Tag Archives: wisewood dress

Vote for February’s MIY Maker

February MIY Maker

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Vote for November’s MIY Maker

November miy maker

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July’s MIY Maker(s)

July MIY Makers

In a shock result Maria and Kate were neck and neck in votes on Instagram, my blog and email responses to my newsletter, so they are both MIY Makers for July!!

Maria’s Wisewood dress and Kate’s Brightside shrug are both beautifully made garments with great fabric choices. I suspect they would each look at home packed into a summer holiday suitcase too.

Well done to Maria and Kate, they can now both choose their next MIY Collection sewing pattern for free.

Have you got what it takes to be August’s MIY Maker? Post your makes using my patterns online and you might make the final 4. Full details of how to enter here.

Good luck!

The Wisewood – Now Available as a PDF Pattern!

wisewood cowl neck dress sewing pattern

Hooray, you can now buy the Wisewood pattern as a PDF download and get sewing instantly!

I have to confess I love this pattern (is it a bit weird to say that about one of your own patterns?!) That sleeveless dress version in the picture above? I wear it soooo much in the summer, it’s comfortable and flattering to wear and can easily be dressed up or down.

The pattern has 2 cowl options – a standard depth cowl that you could probably wear without the need for a vest underneath or a dramatic deeper version that falls into lots of luxurious folds and drapes. Shown above is the top with the deeper cowl and the dress with the regular cowl.

The pattern includes 2 different ways to finish the deeper cowl: simply left to drape through the whole of the dress front, or with the bottom part stitched out to give a more fitted dress below the waist which emphasises the beautiful drape of the cowl neck, like the one below:

wisewood cowl neck dress sewing pattern

Both dress and top versions are included in the pattern and the instructions will walk you through inserting sleeves or how to add a beautifully professional finish to the sleeveless version as well as the different ways to finish the cowl.

8 sizes are included in the pattern ranging from bust size 80cm to 111cm (31.5″ to 44″) and hip size 88cm to 119cm (34.5″ to 47″). This pattern is sized based on body measurements not dress sizes and includes full details of finished garment measurements for each size to make sure you get the right size first time.

Here is a lovely selection made by my students in sewing classes at MIY Workshop:

wisewood cowl neck dress sewing pattern

There’s more inspiration on this dedicated Wisewood Pinterest board.

Get your Wisewood pattern now for just £9 and start sewing tonight.

If you’re not a fan of PDF patterns, the Wisewood is also available as a paper pattern here.

(Almost) 31 Days of Me Made May

I thought it would be good for me to write an end of the month post to summarise my experience of taking part in Me Made May for the first time, so here goes……

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OK so I missed 2 days, I didn’t think it was a bad effort for my first Me Made May! Have you been taking part? Have you enjoyed it? Did you manage every single day? I’ve really enjoyed taking part and it’s made me really think about the clothes I make, the fabrics I use, the clothes I actually want to wear and putting together outfits. All of which is good for me as I’m usually a very habitual dresser; I have a few things that I know work and I leave very little time for getting dressed everyday.

What I learned and did I meet my pledge?

  • the first part of my pledge was to wear samples I’d made from my patterns everyday, which I’m please to say I managed easily and they all fitted seamlessly into my everyday wardrobe, including some nights out
  • I have an enduring fondness for: black, grey, blue, comfort, knitted fabrics, denim and stripes
  • I don’t sew much other than for “work” i.e. developing new patterns and making samples
  • I used to sew just for me, just for the hell of it, but for the past 3 years I haven’t had space for a sewing machine at home (hence my foray into the scary world of knitting – see week 1)
  • as I can only sew in MIY Workshop I think that makes me subconsciously only sew for work and my making tends to centre around developing new patterns and making new samples for existing patterns
  • taking photos of myself – I inflict this a lot on my students and I know how they feel as I hate having my photo taken, however, I’ve learned all that’s required is to move around a bit, laugh a bit, have a willing person to hold the camera straight and push the button and if you take 40+ there will be one or two good ones!!

MY TOP 3  GARMENTS (based on number of times worn):

  • the Wisewood dress (5 wears)
  • closely followed by the Fulwood dress (4 wears, 6 if you include just tops made from the pattern)
  • and the oversized t-shirt / dress that is a pattern in development (4 wears).

The other half of my pledge was to “….plan a completely selfish sewing project and get it started as a treat for finishing my book!” Hmmmm well, the book is oh-so close to the finish line and I’ve had a lot of ideas rattling round my head;

  • I’ve been meaning to make the jumpsuit or dungarees from Marilla Walker’s Roberts Collection since Christmas
  • I then toyed with jumping on the pant-making band wagon (pants of the underwear variety for US readers – i.e. knickers), but doubted my motivation to see it through perfecting an old pattern I wanted to use (I may still give it a try as I was encouraged by Kerry Green and I like the idea of a wearable project that can use up my leftover fabrics)
  • after week 4 I realised that I really want to make more one-piece Fulwood dresses for my own use as they’re just so comfy and versatile and I might try lowering the front neck slightly on a collarless version
  • then I remembered….. the Refashioners, I’ve been invited to take part in Portia Lawrie’s fabulous Refashioners again this year and really should get cracking on my project. Surely I can justify that as a nice combination of work and pleasure?!

What did you learn from taking part in Me Made May this year and did you meet your pledge…..?!

Me Made May Week 4

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I spent most of week 4 up in Sheffield enjoying a (sort-of) week off, hence the new background wall!

Yes, it’s yet again more of the same, but nice to know that I can even put together a good travelling wardrobe for a week away of varied activities from my samples.

Here’s what I’m wearing from left to right:

TOP ROW:

  1. stripey ponte roma Fulwood dress in a one piece version without the waist seam (sooooooo super comfy, especially for the long drive to Sheffield)
  2. sleeved shift dress from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in denim with contrast denim patch pocket and the zip jacket also from the book in lovely bouclé wool
  3. sample of the new t-shirt pattern in development, this time as a stripey dress in viscose jersey and my own pattern leggings (used in my Make Your Own Leggings classes and available to use in weekly classes at MIY Workshop).

MIDDLE ROW:

  1. a-line version of the Tapton skirt in that elusive of fabrics – a denim effect jersey, nice and comfy for the long drive back to Brighton from Sheffield
  2. a stripey Walkley vest in viscose jersey with RTW jeans (Cos)
  3. sleeveless Wisewood dress in denim effect jersey worn for a night out

BOTTOM ROW:

  1. the same Wisewood dress worn for another night out!
  2. that stripey ponte roma one-piece Fulwood dress again
  3. cosy pyjama trousers in Art Gallery fabrics super soft cotton jersey (the pattern is used in my Make Pyjama Trousers classes and is available to use in weekly classes at MIY Workshop).

What I learned this week:

  • I need to make more one piece Fulwood dresses; so comfortable, so versatile. I have some gorgeous quality ponte roma languishing in MIY Workshop so maybe I’ll chop into that.
  • I’m such a neat freak that I like the consistency of a similar backdrop.
  • I do like the brick wall of my mum and dad’s house for photos; the colour, the texture, the lines……
  • Trying to get my dad to hold a camera straight tested my patience to its absolute limits….sorry dad!!

Me Made May Week 3

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I’m late posting this as I’ve been trying to take a week off, so, better late than never! I feel reassured that in summary week 3 was; “More of the Same”!

Here’s what I’m wearing from left to right:

TOP ROW

  1. sleeveless Wisewood dress (regular cowl depth version) in denim effect viscose jersey which I think was from Minerva and Brightside shrug in grey marl lightweight cotton loopback sweat from Ditto, plus leggings from my own pattern (not available to buy yet)
  2. sleeveless shift dress from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in lovely heavy denim with a bit of stretch from Ditto and those leggings again
  3. colour blocked wearable toile of that oversized t-shirt from weeks 1 and 2 in a dress version – pattern coming later this year

BOTTOM ROW

  1. black linen short sleeved shift dress from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking (worn to a publicity meeting for my next book!)
  2. full length version of the trousers from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in grey polyester crepe from Ditto
  3. short sleeved Wisewood dress (deep cowl version) in grey marl cotton jersey from Ditto and my trusty leggings again
  4. another full length version of the trousers from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in lightweight cotton denim from Ditto and long sleeved top from my own pattern (not available to buy).

Despite me summarising this week’s Me Made May as “More of the Same” I actually think that’s a good thing and I can honestly say I’m really enjoying wearing all these samples and documenting the outfits. I often wear my samples anyway, but would rarely photograph myself or put so much thought into the overall outfits.

I hope they’re providing the intended inspiration for the many ways to make my patterns, the variety of fabrics that you can use and ultimately how easily the styles can be incorporated into an everyday wardrobe.

I also included this photo in week 3 of my daily MMMay pics on Instagram, just to prove that I don’t take myself too seriously……!

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Me Made May Week 1

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Are you doing Me Made May? It’s my first year and as I’m mainly posting my daily outfits on Instagram I thought it might be nice to do a weekly summary here, along with any profound musings that have come about as a result….!

So, this is my first 8 days worth of postings and the observant will notice that there are only 6 pictures. I had a stinker of a cold for 2 days and spent them mostly in pyjamas. No-one wants to see pictures of me in my pyjamas.

Here is what those garments are from left to right:

TOP ROW

  1. denim blocked Fulwood dress
  2. black jersey maxi skirt from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking and me-knitted cowl using this pattern (my first ever wearable finished knitted item, big proud achievement for me!), ready-to-wear leather jacket and striped top
  3. me-made leggings, oversized t-shirt dress (sample of a new pattern coming later this year) and one of my many Longley cardigans.

BOTTOM ROW

  1. grey marl jersey boxy t-shirt made from the Fulwood dress pattern and super comfy trousers in viscose jersey from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking (a winningly cosy combo that you’ll no doubt see again)
  2. those leggings again, a sleeveless Wisewood dress in denim effect jersey (I love how such a luxuriously glamorous cowl neck dress can be so comfortable) and another Longley cardi
  3. a naughty peak at a wearable skirt toile from my new book (A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts) and another boxy t-shirt from the Fulwood pattern, this time in a lovely heavy woven linen.

I’ve found the process of posting a daily photo of my me-made outfit surprisingly revealing. Having never done anything remotely like this before (I’d far rather be behind the camera than in front of it), it’s been fascinating to take an objective look at what I wear and how I wear it.

What stands out to me after this first week is my enduring fondness for: black, grey, blue, comfort, knitted fabrics, denim and stripes! Where’s the colour and the print Wendy?! I think that’s probably just me and I’m old enough to accept it. I’m certainly not about to start wearing head to foot brightly coloured prints as a reaction!

I’m also thinking that I should wear my hair up more often. There’s so much of it, that sometimes when it’s down I can start looking like Cousin Itt. Trouble is I’m useless with hair. I’ve never been much of a girly-girl, I didn’t spend my teens trying out different hair styles and experimenting with make-up. I need a class! If someone in Brighton ran a “5 ways to Style Long Hair” class I’d be there like a shot…..

I’m starting to feel like I’ve entered some sort of wardrobe self analysis of the kind you might be forced to do by an image consultant. I’m not entirely sure that’s the point of Me-Made May, so I may be thinking too deeply about the process. I’m interested to see what week 2 is going to look like though…..clue – it’s already started with denim!!

Two New MIY Collection Patterns & Kits

Well overdue, I finally launched 2 new MIY Collection patterns at last week’s Knitting & Stitching show and they’re now also available online from the MIY Collection Pattern Shop.

The first is the Kelham, the ultimate A-line skirt pattern.

kelham ultimate aline skirt sewing pattern

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t suit an a-line skirt shape and the Kelham includes:

  • 7 sizes (based on body measurements not confusing dress sizes)
  • 2 different ways to finish the waist (waistband or waist facing)
  • 2 length options marked on the pattern
  • 3 style variations (completely plain, with pockets or with a CF pleat).

There’s so much you can do with an a-line skirt pattern and it will look great in a range of fabrics from cotton poplin, linen, denim, corduroy or lightweight wool.

Get your copy here.

The second pattern is the Wisewood cowl neck dress and top.

wisewood dress

wisewood top

I love a draped cowl neck, they’re so flattering and easy to wear and this pattern went down a storm at the Knitting & Stitching show.

Both top and dress versions are included in the pattern as well as:

  • 8 sizes (based on body measurements not confusing dress sizes)
  • 2 depths of cowl
  • 2 different ways to finish the deeper cowl
  • sleeved and sleeveless versions.

This one is a pattern for stretch knits and works in a wide variety; a viscose jersey will give you a beautifully draped lightweight version – great for tops, a good quality ponte roma (try and find one with viscose rather than polyester) will result in a dramatic sculptural effect in a gorgeous cosy dress.

Get your copy here.

MIY Collection Kits

miy collection dressmaking kits

Another exciting launch at the show was MIY Collection Kits. Including a pattern, carefully selected beautiful quality fabric appropriate for the pattern in a quantity to allow for shrinkage in pre-washing and matching colour thread. Kits are available for the following patterns:

They will be available online just as soon as I’ve photographed them!