Saturday, 25 March 2017


No I'm not back running, but my dressmaking is taking on marathon proportions and my posts even more so.......

I think I am becoming obsessed! Okay those that know me know I am always obsessed with something, but at the moment it is finding the perfect fitted dress pattern.

So I am whispering this as I know I will change my mind again, but I think I have just about constructed my perfect dress bodice sloper. I say dress, but of course I can now use this for fitting tops and blouses too, so I am a pretty happy bunny. Which is just as well as I have purchased so much fabric in the last couple of months that I could almost open a dress shop by the time I get it all made up!!

I printed off the customised pattern I purchased from Bootstrap Fashions and per their instructions still made a toile to check the fit. It was almost perfect, just needed a bit of tweeking at the armhole to remove the tiniest bit of excess fabric there and voila.....

It's really not that easy taking photos of yourself without looking a right dork!

Anyway, bad piccie or not this is the first attempt. The only issue I have is that I should have shortened the waist to bust dart. Other than that I think it's okay and I like the fuller skirt for a change. The fabric is a stretch denim printed with tiny flower sprigs I bought for another project and It's made up  really well. I have at least 2 metres left so DH could be in for a dress or skirt too!

The second is very tongue in cheek. Made from Makower fabric sporting caravans and campers, with mauve check linings to the patch pockets which I have folded over and fastened down with spotty buttons. I think it has a real vintage vibe and will be perfect when I am manning my Olive & Edna stall at the Vintage Flea Market at Lincoln Showground on Sunday 23rd April.
This time I think I have got the fit just right.

Finally I have made up another dress from an old Vogue pattern 2659 which I made about 2 sizes ago!! I love the original that I made in a dark brown firm stretch fabric, but I look like a litter of piglets stuffed in a bag in it now. This version is in Ponte Jersey. A bit thinner weight than my original, and I'm not over the moon with it but it's okay.

I shall have to try to source some fabric with a little more body to it, or lose some of mine lol!!

So that's my dress journey to date and as for the encore......

I told you I wouldn't go to the NEC and return empty handed..

The top is a duck egg blue with a sort of pumpkin design in orange, next down a taupe and white fabric with a London skyline sketch in  stripes across it. There were lots more I could have bought but as I had already made a couple of purchases on line before we went I was trying not to get too carried away. At least I didn't buy another machine this time!
The bottom two are the ones I  bought on line....,
The deep dusky pink is to recreate a 1940s dress I made when we first went to Twinwood for the Glen Miller Festival and the final piece is a grey/mauve with tiny balls of wool unravelling.

As you can see I have plenty to keep me out of mischief at the moment, but I'll be having a little break imminently as it's time for my spring trip to Bonnie Scotland. Shame it won;'t be warm enough to model any of my new creations, but at least we do seem to be getting a few more bright and sunny days now.

Well if you've got this far you're definitely gonna need a big drink, so enjoy and I think I might join you.

Jenny xx

Friday, 24 March 2017


Well as I said after the denim dress I got down to remaking the muslin to address the issues I had with the  fit of the bodice. It wasn't much, or so I thought, but wanting to get it right I went back to the original pattern. This time I decided to do a few more actual body measurements to compare to the pattern before I made the muslin.
What I found straight away was that the distance from the apex to apex on the pattern was too wide for me, so I adjusted that and then found that despite the fact that I had already done the full bust adjustment  there was still too much fabric in the armhole. Fortunately there are lots of super tutorials on the web for dart manipulation and so following one of these I pinned out the excess by creating a dart in the armhole tapering it towards the bust. I then marked this on the muslin with my frictions pen and transferred this onto my pattern. Then by slashing and pivoting the dart I was able to move this excess fabric and incorporate it in the side bust dart. Of course I made more work for myself by starting with a pinafore pattern with much deeper armholes, but eventually I managed a much better if not perfect fit.

I really do love the dress now, but am going to search my stash of patterns to find a regular sleeveless bodice that I can really fine tune. I made a belt as well for this one and like it both ways

In the meantime I have purchased a custom fit pattern from bootstrap fashion, which allowed me to put in all my correct measurements including chest, under bust, full bust, hips etc. as well as indicating if I have a flat or rounded tummy, shoulder width and even the circumference of my arms! You can in fact  add even more measurements if you wish, but for now I just stuck with the areas that cause me most fitting problems ..
I've printed  it all out now,  assembled it and compared it to the final draft I made myself and it looking pretty promising.
I shall try it out (on a muslin again) over the weekend and report back,
I hope I haven't bored you too much, but I like to keep a record of my fitting journey to refer back to as I don't always remember what I did with each pattern I use. I should really keep a note book!

Happy sewing or whatever is your happy place
Jenny xx