Face masks are a contentious subject but we are at the stage where desperation and doing *something* is hopefully better than nothing. Bess trialed a variety of patterns and found this mask by @trend_patterns to be the favourite. she had planned on the pleated style (simpler) and they work brilliantly in non woven filtering fabric but we currently don’t have access to that. When you make them up in cotton they can be a little heavy, cumbersome, and don’t fit terribly well (not on our testers, anyway)
If there is one thing we can’t abide at Stone Fabrics it’s a bad fit! So this ‘tailored fit’ mask from trend patterns is the chosen one. We adjusted the lining pieces to simplify it (you need an opening for a filter, we don’t think you need two openings), and have gone with ties rather than elastic as it is more comfortable and more durable on a hot wash. Otherwise, this pattern was more or less as it should be. Stone Fabrics recommend it.
For the tester masks we used quilting / poplin weight cottons, for the lining a lightweight but dense pure cotton jersey, there’s a small bit of bakers wire in the nose (overlocked in when sewing the seam) and a scrap of bias at the chin. Until we can find some melt blown non-woven filtering fabric (like they use in an N95 mask) or even hepa filters I am using kitchen towel as the disposable filters. Again, hopefully it is better than nothing.
Once we were happy with the construction we made a batch for the local care home (they were desperate).
What little advice we have found that seems to be sensible: This is not a surgical mask but there is some evidence that it can help. It is more important to wash your hands, Only go out when you absolutely have to and if you do go out practise social distancing whilst wearing your mask.
You need to take care when removing the mask so as not to touch or shake it, remove and dispose of the filter safely, and put it in the wash immediately.
Jane made this super luxurious snow leopard faux fur jacket for Bess with fabulous copper ball buttons and lined in red stripe coat lining. The faux fur is very stable so no need for interfacing (and extra bulk), we do recommend using a face mask when cutting out though!
The fabulous and lovely Ros here wearing a super psychedelic print poly crepe (unlined) dress using Burda pattern 6363 – it was lengthened at the waist by 2” and she says it is the comfiest loveliest thing to wear 😍😍😍
Sally here wearing the navy textured wool coat she had made up for her by Wendy – a local dressmaker -we know it’s cheating but Wendy is excellent and Sally has no patience for sewing! It is lined in a lovely silk pique (sorry- no pic) and trimmed with matt navy suit buttons and cotton grosgrain ribbon.
This is Jenny wearing her extra long sleeved McCalls M7531 dress made in rococco print posh ponte roma jersey. It’s a very simple pattern (Jenny’s words) . She is usually a 10 – 12 and for this pattern was a medium. Surprisingly she didn’t need to shave anything off the the hips which is an alteration she normally does (snake hips!). This probably means us more endowed in the hip department will need to add.
Jenny chose not to have a seam down the back, as with jersey there is absolutely no need, so cut the back on the fabric fold also having straightened the pattern to match the front . As it was a beginner pattern she ignored some of the directions (e.g double stitch the seams) and made the sleeves extra long goth style.
It came out good ! Very warm dress for a winter occasion. Pretty good on the lumps and bumps also (Ed. Jenny, WHAT lumps and bumps?!)
The fabulous Janet who teaches pattern cutting at Exeter Sewing Machines showing off her skills with this amazing self drafted jumpsuit made using printed Japanese cotton., and to top it off (quite literally), a magnificent matching hat 😊
Bess made these stretch denim shorts for her ridiculously fussy husband (she keeps swearing she will never make for him again, but then the morale boost when he likes it and wears it is too much of a temptation). The denim is not that heavy but to keep them light she lined the waistband, pockets and fly with the pointy finger print cotton poplin.
She used odd buttons on the fly because she was using up old stocks, but loves that feature. and will do it again.
The pattern is taken off an old favourite pair.
The shorts passed the temperamental sewing machine test AND the fussy husband test 😊
Jane made this parrot and glitter print cotton jersey dress up for Miaow using McCall’s 5135. Jane lengthened the top and narrowed down the side seams (because Miaow is a string bean), she also added some gather to the neck.
Jane made this fabulous shirtdress for Miaow using tencel denim and the Ottobre spring 13 pattern. It is topstitched with pink silk thread and because life is too short to turn rouleau loops Jane used a denim herringbone tape
Bess made this stripey jersey t-shirt and leggings for Miaow and appliquéd ‘hi!’ and ‘Bye!’ on the front and the back. both patterns were taken from already owned ones- they are so simple it was quicker than cutting out the paper pattern.
Not visible in the pics but the leggins also have back pockets (because all clothes should have pockets)
This fishtail skirt made by Celia is Burda 6834 made up in a fabulous wool and mohair worsted suiting. It is lined in cotton lawn and finished with an invisible zip. What a beautiful, original and fabulous quality skirt.
Celia made this beautifully tailored wool tartan pencil skirt using Burda 6370. It has pockets! Worsted wool is such a fabulous fabric to work in. This skirt will have a long life and will go with everything.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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 😂.
Lynn made this fabulous jumper using cotton mix jumper knit and the Mandy Boat Tee pattern by Tessuti. The fabric seamed stable enough so the neck seam is just turned over with no stay tape- super simple, easy and effective. ❤️
Daiga (who is a long standing member of our Cloth Club) did a grand job on this fabulous jade green stretchy velour top with a twist front using McCall’s pattern M7975. A perfect accompaniment to dress up a pair of jeans, or to go with a flippy, drapey skirt. We love! ❤️❤️❤️
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.
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.
Who doesn’t need a dress made up in the colour of a summer sky? This dress is BOUND to put you in a good mood, it is the Kay Unger for Vogue V1353 shown on the packet in a cotton sateen but works beautifully in a heavy washed linen. Made by Janet who is a brilliant dressmaker and we love everything she puts her hands to. She has lined it with Venezia.
Janet made this fabulous loose fit cardigan using a washable cotton and wool blend jumper knit WITH POCKETS! the pattern is Simplicity 8468 redrafted to lose the collar and get a closer (less coat like) fit
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)
This is Marion wearing the fabulous bold green and red overlaid spot print stretch cotton sateen wrap dress made for her by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead), the flash of red inside the wrap lining is just fabulous.
This is Marion wearing the dress made for her by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead), the fabric is a lovely poppy print stretch cotton sateen which is a super weight for the summer months, and lined in Venezia
Sewing for boys can be harder than girls ads the choices of prints and colours are more restricting, but Susan gets and A+ with these these delightful romper trousers and shirt using burda patterns. The trousers are a mustard babycord and the shirt is a quilting weight cotton
Carol here using some lovely spotty cotton double knit to make a #toastersweater from @sewhouse7 . She lengthened the bodice by about 3 inches. This is a really comfortable jumper which will be worn a lot👍
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.
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.
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!)
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)
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)
Daiga wearing her super useful off-white stretch suiting a-line skirt which she says it’s very comfortable to wear and barely creases (yayyy!). The pattern came from Burda magazine (June 2013), it is lined in Venezia lining.
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.
Alice made this banana print sweatshirting into a hoody for her bananaphile daughter, Lizby. The pattern is Style Arc Josie, the only changes she made was to line the hood with a contrast ochre jersey and to omit the drawstring around the hem.
Pamela here in the fabulous textured cloqué jersey top made using the Style Arc Fran top (her tried and tested pattern). It’s so good when you get your TNT pattern sorted and can make it up in all sorts of things.
Julie in Dubai wearing her fabulous Nani iRo japanese printed linen wrap dress which was a somewhat troublesome make due to accidentally overlocking a hole in the front panel and having to recut.. but she got there in the end!
Jane made this amazing military style jacket from two different brocades and a piqué textured jacket weight wool. The pattern is Vogue 7975 with some major/minor adaptations to make it more military looking (the pattern is classic Chanel style jacket). It is lined in fabulous electric blue silk seersucker satin.
Marion on a cruise in Nova Scotia wearing the most fabulous lemon print on stretch cotton sateen. The dress was made by Dawn at Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead), Dawn has been making Marion’s dresses a while and they are always stunning.
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.
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!
Jill is a brilliant dressmaker who doesn’t usually get to sew for herself so it is extra special when she comes in wearing something me-made. Made up in classic navy wool Melton coating with frog fastening and spotty viscose lining. Beautiful.
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.
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!
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!
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.
This is the very talented Asaka who made up this beautiful cream wool coating and contrast wool tweed into an a-line skirt, the pattern is from www.couleure.jp and we have booked Asaka to help us translate those mind bending but cleverly cut Japanese patterns!
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 🙂
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.
This is the beautiful and talented Anna who made her wonderful self drafted jacket using a heavy worsted twill weave suiting . Cavalry twill is a superb fabric to use as jackets, the tight dense weave is good at repelling wind and rain, and the weight is perfect to allow for precise tailoring.
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.
To use our fast and efficient swatch service please read the guidelines HERE
Allow 10% shrinkage for all your washable natural fibres (including viscose). Wash before making up in the same manner as you would with subsequent washes (including drying methods).
Jerseys and fabrics liable to mis-shape should be dried flat, or in a cool tumble dryer.
Most fabrics should be pressed before cutting.
If in doubt about care instructions please CONTACT US