My handmade wardrobe – sweatshirt dress #sewthelove

We’ve just had a lovely sunny weekend and it feels like Spring is most definitely here! So it doesn’t seem so appropriate to be posting a blog post about a cosy sweatshirt dress. But as I’ve made it I’m going to share it anyway!

This was a design I wrote as a project for Sew Now magazine.

It started life as an idea for colour blocking.  This was my idea submission for the magazine, showing the option of a plain version or a colour blocked version. In the end, the editor and stylist opted for a two colour version using denim blue and mustard.

A colour combo that I thought looked great and it really worked just using two colours.  I wanted to make one of these dresses for myself, however, I left making it a little late in the season for wearing it. As I am on a mission to not leave projects half way through I carried on and finished it. I am pretty sure I will want to wear it when the weather turns cold again later in the year. I used 300gsm cotton sweatshirt fabric that I stock for both the magazine version and my version. This fabric is beautifully soft and has a brushed back, it’s like wearing a big fluffy sweater.

I chose to try the three colourway idea, though, in quite a subtle way, I used solid grey, grey marl and black. Quite a safe colourway. I am pleased with the result and I definitely would wear this dress but I do think I prefer the two colour option using stronger colours. I might make another in braver colours later in the year.

I think the great thing about this style is you can wear it really casually with trainers or smartened up a bit with boots. I’ve seen a fabulous version made by the talented Miss Elbneedle all the way over in Germany. She made the dress for her friend who looked great wearing it styled with tan boots.

You can buy back issues of the magazine if you fancy making one yourself, this was published in issue 5. Sew Now also run a social media campaign using #sewthelove, if you want to share any of the projects in the mag on social media.

I also love to hear how you get on if you make any of my projects and love to see pictures too!

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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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