Monthly Archives: January 2017

Project 1 – Part 2 Finished

I have my first finished Dress of the year and my first Dress for Florida, yes unfortunately you can expect two weeks solid of posting about Florida again.

I am very pleased how this dress has turned out, the bodice fits perfectly, the white buttons add just enough interest to the front to stop it being too boring.

I used self made bias binding for the arm holes and skirt hem, as i had been a bit tight for length I didn’t want to use too much on the hem.

One of the arm holes doesn’t lay quite right under the arm, but I have already had the binding off once and it doesn’t look much better. I’m wondering if I cut it slightly wrong as I freehanded taking off 5/8 of an inch. If you look closely at the inspiration dress I think that the binding is on the outside.


Project 2 new bra doesn’t really warrant it’s own post, it has come together really nice it is still slightly too tight across the right cup but it looks a lot better.

Project 3, January


Here is project 3 for this month, once I had shrunk the pattern, it is actually a very quick make.

To shrink the pattern I traced it off on to x and dot paper, I used to use the burda tracing paper but I find it just a bit too flimsy for this type of thing. I shortenend it by 3/4 inch first then cut it into five strips, each strip I overlapped 1/8 inch and stuck it back together, I had been using pritt stick, but I managed to pick up write on able scotch tape before christmas so I used that, it is quite a lot easier. The next thing I did was a SBA of 1/2 inch.

I checked the measurements before laying it out and decided that I needed to put the two inches removed from the top back at the hip it’s a pity I didn’t realise this earlier as it would have meant I didn’t have to change the bottom half.

The fabric is a beautiful purple with a white ‘flower’ design, I layed the pattern pieces out and drew on the extra 1/4 inch to the outside seam cutting out immediately, the last thing I wanted to do was forget what I had decided.

I actually put the dress together as per the instructions which meant hand stitching all the hems, the main problem with that is the ‘skirt’ pieces need to be hemmed before they are attached to the shorts.



basically you put the top half together with the darts, facing and zip, for some reason at this point you don’t touch the sleeves, then you put the front shorts together and add the skirt overlay then repeat for the back, then finish making up the short and attach to the top half, once it is all cut out, even with the hand stitching it only takes about 3 hours to put together.img_4406

more soon…..

Project 1-part one, January


This is my inspiration photo

As I said in my previous post I started cutting out the top of another pattern before deciding this fabric was totally wrong


The first thing that I needed to do was to work out if I had enough fabric left over to make the skirt. I suspected, looking at the picture that was a 3/4 circle skirt, it didn’t look full enough to be a full circle, after spending 5 minutes looking for my skirt pattern, then looking at the instructions in the sewmanydresses book I decided that I couldn’t be bothered with creating a 3/4 circle pattern.

I folded my fabric in half and pinned it still, I took my water soluble pen attached it to a piece of string held it in one corner of the fabric and made two 1/4 circles on the folded fabric with the pen on the other end, then just cut 1/4 off each piece, which was handy because I used those bits for facings.

I decided that I could use the basic bodice from the sewmanydresses book, it did give instructions on how to make  a button down bodice, unfortunately I didn’t have the fabric to use the all-in-one method so had to cut a separate button tab.

I had a couple of problems due to the fact I had already cut out the bodice pieces for the other outfit and so would have to use these to create the top of my dress. The main problem was that the fabric wasn’t quite wide enough, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance on the front I managed to move my under arm problem into the seem allowance.

I did add an extra bit to this fabric before cutting out, I straight stitched then zigzagged an extra bit, the last place you need a weak stress point is under the arm.


there was also a tiny problem with the back of the neck but I decided to just make the back neckline lower.

If you look closely at the next picture you can just see where I am going to cut the neckline to. There is a faint blue line on the left side of the photo.


I am quite pleased with it so far, I have decided on 22mm white buttons, which I need to get and I think I am going to try bias binding on the hem and armholes.

More soon…..

Projects for January

hi, i know this is a little late for my first proper post for January but here goes.

I have four projects I am working on at the moment:-

Corrected bra pattern I  altered on the advice of Beverly Johnson, this was coming together very nicely, right up to the point I discovered that the sliders and rings were the wrong size, I have since received a new set of larger sliders and haven’t got around to using them


The next project it is a refashion of this dressimg_4366I I love the fabric, but even though this was the second time I made this dress, it was unwearable, too tight across the back and the arm hole was too low, not sure what was going on there. I have subsequently taken it apart and I hope to be able to make this dress out of the fabric.


I wanted to remake this dress/pant suit, but I wanted to make it closer to my size so I reduced the pattern to a 34 bust, after cutting out the pattern I realised that the fabric design was totally unsuitable for it, so I decided to use it for my other project which was to create a copy of this dress.


More on these soon

Biba Part three

This will be the last post on this I promise, I went back to the exhibition today and I took my proper camera I have taken some closeup shots of the clothes.


Biba seemed to like these bell sleeves with the long tight cuff, I would assume that the cuff would go some way to stop you dropping your sleeve in your soup.

This dress was also available in red, which I think I prefer, colourwise.img_4332

As you can see in these shots the shoulder and sleeves are very similar, gathers at the shoulder going into the Bell sleeve.

The yoke and gathers across the bustline give it a very soft look, I’m not sure that the sleeves really go.



This is a completely different look for sleeves we appear to be having a hi-lo moment, I’m not sure that they would stay out of dinner, it has a very nice soft draped neckline.


I love this wide drapey collar but not sure about the neckline it’s self


Look at the collar on this one the contrast white collar and dark blue is very striking.


I missed this little white collar the first time I looked at the dress, it wasn’t until I read the gold card attached to it that I saw it.


This has a funny right angled under arm bust dart, I know they were aimed at the mainly flat-chested but I’m not quite sure what this achieved.


I love this coat, with the princess seams on the back and the big collar, I’m pretty  sure that it would be unwearable in the winter, the sleeves don’t look wide enough to wear it over anything bulky and I’m not sure you could get it over the bell sleeves of the the first two dresses I showed you.


Biba was definitely all about the sleeves


look at these buttons aren’t they great?


I love the look of these cuffs, a lot of the 50s patterns have the contrasting collar and cuff but I haven’t got the nerve try it yet, maybe I can use this for inspiration.


I promise this will be the last post on Biba – for the time being.

next up will be my plans for the new year……..