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How to Trace a Pattern, Copying A Ready to Wear Maternity Dress

How to Trace a Pattern, Copying A Ready to Wear Maternity Dress

Versatile maternity clothing, I’m really running low on this. I’m currently shuffling through two to three dresses on rotation. Quite a few of them aren’t weather appropriate but they fit and that’s a win for me. But I definitely needed another maternity dress. Choosing a 

How to Pattern Hack, adapting the Bodie Dress by Aware Collection for Maternity

How to Pattern Hack, adapting the Bodie Dress by Aware Collection for Maternity

Makerist Make It Yours Challenge As you all know I love making my own patterns and adapting others. My fashion degree taught me pattern cutting and I love refreshing my skills. I still turn back to my pattern cutting reference books for help with various 

PATTERN REVIEW – MAKING MATERNITY LEGGINGS

PATTERN REVIEW – MAKING MATERNITY LEGGINGS

I’m back with a bump! And it’s a big one… turns out as I get bigger none of my trousers fit, who knew! My love for fitted high waisted trousers, shorts and skirts has not worked out well during pregnancy. I knew exactly what I needed, comfy stretchy maternity leggings!

Ruby Rose posing with maternity bump

SELECTING A PATTERN

For this pattern I thought I would have to adjust an existing pattern, but when I went to the Makerist site I found a great maternity selection. For previous maternity garments I have made, I have tried to pick a versatile pattern that can be worn and used after I’ve given birth. But for the leggings I needed something tight that would cover my whole bump. That’s when I found the Makerist Maternity Leggings Pattern.

Ruby Rose wearing maternity leggings

Maternity Leggings Process

This pattern is great and super simple, it has just 2 pattern pieces. The leg piece and the yoke or belly band piece. Because it was so simple and also made of jersey I decided to go straight in with my real fabric and make any adjustments as I went along. I chose a plain bag jersey with 4 way stretch. The maternity leggings pattern comes with a handy stretch guide that you can print out and use to measure the stretch percentage of the fabric. The leg panels are quite wide as they encompass the whole leg with just an inside leg seam. As it was stretch, I made everything on my overlocker, and it was a really quick sew.

ADJUSTMENTS

I made a size Medium and have worn them from 4 – 7 month pregnant so far. I didn’t end up making any adjustments, at first the waist was a bit loose, but I knew I would be constantly growing and they would fit me soon enough. One thing with the pattern is that it didn’t mention how much elastic to add, or the width, so I just ended up guessing and using some elastic I had in my stash.

close up of pregnancy bump

WOULD I MAKE THE MATERNITY LEGGINGS AGAIN?

These Maternity Leggings are so high waisted they can basically tuck into my bra, absolutely perfect. But as I’m not going to be pregnant for much longer I’m not sure if I’d need another pair. I have considered making a pair of cycling shorts.

As usual if you want to buy anything from the Makerist website you can use my code ruby-rose-15 for 15% off

If you enjoyed this blog post be sure to subscribe up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks For reading

Ruby x

Pattern Testing – The Anthea Blouse

Pattern Testing – The Anthea Blouse

The Anthea Blouse is here!! Again I have taken part of the pattern testing process for Anna Allen Clothing’s newest garment – the Anthea Blouse. A versatile pattern that comes with 2 different versions, dress and blouse and 2 sleeve lengths. If you’ve read my 

Making my own Maternity dress with a self drafted pattern

Making my own Maternity dress with a self drafted pattern

Choosing a Fabric As soon as I saw this amazing Mind the Maker dot fabric at Minerva I fell in love. Even better it is sustainable organic Ecovero viscose, so much better for the environment than regular viscose. Ecovero is similar Tencel fabric is made 

THE LEDA SKIRT BY Atelier Vicolo N.6, CREATING MY DREAM VERSATILE WRAP SKIRT

THE LEDA SKIRT BY Atelier Vicolo N.6, CREATING MY DREAM VERSATILE WRAP SKIRT

I got this great pattern in the big Makerist 2-dollar sale. I’ve had my eye on a few patterns, I like to put a load in my wish list whilst deciding. The Leda Skirt has been in there for some time – it was included in the 2 dollar sale! I knew I just had to snap it up.

Ruby Rose wearing the Leda Skirt

SELECTING A PATTERN


Like I said previously the Leda skirt by Atelier Vicolo N.6 has been in my wish list for some time. What looks like a simple wrap skirt has a few nice features, such as gathers various panels and pocket details. I also like the fact you it includes two different closures, button or ties. With lockdown and my ever-changing body a wrap skirt is a perfect addition to my wardrobe.

Pocket detail pf teh leda skirt

Leda wrap skirt PROCESS


I wanted to created a sustainable project with this one, using fabric already in my stash. As I was using some leftover fabric I had to be clever with my paper pattern placement. Which lead me to the different panels.
I used fabric I had from a previous project. I used the rust and golden tan sanded Tencel from Good Fabric Store. Its the same fabric that I used to make the Pietra Shorts, you can read that blog here.

Back view of panels in Leda  skirt


When working with this Tencel it is quite slippery and can fray a bit. So I made sure was careful when cutting and overlocked as quickly as possible.


This version of the Leda skirt is longer, but the length was determined by the fabric I had leftover. I laid out my pattern pieces, then worked out the longest I could make it and cut all the panels a similar size. Normally, I like to cut all my fabric on the fold; its quicker and it means you can make sure you get the mirrored pattern pieces. This means you’re less likely to make cutting errors. For this pattern, as I wanted to alternate colours of the panels. I had to cut everything out twice and had to work out which way up each pattern piece went.

Ruby Rose wearing teh leda skirt

The first step was constructing the pocket panels. I decided not to cut the pocket edge pieces to save fabric, and I was literally down to my last scraps. I wish I had as this could have created a really lovely contrasting edge.
Then the main skirt panels are all sewn together along with the waistband. The skirt is then gathered onto the waistband. I like to pin the waistband to my ironing board, then I have a set distance to gather it in between.

The skirt is then sewn to the waistband and the ties finished by turning them through. Finally sewing the waistband closed. I then pressed up the hem to the desired length and finished it by turning up a big hem.

ADJUSTMENTS


So the main adjustment I made to the Leda skirt was creating a midi length, it was obviously an easy adjustment. Having a midi length also made it much more wearable for me. As it a wrap skirt it means you don’t have to think too much about fitting as you can pull it tighter or looser which is perfect for fluctuating weight.

Close up of hand in the pocket of a wrap skirt

WOULD I MAKE THE LEDA SKIRT AGAIN?


I love how the Leda skirt turned out and can definitely see me wearing it loads and making many more. I’d like to try a shorter version too for the warmer months.

As usual if you want to buy anything from the Makerist website you can use my code ruby-rose-15 for 15% off

If you enjoyed this blog post be sure to subscribe up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support
Thanks For reading
Ruby x

PATTERN REVIEW – MAKE IT YOURS SHORTS DUNGAREES

PATTERN REVIEW – MAKE IT YOURS SHORTS DUNGAREES

I love shorts, I love making them and wearing them, so I’m not sure what took me so long to make some shorts dungarees. As soon as I saw the Make it Yours Shorts dungarees I knew they were the perfect ones for me. They 

EXPERIMENTS IN UNDERWEAR – MAKING THE FITIYOO HIGH WAISTED MANHATTAN KNICKERS

EXPERIMENTS IN UNDERWEAR – MAKING THE FITIYOO HIGH WAISTED MANHATTAN KNICKERS

I’ve been putting it off making underwear for the longest time. To me it always seemed a bit fiddly and complicated. But I wear underwear everyday, as I’m sure most people do, its such a necessity. So I decided it was important to learn and 

PATTERN REVIEW – MAKING THE TAMMY HANDMADE – LEONA DRESS AND MY TIPS FOR SEWING WITH VELVET

PATTERN REVIEW – MAKING THE TAMMY HANDMADE – LEONA DRESS AND MY TIPS FOR SEWING WITH VELVET

This year Christmas and New Year were so up in the air. I wanted to make myself a fun party dress to wear, even though there were no parties to go to! I decided that as Makerist has such a great selection of dress patterns that I would use one of those. The Leona Dress was the perfect choice.

Ruby Rose in a velvet dress

SELECTING A PATTERN

As is often the way, the fabric came before the dress. I saw this beautiful velvet at Fabric Godmother, and just fell in love with the geometric op art print! I didn’t buy it straight away, but once I saw the pattern on Makerist – I knew the perfect fabric. Tammy’s version of the Leona dress is made from beautiful navy velvet. Which I think is what influenced me to make my own velvet version.

Leona dress velvet close up

LEONA DRESS PROCESS

This pattern calls for 2m of fabric, but I was making a smaller size I decided to just buy 1.5m. I also planned on making the shorter version. Once I had the pattern all laid out, I could see there was enough fabric for the longer version. So I decided to cut that one just in case. I cut a size 12 as I didn’t want it to be skin tight. At the last minute before cutting, I remembered that sewing with velvet you have to make sure the pile of the velvet runs the right way. Also, that you’ve kept it consistent throughout the pattern, so the front and back piles aren’t opposite. Luckily for me, I’d accidentally laid it perfectly. The Leona dress was a nice simple one to sew. After turning out the straps the facings are laid on and sewn. The side seams are then sewn down to the slit opening. I decided to try on at this point as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make a long or short version. I actually really loved the long version of this dress. Then I just needed to turn up the hem and sew the side slits neatly.

tammy handmade leona dress pattern review

ADJUSTMENTS

So I didn’t make adjustments to the pattern, but I added a couple of steps into the making that I think really helped with the finish. So just after the facings have been sewn to the front and back, I under stitched the seam allowance to the facing, this helps it sit nice and flatly. It also stops the facing riding up to the front while wearing it.

I also added another step to keep the facing down which was to “stitch in the ditch.” Sewing in the side seam to keep the facing in place, I did this on both sides. I think with these two added steps you’ll send up with a more professional finish.

Ruby rose in tammy handmade velvet dress

WOULD I MAKE THE LEONA DRESS AGAIN?

I do really love this pattern and the way it turned out. I also I love the fact I can layer it and make it more casual, especially as there are so many restrictions right now in the UK. Here I have it layered with my Alex Sweat from my previous blog.

Close up of velvet dress

As usual if you want to buy anything from the Makerist website you can use my code ruby-rose-15 for 15% off

If you enjoyed this blog post be sure to subscribe up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks For reading

Ruby x

woman in autumn toned velvet dress
MAKERIST 2 DOLLAR SALE TOP PICKS

MAKERIST 2 DOLLAR SALE TOP PICKS

Merry Christmas everyone, you’re in your quiet boxing day slump…recovering from the big day. Time to treat yourself! Makerist is having a big 2 dollar sale, where so many of their patterns are just 2 dollars! The sale runs from Dec 26-30th. It’s a brilliant 

Pattern Review – Making the Lenaline – Alex Sweat, and learning to sew with wool cashmere fabric

Pattern Review – Making the Lenaline – Alex Sweat, and learning to sew with wool cashmere fabric

As my second Makerist project I decided to make myself the Lenaline – Alex Sweat but as an autumn jumper. So this was quite an exciting make for me and something that I might not have even attempted last year. This year I have been 

Pattern Review – Sewing the ‘Ready to Sew’ – Jeanne T Shirt

Pattern Review – Sewing the ‘Ready to Sew’ – Jeanne T Shirt

You might have seen via my Instagram that I recently became an ambassador for Makerist. This is a very exciting opportunity for me as I am being paid to do something I love – sew. As I am being paid these posts are treated as adverts. But please know that I have full creative control over the pattern, fabrics and opinions in any of these blog posts. Each month I will choose and test some patterns from the vast selection over on Makerist. Write up about how it went and share a few of my pictures. If you’ve made it too, let me know in the comments.

Ruby Rose wearing a leopard T shirt

Selecting a Pattern

In Oct I wrote a blog post on Makerist about the patterns I would choose for my Autumn capsule wardrobe. So, I decided I would sew some of them and make my dream wardrobe come to life. I decided to start with a classic wardrobe basic – A classic tee. I’ve previously made a Ready to Sew pattern before and enjoyed the process. I also really like the sizing and fit so chose the Jeanne T Shirt. Described as a casual, modern boyfriend fit it sounds perfect for my relaxed style.

Jeanne Ready To Sew pattern review

Jeanne T Shirt Process

I only made my first T shirt in the summer, for some reason I thought it would be complicated. As I’m less experienced with jersey and sewing with knit in general. I’ve now realised what a quick satisfying project a T shirt can be.

I’ve had this beautiful leopard print organic jersey from Good Fabric Store in my stash for a while now waiting for the perfect pattern.

One thing I don’t like about the Ready to Sew patterns is that each size is printed as a different colour. I like to print the A4 pattern pieces and tape together and I only print in black and white which can make it fiddlier to work out what’s what. But the PDF is layered so you can just print the sizes you need, so it wins point back again for that!

Ruby Rose Ready to Sew Jeanne T shirt

The instructions on the Jeanne T shirt pattern are really easy to follow and you do get 4 patterns to choose from. This pattern is marked as advanced beginner.

I made a size 36 which is a Small, as I knew it had a slightly oversized slouchy fit. It’s a nice simple one, and if you’ve made a t shirt before you know the general process. If you haven’t made a tee shirt before they have handy step by step photo tutorials of the trickier bits – sewing the sleeves and sewing the neckband.

As I was working with stretch, I decided to make the whole thing using my overlocker. Although you can do the same with a zig zag stitch. If you just use straight stitch it will no longer stretch and you’ll probably end up snapping the stitches. I sewed up the tee shoulders, sleeves and side seams.

I finally added the neckband, which I find is the fiddliest bit. But as long as you take your time and use plenty of pins it goes in fine.

Ruby Rose wearing Leopard print Jeanne T shirt

Adjustments

So, I ended up changing the way I added the cuffs to the sleeves. The sleeves are quite short, so I ended up adding them as you would a ribbed cuff on a sweatshirt. I’m still unsure if I should unpick and add like a turn up on the original pattern?

Jeanne Ready to sew T Shirt leopard print

Would I make the Jeanne T Shirt again?

I am really pleased with the way the Jeanne T shirt turned out, I love the slouchy shape of it. The organic jersey works really well for this, and I would definitely buy it again. I can tell it’s going to be a staple wardrobe piece for me. Interested in making the Jeanne T Shirt or any other patterns on Makerist use my code for 15% off ruby-rose-15

If you enjoyed this blog post be sure to subscribe up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks For reading

Ruby x

How to make more Sustainable Eyewear choices with Retro Spectacle

How to make more Sustainable Eyewear choices with Retro Spectacle

One thing I’ve always wanted to find out more about is sustainable eyewear. So one of the first things people notice about me is my glasses – they are right there on my face. I’ve always worn glasses, it’s one of my main features and 

Top Sustainable denim brands available in Europe

Top Sustainable denim brands available in Europe

Denim is an essential part of most people’s wardrobe. Ask anybody you know, and they will certainly tell you that they own at least a few denim pieces. Whether you stick with a few pairs of jeans or go all out, proper Canadian tuxedo style. 

Sewing with Hemp – A self drafted Skirt

Sewing with Hemp – A self drafted Skirt

I created my own pattern for self-drafted shorts many years ago. But have recently adjusted it to add a bit more volume with pleats and extra length. However, as I’m sure you can see from the photos, it didn’t exactly go to plan.

close up details of hemp fabric skirt

The Hemp Shop

After my previous post, Sustainable fabric spotlight hemp, I wanted to elaborate. I decided to create a whole separate post on my experience sewing with Hemp. I wanted to find a hemp supplier that had reputable sources, the same values as me and ideally were in the UK to save on shipping emissions. After much research I found The Hemp Shop.

The Hemp shop are one of the UK oldest Hemp specific shops, having been in business since 1995. Their website stocks everything hemp, foods, essential oils, clothing and natural beauty – but I was just interested in the fabric.

Hemp is such a versatile fibre that is the most environmentally friendly and sustainable of all-natural fabrics. It also grows very easily and organically, which means there’s no need for harmful chemicals. When many people think of hemp they think of a uncomfortable scratchy fabric, but over the years this has changed. Hemp can now be made into a soft linen like fabric.

The Hemp Shop stock hemp silk, hemp linen, hemp denim and mixed Hemp fabrics like Jersey. For my first hemp project used natural linen like hemp and The Hemp Shop kindly gifted me some fabric and eco reactive dye.

ruby rose wearing a hemp skirt and yellow jumper

Sewing with Hemp

I started by pre washing and then dying my fabric this beautiful dark khaki colour. It is just perfect for Autumn. With my newly adjusted shorts pattern I cut out the front and back panels and pocket pieces. I sewed the back darts and stay stitched the pleats so they held in place while I added the other pieces. As I was unsure of the finished length I added a few extra inches as I wanted these to be a bit more relaxed.

I then constructed the pockets so I had two complete front panels. When constructing pockets, I like to be generous with the pocket bags and at least have them big enough to fit my phone in. So many women’s ready to wear garments have very small pockets so this is one of the bonuses of making your own clothing.

ruby rose looking to teh side in hemp skirt

I then sewed the centre front and centre back seams, leaving room for a zip. As I didn’t have any concealed zips I decided to just go for a regular zip and button fastening. I then had a complete back and front and sewed them together before checking the fit. At this point the shorts ideas started to change. When I put it on, I noticed how good it looked as a loose mini skirt. I also realised that going into Autumn I might not have as much use for shorts. And I didn’t want to make something that I couldn’t immediately wear.

I decided to carry on with the idea of a relaxed mini, hemp seemed to really lend itself to this idea with the weight and drape of the fabric. Sewing with hemp is a dream as its weave makes it strong and solid to work with, and it doesn’t swish about like some fabrics. After adding the waistband and belt loops I tried it on again to check the fit.

To change the design from shorts to a skirt was fairly easy, I just had to pin and chop off the extra triangle of fabric that forms the rise seam. After doing this it was just a case of hemming and ta dah!… I had finished my self drafted shorts, now skirt. Sewing the hemp linen from The Hemp Shop was a dream to work with, I loved it. I would definitely choose it over regular linen and can’t wait to try some of the other forms of hemp fabric that The Hemp shop has on offer.

pulling up sleeves in hemp skirt

Please subscribe to my blog up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks

Ruby

Sewing – The Pietra Shorts

Sewing – The Pietra Shorts

As soon as I came across Good Fabric on Instagram, I knew we were a match made in heaven. An online fabric shop that only stock sustainable fabrics and patterns from small pattern designers – absolutely perfect. Good fabric has a growing selection of Tencel’s, 

Sustainable fabric spotlight: Hemp Fabric and its environmental impact

Sustainable fabric spotlight: Hemp Fabric and its environmental impact

Hemp clothing has recently been gaining a lot of popularity in the west. Once a fabric for the hippies among us, hemp has been going mainstream, popularised by sustainable fashion blogs and influencers. However, let’s not forget that in many other non-western countries, hemp fabric 

Pattern Testing – The Adele Apron Dress

Pattern Testing – The Adele Apron Dress

The Adele Apron dress was love at first sight. You know when you see a pattern and want to make it immediately, well I fell hard for the Adele Apron Dress. As soon as Alice and Co Patterns posted that they needed pattern testers I jumped at the chance! The Adele Apron dress is a cross between and apron and a wrap dress, cleverly cut to fit like a dress but with the traits of an easy to wear apron.

Why I Pattern Test

I really enjoy pattern testing; I enjoy the whole process. Recently, I was involved in a discussion online with some other seamstresses, where some felt that when you test you are taken advantage of. I don’t feel like this at all, in fact it makes me feel special! Alice and Co were more than lovely to work with, encouraging and enthusiastic about everything I did. They, like most pattern testers don’t put pressure on you, they understand you are helping them and sometimes other things can get in the way. I love seeing a pattern early, and giving my feedback and ideas.

Adele Apron Dress Process

So, this is a fairly simple, cleverly designed pattern, made up of 5 panels. All the darts and shaping over the bust and hips is built into the seams, which makes for a slick design.

I bought this fabric from Ikea some years ago, waiting for the perfect project. Side note – Ikea does high quality, vibrant and usually bargain priced fabric – I always buy lots when I go. For this pattern I decided I wanted to pattern match the check design of the fabric. I did this but picking a horizontal line on the print and lining the waist notches up with it, quite simple. I them slightly adjusted when sewing the panels together to get a perfect match.

For this pattern you sew all the panels together – encasing the pocket as you go. You also leave holes in the side seams to thread the ties through. I left all the holes so I could have different wrapping options. You end up with a large flat 7 panel piece. You then sew you ties and straps and turn them through. Luckily for me I have a really long metal ruler that was the perfect width for turning. At this point you can pin your straps on in different places and test the fit. This was a bit of a fiddle, as there was a lot of work with, and I was on my own. I’d recommend having another person here to help with the pinning and fitting.

Once I got it sorted, I topstitched all the seams and hemmed the top and bottom of the dress and attached the straps.

Adele Apron Adjustments

Once I topstitched everything and tried it on, I realised I’d done a bad job with my fitting, or stretched it top edge while sewing. So, I had to unpick a load and shape the top better across my high bust. So again, I will recommend taking it slow with the fitting part and getting some help. I also shortened the dress a bit to make it more of a mini.

Would I make it again?

One of the design features I particularly like is the topstitching detail on every seam. With the fabric I chose I think it got a bit lost. I’d love to make a plain version maybe in a linen or denim so you can see details more.

The Adele Apron dress pattern lauched last week and can be bought from the Alice and Co website. Has anyone else made the Adele Apron dress?

Please subscribe to my blog up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support

Thanks for reading

Ruby

Good Fabric – Your New Favourite Fabric Store

Good Fabric – Your New Favourite Fabric Store

As you’ve probably seen from my more recent blog posts, I am trying to concentrate more on being sustainable with my sewing. Sewing in general is much more sustainable than purchasing new for many reasons: • You know the supply chain • You know know 

Sewing – The Wilder Gown

Sewing – The Wilder Gown

The Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company was the dress of 2019, so I’m quite late to the party. It’s been on my radar for a while but just haven’t had the right fabric…until now! I was recently contacted by Fabric Godmother, one of my