Chandra wearing her fabulous basket weave swingy coat made in Social Fabric with Saj. We think she has done a brilliant job with those pockets and we love the great big cover buttons 🙂
You can find lots of basket weaves HERE
Elwen wearing her jumbo cord mini skirt using Burda pattern 8237. Elwen has the sewing bug quite seriously at the moment, to the point where she was binding her seams on Christmas Day. That’s dedication!
She lined the skirt in a peacock Venezia lining and asked us politely to not look at the
invisible zip (it’s really not that bad).
You can find lots of cords HERE
This is Jacoba wearing her woven Italian Designer jacket, she said, “I am very pleased with it even if it is a little wide on the shoulders. I used Vogue 8933 but changed how the collar fastened at the end. It was too high for me in the original style despite my long neck so I just let the fabric go where it wanted to fold over- it seems to work and I have had huge compliments from all :-). I love the huge wooden poppers. It does lend itself to being worn solely with black – bright even by my standards!!”
This Italian Designer is a woven fabric with more stability than the knitted, it lends itself well to this type of jacket where you have no fiddly pockets, or such like.
Find more Italian Designer fabrics HERE
Anastasia made these fabulous tunics, here’s what she had to say about them:
I would like to thank you for your great service and share with you the pictures of tunics that I have made for my mum in the beginning of the summer. The fabrics are lovely – brown printed viscose Jersey from John Kaldor (sold out) and chartreuse green bamboo Jersey ( 2910 ). It was a pleasure to work with them and the result is so nice 😉 I am very happy that I found your online store with such amazing range of beautiful fabrics!
You can find other suitable jerseys HERE
Bess went on a course down the road at Social Fabric with Chinelo from the Sewing Bee. Despite being utterly star struck she made this dress using Chinelo’s amazing free cutting method. It’s witchcraft, I tell you. No patterns, no dummy… not much table space, not even that much measuring, and hey presto, a few hours later we have a dress! Bess being Bess made it less fitted than it is supposed to be and reversible.
Fabrics used: Black and white printed viscose twill.
Reverse: Lightweight washed denim.
Other notions: Bias tape.
What’s the collective noun for linen shirts? For bullfinches it is a bellowing, I rather like that. A bellowing of linen shirts.
These are all made by Lesley using a discontinued Vogue pattern No 1476.
All the linens are light to medium weight, you can find more linens HERE
All together now: Awwwwwwwww!
This gorgeous little girl is modelling a bouclé wool coat made by Anna Ash, you can find her HERE (she makes them to sell so if you don’t feel up to it drop her a line).
Bouclé wool is brilliant for coats as the loops make it light and airy, and keep the warmth in. You can find more HERE
Ann-Marie here modelling her fabulous red Linton Tweed jacket, in keeping with the traditionally made cardigan jacket she quilted the fabric onto some silk lining, this not only stabilises the tweed but also strengthens the whole jacket. A cardigan jacket should be soft and cardigan like, with no heavy interfacing, there is a fair amount of hand stitching (a swear word in some circles) that needs to be done, but the results of the hard effort is amazing.
You can find lots more cardigan jacket type tweeds HERE
Jane made this silver grey Silk Moroccain crepe cowl neck wedding dress for her eldest daughter, Jessie. It is beaded with thousands of moonstone chips (Jane has the patience of a saint).
To ensure the fabric had enough strength the silk was blocked onto Venezia lining (those chips are very heavy). All in all the dress took about 3 months; a lot of evenings and weekends, and never more than a few hours on the trot due to a broken elbow- and concern for her own sanity. Jessie helped with the beading and Bess was responsible for constructing the tail (Jessie insisted on a tail, Jane was appalled at the idea but the Bride gets what the Bride wants).
Silk Moroccain is a double crepe that drapes well and has a subtle lustre to it. We rarely stock it but can order it (next day delivery) in around 40 colours.
The tail hooks on to the back with corset hooks and was stuffed with Polyfil.
Well you wouldn’t have a normal dress for getting married in Vegas by Johnny Cash, would you?
Malin made up this Pink aztec printed cotton lawn kaftan for her daughter to go to Morocco, with rick rack trim and ribbon ties.
I want one!
You can find other cotton lawns HERE
Lynne made this fabulous grey marl bamboo jersey mixed with an aqua and grey stripe viscose jersey dress using Vogue 8975
You can find more drapey lightweight jerseys like this HERE
She loves it so much she made another.
Gracie wearing her pink giraffe print circular skirt made by Lizzy, with yellow lining and fuchsia pink netting.
This was the first (clothing) sewing project Lizzy had done for years, she was really happy with the results (and Gracie loves it too). She overlocked both the skirt hem and the raggedy hem of the lining.
All you need for this skirt is:
Giraffe print cotton by Tina Givens (or any other quilting weight cotton)
Lining; a soft one such as Venezia,
Dress net; we have these in lots of colours but most are not online yet. Just ask us for what you would like,
You can buy circular skirt patterns but it is just as easy to make your own, There’s a great calculator to do the Maths for you on By Hand
Kitcat and Miaow wearing their white cotton dobby flower girl dresses. (They were so excited about being flower girls I thought they might pop).
The necks were too wide (the joy of making clothes for girls who live 200 miles away) so Jane made little tucks sewn down with french knots (so not a mistake, a happy accident!), she also used the same french knots to hold up the hems.
Pattern: Simplicity 5226 (but without the buttons down the front)
Cotton dobby lawn, like these HERE
They were lined in Riviera cotton lawn
Red ribbon embroidered jersey shift dress made by Jane for Jessie.
The embroidery stabilises the jersey so it is not that stretchy, and although the base jersey is quite fine the embroidery adds a lot of bulk so it is only necessary to face the neck rather than fully line the dress. This dress was sewn on an overlocker (for speed) but would be fine sewn on a sewing machine too. Just remember to use ballpoint needles when sewing jersey.
Find embroidered jerseys HERE
The pattern was Jessie’s block.
Bess wearing a white linen jersey raglan sleeved t-shirt with ‘modesty’ panel, and black viscose pique wide leg trousers.
Bess has a bit of a linen jersey obsession, this is the fourth (at least) she made of these tops in as many weeks. This was lined in a bandeau panel with a very stable white cotton jersey, the same jersey was used to bind the neck.
The trousers were made from a stash of Viscose, a slightly piqué weave cloth that drapes beautifully but has a lot of ‘substance’. There’s a fly and button closure and then ribbons that tie to the side.
Both patterns are fairly unrecognisable from their origins, but the trousers were Burda 8087 and the top is Burda 6990
Becky wearing the fabulous cream pure wool crepe wedding dress made by her mum, Anna Ash. Wool crepe is the perfect fabric for this style of dress -it has enough body to hold those pleats yet soft enough to drape beautifully.
Mia-moo wearing the giraffe printed circular skirt using #5102 -a quilting weight cotton– made by Jane (making the pattern AND making it took less than an hour). She has a frou frou net skirt to go under here when she’s feeling more frou-frou.
You need to remember your school geometry lessons to make a circular skirt without a pattern. It’s that moment you realise your grotty teenage self was wrong when they said they’d never need to know this pi-R-squared rubbish.
Kitcat wearing her Lime Green cotton seersucker playsuit using McCall’s pattern M6733.
Kitcat is a proper little squinge so we found the straps too long, but found if we crossed them over at the back they fitted just perfect. It’s not bodging, honest.
You can find some more cotton seersuckers HERE
Mia-moo wearing the unicycle printed quilting weight cotton dress made by Jane (Granny). This dress has sweet darts on the hem that pull it in.
Fabric: Quilting weight cotton by Tina Givens #5101
Pattern: Burda 9544
Bess was a bit concerned about the level of ‘pink’ in this denim so chose to tone it down (her words) with a non-girly lining and a mixture of buttons in the hope that it makes it more versatile (she works on the basis that ONE of those buttons will match a colour in her outfit.
The pattern is an ancient Burda fur coat pattern -somewhat altered !
Car print raglan sleeve T-shirt made by Bess for Lulu.
Fabric: 4983 Cotton jersey with 8% Elastane
Adjusted from Burda pattern 6990
Because the fabric is soooooo wide Bess managed to not only get this top but also a knee length a-line skirt for Lulu, and a little tiny skirt for her daughter, Mia-moo, all out of 1.4mts.
Altogether now, Awwwwwwwwwww!
Nikki with her boiled wool loose swing jacket made a wool mix boiled wool and batik printed bias binding around all edges.
The boiled wool is excellent for these loose style unlined jackets as they are virtually the same either side so look nice when it swings back.
Bess wearing her pussycat sweatshirt made using red brushed back cotton sweatshirting and appliqued glow in the dark cotton eyes with remnants of jersey for the whiskers and nose.
Bess might have a bit of a pussycat (particularly with glowey eyes) obsession at the moment. (Inspired by a sleeveless top bought from Uniqlo earlier in the year designed by Lulu Guiness).
Get your glow in the dark fabric HERE
Rob (Bess’s worse half) modelling the shopper bag she made for a Christmas present. She thinks he looks better this way.
The tan brown leather was from a stash from possibly 15 years ago (See! I told you it would be useful one day!), the chartreuse green straps are a new acrylic webbing we have that’s only 90p/mt (looks much more expensive). It made up in no time. This is what Christmas presents are all about 🙂
Caroline from Munkispanner showing us her shift dress made from bird eye check worsted wool made for Riverside. Love the welt pockets!
Caroline from Munkispanner showing us her shift dress made from burgundy worsted wool mix made for Qatar Airlines. Love the welt pockets!
Carole from our Cloth club made up this fab black and white coat utilising the reverse for contrast collar, pockets and facings. This was her first attempt as a coat and proof that everyone should try it!
Pattern is Vouge V8933 which was selected for it’s simple shape and the use of snaps rather than buttons. Carole’s version is a bit larger than the original design as she wanted a big snuggly coat to wear over a chunky jumper in the winter. The fabric is #4275 and I made use of both sides. She thanks the staff who suggested 3491 as a lining and also advised her to use organza to line the front which worked really well.
Denim dresses (Butterick B5876) made using medium weight denim with appliqued glow in the dark eyes (LOVE LOVE LOVE this glow in the dark fabric). Made by Bess for her 4 and 6 year old nieces.
Used bondaweb to fix the appliques (then machined round with a small stitch). The skirt is lined and faced with a poly spotty satin.
The pattern was supposed to have patch pockets (view C) but Bess put them in the dropped waist seam instead. (didn’t want packets distracting from the pussycat).
Brown wool coat made by Lesley (Twice!)
“I thought you might like to see the before and after of my coat. The photo below is using a vintage vogue pattern which just looked so bad on that I only wore it twice. So 2 years on, not wanting to waste the the fabric and with help from Jane I have just finished the coat pictured (above) and I am over the moon with it. The second pattern is Katherine Tilton Butterick B5960.”
This is proof that it is worth persevering with a project that hasn’t gone exactly how you had anticipated.
Miaow (age 4; not staying still for the camera) wearing her reversible wrap dress made using Liberty Lantana (80% Wool 20% Cotton) animals in the forest print with a spotty cotton lawn on reverse. Made by Bess.
Carole from our cloth club wearing her lightweight wool melton jacket using McCalls pattern M5668 which she chose due to their being no buttonholes and only the sleeves are lined. (Carole thinks she is a novice but we think she undersells herself).
Pink and Red double-sided wool and cotton jumper with heart elbow patches. Made by Bess.
This jersey is 50:50 wool and cotton with one side (red) being wool and the other side (pink) being cotton which means you can not only choose what colour to show but also what fibre to have against your skin. It’s fab.
Martine being fitted in her bow printed Thai Silk dress.
Stretch denim laser cut dress with seam detailing made by Martine at her French sewing class.
Cobalt blue stretch crepe dress with wiggly eyes made by Bess.
Confession: Dress was made the day before going to a swanky wedding (when realisation struck that there was NOTHING to wear), it was much too big but rather than taking it in Bess just sewed a couple of wiggly eye buttons on the back and graunched it in with petersham ribbon. Job done!
Not quite sure what Pall Mall really thought about wiggly eye embellishments but….
Have a look at stretch crepe HERE
Long cardigan made with Italian Designer chevron cotton viscose and silk knit, made by Bess.
This was supposed to be a uber-simple cardigan with no darts or back seam or anything, but as is the way with Italian Designer knits it was cut way too big so ended up needing a centre back seam and princess seams.
It looks nicer with those seams. That’s her story and she’s sticking to it.
Find Italian Designer knits Here
Felted silk scarf made using off cuts of various fine silks. Made by Anna.
Green pussycat printed poplin weight cotton A-line skirt with neon rickrack and double elasticated belt. Made by Bess. Find more printed poplin cottons here
Raspberry pink embroidered linen shift dress made by Pamela. You can’t really beat a shift dress, eh? Timeless.
Embroidering linen might not make it crease less, but it will look like it is not so creased.
Find more embroidered linen here
Black and white stretch cotton sateen floral printed skirt made by Pamela.
Cobalt Blue lightweight sweatshirting 3/4 sleeve cardigan with neon rickrack, made by Bess.
Superb quality cotton lawn slash neck flared dress made by Jacoba.
Blue cotton drill mini skirt with scalloped front opening made by Lucinda for her Mum.
Typewriter print quilting cotton A-line skirt with neon rickrack and elasticated double belt, made by Bess who has a fondness for neon rickrack.
Quilting cotton isn’t always the best choice for dressmaking, but A-line skirts work well (and the prints are cool)
Lightweight red linen jersey made with double layer body (for modesty and flattery), made by Bess.
Bess doing I-don’t-know-quite-what wearing her Amy Butler Chinese lantern skirt (as seen on the Great British Sewing Bee), or onion skirt as her husband calls it. The pattern is a Donna Karan for Vogue but has been (infuriatingly) discontinued. It’s great; the side seams are twisted so at the hips the back wraps around to the front and at the hem the front wraps around the back. The yoke is cut in one piece which made fitting a bit of a nightmare (no side seams to take in), but for a pattern like this you get a great effect on the back where the grain is taken off to near bias. Bess piped the side seams to make them a feature and gave the skirt an extra-deep hem so the skirt had a bit of weight to it; you should be careful what you make out of these ‘quilting cottons’ as they don’t drape terribly well, but they are an excellent choice for garments such as this.
Nicola made this fab button back blouse (pattern from the sewing bee book-it’s Tilly’s Mathilde Blouse) using light blue polka dot viscose #4118 (the perfect fabric choice for making up that top), the piping and buttons were made with a remnant of cerise fabric.
You can find other floppy viscose fabrics HERE
Bess on top of the world wearing linen jersey camisole and red and white spotty linen skirt. The camisole pattern was made by drawing round an existing vest. The front and the back are the same which makes it super easy to construct (no markings!), Soft elastic binding was used for the straps, Bess made a few of these for her holiday and got the making time down to 20 minutes. The skirt was made a few years ago (fabric long since sold out 🙁 ), due to the linen being so fine Bess lined it with white ‘Riviera’ lawn. Double belt loops were attached to hold a decorative saddle stitch grosgrain belt. She’s had a lot of use out of this skirt.
You can find lots of Linens HERE
Lennie from our Cloth Club made this beautiful cardigan jacket using Linton Tweed and trimming with organza that she ruffled herself. The Vogue Pattern used (V8804) details how to do the traditional quilting that helps to stabilise this very loose weave fabric, there is additional advice in the Claire Shaeffer’s couture sewing techniques book, and we have a leaflet we can send you with tips. It is important to choose a lightweight lining (such as silk crepe de chine) as more stable linings (whilst easier to work with) can stiffen the jacket up too much once quilted; the jacket should remain soft, more like a cardigan).
Fabrics and Notions:
Pattern: Vogue 8804