Wednesday, November 06, 2013

At last

Not a single post last month, I am not very productive these days. I still haven't even put the binding on my ipad case. There is just no time, it is very frustrating. I just decided that I need to be a bit slacker on my mothering duties and make more time for sewing. Luckily this has combined with a bout of Measles which has meant lots of napping, which equals lots of sewing time. So I decided to make Penelope a dress!

I am no seamstress. I couldn't even make my own MC hammer trousers when I was 15, I had to get Rachel to make them. But I decided to just take it nice and slow.
  20131104-IMG_5911.jpg I realised I couldn't use any of my quilting fabric as I love it so much and it's all destined to be quilted, so instead I splurged out on some Petite Street fat quarters by Dashwood Studios from The Village Haberdashery. Not wanting to sound like an Anglophile or anything, but it's very refreshing to have some UK designed fabric. It's always such a pain seeing lovely fabrics which aren't available in the UK. The way people just nip onto their massive JoAnn or Micheals really makes me feel like I live in the Outer Hebrides sometimes. I'm really into these fabrics and I look forwards to future collections. The pincord is from myfabrics. Or as they call it: Feincord 18. It's lovely and soft and drapes well. I should have enough to make two which makes the shipping cost from Germany a little easier to bear.

I saw Kristin's Nordika Sally Dress and thought it was ace. I love the colours and the bright pockets. Perfect for Penelope! She's going to love me putting toys in those pockets... or food. Yes, food will be better. All those crumbs. It also looked not too hard. Considering I am a beginner. I mean I quilt, but I find it very different from all those dressmaking terms and tricks.

20131105-IMG_5924.jpg So off I went to find Shannon's pattern. What can I tell you about this pattern? Well it was really easy to follow. I read through it all and got a bit scared as I didn't understand a thing! I am such a sewing novice. So I just did one but at a time. I made the top bit yesterday and the bottom bit today.

20131106-IMG_5937-2.jpg I was a bit shell shocked when I was suddenly finished. So quick! I am definitely going to make another in the next size up. If you look closely it's a bit shabby. There are some things I need to swot up on and try harder at. I haven't tied my loose threads yet, but I was just too eager to photograph it.

Things I would change next time: Umm... perhaps wait till I've sewn off the ends before I photograph it? Also just try and make it neater. You can see close up that it has all manner of wonky bits.

I might change round the fabrics. I didn't use the triangles or flowers so I might use them instead of the dots and clouds. I might also make each pocket a different pattern.

I might measure my daughter like you are advised to. She was so red and spotty though. She has lived in her pyjamas for three days. There was just no way. So I hope it fits! I hope it goes over her head. I will be well gutted if it doesn't. Oh well I will just have to sew an opening at the back of the next one.

I would do the gathering as the pattern advised. For some reason I did it a bit wrong. It is not the best.

I would rethink the hem. I think I did something wrong there as quite a lot of my pocket went in it which makes it quite bulky. I am sure that is just me being stupid. I am particularly stupid these days.

I might buy a blind hem foot or a double needle foot if I feel this might be something I do more of. I could put them on my Christmas list. I am trying to spend less money not more.

I would look up how to be neater at piping. I sort of ballsed that bit up. It wasn't in the pattern and I've only ever done it once. I meant to look up how to join it at the end but Penelope woke up! I couldn't bear not to finish it so I just did what I thought looked ok. I am sure I will now read some rad tutorial with some easy solution.
 20131106-IMG_5930.jpg I might pin a bit more. Or just be a better pinner. I am not up on dressmaking pinning to be honest. I just winged it. I am sure it would help to be a bit neater. That's it!

Overall I am pretty amazed with myself. I like to think that if I can do this then anyone with no dressmaking experience can do it. Now time for something else. I am liking these small projects. Maybe a bag. I haven't made a bag since I made that union jack ruck sack when I was 17. Ouch.

Right time to sew all those loose ends in and see if the sick patient is well enough to be dressed like a doll. I have some grey stripy tights and a grey babygro from Hennes all at a giant cost of £6. Thank heavens for H&M! I'll post up a picture if she doesn't look like she's going to keel over. I am so BORED of measles.


Jen Smith said...

Hi, I'm Jen - work for Dashwood Studio (I run their blog) and just wanted to say we love the dress and how you've used the Petite Street fabric!

Would you mind if we posted the piccies of it on our blog?

You can reach me on or the Studio at


Jen Smith said...


I'm Jen and I work on behalf of Dashwood Studio running their blog. I spotted this on Pinterest and love it!

We'd love to feature it on our blog - can we use your photos?

I can't find your email but you can reach me on or the Studio on