Monthly Archives: June 2018

New Dress

I have finally finished making my new blue dress. I say finally as it has been a long process of alterations as I went along. Dressmaking means you can get the right FIT for YOU.

It was only that I so loved both the feel and the look of the linen and wool blend fabric that kept me going dressmaking at times. Perseverance means I now have a classic, easy to wear dress, which will take me through the changing seasons.

It will go well with the trench coat I made last year.

The Dressmaking Pattern

The pattern I used was the Simple Sew Skater Dress. Contact me if you would like this pattern for your dressmaking.

I do agree with Simple Sew pattern advice to launder fabric before you begin. If your fabric is going to shrink, you want it to do so before you make it into your new dress!

What I didn’t do though, was make a toile, which is also a good idea. What I did do was use the pattern according to my bust measurement. I am still getting used to one effect of the peri-menopause – an increase in bust size!

What needed altering? Quite a lot!

I do just need to mention that the pattern instructions do not mention:

  1. creating a hem on the sleeves
  2. sewing a sleeve or side seemThese are necessary to make a dress! otherwise the dressmaking instructions seem clear to follow.

Neck Line Alterations

The neckline gaped so I inserted darts into the neckline (and also the neck facing) to correct this. This did alter the shape of the neckline but gave a much better fit.

To get the neckline to lie flat:

  1. I clipped the curves on the neck and neck facing seam
  2. Top stitching using a twin needle
    I used this for the hems too and it gave a firm finish
    I also increased the lower front bodice darts for a better fit.

The bodice also needed some adjustments at the back as it didn’t fit too well at first.

The right back sleeve seam was baggy – maybe I am rather lopsided, but that is one of the joys of making your own clothes, you can make them fit YOU!

Here is the back bodice before alteration:

I turned the dress to the wrong side and unpicked the back of the sleeve. I then took in the excess back bodice and re sewed.

You can see that the left bodice back slopes down differently to the right side. So I unpicked the top-stitching and the facing at the left back. I then made a paper template of the right side and then used this to re cut both the back bodice and the facing.

The facing was then reattached and the top-stitching completed.

I think these pictures shows the improved fit:

They also show I need to get my hair straighteners out!

Dressmaking Finishing Extra

My final addition was straps with press studs to hold my bra straps and the fairly narrow shoulder together. This took a few minutes but will increase my comfort and confidence in wear.

There are lots of advantages of dressmaking

If you would like to increase your joy of stitching, I have a new workshop programme, including a weekend dressmaking course.
I usually put workshops on my FaceBook page events

Please contact me if you would like to join me.

I would love to hear about your dressmaking issues, please leave a comment.

Happy CupCake Day

Hope you are enjoying a cupcake on national cup cake day?

Summer picnics and afternoon teas are a great tme for a cupcake.

I have made both a savoury and sweet versions during the last week and share my recipes with you here. Both can be enjoyed knowing they are easy ways to increase your vegetable intake.

My sons are generally Ok with vegetables, but are not keen on either courgettes or beetroot, both of which are summer seasonal healthy vegetables, so these cupcake recipes are a good way to encourage vegie consumption.

First the savoury Cheesy Courgette Cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium courgette
  • 100g  cheddar cheese, or any hard cheeses lurking in your fridge
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 50ml (2fl oz) olive oil
  • 175ml (6fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • black pepper

Method

preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C

Place the muffin cases in a muffin tin.

Rinse the courgette, cut the ends off,  grate it into a mixing bowl.

Grate the cheese into the mixing bowl.

Add the self-raising flour, along with the oil and milk.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl with some black pepper and add this to the other ingredients.

Stir just until all the ingredients are combined.

Divide the mixture equally between the muffin cases using two spoons.

Bake for around 20 minutes until they’re golden andspringy to touch

Cool on a cooling rack.

Now we have the Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 200g beetroot
  • 2 large-sized eggs
  • 140ml olive oil

Method

Heat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Mix in the sugar.

Peel and grate the beetroot

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the beetroot, egg and oil and lightly mix with a wooden spoon.

Divide the mixture evenly between the cup cake tin (with cases if you prefer)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until well risen and just firm to the touch. Cool on the cooling rack.

Lightly sieve icing sugar over the buns to serve.

National CupCake day takes place on June 14th and is held each year to raise awareness and  money to help the fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is needed everyday so don’t worry if you have missed the date in June, to enjoy cupcakes and consider a gift to the alzheimers society.