Simple Sew Pattern: Kate Jersey Dress – Take 2

After the issues I discovered whilst making my first Kate dress, I wanted to make it again to improve the outcome. I knew if I left it too long then I’d not bother as I don’t really enjoy making the same thing twice when I have so many exciting patterns in my stash to try out! So I started this dress on Thursday afternoon and finished it on Friday evening. I probably could have done it in a day if I hadn’t procrastinated so much.

Am I the only person who finds cutting out boring?! I have to have the TV on whilst I spread the fabric across the living room floor as otherwise I want to tear my hair out. This time I watched Bear Grylls take the rather lovely Zac Efron on a crazy adventure, which helped soothe my pains! 🙂

I really hated sewing with this fabric as it was so super stretchy! All in all, it wasn’t a fun make but I was determined to finish it. The good thing is that it’s very forgiving. It was really tricky to take any decent photos so the ones below are the best of a rubbish bunch.

I was so angry with myself for accidentally cutting the fabric around the neckline whilst I was cutting some threads as it’s in a really prominent place. I’ve placed some interfacing behind it and darned it so the slit won’t get any bigger but now the neckline looks a mess and I need to come up with a solution… As the V neck ended up deeper than it did on my first attempt (see photo below), I’m tempted to make some sort of collar similar to these dresses from ASOS and Light In The Box:

Otherwise it’s definitely a ‘wear with a vest top underneath’ jobby.

I made the ties about 4 or 5 inches longer so they are improved since the first Kate dress. I also made this one short sleeved as the fabric is so light it really is a summer dress first and foremost. I added some zigzag stitches in bright pink around the sleeve hem just for a bit of fun and will likely do the same to the neckline once I’ve decided on a collar.

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I cut the pattern for the back of the dress about 3 or 4 inches narrower so that fixed the problem from the first Kate dress whereby there was an excessive amount of fabric at the back.

I blind stitched the hem again and I think this is becoming my favourite method of hemming, despite how fiddly it is.

Anyway, will make those neckline adjustments later and then it’s time to move on to a new pattern and a new challenge.

 

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I’ve Created a Monster…

… A scotch pancake addicted monster, that is. And the cute kind, like Sulley from Monsters Inc. Mary Berry is to blame.

Karl is obsessed with my homemade scotch pancakes now. When I ask what he’d like for breakfast I already know the answer. 

  
We’ve gone from once a week to several times a week; butter to Golden Syrup to Nutella as topping; small ones to medium to massive. 

Here’s what I surprised him with this morning on his birthday;

  
A massive three-tier pancake mountain in place of a cake (because we still have chocolate cake left from last week) and a tealight because the only candles I have are a two and a six from his birthday last year!! 🙂 

Simple Sew Pattern: Kate Jersey Dress

Okay, so it’s as finished as it’s going to get. I might well faff with the excess material at the back but I might just wait until I make it again (as I’m bound to because the pattern is very me).

Apologies now for the quality of the photos – trying to get them in focus when you’re both photographer and model is a bit tricky! And I’m feeling rather ugly at the moment so I’ve chopped my head off in all of them.

What I like: 

  • The neckline 🙂
  • The sleeves – I added the turn ups and buttons
  • The gathered bust (although it was a pain to do!)
  • The overall style

What I don’t like:

  • Excessive amount of fabric in the back, despite this being a size 10 pattern
  • The hem – it’s a bit scruffy
  • My stomach – but that’s not the pattern’s fault! 😉
  • I’d make the ties longer if (when) I  make this again as they are a bit on the mean side
  • The fabric – it turned out to be ‘glossier’ than I thought it would be but that’s just the perils of online fabric shopping! Live and learn! 😉

List of ‘firsts’ I achieved whilst working on this dress:

  • First blind hem
  • First dress
  • First time using stretchy fabric (it was a lot easier when I remembered I needed to put a stretch fabric needle on the machine!)
  • First gathered bust/yoke combo
  • First time I’ve ‘faced’ a neckline (or anything, for that matter!) and it went well!

Anyhoo… Finally finished it on the day that this month’s Love Sewing Magazine arrived at my door!

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Journaling 

I just wanted to share with you this cool journal I bought second hand from World of Books (via Amazon) because it’s awesome!

It’s called The Book of Me and it’s filled with questions about your background, the present and your future. I’ve always loved things like this since I was a kid and because this is a thick book with quite a few questions to mull over, it should take me a while to complete. 🙂

   
   

It’s American and clearly aimed at an older market than myself but it’s still far superior to a lot of similar products I’ve seen out there. 

Apologies for the smudges in the photos – my iPhone lens doesn’t seem to want to be clean! 

The paper is thick and copes with a fountain pen without bleeding everywhere. And there are lots of ‘free text’ pages towards the back if you want to elaborate on something. 

I like writing but I can tend to get a bit bogged down in the hopeless stuff when I freely write in a journal so something like this, that asks about the good as well as the bad, is advisable for me.

HPC16: Monochrome Place Setting

As my sister should now have received her birthday present, I can reveal what was inside!

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Because I had to ship it to Sri Lanka I knew it had to be something small and lightweight. My sister likes setting the table for a meal and presentation is important so I thought something nice for her table would be a good idea. I chose the monochrome print because it’s modern and clean. I made the placemat first and it’s lightly quilted, with horizontal stitching to hold it in place. The coaster is the same. The napkin is lined with white cotton so it looks more ‘finished’ and not just as though someone has dumped a piece of fabric in the bowl!

It was fortunate we have black, white and grey crockery for this photo!

One handmade birthday present down… Many, many more to go!

All Rise

Another good ol’ insomnia-induced post here, folks! I am this close (*holds thumb and forefinger an inch apart*) from finishing the Kate jersey dress and being able to show it to you all but I’ve been dragging my heels a bit with it – probably because I’ve decided I don’t like the fabric – so no preview today. I did blind hem it yesterday (my first ever blind hem) so that was a nice opportunity to learn a new technique.

I made more cake… Yes, the Death by Chocolate one didn’t last long and I’d promised my partner’s mum I’d take her some but didn’t so I am building bridges with cake! 😉 I wanted to me make a Vicki Sponge as well because I love the mix of sponge, cream and jam (and I always add fresh strawberries) – it’s a classic. I also prefer cake which isn’t chocolatey, which may surprise those who know how much I love chocolate in the normal way! I think if I’m going to have all those calories I’d rather have a solid bar of Dairy Milk than a cake covered in chocolate. It’s a bit like when people call KitKats ‘chocolate bars’ – No they’re not; they’re biscuits. They just happen to be covered in chocolate, but not enough to warrant the title of ‘chocolate bar’. (As you can see, it’s an issue I feel strongly about!) 😉

So, I made the Death by Chocolate Cake again but I left out the fiddly chocolate ‘waves’ this time and just whacked some white chocolate chips on there instead. The cakes rose more evenly this time so it’s not as much as a Leaning Tower of Pisa as the other one was. I also couldn’t find any plain chocolate in the local shop so I used 70% dark chocolate (150g) and 35% milk chocolate (150g) as a compromise – seems to work okay.

The Vicky is a simple ‘125 grams of everything’ (e.g. butter, sugar and flour, NOT baking power!) sponge but I probably should have made more mixture so the top cake wasn’t quite so thin… Anyhow, whipped double cream and Thursday Cottage raspberry jam in the middle. Normally I’d chop strawberries into the filling but because Karl doesn’t eat fruit and I’m not sure if the strawberries will keep very well if not eaten at once, I’ll just add them when I serve. With a strong cup of English breakfast tea as well, of course.

Yum! Good job the Kate dress is stretchy! 😉

 

The Big Sister Skirt

My step-sister posted a photo of her daughter wearing the skirt I made on Facebook yesterday so I thought I’d share. Obviously she does have a head (!) but it doesn’t feel right to show her identity. 

 
She’s a super cute kid and I love her little hand-on-hip pose here! And the plaster on her foot! ☺️

The skirt is a lot longer on her than I thought it would be, and the net skirt is showing underneath when it shouldn’t. She’s such a small girl that her mum reckons it’ll last her a year! Anyway, the most important thing is that she likes it, which I’m told she does. 😃