Wednesday, 20 March 2013


I am going to show you a couple of frocks, but before I do in case you've been following my shirtmaking journey here's a picture of my headless husband wearing his finished shirt.  I would wholeheartedly recommend the classic tailored shirt class to anyone who wants to learn how to professionally construct a shirt, it's so well taught by Pam Howard that even a slapdash sewer like me managed to produce something wearable.  I really hope that Craftsy will offer some more Pam in the future.

Now onto the frocks.  A while ago I pinned this Brora dress onto my Pinterest page.  I particularly like the neckline with the collar, at the time I looked online and in my own stash of patterns but couldn't find anything similar.

Then a couple of months ago I spotted this dress in the February edition of BurdaStyle magazine

                                                             BurdaStyle Boucle Dress Pattern

I prefer the shape of the skirt on this pattern to the Brora dress as full skirts never look good on me, so I decided to give it a go.  As I was under the misapprehension that spring was on it's way I decided not to use a boucle like the photograph (although I do think it looks fab) and opted to use up some fabric I had in my 'not sure what I'll use this for' pile.  So here I am in my frock.

Now I hadn't done my shirt class at this point and I couldn't get my head around the collar instructions at all, so I drafted a flat peter pan collar and went with that.  I think it came out ok, but the neckline is way too low to wear alone and it's a bit baggy around the waist.  Anyway I've worn it and that's probably the biggest test.

So then I decided to make another - it really is a very easy dress to make (did I mention no dreaded zip?)  This time I added a waist dart at the front (there is one already in the back) and opted not to include a collar.  I dug out some fine needlecord fabric in black and came up with this.

I did reduce the length of the neckline, but still not enough to wear without flashing.  It's a shame because it's a bit spoilt by having a cami underneath although it probably would look better with a black  one rather than blue - hey ho.

I'm pleased with the overall outcome, the fabric in particular.  It looks a bit like velvet from a distance, but being needlecord is a lot more wearable.  Whilst the new front darts have given it a bit of shape, I don't think I got them right and should have given them a longer taper.  Well I think that's what the problem is.

I'd love to know what you think about these two frocks, I'm tempted to make a third to try and get the neckline right and use my new collar knowledge to make a 'proper' collar.  I'll add it onto the to do list.  In the meantime I'm off before I change my mind about posting photographs of myself - I hate having my photo taken (gulp).


  1. Ooooh, loving your frocks! That one with the cityline and the night starry sky is so fabulous! And your husband's shirt, wow, very professional. I have taken a few Craftsy courses and have a few lined up in the queue, but have not taken that particular one.

    I'm also having a giveaway over on my blog to celebrate the Equinox (vernal or autumnal, depending on where you live), so feel free to drop by and enter if you are interested. I'm giving away a Sewing Book. Cheers!

    1. Thanks, for you kind comments. Your giveaway looks brilliant I had to enter.

  2. Congratulations on your shirt and I think your dresses look great. Well done on tackling collars and cuffs on the shirt and the collars on the dress too. I think the black dress would look good with a pretty black lace cami for evening out.

  3. I just found you via Colettes blog. I love that little frock. That is something I would love to wear!

  4. those are fantastic!! great job!! :) :)

  5. Thanks for your lovely comments, I feel a little braver now.