Thursday, 22 December 2016

Winning Simplicity best dress maker & my first make from my prizes!


I was super happy to be awarded 'best dressmaker' in the Simplicity sewing competition this year!  It was my Refashioners denim dress that won view post here.

My prize was a years supply of patterns - so I could choose 12 patterns from anything on their site!!!  What a joy!  11 of them have been sent already, here are a selection of the ones I picked!!  I especially can't wait to replicate the red dress in the middle.

So what to sew first?  I wanted to make a skirt with the stunning bird print fabric I bought in the House of Hackney sample sale and I choose this pattern with this fabric in mind.  I wanted a skirt with some body, but I do like it to sit flat around my tummy so this felt like the perfect skirt pattern for me.

I made up the lining first to check the fit.     It was all good- I just made the waistband a bit larger as I like skirts to sit below my natural waist on my high hip, so I made the band a bit longer to accommodate.
I then cut my bird fabric and the strangest thing happened...  the front is actually cut in 3 sections, with the seam in the fold.  I actually cut one side so it formed a perfect pattern match on the fold!!  So odd, it was totally accidental- but then I was unhappy with it as I couldn't replicate it on the other side as I didn't have enough fabric to match the repeat...  So I had one side perfectly matched and the other wasn't.  I didn't like it as it as I thought it looked odd, so the side that matched I cut into a back piece and cut a new piece for the front.  Odd to make it not match but there we go. Here it is matching on one side but not on the other...

I made 3 adjustments to the pattern.  Firstly I added extra in the waistband so it would sit lower than my waist.  Secondly I added a pocket on one side.  I can't live without pockets these days (with a toddler I always need somewhere to put my phone and stash a tissue!!).  The other side had the zip so I decided to just put a pocket on one side for practicality purposes.  And finally, I made some adjustments to the flair. 

When I made it up in my quite stiff cotton fabric, I found there was excess fabric on the sides and I didn't like the way it hung- it was fine down to the bottom of the zip, but then there was to much fabric below, so i took a good 3cm of the seam at the bottom, graduating up to where the zip started (repeated on both sides).

these 2 photos show how it hung (inside out) before i took in the excess fabric.

 Here are my markings for what I took off..
 And the amount I took off. .

Then it was done!  A really simple sew and a style I really like.  I ll definitely make more.  Also the sections makes it quite easy to cut out of fabric- you could colour block for instance as a scrap buster!

I especially like the touch of the spotty lining ;)
I wore it on Boxing Day for a walk to the park, as you do 😉

Thankyou Simplicity for my lovely prize!!  I look forward to sewing the other patterns soon.


  1. Congratulations! I do remember the dress you made. It really was spectacular. You've already made something from the patterns and already another great make. Really like to see al the other makes form your pattern choice.

  2. That House of Hackney print is my absolute favorite, and your skirt is adorable. I don't like the feel of a waistband either. My solution is to omit the waistband altogether, and substitute a facing instead. I set the zipper so the stop is a seam width below the top edge, and don't bother with a hook and eye. In this way, the skirt rides on my hips. I think one only needs a waistband, if one is going to tuck in a blouse. Since you like pockets, I wonder if you have tried my absolute favorite skirt pattern, which is Vogue 1247, by Rachel Comey. It has two big front inseam pockets, which come in very handy, and it only uses about one yard of fabric. (I always add 3 or 4 inches to the length, because it is very short.)

  3. Hi ya, I saw you post on the foldline and I wanted to come and say I LOVE that fabric! Where did you buy it? Also, I don't know if you are joined already but if not you may like to share your blog posts on our fb group lots of bloggers and seamstresses are over there :-)

  4. Wow, congrats on the recognition! It is very well deserved, that dress is absolutely stunning and such a creative use of the different denims. The skirt is super cute, too!

  5. Congratulations on your win, that's great! What a great prize too. Your skirt looks really good and I bet you're the only one who ever notices it only matches on one side.