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Stag’s Head “Coco” Dress

So this is my new favourite dress!

I decided to make a “Coco” dress by Tilly and the Buttons and I’m so glad I did – it’s the perfect ‘everyday’ dress for Autumn.

To see more photos, just click on the link to the full post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network: – Stag’s Head “Coco” Dress

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Holiday Sewing

🎶 “Oh, this year I’m off to sunny Spain, Y Viva España” 🎶

We’re talking HOLIDAYS – a whole two weeks!!!

My Auntie lives in Spain and we hop on a plane as often as possible to visit her in the beautiful mountainous region of Andalucia.

That time has come around again and not a moment too soon considering the pretty grim weather we’ve endured recently. I mean, The Boots have made a reappearance after having been enthusiastically relegated to the back of the wardrobe for the “Summer” after the glorious Easter we enjoyed.

I know, a tad optimistic, I’ll grant you, but flip-flops make you feel summery, don’t they, and I kind of assume the sun would be duty bound to follow.

Not so. So, Spain, here we come.

(Burglars please take note: we have House Sitters for the duration. And dogs. And a feisty Cockerel. You have been warned.)

Anyhoo….

I took a quick look through my wardrobe and decided that, although I have plenty of summery clothes, I fancied making a few things.

I have acquired several pieces of fabric lately (as you do) and this one in particular caught my eye, glaring garishly back at me from the ever-growing stash.

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Not for the faint hearted, I’ll admit, but it’s so “me”.

A medium weight polyester jersey which is incredibly soft to the touch, I imagined it would drape perfectly on a cowl neck.

I chose Simplicity 1716 with view ‘D’ in mind, but with the pleating continuing to the hips as in view ‘F’.

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I’m a size 14 in UK stores which equates to a US size 18, so I cut the pattern pieces out accordingly and the fit was spot on without any adjustments.

I didn’t have any black cotton tape for stabilising the shoulder seams so used white but, as the fabric is opaque, it doesn’t show through so all is well.

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I like the neat method of attaching the facing to the back neck…..

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…and the armholes.

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The cowl neckline does indeed drape beautifully, falling into soft folds right down to the hips.

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Excuse the scary expressions in the photos that follow – it’s a case of set up the self timer and run!

Hmmm, far too short to wear as a dress – note to self, allow another four inches for the hem if combining two pattern designs.

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A quick root through my wardrobe resulted in some coordinating items.

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That’s better, but what about the slightly saggy upper arms, after all, I can’t walk around with my hands on my hips all the time, can I?

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Sorted!

Although, in Spain it’s currently 40°C so a pair of bikini bottoms is probably going to be the most I’ll wear. (It’s a private villa, otherwise it would be a maxi dress).

P1050319Right, onto some tops using that gorgeous Liberty fabric I bought in April:)


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One-Hour Poncho!

This is my first post as part of the Minerva Crafts Bloggers Network, and this is what I chose for my first make – a bold print Poncho with a cosy cowl neck, perfect for this time of year.

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got your fingers in several pies and have lots of projects on the go at any one time, many of which are time-heavy and are completed over the course of weeks or even months.

Occasionally, just occasionally, I get impatient and don’t want to add yet another row to a seemingly unending WIP.

Once in a while I feel the need to make something quickly, to achieve something within a couple of hours, to finish something.

Well this is just such a project. In fact it is such a satisfyingly speedy make that it can be whipped up in just one hour!

No, really – look!

one hour poncho

Other than speed, the inspiration for the poncho came from browsing the huge range of fabrics available at Minerva, and happening upon this bold “Chic” print which I thought had a touch of the Parisienne about it – isn’t it fantastic?

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The fabric is described as “….sweatshirt jersey fabric, a lovely heavy weight with a soft fuzzy-textured backing. The print is a fantastic bold design with the word ‘Chic’ printed randomly across the surface….great for making hoodies and comfy jackets”

Please don’t be put off by the word ‘sweatshirt’ – it’s such good quality that it looks deceptively like wool from a distance, the benefits being that it is cheaper and easier to wash.

If you like it, you’d better be quick as it’s on clearance and there are only limited stocks:)

fabric

I’m not a hoodie kind of gal, so I searched for a poncho pattern and found McCall’s 6209 which is half price at the moment, and decided to make view ‘E’ with a cowl neck to keep those chilly winds out.

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I’ve actually got a knit poncho that looks exactly like the one illustrated and I wear it all the time in place of a jumper. It’s not substantial enough to replace a coat though, so I wanted to choose a warmer fabric which drapes loosely for comfort and the jersey does just that.

poncho pattern

I made the cowl up as per the instructions. The fabric has a lovely weight to it that stops it flopping too much.

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The top stitching around the neck edge looked so nice that I decided to stray from the directions a little and top stitch from the shoulder to the arm too, on either side of the seams.

poncho top stitching

I overlocked the raw edges before hemming them as a double-turned hem would have been too bulky in this fabric.

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I meandered a little further from the instructions when I also decided to add some satin bias binding all around the lower hem.

This addition creates a more professional finish and the sheen of the satin adds a luxury edge to the poncho.

poncho binding detail

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I’m so pleased with the bias binding, I wish I’d ordered more and done the armhole edges too, instead of hemming them.

poncho bias binding

So, one and a half hours later (due to the extra embellishments) all it needed was a cold, windy day to test it out and, being in good old Blighty we are not short of those!

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I had no idea the poncho would cause such a stir though and I’ve already had loads of compliments. I suppose it is pretty unique and that in itself will draw comments.

Do you ever get the urge for a quick make?

What have you created in just a couple of hours?