Simple Sew Blogging Network

More Blue Fabric’s Trudy Dress

One of the things that’s great about working from home is that I can wear pretty much anything I want to work (although, I admit I have got a no-pyjamas rule). That said, there are days when I have to actually leave the house and meet people and look like a professional, and that’s where the Trudy dress comes in.  


The Trudy dress is a relatively easy make, and although based on a simple shift dress, with the addition of some simple features, you’ve suddenly got a classic dress straight out of the swinging 60s.


I made my version of Trudy with fabric from Abakhan, and used a fab navy blue floral pattern to make the dress more akin to some of my other work wear. I also used a contrast colour – in this case cream – for the collar and cuffs to really big up the 60s aesthetic.


In terms of the make itself, Trudy was pretty straight forwards; I toiled the bodice, but the only real alteration that I needed was to move the bust darts higher. I chose the middle sleeve length as I knew I wanted some sort of sleeve rather than the cap sleeve option, but find I’m often rolling long sleeves up anyway. I used a smaller hem on the skirt than the pattern called for (I used half an inch) as the length was pretty much perfect when it was unhemmed for me (I’m 5’7”). I also added in some anchoring stitches on the back collar to hold it down as I found that once the interfacing and the collar were combined it was quite stiff and stuck up more than I wanted it to.


The result is a great dress that has become part of my workwear rotation. It’s smart enough that I can go into meetings confidently but is also similar enough to my everyday clothes choices that I don’t feel like a totally different person; a definite plus as far as I’m concerned!

Rhiannon blogs at

The Fabric Wrangler’s Keira Skirt

This Kiera Skirt is going to be really useful.  I don’t know about you but I don’t have a huge mid-season wardrobe.  I have plenty of summer/ winter clothes but a very compact Spring Autumn wardrobe.  It’s something I have issues with every year but never get round to organising.  Well, thanks to the Simple sew blogger net work I’m going to grow that part of my wardrobe.
Being given the chance to use some of the lovely chambray from White Tree fabrics I thought of that transitional wardrobe.  I could wear it with Flipflops or boots depending on what the British weather has to throw at me. This chambray is a lovely weight, quite light so it’ll flow but enough body to hold it’s shape.  The Kiera is normally lined but I didn’t feel the fabric needed another layer.  If I feel it’s a bit drafty then I’ll put on a slip.
The Kiera skirt is a short affair but I wanted a longer version so when cutting out I drew in the extra length with tailors chalk.
It’s nice and easy to put the pleats together but I always like to keep the paper pattern close by so that I get them pleating in the same direction.  I pin and then stay stitch in place to hold them down.
I put a pocket on the side without the zip.  It’s possible to do in the zip seam but I didn’t have a whole bunch of time to play.  Maybe next time.
I drew up a pattern to make sure I could match up to the sides of the skirt.  I then put the pocket in.  I’ve a tutorial for side/ in-seam pockets on my blog if you’d like a few pointers.
You put the waistband on before you put the zip in with this skirt.  I left the waist band open on the inside so that I could make the inside nice and neat after the zip had gone in.  I’d advise a 10” or 25cm zip to give yourself room as I still could have done with a little extra wriggle room to get in even though it’s a full skirt.
I wanted to wear it before the weather changed so I machined the hem.  This is becoming a habit.  It tool a week or two to get the photos due to life happening but it did mean we had a lovely crisp autumn day for it.  Boots at the ready…
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So, there you have it.  A new mid season addition to the wardrobe, well I’ve made a start.  Does anyone else have a problem with their mid season wardrobe?
Keep up to date with all of my latest makes at

The Wardrobe Architect’s Ruby Dress

I have loved the Ruby dress pattern by Simple Sew since it was first released, it is such a classic style and so flattering.

I decided to fully line the bodice rather than use the facings, to get a neat finish on the inside.

To do this, I cut the bodice pieces out of the lining fabric as well as the main fabric. I then sewed up essentially two separate bodices, one out of the lining fabric and one out of the main fabric.

To attach the main bodice to the lining, I put one on top of the other, right sides together and sewed around the neckline and arm holes.


I then notched all around the curves to enable it to sit flat when turned the right way.


After this point, fold the bodice back so that the right side of the fabric is facing out. Give the seams a good press, rolling the fabric between your fingers at the edges to get a crisp edge.


To sew the side seams together, I just folded the bodice so that the right sides of the main fabric are against the right sides of the main fabric (front piece against back piece) and the same for the lining. This feels a little strange initially, but it all makes sense!



I then attached the skirt to the main fabric bodice as in the instructions and inserted the zip as normal.


I decided to slip stitch the lining to the zip by hand as I wanted to sit down in front of the TV and do it, but you can use the machine for this bit and it is much quicker.

The final step was to attach the lining to the skirt. I pressed under a 1cm seam allowance at the bottom edge of the bodice lining and slip stitched it down to the skirt. This creates a really clean finish because all the seams are concealed within the bodice lining.


I really love my Ruby dress. I think with the fully lined option it could work well for a winter wedding or Christmas party. The lining enables more fabric options, maybe something like a brocade that you would not necessarily want against your skin. I might try this out, I’ll keep you posted!

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Photos from Simple Sew Blogger Team Photoshoot by Dominic Crolla


A sneak preview of some more from that photoshoot – lots to come…


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