Tag Archives: dressmaking

My most favourite dress of this summer 2016. Bennett dress pattern by Marilla Walker

The weather has all of a sudden overnight turned to what feels pretty much like Autumn. Im kinda ok with this as we have had the most amazing summer with just the best weather. I can’t believe how good its been this year. I live near Carcassonne in the South of France and normally you get a patchy few weeks at some point but no, this year, just constant sun. Its actually ok weather now too just a lot cooler especially in the morning and night.

So I’m wondering if I can get any more wear out of my favourite dress this season. I dont think it can venture into autumn. I might get to wear it out for dinner this weekend. Mmmm… Im going to take that opportunity.

Bennett dress love

Bennett dress love

My Bennett dress, pattern by Marilla Walker is just so comfortable, feminine, colourful, fun to wear, great to dance in, and I get the most compliments. I think basically the shape just really suits me. I used a floaty viscose crepe in the most beautiful colour with little birds all over. Fabric bought in Carcasssone from Comptoir des Tisseurs. 25 Rue de la Republique. Pattern and instructions as ever just brilliant. The only alterations to the pattern were to lengthen it to make the dress a maxi with a wee slit at the back for movement. The bodice was perfect on me as you can cinch it in with the ties, great for fat days! I took it in a little bit on the back seam. The back has a gorgeous deep v. You know this is just my fave! I wonder if I can use the same pattern to produce an equally great dress for the winter?

Bennett dress selfie

Bennett dress selfie

The Top D! Marilla Walker, The Roberts collection

The Top D, a top pattern from The Roberts collection by Marilla Walker. The Roberts Collection is of course much more than a top pattern, its a pattern you could make a whole wardrobe of clothes from. A dungaree dress, dungarees, jumpsuit, top. Probably more!

Oh, how I love a simple garment. With that often come a simple sew. What could be better?

The V-neck on this pattern is perfection for me, not too low or too high and it has that lovely soft v shape.

My silk v neck tunic

I do not feel as if i have done this pattern justice as i didn’t add in the gorgeous upside down v design bit on the back. I realised I just wanted a simple straight down v neck for some silk that i had bought from Ditto last year. it sometimes takes me a while of looking and touching a fabric to work out what to make with it especially if its a favourite piece. I was originally going to make a blouse with a gathered detail on the shoulders. So glad I didn’t as I absolutely love how this turned out. I ignored the design bit on the back by sticking the pattern pieces together taking away the seam allowances on that bit. I lengthened the whole length as much as the fabric i had available and also extended the sleeves by an inch or so. The colours are perfect for me, lovely drape and feels gorgeous, cool in the heat. Just love it!!!

Top summer dress

Top summer dress

And then theres my number 2 version of Top D. Another piece fabric that I had been picking up and wondering about for ages, a remnant of heavy linen, with good drape. What to sew with it? I am often drawn to the aesthetics of Elizabeth Suzann, her use of simple colours and simple designs and her use of gorgeous silk and linen. So with this inspiration I thought why not try to make a top out of my linen.

Linen v neck tunic

Linen v neck tunic

I was a bit worried that it was going to be a bit heavy. As always I hate waste and I’m unlikely to want two garments out of the same fabric so I made the top as long as the remnant I had and cut the facings out of a liberty scrap I had. For this reason I own a lot of tunics! The linen would have been too thick for facings anyway.

This Linen version has turned out a little bit short, fine with leggings I think. It will be fine to knock about the house and pool without leggings.


Top D in a knit So, I also tried Top D in a knit fabric. It has already been worn to death with denim shorts. I found the fabric, a floaty viscose with tie dye pattern from my favourite fabric shop in the center of Carcassonne. I didn’t alter what I did from the other two tops apart from make it a bit shorter so it became a comfy T-shirt. Its not really pretty on the inside as I still have to fight with my coverstitch machine. Its the newer Janome coverstitch and although I love what it does enabling me to finish off my knit hems properly I always have a fight with it missing stitches. I might try some different needles and see if that makes a difference. But still, my T-shirt is a hit.

Top D t-shirt

Top D t-shirt

Whats up next? Im thinking of joining in with the refashioners organised by Portia at Makery. The challenge is to make something you would wear from and old pair of jeans. I’m thinking a dungaree dress hack from The Roberts collection.¬†Luckily we’ve got until the end of september which is great for me as I can get it done once school starts again. I will have to find some jeans from somewhere, I Marie Kondoed last year! Most of my extra jeans that didn’t give me joy went out. I’ll have to see if there are any lurking. I’m actually thinking of having another clear out. I dont get the bit where you do it only once. I’ve had nearly another year of accumulating and not sorting as I go!

Anyway, rambling off, I love the wardrobe possibilities that can result from sewing using the Roberts Collection and I love top D.



Inari Tee Dress, Named patterns

Inari Tee dress by Named

my inari tee dress
After a long while with lots of time spent gazing at everyone else’s lovely Inari’s I decided to go for it myself! I don’t know what was stopping me, maybe because I thought it was too simple or maybe I didn’t like the styling so much on the model. Well anyway, Heather at closet case files¬† Charlie at noble and daughter and also Sasha at secondopiano in particular all have amazing versions of this dress that I would have liked to make. There are lots of other brilliant versions I’ve seen also on instagram. And to be honest I like wearing this kind of loose comfy dress.

inari tee

Instant pdf pattern printing it was!. I’m sure I’d sew less and less variety if pdf patterns weren’t available. Apart form the sticking together bit I love em!

For this make the pattern actually came first and then with a shopping opportunity to Carcassonne I found this funky colourful soft viscose. Hoping this fabric will carry me through the seasons, worn with tights or leggings in winter and maybe bare legs in summer if I’m brave enough. Might be a bit short.

Inari tee dress

Fit wise I think its ok, might look into some sort of shoulder adjustment for the next one as it drops back across my shoulders a bit. Yes, I think I will make another. I feel good in it, I wasn’t sure of the shape to start with but I like it. Very comfy too!

inari tee dress

Still a bit chilly here!

Fancy neck facing detail!

I’ve taken a few nerdy neck facing shots for you too. After Lauren at Baste and Gather mentioned on instagram how she finished off her facings I thought I’d have a go. I must admit I don’t really like my facings with the overlocked edge. I mean its ok if I’m doing a quick make and not in the mood but this method that Lauren talked about I hadn’t even thought about. It gives a much neater finish on the inside and feels nicer.

Sew right sides of facings together at shoulders.

Sew right sides of facings together at shoulders.

You are basically sewing your facing together at the shoulder seams, doing the same with the interfacing. Do not iron your interfacing onto the facing yet!!

sew around the outside edge of facing right sides together

sew around the outside edge of facing right sides together

Then sew all around the outside edge, right sides together of the facing and interfacing (sticky side on the outside!).

Clip and trip around the edges

Clip and trim around the edges

Clip the edges, then turn through. try and press it all flat with your fingers before you iron it all flat together. And there you have it, a really neat facing to then be sewn onto your neckline.

Sew facing to the neckline.

Neat facing sewn onto the neckline right sides together, turned over and pressed.

Love this technique! Thanks Lauren!

And Thanks to Named for a dress pattern that will be worn lots and made again! The Inari Tee.

inari tee

Emery Dress

It has taken me nearly the whole month of January to sew something, I don’t know what has happened, maybe I’ve lost some of my sewjo! I’m sure it will be back, I’m building a list of wanna be sews!

My first emery dress, pattern by Christine Haynes. Here she is!


You know, I’m not sure about it? My dress that is, not the pattern! It seems fairly comfy although I’m not entirely sure if its a perfect fit. The back tends to desend lower than the front after a bit of wearing. I do always feel a little uncomfortable in a woven garment with sleeves where there is a little bit of restriction. My fabric choice perhaps is not great, (although it is now out of the stash!) it drapes well but its too synthetic. Even with a slip the skirt wants to stick to my bottom. Possibly I could try a cotton slip. I’m also not sure it’s a great shape for me to wear with a gathered skirt around my waist. I’ve made a few lilou dresses before and the sureau from deer and doe. I love them but I always feel slightly erm… frumpy and not as confident when I’m wearing them. Maybe I’m learning something about myself here!!

emery 2

I do like my new Emery dress but I’m not sure it gives me joy! Anyone else read the Marie Kondo book and cleared out their wardrobe?

Anyway, I’ll stop my unsatisfied going on. I loved the pattern and the making process. The pockets in particular, so easy and so satisfying. I might try another one in the summer in a pretty cotton and make it sleeveless, just for the pocket making! I made a straight size 14 with no alterations. There is probably scope for a bit of tweeking next time. Love the little dart on the shoulder, perfect for me as often the back zip gapes away for my neck and always requires alteration. The instructions were very good and I think a confident beginner with a few garments under their belt could probably tackle this dress. As I’m sure many have! Thank You Christine Haynes for a fab pattern.

A dodgy back shot!

A dodgy back shot!