The cheese and pineapple hedgehog is done, Pina Coladas are chilling and this is my entry for the #SewSeventies challenge hosted by Georgie and Yvette. If I'm being honest, I think my pattern and fabric combination is a little too on the nose, making it feel a bit costumey. You can't win them all though and it makes a comfy house dress during warmer weather.

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with the pattern, which is the Pattern Fantastique Vali Dress and Top. I just think that paired with this vintage 1970s cotton voile it's a bit much on me. Also, despite being a beautiful design that looks fantastic on everyone else I've seen wearing it, as I suspected, my proportions make it difficult for me to carry off this silhouette.

For reference, I made a size 14, shortened the skirt by an inch and the fit is pretty spot on. The pattern comes together quite quickly, but sewing the yoke and getting neat corners on the sleeves can be quite fiddly. The grown-on pockets make for an interesting and speedy construction, but I think I prefer the finish of the traditional method. As a hopefully helpful aside, despite having child-sized hands, I actually found the pocket opening to be on the snug side.

The written instructions can seem a little overwhelming, even though they include some really useful tips for steps like hemming, so I'm extremely grateful to Sara SJ Kim for sharing this brilliant step-by-step sew-along, which I followed from start to finish. 

You can't tell in these photos thankfully, but my fabric is VERY sheer, so that's another reason I won't be wearing this 'out' out. Instead, I'll happily channel my grandma as I clean the house, but my Vali Dress would also make the prettiest beach cover-up. Looking at this last photo, I wonder if making a belt from my fabric remnants would encourage me to wear it more. What do you think?

I've had this Liberty lawn in my stash for at least eight years and I can't tell you how many times I've rescued it from multiple destash piles at the very last minute. I've never known what to make with it, but something kept me from parting with it and the stars finally aligned.

Inspiration struck when I spotted the beautiful button down blouse below from & Other Stories and realised I could totally make my own using the Nina Lee Bakerloo Blouse. At first I was hellbent on finding a similar green floral fabric, but my search was futile so I reluctantly settled for my Liberty lawn. I don't know why I was so reluctant because I couldn't be happier with the result.

Just like my first Bakerloo Blouse, I made a straight size 12. This time I opted for the shorter sleeves and I shortened the bodice by around 8cm. As much as I love blouses tucked in on others, my proportions make it difficult for me to carry that look off, so I tend to prefer my tops on the shorter side and untucked. I'm tempted to go even more cropped next time. And yes, I could have hacked the pattern to add a button front, but I couldn't be bothered and I love it just as it is.

As I ponder all the potential Bakerloo Blouses in my future, I'm beginning to wonder how many Bakerloo Blouses is too many?

I was recently sent some stunning wax print cottons from House of Yeshua Fabrics to review, so I decided to make haste and join in with Ankara Appreciation Week. Hosted by Lena King and Juliet Uzor on Instagram from 12 to 18 July, the week is an inclusive celebration of the distinctive fabric. Lena shared this introductory post if you want to know more, support Black-owned businesses and find out how you can take part.

Of the prints Patience sent me, this one is the most striking and unusual, so I was itching to sew it up. I didn't have much to play with and a simple skirt was my best chance to make the most of the print and cool gradient. 

I opted for the Nina Lee Kew Skirt variation in a size 10, with an added ruffle for a little extra something. I took 20cm off the length and evened out the hem to eliminate the pattern's high-low detail. For the ruffle piece, I doubled the width of the hem with a 12cm depth. Once I attached the ruffle to the skirt, I measured the length and amended the facing pattern piece to fit before cutting it out.

It's a bit sad I didn't have enough fabric to pattern match, but I think the end result is still pretty cute. I'm particularly fond of my alternating pink and yellow buttons, both perfect and from my stash.

The skirt pattern came together really easily and the fabric was a delight to work with. This is my first time sewing with wax print cotton, so I don't have anything to compare the quality to, but I'm really happy with what House of Yeshua Fabrics sent me. The designs and colours are stunning and the fabric softened beautifully after a wash, maintaining all of its vibrancy.

There's something undeniably joyful about wearing this skirt, which I've got to put down to the fabric. Happy Ankara Appreciation Week everyone - hope this week is inspiring for one and all!