Lockdown Sewing

I haven’t much felt like writing during lockdown. However, I have been sewing a lot!

Here’s a selection of what I have been making – not many words just pictures 😃



Cielo dress – Closet Case Patterns
Suki Robe -Helens Closet
Suki Robe – Helens Closet


Free Range Pants – Sew House Seven
Face masks for friends and family
Zadie Jumpsuit – Paper Theory Patterns


Sew House 7 – Burnside Bibs

So I finally made these – what I would call dungarees. Actually, they feel like a trouser apron, if that makes sense.

I made them out of some beautiful pale green linen, which I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show, from the Higgs and Higgs company. I bought the fabric with this pattern in mind and saved it for one of my sewing projects in Spain.

Needless to say, the linen sewed up really easily and I decided to use white thread so as I would have a contrast. I made up size 16 but I ended up taking them in at either side about 1 inch. They still pull up over my hips, but the back doesn’t bunch up as much.

I know they will serve me well, working in my kitchen or my sewing studio. They are comfortable and strangely warm and cool at the same time. I know they are not the most flattering item but i made them to be practical and they fit the bill.

I am wearing them with a simple a short sleeved t-shirt underneath but I know they will look good with a shirt or a long sleeved t-shirt too.

I wasn’t sure about them right up until I finished them. I really wanted to like them but thought they might make me look too chunky. Anyway, I don’t care if they do cos I love them.

Cielo Dress – Grey Chambray

This is my second Cielo dress. The first one I made as a toile, see my previous post. Unfortunately it shrunk, and is now a lovely tunic, which I wear with navy leggings.

I couldn’t decide whether to go down a size as the neckline was a bit big on the top version. Eventually I decided to stick with the 14 as it was the closest to my measurements.

I wanted a short sleeved version with pockets for the Spring. I fancied the grey chambray with swallows on. I bought 3 metres of this from Higgs and Higgs at £7 per metre.

I couldn’t figure out how the dress pockets worked from the shape of the pattern pieces and was convinced it wouldn’t work. However, of course I was wrong. After a couple of steps to the construction, it was obvious! I also chose to do the neck facings rather than the bias strip and I am glad I did as the neck fits perfectly. The top stitching and cuffs are nice details along with the massive pockets.

The construction was easy and I cut it out one day and sewed it up in a day.

There were no issues with the pattern or the fabric. I am very pleased with it and can see me wearing it a lot.

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?

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 couple of days. It is plenty big enough and and a bit 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!

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