Holiday shirt

for a change I thought I’d sew something for Mr B instead of myself. 

A few years ago he picked up a tunic style shirt from a street market in Thailand. It was only a couple of pounds & was ideal to throw on at the beach when he strolled up to the bar to get me a cocktail!  

As you can see from the pic it been well worn & is looking a little worse for wear. It’s a basic shape so out came the tracing paper.  

Following the seam lines to get the shape & then adding the seam allowance. I even got serenaded as I cut it out🎶 

The fabric is a lovely soft seersucker fabric from Minerva crafts which is currently on sale so hurry up to grab some. I bought it in the Aqua too but I may have to pinch that for myself. 

With everything cut out, interfacing was added to the collar & neck facing pieces before stitching. This was the fiddly bit so I took my time sewing, top stitching & clipping seams on the collar & neck opening.  

The next step was to attach the collar..3 attempts later the collar was finally attached perfectly 

Only to find Mr B’s head was too big… or the shirt neck opening was too small! I couldn’t face the unpicking but luckily there was enough fabric left to recut. 

Having redone, & got back to the same stage it was, it’s time to add the sleeves. These were added before sewing up the side seam & I find when easing the fullness of a sleeve into the armhole it helps to fold fabric over my finger as I pin.  

Sleeves added it was just the hemming to do & the shirt was finished 


Happy with the finished result & just waiting to see the finished article on to decide if there are any changes I want to make before sewing more. I’ve plenty of time after all… Summer seems to have ended here & we don’t have our sun holiday until the middle of winter.

As for the version that his head didn’t like, well I can get it on so a little adaptation & I’ll have a top for the beach too!!! 


Pink butterflies…

There is so much black in my wardrobe, I love it but sometimes you just have to brighten up! 

So here goes with pink. I love the weight of this cotton fabric & the pretty butterfly print. I bought it a while back from Fabricland and been trying to decide what to make with it ever since. 

Decision made. The Simplicity 1420 gives a variation of beautifully shaped dresses. I love the structured midriff section and opted for the faux wrap top of view E 

Just one change made. I moved the zip to the side seam, purely for personnel preference as I find it easier to fit during construction without a back opening & easier to do up myself when finished! With this change I cut the centre back section as normal but cut the back midriff as one piece, marking the seam allowance on centre back edge & placing this line on the fabric fold. 


Having made a toile from the lining fabric I was happy with fit across the front but the back stuck out at the neck and across the shoulder blades.  The shoulder strap sat at the correct position so the adjustment was made by increasing the seam allowance on the top of the centre back, grading down to the original seam line at the bottom. 

I found the best way of getting the folds correct on the midrif section was to mark out on the wrong side with chalk before pinning & basting.  

I did make the mistake of doing the pleats before joining the midriff sections together. I didn’t realised I’d done that wrong until I’d joined it to the bodice & was topstitching the pleats down. I should have unpicked but managed to work around the seam so got away with it. That will teach me to concentrate when reading instructions.

Construction complete & dressed tried on I liked the length it was so reduced the hem allowance to a minimum. Machine stitching instead of slip stitching 

So that’s my very pink butterfly dress. I love the style although I think when I make again I would like to try and make the back neckline lower, possibly into a v shape. As for the colour, I like it…not sure I love it but it’s growing on me😃 


Time for tea 

This weekend we celebrated Mr B’s mum’s 80th birthday with a garden party & afternoon tea. Luckily the sun shone & a good time was had by all. Of course a garden party deserves a new dress & that was the plan. I’d picked a pretty pink fabric and attempted a spot of speed sewing but alas it didn’t come together in time😞 So out of my previous makes I picked this little outfit. 

 The dress pattern is a vintage Simplicity from the 70’s and has a simply shaped bodice & a 4 piece skirt that has just enough flare to wear with a net petticoat but not enough to have a Marilyn Monroe moment…perfect for a civilised afternoon. It was the first time I’d used a vintage pattern but this one had similar marking to modern day patterns & very clear instructions.  


The bodice is lined but there is no supporting structure so I decided to stitch a small length of elastic to the seam allowance under the arms just to help the bodice grip the body. It works well and the bodice stays neatly in place. The only other alteration I made was changing the style of strap.  


The waistcoat is made from a recycled pair of jeans & the pocket on the back is a perfect size for my phone even if it’s a bit of an awkward place to put it! It’s a great shape. I love the fact that its halter neck so your back still shows when worn with a summer dress but it looks equally good over a shirt. 


Now it’s back to finishing my pink dress….hopefully it will still fit after all those scones & Prosecco!