Roberts Dungarees of Dreams

After making my Roberts dungaree dress, I realised I wanted to make the dungaree version…….and it only took me 2 years to realise my dreams!

As with the dress I made the size 2 and the only alterations I made were to add a pocket on the bib, which I stole from the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pattern, and to make a turn up/cuff at the bottom. I used a tutorial from Amy Nicole Studio for how to do this – I think she’s a bit short like me, so it’s a useful tutorial if trouser legs end up a bit long! And luckily I love how they look!

If it looks like the side of the bib is sitting a bit funny under my left arm, it’s because that’s the side that has poppers on, to get in and out of the dungarees, and I was so desperate to wear these that I just safety pinned the side closed, so it’s looking a bit weird. And actually I can easily get these on and off without undoing the safety pin so I may just sew the opening closed, rather than wasting poppers I don’t really need to use.

I really love the shape of the back on this pattern (even with one of the straps twisted!).

And pockets! You can never have enough pockets in my opinion. And the pockets were particularly useful when I wore these to help my in-laws move house (what better outfit for moving things that dungarees!) so I could hold all the keys and my phone and my lip balm!

The fabric was the last of the leftovers from my suit which I made for the Sewcialite Soiree (which I’d already made a Cleo from!). I could really go over the top in wearing mustard corduroy now!

I used a couple of jeans buttons left over from my Morgan Jeans button kit for the buttons and they did keep popping off until I really, really hammered them on. There is quite a lot of strain on those 2 buttons, like the whole weight of the dungarees, so they do need to be securely on.

If I made these again (and I really want another pair) I think I might go full on Lucy and Yak and make loops on the bib to tie the ties onto. I think I’d have to lengthen the ties too, to give enough length to be able to tie them on.

As well as the left over corduroy, I had some of the birdy cotton lawn I used to line the jacket with, so I lined the bib and the pockets of these with it. I love those secret details, that other people don’t necessarily notice, but I know is there.

I think dungarees was one of those trends that I wasn’t too sold on when it first came back into fashion – though I had a pair of dungarees I absolutely loved and lived in when I was a young teenager! I feel like sometimes it takes me a while to decide if I would actually like a particular garment in my wardrobe – and I don’t want to spend ages (and money on fabric) making something only to realise it’s not my style and I don’t want to wear it. But I’m really glad I jumped on the dungaree bandwagon when I did!

Are there any trends you think aren’t for you, then 6 months or a year down the line you decide maybe you do like it?

 

 

Wardrobe Architect Week 10: The Capsule Palette

This week’s Wardrobe Architect is about narrowing the colour palettes we came up with before (in week 5) into smaller palettes for each season. I don’t think I really need to narrow my palettes, though, because since I live in the UK, we don’t have much of a Summer and my spring wardrobe is pretty much my Winter wardrobe but with fewer jumpers and cardigans.

I actually had a bit of a clear out last weekend when I got my Summer clothes (which turned out to be half a dozen dresses and 2 thin cardigans!) out of storage and packed a bunch of them off to the charity shop. I also got rid of some of my early me-mades which I no longer wear, and a few bits that were given to me by friends. I mostly used the rule of if I hadn’t worn it for the last year I got rid of it, and quite a few of the things I got rid of didn’t fit with my colour palette – and some didn’t fit with the silhouettes I’ve identified – so this exercise has definitely helped me to focus on what works in my wardrobe and what doesn’t.

I think for me the think to focus on is to sew with more of my accent colours more of the time for the warmer months (but to sew things that can be layered for colder weather).

I spent last weekend (and the Sunday before) cutting out lots of projects and one of them was a Sew Over It Anderson Blouse in the lovely coral fabric I bought in Birmingham at Guthrie and Ghani. I also have a pink and white striped In The Folds Collins top ready to go and a turquoise Named Inari Tee Dress. I hadn’t realised until typing this that these are all the right colours! I tried to cut out a cropped Inari Tee from the gorgeous mustard jersey I got in Guthrie and Ghani but there wasn’t enough, which was a little heartbreaking. Boo! I think the most I’ll get out of it will be a vest top. Any pattern ideas?

I think the other was to use my accent colours is to sew bottoms as well as tops from them. I mostly wear bright tops and black/navy/grey bottoms, which makes me always look a little Wintery even when it’s warm. I also need some more cream and white tops to go with these bright things.

Well this is probably my shortest Wardrobe Architect post so far!

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Mustard Yellow Astoria

A little while ago (I’m a little backed up with finished makes due to my unplanned blogging break) I made this mustard yellow Astoria top.

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This is the first Colette Seamwork pattern I’ve made and they are not lying when they say they are quick to make up. I made a size small and didn’t make any changes – and there are only a couple of pattern pieces.

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I thought the fit of it was fine until I looked at these pictures – I guess with knits it’s easier to feel comfortable even if the fit of something isn’t perfect. Does anyone know what I can do to fix the drag lines around my armpits? This is the area I always find is tight on me, so do I just need to go up a size on the armscyes and sleeves? Maybe it’s easier to just go up a whole size? Also the neckband stands up a little – I’m not sure if that’s because the fabric stretches only one way. And I seem to remember having to work hard to squeeze on all the pattern pieces.

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The fabric was the leftovers from the jacket from the wedding outfit I made back in May. It’s a really nice ponte roma and I’ll definitely look to sew with it again in the future. This one is also relatively thick so it’s almost warm. I like wearing it with the high-waisted navy trousers I altered as I don’t like to have a midriff gap – especially in the Winter!

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Have you made any Seamwork patterns? I also have the Alder blouse. I haven’t subscribed as I’m not sure I would want enough of the patterns to justify it, but I do think Seamwork is a genius idea. I particularly like the podcast – I find myself getting really into podcasts (and the radio) recently. They’re better to listen to while sewing than trying to watch shows as I’ve done in the past. I always end up sitting behind my machine watching the tv!

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Refashion Friday: Blue, Mustard and Orange shirt dress refashion

I was struggling to think how to start this post so The Boyfriend said I should say ‘hello, here is the start of my post’.

Hello, this is the start of my post. This original shirt dress, with a dropped-waist waist band was from my friend – the one who gave me the big pile of clothes which precipitated my big wardrobe clear out.  I immediately fell in love with the fabric. But this is possibly the most difficult fabric to photograph ever, in the whole world! This is possibly the most ‘first-world-problem’ ever…….

Also, sorry for the worst ‘before’ photo ever – but maybe it’s good to have a terrible before so the after looks even better by comparison!?

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There were a couple of buttons missing at the bottom of the dress, but I like how the buttons are in pairs – it’s a bit more interesting than them being evenly spaced!

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It also did have this cute little pocket – if you can make it out?

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Below is the best picture I could get of the ‘waist’ band, which sat on my hips – pretty much the least flattering silhouette on me. So I unpicked the waistband, removing the bottom part of the dress and removing the band from the top part. I measures I needed to raise the waist band by 15cm to put it on my natural waits, so I measured that and then sewed the inside part of the waist band back in using normal seams, cutting off the excess 15cm from the top part of the shirt. I then top-stitched the top part of the waist band, using the holes from the original stitching as a guide.

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Originally the bottom part of the dress was gathered, to give it a bit of fullness, but I decided I wanted a more sleek look so I replaced the gathers with pleats. I also used pleats to narrow the top part of the dress, which then attached to the waistband. I removed 13cm from the original waistband (to make it fit my waist instead of my hips) and then put in 2 pleats on the front and 2 on the back, evenly spaced, each of 3cm. I took the Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt as my inspiration. Though you can’t really see the waitsband or the pleats because of the pattern on the fabric!

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Once I’d put the waistband back in, I slotted the front edges back into the button bands where I’d unpicked them, topstitched both sides in place, trimmed the bottom and hemmed them. Then I just had to sew the buttons back on – I’d had to take them off when unpicking the button band. Sorry there aren’t any ‘in progress’ shots, I tried but none of them looked like anything!

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The fit of the sleeves, shoulders and collar fitted quite well from the beginning, so win! I’m glad I didn’t have to fiddle around with resizing the collar!

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Did I mention that I love my new top!? I’ve already worn it a couple of times – I refashioned it a couple of weeks ago. It goes well with my beloved mustard yellow cardigan and I’ll definitely get a lot more wear out of it as a top than if I’d left it as a dress. I’ve finally accepted I wear more separates – and especially trousers – than I do dresses. I do wear dresses sometimes, but not enough to keep making loads more! My friend who gave me the clothes pretty much always wears dresses, so most of what she gave me were dresses. So hopefully there will be some other ways to making tops out of dresses in my future!

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In the below photo you can actually make out the newly placed waist band! And you can almost make out the pleats. I think it was an advantage that the pattern is so busy as it meant it didn’t really matter how neat my sewing was!

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I’ll leave you with one more, slightly smug looking, photo!

Also, check out my matching coral nail varnish! That wasn’t on purpose, but a happy coincidence when I took these pictures!

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Make It: Reverse Applique Cushion cover

Today I’m going to show you how to make a reverse applique cushion cover (and, of course, you could then reserve applique anything you want!). Reverse applique is kinda what it says on the tin – you have 2 different fabrics, but the one that would be on the top in normal applique is underneath and the top fabric is cut away to reveal it.

I already had a cushion pad in need  of a cover as I bought a bunch when I bought the pad for my Sarah and Duck cushion. It measured 35cm x 35cm. So my fabric would be 38cm x 38cm, which adds a 1.5cm seam allowance to each side. You could always make the cover first and then buy the pad that fits the size you’ve made – though I would check you can definitely get one in that size before you spend ages making the cover.

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The fabrics I used were a blue fat quarter I was given by my aunt and which had been in my stash for a while,

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an off-cut of my ugly skirt refashion fabric,

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and the left-overs from my yellow skirt gang skirt (which sadly was consigned to the charity shop as I never wore it).

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The yellow fabric is the main fabric on both sides, so cut 2 squares of 38cm x 38cm. The biggest square I could squeeze out of the blue and yellow tartan fabric was 20cm x 20cm. This means I placed it 9cm from each edge (38-20/2). Then pin it in place.

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Top tip: Use washi tape (or other removable tape to make a new sewing guide for your sewing machine if your seam allowance (in this case 10cm) is bigger than the guides marked on the machine).

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Then sew all around the shape – I did this with the ‘back’ facing upwards so I would know I had caught all of the edges and there wouldn’t be any gaps. I also used one of my decorative stitched (D on the second row, below), to make sure it was sewn as securely as possible. Also it looks nice!

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This is what it will look like once you’ve sewn all the way around. Remember this is the back view.

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Flip your cushion over to the front and pinch only the top fabric in the middle – you should be able to tell when you’ve got both fabrics and when you’ve isolated only the top one.

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Then snip a little hole, then use this to cut out the middle of your main fabric up to the stitching – make sure you don’t snip any of the actual stitches!

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You will then have this:

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So that’s one side done – easy, right?

I decided I wanted my other side to be a circle and not a square. I cut the fat quarter into a square of 38cm x 38cm – if you have a smaller piece of fabric, you don’t have to cut it to the same size as the main fabric.

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Find the centre of the squares by folding in diagonally in half twice – push a pin in to mark this spot.

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With your pin still making the middle (you can almost make it out in this photo), pin the 2 squares of fabric together.

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The trick to sewing a circle is a trusty drawing pin! I decided to sew my circle with a 10cm radius (the distance from the centre to the edge). Measure from the needle to where you want the centre of the circle to be.

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Using washi tape (or another removable tape) stick the drawing pin in a straight line from the needle, pin facing upwards.

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Push the fabric onto the drawing pin, exactly where you had the pin marking the centre of your fabric – the drawing pin will act as a pivot around which you can sew your (pretty) perfect circle.

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Now you’re ready to sew your circle – you’ll find it easier to hold the fabric with the pin between 2 fingers to make sure it pivots evenly around in a circle. I also found it helpful to go slowly and to stop often to even up the tension between the pin and the needle. I, again, used a decorative stitch on my machine.

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You should end up with something like this – this is the back as the stitching wasn’t rally visible on the back.

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Then repeat the process of pinching the top layer of fabric,

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snipping a hole and cutting out the top fabric up to the line of stitching,.

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It should look like this:

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You then need to sew the 2 side of your cushion together. Pin them right sides facing (i.e. yellow sides together, blue sides on the outside) and sew around 3 sides, leaving the 4th side open to get the cushion pad in.

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It will help you to get clean square corners if you snip the excess fabric off like this before you turn it the right way around.

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Then turn it right sides out, and hand stitch the open side, tucking the seam allowance inside. Then you should have a lovely new cushion to brighten up a dreary January day!

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