ORLA TRAPEZE DRESS

Orla with simple neck facing (option B) and long sleeves

Orla dress is a style that I designed quite a while ago and it proved such a classic style, I decided it just had to join the Sewgirl collection.

So let me describe this dress, so as well as being insanely stylish, it is also a very easy relaxed dress to wear. Its trapeze shape allows you lots of movement, so you can eat what you like without feeling constricted. With two side pockets (who doesnt love a sidey) and a choice of two dress lengths and two sleeve lengths, the Option A has a buttoned placket detail at the neckline, edged with bias binding to give it a retro feel or Option B has an alternative simple neck facing.

Both options have a back neck opening.

Option B back neck opening

This is an easy pattern to make up, however, the placket detail is probably a little more tricky, so if you have had some experience attaching bias binding you should be ok.

I would say this dress really suits bold prints but it also looks great in plain linens or viscose/linen mixes or the blue and white one (with red trim below) is a voile that I bought from slubbedprints.co.uk who have a wonderful collection of hand block print cotton fabrics from India. You can really play around with matching up one of the colours in your print or using a complete contrast colour binding as I have done here.

Some other versions of Orla that Ive made in bold prints.

Here are details about fabric requirements, size info and finished garment details.

So you will also need some equipment like a loop turner or a large eye blunt ended needle, tacking thread and needle, an iron, a good pair of dressmaking scissors and a stitch ripper for any back tracking you may need to make!

HOW TO MAKE ORLA

Here are some pictures and text to give you an idea about how this dress is made before you buy.

So the back pieces are joined together and seams pressed open, the top section is left unstitched for the back neck opening.

The Front and Back are joined at the shoulder seams and topstitched.

Side pockets are added each side and topstitched.
Small darts, which are marked on the pattern, are stitched each side and pressed downwards. These give the upper armscye more shape. Then its on to the bias binding bit for Option A only. For Option B see below.

OPTION A

The pattern gives you lots more details about how to do the binding.

Bias Binding
Pin then stitch one side of the bias binding to the outer edge of the Placket.
First, trim off 1.5cm from around the neck edge. Pin the placket to the dress at the centre top neck edge. Stitch all around close to the binding outer edge.
Then pin the seam binding and stitch to the neck raw edge all around.
Sew three buttons on to the placket and attach a hook and eye at the back neck.
Pin the front to back at the side edges, align the pockets. Now sew all around from the underarm, all around the pockets to the lower edge. Finish the raw edge with a zig zag stitch or use your trusty overlocker if you have one.
Pin the sleeve together at the side edges with the right sides matching.
Pin the sleeve head to the armhole, be careful to match the back section of the sleeve head (as marked on the pattern) to the Back section of the armhole.
Hand tack stitching really helps to ease your sleeve head in nicely to the armhole, it may need a little coaxing so be firm and show it whose the boss!
Stitch all around then finish the raw edges. Don’t forget to remove the tacking stitches and sometimes I like to nick at the cross seam allowance to allow a bit more movement. Press the sleeve head. I like to use a Tailors ham like this one, they are SO helpful when pressing sleeve heads (and hats for that matter). I have them available to buy in my Haberdashery listing on my Etsy shop.
A Tailors Ham
You can topstitch the sleeve head or leave it without, its up to you. Hem your sleeve edge.
Bold prints certainly give the wow factor. This one is by Echino its a linen and cotton mix and a super duper print design that I love!
I have made myself many Orla dresses as you can see because I just love bold prints.

ORLA DRESS VERSION B (with a simple neck facing)

So with Option B you don’t insert a placket or use bias binding around the neckline like you do with Version A. I thought that some people would like to try it without the binding, so here are a few illustrations to give you an idea about how its done.

Sew the (interfaced) Front Facing to the Back Facing (with the right sides together), at the shoulder edges. Press the seam allowances open. You can make a small hem around the outer edge or just finish it all around with an overlocked or zig zag edge.
Nick the seam allowance all around. Before you stitch down the short edges, insert the loop.
Pop the loop under the back neck facing at the top edge, then sandwich it between the facing short edges and the back. and stitch down.
Trim off excess loop, seam allowance corners then turn it inside out and poke out the corners. Press. Pin the facing all around and stitch down.
Sew on a button to match the loop and voila!
The finished article. Stylish, modern and practical and a great addition to your wardrobe for all seasons.

All images and text are subject to copyright. Please do not use any images without prior permission.
Not for commercial use.

DORIS DUNGAREES

Dark Denim

Woohoo! Here it is! A fab pair of loose fitting dungarees, inspired by one of my all time heros… Doris Day! Here she is, what a woman!

These dungarees are designed to feel comfortable as well as stylish. Make them in denim will give them a practical utility look or linen for being a little more on the classy side. Wear them with pumps, sandals, flip flops, clogs or boots and a crisp plain or stripy tee underneath or maybe even a pretty floral top (Peggy) underneath also looks fab.

I have a growing collection of suitable fabrics on my Etsy shop such as 8oz denim and linen in lots of gorgeous colours, so take a peek, you might be tempted.

There is also a kit available, containing the pattern, choice of linen or denim fabric, interfacing, buttons and thread all packed up in a lovely kraft bag.

HOW TO MAKE DORIS DUNGAREES

please note that this is a guide only, the pattern instructions are in a slightly different order

Firstly, finish the centre back edges. With the right sides together, pin the back Bib pieces together at the centre back edge. Sew. Press the seam allowances open.
STRAPS. Prepare the straps. Sew down one long raw edge and one short edge. Trim the seam allowance and across the corners.
Turn inside out and press. Push out the corners with a pokey tool. A knitting needle is good for this or a chopstick.
TROUSERS. With the RST, pin the trousers at the Front centre edges. Sew.
Finish the raw edges. Nick the curved section every 2cm approx. Press. Topstitch on the right side.
Repeat for the Back centre edges.
POCKETS: Finish the side edges except for the top edge. Fold over 1cm to the wrong side, press, then fold back to the right side 1.5cm. Pin at the sides. Sew.
Turn the hem inside out Press. Sew close to the hem fold. Press over 1cm all around the finished edges.
Hand tack to the garment pieces in position as shown on the templates.
With the RST (Right Sides Together), pin the legs together at the side edges. Then pin the inner leg edges. Sew. Finish the raw edges. Press.
FACINGS: Fold over 1cm at the lower edge of the two facing piece (Front & Back).
With the RST, pin one facing piece to the Bib Front.
BIB: On the Front Bib, sew across the top edge and down each Facing side edge.
Pin the straps each side of the Bib back right side 1cm in from each far edge. Machine tack within the seam allowance along the top edge to secure the straps. Remove the pins.
With the RST, pin the remaining Facing piece to the Bib Back top edge, covering the straps.
Sew across the top edge. Pin at the sides.
Sew down each Facing side edge. Trim across the seam allowance corner.
Fold the Facing to the wrong side, pushing out the corners with a poking tool on the inside. The straps will pop out. Pin.
Sew the Facing down at the lower edge. Sew the Bib Front to Back at the side edges.
Press the seam allowances open. Make a hem at the side curved underarm edges.
Pin the Bib to the Trousers with the RST. Sew. Press the Bib upwards, with the seam allowance towards the Bib.
Topstitch on the right side.
FINISHING UP: Make a buttonhole at the Bib Front. Sew the button on to the strap, adjusting to fit to your requirements.
Hem the lower edge of the Trousers.
TA DAH!
Yippee! I made some lovely Dungies!
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All images are protected by copyright by Fiona Hesford (Sewgirl).

Please do not copy or use any images on this blog without prior permission. Thank you!

MARTHA SKIRT

Martha Skirt – long with contrast fabric
Long skirt with the band and pockets in the same fabric
Short skirt
A cheeky back view showing slit opening and back pockets

So this skirt was inspired by a one I made for myself that I literally wore out, I loved wearing it so much. It’s my go to skirt for knocking about everyday, working in, going out on my bike, walks, you name it.

And those pockets are just SO practical!

Martha Skirt is a great denim project or, as you can see from the pictures, perfect when using a dynamic printed cotton teamed up with a plain fabric for the band and pockets. This print is an african Wax print which (for those that know me) I’m a big fan of.

I find such pleasure choosing the colour to match the print. In my books, this is one of the things that makes sewing such fun. You are going to have a unique garment that you have created for yourself! What’s not to love!

So, if you have chosen to use two different fabrics, make sure to use similar weights, but if you. like me, want to use something a bit heavier for the band (i.e. 8oz denim) then just balance out the main fabric with some lightweight lining fabric like a cotton voile or maybe even some woven fusible interfacing. I just cut out another upper Front & Back skirt piece only, pin to the reverse side of the three pieces, stitch together all around at the sides, then continue as if its one piece of fabric.

Martha Skirt pattern

Here is the info you need about sizing, finished garment measurements and fabric requirements….

You also need an 18cm (7″) zip and 20cm of medium/lightweight interfacing and a reel of thread.

Equipment: A zip foot machine attachment, poking tool. I like to use a tailors ham too but its not essential.

Zip foot

SEAM ALLOWANCE IS 1.5cm

So, kicking off, Martha Skirt has two darts on the Back piece top edge.

DARTS

inserting the back darts
Insert a zip.

ALL ABOUT THE ZIP

Martha has a zip inserted into the back seam, so you will need to pop your zip foot on your machine. If you don’t have a zip foot you can always hand sew a zip into the back seam.

a typical zip foot attachment

The pattern gives instructions about how to insert a ‘centred’ zip into the back seam, which I think is the simplest zip insertion of all, but you might prefer to use a ‘lapped’ zip technique or better still a concealed zip.

I have a separate blogpost called ‘How to insert a concealed zip’ which will show you how to do one, using just a standard zip foot attachment.

Inserting zips is not difficult when you know how. Once mastered your (sewing) life will be transformed and hopefully (like me) it will be the bit you look forward to the most (not kidding honest!).

So, if you have chosen to add a lower band for the longer length version, either in contrast fabric or main fabric, you will need to first hem the Lower back band pieces at the side edges.

For the Short Skirt version continue to the Pocket section.

Hem the two lower back Band pieces at the side edges.
Pin to the Skirt lower edge. Sew.
Finish the raw edge, press the band downwards with the seam allowance upwards on the reverse side.
Attach the Band to the lower edge of the Front Skirt piece.
Topstitch the seams on the band side. Tip: use a contrast colour thread to enhance the stitching detail.

POCKETS

Hem the slanted edge of the Front pocket and the top edge of the Back Pocket
Fold over 1cm and press the remaining edges.
Pin to the Front and hand tack. Topstitch.
Pin the Back Pocket to the Back in position as shown on the template. Hand tack. Topstitch.

FACINGS

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Join the (interfaced) Front and Back facings at the short edges.
With the right sides facing together, pin the facing piece to the skirt, matching up the side seams and allow
1.5cm overhanging at each far end.
Sew all around. Nick the seam allowance every 2cm approx.
Trim the bulky cross seam allowances.
Press the facing upwards, with the seam allowance pressed towards the facing. Understitch on the Facing side.
Stitch the facing to the side of the zip at each side. Trim the seam allowance and across the corners.

Fold the facing to the reverse side, pushing out the corners at the top of the zip.

Pin the facing to secure it on the reverse side. Stitch the facing all around, close to the outer edge. Press.

Finally a bit of hemming on the lower edge of the skirt and bobs your uncle! There you have it!

What a fab skirt!
Short length too is SO cute!

All images are copyrighted by Fiona Hesford – Sewgirl.

Please do not copy or use any images without prior permission.

SEWGIRL WORKSHOPS

Happy sewing!

I’m afraid, due to the current pandemic, the Sewgirl workshop programme has been suspended until further notice. However, I am a regular presenter on the Sewing street TV channel where I show demonstrations of my patterns. If you follow me on social media, you will be updated about upcoming show dates.

Hope to see you there!

Stay safe!

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URSULA COATIGAN PATTERN HACK

If you are making an Ursula from Sewing Street boiled wool, you might like to hack the pattern by adding a collar on to your coat or jacket.
Some boiled wool fabrics don’t fray and look the same on both sides, perfect for adding on a back collar on to the back neck, instead of the facings.
You can still do the lovely pockets as instructed on the pattern. I left the sleeve cuff un-hemmed. And…. I didn’t finish ANY of the raw edges on the reverse side- I just left them to look after their well behaved selves! No fraying- no fuss!
I also left the lower edge raw!!! Radical!
So, instead of sewing on the front and back facing piece, I just added one rectangle of fabric, cut to the specifications shown below and stitched it to the wrong side of the back and front neck. The seam is apparent on the right side, however, as the collar is turned over, it covers it. I did trim the seam allowance down to 5mm though.
This diagram shows you what I did. Easy peasy!

So the one rectangle you need to cut depends on the size you are making as follows:

Size 8= 9cm x 49cm

Size 10= 9.5cm x 50cm

Size 12= 10cm x 51.5cm

Size 14= 10.5cm x 53cm

Size 16= 11cm x 54cm

Size 18= 11.5 x 55cm

Size 20= 12cm x 56.5cm

By the way, if you are getting pilling with your boiled wool, Ive read that it helps to spray the fabric with hairspray- I haven’t tried it myself but Im going to give it a go.

I love my Ursula Hack! Happy Sewing!

HATS

Here is my blogpost about my three hat patterns, Brompton military style hat, Chelsea Baker boy hat and Brighton bucket hat.

BRIGHTON BUCKET HAT
CHELSEA BAKER BOY STYLE HAT
BROMPTON MILITARY STYLE HAT

I really love making hats! Tweed ones or cotton prints, denim and velvet or needlecord, a hat is an all year round wardrobe essential for any occasion and time of the year.

This blog will show you some of the step by steps to give you an idea about whats involved. To buy any of the patterns, please click any of the Etsy shop links.

Sewgirl hat patterns are available either as a PDF digital downloads or as a paper pattern (link above to my Etsy shop). All hats can be made in sizes small, medium or large. To measure your head diameter, extend a tape measure around your forehead and above your ears.

SMALL = 55cm, MEDIUM = 57cm, LARGE = 59cm

Suitable for sewists with some previous experience

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED: tailor’s ham, pinking shears, pins / quilter’s clips, stitch ripper and a poking tool.
Insert a walking foot attachment on your machine if you have one, which will make it easier to sew.

A walking foot makes bulky layers so much easier to sew.

HOW TO MAKE THE BRIGHTON HAT ETSY SHOP LINK

Sew together the Side band and Brim outer and lining pieces.
With the RST, pin the Brim outer and Brim lining together at the outer edge. Sew.
Nick the outer edge all around.
Turn the Brim inside out. Press. Pin all around at the inner edge. Zig zag together the inner raw edges all around.
Now for the fun bit…… Stitch lines all around the brim, this helps to stiffen it and it looks good too!
You need about 5 lines, for the small brim and 7 for the large brim, 1cm apart from each other.
Pin the Crown to the Side band.
Hand tack stitch. Sew all around.
Nick the seam allowance all around.
Repeat for the outer fabric and the lining.
Pin or clip the lining cap on top of the brim/outer cap piece.
Stitch rip a small opening in the Side Band seam. Turn inside out through the opening.
Sew up the opening.
Et Voila! One lovely Brighton Hat!

HOW TO MAKE THE BROMPTON HAT

ETSY SHOP LINK

Join the Side Front to the Side Back
Attach the Side panel to the Crown
Topstitching heaven!
Make a Crown in the lining fabric, in the same way as the outer fabric but leave an opening in the seam for turning the hat inside out at the end.
These are the Band and Band lining pieces joined together to make ‘rings’.
Three peaks! interfaced and reinforced with stitching
Adding the reinforced peak to the peak lining.
Turn the peak inside out, pushing out the edges on the inside with a poking tool. Topstitch around the outer edge. Machine tack the inner curved raw edges together with a zig zag stitch.
With the seams at the centre back, clip (or pin) the peak to the lower edge of the outer band and machine tack to hold. You may find it helpful to nick the raw inner curved edge of the peak to ease it in.
With the seams matching at the back, clip (or pin) the other band lower edge to the peak aligning the centres. Tack.
Stitch all around. Flip the bands up. Press. Machine tack the raw edges together. Try it on at this stage. If you feel it needs some elastic you could add a ring of 3/4″ elastic into the band before tacking together. Adjust to fit.
Heres the outer crown you made earlier. With the RST, matching the centre back and the centre front, pin the band raw edge to the crown raw edge with the right sides together. Sew.
Pin the lining to the other side of the band edge. Hand tack. Sew. Turn the hat inside out through the opening in the lining. Push the lining inside the hat. Give it a good press using your trusty tailors ham.
Ta dah!

ETSY SHOP LINK

HOW TO MAKE CHELSEA HAT

So this ‘Chelsea’ baker boy style hat is similar to the Brompton Hat and possibly a more classic style, with its segmented crown, side band and peak. This is an enjoyable project, quick to make, I wouldn’t say any hat project was a beginners project, it can be a tad tricky with bulky seams when inserting the peak, which is why I recommend a walking foot attachment (if you have one), but why not have a go! Its so satisfying and once you get the hang of it, you will want to make one for all your friends and family.

The main difference between the two hats is the Crown. The Chelsea Hat Crown is made in segments like a chocolate orange. (yummy!). Suitable fabrics you could consider: Tweeds, corduroy, cotton, denim so its a hat for all seasons.

Please note that the pattern includes one 29mm self cover button, if you need any more for making a hat for friends and family, you I have some available in the haberdashery listing on my shop as well as fusible interfacing by the metre.

The Crown pieces, when they are cut look like this. There are 6 of them in outer fabric and 6 in lining fabric and they are interfaced either with medium fusible interfacing or fusible fleece wadding (Vlieseline H640) for warmth or just some batting with something like a spray textile glue or bondaweb to fuse the interfacing to the outer fabric pieces. You also need the Band piece and the Peak pieces.

The crown pieces are assembled like this….

Join two pieces
Sew two pieces together, then add the third segment, so you have three pieces joined at the side edges.
snip snip snip the seam allowances
Repeat for the lining as before

So after you have the Crown outer and lining, you make the Peak and the Band in the same way as with the Brompton Hat. So scroll up to see this bit.

Attach the peak /band piece to the Crown.

Pin the Crown lining to the outer Crown/Band/Peak piece.

You need a 29mm self cover button and a scrap of fabric to make a small circle approx 5cm in diameter.
Tack stitch around the outer edge of the fabric circle, pull the top thread to gather the ‘dome’, insert the button, push the fabric around the claws of the button all around then finally snap on the backing disc to secure.
Hand stitch to the apex of the hat where the seams converge, this covers up any mismatches! (what mismatches I hear you ask!)
Copyright Fiona Hesford. Please do not copy or repost any images without prior permission.

PEGGY TOP

IMG_3649

So here we are at last…..a long awaited top!!! Yaaay!

This one is so chic and versatile too, you can dress it up or wear in a relaxed weekend sort of way. I’ve made the short version in a cool cotton voile and the long sleeved version in a snuggly cotton/linen denim look twill which is lovely and soft. Both these fabrics (and Peggy top pattern) are normally stocked on my ETSY SHOP subject to availability.

Peggy top can be made in two different sleeve lengths, long or short. You can either just hem the sleeve edge, as shown in the above left picture or add an elasticated channel as shown in the right hand picture to make a lovely subtle puff sleeve effect. It also has a nice side slit opening, so its very comfortable to wear.

SEWING STREET YOU TUBE DEMO 

The top pattern kit looks like this and comes with fabric, pattern templates, instructions, a piece of elastic, interfacing and a self cover button all packed up in a recycled kraft bag with handles. Yummy!

IMG_3694

Suitable fabrics are: light/med weight cotton, viscose, polyester, cotton/linen mixes, fleece back cotton jersey.

So let me talk you through this easy to make top. Well, its round necked, boxy shape with bust darts and a rather nice back neck loop and button opening (see below).IMG_3622

Peggy front sticker

Peggy top is suitable for adventurous beginners, so maybe you’ve cut your teeth on cushions and bag projects and would like to try some simple dressmaking, well this would be a perfect starter pattern as its really quite a straightforward make. Why not take a look at this condensed tutorial blogpost and it will give you an idea about whats involved.

Here are some measurements for you to check over. The pattern is good for sizes 8-20 by the way. If you need to make adjustments to the pattern, check out the tutorials such as Adjusting a Bust dart.

PEGGY BACK

Seam allowance is 1cm (3/8″), however if you prefer to use a 1.5cm (5/8″), then just add 5mm to the outer edges (except for those which are ‘Place on fold’).

Finish raw edges with a zigzag stitch or an overlocker. IMG_0076

You may like to use a contrast colour thread for the topstitching, as I did with the long top to get that ‘jeans’ stitch detail. You don’t need a special topstitch thread in particular, just a colour that will show up).

CUTTING GUIDE – are all shown in the instructions booklet.

HOW TO MAKE PEGGY TOP

1
Insert the darts, sew together at the raw edges.

 

2
Press the darts downwards.

1Finish the raw edges of the centre back. Sew the back pieces together with the right sides together, leaving the top section unstitched. Press.

 

2
Join the front to back at the shoulder edges. Finish the raw edges. Press them towards the back, then topstitch on the right side. Stay stitch around the neck edge (a line of stitching within the seam allowance to stop the curved section from stretching).

 

3
Join the facing pieces at the short edges. Press the seam allowances open. Finish the outer edge only.

 

4
Pin the facing to the neck raw edge. Sew.

 

5
Nick the seam allowance with small V’s. Careful not to snip your stitching!

 

7
Press the facing away from the body.

 

8
You’ve prepared your rouleau as described in the instructions. Pin to the back neck opening just below the seam as shown above. You will need to adjust it to fit your button. Tack stitch to secure.

 

9
Fold back the facing at the short sides and stitch down the opening edges to secure the rouleau underneath. Trim your seam allowance corners and any excess rouleau ends.

 

25
Turn the facing to the reverse side, pushing out the corners with a poking tool. Out pops your lovely loop!

 

11
Pin the front to back at the side edges below the armhole. Finish the raw edges. Press.

SHORT ELASTICATED SLEEVES (For long sleeves scroll down to the next section….)

12
Pin the sleeve together at the side raw edges. Sew. Finish the raw edge. Press. Repeat for the other sleeve. Now make either just a simple hem at the edge or if you prefer an elasticated cuff, continue to the next section and follow the instructions below.

 

13
Pin the Elastic channel piece together at the short edges. Press the seam allowances open.

 

14
Pin the longest edge to the sleeve cuff edge with the right sides together.

 

15
Press away from the sleeve.

 

16
Fold back the elastic channel so that the seam line is aligned with the fold. NB. If you don’t have an overlocker you could turn under a small hem to neaten the edge. Pin. Sew close to the edge leaving a 4cm opening at the side seam section.

 

17
Feed in the elastic (cut to size) with a safety pin. Sew together at the ends when you are happy with the fit.

 

18
Sew up the opening. Ease the elastic evenly.

LONG ELASTICATED SLEEVES

IMG_3630
Fold over 1cm then again 3cm at the cuff edge, press. Stitch all around, leaving a 3cm opening. Stitch again 3mm from the far outer edge ensuring you have left a 25mm space for the elastic.

 

IMG_0076
You can see here there are two lines of stitching one to secure the hem at the outer edge and one just inside the outer cuff edge.

 

IMG_3632
Insert the elastic (cut to size) into the hem with a safety pin, adjust to fit comfortably. Sew the elastic ends together securely.  Sew up the opening.

 

19
Pin then hand tack the sleeve to the armhole, making sure you align the back section of the sleeve head (as indicated by two notches on the pattern) to the back. Sew. Finish the raw edge.  Repeat for the other sleeve.

 

20
Press the seam allowance towards the sleeve and topstitch.

 

21jpg
Hem the lower edge.

 

22
Topstitch around the side slits to finish them off nicely.

23

Self cover buttons… (who doesn’t love a covered button? )

24jpg
For a 15mm button, cut a piece of fabric approx 25-30mm in diametre. Sew a line of running stitches around the outer edge, pull the threads to gather up the fabric. With the button back placed to one side, pop your button head into the crater and pull the threads some more so that it tightens around the shank. Tuck the raw edges under the claws. Insert the button back on over the shank and push firmly until you hear it snap together.

 

26
Sew your lovely button on to the back neck opening opposite the loop.

 

IMG_3670 cropped
I’m very chuffed with my new Peggy top!

Hand Screen printed panel projects

DSCF9167
Screen printed panel pack by Sewgirl

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contains 6 squares to cut up and sew

 

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Expertly Printed by Mark!

 

PIC 1
Cut them up and make all sorts of things…..

spotty cushion pink
Like a Patchwork cushion

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or make charming lavender bags with gingham backs…..

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or bunting ……

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zip purses…..

GIRLS SKIRT WITH PRINT POCKETS
or even pockets for girl’s skirts!

Heres four files for you to download to show you how to make the projects shown above. Happy sewing!

FLORAL BUNTING KIT instructions

LAVENDER BAG instructions

PATCHWORK FLOWER CUSHION instructions

SKIRT WITH FLOWER POCKETS instructions

BETTY DRESS

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Here she is! A long time coming, but we finally got there. The very fabulous Betty dress pattern ta dah!

Now I have to admit, I don’t normally make many things in pretty pink colour, I’m normally a practical blue kinda girl, but I do think this colour shows up the detail of the dress quite well, so thats what I went with.

So what can I say about Betty…. well, she is very easy to make, oh so comfortable to wear and well, just lovely really. She’s V-neck, button down (more about that later) with a gathered skirt section on to quite a loose fitting slightly dropped waistline, a curved detail on the side hem is a bit like a shirt style, rolled back sleeves and two patch pockets. The tie belt is optional of course, below shows you a photo of one I wear with a rather smart leather belt (link to where you can buy one at the end of this post.

Now lets talk about buttonholes. There are some people who may be put off by them or don’t want to be bothered with these small but ever so terrifying things, but fear not! Betty can be made without them quite easily. You can pop Betty on with just stitched on buttons. Do you see the blue version below? well that’s exactly what I did with this one, I wanted to live with it first before committing to them, but I’m not sure I will ever get around to doing them but hey whose going to notice!

Or, my friends, you may like to make a Betty Hack ! Its Oh so easy and I think I love this version even more than the button down version.

betty hack 5 x 7

So this hack is even easier to make, Its got no buttons on the skirt, just on the bodice and Ive shortened it a bit too by taking  2cm off the bodice lower edge and 2cm off the top edge of the skirt. Ive popped a little tutorial at the bottom of this post so just scroll down and you will find it.

So Betty is great in all sorts of patterned and plain medium weight cotton fabrics, linen and linen mix fabrics and soft lightweight denims. Here are some links to fabric companies who stock suitable fabrics.

LINEN FABRIC 

THE DENIM COMPANY

betty 2

The linen shown above is available to buy from the Etsy shop.

Heres the very lovely Amy Scarr, ex-editor of Love Sewing magazine, in her printed cotton lawn versions of Betty dress, which look just great. You can follow her sewing adventures on Instagram @almondrock_sews or almondrock.co.uk.

Fabrics courtesy of Atelier Brunette (pic 1) and Lady McElroy (pic 2).

You can similar find fabrics at  FABRIC HQ or FABRIC GODMOTHER IMG_3287

BUY PATTERN 

Here is all the info about sizes, finished measurements and fabric requirements.BETTY BACK STICKER A6

SEWING A BETTY DRESS

Seam allowance is 1cm. RST= Right Sides Together.

Before you start here are some pattern cutting tips.

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Making adjustments to Betty

You may want to make the bodice or skirt section shorter or longer.

So, if this is the case, firstly, measure for your size according to the pattern size info (shown above). Then you need to measure yourself for the desired bodice length from top of the shoulder to the desired length. Now add on 2cm to this measurement for the seam allowances.  Next, compare this length to the pattern and you may find that you require a shorter/longer length from one of the other sizes. I prefer to fold back my pattern to the desired line to keep it intact, but if you are drafting your pattern, you just trace the required line.

If you adjust the bodice length, remember its going to make the dress shorter or longer so check that measurement is good and you are happy with the adjustment. If you need to make the skirt section shorter or longer do so at the top edge of the skirt section. Its gathered at the top edge so any extra width will be lost in the gathering.

Finally adjust the button positions accordingly.

HOW TO MAKE BETTY DRESS

JOINING THE SHOULDERS

1

Joining the shoulder seams. Finish the raw edges, pressing towards the back. Topstitching.2

SKIRT SECTION

Sew the front to back at the side edges with the RST. Finish the raw edges.3

Sew the skirt together at the side edges with the RST. Press. 4

Gather up the fabric at the top edge of the skirt section.56

Attach to the bodice with the RST. Press the seam allowance upwards. Topstitch on the bodice side.

FACINGS1112Join the facings front and back at the short edges with the RST. Press open. Finish the outer edge.13Pin to the centre front and back neck edge. Sew. Press the facing away from the body. Understitch.IMG_3215

Fold back the facing at the centre lower edge with the RST. Stitch across 1cm up from the lower edge. Trim across the corner, then turn inside out, pushing out the corners with a poking tool.

1415Press the facing to the reverse side all around. Pin. Hand tack. Top stitch on the reverse side close to the outer edge to secure the facing.

POCKETS1617

Make your pockets by hemming the top edge and finishing the outer 3 edges. Press over 1cm at these 3 edges.1819

Pin to the body. Hand tack stitch. Topstitch close to the edge.

SLEEVES20

Fold over a 4cm hem at the sleeve edge. Press. Pin. Stitch.20a

Fold back 2cm. Press. Secure with a few hand stitches at the underarm cross seam to secure if required.21

Make your buttonholes, use the position on the template as a guide.22

Make your 3 tabs by pressing inwards 1cm each long side, then fold in half. Press, stitch down each long side. Fold up 1cm each short end. Pin to the dress at the sides and centre back. Stitch across the top and lower edge to secure.

TIE BELT7

Join the belt pieces together at the short sides with the RST. Press the seam allowances open.

8

Fold in half so the long edges are matching with the RST. Press. Stitch down one long raw side and across the short diagonal sides, leaving approx 4cm opening at the centre point for turning inside out. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm.

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Turn inside out through the opening. These loop turner tools are really useful for this.

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10

Press. Topstitch all around the outer edge, which seals up the opening at the same time. Tie in a lovely big bow and woo hoo…..ready to go!

BETTY FRONT bow detail

Or attach a nice leather belt .

BETTY HACK- heres how

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To make the dress with no buttons on the skirt section is really easy. Just cut two back skirt pieces (on the fold) instead of the front piece, so you just have two back skirt pieces altogether.

To save on fabric, cut the Bodice Back as two pieces, so instead of normally placing the pattern against the fold, add a 1cm to the centre back edge and sew the Back pieces together. Finish the raw edge.

Shorten the facing piece to make it the same as the bodice in length. Follow the pattern as above, but gather the back and front together in one piece and attach to the bodice, making sure the front section is crossed over correctly beforehand. Here is a summary of how to do it.

If you are interested in buying a Betty dress pattern, here is a link to the Etsy shop listing. I’ve got lots of other patterns too which you may like to check out.

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Copyright Fiona Hesford. 2020. Please do not copy any images from this post without prior consent. Thank you.