Black Daisy Cotton Lawn Statement Collar Dress

Big collars are everywhere and, although it’s probably a bit of a marmite trend, I for one am loving it!

My love affair with this trend started with the Nina Lee Bakerloo dress, but I started seeing these slightly lowered neckline dresses with big collars and I was in love! 

I looked through all my patterns to see how I could hack this trend and then I stumbled across a post by Coolstitches on Instagram and she used the Viki Sews Sharon dress pattern to achieve this look.

Viki Sews is a Russian pattern company and therefore most of their pattern is written in Russian (they are now launching some in English). It wasn’t the construction I struggled with though it was the sizing so watch out for that, as you purchase one size using the sizing guide. My waist is large compared to my bust and hips but going by my waist measurements but me in a size far too large so you are better going off your bust and grading out.

When Sammy got some daisy cotton lawns in stock I knew it would make the prettiest dress and a bit different from the gingham versions that are all over the high street/ sewing community right now.

I wanted to add either a ruffle or some lace to the collar to make it stand out and decided on the cotton lace trim. Any of the trims that Sammy has in stock would look fabulous, just pin it in between the collar pieces before stitching it together. 

I omitted the waist darts in the front and back bodice and shortedened the bodice by about 3″…I probably wouldn’t make it this short next time (oh yes there will be more of these dresses in my life!) I then used the Tilly button Indigo skirt pattern and added a short ruffle of 7″ to the bottom. I love mixing and matching patterns, it’s such a great way to get a bespoke look!

This is very lightweight soft cotton and I thought it might need lining but actually, it doesn’t. It’s the perfect summer fabric and would make really comfy pajamas or a lovely summery shirt. It comes in a sage green and lilac colourway too…

Do you like daisy print? Check out the fabric section as there are loads of gorgeous new fabrics in stock!

Debbie x

Double Gauze Inspiration

Double gauze is the perfect summer fabric, it’s breathable, comfy, soft, and cool. It’s made from two layers of gauze that are tacked together at regular intervals with little stitches that are undetectable from the right side of the fabric. Soft, airy, and slightly crinkled for a casual look it’s perfect for more unstructured clothing items like smock dresses and loose trousers and makes fabulous kids and baby clothes because of its natural properties.

We have put together some inspiration for what to make with this lovely cloth…

Dresses

Loose smock and wrap-style dresses are the perfect choice for this soft drapey fabric type. We would recommend the following patterns:

Roseclair Dress – Cashmerette

McCalls M7969

Flor dress and top – Bella Loves Patterns

Indigo dress – Tilly and the buttons

 

Trousers

We are all about the secret pyjamas! These soft and comfy trousers are perfect for work and play!

Pattern Recommendations:

Chandler trousers and shorts – Untitled Thoughts

Bob pants – Style Arc

Barry Pants – Style Arc

Georgie Trousers – Fieldwork Patterns

 

 

Tops

From shirred bodices to loose fit blouses double gauze is the perfect casual but chic fabric.

Shirred tops are easy to make once you get the technique. there are lots of free tutorials on You Tube or you could try the By Hand London DIY.

Other top pattern recommendations are:

Selina woven top – Style Arc 

McCalls M8202

ZW cropped shirt – Birgitta Helmersson

March Top and Dress – Helens Closet

 

Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits are perfect for an office look while dungarees are their casual cousin! A soft double gauze is the perfect pairing for this smart/ casual summer look.

Why not try:

Zadie jumpsuit – Paper Theory Patterns

Jazz jumpsuit (pictured middle) -Ready to sew

Leo Dungarees (pictured above left) – By Hand London

McCall Dress and Jumpsuit M81865

 

What we have in stock!

We’ve got five beautiful double gauze fabrics in stock currently from a flecked gold to a bold leopard print…what would you make?!

Shop Here

Look out for Debbie’s next blog post where she talks about her M7969 It’s the perfect Summer into Autumn dress…

Also don’t miss Alexa’s blog post about her beautiful summer dress made from Double Gauze!

Read here

Watercolour Rainbow Rocks Viscose meets the Myosotis dress

Have you seen the fabulous new viscose prints we have in stock? From rainbow watercolours to galaxy and marble prints these new vibrant dressmaking fabrics have us all in a spin!

Debbie immediately snapped up the Rainbow Rocks Viscose print and whipped up a wardrobe fave…the Deer and Doe Myosotis dress with a few hacks!)

She chose Hemline self-covered buttons to use up the leftover scraps from the dress and to give a professional finish. They are a little fiddly but well worth the effort as you can see!

Debbie omitted the collar on the Myosotis dress and replaced it with a new curbed front and self-drafted facing.

Added waist ties, some extra volume to the sleeve, 3 rows of shirring with some Gutermann shirring elastic, and a little ruffle hem to finish it off…its’ the perfect bright and breezy summer dress…and of course it has pockets!

What would you make with these fun and bold prints?

Closet Core Nettie hack with leopard print modal jersey

Alexa's slinky cowl neck top hack!

When I spotted these gorgeous leopard jerseys that Sammy had in I knew I wanted to make something with them.

When the jersey arrived, it was so lovely and soft and super slinky. I decided to make a Sew Over It cowl dress. However, on a previous attempt at this dress, I hadn’t loved how the body of the dress looked on me so I decided to merge it with the closet core nettie dress which is one of my favourites.

Turns out, this was a mistake! This jersey is a bit slinky for the nettie. Such a testament to matching the fabric to the pattern. However the slinky jersey works great for cowl neck so I cut the dress into a top and now I love it.

Despite being a seemingly straightforward project, I learnt a number of lessons while making it. The first was about paying attention to matching the fabric to pattern and the second was about changing my needle! I ordered these ballpoint needles to use with this project and it’s amazing how much smoother the sewing goes when you change your needle to an appropriate one. Anyone else guilty of rarely remembering to change their needle?

This really was a gorgeous fabric to work with and feels lovely to wear, I think I’m going to use one of the other colour ways to make a wrap dress.

All fabrics, trimmings and craft accessories are currently 50% off in our Summer Sale with code ss2021 at checkout!

Three ways with the Sunny faces print cotton…

We love the sunny faces cotton print over here at Samantha Claridge Studio HQ…so we’ve got 3 ideas for ways to use it which we hope you will find inspiring!

It’s also currently half price in the summer sale with code ss2021 at checkout. Grab some while you come and sew up some fun summer pieces!

We made a cute and fun garden-appropriate cushion cover and added some homemade pom-poms to each corner …this is a great way for using up any extra fabric after other projects and they really brighten up our chill-out area! I used the simple envelope method for this cushion so no zips or fastenings which makes it a speedy sew!

I’ve been coveting the amazing dungarees over at Lucy & Yak with their bold prints and fun designs so as soon as I saw this fabric I knew it would be perfect for a pair of L&Y-inspired overalls! I used the Waves and Wild Heyday dungaree pattern and they are so cool and comfy! They are obviously more lightweight as they are in a cotton poplin but these are going to be amazing when the weather heats up! It sews up and pressed like a dream so would be amazing for loads of dressmaking projects. I shirt would be fabulous…

…and finally the sunhat! You’ve seen this one in a previous post, but I used the free sunhat pattern from Rosery Apparel and I made the brim a little more shallow…it’s the perfect sunhat for kids!

What would you make with this fun print?!

A Heather Blazer with naked ladies fabric

We love this fabric… the print, the colours, the weight and the handle are just perfect!

It’s 100% Cotton and is the perfect summer fabric for garments and homeware. We know it’s quite a bold print so we wanted to show you what it looks like made up as a garment and some ways to style it!

We made a Heather Blazer (Friday Pattern Company) with our naked ladies print and lined it with our polyester mint green lining which looks perfect with the lighter tones in the print.

 

This jacket was so easy to style…it goes with everything!

Here Debbie has styled it with a me-made Hinterland dress and some white trainers

It turns out that Debbie has lots of items in her wardrobe in that rust colour!

Here she has teamed the blazer with a Breton tee, her me-made linen Persephone pants, and some Lotta From Stockholm clogs, the perfect spring/ summer work outfit…

A jumpsuit fits perfectly under this jacket for a smart work look and the colours in the print tie in perfectly with the charcoal linen…

Jeans would work perfectly with this jacket but instead, we tried pairing it with a chambray mini dress (you can read about this dress here!

Our chambray fabric works perfectly with this print!

Shop chambray here

This blazer is so versatile and so is this print! It’s fun and quirky and is the perfect statement jacket!

What do you think?

Would you make this jacket in a bold print or stick to something more neutral?

We’ve also made some samples in our other bold prints to give you some inspo…you can read all about them here!

We’ve got lots of fun prints in stock which you can shop for here!

Accessories and homeware with bold print cotton

Have you ever seen a bold print fabric and thought ‘I love that, but what would I make?’

Well, we wanted to give you some sewing inspiration for those fun bold prints and larger fabric scraps that you may have in your stash…

DIY lampshades are a fabulous way of really adding some personality to your home furnishings. We bought a lampshade-making kit and used the Tiger Star print fabric which has such a luxe feel especially paired with my jazzy pineapple lamp base!

These kits are really easy to follow…fairly fiddly but oh sew worth it! (No sewing involved by the way…I just can’t resist a sewing pun!) You don’t need a thick fabric as you are sticking the fabric to a pre-cut plastic base so these lightweight cottons work perfectly.

Shop the Tiger Star Fabric here 

Bucket hats are a huge trend this summer and obviously very necessary for keeping that hot summer sun from burning you!

The Sunny Faces fabric is so cute and works perfectly for a kid’s…or adults sun hat!  

We used the free tutorial from Rosery Apparel and made the brim slightly smaller

We love this fried egg print, so fun and quirky and perfect for kitchen accessories.

We found a free tutorial for this lunch box on YouTube and this egg print works perfectly to give a modern and fun food-themed bag!

This fabric would also make some beautiful picnic napkins, oven gloves, and pot holders for your kitchen. 

We hope this has given you some ideas and inspired you to make some cool accessories!

Which fabric is your favourite?

 

Handmade quilted coat/ quilted jacket made with Figo fabrics

I’m sure you’ve all seen the wonderful quilted coat trend that has been all over social media for the last year. A US-based company called Psychic outlaw started making them from thrifted quilts and then lots were popping up that were made from scratch. I was keen to make my own as I do love quilting (I’m no expert and my lines can be a little wobbly but that’s half the charm right?!).

I’d been wanting to make something with the Figo Fabrics Moonlit Voyage range for a while and this seemed like the perfect project to showcase this fabulous range!

Some of this range is now sold out but there are still some gorgeous options over in the shop

Taking on a project like this is a labour of love, as so much work goes into each stage, but I was at a point in the year and my sewing when I was looking for a slow sewing project that I could pick up and put down as and when the mood took me…

I started my journey by stalking the #quiltedjacket hashtag on Instagram and was really inspired by Buried Diamond who made her coat from leftover scraps from other projects throughout the year and also Suzy Quilts who uses a sort of ombre technique when organising her colours…I knew this was the technique for me! I’ve been loving rust and ochre colours so wanted to incorporate these into my coat and I had some scraps of ramie linen left from other projects as well as some Ikat fabric that I knew would tie the darker colours from the Figo Fabrics in really well.

Sticking to a colour palette is a great way to get a pulled-together look…but equally these jackets work with a more haphazard pairing of fabrics and colours and look so darn charming!

As this type of coat/ jacket is so busy with pattern it’s a good idea to use a simple shape coat as your base. I went with the Wiksten Haori as I’ve made a few and know it works really well and is super cosy and a bit oversized!

 

 

I started out by cutting about a million(ha!) 4″ x 4″ squares and then playing with the layout using the pattern pieces from the jacket as a base.

I always use a size M for me when making Haori jackets…I’m a size 12 for reference.

I had read somewhere that when making quilted jackets it’s advisable to make the quilt ‘top’ bigger than your pattern pieces as it can shrink once quilted plus you need to think about seam allowance for each square. My back pieces ended up being 10 squares wide by 7 squares high.

I used a backing and quilted in a grid pattern. In hindsight I wish I’d not used a backing and used it as traditional lining separately as you end up with unfinished seams on the inside. You could bind these seams for a really fancy finish. I ended up just overlocking them.

 

Once I had all my quilted pieces I laid the pattern peices on top and cut them out. I then overlocked around each edge. I decided to adapt the pocket and make it curved As I thought It would look good as a contrast to all the squares. I then bound the edges of the pockets and stitched them onto the jacket fronts. When you make the pockets on the Haori according to the pattern you line them and turn them through but as I had raw edges from the quilting and using a backing fabric I knew that binding was the best option for me. I was still keen to pattern match (very unlike me!) so I made sure I used the same fabrics as the body of the jacket where the pocket placement was to match it up nicely.

 

The jacket comes together very quickly and before I knew it I was making the collar! 

 

I went with a block colour for the collar (some left over ikat fabric from another project) as I knew this would give the jacket a nice balance and before sewing it in place I bias bound the whole of the bottom of the coat with black binding.

Once the quilting was done the jacket came together in a few hours, the Haori pattern is really speedy and easy and would be fantastic for a beginner as there are no fastenings.  It’s definitely something I’d like to do again and I might make a mini one for my daughter as I have plenty of squares left! This is such a great stash buster too and the options are endless in terms of sizes of your quilting pieces, colourways, shapes etc…it’s really a wonderful project to undertake and you will end up with a truly unique jacket. There are plenty of hacks for the haori jacket too including making the collar narrower and different length options, I just like the length of this one for the winter months, but, a quilted coat in some bright colours would be fabulous for the spring/ summer…

This is going to keep me nice and cosy for the next couple of months!

What do you think, would you give this a go?

Debbie x

Christmas wreath – Felt craft

I love a bit of Christmas crafting with my daughter to get in a festive mood! We made a hot drink and put on Christmas music this weekend and made this fun felt wreath with some of our craft bits.

This is such a simple and fun craft to do with little ones as there is no stitching involved, we just used a glue gun and plenty of imagination!

All you need is a styro wreath (this one was from Hobby Craft) felt, scissors, glue and any extras you might want to use, we also used pom poms and bells leftover from another project but you could use ribbons/ buttons or glitter to add that festive touch…just go wild!

We’ve got lots of festive crafting accessories in stock here

We cut leaf shapes and pinched the ends and secured with glue to get a 3D effect. For the flowers, we cut continuous curved petal shape on the round then curl it upon itself and secured with glue.

We also made some gingerbread men, candy canes, and a snowman and filled any white space with pom-poms and bells!

We really just had fun with it and stuck everything on as we went not being too precious and we had such a lovely afternoon!

This is a fairly inexpensive craft which is perfect for filling an afternoon and you could even give these as gifts!

Happy Christmas crafting!

Debbie x

Christmas Crafting! Festive stocking filler purse

Festive purse

We love a quick little sewing project for when you have 5 mins and want to get a quick fix or want to make a handmade gift that doesn’t take too long.

Our quick purse tutorial is perfect for a stocking filler or a unique thoughtful teacher present or secret Santa. It’s a great one for kids or beginners too!

We’ve designed a curved purse but you could easily make this square or oblong, the process is the same.

We used some of the festive fabric we have in stock here

For this project you will need:

Printed out purse template (below)

Main fabric

Lining fabric

7″ zip

Basic sewing kit

Scissors

Step one

Use our template to cut out 2 pieces of main fabric and two of lining fabric.

Step two

Place the zip face down on the right side of the main fabric so the top of the zip lines up with the top edge of the fabric

Step three

Place a lining piece right side down on to the zip so the zip is sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining fabric and pin in place

Using the zipper foot on your sewing machine stitch in place through all the layers.

Open it out, press and then do the same with the other side

Step four

Press both sides and topstitch either side of the zip if you want.

Now open the zip to the halfway point, this is a very important step to help you turn the purse through once it stitched.

Step five

Take the two pieces of main fabric and pin together right sides facing. Do the same with the lining fabric and then stitch all the way around leaving a 2.5″ gap in the lining fabric, at the bottom curved edge, to turn the purse through.

Step six

Turn the purse through the gap you left in the lining and make sure you poke out all the corners,  then stitch the gap closed and give it a final press!

We hope you like our Christmassy projects and we can’t wait to see what you make! Tag us on Instagram if you do make any of these projects or anything with our fabrics!
#samanthaclaridgestudio