Mimi G’s 8123

So we finally had some sunshine! I got a bit excited and decided London was comparable to the gloriously sunny streets on the packaging of Mimi G’s 8123 Simplicity pattern.

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I wanted to make something I can get a lot of wear out of, so rather than a floral which might make the dress a bit formal, I went for this gorgeous denim from Sew Essential. It’s always a bit of a gamble getting denim online rather than in person; I find the variations in weight, texture and colour are more drastic than with other materials but luckily this denim was perfect for this dress. It’s lightweight enough to feel soft with a hint of drape, but it holds the structure of the style perfectly. I’ve been holding out for the right denim to make a Simplicity 1325 tunic and I think this could be the one huzzah!

As for the pattern, there are lots of small pieces so if you’re a whizz at pattern Tetris you can squeeze this out of a fairly small piece of fabric, especially if you go for version A as I did. Big four patterns get a bit of a hard time for the clarity of their instructions but this all seemed quite straightforward, the only step that stumped me a bit was the boob band (official terminology), so if you’re making this dress I’d say to just take step 23 slowly and read the instructions properly – I was being too hasty! After this step the dress was all coming along nicely, but I did find that the wrap over detail of the dress made it a bit difficult to gauge fit so I only tried it on properly after putting in the zip and it was MASSIVE.

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After a brief chat with Athina Kakou I was reminded of the ancient sewing proverb:

“The Simplicity patterns doth giveth much ease”

It was too big to even attempt to adjust so I had to go back to the pattern, recut down a size and luckily I’d cut economically enough to have leftover denim to cut a whole new bodice. Annoying as this was, it was so much quicker to make the bodice second time than the first, and I took in the seams of the skirt so it all fit together perfectly. Even after going down a size I had to shorten the straps by 5cm and take in the boob band by half a centimetre, but we got there in the end and I’m so pleased with how it turned out!

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The only other amendments I made to the pattern instructions was to stitch in the ditch on the waistband and the boob band so it sits perfectly flat (the button holes aren’t actually opened, they’re just for show and you actually put the dress on by invisible zip at the back!) and slipstitched the very top so it all sits really neatly, lining up the strap to the edge of the fold over detail.

Of course the hot spell lasted only a couple of days, but this meant I realised the layering potential of this dress! I was a bit concerned it may be a bit too dressy that I wouldn’t get much wear out of it, but it can be made totally daytime appropriate with a top underneath yay! The setback with sizing meant I didn’t make this as perfectly as I’d like and the insides aren’t as neat as they should be; I’ll wear it still but will definitely make another one or two of this awesome and surprisingly versatile dress!

#SewOutOfThisWorld – Inspiration

Sew Out Of This World is a new sewing challenge from Sewloco inviting sewists to take on one (or more!) of three categories:

  • To Infinity and Beyond
  • Tackling UFOs
  • Stargazer

I’m so excited to have been asked to be the captain of the Stargazer category, so in this blog post I’m looking at couture, the high street and intergalactic films to give some ideas and inspiration for ways to approach the trend – it’s not all star prints and silver lamé…  Continue reading “#SewOutOfThisWorld – Inspiration”

Tilly and the Buttons’ Mila and Agnes – a match made in heaven

It’s always exciting news when you hear one of your favourite indie pattern designers is releasing a new pattern, so I couldn’t wait to get started when Sewloco asked me to review the Mila dungarees from Tilly and the Buttons. Continue reading “Tilly and the Buttons’ Mila and Agnes – a match made in heaven”

Where to buy fabric

This week I met up with a friend who is a sewing dipper inner and outer. You know, one of those annoying people who won’t sew for a year then in an afternoon she’ll whip up a gorgeous perfectly fitted self-drafted dress. We were talking about sewing and she asked where the best places are to buy fabric, so I thought I’d share my favourite places to shop for the wondrous thing that is material… Continue reading “Where to buy fabric”

Copycat: New York Fashion Week 2018

I was having a read of this month’s Vogue and it struck me how many looks (with a bit of imagination!) could be recreated on a budget. I’m in no way trivialising the craftsmanship that goes in to creating these fashion images; for me, walking around the designer floors at Liberty and Selfridges is like visiting an art gallery, but part of the brilliance of sewing is the ability to see a look, adapt it and recreate your own version. You may have seen on my Instagram stories some gorgeous fashion ads that I suggested sewing patterns for to recreate your own versions, so I thought I’d take it one step further and focus on New York Fashion Week which came to a close yesterday… Continue reading “Copycat: New York Fashion Week 2018”