What is your favourite fabric for dressmaking?

I would like to call on all the dressmakers out there to let me know what your favourite type of fabric is to sew with? Especially for this lovely summer weather we are having here in the UK. Do you like the feel of a particular type, drape, easy to sew with, flattering to those curves etc, I would love to know about it.

You will know I am quiet new to this dress making lark and my last three skirts have all been made out of quilting cotton with varying degrees of success (yes, yes I know). Generally the patterns worked out really well, but I think my lack of satisfaction with the items was down to the ‘drape’ of the fabric. Also, the choice of fabrics locally can be a bit sparse, with the only fabric I like the pattern of being a quilting cotton, or a jersey (and we all know how daunting that is for a newbie!). So my source of fabric tends to be the internet, where you can find so many lovely patterns and prints, but can’t feel the fabrics to find out how they will sew up or hang.


I did recently purchase some lovely cotton lawn from Ebay (it is much more navy blue than the picture) which I am going to use to attempt my own version of Sorbetto. Hopefully with it being a lawn the finished item will hang a lot better than my previous attempts. So please, to anyone out there who has a favourite type of fabric, or a particular one for a particular garment, please do tell! I am also on the lookout for more fabulous sewing blogs to follow, so send me a link as well so I can keep up with what you are up to, and you can hopefully inspire me to make something as wonderful as you do.




‘Out to Sea’ Skirt


I should start this post off by saying that I have always wanted to be able to make my own clothes, and have ‘dabbled’ in the past without using patterns and subsequently without having much luck. So earlier this year, as I am sure is the case with a lot of sewers, I got completely and utterly addicted to BBC2’s Sewing Bee. Watching this inspired me, and made me realise ‘you can do this, you just need to go about it properly’. So I started off with some mild adventures in the posts below. I had some success, but on the whole I am not 100% sure how often these will get worked into my wardrobe.

If you have read my posts below you will know I bought the most beautiful Michael Miller/Sarah Jane ‘Out to Sea’ fabric, which I really wanted to make into a skirt to wear to a good friends wedding which was yesterday and was held on the ‘HMS Trincomalee’, a fabulous old Frigate boat equipped with masts and cannons and everything. I was a beautiful wedding, and I couldn’t have been happier for the couple. I was also very pleased at how the project came out (you will have to forgive the terrible photo’s, I really am not the most photogenic person).


The pattern is actually the pencil skirt from the Sewing Bee book. I bought the book as I loved the show so much, and despite having to print the patterns yourself, where else can you get 28 patterns for such a cheap price! The pattern worked out really well, It was very straightforward, instructions were easy to follow and it came out pretty much as it did in the picture which is nice. I omitted the invisible zip, because I didn’t have a foot, and I added a lining using a very helpful tutorial which I found here: http://blog.tuppencehapenny.co.uk/2012/11/pencil-skirt-sew-along-adding-lining.html.

It did possibly feel a little on the large side around the hips (I do like a hugging pencil skirt) but as it was a non stretchy cotton, I think that the skirt did benefit from being slightly on the larger side to give me a bit of room to move. I would like to do a little review of the book but I think I need to try out a few of the patterns first, as this was my main reason for buying. I think I will try the simple tunic next, as this is the only one which comes with a pre-printed pattern in the book.

I am about to take the plunge!

I really will need to blog about 3 posts at once soon! I am attending a wedding this weekend on a ship! yep, thats right, a ship! so I really need to get the ‘out to sea’ fabric sewn up into something and quick. I finally made up the ‘Picnic Blanket Skirt’ from Tilly’s tutorial. It was such an easy tutorial, and I am actually very pleased with how it came out. I will blog it fully soon but I need to get my sewing on first. However, I have also recently purchased the BBC Sewing Bee book and made a quick mock up of the pencil skirt to check the fit. I actually much prefer this, so now armed with a pattern, and the notions I am braving the anchors and going to make this up. I really hope this is going to work out…. watch this space (eyes closed, and fingers crossed)