Tartan cross-over top/mini-dress

So seeing as I’m effectively housebound until my hospital appointment I’ve had a lot of  ‘craft time’ so was able to make a few things for my sisters birthday. I posted about the knitted Skeleton Jumper yesterday and this is the tartan top I made for her.

About a month ago I made a maxi dress following a pattern that i’d purchased from another blog https://haberydashery.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/summery-sewing-project/ after making the dress I did start to think about all the different kind of adaptations that could be made, and one of the ideas i had was a sort of mini-dress/Top that could be worn with trousers.

The Mini-dress was really easy to do, as I’d already used the pattern once for the maxi dress and it was effectively the same just a shorter skirt. It only took a couple of days to make, the more time consuming parts being the shirring and the pinning of the seams.

Because of the shortness of the skirt I only needed a yard of fabric. So I ordered some tartan fabric (my sister’s a punk and she’s very much into her tartan styles) from ebay (only £3.99 a yard) and for the contrasting waistband and bias tape I bought a pair of black trousers (99p from a charity shop)

There were a few differences with this project, the shirring was still a nightmare and this time on the contrasting waistband it didn’t bunch as much as it did with my original work. Luckily enough the pattern came with a good tip for this and after soaking the waistband and leaving it to dry the shirring bunched up quite nicely. Another thing was that when doing the skirt hem and sleeve edges because they were so small I pressed them first in the hope they might stay down and make machine stitching easier. Unfortunately this still went a bit wrong, so am wondering whether hand-stitching might be a bit more precise.

Anyway, the top/mini-dress turned out quite well

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Summery Sewing Project

Due to a holiday mix up I’ve just had the weekend off with no specific plans, so finding myself at a loose end I thought I’d try out a project I saw on http://projectsbyjess.blogspot.co.uk/

It’s been a while since I’ve used my sewing machine for anything more than hemming or repairs. So with summer supposedly just around the corner I thought I’d dust off some of my sewing skills and have a go at making a maxi dress.

The project i was attempting was here http://projectsbyjess.blogspot.co.uk/2007/01/maxi-sheet-dress-sewing-pattern.html a quite simple maxi dress made out of a vintage sheet! Well knowing my penchant for wandering around charity shops looking for nice looking duvet covers to use for spare material, I thought this would be ideal. 

I bought the pattern for about £2-£3 and set to work with mild trepidation as i wasn’t sure just how rusty i was, and the pattern involved ‘shirring’ which i’ve never actually done before. Well I ended up having quite a lot of fun actually. It’s always nice to see a project coming together, and with a sewing machine it comes together even quicker. I spent Thursday night cutting out the pattern and pinning to the fabric, then Friday was when the magic happened! Over the next couple of days the dress gradually began to take shape and barring a few hiccups (like attaching the sleeves inside out, and a few threading issues with the machine during the shirring) it turned out really well. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit me as i’m a little top heavier than the pattern allows for, so no live model photos i’m afraid.

Here’s the finished article.

Quite impressed with how it turned out, and have now had the idea of adapting the pattern for a shorter version (to be worn with leggings/trousers) in Royal Stewart Tartan for my sister.