Dreaming of…warm November times

This gallery contains 16 photos.

In more ways than one. Number one – because we went to the beach last Friday and it was positively sunny! And Number two – because I just made a warm ‘coat’. I say ‘coat’ rather than coat, as I … Continue reading

Dreaming of…simplicity and lace

Over the Easter holidays we drove to Belgium for a week. It was a perfect relaxing holiday, made all the better by the waffles!

I haven’t been doing much sewing for myself recently, but I wanted some simple outfits, which were easy to pack and mix and match with other things in my wardrobe. In keeping with my original plans for this year, I made up some patterns from my new years list. And here is one of them.


It’s Grainline’s Hemlock tee again with a few alterations.
1. I made it in a woven rather than a knit – it’s a teal polyester lining fabric bought for £1 in Birmingham rag market and I only bought a metre as I wasn’t sure what to do with it. It’s SO soft and drapey though! Fair warning though – it melts easily!



2. I shortened the pattern by an inch.
3. Added an inch to either side of the hem and then curved it out slightly to make it very loose.
4. I made the armholes just become like raglan sleeves.
5. I made my own bias binding from a lovely scrap of cotton my mum gave me. I used this to bind all the raw edges (the insides are all French seamed).

6. Finally, I added this cute little collar – the lace seemed appropriate for Belgium.



We took these photos by the Menin gate in Ypres. I’ve been to the war cemeteries and monuments before, but seeing the sheer volume of men who gave their lives will always be something that I find very poignant and obviously emotive. We only spent a few hours in Ypres on the way back from Bruges to Calais, but it was still a very memorable and important part of the trip.


I’m sure you’ll see more of these holiday snaps popping up on my blog – and this top will undoubtedly be seen this month. You may also see some of these following snaps cropping up too. Yep, the obligatory Me Made May 2014 shots. So far we’re 3 days in and I’ve already realised I’m going to struggle with my pledge…
I, Lara of Dreaming of Avonlea, pledge to wear at least one item of me made clothing every day throughout may – ATTEMPTING to not repeat entire outfits and trying to identify any gaps in my wardrobe! Phew!
…Purely because I like LOVE pyjama days, and though they may be few and far between during these busy times, I have no me made PJs – may have to rectify that this month!

Where applicable you can click on the images to go to original blog post.

Me Made Marie Skirt

Me Made Marie Skirt

Me Made Skirt - pre blog

Me Made Skirt – pre blog

Gardening Me Made Dixie 2 Piece Top - Pre Blog

Me Made Dixie 2 Piece Top – Pre Blog

Hope you’re all enjoying Me Made May this year. I’m loving the Pinterest group!

A Plethora of Pleats


I made this dress before I started blogging and despite the fact that it’s one of my most frequently worn dresses, I’ve only just got around to actually blogging it.



I guess it’s probably more suited to being a summer dress, but with the addition of tights and a cardigan, it works well in the winter too. As seen here in mid December when climbing some more hills at my Mum’s house.


It did get chilly with bare arms!

It did get chilly with bare arms!

That's better

That’s better


I made the pattern myself for this dress. It’s pretty much just a basic vest shaped bodice, collar and rectangle gathered skirt. I thought I’d spice it up a bit with some plenty of pleats and pin tucks.


Top tip for pleating – I pleated the bodice fabric before cutting out and sewing the bodice. Basically it just required making sure that I had enough unpleased fabric on either side to reach from the dart to the side seam and I just had to make sure that the pleats fit between the darts.


When I cut the bodice on the fold, I had an extra semi-circular piece of pleated fabric, which I used to create a pocket.


I also decided that you can never have too many pleats so I added some around the hem – it just meant that I cut the skirt fabric about 6 inches longer than I usually do so that I could add 2 tucks.


This dress reminds me of pretty dresses I was always jealous of as a kid. Actually, scrap that, I am still jealous of them. Some of my favourite dress styles are classic girls’ dresses – kind of Victorian girl dresses. I wanted to make it a bit more modern so I added an exposed metal zip and I usually pair it with some contrasting accessories like this belt and earrings. The bodice and collar are lined in navy polyester to match the exposed zip on the back.


A LOT of measuring went into this dress! But it was all worth it – it’s now my favourite little girl grown up dress – I can feel like I’m playing dress up in a very presentable way!