Monday, 18 November 2013

summer sewing

About 6 or 7 years ago I bought some lilac broderie anglaise fabric to make a dress for a good friend's daughter.  Shortly after, I realised that the girl wouldn't wear it: the colour might have been right but there wouldn't be a designer label attached to the dress.  So I didn't make the dress and the fabric went into the stash.

Today seemed a good day to dig into my stash.  After all, I recently promised my husband that I would try to use more of my fabric stash rather than buy more fabric.  He thinks that a reasonable guide is that I use 1m of fabric for every 1.5m I buy.  I think he is being completely unrealistic and unreasonable.  But maybe there is a decimal point in the wrong place - a 1:15 ratio seems better suited to me?!

Anyway, I found the lilac broderie anglaise fabric and a pattern I hadn't sewed before, the Oliver + S seashore sundress, and put the two together.  This is what I came up with

size 4

back view

I tried to match the border at the seams and I'm pleased with the results

In my large button tin I found some matching buttons for the shoulder straps

And I sewed around a freezer paper template to ensure that the shoulder straps are identical.  

Unfortunately I still have a quantity of this material left over so I will have to find someone else to sew a little skirt or top from the remainder.  

I also made some Oliver + S class picnic shorts from a remnant of pink stretch denim I might have picked up last week.  

The tag stated that the fabric was "faded" and it wasn't until I unfolded the fabric that I discovered how uneven the fading was!  Grrr.  So I ended up cutting the pattern around the fading and I will have to try dyeing the fabric if I want to use the leftovers.

note the difference in colour between the two sides 

I made my own piping from a pink and green-spotted fabric in the stash

This is such a cool pattern and it reminds me of the shorts we wore as kids in the 70's.   (Am I showing my age?  Does anyone say things are cool any more?  Presumably, it is OK to use "cool" and "70's" in the same sentence…).  My sister suggested that I make these shorts out of a velour - just like the 70's - but the only velour I have is red and I wouldn't want Rosa to look like one of those girls who helps Santa out at the photo stand at Christmas time.  And, it would be uncool to buy more fabric just for the sake of reliving our childhood (or inflicting it on Rosa).

I made a class picnic top for Rosa last year but it was too big then, so it may work out to be a good match for these shorts

The skirt is pattern b from Japanese pattern book "Girls going out clothes" by Yuki Araki

So another couple of Oliver + S patterns completed AND some fabric removed from the stash to make way for some more...


  1. Oh. my. gosh. I LOVE that seashore dress. And yes, I understand Lilac is another word for purple but I still LOVE it. As to what to do with the remnants. name your price!
    I've seen a pair of those shorts in lime green terry towelling with white piping and yep, serious flashbacks to childhood.
    P.S. I think your husband is very generous with the rationing, your not even on diminishing returns (as if he should have any say in a woman's fabric stash anyway!)

  2. The dress is gorgeous - fab job on the matching.
    Love the shorts too - I've had visions of these made in terry toweling since the pattern was released ;-) (yep, showing my age!)

    1. Yes, yes, towelling rather than velour. How perfect....(for all us reminiscing 70's girls). Love it!

  3. That dress! Swoon.
    I will 'complementing' the heck out of that dress (and I shall give you full credit)
    xx N

  4. Thanks everyone…. maybe I will have to hunt down some terry toweling after all

  5. Years later and I'm finally cutting your lilac remnants. I'd forgotten which pattern you had used but recognised the shoulder strap shaped holes and had to come back for another look. Still love it!