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Thursday, 26 December 2019

Troubleshooting your Sewing Machine By Jaycotts.co.uk


A Jaycotts Blog post by Alex Jaycott


I asked Jaycotts about troubleshooting Sewing machines as we all have problems from time to time and we don't always know where to start to sort it out.


This is their advice:

Alex,

The biggest issue we encounter is mis-threading of the sewing machine 


Having sold and serviced sewing machines for over 30 years I can honestly say that the biggest headaches for customers are actually caused by mis- threading the sewing machine!


everyone does it from time to time whether beginner or expert, novice or sewing teacher 

What do you mean by that Alex, what should we be doing?  Angela





Alex

Well , it is important to thread the machine  exactly as shown in your manual.For example  if someone miss-threads the take up lever, they usually don’t notice it and when the machine jams it looks as if the problem is the bobbin area  - when in fact it isn’t

So I guess my point should be that if you have an issue, the first thing to try is: re do your upper thread, taking care that the thread goes right into the take up lever. Incorrect threading can cause the machine to jam almost immediately.
If you  still have problems after that then go on to checking the bobbin area.




Tuesday, 3 December 2019

The Blue Dress

The Blue Dress 

A MinervaCrafts Blogger Network post 



We all need a special dress in our wardobe, something which makes us feel and look fabulous but which is easy to wear.







This stunning blue dress is perfect for parties and I can't wait to wear it. 
The fabric and pattern are as follows....

But wait! I do want you to read the whole post so head on over to MinervaCrafts website and all will be revealed The Blue Dress

Not only will you find out what the fabric and patterns are you will learn about negative ease and lengthening a pattern and much more! 


Thank you for reading this post, it is appreciated

#sewangelicthreads

Friday, 22 November 2019

Sewing for Beginners - Fabric, Cutting out, and Patterns

This is a Jaycotts Post


All about Sewing Patterns, Fabrics and Cutting out.

It is daunting knowing where to start isn't it, so I am going to talk about the basics of cutting out and why you need to follow the guidelines on your sewing pattern.  I am making two garments, one in velvet the other in suiting and at the end of the post you should be well on your way to cutting out with confidence.



You can start with any garment but I have chosen a pair of straight leg trousers which are actually simple to make and always look good on.
All the links to patterns and haberdashery are given in the post making it easy for you to place you order with Jaycotts
When choosing a pattern consider what styles you already own and like and look for patterns which are similar. After a while you will want to make garments which are new to you, so it is a good idea to go and try clothes on and  to take a photograph if at all possible, then you can look for patterns in a similar style.




Tuesday, 5 November 2019

My fabulously Fishy Frock!

My Fabulous Fishy Frock

A MCBN post




I fell in love with this beautiful fabric as soon as I saw it. The more I look at it the more detail I can see. The fabric design is totally made from fish shapes, and they have incredible expressions on their faces. There is a close up of this amazing fabric and details of how to purchase it on the link below .

I was intending to make a shirt but the fabric was screaming full- skirt dress at me. I looked through all of my patterns and couldn't find one I liked. So I ordered some new ones.

When my new dress patterns arrived I kept looking at them and still couldn't find a way of maximising the design by having as few seams as possible. The new patterns all had too many seams and even careful pattern matching wasn't what I wanted. I didn't want to have a centre front seam or a two part sleeve as one of my new patterns has for example.................

Read the rest of the post to see what happened next!

Here is the link My fabulous Fishy Frock


Enjoy! 
Angela



Sunday, 3 November 2019

Sewing stretch Fabrics the easy way

Sewing for Beginners

An easy to sew dress in fabulous Stretch Velour




I have had such a lot of good feedback from my previous post for Jaycotts about sewing stretch fabrics that I decided to show you a very easy to make and extremely easy to wear stretch dress.
If you think that stretch fabrics are not for you then think again. A figure hugging garment in the correct size looks great on most figures.
This is how to wear a stretch dress

  • Don't make it too clingy or it will show up the lumps and bumps we all have.
  • Choose a thicker fabric with just a small amount of stretch 
  • Choose a darker colour and possibly a print
  • Wear the correct underwear - there is a lot of very good shapewear and it will help you to feel confident
  • Don't be frightened of accentuating your waist with a wide belt





The pattern I chose is McCall's 6886 it can be ordered from Jaycotts on this link.
It is a pattern which uses a medium weight, moderate stretch jersey knit fabric, so it is perfect for what we want.


Monday, 21 October 2019

The Little Black Dress

The little Black Dress


Everyone needs a turn-to dress in their wardrobe and this one is a basic staple that you will wear time and time again.
Mine is made in Black Velour with an embroidered Gold dot , but you can choose any knit fabric you prefer - Ponte Roma would be a good choice.




You have probably noticed that my blog posts feature simple garments most of the time. I am a fully qualified Tailor but on the whole I want to encourage people who haven't sewn much to have a go. There is no better feeling in the world than someone admiring your dress and you replying " thanks, I made it".
Even if you are a seasoned sewer I hope that you still learn something new - I am learning constantly.



Friday, 11 October 2019

Bollywood. Indian style Dress.


Bollywood. Exploring different cultures and fashions.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore outfits similar to this on her recent tour of Pakistan.





A Jaycotts post.

One of my life long hobbies is dance. I learned ballroom and Latin and loved them but more recently I decided to explore something I have always wanted to do and that is Belly Dancing. This has led to Bollywood dancing and of course I need to research and make outfits  to dance in, which is immense fun 

I need a Bollywood outfit for an event next month and this led me to exploring Asian fashion.


The Shalwar Kameez is a two part outfit consisting of a tunic top and pants and it is what we are going to make in this post.
Traditionally worn by Punjabi women the Salwar (trousers) and Kameez (tunic) have been westernised somewhat in this pattern, and there are lots of variations on style and fabrics.



Tuesday, 1 October 2019

The top that nearly never was ........

 A MCBN post



I made this beautiful top from. Lady McElroy cotton jersey, and I love it.




It was a near disaster at first though! Intrigued?
Read on and find out how I rescued a "huge" (in every sense of the word) problem! I guarantee you will laugh.

The link to read the rest of the post is The top that nearly never was





I would love you to be brave enough to show your near disasters too

Angela

 #Sewangelicthreads

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Sewing for Beginners. The Lady in Red - a fab dress or top in Ponte Roma .

This a post for Jaycotts.co.uk


The Lady in Red (Ponte Roma)






Sewing with Moderately stretch knits for beginners .


There are many different fabrics which stretch, some more difficult to sew than others. Some just stretch along the width, others will stretch every way, and it is these we want to avoid .
This fabric is called Ponte Roma and it is a delight to sew. Some knit fabrics can be extremely challenging even for experienced sewers - the edges curl up, it stretches out of shape as you sew it and you need special equipment such as a walking foot and a LOT of patience!

Ponte Roma can be purchased from Minerva.com Ponte Roma there are lots of choices both in colour and price so do take a look
Ponte Roma is a double knit fabric, so it looks the same on both sides. It doesn't have much stretch and this factor alone makes it easy to sew, even for a beginner.
It is easy to care for and it can be tumble dried.
A word of warning though. Although it doesn't shrink very much, a strong colour like this red bleeds,  and if you do not wash it before sewing you will end up with dye stains on just about everything - the ironing board cover, your underwear and even your sewing machine.  Don't say I didn't warn you!






Tuesday, 3 September 2019

The Tremont Jacket by The Sewing Workshop

This is a MCBN post

The Tremont Jacket by The Sewing Workshop




I love The Sewing Workshop Patterns. They have just enough difficulty about them to make you think, but are not impossibly hard even for beginners. They are edgy and just that bit different. I have made several of their patterns and wear each garment lots of times, I use  the patterns more than once too.

For this design I chose a Boiled Wool Fabric in cerise pink. This fabric is easy to cut and easy to sew and the best news is that as it doesn't fray you do not even have to worry about finishing the seams.




To find out how I made this gorgeous jacket and to view and order fabric and pattern please go to this link. The Tremont Jacket


Thank you for reading my posts. Please go to the bottom of my page and have my latest blogs sent straight to your inbox 

#sewangelicthreads


Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Setting up a Dress Form or Mannequin


Setting up a Dress Form



An invaluable tool for any dressmaker or Tailor - male or female - is a mannequin which is as close to your own body measurements as possible.
It makes fitting easier, and it gives you the opportunity to try different techniques such as draping.  The cost, depending on which model you purchase equates to a basic sewing machine, so they are not very expensive.

The dress form I have now is the Lady Valet Traditional Dress Form
But there are others including for men and for fitting trousers
Dress Forms from Jaycotts.co.uk




Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt

A MCBN post

The Sewing Workshop liberty shirt


If there are two things I love they are Art Gallery Fabrics and The Sewing Workshop patterns.
Lucky for me this post uses both.

The fabric is Endless Paradise Chambray  from the Denim Studio collection by Art Gallery Fabrics.  This has to be my favourite fabric brand.  I love their innovative designs and the quality of the fabric is superb.
This pattern is suitable for beginners who have a bit of sewing knowledge. The instructions are superb.







I am sure that you too will want to make this fabulous shirt so do follow this link to read the rest of the post and find out how to order fabric and pattern.

I know you will love this shirt too
Angela 






Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Sewing for Beginners part Two - Pants and Top

This is a continuation of the previous post Sewing for total beginners - Jacket


In this post we will continue to use the same pattern and make the other two garments, the pants and top.






I am really delighted with this lounge wear collection , I particularly love the way in which three different fabrics blend together so perfectly. This is best achieved by using fabrics from the same range, these fabrics are in fact from Jaycotts! But they are only available in store not online.
Chester is well worth a visit though.


The pattern is Kwik-Sew K4250
The fabrics I used are as I said available in store only at Jaycotts.

If you wish to purchase a collection of Fabrics which go together may I suggest these alternatives?

Quilting fabrics please remember to purchase fabrics by the same brand and to purchase by the metre.

If you prefer a dress cotton then there is endless choice , for example a cotton lawn would be perfect Cotton Lawn





Friday, 12 July 2019

Sewing for total beginners - a Simple jacket, top and pants

This is a Jaycotts.co.uk blog post.


Kwik Sew 4250 Jacket, top and pants. A blog post for total beginners or those returning to sewing after a break.

In this post we will make just the Jacket. The pants and top are in the follow on blog post.




This is the three piece loungewear outfit and isn't it fabulous!



I thought long and hard over this blog post.
The first thing I considered was how much detailed instructions to give, and how much opportunity should I allow for you to follow the actual pattern instructions. It is vital that we are able to read a pattern but I appreciate that they don't always make sense. I hope that I achieved a balance which is right for you.

The pattern I used is this one Kwik Sew pattern K4250
I love Kwik Sew patterns - view the range here Kwik Sew Patterns at Jaycotts
They are good for all levels, have a good design range and are printed on better quality tissue paper than most.



This is the range of fabrics which I used to make each garment featured in the pattern. These fabrics are a very good quality quilting weight cotton from - believe it or not - Jaycotts! They are only available in store at the moment. You cannot buy them online.
You will however easily find good quality pure cotton in most fabric shops. Do choose a medium weight or quilting weight cotton as it will make sewing your garments so much easier.
Mix and match colours however you like, sewing is all about making something which you enjoy wearing.
By the way these particular fabrics are quite narrow, Dress fabrics tend to be wider.

If I could make another suggestion as to fabric comfortable for lounge wear, I would choose a Cotton Lawn it is easy to work with and comes in at all sorts of prices .do take a look.

Fashion is very personal. I showed the pattern we will be using to some friends and asked them where they would wear it, some said lounge wear, some said beach, some said everyday wear, all depending on the fabric chosen.
I have worn my garments in different ways and matched them with other garments and I wanted to leave it to you to decide where and when you are going to wear your lovely new garments without influencing you.


 We are going to start by making the jacket. The pants and top will follow in another blog post. I didn't want to put you off by doing too much all in one go!
In the next post I will show you how I styled all of my garments and there will be photographs.
These are the fabrics I chose to use for  the jacket. We are always told never to mix prints but never be afraid to bend the rules , these two prints actually sit very well together.





Tuesday, 2 July 2019

A fabulous Summer Dress

A fabulous summer dress by Sew House Seven in a John Kaldor luxurious 100% Linen fabric. 

A MCBN post





This fabulous fabric together with this amazing and very wearable dress pattern makes the most perfect  dress which is just right for summer afternoons. Holidays and anything else you can think of. I just love it.
The fabric is By John Kaldor it's 100% pure linen, breathable,  and worth every penny. The pattern is by Sew House Seven and it can be made in various lengths. It comes in UK sizes 0-20 which is a massive size range!




Want to know more? Yes of course you do!  So hop over to the Minerva Crafts website on this link and find out more on this link A fabulous Summer Dress

Thank you for reading this post

Angela 


Saturday, 29 June 2019

Elegant Poppy Dress



Sometimes magic happens with sewing and by sheer chance the perfect fabric and fabric combination happens. This is what happened to me when I received this fabric to try and this pattern literally jumped out at me when I went into my sewing room to see what I could make.

I absolutely adore this dress. It is the most elegant one I have seen in a long time and I am looking forward to wearing it very much, It is perfect for any occasion, I only wish I had a wedding to attend as it would look stunning.





 The style could not be simpler. A boat neckline, princess seams and a gathered skirt with a belt which ties in a bow at the front.

The fabric is  a cotton poplin  which has a beautiful poppy print on a black background. Cotton poplin poppy print fabric



But don't stop reading yet - please read the full post on this link  Elegant poppies dress


Thank you to Minerva fabrics for this beautiful poppy print






Thursday, 20 June 2019

How to sew Jeans

This is a Jaycotts.co.uk blog post


How to sew Jeans.


This is perhaps the most daunting yet the most satisfying garment you can ever master. Jeans are  personal and we all have differing views of what the perfect pair should look like.
Get them right and I guarantee that you will love them so much that you will never buy another pair again. I know I won't





This is not a quick project and you have homework to do before we even consider looking at patterns!
First of all, what is your preferred style? I love a high waist, narrow leg Jean which is very well fitted. If that is not your style there is straight leg, flared leg, boot cut, ankle length. And then there are jeans which fit below your waist or on your waist.

 The first thing you need to do therefore is to figure out which style you prefer. You may already own a pair which you love and which fit you well. This is good news because you can use them to refer to when making your own. If not then go along to a clothes store and try on as many pairs as you can and take selfies of those you like. Make a note of the style and if you dare, measure at least the hips and waist.

For your next task take a look at jeans in general and make a note of different top-stitching ideas and ideas for pockets. You can customise your jeans in so many ways so do take time to look for ideas. Pinterest is great for ideas.



I tested a few different Jeans patterns and this is the one I recommend you buy first. It has a large variety of design choices and different sizes. This is the link to purchase it from Jaycotts. B5682 Trouser and Jeans pattern I chose this one because it is not complicated and the instructions are easy to follow.


The first part of the pattern to look at - and you can do this on Jaycotts web site before you order - is the size chart.
Ignore your shop bought size and go by your actual measurements, the sizing is very different in each.
We are going to be sewing with a stretch denim which has " negative ease" ( more about that later ) so if you are between sizes it is likely you will require the smaller size.



Another choice would be this pattern, which again is easy and has alternative style choices .M7547 Jeans and overalls





Saturday, 9 March 2019

Stitching back in time to the 1940s , dresses and trenchcoats

The middle to late 1940s fashion: Dresses and Trench Coats 



A Jaycotts blog post.





It wasn't until 10:30 AM on 12 February 1947 that a relatively unheard of Christian Dior unveiled his "New Look"
Taking inspiration from flower petals he celebrated femininity with defined narrow waists and full flowing skirts. It was a defiance towards the rationing which had restricted fashion for several years.

 Before this monumental event though , and even when WW2 had ended,  we were still gripped by austerity and it was getting worse. We were encouraged to take two very worn dresses and coats for example and somehow make the best bits of each into one wearable garment. Shoe leather had run out and women's shoes were made with wooden soles which were very much hated. Everything was becoming more and more difficult and it seemed never ending, so the advent of a new fashion house really brought excitement to life.

If you are after a 1940s look then many of today's styles are very similar. Go for a low heel, preferably a chunky heel, a brogue or a wedge sandal and they will be fine.

One item which did prove popular was the Siren Suit, Sir Winston Churchill loved his and had one made from pin-stripe suiting (of course)


But the rest of us loved them too, they were designed to wear over normal clothes, or night clothes when the air raid siren went off. Air raid shelters were dirty, cold and smelly and these garments were very much necessary.

Today we still wear a type of this garment in the form of jumpsuits. Take a look at the pattern range available from Jaycotts Jumpsuit pattern




I have a blog post too An easy Simplicity Jumpsuit so do take a look at the tutorial. Did you see the Sewing Bee 2019 As one of the challenges was to sew a jumpsuit and they all looked fabulous.

Factories were still being run by women - it took a long while before the men came home and women were forced out of work.  Supplies were still not reaching us so even after WW2 had ended we were still very much rationed - we were short of everything. Even those tiny ends of thread which we cut off and throw away were kept and treasured.


Keep on reading..........

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Easy to sew gifts for Mums

 very simple, easy to make gifts





This is a really good mother and daughter project. You still have time to make them using whatever odd bits of fabric and trimmings you have to hand


To make the lavendar bag look through your fabric stash and find some pretty offcuts.  You will also need short lengths of lace and ribbon.
You will need dried lavender too.




Dressing in 1940s style

 War time fashion, tutorials on inserting zips , a SewOverIt 1940's tea dress to sew and much much more!

It is as important today as it was in the 1940's to adopt a "Make do and mend" attitude, and I hope to show you that this will make you  re-think your sewing habits. I know it has done for me.

Enjoy! 


The second world war started in 1939 and didn't end until 1945. During this time rationing of almost everything was in place and continued even after the war had ended until supplies started to become available again.
It was in 1941 that the government introduced rationing which greatly influenced clothing and how it was worn. Strict guidelines governed how many buttons were allowable and how many seams were acceptable and so on.




Don't think for one minute that fashion was dull though, far from it. The designs were high quality and the famous CC41 utility label was also  a sign of  excellent value for money and  you knew it was made to last. The CC41 designs were devised by a panel of top designers including Hardy Amies and Norman Hartnell no less.

A combination of paying for your clothes with money and coupons meant that the class divide had no impact on what you wore - everyone was entitled to exactly the same.

These are the exact details of what a utility dress should consist of;-

"Examples of details of restriction orders when making Utility dress: it could have no more than two pockets, five buttons, six seams in the skirt, two inverted or box pleats or four knife pleats, and one hundred and sixty inches (four metres) of stitching. No superfluous decoration was allowed. It should be simple, practical, agreeable-looking, inexpensive and made of good material"





It should also be noted that one quarter of the population, women included ,was now in uniform of some sort and with women being ordered to maintain glamour at all times, these uniforms were also beautifully tailored. The most coveted being the Wren's uniform - worn with red lipstick and curled hair of course.
Coty produced lipstick and face powder which was not rationed, as well as producing such things as foot powder for use by the military.

It should be noted that selling these utility garments were a great source of income to the government.


This booklet was produced in the early 40s as supplies were becoming more and more scarce. The wool and cotton fabric, and dark coloured dyes  were needed by the military for uniforms and for blackout curtains .
 We were not receiving imports of cotton and silk because of the high cost of shipping  goods from abroad - China for one, and by that I mean the cost in lives as well as in monetary terms.

To read the rest of the post you need to click underneath on the message below .... ....

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Easy to sew Jumpsuit and Jacket : Simplicity 8178

This is a Jaycotts post and it is a very simple to sew Jumpsuit for all levels of ability.

 As seen on the GBSB 2019

Labels

seam tape
using a pattern
Beginners

Jumpsuits do not show any sign of going out of fashion, and no wonder as they can be smart or casual or somewhere in between. They can take you anywhere and come into their own on holiday for day or evening. They are so comfortable!


Make it in Satin at MinervaCrafts for your party or special occasion - plain, print, glittery or animal print, one of these is perfect for you - and will cost you a lot less than ready made!

NB to view fabrics in the sale at MinervaCrafts go to MinervaCrafts Fabric Sale  you might just find a bargain! 






The pattern I chose is Simplicity 8178  I chose it because it is suitable even for sewing newbies as it has minimal pieces and does not have any fastenings - so no zipper or buttonholes to worry about.
.
There is a choice between straight and flared legs, I chose the wider flared leg.


I chose a floral crepe fabric for the main garment and plain crepe for the jacket, both widely available.  View Crepe Fabrics
This particular fabric is rather busy! More suited to holiday wear I feel. A chambray or a linen would be good fabric choices, the pattern also suggests sateen which would be lovely and Ponte Roma but if you choose this then make sure it is not too heavy and that it has a good drape.
Wash, dry and press your fabric before cutting out as a lot of fabrics shrink.

If ever you want to use a fabric such as wool for a coat or jacket then don't wash it, when I come to do my next coat blog I will show you how to shrink fabric without washing it.


If you are new to sewing then you may not understand the sizing. Pattern sizes are not the same as your commercial dress size, usually commercial garments are "vanity" sized and as you know the fit varies a lot from store to store.

So the first thing you need to do is to take your measurements and compare them to the measurements on the back of the pattern.
You may find that your top and bottom are different sizes but that doesn't matter as it is easy to cut out the top in one size and the bottom in another and merge the two sizes together at the waist.





Thursday, 17 January 2019

A Black wool lined pencil skirt with a touch of Embroidery


A lined pencil skirt, with a touch of Embroidery


A very similar post to this was featured on the MinervaCraftsBloggerNetwork recently A wool and Mohair mix pencil skirt .but I wanted to share some of the information about making toiles with you too.





The pattern I chose is a skirt pattern from Butterick - B6184. I chose this because it has a high waistline which features heavily this season. This particular pattern is out of stock, but it does not matter because any pencil skirt pattern can be used. Take a look at the choice, Pencil skirt patterns





In this post I am not going to give you a skirt tutorial as such  because after all skirts are simple to make right? - wrong. Well, they are simple but if you are making a pencil skirt the fit just HAS to be right! So that is what this post is about, fit.



Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Vogue 8825 in Lady McElroy "Bolton" stretch jersey knit.



A Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post 

How to sew Stretch fabrics.


Lady McElroy Fabrics are very high quality and are superb to work with. This one, named Bolton, is a 96% viscose 4% spandex Jersey Fabric. It is fluid and drapes well and the print is just stunning. 
To complement the fabric I chose Vogue V8825. There are two choices of outfits to sew in this pattern, a dress and a tunic and trousers.
I had intended to make the tunic but when I looked at the fabric I realised that I had just about enough to make the dress if I was inventive with cutting out........



..... Please do read the rest of the post, the link to this and other Lady McElroy fabrics is on the post, together with a pattern review and tutorial.

Lady McElroy is one of my favourite fabric brands and I hope you will love them too
The post is here. The lady McElroy Bolton dress


 There are lots of other photos on the post too. 



Stretch fabrics - used for sportswear in the program - are featured in the GBSB 2019

I would love your comments

Angela





Do watch my YouTube video all about other dresses on my blog 

Monday, 14 January 2019

My Lady McElroy Retro City Scape (beautiful) Dress

This is a #MCBN Post

I have a confession to make. I love Lady McElroy Fabrics. The designs are superb, They are always elegant and very wearable. The fabric is top quality cotton lawn which is a delight to wear as it is so gentle against the skin. The premium Cotton doesn't fade, it is easy to sew and a delight to wear. I love it.






This fabric, named City Scape, comes in two colours , this is the navy which I am enhancing further by the addition of  orange corded piping to not only add a pop of colour but to enhance the clever seams on the pattern.

Please do visit the MinervaCrafts web site and read how I constructed this fabulous dress. Did I mention it is lined too?

The rest of the post is here The Lady McElroy City Scape Dress



And PS



The dress in the other colour is on The MinervaCrafts Blog
And the link to it is Lady McElroy Cotton lawn dress


Please read my posts, thank you.

Angela

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

An easy make summer dress in printed Batik. Why not sew two?

A jaycotts.co.uk blog post

Labels 

Choosing the correct size, cutting out, point turner,buttonholes, interfacing, set-up in sleeves, pressing,  invisible zip, 



I have been longing to get into my summer clothes here at home and now that summer is here I want some quick easy makes that I can wear in a day or two.I know people who cringe at the thought of wearing summer clothes, assuming wrongly that the sun means baring skin. Not so, some of the coolest clothes to wear are those which offer some protection from the sun. My usual summer clothes consist of pedal pushers and tunic tops, but I guess that's more out of habit than anything else, so I am making myself some dresses.



I made two versions. The red one is in an African printed cotton and the dark blue is Hand printed Batik. The red one has a fully lined bodice.

 Fabric choices

For fabric choices  look no further than Minerva Fabrics.
MinervaCrafts have an amazing collection of batik fabrics do look at the choice on the link to their website. Batik Fabric
The price range is excellent and I am always impressed with the quality, so do take a look


This is a very pretty dress by Simplicity, available from Jaycotts Simplicity S8294 it is a vintage style dress with the option of having a collar, waist tabs and short cap sleeves. There are also two skirt options so this pattern does offer value for money.
I made a size 12 and it needed no adjustments. You will find that your pattern size differs from your commercial dress size, please do not be alarmed, just make sure that you cut out the size which most closely resembles your body measurements. If your top and bottom halves differ then this pattern allows you to cut out relevant sizes for your top half, and a larger or smaller size for your bottom half . It is easy then to merge the two sizes together at the waist.


I like the slightly lower back in this pattern and as I do not appreciate having burnt shoulders I was glad that one of the options is to include a cap sleeve.
When choosing your pattern think about any parts of your body which you would like to cover up and look for a pattern which will do that. For example if you do not like your arms then think about choosing a pattern with a sleeve - which could be a flutter sleeve, short sleeve or whatever length you prefer. To draw attention away from a problem tummy or hip then choose a flattering neckline to draw the eye upwards.