Friday, 14 August 2015

Foxy Holly

Hello everyone! 

Day 3 of my summer sewing documentation here - only four to go! Today I want to share with you my dress hack of the By Hand London Holly. The pattern is drafted as a jumpsuit, but with a few modifications it now has a gathered skirt. 

Arghhhh, the buttons! I may have an automatic button hole feature on my machine now, but I still had to stitch on all twelve buttons by hand. I know some sewers take joy in handstitching, but it's never really been my strong point. However, once finished, it can't be denied what a statement they are! 

To create the skirt, I simply cut a rectangle of fabric, added the button placket and attached it to the bodice - being sure to line up the plackets of the bodice and skirt really carefully! I was debating whether to leave the sleeves off for a truly summer dress, but decided against it in the end. However, I'm now wondering whether to go back and take them off again. What do you think? 

I've made the bodice of the Holly twice now, and it's come up small both times, despite me cutting out the correct size to correspond to my measurements. I'm not sure why this would be, but going back to let out the side seams solved the problem. 

Do you like the fabric I used? I found it at my local market and thought the pattern was just too cute for words! At first glance it looks like the fabric is just covered in foxes and trees, but on closer inspection there are little squirrels, owls and rabbits too! Definitely twee, but I like it. 

With the fitting issues, pattern hack and endless buttons, this was a pretty challenging project, but I enjoyed the way it stretched my skills. I often wonder if I'm making enough progress as a sewer, but just recently I've been trying new techniques that I feel are helping me to improve. Buttonholes are just one of these! I've also been practicing my pleating. 

Once finished, I wasn't 100% if this dress was for me - there's something about the Holly bodice that I don't think quite suits me, but I liked the process of making the dress all the same, and it has seen a couple of days wear this summer. Perhaps by next summer I will have warmed to it a bit more. 

Tune in tomorrow to read about my Muse Patterns Jenna Cardi! 

Until then, happy sewing :) 

Beth x


  1. Hi Beth! Wow! This dress is super adorable and the fact that it's homemade is amazing!! I am so jealous of your skills!

    1. hello! aw that's so sweet of you to say :) thank you for stopping by!

  2. It's a cute dress and I think it does suit you. Have you thought about cap sleeves? I agree with you about sewing buttons ... does your machine have a foot for sewing on buttons?

    1. ahh cap sleeves, i like that idea, thank you! my machine does have a button foot but it doesn't seem to be able to sit over anything a couple of millimetres thick...handsewing it is for me! :)