Disclaimer: Jennifer Lauren Handmade gave me a copy of the Dulcie Pinafore in return of a honest review.
The Dulcie Pinafore is one of JHL’s most recent patterns and it really did appeal to me. The pinafore is in the new size range which goes from a size 6 to a 34 and also includes 6 cup sizes.
One of the design aspects of the pinafore that appealed to me was the square neckline as was the princess seams and the button details.
For sizing, I carefully followed Jennifer’s instructions and cut a 22 C-cup size in the new curve range for the bodice. And for the skirt I cut out the size 28. I used the back darts in the skirt to take out the excess that was left where I matched the bodice and waistband to the skirt piece. Ideally I think if I had realised how much excess there was before I added the side pockets I would put some of the extra fabric in the dart behind the pocket. Nevertheless it seemed to work out.
Talking of the pockets, they are a really good size and I like how theyare positioned. I had to add a label to one of them just to highlight them!
This red corduroy was from my stash, unfortunately I can’t remember where I bought it from but it’s a lovely jewel tone. I had 2.5 meters of the corduroy and it worked out well although I seemed to have got the nap upside down … you know the stroke direction. The corduroy has a slight stretch to it as well which isn’t a bad thing especially with a pinafore and lockdown weight!
Lovely stretch corduroy and perfect for the Dulcie Pinafore!
The 22mm buttons were from the Textile Garden. I wanted something that was going to compliment the red earthy tones and I think I did pretty well matching up via the internet. If I was stuck on buttons I would have normally went and checked out The Cloth Shop (Remnant Kings) but they closed just before the pandemic hit and if we are in lockdown and in tiers, it makes it more difficult to factor in travel and sourcing locally. Anyway, I think the Textile Garden buttons are just the match for this pinafore!
I love how the bodice is lined. It just finishes it well. I used some lining that was gifted to me by a friend and it lay in my stash waiting for the right project. I wonder, if I could line the skirt on and future Dulcies’? I probably could, I’d would just need to sit down and work it out.
Ok, the verdict – I really do love it. However, I know I need to make some knit tops that will work with it other than this black RTW top but that’s not a bad thing now is it?!
I might go up a size in the bodice, just for a little more wiggle room, cancel that – its fine. Stretch corduroy is a good friend!
Ok. I’m definitely loving this pinafore. Prepare for another one in the future!
Oh Bakerloo … ha ha (yes easily changed from ABBAs classic “Waterloo” Song.
As part of the new inclusive sizing (18-28), I was part of the tester team for Nina Lee’s newest pattern, the Bakerloo Blouse and Dress.
With it’s Statement collar with a frill and big voluminous sleeves, what more could you want?
You can either go for the blouse or you can add a skirt.
For the tester version I made the dress, yes … I am a sucker for a gathered skirt!
Before we get into the details. I want to say thank you to Nina who, after I reached out when the 6-20 range was released to say I was slightly disappointed to not seeing both of the size ranges being released at the same time, asked me to be a tester. So Thank You Nina!
Ok details … I’m sure you want them, yes?
Right. The instructions are pretty much really detailed. Lots of illustrations and descriptions with step by step details on how to get the statement collar and fabulous frill perfect.
Size wise, I went with a 22 with the bust and then graded out at the waist to a 28 but could probably go down a size as it is quite roomy. The skirt is a size 28. My measurements are: Bust 46, Waist 46 and hips 57/58.
For my fabric, I chose a tencel twill from The Fabric Room, which I’ve had in my stash for a good while now. I think I heard about The Fabric Room’s Tencel Twill via my good friends in Sew Scottish. Minimum order is 3 metres and the colours are limited but it’s worth a look as it’s £4.50 a metre!!!
Also, worth noting if you have a plain fabric you can really play around with the cross grain of the woven. For my size, it quoted 3.10metres but I managed to use 2.6metres out of the 3m of tencel, which is pretty good I’d say.
Maybe tencel twill wasn’t the best fabric choice as I think the collar pulls the neck down a little because once you’ve got the interfacing in the collar and added the frills, it’s quite a substantial weight. But it won’t stop me from wearing it – oh no!
Will I make this again?
Yes, but I’ll make the Blouse version with longer sleeves. I might raise the darts at the bust on any future versions. And when I do the dress I’ll shorten the bodice. I think that’s all. But yeah, I’ll make it again 😄
So I’ve added a few labels …
1) “One of a Kind” by Stitch Collective on the Frill.
2) Worth the Effort by Kylie and the Machine at the back closure.
3) “Handmade” by This is for Makers on the inside at the back
I think the most favourite thing about this make is the sleeves! It’s so simple, the elastic cuff but punches a statement as does the collar and the frills. Overall it’s a great dress, It delivers and it’s very now but I’m sure I’ll wear it to lots of occasions in the future.
Well here we are and I’m off to a flying start as I’ve almost finished one off my make nine grid!
This going alongside a YouTube video where you can see me chatting about my make nine 2021 plans. It’s kinda like the show notes from The Love Sewing podcast if you’ve ever read them – I find them really interesting!
Ok … so here’s my #MakeNine2021 / the image below is linked to my Instagram Post! The individual graphics are linked to the pdf patterns corresponding to to pattern house shop just in case you would like to buy it. (I get squad all for this but they are lovely independent pattern brands that I love)!
I’m taking part in the Sheffield Sewcial “Jeans January” over on Instagram. I’m hoping to cut them out ASAP and hoping that they fit well. I go for this style in jeans in Rtw/ Shop bought.
I’ve got some stretch denim but haven’t yet made up my mind which one to choose, that’s the trouble with hoarding fabrics 😂
I’m not sure on the finished garment measurements though …
I’ll be grading waist size 28 and hip size 30.
Ok next up is …
I’ve got at least three fabrics set aside for this and I can’t tell you how often I’ve hesitated about Zadie.
I’m absolutely going to toile it. One reason being it’s generously sized or so I’ve heard. So I think I should just be cautious and do a mock up before I cut into precious fabrics.
However, I will probably going to have to grade between a 20/22 bodice and 26/28 trousers, which is the usual for me.
Back to Megan Neilson and this time we have The Darling Ranges Dress.
Without a doubt I was really in love with this style/pattern before it had the upgrade to the curve range but I patiently waited and now it’s here I have no excuses not to make it.
Although I have heard some grumblings about the bodice fit … I’ll need to look into this as I’m not sure what the details are regarding the grumbling! Have you tried the new Darling Ranges dress, did you have fit issues?
I’ve not yet decided on what fabric for this project, but no doubt I’ll let you know when I do find something from my stash that I’ll go – “that’s the one”!
Next up is the beautiful Pona Jacket from Helen’s Closet.
Now … I must I have AT LEAST 5 fabrics now set aside for this project. I think I just love this jacket because it’s so versatile. I’m really drawn to the short version but I think I’ll do at least a couple of longer versions in the future. I’ll probably do a batch cut & sew just to get them sewn up so I can wear them!
I might have to grade from a 22 to 28 but I’ll assess that when I come to looking at the pattern pieces and measurements.
To start I’ll be trying up a wool from Minerva as part of the blogger network. It’s black so it’ll probably go with a lot of other things in my wardrobe, both me-made and RTW.
Another jacket which I’ve been eyeing up is the Sapporo from PaperCut Patterns.
It’s funny how a lot of people raved about it and “had no problems” making this jacket up and it took one person to really point out the flaws that so many didn’t to get a update on the pattern pieces and a bigger size range.
Like the Pona Jacket and you shouldn’t be surprised – I have been collecting a few fabrics for the Sapporo.
I think I’ll be doing videos on my makes as we go this year, plus I’ll pop into posts on here with photos of the fabrics. That way, you can see the movement and colour – how’s that?
Now the Cielo Top from Closet Core Patterns.
I’m baffled this is my only top in my make nine but it won’t be the only one I make this year. I’ve already batch cut a little pile of Friday Pattern Company’s Sagebrush Top, my tnt pattern of the moment!
To my amazement I’m almost finished the first cielo top and I’ll probably be starting a second very soon.
For my first version I choose to go all out and went for option B / see the big gathered sleeves always draw me, I like a little drama in my clothes.
I think the second version I’ll let the fabric do the talking and just go for version A as pictured. Yes, I’ve got rifle paper co fabric set aside … and it’s so dreamy! But I’ll not spoil the surprise 😉
The sizing is good. Like the Elodie I’m really happy with the fit. I think this is going to one top pattern that I’ll come back to again and again!
Ok – I don’t think it would be right if I didn’t squeeze in a Friday Pattern Company pattern into this make nine, so I’ve chosen the Adrianna Dress.
Unlike its sister (Adrienne Blouse), the Adrianna is designed for Wovens in mind. I’ve completely overlooked this pattern as I didn’t realise that it went up to 4X until recently!
Sooooo … I’ve decided on some fabric for the Adrianna BUT I’ll need to lay it out with the pattern pieces in the next coming week or two as I’m hoping to cut this out and have this as a birthday dress. My birthday is the 17th of January… just in case you need to know 😂
The fabric is an Atelier Brunette Viscose which I’m hoping I’ve got enough to squeeze this dress out off. I might have to lessen the bulk and length in the sleeves to do this.
Ending on two trousers and first up is the Flint Trousers by Megan Neilson Patterns.
I’ve heard so many good things about the Flints, so again I’m eager to go through my Stash and see what would be a good choice to start off with for this pattern.
I’m also liking this pattern because it could be a good staple for work – when I finally get another one. TBH, At the moment the job searching isn’t strong but I think come mid January I’ll have a wee look!
Anyway back to the flints. I like the detail and the fact they now come in the curve range is 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
And the final make nine choice is …
This will be the third pair of trousers I’ll be aiming to make this year.
On top of being floaty (frickin love culottes) I’m going in for comfort and doing the elasticated back and flat front hack that Helen has in her blog.
I’m going to make a pair out of black viscose but I’m thinking for another pair perhaps for something heavier as I don’t think viscose is a suitable option if I’m trying to stay warm, do you have any suggestions on this?
The culottes are said to be quite roomy and I’ve read somewhere (probably HC’s website) that I can adjust the darts as-well!
So if you haven’t already picked this up yet – I’m super excited and geared up for this year’s #MakeNine2021 – eeeek!
I feel like the last couple of years I’ve learned enough skills now to not get that overwhelmed feeling and can honestly say that I think I actually might just manage this make nine!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post relating to my YouTube, please comment in the box below if you have any questions or suggestions in relation to the choice of makes I’ve made and this blog post and if you have a chance, please go and view my YouTube video!
It all started when I saw By Hand London’s sample of the Jessica Skirt in this Valentine Red and Pink viscose … it was love at first sight!
I thought the chances of sourcing it would be second to none but what’s the harm asking? The worst answer would be no or sorry we’ve ran out, so with that in mind I did some digging! You guess it, long story short I found some at The Rag Shop via pigeonwishes shop.
Yay! So I contacted Steph at The Rag Shop to let her know that I was doing a blog post on the viscose and she kindly gave one meter in return for the blog post (I already purchase two metres) so having that extra meter allowed me to play about with more options.
The Wildergown by Friday Pattern company has been on my sewing list for ages, I just love the fluidity of the dress. The Valentine Viscose and the wildergown dress would be a beautiful match!
I choose the xl according to the finished measurements but I could’ve gone up an extra size on the skirt but I might come back to that as I’ve still got some fabric left. Obviously, I was going to go on the full-on gown – I think it would have been be rude not too!
Ok, for adjustments I shortend the bodice because I’m only 5’3″ and my torso isn’t long at all. I went for even layers in the skirt but on hindsight, shouldve keep the top tier longer and the bottom tier shorter – but nevermind.
Sewing with the viscose was a dream. I didn’t find it too slippery to work with either. I did use a light weight needle just to be sure it didn’t punture the fabric whilst sewing it. I’ve been reading that even using a microtex needle can sometimes still lead to tiny fractures in the fabric (in some makes more than others) which is quite nerving wracking after you’ve made that investment.
Before I started putting the pieces together I overlocked all the edges to stop them fraying. Of course, I could always try french seams to finish the seams but let’s be frank here, 1. I’ve not got the patience to do that and 2. I’ve still not got the patience.
I really wanted to try and pattern match some of the lines of the grids and this worked out better than expected even with the gathering. For gathering I used lots of pins … LOTS of them and I tend to use the Prym glass headed pins now, just my preference.
I’m still sitting on the fence if I should add waist ties just to give a bit of shape and I may shorten the bottom tier to be just below the knee. I think it’s all to do with my height but I may leave the length as it is if the waist ties help. I’ve heard that Julie Uzor has a great tutorial on her Instagram for rouleau loops via theminisewist (but I’ve yet to find it).
However I’m slowly falling in love with the dress as when I first tried it on, I was like “what have I done?”. For me it’s a bold change with the grid lines, because I’m short and rather curvy I think it accentuates certain features. But everytime I’ve tried it on I’m feeling more confident.
To add to the love of this wildergown I am loving the drama of the neckline. The pull tie that gathers the neck and gives the shape is such a simple yet clever design feature.
So you might gather I’m quite a sucker for the “Moneta” by Colette Patterns and the fact that it’s been a few months since I’ve last wrote a blog post, would be too good an opportunity to miss to give the wee blog a bit of a boost!
So in no order here’s my “Moneta Collection”
🧵Fabric from Pin & Sew
🧵Hacked neckline and sleeves from Seamwork Alice and added a polo neck!
🧵Fabric from the Edinburgh Dress Fabric Company
🧵Hack – scoop back
🧵The Moneta that started it all!
🧵Fabric from John Lewis
🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus
🧵First scoop back hack
🧵The Scoop back with petal sleeves dress
🧵Fabric bought from Fabricate Mirfield
🧵Made it for my 39th Birthday
🧵Fabric from Sewisfaction
🧵Scoop back – ooo er.
🧵Made this for going out to dinner for our 10th Wedding Anniversary
🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus
🧵Scoop back hack
🧵Fabric from Holm Sown
🧵My Christmas Day 2018 dress
🧵Fabric from Fabric Focus
🧵Scoop back & 3/4 length sleeves (must be my favourite combo)!
Would it surprise you if there a few others that are works in progress? Once they are completed, I’ll share them on Instagram @sewdoitemma.
Ok, well hopefully it won’t be as long as last time until I write a blog, but until then … see you soon!
This Liberty fabric has been sitting in my stash for a wee while now. I knew it was going to be a sweater but was unsure which pattern I was going to go for. I think originally it was going to be a SH7’s Toaster but changed it for the Seamwork’s Skipper purely because it was going to be in my size range for hips.
The fabric was bought online from @FabricsGalore a while ago and now is no longer stocked (sorry!) although you might be lucky and see if eBay has it. I bought 1.5m of it, it was £11.00 per half a meter, so not cheap. Although the pattern asked for 1.7 for my sizing, I managed to get all the pattern pieces out of the piece of fabric – PHEW!
The humble snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis is my birth month flower (January) and I always look out it at this time of year, so this jumper will always fill me with joy. When I was born, the snowdrops in my Gran’s garden came up and my gran always referred to me as “Granny’s little snowdrop” even when I was thirty!
“Already now the snowdrop dares appear, The first pale blossom of th’unripen’d year”
Anna Laetitia Barbauld, “The Snowdrop” (1835)
My Gran & Grandad lived up in the Cairngorms, so any school holiday we (Mum, my Brother and I) were up walking, orienteering, ski-ing (both cross-country and down-hill!) and get our bit of fresh mountain air, not forgetting engulfing ourselves with Gran’s fudge and gingerbread cake and listening to Grandad’s tales of Billy Gruffs and Trolls!
Right, better skip back to Skipper.
Cutting the pattern out was really straight forward. I graded it from a 20-22 bust & waist to a 24-26 hips as i didn’t want the top bit to be too big. I left the pocket out as I thought that the busiest of the fabric pattern would be spoilt.
Constructing the pieces was a dream and this was my first sweater pattern, so was super surprised how well I coped. I found Cheryl from Stitchy Bee’s tutorial a real help doing the neckline. It’s also a really good vlog on how different materials look different in the same sweater pattern (Cheryl used Grainline’s Linden).
It’s taken a little over a year and half for this make. It’s made up of a heck of raw emotion plus skill since my Mum started making it for me but never got the chance to finish it because cancer decided to take hold on her (f£&* cancer in every form).
The coat itself is made of Harris Tweed bought from Fabric Focus alongside the silver paisley lining.
Kevin, the owner of fabric focus has been eager for me to finish the coat but understood how emotional the make was. He always asked when I was going to finish it, very gently pushing me to do it!
Sometimes I felt like working on the coat and sometimes not. When it got close to her Birthdays, Anniversary of her passing or Mother’s Day, I just had to put the coat down and only started working on it when I felt I could. It’s a bit like counselling (not that I’ve managed to go, nor feel quite ready for) but I know I’m working with mum on this on each step.
It’s quite nice finishing it now just before this year’s “Mother’s Day”.
Mum did most of the tacking (thank *%&@!) I hate tacking, I know it does wonders but I still actually hate doing it.
Bagging the outer and the lining literally to played tricks on my mind but wanted a neat finish. Making sure that the outer and the lining were all level was time consuming but boy does it pay off!
I don’t think finishing this coat would’ve been possible with the helpful tips and excellent guidance that I received from Abi, sewing teacher to both my mum and I, so thank you Abi for helping me on this journey.
By adding little details such as the Kylie and the Machine “one of a kind” and Harris Tweed labels it really finishes it off. Also “One of a Kind” kinda puts a nice touch on the memory of my mum.
Not to forget to mention the beautiful frogs that make that statement piece, also sourced from Fabric Focus.
Firstly, I want to thank Tammy aka D&H Fabrics Co for giving me this opportunity to speak as part of the “Sewing is for Everyone” initiative and for gifting me some wonderful fabric, which I will talk about later on in the post.
From my earliest memories I’ve always had something craft related going on. My Gran briefly had me into machine knitting with a mini version of her machine. Seamstress and a Tailor run in my mum’s Paternal and Maternal family tree, which is quite a humbling feeling. Any craft hobby that I’ve tried has been quite thearaputic for my well being, especially since I lost my Mum to cancer almost two years ago. Losing someone that close, leaves a void that just can’t be filled.
In the last couple of years my dressmaking has accelerated after not really touching a sewing machine for most of my adult life. I was spurred on by getting annoyed with the fit and the quality of material used in retail fashion stores, especially the plus sized ones, at least in the UK. For example from season to season the fit would change, so I would find a fitting pair of trousers one season and the next season they no longer would, this was quite annoying.
My acceleration in dressmaking would not have been the same without the phenomenal group of ladies that make up @Sew_Scottish. The foundations of this group were laid down at a meeting on a cold Sunday morning in November 2016, where after a brief conversation between myself and Lesley @sew_sleep_deprived, we both realised that we wanted to get a group of Scottish sewists together after seeing so many brilliant events being created South of the Border. Well, we managed to make it happen, and over the years we’ve organised a number of events and we’ve all gone on to become friends. It’s great to have a lovely group of people with which to talk all things sewing.
Below is a snapshot from my wardrobe which is all handmade and I’m quite surprised at how much I have sewn. The RTW garments are slowly disappearing to new homes!
Sewing has helped me gain confidence with my body shape. I’m about a 46′ bust and the same for the waist and then it just gets annoying with my hips being 57″ which means losing out on a lot of patterns both Indie and some of the Big 4 (but really 7, if you count them up!). Usually my bust and hips fit most patterns but the hips do cause a bit of a problem when I like a long top.
In the last couple of months there has been a really important conversation about size inclusivity and how there is a feeling of being excluded from the indie patterns. I’m glad things are now slowly changing and I’m happy to be a tester for any pattern designer who wants to make a positive change to their brand and to other sewists’ lives.
It hasn’t been easy though, this major topic was the starting point of so many different conversations, we all had to be mindful of keeping the main focus on the sizing issue and that voices were being heard. There were so many excuses why bigger ranges of sizes weren’t being done but often they didn’t stack up as there are pattern companies like Cashmerette that have been able to cater to a broader range of sizes, which has helped them gain a massive following.
I know the feeling of being excluded all too well as I’m hard of hearing. Yes, I wear hearing aids but often when I have a lot of background noise the main conversation that I’m trying to keep up with gets lost. For example; take a busy bar add loud music and people trying to talk over it and then you see me with a dazed look on my face because my head is about to pop from the concentration that I’ve been giving trying to keep up with the groups’ chat. It all gets a little “under water” and “cloudy” for me after a while and hence that’s why I go quiet! I am generally up front to everyone about my hard of hearing and most people are brilliant, once I say that I’ll try to read their lips if they are face to face in a noisy situation.
So that’s my story. Now without much further ado here is my make. Using the “Summer Time Poppy’s” cotton with the Amy Nicoles’ Roski Top I made this.
In hindsight, (yah, it’s a great thing hindsight, isn’t it?) I should’ve used a Georgette or Challis for this pattern and not a woven as I feel it’s too stiff to allow the desired drape. But that won’t stop me wearing it when we hopefully get some warm weather in Scotland! And yes I shall be making another in the required fabrics!
Yes I finally cracked my Moneta obsession, don’t worry there’s plenty more of them coming with hacks but for the moment I’m trying out different patterns and I have a few exciting things that are happening but I can’t tell quite yet!
Ok, lets talk Myrtle:
Do I like and will I use the pattern again, if so will I make any changes?
I love it, especially the cowl neck feature. I’d definitely use the pattern again but I would shorten the shoulders to avoid the embarrassment of showing of my assets too much!
Where did I get the fabric from?
I bought the lovely viscose jersey from fabric focus this winter, unfortunately for you I took the last 3.5 meters (sorry but not sorry) in fact, originally i bought 2,5 meters realised I didn’t have enough and the luckily there was 1 metre left when i went back to the shop – phew!
Myrtle needs quite a drapey jersey and lightweight I’d say and for me it was a good skill builder. This was the first time I did a cowl neck and used the main fabric for a lining on the front and encased elastic in the skirt.
For a quick make, once you’ve done it once it makes sense.
Ok here’s the fun part – PHOTOS … Hooray!
Now, where I’m I going to fit in time to do a woven version in this pattern? I love how this pattern is versatile like this!
I’ve been thinking about going for it for a while and have finally taken the crunch!
Also it’s my first day of my fabric buying hiatus! It gone well so far. I’ve put my time into doing this domain, house stuff and walking the dog.
In my head I’ve got hundreds of ideas with what fabric from my collection should go with what project/pattern. Sure, they’ll be limits because of meterage/yardage or what type of fabric but I’m going to start to try and categorically organise them.
This has been on the cards for ages but it’s not going to be easy with the amount of fabric I do have.
First of all, I think I’m going to set fabrics and patterns that are in my make nine.
Next I’m going to take all the fabrics out of the small Billy’s then (or maybe do a shelf at a time) measure, photograph and record each piece. Either spreadsheet it first and then add it on the Cora App, which I’ve had for yonks and not really made use of it.
Once I’ve done the fabrics, I think I’m going to go through my big four patterns as I bet there’s patterns I’ve forgot about and have either doubled with a newer style or no longer “has that sparkle”. This could be another fabric destash as well but we’ll come to that bridge when it happens!
This is going to be a long process for me as I am planning to sew a few things, some with deadlines and also I’ve got things that I need to do around the house (boo, hiss).
Ok this is quite a ramble but it’s kinda good to put it out there and then you can see the difference when it’s done.