Brigitte Dress Simple Sew Patterns

Brigitte Dress Simple Sew Pattrens

The Brigitte Dress Pattern was a free pattern with the first issue of Love Sewing magazine. I loved the 60s feel of the dress but it took me a while to make. I got the fabric from Fabric Land in Brighton, looking for a different kind of fabric but couldn’t just leave this one in the shop.

Brigitte Dress Simple Sew Patterns

I cut a straight size 8 and then added the blue cotton at the bottom. This is a left over from my second Delphine skirt (not blogged). I made the sleeves longer and added cuffs from the same left over fabric, which happens to be exactly the same colour as my favourite pair of shoes.

Brigitte Dress Simple Sew Patterns Cuffs

I used the Grainline Archer Sew-Along for the cuffs and the sleeve plackets. The mother of pearl buttons are from my stash.

Brigitte Dress Simple Sew Patterns

I didn’t use an invisible zipper as per the pattern instructions, because I didn’t have one. I failed on the insertion part and whatever I tried afterwards wouldn’t resolve that wrinkly problem in the back, but after a few attempts, I gave up as I didn’t want to damage the fabric completely. I also lined the dress (I forgot to take pics) because I would like to wear it with tights and the cotton is a no, no for this purpose. In general, it’s an easy make, the pattern instructions are very clear and I’m definitely trying it again, as it is a very flattering shape. I may skip the cuffs next time though.

Collar handmade

And now to my favourite part of the make, the collar. If you read my previous post, you already know that I’ve been obsessing about this Armani collar, so I saw this as an opportunity to make something similar.

Collar Handmade

It can be worn in couple of different ways,  giving a different air to the dress.

Collar Handmade

I haven’t got anything to add for the pattern, I’m dreaming it in a warmer winter fabric but until then have a good week everyone. I will be flying to Frankfurt tomorrow for a week of work meetings and my suitcase isn’t even half packed, but this dress is in there already. :)

What I did on the train

Battersea Power StationWell I didn’t make anything unfortunately, and didn’t take any pictures of anything I have already made, but hopefully I will get back on track shortly.

I did finish a book which I started reading on the train, carried on, on the plane, the bus, in bed and at the beach. It was only when walking that I stopped in fear of killing myself or even worse, someone else.  The book that just wouldn’t finish was Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch. I loved Donna Tart because of her Secret History, a novel that haunted me ever since I read it. I still remember feeling hypnotized by it walking in some dim-lit corridors of a foreign campus.  I continued with The Little Friend which was a disappointment as I couldn’t even finish it and finally donated to charity when I left London. And then came The Goldfinch, a book frequently described as brilliant, magic, true literature, a masterpiece, long-awaited, praises not easily ignored, especially by someone always on the look for the next captivating story. So I bought it and carried it everywhere, to the extent that it is no longer presentable. An unfortunate outing with a wet towel caused it to double up in size. Throughout the reading process there were times I wanted to put it on the shelf of the unfinished novels, but insisted as I was still searching for that gem that everyone talked about, the quest for the holly grail. Did I find it? Well, no. It’s an exceptionally well crafted novel, with intricate details, with an atmosphere that comes to life in front of your eyes but at no point did I think I was reading the same book all these people called masterpiece. Don’t get me wrong there were parts of it that are truly unique, so beautifully written. However most of it is a bit boring . But that’s only my personal opinion, maybe I’m not equipped to understand these novels. Just for the record though,  I like neither Brad Pitt nor George Clooney, so you get the idea.

Via Heather Lou’s Closet Case files I discovered The Sewing Affair Podcast, if you haven’t discovered it already, I urge you to go there straight away, it’s highly recommended. I listened to all the episodes, one after the other. I found Lauren Dahl extremely inspirational to the point I wanted the stupid train to get home faster, so that I go and work on my billion projects. haha.

Loved, loved this Marimekko dress on Bernie and I. All her garments make me smile but this one is cray happy. And on the note of happy & crazy colours, check out this orange Moneta by Sew Pretty in Pink, so cool. Seeing Marie’s  bicycle simplicity 5489 this morning filled me with joy. Isn’t that back gorgeous?

Collar EA

Probably the 5th magazine I’ve opened in a month featuring this collar

And now confession time! I have been obsessed with this collar, have stalked it on the internet and in magazines. Of course at the price of £200, it’s not an advisable purchase but I intend to make something similar and I promise I will post it.

That’s it for today, but maybe I will be back tomorrow with some train adventures, hopefully not the ones that take you home two hours later than the schedule time.

 

 

 

 

 

Made by the grandma, given to the mum worn by the daughter

One of the reasons I sew and like making things is watching my grandma working on this Singer sewing machine, throughout my childhood. When my mum was a teenager she wore handmade by grandma, so did my aunt and my grandma herself. I wish I had scanned some pictures of them wearing the wonderfully handmade clothes, coming out of this machine and the talented hands of my grandma.

Singer

I have never sewn anything on it, both mum and grandma were too scared to let me, not in fear of breaking it but of breaking myself by sewing through my fingers. I’ve sneaked in the basement a couple of times, when I was still in Greece and played with it, one time I did break it and then pretended it wasn’t me. Shame on me!

Singer

The best thing about it, is the pedal, which also makes it hard to use, especially if you like me, lack in the co-ordination department.

Singer

I love these two drawers on each side where grandma always keeps her bobbins and buttons, zippers, things she may need at any time in the creative process. I still go through them, hoping to find some treasure when I visit. Oh, I will never grow up.

singer drawerSinger drawer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my mum got married in the late 70s this sewing machine was an accessory to the creation of the reception dress. It is a simple white dress but it has always held a certain importance in my mind because it was handmade and it used to hang in the wardrobe of the same room with the Singer for many years after it was worn on that day, until I discovered it.

White dress handmade

And since it fit, it got in my suitcase and travelled with me to the UK. My grandma keeps saying now that I’m like my mum every time I put it on. I need to take a picture wearing it, rather than having it on this awkwardly shaped mannequin.

White dress

white dress

 

The machine doesn’t have any special feet, like for invisible zipper hence this, is a normal one. It doesn’t look perfect or shop bought but I think that’s what makes it special, there’s a certain quality about it.

White Dress

The dress comes with a jacket of the same colour and of the same maker :) I took that with me some years ago and I’ve been wearing it ever since. I just love the fact that it’s not exactly white, it looks a bit as if it’s a grown old white and when in the UK I pray for nice weather so that I can put it on.

White jacket

I’ve worn it everywhere, from evenings out, to business meetings, to trips abroad and sadly that shows. Can you see how the left shoulder looks a bit worn? It came off after leaving a meeting with a bag full of heavy books, so it had to be sewn back on with my own sewing machine and let me tell you, it’s not half as good as that classy lady.

white jacketI find the inside as impressive as the outside, purely because my grandma had no serger or any other means of finishing the garment than her hands. I think the bias tape is handmade as well.

White jacket handmade

white jacket

Sadly the buttons aren’t the original ones, as they started breaking after a couple of washes, but the rest of it, still in one piece 30 years plus later.

white jacket

White jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know if the garment is going to last much longer but this beauty is definitely going to. I’ll see to that :) Singer

 

Let them eat cake…

Because it’s their birthday. The Monthly Stitch is one year old. Birthdays for me are an opportunity for a bit of madness and silly. Soo to celebrate, not only did I make cupcakes, not only did I sew some, but I managed  to sort of dress myself into one too, well sort of. (Long post but mostly pictures)

For the cupcakes I used the recipe for the Green Velvet Cupcake. Below are some very helpful (probably not) step by step instructions.

Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake

Of course, every celebration requires the appropriate outfit. For this particular one, I finally put my scissors on this hideous, in my opinion garment, that I had to wear as a bridesmaid at a wedding about 3 years ago. Surprisingly it still fitted me.

Let them eat cake

I used the bottom part to create a gathered skirt with an elastic waist band. Very easy to make, although the chiffon was quite slippery.

Let them eat cake gathered skirt and top

The base for the top is no other than the Closet Case Files Nettie, (didn’t I say I was going to make more?) cut on a beige mesh of some sort. For the frosting I used billions of chiffon petals that I spent far too much time cutting and sewing, but it was worth it.

Let them eat Cake Nettie top

The back gapes (is this the right word?) a bit as the base fabric is too thin and the frosting a bit too heavy but still that back, such a great effect! The earrings are handmade and believe it or not they’re paper, a present by the amazing Lefty’s Handcrafts.

Let them eat cake nettie

For the sewn, not edible cupcakes, I used the free pattern from Funky Friends Factory. Lovely to make and they look so cute, admittedly not so professional as lovely Pauline’s.

Felt cupcakes

Now all the work is done, it’s time for the celebrations, eating that is.

No, no I will resist to the temptation

No, no I will resist temptation

oh well, you live once, so delicious

oh well, you live once, so delicious

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Burda Hawaiian Shirt 04/2012 for the Geek in your life

You can’t imagine my surprise when my boyfriend complained in a sad kind of tone to one of my friend’s that I have never sewn anything for him. To be honest, I’m not a big fun of men’s clothes and I didn’t think, he wanted to wear something handmade. He seemed pretty happy with his M&S purchases. Since we were coming to Greece on holidays we thought it appropriate to try a Hawaiian Shirt and Burda 04/2012 seemed easy enough for a first attempt at making a man’s shirt.

Burda Hawaiian shirt

The fabric is a lightweight cotton, bought from this ebay shop. We purchased 2 metres initially but some mistake with the collar, meant that I didn’t have enough for the sleeves, so we purchased an extra metre.

The pattern has a back pleat with an additional band sewn on top of it. I couldn’t understand what I was meant to do, so I skipped that part. I think it looks alright. :)

Hawaiian Shirt

The seams are flat-felled and I admit, I had no clue what that was, so there’s a new technique, I would have probably not learned, if I never made this shirt. It is a very clever way of dealing with the raw seams and it creates such a nice effect on the outside. It may be a bit hard to see because of the busy pattern on the fabric.

HAWAIIAN SHIRT SEAMSFlat felled seams inside

For the first time I also made more than one buttonholes with my sewing machine and I surprisingly enjoyed it. The sewing of the buttons not so much though. I used a lightweight fusible interfacing for the buttonholes and some buttons from my stash that just happened to match hehe.Buttons Hawaiian shirt

buttons

The collar was the most challenging part of the shirt, so much it made me hate it a bit at that point. To start with I didn’t seem to be getting it right, size wise, first time it was too small, second too long, the third was about right, but you will see where I have tortured the fabric a bit. The inside is finished with a flat-felled seam and is top-stitched on the outside.

collar

collar Hawaiian Shirt

As for the geek in my life he’s the man behind most of the photographic on this blog and a big fun of gadgets, like the crazy google glass he wears and the army of drones he wants to build haha! (He keeps killing them though). Do you get asked for handmade garments by your partners or do you just go ahead and sew them anyway?

Full Gear

 

Black & White Stripey Dress

This is another make for the Monthly Stitch challenge, entitled this time monosewn, black& white in other words. I’ve noticed that stripes make the best black & white creations, like here, here and here. I love stripes and have blogged, two stripey garments, here and here. The inspiration for this month’s submission came from Pinterest. I sort of reside there from time to time and when I saw this dress, I knew I had to have it.

Stripey Dress Pinterest

 For my version I used about 3 metres of this cotton sateen fabric that I found on ebay. I like buying fabric from the local shops but sometimes I can’t find what I look for, and this was one of these instances. I can’t say it was of an excellent quality but it was good enough for what I wanted it to do.

Black & White Stripey Dress

The front of the bodice is the BHL Flora dress faux-wrap. Now with this we had a lot of issues, it took about three muslins to make it fit. I don’t know if it’s the pattern or me (I’m literally tiny at the top, so maybe it was me), but I did take quite a bit off the actual wrap in order to get it to an acceptable size that would allow everything to stay covered, if you know what I mean. The back is self-drafted, not exactly as the one in the picture but I did try a few different versions and this was the one that worked the best. Stripey Black & white Dress

The armholes and all the edges of the bodice are finished with facings.

Bodice facing

I particularly liked the play with the horizontal and vertical stripes on the inspiration dress and decided I should try it on mine too. I think it creates a great effect. The skirt is a self-drafted semi-circle skirt.

Stripey Black & White Dress back

For the hem, I placed the stripes at a different angle again and finished it with a bias tape (it’s not black or white though :0) and a split curve, because we love split curved hems.

Black & White Stripey Dress

Not a very nice picture sorry

Not a very nice picture sorry

Hem

 

The bodice has an invisible zipper on the side, and in terms of pattern matching well…

Matching pattern check :)

Matching pattern check :)

 

Matching patterns check :)

Matching patterns check :)

Not so check :(

Not so check :(

Despite making this dress last-minute and posting while on holidays, this is one of my favourite makes, so far, I have worn it as well, and it did receive a lot of compliments :) I love the way it flows when you swirl around and here’s the proof of that. (you may need to click on the below if it doesn’t show)Black & white Stripey Dress gif

 

 

Vote for me if you want

I have entered my latest make the Moneta top with the Mabel skirt to the Indie Fan Girl challenge at the Monthly Stitch. It’s one of my favourite makes so far, s if you would like to vote for me, it would make me veeeeeeryyyyy haaaaaappyyyyy. So if you’d like to cast your vote, or have a look at the other gorgeous entries, click here. 50% of the score comes from voting and 50% from the judges!

Mine is ‘A little bit of Mabel in my life, a little of Moneta by my side’. Thank you! There are some lovely patterns to be won and a girl can never have enough of these.

Mabel skirt & Moneta Colette Patterns

 

A little bit of Mabel in my life, a little of Moneta by my side

This is my submission for the last challenge of the Indie Month at the Monthly Stitch. For the Indie Fan Girl Challenge, the task was to choose an indie label and create an entire outfit using their patterns. I chose the Mabel and Moneta patterns from Colette Patterns. I had seen so many great versions of both of them, that I really wanted to try it myself and here it is.

Mabel skirt & Moneta Colette Patterns

I used version 3 of the Mabel skirt and the bodice of the Moneta with the bow collar. For the skirt I cut an xs size graded to S and for the top a straight small. The fabric was bought from Fabric Land in Brighton some time ago and was used to make a Deer and Doe Plantain (not blogged) so this was the left over. I really loved the combination of the flowers with the geometric pattern and I think it creates a nice effect both on the skirt and the top.

Mabel Skirt & Moneta colette patterns

I had made a muslin of the Moneta dress and I wasn’t very happy with the gaping at the armholes, but the sew along on the site was very helpful and used the tutorial by Miss Make to get rid of that, so this version of the bodice is much better. I love the bow collar.

Moneta bodice with bow collar

I wanted to turn the bodice into a peplum top but I run out of fabric so I did my own thing by cutting around the flower pattern and turning this to the bottom of the bodice. I really like the way it turned out.

Moneta bodice with scalloped peplum

Moneta Bodice with scalloped peplum

The skirt was very straightforward and the instructions that come with the pattern are very clear. The top and the skirt make a lovely combination and I will definitely wear them together and separately, for work or for going out.

Moneta Bodice and Mabel skirtThe skirt is absolutely amazing and not only do I highly recommend it but I’d love to make more of them.

Mabel Skirt Colette Patterns

I did most of it on the serger until my needle broke (there’s always have to be an accident haha), so please forgive some of the inside doesn’t look just as polished.

Moneta bodice & Mabel Skirt colette patterns

 

I enjoyed so much Indie month,  I want some more now. So many gorgeous entries and creativity, I can ply look forward to the monochrome month :)

 

Casual stroll in the Red Velvet Cake dress

When you live by the sea and the weather is nice you feel compelled, obliged in the least, to go outside, even if it’s for a little while.

Red Velvet Dress Cake Patterns

Cake Patterns Red Velvet Dress

Are you coming?

Oh, ok, I will come and get you...

Oh, ok, I will come and get you…

This is the red velvet dress from cake patterns. I’ve never sewn anything from them but I have their Gabarita top in my to sew list as well. The fabric is again from that fabric shop in Lisbon, I don’t know it’s length, but when I bought it, I figured out it would be long enough for a nice project, like this one. I love how the pattern and the colours match that of the building in our neighbourhood. I definitely fit in here, haha.

For the front I cut the bodice a bit too big for my size, hence the pleats look a bit funny, but then again, I quite liked the less fitted bodice, so I kept it and just made the pleats a bit bigger/longer.

Red Velvet Dress Cake Patterns

For the back bodice, I actually used the style of the  Gabarita top, because the whole fun in sewing is altering the pattern no? I’m very pleased with the way it turned out.

Cake Patterns red Velvet Dress

 

 

Cake Patterns Red Velvet Dress

The only thing that I found a bit frustrating was fitting the front and back midriff. I unpicked it twice, and you know how hard it is to break those serger seams. It ended up ok in the end, but sort of made me lose the will to sew.

Cake Patterns Red Velvet Dress

I really enjoyed making this dress, the instructions are very clear and there is a lot of potential for fabric combinations. I loved the pleats at the front and the back and I’d love to make it again. I can see it both in my winter and summer wardrobe. Oh and I got a compliment on it, while standing outside the flat from one of the neighbours!