Sigma Dress

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The Sigma Dress from Papercut Patterns – finished!

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I’m a total convert to this New Zealand based pattern maker! The patterns have so far been so easy to follow and make beautiful dresses, plus they come in the most beautiful packaging. I mean they do take a couple of weeks to arrive and are at the top end of my budget, but still great as a wee treat.

The Sigma Dress was a Christmas present from my brother, so I thought it was about time I made it! I bought the fabric aaaages ago from Fabrix in Lancaster, my favourite fabric shop of all time. It’s quite thick with a one-way stretch and actually very similar to a lot of the prints on the High Street at the moment.

These are from River Island (and I’m still so tempted to buy both) and have a similar smudged pattern.

Here are my work in progress shots, as modelled by my mannequin below!

It’s not obvious from this photo but I went for the version with gathers either side of the waist, which I thought would be most flattering. I cut out the medium size without bothering to measure because I made the Clover dress in a medium, but this one was massive! I had to unpick the waist to take in the side seams and then still had loads of excess material at the back. I’ll definitely be measuring properly and cutting a smaller size next time! It’s also quite a short pattern, which was fine for this dress but worth noting for the future.

I was a bit stuck with this dress for a while though because I couldn’t decide on what to do for the sleeves. I think the versions with the long sleeves look great, but I wasn’t sure about it for this thick material. I like the short sleeves too, but there have been so many times I’ve added sleeves to dresses and then wished I hadn’t… but I went with the sod it, let’s do short sleeves attitude!

I’m really pleased with how this one turned out. Love this pattern and its definitely one I’ll be using again. Next time though I will measure up properly and cut out the size that will actually fit properly! And probably add a few inches to the length too; ah tall people issues.

Grid-Print Decisions

IMG_3892I recently bought this crepe fabric as part of my first ever online fabric order!

I got this and three other fabrics from Remnant Kings, and I’ll definitely be shopping on their website again. I’ve always been wary of buying fabrics online because you don’t get the opportunity to physically see and feel the fabric before you buy it, so you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. That wasn’t a problem at all though and I was really pleased with all the fabrics in my delivery. The materials were all true to their description online, both texture and colour-wise. It’s almost a bit dangerous though, knowing how easy it is now to buy fabric just whenever I fancy…

So this grid-print fabric is everywhere at the moment and I now have two metres of the stuff – so what to make?! These are my options:

1.

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This top from Topshop has a sheer back, which I can replicate using the boxy top pattern of Simplicity 1366.

2.

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These shorts are also part of the Topshop set. I could use Simplicity 1371 to make a similar pair with a higher waist.

3.

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Or, back to my old favourite, the shift dress!

Would it be bad if I made them all? Possibly grid-print overkill…

Simplicity Lisette 1419

 

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Isn’t this such a cute dress?!

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I made it using Simplicity Lisette pattern 1419 and some blue polka-dot material a very kind friend bought me for my birthday.

I love the details of this dress – the pleats, Peter Pan collar and keyhole front.

It’s not a difficult pattern though, despite all those details. There’s a facing plus interfacing to create the keyhole front, and the instructions are really clear.

I used leftover polyester panama material for the collar but it was a bit heavy really and made it harder to achieve the really rounded shape. When I make this one again I’ll use a lighter material for the collar, and probably keep it sleeveless. I prefer the in-progress photos without sleeves and kind of wish I’d not bothered with them! What do you think?

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New Look Pattern 6262

I love this pattern. With the fitted bodice and gathered skirt New Look 6262 is a beauty. It’s also very similar to the popular Christine Haynes Emery Dress at a fraction of the price… not to mention the many dresses of this shape on the high street! I do have a couple of them that fit well from Topshop and New Look, but generally they can be pretty poor. The gathered skirt usually seems to start just below the boobs – not flattering! But this pattern gets the balance just right.

I’ve made this full dress three times now, and have used it to make a separate top and skirt too. I just love it! Simple to use and fits well. A slight warning though, the waist is pretty tiny! I adjusted the pattern to increase the waist by a little as the rest of the dress in my size fitted perfectly.

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Part way through making the first two of New Look 6262. The one on the left is in a soft viscose fabric and the right is a Liberty print. I had both fabrics ages before I could choose a pattern good enough to cut them up for!

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I tried one of the other variations for this last one, with the V-neck and no sleeves. This one is in a light Chambray with braid sewn on at the waist.

So overall, another great pattern from New Look. Don’t think I’ll be stopping at three with this one…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Look Pattern 9065

Another of my favourite patterns!

So here’s my pattern review for New Look 9065…

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It’s brilliant, buy it!

I’ve made this dress three times now, twice in polyester panama and once in a viscose print. It’s so easy to make and the fit is so flattering. The darts at the bust and in the back create that shape, but neither are too tricky to do. There’s a zip down the back which you can either do as an invisible zip or just normal, which is what I went for.

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The green and pale blue versions are both in polyester panama, which I think makes them fairly smart – I hope so anyway, I wear the green version all the time for work! I absolutely love the colour of the pastel blue dress, but unfortunately I think its quite a summery shade so I haven’t had a chance to wear it recently.

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I think this viscose print version is my favourite though.

Great for a night out, but just stick tights, boots and a baggy cardigan on with it and it works as a daytime look too.

So as you may have gathered, I highly recommend this pattern! It’s versatile, works with different fabrics and always makes a really flattering dress.

I have heard others say the sizings are a bit big on it, but I think it depends what you’re after. I cut my normal size and it was perfect.

A Weekend in London Town

Styling handmade in the capital…

What I wore during my weekend in London.

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Tapestry skirt: Handmade; Top: H&M; Coat: Primark; Necklace: New Look

The outfit I wore to see Cats, which was brilliant! Nicole Scherzinger was AMAZING!! What a voice. And the dancing was just incredible. Definitely recommend seeing this.

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Co-Ord: Handmade; Coat: boohoo.com; Necklace & Bag: Accessorize

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We wandered round by the Eye, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, and obvs got photos outside them… It would be rude not to!

We did the Aquarium too (even though I hate fish). Loved the penguins though!

And then after being preached to about reducing the amount of fish in our diets, we went for dinner at Sushi Samba!

My first taste of sushi and it was incredible, as were the views from Heron Tower over London.

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Cocktails at Mahiki… Dress: H&M

…And Saturday was a repeat outfit because I love it so much! See my earlier post for full details on this one.

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Amazing weekend. London, I’ll be back soon.

New Look Pattern 6143

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 I LOVE this pattern.

As you can see, I’ve made it a lot. Definitely got my money’s worth out of this one!

This pattern is so easy to make and such a great shape. As always with New Look patterns the instructions are clear and easy to follow. I’d highly recommend this for anyone, beginner or not, as it makes such a nice dress!

  I’ve made it in polycotton (the pink flowery print), jersey (the last two photos) and polyester crepe (the first dress). Although it did work in the jersey fabric it was better in the other two non-stretch materials.

I’ve made both versions, with and without sleeves, and dresses for casual, going out and work wear. This pattern is so versatile!

It features two lots of darts at the bust which makes the bodice fitted, and box pleats in the skirt. There is a zip down the back that you choose to be invisible or just normal, so it’s a really simple but effective pattern.

I’m not quite done with it yet – I’d like to try view E, the sleeveless variation with a sheer panel too. Probably won’t bother with the tie belt though as its a bit too fussy for my taste.

A Spotty Dress and a Fedora

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Hats are my new favourite accessory.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think they’d suit me or that I’d be able to pull them off, but hey I’ve decided I like them. I’ve even bought two now: this fedora from H&M and a little bowler hat from boohoo.com. Not only do they look good but they keep my head warm and mean I don’t have to bother doing my hair – what’s not to love?!

Dress: Made by me

Cardigan: Made by my Gran

Belt & Fedora: H&M

Necklace: Accessorize

Boots: New Look

New Look Shirt 6304

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I finally managed to finish this shirt!

I decided to make shirt D of New Look pattern 6304, a slightly cropped, short-sleeved shirt, using pastel purple chiffon and white polycotton for a contrasting white collar and front band, inspired by a shirt from French Connection.

I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out. Chiffon is such a pretty fabric but so tricky! I worked really hard to make sure it moved as little as possible while I was cutting out the pattern, to try and keep it as accurate as possible. I therefore used my rotary cutter and cutting board, which definitely helped.

Actually sewing the chiffon was all about the French seams and topstitching, which are both techniques I haven’t really done before. I also attempted and failed at a rolled hem, so the hems aren’t as neat as I’d like them to be.

I used polycotton, a much more stable and easy to work with fabric, for the collar and front band. I think the two fabrics work well together, and the polycotton holds the shape of the collar and the buttonholes much better than I think chiffon would have.

It has been a challenge!

The best part though has been learning how to use the one-step buttonhole foot on my machine. I’ve always avoided buttons because I didn’t know how to use it, but not any more! I watched a Singer tutorial on YouTube which I’d really recommend.

As for the pattern itself – it was great! Really clear instructions, which I so needed, and I love the shirt I’ve produced. I would make it again too, although not views B or C with the frillyness at the bottom (not my style), and definitely not in chiffon!

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The Clover Dress

From day…IMG_3608

To night!IMG_3571

A dress that can easily go from day to night. I haven’t found that many that actually can. Either they’re too dressy for daytime wear or too casj for cocktails. This one just works though! From tights and boots for day to heels for night, it’s simple but effective. Both from New Look.