#MarthasDancingHeart, Martha's Dancing Heart, Pillowcase Dress, Weekend Sewing

Weekend Sewing: Baby Pillowcase Dress

I have just made a dress for a very special little lady.  I’d like to introduce you to Martha Graham.  When she was born she had a  very fast heartbeat – double what it normally is for a newborn.

Marthas Dancing HeartShe was cared for really well by the staff at the University Hospital in Wales and she is now a health little girl.  She has a heart condition called PJRT and it is controlled with lots of medicine, so lots of trips back to hospital for Martha and her family.  Her lovely parents Rick and Michelle have been raising funds for the hospital and their fundraising is called ‘Martha’s Dancing Heart’.

I knew that I wanted to make a dress for Martha, so I looked around at the styles available and settled upon the pillowcase dress.  I found a great tutorial on Baby Rabies.  Don’t worry, her babies do not have rabies, just in case you were wondering!!

I bought some fabric from my favourite shop in Leamington Spa, Harlequin Fabrics.  They have lots of cute craft fabric, but I decided to go for cotton lawn as it is lovely and soft – perfect for baby skin.  It’s a really easy pattern, so I wanted to be really tidy and ensure that all my seams were neat and well finished.  It only has one seam in the centre back, so I decided to make a French Seam to keep it neat.  I love the bias bound armholes and the matching ribbon to tie the shoulders in place.

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I just h11824069_10152986898752116_2062734623_nope it fits and can’t wait to see baby Martha wearing it!  To find out more about Michelle’s fundraising, please see Martha’s Dancing Heart

Cherry Dress, Experimenting, Self-drafting, Sewing, Weekend Sewing

Weekend Sewing: Cherry Surprise!

I absolutely love this dress.  I bought it on a lovely holiday to St Ives many years ago and it was cheap as chips!  I love it because the colour and pattern is great for me.  I like to wear strapless dresses when I’m out in the sun so I don’t end up with a multitude of strap lines.  It’s cotton lawn, so beautifully light and great to wear on a hot day.  Sadly it’s almost worn out.  It has sun lotion stains around the top and the elastic has gone unde39792_10150223918170494_13209_nr the bust.  Here’s me wearing it in 2010 in  Portugal!

It’s a simple design, so I thought it would be relatively easy to copy. I went off in search of fabric to my favourite shop – Harlequin Fabrics in Leamington Spa. My idea was for something fun that I’d like to wear on holiday.

I found a great piece of soft cotton with big cherries on it. Perfect!   I started by creating a paper pattern copied from my original dress and adding a bit extra for seam allowances.


I created a lining with cotton lawn and sewed the dress up in about an hour and a half, lining and all.  Perhaps the rose wine helped!

I tried the dress on……it was too tight across the bust…..nooooooo! I asked my daughter to try it on…..it fitted perfectly. So now she is the proud owner of a new cherry dress!! And me….I just used some vanish on my old dress, sewed in some new elastic and it will have to do for another holiday!!!  Back to the drawing board!  I am sure with a few modifications I can alter the pattern to fit me.

Here we are in our dresses!