selvages to meet in the middle I was able to create two folds to place the pattern pieces on.   If you used a different plain fabric for the bodice facing even less fabric would be needed.

I cut a size 14 grading out to  a 16 at the side seams and added  2.5 cm to the length, I wouldn’t normally lengthen a top because I am only 5’2″ but the pattern is designed to be tucked in and it was advised to do this if you intend to wear it loose.

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The pattern instructions are very brief, so I did my own thing, added edge stitching to the neckline, finished the bottom of the bodice facing with over edge stitch.

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Good to know I can boil these buttons if  I want to!!

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Using shirring elastic was new to me and I was surprised how easy it was and the instructions  for doing this bit were simple but clear.

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Although the instructions were brief it didn’t really bother me and I enjoyed sewing this blouse.   Oh and just because I wanted to I added a bias binding hem!

Anyone else made this blouse?

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6.35am

Its 6.35 and my husband  has just left  for  a 12 hour shift, I don’t work weekends so I have the whole day to myself!  He kindly  woke me up with a cup of tea, so now I am wide awake and planing my day, apart from visiting and shopping for my parents both in their 90’s  I plan to get some sewing done.  I have not blogged for a while, busy working and  holidaying in Scotland for 2 weeks, but always sewing.  While on holiday I got some more work done on my EPP Liberty scrap quilt.

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Before we went I made a couple of  T -shirts from the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern with different results, it’s a free PDF  from Maria Denmark    I manged to squeeze the pieces on to  what was left from  Simplicity 2369   by cutting it a little shorter than the pattern requires, as I am only 5’2″ I didn’t think it would be a problem.

I cut a medium on the neck and shoulders grading out to XL for the  side seams. As with all Maria Denmark patterns the seam allowance has to be added to the pattern, but the instructions advise a 1 cm seam allowance, 2 cm on the sleeves and no seam allowance on the neckline, but of course I read these instructions after I had finished sewing it up!!

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For the second one  in a lovely soft jersey from Fabworks  Online, I followed the instructions and the neck is a bit wider , I think I prefer the first version, has I have narrow shoulders it fits better.

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Twin needle didn’t work so well this time and I resorted to a zig zag stitch around the neckline.

Oh and I also made the Dee and Doe Plantain T-shirt, another free pattern download, how I love a free pattern!!

I really like this one has it flares out over the hips, which is great for me and with the option of 3/4 and long  sleeves this will be great for the cooler weather or in the UK anytime!  Again fabric from Fabworks  Online.

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I will leave you with a picture of my hanging baskets just because they were on the camera and they are very pretty!!

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Bye for now