Friday, 24 July 2015

cozy dress - Grainline Linden

Ahoy sewers!  Just back from camping on the beautiful Isles of Scilly.  If you've never heard of Scilly (I hadn't!) the islands are nestled together 3 hours by ferry off the southwest tip of Cornwall and, let me tell you, they are breathtaking.  Crystal clear blue azure water, fine white sand, lush tropical vegetation and - perhaps my favourite thing - wearing nautical stripes is seriously de rigueur.  Really, everyone wears them.  It's the cutest thing. Even the wannabe sailors like us. 
Well, I love a nautical stripe almost as much as I love a dress and so I combined both with Grainline's Linden sweatshirt, lengthened into a minidress (and, critically, didn't take up too much camping gear space -- though I would have forgone the portable cooker to pack this if I had to!)

The pattern pieces fit together beautifully.  For this version I blended into a size up at the waist to the hemline.

There are so many great versions of the Linden already out there (Ginger Makes, Closet Case Files, Makes the Things, House of Lane...and just today, Sew Tessuti) so you don't need me to tell you what an easy and versatile make it is.  But if you haven't already made this, what are you waiting for? 
I've even got the hubby asking for one in his size, with stripes.  

Did I mention we are wannabe sailors...?
Happy sewing x

Saturday, 4 July 2015


Before I start this post I just need say, that this is not my life...  In some of my last few posts I realise I have a drink in my hand (sorry Mom), and I might be giving the impression that its normal for me to saunter around from event to event swigging free drinks and canapés.  
Ha, if only!
The truth is that a recent and lucky last-minute substitute invite saved me from spending an evening organising my sock drawer, and when one of these comes up the real draw for me is that it's a great excuse to make a new frock!  (although the canapés were very, very good...)
Except, if there is one thing more unnerving than wearing your own design in front of highly critical architects its turning up at an event full of renowned designers at the Royal Academy of Arts in a few pieces of fabric you stitched together at your kitchen table.  Maybe you can sense my panic as the invitation sat staring at me from my mantle piece.
I also needed a quick turnaround and as luck would have it, I had recently bought 1 metre of this drapey poly chirimen geometric print from Textile Express Fabrics and was just able to eke a full dress from it using my waterlilies dress pattern.
I used the wrong side of the fabric so that it reads more blue/green instead of black-navy/green and lined the whole thing with a breezy lightweight bright blue lining from Truro Fabrics which arrived in the nick of time.
 At £9.60 a metre the lining cost more than the £6.50 dress fabric, but was worth the investment because I don't think I could have preserved the feather light feeling otherwise.
It was a really fun to see how this wild geometric print changed the feel of the dress pattern entirely, and blending in with the surrounding geometric pavilion was clearly an added bonus.

 With just 1 metre of fabric I didn't have enough wiggle room to line the prints perfectly.  But maybe sometimes a little chaos in sewing and in art is not so bad.

Do you have a go-to pattern that you use different fabrics/prints with to achieve different looks?

Happy 4th to everyone celebrating and happy sewing! x