Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

Welcome to my world of craft!

Florence dress

Firstly I wanted to apologise for the lack of posts on my blog….. I found instagram and got a bit hooked on there. Plus felt that I was sharing with less effort / words but I will try harder to do both ( @craftysewandsewindorset )

Anyway, onto my blog post. This is the Florence dress from sew over it, released early via simply sewing magazine. I bought this fabric from Ikea ages ago for £12 for 3 meters pre cut and thought it would be perfect for this maxi dress even if the pattern requires fabric with drape!

The magazine planned this to be a slow sewing challenge as the patterns were in two issues but I just don’t sew like that. Therefore I waited until 2 days before the second issue before I started sewing!

I decided to omit the sleeves, mainly due to the 30 degree heat wave Britain had (note had sadly!!) been experiencing. I made my own bias binding to edge the sleeves using my little bias binding tools.

I originally decided to add poppers as I had bought a new prym tool for this very job, however tiredness and cider made this harder than it sounded!

I eventually gave up after several back to front connections and punching a hole in my dress and added buttons!

This cotton worked so well in the heat so will definitely become a holiday favourite. 


Final 10 days of May

And it’s done!! A whole month of me Made outfits, some days I actually managed to wear totally handmade which was really surprising.

What this month has shown me is that I have lots of work clothes and basics like tshirts (which is why the challenge was not as hard as I thought) but really need to focus on more difficult makes such as jeans and dedicate more time to the process!

I also realised I have no where enough summer makes!! The sun came out in Britain last week for a few days, reaching 30 degrees and I was starting to struggle to find me Made outfits. I have a few Cami tops, a play suit (but no good for work!!) and one maxi dress. I need to get on with some shorts for the next bit of sunshine…. you never know when it’s coming or for how long in this country!!


Jacket – simple sew notch collar jacket- fabricland 

Top- designer stitch Kat top – fabricland 

Trousers- burda palazzo trousers- fabricland 


Dress – Mccalls m7351 – fabricland 


Jacket- grainline studio Morris blazer – Minerva crafts

Top- closet case file Nettie bodysuit (as a tshirt) – fabricland 

Skirt – sew over it Erin skirt – Ikea fabric 


Top -Kwik sew 3844-  fabricland 

Trousers- new look 6900- Amy butler fabric


Top – sew over it cami top – fabricland (spare from my kimono)

Skirt -RTW from Boden 

Shoes – prym espadrilles kit- fabric from fancy moon ( that doesn’t seem to exist any more 😩)


Sweatshirt- sew house seven toaster sweater- fabricland 

Top – Megan Nielsen briar shirt – fabricland 

Jeans – RTW from next


Repeat outfit alert!! But the first in a month!!

Moss skirt with Agnes top, plus RTW next cardigan 


Top- soi silk Cami top – fabric peachskin from soi

Trousers – began Nielsen flint trousers- fabric chambray from fabricland 


Top – soi Anderson blouse – fabricland 

Trousers – soi ultimate trousers- fabricland 

I now have about a dozen makes I realise I have never blogged about…..


Me Made May week 3

Another week completed and no repeat outfits yet…. I need to figure out if I can find 11 more outfits!

I have a half completed Nettie bodysuit (that doesn’t fit so needs to be hacked ☹️) and fabric ready for a pair of flint trousers to make this week. I also picked up the new free tank top pattern from itch to stitch to fit in this month.


Top – Megan Nielsen briar top – fabricland 

Dress- vogue v8667- fabric from an independent shop in a little village 


Top- sew over it Ella blouse – fabric land

Skirt – sew house seven alberta street skirt – fabric land


Dress – simple sew Kate dress – girl charlee 


Top – sew over it Molly top – fabricland 

Skirt – simple sew 2in1 skirt – fabricland


Top – Tilly and the button Agnes top – fabricland 


Top – Tilly and the buttons Agnes top – girl charlee

Dress – self drafted – fabricland


Dress- pattern from love sewing magazine- fabricland

Leggings -RTW 

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Simple Sew Lena dress

It’s finished…. With sleeves! (thank you to all you girlies who offered views and sold me on the sleeves!!)



This is the Lena wrap dress that came free with love sewing magazine,  I don’t own a wrap dress as not sure if it would suit my bodyshape (read no boobs to fill the wrap section 😣) but this was advertised as a false wrap so thought I would try it out.

The fabric is from girl charlee from their bargain lot section: turquoise black Diamond cotton spandex blend knit fabric for a steal at £7.90 for two metres!
It’s super soft and super stretchy. So much so, that this post was almost titled “a

stretch too fa



The top half was simple to put together but the instructions offered no assistance!!


Note that it tells you to join the lining and bodice together at the neckline and armholes….. But you don’t sew the armholes and if you do you can’t complete the next 3 steps! Luckily I spotted this and ignored but feel for a more novice sewer who might not spot this.

I binned the guidance at this point and figured it out on my own and used a mixture of my overlocker and normal machine with walking foot to join seams and finish the inside.
After I finished the wrap section with my overlocker I tried it on for size and realised I had stretched the neckline fabric to resemble a saggy mess 😭
I steamed it over and over on my mannequin and miraculously it seems to have worked..  Phew!
The pattern has notches for matching the wrap sections but this was miles off for me but simply making each point join the seam line fitted a treat (and possibly helped the sagging front!!). I also added a tack stitch on the lining to hold the front together and avoid me pulling it up throughout the day.


I didn’t want a separate band at the bottom so cut this into the main a skirt piece, only to cut it off again at hemming stage as it was about 10cm too long for my liking.
This dress now sits just above my knee and the sleeves are just above my elbow.

I was unsure about adding sleeves but encouraged by many of my blogging companions I did add them…..and you were all right! This length sleeve means I won’t need a jacket in the office during spring and summer.


Sleeves or sleeveless??


I have finally started to make the lena wrap dress that came free with love sewing magazine. The instructions are terrible and if you were a newby to sewing you would be totally lost!! I’m just going for it in my own way.

I’ve got as far as the darts and then tacked it to my mannequin for sizing.  I’m normally a 10 in simple Sew patterns and cut this pattern out a few weeks ago but when I double checked the sizing I realised a 10 would be too small. The pattern actually only shows you the finished size and no body measurements anywhere.


I just about managed to squeeze the pattern out of the discounted fabric from girl charlee bought in the new year sale. 


Now I have pinned it together I can’t decide if I should add the short sleeves or leave it without sleeves.  What do you think? Opinions would be appreciated….


2017 Make nine


Rochelle on instagram has set a challenge again this year to pick nine patterns that you want to make in 2017.

These are my nine:
1. Sew over it Ultimate trousers
2. Simple sew ‘Jackie o’ jacket
3. Butterick B6164 view a


These are all to make me focus on the fit of my makes;

I have made one pair of ultimate trousers but want to improve my fit and play around with waist band ideas etc. I can see a few more of these in my wardrobe next year.

I have fabric en route from an online fabric shop in pink houndstooth to make the Jackie o jacket up, this could be my January entry to the monthly stitch!

The butterick pattern has been in my stash for a long time but not got round to it. I think because it looks like it needs and thought and effort to achieve a good fit and won’t be fine in a few hours. I like the green polka dot from the packet so might cost this idea.

4. Named Saunio cardigan and sew house seven toaster jumper.

I have included these together as they are part of the sew my style challenge during 2017. I have already made the toaster sweater #1 and love it, and have fabric for the cardigan.

5. New look 6769 coat
6. Great British sewing bee palazzo trousers
7. Butterick b6057 swimsuit

I know it has taken me a year to finish my duffle coat but I already have this new look vintage pattern for a spring/autumn coat in my sights. I love both the colours shown in the package and have seen since lovely Melton wool fabric on the sew over it website.

The palazzo trousers caught my eye after watching a vlog from sew over it when she reviewed the book and made this up in a bright but deep blue crepe. I have found a similar fabric in my local fabric shop and think these would be practical for work.

The swimsuit pattern has been in my stash for too long as well. I keep buying all in one costumes and struggle to find one that fits properly so finally conceded that I need to make myself one, just need to source all the fabric and notions.

8. Colette negroni shirt
9. GBSB t shirt

I have added these two as I need to get past my selfish sewing (and if I make hubby a few outfits it buys me some brownie points for more fabric shopping).
I have seen a few of the GBSB t shirt made up and its seems to offer a good fit so hopefully he will actually wear it if I make it up. Plus this would be an evening work so really rewarding.

The negroni shirt is yet to be in my possession but we both like the design and I just need to find somewhere in the UK I can buy it from. I am thinking of making it up in brushed cotton like in the photo.

What are your 2017 make nine?

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Half term fun (and a Dungaree dress)


We had a great half term this October, generally doing very little and relaxing around at home but with the occasional day out. This allowed me the time to catch up on some quality time with hubby and the kids, get some sewing done and get some better shots of the finished item.

We went to a pick your own farm with the kids and their cousins; selecting three of their finest pumpkins to turn into Pumpkin soup and Pumpkin pie, plus a tonne of blackberries and raspberries – more went into the kids mouths then in the punnet but that’s the fun of PYI.


We had a day out at Thomas Hardy’s cottage in Dorchester, my home town, which the kids loved. Running around the woods and then exploring the cottage looking for clues – the National Trust are great at keeping the kids occupied so we adults can have a good look around without them getting bored.

The woodlands offered a great backdrop to show off my latest make – a denim dungaree dress (with TATB Agnes top underneath).

I self drafted this pattern using the skirt from New Look K6035 and then made my own bib, back and straps, plus pockets.


I used denim from Fabricland where I managed to buy the buckles and jean buttons for a few pounds. I used the left over fabric from the dress I made the other week to line the pockets, back piece and made my own bias binding for the hem.


i think i actually prefer the inside to the outside of this dress. The dress was finished with yellow top stitching on the pockets, bib and hem.


Sunday Selfless Sewing

The other week I visited a new sewing shop in town, Zebedees. This is by no means a new shop – it has been there for a very long time but last time i went it was to buy some felt to make a gingerbread man costume for the kids and it was very much an upholstery shop. They still have an upholstery section at the back but they have now revamped the front and filled it with beautiful fabric.

I walked around and around like some addict trying to work out what I could buy and for what purpose – I have learnt to only buy fabric with a project in mind to keep me on track… comes my Sew Awesome app on my mobile – all my patterns with fabric amounts and notions at the tip of my fingers.

I found some lovely red and green tweed that I almost bought to make a Simple Sew pencil skirt but as it was not machine washable i bravely walked away.

Instead I found some lovely floral cotton fabric that reminded me of Liberty print but at only £6.99 a metre a little more affordable. I matched it with some bright pink cotton fabric – so only £8 for the whole dress. i figure I need to keep making pretty little dresses while my daughter still wants them and is pleased to wear them.

I decided on pattern M7346 and my daughter decided on view D with the little ruffles on the sleeves, similar to the dress i made in April for her birthday (still unblogged but coming soon).

dress pattern

front yoke

front view

My daughter is 10 1/2 years old but she is a dainty little thing so she measures up as a size 6 and then I extended the length to a size 8. As it is mid October and the weather has suddenly dived in temperature she has taken to wearing this dress with her jeans and a chunky cardigan.

back view

I used my overlocker for the side seams and my machine for the rest of the dress. I am really pleased with the quality of the finish, inside and out. I made my own bias binding for the first time to neaten the armholes – I bought some bias binding makers years ago but they have sat in my desk unused. They worked so well, I will definitely make my own from now on.



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So many projects, so little time

It was my birthday last week so I asked for money to enable me to go fabric shopping without the guilt. 

So I decided to sit down and write a list of patterns I really wanted to sew and buy the fabric plus notions so I am good to go when I have the time.

So these are on my to make list now:


Threadcount classic pleated trousers

Floral cotton fabric from fabricland,  I had planned on making a toile for these but I am too impatient so might just go for it!


Simple Sew pleated culottes

Aubergine colour linen from fabricland,  thinking ahead for autumn and winter.


Houndstooth fabric for designer stitch Jenny dress

Pink/purple houndstooth fabric from fabricland,  to make the Jenny dress I won during IPM from Designer Stitch.  Think I will make the classic version in this for work.


Tilly and the buttons marigold jumpsuit

I have plans to make this jumpsuit ready for christmas party time.  I wanted to make a black version (and I only own two black clothing items,  both jackets!!) and then found this fab sparkly fabric.


It means I need to line it so have bought a lovely soft viscous cotton to make underneath.  Not sure how to join the two up yet but have 4 months to figure it out.


Sew over it silk cami x 2

The sew over it silk cami kit was one of my birthday presents from hubby. The kit had the pattern and the floral peachskin fabric to the right in the photo.  I bought some cheap polyester silky fabric to make a wearable toile. Lucky I did as it was too tight across the bust ( which never happens to me as only an A cup).  I bought the pink bird fabric to try again before I cut into the decent fabric.


Collette ginger skirt

I got this tula pink bumble bee fabric from Beatles a few months ago as end of roll. I got the ginger skirt pattern from a pattern exchange group on Facebook and thought it would be a great design to show off the fabric.


Simple Sew pussybow blouse

This make was inspired by another blogger on WordPress who made culottes with a pussybow top. Again,  I am planning ahead to autumn /winter and adding another black item to my wardrobe.


Tilly and the buttons Agnes top

I received the Agnes pattern during the swap in IPM.  I made a stripy version in cheap jersey as a wearable toile but had this in the stash. I am planning to make the long sleeve version.


Shorts and cami from gbsb latest book

This is the failed silk cami that only fits without a bra so has been relegated to nightwear.  I found the short pattern in my latest gbsb book and will add lace trim, the whole set will only cost me £3.50!!

That should keep me busy for a while and out of fabricland!!


Spotty Playsuit


The monthly stitch blog set a theme for July of spots and stripes.  When I was buying fabric for my Anderson blouse I picked up 1.20m of spotty fabric with the plan to make a second sleeveless Anderson blouse.

Then the sun arrived in blighty and I decided to finally make the poppy playsuit from sew over it that was free with a sewing magazine before it vanished again.


This was a quick make with a simple top and short that you sew together and add elastic around the waist in the seam allowance.

It has cute turn ups on the sleeves and shorts (that I need to add a few stitches to stop them unfolding).  I added a loop and button to the back fastening as the pattern suggested a hook and loop but I didn’t think that would hold.


I took the photos on our local dog walk on Canford heath.  We are so lucky to have this beautiful heath land on our doorstep and the beach 10 mins drive away.