Tips for Sewing Stretch Velvet – my Party Appleton Wrap Dress!

I’ve made my party dress for this year! I really wanted something that was warm and comfortable yet sufficiently glam – for me, this meant a shimmer stretch velvet and a long-sleeved wrap dress to pair with long boots.

I’ve long since decided to try and get more use out of the patterns I own and like, rather than constantly buying new ones. I’ve made the Appleton wrap dress by Cashmerette before (see HERE) so I knew it was a) quick to sew, b) really comfortable and c) had a really secure wrap front. Making repeats of the same pattern is also a really interesting way to show how different a pattern can look depending on the fabric you make it in! My first version was made for Summer, with short sleeves and in a lighter-weight knit. This iteration is full on Winter plush!

If you’re interested in this particular fabric, read on, I have a 20% discount code on your entire order from the supplier (Patterns & Plains)

But first, let’s talk construction. Sewing stretch velvet is not particularly difficult but I did utilise a particular method of hemming the dress to ensure it came out sharp and even …

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Sewing Myself Comfy – the Linden Sweatshirt / Hudson Pants loungewear combo!

Hi sewing friends!

Long-term readers may well have noticed that I took something of a break from sewing / blogging over the summer (welcome to all of you that continued to sign up over summer, thank you!) There was no onerous reason for taking a break, other than I wanted to dedicate my summer wholly to my family. And it was glorious! I also learnt how to knit socks and finally found the time to write a book of family recipes for the kids. That said, whilst I wasn’t actively sewing, I was planning upcoming makes like crazy…creating a spreadsheet and a Look Book and stocking up on fabric and supplies. It also gave me a good opportunity to really consider how I want to take this blog forward since it’s grown beyond anything I imagined at the start. (I’ll talk about that more in a minute!)

So, once the kids went back to school, my sewing space got a dust off and sewing began again in earnest!  I’ve been pattern testing this last week but thought I’d come back to the blog with my first makes.

Coffee, I need coffee!

As always, my new season sewing has begun with the basics; this for me means loungewear / sleepwear. If I don’t have to leave the house, I don’t get dressed; it’s that simple! What I wanted then was sleepwear I’d be happy to lounge around the house in (and by ‘lounge around the house’ what I really mean is running after the kids and doing seemingly never ending housework!) And I don’t know about you, but I always find after taking a sewing break that I want to come back to something that I know wont be too taxing to sew but will produce something I’ll get lots of wear out of. PJs is always the answer!

I decided on the Linden Sweatshirt / Hudson Pants combo which I’ve seen so many great versions of on my Instagram feed. I’ve sewn the Linden a few times (see here) but the Hudsons, though long in my stash, were a ‘new-to-me’ pattern.

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The Sallie Jumpsuit by Closet Case Patterns – Makes Me Feel a Sassy Lassie!

This is the first of my makes under the umbrella of this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer Challenge (if you missed Suzy’s review of the Zadie Jumpsuit, you can catch that HERE )

I opted to sew the Sallie Jumpsuit by Closet Case Patterns for my first jumpsuit pattern; I’m something of a fangirl of CCF, so it seemed an apt place to start. However, the resultant make has proved to be somewhat of a divisive garment in my household! The verdict is split strictly down the middle between the sexes – my daughter and I love it; in fact when she first saw me in it, she insisted that I demonstrate it by strutting my stuff, catwalk-style, across the Lounge! But my son’s verdict was “it’s a bit weird” and my husband said he wasn’t sure he liked it. Does this split-verdict make me feel differently about it in anyway? No, it does not. Frankly it almost feels immaterial what I do or don’t look like in it, or what anybody else thinks about it because, in wearing it, I feel absolutely bloomin’ fantastic..

… a totally empowered Sassy Lassie, if you will!

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Well, that Was a Surprise! The Brigitte Top by Tessuti

Hello hello hello!

I’ll start with a confession, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic at the start of this project. One, I was itching to crack on with another coat but knew I should hold off until I had more time to dedicate to it. Secondly, because I really love this vintage-y vibe stripe jersey I’d earmarked specifically to make a top to wear under the pair of Jenny Overalls nearing the top of my sewing queue. I just couldn’t decide on a pattern for it!

And I didn’t want to buy a new one. I had thoughts about revisiting the disaster that was my Paola Turtleneck Tee, routing through my pattern stash to pull it out. Turns out I’d binned it in a fit of pique. Rather than print it off again, I took it as a sign to sew something else. I came across and pulled out the unsewn Brigitte Top by Tessuti instead; I’d forgotten I had it. I felt a bit dubious. Why? Well, … Read More

New Sewing Pattern – the Elliot Sweater & Tee by Helen’s Closet – tester make and finalised versions!

There’s a new sewing pattern launching today – you’ve probably seen – the Elliot Sweater & Tee from Helen’s Closet. I jumped at the chance to test this pattern for Helen; as again it has all the hallmarks of a closet staple; warm but not too warm – perfect as a layering piece for the transition into the colder months.

The raglan sleeved Elliot comes in three views; View A which I’ve made, features a high neck and has a high-low hem which frankly I love; it means I can pair it with leggings without feeling I’m revealing too much backside! That side slit also makes sticking your hands in your pockets easier and provides forgiveness around the hip. View B is somewhat cropped (great for high waisted bottoms) and View C is your everyday comfort tee. There’s 20% off during the launch week too! Read More