Pleiades 2 – French Poetry

This pattern has been a challenge! I will detail more about it when I do my Minerva blog.

There does seem to be a glaring mistake in the instructions. The back bodice comes in 2 pieces but the instructions never tell you to sew them together and in the pictures it looks like 1 piece??

Ah the collar, I’ve left that piece at home! So we will opt for the pussy bow instead. I haven’t got that bit either but I can sort of make that up, I think.

So all that done. The pussy bow isn’t long enough to tie in a bow but can be tied in a tie fashion as my photo. We can change this if it’s not right.

Now the bit I was dreading, the button holes and buttons. The bit I fear the most is lining them up and making the button holes fit the space. Even though I use the automatic button hole function on my machine, the button holes alway look massive. Anyway, I took things slowly and didn’t have any major disasters. It’s not perfect but looks ok. The hems on the sleeves and the body of the dress, went without a hitch.

It’s now winging its way back to the UK for my sister Angie to try on. She is going to do the photo shoot and send the shots back to me to edit and add to the blog post.

The finished article

Now that you have seen and admired it, I will point out the major flaw if you haven’t seen it already. You must stare at the dress and the pattern and then you will see that some of the arrows go up and some go down. It doesn’t really notice as the pattern is so busy.

I realised the reason for this was because I cut the pieces out with the fabric folded over, so one piece of the dress front goes in one direction and the other in the other direction. In order to avoid this happening, I should have cut it out in one single piece. I don’t think it’s a complete disaster personally. The OH agrees. Let us see if sister Angie notices 🙃

The Indigo Dress

This is one of those patterns where there are dozens of examples all over Instagram. I have asked myself why I took so long to make it and have likened it to working in the software industry – hard to imagine I know but wait…

I worked for a software company called Liquidlogic who supply software to councils. When we released a new version, there were always the dead eager customers who couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new functionality. Then there were the customers who waited patiently for the eager ones to test it out and find out if there were any bugs and/or to try out the different new functions and styles.

So I think I belong in the second category. When it came to making this pattern, I watched and saw different styles, versions, hacks and fabric choices being made and displayed. After viewing and scrutinising body shapes, ages, fabric etc I knew which version and fabric I wanted to make my first Indigo and this is it.

Now that I have made the simple version, I am tempted to make the fancy sleeves and the ruffle version too.

I made this version from Summer Posy Viscose from Fabrics Galore. I bought the fabric at the Black Monday sale. It’s lovely to sew, drapes beautifully and looks great. I am very happy with the dress. I have now done the hems and I will post a picture of me wearing it when the sun returns here!

Now shall I make another the same or shall I do the bell sleeve version?

Here’s what I’m going to sew next – well probably!

As we will be going to Spain in January, I have bought some new patterns and some fabric to take with me, along with the trusty sewing machine.

This is the plan. Plans are subject to change though… depends what I am seduced by …

So still on the list are the Burnside Bibs in olive linen and the Cielo Dress in grey chambray.

I’ve got some Minerva fabric but I don’t want to reveal what I’m making with that yet, but it’s got to get done within the next 8 weeks.

I’ve bought the Tilly and the Buttons Indigo dress pattern as I have seen so many lovely versions of this. I’ve bought some floral viscose for this.


And I’m going to use this lovely viscose from Fabrics Galore

I have also been bought the Pleiades Dress Pattern, by sister Angie, so have promised to make 1 each.

I think I am going to use this fabric for mine – more viscose and a Black Friday bargain from Fabrics Galore. It’s gorgeous isn’t it?

I have also bought some mustard luxury crepe to make another Vogue 1412.

And finally, I have this lovely small piece of Liberty fabric. Not yet decided what t make, I have an idea but what do you suggest?

My 8 Last Makes

This is an update to the blog post I wrote in October, about my next 5 sewing projects.

I actually made 8 items between then and now. In case you are interested here they are:

Simplicity Sweater Dress – this finally got finished last week. It was on hold for a while until I saw my daughter to check the fitting. it was easy to make and I would use the pattern to make a shorter sweatshirt for me, in a French Terry fabric I think. I am waiting for the recipient to send me a picture of her wearing it and I will then update this post!

Ogden Cami – I ended up making 2 of these. A navy linen one and a white one I made from a remnant. I forgot to take a picture of the white one before I gave it away – so annoying.

Japanese Style Apron – this is a Christmas present so I can’t say who it’s for or describe it as they may read this. It turned out great and I will update this list with a photo after Christmas.

Pyjama Bottoms – I made these out of some black viscose jersey from Minerva, I whipped them up in a day on the overlocker. The pattern I used is one I have used before, Butterick B6428. Just 2 pieces – simples!

Freya Cowl Neck Jumper – I made this instead of the Linden Sweatshirt, partly because I already had the pattern and didn’t want to fork out on another. I made it from some cable jersey from Higgs and Higgs. It was easy to make on the overlocker and is cosy and warm.

Re-usable make up remover pads and bags x 2 – I made the bags after watching the demonstration on theCraft channel. I am really pleased with both of them. Gave them both away as gifts.

Now to get planning for my next lot of sewing projects. Watch this space!

Cielo Top and Dress – Closet Case Patterns

This pattern from Closet Case Patterns, has been on my list for a while. Again I have seen lots made up on Instagram. I think the short sleeve version made in linen will be just me. I have bought some grey chambray from Higgs and Higgs to make it up. However, as this is a pattern I haven’t made before, I felt I should make a toile first. My friend Carol, gave me some lovely blue floral crepe type material, she found in her Mums stash. Carol didn’t like it and gave it to me and I had just enough to make a Cielo dress, so this will be a wearable toile!

After studying the pattern and all the variations, I decided to try the long sleeved dress. I had just enough fabric, except I had to use a plain blue poly cotton to line the bottom of the sleeves.

The dress has no fastenings ( hooray) and the neckline can either be faced or use a neck band. I decided to use a neck band as it would be quicker. After comparing my measurements I cut out a size 14 and lengthened it by about 2 inches.

The fabric was quite slippery and so I used a 70 grade machine needle. I also decided it was time to change my overlocker thread colour to black. I knew this would mean a sweary hour as its never quick!

I finished it in a coupe of days. It is plenty big enough and as big big around the neckline. I need to look up on You Tube to find out how to alter patterns for this problem, as this happens quite a lot. On this occasion, I have just made a tuck at the back.

The sleeves are really unusual and I dint think I would like them but as I put them together I could see that they would look good.

It went together easily and I like it!

I think I will make the grey chambray one as one of my Spanish projects in Jan and Feb.

The Ogden Cami Top

I’ve seen this made up loads of times. It’s one of those pieces of clothing that everyone seems to have. These days ( bigger bust, bigger bra straps, can’t go without a bra, fat arms, wobbly skin etc etc) I don’t wear them often and not in public ever! The only time I would wear one would be infer a wrap dress or a jacket/cardigan.

That said, I think they look lovely on younger bodies. Made in a drapey floaty fabric such as silk, crepe, viscose or polyester, they are easy to wear.

I wanted to make some as presents and so I made a toile in a size 10 with some leftover soft olive green fabric. As I hadn’t got enough to do the lining, made it in a contrasting pattern fabric.

I was very good and traced it off first. It took me a couple days to sew it up, but I am pleased with the finished article. I now need someone of the right size to try it on now.

I ordered some navy washed linen from Higgs and Higgs to make another for a present. It’s arrived and is ready to cut out and sew – tomorrow! I have decided to size it down to an 8 and will post a pic of the finished article when its done 🙂

And here it is!

Navy linen

I really like it and I hope the recipient does too.

Papercut Sequence Dress

Yesterday, my friend Carol and I made this dress for her. She, like me used to sew and is now returning to the fold after a long break.

At the start of the day, we didn’t know we would finish it in just a day, albeit a very long one! Carol picked this pattern for a dress to wear to a winter wedding. The fabric she chose was a striking navy blue viscose with swipes of acid green. It has lovely drape, ideal for a wrap dress like the Sequence Dress.

As neither of us had used this pattern house before, and the make was pitched at a skilled level, we decided to make a toile first as the pattern measurements didn’t line up exactly with Carol’s. We used some polyester cotton for this and just cut out the front, back and sleeves. It fitted ok, so we moved on to cut out the lovely fabric.

The pattern instructions weren’t the best I’ve used and were a little confusing in places. We also looked up made up examples on Instagram to give us idea of what it looked like on someone of a normal size, rather than a miniscule size 8 as shown on the pattern. The example looked good and gave us the confidence to continue. We lengthened the front and back by about 4 inches so that it finishes just under her knee.

The pattern instructions were on the same sheet as the pattern pieces, with instructions to make it into a booklet, which seemed a bit of a faff so we didn’t do!

The pattern can be used for a dress or a top, with thick ties or thin ties. We didn’t quite get that it was an either or, thick or thin. The pattern review on the Foldline suggested using the thin ties for the dress, so that is what we did.

We used interfacing for the front facing as suggested in the instructions, but we both agreed that we wouldn’t do this if we made it again with the same fabric, as it was difficult to iron on the fabric and didn’t seem necessary, but I suppose it depends on the fabric you use.

We worked through the instructions and put the front and backs together, followed by the front and backfacing ( a bit fiddly) and then seamed the sides and then set the lovely shaped sleeves. We used the sewing machine for the construction and decided against using the overlocker as it was threaded up with white. We used a zig zag stitch to neaten up the seams.

Finally we hemmed the sleeves, the fronts and the hem.

Carol tried it on and we tied the ties around the front, crossed round the back. Something wasn’t quite right.! We looked again at the made up version and realised we shouldn’t be crossing the ties and tied them at the the side. Voila- it looks great!

The Woodland Garden – a year on

Last October, we set about making a woodland garden at the front of our house. We have a piece of land which was basically used as a dumping ground ever since we moved here and before by the previous owners.

My original blog about the Woodland Gardens explains what we set out to do. During the past year, we have continued to develop it and it is now looking quite good.

We have added a path and a boundary fence, to one side. It’s just a rudimentary boundary but defines our plot.

I have planted around the trees. Around this Yew, I have planted heuchera, hosta, fern and a white bleeding heart.
Under the dead tree, which we decided to keep as a natural habitat, I have planted a honeysuckle. However, I think the deer have been munching the roots, so I have put some chicken wire around to keep them away, hopefully!
The path runs from the roadside and meanders round to the compost bins and round to the other entrance. We dug up all the brambles, spread some sand down and then added lots of bark chippings, so that it keeps fairly dry.
Around the pathway I have planted ferns, hostas, other shade loving plants plus bluebells, snowdrops, aconites and erythroniums to naturalise. I am hoping that wild natural plants come though too now that the rubble has been cleared and the light gets through more.

There’s no more to do now until the spring. I am planning on adding more plants and bulbs each year until I am happy with the displays.

I am more than happy with how it looks and am pleased that we decided to make it an attractive space. The wildlife are already there and I plan to add a few bird boxes in the spring.

Vogue 1415 – Tom and Linda Platt

Up until recently I have never used a Vogue pattern. I’m not sure why, but I think I assumed they were too difficult for me.

I was gifted some lovely polyester satin by Minerva and looked for a suitable pattern. I’m not sure how I ended up with this one, but I’m glad I did. Admittedly, it is a very easy Vogue pattern, but still I didn’t know what to expect.

I used it to make the long gold top as in the picture above and was very pleased with the outcome. Its not yet featured on the Minerva Blog, but goes live sometimes in January.

For the next Minerva project, I chose some light, drapes polyester crepe to make the other option, a shorter classic top with a cowl neck. I love the finished item and although this hasn’t yet gone live for Minerva I have worn it several times. It looks classy and expensive and I’m really pleased with it. I just want to make again in a real crepe, maybe in black.

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