Climb every mountain

You’re singing along to the Sound of Music now too right? I hope it’s not just me.

Anyway, I haven’t been doing much sewing recently. Life is a bit chaotic and I’m prioritising other things, but I think that has been a good thing for me. To take stock of what really matters.

And to me that means spending time with my loved ones.

Here are some photos from just one of those recent times when Martin and I took a little break from the city and went searching for some peace up Caerphilly Mountain.

Obligatory 'warm up in the car before venturing outside' shot

Obligatory ‘warm up in the car before venturing outside’ shot



In case you’re wondering, I did wear one of my own dresses, which I made long before I started blogging, but you can see more of it on my burdastyle page. Since I made it I’ve put in the zip more neatly and added some contrasting black bias binding around the neck and arm holes. I had to take it in quite a lot so I also added some kind of pleats above the bust.




I hope you’re all finding time to enjoy the important things in life.

Burdastyle Vintage Modern Sewing Contest – My tentative entry

I hate to have to say it, but I fairly firmly feel, Maria’s not an asset to the abbey! Oops, sorry standard sound of music distraction. Anyhoo, what I was trying to say was; I hate to have to say it, but I fairly firmly feel that I may be a weekend only blogger for a while… On week nights it takes all the energy I have left just to eat dinner and mark my books. Maybe when I get a bit more skilled in using this blog I could do it more speedily!

So as I posted about last week, I had lots of new sewing books for Christmas and one of them was Burdastyle’s Sewing Vintage Modern. How convenient then that they are holding a competition to make a dress from the book using or adapting the patterns given. I’ve never entered a sewing competition before and don’t for a second expect to win, but as I’d already designed lots of outfits from the book and even matched my designs to fabric I already had, I knew there was nothing to hold me back and this weekend I went full steam ahead with the Elizabeth gathered dress!




I altered the pattern quite a lot from the original version in the book; 1. I did a full bodice lining rather than the facings the pattern called for – I always find facings a bit messy, plus now you can’t see any stitching on the bodice part of the invisible zip – yay 🙂 – to make it even neater on the inside I also covered the end of the zip.





and of course I added my label!


2. I lowered the neckline – a lot! I don’t tend to make muslins, I make the lining first, alter that before cutting the outer fabric and then put it all together. Every time I tried on the lining I wanted it slightly lower so I just kept using my french curve to lower the neckline. I also pivoted the centre front in 1cm, grading it down from the top to the bottom of the CF line. If I hadn’t done this, I have no doubt it would have gaped and I have enough on show already to know that gaping is not the way forward!




3. The original dress pattern as it is, is rather simple, so I pleated the back before sewing the back bodice. I like the very subtle way it breaks up the Ikat print a bit and depending on the lighting it adds some nice texture to what would other wise be a flat expanse of fabric!





4. Instead of a gathered rectangle for the skirt I gathered a half circle skirt and then made about 100m of black bias binding – at least that’s what it felt like – to go around the hem. I used a tutorial from Colette Patterns to make the binding. I ran out of fabric for some of the skirt so I tried to match up the print and add an extending section – you can kind of see it at the hem of the front skirt piece (it’s only about an inch deep).





So that’s it really – a very simple pattern, which was perfect for adapting to my own style. I recommend the book, it has some lovely variations to suit all styles.

P.S. I’m not overly happy with these photos – it was freezing outside so my skin has a slight purple tinge (despite my extra winter pounds – which also make me dislike these images) but I was so excited to do a new post and upload my dress! So easily pleased!