My Sort of Sewing


It’s all very well slicing up potatoes to print on fabric, but there has to be a purpose for all this printed fabric and my enthusiasm for printing was in danger of overtaking its usefulness. Some of it has been used to make givewraps, but now I have more wrapping than I have gifts to hand out, so that’s come to a halt.

The Drapery Blog recently reviewed a dress pattern that looked simple to make and, joy of joys, had proper functional pockets that could be lined with some of my potato print fabric. I was seduced by the fact that there were no zips to insert or buttons and buttonholes to match up and quite frankly any dressmaking that involves a hammer, is my sort of sewing.

As the weather here has been unseasonably cold and very un-spring like with blustery winds and (to quote the weather forecasters) wintry showers, a little indoor recreation has been particularly appealing so I dragged out my sewing machine and fetched a hammer.

potato print fabric

This Marilla Walker dress is a breeze to sew. The pattern is very generously sized and as I didn’t want a voluminous and baggy dress, I made mine smaller than the guide sizing and didn’t bother with the side fastening. I used the hand printed fabric to line the bib and pockets and widened the shoulder straps slightly so I could line them too and rather fortuitously they turned out to be the perfect width for a pair of buckles from some children’s dungarees that I’d stored away. Instead of the snap to attach the straps, I paired the buckles with metal buttons for jeans.

hand printed fabric lining

Now I have the excuse to do a little more printing



18 thoughts on “My Sort of Sewing

    1. Possibly Sophie if we get a warm day so that I can rid myself of some of the layers of clothing I’m still wearing, even though it’s nearly May.

  1. I like the idea of a cross between an apron and a dress, especially one with big pockets. I’ll have to practise my sewing skills before I tackle something I’d actually wear, though. Your printed fabric looks great here. If I lived nearer, I’d definitely sign up to learn how to do it. Have a good bank holiday weekend (fingers crossed for warmer weather).

  2. Hi Anne, Your dress looks fab. Have you tried making cloth shopping bags with your fabric? You cold sell them in your barn store. That type of thing sells here.

    1. Glenda, we cheat and buy the bags and print onto them – I’m not sure I’d trust a bag that I’d sewn loaded with shopping.

  3. Looks a fabulous pattern – very practical and a bit different. I’m going to make one of these – thank you so much for the heads up! love the idea of the lining featuring your own printed fabric – super! Wish I lived rather closer – I’d join your fabric printing course like a shot! Do you ever run single whole day workshops for fabric printing? Reverting to pockets for a moment, have you seen the PurlBee crossover apron pattern? That too has lovely deep pockets and no fastenings. Pattern is free on the Purl Soho website. I’ve succumbed to making two of these and boy, are they useful – no more apron ties coming loose just as you are juggling trays of sizzling roast potatoes out of a hot oven! Have a lovely weekend, Anne. E xx

    1. We don’t have a single day fabric printing workshop scheduled but Ruth has done this for groups, so if you have a couple of friends who’d like to do this then Ruth can tailor make a day for you. Drop me an email if you’re interested.
      I’m very well supplied with aprons at the moment, but there’s plenty of other things I’d like to make on the PurlSoho website, not to mention their linen that I now covert.

  4. I love your dress Anne. It speaks to me too, such a great and useful style. And with the addition of your own designer print, very nice!

  5. Very clever Anne. I think I have said to you before that I can hardly sew a button on so I am always impressed with anyone who can actually create clothes. Your printed fabric is so cheerful! Happy sewing and hammering.

    1. You just need the right pattern and a little determination Jane 🙂 Hammering in a jeans button is lot more satisfying than sewing it on.

    1. It looks a fabulous book – I like the Memories intro – perhaps I could be a red-cheeked farmer’s wife with a bundle on my back.

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