Summer 18 round-up.

It’s been an eventful Summer! In my last blog I described the making of a dress to wear for my retirement party. Well, I am now well and truly retired….. I loved the feeling on the first Monday in September, when I didn’t have the first day of term stress!

But lots has been happening over the last few weeks, including sewing, travelling, celebrating and buying. That last does not refer to a regular shopping excursion. Oh no, it’s much more exciting than that!

We have bought a house! (Pending the legalities)


So I have already been indulging in some of those retirement activities I have been lining up, and we are getting ready for relocating. Fingers crossed it all works out and then I can have fun setting out my sewing space, sorting out the garden and socialising. (Lots of other things as well!)

Since the Willow dress I have made another Willow tank – complete with French seams – and more importantly, a dress to wear for my granddaughter’s Christening.

After that I packed away the sewing corner due to travelling up and down the country, and then having a visitor staying in the spare room (my sewing room).

I chose the Adele dress pattern for the Christening, which was free in “Simply Sewing” magazine, and a gift from my daughter.


I have never been frightened of the technical aspect of dressmaking, but as I have mentioned before, fit is a recurring issue as my body shape has changed in my later years.

I always buy size 16 in M&S rtw, but when sewing I nearly always start with an 18. I was very cautious his time, because I was using expensive fabric, so I actually made a toile of the bodice. And just as well!

I had to grade out for the raised waist seam initially, then when it was put together, I had to take in bagginess from the underarms, despite the kimono shape. I am a strange shape. 😞

Everything else went fine and I am pleased with the finished result. This includes shaped front pockets, a faced V neckline and pleats in the skirt.


Next time I use this pattern I think that I will start with a 16 bodice, and take the waist seam a little bit lower so that the bodice can be more streamlined, as it appears in the pattern picture. I am also tempted to make a maxi version.

We had a lovely day for the Christening. It was warm enough not to need a jacket, happily, and it was in the beautiful location of the Wicklow coast. It was a joy to spend time with the family and to have lots of cuddles with my granddaughter. She is so gorgeous!

My daughter wore her newest Fringe dresses, and she had also made the baby’s Christening dress. (She was Godmother). So it was a real sewists event.

When I got home there was more travelling, then my visitor arrived.

My daughter has followed a tradition of coming to us for a staycation in the summer for the last ten years. This was her last one so she came with a list of things she wanted to do and places she wanted to go. One of these places was Fabricland in Reading. There are no Fabricland shops in the northeast, so we made the most of our last trip, and we each ended up with a full bag! Lots of future projects and a bigger stash!

Now I am keeping my fingers crossed for a stress free completion on the house and not having to wait too long before we can say goodbye to compact living, and bring all of our stuff together in a proper home.

There is, however, time for some sewing in the meantime! Now what will I do next????


4 thoughts on “Summer 18 round-up.

  1. Exciting times! Congrats on the house purchase, hope it all goes smoothly and stress-free. That Willow tank is so beautiful. I missed out on the fabric, I think it’s the same fabric that Nina Lee used for her Kew Dress sample? Enjoy your well-earned sewing time. 🙂


    1. Thank you so much. My fingers and toes are crossed!
      The fabric is a lovely lightweight viscose from Dainty Supplies in Washington, Tyne and Wear. It’s a shop which has a lot of fancy fabrics but sometimes has some other stuff which is suited to more “normal” wear. This was a real find! 😁👏


  2. Gorgeous dress! I love the kimono sleeves! And the fabric print you chose is simply darling! Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you were able to enjoy the benefits of retirement! Hope the rest of your retirement days treat you well! Blessings!


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