Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Walkaway Dress.

THe Walkaway dress, well we started it we put the three peices together then we put the bias binding on.

I can honestly say this was the most boring thing I have ever made, the other thing I would like to say is if Butterick sold so many of these patterns in the 50s where are they? I can’t help feeling that 1950s sewer had as much trouble with them as 2015 sewers and a lot of them went straight in the bin.

I did learn a couple of things, I made my own bias binding for the first time, the print I used in the end was too busy for a shop bought binding, the binding looks great. I bought a bias foot for attaching it I found that it didn’t make it easier or harder to attach the binding, Denise found it a lot easier not to use the bias foot at all.
I read up a lot on the internet before starting this dress, I was particularly worried about Denise’s chest so we cut her upper chest size to start off with and graded out for the bust, it is still a little bit gapey around the sides but fits her shoulders, it is unfortunate that she has lost a few inches from around her waist since we cut it out so it is a bit big in that area we decided to just fold over the excess fabric.
The other thing I am assuming is that the 1950s pattern did not tell you to hang the dress for 24 hours before hemming, that would have completely put paid to the ‘start at breakfast, out for lunch’ slogan.

Simplicity 7995

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had made this skirt, well I have actually made two (almost).

A couple of weeks ago when the Summer was still sunny, I realised I didn’t have the skirt equivalent of Jeans to wear to dress down Friday, so Thursday evening I looked through my patterns and picked this oneIMG_1471

I wanted originally to do view 1 but when I opened the pattern envelope I didn’t have the pattern pieces. 😦
I really, really have to get in the habit of checking things like that when I get new patterns, to be fair I can’t remember where I got the pattern from, it could have said pieces missing on the auction.

So I decided on view 3, which was probably just as well as it is only three pieces and no top stitching, I had this piece of blue cotton I had bought from Kayes on a whim, I had been planning a play suit type thing for the holiday, I discovered that although the bust size was right on the pattern the hips were wrong so the playsuit didn’t materialise, which is probably just as well I’m having serious doubts on the convenience of going to the toilet while wearing one.

Back to the skirt it has four darts front and back, I was sneaky because i knew there wouldn’t be time to wash it first I used tailor tacks, which in general I hate I always get at least one or two that won’t stay in place.

  The zip went in first time and looks good, I think/hope that I’m getting the hang of those now. I used waistband facing for the waistband (obviously) which always comes in handy with the cutouts for folding, to save time I also machined the inside down, which i don’t always do because you get a much better finish hand stitching it. I machined a small hem on it and wore it down stairs to show Simon, we both agreed that it needed a lot off the bottom. infact I took practically 4 inches off it , Looking at the picture I’m not sure just how tall these models are but they ain’t 5ft 2 in.

all in all I think it took me a couple of hours to cut out and put together, so I’ve made another one.

1980’s Shirt



If I remember rightly this is the only thing I have made Simon and he has worn, there was an ill-fated crochet jumper, that not only would it have boiled him alive had he been able to get it on, it bore a large resemblance to chain mail. Very thick, very heavy chain mail in wool form.

Simon plays guitar in a eighties cover band they did a Hawaiian themed party night, for which they were going to wear Hawaiian shirts and shorts/jeans of their choice, I offered to make Simon a shirt, I bought an authentic Eighties shirt pattern and suitable fabric (Alexander Henry, Mahalo Girls)

The pattern repeat was quite wide but I wanted to make sure that the pattern matching across the front was spot on, which is where I made my first mistake, the facings were part of the front pattern piece and because the repeat was so wide I needed to cut the facing separately, some how I calculated the seam allowance the wrong side of where I wanted it which is why one side finished off looking like this.


It was very easy to put together once I had sorted out my pattern matching, it was the first thing I had put together where you put the sleeves in flat then stitch up the side seams and underarm seam.

Simon is very pleased with is and says it is very comfortable, I did say if I made it again I would put the first button further up, but watching an episode of The Goldburgs last night I see the button is exactly in the right place


Drape Drape 2 a small review

A small disclaimer I didn’t buy this book it is Denise’s.


Any one that has watched The Great British Sewing Bee (GBSB) will know which pattern enticed Denise to get this book and it would be interesting to know how many of the sales of this book was for the same reason.

The pictures are very clear, but I was left with a feeling of just how many of these clothes could actually make it in the ‘real’ world, not many.

there was of course the asymmetrical top featured on the GBSB and on the page before that there is this top which look really nice,


but you also had this and this WTF???


Now if you are thinking of buying this book with a view to making any of the projects please be aware that the sizes although they say S,M L,XL this is extremely misleading.


For instance the XL is for a 5ft 6 inch (ok so far) woman with a 35 1/2 inch bust 28 inch waist and 38ish hips, the sizing is approximate as they are all in cm. As one reviewer put it on amazon ‘Pixie Sized patterns’.

So if you fall within the narrow sizing options or are comfortable sizing up you then get to enter the minefield of tracing off the pattern. ‘The Pattern’ is on sheet 2, (I think) you then spend a couple of minutes trying to work out what you want to trace off, which I did. After tracing it off I’m thinking that it was a bit small which is when I realised that my drawing needed to be lined up a further two more times on the same sheet, you had the front half, the back half and the hem. The whole experience was very reminiscent of the Burda magazine patterns I attempted to trace off in the late eighties early nineties, which as far as I can remember was never a success.

So If you want to just admire the pictures and wonder how they got the models in to these outfits then go ahead and buy it, or if you want to make the patterns and you are a ‘pixie’ sized person this is the book for you.

hopefully I will have an photo of the asymmetrical top soon to show you.