Sleeves this time

Hi! Here’s a pre-op story…

Two years ago I made Simplicity 1357 twice because it’s perfect for hot, humid weather. 

As you can see below I still wear this little retro number using Spotlight fabric in a medium weight cotton.
I wore this pink version recently on Day 2 of Couture Sewing workshop run by Susan Khalje. Yes, I’m a big fan of Susan’s work. 
As an aside note in 2019 we might have Kenneth D King teach in Australia – fingers crossed 🙂

Below is the maxi version of this dress, also great for Summer bbqs using a John Kaldor print from Minerva Crafts.
This bold blue cotton print is one I bought from Spotlight a while ago at $8/m and I decided it was time to make this dress up with short sleeves, possibly as a work dress.


Admittedly I can wear loud dresses to the office from time to time but my aim was to create a weekend dress and not ‘workify it’. There is no such word as ‘workify’. I just made it up. A ‘work appropriate’ dress would be the correct term.
The key fit area I checked this time was across my high hip measurement and I used the same pattern as two years ago.
This photo features the hip with a pocket matching the pattern.
The challenge on this dress were the sleeves.
They have a couple of pleats on either side of the shoulder seam.

With this fabric being so firm, the sleeves on this dress sit high and away from my arms. It’s a bit sci-fi looking.

I figured the way the sleeves would sit I would use blue satin bias binding to hem the sleeves. You can certainly see this finish when I’m wearing this dress so using pretty binding was a clever choice.

For a Summer dress like this I would have overlocked the hem edge and then folded it up once and sewn it closed.


I’m glad I put some thought into the finishing details this time.

Now I can recommend using the short sleeve version.

I truly love the pockets on this pattern! 


In case you’re wondering, I took this photo in hotel room we stayed at during the course Susan ran in Sydney in February.

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coffee, cocktails and crutches

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018

I had bunion removal surgery at the time of the Day and Night Dress challenge last month hence my very late blog post.
This blog post was my take on this year’s Day and Night dress challenge lead the very talented and supportive by Elizabeth.

My day look of choice is Papercut Patterns Yoyo dress for coffee catchups. The
fabrics and notions provided by Minerva Crafts – my long time sponsor and sponsor of this challenge.
Night cocktail dress
My night cocktail dress was made with fabric from my stash using Ellie and Mac’s Women’s Bell Sleeve dress pattern. 
The fabric I chose has a huge print and is soft. I’ll show you shortly.

As you can see, I’m on crutches as I had surgery on my left toe a few weeks ago so under doctors orders I have at home with my feet elevated. Standing is painful. 

The skirt width on this dress is much wider that I would normally wear but under the circumstances, this style makes me feel less restricted. I can’t walk anyway so I can gracefully peer across the house on ‘The Lounge’.

About the pattern

I’ve never used Ellie and Mac patterns. They are one of the challenge sponsors so I got this pattern for free.

Ellie and Mac patterns offer a range of children’s patterns and a women’s range. Their patterns are ‘relaxed styling’ and while I’m normally an active person, relaxing styling is what I need during these weeks of recovery.
21-bell-sleeve-v2.jpg
What I love about the pattern is its v-neckline and the instructions for sewing this v-neckline.

This is also easy to sew using an overlocker, which I did. 
The pattern is rated for a confident beginner and the seams are 1cm wide. 

Maybe it’s how I printed the pattern but there were very few marking on the pattern I printed out so I felt like I was ‘flying blind’. I rely on pattern markings when I sew any project together so I know I haven’t stretched the fabric too far.

If I wasn’t on pain medication my cocktail of choice would have been an Aperol spritz. Right now it’s soda water and lime but Aperol matches the colour of my fabric.

Day coffee dress
When I made up my Day dress for coffee, I had added pockets to an earlier version and adjusted the pattern to fit me to a tee.

This style is great for our weather.

I’ve also fully lined this dress with a smooth cotton fabric.

These are the two earlier version that use the facings but I felt a full lining would wear better, and it is a better solution for me.

For the purposes of this challenge I had to pair my day coffee dress with my coffee of choice – a Greek coffee.
Thanks again to Elizabeth for running this creative challenge.
Thanks to That Sewing Blab for featuring this challenge in episode 96 too.
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