New patterns all around me

I have been looking around online and reading the blogs that I follow over the past week and I have to say that there are some amazing patterns just released or about to be released by British designers. Tilly and the Buttons has an awesome 60’s shift dress FRANÇOISE and the Kim dress from the By Hand London is fab too!

I think I may have to get myself some of this action.  The Kim Dress has not officially been released yet but the FRANÇOISE is available to buy.  There’s also a sweet competition that Tilly has organised where you can win a £500 sewing machine and other runners up prizes.  Details can be found here.

New pattern – Simplicity 1699

Trying a new pattern was way over due! During the half price Simplicity sale a month or so ago I picked some half price patterns. I decided to have a go at Simplicity 1699.


To start with I traced the bodice pieces for the dress on to craft paper (my favourite kiddie play paper roll from Wilko). I chose size 14 Bust and 16 round the waist. I like to make a toile/muslin from the bodice pieces first for fitting. I do not bother to cut out the facings just the main parts. Once sewn together I check the fitting. I found that the front bodice piece cut on the fold needed to be reduced on the fold by 1/4″ as my apex was too wide. That did the trick! Then most bust seams had to be bought in by 1/4″ too but not the waist that was the right size. So a 12 would’ve been ok to cut originally.

After fitting I cut all pieces out of my actual fabric. This fabric (45″ wide) was bought from the local market at £2/metre…happy days… 🙂 I made a couple of amendments to the pattern. The skirt front pattern piece has a centre front seam which I was not too keen on. The bodice pattern does not have a centre front dart to match the skirt centre front seam to so I decided to cut that part on the fold taking of 1/2″ at the fold where the seam would’ve been. Also the neck line was very high so I re-drew a new one lower down which meant that I had to create new facing pieces to match.

The sleeves on this pattern are not sewn the usual way which made sewing this pattern super easy 🙂

And here it is:

Simplicity 1699

Not such a great photo but better than nothing 😉


Dress for Wedding made from a homemade pattern

Hello 🙂

I have been trying to blog about this dress now for a few weeks but just haven’t had time or the right words in my head.  I’m not a natural writer and find blogging a little tough but I’m getting there!

So…the story goes…a friend of mine from work was getting married and I decided to make a dress to wear to the wedding.  I had some polyester satin which I bought from the local market a while back that would be perfect for a lovely summers day wedding.

Polyester Satin bought from local market

Up until now I have been using shop bought patterns and had been having quite a few issues in getting the bodice to fit me.  This has always been my downfall and enough was enough.  I decided to take this matter into my own hands and find a fix.  So my solution to this problem was to make my own bodice block with my body measurements which I did following along to a craftsy class ‘The Bodice Sloper’.

Suzy Furrer is a great teacher and I found her class easy to follow.  I had to invest in a few new rulers as mine were in cm and I needed inches to work through the class with her.

My sewing/creative desk

After putting all my measurements on to a large piece of paper I then (using Suzy’s guidance) cut the ‘Moulage’ out of fabric to check the fit which should be skin tight with no ease.  You add the ease in later when it becomes a ‘sloper’.

Creating my ‘Moulage’ cut with princess seams

So here’s my Moulage on my dress form. I had to amend the arm and shoulders slightly (mainly due to an incorrect measurement taken at the start).  Other than that the fit was perfect!  Very impressed and proud of my achievement.

Top two pictures are my ‘Moulage’ The bottom two are of my pattern creating stage

So I had my Moulage, I then added ease to make my ‘Sloper’ or ‘Block’ as we call it here in the UK.  I got straight to work in copying the block on to my Wilko paper and starting amending the darts and neck lines 🙂

My goodness!!! Poly Satin is tough to work with! I decided on a boat neckline with a ‘v’ shaped back.  I also lined the bodice with white taffeta.

Bodice creation stage (pinned back)

I added box pleats to the skirt part and slightly sewed down the line do give a different effect (not sure what this technique is called…please comment if you know – ta’)

Yes working with slippery fabric is pretty tough going but putting the invisible zip in after is even harder!! I had to sew the zip in twice 😐

I made a bow belt from a pattern in Tilly’s book Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking. I love this book and plan to make the Lilou dress soon!

My finished dress…I love it!! It was well worth the effort and it fits beautifully! YAY!

My dress made for a wedding using a pattern which I created myself 🙂

Here are some links to a few tools I ordered and used when making this pattern:

I used this one ALOT! HAND Multi -Purpose Fashion Scales

Sew Easy Soft Grip Tailors Awl

French Curves

Flora Dress sew along – Completed! #florasewalong

My Flora Dress Sew along from By Hand London is complete 🙂

Flora Dress Sew along | pattern from By Hand London

I chose to make the Faux Wrap style version which was actually quite tricky.  I felt like I pushed myself out of my comfort zone with this dress.  Although I have been sewing for a few years I would say this year it’s all started to ‘click’.  The dresses I have made this year actually fit me!  I am so happy and proud of myself … YAY! 🙂

I wore this dress out today to the local market to see if I could ‘bag’ myself some fabric bargains.  There a lady approached me and commented how lovely my dress was and asked where I bought it from.  She looked shocked when I mentioned that I had made it myself (Yes! get in there Lou you can make awesome dresses!! – sorry…reality check time).

I love the fullness in the skirt with this dress.  The wrap part on the top is a little gape’y for me but I just wear a camisole type vest thing under so no showage 😉

I will definitely make this dress again.  I think next time I will make the tank top version…watch this space folks! So here’s a few pics of my fab dress 🙂

Flora Dress Sew along | pattern from By Hand London

Flora Dress Sew along | pattern from By Hand London

Flora Dress Sew along | pattern from By Hand London

Link to High Res pic of me in my dress for the By Hand Sew along Competition are  – here and  here

#Sorbetto Sleeveless Top finished

Sorry I have not updated my blog for a few weeks chaps…

So…about a month ago I popped down to a local market stall and found some super cheap fabric, £2/meter and had polka dots…YAY!

I thought it was perfect for trying out ideas and using my basic pattern cutting skills instead of using calico which I can not wear.

I made a slight change to a free pattern that I found online (I removed the fold in the middle) Sorbetto Sleeveless Top top from Colette Patterns

My next plan is to try this again and change the neck line and add a Peter Pan collar and a slight and button fastening at the back (so I can get into it).