Monthly Archives: April 2022

Cat Embroidery

I have a great friend who loves her cat. As a small gift for use in her cloakroom I embroidered some cotton waffle fabric (recycled from a dressing gown) with a detailed design purchased from I bound the edges of the hand towel with some coordinating-coloured cotton fabric from my stash of fat quarters. I combined the hand towel with some Lavender scented room spray.

A charming gift that was very much appreciated.

Cat embroidered waffle cotton hand towel

Project #26 completed 27th April 2022

Myosotis #4 – a catalogue of compromises

I decided that I would make just one more version of the Myosotis pattern before changing to a different collection, utilising cotton fabrics and some new patterns.

Myosotis by Deer & Doe

The last of the ‘Spring Greens’ fabric collection is a Viscose Marrocain purchased from Rainbow Fabrics.

Viscose Marrocain ex Rainbow Fabrics

For this final (for the time being) Myosotis I wanted to add ¾ length ‘blouson’ sleeves with elastic casing and frilled cuffs plus a 3-tiered skirt. However, when ironing the fabric I discovered that it was not a 4 metre length – only 3 metres and also some marks that had not been removed by washing. So back to the drawing board….

Cutting out: I was so intent on avoiding the marks on the fabric that unfortunately the motif placement, especially on the bodice front(!) is less than ideal. I discovered that if I cut the back bodice in two with a centre back seam and the sleeves on the cross grain I would be able to cut 3 x width of fabric (WOF) to make a deep frill of 11 inches for the bottom of the main skirt panels. The main skirt panels were cut 40 inches wide x 20 inches deep.

Construction: The Bodice: My usual MO is to make up the bodice first so that can sit on the mannequin (to be admired!) whilst I stitch the skirt panels, pockets and frills. I used my hacked sleeve pattern but this time I have added to the depth of the sleeve cap in the hope that this will compensate for the removal of 1 inch from the shoulder width. The faced hem of the sleeves has been twin needle top stitched in place. The button bands have also been topstitched. With regard to button selection – again a compromise. I found two perfect colour-matched buttons, but sadly only two and I needed five. I chose some mother of pearl buttons that I bought from eBay a long time ago but never got around to using.

The skirt: At least this time I could use the ruffler/pleating foot which is far less time consuming than all those rows of gathering stitches and organising of the gathers. One thing that I did not have to compromise on was the fabric for the pocket bags as I was able to cut my favourite pocket bag 4 times in the fashion fabric.

Myosotis #4

Conclusion: I think that this version is my 2nd favourite. It has turned out a little longer than I anticipated but that’s OK, it will look even better when worn with my wedge heeled espadrilles. The sleeves are still not quite right, I will have to go back to the drawing board the next time I make a Myosotis dress. I still hanker after a long sleeved version so will revisit later in the year.

Project #25 completed 24th April 2022

Deer & Doe Myosotis #3

Deer & Doe Myosotis Pattern

I was still very pleased with the Myosotis by Deer and Doe and having Charcoal Grey thread in the overlocker prompted me to review my stash of Viscose challis fabrics. I retrieved the Tropical Floral Viscose Challis on a Navy background that I purchased for £3.56/m from Rainbow Fabrics in August 2021 to make #3 of the Myosotis pattern.

Tropical Floral Viscose Challis on Navy background

I had approximately 4 metres x 150cms wide fabric which meant that I could have a very full skirt made with 3 tiers of gathered frills provided I made the bodice sleeveless or with only short sleeves. I thought that this print would be ideally suited as a Summer dress or if sleeveless, could be worn in the Autumn/Winter over a fine jersey top. However, I decided on short sleeves as I already have at least two Navy pinafore dresses to wear in the colder months.

This time I would use my TNT short sleeve with the puffed cap and combine with the full 3-tiered skirt. It would be fabulous for ‘twirling’!

I started the construction by making up the sleeves and then the bodice. The sleeves did not come out quite right as I had not added depth to the sleeve head to account for the fact that I had narrowed the shoulders by 1 inch. This meant that the sleeves are pulled up at the centre of the hemline. However, the fact that the hemline is now visually a diagonal angle helps to reduce the width at my bustline. Apart from this little hiccup the remainder of the bodice was fine. I used 5 plain Blue buttons from my stash.

Preparing the skirt: I cut 6 tiers 60 inches wide (WOF) x 11 inches deep and stitched them together into a long strip. I then cut into the lengths for each tier:- 75 inches – tier 1, 113 inches – tier 2 and finally 180 inches for tier 3.

Once again I cut my favourite pocket bag 4 times. As I was running short of fabric these are made in a patchwork of the fashion fabric combined with remnant from the previous dress. I set the pocket bags aside to insert into the top tier once all tiers had been stitched together. The reason for this is that the pocket bag would extend below the seam joining the top tier to the middle tier and I did not want to chance getting the bag stitched into that seam!

Each tier was seamed into a loop, quartered and then two rows of gathering stitches at the top of each one. Normally I would use the ruffler/pleater foot but this time I wanted to have greater control of the gathers so it was back to the old method – two rows of gathering stitches and some time spent pulling up and setting nicely! The 2nd tier was attached to the bottom of the 1st tier and the 3rd (bottom) tier was attached to the middle tier. The hem of the bottom tier was overlocked and then double turned into a narrow hem and top-stitched into place. Now I could insert the pockets.

Now that I had both the skirt and the bodice completed it was very simple to gather the top edge of the skirt and join to the bodice. The waist seam was then overlocked and the dress finished!

Myosotis #3 in Tropical Floral print Viscose Challis

Conclusion: I think that this version is very flattering on my figure. The slightly fitted bodice makes me look slimmer than I am and the full skirt balances my bust. I love the drape, feel and print of this fabric which compliments my colouring so can foresee that the dress will get a lot of wear.

Project #24 completed 20th April 2022

Deer & Doe Myosotis #2 – Hacked

I was so delighted with the wearable toile first version of this pattern that I immediately checked my stash for another length of viscose to make my second version.

Myosotis Dress

This fabric purchased in August 2021 and was listed as Sage Green Watercolour viscose challis on the Rainbow Fabrics website at a cost of £3.56/metre. I thought that it would be ideal to make dresses for both my sister and me. I would start with a dress for me!

Viscose Challis fabric from stash

I needed to make a few simple adjustments to the bodice pattern:

Lower the side bust darts by ½ inch, Make a 1 inch sway back adjustment, Add 1 inch to the length at centre front of the bodice, grading back to 0 at the side seams.

For the hack version of the dress I added a double thickness gathered self-fabric frill to the sleeve caps. I measured the distance between the back double notches to the front single notch then added half as much again to that length. The frills were folded in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and tapered at each end before gathering and tacking to the sleeve heads.

For the hack of the skirt I cut two panels 40 inches wide x 21 inches length and then 3 x width of fabric (WOF) for the frills each 12 inches For the hack of the skirt I cut two panels 40 inches wide x 21 inches length and then 3 x width of fabric (WOF) for the frills each 12 inches deep.

I set the skirt panels and frill lengths to one side whilst I concentrated on completing the bodice.

I found just 5 pretty Light Sage Green buttons for the front placket which I think are perfect on this print.

Front bodice close up

I completed the sleeves and tacked them into place. It was then I noticed that the weight of the sleeve head frills were pulling the shoulders out beyond my shoulder point. As I had previously noted that the shoulders were a little wide on my frame, I removed the sleeves and cut away 1 inch at the shoulder point, grading to 0 at the front and back notches. Then I re-set the sleeves and they are much better though still a little wide!

Sleeves with Sleeve Cap Frill

Once again I cut my favourite pocket bag 4 times in the fashion fabric before setting them into the side seams of the top panels of the skirt. I joined the 3 pieces for the frill into a long strip and used my Ruffler/Pleater foot to ‘gather’ up the top edge. I added the frill to the bottom edge of the top panels by starting at the centre back and allowing some ‘free’ frill to be joined when I got around the skirt panels. I then overlocked the bottom edge of the frill and turned up a narrow double folded hem. Now that I had the skirt completed it was very simple to gather the top edge and join to the bodice. The waist seam was then overlocked and the dress was finished!

Myosotis #2

Conclusion: The weight of the sleeve head frills is too much for the light viscose fabric so I won’t be repeating that hack. I am particularly pleased with how the collar fits on the bodice and I am sure that I will use this part of the pattern again. The drape of the fabric is perfect for the amount of gathers in the skirt and the frills are lovely giving plenty of ‘swish’! Another great dress.

Project #23 completed 12th April 2022

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress – Wearable Toile

Hot on the heels of the disastrous version of New Look K6574 I decided to try yet another ‘new to me’ dress pattern. I have had the pdf of the Myosotis dress by Deer and Doe for some time so am rather late to the party for this very popular pattern.

Myosotis by Deer and Doe patterns

The pattern is for an Oversize shirtdress with inseam pockets. Version A has sleeve ruffles and a tiered skirt, version B has plain sleeves and a gathered skirt. The pattern includes a full size pattern and instructions.

Checking my fabric stash I selected a woven Viscose that is not a particular favourite, could be sewn with Black thread and would not be disastrous if the result was yet another ‘fail’.

Woven Viscose from my stash

To begin, I checked the garment measurements and found that I just fit into the range. I made no adjustments to the pattern and cut a straight size 52 bodice with the straight short sleeves.

Once I had stitched the bodice and confirmed that it fit (!) I made the 5 buttonholes and attached 5 Orange spotted buttons from my stash.

At fitting stage I noticed that the front bodice was quite a bit higher than the back so have adjusted the pattern for future makes. I added 1 inch to the centre front bodice grading to 0 at the side seam. For the back bodice I made a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

Now I moved on to the remainder of the dress.

Ignoring the skirt pattern (I had not printed so that I could save paper and ink) I cut two skirt panels 40 inches wide x 32 inches length, plus 4 pocket bags from my TNT pattern and still had a good length of fabric as remnant to list for sale on eBay. I gathered the skirt panels and attached to the bodice. I turned up the hem by inches and hand stitched in place.

Wow – what a great result for a first try of the pattern.

Myosotis version #1

Typical, having used an unfavourite fabric print – the dress is very wearable and I will definitely be making another.

Project#22 completed 7th April 2022

A new style – New Look K6574

When I was planning my projects for the year of 2022 I wanted to include some new styles and make up some of the many, many pdf patterns that I have in my stash.

Viscose Marocain

Since the beginning of the year I have been working on the theme of Green, later extending to ‘Golden Daffodils and Spring Greens’. When I saw this NEW LOOK pattern, especially view A, I realised that I had a very similar printed Viscose Marocain that I had bought from Rainbow Fabrics, Kilburn. That decided me – I needed to make up this new style!

As the pattern has a limited size range up to US-18 I knew that although the fit across the shoulders would be fine, I would need to expand for my ‘fuller’ figure.

I made a toile using lightweight plain White polyester cotton and proceeded to make a Full Bust adjustment. I also decided to ignore the front slit at the bodice and neckline yoke, I would simply stitch the opening closed, cut the yoke piece placed on the fold at the centre front and rely solely on the centre back zip to be able to put the dress on and off. Although the toile was made with the short puffed sleeves of view C, I was not sure at that stage whether I would have short or long sleeves on the final dress. I had sufficient fabric for either version.

Even after making the toile in polyester cotton, I still ‘chickened out’ of using my matching Viscose Marocain fabric and decided to make a ‘wearable muslin’ using some of the Dark Green Palm print viscose (also from Rainbow Fabrics).

Dark Green Palm Leaves print Viscose for ‘wearable muslin’

Having already made one toile I powered ahead with this ‘wearable muslin’. As I would normally French Seam this weight of viscose fabric, for speed all seams were overlocked with Black thread. I did not like the way the instructions told you to finish the hem band on the short sleeves. I did it my way so that all the raw edges were enclosed. I found the neckline yoke particularly fiddly and was glad that at least one layer was interfaced for stability.

First fitting I found that I could put the dress on over my head without the opening for the zip or the slit on the centre front of the bodice. I had to laugh! Firstly the sleeves were so full that I looked like an American footballer. The blouson of the gathers under the bust were way to full and the fabric drooped down almost to my waist. I had to remove over 3 inches from the centre front of the bodice grading back to 0 at the side seams. It could still do with another ½ inch being removed from the fullness! Because the skirt is panelled and shaped to ‘skim’ over the midriff, in my case, it was more fitted. I had to let out the side seams to give me a little more room to breathe!

K6574 in Green Palm Leaves Viscose

Conclusion: Although I will keep the dress (as a reminder!) I am not sure that I will ever wear it. I have listed the original pattern on eBay as I know that I will never, ever make this particular pattern again! Now the search is on for an alternative pattern to use with the Viscose Marocain.

Project #21 completed 3rd April 2022

Cats Gardening Blouse

Having previously stated that I need to try some different/new patterns for blouses, I reverted to my TNT pattern for this novelty printed fabric – Cats gardening STELLA-DCJ1882 NAVY Clara in 100% cotton.

This print does not fit into my Golden Daffodils and Spring Greens theme but what the heck, those plans are not set into concrete!

I purchased 2 metres on the final afternoon when attending the Sewcial Retreat at Shepperton earlier in March. At a cost of £30 I did not want to ‘waste’ this pretty fabric on a new and untested pattern. However, I did draft a different short sleeve. Basically it is the puffed sleeve head with faced hem style that I have drafted for several other patterns.

I cut the bodice as per my usual pattern but when constructing I did find that the under arm was a little too high and the width around the middle and hips was too wide. The latter is easily rectified with some fish eye darts in the front bodice but I will have to re-think the shaping of the armscye and sleeve patterns for another time.

Once again I have stitched both my maker’s label and the fabric pattern design information selvedge onto the back neckline facing.

Simple Yellow spotted buttons from my stash complete the blouse.

TNT Short sleeved ‘Cats Gardening’ Blouse

I am very pleased with the blouse and plan to wear it with my dungarees when pottering in the garden!

Project #20 completed 31st March 2022