Planning my pastel gingham dress of dreams!

As soon as Sammy uploaded these new gingham cottons to the shop I was all over them like a rash! I’ve always loved gingham and these pastel colours are so happy, summery and pretty and I want to make all my dresses out of them!

My first instinct was to make a Tilly and the Buttons Seren dress with tie straps and patch pockets using a mixture of these two pastel beauties…and to be honest that’s probably exactly what I will do…but I also started searching Instagram and Pinterest for more inspiration and came across some amazing dresses that would also work brilliantly. So here is my run down of the best gingham styles to replicate this summer…

The dress on the left with it’s square neckline and slit detail sleeves reminded me of the By Hand London Jenna dress. This pattern could easily be hacked to omit the back zip and instead create a full placket at the front and lengthen the skirt.

The middle picture with its shirt style top and tierred skirt could be replicated with the McCall’s M7351 by adding a frill to the front bodice and using four tiers of fabric to create the skirt.

The simple sundress on the far right is a classic way to use gingham and looks so pretty paired with a beaded bag and some strappy sandals. You could get this look using the Avid Seamstress Sundress pattern

I absoloutely love the combination of a few different ginghams to create a fun modern look and will probably make myself a (another) Sew Liberated Hinterland dress or a By Hand London Hannah dress out of gingham for the winter but perhaps in a darker colour.

Whatever style I go for though, I know I’ll have a fun dress, perfect for picnics and sunny days out as gingham never goes out of style!

…and I’ll definitely be making myself a matching bag to go with it too!

Do you love gingham or does it give you school summer dress vibes? 

What would you make?

I’ll keep you posted with my make…better get to it before the summer is gone!

Debbie x

New fabrics in stock!

We’ve had some beautiful new fabrics in this week and some old faves re-stocked!

From viscose crepe to on-trend ginghams we have got your summer and Autumn sewing covered!

These fabulous viscose crepes are £8.50 p/m and 140cm wide. They would make a beautiful blouse, dress or jumpsuit. We’ve put together a selection of patterns we think would be perfect for showing off this gorgeous print…

Clockwise from left:

Fibremood –  Norma Blouse

Friday Pattern Company – Adrianna Blouse

Friday Pattern Company – The Hilo Dress

Gingham is huge again this summer. Giving us all the picnic vibes our new pinks and purples in these yummy pastel shades are perfect for girly summer dresses!

From £3.50 per half metre it’s a great fabric to experiment with.

We scoured Pinterest for some gingham inspiration. Mixing and matching scale and colours give a really modern feel to this vintage inspired fabric…

Stripes are always in! We’ve got two new cotton poplins and a re-stock of the linen mix stripes that have been very popular…

Stripes are a great choice for shirts and skirts. playing with stripe directions also gives a modern feel.

Below are a few ideas to get you inspired!

We’ve also had some gorgeous super soft leopard print double gauze in. It has a soft grey/ blue background. Double gauze is very simply, two layers of fine gauze that are woven together at regular intervals with little stab stitches which are undetectable from the right side of the fabric. A fabulous textile for adult and children’s clothes. This is £7.50 per metre and 130cm wide.

Self-drafted Shashiko jeans project

Shashiko jeans by @missmaker

 

 

So, a pair of self-draft jeans had been on my hit list for quite a while. As always with my Samantha Claridge Design Team projects, I try and ensure I stretch myself and cover new ground, really making the most of the opportunities these projects allow. These things take time of course and setting time aside had been proving difficult with a couple of big personal projects at the start of this year

Just for good measure, (cos nothing should be too easy!) I had added a couple of other elements to the project too. As well as additional pockets and a curved back yoke design, I had repaired a pair of old jeans with a bit of Sashiko mending (the art of applying small regular reinforcing stitches in patterns and designs that decorate and make a feature of the mended area) and really wanted to make this a feature of the jeans I was going to make for SCDT. 

The lining fabric I had chosen was so pretty I did not want it hidden away inside so I knew it needed to feature on the outside. To ensure this the front pockets would have piping and the back and extra pockets would have details in the lining fabric. The Sashiko stitching would frame panels of the lining fabric supported inside by extra layers of denim to make them as hard wearing as they were pretty 

To ensure this plan came together I turned to my dress making journal to ensure I had all the elements buttoned down before moving forward with the drafting. A few sketches and notes later and I was ready to start. 

The first step was to get into the workshop and dust off my City & Guilds Trouser drafting module notes. It had been a fair while since I had looked at these. I did this module with the fabulous Wendy Ward (@thatwendywardat MIY Workshops down in Brighton almost ten years ago. She is now up in Sheffield running Sew in the City and her patterns and books are definitely worth a look.    

I always want to make the most out of time spent on projects so in drafting these jeans I was also road testing notes and an instruction booklet I had written for an upcoming trouser drafting course. With a few tweaks along the way both the notes and draft pattern all came together very nicely and I soon had a basic toile to begin fitting and styling.  

Trying on the first toile revealed that I didn’t need quite as much ease around hips and waist, a slightly shorter crotch depth (balanced further towards the front), a bit more room around the knees and an increased angle on the centre back seam as I have a bit of a sway back 

I wanted a snug toile as I knew the denim had a small amount of stretch to it and having made a number of pairs of jeans before I knew they would relax further with wear.  

With my list of fit changes updated on the toile, the toile tried on again to triple check and then the changes transferred to the pattern, I was then ready to start creating new lines and panels for the curved yoke back, front pockets, fly extension, waist band and back pocket size and position.  

Drawing directly on to the updated toile with a friction pen I could mark and erase as many times as I liked to get just the look and proportion I wanted for these different elements. I was then able to trace these new lines to create new pattern pieces I needed, adding back in seam allowances where needed. 

I will now let you in to a little secret, before cutting my pattern pieces from my denim and lining I made a point of totally mistreating my fabric 

I do this before making up any everyday clothes these days. Both lining and denim went through a 40 degree wash then into the tumble dryer. This way I knew the worst that could happened already had!  

(When I first got a tumble dryer a couple of years ago I got carried away and left my perfectly fitted ginger jeans in a wash AND dry cycle without thinking, but that’s another story, you’ll have to check out my insta and facebook feeds to find out how that got fixed!)  

The thing I love about making jeans is that the process all seems totally backwards. Every final detail, every little finishing touch, all has to be thought about and executed before anything really starts to come together. Pockets are painstakingly folded and pressed with top stitching and decorative details added, belt loops are created, front pockets are constructed and piped, the fly is inserted, back panels, yoke and pockets are all attached and topstitched. This all happens before either of the inside or outside leg seams are sewn.

For these jeans there was even more detail to add at this point, as I decided it would be far easier to add all the Sashiko detailing before either of these seams were brought together. After searching out some inspiration on Pinterest I decided on a circular design flaring off into gentle swirls around the lining fabric inserts and rows of parallel stitches across the back of one leg.  

It took a little while to complete this part of the process but it was quite nice to get consumed by a bit of slow stitching for a while, and with all the other details already in place I knew once it was done the finished jeans were not far from completion.  

So, the inside leg is sewn and top stitched, the outside seams were tacking stitched on the machine before a final try on to get that perfect fit. Hardly a tweak was needed, just a little graded increase in the seam allowance between hip and waist to take account of the denim’s stretch. With the side seems set it was on with the waist band. I don’t know why but this is the bit that daunts me most, maybe because that’s when everything is set in stone?

Finally…… lots and lots of belt loops!

 

I can’t stand jeans that skimp on belt loops and you end up with your belt over the top of the waistband, especially at centre back.  

For these jeans I added a total of 8 belt loops and made a feature of the centre back ones, angling them away from each other and extending them down to the yoke seam.  

There are still a couple of tweaks I would make to this pattern (I find my self-drafts are eternally a work in progress as I am quite self critical). But all in all these summer jeans have turned out to be the relaxed fit I wanted with a level of detail and individualisation that really set them apart.  

Update last years straw bag with some raffia embroidery

 

Last year, straw bags were a massive trend.. I bought two as I thought they were so cute and affordable and the big round one was the perfect bag for a country wedding I went to.

This year I thought a great way of jazzing up my bags would be to add some cute and colourful embroidery, like on some of the incredible bags I’ve seen on Pinterest! Below is a slection of the gorgeous designs I found…they look incredibly tricky so I’ll be sticking to something simple for now!

Raffia is the perfect ribbon to do this as it’s a simliar fabric to the straw bag and gives a rustic feel and finish! We have 3 colours in stock so I decided to use all three and do a simple flower design…

Warning…pushing the neelde through the bag lining (if your bag has one) hurts!! So maake sure you use an embroidery thimble!! I’ll be working on this in the evenings in front of the telly so I’ll post a pic on Instagram when it’s finished!

What projects are you working on in front of the telly at the mo? And what are you binge watching?!

Fashion: Get the look with our fabrics! The spring shift dress

 
Are you always seeing lovely things in the shops and thinking ” I could make that” ? Us too!
So, with that in mind, our series on Instagram called ‘Get the Look’ will give you some ideas of how to translate high street trends with fabrics we have in stock in the Samantha Claridge Studio shop!

 

Quilting cottons are just for quilting! They make the most wonderful crisp summer dresses. These brand new fabrics by FIGO from the Moonlit Voyage collection would be perfect to get this look…

Top right clockwise:

Figo Moonlit Voyage -Blue

Figo Moonlit Voyage – Houses

Figo Moonlit Voyage – Sea

Why not try this look with the following patterns and whip up a gorgeous new dress for work or your summer hols!

You can even make yourself a matching bag with New Look 6095!

Fashion: Get the look with our fabrics! Gingham and Stripes

 
Are you always seeing lovely things in the shops and thinking ” I could make that” ? Us too!
So, with that in mind, our series on Instagram called ‘Get the Look’ will give you some ideas of how to translate high street trends with fabrics we have in stock on Samantha Claridge Studio shop!

Mixing checks and stripes but keeping in the same colour palette is a great way to add interest to an outfit! (Picture from Pinterest)

Top right clockwise:

Orange Tram stripe cotton (also comes in sand and lilac) 

Ruby Star Society Grid Coral 

Red check polycotton seersucker

Why not try the Simplicity Wrap skirt pattern 8606 with the ‘Our Lady of Leisure’ Screwdriver top to get the look!

Spring/ Summer 2020 Trends Vol 2

Part 2: Seventies trends and the colour of the year!

The seventies are back! The wide collar made a surprise comeback on the runways for spring 2020 along with platforms, crochet and bell bottom trousers! Floaty dresses and blue denim are as popular as ever and we have some great fabric and pattern suggestions for you if this is a trend that appeals…

I love the mix of fabrics and textures we saw on the runway. Trimmings are a great way of adding a 1970s twist to a garment, faux leather bias binding and lurex elastic give a luxe edge to any outfit. 

Here is our fabric and trim edit so you can get the look!

Some great pattern options to get these looks would be…

Adrienne Blouse- Friday Pattern Company

Simplicity – Tunic dress 8551

Simplicity – Vintage style faux wrap 8013

Megan Nielsen – Sudley Blouse & Dress Sewing Pattern

The Joan Trousers – Friday Pattern Company

Tilly and the Buttons – Jessa Trousers and Shorts Sewing Pattern

Or, why not try a a bit of upcycling… The denim trend this year is for patchwork, bleached and mix and match styles, this could easily be replicated by ucycling some old jeans from your wardrobe or the local charity shop using scraps of denim to create a tiered maxi skirt…

Will you be making any 1970’s inspired pieces for your wardrobe this year? Or perhaps just a nod to the trend with some denim and vintage trimmings? I’m definitely all over this one and wish I had kept the bell bottoms I made at Art college…

 

 

Debbie x

Maria’s Winter Floral Blouse

Maria's stunning blouse project!

You don’t need to have been following my work for too long or know me too well to be aware of my love for florals fabrics. Another strong favourite of mine, regarding fabrics, is dobby cotton lawn. So, yes, this fabric went straight into my “must have” list.

Ivory ditsy floral dobby cotton

Lovely as it looks, I thought a few ruffles would add some charm. Also, the fabric is lightweight and, for that reason, perfect to add ruffles without being too bulky.

Bearing in mind the fabric, I choose the pattern Mome by p&m patterns. This pattern has quite a few options and I went with ruffles, long sleeves with ruffles in size 34 graded to 36 at the hips. I believe the blouse would still fit nicely if made in a straight size 34, however I am not so sure if it was still comfortable to dress and undress.

The pattern has an option to make a waist tie and I made it. However, I made it completely removable so that, the blouse can be more versatile. I like it both ways and the fabric work well in both styles. This way I will get more use out of it.

Although the pattern includes four collar options, I did not make any of those. I wanted a ruffle, that was for sure, but the option included in the pattern also has a collar stand and I was looking for a more relaxed look so, I simply omitted the collar stand and added the ruffle to the neckline and used the bias to finish.

Summarizing, the Ivory Ditsy Floral Dobby Cotton Lawn worked a charm for this type of blouse. But it would work equally well in other styles and I would definitely make more blouses for myself or my girls or even a summer dress. However, if making a dress I would, most likely, wear a cami slip under, as it is a bit see through. But no doubt it would look absolutely gorgeous!

I have been wearing the blouse already and can assure you the fabric is lovely to wear.

Thank you, Samantha Claridge Studio, for the fabric and you for reading.

Happy sewing,

Maria x

Spring/ Summer 2020 trends Vol 1

Part 1: Polka dots and white dresses...

How long is January?! (I know it’s only 31 days but man it feels longer!)

It’s definitely that time of year when I’m dreaming of warmer weather and if you are anything like me, already planning my summer wardrobe!

I’ve been checking out the trends for Spring/ Summer to give me a bit of inspiration for my makes this year, they include; 90’s minimal, summer leather (?!) suits, shorts, jungle prints, the seventies, waistcoats and neon. Two of my favourite trends are polka dots and white dresses! 

In this weeks trend post I’m going to show you some of the trends, fabrics and patterns you could use to get the look yourself…

The ex-fashion student in me loves looking at the extravagant designs from the catwalk, but, they are not always the most wearable! But I think what we can take from these images is that volume is king and a mixture of large and small polka dots gives a really impactful look!

We have some lovely polka dots in stock at the moment…

Not sure about a whole polka dot look but want to give a nod to the trend or just add a flash of pattern to your latest make? Take a look at our fabulous range of trimmings!

Clockwise from top left:

Spring set Spot Ribbon £5

Black Spotty Ruffle Trimming £2.50

Spotty bias binding £3

Elastic trimming gold dot £1.95

This next trend is going to be huge this summer…just remember not to have red wine or spag bol and you’ll be fine! Many a white shirt I have ruined this way!!

White dresses look fab with tan and black leather accessories and are a great way of keeping cool in the hot summer sun…

We’ve got some grogeous textures in stock which look great layered over brighter colours if pure white is not your thang…

Clockwise from top left:

White spot stretch mesh £3.85 per h/m

White leatherette flower lace £16 per h/m

Figo Lucky Charms Hands £7.25 per h/m

Daisy lace  £4.50 per h/m

 

What sewing pattern to choose…

Some pattern inspiration for you!

How about the following:

The Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Co. 

The Appleton dress by Cashmerette

Roscoe blouse and dress, True Bias sewing Patterns

Allie Olsen Highlands wrap dress

Sundress sewing pattern byt the Avid Seamstress

The Blouse by the Avid Seamstress

Next week I’ll be looking at  the Seventies trend and the colour of the year…blue!
 
Thanks for reading!
Debbie x

A/W 2019 Fashion Trends…

Autumn winter trends fashion fabric

With the weather starting to turn (how the heck did that happen!!) we have been planning our Autumn/ Winter makes over here at Samantha Claridge Studio HQ! 

I’ve just bought the brand new Tilly and the Buttons Indigo smock pattern and am planning on making a few dresses to see me through the colder months with tights and a cosy cardi, and Sammy is planning some makes with the incredible organic jersey’s we have in stock.

As an ex-fashion design student I love seeing what new trends are emerging every season, even if I don’t particulary choose to follow them. Autumn/ Winter has always been one of my fave seasons in terms of fashion as the colours tend to get richer and fabrics softer and more sumptious! 

I had a little browse of some of the trends emerging for Autumn/ Winter and have picked a few corkers along with some of our current stock of fabric to hopefully inspire your winter wardrobe…

 

*Pictures coutesey of Glamour Magazine

Florals...

Florals are still a huge trend for Autumn/ Winter so some of your summer makes will be able to transition through the colder seasons with the additon of some cosy tights and winter woolens!

Some of our favouriite florals in stock are…

Ruffles

Ruffles add such drama to any outfit. You could add them to a jacket or skirt for a nod to this fun trend! We have some lovely floaty fabrics in stock perfect for making a ruffled dress or skirt, perfect for party season…

Plaids/ Tartan

Checks are such a classic winter look! I love it for it’s grungy vibes…Vivienne Westwood was a huge influence of mine when I was at University in the late 90s.

It’s a lovely fabric for shirts and coats depending on the weight. We have a few new fabrics in which are perfect for this trend…

Corduroy

Corduroy has grown in popularity over the last few years, a versatile and warm fabric it’s great for dungarees, dresses, trousers and coats. This season designers have been focussing on suits…I love this idea, how about you?

So that’s a breif run down of a few of my favourite trends for the season, which ones do you think you’ll be following/ adapting to suit your personal style? We’d love to know in the comments below!