Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Modified Crepe by Colette Patterns


I last made a Crepe about two years ago, and despite a couple of silly mistakes I was pretty happy with that dress. I'm not really sure why I haven't made another since. Although I have made a couple of skirts using the same pattern.
My friend Mary picked out this fabulous fabric for me recently knowing I would love it, and of course I did! I couldn't decide between making a full circle skirt or a dress, of course it had to be a dress really.
I wanted to make a Crepe, but it soon became apparent that with such a large one way design there was no way I had enough fabric for the wrap skirt.I tried various lay outs, but nope, I couldn't squeeze the extra out no matter how I tried. About to give up, I had a thought that maybe I could keep the wrap back bodice, but stitch it into the skirt to become a kind of faux wrap. The wrap back would mean I could fit the dress over my head, and if I added an underarm invisible zip might just work?

2014-07-20 17.34.30

I added some vintage buttons, which I can just about fasten myself. And on the whole I think it's worked, for a dress I was improvising as I went along. I think if I were to make another I would cut the inner back bodice wrap differently to fit neatly into the waist of the skirt.

2014-07-20 18.32.41-2

I lined the entire dress, but treated the skirt lining as an underlining, mostly because the cotton lining was quite slippy and fine, it felt like it needed the stability of being attached.


I wasn't really happy with the sleeve/armhole, and since these photos were taken yesterday I have trimmed a bit off the sleeve/armhole edge and finished the raw edges with pink bias binding, they feel much more comfortable and less restricting now.

2014-07-22 14.33.43

A good dress for a walk in Florence's wood, for piggy backs, and picnics .

Blogger Tricks

Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Flowers for a little girl who should be turning five today. We love you Florence. xxxxXx

Monday, July 07, 2014

Anemone Skirt in Linen

Anemone skirt

This was very much a last minute skirt. I was tidying up my shed, and there was a small piece of teal linen left over from my last upcycled dress. Just enough for a skirt, and I have been promising myself to make more seperates, and more solid coloured garments, so I put the piece of linen to one side to think about.
I had, last weekend made a start on another tablecloth upcycled Anemone, (more on that later!) this time minus the peplum, and it ocurred to me that the linen would make a lovely Anemone, especially with belt loops.

Anemone skirt in teal linen

I'm really very pleased with the results. I love the way this skirt goes together so easily. Of course I couldn't quite make something entirely in a solid colour, I had to use a pattern lining.

Anemone 3

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Upcycling the upcycled!


Almost a year ago, I upcycled a vintage cotton overall into a skirt. I was never completely happy with the skirt, it just didn't fit well and consequently never got worn. I love the fabric though and couldn't stand to part with it, so a couple of weeks ago I cut it into a dress bodice, using Simplicity 2444 (again!). I didn't have enough for sleeves which is a shame because I really don't like wearing anything sleeveless.


I was initially going to add the bodice to the mustard linen I used on my tablecloth dress, but the colours really didn't work, so I bobbed into Abakhan in Manchester and picked up this lovely teal linen blend.
I used the brilliant circle skirt app at By Hand London to draft the circle skirt, which I wish I had cut slightly longer, it feels a tiny bit too short. (Especially with my very white legs!)

The fit on this bodice is probably the best so far using the 2444, I think I have finally, maybe got it right..well nearly anyway!
I'm afraid I just wasn't brave enough to wear the dress without a cardigan today, so popped this short sleeved cardy on top.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ministry Of Craft


I love living in Greater Manchester, I've been in love with the North and Manchester particularly since I moved here in October 1989. Even the rain has never put me off, and honestly it doesn't always rain.
Woody works in the centre of Manchester and often I'll catch the train in, mooch around my favourite shops in the Northern Quarter and then meet him for lunch in one of the many great bars and cafes.
One of my favourite shops to visit is Fred Aldous, three floors of art and craft materials plus great quirky gifts and cards.
The basement of Fred Aldous is also home to Ministry Of Craft , where you can take workshops in a whole host of  craft disciplines, from absolute beginners getting to know their sewing machine, making a tailored skirt, stitching your own knickers, getting to grips with embroidery, making jewellery and so much more! They even run hen parties, which seem like a lot of fun.

One class recently added to the programme is my very own! I'm really excited to be joining the other fabulous tutors at The Ministry Of Craft to bring you an upcycling class.
As my long term readers know, I love a bit of upcycling, am often found elbow deep in a box of old linens in various charity shops.
I have designed a class for Advanced Beginners; Short and Sweet Pyjamas .

upcycled pj's 4

As any regular charity shopper knows, there are always plenty of mens shirts in stock in most of the charity shops, and even if not, mens shirts are easy to come by scrounged from the men in your life. Woe betide any man in my extended family throwing out shirts just because the collar is frayed!
These pyjamas are made using three mens shirts, keeping details and features of the shirts to add interest.

upcycled pj's 3

Trim is optional, but adds a cute little feminine detail.

upcycled pj's 5

There is an option to use pillowcases instead of shirts for the pyjama shorts. That is what I have done here.



Taking this class you will learn how to layout patterns on challenging fabric, how to make french seams, to use bias binding to finish a raw edge, to make casings and add trim. Once you have completed your first upcycled outfit, I promise you will never look at old clothes in the same way again, everything will have potential!

short pj's 3

short pj's 4

To book this class, head on over to Ministry Of Craft for more details. I can't wait to meet you!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

At the risk of repeating myself ; Another Simplicity 2444

tablecloth dress 2

My third Simplicity 2444. This time I upcycled a vintage tablecloth for the bodice and used some mustard linen for the skirt.
Again, I moved the pleats to the hips to try and balance my top heavy curves and shortened the darts by 1cm. This version fits better across my shoulders than the last one, but it's still not quite right. My round shouldered narrow back, but large ribcage are not easy to fit.
My sewing buddy Mary and I have similar fit issues and have agreed to spend some time over the summer fitting each other for a basic bodice. A project I am very much looking forward to!

tablecloth dress 4

The tablecloth works well as the bodice. It was a vintage linen cloth with a border print, so had to do some careful cutting out, but I'm pleased with the results, and have another I plan to use in a similar way.

tablecloth dress 5

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Another Simplicity 2444

2444 2

After the success of my wearable toile for this pattern, I had high hopes for this dress. The only changes I made to this dress was shortening the bust darts by 1 cm each. Otherwise it is exactly the same. Weirdly though, this version is very loose across my shoulders, especially at the back. I have no idea why.

2444 1

I wore this dress today, but the loose shoulders were very annoying, and so it's gone back out to my shed to be tinkered with.

2444 3

I am loving being out in my shed right now, the light warm evenings mean I can be out there until quite late. The chickens keep me company, and a couple of the local cats pop by for a cuddle too.

my shed_1

me 2


2444 5