Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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Pattern review: Sunny dress by Friday pattern company

This pattern is the first in the #sewmystyle2018 line up and is such a simple but great tshirt dress.

I bought some textured ponte Roma from Fabrics galore in the January sales which only cost £6 for 1.5 m. This fabric is great for hiding any bumps from too many mince pies at Christmas but didn’t have a lot of stretch.

I cut out the back piece in my size according to the instructions but when I pinned it to my mannequin it only just reached the midline. I then panicked and had to adjust the front piece to ensure it would fit!

To widen the front piece I moved it in approx 1.5cm from the foldline rather than adjust the width on side seams as this pattern has quite distinct curves to get a great fit. This worked well on the fit around my body but think it had created an issue with the back neckline. It now rides up and although the pattern states you can wear this dress back to front this is definitely not the case for my one.

Talking to Lynsey at the #dorsetmeetup on Saturday it seems she had a similar problem so maybe it wasn’t my pattern adjustment!

This pattern has had some flack on social media groups for the lack of instructions and not even giving a drafted neckband; especially as this basic pattern was around £8. I was happy to pay as they do give a % of sales to charity but agree this should be great for a beginner as so simple but the lack of notches and guidance would hinder someone who is not used to sewing in jersey.

For an experienced sewer this is a super quick sew. I decided to time myself and challenge myself to complete it under 2 hours. It only took me 1 hour 40!!

I finished the hem and sleeves with my overlocker and twin needle. The neckband was attached with my overlocker and again twin needle finished to stop it turning up.

Although the pattern said it needed 1.5m of fabric I managed to make an itch to stitch Lindy petal skirt from the left overs of my fabric! Although I did have to sew two pieces together to make up one of the front sections but you can’t tell under the overlap!!

My final verdict: I’m happy with the fit of this dress apart from the back neckline. I would use this pattern as a base for a jersey maxi dress in the summer but not impressed with the pattern and instructions at the price it retails at.


Indie pattern month shortlist

I have been shortlisted (sort of as all entries were added to the finalist list!!) over on indie pattern month on The monthly stitch. Check out all the entries and cast your votes 😊


Summer sewing plans 

I had a bit of a sort out of my fabric stash this morning; removing small pieces of fabric remnants from previous projects and deciding what patterns to pair with fabric. 

I think I need to accept I am a fabric hoarder. If I have a piece left over I think I could use to make a top or shorts for my kids then it goes back in my stash pile, but then I end up buying new fabric for a project!

I have now sorted out 11 sewing plans (all from my stash!!).

Here goes:


I picked up a free copy of the elisalex pattern from By Hand London from my love sewing magazine a few months ago. I bought this stretch cotton from fabricland a very long time ago for a pair of trousers but when I made a toile I didn’t like the design so it has sat in my stash. You can read about this dress here.


My daughter agreed I could make her an outfit and selected this tween pattern from new look and wants view b. The fabric is black with mint green spots and is a viscose polyester so should be okay if the sun comes back again!


This is part of the sew my style line up and due to be sewn for July. I have tried a few Megan Nielsen patterns now so confident that this will fit well. I didn’t want another chambray dress so I am going to see if I can fit the pattern on to this Tula pink fabric (originally destined to be a Collette ginger skirt). Again, I’ll omit the sleeves as prefer sleeveless in the summer.


This was another free pattern from itch to stitch released on Mother’s Day in the US. I’m going to try it out on my stash jersey and might make a few of these for the summer if it works out.


I made one pair of these flint trousers on chambray but keen to make a button up pair on black crepe for a smarter look.


This was from last summers list!! I won this pattern in last years indie pattern month on the monthly stitch but never got round to making it. I think this might be more of an autumn make…..


This is jersey from the girl charlee sale at Easter time. I’ve made a couple of briar tops now but fancy another brighter shirt in my wardrobe.


This will be my third attempt at this pattern. My first was in black rib which came out okay but a bit too much stretch. My second one was in pink jersey but not enough stretch so I had to alter into a tshirt!


This is another pattern that has sat in my stash for a year. I have made a couple of jackets recently and they are not as difficult as I think so need to get on with this.


This is the August pattern for sew my style and I failed to use my imagination and found fabric like the photo!!

I also have a few other patterns waiting such as the paper cut bowline sweater, French navy orla dress and chalk and notch farah top!! 

I think they should see me through to autumn!!!


My monthly stitch contribution to put a bird on it!

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Me Made May week 2

Another week down and found it easier than I thought to wear two or more me Made items to work or at home.

I love participating in me Made May as it makes me think about wearing clothes I have made ages ago but keep pushing aside.


Top – TATB Agnes top- fabric from fabric galore 

Skirt – RTW from marks and spencer


Jacket- Grainline Morris blazer – fabric from Minerva crafts 

Top – TATB Agnes top – fabric from girl charlee 

Skirt – sew over it tulip skirt- fabric from fabricland 


Cardigan – RTW from next

Top- Sew over it silk Cami top – fabric from fabricland 

Trousers – Tilly and the buttons marigold – fabric from fabricland 


Dress – simple sew Lena wrap dress – fabric from girl charlee 


Jacket – Grainline Morris blazer (again!!)

Top- designer stitch Kat top (again!!)

Skirt – itch to stitch Lindy petal skirt – fabric from girl charlee  


Top – Megan Nielsen briar top – fabric from fabricland 

Trousers – adapted sew over it ultimate trousers – fabric from fabric land



Top- Tilly and the buttons mimi blouse- fabric from fabric land

Trousers – soi ultimate trousers-as above 

The other thing this last fortnight has made me realise is that I have quite eclectic taste and a varied wardrobe….. and I’m terrible at blogging things I have made. I have a lot of makes to write up!


Sewing hygge

Quick post to share this article, I love the ideas in this blog article …. lots of inspiration for 2017 sewing.

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Top 5 Misses of 2016


Number five
Tilly and the buttons coco top


This has been included due to poor size judgement!! I finished this top to a good standard with matching stripes and the softest fabric ever……and then it didn’t fit! I have since worked out that the marker I was following on my overlocker was more than 1.5 cm!!

Number four
Simple sew pussy bow blouse


This was a terrible fit on me, I had to insert pleats at the shoulders to raise the darts up but the bust was still in the wrong place. The neckline then still wouldn’t sit right. I have worn it a few times out of principle but it has gone to the charity shop now.

Number three
Sew over it silk cami top


I have since cracked this pattern and made a successful one which is yet to be blogged. I made a satin version which was far too tight so having cut out the original paper piece (doh) I had to draw out the pattern again in a larger size.
In doing this inadvertently cut out two fronts and produced the above top!!!

Number two
Kwik sew K3045


This was one of the few makes for my husband but it had more been relegated to sleepwear! I was able to run this up in just over an hour on my overlocker but the cut and design looks terrible. It’s too short in the body and wide on the chest but it does look like the packet. The key to this lesson was to avoid the big five and stick to indie pattern designers.

Number one
Simple sew skater dress


This is so bad I have no photos!! I decided to make this in cappuccino satin with lace overlay for a wedding in the summer, sounds lovely but the cut made me feel like a nine year old back in the 80/90’s!! The bodice joins at the rib cage above the waist so really unflattering on me and the lace and satin just looked flouncy!
So I decided as Christmas approached that I would tackle it again and turn it into a skirt…..


The plan was to wear it with my sparkly crop Sophia top but it still looked terrible and frumpy so I resorted in buying a RTW pleated skirt instead.



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.


100 posts published!


Wow!! 100 posts written….here’s to the next 100!!


Autumn flowers

Kate jersey dress

I love bright colours and florals, whatever time of year – I just pair with tights and big boots in the winter. I got the Kate dress pattern from Simple Sew with Love Sewing magazine that I have delivered.

I had shelved this pattern with many other dress patterns in my stash as the front image didn’t really stand out to me.

Girl Charlee had a sale a few weeks ago and on the e-mail they showed this great coral floral jersey that got me inspired, I trawled through my stash to find a suitable pattern to go with it. I found a couple of wrap dresses but dismissed these as I don’t think they suit me with being small busted and large hipped. Then i re-visited this pattern and googled images of this pattern others had made up which produced images of great dresses such as Sew sweet by Sally and Creative Little Cwtch.

pinned together

This is the dress before I finished sewing it together – i tend to pin pieces together on my model and adjust on that rather than trying on all the time as it’s a pretty good representation of my body shape.


This photo still has the arms pinned on and no hem – I am afraid I haven’t managed to photograph it completely finished – maybe I’ll actually model it at some point and post as this is such a lovely dress and great fit.

I used full length arms and added cuffs, like on my coco dress. I also took heed of Creative little Cwtch’s hints and made the back ties a bit longer to make it easier to tie up.

I ordered 2 metres of fabric to make this dress and still had all this left over – I never understand how patterns come up with the fabric quantities that they state.

left overs