A handmade denim chambray plum dress and matching ruffle tote bag

Did you see this month’s Mollie Makes magazine? The free pattern was the Cocowawa Crafts Plum dress which I have had my eye on for a while now, its the perfect combination of oversized but cute and the ruffle detail on the sleeve adds a fun touch!

I’ve been wanting to add a light weight denim dress to my wardrobe for a few years…taken me long enough to get round to it I know! The medium denim chambray is the perfect summer hue and it’s got wonderful drape so it was the perfect choice for this project. You can find it here

I’ve been coveting this gorgeous daisy trim since it came in stock but was unsure what I would use it for…until now! I picked up a metre thinking it would be nice to have some scattered daisies on the dress, but my plans changed once I had made the dress as I like how plain it is  and know I’ll get more wear out of it as a plain denim staple piece.

so…I made the cutest bag and added the daisies to that instead!

Want to know how I made this bag? Check back to the blog tomorrow for the full tutorial!

Debbie x

Window check viscose faux jumpsuit

Hi you lovely lot, Debbie here!

I’m still on my journey to create my handmade wardrobe. It started a year ago during lockdown 1.0 and it been a really interesting year in terms of growth with my sewing, figuring out my style, and focussing on pieces I need. 

I’ve always loved dresses. Dressmaking for myself has not really been something I’ve really ever done though would you believe! I much preferred making for other people, my shop and doing projects for magazines etc. During last spring/ summer I thought I’d make a few pretty dresses in anticipation of the end of lockdown…little did we all know how long that would take to come and we are still a little way off a year later!

I fell into the trap of wanting to sew all the latest patterns…and there have been loads released in the last year! I’m at the point now where I really know what suits me, what I’ll actually get wear out of and not to get sucked into the newest pattern without really considering how it would fit into my wardrobe…that’s not to say there won’t be some rouge additions…sometimes you just cant help fall for that pretty pattern right?!

 

When I saw this Window grid viscose arrive in the shop I knew it would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe. My initial idea was to make a dress…but I have loads of dresses so maybe a jumpsuit? 

I’ve seen loads of sewists on Instagram make matching trousers/ skirts and tops and style them like a one-piece and let’s face it jumpsuits can be a pain when you need the loo!

I’ve worn my Style Arc Bob Pants in denim to death since I made them a few months ago so knew a new pair would be a great use of this gorgeous soft viscose and chose to pair it with an Ogden Cami for a really summery comfy outfit.

This black colourway is now out of stock but you can buy the blue version here!

This would work with any cotton or viscose though as both of these patterns are designed for woven fabrics.

Both of these patterns are super quick to make, once cut out they probably took me just over an hour each to whip up!

Now I’ve got two really wearable pieces to add to my me-made wardrobe which will mix and match with my t-shirts, jeans and jumpers. You could even layer a body under the Ogden cami if it’s a bit chilly.

These would also make fabulous Pajamas!

I’ll definitely make these again…a velvet set for winter would be divine!

Are you dress obsessed like me or do you prefer separates?

Below are some other fabrics I think would work fabulously for this set… 

Debbie x

 

Fabric suggestions:

Carol’s hacked Stella hoodie with cosy mink jogging fabric

Carol's cosy hoodie!

 

Hey there all you lovely makers, I’m so thrilled to be ready to share my latest make with you!

When I saw this cosy Mink jogging fabric on the Samantha Claridge website, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it!! It was listed as fleece backed jogging, and it’s so cosy and warm. It washed beautifully and although Sammy had this listed as a second quality due to some creases which she had worried wouldn’t come out in the laundering, the creases have now disappeared, and the fabric is perfect!! 

I’m sure I’m not alone in having noticed so many people wearing cosy hoodies and sweat tops!? Maybe it’s because we’ve all spent so long over the last year craving homely comforts and warm comfy clothes?

Anyhow, I really wanted to make a super cosy hoodie and based it loosely on the Tilly and the Buttons Stella hoodie.

I decided to size up and make it a bit boxier by straightening the sides, instead of going with the more fitted lines of the traditional Stella, as I have noticed that many of the hoodies on the marketplace are squarer and boxier.

Once I’d cut the fabric and sewn it up, I decided to start making a few small tweaks, is it just me who decides to change things when a garment is almost finished??

So, after trying it on I decided that where the hood fitted onto the neckline, I would prefer it to overlap slightly. With the original version the hood just touched at the centre front and irritatingly the overlocked edge kept popping up and that was annoying me, it just stuck out like a sore thumb. So, I unpicked about 8cms each side of the centre front and just gently stretched the sides of the hood, until they overlapped at the front, then I restitched it!!

I also decided that at the normal length it was not square and boxy enough for the look I was going for so I chopped about 6 inches off the bottom and folded the removed section in half before reattaching it as a band. I obviously had to reduce the length of the band in order to pull the bottom in slightly so I decided to cut straight through the centre front and after folding in half I overlapped at the middle, giving a cute little curved wrapped band, I think it’s rather cute!!

Now I know its mid-April and in theory the weather should be warming up in the UK, but its flipping freezing here in Yorkshire right now, and as we are now just emerging from a National lockdown and meeting outside is the order of the day, I know I’m going to be super warm and toasty outside in my fabulously cosy hoodie!!

I think if I’d not made my Stella hoodie the fleece backed jogging would have made a fabulous pair of joggers, maybe the Hudson’s or even the Stella Joggers from Tilly and the Buttons.

I really hope you like what I made and if you’d like to see more of my makes track me down @Chatterstitch on IG, that’s all for now, stay safe and keep chatting and stitching Carol x

 

Style Arc Blaire Shirtdress in red and black check cotton twill fabric

#scdesignteam Alison's perfect shirt dress

 
 
 
Hi there, so I’m back with my first blog post of 2021 and, after a slow start to the year, my sewjo is back up and running again!
 
Sammy has recently had quite a few new fabrics arrive into the shop and lucky us for getting the pick of the bunch! Something I’ve been wanting to make for a while now is the Style Arc Blaire Shirt Dress and when I saw this lovely red and black check cotton twill I couldn’t resist. 
 
 

 

 

 

 

It is so soft and almost has a brushed cotton feel to it. It’s light and drapey and washes and irons well. 

Red and Black 1.5″ Gingham cotton twill

£4.45 per half metre

So I’ve made the shirt version a couple of times. Generally it’s not difficult but, if you’ve sewn any Style Arc patterns before, you’ll know they’re stingy with the instructions and they also skip steps like how to best sew a curved hem and stay-stitching necklines, which in this case is vital. I had to use the instructions again as the dress is constructed slightly different to the shirt. The top comes together very easily and quickly. The bottom half is almost entirely constructed before attaching it to the top. I was eager to try out this pocket design but now that it’s finished I’ve realised that the bottom of the pocket bag is very low. If I pop my phone in there it’s banging around my knees! They’re a great design feature but I’m not sure they’ll get used that much!

Then the top is sewn to the bottom and the button plackets are added before the collar. Attaching the collar is always a little challenging with this pattern as the fabric at the back neckline needs easing in (not that they mention this in the instructions!). This time I decided to leave the collar off and stick with the collar stand. I hand stitched the inside of the collar on to keep it neat and tidy. This might be the most beautiful collar I’ve ever sewn!
 
 
I used a Change Maker label in the back and how cool does that look?! These are available from the shop and all profits from sales go to a monthly nominated charity with an emphasis on tackling social and environmental injustice.
 
I should have picked some buttons from Sam’s shop but when I ordered the fabric I totally forgot. She has a huge selection of fantastic buttons but in the end, I ordered a bag of simple black ones from Amazon.
 
 

Now then… I think we need to address the elephant in the room… pattern matching. Let’s just say I tried! I know I didn’t do a great job but I really did try, promise! What I’ve realised is that it would have been better to cut it out on the flat so I could see where all the checks are lining up, but I didn’t. I just tried to fold it so everything was straight and then cut on the fold. I’m lazy. Let’s move on…

Overall I love this, it’s such an easy wear both layered up in the cooler months and on it’s own in the summer. Special thanks to my son for taking the photos and not noticing for the entire shot that I’d put a hair clip on my sleeve! Thanks for the fabric, Sammy, I know I’m gonna get a lot of wear out of this one!
 
 
Fabric gifted in return for a blog post. Buttons and label purchased.

Nina Lee Bakerloo dress with Cowboy boots print cotton fabric

If you haven’t heard about the brand new sewing pattern from Nina Lee then where have you been!

The Bakerloo dress and blouse is a beautiful statement pattern which comes in sizes 6-28. It’s suitable for all sorts of woven fabrics and the possibilities for customisation are endless!

Admittedly it’s not the pattern for everyone but I love this girly retro style and Nina Lee herself has actually done a hack of this omitting the giant oversized collar, so if that’s not your jam then you still might be interested in the pattern.

It’s a lovely smock dress style with a keyhole and button closure at the back so no zip (always a win in my book!) It has balloon sleeves with gathered cuffs and the dress version has pockets!

I’ve made this dress in a viscose already but was keen to make a fun cotton version and as soon as I saw this incredibly fun Cowboy Boot fabric come in stock I had to snap some up for this project…it’s going to be the perfect Summer dress!

As I usually do, I used my Samantha Claridge Studio Sewing journal to plan this special project. I decided to make a contrast ruffle for the dress and went with just plain off-white cotton I had in my stash. I’ve also seen a few versions of this dress on Instagram with ricrac added to the collar and decided it would be a great way to break up the pattern. I used giant ricrac in a contrast colour and I’m so happy with how it looks! I made the collar and then added the ricrac before I attached the colour to the dress for a neat finish.

This fabric was an absolute dream to work with. It washed well and has a really great amount of drape considering it’s 100% cotton.  

Changes I made to the pattern:

I shortened the sleeves and added shirring to the cuffs in place of an elastic channel as the pattern directs as I love shirring and it’s fairly easy.

I also shortened the length of the dress by approx 4″ as it was hitting my knee and I prefer skirts just above or below. other than that the pattern needed no adjustments and I cut a size 12 which is my usual size.

For reference, my measurements are bust 36″ waist 31″ hips 42″

I can’t wait until the Summer when I can show off this dress and have a good old twirl around in the sunshine 🙂

Have you made this pattern yet? What would you make with this fabulous Cowboy boot fabric?

Debbie x

 

 

NEW IN! Fun prints and spring brights

Spring is (nearly) here and I’m super excited to share some brand new fabrics perfect for some sunny makes!

 

SQUEE! These new cottons are just so much fun! They are perfect for making shirts, dresses, and Pyjamas.

We love the bright hues in the cowboy boot print…pink and green should definitely be seen!

The fried eggs are so much fun and would make a fabulous bucket hat!

Stuck for ideas for what to make? Check out our Spring inspiration below!

It will come as no surprise to you that celestial themes are always a YES from me! 

How about a cute pair of dungarees like the ones Debbie made with the Tiger Stars cotton! This is the Waves and Wild (formally Made By Jack’s Mum) Hey Day Dungaree pattern and it’s a great one for beginners. (head over to their newly branded site for downloadable PDF patterns)

Gingham and Seersucker are a no-brainer for the warmer months so I’ve added some classics to the shop which would be perfect for dresses and shirts…

What are your favourite spring/ summer fabrics? are you tempted by the brights or favor a classic colour palette?

Whatever you choose we are sure you will love them as much as we do! We are uploading some really lovely double gauze, viscose jersey, and canvas over the next week or so so keep those eyes peeled!

Happy Shopping!

Cute and cosy kids gillet with sherpa fleece

My daughter loves a cosy little jacket to wear over her party clothes at this time of year. When I saw the sherpa fleece come in stock I knew this would make the perfect cosy little gillet!

I found a free pattern online fromThreadsewingschool.com and printed it off and followed the instructional video on their YouTUbe channel

This is a great stash-busting project too and a great one to sew with children as it’s a really simple tutorial to follow and then they can customise the gillet with patches, badges, applique or embroidery! This is a reversible pattern too so a really versatile fun and quick project.

I printed off the pattern and made it using the sherpa fleece and star print cotton for a festive feel…

Once you have cut the pattern pieces out you stitch together the shoulder seams of both the main fabric and lining fabric. Then pin the main fabric and lining fabric together with right sides together. Stitch around the armholes, neckline and bottom of the back piece leave your side seams open. Once you have sewn around the armholes and neckline, and back, clip your curves and turn through to the right side.

Now, pin the sides seams of your main fabric, right sides together, and sew. Do this on the other side. Then close the gap in the lining at the side seams using a slip stitch.

The full instructional video is on their YouTube Channel and the project probably only takes an hour or so.

A patchwork version of this would be lovely and a great way of using your offcuts!

 

 

Alison’s cosy winter makes with fleece and sherpa fabric

#scdesignteam Cosy winter makes

 
 
 
My last project for the SCDT falls under the title of ‘cosy’ and, boy, this one is certainly that! There are so many lovely, snuggly fabrics available on www.samanthaclaridgestudio.com right now that it was almost too hard to choose! But now that the weather is turning that bit more chilly it seemed sensible to make a scarf of some description. I had a look through Pinterest for some inspiration and decided on a double sided infinity scarf using the grey sherpa fur and the pink cuddle fleece.
 
 
 
 
However…
 
…when it arrived my daughter took one look at it and claimed the pink fleece as her own! So now I had to sacrifice my plans and make her a scarf and, since I had some leftover, a matching headband/ear warmer. Both of these I drafted myself using her measurements to make sure the headband was a snug fit and the scarf went around more than once. This fleece doesn’t have any stretch to it and has a tendency of shifting when stitching in a certain direction but with a lot of pins it will reluctantly behave. 
 
Just look at my gorgeous girl! She loves her matching set and I think it will be a staple this winter!
 
 
With the grey sherpa I found a tutorial for an infinity scarf and set about cutting two long strips 9 inches by the full width of the fabric (60in). This one has a stretch to it but is easy to sew, just watch out for the incredible amounts of fluff that will cover you, your table, sewing machine and floor during and after cutting!
 
I was first to try it on but hot on my heals was my son who has since claimed it as his own! He loves anything snuggly and would permanently live in fleece given the chance!
 
 
Both of these fabrics are so soft and luxurious, and perfect for these kinds of projects. Thanks so much, Sammy, for making my kids dreams come true!!!

A handmade cosy Christmas Jumper

Lisa's embroidered Christmas jumper!

 

 

Hi Again

Long-time no see.  I’ve not been quite “with it” what with all this Covid and our business being in furlough I’ve not really felt up to being committed to sewing/blogging. 

However, I couldn’t resist joining in this month what with it being Christmas Jumper as the theme! 

I mean, who doesn’t love a Christmas jumper eh?  

I searched through Sammy’s website looking for some fleece backed sweatshirt when I inadvertently stumbled upon this grey melange winter knit fabric.  OH MY GOSH!!! Is almost all I can say about it?  This fabric is absolutely divine.  It’s super soft, sews together and handles beautifully, and is so so cosy.  

I immediately got it in the pre-wash as I usually do with my fabrics upon arrival.   That way whenever you get the urge to sew something, the fabrics all washed and ready to go straight from the cupboard.  I was a bit wary of washing this with it being a knit however it washed beautifully.  I didn’t peg it on the line as I was worried it might pull it down and out of shape with the pegs as it is quite weighty.  Apart from anything else, it’s usually raining where I live!!  Instead, I draped it over my airing stand in front of the radiator and in all fairness it didn’t take long at all to dry even though it was folded.  

I originally thought I might use my Cricut to cut out some festive vinyl and apply that to the jumper but decided to don the big girl pants and use the embroidery machine to do an embroidered image instead.  Ok you got me sussed….I was scared to embroider it in case I messed it up.  They can be temperamental things and fussy about fabric/stabiliser/threads etc but my word when they all run smoothly they are so satisfying.

One of the websites where I buy my embroidery designs from decided to have a sale just at the right time and so I indulged in this lovely little daschund pulling a sleigh.  I opted for the largest size they did with the intention that it would be ideal for the front of a jumper or could also be used to embroider onto some cotton and be used as a cushion.  You got to love a cute little sausage dog right?

I decided against hooping the fabric just in case the hoop pulled the fabric out of shape or left any sort of imprint so I floated it on top.  I did a small sample of embroidery on one of the left over scraps of fabric before I did this on my actual jumper front to check the stabiliser would be ok.  I opted for Stiffy cut away on the reverse with it being quite a dense design and water soluble on the front to stop the stitches from sinking into the fabric.  After I had embroidered the front panel I had to wash out the stabiliser and did this by hand just using warm water so there may be a tad left in atm but this will come out in the proper wash.  Despite washing it twice there is still no bobbling on the fabric and it’s as good as when it arrived which I’m super happy about.

After much umming and ahhing I decided I would make the new Tilly and the Buttons pattern, Billie Jumper/Dress as everything about this pattern I absolutely love.  I mean those sleeves are just gorgeous and bang on trend right now.  The amount of tops I’ve seen on TV that are similar is unbelievable.   Now, I have quite a few Tilly patterns and they are all really well drafted and the instructions are clear enough that even a complete beginner sewist could follow them.  This one is no different.  The jumper itself was constructed mainly using the over locker for the seams although I did tack the neckband and cuffs on using my regular sewing machine first.  I made a straight size 5 and I am happy with the fit.  It took under a couple of hours to stitch together so it’s a fairly quick make too.

 

I’m usually so last minute with everything that I normally end up buying a Christmas jumper from the likes of Asda and Tesco and end up with whatever they have left (M & S have usually sold out of the one I want especially after Lorraine wears them on her program lol) but not this year and never again now I know how easy it is to have something so different to what’s in the shops.  

I’m super happy with how this jumper turned out.  The fabric is just divine and I highly recommend grabbing some whilst it’s in stock!  I’m hoping Sammy can lay her hands on more of this fabric in different colourways as I think it will be a super seller ☺

After taking these pics for my blog post I took off the jumper and despite it being too big, Mia had it straight on and was very reluctant to give it back!!!  She’s given me instructions that I must quickly buy more before it sells out ☺  Safe to say this fabric went down well at our house!

Wishing you all a happy Christmas

Keep Sewing & Stay safe

See you in 2021

Lisa xx

@sewlastminutelisa

Handmade Christmas pajamas in a fabric gift bag

Alexa's handmade Christmas!

Since everyone has been spending more time in pyjamas this year, I thought that pyjamas would make great Christmas gifts for my nearest and dearest. My favourite patterns for pyjamas are the Sew Over It Ultimate Pyjama bottoms with the Sew House 7 Toaster sweater. These are both great and really straightforward patterns, and not more complicated than I can deal with in the midst of a global pandemic.

I picked the gorgeous organic leopard print jersey for the Toaster sweater and some pink Figo wishbone quilting cotton for the bottoms (the cotton is on sale, just saying…). These were both quality fabrics that sewed up beautifully. For two completely unmatched fabrics, they go together beautifully!

These were meant for my sister for Christmas but she is impatient and refused to wait! However, she has fed back that they are her favourite ever pyjamas and super snuggly, so at least I know that these will be a winner as Christmas gifts. 

I love giving gifts in bags that can go on being used afterward, either to gift next year’s presents or for laundry or shoe bags, or whatever else people might want. I made this one from some Dashwood Christmas tree cotton that I’ve been eyeing up for ages and a gorgeous velvet ribbon. This is a super basic square bag that I’ve stitched a channel into at the top for the ribbon. The bag is the perfect size for a pair of pajamas and some fancy tea, which is what everyone I know is getting for Christmas!

Happy gifting all!