The 60s Grey Shift


I’ve been ummming and ahhhing for ages now, over how best to use this beautiful grey, swirly fabric which I was gifted as part of the #secretsewingsanta exchange. I was really torn between this 60s shift dress, which I’ve sewn once before, see here, and a Clemence skirt, again attempted just once before. I thought the slightly stiff texture (I think it’s a kind of linen with netting for the swirls), would really suit a full skirt, but I figured if I had enough for a whole dress, then it would be rude not to!

The pattern is Simplicity 1609, which came free with a magazine some time ago. This time I chose view A with a kind of scalloped, Peter Pan-style collar. The darts went in easily. I substituted a regular zip for an invisible one, which behaved itself perfectly πŸ™‚ The collar was a little fiddly. I’m guessing a slightly lighter fabric may have helped here, but I gave it my best… I was contemplating whether to unpick it and attempt it again to neaten it up, when I realised I’d forgotten to switch back to a light grey thread after completing another quick project in between in a darker grey! Frustrating though this was, it made the decision as to whether to unpick or not a whole lot easier πŸ˜‰ And my second attempt, with the right colour greyΒ thread, was a whole lot neater. Funny that!


Because I substituted with an invisible zip, I ended up free-styling the order and did most of it by instinct. The bit I did try to consult was how to insert the facings. The neck edge made sense, and went in pretty easily, but the arms made no sense at all! I just kind of made it up, which seemed to work reasonably well, before hand stitching it down to the main bodice. The rest was plain sailing πŸ™‚ The design suggests placing three, small buttons beneath the centre of the collar, but I resisted as I felt this might have drawn the eye to my least neat part of the project…

I was so pleased when I tried this on: it fitted perfectly. And from the outside, it’s a pretty neat job all-in-all. However the insides left me just a little disappointed. They’re pretty neat around the facings, but I’d really like to get my inner seams finished off just a little more professionally. I guess a lining would have covered them nicely, but I like the idea of using bias binding or a ribbon to neaten them up. I think it’s a result of using my overlocker more recently, which always gives such a great finish. I’ve read about other bloggers overlocking seams before sewing, so maybe this would be an idea too. Any suggestions would, as ever, be greatly appreciated. It’s an area I’d really like to improve on in the future.

Many thanks Vicki once again for the beautiful fabric. It was a perfect choice for me πŸ™‚

And for those power-girls amongst you who may just have thought there was a little something missing from this post…


Ahh, that’s better! I did try to keep them down, honest! πŸ˜‰


Another Simple, Girl’s Skirt

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Pleased with my stash-busting prowess of late, on my day off last week I reorganised my, now pleasingly depleted, fabric drawers. And it’s a good job I did, as I came across this little bargain I picked up in H and M in the sale last Summer. I was drawn to the fabric: a lovely mix of pinky/browny/grey butterflies. At just Β£3, despite the shapeless design, I knew it was worthy of an upcycling project and another skirt for my daughter seemed the obvious choice, as she was so pleased with the last one πŸ™‚ I think the fabric was wasted on the original, it definitely shows it off more in skirt-form, at least to my eye anyway…

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Using her measurements from last week’s project, but adding two extra inches to the length this time, I measured and cut out, retaining the original hem. I then simply added an elasticated waist and it was as simple as that. I love this on her, it suits her colouring so well and the jersey fabric is really comfy, yet practical. As you can see she was more than ready to do a spot more modelling for me…

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She’s definitely the ‘clown’ in our family, who loves nothing better than making us all laugh πŸ™‚

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She’s also set me another challenge: apparently she’d like a complete Mummy-made outfit to wear for her ‘own clothes day’ at school next week. Looks like I’ll be busy then…





My New Favourite top


Continuing with the stash-busting theme, the next left-over material I set my mind to was this lovely tweed, from one of my much loved BHL Charlotte skirts, see here.

Leafing through my pattern collection I came across Burda Style 7175, which is a vintage-style ‘dress and accessories’ pattern. And yes, I’m loving the hat and stole too, but maybe next time πŸ˜‰ Unlike the vast majority of the others in this range, this was labelled as ‘easy’ and required ‘lightweight wools or tweeds’, perfect!


I’d heard that Burda patterns aren’t always that detailed, but maybe that’s the ones in their magazine, as this really was pretty straightforward. The bodice was made out of four pieces, rather than the usual two. I was tempted to use a contrasting fabric for the side panels, but erred on the safe side by sticking to just one. It came together really smoothly and my invisible zip went in no problem, a relief after the last one!

I did use a contrast material for my facings though (navy boucle from my original Charlotte), as I thought the tweed might prove a little scratchy around the neckline. This worked well. I did vaguely consider constructing a lining (not included in the pattern), but it’s more boxy than close-fitting, so I think it should be ok without.

The sleeves were a little fiddly, but no doubt because I decided to ignore the instructions to sew them by hand, preferring to do them on the machine. It was a bit narrow, but it worked out fine.

The only part of the instructions I couldn’t quite make out was how to finish the slits on the front. In the end I just improvised, and I think they look just fine πŸ™‚ I even used up my two remaining buttons from my Megan dress, so this top was entirely constructed from left-overs. The cover illustration above uses much bigger ones, but maybe this would result in a slightly too vintage-y look? Then again, mine do look a little lost in these photos…

I’ve never really had a top pattern that I’ve loved before, unlike the many skirt patterns I’ve fallen for: the Ginger, the Delphine and the Charlotte. But now I have one! I really love the fit of this and the styling details. I’m already thinking of what other fabric I have that might be appropriate to run another one up in. It looks great with jeans and is really comfy, but I’m also looking forward to trying it with the matching Charlotte skirt (still in Winter storage) for work. Because of the slits it will definitely require a high-waisted bottom half to protect my middle section from exposure, really not a great look after two children!

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I really do love this! Do you have a favourite top pattern?

Thanks for reading,

Teresa x.