Simple Sew Utility Dress

After a little bit of a hiatus (a blogging one, not a sewing one), I’m back with my latest Simple Sew make. This is the utility dress – a relaxed dress with kimono sleeves, a bound v-neckline, a half-elasticated and half draw-string (draw-strung?) waistline, and of course, pockets!

This dress has been on my radar for a while and I was always a little slow when it came to picking this for my Simple Sew makes, as other bloggers always got there before me! Finally I nabbed it for March’s (ahem) sew!

I’m not really a girly-girl so the fit-and-flare and the baby-doll style dresses don’t really do much for me. However, I am getting into wearing dresses and skirts more and more and I’m finding that I reach for the more simple style garments. The utility dress fits perfectly into the kind of thing that I wear nowadays!

The fabric (and pattern for that matter) came from the swap table at #sewupnorth – a meetup with fellow sewists at Leeds. I feel very lucky to have got the checked fabric. Checks in my favourite blues and greens – what’s not to love?

This was a really easy sew. The most challenging part was cutting out the pattern pieces to makes sure that the pattern matched throughout (it doesn’t but it mostly does). This is how I pattern matched the front bodice. I cut one bodice piece out and then used that piece as the pattern for the other bodice piece. Can you see one bodice half pinned to the fabric? It worked perfectly. Can you spot the centre front seam in the image above? I also managed to pattern match at the side seams on the skirt, but it wasn’t going to happen on the bodice side seams!

The other difficulty I had was with the self-made bias binding, which I made far too skinny! Because the fabric frays like mad, I did find that I was ‘losing’ parts of my bias tape. I’ve never been great at attaching bias binding (despite all the practice I’ve had) and I don’t seem to have improved any here! The good thing was that I made far too much bias binding so I used the rest as a drawstring! I like the drawstring feature of this pattern. The drawstrings are sewn into the side seams and poke out at the front through two eyelets. You have the option to do button holes but I like installing eyelets, and I have lots of them lying around!

So, all in all, I’m pretty happy with my new dress. It’s been worn a couple of times already. Here I am wearing it on a day out in York.

I seem to only have one pose! They look like the same photo with the addition of the denim jacket! Until next time…


Hack it: Cleolly?

This is my entry for the Monthly Stitch ‘Hack it’ comp. It got shortlisted so that’s exciting! Thank you to my Facebook friends for voting for me and if any of you blog readers would care to vote it would be very much appreciated (although I may have left it too late!). 

Cleolly? Does that work? Anyway….when the Hack It challenge was first announced on the Monthly Stitch I originally thought that I would sit this one out. I do lack imagination when it comes to altering or combining patterns and I like to follow instructions more or less as the designer intended. However, my little subconscious mind was busy working in the background and came up with…. Continue reading

Me Made May 2017

Yay, it’s that time of year again!
‘I, Corrine of (@corrineapplebymakes), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear a minimum of one me-made or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2017,and for one day a week to wear an outfit consisting of a minimum of two home made garments’.

This is my third year of Me Made May and now I think that it will be quite straightforward to wear something Me Made every day. It’s the outfit bit I’m going to struggle with as most of my hand made bits and bobs don’t actually go with each other! Off to a good start though for this week… Continue reading


So, apparently I don’t blog often enough. Which must be true because I have got a few projects that I’ve completed but never blogged about. Here’s the first one in an attempt to catch up.

At last year’s Harrogate woodworking show I bought some oak planks. I’ve used a little bit but I wanted to have a go at shaping a simple chopping board. Here it is:

I drew a simple template on paper, folding the paper in half to make sure it was symmetrical, marked the shape onto the wood, drilled the hole in the handle and then cut it out with a jigsaw.

Unfortunately, because I didn’t really have the correct blade in my jigsaw I got some bad scorching around the tight corners. I sanded a lot of it away but you can still see some. For this photo I propped it up using a bowl of thread trimmings, just so there is at least some evidence of sewing in this post.

I then decided to have a play with my pyrography kit by putting a picture in one corner. I printed it out in reverse on our laser printer and then used some heat from the pyrography pen to transfer it to the wood. Then I just traced over the design with a fine tip.

Finally, I gave the whole thing a coat of food safe mineral oil.

I must blog more often.  I must blog more often. I must …

#yorkshirespoolettes second meet up

Yesterday was the day I have been eagerly awaiting for some time – the #yorkshirespoolettes meet up! This is the second meetup and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the first one as well. You can read about it here. Last time I bought the fabric with a plan and none of the fabric I bought then remains in my stash! I wonder how long this little lot will stay in my stash for! Continue reading

A very late review!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2016 has got off to a great start. 2015 was a very good year for me sewing wise. This time last year I made the following ‘resolutions’. Lets see how I got on!..

1. THE most important make of the year is a bridesmaid (OK, matron of honour but that makes me sound old) dress. I’m very lucky to be asked and I’ve got to make it myself! The color will (probably) be gold and I can choose the pattern! Exciting! Continue reading