Wedding Invites

No, not for my wedding. Not yet, anyway.

I’ve been invited to two weddings this year so I’m looking forward to making some party dresses! I think I will revisit the silhouette I passed over in favour of a floor length gown for the wedding I attended last summer, and so either Butterick 6129 or Butterick 5748Β are on my list for one of the weddings.

I like the shoulder detail on the 6129 so this is the leading choice at the moment:


I fancy going the whole hog though and adding a net petticoat for some volume!

I’m considering a shift dress with a ruffle of some sort for the other wedding. Along these lines:

Ruffled Shift Dress 03/2016 #120A

Although I’ve always had a penchant for a floral maxi so I won’t rule it out! πŸ˜€

I’m guessing a taffeta for the 6129, or maybe a silk dupion? Or a dull Duchess satin? Fabric selection is not a strength of mine so I welcome any advice. Would a brocade work for the 5748 do you think? I’ve ordered a sample of this gold and navy one. Bit more ‘dressy’ than cotton. I don’t like super shiny fabrics as they show all the lumps and bumps so I have to bear that in mind when shopping.




A True Surprise!

There are few real surprises in life once you’re an adult (or certainly few nice ones!) so it made my day yesterday to receive a free gift of two metres of fabric from Adam Ross Fabrics!

I received a red chiffon with little white dots, which is very useable even if it’s not a colour I’d likely choose for myself. Most surprising of all is that I believe I’ve only purchased twice from ARF, and so I don’t think of myself as a loyal, big spender there.

And the fabric keeps rolling in (though these aren’t surprises, these are purchases) as samples of silk, crepe de chine, tulle, satin, lace, organza, etc. continue to arrive. These are all in pursuit of the perfect fabrics in which to make my wedding dress and I will need about three different types of fabric all in the same shade to complete my planned design, which is going to be no mean feat to obtain!

Some beautiful Beckford Silk samples arrived today… but you only get to see the envelope! πŸ˜‰

m still on the look out for very soft tulle so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know! πŸ™‚

Assistance with Fabric Finding Please!

Hi guys,

I’m in need of some very soft, drapey tulle fabric but every online retailer I’ve bought samples from so far has sent me much crisper, scratchy net instead. It’s for a long skirt with a romantic feel.

Does anyone know of a good retailer I can contact? Ideally one who has a choice of colours but I would consider dying some if I can only find white/off-white.

Thank you!

Lena On Me

Did you know ‘Lena’ means ‘firewood’ in Swedish? And ‘brothel-keeper’ in Latin? No? Why ever not?! πŸ˜›

However, in the sewing world, the Lena is a faux wrap dress made in jersey fabric(s), with two sleeve lengths and optional lace overlay. Developed by Simple Sew, the Lena has been on my ‘to sew’ list for a while as I buy plenty of RTW wrap dresses as I love the style of them. I obtained the pattern free with Issue 35 of Love Sewing magazine so I’ve had it for a while.


I opted for the navy jersey I also bought a while back (and have recently used for trim on the Anchor T-Shirt) and set about cutting out the bodice and sleeves. I cut a size 14 as this seemed to match the closest to my measurements but really I should have probably cut a 12 and done a FBA… Ah, hindsight, you beauty!

I managed to drastically stretch out the neckline whilst hemming, which almost made me bin it in frustration but I turned instead to the handy web and discovered tips involving steam that seemed to remedy it! πŸ™‚ The Lena is meant to be lined but I ditched this idea as I run hot and a long-sleeved jersey dress is likely to be warm enough for me without doubling up the layers. I detest being hot so I’d rather layer it with a cardigan or a vest top that I can remove. As such, I had to hem the neckline rather than using the lined method for finishing it.

Once I’d finished the bodice I was in two minds whether to continue on to the dress or leave it as a top, albeit with a bit of fabric added so it didn’t look too early-2000’s midriff bearing! I decided to plough on in the end but with the intention of making a kind of wrap ballet-esque cardigan/top soon.

My version is less ‘faux wrap’ as, by stitching the front crossover sections together to prevent the dreaded gape-age,Β it has less of a wrap around appearance to it. However, this is okay with me as at least I know I can wear it in polite company! Ideally, I should have altered the bodice to take some of the extra fabric in the back out (sounding like a broken record now from when I made the Kate jersey dresses…) and then I could have managed a closer fit and reduced the risk of the front dropping too far down. A tip to take forward for the cardigan/top.

Anyway, let’s have some photos:

When it came to the skirt I opted to use a contrasting fabric for the boarder 1) to prevent it being exceedingly plain and b) because I didn’t have quite enough fabric in blue jersey to make it uniform in colour.

It is a plain dress but it is also very ‘me’! This is part of my concerted effort to make more items in colours I wear/suit, shapes I wear/suit and fabrics I find comfortable/practical. It doesn’t mean I’ve completely ditched the brighter fabrics and patterns but I am trying to lead with my head a bit more than my heart when it comes to pattern choice and fabric purchases. We’ll see how long it continues… πŸ˜‰



(I’m afraid I’m being a touch on the shy (vain!) side today, hence the cropped out face. And check out those pale post-Sri-Lankan-holiday legs!) πŸ˜‰

If (when) I make it again I will adjust the fabric in the back so that it sits closer to my figure (though this version is good for covering up food babies) and then it will allow me to leave the front crossover unstitched together and thus more ‘faux wrap’. I will also address the sleeves, which fit well lower down but are a bit baggy mid-arm. And I will play around with the placement of the bust darts as they sit a bit awkwardly.

What do you think? Is it too plain? Shall I add some more dashes of colour (e.g. either a motif on one shoulder or a flash of the red fabric inside the sleeves so they can be rolled up once)? Should I be embarrassed to wear this out and about or pleased?

P.S. The waistband looks a bit lopsided in the modelled photo but I think that must be the way I stand as it doesn’t look that was on Agnus.

Anchor Pieces v1.2

Just a quick entry to show you the finished anchor jersey t-shirt I made….

It’s not the tidiest sew and I despaired a few times over the binding but oh well! My favourite bit is the pocket but it’s really tricky to know where to place it; I probably went a bit too high but never mind.

I’m currently working on another jersey project, despite finding it a tedious fabric to sew with, so stay tuned for more!

Anchor Pieces

Considering my RTW wardrobe consists of a lot of stretch jersey, it isn’t a fabric I have much of. I love jersey tops because they’re comfy, they are pretty universal, and (best of all) they don’t require ironing!

I bought some nice jersey, at a higher price than I’d normally pay, a while back with the intention of making a Lena wrap dress. This is still very much the plan with the navy jersey I bought but I’ve opted to use the grey anchor patterned one for a self-drafted t-shirt.

I used a t-shirt I already have as a base for working out the shape and width but I then adapted it a fair bit whilst on Agnes (mannequin), especially the neckline. It’s not finished yet but here are some ‘work-in-progress’ photos:

(Apologies for the un-made bed… Oops!)

I was going to add actually sleeves but I liked how these cap-like sleeves just “happened” so I opted for that look instead. πŸ™‚ The trim is proving to be a bit fiddly though, so I haven’t finished it yet.

The neck binding also sits a bit awkward at the back of the neck, which is frustrating but not enough to prevent me finishing this. Hopefully some good pressing will help improve it!

Still not decided what the overall length should be as long tops are nice for covering up over winter but can look a bit untidy with skirts… Decisions, decisions!

On a totally unrelated note (pun intended…) I’ve just had my first ever cello lesson and I loved it! Such a gorgeous instrument that even a complete beginner like me can make a decent sound! πŸ™‚ Looks like I’ve found my 2018 learning challenge!!

Swallows and Amazon*

(*Well, ebay technically but it doesn’t have the same ring…)

Read the following line in the voice of the voiceover woman on Bake Off…: “Felicity’s opted for a simple box pleat skirt in a light navy cotton scattered with white swallows.”


What began as the Audrey ‘dress’ has become the Audrey ‘skirt’ after I struggled to find an appropriate complimentary fabric for the bodice and skirt hem. Rather than let it languish at the bottom of a ‘to finish one day’ pile, I decided it would actually be a very useful skirt to have; one which can be dressed up or down, and suitable for all seasons. I really like this fabric, which I sourced off ebay a while back and had bought with the intention of making the Audrey dress.


The Audrey dress from Simply Sewing magazine


In all honesty, the neckline of the Audrey dress probably wouldn’t suit me; I tend to go for scoop or ‘V’ necklines to balance out my upper half. However, I might have adapted the neckline if I had made the complete pattern.

Having worn the skirt a couple of times now I can confirm it is very pleasant to have in one’s wardrobe but I would likely make it in a heavier fabric if I made it again as it does ride up at the front a bit! And I would add pockets – always good to have pockets!




This skirt could, theoretically, take me from the cold November days of Britain and the working week to the humid climate of Sri Lanka during a two-week holiday quite easily… Luckily that is where I am soon to be going! πŸ˜‰