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

Faux sherpa fur on-trend tote bag

I loved making faux fur bags back in the ’90s and I’m not mad that the trend is back if I’m honest! They are a fun accessory and are also warm and cosy to hold…comfort is my jam these days!

I’ve put together a simple DIY mixing the black and cream sherpa fur, so let’s get started!

First, start by cutting out two panels of cream fur measuring 10″ x 13″ and then one of black also 10″ x 13″.

Stitch them all together with the right sides facing so that the black panel is in between the two cream panels.

Next, fold this long piece in half and stitch down each side. Create a boxed corner measuring 4″ across. Pin and stitch in place and trim away the point.

Next Cut a lining piece measuring 13″ x 29″. Fold this in half and stitch down each side but remember to leave a gap of about 20cm in one of the sides…I forgot to do this then had to unpick it, gah! (Do as I say not as I do!!)

Box the corners in the same way as you did for the main bag piece.

Next, Cut two lengths of contrast fur measuring 7″ x 30″ but you can make these longer/ shorter depending on your needs! Stitch down the length with right sides together and turn through. Pin these to the bag front and back equidistant from the bag edges.. Tack in place.

Now we are going to place the main bag inside the lining with the right sides facing (wrong side of the lining facing out towards you. and pin all around the top. Stitch in place, pull the tote through the gap you left in the lining (see why that’s so key now!), and Voila!

A trendy, cosy tote perfect for this season! This would make a great Christmas pressie and is super easy to customise with some internal pockets or playing with the size and proportion!

What do you think? Is this trend for you or just too wild?!

Sewing a vintage 1970s pattern with Watercolour sunset blurr

 
 
 
To start this post, I should say that I love viscose, I love to wear it, I love the way it moves and drapes and I love that it often comes in great colours and prints. So I was really excited when Sammy got all these viscose fabrics in. I picked this super pastel rainbow fabric to work with and raided my pattern stash for a suitable pattern.

Now one thing I should say is that I do not always love sewing with viscose as it can be a slippery sucker! This one is less slippery than some and did not slide around when I was cutting it out but did shift when sewing, extensive pinning was needed and a walking foot might have helped. However, I’m a lazy sewist and extra steps are not my bag. I did not use a walking foot or reinforce the zipper or really make any allowances for the fabric at all and despite this I think the dress turned out well, which should indicate that it’s a pretty forgiving fabric.

I picked this 1970s pattern, which I had been wanting to try out for a while. Anyone who follows me on Instagram will have realised that I’m a bit obsessed with 70s pattern and style and this fabric seems to fit with the 70s vibe. I love the psychedelic vibes and was excited about floating around in this. However, since summer appears to have forgotten us here in London, I need to work out how to style it for autumn. Black tights are not going to cut it with this rainbow so if you have any ideas, please let me know!

 

I’m off to plan some autumn makes now!

Daisy print statement ruffle bag

Our shelves are full of beautiful bright and joyful cotton florals at the moment and whilst we know these are fabulous for dresses, shirts, PJs, etc I wanted to explore some other projects we can make with them to inspire and maybe spark an idea. Smaller projects are quick and satisfying and they can be a great way to use up scraps…then you can co-ordinate your dress and your bag! 

You might remember I made a ruffle bag a few posts back with some chambray denim. I saw a beautiful round version on Pinterest and really wanted to add that to my collection! This would also be lovely in gingham…just sayin’

I marked out a circle that had a 37cm diameter and then cut across the top of the circle at the 30cm mark to give it a flat shape that will form the top opening of the bag. I then cut the following using this process:

2 x main fabric

2 x lining

2 x lightweight wadding

2 x fusible interfacing

I fused the interfacing to the main fabric then place the wadding onto the back and basted around the edge.

I then cut a strip measuring 130cm x 13cm ( I had to piece this together as I only had a metre of fabric.

Fold over the strip right sides facing and sew down each end. Turn through and press then run two rows of gathering stitch along the raw edge and gather until it fits the bag leaving a gap of about 3cm from the top of the bag. 

Pin the ruffle facing in towards the bag so the frill is sandwiched between the main bag pieces with right sides facing. Stitch with a 1cm seam allowance. Turn through and remove the gathering stitches.

Now add two handles (you can make them out of the same fabric but I had some twill tape which worked well) Cut two lengths, measuring 65cm each and pin them to the top of the bag approx 2.5cm from each end.

Stitch your lining pieces together around the curved edge leaving a gap in one side of about 20cm, this is so you can turn the bag through.

Pop the main bag into the lining (lining still wrong sides out) making sure the handles are tucked in and stitch all the way around the top opening of the bag. Turn it through and stitch the gap in the lining closed. Give it all a press and you are done!

The wadding adds some body to the cotton lawn which is very lightweight, and makes a really lovely quality bag! I took it to the shops straight away and it was the perfect size for all my essentials…I’ll be making a face mask with the scraps to match!

What do you think? You could obviously make this without the ruffle and it would be lovely in faux fur or leather for the Autumn/ Winter!

Debbie x

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

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?

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?!

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?

 

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?!