Simplicity top 2599 – And an alternative way to sew a neck-facing.


Simplicity top

The dress on the above left  wasn’t being worn for a couple of reasons….. the plain fabric at the top was almost see-through and just looked odd no matter what I wore.   Having such a pale colour next to my face didn’t do me any favours either!

But, because I really like the colourful print, I took out Simplicity 2599:

simplicity 2599

I’ve used this pattern three times before – and all versions were made from the refashion pile. This one was also made from an old dress.

It’s a great woven t-shirt pattern to have on hand.  It comes with different cup sizes and various frills, (none of which I’ve never used). I like that it has bust shaping but is loosely fitted at the waist.



The back of the top is a light sweat-shirting fabric that has a little give to it, making it easy to put on without an opening at the back neck.

I finished the neckline with a facing that was attached a little differently to the pattern directions.  Firstly, I attached just the front neck facing to the front, right sides together, trimmed, flipped it to the inside and pressed it.



Then I stitched the front to the back, at the shoulder seams ( not pictured) , This caught the front facing onto the shoulders.

With the inside front facing me , I pinned the back neck facing across the back neck and over onto the shoulder seams (sandwiching the front facing at the shoulders again)



Here is a close up showing how I then stitched it in place:



Before trimming and turning it through.  Below is a close up of the inside at the shoulder seam.  Sewing it this way keeps the facing secure at the shoulder line, and its a change from the usual order of sewing.  Keep in mind that the shoulder seams are all pressed towards the back, so this only works on fabric that isn’t too bulky.


Inside neckline


I topstitched across the back neck with a stretchy machine stitch:


Back neckline


The armholes are finished with strips of bias-cut lining fabric,  and the armholes are topstitched.









Lastly the side seams and hem are sewn, and then it’s ready to wear !



Covering buttons – a diy solution


Apparently necessity is the mother of invention.  Well I needed two satin covered buttons and quickly. My solution is not something I’d recommend – unless there’s no time for a better option!


I was putting the finishing touches on a friends jacket, and we hadn’t bought any self-cover buttons, because I was certain that I already had some………… Nope.

But I did have some flat metal buttons with a small shank.  The buttons are purely for decoration, and as they won’t be handled much, I came up with a quick fix.  (This is about as far from a couture method as you can get!)

I cut circles from the satin (slightly larger than the buttons),  and gathered them around the buttons ;





Then I cut two more circles slightly smaller than the buttons.



I used a lighter to seal the raw edges – this only works with synthetic fabrics.   Then I cut a small slit in the centre, and these were placed over the backs, like so-



A glue gun was used to attach them.



I then stitched them to the organza jacket, with a small square of organza inside the jacket as reinforcement for the light fabric.


Here’s what the jacket looked like finished – it’s almost impossible to photograph because of the transparency!  Unfortunately I didn’t have time to stop and get in-progress photos.  It was an interesting project, using a mix of bound and French seams.
*** If you want to have some buttons covered properly, have a look at the beautiful ones Helen used on her last dress ***


Making a dress from jeans – V1316

When I started teaching myself to sew as a teenager,I didn’t have easy access to fabric. I mostly altered shop-bought clothes to fit my shape. I also cut apart old clothing to use the fabric. Things haven’t changed much and I still have a bundle of clothes waiting for a second chance….

Like these jeans for example –


The key to reusing fabric is to find a pattern that has alot of panels or smaller sections. This makes it easier to cut pattern pieces according to the correct grain, while also avoiding the original seams on the old clothing.


The pattern I’m using is V1316.


Which I bought after seeing this beautiful version on Handmade by Carolyn.

I’m using 3 pairs of blue jeans and a pair of light grey. They all have a small amount of lycra, which should make this comfortable to wear.

I made a cutting plan by grouping the pattern pieces into light,medium and dark.

I cut a size eight after comparing my measurements (approx 34-28-37) to the finished measurements printed on the pattern pieces. I added an extra 2cm onto the centre back seam allowances as a safety measure! I also added some extra fabric at the shoulder seams as I usually change the shoulder slope on patterns (for straight shoulders).

I am using both the outside and inside of the denim depending on which shade looks better, or has less signs of wear-and-tear! The wrong side is marked with a chalk.


I didn’t muslin this dress as I mostly prefer to make fitting changes by trying on as I sew. (Another bonus with using free fabric is that it’s not a big deal if things don’t work out)…. Plus not sure I want the headache of adjusting the paper pattern..too many pieces!


The instructions are clear to follow. The pattern allows for a lining (a simpler shape without all the little pattern pieces!). But I have been overlocking seams as I go, as I’ll most likely leave this unlined.

I played around with the right/wrong side of the denims before stitching:


Dark center panel


Light center panel

Here’s how it looks as I was attaching the shoulder yoke-


I have tacked the zip and tried it on. The back is gaping a little at the neck, so I’ll need help adjusting the seam, and pinning the shoulders.

Ps…. If you’ve never read Carolyn’s blog before, then I suggest making a big cup of tea….. There’s alot of good stuff there!

B6168 Dress – pictures & final details

This is the Butterick 6168 dress by Lisette that I made at the start of the summer……little did I know it was also the middle and end of the summer! Ah well it was nice to see the sun for a short while!!


I cut the skirt a size smaller than the bodice to reduce the fullness of the gathered front.


The sleeves could do with being a little looser, and I hand tacked the front wrap to stop it gaping and help it to sit flat.
Otherwise, very few changes.


Colour is a little off! Red is so hard to photograph!

I added lining to my version. The bodice and sleeves are flatined.


The skirt lining is caught with the dress at the centre back seam and the waist.

The zipper is invisible and the seam is bound with a strip of the dress fabric.



So all said, it’s a nice summer dress that looks good with flats or heels. I’m just hoping that the sun comes back out so that I can wear it again soon!