Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

Welcome to my world of craft!

Dorset Meet Up 2017

We did it…..a group of us from instagram met up in real life to go fabric shopping together and talk sewing over lunch! It was an amazing day!

Left to right:
@patternographer (Nicky) @dogsinstitches_and_me (Sue)
@craftysewandsewindorset (Jenny/me)
@lynsey_makes (Lynsey)
@charlotterunswithscissors (charlotte)

We were a small but friendly group and had such a lovely time chatting away like we have known each other for ages. The online world is so strange like that and something I am still adjusting to having not grown up with it. It offers so many opportunities.

We met up at Hansons in Sturminster Newton as a central location for most of Dorset. They helped us with designing the logo and advertising.

It really is an awe inspiring place to go shopping for fabric. They stock tonnes of beautiful quilting fabric plus so much dressmaking fabric it's hard to know where to start. Plus they had 20% off everything and a stash of fabrics at 50% off!!

I bought 6 different fabrics plus a small sample of ripstop for my daughter to make her barbie a raincoat:

The yellow fabric is to make a farah top to replicate one I took back to the shops as I couldn't deal with the extortionate price tag.
The light denim was originally bought with a pair of Morgan jeans in mind but have decided to make another Sew over it Erin skirt (following an instagram vote):

I need some decent pjs in my life so the plaid cotton is destined to be a pair of Carolyn pyjamas.

I relented and bought the Cleo pattern from Tilly and the buttons last week in the summer sale, so I will use the pale blue cord for that.

The whale fabric and seaside border fabric are for my daughter. She wants shorts from the whales and another Flo dress in the border fabric. The pattern only goes to age 6 so I have had to scale it up and squeeze it on to the fabric.

After exhausting the shop we walked up to Stur of the moment for a delicious lunch.

After we had eaten and taught Sue how to use instagram we swapped some patterns.
I walked away with three new patterns including a sewaholics Minoru jacket pattern:

Lynsey left with a bag of leftover patterns ready for another meet up.
We have set up an instagram group for @Dorset_meet_up or look up #dorsetmeetup
We have over 40 followers already so hoping the next meet up will be bigger and better each time!

Hansons have another sale in January so we are thinking about another meet in the new year…..maybe with a themed sew along or theme to our outfits??!

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Sailor ahoy!!

Over on the monthly stitch it's indie pattern month, sharing lots of different designs away from the big four. Each week in July there has been a contest and this week it has been indie royalty…..sew a whole outfit from independent pattern designers.
As part of this I decided to make a pair of shorts from simple sew to match my nautical theme Bowline sweater.


I used a blue linen fabric from fabricland which was lovely to work with but added some issues with differentiating right side from wrong side! I actually sewed the shorts back and front sides back to front and had to unpick!

The pattern has lovely deep pockets on the front and features buttons along the pockets. I decided to try self covered buttons, which turned out to be much easier than I imagined.

I'm really pleased with the finished shorts and will definitely make another pair.

The blouse is the Cali Faye collection valley blouse made as part of sewmystyle. Follow me on instagram @craftysewandsewindorset for more photos of my makes 😊

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Dorset sewers meet up 

A quick shout out to all Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire based sewers……we are planning a meet up on Saturday the 22nd July at Hanson craft shop in sturminster newton at 11am.

#dorsetmeetup is on!! 🤗

A post shared by Jenny Smith (@craftysewandsewindorset) on

They have a 20% off sale throughout July, so the plan is to shop for fabric, haberdashery and wool then wonder into town for lunch etc. 

Search for #dorsetmeetup on instagram or my link @craftysewandsewindorset to keep up to date with plans and car shares etc .

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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. 

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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!!)

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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

r”!

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

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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.

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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.

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