This year I’m starting to venture back to the office and even down to Melbourne for work so I’m wanting to add some more colourful, comfortable work shirts to my wardrobe. I’ve also had a heap of really beautiful cotton prints in my fabric stash, so I don’t even need to purchase any new fabric.
This pattern is a really cute and very flattering style. It can be made in a number of different layouts, as shown below. I ended up making the short sleeve with the plain front.
I found the only complicated part to this was the front bow. It was a bit tricky to get it to sit right and you have to be careful not to stitch incorrectly and avoid damaging the front panel. However, once you have that sorted the rest is very simple. The collar and front is fully lined and turns out very well made.
I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern and overall it turned out exactly as I had imagined from the pictures.
The other shirts that I have in my sewing line up for the upcoming months are shown below! Let’s see how many I can actually get completed. I’ve also been loving getting back on Pattern Review and doing some research on patterns and outfits to add to my sewing queue.
Would love to hear if you have any favourite shirt patterns! There are just so many to choose from!
Sitting at home on my balcony in my new Lekala dress, looking forward to when things start improving around the world and we can get back to normal in our daily lives.
I feel lucky that I have kept my job, can work from home and the worst thing I’ve had to do is cancel a few upcoming holidays. Plus, Australia seems to be doing pretty well compared to other countries. I’ve started Skyping more, especially since my older brother has recently had a baby boy and also trying to get out for a morning walk to this beautiful landscape below.
The one thing that has definitely kept me busy is sewing! Like any sewer I’ve got a mountain of fabric to get through and patterns to last me a life time. I honestly think if I didn’t have something to keep me creative and occupied, I’d get so restless and bored.
It’s crazy how much things have changed for everyone over the past few weeks with COVID-19. I’m lucky enough to still be working from home and found myself with a lot more spare time, not having to travel into the city each day. So instead of letting all of the stress and worry about what’s going on in the world get to me, I decided to come up with an assortment of sewing projects to keep me busy.
Description: Summer strapless slim-fitted dress with ruffled top. Pattern: Top from Lekala Dress with straps and the skirt is Butterick 5949 Fabric: Lightweight Blue Linen with a lined skirt (stolen from my mum’s stash)
I have been following Stephanie, a seamstress on Instagram – @the.petite.dressmaker and love the way she incorporates ruffles into her dresses. I’ve wanted to make one of my very own!
I was devastated when Burdastyle changed websites last year because I lost a lot of my pattern purchases. I would have used the pattern I have done previously for my Dress without straps design, but looked over the internet and found a few similar patterns. An alternative version, if you don’t like hacking bits together is Mimi G’s Jessica Dress or Closet Case – The Fiona Sundress. If you do end up trying either of those two I’d love to check them out!
I like Lekala patterns because they fit me really well and are quite affordable. I downloaded 3 patterns for $16 (AUD). However, you do have to add the seam allowance and know a little bit about pattern construction to add your lining or adjust your fit.
There wasn’t much changed to the top part of this dress, apart from adding the ruffles. I have a huge clip box of buttons that I purchased in bulk off eBay. That always saves me money when adding numerous buttons to a garment. This dress is quite slim fit but I really love the way it turned out. It’s a perfect dress to wear out for summer/spring!
But since we are trying to be good and stay home, stay healthy and save lives, it might be a while until I get to wear this little number out.
On another note, I really hope everyone is staying healthy and coping okay through this insane 2020 start. First the fires in Australia and now Coronageddon worldwide. I’m just so happy to have an indoor hobby that keeps me entertained for hours. Probably a good thing because I’m forgetting what day we are up to working from home every day!
My second dress for the year is this floral coral linen shift dress which sits just past my knees, making it super comfortable to wear to work.
Description: Fitted dress which has front and back yoke, princess seams, sleeve, neckline and length variations. Pattern:Butterick 6410 Material: Linen from Spotlight
I haven’t made too many dresses with linen before but I have to say, I’m now a huge fan. I made a tester muslin first to make sure the fit was right before cutting out my material. I usually cut out a size 10 in Butterick but that allows me to take it in where I need. I have a large sway in my back so I had to take the back dart in quite a lot. I also had to take in in the dress just under my bust on each of the panels. As you can see there is still a bit of a gap at the front under my bust but it now just feels a bit more like a shift dress.
I stuck to making the longer length because these days I find longer outfits and pants so much easy to wear to work. Plus, they’re really comfortable and I am pretty clumsy (maybe tripping over the pugs from time to time) so I always find bruises on my legs that I want to hide.
I have so many pairs of coral shoes, rose gold jewellery and rose gold bags, so this fabric from Spotlight was the prefect find!
I absolutely love the two different colours on the dress and the extra feature on the sleeves. Do you have any suggestions for work style dresses? I would love to hear!
My first clothing project this year was creating this fun, flowey, summery dress. I got in just in time to wear it to Valentines weekend, which more importantly is my mums Birthday celebration.
Description: Very loose-fitting, pullover dress which has elastic at the neckline and waist. It also has a number of variations for the sleeve and hem. In long and short versions. Pattern:Butterick 6451 Material: Rayon material from Spotlight
This blue dress was my first attempt at sewing this dress. I cut out a muslin but I didn’t go as far as adding the elastic. So once I had it all finished there were a few alterations I wanted to make for the second dress.
In the photo below I have the back pattern overlaying the front pattern so that I could match it up at the sleeves. The first alteration was simply taking 5cm off the top of the front and back of the dress. I also then brought up the sleeves about 5cm on both the front and back because once it was sitting off my shoulders it left a large gap. This is shown in the photos below where you can see my bra.
It’s not a huge issue because the only time you would notice this is if I lift my arms but obviously I wanted to perfect it for the next dress.
This is the second version of this dress and thankfully you can’t see my bra on any angle, even if I lift my arms. I absolutely love the dress style and the extra gathered panel at the bottom. It’s perfect for summer and being lightweight rayon material means I can wear this in the humid Brisbane heat.
If you have time to sneak this dress in before Summer ends I highly recommend giving it a go. There is also a shorter version available on this dress pattern that would be great to make too. Also, if you like the fabric I think it’s still available at Spotlight 🙂
It’s crazy to think I’ve been sewing now for a little over five years. I first started my old blog back in 2012 and that was to showcase learning how to sew, discovering new patterns, testing and trialling different fabrics and making heaps of mistakes! However, without going through that process I never would have been able to learn what fabric types I liked the most and what pattern styles suited my body shape. I was also able to learn the basics of sewing including how to cut a pattern, how to following instructions, how to use my machine and importantly, how to modify patterns to suit my own figure. Even though I still make mistakes, I’m more confident in my pattern and fabric choice to be able to create outfits that I’m proud of wearing.
So I thought I would showcase some of my first sewing projects, some I wore, and some I basically took straight down to the local op-shop. However, I feel that no matter what, it was a great learning experience being able to discover a fun and rewarding hobby.
Luckily, I even made a glossary of what these patterns were and can now look back and indicate what patterns I would love to resew in my current sizing.
I believe this process of learning how to sew is a really important one. You might start off with smaller patterns including children’s clothing, toys, quilts, tops and dresses like I did. Either way, you have to be patient and keep persisting in achieving what you want out of this hobby. I started out on a Janome 6260, which is still running strong and now I’m sewing with a Brother NV1300, which I absolutely love.
These days there are some really great resources available to help everyone excel at this hobby. Some of the beautiful books that helped me learn how to sew included the Colette Sewing Handbook, Vogue Sewing, The BurdaStyle Handbook, Love at first stitch and so many more! Plus, there are endless pattern companies out there to suit all types of body shapes. When I first started sewing I actually found it difficult to find a modern, young style of pattern but now we’re spoilt for choice, with indie pattern companies popping up everywhere. With the addition of Craftsy online learning and Youtube it’s so much easier to learn how to sew without spending anything (apart from fabric and notions of course)!