Traditional New Year Sewing

If you do something three years in a row that makes it tradition right? This is the third year in a row that I’ve started the year with a post showcasing a new pair of shorts and a summer top, so I’m going to say it’s now traditional! My first year was a Grainline summer outfit, last year was my weirdly constructed Panthea shorts and an Emmeline tee, and this year it’s a True Bias party.


I’ve already posted about the Ogden Camisole, so I won’t talk about that too much. This one is also rayon, a lovely rayon crepe which I bought from Tessuti in Melbourne when I was there in November. I find rayon crepe can be so variable, I’ve worked with some which is really drapey but loosely woven and which seems to grow as you work with it (or wear it, alarmingly), and also some which has been stiff and scratchy (but which holds it’s shape). happily, this stuff has the best qualities of all of the rayon crepes I’ve used, it’s smooth and drapey but hasn’t sagged out. Even still, I was careful to stay stitch everything, and tried not to handle the pieces too much until they were sewn together! I really love this top, I’ve worn it lots since I finished it at the end of December. It was a good thing to wear to casual festive parties.


I’ve also made the True Bias Emerson Shorts! I’ll say straight away that I really like these shorts. The elastic back waistband means they are really comfortable, but the flat front waistband stops them looking too casual. I like the slash pockets and the front pleats too, and they were a really quick sew. What more could I want in a pair of shorts?


I could maybe want a less crush-able fabric. I made these with the remnants of linen from my McCalls shirtdress, so they’re really cool and soft to wear, but man do they crease! I ironed these just before putting them on, but I made the mistake of sitting down to put my shoes on, and this is the result. Oh well, linen!


I’m happy with the fit, though looking at this picture I can see that there are drag lines towards the inseams. I don’t know if I need more room for my bum, or if I’m just standing a bit funny! I’m not too worried about them for basic shorts, but if I make them again I might have a fiddle with the crotch depth. I do like the length and the width of the leg, I think they’re quite flattering!


These are a really quick sew, they only took me a few hours one afternoon to put together. Actually, both pieces are really quick projects, nice and easy for the slow days between Christmas and New Year! I really like how the cami looks knotted (this is me ripping off the outfit from the True Bias sample photos…), but I find that there isn’t quite enough fabric around my hips to get a decent knot that doesn’t just fall out. I might have a play with some future versions, I could either grade it up a few sizes towards the hem, or I might try adding some cut-on ties to the hem. There are so many things I want to do with this pattern, expect to see a few more before the summer is done!


I was wearing this outfit the other day, and I managed to get horribly sun burnt on my 10 minute walk to the shops! I have very itchy/sore shoulders, in a lovely shade of raspberry striped with white (cami straps and bag strap). I’m really hoping it’s faded by Thursday, it’ll clash terribly with the yellow dress I want to wear to the wedding I’m attending…

Also, it was my third blogging anniversary on Sunday! Thank you all for reading and commenting and offering so much help and inspiration, I do love the sewing corner of the internet ❤

Clown Top

I’ll preface this post by saying that I really like the top I’ve made, the fabric just makes me think of clowns, with all those big orange spots! I called it a clown top on Instagram and had a few comments saying that it wasn’t clownish at all, but I wasn’t meaning it in a negative sense. Maybe my brain is a bit weird…



This is the top from M7483, a Nicole Miller pattern from one of their recent collections. I also like the wide legged trousers which come with the pattern, but to be honest I don”t really have a lot of places to wear elegant wide legged trousers! I can’t wait to get a job which requires nice clothes, I’ll have so many patterns stashed and waiting for an outing…


But though I won’t be making the trousers up just yet, I thought the top would be perfect for using up some short lengths of silk I have maturing in my stash. This particular length was a remnant I found at The Fabric Store, after brunch with some of the WSBN one day. I wasn’t supposed to be buying fabric, but I decided that remnants didn’t count! There was only 1.2m at 110cm wide, but I cut everything on a single layer and there was plenty of fabric. It’s a silk crepe, so was really easy to cut, but I have to say it gave me a headache trying to get my pattern lined up on it! I found it really hard to get the fabric on grain after washing, and being a crepe I couldn’t pull a thread or anything to help me square it up. The spots didn’t help, there were no obvious horizontal lines in the pattern! I think I managed on in the end though (and I avoided any unfortunate spot placement, thank god). I almost cut into it with the pattern up the other way, until I realised just in the nick of time that they were practically Mickey Mouse heads up that way!


The pattern calls for a separating zipper up the back, but I decided to sew most of the way up the CB and then leave a keyhole with a self fabric covered button and loop so that I could get my head through the boat neckline. My pattern matching isn’t quite perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it anyway!


I really like the length of the sleeves, I think they make it slightly dressier than if they were a standard short sleeve. I’m also pretty happy with the fit, though there are some things I’ll do differently next time. It’s definitely too long along the shoulder seam, the sleeve cap is hanging off the point of my shoulder, so I’ll do a narrow shoulder adjustment next time. I think I’ll also grade out to the next size up from below the bust dart to the hem, as it’s a bit snug around my hips and it tends to get caught on my belt/the waistband of my jeans. I think if I had a little bit more room there that it would sit better and I wouldn’t get that bubble at the small of my back.


I’m looking forward to cranking a few more of these out, I thin it’ll be cute with high-waisted shorts or a narrow skirt in the warmer weather. I also have a length of silk velvet (also a remnant, I love rummaging through those bins…) which I think would work perfectly as this top! I might even look for a metal toothed separating zipper to put up the back…


Southport the Third: the birthday version

I know, I know, this is the third True Bias Southport dress I’ve posted about in as many months. But this one is special, its my birthday dress!

Once again its made out of rayon, because why change a good thing? This time its rayon challis, and it is much better behaved and much nicer to wear than my crepe version. I have a well documented stripe obsession, so I was pretty excited to find this fabric last year! I had originally earmarked it for a jacket lining, but I decided it really wanted to be a dress. And as my sewing skills seem to have gone out of the window since I went back to work this year, I thought I would stick to something familiar, which I knew I’d wear heaps.

So it should have been easy! I remembered that I took 5/8″ off the straps of my blue Southport, so I cracked on and took 5/8″ off these ones too. I got all the binding on nice and smooth first time, the skirt went together beautifully, all my stripes matched up perfectly, and I was really enjoying myself. I tried it on to decide where I should hem it (I had a feeling it would look weird if the skirt ended on a white stripe, so I left a narrow black border, which I think was a good decision), and found that the arm holes were so high and tight that I felt like Quasimodo. At that point I remembered how I had modified the straps and traced off my new bodice shape after my last Southport, so I had now removed 1 1/4″. Shit. No wonder it was a bit tight! I was so miffed that I had to unpick all my beautiful binding… Happily I could let the seam allowance at the shoulder out to a tiny amount, and they’re almost right. The armhole is still a bit high, and the binding isn’t as neat as my first go, but at least its wearable! And did I mention my stripe matching?

Even inside the pockets!

I can’t believe that I’ve done something stupid each time I’ve made this dress. I’ve now made a clear note on my bodice pattern piece, hopefully I won’t do anything so silly again!

I do really like this dress though. Perhaps not quite as much as my blue version, but a close second. I love the matte black buttons that I chose (thanks you instagram for persuading me that plain black was the way to go!) and I stuck with the easy option and used grosgrain ribbon again. I’m hoping I might have enough of this fabric left to make myself a Tiny Pocket Tank or something similar! I wore it all day on my birthday, and it took me from posh morning tea with my Mum, Sister and Aunt to present shopping and burgers for lunch with Monsieur, to a cup of tea with my MiL, to Sangria and Tapas with my lovely friends without ever making me feel out of place. What more could I ask of a dress?

Fancy cakes (I’m not even sure if cake is the right word, but they’re delicious!), my chocolate cake-salted caramel-chocolate mouss confection, a super cute vintage pattern I found when we were present shopping, and the kitty seal of approval for my dress. A lovely day!

Southport #2

Missing: my sew-jo. It has been gone for at least a month now, and I am desperately seeking its safe return…

Funnily enough, when I look back at my posts from last year, I was saying exactly the same thing last February. Maybe its the heat? Its so hot in my little sewing room, its like a sauna in there. I also have a pair of extremely cuddly kittens demanding my attention at all times (such a hardship). I’ve been trying to get some things done, I have so many things I want to make, but nothing seems to be going right. I think I just need one good project that I enjoy sewing and that turns out really well, and I’ll be away again. Fingers crossed! 

Anyway, before my sewing slump, I finished another Southport dress in rayon crepe. This seems to be the summer of rayon for me!


I love the colour of this fabric, it was called ‘raisin’ on the tag but I think its more maroon than brown. Either way, I think its really pretty! 

I had a bit of trouble with the crepe, it just has so much give it it that it felt like the bodice was growing as I sewed, even with rows of staystitching! It definitely feels bigger and saggier in the bodice than my first version. I had enough fabric to make a self-fabric tie this time, and I turned that whole narrow tube inside out and threaded it through the waist casing before I realised that the crepe fabric was far too rough and sticky to slide smoothly and gather the waist in evenly. Happily I managed to find some ribbon in just the right colour, which makes it much easier to cinch in the waist!


I only made one change to the patten this time, which was to make an all in one facing for the arm holes and neckline. I had so much trouble getting my binding to sit flat around the armscye last time that I thought this might make things easier, but in hindsight the lack of rigid bias tape around the neckline might be contributing to the crepe drooping the way it is. 

It was easy to make the facing, I just traced off the neck and armscye shape down to the bust dart from the front and back, and drew a curved line from the side seam up to the cente back and front points. If I do it this way again I’ll reinforce the neckline with twill tape though!

I’ve got fabric for one more Southport this summer, I’m hoping I’ll have it done in time for my birthday at the end of the month. Next weekend we’re heading up to Napier for another Art Deco Weekend, so I’ll have a bit of vintage sewing to share, the first of three garments I want to sew as part of the 2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge. After that, hopefully my sewing equilibrium will have returned, and everything will go back to normal!

Summer Sewing: Nadine Shirt

I’ve recently become rather enamoured with Republique du Chiffon patterns, especially their lastest Winter collection. Unfortunately, my French is limited to school-girl “ou est le bibliotheque, s’il vous plait?”, so I thought I would have a go at one of their PDF patterns before I shelled out for a more complicated paper pattern. I liked the Nadine shirt, I thought it would be cute with jeans or skirts and I always like collared shirts for a bit more coverage when its sunny. And I’ve put a few two piece collars together now, so I thought I could probably muddle my way through even if I couldn’t manage a good translation!


It really wasn’t too hard to sort out the instructions, I ran most of it though Googe Translate. I did get some gems back, like this one…

…sure, I’ll just dig out my electroplater! The only word I had real trouble with though was Surfilez, I couldn’t find a translation for that via the internet. Happily instagram and the WSBN came to my rescue and informed me that it meant ‘to finish’, so overlocking my edges. 

Once I had the instructions sorted, it was a quick and easy project. Or it would have been quick, if I hadn’t fluffed around a bit with the binding on the arm holes, and then let the whole thing languish for over a week before I got my act together and put the press studs on! I’m feeling a bit uninspired now that I’m back at work, but hopefully finishing this will give me a bit more motivation. 

I used a navy cotton seersucker from my stash (I’m trying really hard to work from my stash first, as its getting a bit out of hand, but I’m so easily seduced by new shiny pretty fabric…), and its really nice and breezy to wear. Its pretty short though, even on my short torso! Luckily I have so many high waisted skirts and trousers to wear it with.

 My only regret is not using stiffer interfacing on the collar and stand, and not using any at all on the button bands. I did consider adding some along the button bands as far as the last press stud, but I didn’t in the end and I think the bands are a bit sad and floppy now (I don’t think there were instructions to interface the bands, but I might have lost them in my translation). The collar is also a bit sad and floppy, especially with the weight of the press studs pulling them down. Better interfacing selection is something I need to work on. When I started sewing I always chose horrible stiff stuff, but now I seem to have gone too far the other way and keep picking interfacing which is too soft. Its a fine line!
Not discouraged by my experience with Nadine, I decided to take the plunge and buy the Madeleine dress pattern in French. I’m really looking forward to making it, though I hope google translate will be more helpful this time! 

(Not so secret) Secret Pyjamas

You know how people are always talking about how knit dresses and drapey trousers are so comfortable that they’re really secret pyjamas? I feel like these fit into that category, but with the (dubious) added extra of kinda looking like pyjamas too…

These are the Named Patterns Alexandria Peg Trousers, made up in a cute rayon crepe from the Fabric Store. I had bought the fabric with vague ideas to make a dress out of it, but when I bought the pattern in the Named advent calendar sale (which was awesome) I decided to put the two together instead. I really like the fabric, its light and airy and I think the drape works really well with the pattern. I do wish it wasn’t so crease-prone, but I just need to get over my hatred of ironing completed garments. (Does anyone else find that they quite enjoy pressing whilst sewing a garment, but as soon as the last stitch is tied off it becomes a huge effort to get it anywhere near the iron?)

I really like the pattern too, the pleating and pockets are a great combo (like on my Panthea Shorts, bit of a theme going on at the moment), and everything came together so smoothly. I made them up exactly as directed, I didn’t even have to shorten them which surprised me. I do wear them right at my waist though (thats just where I find elastic waistbands mose comfortable), so they would be too long if I wore them lower. 

The pockets combined with my extreme high-riding waist give me a serious case of unflattering-trouser-bum, but I’ll never wear anything tucked into an elastic waistband anyway so its ok! Good to know that the pockets are too high for me though. If I made them again I would consider skipping the back pockets, especially if I used a patterned fabric. I keep thinking that they would be really nice made up in a lightweight wool crepe or similar for Autumn.

My biggest problem with these is that I’m not sure how to wear them. I’ve tried them with plain fitted tee shirts, with stripes and with my lace Scout tee, and I’m just not sure. I like them best as shown here, with my grey Lark tee, so maybe I should make a few more plain ones? I want to lessen the pyjama look! Some slightly A-line sleeveless tops like the Tessuti Ruby might work too. What do you think? I’ve been wearing them around home, but I keep hesitating about wearing them out of the house, and I really want to!


Summer staples (again)

It seems that I’m starting 2016 in the same way I started 2015– with a new pair of shorts and a tee shirt. I was thinking of making another pair of Grainline Maritime shorts, but in the spirit of trying something new I went with the Panthea Shorts from Ralph Pink. I’ve only just discovered Ralph Pink (apparently they’ve just had a major site overhaul), and I really like a lot of their patterns. I have the Sula Blazer pattern printed out too, hopefully I’ll get to that this summer too! But back to the shorts…
 The fabric I picked for these is really interesting, but possibly wasn’t the best choice for some fairly structured shorts. Its a cotton/linen/ramie blend twill from the Fabric Store, and it has quite a tweedy appearance. Its really soft and quite drapy, and presses well but also creases something awful. I suppose thats only to be expected, with all natural fibres (the Dreamstress has a good post on Ramie, which is the only reason I know what it is! Its made from nettle stems, in the same way that linen is made from flax). Its a nice fabric, but I wonder if the pockets and pleats would look better in a finer, crisply ironed linen. 



The shorts have some really interesting features, I like the pockets and pleats combo. The way that they’re constructed makes for a really tidy finish, which is nice. I do prefer a waistband to a facing, though the facing does mean that they’re very comfortable around my waist. I’ve got a fold of extra fabric at the bottom of the fly, which I think means that the crotch length is too long in the front. Its not as major as it looks in these photos in real life, but its something I would try to fix if I made the pattern again. 


I do think they fit well around the back, with none of the pulling towards the inseam I get with my Maritime Shorts. I should compare the shapes of the back pieces, and see where the extra room is in the Panthea Shorts.

I did have a fair bit of trouble with the fly/buttons/facings combination on these shorts, and I’m not entirely sure that my confusion was down to my being incompetent. I assumed that the zipper would be sewn part of the way up the fly facing, and then the buttons would be sewn to the top, but the instructions have you sew the zipper all the way to the top of the shorts, like you would if you were going to add a waistband. So not only does this leave no room for the buttons and buttonholes, but when you sew the facing on it covers the top of one half of the zip and leaves the other half exposed. I read the instructions through a couple of times and thought this was very odd, but for some reason I decided to follow them as written anyway. That means that my finished fly has ended up looking like this…


What do you think? Is it supposed to be like this, or do you think they’ve popped their basic fly zip instruction set in and forgotten to modify them for this pattern? I had to cut the extra length of zip off under the facing so that I could stick the press studs in, but it was going to be a bit much unpicking to fix the other side and I was a bit grumpy by that point so I’ve just left it…


My tee shirt is a new-ish make as well, an Emmeline Teeshirt from Little Tailoress. I got this pattern for a friend, so I thought I should make myself one first so that I knew how it would all work! I’ve been hoarding this awesome striped cotton knit for a simple teeshirt, and I think it works pretty well with the cut on sleeves of the Emmeline. Its been in pretty high rotation so far this summer, and the cotton is starting to sag a bit, which I suppose is to be expected when there isn’t any elastine or anything to help with recovery!

I don’t think I’d say either of these are as much of a success as my Maritime shorts/Scout tee combo from last summer, but both are very wearable. I’ve been wearing the shorts a lot since I finished them last week, and they’ve been lovely on the hot days we’ve had! 

Xerea (you’ve gotta see her)

Every time I see the cover of my Xerea dress pattern booklet I get ‘Maria’ by Blondie stuck in my head! Its a pretty tenuous connection, but it seems to be one my brain is fixated on. At least its a good song! I’ve made two Xerea dresses in the last week, so I’ve been singing it quite a bit…


This is view A, the shift dress with Dior darts and cap sleeves. I made it in some lovely soft cotton chambray that I picked up at The Fabric Store during their VIP sale a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t mean to buy it, but I saw it on the other side of the counter when my other fabrics were being cut and grabbed some on a whim. I had thought to make into another Dress E from the Stylish Dress Book, but then when I got home I decided it should be a Xerea instead. I think it was a good decision!


This was a really fun dress to put toghether. Its a simple shape, but I love the details that Pauline Alice has put into it. The pockets are awesome, I love the way the side panel curves into a princess seam at the top, and swooshes into the curve of the pocket at the bottom. I also love the inclusion of the Dior darts, so 60’s! Its funny, I had never heard of a dior dart until a few months ago, when I read about them on Pattern.Scissors.Cloth, and now I’ve made something with them! 


Another lovely detail is the V neckline on the back yoke, you know how I love surprising details on the back of my clothes! I considered topstitching the yokes to match the neckline, but the seam allowances go in different directions on the front and back because of the various seams which intersect them. I could have forced the front seam allowance down to match the back, but I decided not to bother.


I used some cute navy polka dotted bias tape to bind the neckline. I considered adding piping or something to the side panel seams to highlight the pockets, but in the end I’m glad I left them plain. I feel like this is a really good blank canvas dress for summer, good for showing off jewelery and whatnot.

There are a few changes I’ll make for next time, mainly around the bust. I think I need to move the bust dart up by a small amount, maybe only a centimetre? I took 5/8″ off the top of the dress before I sewed it to the yoke to accommodate my short upper body, but I think they need to come up just a smidgeon more. Or maybe they just need to be angled slightly less? I think the apex is in about the right place. I don’t know, I’ll need to have a play! I’m also considering adding some fish eye darts to the back, just to give it a bit more shape.


I’d love to make a long sleeved wool version for winter, I think that’d be really nice. The yoke and side panels offer lots of opportunities to play around with bias too, so plaid would be fun. 

This one is the second Xerea I made, the first one was for my friend Miriam. She picked an awesome cactus print rayon crepe, from Spotlight of all places!


She seems to really like it, which is good! Sewing for other people is much more stressful than sewing for me…

Stripes and Spots

Happy Halloween, if thats your thing, and happy end-of-October if it isn’t! Halloween really isn’t a big thing in NZ, mostly I think because its such a seasonal holiday and its weird to celebrate it in the middle of spring! I’m very glad its the end of October, this month has just kicked my arse. Between the end of the academic year (everything got handed in on time and in a state that I was happy with, yay), work getting busy, some big weekend celebrations (birthdays, long weekends full of amazing dancing with amazing dance teachers from around the world), and getting sick, I haven’t had much time at my sewing machine. I did take the opportunity to drop my machine in for a full service when I was studying, which had the added benefit of removing the temptation of procrastination sewing, and I assembled a bunch of PDF patterns, so I did get some sewing related stuff done. I have also made a start on my summer sewing plans, starting with some rather practical items straight from my list.


A striped denim Moss Mini and a Lark tee! Its going to be a Grainline Studios kind of summer (again). I’ll start with the skirt, because its definitely the more interesting garment. I made the same size as my cat Moss Mini, but I took a 1/2″ wedge out of the centre back seam of the yoke to combat the slight gape I had last time. I also lengthened it by 3″, so its not quite so mini anymore!

Its ended up a bit tighter than my Cat version, and a bit higher waisted! I think the tightness is due to the fact that I assembled the pockets correctly this time, so there is less width across the hips in the front (last time I sewed the fronts to the pocket pieces so that everything was flat, rather than matching the notches correctly so that the pockets pop out the front a bit to accomodate the hand). It might also be because I’ve spent all winter eating chocolate, but I’ll say its because of the pockets… I’m not sure why it feels like its sitting higher on my waist though! 

I love the pockets, I’m glad I got them right this time! I like the length too, its going to be easier for me to wear than the shorter version. My main irritation with my cat Moss Mini is that its too short to wear with any of my half slips, and it ends up climbing my tights in a somewhat scandalous way. Wellington being Wellington, there isn’t a huge window to wear skirts without tights, so I really wanted to line this version so that I could wear it all year around.

I used the same spotty navy lining that I used to save my favourite blazer, I’ve definitely had my moneys worth out of that $5 remnant! I was particularly stubborn about this lining, I wanted it to be a proper lining rather than an underlining, but I also wanted it to work neatly with the fly. This is what I did, incase anyone is interested:

1)Cut out back lining pieces as usual, assemble skirt and lining backs and skirt fronts as per instructions.

2) Before sewing CF seam, use the front pieces to cut out lining. (Clever people could probably do this accurately from the pattern pieces, but I was having trouble figuring out exactly what shape it would be)

3)Sew CF seam to the fly notch on both lining and main fabric (finish seams etc), then baste the lining to the skirt wrong sides together along the two raw CF edges where the fly will be inserted. I pinned the lining flat to the other edges of the skirt as well, to keep it out of the way.

4) Treating the lining and main skirt as one, insert the fly as instructed.

5) Continue assembling the skirt as per the instructions, sewing the skirt side seams and the lining side seams separately. Flip the lining right side out so that everything is (hopefully) oriented correctly for the waistband to go on. Baste the lining and skirt together around the waist.

6) Treating the lining and fabric as one piece, attatch the waistband. Finish the skirt as instructed.

I hope that makes some sense! I didn’t think to take any pictures as I was doing it, and I’m not very good at explaining my processes anyway, so I think I’d be pretty rubbish at writing actual tutorials. I’m pretty happy with how its turned out, its nice and neat and didn’t take much more time than making it unlined!

And now my tee shirt (briefly)…

This is the Grainline Lark, made up with the cap sleeves and V-neck options. I’ve never made a V-neck before, it wasn’t as tricky as I thought it would be! Its a bit wobbly, but not bad for a first try. It’s made in a mystery knit I got from the Fabric Warehouse pop up sale shop, which has turned out to be weirdly itchy on the wrong side, so I’m not sure how much wear it will get! Maybe it’ll get better after a few washes…, I sewed up a size 6, as usual for me and Grainline patterns, but I did have to cut 3″ off the bottom and then use a 1″ hem. Its really long! 

I sewed the neckband on with my sewing machine and then neatened it with my overlocker, as reccomended in the instructions. It was much easier to get the point neat! I topstitched it with a straight stitch rather than my twin needle, as I didn’t know how to deal with the point with two rows of stitching. There is no tension on the neckline, so hopefully I won’t pop any stitches!

As expected, Lark is a lovely pattern that I’ll be making a lot of! I think I’ll get a tonne of wear out of the skirt as well, I just need to figure out how to wear tops with it. Tucked in, untucked or the half in half out look? I’ll need to experiment! 

An Almost Disastrous Dress

In my last post I mentioned a disastrous WIP, which at the time of writing was in detention in the back of my cupboard. I wasn’t happy with the way it was fitting, I was fighting with the fabric, and then the final straw was when I realised that I had completely ignored my notches and sewed one of the sleeves on inside out. Yesterday I dug it out of the bag and unpicked my mistakes and took it in, and I’ve decided that I’m actually pretty happy with the final dress.

This is dress E from Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom by Yoshiko Tsukiori. This was the pattern I really wanted to make from this book  when I ordered it (I wanted it so badly that I bought two Stylish Dress Books – I didn’t realise there was more than one in the series, and got the wrong one in my first order!). It was my first foray into Japanese sewing books, and it was certainly an abrupt departure from the hand-holding instructions which come with indie patterns!

I know that this style is meant to be loose and boxy, but I found it was incredibly unflattering when I made it up exactly as instructed. It looks lovely on the petite model in the book, but I felt like I could smuggle a considerable amount of loot under it. I ended up taking 2″ off each side seam, and I much prefer how it looks now that its fitted through the back bodice and upper bust. I still think it makes me look a bit pregnant, especially from the side, but I’ve decided I don’t care…

I’ve got a bit of gaping at the back neckline, but not enough for me to bother unpicking the facing and putting in some darts. I think that would detract from the simple shape of this dress. 

I really like the box pleats at the bodice! They were a bit hard to photograph, but they were really easy to sew and press in this lovely smooth black linen. I’ve never really sewn with linen (my BHL Holly trousers are the only other time I’ve used it), and it took a bit of getting used to. I kept ironing creases into it that I couldn’t get back out again! It also frayed like crazy, so I overlocked the pieces before sewing them together. I think it’ll be lovely and breezy to wear when it gets hot!

Please excuse the dirty marks on my carpet, I can’t get them out! Normally I crop it out, but these are my favourite shoes at the moment so I thought I’d leave my feet in. They’re gold and glittery, what’s not to like?

So what do you think? Cute summer dress or art teacher maternity smock? I’m still a bit conflicted!

Also, as a random aside, I’ve got new glasses! I’d had my old ones for about 6 years, so I felt it was time for an update. And now I can see properly again, so thats always a bonus…