Pretty birds travel maxi dress

I picked up a fab bird print fabric from the fancy silk store in Birmingham a few months back and I’d been looking for the perfect style to use it for ever since. It’s a really unusual lightweight non-crease fabric which needs more exploring…

It looks a bit like a crepe de chine  but on further inspection it turns out to be a very lightweight polyester and elastane mix fabric which has the look of a microfibre with the feel of an activewear or swimsuit fabric – very odd but absolutely perfect for travel dress as it’s super cool, scrunches up to nothing and needs absolutely no ironing! I made it just in time for our recent trip to Dinard in France along with my Pantalon Rouge! When traveling with hand luggage only it’s all about the non-crease, stretch fabrics!

Following in the footsteps of my sewing friend Jess, I decided to (kind of) jump on the bandwagon of the pillowcase dress after seeing her lovely version.

Who doesn’t love a 1 hour dress!

But of course I’m never one for keeping things simple, so rather than creating a channel to thread a draw string through to create the straps as shown in this fab Melly Sews tutorial, I decided to make life more complicated and rouche the front and back with gathering stitches then finished this off with self binding and little ties at the shoulder. It took a bit longer than the tutorial version but I really like the finished effect. 

It’s nice and cool worn loose but I loved it with a sparkly belt for a bit of holiday glamour! 

It was a bit chilly at night in Dinard so I’m glad I had this lime green cropped cardi already which goes really well.


Happy sewing!

Sarah x

Les pantalon rouge

I’m just back from a few days of French Adventures with Matt. We went for a lovely little break to Dinard (don’t worry, nobody else has heard of it either) in Brittany, North France. We bagged a bargain flight for £35 and an air BnB set us back the princely sum of £150 between us for 3 nights leaving a few euros for lots of delicious food and vin rouge! 


Even though it was a short trip I jumped on the excuse to make a few new items of clothing to wear on my hols. 

I picked up a fab bird print fabric in Birmingham a few months back and I’d been looking for a reason to use it ever since. I’ll write a bit more about this in a future post as it’s a really unusual lightweight non-crease fabric which needs more exploring… 

This trip was also a fantastic excuse to finally crack my nemesis- Trousers! 

And what better than a pair of jolly nautical red pantalons for my Vacances sur la mer! 


I have used the Sew Over It ultimate trousers pattern several times now and even after making several fit amendments post cutting out I’ve never been 100% happy with the final fit.

This might also have something to do with the fabrics I choose for my first 2 pairs- the first being a navy star printed stretch cotton which faded terribly and shrunk with each wash- after 3 washes they were grey, bobbly and ankle length – and pair 2 which I made from pink cotton sateen which started the day with some stretch but this disappeared throughout the day meaning by lunch I ended up with slouchy mum-pants and by the evening they looked like jogging bottoms (so I was informed by my wonderfully honest friend Emma!) 
So this time I decided to do this the right way. I used high quality cotton twill with elastane from out shop. It has brilliant stretch return and was a dream to work with. I made up the pattern in a size 14 as before but when I got to the side seams I basted these and tried on the trousers for fit. I then pinched, tucked marked, unpicked, re-pinned and sewed nearly every seam and dart to achieve the perfect fit. 


My fit amends included taking in 2cm at the top of the inside leg seam making the crotch scoop less dramatic and the rise shorter, taking in 5mm at each side seam above the hip to the waist, taking in the waist  darts, shifting the seam below the knee to pull it toward the back of my leg, and adding a waistband. I then did what I hadn’t done before and traced off the pattern and applied the changes to paper. 

I also added extra length but I’m still not sure I added enough. They are just a smudge short still. 

I finished the hems and waistband with hand stitching on the plane of the way over. It kept me out of mischief! I closed the waistband with a trouser hook and bar. 

One thing I didn’t do with this pair was trim anything so the larger previous seam allowances are still all inside making the seam quite bulky so I’ll trim these away and refinish the seams before I wear these again. 

Overall I’m pretty happy with these now. 

I just want to add some more length.  And maybe some pockets. Roll on pair number 4! 

Happy sewing! 

Sarah x