Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Pattern Review: Simply Sew Magazine Issue 24 Audrey Dress - A sweet 50's style summer dress

Spring is finally here and I'm switching my cosy jersey knits to pretty cotton fabrics. My first make of the season is the Audrey Dress: fun, flirty and full of 50's flare. My fabric choice was a cheap and cheerful cotton poplin I purchased from eBay for £4 per metre. As with many cheap cottons the fabric is quite thin and worn without a slip this dress won't leave much to the imagination, so in hindsight I should have inserted a lining.

I totally bought this fabric just so I could match it to my Macaron Pattern Weights!

The pleated skirt on the Audrey Dress - which came free with Issue 24 of Simply Sewing magazine - swayed me towards using this pattern, especially as I had not made pleats before. The original pattern comes in two styles; Dress A is made from one fabric whilst Dress B includes a contrasting bodice and hem band. I chose Dress A but altered the skirt pattern to exclude the hem band by attaching the band to the main skirt template with tape. I felt the hem band would disturb the print of the fabric and thought it to be unnecessary for Dress A.

To me this is a perfect weekend project though I like to take my time with sewing. It's an activity of leisure to me, and is usually interrupted with trips to the kettle and cake tin! If you're a speedy sewist this could be made in a day.

Includes a cheeky glimpse of my new petticoat I got here

The clear and concise instructions allowed the construction of this dress to be relatively simple. I was unsure how well I would tackle the darts and pleats as it was my first time using these techniques, but fortunately they turned out crisp and perfectly aligned with one another. Simple Sewing magazine also included a tutorial on sewing pleats in Issue 24, though I found the pattern instructions to be well illustrated and explained by themselves.

The pleats in the Audrey dress paired with a fitted bodice and waistband create a beautiful feminine shape.

My only criticism of this pattern is the construction of the facing and the shoulder seams. I found this method very confusing, though I'm probably just being daft. In future, I'd look to other methods of attaching facings to a sleeveless dress as the method used seems backwards to me. Out of frustration I decided to sew the shoulders together in an unconventional manner which left stitching on show, but honestly it's barely noticeable and there have been no wardrobe malfunctions so far.

Simple yet elegant, a fit and flare dress suits many colour and pattern variations - including novelty prints like this one!

In the past I'd have been hesitant to use free magazine sewing patterns, I expected them to be poorly written and full of mistakes. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Audrey dress pattern and would go as far to say it was better than some commercial patterns I have used! I haven't needed to make any adjustments with fitting, though I'd probably make adjustments to the shoulder seams to stop the gaping around my neckline if I made another, but this is a problem I have with all garments.

What was the first garment you've made this Spring? Have you made things from free magazine patterns before? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below!

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Thursday, 9 February 2017

Pattern Review: Simple Sew Duo of Skirts - Tie Waisted Skirt

Although I never really wear pencil skirts (I'm living that pyjama life...) when I saw the Simple Sew Duo of Skirts pattern I fell in love. I was definitely swayed by the pretty pink envelope and the big beautiful bow at the top of the waist. Sticking with the pink theme, as always, I decided to make my version of this skirt in a bright raspberry pink cotton which I got from Fabric Rehab in their closing down sale.

Also wearing: Black Scoop Top by Boody, made from Bamboo Jersey - super soft!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Pattern Review: Vogue V8888 Dressing Gown

As someone who is in love with the idea of having a boudoir with fancy perfume bottles, a beautiful vintage dressing table and drawfuls of lacey lingerie, having a luxurious dressing gown is a must! If I can't have a fancy dressing room I can at least have an elegant dressing gown to brighten up my morning routine. Especially paired with this gorgeous and swishy Joan Babydoll which is handmade by my friend Abi at My Retro Closet. (Check out Abi's sewing blog, the Crafty Pinup here, her sewing makes never fail to impress!)

Also pictured: Joan Babydoll handmade by My Retro Closet in Powder Blue and Baby Pink Trim

Sunday, 22 January 2017

New Product! Fondant Fancy Pattern Weights

I'm excited to announce a new product in my Etsy store available to buy here. The pattern weights come in a box of 8, each cake weighs approximately 30g, which is 50% heavier than my other pattern weights!

The weights are based on a popular cake available in the UK called French Fancies, a small sponge cake topped with a small mound of buttercream and then iced in the iconic cocoa, strawberry and lemon colours. Currently, I will only be stocking these iconic colours, but I hope to release a pastel variation in the near future!

Monday, 26 December 2016

Boxing Day Sale - 15% Off!

It's been 2 months since I opened by shop on Etsy and I am still blown away by the response! I am looking forward to releasing more products in the new year, as well as spending more time sewing and reviewing sewing patterns on the blog. 

In the mean time, I am holding a sale event in my etsy store - 15% off with the discount code JINGLEBELLS. So if Santa didn't leave you a set of pattern weights under the Christmas tree, why not treat yourself today?

Friday, 28 October 2016

Handmade Pattern Weights - an adorable and practical addition to your sewing box

The Oh Sew Quaint Etsy store is now open for business! Products available include these cute, handmade polymer pattern weights in doughnut and macaron shapes. Below are some frequently asked questions about the pattern weights. If you would like to read a review, then you can check out The Craft Pinups review.

How much do they weigh?

Each piece weighs approximately 20g, though due to the handmade nature of the product, some can be under or over by a gram.

How many do you get in a box?

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Pattern Review: Clemence Skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes

Before moving on to some of the commercial patterns in my ever-growing stash, I decided to do another Tilly pattern as I had so much success with the last one. Plus as a beginner seamstress, the simple design of the Clemence skirt didn't seam as daunting as some of the patterns in my draw. That being said, there were plenty of new skills for me to learn with this skirt!

Top: Silk Blouse H&M, Shoes: Carlita Cove Clarks

For the first time I added pockets to a garment, did some french seams, gathered a waistline and put in a concealed zip (eek!). As I got started with this project, I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew! I naively thought I could cut out and sew this all in one day - HA! How wrong I was...

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