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Tilly and the Buttons - Rosa Shirt Dress

Tilly and the Buttons - Rosa Shirt Dress

Needlecord has fast become my favourite fabric to sew with during Winter. It looks super chic and keeps you warm too! When I spotted this gorgeous forest green needlecord instore at my local haberdashery, I had to get some for my stash.

When the Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Shirt & Shirt Dress Sewing Pattern was released last year, I wasn't really interested and had written it off. But after seeing a few versions pop up on curvier girls, I thought I would give it a try. Plus I do love a shirt dress (usually with a waist and full skirt).

Here's a peek at the pattern:

Even though it isn't my usual shirt dress style, it still looked like it had a nice shape, with a fitted waist which flares out into an A-line skirt. A style which I do think is really flattering, so I hoped it would have the right effect on me!

I'm surprised at how much I like this pattern and have gotten a lot of wear out of it since I made it. I started this dress waaaay back in November, but ended up being shelved as I am very easily distracted! But at the beginning of January, I didn't want to start the new year with a UFO in the sewing room, so I made a conscious effort to finish and now I'm annoyed at myself for not finishing it sooner!

I also enjoyed sewing this dress and found the pattern nice and easy to follow. I also think needlecord is the perfect fabric for this dress, so if you're plotting some Winter makes, add this to your list!

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Shirt & Shirt Dress Sewing Pattern

Fabric: Needlecord Corduroy Dress Fabric - Forest Green

Notions: Metal Buttons

Sewing time: Mine was a UFO for a while, but this probably would of taken me a full day or a weekend.

Modifications: None.

Fit: Near perfect! (I know, weird)

Difficulty: Medium. A great venture into shirts for beginners as Tilly's patterns are simple to follow and clearly illustrated.

Watch out for: Tidy top-stitching and a neat collar really make this shirt dress sing!

Make Again?: Yes! I love this in needlecord, but I know I'd love it in denim too.

Tada! My finished Rosa shirt dress.
Overall, I'm really happy with my Rosa shirt dress. I can't believe I nearly disregarded this sewing pattern as I'm now looking forward to making more.

Thanks for reading, pinups!

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Tilly and the Buttons - Cleo Dungaree Dress - Button-up Pattern Hack!

Tilly and the Buttons - Cleo Dungaree Dress - Button-up Pattern Hack!

Hi pinups! I'm so excited about this make, I couldn't wait to share it with you, so I bumped it right to the top of my blog post queue! Lets get into it... I recently made a button up skirt and combined with my Pinterest sewing inspiration board and a girl in working in my local H&M, I was inspired to make my own button up dungaree dress, using the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Pinafore & Dungaree dress Sewing Pattern as the base.

This hack is super simple and would be great for beginner sewists looking for a new challenge, who maybe aren't quite ready to sew a shirt yet. The easy button facing is a great skill to nail down as it crops up in lots of shirt/button up styles. It'll also get you practising those button holes!

My Pinterest inspiration!
For my button up Cleo I wanted a knee length, fitted style with two small pockets and fastened with clips instead of buttons. I love the high-street styles with waist seams but I thought I would keep it simple to start. For my version, I wanted it to be pretty figure hugging but not restrictive ('cos hips) so I chose a light-weight, super soft stretch denim fabric, quite different from my previous Cleo. Being a curvy gal, as I said in the pattern review, I was worried I would loose my shape in the dungaree dress, but a smaller size made from stretch fabric works well for me personally.

For the Cleo Dungaree Button-up hack (along with the original pattern & fabric/supplies) you will need:
  • pattern paper
  • tracing tools - scissors, pencil, ruler etc.
  • light/medium weight interfacing & iron
  • 12 buttons

Let's get hacking!
The sewing instructions are the same as in the booklet, just in a slightly different order. 

Step 1: The Pattern:

The original front against the new front pattern piece.
  • Trace out the front body pattern on to pattern paper.
  • At the centre front add 2 inches from top to bottom. This will be your button facing.
  • Add your seam allowance to the new centre front (approx 1.5cm).
  • Add your pattern markings. You can copy these from the original pattern. 
  • Cut out your new front pattern piece!

Step 2: Interfacing the Button Facing:

  • Cut out a piece of iron on interfacing the same as your button facing column on your front pattern.
  • Iron on interfacing to the wrong sides of the fabric, leaving your seam allowance gap at the edge.
  • Press over seam allowance.

Step 3: Sew the Body:
Follow booklet instructions for the following:
  • Sew centre back pieces together.
  • Sew side seams together.
  • Sew dungaree straps as instructed.
  • Attach straps to back piece.

Step 4: Facing:
  • Adjust your front facing pattern piece to match the width of the new front body. Don't cut on the fold, instead cut 2.
  • Sew facing to the dress as instructed.

Step 5: Button Facing:

  • Fold the centre fronts over wrong sides together to create the button facing. 
  • Iron in place.
Step 6: Top Stitching:

  • Top stitch the button facing.
  • Top stitch the rest of the facing.

Step 7: Buttons:
  • Mark out your button holes on the right side (as worn) and sew.
  • Attach buttons.
  • Add dungaree clips.
  • Add pockets if you wish.
  • Hem however you like! (I frayed mine)
Tada! You have now have a super sassy button up dungaree dress!

Worn with my me-mad Gable Top, see HERE.
Sewing Summary:

Fabric: Lightweight Stretch Denim

Sewing time: This would make a great weekend project. I made mine in a day, including the pattern hacking and taking progress photos.

Modifications: See above for my modifications.

Fit: Exactly what I wanted.

Difficulty: Nice and simple.

Watch out for: A tidy front facing and neat top stitching will make all the difference to the final look. Take your time.

Make Again?: Yes!

Tada! An easy-peasy sassy pattern hack!
Overall, I'm so happy with how this pattern hack turned out and I hope your guys love it as much as I do. If you decide to have a go at it or if it inspires you to sew your own button up version of Cleo, I'd love to see, so please tag me @craftypinup on Twitter or Instagram or comment below.

Thanks for reading, pinups!

P.S. If you have any questions about this hack, please ask and I will do my best to reply!

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Minerva Craft Blogger Network - My Sewing Plans for the Next 3 Months! Feb - April

Minerva Craft Blogger Network - My Sewing Plans for the Next 3 Months! Feb - April 
I can't believe I've already made 3 projects for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network! It's gone so quickly. I couldn't wait to sign up for another 3 months and like last time, I wanted to share my supplies with you so you can see what I'll be getting up to with my Minerva goodies over the next 3 months. And if you like what you see, you can pick up the supplies for yourself!


Not sure mine will be this glamorous, but fingers crossed!
With Winter in full swing in the UK, I wanted to make something weather appropriate, but also something simple whilst I'm busy working on Valentine's Day over at My Retro Closet. I'll be using this beautiful baby pink faux fur to create a classic Winter stole, or furry wrap around scarf thingy. I'll be drafting the pattern myself and writing a tutorial on this easy peasy make!


A classic tweed coat, perfect for a 60s loving pinup! (with a short sewing attention span...)
I've been wanting to make a coat or jacket for a while and I love the look of this Vogue pattern. The dress, very similar to the Tilly and the Buttons Martha dress, has a great 60s shape. But for March's make I'll be sewing the jacket in this stunning tweed fabric and fun polka dot lining. I also love how this tweed looks with the baby pink faux fur from February's make!


Pretty and practical!
This Butterick Patterns by Gertie slip pattern has been on my wish list for a while. Gertie's recently been posting some gorgeous versions she's made on Instagram so I had to choose it for an upcoming Minerva make! I chose a slinky and sheer red fabric with a coordinating lace trim for a sexy, pinup perfect retro slip!


I hope you're looking forward to these projects, I know I am! If you want to see my previous Minerva projects, check out my blog tag HERE.

Have you tried any of these patterns? Let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading, pinups.

P.S. I'm currently trying to post every Wednesday and Sunday, with the latter being a new pattern review. Let's see how long I can keep this up for! Eeek,

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Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Simplicity New Look 6346 - Button-up Skirt

Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Simplicity New Look 6346 - Button-up Skirt
When I spotted Minerva Craft's range of affordable needle-cord, I knew I had to get some. This delicious tan shade was dying to be made into a button up A-line skirt, a super popular style on the high street right now. But now you can make one yourself instead, using the New Look 6346 skirt pattern!

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity New Look 6346

Fabric: 16 Wale Cotton Needlecord Corduroy Dress Fabric - Tan

Notions: Clip On Jeans Buttons - Silver

Sewing time: Only a couple of hours.

Modifications: None!

Fit: The fit is comfortable but certainly edges on the side of generous. I could definitely take a little out the waist next time.

Difficulty: Easy-peasy!

Watch out for: A tidy waist band and front facings will make all the difference to the final finish of the skirt.

Make Again?: Yes! This skirt would also be fabulous in denim, which I'm certainly already plotting.

For my full pattern review and images, CLICK HERE!

If you want to see my previous Minerva projects, check out my blog tag HERE.
Thanks for reading, pinups!

P.S. Stay tuned to see a preview of my next 3 months of Minerva Craft Blogger Network makes.
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2017 Make Nine & a Couple of Sewing Resolutions!

2017 Make Nine & a Couple of Sewing Resolutions!
Hurrah! The first post of 2017 (finally!) and it's inspired by my recent #2017MakeNine post on Instagram. I thought it'd be a nice way to kick of the new year, showing you what I'd love to make with a couple of sewing resolutions to be mindful of in 2017!

The Make Nine was instigated by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille, who encouraged makers to share 9 projects to make in 2017. Some sewists have taken it super seriously with well planned out projects and some have picked aspirational makes. For me, I've chosen makes which I've been lusting after for a few months, and it's time I got a move on with them! Some are cut and ready to sew, some are waiting patiently in my stash and some are a distant dream. So here's my 2017 Make Nine...

I can't resist a 1960s vintage or reproduction pattern at the moment and I LOVE this Simplicity one. I think it's the illustrations that lure me in. I love all the options you get in these types of patterns, I especially like the longer jacket and the pencil skirt. On the right is a pattern I've been lusting after for months which I'll finally be making as part of my Minerva Craft Blogger Network makes. So stay tuned to see my version in February!


Aime Comme Marie - Magellan Top // Faux Fur Collar or Stole

I spied this Magellan top on a couple of fashion sewing bloggers on Instagram and now I have such a craving to make one. I'd never heard of Aime Comme Marie before but they have a lovely range of patterns, but this ruffly blouse is the top of my list. Along with the Butterick slip, another one of my upcoming Minerva Craft makes will be a faux fur something.... It's currently undecided as I have a generous metre of delicious faux fur, so to get the most out of the fabric a stole would be perfect, although I love this little collar from Tilly and the Button's blog. Whatever I end up making, there'll be a easy-peasy tutorial.

Orange Lingerie - Boylston Bra // Vogue Patterns 9123

If you hadn't already seen me talking about it, I studied Contour Fashion at De Montfort University and spent my days sewing bras. But since leaving uni a few years ago and launching my own lingerie business My Retro Closet, I've stayed clear of underwired bras. But now without the pressure of university or the fear of being graded, I think I'm finally ready to dust off the wire casing and get sewing. The Boylston bra is a gorgeous retro shape and I'm dreaming of satin leopard print. The Vogue pattern on the right is ready in my stash with a gorgeous selection of fabrics, but I'm going to keep you waiting before I reveal those plans...

This is probably my aspirational project, but I'm in love with the Ellsworth Coat. I've got most of my Winter sewing plans sorted, which include a jacket, so I don't know if I'll be able to squeeze this in. But I sure hope I do! The Francoise dress is on the way, currently being worn by my mannequin. I see lots more in my future and stay tuned for my pattern review later this month.

Along with lots of garment making, I'd love to make more crafts this year. It's something I find relaxing, and it helps me wind down in the evenings and keeps me off my phone. Lined up in my craft pile is a couple cross stitch creations and a half made pom pom garland. Time to finish these projects and brighten up my bedroom and workspace with handmade touches!


So there you have it, my #2017MakeNine. Are you taking part? Are any of these projects on your list too? 2016 was a HUGE learning curve for my sewing, so with that in mind here are some of my sewing resolutions for the new year...

  • Sew better, not faster
  • Blog on regular days (I'm aiming for Tuesdays and Sundays from now on)
  • Learn some new sewing skills
  • Explore all the features on my Janome Atelier 5
  • Explore the world of crafts!
  • Become the queen of my overlocker
  • Continue to focus on My Retro Closet with lots of new products!
Thanks for reading, pinups!

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