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Neon Crepe Ruffle Dress

neon moss crepe ruffle dress

Do not adjust your screen! Shockingly bright neon moss crepe made up beautifully as a ruffle dress by Malin who initially planned it to be a skirt lining – but all best laid plans and all that – It turned into this. Made over the duration of two evenings as a last minute party dress. It’s fabulous. Malin had lots of lovely comments. And she definitely stood out!

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Olive Green Suedette Shirtdress

olive green suedette shirt dress

This dress looks a million dollars and so well executed Katie is rightly proud of her make (and we are so proud of her).
She used a tried and tested pattern ….vogue 8903 and added a cuff. She said she “had to hand sew the collar stand down as it was too much of a challenge getting all those layers through my domestic machine. Really pleased with this and will wear it to death!”

The fabric is a super soft and washable suedette with a bit of stretch in it ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

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Blue Gingham Shirred Sundress

navy gingham seersucker cotton sundress

All praise this super simple (no pattern) shirred cotton gingham sundress made by RhiannonP. ❤️
Why complicate what is perfectly simple?

A bodice like this is simply a rectangle about 3 times the bust measurement and shirred (elasticated) in to fit. The skirt is approximately twice the hip measurement and gathered in to fit the bodice.

What is harder to achieve (in the UK ) is the sunshine to go with the dress. 🙄

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Blue Floral Georgette Skirt & Top Faux Dress

blue floral georgette matching top and skirt dress

Q) What’s more useful than a non-iron super drapey and flattering floaty dress?
A) A non-iron super drapey top and skirt that looks like a dress!
The beauty is the versatility with wardrobe options a plenty. This ‘dress’ is made in a lovely heavy polyester georgette (georgette is a very light fabric so heavy is a relative term here). All self drafted because Emma is a clever chick.

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Pink Daisy Print Jersey Swing Dress

pink daisy print 100% cotton jersey swing dress (self drafted)

Effee said she bought this pink daisy print 100% cotton jersey fabric ‘by accident’ whilst looking for tailoring supplies, and then I guess this dress was accidentally made into this brilliantly happy swing dress from a self drafted pattern, and a jolly good accident it is too.

This type of 100% cotton jersey does not have too much stretch to it so perfect for this style dress.

pink daisy print 100% cotton jersey swing dress (self drafted) – close up
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Navy Linen Parachute Skirt Dungarees

navy linen parachute skirt dungaree dress

Fiona (lovely as it seams) made this absolutely fabulous heavy washed navy linen parachute skirt dungaree dress – self drafted. Isn’t it fabulous? Perfect eyelets! Perfect everything. She’s a very clever girl and I want her skillzzzz.

navy enzyme washed linen parachute skirt dungaree dress
navy enzyme washed linen parachute skirt dungaree dress
buckle detail with eyelet rivets
buckle detail with eyelet rivets
navy linen parachute skirt dungaree dress
navy linen parachute skirt dungaree dress (back view)
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Black Cotton Bleuet Shirt Dress

rear view of bleuet dress with altered bow detail using slider buckle

Bess used this fabulous nearly black suiting for her Bleuet Dress (by Deer and Doe Patterns), the fabric has a great drape and hardly creases despite the natural fibres so is perfect for a close fitting dress (so you don’t get those unsightly crease lines across the tummy). Bess highly recommends the pattern – it all went together beautifully. We especially like the closely placed buttons which allows for some fun with choices, she used up all manner of mismatched dyed shell buttons which she said was only a fraction of extra brain power when doing the button holes (different sizes!).

Despite loving the back waistline bow on the toile Bess was worried she would feel foolish in a bow (she’s not a bow kind of girl), an epiphany in the shower (it’s always in the shower!) came with the idea of using a slider buckle instead – same shape and idea as a bow, but without the prissiness. Her primary excuse for making this was she needed a “plain black semi-respectable dress” – despite the multi colour buttons and the not quite black of the fabric this sort of fulfilled her brief 😊

black cotton mix bleuet dress
Bleuet Dress with mutlicolour shell odd buttons
rear view of bleuet dress with altered bow detail using slider buckle
rear view of bleuet dress with altered bow detail using slider buckle
Bleuet Dress made using black cotton mix suiting and odd multicolour shell buttons
Bleuet Dress made using black cotton mix suiting and odd multicolour shell buttons
1/2 size toile bleuet dress in white linen
mini toile made up in white waffle linen
1/2 size toile bleuet dress  -back view in white linen
mini toile made up in white waffle linen – rear view showing the bow detail
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Pink Wool Crepe Dress with Sleeves

deep fuchsia pink wool crepe

Julie needed a ‘posh frock’ for a winter wedding and wool crepe fitted the bill nicely. Wool crepe will tailor so beautifully and is a joy to work with. It is warm in the cold and cool in the heat so a perfect choice for those occasions when you are half outside in the freezing cold and then indoors with the fires blazing.

The dress is lined in Venezia lining – a breathable anti-static lining that is soft and drapey like the crepe

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Turquoise Fit and Flare Floral Dress

turquoise fit and flare floral print viscose dress

Jane (who used to come to classes back when we did classes) made this fab fit and flare floral print dress for a family wedding. The fabric is somewhat stretchy which made aspects of this dress tricky but with patience and perseverance she got there (we are always available for advice when needed). It is lined in Venezia which helped a lot in making the dress behave itself. Venezia is so soft and breathable it is perfect for lining summery dresses that would otherwise lose their shape. Even the pale colours are perfectly opaque.

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Embroidered Tulle Posh Frock

embroidered tulle posh frock

Karen made this fabulous embroidered tulle with 3-D flowers into a posh frock to die for. The pattern is Simplicity 1606 made for a strictly come dancing ball.

She says: Thank you for the great fabric Turquoise crepe worked well as a base for the tule. Used the scalloped edge around neck, sleeve and hem

It’s Fabulous Karen!

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Ponte Roma Long Sleeve Sheath Dress

Ponte Roma long sleeved sheath dress

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?!)

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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 😊