Sew Over It Knicker Kit!

sew over it knickers kitIf you’re a family member, friend or work colleague then look away now! (Although luckily for you there are no photos of me modeling in this post…) Yes, that’s right, I’ve made my first pair of knickers!

Making your own lingerie is a big thing in the sewing world right now – it seems there’s a blog post cropping up almost every other day from some talented seamstress who’s gone back to basics and whipped up their own undergarments. Maddie from Madalynne is an obvious inspiration, but they also turned their hands to bras and slips on this year’s Great British Sewing Bee which has perhaps caused this upsurge of interest.

sew over it knicker kit contents

I’ve never really considered making my own underwear as, at first thought, it sounds quite complicated and fiddly. But then I spotted the Sew Over It Knicker Kit on the White Tree Fabrics website and my curiosity got the better of me! The Sew Over It knicker kit is a fantastic introduction to making your own underwear – inside the cute little box you get everything that you need to make a pair including pretty cotton fabric, a reel of thread, a length of elastic, the reusable sewing pattern and the instructions. In my box I got a lovely purple floral fabric which I’m very pleased with (each box is different so the fabric you get is random – which I love!).

PS – use my code SEWSENSATIONAL when you checkout at White Tree Fabrics for 20% off and free shipping!

sew over it knickers

The instructions included in the kit are well-written and easy to follow. I finished my garment in an hour, from cutting out the 3 pattern pieces to stitching the fabric together and adding the elastic. There’s the option to embellish with ribbons or bows but I like the simplicity of mine without the added extras. I think what I enjoyed most about this project was the fact that you get everything you need all in one box – there’s no need to go out and buy extras, it’s all right there ready for you to get going.

knicker kit

And that’s really all there is to it! I really recommend this kit if you’re new to lingerie making or just want a quick sewing project that’s a little out of the ordinary. I had good fun making them and will definitely be reusing my pattern again! What do you think? Have you ever made your own knickers?!

sew over it knicker kit contents list

Blogger Network #25 – New Look 6407 Elephant Shirt

Simplicity New Look 6407 shirt

Well who doesn’t want an elephant print shirt? Click the link below to see more of my August Minerva Blogger Network post! It features this elephant print cotton and the New Look 6407 shirt pattern (and my kitten, Barnaby)…

Click here to read about my make!

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Yet another Tilly & the Buttons Coco dress…

nautical stripe tilly and the buttons coco dressHey guys, just a quick photo post for you today! I’ve made the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress pattern so many times that there’s not much left to say about it except I LOVE IT. This is the pattern of dreams for me. So much so, I actually think I can make this dress with my eyes closed!

I always cut the size 2 and it fits me perfectly, aside from having to take a couple of inches off the sleeve length. I finished making this one in about an hour yesterday afternoon and was out and about wearing it on the windy Yorkshire Coast today. Hope you like it!

(Oh by the way, the fabric is the striped ponte roma jersey in burgundy/white. It’s so perfect for the Coco dress and super comfortable to wear.)

tilly and the buttons coco dressdress

tilly and the buttons striped coco dress

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Blogger Network #24 – Italian Holiday Maxi Dress

simplicity 1804 maxi dress

Happy June everyone! For my Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post this month I’ve got something a bit different, a bit special and a bit dramatic: a floor-length jersey maxi dress! I made this dress especially to take on holiday to Italy with me – here I am modelling it outside the Duomo di Firenze (Florence) on a rather warm evening a fortnight ago.

I’ve never made anything that uses this much material before so it was a good learning curve for me and definitely challenged the proportions of my sewing (dining) table. The fabric I used is this great floral jersey with big swirly flowers all over it. It’s a lovely soft jersey and drapes over the body really well, although it’s pretty heavy when you’ve got this much of it!

The pattern is Simplicity 1804 but you could use any maxi dress pattern for it – like the New Look 6774, that’s a nice one with straps.

Want to read more about how I got on and see more photos of me being stylish outside the Cattedrale? Click here to see the Minerva Crafts blog!

Blogger Network #23 – A Spring Bettine Dress

tilly and the buttons bettine dress

Oh I do love a good Tilly and the Buttons pattern! Especially for the Spring weather. This is my latest Bettine dress that I made for my May Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post, sewed up in a wonderful blue cotton lawn which makes it lovely and light and great for the warmer weather. I’ve made the Bettine dress once before – see that here – and did the version with pockets. This time I tried the version with tab sleeves and used these beautiful metal flower buttons to finish them off. This pattern makes a great dress and I wear it all the time!

Click here to go to the Minerva Crafts website and see more of my make!

Floral Viscose Harper Blouse

floral harper blouseHere I am – back on the blog! I’ve had a bit of time off from sewing recently due to ‘life’ happening, so I’m happy to be back with you today for a new post. Today I’ve got a lovely, Spring-appropriate blouse to show you.

The pattern I used for this is called the ‘Harper Blouse’ and I downloaded it in PDF format from a lovely website called Spit up & Stilettos. Unfortunately, the website no longer exists – the company have changed their name to Sadi & Sam and only offer patterns for children these days – but I’m sure if you emailed the lovely Lauren and ask nicely she’ll be happy to send you the Harper blouse download!

The blouse is a tunic length (it just covers the hips) and features bias binding around the armholes, a waist tie (I used ribbon) and a very on-trend Mandarin collar, much like the new Tilly and the Buttons Martha dress. The only adjustment I made was to the neckline opening, where I added a hook and eye to stop it gaping and so I don’t have to wear a vest top underneath.

harper blouse mandarin collar

This is just one of a very small number of times that I’ve actually used a PDF pattern and, I have to say, it was easier than I remember. Last time I tried a PDF I had a nightmare trying to match up and stick the paper pieces together and vowed never to use them again! I’m glad I’ve put that behind me.

harper blouse

The fabric I used for my blouse is a blue and white viscose that I found on eBay from everyone’s favourite seller, thefabricman. The seller has so many different fabrics at such good prices that it’s hard not to buy more than you need! I just got 1 metre for my blouse and it cost me an astonishing £2.98. You couldn’t even buy a blouse for that price in Primark. The listing actually describes the fabric as ‘grey and blue gothic flowers’ but I think that description is up for debate! My blouse is definitely inky blue and off-white, and I’d say those flowers were much more feminine than gothic…

Anyhow, this blouse was a pleasure to make and I think it looks perfect for the upcoming sunshine. Do you like it?

Blogger Network #22 – A Kitty Cat Baby Dress! McCall’s 7308

mccalls 7308 baby dress

Hello everyone! It’s been all quiet on the sewing front for a little while as I’ve been pretty caught up in decorating our new kitchen – we’ve painted the walls, replaced the worktops and now I’m onto the final bit of cabinet painting (Annie Sloane’s chalk paint is the best, I recommend it). Once that’s complete the sewing production line should be back up and running and the blog posts can resume…

For now – here’s my latest Minerva Crafts Blogger Network make – a cat print dress for a toddler! In January this year two of my dear friends had their first baby so I thought I’d use the opportunity to make something teeny tiny and in a really fun print that I wouldn’t normally get to use. I picked the McCall’s ‘tent dress’ pattern as it looks a nice easy shape for a wriggly toddler to wear whilst also having plenty of details (pockets, a zipper and a bow) that make it more unique.

Head over to the Minerva blog right here to read more about my make 🙂 In the meantime, stay tuned for more grown-up size dresses coming soon!

 

Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top

tilly and the buttons agnesIf you’ve been dipping in and out of my blog posts for a while then it’s likely that you’re aware of my love for the Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns. I’ve made a large majority of them – a mixture of the print patterns and the ones contained in the book, Love at First Stitch – but there are still a couple I’ve yet to try. So, for Christmas, my darling other half got me the Agnes top pattern plus some fab stripey jersey to make it with! He’s a keeper for sure.

The Agnes top is pretty much all about conquering your fears of sewing with jersey fabric. To be honest, I think I’d been avoiding jersey up until this point too, purely based on the scary stories you read online. The truth is that jersey is so, so easy to sew! You don’t need an overlocker or a fancy sewing machine foot – just a machine needle with a rounded tip (check this sewing machine needle guide out) and a zig-zig stitch setting. If you’ve got those already then you’re good to go.

agnes neckline

The fabric I used for my first Agnes is this red and white striped jersey from the Fabric Godmother. The stripes are actually a more even size than the website photo shows, but I love it nonetheless! The fabric is made up of a mixture of cotton and spandex, which is what gives it the stretch needed for the Agnes top. Your aim is for the fabric to be ‘form fitting’ rather than loose. However, make sure you choose your material carefully! I actually made a second Agnes from some grey, striped jersey fabric but the amount of stretch just really wasn’t enough. I cut my pattern pieces the same size (since my first attempt went so well) but then found I could hardly get the top over my shoulders due to the lack of stretch! I’ve managed to re-cut the sleeves to fix the problem but do be warned… the more stretch/spandex/lycra in your fabric the better is the moral of the story.

tilly and the buttons agnes tops

The pattern for the Agnes top is a rather fun one to make. There aren’t many pattern pieces (2 arms, a front and a back) but I enjoyed seeing the neckline come together and stitching on the elastic to make the little bit of ruching on the front. The top comes together really quickly, too. I think I made mine in about 2 hours, including cutting out all the pieces!

I’ve seen a few other great Agnes tops around the internet – link me to yours if you’ve made one! And what do you think of mine? I think Tilly would love it!

Tartan Reindeer Megan Dress

tilly and the buttons christmas tartan megan dressWhen this post goes up it’ll be exactly four weeks until Christmas – just where has this year gone to? It’s also my first wedding anniversary this weekend which I cannot believe either. Time has raced past like Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. But never mind that – onto the sewing!

This week I’ve made myself the ultimate Christmas Day outfit in the form of a reindeer print Megan dress from the Tilly and the Buttons Love at First Stitch Book. I’ve made this pattern a couple of times before – a baroque linen Megan dress here and a summer seersucker Megan here – and I really do like it. There are flattering darts on the front and back skirt as well as the bodice, little cap sleeves and a long zip down the back. I also know that I can cut my fabric straight from the pattern pieces and it’ll fit me perfectly! No other pattern company seems to cater for my measurements as accurately as Tilly does. Even the length of her dresses are perfect (normally I have to hack at least 5 inches off the bottom of everything!).

reindeer tartan megan dress love at first stitch

The fabric for my Christmas dress came from the Remnant House in Harrogate. I think I bought 2m of it and I’ve used nearly all of it for this dress. It’s a tartan cotton with embroidered reindeers and hearts all over it and I love it. It’s so festive and cutesy and will make my Scottish mother-in-law very happy! Unfortunately they don’t seem to stock this particular fabric on their website any more but here are a few festive alternatives:

love at first stitch megan dress

If you see me out and about in my reindeer dress this Christmas please can you compliment me on my pattern matching? Aside from a teeny misaligned stripe on the back I couldn’t have got this cut out more precisely! I love how the tartan stripes match up so well on my side seams and how they run straight down the middle from top to bottom. This was quite an easy fabric to pattern match due to all the straight lines in the tartan but it does always impress me when I get it right!

tilly and the buttons tartan megan

Have you made a dress for Christmas this year? Is it as festive as mine or have you gone more glitzy? Show me! I also recommend adding Tilly’s book, Love at First Stitch, to your Christmas wish list if you don’t already own it. I’m sure Father Christmas would be more than  happy to deliver it to you 🙂

Autumn Apple Bettine

tilly and the buttons bettineHello, I’m back! And so is the dressmaking! It’s been forever since I last posted about a garment I’ve made and since then a whole host of ‘life’ has been going on. We moved house 6 weeks ago and have since been unpacking, decorating and organising in every spare moment, plus I was full of cold for the entirety of last week, so my poor sewing machine has had to sit in the corner for a while. This weekend I finally managed to bring it back out of hibernation and restore the peace!

So what was my first dressmaking project in the new house? A Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress, of course! I’ve had the pattern for this dress since Tilly brought it out earlier in the year but, due to both the move and my never-ending to-do list, it’s taken me until now to get it made up. It’s a lovely little dress with kimono-style sleeves, rolled cuffs, an elastic waist and pockets that teaches you a whole host of sewing skills as you work through the instructions. It’s also very easy to wear which is a bonus.

tilly & the buttons bettine dress

The fabric I used for my Bettine is a very autumn-appropriate apple print cotton from White Tree Fabrics (remember you can get 20% off and free delivery using my code, SEWSENSATIONAL). It’s a lovely, soft cotton which is very easy to cut, sew with and press. It’s perhaps a little lightweight for the upcoming cold weather but I can definitely see myself giving it a good try with woolly tights and a massive cardi!

tilly and the buttons bettine dress 2

I think the best part about this dress is the pockets, which are rapidly becoming my new favourite thing to sew. They also make this the perfect dress for wearing whilst you stitch away – you’ll never lose your scissors or seam-ripper again! The pattern also features a plain skirt version if you want to whip up a new dress in mere minutes as well as optional cuff tabs which I think I might try next time.

So what do you think? Have you made a Bettine dress yourself? A quick Google search reveals a myriad of beautiful Bettines in all sorts of pretty fabrics. Show me yours!