OK, well that got out of hand! I ended up making 5 of these shirt reconstructions and I love them. I'm heading to Italy next week and it's due to be approx 35C (!) so these babies are going to keep me nice and cool, I hope!
I read a tutorial in Simply Sewing magazine about recycling mens shirts - so I did! I wasn't allowed to raid my partners wardrobe so I raided the charity shops of Newmarket instead :).
Any dress pattern that requires no fiddly fastenings and can be smart or comfy is a winner by me! This new dress pattern by Tilly and the Buttons is super cute AND has pockets! Be still my beating heart!
My first attempt was a test with cotton lawn from ebay - the fabric was much to stiff really and the bodice needed lengthening due my larger top half and the side seams needed taking in due to my lack of hips.
The second attempt was made using a viscose with the best palm tree pattern fadjng up to black that I found in Akabhans in Manchester. This time I lengthened the bodice and it drapes really nicely. Now I just need Tilly to show is how to make it out of jersey and I think I've found my new favourite pattern.
Right, I'm having a self imposed ban on making this pattern any more - it's all getting a bit out of hand! I found this amazing print in Brighton whilst on a trip visiting friends (finding fabric shops is a legit way to spend time in a strange city right?). After some discussions with friends we decided it looks like an 80's sleeping bag - it's so joyfully colourful and 80's - I love it!
This Washi Dress pattern by Made by Rae is a bit addictive. It's super comfy to wear and can look smart or casual depending on the fabric you choose. here is is a again in a summery painted floral print. So cute.
So glad I attempted this Camber Set dress again. This time it made it up in a brushed cotton from Moda in a dark red and light grey with a contrast yoke and red pockets. I thin this patterns looks much better in a more structured fabric like this brushed cotton than a thinner lightweight fabric. It's so soft but also hangs really nicely - a good combo.
As an antidote to the cocky camber set I revisited an old fave but in an eye dazzler of a pattern!
Wow this pattern was really difficult for some reason, I had to redo the neckline, sleeves, darts AND hem. I Started with a size 14 which according to the pattern should have been a perfect fit but it came out huge and I ended up having to trim 1.5 inches off the sides, take the darts in etc. Basically it was a size too big and ended up a bit of a mess. Total nightmare. But I WILL not be beaten by a dress pattern! I'll be back to try this again.
FINALLY! I got my mitts on the navy Mystery Food Lawn by Sarah Watts from Cotton and Steel and turned it into a Fancy Sailor Top.
This is the first Maya top I've made and as usual I've made a size too big! This viscose is so soft and lovely thought that I'll be making the top and res versions in it but a size smaller v soon.
I spotted this 'Mustang' fabric by (you guessed it) Cotton & Steel at a store in Ely and it was a must have. I turned it into a Fancy Sailor Top but this time I graded the size from a Large around the bust to a Medium at the waist and bum. This meant there is a lot less fabric floating around than my first attempt. This time I also followed the instructions on how to baste (I couldn't work it out before) and it meant the gathers were much more even and controllable. I also managed to complete the neat inside yoke by stitching in the ditch which was another skill I had picked up since my first attempt.
This is my third Bianca because it currently holds the title for 'The most comfortable dress ever' in my wardrobe awards. This time I left out the V in the neckline as all the other attempts have ended up in a hole at the end of the V and the need for some well place binding. Sad face. ANYWAY I combined 'The softest fabric in the world' with 'The most comfortable dress ever' to make this beauty. * bows *
As promised here's my second attempt at the Grainline Scout Tee. This time I went down a size and I think that was a good call. I made it up in this cute navy and gold lawn from Cotton & Steel (seeing a theme yet?). Since the fabric is relatively plain though you can see EVERY SINGLE CREASE. This is not compatible with my hatred of ironing - must fix.
This was my first attempt at the Scout tee by Grainline so I chose an inexpensive batik print cotton lawn I found on eBay for £4 per metre. This is such a super soft fabric and the pattern is really flattering I think. I'm pretty sure I've picked the wrong size though and will take it down as is next time - as the pattern is so busy I don't think you can tell it's too big but still.
This is a self drafted skirt based on instructions for self drafting from Tilly and the Buttons book 'Love at First Stitch'. I'm obsessed with this Octopus fabric by Cotton & Steel which comes in beige and navy. I can only seem to get hold of the beige one in the UK (they are a US collective of designers and the navy does't seem to make it this far and is snapped up when it does). When it arrived I realised it was going to really wash out my face so made it into a skirt instead. I think this skirt is going to be a good summer staple but I need to not eat a big dinner before wearing it (like I did for this photo!) as it sits right on my tummy. It also needs the hem taking up as it's a bit long but over all I'm pleased with he result.
I'm torn on the results of this experiement. I think i fitted the bodice quite well by adjusting the seams at the zip on the back but the pleats in the neckline make for a weird fit around the bust. I might stitch them down and press them flat. Of the shoulders sits down fine and the other is wonky (no idea why). I do really like the skirt bit though - it's fun and twirly. Maybe I'll just hack the top off and make a skirt.
After making the first attempt at this pattern too big I made a size down and I'm really pleased with the result. This fabric was bought off the internet somewhere. it's a slightly thinner cotton and the shark tooth makes for a smarter take on the same pattern.
This dress pattern is Bianca by Made by Rae. I made this in size large and adjusted the front facing to accommodate my larger than average bust. But when I tried it on it was way too big. I took it in at this seams by almost and inch on each side and that helped but it's still a bit big around the shoulders. It was a fairly quick sew though at 3 hours including cutting out. I found this fabric by Moda in Sew Much To Do in Ely and love the animals peeping out of this really retro flower pattern - it's nice modern twist. This is a great pattern for breezy summer number. Bring on the Pimms!
I loved the fit of the Washi dress so much that I wanted another one. So when my fabric arrived in the post I couldn't wait to turn it into a Washi. I cut on the bias so the diagonals would make for a more intersting pattern. It pulls a alit acros the bust as a sresult but I think it's worth it.
I love the look of this sailor top - it's going be a very versatile pattern as it could beice smart when made of a sharp dark cotton or relaxed in a summery, light, floaty fabric. I'd never made a yoke before which was a bit of an experience. Despite my best efforts to agther the fabric evenly around the yoke it didn't quite work and it meant I over agthered at the back of the seams. Practise makes perfect so I'll be trying this again soon.