Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Mccalls 6027

I’ve been admiring ikat print dresses for some time now so when I saw the ikat style stretch cotton on the Minerva crafts website, I just knew I had to have it. I was not really sure of the dress I would make, and so I kept. going round and round, until finally I decided on Mccalls 6027. It is a fun looking dress, and I wanted something flirty….it is summer afterall, so I decided to use it for my first project with the Minerva Craft Blogger Network.

The pattern runs big I think. I made the size 14 for my muslin, and I did feel it was bit big for me. It is also one of the patterns that makes allowances for petite people. So I made the petite version, but even that still felt like the torso was too long for me. I took more length out of the bodice, and made it up in a 12, grading out to 14 at the hips.

I used horse hair braid at the hem, using this tutorial . I had never used horse hair braid before, and I was really surprised by the result. It makes the hem really structured and still. I like the effect it gives, and I plan on using more often.

 The pattern calls for a partial lining, but I decided to line the dress fully. The fabric does not really require a lining, but we are coming up to colder months, and I intend to wear this dress in the dead of winter, if only to brighten my winter induced dark moods.

 I quite love this fabric, and if you have been reading my blog, you would know this fabric (as bright as it is) is so ME. Though it is a woven fabric, it has some stretch to it, which makes it ideal to sew with in my opinion. If you are interested in using this fabric for future projects, you can get the kit here. It is made of  2 metres of this fabric, and a matching concealed zip.

Going one Step further with Stepalica Patterns + Giveaway

Okay folks, if you have, been looking for a pattern company that provides sewing patterns to take your sewing one level up, then look no further, because it is here.


Stepalica Patterns, is the brain child of Anajan, who blogs over at Stepalica. She is based in Serbia, and has been part of the sewing community for a really long time. In fact, back in 2008, when I decided to get back into sewing, I fell on the Burdastyle website, and Ana was one of the people whose projects I would stare at for hours. She used to offer free patterns, some of which are still available in the download section of her blog here. Why not take a look at those patterns, I’m sure you will find something you love there.

Now back to the pattern. The Nougat dress is just plain beautiful. No other word will do. Just look at how lovely it is.

View A

View B
View C

The Nougat dress is a PDF sewing pattern for intermediate to advanced dressmakers, and is really like a puzzle. It is very elegant and feminine, and has a fitted bodice, asymmetrical waist yoke, and a flared skirt. It is really like nothing out there, so you know a lot of thought was put into this pattern. It reminds me of something you would see out of a Pattern Magic book. 
It comes in three variations, to cater for various sewing levels. Views A & B are not for the faint hearted, especially view A, which has 44 pieces, but hey,  think of the feeling of accomplishment when you do finish this dress.
I love the little details in this dress. Just look at this twisted diamond in the centre of the bodice. Awesome right? If you do get this right I bet no one will ever believe you made the dress yourself.

Sizing is similar to Burdastyle sizing, so for those of you used to sewing with Burda patterns, you will be in familiar territory. Like most European patterns ( think Burdastyle and Marfy), Stepalica patterns do not come with seam allowances. So you will have to add those yourself. It comes in 7 sizes (32-44). Ana advices doing a muslin to get the fit right. You could probably start with View C, as it is the less complicated of all the views.


Ana is planning a sew-along and many detailed posts on how to sew View A, since it is the most complicated one. So make sure you check out her blog for more news.

Now to the interesting part eh? 


To celebrate the launch of Stepalica Patterns, Ana has kindly offered to give away 5 patterns to you. A few rules ( of course):

Number of Winners: 5
Eligibility: Everyone in the universe
Closing Date: Midnight on Saturday 31st August 2013 (London time)
How to Enter: Visit Ana’s Stepalica blog, and tell me which view you would most like to make, and like her facebook page

For those of you not on facebook, or who do not want to enter the giveaway,  please do spread the word about this giveaway, and about Stepalica patterns, because, lets face it, the Nougat dress is pretty awesome!
If you do not want to wait till the end of the giveaway, and have this really unexplainable urge to make the Nougat dress ASAP, you can buy the pattern on her Etsy shop.

Goodluck everyone!

By Hand London Ana dress muslin

I am currently working on the By Hand London Ana dress. When I say currently, I actually mean I have been working on this dress for the last month. Yes, things are moving slowly on it. This was(is) supposed to be a muslin, but if I can get it to fit well, I might actually wear it out of the house.

The fabric is a really cheap polyester , and it frays like its life depended on it. The fit seems to be ok, but I need to chop off a couple of inches at the hem.

The back looks a bit dodgy. I think I need to use smaller seam allowances at the back, and also put in some shoulder darts because it feels big there.

So far I am loving the pattern. I really love how simple it is to sew, and how elegant it looks. I have a liberty silk fabric I bought at Classics Fabric on Goldhawk road for £6/metre, which I intend to use to make this dress. But first things first, get the fit right Dibs.

Instant gratification : Mccalls 6559

As you all know, I am currently working on a serious project, one which will only get on the machine in about a weeks time. In the meantime though, I wanted to sew a quick and fun thing, one which does not involve any major calculations. A quick fix if you will. I decided to try the Mccalls 6559 maxi dress pattern. This pattern is quite similar to one of my all time fave patterns, the Mission Maxi. They are literally the same dress, the only difference being the racer back of the mission Maxi is smaller than that of the McCalls pattern. Oh, and the McCalls pattern is easier to sew. Instead of a neck and armhole binding used in the Mission Maxi dress, this one just asks you to fold the fabric over and do a narrow hem. Easy peesy.

I had seen a couple of black and white maxi dresses on pinterest, so when I saw this fabric, I knew exactly what I was going to make with it.

I even managed to match the strips. Yay me!

I bought this fabric from Fabric House in Goldhawk road. I normally don’t buy from there but I am glad I went there. I really love this jersey. It is so soft, it feels like it has some bamboo content, but I could be wrong. It is cheap as well, retailing for £3.50/metre. I got the last 1.5m on the roll so I made him give me for the price of a metre. Hagglers rule!

There is really nothing much to say about the construction of the dress. It is just a really simple dress, with only two pattern pieces cut on the fold. A really easy project for anyone looking to try their hand at sewing with knit fabric. We are still having some sunshine here in the UK, so I know I shall be rocking this dress for another month or two, before the sun decides to retire from whence it came.

Right, I better get back to my lace dress now. Expect to see one or two really quick makes over the coming weeks, as well as the multi coloured dress I am making for the Minerva Craft bloggers network. I suppose I should start thinking of autumn sewing now…eeek….I want summer to last forever.

Lace Dress Project – Pattern and Fabric

Thanks everyone for the positive feedback you all gave me in my last post concerning the inspiration for my lace dress. Majority of you were in favour of short sleeves, so, short sleeves it is.

Things are moving along swimmingly with this project. To be honest I am a bit scared of this project, but I have been having a lot of moral support from some of you, and some actual directions and advice on the construction of the dress. Claire and Melissa have given me valuable links to articles and tutorials on the form and structure of the dress, as well as how to underline. So I really do have nowhere to hide should things go pear shaped.

Now, for fabric choice. I bought 5.5 metres of John Kaldor lace. Yes, my dear old Johhny. Seriously, I should have a stake in John Kaldor fabrics. It normally retails for about £15 I think, or more ( John Lewis), but I found it on Goldhawk road for £12/metre…I’m cool right?  I bought 5.5 metres because I want to have some backup fabric should I mess up. I’m becoming such a thoughtful seamstress dontcha think?

I also bought satin, in two colours. I need you to help me decide which looks best. Blue or gold? I took pictures with both, the pictures look dodgy but hopefully, it should give you an idea of what the finished article would look like regarding the colour scheme.

For the pattern, I am using this Marfy pattern. It is what I loved best of all the patterns I saw.

For the bodice, I will use this Burdastyle pattern

I’m getting really excited about this project. I am still  gathering one or two bits which I will use for the project. Next up, is planning on how I want the form and structure to be. That will include the boning, underlining, lining, and whatever goes into a well constructed dress. I have been doing a lot of research, and it is quite fascinating the amount of time and thought that designers put into their creations.

Does anyone have any word of advice regarding the form and structure of a dress? Have you made something like this before? I would really appreciate all the advice I can get, so please, spill it.