Tag Archives: collar

The Rushed Rat

22 Apr

Before we kick off, I really feel that I ought to explain the title.

I keep rats. I have 23 in total…



Ok so you’re back with me after the shock of keeping 23 rats (it’s actually not the most I’ve had at any one time!)… and I love them dearly. I’ve mentioned a few times that I sew pet beds, well they’re for rats (and other small furry creatures). Gosh, I feeling like I’m outing myself here!

My shop is called The Relaxed Rat. Bear that in mind, we’ll be back for it later.

As a rat lover I often attend rat shows….



….. Ok so you’ve dealt with the shock that rat shows exist. Yes, they do, and they’re just like Crufts! But on a smaller scale 😉

The day before going to a rat show I decided it would be a really fantastic idea to wear a dress with rats on it. I had the fabric which I got in the giveaway (yep, we’re still going with that!) but no clue what to do with it.

Now we put all of that into the mixing pot and it becomes: The Rushed Rat!


Shall we actually see the thing?

About 2pm I started designing my dress. I designed a dress that resembled none of the patterns I had in my arsenal. What a fantastic idea for a dress that has to be made quickly.

I had to sit and think for a while about what I was going to do- there was no time for a muslin. Should I risk this gorgeous fabric or do something tried and tested but ultimately not what I wanted? Or, give up on the whole plan and wear something already in my wardrobe?

Obviously I went for option A and risked it.

You’ll never guess which bodice pattern I used as my base. Yep, it’s the Daisy dress again! (Seriously, I should start a series on Daisy hacks!)

I didn’t have time for tissue paper, measuring or faffing so I just pinned the bodice to the fabric, but not on the fold as usual, and cut round it making the neckline a little higher and ‘v’ing towards the front and extending the centre front out by 2-3 inches. I cut the bodice back out, again raising the neckline, and then sewed them together at the shoulder seams.

From here I pinned the side seams together, put it on and faffed about with finding the centre front and making darts. Once I had all that down I had to sort out this collar.

You might recognise the collar fabric- it’s my old bed sheet making another appearance! Its debut was also as a collar- it just seems to be the right shade to match everything!

I used Butterick 5846 as the base for the collar but I had to extend it a little as my neckline is slightly different, then I drafted a facing for the placket and stitched it all in.


Look at the cute little ratties!

It’s not perfect- definitely could’ve done with the facing a little wider- but I’m pretty darn pleased with it! It didn’t take any faffing either, it all just sort of worked! I’ve covered that pretty quickly- that actually took me a couple of hours!

From there on it was pretty plain sailing. The skirt is just a simple gathered skirt, with pockets I might add! but I did mess up the sleeves a little.

I had to go out for a few hours (from 5.30-11pm) which made this plan even more ridiculous, so by this point we’re at about 1am. I grabbed the first sleeve pattern I found and just sewed it all in. Then when I came to try on the dress the sleeve felt quite snug. I looked at the pattern and it was for a knit dress.

Of all my sleeves to pick, why pick the one designed for stretchy fabric?!!

I shortened them a little because I felt like it would help with the snugness. It did not, and I miss the length of the original sleeves but this isn’t so bad. Then I used bias tape as facing (yellow because I had nothing else!) and double turned the hem. I did accidentally rip the fabric a teensy bit when opening the buttonhole (come on, it was 2am!) but I just zigzagged over it and I think it’ll be fine.

Cinderella did indeed make it to her ball, in her rat dress and the whole thing didn’t fall apart so I’d call this a success!

I love the contrast between the green and purple (which also goes perfectly with Agatha!) and I love the fact it has rats on it! I’m on the look out for more rat fabric and also considering stamping my own (I definitely have a rat Miette skirt in mind!)

Just to top it all off here are a couple of pictures of my babies:



Me and Annie after she won Best Pet!


Smiley Pippin




Some beautiful bubs.


Enough spamming now! They’re not so bad are they?


Black Swallows Dress completion!

23 Jan

Woo! Another post!!

I’m going to post a disclaimer now: I am not good at posting regularly. Actually, correction, I’m not good at taking photos. IF I took photos more often I would blog more often. SO, if you’re one of those people that needs a post every Tuesday at 12pm this blog is not for you!

Onto the actual post then shall we?

I finally have photos of something I completed! Or, photo rather.



The pattern is Eliza M’s Daisy pattern , which may I add, I got on eBay for £2.75 OH YEAH!!!! I’ve used this pattern so much because it’s just so versatile- just a basic dress pattern that can be adapted to so many other things. E.g, the collar I added to this one (pre-bought, on eBay 😉 ) which I think adds just a little ooh-la-la to what is essentially a black dress. I am, however, going to unpick and restitch the collar because silly me didn’t pre-wash it and it shrunk meaning it’s a bit out of shape.

Anyway the pattern has proven its weight in gold if only for the circle skirt pattern. I know it’s like one of the beginner, really simple, sewing for dummies things to sew but having a pre cut pattern piece for a circle skirt that automatically fits is just so time saving!! And all for £2.75 😀

The other good thing about this dress pattern is because it’s so simple it’s very easy to grade up and down to get an absolutely perfect fit.

(I promise I am not, nor do I work for Eliza M!)

I would also like to post another disclaimer: The mannequin is for display purposes only. I picked her up at a shop that was closing down but she’s a couple of sizes smaller than me so all my clothes look baggy and don’t photograph well. However, we’ve already waited two weeks for a photograph so let’s be thankful there is one at all!! .

I thought also randomly you may like to hear about a murder mystery party I recently attended. I am female. My character was a man playing a masculine woman. So I was a woman playing a man playing a woman who likes to pretend she’s a man. WTF?!!!!

Here’s how I turned out, along with Mark who was playing a French poet.


Would you be surprised if I told you I was the murderer?!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

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