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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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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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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 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

 

 

 

 

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White Broderie Anglaise Dress

White Broderie Anglaise dress from Burda magazine 06/2018

Bess nearly didn’t make this white cotton broderie anglaise dress because she was worried about cursing the summer but in the end decided 2018 sunshine was a dead-cert. Yayyy for proper summers! The pattern came out of the June 2018 Burda magazine, it’s supposed to have wing type things over the armholes but Bess decided to not do them <s>because she couldn’t understand the instructions</s> because she decided they were overkill.

The dress is lined in white cotton lawn with a splash of red in the piping around the neck. Bess’s favourite bit is the POCKETS 😊

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Blossom Print Japanese Cotton Françoise Shift Dress

indigo blossom print japanese cotton francoise dress from Tilly and The Buttons

Karen came to the shop wearing this brilliant blossom print Japanese cotton shift dress, she made it using the Tilly and the Buttons Françoise pattern, it has been lengthened and a with bit of tweaking to the french darts (hardly visible in this fabric) this has become a firm favourite in Karen’s wardrobe. This cotton has a great weight to it that barely creases, doesn’t shrink (and so pre-washing shouldn’t be necessary) and is loose enough weave to remain cool and breezy.

 

 

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Red and Cream Spotty Silk Twill Shift Dress

red and cream spotty silk twill shift dress

Petra sent us this pic of her dress made up using spotty silk twill from LG. You will notice the spots are arranged inline rather than offset which makes them a super finnickity to match but she did it really well.

She said: A week ago I googled dress fabric shops in the uk and came across an article in The Guardian titled 10 best fabric shops in the uk[]. I looked at your website and found exactly the fabric I wanted. It came on the Monday and now I have a dress to wear for a wedding! Thank you for you friendly and professional service. I will definitely look at your shop for other fabric.  

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Child’s Cotton Dress and Matching Hat

seaweed and underwater print child's sundress and matching sun hat

This is Christine’s Granddaughter Georgia, who was nearly 5. She’d just been to stay, and as soon as her parents had dropped her off she wanted to ‘do sewing – a hat and a dress!’
They found a lovely free bucket hat pattern online – from Oliver + s – a PDF, a first for Christine but very easy, and sewed up nicely. Then they found a New Look G205 pattern for the dress.
Everything made up really nicely in the seaweed print cotton. Christine was thinking of ric-rac, but as soon as Georgia saw the daisy trim she fell in love with it. As you can see, she loves her dress, and thinks it’s very good for twirling in! The hems are sewn with a daisy stitch to match the trim.

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Multicolour Stripe Stretch Cotton Dress

multicolour stripe pattern dress

We have been looking at this stretch cotton sateen multicolour stripe for a while thinking “something FANTASTIC could be made out of this”, and here we have the proof. Marion, with her dress made and designed by the clever stick Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead). We love the chevron detailing on the back, and the perfectly matched seams. This kind of attention to detail really pays off. 👍

multicolour stripe pattern dress - back chevron detail multicolour stripe pattern dress

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Colour Block Shift Dress

linen colour block shift dress

Pamela sent us this photo after a season of wearing this self proclaimed favourite dress made up from her stash of heavy linen. Aside from the generally pleasing aesthetics of a colour block dress you get to do some quality stash busting. Win/Win! For the best results use like fabrics (weight/drape) and make sure they are colour fast for the cleaning. It’s a good idea to use those colour catcher sheets you put in the machine as a precaution.

She made it up again in Green (which we love) but the yellow remains the favourite.

green linen colour block dress

 

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Tulip Print Shift Dress with Wool Crepe Bolero Jacket

tulip statement print poly twill taffeta shift dress and wool crepe bolero jacket

The lovely Anne here in full glory doing the Mother of the Bride thing wearing this statement tulip print poly twill taffeta dress and classic wool crepe bolero jacket.

Anne had help matching the tulips at a sewing class in Bath (the pattern is Vogue 8997). The wool crepe in the bright pink for the jacket was lovely to work with and drapes well (the pattern is Burda 8997).

tulip statement print poly twill taffeta shift dress and wool crepe bolero jacket

 

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Silver Satin Prom Dress with Guipure Lace

silver satin prom dress with guipure lace

Penney made up this dress for her daughter Rosie using silver satin and overlaid on the bodice with silver guipure lace, originally the plan was to have the lace all over but they opted (quite rightly, we think) to stick to just the bodice, even though Penney had already matched up all the pieces (doh!). The pattern is made up from two other patterns – Vogue 2913 (one of Penneys from the eighties) and Vogue 8076. She used used a full toile to fit it and amend. Rosie was very specific about what she wanted as teenagers do best!

silver guipure lace and satin prom dress

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Silver Stretch Brocade Fitted Shift Dress

Silver Stretch Brocade Fitted Shift Dress

Frances made up this fabulous silver grey stretch brocade shift dress for her sister who was needing an outfit for her son’s wedding – she didn’t want anyone else to turn up wearing the same dress! She knew what she wanted and was delighted with the result (Obv!)

The pattern was copied from a dress that was bought a long time ago and made a few minor changes to the shape at the back, a toile was fitted first.

It is lined in Venezia but there is no interfacing as the fabric was weighty enough to hold its shape. as a bonus she says it was really easy to cut and sew.

Well, Frances, we think you made an exceptional Mother of the Bride Outfit for your sister right there! Well Done! 👏

 

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Raspberry Heavy Washed Linen for Mother-of-the-Groom Dress

Raspberry Heavy Washed Linen for Mother-of-the-Groom Dress

Here is Andy (the Mother of the Groom) wearing a fabulous raspberry heavy washed linen dress made for her by Anna Ash of  I ❤️ Sewing .

raspberry heavy washed linen Lynn Mizono dress

The pattern is Vogue V1410 which has a wrap front rather than a front opening. The whole point of dressmaking is making exactly what you want* so of course these details are for us to alter!Vogue V1410 Lynn Mizono dress pattern

*when I say we dressmake to get exactly what we want I mean within reason. We cannot alter patterns to remove a middle-age spread, or dropped shoulders, or [enter personal body hang-up here]. But we can dressmake to disguise these things.

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Candy Pink Felted Wool Coat

pink felted wool kimono coat

Lauren made this amazing kimono sleeved coat for her final year degree show using pink felted wool coating. It’s tied together through oversized eyelets, has an extended hem at the back and an embellished shawl collar. Soooo beautiful!

pink felted wool kimono coat

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Blue Cotton Lace Shift Dress with Sleeves

Blue Cotton Lace Shift Dress

Julie at her daughter’s graduation wearing the navy lace shift dress she made with fuchsia pink lining (the Champagne was made in France). This looks like a very simple dress that is easy to make but as with many simple things, the devil is in the detail and Julie has become an expert on fitting dresses beautifully to her curves. Beware: Once you take the time to do this you will never be able to buy shop bought again.