Sunday, 26 September 2010

The story so far

Almost exactly a year ago, my younger son started school and I started the dressmaking course I'd been promising myself I'd take for ages. I absolutely loved the course and can't quite believe how much I've learnt in just a year. I also discovered sewing blogs and have become completely hooked - I'm naturally nosy which helps!  I really wanted to join in the fun, so here's my blog: a record of everything I make, the good, the bad and the ugly.

The first thing I want to show off is my Colette Patterns Sencha top.

When I first saw this pattern I wasn't particularly bowled over by the pictures on the cover. Then I came across a beautiful version made by Tilly (author of one of my favourite sewing blogs "Tilly and the Buttons") and was immediately converted. Tilly's version looked so retro and 50's and I really wanted mine to have a similar look.

If I make the top again (which I will), I'll make it with a fabric with more drape in it.  The way the top is described on the pattern, it's probably intended to be a looser fit than I made, so it can be tucked in. I used a medium-weight quilting cotton which does tend to be quite crisp.  Having said that though, it gives the top quite a fitted, structured look,  in a Joan from Mad Men kind of way.

The original neckline was WAY too high, I was panic stricken just trying to do the fitting, thinking I couldn't breath.  I lowered it by about 3cm, which keeps the neckline high but doesn't strangle you in the process.
I made buttonholes for the first time and my own covered buttons.
I'll definitely use a Colette pattern again.  I'm really pleased with my version which I've actually worn in real life.  I'll let you know if I get round to making another one....


  1. Lovely blog and lovely blouse! I'm off to have a look at Tilly's blog now....

  2. That looks great! I think I may have to try out that pattern now as well. I'm developing a stockpile of Colette patterns.

  3. How lovely! I've been wanting to make a blouse along those lines for a while now so perhaps I will have to spring for the pattern. Your version is perfect. I love the color and the polka dots.


  4. Thank you Shalyn, I really like the colour and the dots too. I'd definitely recommend Collette patterns, they're a dream to work from and they look fab too (like little old fashioned books!) x

  5. I really love your handmade wardrobe page! This blouse is to die for!!!!!!!

  6. Hi Jane. Can you recommend the dressmaking course you attended? Thanks.

    1. Hi Emma, it was a very basic beginner's clothes making course run by Hammersmith and Fulham council. The aim of the course was to make a garment from scratch using a commercial pattern during the course of the term. It was a pretty useful starting point and I'd definitely recommend something similar if you don't live in the same area. Good luck! x

  7. The great Jansen Display Snap Frames is hands down the best place to do your custom framing!! They have an outstanding eye for color, style, arrangement & coordination. My girly nursery is going to look so sweet with all of their help! I will recommend him to everybody!



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