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My Hannah Dress

My obsession with this pattern started a long time ago, Elisalex posted images on her feed of her progress with the dress and I fell in love with it. My main love was the wrap over style and the neckline shape, as soon as it was launched I purchased the PDF and got it printed.

This is my first by hand London pattern, so I took some extra time to make a proper toile and fit the bodice. I’m quite a busty lady and I knew the fitting for the wrap style would need extra care. I failed to take any photos of the toiles but there were 3 (I’ll definitely take them in the future, I promise to be a better blogger), I’ll list all my adjustments below, these are personal to me so defiantly don’t let them stop you making your own version.

So 1st up I did a 2 inch FBA (so 1′ on each boob) and removed 1/2 in from the bodice length. This toile had some gaping at the back neck line and the bust apex was hugely off so on my next version… I did a narrow shoulder adjustment and moved the neck line in by 6/8 inch. I then moved the bust dart down by 1.5′ moved the waist dart towards the centre of the bodice by 2.5′.

The last toile had 1.5′ added to the bust dart length and 1′ to the waist dart length, I also did a 0.5′ sway back adjustment and the took some fabric out from under bust, theres no specific method for this I just rotated some of the extra into the waist dart and then pinched out a little and traced the about I had taken onto the pattern.

The pattern has three sleeve variations, I choose the bishop sleeve and isn’t it beautiful. The sleeve cuff is folded under and has a rouleau fed through and when is pulled tight this gives the shape. The instructions advise you to sew in two buttonholes to feed your rouleaus through, its not included in the instructions but I added some fusible interfacing the back to make sure the button holes were sturdy.

The pattern details all work perfectly together, the gorgeous curved neckline adds glamour and femininity to the dress. The midi length skirt works perfectly with the lower neck line, it also has pockets. As the dress is closed with ties it’s going to be perfect for Christmas day because it can easily loosen them to make room for more pudding and cheese.

The fabric was from sew me sunshine and called Samantha, I didn’t buy the fabric with this pattern in mind but I think they are a perfect match and the drape works perfectly. It’s a viscose blend with the florals printed on top.

Overall I love this pattern and I’ve already sewn another in a red crepe for Xmas day and there will defiantly be more versions in the future.

I’d definitely like a linen version in the summer, will you be sewing a Hannah dress?? Which fabric ill you use?

Thanks for reading and happy sewing.

Styling my Polka Blouse

So I’m no style guru or will ever claim to be a fashionista. I’ve fallen in love with my new polka blouse and pairing it with different garments so thought I’d share some of the looks I’ve put together.

Dungarees – these are my black denim dungarees I made over the summer. The pattern is the Jenny overalls by closet case patterns.

Black corduroy pinafore dress. I love this pinafore is so versatile, It’s the Dani pattern by seamwork.

Pink culottes. These just aren’t worn enough, the wilmslow culottes by helens closet.

With a Leather skirt. I did make this skirt using a self drafted pattern. I think this is my favourite look, its a bit sexy and will be perfect for a date night with the Mr.

Thanks for reading! let me know how you would style it?

The Zadie Jumpsuit

A little confession … I made this at the beginning of September and I’ve worn it several times and only just got around to photos and thought I’d throw in a blog too.

First up, lets discus the pattern. I used the zadie jumpsuit by paper theory, this isn’t my 1st rodeo with this one. I really love it, it so relaxed and a great staple. I’ve also hacked this into a dress and it works perfectly. I’ve followed this pattern as it is and have only made a couple of adjustments for fit.

My adjustments on this pattern I’ve taken 2 inches from the crotch length, added 8 inches to the tie length, I like them abut longer so I can have a pretty bow (I feel like is detracts my prominent tummy). This version has the full length sleeve and leg and it’s perfect.

The fabric I’ve used is a viscose linen noir from blackbird fabrics, it’s an absolute dream. It’s super lovely to cut and sew, it’s not too heavy or light and still some drape.

Wearing it is a dream too, the fabric feels soft on your skin yet doesn’t feel too hot or cold. The weight and drape are so lovely and suit this pattern perfectly too.

Like I said I’ve worn this several times and its ultra comfy, totally secret pyjamas. I’ve worn this on a couple of flights and train journeys recently and say I’ve never felt more comfortable.

Tell me about your secret pyjamas …?

Thanks for reading and happy sewing,

Samantha x x

Polka Dot Nexus Blouse

I’ve fallen in love, with a shirt, the nexus shirt by Papercut patterns to be precise.

This is the second I’ve made, the 1st was a for a minerva crafts blog that will be coming soon. for this one I shopped my stash and decided on this polka dot peach skin from rainbow fabrics. I paid £2.50pm for this dream, its slightly sheer and perfect for a blouse. I accidentally got some sharpie on it, and it wouldn’t wash out, there was only a couple of marks and with some careful cutting it worked. I circled the marks with purple trick marker so I knew where they were more visible when cutting.

For this version I used the cropped version with the sleeve cuff and boy it didn’t disappoint. The puff and volume on the sleeves is just perfect.

However, I did make a slight error when I cut the fabric with my pattern matching, I wanted the circles to appear whole under the placket but it didn’t quite work.

All is not lost though … This pattern can be worn backwards and theres no weird pattern matching there.

Dyeing Sun Damaged Denim

On a trip to London in August I paid pilgrimage to Liberty, whilst in there I found some dreamy merchant and mills denim and treated myself. I took it home and stashed it away in my sewing cupboard (note: the cupboard is dark and away from any direct light). However, a couple of weeks ago I got the fabric out and found it to be badly sun bleached. First I had a good cry, then I contacted liberty customer services who were amazing, they gave me a full refund and let me keep the damaged fabric.

I decided to save the fabric by dyeing it. I had a look at some of the Dylon colours that were available and couldn’t find one that I really liked. I then found Rit dye website, they have literally thousand of colours to choose from. You find the colour you want and then input the size of the item you’re dyeing and it gives you the exact fomulations.

I choose the colour bodacious from their selection of purples, its a lovely pinky lilac.

Dyeing the fabric

To get the best results I wanted to dye onto a even colour so following the instructions on their website I bought 2 boxes of colour remover, followed the instructions on the box and these are the results

I think it reduced the colour distortion, much better than it was, I could do a bleach bath but that can damage the fibres and I want this fabric for a special dress that I will we are for a long time.

The Dyeing Process

First if you’re dying indoors it’s very important to cover the area that you are dyeing in, I live in a small flat with no outside space so I had to do it on my kitchen floor. I protected the flooring with *plastic decorating sheets (don’t use fabric because splashes can soak through and stain.) I wore an apron and black clothes just incase of splashes, also very important rubber gloves!

*plastic decorating sheets are reused from when I decorated the flat and have kept them to use again.

First I mixed the dye in a metal jug, the steel doesn’t stain. I added 1 cup of salt to the main dye bath I’ll be dyeing the fabric in, then filled it up with hot water.

Once the dye was mixed I and added it to the dye bath I tested it with some kitchen roll to see the colour, I added a little more purple at this stage.

Before you put the fabric into the dye bath make sure you wet it, this will help the fabric to dye evenly.

Once its in the dye, get stirring, I stirred mine for 10 mins then let it sit in the bath for a further 10 mins.

On the website they then recommend you rinse the fabric with cold water, instead of doing this in the sink I just popped it straight into the washing machine on a cool wash with no detergent. I then gave it a full wash with detergent.

Heres the results…

I think the purple has turned out darker than I intended because I didn’t factor in the existing light blue colour of the denim and added extra purple. I absolutely love the shade I’ve got and think it works great with my skin tone.

The denim is for the Ellis dress by merchant and mills and I cant wait to sew it up.

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Sew North Soiree – Post 1

The Venue

We spent a lot of time looking at venues and wanted the perfect location that was suitable for everyone, we have our own disabilities and made sure it was suitable for all those with disabilities and illnesses. (if you have any specific issues please contact us and we will be happy to accommodate you and your needs)

We choose the Princess Alexandra Auditorium located in the picturesque town of Yarm. It’s attached to Yarm school, which is a premier private school in the North East and it’s like no school hall you’ve ever been in, it’s hosted the likes of Westlife and Jimmy Carr.

It’s located on the Tees riverside, the outside of has a beautiful balcony with seating, if weather permits you can relax and take some pictures here. Then indoors has a large bright foyer with large comfy seating and the downstairs bar (with lift) has further seating next to the bar. There will is extra rooms that we will have access to if you’re feeling over whelmed and needing some quiet time.

The Food

We have chosen a 3 course meal for the soirée, we haven’t yet finalised the food choices, this will be confirmed closer to the time when the venue give us the food options, we will make sure all dietary requirements are accommodated for.

The food will be served at your table in the main hall, we really want you to meet and mingle with lots of people so will be doing a seating plan. there will be 10 tables and these will be in a semi circle around the dance floor.

Photos

There will be loads of opportunities and locations to take your own photos throughout the night but we have also arranged a professional photographer to be there to capture your me made dresses in all there glory!

The Entertainment

We’ve booked a top band for the evening that will get you dancing and swirling on the dance floor. They do covers of all the best songs and closer to the date we will be taking requests for the band to play on the night.

Most of all we want you to come along and meet your fellow sexists and make new sewing friends!

To book your tickets head here … https://teescreatives.co.uk/book-online-now/ola/services/sew-north-soiree-with-optional-pastel-theme?olaT=2020-05-23T17%3A00%3A00.000Z&olaR=836225

Happy Sewing Sam and Jen

Sewing the Sequence Dress

I fell in love with and purchased some special fabric from Sew Your Own Wardrobe in Ashby-De-La-Zouch, as soon as I laid my eyes on it I knew I wanted it for my best fiends wedding. I wasn’t sure what pattern I wanted it for but I knew with the print needed something simple and stylish.

When papercut patterns launched the sequence dress pattern I immediately knew it was perfect, the shape was simple yet sophisticated with clean lines that wouldn’t interfere with the print. I made a toile and found I needed to make a few adjustments to make it what I wanted. the ties on the side were sitting too low in the middle of my hip, I tried just moving the tie further up but it made the front bodice saggy so I removed 1.5 inch from the bodice length and added 4 inches to the skirt length.

The fabric was the a beautiful satin twill with quite a heavy weight and a large floral design.

I always do some test stitching before I start sewing and found the fabric did pucker a little, after playing around with the needle size, tension and stitch length I found the perfect combination and with a press there was no puckering. You can see on my samples below the difference.

The dress came together quickly but I did add a few extras that aren’t included in the instructions, I stay stitched the front and back bodice neckline, and then once I’d added the facing I understitched it too. I also added some interfacing to the inside of the ties where they attach to the bodice to stop any pulling in the fabric, graded the seams and took the corners out to reduce bulk. and it really impoved them compared to the toile.

The Finished dress

So heres the finished product. I styled it with some suede black shoes from ASOS and some silver jewellery that I’ve had for a long time. I purchased some clips from a local artisan market they hold every weekend in tynemouth station and I think they finish the look perfectly.

Also I took Rich shopping and kitted him out and doesnt he look handsome?

Thats all folks … Thanks for reading!