True Bias Southport Dress (Or the Lytham St Anne’s)

Yes, I'm a styleman and I'm pronto a vestir

Yes, I’m a styleman and I’m pronto a vestir

Hello! Look at me blogging about a recently released pattern. I’m so cutting edge! I’m so pronto a vestir! I’ve just come back from my first wedding anniversary holiday in Portugal which was berilliant. We went to Lisbon and Porto and a bit of seaside in between and it was ace. I took a lot of me made clothes on my holidays and they wore very well. You might recognise this previous make on location in Porto…

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I made a couple of True Bias Southports especially for the holidays. It’s a brilliant pattern that I have blogged about in its maxi dress format over on the Curvy Sewing Collective so I won’t repeat everything I have said again. Do go over and have a look at it there if you have time, as there are some useful comments from others who have made it too.

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What I will say is the short version is pretty short and the skirt pieces have considerably less ease than the maxi dress version so whereas I could fit into the biggest size (18) of the maxi dress view with no problems at all despite my measurements being a lot larger than the recommended ones, I probably should have added a couple of inches to the width of each skirt piece of this one, as well as adding about 4 inches to the length. As you can see, if I hadn’t lengthened it it would have been a bit indecent on me!

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I added a couple of inches to the length of the front bodice piece and did a tiny FBA: in this thick quilting cotton I could probably have done with adding a bit more ease. However I do like tight clothes and I like this dress a lot.I sewed down the placket and just sewed buttons on top to avoid a)  any gaping and b) having to sew buttonholes. I’m lazy and I don’t care! Here is a terrible picture of my buttons.

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And here is me sitting in a chair in our hotel room. Fascinating huh? Please excuse the giant bruise on my knee: I fell off a stationary bicycle just before my holiday!

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Here it is ‘on location’…

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Here is a selfie with me wearing a jacket. Don’t say that this dress isn’t versatile. Oh In case you are wondering about the Lytham St Anne’s reference: my mum said the dress should be named after L St A’s instead of Southport as it’s a ‘much nicer area and much more befitting of your dress!’. I’m pretty sure this dress wasn’t named after a small town in Merseyside, but I would like to think it was!

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I used a Cotton and Steel Black and White Collection quilting cotton for the top half and a Kona solid for the bottom. I was a bit peeved that the black in the Cotton and Steel fabric wasn’t nearly as black as the Kona (despite being from a collection whose sole selling point was the joy of black and white) but I don’t think it matters in the finished version.

Ta da! Contrast pockets how I love thee

Ta da! Contrast pockets how I love thee. Also manic faces.

I think it’s a pretty chic little dress that I will wear a lot. I’m planning on making a slightly more graded up and slightly longer version next, plus another tropical print maxi version. It’s a breeze to make and comfy to wear. Also, the straps cover your bra straps. It’s a miracle. Oh and the neck and sleeves are finished with a jazzy yellow bias binding for a pop of colour. Well, I couldn’t be entirely monochrome could I?!

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Happy Christmas! (Yes I am this far behind with my blogging)

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

So Zo What Do You Know has a very strict rule about not apologising for not blogging for a while. She is quite right about this, as blogging is not a job, I’m not paid, and it’s supposed to be a fun and enjoyable hobby, not a chore. However, me being me, I feel bad. I know no one is hanging on to my every word, it’s not that, it’s just I started off so strong with lots of blogging and now I have stalled. It’s frustrating. But life really does get in the way, and I have been sooooo busy at work and at play. A Dry January didn’t slow me down one bit. And having little spare time, I have chosen to sew rather than blog. I have made lots and lots of things, and I will blog about them soon. I just need to get my husbandtographer to take some pictures in the two hours of daylight we get at weekends. And then sit down and write some accompanying twaddle.

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In short, I have made a baby romper, a terrible second Blue Ginger Doll Violet that looks like a nightie, two Style Arc Rosie tops, 3 Colette Mabels, and I am working on some awesome Thread Theory Jedediahs for my husband. But the thing I did longest ago was to make my friend Anna a dress to wear to a winter wedding. Anna is an amazingly creative person who did all the decorations for our wedding.

Anna's decorations at our wedding. Photo by http://www.simondewey.co.uk/

Anna’s decorations at our wedding. Photo by http://www.simondewey.co.uk/

Anna was doing some more decorations for another friend’s wedding just before Christmas and asked me to make her a suitably festive dress to wear to it. I usually say no to requests like these as I don’t want to become a tailor, but I was very happy to give it a go for Anna. I warned her I was by no means pro yet, and she was happy with whatever I made. So much faith in me did she have that she asked me to have another go at making the Madonnatits dress.

Swit swoo

Swit swoo

Anna chose the fabrics and we did a fitting in muslin first and nipped it in at the waist and lowered the neckline. Oh and lowered the extremely indecent slit at the back. I managed to avoid the awful dart placements, and I think it turned out pretty damn ok.

A decent derriere

A decent derriere

Posin'

Posin’

As you can see (through the blurriness, sorry, this is what happens when I take the pictures instead of Robin!) it was made in quilting cotton so is pretty prone to creasing, but the golden snowflakes can’t be resisted.

Festive

Festive

I was so nervous making this, as it was FORMAL WEAR and really concentrated on sewing precisely and carefully. It as really good discipline for me and I was really pleased with the results. So was Anna, who got lots of compliments at the wedding. HOORAY!

SEE YA!

SEE YA!

April Rhodes Staple Dress: Nailed.

Are you suffering from Januaryitis? I know I am. I feel like shell of my normal self. All I want to do is sleeeeeeeeeep. I should be making myself pyjamas and bed jackets, but instead I have been steadily making lots of summer clothes in the depths of winter. I made these dresses just before Christmas and wore the chevron one on Christmas day: I actually find a light cotton dress with shirring round the tummy is ideal for being stuffed with food and drinking sherry. I have promised myself to make more seasonally appropriate clothes from now on. At least I will do when I have the energy to sew something. This is terrible. I think I must be ill if I can’t muster up enthusiasm for sewing.

So in my current state of extreme laziness I will just post up loads of pictures. It’s a great pattern. I recommend it. Also, I did my first shirring and it’s REALLY FUN.

Under a railway bridge in Birmingham. Perfect modelling location.

Under a railway bridge in Birmingham. Perfect modelling location.

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Here I am modelling the frock (and freezing my tits off) on a dodgy side road in Elephant and Castle. I’m not sure why it looks so pointy round the boob area: despite the cold those really aren’t my nipples, and there are no darts. I think I just didn’t pull it down properly.

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I don’t know why I look so unimpressed here: look how excellent this dress is! (It’s in Michael Miller quilting cotton: Chic Chevron).

Three whole lines of super fun shirring!

Three whole lines of super fun shirring!

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I added a couple of inches of width into the biggest size in this version (I made the floral polycotton one above first, and it was a bit tight around the bum when I put my hands in my pockets) and a couple more inches of length into the bodice.

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It works with or without a belt though I think with three lines of shirring I prefer it with a belt. I only did one line on the polycotton below as it was already a bit short and the shirring was pulling up length. I think that version looks better beltless.

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Can we just take a moment to appreciate my amazing cardi? My mum knitted it for me for Christmas from a vintage pattern she found in a charity shop (she has a plain burgundy one for herself too) and it is the best. I have only taken it off since I got it for washing. I love it, and it goes very nicely with this dress. I love my mum ❤

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Thanks Mum!

The pattern is great and goes together easily. I will definitely be making more next summer.  It does look nice with a thin long sleeve t-shirt underneath for coldr weather, in an awesome kind of 90s indie way which I wholeheartedly embrace. I will however try and make some clothes that are more suitable for winter from now on. Or at least I will when I am cured of Januaryitis. But for now back to bed……… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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