As a dressmaker, people assume that I must make all of my own clothes. Wouldn’t that be a dream!

But in real life I am usually too busy teaching and working on commissions to be able to lavish such attention on my own wardrobe (in fact, much like plumbers always have dripping taps in their own houses, I’ve been known to walk around with trouser hems held up with double sided sticky tape and dresses held together with safety pins!).

January however, is a quieter month on the whole and gives me the chance to partake in a little fabric-stash-busting, and wardrobe restocking. So this week I’ve decided to share with you the latest makes from my handmade wardrobe.

I found this gorgeous piece of wool on the remnant table in Ditto and after a month of sitting on the cutting table being admired by my students it became this mini skirt, with bias finished hem in a luscious Rowan fabric from Liberty.

The top by the way has been in my wardrobe since I was 12 years old when I could (and indeed did) wear it as a dress! I hope to replicate it soon, perhaps in a nice bit of paisley silk…

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It’s the little hand finished details like this that make handmade clothes so fulfilling to both make and wear…

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Then I made this woollen dress, in a super cosy wool knit, using Vogue pattern 9017.

It needed quite a bit of alteration to bring the waistline high enough to flatter my boyish figure, and almost got relegated to the bag of unfinished projects beneath the cutting table. I’m glad I persevered though as it’s super cosy and I’ve had lots of compliments (or maybe they were just for the lairy tights?).

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As the fabric is slightly felted I wanted to make a feature of the raw edges, so overlapped the panels and topstitched the seams to leave a raw edge showing on the outside.

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I barely even remember making this top, as I whizzed it up in an afternoon (when I should have been doing something else), but I wanted to trial a pattern I hope to make up in a beautiful and hideously expensive piece of silk chiffon that I’ve been saving. I made it in a lightweight silk satin to get feel for the way the pattern would look in chiffon. The little ruffles on the shoulders are set into a princess seam rather than eighth on the edge of the top as a sleeve, as I think it narrows my broad shoulders…

The trousers were made a few years ago (the Vogue pattern seems to have been discontinued), and are made in a pure cashmere flannel (lush!!), they are dreamy to wear but need to be worn with heels so don’t get as many outings as I’d like.

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Then on the coldest day of the year so far I decided to make a summer dress…!?!

If you follow the blog regularly then you might  recognise this fabric as it was one that I bought on our day trip to London, from Shaukat. I used McCalls pattern 6696, but shortened the length and altered the back to feature pleats rather than gathers as I wanted a more classic shirt-dress. I’ll probably wear it with this hat…

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I’m way too pasty to be modelling this dress for you but it does look better on, and fits so well. Please ignore winter skin!

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Then, since on a roll with my summer wardrobe (mad, right?) I made this little sun top…

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Again the fabric is a Liberty print, Tana lawn and was purchased in Shaukat.

The top has ties on the shoulders and tiny buttons down the back, I’m particularly pleased with the pattern matching and placement of buttons down the centre back. But I’ll have to wait a few months before this one comes out of the closet…

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As you can see it’s been a productive month, I hope you’ve had a great time sewing in January too.

Until next time, happy sewing!

Becky X

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