Denim dresses – the unsung wardrobe hero?

I just finished making the denim dress of dreams. It’s another Named Lempi Button Down Dress, this time with bright yellow topstitching on a gorgeous indigo denim from Ray Stitch. I’ve been eyeing up similar dresses for years (literally, I have screenshots from & Other Stories on my phone from August 2020!), so this dress has been a long time coming. The glory of this denim dress got me thinking, without the risk of sounding all Carrie Bradshaw…are they deeply underrated? As sewists it’s so easy to get lured by bold prints, but a good denim, that isn’t destined for jeans, is a thing of beauty. Not too sure? Read on for some denim inspiration.

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10 Instagram Reels ideas for sewists

…no trending audio or dancing required.

Instagram is a massively important tool for sewists – it’s hugely responsible for connecting a bunch of creatives who would otherwise, for the most part, be enjoying their hobby in solitude. While frivolous for some, the platform provides sewists with a way of discovering new patterns, independent fabric shops and pattern designers, and a wealth of inspiration from fellow sewing enthusiasts. Who hasn’t searched the hashtag for a pattern they’ve got their eye on?

However, with the increasing pressure on Reels as a way to connect, and endless changes to THE ALGORITHM, lots of people have found themselves getting frustrated with the app. Reels can be really daunting, and while some hate the idea of succumbing to them, I find myself really enjoying making these short videos. They’re a fun way to create content, and as dressmakers, video form gives us an opportunity to show our handmade clothes in motion – to show how the fabric moves with us, how the clothes fit when we’re moving rather than standing still for a photo, which is really important. 

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Criss cross bag: sewing pattern and tutorial

This cross-over bag style has been around for a while now; it’s quirky yet simple and really versatile. I decided to draft my own and it’s turned out to be so useful, so I thought why not share it*?

I’ve used these bags for all sorts, from the finishing touch for a wedding outfit through to holding the basics for everyday use. This is also a great scrap buster as it’s made up of 8 small(ish) pieces. So let’s get sewing…

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By Hand London Flora: pattern hacking and making a dress to last!

I’ve made a few By Hand London Flora dresses; the pattern is a few years old but the square neckline is bang on trend, and there’s so much scope for pattern hacking to make the design your own. From denim to red gingham to a mixed-scale dotty version, my Flora dresses have been worn so many times.

Sadly, the black and white one hasn’t fared too well*. The straps are fraying where I trimmed the seam allowance too close, and the shape seems to have sagged a bit where the weight of the skirt has pulled the bodice. I still wear the dress frequently, in fact, I’m wearing it right now! However, I felt that a new improved version was on the cards. I made some tweaks to the design, and added some extra steps for durability, so read on for the details…

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Sleeves be gone: A sleeveless Wilder Gown pattern hack

The Wilder Gown from Friday Pattern Company is iconic in sewing circles. That gathered neckline is so recognisable, and it’s a style that suits everyone. Although the pattern has been around for a few years, I only got round to making it last year for my friend’s birthday present. I loved the project and the dress turned out gorgeous (I used a black viscose from Minerva which worked a treat), but it was only this month that I made one for myself. Well, I actually made three; the Wilder really is as good as everyone says. I started with a sleeveless hack of the design, so here’s a quick how-to so you can try one too!

black and white sleeveless Wilder Top
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