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Sunday, 25 July 2021

The Sew Over It Eve dress

A post 

I love this pattern, I have one with the fluttery sleeves, but wanted another one with short straight sleeves 

What I love most about it is that the front wraps over for the entire width of the front so even on the breeziest of days I know that my modesty will stay intact.

I made it in cotton Jersey which is a fabric I turn to a lot. It is cool, comfortable easy to sew and easy to wear.

This particular fabric  comes in several colours but I love this blue best of all 

I just made one alteration to the pattern  by shortening the straight sleeves a bit more. I chose the dipped back. I think that if you are a wheelchair user I would choose the other option and have a "normal" hem, the dip in the back is not necessary if seated a lot and could get tangled in the wheels. I would consider the floaty sleeves though to draw attention to your upper body. A statement necklace would be great too 

I have parkinsons and sometimes struggle to manage fastenings, and so this is a perfect garment for me to get in and out of easily as it is held together ,securely I must add, by ties. 

Please do read my entire post on  Web site and you can order this fabric too


It is an easy pattern to sew and fitting is minimal so I would concentrate on fitting the top  - there is room for a large meal under the full skirt.

The style is flirty and feminine and you will certainly be asked where you bought it from! And you know what your response will be don't you 

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Wednesday, 21 July 2021


 The Nina Lee Mayfair Dress from Simply Sewing magazine

Pattern review 

I admit that i do not  normally buy magazines but there are some fabulous paper patterns in this one so I did not hesitate. 

The Mayfair Dress is a very easy sew and it comes with two length and sleeve options 

I chose a fine cotton Jersey from my own stash 

The pattern requires piecing together but this is not a problem, it is very easy to do.

In order to save fabric and therefore money, I shortened the length by 6" before cutting out.

Sewing the collar facings instructions from the pattern instructions 

Sewing is plain sailing,in fact I made it in an evening. The only part which requires a bit of thought is forming a tunnel by rolling the fabric up tightly so that the back facing edge can be enclosed.
Once you realise that you only need to sew the back from shoulder to shoulder it becomes less daunting. A zipper foot helps 

I think that this is a superb Dress, very comfortable to wear and very cool

It is fabulous for people like  me who prefer to cover up in the sun.

The collar is soft and drapes well, so I resisted the temptation to press any creases in it and allowed it to drapes naturally 

I have made Nina Lee dresses before and I have always been happy with them, this is no  exception,  so I urge you to give it a go yourself.
Please contact me by any of my social media channels if you have any questions 

Best wishes

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#ninaleemayfair #dresses #dressmaking 

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

McCalls 8064 in cotton jersey

 McCalls 8064 in cotton Jersey from 

details of fabric and pattern are on Cotton jersey dress so please do take a look 

This cotton Jersey fabric is substantial in weight which makes it hang beautifully,  and also makes it easy to sew.

The pattern is by McCalls and I chose the medium size. I am finding with McCalls at the moment the sizing is running small so I made one or two alterations to make it fit comfortably.  This only demonstrates that it is always necessary to cut out the size which best reflects your own  body measurements and  not to assume that you are the same size for every pattern company because you won't be.

That aside this is a very beautiful dress and I feel that it is smart enough for a wedding. 

I altered the length to somewhere in the middle of their two length options using a ruler to measure accurately.

This is an easy sew which under different circumstances ( I have been going through massive home improvements) I would have finished in a couple of days. 

This is a dress to take you through the seasons and the full length version would be perfect in a sparkly stretch fabric for evening events - should they ever happen again!

The short dress with short or no sleeves is perfect for summer days.

This pattern easily suits any age group and any figure, so go ahead and make one for yourself,  just pay attention to getting the sizing correct ,and you will have a dress which will quickly become a firm favourite and which you will wear time and time again.

I love this fabric, it is stylish and best of all there are five fabulous colours to choose from.

I would love to see your version of this dress

Happy sewing 



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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The dress that almost didn't happen - a beautiful 1940s Tea Dress by New Look

A post

This lovely dress , New Look N6594 very nearly ended in the bin,

To read this post and to find out more about the fabric go to this link on My 1940s tea dress in cotton poplin

It is a 1940's WW2 Style Tea Dress ,looking at the pattern I feel it is more American in design rather than British as our clothing restrictions were much less forgiving than in America where just about the only clothing restricted was anything made from leather as it was needed for sadddles and so on.

The short version of the dress almost meets our standards, it has one pleat which was fine. The buttons on the other views were not allowed as they are decorative rather than functional and the turn up on the sleeve was not allowed as it was deemed a waste of fabric,I find the whole aspect of fashion in WW2 fascinating and there is a lot more Information on this blog.

My fabric is this absolutely beautiful Cotton Poplin and it is the most gorgeous fabric to work with and to wear. The stylasised trees have shimmery gold dots on them which really lifts the fabric.

But boy did I have problems fitting this dress! It was nearly thrown into the bin and was demoted to the back of a cupboard for a week, the pattern is lovely and I have made this style previously, but not this particular pattern. I measured myself, checked my measurements against the pattern and confirmed the wearing ease. I made a toile of the bodice but without sleeves and all was well - or so I thought.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Simple Sewing Project - APRONS!

 When I was learning to sew at primary school the very first thing I ever made was a Gingham apron which I decorated with cross stitch embroidery. I suddenly thought that it is a brilliant idea for a first sewing project. have a surprising amount of apron patterns for men women and children, vintage to modern, take a look Apron patterns

Or you could design your own as I did or copy one you already have 

 Cut out your fabric and make sure that it has been pressed.

Simply double hem (or overlock and single hem) all the way round 

You can hand sew if you do not have a sewing machine 

Then add ties. I used grosgrain ribbon but most patterns show you how to stitch simple ties from your fabric if you have none to hand 

The easiest way to make them is to sew a long strip , around 4"wide, sew it right sides together and turn right side out.  Press and topstitch 

I used D rings on the neck strap to make it adjustable . These are available from any haberdashery 

Add any sort of pocket you like, heart shaped pockets look cute on Gingham or floral. Go for one simple pocket or one which stretches all the way across,  your choice.

I used a Bias binding foot to easily attach a decorative trim to my large pocket

For children I used to use old mens shirts or my old dresses but there are some really cute fabrics around 

Elephant In My Handbag Childrens fabric has some fabulous fabric, including glow in the dark!

If you want an apron for a man Denim or canvas is great, do add lots of pockets for tools and so on

For a craft apron use Pleather or a waterproof fabric. When sewing with pleather ( faux leather) use a leather needle. A nice way to finish the edges is to use your pinking sheers all around the edge and then turn to the wrong side and top stitch.

This really is a great first sewing project for any age. I hope that I have given you some ideas. 

Thank you for reading 

Do watch this video 

 The link to the video on YouTube is here too .         Link to video on YouTube


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Sunday, 25 April 2021

Cotton Poplin summer TUNIC

 My cotton poplin floral tunic 

This is a post I have made for,  the link to the post is below and I do urge you to visit the link as you can see all the fabric and pattern details and will be able to order them easily 

This fabric is  beautiful, not only does it look good but it is a delight to wear. It lends itself perfectly to all manner of dresses blouses and children's clothes and being cotton it is perfect for summer.

I chose a Vogue designer pattern to make this tunic. This pattern also contains a very nice pair of trousers.

This is not a quick make but neither is it difficult. You do need a bit of sewing knowledge but it is suitable for a confident beginner. 

This pattern has a lot of design features which make it that bit more sophisticated than your average tunic. It features mock welt pockets, buttons are concealed within a front band and there are tabs on the sleeves.

It is important to follow the pattern instructions to the letter because some of the construction is a little different , as an example the front and back pieces are hemmed separately before the side seams are sewn. The reason for this becomes apparent once you do sew the front and back together,  it makes for a very neat hem and it is honestly far easier to sew.

For details of pattern , fabric and more photos please go to this link Fabrics and patterns used in this post

This is such a cool and breezy summer blouse , perfect with my ginger Jeans . There is a tutorial on this blog on this link

My Jeans tutorial  

Saturday, 6 March 2021


 Easy to sew, eco-friendly, perfect for gifts.....

Not just any Bag

What do you do with your leftover bits of fabric? I like to use every scrap of my fabric and this is my go-to favourite  project.
We all need bags now and what could be better than to make your own? A pretty bag is less likely to be left at home and no matter how simple the design they are always admired. In fact mine are often admired so much that I give them away and end up with none for myself

This particular Tote bag was made almost entirely on my embroidery machine. Sweet Pea Australia
 It is made from quilting cotton and trimmed with faux leather.

Press to read more......,