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Second Davie Dress – The Return

Hi, I was so impressed with the fit of my first Davie Dress that I have made another one, this one is in a stretch fabric bought from eBay it is thickish, and will be great for our holiday. It does have quite a big pattern on it and I was torn between thinking it was too big for the small panels, or because it was so big it wouldn’t matter. It turns out I was right the pattern is so big that it is not noticable on the dress.

I have made it in the shorter size, a straight 2 but I have changed the neckline. The problem I have with the neckline is it is a bit high and with having to take off an extra 1/4 inch off the shoulders makes it even higher.

So what I did was I made up the dress with a slightly lower neckline, this was still not low enough, so I put the dress on my dress form then put a t-shirt with the neckline I was going for over the top of it, then I drew it on the dress.

After I cut off the excess I had then had to decide how to finish it off. Too be honest I didn’t look at the instructions on the pattern at this point, and I didn’t when I made the first one. The Craftsy class I took had you fold the neck strip in half, stitch it to the neck line and topstitch it in place, I didn’t like the mess it left inside so I decided to do it a different way.

I measured the new neckline and took an inch off it then added the seam allowance, made it into a loop, trimmed the seam allowance and pinned it to the neckline, right side of the neckband to the wrong side of the dress, stretching it out slightly, as I had done in the Craftsy class. Then I stitched the neck band to the dress, timmed off half the seam allowance and folded it over to the front of the dress, and then folded it under on its self so that the neck edge was encased in the neckband, I then topstitched this round, it gives it a nice neat edge and I am thinking of undoing the previous Davie dress and changing the neckline on that.

There might be another Davie Dress on the horizon but I haven’t decided yet, I’ve just found out about the Deer&Doe free t-shirt pattern that can be made into a dress or the Anna top with a gathered skirt, this Florida holiday will be the year of the T-shirt dress if I’m not careful.

Back soon

2016 trip to Olympia

This year we went to Olympia by coach, we were picked up on time, and after driving round half of Essex for an hour and half, we then spent an hour trying to get from Tower Hill to Olympia due to the road works.

Once at Olympia we went straight for cup of tea, as it was 12:00 it was time for lunch. After lunch we started over in one corner and methodically worked up and down the stalls, Mum was looking for  wool and I was looking to spend my birthday money on fabric.

We had been told that the show was smaller than in previous years and that was correct, also this year the show is mostly fabric and wool, over the last few years it has gradually moved from cross stitch and paper craft to knitting and patchwork/dressmaking.

For the first couple of hours I held on to my money, not wanting to run out before I got to the end of the show. But once my purse was opened the money just flew out.

Most of the fabric I bought was cotton and one bit of stretch jersey,


I could have bought a whole load of this fabric in all colourways but I picked just these two, I have enough of the blue/grey for a Cheyenne shirt and the red/blue for a dress. I’m not sure about the mauve yet.


 This is for another shirt, this might be a Granville or depending on how the Cheyenne goes maybe another one.


 I thought maybe a a couple of dresses.


I wasn’t sure about the jersey, until I realised that the lady on the stall was wearing a dress made of the fabric and it looked pretty good.

I also bought a pattern.


I bought the sew over it vintage shirt dress, to be fair I haven’t been overly impressed with the dresses on the Internet but after looking at the it on the sew over it stall I might even buy the 1940s tea dress.


Bye for now

Anna Dresses BHL

Here is the promised post on my Anna dresses, neither are completely finished but both are beautiful in their own way.

The first one is a viscose (rayon) which is very slippery and after the last time I worked with viscose I swore I would never do so again, but this was cheap and pretty…..

Those by Hand London girls sure draft for some very tall Ladies, I loped 7 inches off the skirt before I even started. The other changes I made was to do a small bust adjustment and to bring the neckline up an inch, I tend to find that deep V necklines do nothing for me and they gape something terrible.

I did French  seams on the skirt and overlocked the top mainly because I wan’t 100% on french seaming the underarm.


It still needs ironing and hemming, over all I’m quite pleased with it. I will admit though I wimped out on the thigh high split.

I used a small bit of interfacing where the zip is, not my idea I read it somewhere when I was researching the Anna Dress.


The Second Anna is made out of a Robert Kauffman London Calling Lawn fabric, I bought in the Craftsy fabric sale before christmas, It is very nice and light and floaty.



here are the full length photos.image



Stretch fabric

Now that I have spent some time with knits, I can now say that although I don’t love them, I do realise that they are not as scary as I first thought. Off the back of the stretch Craftsy class I have decided to try and replicate one of my tops, the result, while unwearable has a lot going for it.


I laid the top I wanted to copy out on my table and also traced off the t-shirt pattern from my class, my top has pintucks in it and a yoke at the  back which means that the shoulder seams are forward.

To start with I modified the neck line to mimic the lower scoop of the original then I took 1 1/2 inch off the front and added it to the back piece, because of the pintucks I slashed my new front pattern piece and added in the extra for the pintucks. After redrawing the new front, I checked it against the original and added length and width.

I then moved on to the back piece, I sliced off the yoke and added the seam allowances on.

Fit wise it looks great, I had to take a bit off at the hips as they seemed to have a life of their own, and was standing out in a most ungainly way.


As I said it is unwearable, the unwearability of it is tied up in the front placket and the neck treatment, the fabric is too thick for for the front placket to four layers, if I had checked the original I would have realised this as they have replaced half of this with what looks like ribbon, and also I’ve rather messed up the curved edge of the neckline, however the basic shape is there I just need to tweak it.

Bye for now.


Sewaholic Davie dress

Hi, since my brief look at knit fabrics I have been looking to complete Sewaholics Davie Dress, when I ordered it I hadn’t realised that it was made in a stretch fabric, but I was willing to give it a go. I had some fabric bought from eBay that I wasn’t all that keen on once I had it delivered so it was ideal for my test run.

My first problem is that I’m not a pear shape which is the shape that Sewaholic favours, at 33 27 37 I was alright for waist and bust with a US 6 but my hips are a US 2, what I have done before in this position is just cut a straight US 6 but I have ended up with too much fabric at the hip and it has looked just plain wrong, so I decide to grade down from the waist to the hip size, I used my new hip curve and was very happy with the results.

I did a quick pin to my dress form and it looked alright

My second problem is that I’m short 5ft 2in and I do usually have a problem with princess seam but I’ll cover that a bit later.

Who wants to see the first attempt at the dress.


I would like to say it looks a lot better on the dress form than it did on me and also by this point I had already raised the shoulder seams about an inch. The dress was just too big all over, except on the hip, the other problem was that without raising the shoulder seam by an inch the bust part of the princess seam was way too low, and even with the inch taken out it still wasn’t sitting properly.

Because of the amount of excess I had at the waist and bust I decided to try a straight size 2, after all there are 8 seams so I could quite happily ‘steal’ back 2 inches from the seam allowance. Also by going for a size 2 you already lost 3/4 inch from the shoulder.


What I didn’t realise was how rollyupy the already cut pieces were going to be and ironing them didn’t help 😦 however what I did find was that if I laid it on the ironing board it stuck to the cover like fuzzy felt, I managed to keep it flat enough to cut the new pieces out.

The dress went together very nicely, I used a normal straight stitch as this was only a test dress, zigzag is so hard to unpick, also I don’t like the way it looks on the outside. I might just use my overlocker in future.

Here is the dress with the basic seams put in it fits loads better.


There is something squiffy going on with the back, but I’m not sure if it is how I standing, the shoulder seam could do with coming up slightly which will might fix this and will bring the bust point of the dress up to the correct position.

I made the longer length which comes just below my knees, I’m not sure if the shorter one might be just out of my comfort zone.

I’ll be back with the finished article soon, also I like the fabric made up a lot more than just laying in the drawer so this might by my first dress for Florida.

It is a medium weight stretch fabric with a nice amount of body, I used my walking foot which is brilliant and my sewing machine didn’t try to eat it once, bonus!

Also on my cutting table is By Hand London Anna dress, more about that soon.

Thurlow Trousers part 2

I cut out and put together my second pair of Thurlow Trousers  before Christmas, the reason I haven’t blogged about them it that I made a bit of a hash of the back pockets, and I was sulking. There were a couple of other issues with them as well but that was the main one.

I cut too far on the pocket slit, I’ve done bound buttonholes before so I had no excuse. The welts lie very nicely unfortunately I have a bit of fraying at the corners.


Since I started this post I have actually completed two pairs of Thurlow Trousers and apart from the welt pockets on the first pair I am quite pleased with them. I stitched further in on the welt pocket sides so now instead of the fraying I have a bit of puckering, as I am never going to use the pockets I have also stitched them up.

The first pair I added 1/4 inch to the front rise, as it seemed to slope down from the back and was quite away from my belly button, the second pair I added in total 1/2 inch I was much happier with the result, oddly enough I had more problems following the instructions for the last two pair of trousers than I did with the ‘muslin’ I think I did too much second guessing.

Here are pictures of the first pair

And pictures of the second pair

I think that they could do with being a smige longer but other wise I’m happy.

Marathon Skirt making project

Don’t worry I havent forgotton my Haslam blouse, it is on the back burner at the moment, have you ever had a project that goes together fine in the testing stage but once you get to the actual putting it together what could go wrong will go wrong.

That is my Haslam blouse, first I made a hash of the corner trying to French seam it as per the instructions (got a small hole in the corner 😦 ) the second one I tried went together beautifully, then I noticed a small mark on the front of the section on the one of the fronts, normally I would have just swapped it out, but I’d just overlocked the whole lot, after deciding to give the french seams a miss.

This weekend I have made, or at least started 5 skirts, 3 are all the same pattern and for a friend, she has just had abdominal surgery, and her low waised ‘modern’ skirts and trousers rub in the wrong place, since going back to work she has practically lived in 2 skirts I made her for chistmas.

 The pattern was created from the Lutterloh 70s book, I have already made another long skirt, but as she is about to go on a boating holiday they are not practical, so using the same pattern, but cutting it shorter here are three more skirts.

I have also made two skirts for me, one is an unblogged 70s skirt pattern from simplicity. The other is a Haslam skirt, 

I made a mistake on my fabric choice for the Haslam skirt, the check doesn’t lead it self to darts and I’m not sure that it can hold the pleats.
The skirts are all put together and just need their waistbands and hemming, the Haslam skirt also needs its pleats.

Hopefully I can get some photos before my friend goes on holiday.

Vogue 7966


I promised you more stitching and here it is, well sort of, I have cut out a new dress, the fabric is a nice cotton, purple with white polka dots, bought from Kayes Textiles here in sunny Southend (technically it might be Westcliff but wet Westcliff doesn’t sound as good a Sunny Southend)

I haven’t made this pattern before, I got it as part of a job lot on ebay, it is a bit weird though, I am missing a pattern piece (the gusset) but I have a left front pattern piece extra. of course it wasn’t until I cut out the skirt pieces that I realise that there was a bit missing, when I looked at the bits I checked for the skirt pieces, the bodice and the facings, check, check and check. it wasn’t until I was cutting out the bodice that I realised there was an ominous slit under the arm.

I’m going to try the print enlarging technique from last year, failing that as long as I can work out how long the under sleeve part is hopefully I can work my way back to getting a shape, I think if it had been a long sleeved dress it would have been easier, because you have all the variables, but with a pentagon you are a little bit stuffed.
This Pattern is actually a size too small for me a 32 rather that 34 which I usually use, but as I am small busted I can sometime get away with it, to combat the missing 2 inches I’ve added roughly 2/8 inch on the sides of the patterns and will hope for the best.

I actually wrote this post last week, since then I have recreated the gusset peice and attempted to fit it, needless to say, it didn’t go well, what hasn’t helped is that while putting it on my dress makers dummy, I have realised that my fabric choice is so wrong so very, very wrong. I’m not sure that the dress will actually be wearable even if I manage to fit the gusset.
What? I hear you say is wrong with the fabric choice, you can’t go wrong with polka dots, you can if the pattern is quite boxey to start off with and then you have the dots going straight across, making it look even squarer, if I had put them on the slant it might have been alright but I’m not convinced.

A polka dot skirt might be nice and I can use the top half for perfecting the insertion of the gusset.

We are going to see Mickey Mouse….

It is booked!!! two weeks in May, in Florida I can’t wait, we have a villa, the park tickets, we are swimming with dolphins, just as well we also have another week off after we get back we will be exhausted!!

The main reason for this post is ‘We’re going to see Mickey!!!’ and I need to think about my wardrobe. The temperatures are going to be between 22 and 32 degrees, I’m hoping for the middle to lower end as Simon does not do heat very well.

I’m hoping to create one new item of clothing a week until we go, this might be ambitious as a couple of things I have my eye on are in my Haslam books and as I haven’t completed one of the designs yet I can’t say with any certainty that it will fit properly.

Here are a couple of pictures.


I was also looking at a swimsuit pattern, I don’t do very well with stretch fabric, but I want to look nice for the Dolphins
As well as Gerties book for better sewing I have Gerties Vintage casual, I’ve been looking at the shorts, dresses and shirts. Here are some of the clothes I hope to be able to finish before we go.


Gerties Shirtwaist dress again

Hi, sorry it has been so long since my last post, it has been not so much manic as blugh, Simon has been away a lot, which in theory should give me a lot of spare time but in actuality just means I read a lot more 😦

I have made another Gertie shirtwaist dress, which went together slightly better but that could have been because I made a straight size 6 (US) instead of grading between 4-6-4, the first dress was a little tight across the top of the bust so I figured the larger size would be fine and as the skirt has so much material in it extra over the hips I felt that an extra size wouldn’t make a difference.

I do think that there is a slight drafting issue, I don’t know if it affects all the sizes but it does affect size 6, If I had used the notches on the shoulders the top would have been a very funny shape.

Denise will be glad to hear that the pleats gave me almost as much trouble the second time round as the first. At least I knew what it should look like this time!! I don’t know what I was doing but with the first side, it didn’t matter how I folded the pleats I had two together and one by its self, it wasn’t until I folded the other side I managed to get it to sit properly, I still don’t know what I was doing wrong on the first side.
I needed to fudge the shoulders otherwise the collar wouldn’t fit, I pinned the collar at the notches and the shoulder seam, which left me with almost an extra inch and half of top fabric more than collar.

If you make this dress, I suggest you check the front skirt facing is long enough and that the pleats fold in a nice easy three pleats together and the top dart lines up with the first pleat.

Bye for now…