Made by Me!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Rachel Comey - Vogue 1501 and Pattern Giveaway

A few weeks ago I was asked by Lucy at Sew Essential whether I wanted to choose a pattern and fabric of my choice from their lovely online store to make a little something for myself. Like a hyped up kid in a candy store I was very happy to accept the offer and spent the next few days perusing their site, flitting between one idea and another. I have to say it was harder to choose than I thought, you get a kind of pattern blindness after a while and I found it really hard to pin point what I should make. I don't tend to gravitate towards the designs from the big four pattern companies but I wanted to choose something out of my normal comfort zone and to use this as an opportunity to try something new.

In the end I was drawn to a couple of  interesting Vogue dress patterns which surprised me as I have always thought of Vogue patterns as potentially tricky; they present themselves both as fashion forward and stylish but there are also tonnes of quirky designs in the mix. In my mind that shouts 'its going to be a headache to sew' so I went into this with a little apprehension! The thing that swung my decision is the designer of the pattern, Rachel Comey. I have crushed on a few of her ready to wear clothes and also tried to replicate a skirt from her last summer season, and whilst looking through her site I realised the pattern I chose is actually a variation of her Klein dress, for sale on her site for over $500 and a direct copy of her Delaney dress now sold out. So game on Vogue 1501! Lets make this my own!!

Sew Essential have a tonne of beautiful fabrics. I ruminated for a while on a plain medium weight crepe fabric in gun metal grey and whilst I think it would be lovely in this colour I could feel myself wanting to move away from winter colours and embrace a little lightness in my life! Cue this amazingly vibrant John Kaldor fabric called Olivia. It has a base of brilliant royal purple and is covered in beautiful pink flowers. It is so colourful and joyful! Now I have largely avoided patterns in the last few months, trying hard to embrace a more basic, go with anything type attitude when choosing fabrics for my wardrobe but as this was for a dress and something a little special I just thought why not bring some pattern back. I am so glad I chose it.

On to the pattern and construction; Vogue 1501 is a mock tuck pleat dress, made up of a top with a loose unfitted back and a pleated lower front connected to the skirt at the very front of the waistband. The skirt has some lovely pleats at the front and darts at the back to shape and most importantly the dress has pockets. Got to love a dress with pockets! Now in my book this dress is only just a dress with a mere three inches of fabric connecting top and bottom together and actually when you wear it I think it looks more like separates. You could definitely enhance that idea by using two different fabrics on this pattern and I think that would look so nice.

It took much longer to sew this up than I thought. I would say about 4 days in all spread across about 3-4 weeks. I am not really sure why it took me this long as none of the steps felt overly difficult, however it could have been my stinking cold that scuppered my progress. Sewing when ill is never that productive! However I only used my seam ripper on this once so that's not too bad is it?! If you make this dress ust make sure you pay attention to how to secure the top to the waistband...If I am honest my machine is also showing signs of needing a service or being replaced and it has been a little temperamental throughout this project. It has made me think about getting an upgrade. I have been coveting the Janome Atelier machines on the sew essential site for a while and with a birthday coming up soon I am hoping the sewing fairies will help me buy this beautiful Atelier 5 sewing machine!!

I took each step of this pattern pretty slowly. When I took the pattern pieces off the fabric I had a tonne of tailors tacks to contend with and I didn't want to make a mistake so I took my time. The top came together nicely, I especially like the all in one facing that this dress uses as it is so clean looking inside as well as out. The dress is meant to have shoulder pads inserted and you are supposed to sew in a gusset along the sleeve line to accommodate the extra bulk. Interestingly her Klein dress, an updated RTW version of the Delaney, doesn't have this feature and I don't really think it is fitting for a modern dress. I can't look at shoulder pads without thinking Princess Diana and the eighties so I hastily omitted this feature and sewed the sleeves down straight. To be honest I did not have a clue how to sew this little bit of fabric in neatly anyway so that helped to aid my decision making.

The skirt seemed relatively simple in construction with a few pleats at the front, the central ones hiding a join in the fabric at the front of the skirt. Everything sewed together easily, it wasn't until the end I realised I had sewn the pleats the wrong way on the sides of the dress though I doubt anyone would notice. The only thing that bamboozled me somewhat was the instructions to French seam the pockets. After puzzling over this for a while I decided to just sew the pockets as I normally do and finish them with my overlocker. Originally I wanted to use French seams throughout the construction of this dress to up the quality of the finish but it wasn't to be. I only used a French seam on the top and front of the skirt and the rest was all finished with my overlocker. This was in part due to my lack of knowledge about how to do a French seam on seams where there are pockets and zips involved. I felt any attempt to do them would look messy so I opted for something that would look equally neat and professional.

It was whilst finishing the skirt that I noticed my biggest error, the pattern piece for the waistband was way too short in relation to the skirt. I still cant work out what I did wrong here, the pattern pieces were all the correct size and I had added the right amount of pleats to the skirt but however I looked at it the skirt was way too big. I rectified it by adding two more pleats and taking about 3 inches from the waist measurement. It worked well and hopefully you cannot tell I made a mistake here.

I finished off the skirt with a hand sewn waistband. The pattern suggests you sew through from the front of the skirt on the seam line to attach the facing piece down but that sounded like it had potential to look naff and go wrong so again I reverted to a tried and tested method. I also hand sewed the hem and then gave everything a good press. I was quite surprised at how well this fabric worked under a hot iron and whilst not all the pleats are as sharp as I would like I still felt this fabric allowed for definition which is important in this garment.

All in all I love this dress. Its a little different from my normal going out wear, in fact I think this would be wedding appropriate, if only I knew someone getting married!! But it is so fun, has a modern twist to it and I think it will get a lot of use. In fact I have a girlie weekend in Budapest this weekend so I think it may find itself out on the town one night! I also think a plain version in a more day to day fabric would work well for more frequent wear and this dress, as mentioned earlier, has huge potential for colour blocking. And the good news if you fancy trying this pattern out check out my Instagram @sewing_beautifully in the next week for a pattern giveaway all thanks to Sew Essential. Unfortunatley  the giveaway is only open to UK residents though.

Thanks again to Sew Essential and the lovely Lucy for the fabric and dress pattern used for this post.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sew My Style - Saunio Cardigan

This is the Saunio cardigan from Named Patterns. This is my first foray into making anything from this pattern company and not that the two are connected in any way but probably my last jersey make in a while. I need some cotton or silk, basically anything woven! Its been too long!! My jersey obsession was destined to end on a high though! I love this pattern!!

I made this as the February make for the #sewmystyle challenge; a year long challenge encompassing 12 makes posted on Instagram on the last Sunday of the month. Check it out, its great to see how differently everyone has interpreted the chosen patterns. The Toaster #2 was my last make which you can see here and you can check my Instagram out on @sewing_beautifully

I probably wouldn't have picked the Saunio cardigan pattern had it not been on the list of makes, but that's why I am enjoying doing #sewmystyle; it helps to prod you out of your comfort zone and try something new. So far the patterns haven't been particularly difficult but I kind of like the fact that it has got me sewing on a more regular and productive basis. Between this and my other makes it has meant I have been pretty busy and I am loving it. Definitely got my sewing mojo on at the moment!

The Saunio is a relaxed fit, cropped length cardigan, falling just on the hip, with a drop three quarter length sleeve. It is the kind of thing that can easily be thrown over a casual top and jeans or dress in spring or summer as a lighter alternative to a jacket and I think it will be a well used item in my wardrobe this season. It is made of only 8 pieces, 5 main and 3 facing pattern pieces. I sewed this up mainly with my overlocker, though you need your sewing machine to attach the facing to the main body of the cardigan. All in all it took me about four hours to trace, make up and hand sew the hem and sleeves and it was a pleasurably easy sewing experience. Plus it was all the more satifying as I took the day off of work purely to spend time making this. A great bit of selfish sewing there I think!!

The only thing that stumped me for a little while is the hem, and this is mainly because I never read instructions properly! Whilst pinning the facing to the body of the cardigan I realised that the facings are a good few inches shorter which put me in a tailspin, thinking I had cut out the wrong size, but instead it is an ingenious way of getting a lovely hem. By sewing together the bottom of the facing to the bottom of the cardi it results in the main body piece being pulled up by about an inch inside. This forms the hem and cleanly finishes the bottom of the piece.

This brings me in a round about way to the only thing I didn't like about making this pattern up. I ordered the PDF of the Saunio cardigan and expected, as you usually would, 30 odd pages to cut and stick together, however this pattern requires you not only to stick together paper pieces (although with much less than 30 pages) but also then trace out the pattern as the pieces are layered over each other.... I have to say that was a huge bugbear and not the reason I buy pattern PDF's, plus it just eats into your precious sewing time trying to distinguish the lines you need to trace off. My eyesight not being the best! Its a little like the Burda magazine patterns but less like a jigsaw puzzle.... It kind of puts me off doing another one. I bought the Esme long line cardigan at the same time but it overlaps as well so I am putting it off until next joke. I cant face either the prospect of any more stretch fabrics or going through the process just to get the pattern cut out. But then its never been my favourite part of sewing!

The fabric is from the new collection by Stoff and Stil, a Danish company that now ships to the UK and stocks the most lovely fabric. I have bought a few things from here including a floral satin I plan to use on one of my #makenine projects. The jersey I used on the Saunio is a lovely jacquard knit in a modern arrow print which has a lovely drape but is thick and sturdy enough to keep its shape nicely for this project. I can imagine it would also work well in a ponte or pique jersey too. The arms are a little close fitting so anything which isn't stretchy would be challenging and would need a size up I think to make sure you have freedom of movement.

All in all, though not something I would have initially chosen, I am really happy I made this cardigan. I am not sure whether I will rush to make it again, instead I am going to see how well it works with everything else in my wardrobe, but I am looking forward to wearing it. I am also looking forward to seeing what everyone else makes on Instagram. Their interpretations are inspirational to help you look at a pattern in another way. I am already hearting @thesaraproject_ and her avocado boiled wool version. Boiled wool would actually be perfect for this....mmm...anyway!!

I have also just realised that up next for #sewmystyle is the Virginia leggings from Megan Neilsen... mmm so guess the jersey marathon might not end just yet...! Until next time happy sewing everyone!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sew House Seven Toaster #2 Sweater Finished!

Here is my version of the Sew House Seven Toaster #2 sweater. I made it as part of the #sewmystyle challenge on Instagram but as it wasn't finished until mid-week this week I failed to post it on time. Better late than never though! My main problem was thinking I had grey thread when actually I appeared to have imagined it. I have done the same with my current project so my Sunday sewing has been a bit of a failure all round. All the more time to browse the Internet for more fabrics I guess! I am trying to stop myself from buying more jersey... I have become quite the jersey obsessive since realising its not so difficult to sew and I really enjoying making all these basics. Its what my wardrobe has been missing.

So the Toaster has two variations, the other being a sweater with a high collar, cuffs and waistband. You can see my version here. This one has a lower neck, I think this type of collar is called a boat neck - the neck opening resembling the outline of a simple boat shape. 

I wanted to create a plain top, something basic to fit in to my everyday wardrobe. I wear jeans pretty much every day to work so I need a constant stream of smart/ casual tops to go with them. I decided in the end to use a dark grey brushed french terry fabric which I purchased from Stoff and Stil, a brilliant Danish fabric store which now has an online UK shop. Yay! Check them out they have some lovely fabrics. This fabric is lovely and cosy, with a soft brushed underside which makes it snuggly to wear and warm on colder days.

On to the pattern itself. Had it not been for the lack of sewing thread I would have completed this in a few hours. The construction is super simple. I put the sweater together mainly with my overlocker but used a twin needle on the cuffs and hemline. You have to use your normal sewing machine for the neck and actually you could use it for the whole thing making it accessible to anyone to try. Sewing the hem was the trickiest bit as you cant go around corners with a twin needle, instead you have to lift the needle out, turn the fabric and place the needle accurately back in to the fabric again before carrying on. It worked pretty well I think though I cant say its perfect. Next time will be better. Overall I am much more confident with a twin needle than I used to be. Its just a case of always remembering to lengthen the stitch a little and testing it out before committing it to the final sewing project. Then of course a swift press when done.

Like most people that have made this pattern up I loved the construction of the mitered corners, they were really easy but make the top look super profession and polished when finished. It was just a case of folding each of the corners in half right side together and when they are turned the right side out you have neat squared corners on your top ready to be hemmed down. Love it!!

If I am honest I wasn't sure whether this top would suit me. I made it as part of the #sewmystyle challenge but was sort of 50/50 on the style. It reminded me somehow of a painters smock. Now I have made it I do love it but I was actually still quite unsure until I finished it. The only alteration I made was to lengthen it by 3cms as the pictures always show this as quite a short top. I think it would be nice in the original length as well but I thought that I would get more wear out of it if it was a little longer.

Overall I love the Toaster #2 and will definitely make it up again. What do you think? Why not check out other peoples amazing versions on Instagram for more inspiration!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sew House Seven Toaster #1 Sweater - Finished!

The Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater is one of two variations, which you can buy together or separately, a brilliant idea if you don't fancy both styles, but not when like me you fixedly look for the pattern you want and don't realise you can buy them together, excitement getting in the way of being able to read and missing out on a bit of a bargain. I kicked myself when I realised but really they are such great patterns I don't mind really paying full price for both.

This is the first of the two Toaster sweaters, the other version is only formed in my mind at the
moment but I have some lovely fabric waiting and the PDF pattern is all taped together, cut out and ready to use. They vary in two ways, this version has long cuffs, a wide waistband and a high neck whilst the Toaster #2 has a lower neck, split hem and lower back. I love both but really only planned on making this version and then the #sewmystyle project popped up in my Instagram account and I was hooked on the idea of making an item a month, to build up a handmade wardrobe across the year with discounts on the selected patterns and a motivation to post something at the end of every month. This project is now fully subscribed (at least to get the discounts) but you can still sew along. Check out Bluebird Fabrics and the Instragram account from the organiser, @alexbartholomew_. This with my make nine items ahead of me means I have a lot of sewing to do this year!

I have made this toasty Toaster in a marl effect spongy, heavy viscose jersey bought from Raystitch. There is still some left and also in another couple of colour ways, oat and mauve.This one is called flamingo though I consider it more red than pink, but being mildly colour blind god knows how other people see it! I bought this fabric whilst going to a book signing for Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book (fan girl photo below!). I didn't plan on buying anything as I was completely broke but a couple of glasses of bubbly down and my fabric defences were down. Plus you cant stand surrounded by amazing fabrics for hours without giving into temptation! Raystitch is such a beautiful shop. 

This jersey fabric was a little difficult to sew on my serger. It was so spongy it slipped a little on a couple of occasions but overall I managed to sew it all up without too much incident. That's until I tried it on. The arms were so long, they came to my fingers. I had to chop off about two inches to make them short enough. Now I am not sure whether its the stretch of the fabric that did this or whether it is the actual pattern - my fabric has 100% stretch! I am making my mum one soon and I am not sure if I need to make alterations. We are very similar in shape so I would assume that I do but I may cut to the proper length and then check before sewing on the cuffs. Cutting them off and sewing them back on again has meant they are a little wonky for my liking but no-one has noticed!

The one thing I will change on my next Toaster is to make it longer, and I have seen other bloggers do the same. I really like the length but would prefer it to skim my bum rather than sit higher up on my hip. I would also make the sweater in a more structured fabric. It has worked well in this jersey but over time and wear it has sagged a little at the neck. I guess I shouldn't be surprised but as this is such a feature of the top I would like to make one that actually stays up all the time! I am also not sure if the fabric choice means the arms are a little less fitted than I would like. I suspect that it will change the whole top making it in a proper sweatshirt fabric with only 20% stretch.

Overall I really love this pattern. Its a really great basic and it has something more about it than the normal sweatshirts out there. Plus for all the downsides of a super stretchy fabric the thickness and softness of this jersey mean its super warm! I have had loads of compliments on it and as soon as I have time I will make another one. Have you tried this pattern yet and if not will you give it a go?

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Grainline Scout Tee - Finished!

The Scout Tee from Grainline Studio is a pattern I have wanted to try for ages. I have been late to the party with Grainline patterns but I am trying to make up for time now! My oh my Jen Beeman has an eye for style. All of the patterns I have tried are not only stylish but super easy to follow, sew together so well and they fit me perfectly - its always a joy when you don't need to alter anything - Yip!

The fabric is a sarong I bought on my honeymoon in Sri Lanka - I bought two and only used one so I have some of this left for another project. I was desperate to find some fabrics to bring back from but I have to admit to not finding much out there that was special, I liked or was adequate dress making weight. It was also too hot to browse for fabrics so it was on our last day whilst using up the random holiday money that was left that I bagged a couple of sarongs with this exact top in mind. Now it is a very see through fabric so the first thing I did was cut out some black lawn in the same pattern pieces and underlined the fabric, sewing the lawn to the wrong side of the sarong fabric to create a sturdier and opaque fabric before sewing each piece together. This top is simple to make with so few pieces but with the addition of the underlining pieces this top took much longer than it would normally take to make up - all in order to preserve my modesty!

Whilst the fabric is lovely the downside is the pattern doesn't completely sit on the grain, its not vastly off but it meant it was a little confusing when cutting out and I may have cheated a little with being precise. I also needed to be careful not to place a circle over a boob! I think I managed to the pattern placement okay though!

One thing I do like about the scout tee is that the simplicity of this top really lets the fabric sing. You could have a really stunning bold fabric that on another fiddly item would be lost. Originally I wanted a bold, large floral patterned fabric but I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. Still searching!! I find its always the way that when you know what you want you cant find it!

This will form a part of the basics section in my wardrobe. A simple top to throw over jeans. I do think I need some plain ones of these and maybe a luxurious one. Do I fancy cutting up some more silk yet??! Mmm maybe, just maybe.... It is a really simple top to sew with no darts or fiddly bits. It does mean it doesn't contour the body but hangs a little from the bust but I don't find it unflattering.

Overall I can't fault it. It is a super simple top that anyone could tackle and I really think it will fill a nice little hole in my wardrobe. Happy sewing everyone!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Grainline Driftless Cardigan - Finished!

This is one of my favourite makes of 2016, my Grainline driftless cardigan made from strange ponte roma lurex fabric in a creamy, coral colour from Fabric Godmother, sadly no longer available. I went for view B which has a split hem at the sides and a lower hem line around the back of the cardigan. I think its a little bit more contemporary than the straight hem on view A. I have totally fallen in love with this cardi and am now planning a more basic colour in black or dark grey but first I have to make my Mum one as she saw it on me over Christmas and loved it. Can't get more of a compliment than that really. Just awaiting the fabric delivery.

Over the last year I have become mildly obsessed with jersey and stretch fabrics. I would never have thought that this would happen as I have never really felt confident with knits, my makes in general have either come together by complete fluke or fallen apart within moments of wearing them for the first time, usually due to poor fabric choices and probably bad sewing technique. Through trial and error I have finally come to a place where I can make something and know it wont be a total fail! Whilst sewing my Charlotte Kan Elskan dress I had a mini revelation that I can add neckbands and sew with a twin needle without messing the whole thing up. It was also the first hem that didn't go wibbly. And I have worn it to death, it is absolutely my go to going out dress now. Yip!! I kind of launched into jersey from there, especially as winter necessitates some warm cosy clothes. It's funny how you feel rather overwhelmed by something and then all of a sudden it doesn't feel scary anymore. That's what persistence gets you. I still stumble from time to time with fabric choices as if I am honest its difficult to predict what you will get from an online order sometimes and lots of shops don't put the percentage of stretch on their stretch knits so you have to guesstimate whether its suitable. Plus the issue of not being able to feel the fabric and drape it in front of you means its scary to buy. But armed with some knowledge about what I am looking for means I am getting better at it. And you know I am at that point where I might just order myself some posh merino jersey from the fabric store for a hefty price tag per metre because it sounds delicious and I don't think I will destroy it anymore when I cut into it!

Anyway I digress. I have made a couple of Grainlines patterns now (another one to blog about soon!) and I have found them all to be so easy to follow and straight forward to put together. The fit is made for me, being a straight size 10 I don't need to make any alterations which is dreamy when it comes to easy sewing. The only thing I managed to mess up on this is the sewing of the band to the front. It is too tight and consequently wrinkles a bit mid way down. The fabric has stretch but the pieces at the front seemed to struggle to reach the required length and easing the fabric to reach the required length was a total mistake. But hey you live and learn and it isn't so awful you wouldn't want to wear it. Plus I don't think anyone has actually realised so its probably just me being persnickety.

My second issue is the slip stitching around the front band - you sew the band down by hand rather than serge or machine sew it. I had to redo it a couple of times as the stitch doesn't stretch with the fabric and it popped a couple of times. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong but I just put it on more carefully now. Once on its not an issue. Anyone else made this and know the solution here? I fancied just serging it on to be honest but I am not sure if it would sit flatly.

What I really like about this cardi is it feels kind of elegant to wear, its stylish whilst being a staple wardrobe basic. The cute hidden pockets are a lovely little feature and the seam across the cardi half way down the body means you can play about with colour blocking, just like this wonderful version from Christine Haynes. Endless possibilities!

The fabric was a weird one. When I was sewing it together it gave off a really weird plasticy smell that has only faded after a couple of washes. It also seems to like to come apart a little. I have had to sew in a couple of threads that have just come unravelled for no reason. The best thing is the wrong side of the fabric, it is red and gold in colour and so pretty. I think it might actually look quite nice sewn as the right side.

If you are struggling with fabric choices then both Fabric Godmother and Dragonfly fabrics do lovely basics colour palettes of ponte roma which is perfect for this piece. Girl Charlee has the most wonderful patterned ponte if you want something a little more wow! The Fabric Store sells lots of heavier weight merino jersey but it is expensive so you need to make sure you can cope with cutting into that fabric when you get it!!

So in conclusion I am going to make more of these, one for my Mum first but then when I have time definitely another one for me. I love, love, love it! What do you think?

Monday, 2 January 2017

Cleo Pinafore dress - Finished!

Happy New Year to everyone and thank you so much for following me through 2016! Its been a year of big happenings, getting married and turning 40 being the major events for me along with the general political turmoil in the UK and everywhere else in the world; for many 2016 is a year to forget but for me its definitely had its highlights. The one thing that has stayed constant is my addiction to sewing and during this last year I really do feel like I have turned a corner, wearing everything (practically) that I have made, falling in love with jersey (more posts on jersey makes to come) and just generally finding my groove and feeling like I can tackle anything. With #sewmystyle and #2017makenine putting me on track for a busy 2017 of sewing I thought I ought to catch up on the last few makes that I made in 2016. First off its the gorgeous Cleo pinafore dress from Tilly and the Buttons.

I bought this pattern as soon as it came out, though I have to be honest and confess I wasn't sure if 40 is too old to dress in a pinafore dress without looking slightly like mutton dressed as lamb....however as long as I keep my roots dyed to stave off the inevitable grey I think I can get away with pretending to be younger for a little while longer :-) Actually the Cleo is a surprisingly flattering silhouette, not too tight as it made to be unfitted to the body and the mini isn't so short I feel like I am flashing my bits to everyone. I probably wouldn't feel confident to wear this length in the summer but with a pair of oh so thick tights my pins can be exposed to the world! It feels more sophisticated than girlie to me which is the look I was going for by choosing black corduroy. For a girl that lives in jeans both for work and play its great to find dresses you feel confident in. I need more please!! Apologies in advance for the poor light but I managed to miss the sun when it came out today due to my camera battery dying on the only sunny day over the last week...! Typical!!

As with all Tilly's patterns Cleo came together impeccably and the instructions were as usual crystal clear. I love that there are a couple of versions to choose from and different pocket placements to mix it up a bit. I stayed classic pinafore/ dungaree dress for my make with a pocket centre front which is true to my nature style wise. I chose the classic dungaree buttons and clasps, which are really easy to get hold of on EBay should you need to hunt some down.

Just to prove there really is a pocket there! Black is so hard to photograph!!
The most annoying thing about this make was the fabric. Corduroy is like the devil. It was impossible to cut out and ruined all my pattern pieces as I went. Just the sheer effort of getting pins through some bits were enough to make me want to toss it away somewhere. And I swear that the fabric has blunted my scissors! To add insult to injury it leaves little remnants of itself everywhere and I mean everywhere... !! My carpet was covered by the time I finished making Cleo. It also attracts every bit of fluff from all corners of the house which makes it look like its been laying around to gather dust for months. Not quite the look I was hoping for! (Thank the Lord for lint rollers). Even my serger hated this fabric. It is the first time since owning it that I have had to resort to a zig zag stitch on the seams because I couldnt get it to feed through nicely. I had to unpick the serger threads a couple of times and was almost at the point of fraying the fabric beyond repair before admitting defeat.  It has put me off using it again for a while to be honest but I do like the final outcome. Maybe with time I will forget the pain!

As corduroy is a pretty thick material I opted for a contrast facing, using some  fabric by Leah Duncan which is called 'City Lights Night', a quilting cotton that I had left over from making my Papercut Patterns  Rigel Bomber. I then used my serger to create a lovely red stitching line around the outside to prevent any fraying. Only I will see it but I like a bit of contract pattern and thread sometimes. It worked nicely and doesn't feel at all bulky.

So is Cleo a dress I would make again? Yes definitely, maybe in a lovely denim next time. I am also tempted by the kits that Tilly has put together on her site, such a good idea. However with so many sewing plans to tackle this year I am not sure when I will the chance to make another one. How about you? Is Cleo on your sewing list this year?

If you fancy seeing my #2017makenine hop on over to Instagram to check out my future makes by searching for @sewing_beautifully. It would be amazing to see what you are all planning for 2017. Happy sewing everyone!