Imagine dress

imagine dress

This is the Imagine dress from Louis Antoinette patterns, the pattern is part of a competition they are  running which is open to all, it ends December 4th though so you’ve got to be quick it you wanna enter!!! but you get a free pattern of the dress to make up how you want….. that’s my kind of competition!!!! all details are website

So here is my version!!

The fabric is a lovely double crepe that I bought at Fabrics Galore, I have seen it sold elsewhere but I believe they have the best price.

I wanted something that had a good drape to it, which this does, but it didn’t like the iron so much so my pleats aren’t super defined (the fabric has a kind of spongy backing, sounds weird I know but does add to the great feel of the fabric)

imagine dress

I made a few adjustments such as pinching out the front pleat a little so there was less fabric and taking and 2′ off through the back (forgot to do the same to the back of the skirt though so there is a bit too much fabric there, but I can live with that). Helpfully the pattern instructions come in French and English and are really easy to follow (with illustrations too).

Over all I really like this pattern, there are some really interesting and clever details included in the design, there’s pockets (can’t go wrong), the shoulder piece comes together easily and I think the finished effect is very flattering and loving the details with the back insert, which if you check out other versions you will see opens up the a world of possibility….leaving it open, having a contrast fabric there or a sheer panel…check out instagram #hacklamode to see all the wonderful versions that are out there.

imagine dress


imagine dress

imagine dress

imagine dress

imagine dressimagine dress

I seem to have a love affair going on with french patterns at the moment, I ordered some in the Black Friday sales and don’t get me started on La Maison Victor, a lovely french/dutch/german pattern magazine of which I’ve managed to snag 2 copies so far, (a real achievement seeing as they don’t sell it in England),  so expect to see more french designs popping up here.


photos credits; lady sewful


Summers here (supposedly) and so is Kim

By hand london Kim dress

So at the end of last week Summer decided to really shine (unfortunately since then the mercury has dropped….arrrgggh…. English summers), but while we did have a taste of the heat it nicely coincided with me finishing this By Hand London Kim dress, I bought this last winter in prep for summer but only just got round to sewing it up. The fabric is a lovely cotton voile that I bought from Ebay specifically for this dress and I don’t know if I am regressing but I have been dreaming of a similar dress that I had when I was a teenager and was hoping to recreate it. I have partially succeeded as in I have now got a dress that is comfortable, light and flowy…….just what I need for summer (when it decides to stay!!)

IMG_8300-2If your not familiar with the Kim dress, it’s a lovely pattern with 2 very different versions (good value for money if you ask me) version 1 is of the square necked bodice with a tulip skirt and version 2 is a sweetheart neckline bodice with a gathered skirt, of course I made the bodice from version 1 with the skirt from version 2!!

by hand london kimdress


I should have made a muslin, but well…..i didn’t,  just ploughed in regardless and guess what?? the bodice was all wrong, it was way too wide and the straps just wouldn’t hold up, of course I discovered this once I had attached the skirt and inserted the zipper. (I just can’t really get the idea of how something will truly fit until I have put in the zip!!) I did a bit of fiddly adjustment,  taking in the front two bodice seams by 1cm each, and fortunately this partly corrected the issue, but the straps are still a tad too long and this I couldn’t adjust without picking apart the whole thing, and noooo that was not gonna happen, so I put in two bra attachers to hold those babies up..… and this seems to work!! The skirt is a very simple gathered skirt with the nice detail of pin tucks around the lower edge of the skirt. I added pockets, because I am actually addicted to having pockets and feel lost without them (sad huh!!)

I really like the finished dress (I’ve already worn it twice in three days) but not sure a gathered skirt is the most flattering for me, my tummy has housed two children and is hence not too flat so the skirt tends to stick out slightly, maybe next time I’ll try a circle skirt with that bodice.

by hand london kim dress pin tucks

by hand london kim dress

I currently have a back log of makes so look out for lots more posts soon.  This year I have been blighted by computer glitches, mishaps and failures,  I have hopefully sorted them all so will be to blog  with a bit more regularity (fingers crossed).

Anyone have exciting summer sewing plans??? Or are you already thinking of Autumn?? I know that sounds mad but I recently found myself purchasing this pattern!!!! What did I say about wanting more warm weather!!!!


Dress of Meh

Now don’t get me wrong I love this pattern, which is Robe Eve by Republique du chiffon, it’s just I made this for my Christmas dress and I had high hopes, I chose a fabric which I loved in the shop (a paul smith cotton) but now that it is made up it just looks so….. meh….unexciting, dull and boring, so much so that it prompted my New years goal of NO MORE GREY FABRIC!!!!!!!


république du chiffon robe eve



I have lusted after Republique du chiffons patterns for a while and decided to take the leap, now I could have ordered one of the patterns that have english instruction, but nooooo, in a mad moment I ordered two with french instruction… hard can they be I thought….ha little did I know. Of course I had to chose one of the more difficult ones, as it turns out though we live in a great age, with the use of google translate and lovely french sewers who contact you on instagram and point you towards their own (fantastic) versions, with construction details ..…very handy.

république du chiffon robe eve

The fabric is a lovely paul smith cotton, bought once again from my staple fabric shop Fabric Galore, it is my local fabric shop so most of my stash comes from there!! It’s a little heavier than shirting cotton and is really lovely but made into this dress I think it brings back memories of my grey student midwife uniform that I had to wear for 3 years and I think that’s why I have such a distaste for it, I did actually wear it for Chirstmas (cos I’m stubborn and since it was made I had to give it an outing), but lets just day it hasn’t seen the light of day since then!!!!

Paul smith cotton

république du chiffon robe eve

The pattern came together pretty easily, once I submitted to google translate and Upon a thread’s instruction on how to attach the facing was invaluable, as you have to do it with on side of the zip facing in, one side with the facing out, one of those sewing moments when it all seems very complicated and the you actually work it out and it’s aahhhahhhh!! thats how its done. I did make the mistake of not making the notches on the facing or the dress so the bottom curve could probably sit a little straighter as it pooches slightly.

république du chiffon robe eve

I really valued the challenge of this make, its good to push your boundaries…isn’t it?? I do like that aesthetic of the pattern and I will try to make to again, but probably in a print so it doesn’t feel like a uniform!!  I still have the second pattern (Roger trench) to test me further so might be doing that first…fingers crossed.




Another New Look 6145

And we are back to my favourite pattern of the past few months New Look 6145, I think that this is my 4th version, , I love a hard working pattern that can be hacked in all different kind of ways and this is a goodun, I’ve used it to create a top here, a denim version here and a lovely white Linen version for summer (sorry not photographed). Now I’m am not very good at seeing past the (sometimes) rubbish cover photos on (especially Big 4) patterns to the true potential hidden with in, but luckily we now have the wonderful web to direct us to inspiring versions that sewers and bloggers have created.  I know I wouldn’t have given this pattern a second look if I hadn’t stubbled across Trine’s lovely modern versions here and here (already blogged on previous post I know, but good enough for a second view!)

New Look 6145

New Look 6145

The jerry is a lovely organic cotton interlock that I bought from Village Haberdashery, they still have it available here and I would really recommend it, it is beautifully soft, with a nice weight, I also bought some of the green stripe for a t-shirt for my son and can attest that it washes and wears very well.

New Look 6145

New Look 6145

I overlocked the whole dress (except for the darts) so it was a very quick make, I know that the common perception is that shift dresses aren’t for everyone, but this pattern has lovely french darts in the front and two darts in the back which I think make for a great shape and help me out as I think I have a bit of a swayback and so fabric tends to gather there.

I did my usual practice of taking a few inches off the hem and took the back neckline down by 4cm, this used to baffle me as to why I needed to do this but as I am learning more about fit I think it is because I need to make petite adjustments to patterns (I’m only 5’3) and my bust to shoulder length is quite short, I’ve only just figured this out so will be trying to put it into practice soon..fingers crossed.

Does anyone have any recommendations on petite alterations or a good book on fitting?

Thanks x

A little bit of Gingham

When I saw this gingham I just had to have it, lucky for me it was in the sale (£4 a metre if i remember right…a steal) at Fabrics Galore. What garment it was destined to become wasn’t so clear, I have had this pattern for ages, it is from the 03/2012 edition of Burda Style Magazine (which is a good one by the way), and I think it was the gingham that swayed me, what I didn’t give enough thought too was the difference in drape between my material and the cotton batiste shown (and recommended). In normal Bedlam and Bird fashion I just steamed in, blind to reality and just focusing on how wonderful my new dress would be!!


Now the finished result is not too bad, you just have to not look too hard, cos believe me there are plenty of mistakes in there, it gaps a little under the arms, the side zip insertion isn’t perfect and my pattern matching is practically none exsistent. The sides just about match but the back is a nightmare, I don’t know what happened, I could of sworn I was being quite accurate when cutting out, but guess not. Luckily I can’t see this error when it’s on, so tend forget about it when I’m wearing it, and wearing it I have been doing, IMG_5593 IMG_5602


I know that everyone bemoans the instructions with the Burda Style magazine patterns, personally I like to do them once in while as a personal kind of challenge…me against the pattern….ha ha (you can put japanese patterns books in that category too).Luckily this dress is the feature pattern in the edition and so has detailed instructions, and detailed instruction you will need, as the twist in the front requires some suspension of belief whilst your brain gets to grips with the job at hand. Once your brain does comprehend it is actually pretty straightforward. The problem that I have (had) is that my fabric is just not as drapey, floaty as i would have liked to believed it was (even though i washed it twice…am I the only one who does this in the crazy thought that it will add more drape???). Even thought the twist behaved itself the skirt just doesn’t hang in the drapey floaty way that I suspect it is meant too. A lesson to be learn here my thinks, but will this be the last time I mismatch fabric/pattern…I think not. Oh well even though I know it is not my best make (by far) I just love the colour…it makes me happy….. and that counts right!!!!