Tag Archive: dress

Completed: Deer & Doe Réglisse Dress

I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve made a pretty dress. To be fair, it’s also been a long time since I’ve felt like wearing a pretty dress – something about the cold and winter just makes me want to dress in head-to-toe black, and only wear pants (very, very stretchy pants, […]

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How to make a diy ruffle sleeve with open bow back (bridesmaid dress idea!) VIDEO

Supplies + Instructions: This feminine dress showcases pretty gathered sleeves with an open back tied together with an oversized bow. This dress is perfect for church or something special like a wedding or it can even be a bridesmaid dress. *You’ll need a longer dress- preferably one that has a zipper down the center back.

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Vietnam, and did I actually wear what I made?

So, it’s two weeks since I’ve returned to reality from what turned out to be a FANTASTIC holiday in Vietnam!  After reading a not-so-positive travel biography before I visited I have to admit I was expecting Vietnam to be terrible, really hard goi…

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The Vogue Cocktail Hour Sew-Along! – Floral Brocade V1537

Today it’s my turn to share with you the outfit I’ve made for the Vogue Cocktail Hour Social Sew-Along in aid of The Eve Appeal! I really enjoyed taking part in their Big Vintage Sew-Along last year and am delighted to be one of the bloggers spreading …

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Using Layers and Sewing a Dress-Based Capsule

When I first heard of wardrobe capsules, it was in the context of minimalism and travel. You know… cutting down your wardrobe and traveling the world for three weeks with four articles of clothing, looking fresh and funky every morning. The stuff of Project 333 and every single ‘Classic White Shirt Wardrobe’ magazine article ever…

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Pride and Prejudice Preparation

Every year, I get together with one of my best friends and we spend a weekend together watching Pride and Prejudice (BBC, 1995), stuffing our faces with cheese, and drinking lots of wine.  We started this in 2004 I think, and since then we’ve both moved around quite a lot, changed careers, got married, and […]

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DIY very EASY dress to jumpsuit or romper refashion

Watch: Daniel Wellington Make this jumpsuit from almost any dress or cut the legs short and make it into a romper perfect for Summer! As I was sewing this together I was shocked with how easy this was. And if you are lucky enough to find a dress that already has a zipper then its

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Start Living…

“Let’s start living and dressing like every day is an occasion because it is!”          Julia Alarcon. Lialia I have a true friend whose life has been turned upside down recently: she is remarkable; she is shining … Continue reading

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Pattern Review: SBCC Tai Dress

Pattern name: Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick (SBCC) Tai Dress The Tai is designed for wovens, and is a sleeveless princess-seamed dress with back waist darts, flared pleated skirt, optional skirt lining and in-seam pockets. The neckline is finished with facing, while the armholes have a bias-faced finish. The Tai has two views, a scoop neck…

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Pattern Testing: Eve Dress from Sew Over It

I am pattern testing much less nowadays as it can be really time consuming when you do it throughly and to be brutally honest my sewing queue is so long that I’m never short of things that I’d rather be sewing! However there are some things that I just…

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Two summer shirtdresses: M6891

I was definitely not kidding when I said I tend to sew up a pattern twice!  Since I made this two dresses just days apart, I thought I would post them together 🙂

The pattern is McCall’s M6891.  It’s a good, classic shirtdress style with a convertible collar and pockets.  I love the full skirt, waistline seam, and ungathered back (why do designers do that??). Since it’s a Palmer and

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adventures in patterndrafting // mystery fabric contest 2017

This dress was kind of a beast. It was unwieldy and not very nice at times. It also kind of had a mind of its own but I mostly managed to wrangle it into submission with a lot of hand-stitching. But let’s start at the beginning. I had two main sources of inspiration for this […]

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The Parker Collection Dress – and bonus fluted cuff pattern piece!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I am so excited to be writing this post today! Some of you may have already spotted the latest release from Tribe Patterns (the pattern line from the ladies at The Foldline); The Parker Collection. The line is designed by members of the sewing community and as the name gives away, this on has been designed by me! It is the second Tribe Pattern (the first being the Billie Collection designed by Rachel from House of Pinheiro). Rachel and Kate got in touch with me back in the autumn last year to see if I would be interested in working with them and of course I jumped at the chance! Designing my own pattern line has never been an ambition of mine and this remains a total one off but when the opportunity presented itself to work with two incredibly talented ladies offering to bring my design idea to life I’d have been silly to say no. It has been an amazing experience and is such a thrill to see the finished pattern. Rachel and Kate have done a fantastically thorough job and I can’t wait to see what you guys make with it!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

There is so much to say about the design I don’t really know where to start. I was keen to come up with a garment that I would be excited to sew and wear and provided a canvas for creativity so everyone could have some fun with making it their own. The bohemian, seventies style has always appealed to me and I’m delighted that it’s so on trend at the moment. I was inspired by both contemporary designs and the lines of some of the late 1960s/early 1970s patterns in my vintage collection. I gathered up all of my favourite elements and had some fun drawing out different combinations. After pinging some ideas back and forth with the Foldline ladies we settled on a combination of dress and top which I adore. The panelled design provides opportunity for mixing prints, colours and textures and the pattern comes with the option for a plain sleeve or additional lantern cuff. Sleeves are huge this season (in some cases literally!) and one of my favourite elements of seventies style is the dramatic swoosh of a wide cuff so Rachel has drafted a bonus fluted cuff pattern piece which you can download for free here!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I wanted the design to provide a little bit of a challenge in the sewing as the projects I can get my teeth stuck into are the ones I enjoy the most. None of the steps should prove too tricky for anyone with a bit of sewing under their belt but the variety of techniques should keep more experienced sewers entertained. It’s not a quick sew as there are quite a few pattern pieces involved but if you can sew a princess seam, an invisible zip and set in a sleeve you can keep it quite straightforward. You can also opt to make the design more complex by adding embroidery to the centre front and back panels or including the lace insertion and trim. The instructions include step by step guidance on how to add lace into the seam between the lantern cuff and sleeve pieces on your machine and I think this may be my favourite thing about the pattern. It’s a feature that came up again and again in my inspiration pictures and I’m so delighted that we were able to include it. I’d love to play around with inserting lace into the seams between skirt and bodice panels and even maybe the waist seam.

Parker Collection Top from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

You can recreate Rachel’s amazing embroidered version of the top with the embroidery template which is free to download from the Foldline pattern page or get creative and freestyle your own. The centre front and back panels are faced which not only provides a lovely clean finish to the dress but also makes them ideal to embroider as the back of your stitching is completely enclosed and protected. There are also ‘colour me in’ line drawings of both variations available to download which I’m definitely going to be playing with to plan future print mixed and colour blocked versions.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I wanted the design to be versatile and am really happy that I can see it being worn in every season. As I first came up with the idea in the autumn I was imagining it in rich, dark florals but now all I can think about is mixed pastel prints for spring. I’d love one in a fresh white breezy cheesecloth for summer and in winter I’d wear it in a bold solid colour layered with warm tights. Made up in different fabrics the lines of the design I hope will remain somewhat timeless and the dress in particular is something I can see myself making various iterations of for years to come as it is the kind of dress that has remained a staple in my wardrobe since my teens.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

The dress I’m wearing here is actually my very first test of the dress (so please excuse the horrible pattern matching around the waist and slightly mismatched seams!). When collecting inspiration for the design at the very start of the process something I was continually drawn to was the mixing of two or more prints in one garment. It can be tricky to do but I started safe with both of these small prints on a black base and love how it has turned out. Both fabrics I bought ages ago from Maggie’s fabric stall in Lewisham who stocks end of roll high street dressmaking fabrics at the bargain price of £1-3/m. Perfect for testing. It’s almost a shame I’ve fallen so in love with the mixture of prints on this dress as they are the particularly nasty type of lightweight poly georgettes that I tend to run away from! The floral is slightly softer with a texture to it but the other is not so nice. I turned a blind eye to the quality and poly content at the time as I thought they would be ideal to test how the print mixing worked but now wish I’d held out for a viscose! However, worn with a cotton slip they’re not unpleasant to wear and as I knew from previous experience that these fabrics would pretty much melt when touched with a hot iron I kept it cool and actually had surprisingly little trouble handling either of them.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I recommend reasonably lightweight fabrics with a nice drape for this design. You want some nice movement in the panels of the skirt and top as well as the sleeves and the cut of the bodice is quite relaxed so doesn’t require a fabric that will provide structure. Viscose challis, crepes, soft linens, cotton lawns and voiles are all great choices as would be light to mid-weight silks if you want a more luxurious feel. As long as you keep in mind the movement of the dress the world is your oyster really! If you are going to do some embroidery you’ll want something fairly tightly woven and not super lightweight for those panels to make your life a bit easier and also support the weight of the floss.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I used some black cotton lace I bought in John Lewis to insert in my cuff seams and also trim the hem. My lace had one straight edge and one scalloped which I made use of on the hem but whether yours has straight of scalloped edges is entirely your preference. The pattern recommends 40mm wide lace as this is the most straightforward way to keep your inserted pieces at an even width following the technique in the instructions (leaving you with about 1cm of visible lace) but if you’re happy to get a little creative you can use whatever width lace you like. Mine was just 2cm as I only wanted a hint of it around the hem and I simply used a very small seam allowance when attaching it to the cuffs. As this dress was a test of the pattern the method I used is actually different to the final instructions and you will end up with just one line of stitching visible just above and below the lace rather the two lines you can see in my photos.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I cut a size 8 which is pretty much spot on my measurements and am really delighted with the fit. I usually like quite a close fit around the waist and this has 4″ of ease but having that room in the bodice provides that that relaxed, bohemian, seventies feel whilst the princess seams still flatter the curves of the body. I like the shape through the back and bust and the shoulders fit neatly. It’s very comfortable and I absolutely have that seventies vibe of feeling free in a glamorous way while wearing it! I did shorten the skirt by about 3″. I’m 5ft3″ so usually end up taking a little off but I wanted more of a mini vibe with these prints. I also shortened the sleeve slightly, which is again a normal alteration for me but I know the instructions for the lace insertion have changed since then so the amount might well be different next time.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I love the height and shape of the neckline; I think it’s really flattering exposing the collar bone. The slit of the dress is slightly longer than the top and you have the option to add in a tie to hold this together or just for added decoration. I’ve used just two narrow pieces of ribbon on this version but will definitely be trying out some tassels on the next. You can either make your own from embroidery floss or if you live in London I’ve spotted a great variety of colours in just the right size in both Fan New Trimmings and Kleins. I had initially envisioned it with short tassels but the long ones on this dress are ace!

Being more creative with my sewing and trying out adding trims, unique details and mixing fabrics was one of my goals for 2017 and creating this design has inspired me to do just that. There are a whole host of ideas I want to play around with; I’ve had to start a Pinterest board to keep track of them all! First up is an embroidered cheesecloth version of the top but I’m interested in trying a version with sheer sleeves and also think it would be delicious in a rich silk/viscose velvet…perhaps lengthened to a maxi for some serious seventies glamour. If I can muster up the patience I might try a hand-sewn fagoted seam rather than the lace insertion technique. I can foresee a summer wardrobe with enough Parkers to wear every day of the week.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Mixed Print Parker Collection Dress from Tribe Patterns at The Foldline designed by Fiona Parker

I hope the design inspires you to get sewing as much as it does me and that you enjoy making your own Parkers! Thanks so much to Rachel and Kate for the hard work they put into getting the pattern just right and for giving me the opportunity to work with them. It’s a dream I didn’t even know I had come true and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turned out! 

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Made by Me: Heavenly Helmi

If you’ve been reading this blog a while you’ll probably know that I’ve mentioned several times that I don’t like shirt dresses.  On me, that is; I love them on other people.Why then, was I compelled to make one recently?I don’t know, but I have t…

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Dotty Viscose Nancy Dress

This little number is one of those that once finished went straight into regular wardrobe rotation. In fact I think I hemmed it one evening, wore it the very next day and it has been on at least one day a week since. It’s the Nancy Dress which was the January PDF pattern release from Sew Over It and I am absolutely loving the comfortable yet classy feeling swingy style. If you’re on the fence about PDFs I do recommend trying a Sew Over It one as I find them to be well thought out with not much wastage of paper and the pages print a little of the next one in the margin so they are really easy to line up as you put it together. In the interests of full disclosure Alex sent this over to me free of charge as a surprise thank you for regularly testing for them and including them in my pattern round ups but I REALLY wanted to sew this up anyway and the free nature of the pattern hasn’t influenced my opinions at all.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

Viscose is one of my favourite fabrics for dressmaking. It can be a little tricky to work with but you can’t beat the drape and comfort and I love the way it feels cool and smooth against the skin. Unfortunately it can be difficult to track down in interesting and wearable prints so whenever I find some I pounce on it! This little gem I picked up from Maggie’s fabric stall in Lewisham which is a fairly reliable source for contemporary prints and fabrics as she stocks end of high street lines. If you live anywhere close by I very much recommend a visit, it’s usually pretty entertaining too! She’s based just outside Rolls and Rems and is usually just around on weekdays and the odd Saturday but check out her Facebook page for updates. I think this particular viscose was £2/m as most of the stall is; a bargain you can’t beat for the quality.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

I highly recommend using a viscose for Nancy as you need the luscious drape and light weight to make the most of the swing of the style. Although actually making this up in a fabric with a lot of body could be really interesting and create a very fashion forward look! I adore this style but have found it a little tricky in the past. I have tried on many a similar RTW dress in my time only for them to look frankly quite maternity. I think the key to this pattern’s success where other dresses have failed is down to a number of clever design elements. Firstly the slim fit of the shoulder and sleeves balances the volume under the bust. If you had a raglan or dropped shoulder seam you’d loose all shape of the body and the overall effect would be too tent like.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

Secondly the empire line waist seam running across the back means it fits fairly closely across the upper back which is much more flattering than the shape hanging loose from the shoulders. It skims your figure and gives you a little shape.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

Finally most of the flared shape is provided by the front side panels which means less volume at the centre front and also a closer fit around the bust as you can see in the photo above. The shape swings out from below the bust not above it as it does with most trapeze dresses. These panels are an interesting challenge to sew, especially in shifty viscose. You can’t see it very well in this print but you have a fairly tight corner to contend with. It is tricky and requires a bit of patience but the instructions and photos make it as straightforward and accurate as possible.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

The instructions are as great as I have come to expect throughout in fact; telling you exactly when to stay-stitch, finish seams and how to press. The only thing I did differently was to add in the step of under stitching my neckline binding before turning it under. This is a tip I picked up from Grainline Studio instructions and proves to be a pretty failsafe method for getting a clean edge. Getting even binding in a viscose like this can be difficult as it really stretches on the bias and shifts about so the width distorts along the length. Extra steps like under-stitching can really help.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

One aspect I really enjoyed constructing was the centre back opening. I love this slit feature and have never tried this type of fastening before. The construction method gives you a really lovely clean finish that’s enjoyable to sew. If I’m honest now I’ve worn it more than a handful of times I’ve noticed that the hook and eye at the top is giving me a little trouble and keeps popping open when I’ve been wearing a cardigan or jacket on top as there is not enough tension around the neckline to keep it in place. I think I might change it to a button and elastic loop or I do have some scraps of the fabric left so I could get fancy and make a rouleau loop to match!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

The circular nature of the hem combined with the malleable viscose meant it dropped all kind of wonky! The side panels in particular drop more than the rest of the dress as that edge is on the bias. I left it hanging for four days before hemming in the end and then made good use of my dress form to level things off. I think a shorter length works best to balance the volume of this style and after some deliberation cut 1″ off the shortest point of my wonky hem and turned it up by 1/4″ then 1/2″. I used the recommended 1″ hem on the cuffs.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

I cut between the size 8 and 10 as I always do with Sew Over It patterns and can’t fault the fit, although of course all you really have to worry about with this one is the shoulders and lengths! I decided to use the version with the lower neckline as I thought a bit of exposed skin at the neck wouldn’t hurt to balance out the quantity of fabric in the lower portion. I easily got it out of 2m of my 150cm wide viscose and wasn’t being too careful so probably could have done with less at a push. I already had the hook and eye and thread in my stash so at £4 for a new dress I can’t complain! I see plenty more of these in my future if Maggie keeps me supplying me with viscose!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Dotty Viscose Sew Over It Nancy Dress

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Pattern Review: Simplicity 8345 Plus Size Dress by Ashley Nell Tipton

I was asked to review a new pattern from Simplicity, #8345, a new one from Ashley Nell Tipton. Simplicity describes the pattern as follows: “Ashley Nell Tipton bodycon dresses are sized for stretch knits… One and two-piece dresses have optional color or fabric blocking to flatter your curves. Straps are designed in two widths and…

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Textured check Bronx dress

I have a thing, apparently.  If I like a pattern, I make it at least twice, in quick succession.  There are many examples, but this is the most recent instance; the Bronx cowl dress (see first version, here).

Clearly, I love this pattern.  More specifically, I love this silhouette and look for me.  A fit and flare dress just works with my every day life.  And again, for those that think

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The Farrow Dress by Grainline Studio in Kaufman Metallic Linen

Farrow Dress by Grainline Studio // Kaufman Essex Metallic Linen // Handmade by Closet Case PatternsHeavens alive I love a shift dress, especially when they boast cool details or an interesting architectural silhouette. The latest

You’re reading The Farrow Dress by Grainline Studio in Kaufman Metallic Linen by Closet Case Patterns. If you’ve enjoyed this post you can also follow us on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook.

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Green Christian Dior inspired dress

Happy Paddy’s Day everybody!  Hope you’ve had a great day, I’ve certainly enjoyed my free day off work courtesy of St P, and have been doing a bit of sewing.  But more of that later, as I thought today would be a good day to show you my new green dress.

I mentioned this before in this post, and here is the inspiration photo.  I found this on Pinterest and the description said it’s a Christian Dior dress from 1947-48.
 

Source

What really caught my eye was the princess seams, and the neckline.  The princess seams come down from the shoulder instead of the armhole, and it looks like the neckline curves out in a slight V, instead of meeting at the middle of the front neck.  The princess seams were easy to draft from my block, and I made the same princess seams on the back so they match up at the shoulder seam.
 
The neckline was a bit more tricky, as it was difficult to know just how much to take off the front neckline.  Three toiles later (!!) I was finally happy with it.  If you feel like trying this yourself, I shorted the neckline by 1 cm at the centre front (so that’s 2 cms overall).  Then I marked where I wanted the top button on the centre front, and drew a diagonal line between the two points.  The collar was drafted using the partial roll collar from the Craftsy class “Pattern Making Design: Collars and Closures”.


The skirt is from good old Simplicity 2444, and I put a zip and pockets in the side seam using my own tutorial here.  
 
The sleeves are just short sleeves with a cuff, and I added a safari tab too.  Turning the safari tab out the right way turned out to be tricky!  But my metal seem gauge came to the rescue, as I was able to use it to push the seem out as I pressed it.
 

 

My fabric and buttons are from Sew N Sew in Belfast.  I was in the shop one day last June, and spotted a pile of bolts of fabric on the floor.  There was a cardboard sign on the top saying it was £3.50 per metre.  I eyeballed this green, and also a lovely rich deep purple.  I can’t remember exactly what the fabric is, the sign said a poly-something but I’ve forgotten –  I was too excited at the loveliness and the price.  In fact, I actually asked if it really was only £3.50 a metre, and asked for two metres of each before anybody could change their minds!
 
The buttons are also from Sew N Sew, and I can’t remember how much they were, but maybe about 25p each. 
 

I love how this dress turned out, but my favourite thing is the colour.  I think I need more green dresses in my life, and therefore more green fabric…
 
If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I’m currently working on a jacket.  It’s Butterick 4610, and I mentioned it in this post.  But I have plenty to say about it, so it can wait till next time.
Have a great weekend,
Lynne
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Fit and Flare Brown Bows Dress – Butterick 6280

Spring is almost here! What better way to start the season than with dress.  By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that my favorite thing to make is a dress. Last month I decided to “line them up” for the Spring/Summer sewing party that I scheduled with …

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Notes on A Pattern – Vogue 1314 and McCall 7542 Getting the Most Out of Your Patterns

Happy Friday everyone!Are you getting the most out of your patterns?  Do you only use a pattern once, then discard it? Do you buy multiple copies of the same one?  How big is your pattern collection? I’ve been collecting patterns for over thr…

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Tilly and the Buttons Rosa dress

Hiya. I’m aware that this is the third post in a row about a TATB pattern, but what can I say? I dig her style, even though her patterns don’t always work out for me (Francoise and Bettine, I’m looking at you).  The Rosa pattern was a gift from my sister-in-law for Christmas, and the […]

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…and a dress

And here is the last item of my early February sewing spree: It’s a dress!To be precise, it is a dress made from the same fabric I used waaaaaay back, for my last dress of 2010. I still have that dress although it is looking rather worn by now. It is l…

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Simplicity 1366 – as a dress

I absolutely LOVE my Simplicity 1366 top – so much that I wore it for three out of four days last week (with washes in between of course). Whenever I love a top I go straight to “can it be lengthened to a dress” which is of course what happened here. U…

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Sewing for holidays

I’m off to Vietnam for two weeks in April. The tour I’m on goes from Hanoi down to Saigon – and it’s going to be pretty hot and humid as it’s the beginning of their very hot season.  I do have quiet a few casual dresses for summer, most of them sl…

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My Handmade Wedding Dress

This is certainly the most personal post I’ve ever written, but since I made it, let’s talk about my wedding dress! A little bit of context first: I got married…

The post My Handmade Wedding Dress appeared first on Patrones de costura, tutoriales e ideas | Pauline Alice.

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DIY denim grommet lace-up dress refashion

Spice up any simple denim dress by adding a split neck with grommet lace-up detail….especially fun when its refashioned from an oversized outdated number! And bonus, for me, hammering in the grommet was a bit therapeutic. shoes/sunglasses: target Instructions: 1.First, grab an oversized dress and a shift or boxy dress you love the fit of.

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Valentino Inspired Dress – Fancy Mood Floral Roses Jacquard and Simplicity 1011

Plain and simple:  there is nothing like a beautiful piece of fabric.  Just the mere fact that it is gorgeous makes you imagine how proud you feel to wear something made of it. This is the case with Mood’s Black Malaga Floral Roses Jacquard a…

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Knipmode dress #19 2/2015

This is my first item for the #Knipmodechallenge2017, I am a little behind as I should make every month at least one pattern from the KnipMode magazines I have ( and I have a lot plus a subscription).The pattern is from issue 2/2015, dress #19, also as…

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Knipmode dress #19 2/2015

This is my first item for the #Knipmodechallenge2017, I am a little behind as I should make every month at least one pattern from the KnipMode magazines I have ( and I have a lot plus a subscription).The pattern is from issue 2/2015, dress #19, also as…

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