La Dolce Vita - When Life Gives you Lemons... B6453


There are so many beautiful pictures on Pinterest of those gorgeous summery lemon print dresses by Dolce & Gabbana and every summer I've wondered...hmmm....maybe I could make one of those?

The lovely Dita in D&G

I hunted high and low and finally managed to track down some great lemon print cotton poplin fabric from eBay - and although it shipped from China it arrived really quickly! (Since buying this I note that Pigeon Wishes also now stocks it if you want to get some from the UK :)

After debating for a while whether just to make a skirt which may get more wear I came to the conclusion that...I just wanted a lovely lemon dress. I know full well it may never/hardly ever get worn but it was one of those projects I did because...I wanted to.


The patten used here is Gertie's B6453 for Butterick. The absolute perfect sundress pattern in my opinion. I made a wiggle dress version here and so the fitting had already been done and I could just whip it up without too much hassle!


Alterations to the original pattern include making the skirt a half circle skirt... I really don't like gathers at all and I find a half circle way more practical and flattering. I also raised the waist line 1.5cm but I'm now not sure if that was unnecessary and is now a bit high....small details.

The skirt is also hemmed with a really nice lemon bias binding I found on the market.

OF COURSE IT HAS POCKETS.

I know I went on about it last time aswell but THE best feature of this is that it has sliders. So much more practical for getting real wear out of something. I found these rose gold ones on eBay aswell.


The shaping on the back of this dress is excellent and I do personally love a low back/v-back dress or top as I find them quite elegant looking. But let's be honest its all about the lemons with this one!!


Well...it's now September and the chances of going anywhere that requires a dress like this is slim however I'm glad I made it. I enjoyed the process a la Randomly Happy and found it came together in about a week as I did it in little sections in the afternoon/evenings. Sewing this way has been quite fun as you don't notice how quickly everything comes together when concentrating on one task at a time. I do feel that as this was made with mindfulness and concentration on its individual parts - I have ended up with a well made and joyful dress!


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Talking trousers - Geometric 'ponte pants'

I may have cracked the trouser code!? (I hope I haven't spoken too soon) And oh my......are they so so comfortable.

In my eternal quest to get trousers to fit - I have basically learnt that the whole things rests on the crotch curve. Get that bad boy right and everything else may be a straight forward fix. Now that elusive crotch curve is not easy to find let me tell you - I've had years of searching! Prime example here.  It has taken a lot of trial and error to find the exact right fit but the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans and Carolyn Pyjamas just about has it spot on for me. So I use that curve on most trousers that I make (which to be fair is not many.....).


 The other pattern which I found quite useful was Simplicity 1696 which helpfully let's you pick your size through many measurements not just waist and hip...but booty size too! I've written about these here but unfortunately those lovely trousers have long been gone as I put on weight. I had intended to remake them in a larger size however have not got round to it...

Letting comfort reign supreme however I did decide to use my very butchered version of Simplicity 1696 to make a pair of pull-on ponte trousers! My floral trousers had been made from this pattern but changed and altered so much that they barely resembled the original. It did however provide me with a base TNT pattern to use for other projects such as this with some stretch.

The pattern for these is really no different - I kept the hip curve and even the back darts for shaping - the only difference is that as ponte is so stretchy, there's no need for a closure at all. The waistband is simply a strip of fabric with flat elastic inside.

Top = Ogden Cami

The fabric has been in my stash for a while however it was bought with the intention of making these, so its nice for something to actually materialise for its intended purpose! It is a geometric print jacquard ponte from Fabric Godmother (which I have just seen is on sale!) It's very nice as although stretchy, its got good body and texture making them a bit more interesting.

Apparently navy is my new favourite colour...

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Ikat Lodo - True Bias with Space Invaders!

You know a pattern is a great one when you make multiple versions... and the beauty of the True Bias Lodo Dress is that it only takes a couple of hours and results are glorious!


I've posted about this dress before when I made a classic stripe version so won't go on too much today but once more the construction of this is a thing of greatness. Check out the space invader insides! This was just some leftover cotton from the stash.




The fabric for this one was Ikat ponte from Girl Charlee UK  and one meter was perfect! It's a slightly thinner ponte that my stripe version however its lovely and soft and stretches well. 


This dress certainly meets my 'throw on and go' criteria that I love so much!

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Sewing Weekender 2017

This time last week I was lucky enough to be at the Sewing Weekender! Hosted by Kate and Rachel (The Fold Line) and Charlotte (English Girl at Home) this took place at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge.

I must have had a good time and been rather occupied as I seem to have a complete lack of photographs for most of the weekend!

This year's event was absolutely fantastic - there was nearly a sewing machine per person and the tables laid out in long rows this year which made walking around/chatting and general logistics much better. The fabric and pattern swap had grown so large it had its own room alongside Elle (Sew Positivity) who was doing embroidery machine tutorials!

I took a seat at the end of the room and was soon joined by the lovely Eliza Sew Little and Amy who are just wonderful human beings generally - in fact I was struck by how friendly and amazing everyone was, this sewing community of our really is something special.

On arrival we were treated to the biggest goody bag you've ever seen - thank you to the lovey sponsors. An alien and tortoise pattern! How perfect!


I had a bit of a *swoon* moment when Elena - my all time blogger-girl-crush-fav-sewer - of Randomly Happy fame came over and brought me some turtle fabric that she had found in the swap!!! Unbelievable times. I did however manage to maintain my chill this year which was a significant improvement on last...


One particular highlight of this year was an impromptu 'ninja challenge' whereby Melissa (Fehr Trade) and Fiona (Diary of a Chain Stitcher) were called upon to pick a pattern and fabric from the stash giving Liz and Sue 1 hour to complete it!


Both were incredibly good sports doing this, despite the apparent regret about 5 minutes in, However they produced fairly wearable garments in 55 minutes!! It was declared a draw...


I actually did a fair amount of sewing this time which was odd as chatting and tea drinking were a large part of Saturday! However I made my 6th Ogden Cami so that may account for speed as this has now become a bit second nature. And I wasn't the only one! Check out all these ladies who also made the Ogden!


I missed out on going to the pub dinner at night as by this point I was really struggling with a bad cold and the start of shingles :( so I made an executive decision to stay in my room and sleep it off a bit (not before getting Wagamama's on Deliveroo to the room haha). In fact Sunday morning I nearly went straight home but decided to pull myself together for the last few hours. I'm so glad I did as Sunday was one of my favourite days. It just seemed so chilled out, everyone in good spirits finishing projects and stopping for talks by Melissa Fehr on active wear and Elena regarding mindfulness and sewing.

These were both excellent talks as Mindfulness is something of particular interest to me and Elena's speech about remembering to breathe resonating with everyone there! Melissa was also modelling some excellent sportswear from her forthcoming book - can't wait to buy that and give it a go to make some fun yoga gear! I didn't manage to get pictures of the talks but you'll just have to trust me these ladies were beautiful outside and inside. Great women, very inspiring.

Despite Saturday being an absolute washout weather-wise - on Sunday the sun came out! I managed to get a quick snap of my project for the weekend. A 'faux' jumpsuit comprising of the Ogden Cami and some loose trousers very vaguely based on Carolyn PJs. Essentially I traced a crotch curve that I know works, then just winged the rest a bit. Straight legs that were big enough to go over my hips and an elastic waist band. To much surprise it actually worked!!

The fabric is from Minerva Crafts and is a beautiful soft tropical print viscose. I was kindly given some of this for an upcoming make for them in September (keep your eyes peeled) and I managed to squeeze this jumpsuit out of 1.5m of leftovers!! (It's very wide fabric ;-)


I went to try these on in the toilets and the cheeky Eliza Sew Little STOLE MY ACTUAL CLOTHES!! I was therefore wandering around in my faux jumpsuit for the rest of Sunday. No massive deal but I though the style was too trendy/cool for me however I realised that is ridiculous and just wore it. Talk about secret PJs. We later went on a walking tour of Cambridge at lunchtime and damn were these comfortable.


A massive thank you to everyone who set up, sponsored, helped, and attended at this event - it was wonderful to meet you all :)

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Tortoise News and Variegated Thread Testing with Minerva Crafts!


I was very lucky to get selected to test a product for Minerva Crafts and was send a beautiful box of variegated embroidery threads!  



In other news - I can announce that the namesake of this blog - Clyde - our beautiful Hermans tortoise has now got a brother! (Brother from another mother ;)

 We have welcomed Sammy into the family. He's very sprightly and settled in so well - despite the fact that he is over 100 years old!!!!!  


For more information on tortoise welfare or for caresheets and general advice please see the Norfolk Tortoise Club website and Facebook page.

When Ogden met Carolyn

Just a really quick post today which may not even be worth a mention but here we go anyway...

I thought I would just share how great a combination the True Bias Ogden Cami and the Closet Case Patterns Carolyn Pyjama shorts are for some summery PJs! A match made in heaven...


I actually made the Odgen cami in this Minerva Crafts turtle print last year at The Sewing Weekeneder. Needless to say it did not get worn however I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. This print however lends itself rather well to PJs! Having made some winter Carolyn Pajamas I knew that the pattern fit well and so whipped up the shorts version at Norwich Sewcials Sew Day a couple of weeks back.

The best bit? Pockets of course!


The other little pattern hack I did which was seen on Instagram several weeks ago, was to make the Ogden Cami in drapey black viscose, and added a cross over back strap for detail. I love this version! This is my 5th Odgen! Made in a couple of hours it really is instant satisfaction...



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