Pansies Cotton poplin and the perfect Autumn shirt dress

This might be the perfect Autumn shirt dress!

We had some gorgeous cotton poplins delivered a few months ago and I was itching to get going with a sample to show how gorgeous they are…this has surpassed my hopes! The drape is fantastic for a poplin…no crispiness, and the colours are so vibrant!

I wanted to make a shirt dress with a slight nod to the seventies, with a big pointy collar and mini skirt so I used the Tilly and the Buttons Lyra shirt dress pattern to create this look.

I added a bit of length to the collar points and also sandwiched some cotton lace trim between the two collar pieces before stitching them together. I’m loving using trims like this at the moment! There are loads of lovely trims in stock perfect for adding to collars…just sayin’!

It’s going to be an Autumn/ Winter staple layered up with cardi’s, jumpers and tights! Take a look at the fabulous range of florals in stock -they won’t disappoint!

Lyra shirt dress made with Pansies cotton poplin £12 p/m

Sewhouse 7 Montavilla dress in viscose

Hey there

How are you all?  Hope there’s plenty of sewing happening in your world.  I don’t know about you but all this chilly wet weather isn’t conducive to encouraging me to be sewing up nice summery garments.  I’m usually away (pre Covid times of course) during August somewhere warm and sunny and often wondering if I’m leaving behind the best of the British weather.  It almost had me fooled last year when we were lucky enough to have lots of sunshine and warmth.  However, this year I’m not so sure!!

Anyway in an effort to cling onto the dreams of summer and lots of sunshine (can you tell I’m desparately trying to avoid sewing up wintery projects in August!!!), when Sammy asked me to choose something from her website for my next Design Team Project I opted for some of the 100% viscose.  After my usual indecisiveness over fabric colours, I opted for the teal and white colourway and have to say it is truly beautiful to work with.  It washed and dried great, no colour runs or bobbling.  Ironing was an absolute breeze!  It pressed beautifully.  I did use the clapper as I usually do when pressing seams but I’m pretty sure it didn’t really need it.  After searching through my patterns I decided it would make a lovely Sew House Seven Montavilla Dress.  I’ve had this pattern for quite a while now but never quite got round to making it.

Once I got the dress cut out, it started to come together really quickly and had some really good and new to me techniques.  I spent ages looking for the frill pattern piece only to find there isn’t one….its created by making a shoulder dart on the back and front bodice.  I thought this was genius idea and love the shoulder detail.  The neckline is self bound and I have to say the fabric is so buttery soft at times I had problems feeling it between my fingers.  

The pockets on the side panel and the piece of elastic at the top of that side panels make a really nice feature too.

I followed the instructions to the letter and didn’t make any changes to the pattern despite wondering if I should add some length due to my height (I’m 5’10”) but I tried it on before hemming and was pleased with the length as it was.

I was really impressed with the instructions for this pattern especially for the mitred corners on the hem and I’ll definitely use this technique where possible on future makes as it gives a really nice neat finish.  Those splits on the sides are just the perfect size.  Just enough leg pops out as you walk and I think it makes the dress look really feminine.

I started a new job back in July temporarily whilst waiting patiently for our business to restart after being badly affected by Covid and after 20 years of working for ourselves and learning a new job, I’m finding it quite stressful right now so I found this make really therapeutic as a result of the fabric choice and pattern itself with its cheeky little techniques.  I’d say the only tricky part was the belt.  Despite having the Prym tube turners, I still managed to get it stuck inside itself.  Luckily, Mia (my youngest) was around and kindly offered to sort the belt for me whilst I cracked on with sewing other parts.

I was super excited to wear this dress and had big plans to wear it for a meal with my bestie only to put it on and drop foundation on it whilst getting ready to go out!  I wouldn’t mind but it’s the first time I’ve worn foundation in 18 months!!!! I was so annoyed so I had to put it on the back burner for another time.  Fortunately I didn’t have to wait long and on A Level results day we took Mia out for a meal to celebrate her grades so took the opportunity to wear it then and get photos for this blog post.

I have to say the fabric is absolutely delightful against my skin.  Its super soft and light and airy.  I definitely chose the right project for the fabric and felt great wearing it.  I will definitely be making more versions of this dress.

I highly recommend this fabric….would it be really wrong to have every colourway??  I really can’t say enough how gorgeous this fabric is.  Yes….you really do need some!

Hope you like the project I chose for this lovely fabric.  

Until next time…. happy sewing!

Lisa

@sewlastminutelisa

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

Kielo wrap dress in leopard print modal jersey

Lisa's summer wrap dress

Hi Again


Hope you’re all doing well and have lots of exciting sewing plans for the summer.

I’ve had a bit of a lull in my sewing for a number of reasons really. Hopefully, though this is the start of my sewjo returning. It’s a bit of a strange one really as I know sewing helps my mental health but sometimes finding the energy to actually do some sewing is just isn’t there. Anyway enough of the
ramblings go grab a cuppa and have a read about this absolutely gorgeously soft fabric.

When Sammy asked for projects recently I figured this would give me the motivation I needed to actually get on a do something productive. It was just the ticket when I spotted the lush pink animal print jersey on her website. I’m a sucker for an animal print I don’t know about you guys? Anyway, this jersey comes in a few colourways and I have to say I dithered over the other colourways before settling on the pink. The colours in this fabric are so cheery and vibrant. The colours didn’t fade either in the wash.

Shop modal jersey here

When the fabric arrived I got it washed straight away.  It washed and dried beautifully.  I under estimated just exactly how soft the fabric would be.  I’d already decided when browsing the website that it would make the perfect Named Clothing Kielo dress.  I’ve previously made this dress and feel really comfortable in it.  It is quite fabric hungry mind you.  

I’ve had jersey fabric previously that has curled at the edges when you’re cutting it out and been generally just a right pain in the butt but this didn’t curl at the ends or anything.  It pressed really nice too when I was putting in the bust darts and was just a general dream to sew with.  I used the ballpoint needles that Sammy very kindly provided with my fabric which made sewing the fabric easy.  I always make sure to use the recommended needles for whatever fabric I’m using as this does stop any mishaps.  

The dress came together really quickly and mostly on the over locker.  I have the Prym turners and they made turning the waist ties super easy to turn.   I used my Babylock Coverstitch to hem the neckline, armholes and hem of the skirt.  It did the trick perfectly and gave a professional finish.

 I wore the dress today for the first time as I’ve been waiting for some suitable weather to get the photographs and OH MY DAYSSSSSSS it was bloomin delicious against my skin.  It almost felt like I wasn’t wearing any clothes it was that soft.  I can definitely see me having to have the other colourways now I know how soft it is!  It’s a fab one that can be worn with either shoes/sandals for a dressier look or trainers for a more casual look.  I know this one will be a well loved item in my wardrobe.  

I definitely think this fabric would look amazing in a range of items.  I’ve got my eye on one of the other colourways for a jumpsuit hopefully sometime this year ☺.

Anyway I’ll stop drivelling on now so you can pop over to the website and browse the fabric for yourselves 😉 (not corrupting you in any way of course ☺)

Until next time, take care and happy sewing!

Lisa

@sewlastminutelisa

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?

Rainbow leopard print Mimi G shirt

The perfect fun summer shirt

 
 
Hello again!
I’m back with another project, and one which I think should bring a smile to anyone’s face! I mean, just look at this fabric, it’s the perfect combo of rainbow and animal print, right up my alley!

Shop rainbow leopard print here! 

This time around I had trouble choosing a project so I went to my pattern box and searched for ideas. The pattern I settled on was S8889, a Mimi G for Simplicity shirt with a hi-lo front and hidden button placket. This way I could go for any number of the amazing cottons that Sammy has in stock. 
 
This cotton is the perfect weight for this shirt. For some reason I thought the animal print would be larger but I love how the dainty nature of it tones down the rainbow. 

I prewashed the fabric, obviously, and it shrunk by 1.5cm but I knew I had more than enough for the project, in fact, with some clever pattern placement, I ended up getting the whole shirt out of just over 1m. I didn’t consider stripe placement because there were too many pieces including plackets which I’d never done before but I think it worked out well in the end. I did make the effort to match the breast pocket and I’m so pleased, it’s practically invisible!!!

Construction was relatively straight forward, and made easier because the fabric wasn’t a shifty viscose! I lengthened the front by 5cms and I think I could do with lengthening it a bit more! The deep hem facing worked well and I love the shape it gives. The sleeves and collar went in well and the instructions for the button placket were good – only once did I have cause to scratch my head! Over all it was a really pleasant project to sew!
This shirt makes me smile whenever I look at it, and I love that in my clothes! So go make a rainbow shirt for your wardrobe right now!!!
 
Thanks Sammy for the beautiful fabric!

This style shirt would also work brilliantly in any of our other funky prints…

Shop here

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!

Rico Mustard Leopard Print Canvas tote

What to make with cotton canvas

Cotton Canvas fabrics are durable, medium-weight materials. They are perfect for a number of projects and applications including dressmaking, bags and jackets.

This brand new design from Rico features a bold leopard print with an acid bright yellow accent.

I love making bags, they are quick to make and also very functional. This canvas was really lovely to work with and has just the right amount of structure for a soft yet sturdy bag.

I self-drafted this canvas tote pattern but there are plenty of great DIY’s over on YouTube. I added webbing for my bag handles, I made the strap from a strip of the canvas with some swivel clips sewn in at each end, a durable base made from Cordura which I had in my stash, and ripstop lining to make the inside water-resistant. Mixing and matching outdoor fabrics with cotton canvas is a great way of getting a professional-looking bag that will last.

Here are some other ideas for projects you could make with this fabulous fabric!

What do you think of this fabric? Too bright or just the right amount of neon?!