Short sleeve Imogen…

jersey dress.

So I’m thinking about making an Imogen dress for my Nieces wedding in June from some gorgeous Crepe fabric I got for my Birthday from my Husband. I decided I ought to make a trial run, so chose this lovely jersey fabric I had in my stash from last year.

This was a very fine jersey fabric and as such was quite tricky to work with. It kept wanting to slide off the table and I had to use millions ( I do not exaggerate) of pins to get it to stay in place, I thought this would be good practice as the crepe fabric I want to use will be quite tricky too.

It went quite well all in all, except for one side of the collar that doesn’t lie quite flat enough. I can live with it though.

The fabric drapes beautifully. However I wasn’t too sure I liked this pattern as a dress and very nearly turned it into a top this weekend, but I tried it on again with my trusty Birkenstocks and decided it would be perfect for those summer days when its too hot to wear too much! And if I do make a dress for the wedding it will be a tad shorter. I haven’t quite decided yet if I want to make the fabric into a dress or if I want to get a couple of tops out of it instead.

I haven’t forgotten how to sew…

Its just been a while since I’ve blogged about it. I was busy making bags for my little Etsy shop



but now I’m back to the clothes.

I’ve tweaked my Merchant and Mills Trapeze pattern once again, to make a mini dress/tunic length. And the first thing I made from this new pattern was a dress for my works Christmas party. I made it from the textured black and white ponte roma that I made a top from from in the summer. I had a hunch it would make a good dress for a party. And I think I was right. Very happy with it indeed.







It was a nice easy make. The fabric is a joy to work with.

Here it is as party dress, I hope I’m not too old at the age of 45 to be wearing a mini dress like this. Don’t worry won’t wear it without tights, that was not a good look!



It also looks good as casual wear, worn with jeans and Uggs or Birkenstocks.



I probably prefer it worn casually but then again I prefer casual wear now a days anyway!

Hope you like it, I do.



Most worn so far this year…

Are my jersey makes.



I really really love the dress, I wear it with jeans and without and have worn it lots!


So I think I can conclude from this that I’m most comfortable in jersey. I try to look stylish but top of my agenda nowadays is comfort. Gone are the days of wearing clothes that I had to continually adjust and fidget with. Its comfort all the way now and I don’t care. Well I sort of do obviously as I still want to try and look nice.

I’ve also used this bag a lot. I love it!


I have been looking in my wardrobe and am trying to sort it out and take out the stuff I haven’t worn much and being honest with myself and admitting they don’t really work, such as…


I should never have shortened the length or the sleeves, it was fine as it was, now I don’t like it anymore and feel uncomfortable in it.


The fit on this went a little wrong and isn’t as comfortable as it should be, so thats been taken out. As have most of the cotton Mathilde blouses. Gone right off them. I still love the dress versions though.


I love the fabric on the above top, but it has become tight across the bust I feel and once again is not comfortable. Shame as I really do love the fabric. There a re many more and I won’t bore you with them all.

So I’m learning what suits me and what fabrics I like best and will hopefully start to make better decisions regarding what I’m wearing, but don’t hold your breath.

Have you learned what suits you more since starting to make your own clothes?


Good or bad? well I’ve been doing some. Firstly on a pair of jeans that I’ve wanted to do forever, but was worried incase the inner leg seam wouldn’t go through the sewing machine. I think I mentioned this when I last altered a pair of jeans and someone very kindly offered the tip of hitting the seam with a hammer. well I went one better and hit the seam with a mallet, yes I did! And have to say it worked a treat. I don’t have a before pic but trust me the jeans were about 3 miles too long, but now they are perfect.


And then I went and altered this denim trapeze dress.

Then in denim.

Made it shorter and also shortened the sleeves. and then top stitched the hem, neckline and sleeve hem.





I’m definitely pleased with the topstitching but not sure about the rest yet. I haven’t worn it since the alteration so watch this space… I might regret it come the winter!

I have worn it now!


Love it so much more :0)

Love how an idea can evolve…

I started off with a plan to make another Trapeze top out of this black 5oz dress weight denim from Merchant and mills. Then I thought it might look nice with contrast sleeves. Which means reversing the fabric to show the lovely grey side. So I laid out the fabric and then wondered if I had enough fabric to make a dress with contrast sleeves instead? I didn’t quite have enough, but then I remembered I had some left over from previous makes (I’ve used this fabric quite a lot) and joy of joy I had enough for the sleeves and facing, Yay! I then thought about making it grey with the sleeves in black, so this is what I set out to do.

Once I’d put the dress part together I then thought I’d have a look and see what it might look like with grey sleeves. And I really liked it, i tried it with the black too but in the end decided to go with an all grey dress. And I’m so pleased I did as I think it looks quite smart. The grey side of this fabric is just gorgeous and I think I prefer it to the black. I don’t know if its meant to be reversible but thats the beauty of making your own clothes, you can do whatever you like…



I’m loving the short sleeves.


I think it looks pretty good with my necklace too. I have pretty much worn this necklace non-stop since making it :0)



Not sure if it makes me look pregnant from the side in the pics (I can assure you I’m not), but I don’t think it does in real life.


I will most probably wear it with jeans for the most part as my legs are not my best feature and they are very pale and pasty. I also think that worn with high heels it would look good for a party or wedding, with the right accessories.

I’m extremely happy with this dress and am also quite amazed at my thought process and how I got from making a black top to making a grey dress.

Emanuel Ungaro, if you will…

This is my most expensive fabric so far. Or it would have been if it hadn’t been in a sale. I bought this beautiful fabric online from, in their winter sale. It was a bit of an impulse purchase, was either going to be a new bag or fabric, and as I apparently have enough bags (at least according to the Husband) I went for fabric. Cheaper than the bag would have been too. Anyway like I said bit of an impulse purchase and wasn’t too sure why I bought it when I was thinking about it later. Totally not my sort of thing really, floral and a sort of greenish/yellow colour! Sounds disgusting.

As it was the last remnant of a roll it was a fixed amount, luckily that was two metres. And I think about 140cm wide, so I knew I would have enough for a top or dress. Oh and its Emanuel Ungaro!


It arrived in beautiful branded packaging, I like the nice touches like that.

Just look at that selvedge. Had to keep it as part of the dress.

Just look at that selvedge. Had to keep it as part of the dress.


When it arrived I was at first a little non-plussed. I had decided I wanted to make a dress with it but then thought it might be a little too thin to work as a dress. I didn’t rush into making anything with it. I did however bung it in the wash so when I was ready I could get on with it.


The colour in real life looks a little more gold and it’s got an almost metallic sheen to it, I can’t really describe it. The flowers are quite simply beautiful and appear almost photographic, the detail is quite stunning. I’m no expert but think they might be Camellias.

I decided to go for it and make it into another Trapeze dress (I know I know, I said I wasn’t going to keep making the same pattern but I can’t help it, I love the Trapeze and also I didn’t want to risk using a new pattern and possibly ruin the fabric, so there!). I have a wedding reception to go to soon and thought this would make a lovely dress to wear for that.

I nearly had a panic attack when it looked like I might not be able to squeeze the a Trapeze out of the two metres of fabric, don’t think it was quite as wide as I thought it was. However the Husband came in to find me looking quite distraught and came to my rescue and rearranged a couple of the pieces. I would have probably got there in end but you know he saved me from at least an hours worth of anxiety. Sometimes it does help to have another persons perspective.

It is a bit of a tight squeeze, but did fit.

It is a bit of a tight squeeze, but did fit.

I have to say this fabric was dream to work with. It behaved itself so well. And was quite simply delightful to handle. and because of that I nearly had it finished in a day, and I would have done if I hadn’t had to eat, although I suddenly became aware that the fabric was quite expensive and I was getting tired and setting in the sleeves is often where I unpick, and I really didn’t want to unpick. So I knew it was best to stop.

I picked it up again the next day, and as always took me bit longer than I anticipated mainly due to trying to work out how long I wanted the sleeves and the length of the dress. Once I had that sorted it was plain sailing.



The above picture shows sleeve and dress length as yet undecided. I’m always a bit nervous of shortening, as once its gone its gone. I often end up erring on the side of caution and shortening things twice. However I am learning what length suits me best.

Here's a close up of the gorgeous flower detail.

Here’s a close up of the gorgeous flower detail.






In the above picture you can just about see a white line running down the back centre seam. This was due entirely to me wanting to keep the lovely selvedge that said Emanuel Ungaro and have the words Haute Coutoure in something I’m wearing. The pattern has a 1.5 seam allowance and the selvedge was about 2cm wide, tired to accommodate that but as it was a tight fit getting all the pattern pieces to fit anyway well it didn’t work too well. I can live with it, I have too.


The above picture is a fairly good representation of the colour.




I have to say that another reason that I love the Trapeze pattern is, that its a nice loose shape and means I can eat and drink what I want without worrying about the bloat.

Very happy with the finished garment I have to say. Feels absolutely gorgeous to wear. Feels a little bit special :0)

I would totally recommend checking out, they have some really beautiful fabrics. They even have Chanel Boucle if you fancy making yourself a Chanel jacket, but be warned the cheapest is £1,490 a metre! How terrified would you be to cut into that? Its fun to look around though at all the gorgeous stuff they have and dream.




Worlds most boring Party dress…

But its exactly what I wanted and I love it. I used the Trapeze pattern (again), shortened the sleeves a little, but otherwise its the same as the others.  And instead of doing a proper hem on the bottom I just zigzagged the edge. It was going to be a real pain in the arse to do a proper hem with the fabric I was using, which was a beautiful black crepe from fabric









Could possibly get away with being shorter, but maybe next year I’ll shorten it.

The fabric turned out to be really nice to sew with, I was pleasantly surprised. My main problem with it is that the facing at the neckline shows through from the underneath. Not a major concern but bugs me a little. Otherwise a lovely stress free make.


The length was really bothering me. I finished this dress 2 weeks ago and blogged about it pretty much soon after (but hadn’t yet posted it). I mulled over it for a week and finally decided to cut off 1.5 inches. And now its fabulous, in my eyes anyway. Its probably still a little boring in some peoples eyes but its a great backdrop for a statement necklace.

I would like some more of this fabric and would like to try the sleeveless version. Maybe next year…

Love the way its hanging here. The fabric has a lovely weight to it which makes the dress hang beautifully.

Love the way its hanging here. The fabric has a lovely weight to it which makes the dress hang beautifully.

Without necklace...

Without necklace…

With long necklace...

With long necklace…

With vintage beads...

With vintage beads…

Haven’t yet decided which necklace to wear. Probably make that decision two minutes before going out the door!

 I think I like it better without tights.

I think I like it better without tights.

I apologise once again for the quality of the pictures. Black is really hard to photograph well. Also I’m afraid most of the pics were taken in the evening and the ones that weren’t were taken on a really gloomy day. It really does look better in person.

Another Trapeze…

Love love love this one. 8oz washed denim from Merchant and Mills.






Not much to say, went together beautifully again, just have trouble getting the sleeves in smoothly but still looks good slightly puffy. hangs and drapes wonderfully in the denim, a little softer than the canvas.

Just adding a mod pic for reference. Cropped head out as had major bed head hair! I usually  start sewing before I make myself presentable.

Just adding a mod pic for reference. Cropped head out as had major bed head hair! I usually start sewing before I make myself presentable.

Who doesn’t love a TRAPEZE artist…

Or dress for that matter?

After the disappointment of the Top 64 I decided I was going to make the Merchant & Mills Trapeze dress, properly. I bought this pattern in the pre-cut cardboard, size 10, about 2 years ago, when I first started sewing as I thought it looked nice and easy. And after getting it home and reading the instructions I realised it was far from easy, got scared and put it away. And then I made a simpler version of it (although I don’t think I can remember how I did it).


Now, more than 2 years later i’m finally ready to give it a proper go. I’m using the cotton canvas I originally bought for the Top 64, I think it might be a little thick for it, but I just have to use it, I have a feeling it will work.

The pattern pieces laid out. I had to put the back on upside down to fit. Yes it does mean the nap on the back runs different to the front but its not too noticeable.

The pattern pieces laid out. I had to put the back on upside down to fit. Yes it does mean the nap on the back runs different to the front but its not too noticeable.

I loved how quickly this came together. I’m making the straight sleeve version, decided not to put the added bit in the sleeve which makes it flared, I think they’re a really lovely shape as it is. So there are only 4 pieces to cut out which is always a bonus. In the instructions they suggest laying out the pieces on the fabric and drawing round them but as I don’t have a large enough hard flat surface I’ve opted to just cut round them, using tins as weights.

Neck facing.

Neck facing.

This came together so quickly, I reckon if I'd started at 9am I'd have had it finished by 5 or 6pm that day.

This came together so quickly, I reckon if I’d started at 9am I’d have had it finished by 5 or 6pm that day.

Looks a bit like a tent at the mo...

Looks a bit like a tent at the mo…

Even more from the side.

Even more so from the side.

The next day I put the sleeves in. They went in beautifully except they are supposed to be smooth and mine didn’t work out quite like that. The thread snapped when I tried to gather in the sleeve head so left me no choice but to make them puffy. But I quite like them like that.

Sleeves in.

Sleeves in.

Next came hemming of sleeves and skirt hem! Sleeves were painless, but the skirt hem was a little trickier, because of the curve and the amount of fabric you have to fold up. I looked up several different methods for doing it neatly, but ended up not using any of them. So whatever you do if you see me wearing this dress don’t look at the underside of the skirt hem, please.

I was a bit worried before I hemmed it that it was looking a bit too voluminous, but once hemmed it looked so much better and hangs beautifully. I love the structured shape the fabric gives it.

Pinned in place.

Pinned in place.



Just look at that lovely neckline.

Just look at that lovely neckline. One of the neatest facings I’ve ever done.



The fabric looks quite creased here, I have worn and washed it already.


I really really love the shape of this dress.

I really really love the shape of this dress.


Happy happy me :0)

Happy happy me :0)

I thoroughly enjoyed making the Trapeze dress, the fabric was a dream to work with (am now thinking the Strand coat in this fabric would be divine) and the pattern was also a joy to put together. I needed a good project after my last disaster and this was perfect. I. Will. Be. Making. More.

Would like to attempt the sleeveless version sometime but that does look a bit complicated believe it or not. And even though M&M say this dress is good for beginners, there is an awful lot of fabric to handle which can be a bit daunting if you are new to sewing. Or maybe thats just me.




The best things come in 3…

So I now have 3 garments in the grey daisy fabric from Merchant & Mills. All based on the same pattern, Tilly and the Buttons “Mathilde”, but all quite different. The latest is the short sleeve top.

Here come the pics

This pic is just cos I like seeing the pins.

This pic is just because I like seeing the pins.

I know I've said it before but I can't believe how different it looks once I put the sleeves in. I'm never sure I'll like it at this point.

I know I’ve said it before but I can’t believe how different it looks once I put the sleeves in. I’m never sure I’ll like it at this point.




Looks so much better now.







And now here come the other two garments in the same fabric.



Long sleeve top.

Long sleeve top.

Loving them all.