Horses and a lining!

Before my obsession with sewing consumed me, I was passionate about horses. Unfortunately, I had to give up riding this year due to back problems, but I hope I’ll return to it one day. Instead, like all horsey mums, I aim one day to live vicariously through Hazel and I have been “grooming” her to love horses since she was in the womb. So here is her first horsey dress that I’ve made for her (she’s had plenty of bought ones!) Fabric from Elephant in my Handbag.

This pattern is the Burda one that I learned with. I resized it onto fabric templates as I’d cut out the pattern to 9-12 months and now she needs the bigger one. This time I thought I’d try to make it with a lining – which I have never done before. I didn’t have any instructions so I had to wing it a lot, but basically I made the dress from white cotton lawn (what does that even mean?) and I attached it at the neck and arms using the bias binding. Talking about bias binding, I’ve just watched Great British Sewing Bee and I wonder if I’ve been doing it wrong all this time?

horse cutting out

It might look like I was trying to show off by adding a daisy decorative stitch all along the lining hem, but truth is, I needed to use up the thread because I was out of bobbins. It looks pretty cute though and I have to justify the 100+ stiches that my machine can do.

I have yet to do zips, but I don’t shy away from buttons anymore! When I first started sewing I cheated and used poppers instead of buttons – then after some research I got the hang of buttons and button holes. My first machine did button holes where you had to change the stitch for each part – like a caveman. So it took a lot more lining up and I had to mark it all out carefully. However, the best tip I discovered for buttons was to stick them in the right place with sticky tape, then use zig zag stitch to sew them in place. The tape peels off afterwards easily enough and the buttons are all uniform with their holes aligned perfectly.

My new machine has a setting for stitching buttons on, which takes out the hassle of tying a knot at the end, but as it was made this century, it also has the buttonhole feature where you put the button in the foot and select which type of button hole you’d like. Take a breath. Then press play. It still makes me so happy.

hhorse buttonhole

Something I love about getting more sewing experience is the ability to add little “designer” features to my clothes. So this time, I did the final button hole in a coordinating blue, because I’ve see that in posh shops.

I have some different horsey fabric upstairs for another Oliver + S tunic dress. I can imagine it in my mind – I’m aiming for a Joules look. But that’s going to have to wait for another day…


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