Tag Archives: Sewing

Smart Office Dress

I was in need of some creative sewing fun this week after the disappointment of my Blue Dress. Therefore I went right back to my favourite way of working which is to select a look as my inspiration and take it from there. The inspiring look I choose can sometimes come from the runway and other times from collections in fashion stores. In this make, the style of dress I have chosen as a starting point is this tricolour dress which was snapped on Victoria Beckham. I think it will make the perfect smart office dress.

Smart Office Dress Front image
Smart Office Dress Front

The pattern which I have chosen is from my existing favourites pile, therefore I have made the fitting alterations to it before and know it stands a fairly good chance of fitting me well.

Smart Office Dress Layout image
Smart Office Dress Layout

That said I went about cutting it up into pieces to give me the new pattern for the tricolour dress I wanted to make. When you don’t have to be concerned with the pattern fit because you already know it works you have the freedom to play around with it more and make it yours. If you do start cutting up your patterns however, please remember to always add seam allowance for the seams on the edges that will then need to be attached back together.

Smart Office Dress Layout image
Smart Office Dress Layout

The downside of making this dress with contrasting colours was that I had to keep changing the colour of the thread in both the sewing machine and in the overlocker/serger. I was uncertain what colour zip to choose and in the end went for a black regular zip with a lapped insertion, this seemed to conceal the actual zip quite well.

Smart Office Dress Back image
Smart Office Dress Back

Even though I have used this pattern before as I have said, I am not entirely happy with the look of the bodice. The bust darts are a bit too visible on the white fabric and draw the eye to that area too much. Guess I can always wear a cardigan like Victoria…

Smart Office Dress Front image
Smart Office Dress Front

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Happy Sewing

Smart Office Dress with Tape Measure image
Smart Office Dress with Tape Measure

Sheer Shirt

Have you ever had a pattern and you don’t know why you bought it?

I was looking through some of my pattern stash recently, and I have to say that it is quite considerable now, when I came across this one, New look 6305. I don’t quite know why I collect so many patterns. I think it is a bit like people who like books knowing that they can not possibly read them all but they just have to own them. I know that I will never have the time to make everything that I want to sew but some how owning the patterns is inspiring and keeps the sewing juices flowing.

Sheer Shirt Pattern image
Sheer Shirt Pattern

Getting back to New Look 6350, I don’t recall acquiring such a boring looking pattern with such an ugly envelope picture. However, I thought that I would set myself a little challenge to make a wearable and possibly even fashionable garment from this uninspiring look.

The fabric I’ve used is a patterned sheer, which has been in the stash for quite some time waiting for it’s turn at the sewing machine.

Sheer Shirt Bust Dart image
Sheer Shirt Bust Dart

The seams are all sewn as french seams so that all the edges are encased and will not fray. This also looks nice as of the seams are visible from the outside of the sheer, see through fabric. The only seam which is not a french seam is around the sleeve head which I could have stitched as a flat felled seam, however I attached as usual then serged to lock the two layers of fabric together. In the finished photographs I think it looks neat enough.

I traced off the pattern pieces for view C on the packet picture. I did this instead of cutting out the actual paper pattern itself because I was not sure if I would be cutting it about and restyling the pieces . In the end though after making a toile from a piece of cotton sheeting fabric which I buy just for this purpose, it was decided to simply lengthen the bodice and slightly reduce the width of the edging band. I also did not put the cuff band onto the sleeves as they were long enough already and the cuff made them look too heavy for the sheer fabric.
The sleeves now finish at the same point as the bodice hemline.

Sheer Shirt Front image
Sheer Shirt Front
Sheer Shirt Side image
Sheer Shirt Side


My assessment of the final shirt is that I shouldn’t be too quick to judge a pattern and just because the picture on the packet looks a bit dated it only needs a small helping of inspiration to nudge it back into fashion. It is a very easy top to wear. I think it would be very comfortable and up to date made from a sweatshirt fabric, maybe grey or another neutral tone. It would also work in cotton, silk, denim or something with a bit of stretch like a ponte roma.

I guess I shall have to create a dress next from the rest of the pattern.

Sheer Shirt Front image
Sheer Shirt Front