Saturday, 8 October 2016

My dressmaking year part 2

Now to reveal the other bits and pieces I've been whipping up this year.
Trousers, tops, accessories and a man shirt or two.

Many years ago I had to make trousers if I wanted any that were long enough for my 6ft self. Suddenly the shops figured out that tall women existed and hooray suddenly you could buy in lengths of 34" and even 36". Sometimes they're too long for me which is a very strange feeling indeed. I've never bought shirts for the same reason as the sleeves are woefully short.

Now I've always loved capri trousers. Shop bought capri trousers come up as pedal pushers on me (I might be exaggerating slightly here). Now there is far more choice in length, but not always in the print I want. I ordered the Sew Over It London Ultimate Trousers pattern for a quick and easy make. I loved everything about this style apart from the fact that the waistband skims the bellybutton. I felt as if the trousers were falling down all the time so I drafted a deep side fastening waistband to match the side trouser zip. The other plus of high waistbands is I can wear shorter tops without that bit of pink belly popping out.

My mum loves this style too so I've been making her a plain pair to wear, but she doesn't need them lengthening as she's far shorter than me. 

This is my most favourite, most worn top that I made this summer. It's from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. As with most of her patterns you have to modify another shape to create your chosen one, but that's fine as I get more and more confident with this dressmaking lark.

Sewing with jersey is an acquired taste and can make you curse a lot. According to my daughter's I swear a hell of lot while I'm sewing anyway so what's a few more expletives thrown into the mix. When I popped off to our local fabric emporium I swooned when I saw this cloud print. 

Then I spied gold skulls too. Equally gorgeous, but not as loved as my bright blue sky and clouds top.

A dressmaker whose style and makes I love on instagram is Back to Blighty. She posted a picture of a simple, but sweet summer top she'd made which I immediately wanted to make. Simplicity 1467 includes a great jacket too which I plan to make at some point.

I had some white cotton with a subtle feather print hanging about so that was the first top I made in this pattern. 

Wanting to make another more colourful one I found the fabric guided me. I had a small amount of vintage fabric from Pomme de Jour. An edge strip from a bed cover I think. It was just enough to cut the front as two separate pieces with enough for stitching and careful pattern matching so the join wasn't too obvious. With just enough left to make the neck yokes I added plain green cotton to the back and I kind of think it works.

I bought some gorgeous 1950's blue rose cotton from Donna Flower early in the year thinking I'd make it into a skirt. Then I came across Butterick 6217 designed by Gretschen Hirst and it seemed the perfect pairing of cloth and pattern.

I have to admit to having never worn this top. I throughly loved making it, think it looks great, but everyone time I put it on I think No, not right. No matter, sometimes it's the joy of the making and the extra skills picked up along the way.

My most loved designs for clothes come from the 1930's through to the 1960's. I adore the bias cut shapes of the 30's, 40's feminine tailoring, the flirty fun of the 50's to the zinginess and simple shapes of the 60's. I've always dressed in vintage clothes and those with a vintage twist. Although I've never been one to favour the full look, I just prefer to mix it all up in the way that I want to wear it. 

The top above is a 1960 Vintage Vogue pattern 9187. It looks like a simply constructed shell top, but it was actually quite a fiddly little devil as was finding a bottom opening zip for it.

One of my other most worn and favourite shapes is this top of which I have a few. It's a pattern hack from a dress pattern into a shape that I wanted to wear. Easy to layer over long sleeve tee's, dress up or down with cut off jeans for fun days at the beach.

Having really enjoyed making up the Arielle skirt I printed off the pdf version of Tilly and the Buttons shirt Orla. I personally find pdf patterns a pain, all that joining up of pieces before you can even draw the pattern. It's another preparation job to add to the list before I can get on with the fun bit of actually sewing, but if that's how some patterns come then so be it.

I made this one up for Valentine's, you know red hearts and all. What I love most about this top is the petal like collar and the lacy exposed back neck zip. It's simply a fun and sweet design.

Now we're moving briefly into the world of man makes. I've made three fitted shirt for my love so far. The first one was ok, but was a sod of a pattern. Then I searched for another and found Burda 6931 which is a dream to sew up once I'd got my head around the difference of man shapes.

He likes skulls and wears some great silver skull rings so I thought he might like this cloth whipped into a shirt. 

Well he was really pleased with it and so was I as it fits perfectly. That inspired me to get on with making another one in a cloth I'd chosen with him in mind. This one I made in record time once I had the pattern firmly in my mind. In fact all ready to wear on a night out with me in my newly finished dress too so we were a handmade pair.

Sometimes I get the urge to make an accessory or two to pzazz up an outfit. 

Scarves occasionally.

But, more often a brooch. I tend to wear a brooch with every outfit so I can never have enough. My favourite are kitsch plastic ones which are jolly hard to sew and felt ones that are far easy to get a needle and thread through.

This floral posy is my most worn, all time favourite which I made from vintage felt. How I wish they made felt with this stronger texture and in these richer colours.

This is it for now for my makes of 2016 so far, but I do have a few more pieces cut out waiting to hit the sewing machine. I warned you it has become obsessional.


  1. wow..Wow and more wows.Amazing.Such talent.

  2. I am totally in awe! Amazing, and you look so good in them all. But I'm definitely not showing my man in case he gets any ideas lol ! Xx

  3. All your makes love fab. It is nice to see you are back blogging and sharing your fashions.

  4. Wonderful things and well done for tackling a man's shirt. Many years ago I made my (then) husband a pair of jeans, that took a lot of concentration - and strength when doing the zip.

    I love the top with the 'sweetheart' neckline, it suits you very well. I bet that you and your man look splendid when you set out together.

  5. I was waiting for installment two! My favourite is the 1960's top with the front splits - I love 1960's patterns. In fact I have my vintage pattern collection on my blog at the moment and a few of my latest sewing makes. happy Sewing. jo x

  6. Hooray I remembered the name of your blog,my laptop died so I had to use the old grey cells to try and remember and today was the day,I leapt out of bed and wrote it down then borrowed hubbys Ipad to find you!!I love all your makes,you are very talented.I may be inspired to actually have a go at something myself!! Kind regards Georgina.

  7. I was totally inspired by your new wardrobe, so bought the Simplicity pattern and have made it 3 times now. I also copied your two floral princess bodice dresses and made a dress which is super comfortable to wear. I can't wait to see what else you have made since November.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.


Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment. I read all of them and really appreciate you taking the time to say hello.
I always try to get back and reply, but sometimes this may take a bit longer as pets and children always seem to need attention around here.

Bobo X

Me Made May 2018

This month I'm taking part in Me Made May, hosted by Zoe of .  Oh and if you head on over to her blog y...