Posts Tagged pattern hack

Stashbusting for Summer – The Final Part

Although I can’t say I have used up all (or much) of my dressmaking fabric stash, at least I’ve had a go this year and here are two more dresses which at least are more useful than metres of fabric in a cupboard.

I didn’t like the ‘Stevie’ dress pattern from Tilly & the Buttons when I first saw it as it’s a boxy sort of shape with a high neck (both things I don’t like on me) but, when there was a 20% off sale, I suddenly felt more drawn to the fact that it is quite a quick make with no zips or buttons and ‘grown on’ sleeves – i.e. no fiddly setting in of sleeves into armholes.

I also really like that back yoke detail.  You can swap the bow out for a button and loop if you want.

So, I made two.

The first one is made from some double gauze fabric which I’ve never sewn with before and, despite being made from two thin layers of fabric stitched together – double gauze fabric, not the dress – it is very light and comfortable to wear.



The hem was an abomination and I have re-done it since these photos were taken.  I blame the nature of the fabric because I can’t possibly blame myself.

Double gauze is quite a ‘floppy’ fabric so the bow feature on the back works quite well here.

I made the second version using some fabric which has a sort of linen texture to it – or maybe barkcloth? – and also has a bit of stretch although it’s very stable and I think I bought it to make some trousers.  Ask me why.  I don’t know because I’m not really a ‘flowered trousers’ type of person but I think it was when I was experimenting with trouser making and fancied something with a bit of a summery feel.  Anyway, I came to my senses and used it for this dress instead.

Being less drapey it gives the dress more shape which is fine because it looks very different from the first version.

However, in this fabric, the boxy shape is more apparent and the bow isn’t as floppy as I’d like so I probably should have used the loop and button for this one.

So I tried it on back to front in an unintentional pattern hack which did away with the high neck I’m not overly keen on

and it appears to fit exactly the same

which is strange but I’m not complaining.

On the other hand I might have to have a word with my photographer as he has included dogs, dead plants, parasol poles and all sorts in these photos.  I did disturb him whilst he was having a quiet moment with a glass of some home brew (also in the photo!)  so I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

That will be all my summer makes for this year now using stash fabric.  I’ve made ‘a little top’ by hacking that old favourite the ‘Sorbetto’ but it’s not been photographed yet and, anyway, I did buy a metre of something called ‘dobby’ to make that so it doesn’t count as a stashbuster.

Look! It’s covered in the constellations.

I’ve cut out a shirt for Mr. Tialys in some Liberty tana lawn (above) and will concentrate on that next, going slowly, step by step, because I’m using a ‘new to me’ pattern from Liesl & Co called the ‘All Day Shirt’ and I’m determined it will be gorgeous enough – and fit him well enough – to wear to the office without shame or embarrassment.

Hopefully, it (if not he) will look something like this

I’ll let you know how I get on.



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Posh Oilcloth – Who Knew (and why didn’t you tell me)?

I was recently on a quest to see if I could buy 20 metres of oilcloth fabric for a ridiculously cheap price as I need to cover 10 x 2 metre length tables for a charity event and didn’t want to use paper cloths.   Being in France, where the oilcloth tablecloth is king  I have plenty of choice.  However, none of it is cheap enough for me to buy 20 metres of it.   However, when I was searching the internet for the elusive 2 euro per metre repellent (in a good way) stuff, I came across this

liberty oilcloth 2]

looks a bit like Liberty

and this

liberty oilcloth 1

I’m sure that’s a Liberty design

and this

liberty oilcloth3

Liberty of London make oilcloth fabric?  Why was I not informed?

 Obviously not for the fundraiser, but I was suddenly determined to have 2 metres for my summer dining room (which is what I, rather grandly, call my conservatory – a room full of  hibernating plants and hopeful cats during the winter months).

It must be easy to get in the U.K., I thought, considering Liberty of London is there but no mention of it on their site and nowhere to be found in any of the U.K. shops or none that I could find.

The only place I can find it is here in France and it is 34 euros a metre!!  So my tablecloth would be 74 euros (after shipping) which is nearing 100 U.S. dollars (I’m kind and did the calculation for you so that you could join in my shock).  What happens?  Does somebody in France buy up tana lawn and render it plasticised in some underground factory?  Does Liberty of London know?  Why don’t they sell it themselves?

For the moment at least, my own table will be covered with this which was 6.99 euros a metre.


On the sewing front, I decided to do a pattern hack of  Deer and Doe’s Reglisse dress pattern to make a blouse and, such is the charm of  The Little Tailoress on her blog and in her tutorials, I decided to do it without even owning a copy of the pattern in the first place.  Anyway, pattern ordered (hooray, they are French and, a rarity for sure, the shipping within France was free – other French companies please take note!), I decided that, as I like the dress too, I would do a toile to make sure my selected size fits and then I’d make both blouse and dress.  On my quest to find cheap oilcloth, I went to my local market and although they didn’t have anything suitable of the oiled variety,  I did find a stall selling all things middle eastern, lamps and dried beans and spices and….. fabric.  Some of it looked okay and so I asked the price.  It was 1 euro a metre.  Now, I don’t know how many people are working for barely anything in a  factory somewhere producing this stuff and I could probably contribute a fair amount to the National Grid judging by the amount of crackling electricity I generate each time I move but, you have to admit, it is hard to resist such a bargain. (In my defence, this pattern takes a lot of  fabric as the bodice section is cut on the bias and that collar/pussy bow combo is fabric thirsty too).  So, I made the toile, it is the right size and I like the shape and I will make it in some Liberty tana lawn (if I can forgive them for their secret stash of oilcloth) but this toile is wearable and Mlle Tialys the younger has bagged it as the fabric has an oriental (as well as electric) feel to it which she likes.  She won’t model, so here it is on one of my lovely vintage Stockman mannequins.

Toile for Reglisse Hack

Here is some more 1 euro fabric which, as you can see, I couldn’t just leave there.  These feel like a poly cotton and are missing the frisson of static.  The purple one is for my sewing buddy who loves all things purple.  The navy one with slightly deformed spots would make a good dress for me.

Bargain Fabric

Speaking of my sewing buddy, even though she has been sewing her own clothes for years,  I had to show her how easy it is to sew with knits the other day.  Lots of people seem to be wary of  knit fabrics but it is actually very easy and there is no fraying and usually no need for zips, buttons or other fiddly bits and pieces.  I took a piece of spotty interlock jersey fabric round to her house – cunningly already cut in the shape of a Coco top – and made her sew up the seams on her overlocker.  Then I bought it home to do the hems and, voila, a top that reminds me so much of  Minnie Mouse I will probably never be able to wear it and so will offer it to one of the Madamoiselles.

Coco Top Minnie Mouse Style

 Back to the fund raising event and the 1 euro fabric.  I am thinking that I might, at that price, buy 20 metres of it to cover the tables.  He might even give me a discount!

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