Sunday, 14 December 2014


Never work with children or small animals. I get it, I truly do.

This child never stands still or stops talking... she's talking above. Good lord, this was even after having to bribe her to model with the promise of a forbidden candy cane. Oh how the mighty fall when it comes to children. We truly aren't boss, you know. It's impossible.

Back to the dress. This is my fifth Xmas dress for the very lovely (if infuriating) Miss M. I'm liking it, and Miss M is ecstatic, but it's not the triumph of last year. Oh boy, how grown up she looks this year!

I was really pleased to use one of my vintage pattern finds for this dress, before she outgrew its one size!

Vintage Butterick 4983, View C. Isn't that illustration adorable?? It totally sucked me in... those pigtails, those bows, that cute floral. So much cuteness.

It's been a very rainbow year in the SewJillian household. Rainbows in every drawing, rainbows in every book. It went without saying that this year's dress would feature "rainbows". But I was down with that when it came to this fabric. Geo Rainbow. So. Much. Awesomeness.

Oh and stars, there had to be stars. Stars and rainbows apparently go hand in hand. Golden stars around the hem it was.

I thought I was all embellished out (I don't do embellishment), but then Miss M remembered the Daiso zips. I was all for sticking in a red one (very Xmasy), but it was pink or nothing. As I said: any illusions of being boss are completely thrown out in the face of a 4 year old's egocentric desires.

So we did pink.

And with a zipper as gorgeous as that I did an extreme exposed zip. I actually love how it turned out. I thought about enclosing the base of the zip in some dress fabric, but I really like the slightly industrial look of it as is.

I had a significant problem with design ease in this one. I tried the dress on Miss M before inserting the zipper or attaching the facings. It seemed quite tight around the chest, so I reduced the seam allowance to 1cm (from 1.5) and away I went. Entirely finished the dress and realised it was a sack of the most epic proportions, huge in every way. I ended up having to detach the armhole facings at the side seams (understitching and all!!!!) and take it in just over an inch each side and re-attach. Still seems a little broad across the shoulders, but it's much better.

And this little one is mucho pleased. And still ridiculously gorgeous. Look at that face...

Sunday, 30 November 2014

I'm obsessing culottes... Inspiration

I completely blame Kirsty and Debbie for this and I think I might have to eat my words and a little humble pie. You see they have both made awesome culottes recently and whilst I love them on those ladies, I was convinced they'd be hideous on me. I announced they'd never get me into culottes, no way, no how. Then I saw these babies from Gorman...

Photo source
...and I thought now there's a pair that might completely sway me. Then I went to Gorman and tried them on and now I'm a goner. I hope I'm not completely deluded, and they don't in fact make me look like an Oompa Loompa.

That said, I bought this amazing cotton/linen (85/15, I think) fabric and I'm committed.

Then Myra of MyZeeMoo very rightly warned me on Instagram: that print is gonna make for some potentially awful pattern placement faux pas. Oh lord, I'm not sure I can avoid it...

But I neeeeeeeeed culottes.

Are you falling head over heels for the culotte trend or are you happily avoiding it?

Saturday, 29 November 2014


I made cake!

Sort of. It's not a print, it's neutral coloured, but it does have some sneaky embellishment. I'm still gonna call it cake as it's the closest to cake I've made in... ever? I do like me some frosting/icing.

And it gives me angel wings when the sun is at just the right angle!

This is Pattern X Cape-style blouse in scallop-edge lace, from Yoshiko Tsukiori's Stylish Dress Book: Wear with Freedom. My last project was also from this book.

I'm a bit ambivalent about this one. It's not quite a "woohoo!" (those who are participating in Bimble and Pimble's Instagram #BPSewvember and who follow me will get the reference). A "woohoo!" result is a project that turns out just as you had envisaged in your mind's eye. This was close, but no cigar. 

The fabric is super pretty, no? A lovely, scalloped edge, embroidered fabric. Well let's have a little chat about fabric choice. Poly cotton. Ick. I knew the fibre content when I purchased the fabric, it even felt a little stiff and polyester-like, but I hoped pre-washing might soften it up a little. Not.

It's just a bit too "sticky outy". And where are my crisply pressed seams and hems? Polyester doesn't do crisp pressed, even when it's trying to play nicely with cotton.

Can you sense my ambivalence?
I wanted a fair bit of body for this one, but I didn't want wings. I got me some wings. Those sleeves won't drape, no way, no how.

The top tends to slide to the back of the shoulder, but it also does in the pattern photo. Shoulda' known it'd flash my belly button on 99% of shots and therefore in real life! Damn my long torso.

It also makes my narrow shoulders look even more narrow.

I did French all the seams though. Yay, me!

It'll get worn, that's good enough. I just really wanted a "woohoo!".