I made my first Nina Lee Kew Dress and it's love...the fiercest, most passionate kind. 

After getting an invite to Amy of Almond Rock's wedding last month, the self-inflicted pressure was well and truly on. Not only was Amy making her own dress (which was utterly breathtaking by the way), I've also been in a bad place about my weight and in a total sewing funk. In fact, I can't remember the last time I made a fitted woven dress that I felt comfortable in. 

I don't know what possessed me to try Kew, other than madly hoping it would miraculously look as good on me as it does on everyone else I've stalked online. Well guess what? It bloody well does!




Before going into pattern details, can we take a minute to swoon over my fabric? It's this gorgeous poly crepe from Sew Me Sunshine, which is actually much more teal in real life. The peach buttons from my stash are the perfect pairing.

This was my first time working with a Nina Lee pattern and I'm seriously impressed. It's very well drafted, the instructions are easy to follow and the design mixes vintage and contemporary details beautifully.

I made a straight size 14 and it was very nearly a perfect fit. I just shortened the shoulder straps by 3cm and sewed the facing along the neckline with a 1cm seam allowance (instead of 1.5cm) as I was worried about it being a bit revealing. I'm always so self-conscious about my large bust and try to avoid unwanted attention, but the finished neckline is very pretty. Also, I'm not the biggest fan of dipped hems, so I evened mine out to the shortest part of the skirt.

The only thing I would do differently next time is to lower the bust dart by a smidge...but that's it!




This pattern did what no other has managed to do in months...it made me feel sassy and elegant and happy in my own skin. Oh, and it only took me a day to sew up...so a win-win on all fronts!

Thank you Nina for designing such a gorgeous pattern and thank you Amy for giving me the motivation to sew something special.

I'll leave you with a few of my favourite photos of the stunning bride and I! If you want to know how Amy made her wedding dress of Dior dreams, then check out the series of posts on her blog throughout August.




Last month, I spent a wonderful day sewing at The Village Haberdashery with these gals!

We were invited there by the lovely Ana of CocoWawa Crafts to celebrate the release of her latest pattern, the Honeycomb Shirt and Dress. Despite heading home with just one more button to sew on and the hemming left, it's taken me this long to finish and photograph. Life sure does get busy!



After unexpectedly falling in love with my Honeycomb Dress, I wanted to give the shirt version a whirl so I could pair it with this cute cocktail-print crepe from my stash. I think it was from Ditto Fabrics, but I got it such a long time ago that I can't be sure.

I'm really happy with my decision to make contrasting ties and buttons for this version, as they really stand out. This was my first time making self-covered buttons and boy are they fiddly little fellas! Why didn't anybody warn me?!? I really like how they turned out though and even though I'm not a gadget person, I think I would have given up if it wasn't for this nifty tool




Once again I made a straight size 4 (UK 12), as the pattern has a lot of ease. I added a fifth button to eliminate gaping at the bust and sewed the sleeves on with a 1.5cm seam allowance (the pattern calls for 1cm) to get rid of some of the extra ease. For my third Honeycomb - this stripy goddess in the making - I've tweaked the pattern pieces slightly to reduce the dropped shoulders...will report back on how that works out.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this sweet little shirt. Are you a Honeycomb pattern fan?

Friends, it's July and I'm still catching up on blogging last year's makes!

This here is my third version of the lovely Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress, made using a cute confetti-print jersey from Stoff & Stil. Sadly, I think this print is sold out, but they have plenty of other jerseys to choose from.

I shared comprehensive thoughts on the pattern and fit in my post about my first version. You can also see my velvet Aldaia Dress here, which I've since refashioned and still need to blog about.





A short and sweet post for you, but I thought this dress was too pretty not to share.

Have you made this pattern yet? What do you think to it?

Hands up if you're smitten with the new Tilly and the Buttons patterns!

I mean, what's not to love about the Stevie Tunic and Seren Dress? Seren has jumped to the top of my sewing queue (especially after seeing this dreamy version by The Foldline's Rachel) and I was lucky enough to test Stevie, resulting in not one but two gorgeous versions in my wardrobe.



As a tunic, I don't think Stevie would do anything for my shape due to my crazy bust-to-waist and waist-to-hip proportions. But as a top, it's everything I look for. Easy to wear and simple to sew with cute details.

The kimono sleeves means no fiddly easing in and the back yolk lends itself nicely to some  contrasting print and directional fun. Other super sweet details are the turn-up cuffs and a patch pocket, which I omitted on mine for a more streamlined look. As much as I love those details, I find cuffs don't work well with my cardigans and pockets make my bust look even larger.

Incapable of resisting a button, I went for a loop at the back instead of the ties. I love Tilly's trick of using an elasticated hairband!

I cut a size 4 across the neckline and shoulders, grading to a 5 for the rest, and I'm pretty happy with the fit. Be warned that it's a semi-cropped design, so add length before you cut out if necessary. 



As soon as I finished my test version, using fabulous floral rayon from Seoul's Dongdaemun fabric and craft market, I cut out another. This time using some monochrome ikat from my stash. I literally changed nothing and I'm happy to report that Stevie looks great in both drapey and more structured fabrics.







Stevie is definitely going to help plug a massive gap in my wardrobe!

What do you think to the new patterns from Tilly and the Buttons?