Making a dress with Simplicity 3301

Hello friends! I have become enamored with the idea of challenging myself to create more professional, neater looking garments in recent times. I want to be able to look at these pieces and feel pride in the care I have shown at each step. And while this does significantly increase the time that I spend on each garment I think it has been well worth it, as this version of Simplicity 3301 shows. I thrill each time I look at the neatness of the buttons and buttonholes, and I am so delighted that all the tweaks I made to the fit – and all the unpicking that went into that, have come together to make something so delightful to wear. Even if I finished it somewhat too late to thoroughly enjoy it before it turned too cold.

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Overalls and Culottes with Simplicity 3866

Hello!

Although I’m excited about all the things I sew, this pattern of the month is something of a special piece. Not because of the base pattern itself – although Simplicity 3866 circa 1961 is wonderful, but rather because of the fabric I had planned to use. This fun and comfortable summer piece came about because I had stumbled over a single curtain at the Op Shops which came from IKEA, and which happened to match two cushions I have in the house! The thought of matching the furniture had me in stitches, and I knew that if I was careful with the unpicking I could get quite a lot of fabric out of this.

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Classic Peasant Blouses with Style 1524

Hello friends, and welcome to the New Year!

I had originally intended for my pattern of the month to be another exploration of bottoms, with a view to making some overalls for summer. In particular I was very keen on giving the Jenny Overalls, by Closest Core Patterns, another go. I had first tried the pattern quite awhile ago before I truly understood how to grade and tweak and fit trousers, and at the time attempted a record number of muslins before giving up. I tried the pattern once again, and – after so many alterations it was no longer particularly recognisable compared to the original, I still couldn’t quite get the fit I wanted. I decided that rather than settle for something not quite as good as my previous makes, I would finally allow this pattern to be removed from my stash and attempt something else.

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Jumpsuits and Pattern Hacking – Simplicity 6926 + The Tania Culottes and Vogue 7583

Hello friends! I am so excited about this month’s blog post as it signals a change in the way that I am approaching sewing and sharing my makes on Ye Olde Internete. I recently made the decision to move to a monthly posting format on both Instagram and my blog, as I realised that this would suit me so much better and give me more space to thoroughly test each pattern. So each month I will be focusing on one particular pattern and testing a few different variations of it, depending on what I’m inspired to make with the fabric I have in my stash. However, this change was largely inspired by the fitting adventures I embarked on with the bodice of Simplicity 6926 – a vintage dress pattern circa 1975, which I picked up second-hand. It was a thoroughly enjoyable challenge and I learned so much from the process that it inspired this series, as well as my first ever video tutorial which you will find below!

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Jeans and Overalls with Simplicity 8447

Having completed two versions of this glorious, glorious pattern; I can now understand both the love for Simplicity 8447 and the love for sewing with denim. I had been fortunate enough to find a rather kind person who was willing to part with several meters of this glorious, dark denim – along with several other pieces from their stash, which I thought would be perfect for attempting to embark on a new adventure. It also meant that I could in fact get my hands on an otherwise prohibitively expensive fabric! I had no denim overalls, a piece I very much wanted to add to my winter and autumn wardrobe, and I was keen to learn how to sew with denim so that I could produce my own jeans. I had seen and heard very positive reviews of this pattern and so hunted out a secondhand copy for myself to try.

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Half Slips with McCall’s 8164

As a rule of thumb, I sew what I am inspired to work on at that moment in time. I find that makes the process much more fun and helps me to keep enthused even if several muslins are required. Although I am also focusing on making things that fill a particular hole in my current wardrobe, and where possible are seasonally appropriate, that was definitely not the case when I broke out McCall’s 8164 and started working on it. This is a lovely slip pattern to be sure, but was hardly suited for the cold weather that was coming in!  

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Weigel’s 1808

Hello friends! If there is one thing I have learned with sewing, it’s that a little imagination and a willingness to make mistakes can go a long way to creating something wonderful! That was definitely the case when I decided to try Weigel’s 1808, View B. Technically this pattern is for a house/brunch coat, but months ago when I spotted it for sale I thought – wow! That would make an amazing dress! It had every feature I like in a dress, including the most incredible looking pockets! I had also been extremely curious about Weigel’s patterns after seeing other people making and discussing them on some vintage sewing groups I follow, and wanted to see what it would be like to work through one.

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Simplicity 6550

Hello friends! After the incredible success I had with my first attempt at a proper pattern hack, I was looking forward to testing even more wintery makes that would be appropriate for the chilly weather. I was keen to try all sorts of new heavier weight fabrics and see if I couldn’t create some more vintage inspired, seasonal clothing. However, my laptop took a not entirely unexpected turn over one weekend and simply refused to hold a charge. This meant a lot of hasty backing up onto an external hard drive while I still could, and the generosity of a friend’s brother in sharing his store discount to help me afford a new machine. As someone who rarely buys brand new this all was a bit exciting, but also meant I had to seriously rethink all my immediate sewing plans for the next while due to the budget change. Enter Simplicity 6550. 

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