Starting work on my final collection

This week I have started to draft the patterns for my final collection… The first look I am working on is the apron dress and rib knit dress:

Apron dress

ribbed knit dress with triangles

the apron dress with will be made from Furakawa denim (From Merchant and Mills here) they describe it as ‘a special Japanese 6oz denim. 57% cotton, 34% wool, 9% linen.’Ā  As this collection is for Autumn Winter, the apron dress will be worn over the rib knit dress (fabric yet to be finalised!)

Here are the sketches of the garments:

blue apron

rib dress arrows+castle

I have lots of changes still to make but here is some snaps from this weeks toile:

20150120_092535 20150120_092550 20150120_092602

Still some tweaking to be done on the pocket placement and positioning but so far so good,

R x


Making the Factory Dress

It’s been a couple of weeks since I cut the pieces for the Factory Dress toile (Merchant and Mills pattern). Today I made it up, it took me about 2 hours in total, with a bit of faffing inbetween!  It was pretty simple and the only change I made was to take the seam allowance off the interfacing pieces – my fabric was pretty sturdy and I didn’t want to add any more unecessary bulk.


I following the instructions that came with the pattern (sometimes I just wing it. ..) they were thorough with plenty of diagrams and without too many words! The darts/pocket details come first, then the bodice is sewn together … It has facings rather than linings, which I haven’t overlocked, so i will need to add extra time for this when I make it up in my final fabric.
There is a 1.5cm seam allowance – i use the 5/8 guide on my machine but you could always pop a bit of masking tape as a guide instead?


pretty much all of the seams require pressing open;


Always quite satisfying.

The sleeves heads are attached and then sewn up along with the bodice side seams, I prefer this method to
making up the sleeve and setting it in, less fiddly.
Here is the top section of the dress;




After a quick brew I came back to make up and attach the skirt … company had arrived! 


Not that helpful as it turns out, especially as the path to my sewing room is currently flooded (blocked pipe next door awaiting repair) …muddy paws and fabric is not a happy mix.

So, the skirt … A few tiny pleats at the front,  attaching the side pockets in to the seam and sewing the side seams … super quick and straightforward. The skirt and bodice are literally attached right sides together and sewn all the way round, et voila;



Finished (well a bit of hemming to do when I get to the final fabric but that’s all).
I popped it on (it is a slip on dress – no fastenings, great if you have a zip or buttonhole phobia), bit of a close up pic but it’s the best I could do!



I love it, it’s loosely fitted enough not to feel like a tent but is nice and baggy at the same time.  My favourite bit? The pockets of course šŸ™‚


When I can decide on my final fabric I will probably shorten the pattern before I cut it .. might save me a few inches! …. Coming soon (ish).

The Factory Dress

Today I have been preparing the pieces for a toile of the Factory Dress pattern by Merchant and Mills

factory dress

I love the fact that Merchant and Mills sell their patterns on card, with notches and drill holes for marking darts and seams and the like.Ā  They are a little more costly but are so much more accurate, involve no cutting preparation (as you order just one size) so you can just weigh the card pattern pieces down on top of your fabric and get started!

I am not a pinner … I much prefer to mark my patterns with tailors chalk or a water dissolvable pen.

Here is a pic of my toile pieces ready to sew (I had a lot of this cotton, not sure why!?) …

factory pink

Next up: fitting and tweaking the toile ..