Pattern Reviews · This 'n' That

Three (or rather four) recent makes

Here’s a round-up of some of my most recent makes…

SEW OVER IT ULTIMATE CULOTTES and SILK CAMI

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First up is something I never thought I’d make or wear… culottes! I always love them on others, but being short and curvy I tend to look rather dumpy if clothing is loose, shapeless, or ends at a really unflattering length, so culottes have never been on my radar. However, the darts and neat shaping around the waist and stomach give the SOI Ultimate Culottes a real edge over others I’ve come across.

I’d seen someone else make a ‘faux jumpsuit’ using them with a top in matching fabric and they looked great, so decided that could be a good way of elongating my figure.

I didn’t want to spend a fortune on fabric, because of the risk of them not working out, and so I chose a lovely lightweight, slinky crepe that feels like almost like silk, from Minerva Crafts, which actually turned out to be perfect.

I made the version with the waistband and belt loops (facings on trousers never sit right on me) and went for a straight size 10.

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As always, the instructions were great and I had no problems at all with sewing them.

On Lisa – and others – they look like they should finish around mid-calf, but my Achilles tendon rupture last year has left me with very unevenly-sized calves and I didn’t want to draw attention to them with culottes ending right at the point where there’s the biggest difference, so I didn’t shorten them at all and I feel they look much more flattering on me at this length.

The top is the SOI Silk Cami, except I’ve tweaked it a fair bit – it’s a size 10, graded to an 8 at the waist, and I’ve done both a Full Bust and a Sway Back adjustment (as I did here). I also made some matching bias binding for the neckline and armholes instead of making a facing.

I really love how both have turned out and they look great together, as well as with other tops/bottoms, so they’re pretty versatile (and so much easier to visit the little girls’ room in than a jumpsuit too!).

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SEW OVER IT PENNY SHIRT DRESS

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Next up is another Penny dress. I love the one I made last year as it’s so comfortable to wear in warmer weather, so I bought this fabulous Lady McElroy Brushstrokes cotton lawn from Cheryl at Stitchy Bee Fabrics with this dress in mind.

Once again it’s a straight size 10. Last time, I lengthened the bodice by 5cm and I did the same again this time, plus added an extra 1.5cm to the centre front, grading it back to the side seams.

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I also added extra reinforcements by way of interfacing around the armholes where they join at the side seams. My last one ripped there – and I’ve heard of the same happening to others – so I didn’t want to risk it happening again.

I can’t think of anything else to say about this dress that I didn’t say last time, except that I love it equally as much!


DEER & DOE MELILOT SHIRT – DRESS

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If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’re aware how much I love the Melilot Shirt (I’ve made FIVE of them; three short- and two long-sleeve)!

So I decided it was about time I hacked the pattern into a dress. Everything about it is the same as the last two shirts I’ve made, so graded between a size 40 to a 38 at the waist, and doing a sway back adjustment. To make it into a dress, I simply added about 16” on to the bottom of the pattern – grading it out a bit to allow for my hips and thighs – and then used the same curved hem.

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I added the bust pockets to this one, as I like how it all looks bit retro with the fabric I chose (this prima cotton lawn from Doughty’s) – it reminds me a bit of ‘overalls’ my nannie used to wear! The buttons I found at my local haberdashery work perfectly too.

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My biggest error, when marking the pocket placement, was using Hemline Dressmakers Carbon. It was the easiest method of transferring the lines onto the fabric and I naturally assumed they’d wash out. They didn’t 😦

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Unfortunately, as well as the line across the top that you can see here, there are also dotty lines showing around the bottom corners of the pockets where I slightly altered their position to get a good pattern-match. Humph!

I’m now waiting to hear back from Hemline to find out how best to get rid of them; fingers crossed they’ll come up with a solution. I’m really annoyed with myself that I didn’t test the carbon first, but there we go, lesson learned and even if they don’t come out they’re not massively noticeable, so it won’t stop me wearing the dress.

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(Just *had* to have a pose next to my car on the East Quay at Wells on this glorious day!)


Next on my To Make list is a summery Street Style Bomber Jacket. I’ve got some lovely pink, mid-weight stretch denim in my stash and I’ve been searching, and ordering samples, and searching some more, trying to find just the right colour of ribbing to go with it. I finally found The One on Stoff & Stil’s website (crikey their p&p is extortionate, especially if you’re only ordering 1m of fabric, but I was desperate by that point!) so I’m all set ready to go… watch this space…

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