Just in time for Christmas, I have decided that I need a few slouchy dresses added to my wardrobe. At this time of year a smock dress hides a multitude of mince pies and mulled wine and is basically perfect for all the festive treats I’m planning to consume.
You may think that Megan Nielsen’s Sudley dress (blogged here and here) is a summer dress but I like to think it can be worn year round with just a few small additions. I decided to test this theory out and I’m pleased with the results.
This pattern offers loads of alternative ways of mixing the pattern up, including lowering the waistband and making a top version, so I didn’t feel too bad about changing it slightly.
Everyone loves a gift guide at Christmas. Whether you’re a dab hand at flicking through the Argos catalogue or simply like to peruse different websites for your gifts, there’s inspiration to be had everywhere. This year, why not consider shopping locally for your presents? While you’re likely to find a more unique present, you’ll also be helping the indie businesses out. It’s worth a shot, right?
And there are some great makers to be found on Etsy. So without further ado, here’s the And She Made round-up of the best the creative website has to offer this Christmas…
This year is flying by and, as ever, I have a long list of things I’d like to sew the next time I’m reunited with my sewing machine at Christmas.
I’ve got plans for party dresses, slouchy dresses, cord pinafores and even a top or two. So here’s what I’m planning to make during the festive period. Who knows if I’ll get it all done though?
The party dress
I’ve got a few patterns in mind for this one. The McCalls 7381 is a firm favourite since I got it free with Love Sewing magazine a while ago. Then there’s Colette Peony dress (and specifically the hack shown below):
Doesn’t everyone want a dress they can wear during the festivities? One that looks great but doesn’t compromise the sheer amount of overeating we’re all guilty of over Christmas. I’m imagining this in a dark denim like the above dress from ASOS.
Ever since I saw this Pin ages ago, a red corduroy pinafore dress has been on my wishlist. I’ve had my eye on a few different shades of red online, but I’m planning a pre-festive trip to Goldhawk Road or Walthamstow to search for the perfect fabric for this one.
The peplum top
I have a full-on obsession with peplum tops and this In the Folds top is one I’d like to add to my list next. Plus, it’s free! What’s not to love about this? It’s a great dress-up piece for wearing with jeans or trousers this festive season.
The simple top
I find tops incredibly quick projects and the New Look 6483 is a firm favourite. I even got my friend who makes incredibly intricate quilts into garment making with this one and I made a quick version a few months ago too, which I’m yet to blog. I don’t have a set fabric in mind for this one, but am likely to use some leftover fabric for this make.
What are your winter or Christmas sewing plans? I’d love to find out more.
As the winter months draw nearer, there’s one pattern I’m so excited about. It’s the Toaster sweater by Sew House Seven and, specifically, version two of the pattern.
It’s a lovely funnel neck thin jumper that is perfect for wearing under coats and with jeans. I love funnel neck jumpers anyway at this time of year and, with a pattern to make my own, I’ll definitely be making a few of these in the near future.
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect funnel neck jumper pattern all autumn. I have two favourite high street ones from last year but they’re starting to get a bit bobbly and this is the perfect replacement pattern.
Here’s some inspiration from the high street for what I have in mind:
As for the fabric, I actually had some fabric from Fabric Land in mind for this. However, a few days after buying it, I got a phone call to say they’d run out and wouldn’t be restocking. I’m so sad about this as it seemed to be the perfect fabric for this pattern.
Here’s a pic of the fabric in question – if anyone knows where I can buy the same fabric elsewhere, please let me know!
But, alas, I’ve also planned a few different versions. A navy blue fabric (I’m thinking a ponte de roma fabric), a mustard yellow and a raspberry red. I’ve also got my eye on this grey ribbed jersey and navy striped fabric from Guthrie and Ghani too, for some thinner Toaster sweaters.
Also, a couple of weeks ago, Seamwork’s newest pattern, the Sadie, was released. This is pretty similar to the Toaster sweater, but a little bit looser and longer if that’s more your thing!
Do you have any Toaster sweaters in mind? It seems as though it’s a staple make for sewists this year.
Although I spend most of my spare time sewing, it’s not my only love. I began knitting around five years ago and after a few false starts, finally picked it up at a stitch and bitch class when I lived in Cardiff. Now that I live in London (and away from my sewing machine), I’ve started to pick it up again in the evenings. It’s definitely something creative I can get on board with in front of the TV or a box set. There always seems to be one thing stopping me though. The thing I don’t enjoy about knitting is the time it takes to finish one thing and I have grand plans for things to make. If you follow me over on Pinterest you’ll see that.
Currently, I have a nearly finished blanket, an almost-at-the-halfway-point cropped maroon jumper, have started some socks and am attempting another jumper in self-striping wool. The last two projects have only been started in the past month so it’s really not too bad, but it just takes so long!
Knitting a jumper while watching The Killing
The blanket in progress
Working on the huge knitted blanket
I’m always on the lookout for ways to pick up the pace on my knitting. Two of the projects I’m currently working on are knitted on chunky wool but I also love the look of thinner wool – it just takes so much longer. If you have any failsafe techniques for quick knitting then hit me up!
I have, however, managed to finish a few projects. I wear my favourite ever lilac snood all the time in winter and I’ve made at least two others much the same, plus a knitted striped scarf in some wool I bought from Sincerely Louise at last year’s Handmade Fair. Hopefully one day soon, I’ll be able to show you some other finished projects!
Here’s me wearing it with my siblings last Christmas:
And here’s one from early 2014 when I must have just finished it:
It gets a lot of wear and it’s still holding up pretty well!