Friday, 13 January 2017

Blackwatch tartan convertible collar shirtdress

Hello all!  I didn't mean to take a break from blogging, but it's just so difficult to get good photos at this time of year.  Consequently I now have two dresses and a pair of jeans that are unblogged, and have now resorted to photos in the spare room.  I mentioned this dress in my last post, and it's (yet another!) shirtdress with a convertible collar. 


I'd been trying to find a dress pattern with a convertible collar for a while to show as an example, and the other day I realised it was under my nose all the time!  I was looking up something about hand stitching in Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing, and had to have a drool over the red Liberty Carline shirtdress.  And what do you know?  It has a convertible collar!!  Who knew!

My dress is made from some Blackwatch Tartan fabric, which I think was from ebay.  The skirt is from good old Simplicity 2444.  I hadn't made that skirt in ages, and fancied something different than a half circle skirt.


I posted about the skirt on Instagram before Christmas, as I was trying a bit of jiggery-pokery with a waist placket.  I had seen some photos on the internet of vintage shirtdresses that button to the waist, and instead of having a side zip, they had a seam down the centre front of the skirt with a little placket at the top to allow the skirt to open out a bit.  

There's a really good example of this on Emmie's blog here.  I had this saved on Pinterest, and have just found another example that I'd saved from Sewaholic's blog here.  You can also sort of see what I mean on this dress that I also had saved.


You can see at the waistband that the placket edge is curving slightly to the left, and the curve extends below the waist seam.  Also, it looks like the placket finishes about level with the bottom of the patch pockets.  I absolutely love this dress; the Pinterest description says it's a Christian Dior dress from 1947-48, and I fully intend to try and make my own version in green.

Anyway, I wanted to replicate the little placket on the skirt centre front, and had a good look at the photos on Emmie's blog.  Long story short - it was a disaster, and I ended up putting in a side zip.  But, nothing ventured - nothing gained, and maybe I'll try it again using the photos from Sewaholic as a reference.


If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have been working on a winter coat.  It's going really well (yey!!), and I'm hoping to get it finished in this coming week.  Then it will definately get bumped up the blogging queue.

Have a great weekend,


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Black and White Polka Dot Convertible Collar Shirt Dress

My love of the convertible collar continues with this dress.  


The fabric is some polka dot cotton sateen from Minerva Crafts that I had orginally bought to make a dress with a pencil skirt, but the buttons inspired me to make a shirtdress.

Said buttons are from Sew N Sew in Belfast.  I can't remember how much they were, but they would have been cheap as chips.  I spotted them (see what I did there!), and thought they would go well with this fabric. 

The bodice is self-drafted with princess seams on the front and darts at the back; the skirt is my good old half circle skirt.  I love how the dots line up down the centre back, especially at the collar.  That was absolutely not planned!!

And pockets - of course!

There's not much more to say about it other than I love this style of collar, and have already made another tartan dress with a convertible collar.  I'm so predictable!!

Hope your christmas has plenty of sewing in it,



Saturday, 26 November 2016

Tartan Anna with a bias cut skirt

Just so you know, I flipping love this dress! 


The bodice is the good old By Hand London Anna bodice, and the skirt is a half circle skirt cut on the bias.  The inspiration was this vintage dress I found on Pinterest.  I wish I'd paid a bit more attention to how the lines are matched on the skirt centre front - oh, well!



The fabric is some polyviscose suiting from a seller called The Textile Centre on ebay.  It's lovely, and has a woolly feel to it; also, it was only £4.49 per metre. 


Everything was cut on a single layer to match up the stripes on the tartan.  I think I could sew an Anna bodice in my sleep, so that bit was easy, but the bias front and back seams took a few goes to get them perfect.  One side of the centre back zip got unpicked three times, but I got there in the end.

Oh, and I also stablised the bias cut edges of the skirt zip seam with some interfacing which worked perfectly.


As already mentioned, I love this dress, and it has been worn a lot already.  The fabric is lovely and cozy for the cold weather.  As far as I am concerned tartan is a neutral, and I may have found some small check Black Watch tartan on ebay, which is being turned into a shirtdress at the minute!

Have a great weekend,


Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Fold Line - Tribe Patterns: Design your own pattern competition - I won!!

Friends, you could have knocked me down with a feather yesterday when Rachel and Kate from The Fold Line emailed me to say that I had won their pattern design competition!  Then they put it on their Instagram feed and my Instagram feed went bananas!!

Thank you so much to everybody for taking the time to vote for me, I appreciate it more than I could ever say.  And thank you also for all the lovely messages on Instagram.

I really didn't expect to win as the other two entries were brilliant.  The coat was such a classic and wearable design, and the shaping the bodice of the other dress was so cleverly done; I loved it.  Rachel and Kate will start the process of creating the pattern in the new year, and I shall let you know when it will be realised.


Normal blogging service shall resume when I have calmed down!!  And thank you once again for your support.  It's been said before, but I shall say it again - Sewists are the nicest people!!

Have a brilliant weekend,

Lynne x   

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Fold Line - Tribe Patterns competition

Have you seen The Fold Line's pattern design competition?  Well, I thought I'd give it a go as I like to monkey around with a bit of pattern drafting, so I entered the design for my last make, and it's only gone and made it to the short list!!  I was beyond excited when I got the email yesterday!

My design is for a 1970s style dress with a princess seam bodice with buttons to the waist.  If it wins, there will be two sleeve options: one that finishes below the elbow with an elastic cuff, and one with a big 70s button cuff with a keyhole placket.


The skirt is an A-line skirt, and the dress has a side zip.  Here is my version below with the shorter sleeves.  The bodice on this isn't a princess seam.  I used viscose for mine, but any drapey fabric would be lovely.  Viscose, Rayon, Polyester, Lightweight Crepe, Cotton Lawn or Silk - if you're feeling fancy!

So I'm going to be very forward and ask you to take a minute to vote for me on The Fold Line website, my design is number three.  Click here for the link.

Thank you in advance,


Sunday, 6 November 2016

70s Style Dress

My love of the 70s is well documented, and I had been wanting to make a dress inspired by some lovely Biba dresses that I spotted on Pinterest.  I would wear the life out of all three of these dresses.


I loved the shape of the neckline on all three, and also the button front on the first two.  I also loved the sleeves on the middle dress, and even made a toile of one.  But it wasn't really wide enough above the cuff, and making it wider would have made it impracticable; also, if I'm wearing long sleeves, I tend to end up pushing or rolling them up anyway. 

So, I drafted a bodice from my block and made a toile with a princess seam on one side, and the pleats from the By Hand London Anna dress on the other.  The pleats won, and I love how the neckline turned out.



The sleeves are widened at the cuff, and gathered at the sleeve head.  I used them before on this dress and this blouse.  The skirt is a self-drafted A-line skirt.

Let's talk about the fabric.  It's some viscose that I bought in the Christmas sales last year from Fabric Godmother.  It's called "Medallione Viscose - Emerald and Royal", is 100% viscose and gorgeous.  But, sweet child of mine, did this stuff shift!!  I stablised it with spray starch, but it seems like when I blinked, it had thrown itself across the room!

So everything ended up getting cut out on a single layer, on the carpet.  This made it easier to get a straight grain, but you can see in the photo above that it shifted a bit on the bodice front right - it's a bit off grain at the bottom of the buttonholes.  Naturally, the other side is perfect underneath!

I love the fabric covered buttons; I hadn't made these before, and they weren't as difficult as I expected.  There is an invisible zip the side seam, and I stablised the edges with some interfacing.  The hem was a bit of a nightmare, and it ended up as a "that'll do rightly".  But it doesn't look to bad.

I feared that this might have turned out to be a wadder, but I really like it!  I have two more lengths of viscose in my stash though, so if anybody has any top tips on working with it, please share!!


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Pinafore Dress and Agnes Tops

We've been very lucky to have some mild weather in Northern Ireland for the last month or so; but it is now, most decidedly, autumn.  So, the summer fabrics have been put away, and autumn and winter sewing plans are being made.  I thought I'd start off easy with a pinafore dress that I have made before.  It is the same as this dress which, coincidentally, was blogged a year ago.

The fabric is the leftovers from my first Deer and Doe Fumeterre skirt (also made a year ago), which is some suiting fabric from My Fabrics.  The only change to the first version is to the collar.  For no apparent reason I decided to make a pointed, instead of a rounded, collar; so that's what I did.


The pattern is a self-drafted bodice and collar, and the skirt is a hack of the Tilly And The Buttons Megan dress.  Everything ended up being cut on a single layer so the stripes could be matched, and also to save fabric for the collar.

Each side of the collar is cut in one piece, so the stripes don't match at the back, but I won't see that when I'm wearing it!

I also made a new Tilly And The Buttons Agnes Top to go with this.  It's some black viscose jersey, also from My Fabrics, and whilst I've made a few black versions, this is the first with the brilliant puffy sleeves - I forgot to take a photo of it on the dress form though.


Then, as I was on a roll, I made two more Agnes' in brown and green to go with the first pinafore; and surprised myself with some actual forward planning!

These two fabrics are also Jersey Viscose from My Fabrics.  The brown is called Light Brown, and the green is called Sage.
Have a great week,