Completed: Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress

When I was looking to build my sewing confidence, I decided to take the Ultimate Trousers class at Sew Over It‘s Islington shop. The trousers actually turned out really well, and it was the boost I needed to keep making apparel. Since then, I’ve been a major Sew Over It fangirl. Their patterns are stylish and versatile, and not too complicated (depending on the pattern of course). I love Lisa’s style too and enjoy her vlogs.

The fabric is this soft, drapey rayon from their store. I don’t think they have it anymore but it’s called “pick up sticks”. I actually have a number of pieces of fabric from their store that I’m saving up for the perfect project.

The Ultimate Shift Dress is a beginner pattern, and has a lot of room for hacking and creativity. All you need to do is watch Lisa’s Shift Dress video to see all the variations you can make with it! Unlike other Sew Over It makes, I needed to make a few adjustments to the Ultimate Shift Dress pattern for it to fit me well. I’ve been fortunate that other patterns have needed little to no adjustment. My bust size falls into a size 8, hips in size 10 and shoulders in size 12. After some trial and error, I have it worked out. From the neck to the lower armscye, it’s size 12, the rest is size 10 and the bust dart is at the size 8 point. Since the armscye are size 12, so are my sleeves. The great thing about this is not only does it fit my shoulders perfectly, but it’s loose enough where I can get it over my head without the back opening. Win!

I finished this dress the morning of a celebration we had with friends and family for my daughters 100 days of life. It’s a Chinese tradition called Red Egg and Ginger. Since the dress is shorter when cinched in with a belt, I wore it with tights. I prefer it with a belt because it gives me (and the dress) more shape!

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I made this version with elbow length sleeves.

I have an idea for my next make using this pattern. It’ll likely be a hacked top version. It’s a few down in my sewing queue so it may not be for a little.

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Sew Over It: Ultimate Wrap Dress

Another backlog make being posted to the blog! I made this wrap dress a while back and at the time, it was one of the more challenging things I’d made. I’m a massive fan of Sew Over It patterns and I do love a good wrap dress as well. The instructions are clear, concise and easy to follow. I had no issues, and it was my first time tackling a project like this.

The only adjustment I made to this version was to lengthen it by a few inches since I like my dresses to hit just above or at my knee. As with most wrap dresses, I find it a bit low at the front so I usually wear a vest (cami) underneath. I also like the mid-length sleeves for a bit of warmth in the winter, or some extra warmth in a cold air-conditioned office.

Made of a lovely royal blue ponte di roma fabric, I wore this to work a lot and always got compliments on it. People didn’t really believe that I’d made it, which is a lovely compliment 🙂 Would definitely love to make it again, but just haven’t had the opportunity to yet.

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One thing that I thought would annoy me is the facing and keeping it tucked in. I’m happy to report that with the understitching, it stays in place nicely!

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Really loving the cowl necks

I’ve done quite a bit of sewing in the past couple months but I haven’t gotten around to blogging about it. I’ll be playing catch up over the next few weeks.

I never used to be into cowl necked things, but I find them flattering, and comfortable to wear! The fact that they’re made from jersey adds to their comfort because they nice and stretchy 🙂

A while back I made a red long-sleeve cowl neck top from Sew Over It. It’s made of a lovely and thick ponte roma jersey that I picked up on Goldhawk Road. I’ve worn it loads of times since making it…just never got around to blogging about it. I don’t have an overlocker but used twin needles, which works remarkably well. There’s a really great tutorial on A Stitching Odyssey’s blog that I found really useful. The pattern is so easy to follow and to sew. It’s 4 pattern pieces, 2 cut on the fold and 2 sleeves. With the weather getting warmer, I doubt I’ll be wearing it much now but as soon as it gets cooler I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of use out of it. I’ll probably also make more in a variety of colours 🙂 Ahhh…the joys of sewing.

View from the front. As you can see, I've made the sleeves nice and long, which suit me just fine :)
View from the front. As you can see, I’ve made the sleeves nice and long, which suit me just fine 🙂
It looks a bit orange here, but I think it's just the light
It looks a bit orange here, but I think it’s just the light

A couple weekends ago, I got around to making another version out of this lovely blue scuba fabric. Since the weather is warming up, I thought making a short-sleeved version would be in order. Another successful cowl neck top! I can guarantee I’ll be making more of these in the future.

Oops, this picture came out a bit blurry!
Oops, this picture came out a bit blurry!
Close up of the front
Close up of the front
View from the side. I really love how easy the scuba is to sew!
View from the side. I really love how easy the scuba is to sew!

Sewing adventures continued! Cowl Neck top

One of the big issues I have with finding long sleeve tops is length. Length of the torso and length of the sleeves. I have long arms, and can never find long sleeve tops that fit my torso and don’t eventually become 3/4 sleeved after 1 wash.

I’d been watching the Great British Sewing Bee (I realise that admitting this may put me in granny territory) and it’s really motivated me to start sewing again!

I found this great sewing shop in London called Sew Over It. They have these amazing sewing classes and patterns that look intermediate friendly. It’s been a cold winter and a cold spring (so far), and I find myself turning to long sleeves on a regular basis. As a result, the first pattern of theirs that I tried is the Cowl Neck Top and dress. I liked that it could be used to make a long sleeve or short sleeve top or dress.

I had some striped jersey in my fabric box and decided to use it for this top. I don’t have an overlocker, so I did all of this on a traditional sewing machine. The instructions call for zigzagging the edges of the jersey and using a straight stitch for the seams. I decided instead to use twin stretch needles to sew all of my seams and hems so that the stitches would give when stretched.

Overall, a really easy pattern to follow and quite simple to put together! I’m really happy with the stripey long sleeve and have already worn it many times since completing it. I’ve just bought more jersey to make more versions of it! I definitely chalk this project up to a success!

Striped Cowl Neck