Thursday, 15 December 2016

Heather: Speedy makes and December sew far

Once again it's been a month since I shared my makes with you (really, where has 2016 gone?), but it's been a really productive month at the sewing machine, so I thought I'd give you a bumper roundup of some of my recent makes. Each of these projects were "speedy sews", made in a single evening, or in some cases, just a few hours! Hopefully you'll feel inspired. 

Velvet Burnout Party Dress
First up is Threadcount 1613 made up in a sparkle velvet burnout fabric, made up in around 4 hours. I made quite a few adjustments to this pattern, particularly on the back panels and shoulders, both of which were shortened and tweaked by about an inch to get a more precise fit in the bodice. The fabric itself is quite firm- it has stretch but behaves more like a stretch denim than a jersey- but this allowed for a really close fit without compromising my ability to breathe! 

I'm not normally a fan of a peplum, always believing them to make my bum look big, but I pinned this one together and was pleasantly surprised with the fit and styling, so it made the final cut!

Floral Heather Dress
Next up, a version of the Heather Dress by Sew Over It (I had to!). Again, a one-evening make as I had already made a version in red sweater knit for practice and I was able to make the entire garment on the overlocker. The fabric is a heavy weight jersey with a low % stretch. The slightly lower than required stretch meant that I needed to allow a little more room over the bust and across the arms than the previous version. I also made two simple alterations to this pattern, adding a cuff to the sleeves (cut sleeves shorter, sew a rectangle of fabric, short edges together, fold lengthways, attach to sleeve!) and a slightly deeper neck band for a roll neck effect. This dress is so comfortable that I want one in every colour!


Stripy Jumper Dress
My next speedy make was a self drafted jumper dress made after work on a Friday evening (started at 4.30) and worn out to dinner the very same night (at 6.30!). The pattern started life as a simple shift dress from Burda, to which I added a grown on sleeve, to make, essentially, a giant t-shirt! I've made this pattern up before in black and white ponte and it's a real wardrobe staple for warmer days in the office, so when I saw the pink and navy stripe I knew exactly what I wanted to make. On this version I lengthened the sleeve to the elbow and then added a panel for the lower sleeve. I also added a wide neckband for an extra level of coziness! 

Dashwood Annabelle 
And last, but by no means least, we have Annabelle, the absolutely gorgeous new floral dress I whipped up last weekend to wear out for lunch with my Nanna. The pattern was free with December's Love Sewing Magazine and the design was quite straightforward. The new Paper Meadow range by Dashwood has some beautiful coordinating fabrics and I knew straight away I wanted to use these together. I also picked up some orange cotton lawn to use as the lining and set to work! As usual I shortened the back length by about an inch at the lower back, and also at the shoulder by 1/4". I did also adjust the front bodice length slightly at the neckline, deepening the curve by about 1/2". I started sewing after Saturday night's Strictly and was at the restaurant by Midday on Sunday! 

All of the fabrics used were sourced from Fabric Corner at the Craftea Sewing Bee Shop, 22-24 Melville St, Lincoln. Call in for your next speedy sewing project!


  1. I found this so inspiring. Love every one of the projects and think they look brilliant. Great idea re sleeves and cuffs. Like the fabrics, fit is just perfect and so inspired that now I’m going to have a go with some of those free patterns. Wish I knew more about fitting garments - it seems to be quite a difficult area to master. Often I know there’s a problem but can’t figure out how to solve it. Lots of bad fitting toiles!

    1. That's a lovely thing to say! I do hope you have some success with them. I definitely found learning to make a pattern block really helped me with fit. Please share your makes when you're done!

  2. What a great show of four 4. You did miracles: sewing a dress in 2 hours. Wish I was that fast. The peplum dress is my favourite. Can't believe you've made in four hours. It would have taken me at least double.

    1. Glad you like them Sonja, it's pure practice that gives the speed! Keep at it :)