Pattern Reviews · This 'n' That

Three (or rather four) recent makes

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



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.


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 based on 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!).




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.


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!



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.


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.


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 😦


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.



(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…

5 thoughts on “Three (or rather four) recent makes

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