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Fancy Dress

After not sewing in over ten years I became inspired by my Mum’s sewing business Sewing Belle Ltd. I wanted to get back into sewing but realised not only did I need some help I needed to make things that wasn’t going to be perfect which is important for a perfectionist! As we had a few weekends away planned that involved a lot of fancy dress I decided to start with costumes. Luckily for me I had a wide choice of patterns readily available and my Mum agreed to make identical patterns as she had also had a long break from sewing.

Our first project was a tutu and cave girl costume for an 80’s weekend at Butlins Skegness, we decided on Simplicty pattern 1770, we attended Sew Brum hosted by the lovely Charlotte (English Girl at Home). We was introduced to the fantastic Rag market, we was overwhelmed by the choice of fabrics and how helpful the men on the stalls was. We decided on some leopard print fabric that didn’t need over locking. The pattern was simple to use we made time saving amendments including cutting the bottom of the dress in a zig zag way and not using a zip. The result was fantastic not only did we save money we had a high quality fancy dress and not clingly, unflattering costumes which we previously have worn.


The only problem we encountered was space to cut the fabric, as our passion for sewing had come back we decided to start a local sewing group in a local community hall, this was especially useful when we started making our tutu’s with 20 metres of tulle!

We used another Simplicity pattern 1427 the instructions was very clear, we liked that there was a short and long version and the fact this was layered, the main problem we encountered was packing this in our cases! My mum wore this with her basque as Maddonna. Mine felt too long when I arrived luckily this was easy to cut even after two gin and tonics! We will be making a neon tutu’s for our next 80s weekend, our fellow room mates had fancy dress envy this encouraged them to attend the sewing club.

Lisa T
A few weeks later we went to a 70s weekend again at Butlin’s, another trip to Birmingham was arranged – this has fast become a regular trip. We opted for stunning velvet material in various prints, I went for hot pink!! Simplicty 1427 pattern was great to practice cutting on the bias although the fabric was difficult to machine together and required a lot of patience as this was slippy. In future we would use a walking foot for this type of fabric. My mum made a dress for her and my Auntie they both looked fantastic however I didn’t measure myself and guessed my size which was incorrect this was far too big and I didn’t have time to take this in. This was an important lesson to always measure which I now ensure I do this twice. We picked some fantastic 70’s style fabric up from the market at £2.00 a meter 60 wide. We decided to use different patterns but the same fabric. I selected the Simple Sew SR04 Raglan dress as the sleeves reminded me of 70’s style. My Mum selected Very Easy Vogue Misses Semi Fitted 1970’s Dress with fantastic sleeves. Both patterns was simple to use and was perfect for this fancy dress we both agreed that we would use these patterns again using different fabric for everyday use. As a beginner I liked the Simple Sew Pattern as it was clear to use with simple instructions as a visual learner this was also very helpful. This dress was a great introduction to sewing sleeves and improved my confidence in this area of sewing. We had a fantastic night and received many compliments on our outfits!!


Sewing Belles x x

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