The cat's out of the bag! I auditioned for the part of Robin Buckley in season three of Stranger Things, but Maya Hawke got the callback and the rest is history.

Not really, but my outfit is giving off some serious Scoops Ahoy vibes, don't you think?



I made this Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress months ago and wasn't planning to blog it, given that I have nothing to add about the fit and construction that I didn't already cover when I shared my first, second, third (if my refashion counts), fourth and fifth versions.

That's until I remembered the 1950s-inspired linen collar I made in 2011 (look at my baby face!), using vintage McCall's 1911. It's the perfect companion for my anchor-print jersey from Stoff and Stil and I just couldn't resist a kitsch photoshoot.




Despite loving a nautical look, I haven't been brave enough to wear this collar/outfit in public. Would you wear it out and about? Should I?

I'm back for a second week running, can you believe it? This time I'm sharing my totally rad Libby Shirt, which I made weeks and weeks ago, but only got around to photographing recently. 



As soon as Sew Over It London released this pattern, I fell in love. It's exactly the kind of shirt I go for in RTW styles, so I jumped at the chance to make my own. When I found this geometric print satin from Crafty Sew & So, it was a match made in heaven. I even had the perfect vintage buttons in my stash.



I love the pattern's boxy (but not too loose) shape, grown-on cuffed sleeves and notched collar. Beware of the collar though. Granted, I'd never sewn a notched one like this before, but I found it really tricky and struggled with part of the instructions. Luckily, Sew Over It London has a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial online, which was a life-saver. 

If I remember correctly, I cut a size 12 grading up to a 14 at the hips and I'm really happy with the fit. One thing I would say though, is beware of the straight front hem version because it comes up pretty short. The shirt is a cropped style anyway, but I'm only 5ft 3ins with a particularly short waist, and it's borderline on me. If in doubt, add a little extra length or go for the curved front hem instead.



Despite how fiddly I found the collar, I definitely love this shirt enough to make another. Speaking of love, have you seen Sew Over It's Bonnie Blouse pattern? I'm smitten!

Have you made Libby or Bonnie? What are your thoughts?

It's taken the sewing world by storm, but the Myosotis Dress by Deer and Doe was a slow-burner for me. I was convinced that all the body and flounce of the pattern would swamp my frame, but I couldn't be happier to be proved wrong. 



I have geniuses like Fiona (Diary of a Chain Stitcher) and Bianca (Sleepless in Bavaria) to thank, for giving me the idea of adding waist ties to the dress. Doing so gave me that extra bit of shaping which allowed me to carry off this style.

It's such a romantic silhouette that I felt compelled to pair it with an equally feminine fabric, so I opted for the most gorgeous floral viscose from Fabric Godmother. Sadly, it's now sold out, but Josie has many more beauties on offer. 



A sudden rush of bravery led me to go big or go home, so I plumped for both sleeve and skirt ruffles.  Usually, I hate gathering fabric and avoid it where possible, but this time round it was oddly therapeutic and satisfying. The only fiddly part of construction is the mandarin collar, and admittedly, mine turned out a little uneven. I'm ok with that as my hair covers it 90% of the time, but I'm not a massive fan of that collar style on me and I omitted it for my second version - yep, I've already made  another Myosotis

Due to the pattern's floaty nature, I sized down to a straight size 40 and I'm pretty happy with the fit. It irks me a little that from behind the ties don't sit on the waistline (see pic above) despite lining them up with it on the side seams and I suspect it's because I've used drapey fabric that is weighed down by the ruffles. I could also perhaps narrow the shoulders and shorten the sleeves a touch, but these are just minor quibbles.



Minor quibbles aside, not only do I feel fabulous in my Myosotis Dress, I get SO many compliments when I wear it. Lots of people have even asked me to make them one, which is sweet, but never going to happen...haha!

Are you a Myosotis fan? 


She may not have made it to the ball, but my Named Anni hack is a cutie nonetheless. 

At one point a contender for #TheDressmakersBall, I decided that made in this fabric - a sold out crepe from Fabric Godmother - my Anni wouldn't be quite smart enough for the occasion. 

I set her aside while I whipped up this luxurious Gable/Aldaia hack instead, but I'm so glad I picked her back up again and finished her off. 




What first drew me to this version of Anni was the unusual cutout detail on the front bodice, which I just love. The construction and somewhat confusing instructions/diagrams left me scratching my head and feeling very frustrated, but I thankfully figured it out in the end.

My dreamy vision for this dress originally involved the wrap skirt add-on, but I didn't have enough fabric to see it through. I used the skirt from the Selkie Patterns London Dress, before realising that I had cut the fabric slightly off grain. Normally I don't sweat the small stuff, but with the striped pattern repeat it was SO obvious, making the skirt look super wonky. My only option was to unpick it and cut it on grain, which resulted in an unplanned shorter, gathered skirt. Far from my first choice, but sweet enough.



Anni required me to do my first ever FBA (full bust adjustment) and it turned out to be less scary than I feared, thanks to this handy tutorial from Sew Over It. I'm pretty happy with the overall fit after shortening the bodice by 2cm too, but movement is a little restricted across the back in the shoulders and sleeve caps. I've never had this issue before, but it's definitely something I'll need to address for future versions as I can't get the wrap skirt vision out of my head. If you have any tips for how to fix this issue, I'm all ears!



P.S. I'm wearing the chunky ASOS sandals that loads of people hated in my Instagram poll, but I'm still not 100% sure I want to return them. I kinda like them...what do you think?


To celebrate its 10th anniversary, I'm joining in with Zoe's fantastic Me Made May initiative.

If it's so fantastic, you ask, why have I not taken part more often? Well, steady weight gain over the last few years has meant that a big part of my handmade wardrobe doesn't fit, leaving me with fewer options than is ideal. I also have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my me-mades as I often fall into the trap of making the latest trends and regretting it.  

However, I've decided to embrace Me Made May, not only because the FOMO is real, but also because I want to improve my relationship with my hand mades. 

My biggest reservation about it is that I might not feel like myself for a whole month, which I realise is an ironic thing to say about clothes made by me. Whether that ends up being the case or not, I'm hopeful that it will help me identify gaps (such as outerwear, bottoms, warm-weather clothes) and figure out my elusive sense of style. 

So without further ado...

I, Marie Koupparis, sign up as a participant of Me Made May 2019. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item of clothing/accessory a day and will attempt to style repeats differently, during May 2019.

Are you taking part this year? If so, grab yourself a cute enamel pin badge in support of a good cause!






There's nothing quite like the promise of a ball to get you reaching for the fanciest fabric and pattern in sight. Or, if you're like me, to fill you with sheer panic and indecision. Despite buying my ticket to The Dressmakers Ball months ago, I couldn't for the life of me settle on an idea until the weekend before the bash.

My bountiful stash just wasn't inspiring me, partly because I don't have super fancy taste so nothing seemed appropriate. With the pressure of being on the awards panel mounting up, I was on the verge of giving up when I remembered the luxurious velvet I bought from Fabric Godmother about 18 months ago.




As someone whose usual motto is 'more is more', black monochrome was not the obvious choice for me. However, the velvet's textured stripe effect, substantial weight and delicious drape give it a really expensive air (I mean, it wasn't cheap, but you know what I mean). 

To achieve the look I was going for, I paired it with the Jennifer Lauren Gable top, which has a chic 1950s-inspired slash neckline. I shortened the top to hit at my natural waistline, tapered it in slightly and added clear elastic to the bottom before attaching the full skirt from the Pauline Alice Aldaia dress. The Aldaia skirt comes up quite short, so I added about 13cm to the length for a more formal vibe.

I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. I felt ridiculously elegant swishing around in it on the night, which was quite impressive given that I've basically made secret pyjamas disguised as a dress. Better still, I can genuinely see myself wearing it for so many other occasions. 



The biggest thing going for this dress though? It matches my handsome mini rex rabbit called Opie. Well, it's not quite as lush as him, but it's close! Now I have two dresses that match each of my rabbits - remember my original Aldaia in the grey colourway which perfectly complements Birdie rabbit? If #DressLikeYourPet or #MatchYourPet aren't a thing, they should be. Who's in?



Finally, a MASSIVE 'thank you' to Freya and Sarah from Crafty Sew & So for hosting such a wonderful night, in Leicester no less! I never fail to be impressed by how far stitchers will travel to meet up with each other and by how talented, beautiful and funny they are.

Happy birthday to me! The greatest gift I've given myself this year is finishing and photographing this dress - 1950s Simplicity 3931 - because it makes me feel like a vintage vixen!




It's hard to believe that I started making it about a year and a half ago! I had to grade the pattern up by an inch or two, so the muslin stage took a bit longer than I anticipated. By the time I had nailed the fit it was time to pack up my sewing room for a very long and disruptive period of house renovations. After that, it took me ages to get my sewjo back - it's still only fleeting - but I'm so glad I finished it. The pairing with this drapey linen from Walthamstow Market - the man outside Sainsbury's (TMOS), to be precise - is so dreamy. 

Sadly, with so much time passing, I can't really remember the exact alterations I made to the original pattern. I have the new pieces, so not all is lost, but I imagine I took the shoulders in a bit, shortened the bodice a touch and added some centimetres to the centre front and side seams. I also skipped the sleeve ties for a less fussy look, but might give them a go next time as they're pretty sweet and all the rage on the latest indie patterns I've seen.

One thing I do remember is how quickly and easily this pattern came together. The instructions are actually really good for its age and the construction is fairly simple. If you can get your grubby hands on a copy, I thoroughly recommend adding Simplicity 3931 to your collection.





As with most vintage patterns in my stash, what attracted me to this one were the gorgeous details. I can't get enough of the shoulder and front skirt pleats - they give such romantic shaping to the bodice and make the skirt just full enough. I'm particularly taken by the clever little elbow darts to shape the sleeves and, I assume, give them more flexibility of movement.

For a more streamlined look, the front bodice and both skirt pieces could be cut on the fold, as the zip is inserted in the side. I squeezed this out of just two metres of fabric, so cutting on the fold wasn't really an option for me. My biggest challenge was the front bodice pattern placement as I had very little fabric to play with and didn't want to end up with bronze areolas! It was touch and go for a while, but I managed it in the end...phew!



I'm now ready for afternoon tea please...anyone care to join me?