I really love Papercut Patterns and have quite a few of their patterns that I’d like to make. I made a Sway dress a year ago and have worn it a few times, however it has not got as much wear as I had hoped as the length of the dress is quite short (in hindsight I should have known this as many others seem to find this as well). Hence, it has been this pattern hack of the Sway Dress to make a double layered top that has gotten the most wear in my wardrobe.

As soon as the Papercut blog posted this pattern hack I knew I had to make it. I followed these instructions but omitted the V neck and cut 4 of the front higher necked pieces instead. Hence my version is exactly the same both front and back. This is the perfect top for all seasons as it is light and breezy. I was a little short on this fabric that I’d bought at The Fabric Store, so the upper part of the inner fabric layer is made out of some old fabric my grandma had in her fabric stash. Luckily for me you can’t see this part of the top as it’s hidden under the upper layer and a crisis mid way through fabric cutting was averted. 

This top is the me made item that gets the most wear all year round. Usually it’s worn with jeans and a long cardigan in winter or denim shorts in the summer and it’s become one of my favorite makes. 

FABRIC:               2m Printed cotton,The Fabric Store

PATTERN:            Papercut Patterns Sway Dress

I am very clumsy and forgetful. Every single day I’m walking into stationary objects and constantly dropping or misplacing things leaving a legacy of scratched, chipped, dented and broken possessions behind me. So that said, these quilted cases filled a necessity to protect some of my more valued things when traveling. I have made cases for my kindle and earphones, but you could make them for iPads and laptops too.  Luckily these have worked perfectly and my kindle and earphones are still in perfect shape and I can locate both of them.

  1. Cut two rectangles of fabric that is two and a half times the length of the finished pouch plus an extra centimetre on each edge for a  seam allowance. Cut the batting to the same size as the fabric pieces. It is sometimes easier to make this bigger than needed and then cut down after the fabric is quilted
  2. On one piece of fabric mark a diamond grid using a ruler and chalk reference to sew.  I change the size of the grid depending on the size of the case, the small case had a 3cm grid and the large had 5cm.
  3. Pin the batting in between the fabric, with the right sides facing outwards, then sew along the pre-marked lines to create one rectangle of quilted fabric. It is best to sew in the same direction for all parallel lines to avoid any uneven stretching
  4. Hem the two short sides of the rectangle
  5. Fold the the lower half of the rectangle up with the wrong side facing outwards about two thirds lengthway and sew up the side seams. Cut threads and tidy seams then turn inside out
  6. Fold the edges of the flap in the same width as the side seams and sew to create a neat edge
  7. Hand sew a button to the pouch and attach a small length of string elastic to the flap of the pouch so that the top can be closed

The pouches are really easy to make as they are made of a single sheet of quilted fabric. I’ve made a few of these now for myself  and for others as they make a great gift! They can be made in about an hour so it’s easy to make lots of them using the remnants of fabrics from another project. Hopefully once I have enough of these for everything I’m likely to lose or drop I’ll never lose or break anything again! However, I’m sure that’s just wishful thinking.

FABRIC:      Fabric remnants from another project, recycled fabric from an old skirt, batting (medium weight)

PATTERN:  Self drafted

I really enjoy a good off the shoulder top. They are a great addition to a wardrobe, instantly dress up  shorts, jeans or skirt and are perfectly summery. 

This is a self drafted top. The construction was fairly simple, as seen in the diagram above. It is made using only 6 rectangles, 3 for the front and 3 for the back. The measurements on the diagram are what I used and should fit about a size 6/8. 

  1. Cut two identical rectangles for the body the length of the final shirt + the width of your shoulders remembering to include some extra for seam allowance.
  2. Cut 4 sleeve squares 25cm times the desired length of the sleeves. The final piece to cut is a long strip the length of the top of the top (width of 4 sleeves and 2 body peices + 4 cm for overlap) and 6cm wide.
  3. Sew the sleeves together on the outer seam and up 7cm on the lower part of the inner seam, as seen in the diagram.
  4. Sew the sleeves onto the body and then sew the side seams. It is tricky to sew all the way to the point under the arm where the seams all meet. It can be useful to hand sew this part.  Clip the seams at the armhole to eliminate bulk and allow the sleeves to sit nicely.
  5. Hem both the top and bottom of the top.
  6. Iron the long strip of fabric flat and fold the edges over 0.5cm. Sew to the inside of the shirt just below the upper hem to form a casing for the elastic leaving a hole where the fabric meets to thread the elastic through the casing. Sew the ends of the elastic together forming a circle of elastic tight enough so that it gathers the fabric at the top and allows the top to sit nicely on the shoulders.
  7. Close the hole in the casing by hand

I’m really enjoying wearing this top just have to make sure that I sunscreen up and not burn my shoulders in the heat!

FABRIC:      Printed cotton from Spotlight.  2cm wide flat ribbed elastic.

PATTERN:  Self drafted

It’s summer and with no school there is plenty of time for sewing. This is a quick, easy and inexpensive dress  to make that is perfect for the holidays.  

 

My inspiration for this dress was threefold – gingham, nostalgia and mum! I’ve loved all the gingham I’ve been seeing round this summer and really wanted to make something gingham for my own wardrobe. On my last day of high school Mum showed me this photo of my first day of kindergarten and I thought the dress I was wearing was sweet. Finally, I also really liked this khaki dress my mum has worn during the summer which had a similar shape however slightly more grown up than what I wore when I was 3 years old.

 

I self drafted this dress which was a little bit daunting and took a little bit of trial and error. I had multiple attempts at shaping the top of the dress as I cut it too wide initially. However I suppose its better to have it too large than too small.

It’s a basic two piece garment, one front and one back piece which were cut identically. I then cut about 10cm off the top of the back dress piece in order to have the back sit a little lower than the front of the dress and added vents to the side seams for ease of movement.

I created bust darts unscientifically by measuring them out while I wore the dress. I would not advocate for this method and would be a little more careful next time maybe tracing the darts of an existing pattern I know works for me. The darts were not exactly right initially and I took a few attempts and a few days of procrastination avoiding doing them!

I really like the buttons that hold the straps on and they allow me to get into the dress as I didn’t include a zip. However, in hindsight, I should have put buttonholes on the dress and buttons on the straps so that the end of the straps would not be seen, making it a little cleaner. Now I know for next time as I am sure I’ll end up making another dress like this.

This dress is really easy to wear, very breathable and allows for movement and has become on of my favorite outfits that I’ve sewn.

 

FABRIC:      Premium cotton gingham from Spotlight.  2 metres. https://www.spotlightstores.com/by-the-metre/premium-cotton-gingham/p/BP80281690

PATTERN:  Self drafted