Corporate Georgia – third time’s a charm

I made another Georgia dress – this time it was corporate… And by that I mean black. I made this dress on quite a whim.  

Because I was on a fairly tight schedule I decided to make the Georgia dress as I had made it couple of time before. I had already worked out the adjustments, it was simply a matter of sewing 20 pieces together, overlocking and throwing in a zipper.

This dress is made from a black raw silk bought eons ago from Fabric Store. Because it has zero stretch and it wrinkles easily I wouldn’t recommend sewing a dress in this style. However it was still comfortable and lovely to touch.

I made all the same adjustments as last time including my unofficial FBA, shortening the staps by 7cms at the back and shortening the skirt by about 15cm. I cut the long length thinking I’d like to do the mid-calf/below the knee look but it is quite a hard look to pull off when you’re only about 5 2.

We had a lovely, yet corporate, night.

My Favourite BHL Moments

I think I speak for many indie pattern enthusiasts when I say how saddened I was to hear that the women at By Hand London had decided to close their doors on their printed patterns and fabric printing businesses. They took a great leap of faith in launching their kickstarter campaign and whilst many of us got behind them unfortunately it wasn’t enough to make their new venture viable. However, I would like to take a few moments to remember the good times BHL gave us. Here are my top BHL moments, some personal, some global.

1. The Anna dress. The Anna dress was an absolute phenomenon. For what felt like half a year every second blog post I read was another stunning, floor-length dress with that famous thigh-slash. A quick google image search brought up these beauties:

2. Meeting the real Charlotte, the woman behind the skirt! When I was staying in London I emailed Charlotte to purchase some patterns from my shop. She noticed my new address was mere suburbs, no longer oceans, from her apartments and she kindly invited me over for a cup of tea. We had a great yarn about the indie pattern industry, the best places to buy fabric in London and our travel dreams. She is incredibly hospitable and I was very touched that she invited me, essentially a stranger, into her home.

3. The joy of unboxing one of the beautifully designed patterns. So much of the joy is in the unwrapping! And yes, all indie designers take a lot of pride in how they present their patterns. But BHL packaging is next level beautiful. The lovely thick coloured card, the cut out front revealing one the of pattern views, the line drawings and sketches. Their printed patterns included so much detail, and all very much appreciated by your buyers.Georgia Dress 4. Number four has to go to ‘sewing my first BHL pattern.’ It was only a few days after I had visited Charlotte at her house. I was feeling terribly homesick so I took myself to Sew Over It, bringing with me a Charlotte skirt pattern and some very bright brocade. I immediately felt at home – laying out my pattern pieces, marking my tacks, stitching the skirt together in my haphazard way. It was a lovely way to spend a day. Here is the skirt I made.

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5. The bios on the back of the beautiful patterns topped off their beautiful packaging, undoubtable creating an emotional connection with their loyal customers. Surely these must be true right? I can just imagine Charlotte getting down do a sleezey RnB beat and I’m with you Elisalex – you can never be overdressed. Sorry Victoria, I did have a chuckle at your jelly phobia! 6. Three girls one pattern – totes inappropes, but well played ladies. Here’s their ‘Three Girls, One Kim Dress’ post. (If you don’t get the reference, I’m really sorry but I won’t explain it to you!) 7. My Georgia dresses. Being the curvaceous lady that I am, I had, prior to meeting Georgia, steered clear of tight-fitting patterns. I had assumed it would take a lot of fitting a fluffing about (I am a woman of efficiency) to get any fitted dress to look good. However after only one muslin I managed to pull my first Georgia together. My second is below. This pattern gave me the confidence to sew more complex patterns. Thanks Georgia! IMG_0112 8. The circle skirt app. Did you know that the clever BHL ladies created an app that gives you the necessary information to make a circle skirt without a pattern. You just enter your waist size, whether you’d like a full circle skirt, a half circle or a quarter circle and if you’d like to make a mini, midi or maxi length. Everyone loves a free pattern/tutorial so check it out.

All BHL patterns are on sale for $20 until all sold. What is your favourite By Hand London moment?

A Riot of Colour


We’re averaging a high of 27* in Auckland this week and I am loving it! Best of all, my new dress is perfect for the warm weather – a By Hand London Georgia dress. I was gifted this crazy multicoloured print by a friend. I think it is linen and it’s so loud that it is perfect for summer!


I have made this dress before (including two muslins) so I knew how the sizing would work on me. I mean, this is a very fitted dress. I used the amended bodice pieces that I had created for my previous Georgia but decided to cut a bigger size than my usual for the skirt because this fabric has absolutely no stretch. In the end I did take the skirt sides in a bit but after my vanity sizing disaster with my Alder I wasn’t willing to risk it.


My previous Georgia is the wide strap v-neck version. It’s a great little evening dress with a twist. But this version, I feel, is more versatile. The sweetheart neckline is traditional, pretty flattering on a lot of body types and certainly easier to pull off. It’s also a lot cooler in summer.

Because this dress is super fitted I made several adjustments so the pattern. I had intended to make the longer version that finishes below the knees but being the five foot two gal that I am this looked really frumpy. I lobbed off 10cm and voilà. I also shortened the straps by 6cm, and used my amended bodice pieces. I’m not sure if this is an accepted bodice adjustment but it has worked well for my body shape. That’s all that matters right?


Have you made the Georgia dress?

Charlotte, Revisited

Long, long ago in a land far away I posted this photos to my Instagram


And I’ve finally finished my second Charlotte skirt! (Here’s my first one)


As you can see its a lovely black, red and yellow wool tartan. I inherited this fabric from a colleague at my old job’s mother-in-law along with a hand full of other wool tartans, lining for Africa and zippers of all colours and lengths.


This was one of my first forays into tartan fabrics and matching seams. I did a great job of matching the horizontal lines … but alas didn’t think it through completely and mismatched the vertical stripes. What a fail right?! However, I’m an accentuate the positive kinda person and this fabric was free so its all good.


Confession: I have had some issues with how to style with this skirt. Because it’s high-waisted and I’m a busty lass I’m really struggling! If I wear something tight I look ridiculous, and if I wear something loose it goes all billow-y and poofy. I’m thinking I need some cropped tops … All suggestions greatly appreciated! The top I’m wearing here has lots of layers so it sort of looks cropped.


There isn’t a great deal more to say about this skirt except that I love it and feel pretty hipster-chic when I wear it.


Also – Project Indie is still open! If you are a sewist about to launch your line of patterns email us and we will hook you up!

Georgia Dress Unlocked

Here is my LBD Georgia Edition


Here is the final product! I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on this number and it is finally finished. Unusually for me I did some pattern editing to get this dress to fit perfectly. From making my Hawaiian Georgia I knew that I’d need to make several changes to the real McCoy. I lengthened the bodice and straps, took the bodice in by about a centimetre on each side, and lengthened the hemline by about 10cm (this is one short dress!)


The pattern suggests using a fabric with a bit of stretch to help with fitting. This dress really does hug the figure! My first version of this was in a absolutely no stretch cotton and after making my muslin I decided I had to change to a fabric with stretch. Sorry guys (this dress was for the Monthly Stitch) but silk was not the best option anymore. Instead I used a wool blend from Nick’s Fabrics on Dominion Road. But I stuck with black like you insisted!


So would I make this dress again? Heck yes. There is something immensely satisfying about working on a pattern to make it fit you perfectly. Although I had to do a bit of pattern editing 1. this is totally normal and 2. I now have a go to pattern that is perfectly Penny sized.


Have you made the Georgia Dress? Did you make any adjustments?

Georgia Goes To Hawaii

Here’s my first Georgia Dress by By Hand London. I made this in a light cotton blend with the adjustments mentioned here. And in case you were wondering, yes the adjustments worked.

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I made this dress as part of the Monthly Stitch‘s March Challenge. This month you readers got to tell me what to make and you picked the Georgia in black. Because this dress is so fitted I wanted to make a toile to test out the sizing. I sewed it up in a US 12 and I was pretty much bang on. I just did my version of a FBA and resewed the bodice et voila! On Friday I’ll post the final version.

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So why are these photos in monochrome? No I’m not trying to get arty! Lighting was a mare. Have you made the Georgia Dress yet?

Friday on the blog: the Georgia LBD

Will This Work?


hi everyone! How’s your week going? Well I hope! Well in my corner of the world I’m sewing a Georgia Dress for the Monthly Stitch’s March theme – Miss Bossy Pants. And you may have noticed that I posted the photo above on my Instagram earlier this week. I had a lot of compliments on my fabric choice and a lot of people who couldn’t believe I’d make a muslin out of such great fabric. The truth is that I bought it for $1.50 at The Vintage Store in Papatoetoe. So this was my practice and if you look closely you can see its not quite right. The cups finish a bit too high (see the arrows?) I need them to sit about 3cm lower but I don’t want to go up a size as I like the way the rest of the dress looks as well as the fit.

Solution? Some pattern editing. By Hand London HQ has some great posts on how to adjust the Georgia Dress for a full bust adjustment and a small bust adjustment. Because there are several pieces in the bodice of this dress the adjustments are a bit different to your normal FBA/ SBA. But I just want to add 3cm to the middle of my pattern pieces and move the whole thing down.


So how do I adjust my patterns? I go straight to the kitchen … For some lunch paper. I traced the three main bodice pieces, drew a line 1.5cm from the bottom (this is the seam allowance) and cut. I then taped the top half of the pattern to more lunch paper, measured a 3cm gap and taped the bottom section to the lunch paper. Et voila! New bodice pieces. But now this is the real question – Will this even work? This is not the suggested way to adjust the bodice. So tell me – is this a good strategy for making a bodice that will fit?


Georgia Comes Out On Top!

The results are in and after a late *serge* you guys have voted for me to make the Georgia dress by British designers By Hand London! So watch this space! A bombshell Georgia dress is on its way …. We hope … This is a somewhat daunting dress due I all the pieces that it includes and the fitted nature of the bodice – and whole dress come to that! Wish me luck mes amies!


Are YOU sewing in the monthly stitch? What are you making?