Tag Archives: simplicity 1803

Coral Crazy

9 Jun

Disclaimer: this dress is a year old already 😮


I’m sure you guys know that I have difficulty photographing things. 1 is the weather and 2 is my laziness.

I had a post written up and ready to be published for this dress, I was just waiting on the photos. Alas it didn’t happen and now we’re right back round to summer again!

The good thing is, when you write about something you’ve just made you have no idea on its wearability, really. I can tell you that this dress has been worn to death. Through the winter it’s great to liven up a miserable day (who said you should stick to ‘winter colours’ in December?!) and in the summer it’s so breathable and floaty, more than anything else I own, so I just wear it all the time. I think really what I’m saying is I need to make more summer dresses- right?

The fabric is from Fabricland which I bought for £2.50 a metre.  £2.50!! I had no idea what I was going to do with it but I love textured fabric so I just ordered it.

Eventually I decided to go with a bow back dress. I used Simplicity 1803 (again!!) and then just drafted a bow like I did for my Hen Do Dress

I lined the bodice in a peach-y cotton I already had but I didn’t have enough to line the skirt. Big whoopsie- it’s quite see-through. I can’t wear this without tights/leggings which is a shame because it’s quite a summery dress. I’ll have to make myself a slip.

Unfortunately, over time, the bow has become a sad droopy thing. The fabric is quite thin so I should’ve interfaced it really so it retained some of its poof. I’ve still got some of this fabric left so I could, theoretically, make another bow but I really can’t be arsed with that.

The good news is I now own a complete coral outfit.

Too much?



The Aurora Dress

8 Feb

Remember when I said I made the Best Dress Ever? Well I take it back. This is the Best Dress Ever. For reals this time.

I mean look at it. It’s super purple which is awesome enough anyway but it’s got freakin’ deer on it!!

I was hesitant at first to order the fabric (Michael Miller, Norwegian Woods if you’re wondering)- I loved it instantly but I wondered if it was a bit full on to make a whole dress from. I asked literally everybody I know what they thought and then said eff it and ordered it anyway. Maybe it is a bit much but I bloody love it!

The pattern is another adaptation of Simplicity 1803 (see here, here and here for other versions) I just can’t get enough! Despite the bastards trying to tell me I’m a size 20 and then make me bring it in by like 4 inches and the pockets which are designed to sit at the front (seriously, I say WTF to that every single time I make this dress) I do love the pattern.

I made my usual adjustments which were raise the scoop on the back neckline, put the pockets on the side and cut the front skirt as one piece as well as making a round neckline in which to add a collar!

I self-drafted the collar. I probably could have found a free collar pattern online easily but my Mac was dead and the charger was downstairs so obviously this was the easier alternative.

Mark and I just recently cleared out our bedroom- old clothes and stuff, and found a load of bedding from our old double bed. Of course I kept the sheets and that’s what I made the collar from! I think the colour is a perfect match, both for the dress and for …

…the ric-rac trim!

When I bought the sheets like 2 years ago I definitely didn’t consider the colour based on how well it would match the ric-rac on a future dress but it worked out perfectly!

Here’s the zip:

Is that ‘where?!’ I hear you cry?!

Exactly! The zip took me 1.25 episodes of Silent Witness to insert but I think it was totally worth it. I used the hand-picked zip method thanks to Tasia’s tutorial which is now becoming my method of choice. Looks neat, no faffing with the machine and easier to control.

A close up of the tiny prick stitches

And from the front

I tried really hard to make this dress look beautiful everywhere, with tiny little details so I did absolutely no top-stitching anywhere.

I tacked down the neck facing with tiny prick stitches on the outside and a slip-stitch through the facing. I did the same with the hem and the bias binding on the armholes. I think it’s made all the difference and just makes the whole thing look more polished.

It’s so comfortable. I feel like a superstar or something walking round in it because it sort of floats about and the fit is perfect for me. I’ve had issues before with the sleeves being too tight but I fixed it this time and there’s enough movement without bagginess.

Mark took these photos for me as I thought a proper dress deserved proper photos. We took them whilst we were dog-sitting for his Aunt and the sun finally decided to grace us with its presence. Of course the dogs wanted in on the action, so I feel they deserve a mention.

The best dress ever (well, to date at least)

1 Nov

So after all the meh-ness on this blog of late, I’m pleased to announce that I love, love, love this dress.


I love the fabric so much


Not only do I like the pattern but it drapes beautifully and it’s so soft! It was lovely to work with too.

I found it in the remnants section at C+H half price. There were only 2 remnants left, both a metre long so I bought both which totalled about £13. No way I would’ve paid that if I didn’t love the fabric! The sad thing is C+H have discontinued it and I have no idea who it’s by; there’s literally nothing on the selvedge. 😦

What I’m mega super happy with about this dress is kind of weird. I saw a picture on Pinterest of a girl wearing a red spotty dress with a lovely blue cardigan and it just struck me. Of course I forgot to pin it to show you and to even look at myself. Anyway, I was already making the blue cardigan (which is Hetty of course!) and then stumbled across this fabric- it was like fate!

This is my poor Hetty substitute and me doing some really weird neck thing :S


I used Simplicity 1803, view B this time. It’s a tiny bit low cut. Not terribly indecent but I work in a school, we’re pretty much limited to turtle necks, so this is a no go which is really sad because I want to show it off everywhere! It’s got pockets (on the side, stupid 1803) which make it even greater


Since I love this dress so much I even inserted an invisible zip. I dare you to find it


Alright well I might have covered it with my hair. Unintentionally I promise! But it’s like the second invisible zip I’ve ever done and apart from a minor fluff with the bias tape at the top it’s pretty darn good! I didn’t even mind hemming this one so you know I love it 😀

If anyone knows anything about this fabric; who it’s by, where I can buy it etc please let me know. I’m not necessarily in the market for more of this (although I definitely am) but there must be more in the range that I can buy!

You know fo sho this dress will be photographed again as soon as I finish Hetty 😉

Minnie Mouse/Comic Relief Dress

19 Mar

If anyone guessed that I was making another Simplicity 1803 then you were spot on, because that’s exactly what I did!


I’m calling this my Minnie Mouse dress because I did originally wear it with a little black bow belt and honestly I couldn’t stop thinking about Minnie Mouse all day. Which is fine by me really, she’s a pretty awesome mouse to think about if I’m going to be thinking of any mouse. I’m also calling it my Comic Relief dress because I finished it the day before CM and wore it as my ‘something red’ (correction:all red) for work. Minnie Mouse is a bit cooler though isn’t she.


I did a few things differently this time round.

First off, the sizing was way off. My other Simplicity 1803  was a little loose but nothing glaringly bad and honestly it’s just fine- especially for those days where you don’t want to look like you feel like crap but you do want to feel comfortable because you really feel like crap! It’s a bit of a pick-me-up 🙂 I’m thinking this must be down to the weight of the fabric. The last one was a fairly heavy upholstery-type fabric whereas this one is a light cotton. Remember how I said in the other post that the pattern wanted me to cut a size 20? Well Simplicity really are trying to make people feel like shit. I cut the 18 for the last one and used it again for this one and seriously guy, it was like a sack. Actually, it was worse than a sack, it was like MC Hammer’s trousers.

Of course I didn’t realise MC Hammer had been advising Simplicity’s sizing staff until it was done and I put it on to wear it…. So out came the seam ripper. *Sigh* I took that thing in a LOT. So what was supposed to be a 20 is actually probably a 14 in a normal weight fabric, which is my RTW size and it makes me feel a whole lot better. It shouldn’t, because you know 2 hours work down the drain, but all the fabric being cut off was pleasing in a sick sort of way.

You may also remember in my other 1803 that I got rid of the scooped back. Uh-oh…


I completely forgot! Although if I’m honest it’s not too bad. It’s not that I don’t like the look of them, it’s that usually they bother the fuck out of me and I try to pull it up all day but surprisingly this isn’t too bad so there may be more scoop backs to come!

Also, I took the liberty of adding some cute little buttons on the front. Look at those buttons




Oops, Simplicity 1803

2 Feb

Hands up, who knew this would happen?


I couldn’t help it. I was sewing a pet bed and kept glancing over at the pattern. It literally called to me *make me, make me* I had to obey its wishes.

I have to apologise,readers. It’s minus a gazillion and I ain’t taking those boots off for nobody!

The fabric is that beautiful jacquard I picked up at Walthamstow for £2 a metre. I bought 4 metres and I reckon I’ve still got about 2-2.5m left! (Any ideas what to make with the leftovers? Jacket? Skirt? Another dress?)

The more I worked with it the more I realised this as an upholstery fabric. A cheap upholstery fabric, which is why it was thin for the style, but thick for dress fabric. As such, I couldn’t do the gathers as the pattern suggested so I went with pleats. I actually really like it with pleats and the thickness of the fabric holds the structure but still looks drapey. Perfect!


It was a pain in the arse to work with though. As upholstery fabric tends to, this shit went everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!! I keep finding little black threads appearing from nowhere (including in my pants?!)

And it attracts everything too. So black threads were coming off the fabric and sticking to the fabric. Oh it was horrible.

The pattern tried to convince me I was a size 20. No,no,no my friend. I’ve heard of your ways 1803, you won’t trick me into self-pity. I cut the 18 for my boobs (because nobody likes flat boob!) and then brought in the waist.

Raspberry pockets!


Oh yeah, I moved the pockets. Who wants pockets on the front of a dress?! Crazy!

I love, love, love this dress. Have I finished sewing my pet stuff? No. Do I regret it? No. Now I can sew the pet stuff in my beautiful new dress (and then get the scraps and threads stuck to me…) Oh well!

The Betrayal

26 Jan

Today is Saturday, I am off (bar an hour of flute teaching in the morning, but that’s nothing.) That makes Saturday a good day.

What makes Saturday a great day?

Pattern Post!

I went all out and finally bought the ever-popular Simplicity 1803. I have coveted this pattern for so long, but buying a new pattern for a tenner is like eurgh, compared to some of the pattern bargains I’ve had.

Anyway, I decided to go for it and finally make the dress I’ve been planning for aaaages.  I was a little disappointed- stupid postman ripped my envelope 😦 Luckily the pattern itself was fine. I opened up the envelope and look at this little treasure!


This was such a cute addition to the pattern and not one I’ve seen mentioned when reading discussions about the pattern elsewhere. Here’s a closer view:


I’ll be honest, it’s not something I’ll use since I already have a sketchbook with design plans in, but since the pattern focus is on ‘Project Runway’ I thought it was cute that they thought about the user designing their own clothes rather than using a pattern straight out of the envelope.

Then, after the instructions and the naked model were taken out of the envelope came the tissue. Ah. Remember a couple of posts ago when I said I hate pattern tracing. Sigh.

My Nan always told me to trace the patterns onto tissue paper or greaseproof paper, NEVER EVER CUT THEM OUT!!!

Nan, I’m so sorry.


It’s not my fault! I didn’t have any tissue paper left, nor did I have enough greaseproof paper and why trace just some? I couldn’t possibly have left it and missed out on a whole weekend of sewing, could I? You wouldn’t want that, Nan, would you?!

So my pattern is all cut out. I can’t start sewing the dress however as I have a whole load of business-related sewing that I absolutely must do before I do any fun sewing. 😦

Perhaps I didn’t need to cut the pattern out after all…

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

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