Swedish-inspired Dress

Having rescued the correct draft of the Prima pattern I plan to proceed with making up the  Navy Blue Ponte Jersey that I bought from Fabricland in Salisbury. As inspired by an advertisement for www.gudrunsjoden.com I  will have some machine embroidery  on the sleeve hems and at the neckline of  this simple shift style. I will include some bust and body shaping darts but exclude the large pockets at hip level as otherwise the dress could make me look heavier than I really am.


   gudrunsjoden     gudrunsjoden_2     gudrunsjoden_3

I just love gudrunsjoden clothing and by using them as inspiration I can have a very personal and unique wardrobe for the coming season.

Purple Jersey Prima Dress 50 II

As promised, this dress, after a great deal of fitting finessing, is now completed. Having used the wrong version of the pattern, the dress was initially way toooooo big with bust darts finishing approximately 2 inches above my personal bust point ! I have taken in the sides by approximately 2″ per side it is now a much better fit than at the original first fitting, when I nearly gave up on the whole project. The fabric, bought online through eBay, was sold as Ponte Jersey and in my ignorance I was expecting it to be a little heavier and a bit more substantial, consequently the dress does not have quite the drape I was hoping for.  (Lesson learned – when using a new fabric/fibre, best to check out the fabric for real rather than online photographs and descriptions). The hem of the sleeves and bias frill is top-stitched with a twin needle, a new procedure for me. As shown in the 3rd photo in order to reduce bulk I used a remnant of purple pin-spot cotton for the neckline facings .  I show the dress both with and without the animal print snood. Whilst I have the machine threaded up with Purple thread I will make another snood/infinity scarf with the leftovers of the Purple jersey to provide yet another styling option.

01     02


Leopard Print Snood/Infinity Scarf

I love wearing scarves and have noticed that lately there are a lot of “snoods”  or Infinity Scarves about. They appear to be the “on trend” accessory. I have downloaded some knitting patterns which I plan to make during the winter months but in the meantime thought I would have a go at sewing a version to wear with the vast number of Autumn-coloured cardigans and sweaters that I have. I checked out online and through trial and error came up with a pattern which uses a piece of fabric approximately 37″ x 25″ (includes 1/2″ seam allowances all around). For this project I used a fabulous animal print “sueded” finish jersey fabric bought from Fabricland in Salisbury. I stitched the centre back seam (25″ ) to make a circle of fabric  and then folded in half lengthwise to make a circle  36″ circumference by 12.5″ deep. I tucked in the seam allowances on the raw edge and machine top stitched. At the centre back I made 3 tucks to reduce the amount of fabric sitting at the back of my neck. I have been delighted with the finished result which goes, not only with the Autumn-coloured cardigans and sweaters but also adds a stunning finish to the purple jersey dress discussed in the previous post.

leopard print snood    LEOPARD PRINT SNOOD 2

leopard print snood 3

The three tucks at centre back

Purple Jersey Prima Dress no 50.

 Sewing has taken rather a back seat whilst I have been recovering but at the same time I just can’t keep away from the machine! I  have been working on yet another version of the Prima Dress (no 50) using a Light Purple Ponte Jersey. It took a while to completely re-thread the Juki overlocker with Purple thread and yet another session just to cut out the dress. Unfortunately at first fitting stage I discovered that  I had used a drafted version of the pattern made when I was a “little” larger size than I am now! Having taken in over 1″ at each side seam and re-sewn the bust darts twice (!) this has not been the simple straightforward project that I originally planned. Still I will get there. Hopefully once all the refinements and adjustments have been  completed plus the dress has had the final press it will be worn in conjunction with …. the Leopard Print Snood. Please see the next post.

Polly Patchwork II

At last, Polly is finished. This project has taken much longer than usual as I have to pace myself and not sit for too long in one position whilst my total knee replacement continues to mend. I made the quilted patchwork jacket using 2″ squares in Autumnal colours but when I dressed Polly in the jacket, I realised that the colours did not co-ordinate well with the dress. Those that know me will also know that I do like to have clothing co-ordinated!  So – I made another dress. For the main fabric I cut up one of my husband’s old shirts and used one of my existing doll dress patterns. This has a lined bodice and long gathered sleeves with cuffs that are set in “on the flat” before stitching the side and sleeve seams all in one. This time I had allowed sufficient overlap at the back bodice to work a 3- buttons and buttonholes fastening. I also made a detachable collar in Bright Yellow felt with a pinked edge. I have completed a Red flannel waist petticoat, Brown and Orange felt hat and Burgundy felt bag which is decorated with 3 heart-shaped buttons. I am pleased with the resulting doll who now sits next to Dolly the Dachsund pin dog in my Sewing Room.

polly patchwork doll

Polly Patchwork

Using a doll pattern by Button Angel as the starting point I have made a rag doll which I christened Polly Patchwork. As a new method for me her arms and legs are only stuffed as far as the elbow/knee joint before attaching to the body. I have added a bosom made from two lightly stuffed circles which gives Polly a more “mature” figure. Polly’s face is drawn with coloured pencils and her rosy cheeks are from a light brush with my blusher. Her hair is made by wrapping pencils with garden twine, spraying liberally with starch and then leaving overnight to dry. At present her hair is a bit thin so I plan to do some more wrapping over the weekend to add fullness to her coiffure. Polly wears bloomers and a button “vest” and will also have a flannel petticoat which is currently under construction. I have made Polly’s legs a little shorter than the pattern which means that they are hidden beneath her dress. To rectify this I plan to make some decorative tucks around the hem of the skirt above the patchwork border. I had a problem making buttonholes at the back bodice so had to resort to narrow velcro fastening. The neckline of the dress is drawn up with a gathering thread and the collar simply sits above and fastens at the back with a tiny safety pin (to be replaced with a button or popper). To complete her outfit, there will be a patchwork jacket made from 90 x 2″ patches, a hat, a pair of shoes/boots and she will also carry a bag.

polly patchwork

Dolly the Dachsund – pin dog

Inspired by the pin dog as featured on The Great British Sewing Bee series II, I was delighted to find a pattern through SEW magazine. I downloaded the templates some time ago and have only now got around to making up the Dachsund. I used some scraps of Pink needlecord left over from a Trouser Suit project and lined the ears with Pink satin also left over from a Boned Bodice Workshop that I tutored several years ago. The eyes are Blue heart-shaped buttons and the nose is hand worked using a double thread in Black. This was a really quick sew, what took the most time was the stuffing with polyester fibre filling.  Dolly measures approximately 12″ from the tip of hernose to tip of her tail. I have yet to make the “coat” for Dolly and apply a collar and tag but for now she sits in pride of place next to my sewing machine.



Autumn Twister Table Topper

Inspired by Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company I purchased the Twister template. Having downloaded the layout plan for a Wreath I adapted the colourway to take advantage of some Autumn-coloured fat quarters of cotton fabric that I had in my stash. Here is the completed project.  A table topper measuring approximately 27″ (69 cms) square. I am delighted with the result and will no doubt make a larger piece of “random” twister lap quilt later in the year.

autumn twister

Magic Squares Quilt IV

Finally, the quilt is finished. With apologies for the “wonky” photograph here is the final result. The embroidered label for the reverse has yet to be sewn and then the quilt will be laid over the piano in the lounge – an excellent display area for my projects!

finished quilt

Magic Squares Patchwork III

The king size sheet for use as the backing has arrived and been laundered. It was just as well that I washed the sheet as expected the cololur did run a little. Unfortunately there were a few other garments already in the washing machine when I set it off – hence we now have a few pale blue garments that were previously white! Whilst my husband was out this morning I layered up the quilt top with its 80/20 cotton/polyester wadding and the backing sheet. I used a temporary spray adhesive whilst laying out the 3 fabrics on the sitting room floor. The carpet is a good foundation for using the safety pins for “basting” the layers together. Whilst this method of stretching a quilt top is not really to be recommended it works for me – although once I have had knee replacement surgery I do not foresee being able to repeat the exercise on my next large project. Once I return from hospital I shall set up the machine for quilting and work a simple trellis design on the quilt before adding the final binding.


The Quilt “Sandwich” ready for quilting.