My handmade wardrobe – change of season – September 2015

Some big excitement to report this month….I was asked to feature in the ‘We Meet’ article published monthly in Sewing world magazine, of course I was very flattered and agreed! The article is not all about my handmade wardrobe, more an over view of all Bobbins and Buttons sewing activity, inspiration and tips. However I am wearing one of my new shift dresses made from my own pattern. These dresses have now become firm wardrobe stables. The coat I started last Winter and promised I would finish even though the season had changed is there as a big fat reminder that I didn’t finish it and now we are approaching Winter and I have to finish it!

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A couple of other dresses made from commercial patterns are peeking through the photographs. One of my favorite wraparound dresses hanging on the radiator in the opening picture. I am also wearing my Alice in Wonderland border print dress in the photograph with the Sew Sociable team.

bird shift bobbins and buttons

zip detail bobbins and buttons

Talking of dresses, perhaps this is a shift to far but here’s another one. A piece of fabric bought in the John Lewis sale, I decided to squeeze it into the summer season before it was to late. It was earmarked as a shift dress when I bought it, before I realised I had around 6 already! Nevertheless I don’t think a girl can have to many. I added a chunky metal zip to this one, I like the contrast of the pretty print with the edginess of the zip.


This one I cut from a piece of fabric that I had used for several smaller projects. I think I originally planned a full skirted dress when I bought it, I must have bought 2-3 metres, but I think it is quite a loud print and probably needs to be served in smaller doses.


I tend to have cutting out ‘splurges’, followed by sewing ‘splurges’. This is the scene from the latest one. I actually ran out of pins.


I spotted this leather look jersey when I was shopping for jersey basics from the great local and online shop Vend fabrics for much needed input of t-shirts. I fancied trying it as a pair of leggings. I made a pattern from a pair I already had. The problem with making jersey garments is that the only real way to test the pattern is by making the garment in the real fabric because the stretch and elastane quantity alters the fit and is different in every quality of jersey. Though these fitted fine, the rise was a little low for me so I added a deep elasticated waistband and now I am happy with them.


This is my trusty favorite Topshop t-shirt that is white but has starting to look a little grey! I made a pattern from this top. My jersey fabric spend did include a piece of white viscose to make another like this, so I still have a white tee that is actually white!


I also bought this space dyed polyester single jersey which makes up really nicely in this slouchy shape.

Now onto the new season. I have lots of plans including finishing my coat. I have a list of new casuals including a few new t-shirts and a sweatshirt. I also have some plans for jersey fabric cardigan/jackets and some simple scarves to!





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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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