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The Sewing Year That Was...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
It's always nice to look back on the sewing year that was and know that I actually made rather a few things that I wear on almost a weekly basis. I made 16 things all up including one fancy dress, my Christmas dress, and the rest fit relatively well into my already existing wardrobe of Me Mades, Vintage and High Street.

This year I focussed much more on using patterns I already owned from my vintage pattern stash, which meant that I didn't buy a single vintage dress this entire year! (That little fact actually hadn't even occurred to me until just now). I also have several makes that are finished that I've not yet managed to blog and that never happens!

I do have one major sewing goal for 2014 that I will reveal in the New Year, but for now, here is a selection of my Sewing Year that was... for the full list, head on over to my Finished Projects page.

These are illustrated with some of the outtakes from each photo shoot because I'm sure I'm not the only one who has to take several (hundred) photos only to end up liking 2 or 3!! Unfortunately, as I had switched computers throughout the year though, the rest of my photos are in a box somewhere in the other room, but I hope you'll enjoy the ones I could find...

I got photo-bombed by a dog, did something weird with my hands and laughed a lot!

I make that face a lot it seems, my version of Blue Steel? Hands doing weird things again...

Yep, there it is, Blue Steel. Trying to twirl and showing an eyeful instead (getting a good twirl picture is hard!).

Hair in my face. More hair in my face. A variation of Blue Steel.

I think I was telling David that he had taken enough photos here. Being silly on one leg.

Blue Steel and, um...

Hope you all have a fabulous time seeing in the new year, and I'll catch you all in 2014!


A Merry Stepford Christmas...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

This is my newest make, the Stepford Wife does Christmas Dress. This dress is actually the result of one of those rare 'happy' sewing mistakes that apparently do pop up on occasion (who knew!).

This dress started out originally as a plain red Anna dress, number one on my Summer Sewing List.
The sizing chart on the back showed that the dress fit me absolutely perfectly made up in a size 8/12. I was so excited and if I'm honest, totally flattered that the BHL girls designed a dress that fit my measurements exactly (because I'm sure they design all their patterns around my measurements right?!). I generally tend to have to grade my patterns between three different sizes with modern patterns, but apparently not with the Anna dress.

I carefully traced and laid out my pattern pieces on the fabric, cut them out, assembled the bodice with french seams and then tried it on.

At this point, I may have squealed.

You guys, this bodice is so darn flattering!! I may never make another bodice ever again in my life! It is so easy to put together, so pretty with it's 40s styled kimono sleeves and so comfortable.

Then I moved on to the skirt...

At this point, I knew I should make a muslin, but being a bit stubborn and wanting to finish the dress in time for Christmas, I ploughed on ahead (I know, I know!! Tsk tsk, moving on...). I carefully assembled the skirt, french seaming everything along the way, attached it to my bodice, pinned in a zip, tried it on! The skirt looked absolutely awful on me.

Being a gal with hips, I need lots of ease in that department to make this style look good. I really should have graded up a size (or even 2) in the skirt to make this work, and to make matters worse, being charity shop fabric, I couldn't go back and get more as I had used every last scrap I had.

My lightbulb moment came a few hours later, after I had banished the dress to the other room and closed the door on my sewing machine. I remembered I had picked up a length of red and white embroidered fabric that I had found at the same charity shop a few days before we had left for our trip to Italy and the UK. Um, YES!

Why I hadn't thought of that earlier we will never know, but my love for the Anna dress returned and I got gathering.  I lined the skirt fabric with a heavy white cotton which has made it seriously lush. It's heavy and full and perfect for twirling. I inserted the zip in my favourite way (a lapped zip) and I'm so happy with how it all turned out. Very much a happy sewing accident if I do say so myself.

Have you been lucky with sewing accidents lately?

Just before I pop off, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I'll be back before the New Year with a little round up of my sewing makes from 2013. It was definitely the year of the return to my sewing machine (and there are several things I've not actually even managed to blog yet. That never happens!!).


Introducing...Shona Stitches

Friday, December 13, 2013
Welcome to the next instalment of my Introducing... series, today I'd like you to meet Shona from Shona Stitches. Shona lives in Florida with her husband, kitty and dachshund pup and is an amazing sewer. I especially love her Colette Patterns Hawthorn and her navy blue Beignet skirt. Oh, and she knits and embroiders too. Is there nothing she can't do?

Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog
My name is Shona and I am completely obsessed with sewing clothing! I blog over at Shona Stitches, where I post about the trials, successes and little things I learn as I attempt to sew my own wardrobe. I live in muggy Gainesville, Florida with my husband, a nosy cat and an elderly miniature dachshund who is my constant sewing room companion.

After experiencing a layoff earlier this year, I decided to pursue my passion and now work at a local sewing store. I spend my work days playing with fancy machines, making samples, giving sewing advice, and teaching beginners how to make their first stitch. It hasn't been an easy career change, but I love what I do!

Why did you start sewing?
When I was about 19 or 20 I discovered Craftser and spent a lot of time lurking around the boards drooling over all the cool, crafty things people were making. I'd always had an interest in making things, but that site really opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me. I tried a few crafts with varying levels of success, but I was really intrigued by the sewing board. I showed my mom some of the things I wanted to do and bought me a sewing machine for Christmas that year. Once I learned how to thread the thing (that took about a week and a lot of consulting the internet), I immediately started cutting up old t-shirts and reconstructing them. Then I traced an old hoodie and made it into a dinosaur hoodie with green fleece and white spikes in the back. I wore it around work for Halloween and called myself Queen Koopa.

Then I moved on to working with patterns, but sewing was still something I only dabbled in occasionally. Years later, I discovered some great sewing bogs and got inspired again. I was amazed at how professional handmade clothing could look! That's when I started really researching proper techniques and learning how to make things that I could be proud of. I started my blog last January as a challenge to get myself sewing more. It worked! I haven't stopped since.

Do you get up to any other crafty adventures?
Yes, as many as I can! I also knit, crochet and hand embroider. I always have a knitting project going that I can work on while watching tv or take to my knitting group. I haven't hand embroidered for a while and really miss it! It's very relaxing and I just love the way it looks. I have to finish this cardigan I'm knitting first's really being a pain!

What has been your greatest sewing achievement so far?
It's hard to pick, I have a few garments that I'm really happy with. But I guess it would have to be the modified version of Colette's Hawthorn dress that I made recently. I finished it in a major rush, so there are a couple of things I'm not happy with (I did at least go back and fix the tight armholes). But I spent a TON of time working out the fit and redrafting the pattern to make the style modifications I wanted.

Winning the contest was extremely exciting! I wanted to post about it afterwards but I was so flabbergasted that I could barely form words! And when the fabrics I won from Colette came in the mail with a little card signed by Sarai, I couldn't stop squealing. You'd think I'd won the lottery or something. Nope, just totally geeked out about sewing!

And have there been any crafty-related disappointments?
Oh, lots! That just comes with the territory. I've sewn things inside out, backwards, upside name it. I've broken zippers...and then gone on to break them again! I've broken lots of needles (don't pull on your fabric, folks - use a hump-jumper!). I've sewn things that have turned out unwearable. One of my favorite tops, the chevron Ava that I made last year, shrank in the wash. But there have been lots of successes too! I look at sewing as a continuous learning process. I have this crazy drive to master it. I don't know where that comes from, but I think that's the only thing that keeps me going after I've ripped a seam out multiple times or ruined a dress I spent 2 weeks working on. I'm a quitter and totally not competitive when it comes to anything else, but with sewing I'm all "No, machine! You will not defeat me!!!!".

Invisible zip, lapped zip or centre zip?
Invisible zip. I just like the way it looks the best and I can insert them pretty easily. For an easy zip that needs to be more sturdy, I go with the centered style. I like the way a lapped zipper looks, but I don't feel like I've conquered that one just yet!

What’s currently on your sewing table?
Two Briars that I haven't been able to work on because of all the sewing commissions that I need to finish first! I'm currently making a dress for a wedding guest, a set of curtains, and a couple pairs of jeans that need hemming. I just finished working a 50 hour week while the shop owners were away at convention, so I have a ton of stuff to catch up on!

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Happy. That's the most important thing. And I'm happy when I can use my brain to think creatively and use my hands to make beautiful and interesting things. I'm still trying to figure out how to turn my dream into a career, but that is my goal.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about learning to sew?
Take it slow and don't be afraid of the sewing machine! Take a class or buy a good beginner's sewing book that will help you along. I dove right in without having a clue what I was doing, and (while that approach can be fun) I think that's why I got frustrated and put it down for so long. Don't get too upset when you make a mistake, it's part of the process. You will remember that mistake and improve with each new project! A lot of people will tell me that I must be so talented because of the things I sew, but I really don't think sewing takes talent. It just takes a little patience and a desire to make something unique.

Thanks so much for taking part Shona! Make sure you head on over to her blog to take a peek at a few more of her amazing creations!

The next instalment will be up early next year - this lovely lady is has a wardrobe full of stylish retro makes, my favourite :)

Are you a sewing/knitting/crocheting/baking/vintage/cat-loving/creative/awesome owner of a blog? Do you want to be featured in an interview and become one of my (and others) expanding list of new bloggy friends? Well then, step right in and flick me an email to with a link to your blog and any other tidbits you feel like sharing and we'll arrange an imaginary internet tea and cake date and get to know each other a little better!


The Summer Sewing List...

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Going into each new sewing season, I normally have quite a clear list of what I'm going to endeavour to make. Having a list makes it so much easier for me to stay on track and actually finish projects rather than abandoning them at the last stitch (I really dislike hemming, I don't know why...).

This year though, I'm really struggling to A) narrow down the list of patterns I could sew and B) decide on what fabric to actually make up said patterns.

I think I'm suffering from a bout of too many patterns, too much fabric (TMPTMF) syndrome. It might have something to do with moving countries, going on an extended travel adventure and then coming back to a summer that is not like the long hot summers I got used to in Sydney. Unfortunately the summers here can be a bit iffy, you're never really sure whether you are going to wake up to tights & cardigan weather or summer dress weather.

Having said that, I have managed to compile a small list to gently ease me back into sewing (and making decisions!):

1) BHL Anna Dress in Cherry Red

I really love the 1940's lines in the Anna dress, and after seeing so many amazing versions of this dress on the internet, I'm quite sure this is the first thing I'll be making.

I found the fabric for this on a recent trip to my favourite charity shop haunt and I'm planning to make the knee length version with a slash neckline. Although, I haven't decided whether to keep the sleek skirt or 50's it up with a full gathered skirt and pockets. Suggestions most welcome!

2) Sweet 1950's day dress in textured sky blue

I've had this lovely little 1950s pattern for a while now but could never decide on what fabric to use.  I found this length of textured sky blue mystery fabric on the same trip I found the cherry red fabric for my Anna dress and thought the two would make a simple but classic summer combo. I'll need to wear a slip under the dress as it is a little sheer with the textured lines in the fabric, but I am looking forward to finally making this pattern.

3) 1940's inspired tie front blouse in white with red polkadots

I may not use this 60s pattern for the blouse as I have another actual 40's pattern that I'm tossing up using instead. Both will require some pattern drafting to get the shape I want as well as the right amount of fabric at the bottom for the ties, but I am loving the little peter pan collar on this 60's version.

I am yet to find the fabric for this, but I'm thinking a little red polka dot cotton lawn will look quite lovely.

4) 1940's inspired peasant dress (View 3) in navy blue cotton

This is actually a 70s pattern that I found about a week ago hiding under the table of a little shop I had no idea existed (even after having lived in the area for some time just before we left for Sydney). I think it has a definite 40s vibe about it and looks like the perfect dress to throw on on a warm summers day.

On top of some mending I have to do on 2 vintage skirts I bought in Edinburgh, I am also hoping to make a 1940s slip or two (with a tutorial), a 1930s inspired silk camisole (also with a tutorial) and a few other bits and pieces that I haven't yet decided on.

I'm also about to begin the process of making my first experimental pattern, a simple and wearable 1940s inspired jersey top that is certainly going to test my pattern making skills (or lack there of if I'm completely honest!).

So, what do you guys currently have on your sewing lists? Have you ever suffered from TMPTMF Syndrome?


Show Us Your Pants!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Well, it's certainly not everyday I show my undies (pants, underwear, panties (hate that name!), lingerie, unmentionables, smalls...) on the internet. But here we are.

Just before we left Sydney, I had a fraction of time left with my sewing machine and wanted to make something small and quick. I'd been meaning to give making my own undies a go for a little while now so off I went.

I used the Ohh Lulu Grace Hipster pattern, mostly because I was rather intrigued at the use of non-stretch woven fabric in the pattern. I have to admit, I don't think I've ever seen a pair of ladies underwear (that weren't boxers) made with non-stretch woven fabric before. Would they actually be comfy?

I made the lavender and white pair as my test muslin. The lavender came from the remnants of my 60s Vogue Wrap dress and the white is some stretchy t-shirt cotton I've had sitting around for a while. This pattern uses a mix of stretch and non-stretch fabrics, so it's perfect for using up those little scraps of fabric that aren't big enough for much else.

I have to be honest here guys, I'm not sure the woven cotton works that well where it's placed in the centre of the pattern. Perhaps I used a heavier fabric than I should have, the pattern does state that any non-stretch woven fabric is suitable, but perhaps something like a cotton lawn would have been better? The problem is that when you hem the, erm, crotch area, it gets a little bulky and well, a little rough.

For my second pair, I used a much softer navy jersey for the centre (scraps left over from my first Vogue 40s Travel dress) and a cream stretch lace for the side inserts. I also cut the crotch area a bit smaller and instead of hemming it as the pattern suggests, I zigzagged stitched on some of the stretch lace I had used for the waist band. I also decided not to overlock the seams to reduce the bulk.

Gosh, who knew making undies could be so complicated?

Personally, I think I'll stick with knits for making underwear for the time being. It's probably that I'm just not used to wearing non-stretchy fabrics down there because as it turns out, I like to move around a lot and need, well, freedom! Though in saying that, I have found another pattern for undies made completely from non-stretch woven fabric. So, maybe I should give them another go...?

Have you guys made undies from non-stretch fabric before? Did they work for you?



Monday, November 25, 2013

Hey everyone, I'm back!

What an amazing 7.5 weeks it has been - I almost can't believe we were away for that long or that we are back already (and that it's nearly Christmas. I'm just not ready for Christmas yet).

We ate far too much pizza and pasta in Italy, and far too many English Cream Teas in the UK, we met some amazing people (including a number of fellow sewists!) and we walked and explored until our feet hurt.

Now I get to unpack the loot I found including vintage knitting and sewing patterns, silks from Goldhawk Road and wools from Edinburgh, vintage glass buttons and vintage skirts... Oh, and I get to catch up with my feedly feed. I could be a while...

I'll be back this week with a few sewing projects I finished before we left that I didn't get a chance to write about. Talk soon,


Hey London!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Calling all London Dwellers!!

Do you want to come fabric shopping with myself and Elisalex (of By Hand London fame)? Well, you can!! We are doing a Goldhawk Road fabric shopping trip next Friday 15th of November at 1pm.

I know it's a school day for many of you, but if you can come, I'd love to meet you. It will be my last day in the UK as David and I will be flying out to Sydney the following day.

There are already a few of us coming (thanks Instagram!), so please send me an email if you are interested in joining the gang -

Looking forward to seeing/meeting you!



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I was going to title this blog post Itchy Feet but I thought that people might think I was referring to the wrong kind of itchy feet, you know, the fungal kind, as opposed to the traveling variety (though I'm sure if you've ever had the fungal kind, you'll know that your feet do get very itchy indeed!).

Tomorrow (!!!) David and I are heading away for 7 weeks of travel adventures. I kept meaning to post about our travel plans months ago but other things just kept popping up. We fly into Brisbane for a few days for a conference that David is presenting at before boarding a plane to Italy.

Words cannot express my excitement to finally make it to Italy. We are spending 2 weeks there, starting out in Rome and then travelling up the country by train to Florence, Padua (to explore Venice and Verona) and then onto Milan.

From there we have a 4 week long road trip around the UK. We are literally travelling all the way up and around the country, visiting as many places as possible with our main stops being Oxford, Birmingham, Lakes District, Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Anglesey, Cotswolds, Brighton and then finally back to London. Phew!

I love travelling and David and I have been very lucky to have visited some amazing places these past few years. I have very fond memories of all of those trips - I've met some amazing people, seen lots of beautiful things and I'm so excited to be doing it again.

If you have any must see places off the tourist track, favourite fabric haunts (I'm going to try to buy fabric from all of the places we go, then, every time I wear or see what ever I've made, it I'll be reminded of that place... which reminds me, I really need to make a few pretty things with my Paris fabric hoard.) or fancy a meet up if there is time, please let me know!

I'm not quite as up to date on writing posts beforehand as I thought I may have been, so these parts may be a bit quiet until I get back in late November. I still have garments I made back in Sydney that I've not had the chance to even take photos of yet, so, we'll see how that goes... :)

If you feel like following along, I'm on Instagram at Jenniferlauren3.


The 40's Travel Dress - Part Deux

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Way back in May I made Vogue 8728, a 40's reproduction knit dress, and it was pretty safe to say that I luuurved this dress. Comfy, cute and easy to wash and wear. So, I made 2 more (this version and a beautiful green wool knit version, post to come) and bought fabric for a fourth. While I still love this dress, I'm starting to wonder if I should branch out of my 40's knit dresses and possibly try something else? Well, maybe, we'll see... Any suggestions?

I won't go into the construction details because I did all that in my original post and did pretty much the exact same things with this version.

The knit I used is a lovely medium weight 98% cotton with a tiny bit of spandex for stretch and up close, is actually a navy and maroon marle. I still have quite a bit of this fabric left and am hopeful I might be able to squeeze a Lady Skater dress out of it (I'm pretty sure this will probably be my next knit dress after seeing this cute version).

These photos are the last set we took in our favourite photo location in Sydney... sigh.

Anyway, thanks so much for all the comments on my Miette cardigan. I've now nearly finished the bodice and will then be starting on the sleeves. So, I guess it's nearly done (well, not really...) and I can start thinking about my next knitted project!

Which brings me to this Pike Place pattern. As I am obviously not cool enough to live in the States, they won't let me buy it. How come you 'Mericans only get access to cool patterns? I really only want a download of the cardigan and not the actual pattern booklet, but it doesn't seem to be available as a digital download (I mean really?!? In this day and age?). Does any body know where I might be able to source a copy all the way down here on the bottom of the planet?

Oh well, at least while I plot how to get my hands on this pattern, there are plenty of other cardigans to be knit.


PS) As some of you saw on Instagram the other day, I've gone cut all ma hur off. It was time...

Knitting a Miette...

Monday, September 23, 2013

I finally started knitting a real proper thing. An actual thing that I can wear that isn't just a tangled mess of dropped stitches and broken dreams.

Okay, that's a little dramatic. But David has been waiting on his scarf for, ooh, I dunno, 5+ years now?

I've started knitting Andi's Miette Cardigan, and I gotta say, this pattern is awesome! If you are a beginner that is wanting to make a real proper thing that looks complicated but actually isn't really, then the Miette is for you.

I definitely consider myself a beginner knitter and this pattern has already taught me so much, I've gotten over my fear of thinking that knitting patterns just look way too complicated for me.  Even though they do look complicated at first glance, they actually aren't as bad as you may think. Once you drill them down and look at them line by line, they are much easier to manage and do start to make sense.

Before I started knitting my Miette, I found an amazing knit along run by Gail. She has posts filled to the brim with useful information for the beginner knitting their first Miette and I found her pattern chart so useful (even though I didn't actually find it until I was well on my way).

I will do a proper post on my Miette when it's finished, but in the mean time, are you on Ravelry? Well, me too! Let's be friends.

Are any of you beginner knitters going to try out the Miette? Or have you already?


PS) Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my new Introducing... feature starting with Melissa from Scavenger Hunt. I've had lots of emails from people already wanting to take part which is amazing!

Remember, if you would like to take part, don't be shy, email me at

Introducing... Melissa from Scavenger Hunt

Friday, September 20, 2013
I've had this idea bubbling away for a little while now and finally have a bit of time to make it a reality. There are so so so many creative bloggy type people popping up on the ol' internets all the time. So many to keep up with and so I've found that I tend to stick with the select few that I've been reading for years.

I have to be honest though, I think I'm sorely missing out on some awesome bloggy goodness because I'm too lazy/time poor to go out and look for more blogs to read. So with that in mind, I'm introducing a new series to my blog interviewing the amazingly talented people behind some of the lesser known (but no less awesome and inspiring) blogs out there to hopefully introduce some new people into your reading repertoire (and I get to make new bloggy friends in the process!).

So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to Melissa from Scavenger Hunt.

Melissa and I really hit it off after we found out we have more than a few things in common besides sewing. She lived in Tonga for a while and has visited many parts of New Zealand (including where I was born) and I lived in California for a year. We both have two cats, love vintage and are trying to figure out the whole knitting thing (I'll have a whole other post on that later...). Melissa is an amazing seamstress and produces beautiful, vintage inspired silhouettes, but don't just take my word for it...

Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog
My name is Melissa and I blog over at Scavenger Hunt. I share my sewing and crafting projects, vintage finds and any other little adventures I have. I discovered the blogging world about 2 years ago and after about a year of avid reading, I finally got up the courage to start my own. I've loved every minute of it - it's been really fun and inspiring to connect with other people who love the same things I do!

I live on the central coast of California with my boyfriend Phillip and our two cats Ruby and Bosley. I work full-time at a day program for adults with disabilities and in my spare time I love to make things and hunt for vintage finds at thrift shops and estate sales. My boyfriend and I have a booth at a local antique mall and I sell vintage patterns and sewing supplies in my Etsy shop. I'm dreaming of starting another shop to sell my handmade creations, but there are only so many hours in the day! I'm hoping to get it up and running by next year.

Why did you start sewing?

My Mom taught me a bit of sewing while I was growing up - she does a lot of quilting. But I really got into it after high school when I took a class at the local community college. I think my main motivation for learning was (and still is) my interest in vintage fashion and my desire to create clothes that reflect my personal style. I've taken a few classes off and on throughout the years, though mostly I've learned through a lot of trial-and-error. Like I said, I discovered the blogging community a couple of years ago and it's opened up a whole new world of knowledge and inspiration.

Do you get up to any other crafty adventures?

Yes! I'm pretty sure there's no craft I wouldn't try! Over the years I've tried everything from leather working to pottery, to painting. Lately I've been dabbling in jewellery making, re-covering thrift store furniture and I'm trying to learn how to knit and crochet! One of my goals over the next couple of years is to learn how to use software to create my own patterns and fabric designs.

What has been your greatest sewing achievement so far?

I think that would be competing in the Super Online Sewing Match on Sew Mama Sew. I was honoured to be chosen and I actually made it all the way to the final challenge! Though I didn't win the grand prize, I was really proud of myself for getting that far and holding my own with so many amazingly talented sewers. It's really inspired me to push myself to do my best and to take my sewing and blogging to a new level!

And have there been any crafty-related disappointments?
Oh my gosh, too many to count! Especially when I first started sewing. I've ripped holes with my seam ripper, cut things out wrong, made garments that were hopelessly small, large, ill-fitting etc. I tend to mess things up less often now, but I still have disappointments every now and again. But I think you just have to keep trying and take each one as a learning experience. Sometimes I'll just set a particularly frustrating project aside and after taking a break for a while, I'll come back to it with new energy and a willingness to figure it out.

Invisible zip, lapped zip or centre zip?
I tend to think invisible looks the nicest.

What is currently on your sewing table?
I'm just starting to work on my dress for the Fall for Cotton sew-a-long. I'm going to try to do some fun things with stripes!

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I'm still trying to figure that out! I majored in Anthropology in college, was a teacher in the Peace Corps, and now I work with adults with disabilities. But now I think that I would really love to find a way to make a living doing something creative.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about learning to sew?
My advice would be to just go for it! Realise that your first work isn't going to be perfect, but you'll gradually get better and better. The internet is a great resource - it seems like there's advice and tutorials for everything so you can get an idea of what to do beforehand. One thing I wish I had done more when I first began to sewing is to slow down. I would get really impatient to be finished so I would often try to go too fast and cut corners. Now I'm realising that when I really take my time, my projects turn out so much better!

Thanks so much for taking part Melissa! Make sure you head on over to her blog to take a peek at a few more of her amazing creations!

Are you a *sewing/knitting/crocheting/baking/vintage/
cat-loving/creative/crafty/awesome owner of a blog? 

Do you want to be featured in an interview and introduced to some of your other bloggy pals? Well then, flick me an email to with a link to your blog and any other tidbits you feel like sharing and we'll arrange an imaginary internet tea and cake date and get to know each other a little better!

Looking forward to hearing from you :)


* You can be any or all of these things :)
Due to the volume of requests, it may take me a little while to get back to you :)

Lightning Stripes Belladone

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I managed to make a few things to show off before my sewing machine hopped aboard a ship and this Belladone is one of them. I made this almost straight after I had finished my Airelle Blouse because I was on a Deer&Doe kick, and because you know, new patterns are exciting! Especially when they are of the birthday present variety.

I used some amazing blue and black diagonal striped cotton, that actually has some one-way stretch in it that I hadn't realised until I went to wash it. I was kind of annoyed, but got my Tim Gunn on and made it work!! Also, I really like the diagonal stripe. I think it's quite unusual for fabrics these days who seem to prefer a vertical or horizontal stripe. Those fabrics are so missing out!




I made the dress almost straight out of the packet, except for a few minor things. I narrowed the shoulders, made the join at the top of the back bigger (I was worried about it possibly stretching out a little due to the stretch in the fabric), made the skirt longer and omitted the skirt hem facing, instead doing a simple rolled hem. I've never actually come across a skirt hem facing before, have you? Due to my time restrictions I opted to leave it off, but I think I'll give it a go with my next Belladone (as there will be a next!).

So, why is it called the Lightning Stripes Belladone?

Well, I thought it would be fun to cut the waistband with the stripe going the other way, making a small lightning strike across the dress (well, I think it looks like a lightning strike...). Also, to break up all that diagonal stripey goodness, I think it needed it, otherwise there would be the possibility of too much stripe (can there be too much stripe?).  And no, I didn't bother lining up the stripes in the waistband, but having looked at these photos, I could have probably tried to line up the main black stripe.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some.





And, there are pockets. A love affair that the modern day seamstress cannot get enough of. Put a pocket on something and it's guaranteed love. Who cares about a ring!

Just put a pocket on it!

So, it's only natural that I love the little diagonal pockets on the skirt, but I some how managed to make mine almost completely invisible by matching up the stripes in the fabric on both sides, very much unintentionally. They are now my magical disappearing pockets. 



Overall, another winner from Deer&Doe. I think this will get a lot of wear this summer, if it ever decides to warm up :)


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