Tag Archives: Pattern

Gingham Dress

One of the main reasons why I sew my own clothes is so that I can achieve a good, hopefully great, fit. Shop bought ready to wear is made for the average sizes and lets face it but very few of us are a perfect average and few of us would ever want to be!

I know we are all too aware of where our own fitting problem areas are and mine has always been the fact that I am tall and that the extra height is not in my legs where I would want it to be but in the length of my torso. For example, it is impossible to get a one piece swimsuit to fits me, I always have to get those two piece tankini combinations. So with clothes shopping I’m alway looking out for longer length tops and shirts and I know from experience that the waist on dresses always sits in the wrong place, about two inches north of where it should be. Commercial paper patterns are no different and over the years I have drafted my own patterns from my measurements.

I’m fortunate though that my standard pattern alteration is a fairly simple one as I know that some of you have to work quite a bit with a pattern to get it to work right. But once you have spent the time, trial and erroring with a toille and keep a note of the changes you made it becomes easier to transfer those alterations to all your favorite patterns. I have created a simple measurement chart so you can keep a note of your size.


This is the first of my black Gingham dresses, there are going to be two. Both are sleeveless but different styles. I think that sleeveless dresses will be really practical for me going forward into spring/summer now as I will team them with a colourful cardigan. Everywhere I look at the moment I am seeing this black gingham fabric. Ive seen it on the catwalks recently particularly in Diane Von Furstenberg’s 2015 Ready to wear collection. It is used for not only dresses but shirts and blouses, little vest tops and accessories too.

Follow Sewing Avenue’s board Gingham Fabrics on Pinterest.

It (gingham) seems to be in both high fashion stores as well as vintage designers shops at the moment, which means its right on trend whether you are a fashionista or a vintage chick.

Sewing with a basic cotton fabric like gingham is a straightforward sew, no stretch to consider, however gingham is even easier as there is no right or wrong side to the fabric. The fabric I was using was quite a light weight so I used a heavier lining fabric to give it more body so that it would hang better.



Here’s a little bit of history,

Gingham fabric was first manufactured in Malaysia which was controlled by the Dutch in the 17th century. It was originally called genggang, meaning stripped, and imported by the Dutch into Europe. If your interested in more history then this is a great site for the full historical low down visforvintage.net/2012/09/11/gingham-fabric/

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Happy Sewing


Sewing Tools

A dozen assorted stones!

Today is just a quick update as I am busy working on my pink Gingham shirt which will be ready by the weekend. I enjoyed wearing the Easter shirt the other day at our Easter lunch, everyone wanted to know how I’d made the sleeve cuff and it really wasn’t hard at all. Infact it was easier than sewing a pair of conventional sleeve cuffs.

I’d like to show you twelve of my most useful sewing tools!

My sewing stone tools image
My sewing stone tools

This is my collection of sewing stones which I use all of the time in the workroom. They cost me absolutely nothing. I collected them years ago from the beach while on a family holiday.

I use the stones as paper weights to hold down patterns and tracing paper when I want to trace off just one size from a multi size pattern. I don’t always like to cut my paper patterns, I like to use them many times by tracing them off and then manipulating the original to come up with different styles and design ideas.

The stones are also very useful pin substituted. I use them to secure paper patterns down onto the fabric when cutting out with a rotary cutter on a cutting mat. This is such a quick and easy way to work and I know a lot of quilters and patchworkers use this method.

Please use the comments below to share your unusual notions and sewing gadgets.

Sewing stones as paper weights image
Sewing stones as paper weights
Sewing stones as pin substitutes image
Sewing stones as pin substitutes

Please leave any comments below. Also subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on google+facebooktwitterand bloglovin to keep in touch.

Happy Sewing