Tag Archive: sewing

Creating Couture Embellishment โ€“ Book Review

This is a beast of a book. In fact, so big and heavy that I couldn’t resist weighing it. I recommend reading this propped up in bed, book resting against your knees, with refreshments to hand as you dream about … Continue reading

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Menโ€™s Shirt Dress Refashion

Refashioning a men’s shirt into a girl’s dress seems like a project that is as old as time. And yet, making something old, new again, never seems to get well…old! ๐Ÿ˜‰  For this men’s shirt refashion, I wanted to retain the key identifying factors of the men’s shirt, like the pocket and the sleeve cuffs,…

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Liesl + Co. Gallery Dress

Lately I have sewn a few garments that I complete, try on, then think YES!  Do you know what I mean?  This is one of those garments.  Something that feels just right – in fabric choice, in pattern choice, in the combination of the two, in fit, and in meeting my style. The Liesl +… Continue reading Liesl + Co. Gallery Dress

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Hot Patterns Swingy Sweaterdress

Maybe you remember the Hot Patterns Swingy Sweatshirt I blogged a month or so ago?  It was really a wearable muslin for this Hot Patterns Swingy Sweaterdress. I was always more attracted to the semi-V neckline option of this pattern, and thought that it would work well with this bold chevron printed knit from Darn… Continue reading Hot Patterns Swingy Sweaterdress

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A Hummingbird Dress

Last summer I made three Hummingbird Dresses for my girls and they wore them all the time. They were the perfect sundresses for our hot Texas summers. The girls continued to wear them into the fall and spring paired with a cardigan. That looked so cute…

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She’ll be a summer girl. She’ll have hair. She’ll have summer friends who know how to be outside. She’ll play tennis and wear dresses and have bare feet, and in the autumn I’ll ditch her because she’s my summer girl!

HOWDY PARTNERS. How is everyone? Mainly a little bit like this, perhaps?

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m not really complaining about good weather. I wish that I didn’t have hay fever and that humidity didn’t make me swell up, but I’m happy about the warm weather, even if it makes it difficult to leave the house. There are numerous ways to cope.

The last time I wrote, we were about to go on holiday to Paris. We went, and it was awesome. We had ten days and were staying in the 17th arrondissement, in a beautiful Haussmann apartment next to Parc Monceau. I did a little bit of fabric shopping and we did some cultural and touristy stuff (we went to the Pompidou Centre and to the Musee de Montmartre) but mainly we spent the time pottering around, drinking champagne and people-watching. It was bliss.

Here’s me with a glass of Ruinart and a Cafe Gourmand on the Ile de la Cite, living my best life.

We had ten days of relaxation and beautiful weather and then we came home to horrendous rain, a General Election and the fucking DUP.  Despite having lost my faith in the Labour Party as a result of their generally quite crap performance as opposition, I was impressed and encouraged by their campaigning and it was an easy decision to vote Labour again. My constituency had been Tory since 2010, and our MP was a total no-mark waste of space, so I was genuinely delighted that the seat went red.

My dress let everyone know how I intended to vote.

Everything following the General Election has been pretty strange for a Northern Irish person living in England. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s been enraging hearing English people engage with Northern Irish politics at this stage in the game. It’s certainly been annoying to see people horrified at the idea of a coalition with the DUP on the basis of their policies (homophobic, sexist, dinosaur-denying) because this shit is nothing new. It’s just that it’s only of interest to people here when it affects them.

I’m not a nationalist, but that’s the background I come from. I grew up Catholic in a border village in Northern Ireland. I have little interest in a United Ireland, but I consider myself to be both Irish and Northern Irish rather than British. I live in England and I have no real intention of moving (although ten days in Paris made the daydream of a Parisian life even more appealing) but increasingly I feel like a stranger here, and never more keenly than when English people discuss Northern Ireland as if the Troubles were all of our own making and not, you know, as a direct result of England’s colonialist past. It’s been hard not to feel enraged all the time, I have to be honest, and difficult to know what to do with those feelings. I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear it if you try to talk politics and I’m sure that some of you won’t be comfortable with me talking about it here, but I’m not about to ignore it either. As the situation currently stands, the DUP – who have repeatedly blocked equal marriage in Northern Ireland, who oppose the Good Friday Agreement, whose leader is implicated in a scandal costing the Northern Irish taxpayer £400 million, whose intransigence caused the collapse of the power-sharing agreement and means that Northern Ireland still has no government – potentially have a stranglehold on a weakened minority government. There’s a reason that ‘May you live in interesting times’ is a curse, and we’re certainly living through those.

But anyway, you come for the dresses, I’m sure, so here is a dress. In fact, it’s the dress I wore to go and vote, and I made it… I think at the end of March. I took these photos in April, I think, and for some reason I really hated them. Looking at them now though, they’re not so bad:

Second Time Around dress – Butterick B6333 with a half-circle skirt, in Liberty Carline lawn, worn with Swedish Hasbeens ‘Suzanne’ sandals

ANOTHER B6333. Whatever, not sorry. I don’t think I have any more of these to blog about so next time you might get some fucking variety up in here (well, what passes for variety around here). Me oh my, I do love Carline, and my first shirt-dress was a M6696 in the red Carline poplin. I made it a few years ago now and the fit wasn’t brilliant, so I don’t wear it much. I still have it, because I’m oddly sentimental like that, but I don’t wear it. I chanced upon some of the lawn on ebay at some point last year and bought it. I didn’t have a shirt-dress in mind for it, but I was so happy with the How Can You Leave Me On My Own dress that I decided another one was in order.

I considered underlining this dress as Liberty tana lawn is so light and drapey, and I wondered if a bit of structure would be a good thing in a shirt-dress, but I decided against it in the end. This print is large enough and dark enough that it isn’t see-through, and I didn’t want to lose the essential coolness and breathability of the fabric. I think in these pictures I am wearing the dress with a slip as it was a little chilly, but I wore this dress in Paris without a slip (because it was so hot) and didn’t have any issues with it.
I made some self bias-binding to finish the armholes and face the hem. FUCK. ME. I think it might have been the most tedious thing I have ever done, and I regularly spend whole days checking numbers on giant spreadsheets. I mean, it was worth it (and I have loads left over) but the tedium of it made me angry. There are lots of tedious sewing jobs that I enjoy – I am one of those people who genuinely enjoys hand sewing and I even like sewing on buttons (I don’t like tracing, though, I’m not a pervert) but this was a bit too much even for me.
I love the dress and have worn it loads since I made it. In fact, I wore it to work yesterday! It came to Paris with me, and it was perfect for the very hot weather we enjoyed there.
Here I am, wearing it in Parc Monceau…
...and later the same day at Trocadero, with a minor monument in the background
I think this iteration of a Carline shirt-dress has a slightly more casual feel than the others I’ve made, but it is so comfortable and cute to wear. It’s been a winner. 
I don’t always explain where the names of my dresses come from. This one is obvious, and it’s also named after one of my top five episodes of Inspector Morse. For the sake of completeness, here is my list:
Second Time Around – the sadness of Kenneth Colley
Dead On Time – Oxford’s Next Top Widow

Death Is Now My Neighbour – Evil Richard Briers Is Now My Favourite

Deceived By Flight – Lewis’ hoose-painting leave interrupted by cricket
Masonic Mysteries – mysteries solved with inferior opera
Goodnight!
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NEW MIMI G PRE-FALL PATTERNS! SIMPLICITY 8426 + 8427

HI DARLINGS! I feel like I have been gone forever but you all know that every year starting in late May my posts are not as frequent because the summer conference takes up all our time but it is over now and I am back! I will have recap pics of the conference for you […]

The post NEW MIMI G PRE-FALL PATTERNS! SIMPLICITY 8426 + 8427 appeared first on Mimi G Style.

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Tropical seersucker capris

Cross two things off my summer sewing to-do list: work out a hidden inseam pocket, and sew capris. Done and done! Frankly, I’m elated about these capris, even though they just appear to be a simple project at first glance. And technically they kind of are, but they signify a… read more »

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Two fit + flare dresses

Again, I couldn’t help but make two of the same pattern!  This time the pattern is the Bronx dress from SBCC, with some fit alterations (armhole redo, back width increase, sleeve redraft).  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I just love the fit and flare shape.  What I especially love about this dress, though, is that I can sew it in way less than 2 hours, from cutting the fabric

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Frolic fabric blog tour

It’s no secret that I love sewing with knit fabrics and it’s wonderful to see them feature in so…

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Draped in Vogue 1442 – A New Summer Dress Classic

Vogue 1442I love this dress.  Sandra Betzina is so right!  This is a terrific summer dress.  It’s rated as easy, but I had to do some tweaking before I was satisfied with the shape of the side and the drape.  There is only four piec…

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Liberty Of London Fabric Vlog

  Phewee! It’s been unbelievably hot in London today, so I decided that if I was trapped in the house I’d teach myself a bit of Youtube. Seriously, laptop trumped sewing machine. Here’s a video about my latest fabric shopping … Continue reading

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Lekala 4590 tunic/dress

I’m about 10kg into the overweight category, and most of that is firmly deposited around my middle, especially on my front.  This is where Lekala patterns are a godsend.  Enter Lekala 4590. Lekala patterns are ordered to your measurements.  How fabulous is that!  It does take a little while to figure out their ease –… Continue reading Lekala 4590 tunic/dress

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One Piece Collar Tutorial Part II with McCall 7575

Today’s tutorial will illustrate how to actually make the one piece collar. I used McCall 7575 collar, which was originally designed to cut two collar pieces (upper and lower) to form the shirt collar. I folded the original collar in half, copied the…

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Evolution of a Pattern

I’ve been asked several times when teaching classes questions like “how do you come up with your designs?”, so I

The post Evolution of a Pattern appeared first on Noodlehead.

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Style Arc Maxine maxi dress

I have an extensive fabric stash.  Much of the fabric in it could maybe be described as vintage – it dates back to the 1980s.  And no, I haven’t been hoarding it since then – lots has been given to me by people destashing (especially friends’ mothers when downsizing their living arrangements).  This piece of… Continue reading Style Arc Maxine maxi dress

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Draped denim day dress

Here it is; the culmination of my draping class at WVC!  When I say draping class, the assumption is that there are going to be, like, a drape of fabric somewhere on the garment, but really draping is just another way to draft a pattern.  Many of the styles we did as exercises were not “drapey” at all, since the method lends itself well for creating perfectly fitted garments.

It looks very

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Grainline Farrow Dress

This is the Grainline Farrow Dress pattern that I sewed a sample for my new class at the Cloth Pocket. I wanted a dress pattern that would be simple enough for true beginner garment sewists. Beginners often have a difficult… Continue Reading

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Happy Friday + Kโ€™s Grad Dress

Happy Friday! I tell you, these days I can’t tell what’s up and what’s down with all that’s going on. There are daily events at K’s school, work deadlines are looming and it’s dawning on me that my dream of sewing up a whole new wardrobe for my Japan trip is of the pipe variety. We […]

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Another Style Arc Nina

This is a repeat – well, you knew that from the title of this blog post, didn’t you!  I think it’s the fourth time that I’ve sewn the Style Arc Nina cardigan. The pattern description on the webpage isn’t especially forthcoming.  Fabulous waterfall front cardigan.  That’s all it says at the moment, but I notice… Continue reading Another Style Arc Nina

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Style Arc Beth pants

I’ve sewn a number of different Style Arc stretch woven pants patterns now.  It intrigues me how they manage to alter the draft for each one!  Many look similar, but there are slight differences in how they look, and in how they feel on.  I wear the Elle, Barb and Linda pants quite a lot,… Continue reading Style Arc Beth pants

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DIY tie front cut-out dress or swim coverup refashion

Instructions: *Try to find a shirt thats a little thicker so you it isn’t too see through! 1.Seam rip our cut off any pockets sleeves and collars. 2.Turn the piece inside out and line up a skirt on top plenty of room all around because the skirt half will be more A-line shape and we

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Cozy Hooded Bath Towel DIY

My kids have had some favorite animal-themed hooded bath towels for years that were looking their age, so…

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Summer Traverse

Summertime! It’s only the first part of June and we’re already experiencing a heat wave here in the midwest. I

The post Summer Traverse appeared first on Noodlehead.

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The Value of Just-For-Fun Projects

There are pros and cons to making your creative passion into a career. The obvious pro is that…

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Tilly and the Buttons Coco Top

I’m always trying to squeeze garments out of pieces of fabric that are too small.  I had some fabric leftover from my Colette Moneta dress, which I decided to get a Coco top out of to wear under one of my many dungaree dresses!  I had to get creative with the cutting layout as usual, […]

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True Bias Southport Dress

Summer is in full swing here in Texas. Time for some sun dresses! This is the Southport Dress by True Bias Patterns. I’m a little late on the Southport bandwagon but I’m so glad I hopped on. This is a great… Continue Reading

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Style Arc Alissa knit dress

I am trying really hard to catch up with blogging.  Although there are still quite a few things left to blog from last year, I’ve decided to try to get this year’s garments up here in preference.  If I can keep this rate of blogging up I might be up to date by the end… Continue reading Style Arc Alissa knit dress

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More Genoa totes

I now feel that most sewers I know have made at least one Genoa tote.  It’s no wonder – such a satisfying pattern, with such a practical and pleasing result! The pattern description says: Designed with denim in mind, the Genoa Tote borrows it’s name from the Italian city, where the first denim trousers were made.… Continue reading More Genoa totes

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Another Mini Ogden and a patternless skirt

A few months ago I sewed Clare a True Bias Mini Ogden cami and a patternless skirt.  So here they are! The cami was sewn from gold foiled linen and that stuff creases like all hell and shows every single fold line. This had been ironed, but then folded and put away in her drawer… Continue reading Another Mini Ogden and a patternless skirt

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