Datura/Lily Hack dress

Hi everyone,

I’m hear to share one of my favourite makes in a long time! I did a real and quite proper hack using the Datura top pattern from Deer and Doe and the Lily Dress from Simple Sew.

First the fabrics; I used a yellow linen from my stash, which I got quite cheaply from Ebay and this beautiful viscose linen which I got as a remnant from Sew Me Sunshine. I used the yellow linen for the neckline only, to make it pop and also to make my remnant stretch further (not that we admit to things like this!) I also used it to make plenty of bias binding for the neckline and sleeves.

Anyway, I did the hack by cutting just the top section of the Datura top which comes to just above the darts in yellow. I should point out that I have done several toiles of the Datura already as the pattern doesn’t actually go up to my size (here is not the time or place for a rant about that!) Anyway, I then folded the dress piece for the Lilly Dress so that it lined up with the top piece. I made sure that all the darts remained and that the arm holes would be big enough. I then proceeded to cut the rest of the dress as usual in the lovely viscose linen.

I completed the facings for the neckline and then attached it to the bottom half of the bodice. I made bias binding, which is not something I relish but a necessity for this garment. A few people have commented that the neckline looks difficult, which was my first instinct but it’s well instructed and surprisingly easy and very very satisfying!! It just needs a lot of pins!

Once the top half was done, I decided to change up the bottom too! I drafted a quick contrast pocket in the yellow first. The Lily Dress has a gathered skirt but I decided to do pleats in line with the darts on the bodice. I’m actually amazing that I managed to pull this off because I was winging it but I just pinned everywhere and then hand tacked the darts where they should be! I think it gives shape but is a little bit more sleek.

I am so happy with the finished product. It’s a great fit and so bright and cheerful. I wore it out to dinner with my lovely hubby at Vilamoura, which is a beautiful marina in Portugal.

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Me Made Portugal

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve had chance to do a holiday series… I’m not complaining, I’m lucky that I go on holiday quite often usually but this is our first and only this year so I’m making the most of it. We’ve come to Portugal with my lovely in-laws and of course, my me mades have come too!

Day 1 – I never blogged this top as I was meant to be a Toile for my bee Kalle tunic but I actually wear it more than the second! It’s perfect for travelling and I would definitely make more. I wore it with RTW secret pyjama pants!

Day 2- although I had cut the new costume by Cashmerette, I didn’t get chance to sew it… So they’ll be no pictures of me in my cossies (I know, what a shame!) However, I did make this tote bag which is self-drafted using this fab vintage swimmer remnant from Sew Me Sunshine. I used rectangles to construct it and tapered the corners. I included little pockets inside and a little coin pouch. Perfect for the beach!

Day 3- we visited Loulé Market today so I wore my new Ultimate Trouser shorts. I made the trouser pattern a while back and was instantly hooked. It’s such an easy make and I got these out of a remnant of 70cm of this lovely stretch cotton (perfect for ultimate trousers) from Sew Me Sunshine. Quite a lot of my holiday makes are made using remnants from when I have a bit of a splurge! I wore a RTW vest, I have recently bought the ogden pattern but I’ve not had much time to master it yet! I even found a fabric shop, which made my day!

Day 4- another lazy day on the beach but I did wear these awesome trousers for dinner. They are Self-drafted wrap trousers, which I saw at a craft fair some time a go. They were selling for £45 (queue brain saying ‘pfft, I could make those’) and I made these up super quick in 2 metres, for a grand total of £4! I would really recommend making some, they are super flattering. It is essentially 2 rectangles sewn together using a semi circle shape for the crotch which you then tie at the front and the back. I proudly wore them with my new Pink Coat Club Me Made necklace.

Day 5- having fully intended to make a plethora of Ogden Camis for the holiday, I only actually made this one. I used this fab grey fabric with neon splodges which I stashed from a craft fair last year. Perfect teamed with white jeans.

Day 6- saw the return on my Velo Cullottes,which I wear a lot. They are made in a silky soft peach skin from Sewisfaction. The pattern is perfect and a great fit. Plus, they have pockets!!

Day 7- I made another Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress, I’m afraid! I love this pattern and find it so flattering. I won’t blog about it separately having already made 2 but the fabric is a block print cotton from Sew Me Sunshine and I feel I’m really perfecting the fit now. I wore it with my new Sewing Machine necklace from Sewalicious. Cool. Or. What?

Day 8- I wore a Deer and Doe Datura hack to Vilamoura for a meal, which I will blog fully soon but I LOVE it!

Day 9- we visited Faro, which was the best day ever!! I wore a Sew Over It, shortened Florence Dress in this tropical print from what is now Pound Fabrics. It’s a super easy pattern and really cool to wear.

The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that I have gotten a little rounder over the course of the holiday but the food was truly amazing. I have never been anywhere with such amazing food. I realise that mine is a sewing blog but I just wanted to quickly share some of the amazingness. Really yummy! And whilst I fully promote curvy sewing, I have left Portugal feeling a little bit too curvy for me so thank god there’s no Portuguese steak around!!

See you soon for some individual makes! Don’t forget to check my. Instagram where I update my currently wearing quite often!

Update

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update… We’re finally in the new house but the sheer amount of work needed on it means my machine is still in a box. Fear not… I did get quite a bit of sewing done before my machine was packed up. However, being organised as I am, most of this was for my holiday. Guess what! It’s holiday time! This means I finally get to share my lovely makes with you. I will do a holiday series, especially for Portugal, like I have done before here and here and here and I’ll also blog the individual items because they are so worth it!

Also coming soon: my blog is 2 years old in August, so watch out for a special anniversary post and Giveaway which has been sponsored by the ever lovely Sew Me Sunshine some time in August. ☺

Honeycomb and Me Made May confessions

Hi everyone,

I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve really tailed off at the end of Me Made May. It’s the end of another busy half term, I wasn’t too well at weekend (my most hated online moan but it’s true!) and I think I’m just in need of a little online switch off.

I have used that time to get stuck in with my sewing machine and I’ve been making lots of holiday makes (not the easiest to model). I thought I was losing my sewjo a little, which wasn’t helped by the most recent make I’m about to share but I think I’m back on my game!

Anyway, I’m not usually overly enamoured by Cocowawa patterns, I feel they are definitely made for a slimmer frame but I thought the tie sides of the most recent Honeycomb dress would flatter me so I wanted to give it a go. I will just have one more moan though (sorry, last one I promise) – I was really disappointed to find that most of the pattern testers for this were significantly smaller than the size 20 the pattern claims to go up to… which doesn’t seem very inclusive.

Anyway, undeterred, I carried on with it. I made a few changes, obviously I made the chest pieces bigger (possibly should have been even bigger and also longer as you will see), I also omitted the collar and created a bias binding instead and I lengthened it to create a maxi. Also, contrary to my instincts, I made it sleeveless, in acceptance that not all of my summer clothes can have sleeves.

I used the lovely birdy viscose from Adam Ross fabrics. Whilst, I’m really happy with the neat finish on my dress and I’m loving the self covered buttons, I’m just not sure it is quite me. What does everyone think? I’m wondering if it’s the sleeves, the fit on the chest or the colour. I may dye it. Any thoughts?

In the meantime, I’m making a very promising Datura hack dress which should be lovely.

Me Made May Week 3

Day 1 – I made another shortened version of the Florence Dress last year, which has been a nightmare to photograph – it just seems that it has never worked out. I made it using a bed sheet so it gives it more structure, which is great for work. I do think the pattern lends itself to floaty fabrics more thought.

Day 2 – Today I wore my gingham hacked Orla Dress, I love wearing this dress, it’s such a cool and relaxed style and after making a few, I’m really happy with the fit of these. It’s a free pattern by French Navy Now and I really recommend it.

Day 3 – I wore a previously unblogged, simple gathered skirt. This is my favourite way to make self-drafted skirt as you can add lots of volume and swish to a skirt. I am currently writing a tutorial for Sew Me Sunshine using their beautiful crepe on how to create your own.

Day 4 – This is my first repeat and I wore my Emma brushed jersey Moneta dress. This is my most recent Moneta and every time I make one, I’m reminded why this pattern is my favourite – it’s super flattering and comfy. I haven’t blogged this one, as there are only so many Monetas a girl can blog!

Day 5 – This was a slightly different make for me, I decided to test my hand embroidery skills slightly. Bees seem to be everywhere at the minute so I downloaded myself a Bee Happy template and embroidered it on to a ready to wear T-shirt. I tucked this in to a self-drafted skirt and it was a perfect, cheerful outfit for a Royal Wedding Street Party!

Day 6 – Another day, another Orla hack. This is a long sleeved version. I used to Orla bodice as a block and extended it and lowered the neckline and created two ties for a tie back detail. I forgot to take pictures so I pinched a couple from my holiday last year (I wish I could go back!)

Day 7 – I wore RTW to work. If I’m completely honest, my work wardrobe is definitely not 100% me made and as the last week of term approaches I’m struggling to wear me made everyday. I had family round for tea though and slipped on my original galaxy moneta.

Thoughts for this week: I don’t automatically wear Me Made every day, which is OK because I don’t want to get rid of anything just because, but there’s definitely still room for more me mades in my wardrobe. (yay!)

I need to make more work basics, which are smart and appropriate.

Maxi Appleton

Hi everyone,

Sorry I’ve been missing for a while, I’m extremely busy at the minute and when me and hubby have been stripping walls and garden sorting, I can’t bring myself to replace my scruffs for my lovely new makes and insist he takes photos!!!

The Appleton dress was made for me by the lovely Lhizz from New Zealand last year as part of the hand-made dress swap. As she didn’t feel the pattern would suit her, she kindly sent the pattern with the dress she had made and I have made it since for my sister’s baby shower last year.

As the pattern is tailored for curvy, chestier girls, I couldn’t leave it there as I feel it had a great fit and it’s super flattering. I have seen a few people hack the dress in to the a maxi, so I decide to do the same thing. I was also inspired by the Sew Together for Summer wrap dress challenge, which is always great for inspiration!

From making it before I know that it uses a lot of fabric and, in a very unlike me move, I decided that patterned fabric would be too much in a real shoulder to toe dress so I chose a plain, purple jersey for this make. My inner pattern lover struggled with this decision!!

The construction of the dress is a real joy (usually) – for some reason, I had lots of problems with this, the jersey is super stretchy (though I have worked with the same make before) and it just seemed that if it could pucker or snap or anything else to go wrong then it did. This was increased by the fact that there was so much fabric and it actually made it a bit more difficult to work with on the whole.

Anyway, due to my absolute frustration with this dress, I expected to get it on and hate it because it wasn’t really a pleasure to make in the end. However… I absolutely love it. This amazing pattern has done it again, I think it fits a treat (no gaping at all across the chest, which means no strategic safety pin!) and it is super flattering. I would really recommend this pattern for anyone who has a large pair of boobs to accommodate and for anyone who wants to up their jersey making game but still doesn’t want to deal with buttonholes or fastenings.

I’m not sure I can get away with another, but I’m thinking of making a sleeveless one (in a brighter print) for over my swimsuit – what do you think? Would that work?

Me Made May Week 2

Day 1 – I wore my Sew Over It Nancy Dress which I made last year and although I wasn’t entirely convinced with the shape, I still wear it often as its bright and fun and cheers me up (that and I needed a bit of a looser shape after an indulgent bank holiday weekend!)

Day 2- I wore my much worn Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. This was my first make in Ponte Roma and it has really stood the test if time.

Day 3 – Having felt a bit sluggish this week I decided to brighten myself up a little so I wore a green RTW t-shirt with a self-drafted skirt. The fabric is a vintage buy from my favourite shop up in Northumberland.

Day 4 – This is where Me Made May has stepped my game up a little and made me dive in my wardrobe. The is the Rebecca Page Arabella Skirt skit which I made last year and i have to admit, I haven’t worn it since. I love this retro tapes fabric from Flamingo fabrics and I really don’t know why I haven’t worn it much. Teamed with a RTW white blouse it was perfect for work and added a bit of colour to my day. This one is definitely being brought to the front of the wardrobe now!

Day 5- I wore two outfits today. I wore my hacked Datura blouse with RTW jeans to have my hair cut. (I haven’t blogged this but I love it!)

I then wore my Joni dress out for tea for my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday meal. I absolutely love this dress!!

Day 6- my husband and I had a drive out and I wore my super comfy Peak T-shirt which I made from Wendy Ward’s book Sewing with Knitted Fabrics for Minerva Crafts.

Day 7 – today I thought outside the box and wore my Style Arc Italia Shirt Dress which I made for Sew Me Sunshine, tucked in to a plan black self-drafted circle skirt.

Thoughts for this week:

  • I am still very much in need of blouses for work.
  • I wear too much blue!

Joni Dress

Hi everyone,

Thanks for votyung earlier last month for my make for The Monthly Stitch. It’s complete and my post is also over on their blog.

I approached the Joni with some trepidation as it has a twist at the front, which looks quite complex… I love makes like this though, when you feel like sewing magic has happened! The instructions made it seem super easy and it came together really well. You attach the pieces at the shoulder, then turn one of the pieces fully and then sew up the front. It truly is sewing magic. I haven’t got masses of experience working with Jersey but I found this worked out really well.

I find it sits higher than the picture as suggest but looking at others, I think this is about right even though I usually have to FBA.

The fit of the skirt is quite flared and because the bodice finishes quite high, it makes for a really flattering fit and everyone I’ve seen in it looks great! I’m really pleased with mine.

This is a really satisfying pattern, which has something a bit different but still comes together really quickly. I love attaching sleeves on the flat! Best, quickest sewing ever!

You will notice that I didn’t ask voters to chose the fabric for this one and that’s because I just had to use this amazing Parrot Jersey from Sew Me Sunshine for it and I’m so glad I did. It’s so different and bright and I absolutely love it!

I wore it for a family meal and felt really bright and cheerful in it.

Me Made May 2018 Week 1

Hi everyone,

It’s going well so far and I’m posting daily over on Instagram. I did Me Made May last year and was surprised how much I actually managed to wear me made garments. I loved how much it helped me to think. However, I’ve learnt so much in a year and many of those garments are just not the same quality as I produce now. So… If I pull it out and pull a face, it’s either being donated, being mended or going in the fabric bin. I’m hoping it’ll help me to re-assess and get a bit more clarity in my wardrobe. So, let’s have a look.

Day 1. I wore my Sew Over It Ella Blouse in a chiffon which I bought from my local market. The was the second time I made the blouse and I hacked it to use ribbons instead of the ties. The facing on my first one (see here) never quite sat right and it is a little tight on my arms so that is being removed from the wardrobe! This one is staying though!

Day 2. I wore my Paisley Moneta, anyone who knows me, knows I love a good Moneta and this one, which I ran together before my holiday last year. I always get lots of compliments when I wear it.

Day 3- After being suitably inspired and having found I was slightly ahead with my uni work, I ran together another Moneta, this time in this beautiful fabric of my name (Emma brushed Jersey) from Sew Me Sunshine. I added pockets and lengthened it. I also attempted to add a collar to find I hated it and I unpicked it!

Day 4- I am determined that it will be sunny so I wore my Frankendress which I made last year by hacking New Look 6483 t-shirt and the skirt from 6723. I widened the sleeves and pleated the skirt. I wear this a lot.

Day 5- I wore my new Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers. They are perfect weekend wear and perfect for English summers, which never quite justify shorts for me! I wore these with a RTW t-shirt, something I seriously need to fix, as I discussed in my last Sewcialists post.

Day 6- I wore my Sew Over It Florence Dress which I made last year for breakfast with my hubby. It’s such a cool and super easy style to wear.

Day 7- hooray for sunny Bank Holiday weekends! I wore my Vanessa Pouzet Wanted Tee (which I have previously made a tutorial for if anyone needs a hand with that neckline!) This one I Refashioned out of a men’s polo t-shirt. I paired this (as I usually do) with my Sew This Pattern Velo Cullotes in peachskin from Sewisfaction. This outfit won a prize during last year’s Indie pattern month and I love it!

Thoughts for this week are that, I aparantly like Sew Over It patterns more than I realised and my summer wardrobe is looking a lot healthier than I thought!

I need to work on getting some camis made, as I’m my desperation to cover my arms, I’ve been left a little hot at times this week!

Me Made May 2018

I, Emma of Emma and her Machine vow to wear hand made clothes every day of Me Made May. Simple but thought provoking for me.

I’m hoping it will help me see what garments I’m definitely not wearing and clear out my wardrobe a bit.

Last year was my first year and I really didn’t know how much of a benefit it would be to me. It really helps to inspire and to direct my wardrobe in to the kind of clothes I need. It’s like a wardrobe audit!

Last year pointed out that I need basics, weekend tops and Pyjamas in my life. I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

See you there!

Buzzing about my Kalle Shirt

Not to sound like a broken record… but life is busy at the minute. I am determined that my blog will continue through all the business as it is my little bit of me. It does mean that I’m getting behind and I’m not able to keep up with the sewing challenges the same as I usually would… so on that note I give you Sew My Style’s March entry… in April!

The Kalle shirt dress is one of the reasons I wanted to try the Sew My Style challenge because I had my eye on the pattern anyway.

I wasn’t sure on the sizing as I have never made a Closet Case Pattern before so I decided to toile it first. I chose a denim look linen which I got from Sew Sew Sew last year. There are so many pieces to cut out for the Kalle, which is one of the reasons I took so long to make it. I thought putting together the PDF was never going to end! Anyway, once I had my million pieces, I chose the pop over placket and tunic length (it’s great that there’s so many variations). I’ll share my toile soon as I’m waiting on some poppers to finish it! My toile was a success so I decided to use the beautiful Kokka Trefle Bee Cotton Gauze I bought last year.

For this I chose the button front and the tunic length but I changed it a little. I’m not a facings lover at all so when I saw that it had facings for the hem (literally never seen anything like those before) I promptly completely ignored them. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get around it but in the end I overlocked the bottom and turn it over once. I find this is a really successful way of hemming curves and it looks really neat. It worked really well on my toile so I repeated it on my second version and even hacked it so I could have a high low hem.

Anyway, here she is, I’m really happy with the fit. The instructions were great! I’m happy with it and the buttons were from my stash; it’s amazing what a perfect match they are. The length is maybe a little short at the front but I love it!

Perfect buttons!

She has not disappointed AND… I think I have FINALLY found my ultimate go-to blouse pattern after I have made soooo many in my search for the one! Did I mention, I love it! See you soon with another!

Sew Me Sunshine Dalbury Doris

Hi everyone,

For my most recent make, I was definitely thinking spring. I love organising what I am going to wear and when the season has already changed in your head, what could be better than making clothes which suit it.

I chose this beautiful Dalbury Cotton Lawn for my make and wanted to make a floaty feminine dress to suit it. With this is mind, I chose the Sew Over It Doris Dress as it has a real feminine feel with skirt panels which add fullness at the skirt.

For more details on my dress please visit Sew Me Sunshine where the beautiful Ella has also written an amazing post.
I’m really happy with this super pretty dress. The fabric is a summery, floaty dream and I can’t wait for the sun to come out to wear it more!


This review in more detail was originally written for the Sew Me Sunshine blog, where Harriet at SMS gifted me this beautiful Cotton Lawn fabric to write about a sewing project and includes my own opinions about the pattern and fabric combination I chose.

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