Monthly Archives: October 2019

Blouse hack of Penny Dress

When I attended the Sew Southampton meet up in August I picked a remnant of quilting cotton from the swaps table. The length was a just 1 metre so I knew that there was a limit to what I could make with such a short length.

Fabric remnant from the Swap table

As the Penny dress by Sew Over It has a bodice with grown on cap sleeves and a narrow yoke I thought it would be an appropriate candidate to hack into a blouse. I was right.

Penny Dress by Sew Over It
Inside view showing contrast yoke and label facing

I extended the bodice back and front as much as I could and used a contrast fabric for the back facing, yoke lining and bias binding for the armholes.

Penny Dress hacked into a Blouse

A quick project which has fitted in well to my Autumn wardrobe to wear with trousers or tucked into skirts.

Yet another version Vogue 8577

Molly embroidered Duvet set

I am certainly getting my monies worth from the Vogue 8577 pattern. Hot on the heals of the previous incarnation I used the last of the three Superking Duvet covers purchased recently at Dunelm Mill to make yet another version. This duvet set was the ‘best’ of the three in that the front of the cover has many embroidered floral posies. Something that had I completed the embroidery myself using my Brother 4000D sewing/embroidery machine would have taken a very long time.

All the embroideries on the duvet cover!
A single embroidered motif

I used the same ‘hack’ as previously by omitting the midriff band and extending the bodice down to the waist seam. I also omitted the giant pockets and instead kept to my TNT concealed inseam pockets. The bodice was lined with White cotton, the yoke lining was cut from the gingham fabric and the front bodice button facing was extended to join with the yoke lining.

Initially I was not very pleased with the placement of the embroideries but in the final garment I believe that they are acceptable.

Front view before completion
Back view – with better placement of embroideries

I have now made this pattern (and its hacks) up four times and each time I am able to complete the construction a little more quickly. Whilst I am very pleased with this dress, with my self-imposed limit of 5 versions of a pattern it is getting very close to the time to move on to a different style.

Vogue 8577 – hack

Having paid full price for the Vogue 8577 dress pattern, I was determined to get my money’s worth! However, by way of something a little different, I decided to ‘hack it’!

Original Vogue 8577 pattern

Whilst I like the neckline and gathered bodice into yoke, for a change I wanted to remove the midriff band and extend the bodice to the waistline seam.

I had won a voucher for fabric at the SEW SOUTHAMPTON event in August and having browsed the website of the vendor selected this pretty multi-coloured floral cotton.

‘Watercolour’ printed cotton fabric

At 60″ wide this 100% cotton is ideal for dressmaking. This is a cotton poplin meaning that it’s not as light or smooth as a lawn but still ideal to make shirts, dresses, tops and accessories. This cotton is very stable so it would be ideal for a beginner project.

I thought that I had ordered 4 metres but received only 3 which meant I needed to change the skirt design. The Vogue 8577 is very fabric-hungry when cutting out the skirt and so I substituted the ½ circle skirt pattern from the ‘Penny’ dress by Sew Over It.

I used the skirt pattern of the Penny Dress

Another change that I wanted to make was to extend the front facing all the way up to the yoke facing and thus avoid any raw edge at the neckline seam.

Extended front facing in print fabric

Having cut out the main fabric I selected some plain Sky Blue cotton from my stash for the bodice lining. I also had sufficient of the outer fabric to make the yoke lining in the print. I added a small loop at the centre of the back lining as an additional decorative feature.

Completed back bodice with decorative loop

Another very small change was to round off the leading edge of the front at the base of the V-neckline.

I completed the dress quite quickly and also managed to include some in-seam pockets. The pretty Purple buttons came from my stash. All seams were worked as French Seams as demonstrated by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour and the skirt hem was double folded before being machined in place.

The finished hack

I am delighted with this dress which co-ordinates well with many of the shrugs that I have in my wardrobe – Mustard, Cerise, Purple, Burgundy and Blue. This is certainly a hack that will be repeated when I do not have sufficient fabric for the original pattern.

Tunic Top x Two

On a recent visit to my sister who lives in North Wales we had a day out at Abakhan based at Mostyn on the North Wales coast.

Abakhan Mill, Mostyn, North Wales

We enjoyed a thorough rummage through their fabrics that are cut lengths and priced according to weight. Several lengths of fabric were purchased – no change there!

On returning home we browsed through some patterns that I had picked up from the swaps table during my trip to SEW SOUTHAMPTON organised by the lovely Sian of Kittenish Behaviour.

McCalls M6205 picked up from the swap table

One of the patterns was McCalls M6205. There was no envelope but the pattern and instructions were complete and I therefore downloaded a copy of the picture so that we could see what the finished garment should look like. The pattern came in sizes 16 – 22 and would be suitable for both my sister and me. According to the body measurements, Catherine would need the smallest size and I would need the largest (sigh!).

Bold Border Print Polyester Jersey from The Textile Centre

A quick check of jersey fabrics in my stash revealed a 3 metre length of bold print Korean polyester jersey that I bought from The Textile Centre in June this year for £2.49/metre.

First I cut out the tunic top with ¾ sleeves in my size and then again in the smaller size for Catherine. Unfortunately I did not have sufficient for the long/wide cowl collar/scarf but hope to make this another time.

McCalls M6205 size 22
Back view of McCalls 6205 size 22

I made up my version which I am pleased with – especially the centring of the print on the neckband. However, next time I will lengthen the front and shorten the back as I have never been a particular fan of the high/low hem style.

Catherine’s version McCalls 6205 size 16

Catherine’s version was also constructed very quickly and again I managed to centre up the print on the neckband. As is usual with the big four commercial patterns, in addition to the ‘design’ ease there is plenty of ‘fitting’ ease in the pattern. So….. I tried on Catherine’s top. It fits! Next time I will make both tunic tops in the same size!

I popped Catherine’s tunic into the post and she received it the following day. I have one very pleased sister although she tells me that she would prefer a little less width at the hem. For the next iteration I will slim down her version (she has very narrow hips) from under the armhole to the hem.

Catherine modelling her new tunic