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Tartan Check Cropped Trousers and Clear TPU Leopard Print Jacket

TPU clear leopard print raincoat with linen and wool tartan worsted cropped trousers

Bess made the pattern from her block for these trousers, but it is very similar to the Marcy Tilton for Vogue V8499 trousers. She added extra width below the hip and then darted them back in at the bottom. The fabric is a wool, linen and silk blend worsted suiting that is a delight to sew with (even when matching checks!) and is not at all itchy to wear so was made unlined. -With the thought it *might* be itchy Bess used a contrast cotton cartoon print on the inside of the waistband.

green and blue tartan linen wool and silk worsted suiting cropped trousers
green and blue tartan linen wool and silk worsted suiting cropped trousers - detailed fly view
green and blue tartan linen wool and silk worsted suiting cropped trousers- back view

The Jacket is a leopard print TPU clear plastic that Bess sewed with bias binding so as not to be unstuck by the fabric not feeding properly through the machine (you can stop this happening also by using a teflon foot, or sewing with strips of tissue which are then torn off). The pattern is the Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns (simplified a little). Bess made it for a festival (it looks brilliant at night with lights inside), but actually it’s fab to wear on the many rainy days we suffer in Devon. She didn’t bond the seams or do any special waterproofing, but finds it hold up exceptionally well- even to a downpour on a Welsh mountain!

TPU clear waterproof kelly anorak jacket with leopard print - side view
TPU clear waterproof kelly anorak jacket with leopard print - front view
The jacket zips up with a clear chunky tooth separating zipper
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45 Appliqué Denim Jersey T-Shirt

appliqué t-shirt 45rpm record with sequins, reflective fabric and glow in the dark fabric

How to celebrate turning 45? Applique a single onto your t-shirt, of course! Bess made the t-shirt out of her precious stash of denim jersey (she has been hoarding this since 2008, and this is her 5th t-shirt out of it). She then used bondaweb to applique the sequined fabric, the reflective grey ‘stylus’ and the glow-in-the-dark centre. Not willing to trust the bondaweb on a stretch she then meticulously stitched around by machine.

With all the shiny/reflective/glowing parts to the applique this t-shirt is brilliant at night.

When feeling uncomfortable with an impending birthday the only thing to do is embrace it!

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Indigo Denim Jersey Sirocco Jumpsuit

denim jersey Sirocco jumpsuit

Sarah made this Dear and Doe Sirocco jumpsuit using heavy indigo dyed denim jersey, it needed washing twice before making up due to the excess dye, and she has added a invisible zipper on the side as the fabric is not as stretchy as the pattern requires, but isn’t this amazing?

side view of sirocco jumpsuit by Dear and Doe made up in indigo dyed heavy cotton denim jersey.

You can find sarah on Instagram, but here’s what she says: V2 #ddsirocco Having analysed what went wrong with v1 (fabric too thin and too black, over-lengthened the bodice, over-tapered the legs, short sleeves in winter colour made no sense), I’m glad I had another go. This time I only lengthened the bodice 1.5in, and kept the waistband depth and legs as per pattern, and I extended the sleeves to make it cooler weather appropriate. As this indigo jersey from @stonefabrics is quite sturdy and not as stretchy as the pattern requires, I had to install a side invisible zip. I’m really pleased with the result, even though it is absolutely impossible to wriggle into without getting white deodorant marks on 😂.

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Linton Tweed Biker Jacket

Linton Tweed biker jacket made by Jayne Davie

Jayne self drafted this Coco She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named pattern to make up in a Linton Tweed. Due to the unstable nature of the tweed it is mounted onto a black brushed cotton and then lined as normal. There is a separating zipper running down the front and two matching short zips on the sleeves.

Linton tweed biker jacket made by Jayne Davie

Mounting a fabric sounds difficult but it is more time consuming rather than difficult- and less time consuming than trying to fix errors from an unstable fabric moving! You can mount onto all kinds of fabrics depending what weight and drape you need. Because this jacket needs a bit of structure a brushed cotton works well, you would normally use cotton domette but because the colour shows through Jayne went with the brushed cotton. If you just want to stabilise without adding any weight we recommend you use silk organza.

linton tweed biker jacket side view made by Jayne Davie
Linton Tweed biker jacket side view showing zip made by Jayne Davie
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Hand Painted Paint Splatter T-Shirt in Cotton Jersey

hand painted paint splatter t-shirt

Getting 100% Cotton Jersey for t-shirts is harder than it should be, then we get too many metres in one colour so Bess painted a load of this cream with flicks of a paint brush with fabric paint, and then made this T-shirt for her sister Lulu. The pattern is an ancient Vogue Elements hoody pattern V9926 (we still have an out-of-print copy if you would like one)

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Embroidered Red Selvedge Denim Mini Skirt

embroidered red selvedge denim mini skirt

Bess made this red selvedge denim mini skirt to replace the one she had lived in since 2008. Someone had the audacity to suggest Bess shouldn’t wear mini skirts after 40 at which point she scoffed.

red selvedge denim mini skirt

It is a near miracle that the skirt was ever completed due to Bess trying out a new pattern that did not remotely fit (why oh why do we not make a toile first?), and red selvedge denim, as glorious as it is, is not the round peg to force into a square hole.

Anyway, several bodges later the skirt was born. The treated to an abundance of purchased embroidery patches and some hand embroidered lettering.

Ta daaaaa!

red selvedge denim mini skirt wirth rainbow patches (back view)

She then attacked the denim with several sheets of sandpaper to prematurely age it in a bid to make it like her old one. Not very eco but the pain of breaking in raw denim was too much. It truly is fab denim that wears beautifully (naturally and with sandpaper!)

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Kelly Anorak Jacket with Quilted Silk Lining and Beaded Epaulettes

kelly anorak by closet case patterns made using quilted silk lining, grey herringbone cotton and beaded epaulettes
kelly anorak by closet case patterns made using quilted silk lining, grey herringbone cotton and beaded epaulettes

Bess wanted a lightweight but warm jacket so used grey herringbone cotton poly and elastane -it’s a medium weight, the sort that would make lightweight chino type trousers, then she quilted silk crepe de chine (in the brightest coral colour possible) to wool wadding. The results are a super snuggly jacket that feels like you are putting on a duvet (if you ever wondered what the definition of hygge is, this jacket is it)

kelly anorak by closet case patterns made using quilted silk lining (shown inside out)
inside out: showing silk crepe de chine lining quilted to wool wadding

Whilst the outer fabric is not waterproof it is a tight enough weave to not get wet through in a brief shower.

The pattern is the Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns, the instructions and drafting is simply brilliant. Bess shortened it and hacked the collar and hood pieces to enable both (the hood folds away into the collar)

kelly anorak collar and hood hack with fold away hood
the hood folds away into the collar and is retained with small buttons
kelly anorak by closet case patterns made using quilted silk lining, grey herringbone cotton and beaded epaulettes (back view)
back view. Turquoise micro piping was used to highlight the back sleeve seam
pocket hell
By far the most time was spent on the zipped pockets as Bess was making it up as she went along and put herself (and the pocket) inside a mobius strip of never ending lost-ness
beaded arrow aepaulettes
Bess hand beaded the epaulettes with an assortment of glass beads on Aida embroidery fabric and backed the finished arrows on to thick wool felt.
kelly anorak by closet case patterns made using quilted silk lining, grey herringbone cotton and beaded epaulettes
All finished!
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Banana Print Cotton Poplin Dress

banana print cotton poplin shirt dress

Alice’s further adventures in bananas here with a cotton poplin dress (McCall’s McCalls 6696 view A).  She made quite a few alterations to the pattern –

Changed the back bodice to get rid of the gathers at the yoke and added darts at the waist.  

The front bodice was a bit too big in an 8 which is the smallest pattern size so pinched out the excess on the toile and re-drew the pattern which resulted in making the neckline smaller so the collar and collar  band also had to be resized.

Trimmed about half an inch off the collar long edge to make it neater.

It sounds worse than it was in practice!

She decided to gather and line the skirt rather than pleat it and omitted the side seam pockets. This is the second dress she’s made for Lizby in this pattern which makes the adjustments worth the effort!

The fabric was a dream to work with and Lizby is delighted with the finished results. 

banana print cotton poplin shirt dress (back view)
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Green and White Stripe Merchant and Mills Heroine Jeans

green and white stripe merchant and mills heroine jeans

The superstar Ilse made these jeans at school (I wish they had let me make jeans at school!) and we love this bold stripe cotton twill in these loose fit jeans. The Pattern is the Merchant and Mills Heroine Jeans, their teacher Jane Norris is now teaching freelance which is a great thing for those of us who need a bit of help but a sad loss for those students.

green and white stripe merchant and mills heroine jeans
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Black and White Mary Quant Dress with Daisy Pocket

mary quant black and white dress with daisy shaped pocket

Bess downloaded the free pattern from Alice and Co at the V&A Museum in a flash and made up this Mary Quant dress with little to no alterations (unheard of for her- she nearly died of shock), the pocket took the longest and this was the second go as the first one looked like a fried egg! She used bondaweb to applique the daisy and slowed down her normal sewing speed in the hope she could sew accurately (more or less!). The black is a fabulous piqué weave viscose (very similar to a viscose twill) and the collar and daisy is a lightweight linen (probably not the ideal fabric as it frays like the devil but the colours were right and it more-or-less worked so don’t knock it!

mary quant dress collar detail
mary quant dress with daisy pocket (detail)
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Loose-weave Geometric Print Cotton Shirt

chartreuse and turquoise geometric print gauze cotton shirt butterick 6070

This is Carole wearing this super loose-weave cotton shirt using the Butterick 6070 which she has used several times as the buttonholes are hidden behind the placket.  Great if your buttonholes have the occasional wobble!

This cotton is super soft with a gauzey jacquard type weave (unusual), it resists creasing and is great to wear in the hot weather as the drape tends to hold it off the body.

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Aubergine Spotty Silk Blouse

aubergine spot silk chiffon blouse

The lovely Celia sent us this pic of her wearing her p blouse using a spotty print silk chiffon blouse, the pattern is Vogue 1385, and she says was technically straightforward as it consisted of only 5 pattern pieces.  However, the neckline tucks were very time consuming as the dart markings were on the facings as well as the main pattern pieces and the two had to be aligned exactly.  Very fiddly!  

Worth the effort Celia- beautiful Blouse, thanks for sharing!

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Supersoft Dogtooth Tweed Coat

supersoft wool tweed dogtooth check coat with epaulettes and gimp trim

Bess made this black and white tweed up into a coat using a tried and tested Claire Shaeffer Vogue pattern 7467 (now discontinued) which is a jacket pattern so there were a fair few alterations to do. The tweed is very soft and lightweight (it feels like cashmere) so Bess blocked it onto silk crepeline organza to stabilise it. The lining is a mix of a floral print viscose crepe (used at the upper back and pockets), and then a cupro and silk blend heavy habotai for the rest. She had great fun choosing the buttons and loves the little sparkly one on the inside, and hand sewed the gimp braid all the way round on each and every loop (that’s dedication, that is).

This coat was made on a weekend retreat, the side effect of intensive sewing like that is the brain does have a habit of disengaging from time to time, hence how the button holes on one of the sleeve vents are going sideways (DOH!). After an initial ohmygodwhatamigoingtodo moment Bess decided to just go with them and now rather likes their asymmetry.

It is a glorious coat to wear, light yet warm and often gets comments. Bess admits now that it was worth the hard work!

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Ivory Silk Taffeta and Chiffon Wedding Dress

ivory taffeta and chiffon wedding dress

Here we have Tom and Zoe celebrating their special day with Zoe wearing the most spectacular dress made by Diane. The main dress is silk taffeta with pleated chiffon added to the skirt and a beaded tulle jacket. We love the way the dress floats in the wind. The jacket and headpiece is Simplicity 8364 and the dress is from Diane & Zoe’s imaginations. Simply Stunning.

ivory taffeta and chiffon wedding dress
ivory silk taffeta and chiffon wedding dress
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Silk Mix Penny Spot Brocade Skirt Suit

Teal and ivory penny spot silk mix brocade

The lovely Bernie from French France made this amazing silk mix brocade up in a fitted skirt suit for a family wedding, both the patterns are tried and tested, they originally came out of the Burda sewing magazines- the dress from March 2001 and the jacket from sometime in 2012. Isn’t she fabulous? Here we have proof that style never goes out of fashion 🙂

The hat was made for her using a scrap of the brocade in a local hat shop in Pézenas. Perfection 🙂

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Sandwashed Modal Jersey Dress with Long Sleeves

sandwashed modal jersey Merchant and Mills Curlew Dress

This is the wonderful Antonia wearing her Merchant and Mills Curlew dress made up in wonderful sandwashed Modal Jersey, it was so successful she made one up for her mum too!

This silky jersey has a wonderful drape and not too much stretch so is great for the customer who is not sure if jersey is their thing… just watch out as that lesser stretch means you cannot ease sleeves in the way you can cheat with a normal stretchier jersey.

sandwashed modal jersey merchant and mills dress
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Red Leopard Print Wool and Alpaca Coating

Le 809 dp studio coat with incorporated gillet in red and black leopard coating

Sarah from the blog Wanderstitch made this glorious coat out of the red leopard print patterned wool and alpaca coating and we suggest you head over to her blog for an entertaining and extremely informative read. In Brief this is the ‘Le 809’ from DP Studio which is a coat with an incorporated gillet, she used our animal textured wool and alpaca coating for the project and we hope you agree she got some stunning results.

Le 809 dp studio coat with incorporated gillet in red and black  leopard coating
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Heavily Embroidered Viscose Crepe Coat

Metallic Embroidered Viscose Evening Coat

The amazing Janet made this Peter Pan collar coat for one of her clients in a viscose crepe that has been heavily embellished with metallic thread – so whilst the fabric base has drape the embroidery has stiffened it all up and Janet has shown some serious skills by getting it all to seam together beautifully. Finished off beautifully with covered buttons with gold rims.

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Black Stretch Wool Trousers with Stripe Braid Side Seams

Black wide leg wool trousers with striped braid

Bess was covetting those Gucci wide leg trousers spotted on the interweb for AGES and then eventually gave in and made herself some. Never mind the fact the Gucci ones would never have fitted these have saved her a small fortune (which she can spend on more fabric). The pattern is Burda 6613, the wool is a stretch worsted (97% Wool 3% Elastane) and the trim is H0511.

green and red stripe polyester silky webbing

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Black and White Pinstripe Hoody

Black Pinstripe double wool jersey hoody

Bess made this hoody from an old Burda pattern on the day before going off to a festival and realising she had nothing warm for the evenings. Being somewhat busy she got up a bit early and made it before breakfast – even though it was a pattern she hadn’t used before (needed to be cut out)/there were patch pockets that needed to go on evenly/stripes to match/zip to be inserted. We would like to say it was Bess’s skillz as a dressmaker but most of the credit needs to go to this lovely double wool jersey that behaved soooo nicely.

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Space Rocket Print Cotton Jersey Pyjamas

space print pyjamas made by Miaow (mostly by herself)

Miaow made these space print cotton jersey pyjamas with a little help from Granny (Jane). Hardly any help really, Mia pinned out the pattern onto the fabric, cut them out, overlocked them together and even made ‘Arfur’ the rabbit a matching nightshirt and nightcap. The only thing Jane did was hem them (which she did because they needed to be done TONIGHT and Miaow didn’t have time).

Miaow is 8. When she grows up she wants to be an astronaut.

The pattern is McCall’s M7499 (discontinued but similar things are available).

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Red Designer Print Cotton Voile Dress

red designer print cotton voile shirt dress

The lovely Sian here visiting all the way from Australia* wearing her lovely red cotton voile shirt dress that she made with her purchases from her last visit. The pattern is Burda 6353 (lengthened in the skirt), it’s lined in an equally fine cotton lawn  to keep the lightness and coolness. (and it is very cool 😎)

*I don’t think Sian travels 10,000 miles just to see us.

 

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Nani IRO printed Linen Karl Lagerfield for Vogue Dress

nani IRO print linen from Kokka made up using Vogue 1412 Karl Lagerfield sewing pattern

Jane made up this old Karl Lagerfield pattern FINALLY after it lurking in the pattern drawer for nearly 20 years. The Linen is the Japanese designer nani IRO for Kokka. Jane had a bit of tweaking to get it right – too small on the bust but massive everywhere else – such as life goes with a pattern for the first time, but having been altered it is now PERFECT 😊

It’s got pockets!

It is lined in Venezia faced with extra light interfacing and there is a concealed zip up the back. The pattern is Vogue 1412 (long since discontinued but possibly available second hand).

Rudi the Siamese cat has to be in the photo too. Even if he didn’t get his ‘best side’.

nani IRO print linen from Kokka made up using Vogue 1412 Karl Lagerfield sewing pattern