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!
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.
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!
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!
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’.
Sue (from French France) made this fabulous linen and Sorona mix shirt using the Closet Case Patterns ‘Kalle Shirt’, Sorona is a new fibre made from corn starch that we hope will take off because added to linen it adds a fabulous softness and suppleness (less creases! Yayy!!). Sue used a bias maker to make the spotty inside collar.
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.
Bess made this heavy washed green linen coat on a weekend retreat by staying up practically all night for two nights and not skiving at all. She had even come prepared with her two grosgrain trims sewn to each other already and the pattern fully adjusted to fit and toile tweaked.
The linen had been pre-washed 5 times to eliminate excess dye that could leach onto the cotton grosgrain, and the dry clean only Liberty crepe de chine silk lining is also pre-washed (it’s okay).
There are no shoulder pads but a bit of semi-tailored interfacing around the chest area is used to improve the structure (along with cuffs, facings and pockets), all the trimmings were hand sewn so as not to change the drape.
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!
*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.
Pauline made this fabulous denim jumpsuit using a 1970’s jumpsuit pattern from Simplicity (3322), she used a soft medium weight linen mix denim with floral painted buttons and hand embroidered pocket details.
Shirley made this floral print linen and cotton shirt after a long hiatus in sewing (I’m wondering if this is Shirley’s sewing after a break how good was it before?!). Cut with a v-neck band and 3/4 sleeves, this shirt is a great Summer wardrobe staple.
Bess made this super fine linen dress with black bird print for her holiday in Tobago, it’s made using her basic block with just the shaping from bust darts and a centre back seam. Nicknamed the frigate bird dress as the print is similar to the ubiquitous birds of the Caribbean.
It is unlined and the neck is bound with super lightweight satin bias binding.
Clair is Sunny Cadiz wearing her crewel embroidered Italian linen shift dress (her tried and tested pattern which Jane helped to fit many moons ago). We can’t emphasise too much how useful a good basic dress pattern is!
Whilst linen is notoriously creasy these heavy embroidered linens really don’t crease badly at all.
Elwen wearing her green Irish shirting linen dress to her brother’s graduation ceremony. She used Burda 6758 which she altered only in the bust (to make bigger), took in on the nape of her neck (it was gaping) and shortened it a bit (which was surprising as Elwen is tall). The bodice is lined in green cotton lawn, it was hand hemmed.
Chandra wearing her beautifully made reversible cotton skirt using a Liberty archive printed lawn on one side and plain blue linen on the other. The pattern is by Sew me Something and is called “Viola”.
Ruscha sporting her hand sewn silk chiffon shirt, which we at the Stone Fabrics headquarters are in awe of. She insists that it didn’t take that long to make and is a more enjoyable way to sew (she can sit in the garden and tinker away without noise). However it was made it is amazing. We love the mix of the two colour ways.
Jane’s shirt made up once again in an embroidered and hand painted Linen from Italy. Jane was pleased with how economical this shirt was, getting all of it out of a metre (the facings were cut from the unpainted selvedges) -handy when the fabric is £85.00mt!
Jane’s amazing embroidered Italian Linen dress. This fabric is hand painted on top of the embroidery and doesn’t come cheap –it’s enlightening to discover what things cost when they are made properly and the artisans are paid a fair wage.
With such an amazing fabric you only need a very simple shift pattern, Jane used her block which just has bust darts, front darts and back darts so there was minimal chopping up of the pattern.
Ann from classes wearing her floral printed ramie and viscose mix shift dress with frill hem. Ramie is a natural fibre similar to Linen, like linen it breathes well so is excellent to wear in the heat.
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
You can find other linen jerseys HERE, the viscose trousering is kind of unique, we will buy more if we ever see it, but you will get a similar drape with Worsted Wool suitings
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
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.
Jane (the boss lady) wearing her laminated cotton pink spotty raincoat with stripe yoke and contrasting spotty lining with detachable hood, and pink linen fly-front trousers.
Fabrics and Notions:
Pink and turquoise spotty laminated cotton #3021
Pink and turquoise stripe laminated cotton #3022
Anbo spotty American printed cotton.
Separating turquoise chunky zip.
Dyed turquoise shell buttons.
Clear plastic back buttons.
Pink heavy linen
7″ Dress and skirt zip
2 x buttons
Viscose iron-on Interfacing
Jacket: (discontinued) Anna Sui for Vogue #2424
Trousers: Burda 2938
There is no interfacing or stabilising in this jacket as the laminated cotton is very stable. Jane rarely makes things for herself, or in this kind of fabric and has been frequently saying, “I’m really pleased with that jacket!”. It makes all this rain ALMOST bearable.
Dee wears this elegant purple embroidered linen mix shift dress
Fabrics and Notions:
String embroidered linen mix
Purple Venezia lining
Medium weight knitted iron-on interfacing
It is a good idea to make a toile (a roughly made up dress in inexpensive fabric) when making a shift dress with this flattering wide neck style so that it doesn’t gape. A toile is ALWAYS a good idea when making up a pattern you haven’t tried before, but it is especially important for this neckline which has a tendency to gape. Dee made this up beautifully.
Bess wearing Navy Linen and Cotton Herringbone suiting jacket and skirt.
Fabric and Notions:
Linen/Cotton Herringbone Doublecloth Suiting
Large anorak snap fasteners
Viscose iron-on interfacing
Pattern: Custom made (variation on a bought NafNaf suit)
Lulu wearing her lovely silk and linen shift wedding dress, holding her daughter, Kitcat, in her printed cotton seersucker ruffled dress and matching headband. Gemma to her right wears an embroidered cotton bridesmaid dress.
Fabrics and Notions (Lulu):
Turquoise silk and linen
Silk habotai lining
Silk organza feather trim
Iron-on lightweight interfacing
Fabrics and Notions (Gemma):
Embroidered lightweight cotton
Lightweight iron-on interfacing
Fabrics and Notions (KitCat)
Printed cotton seersucker
Cotton lawn (lining and collar))
Extra-Lightweight knitted iron-on interfacing
The silk organza trim gave Lulu’s dress just the touch of something special she wanted for her wedding dress without making it too impractical or unsuitable to wear at subsequent posh do’s. A shift is the most flattering of dress, and easy to make fit really well.
Jane wearing a linen jacket to Bess’s wedding, made with pink and green panels, embellished with machine embroidery.
Fabrics and Notions:
Fuchsia Pink & Lime green heavy washed linen
Small self-cover buttons
Satin bias binding and piping cord
Viscose iron-on interfacing
Pattern: Custom made
Kitcat modelling smocked white linen dress with lined sunhat (Made by Jane)
Fabrics and Notions:
White medium weight linen
Pink and green embroidery threads
White cotton Riviera lawn (lining)
Traditional smocking is time consuming and quite tricky to do well. It is important you pick a fabric that has an even and straight weave, and that markings are done incredibly accurately. It is becoming a lost art, and should be encouraged as it is lovely (and practical)
Bess’s amazing quartz-crystal covered white linen cap-sleeve a-line dress. (made by Jane)
Fabrics and Notions:
White heavy washed linen.
4kg quartz crystal bead chips
Stretch silk satin (bodice lining)
Fine white Riviera cotton lawn (skirt lining)
Red satin bias and fine piping cord
Lightweight knitted iron-on interfacing
Pattern: Custom made
The beading on this very special dress took three months by Jane (and her small army of helpers), the whole dress weighed so much Bess had to give in to Jane’s request that she be allowed to bone it (Bess doesn’t like being contained), as without boning the weight was pulling down and giving her a flat chest. The boning and the waist stays, although on a stretch satin foundation, were enough to support the dress.
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