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Nina Lee Patterns Carnaby dress pattern Review

Nina Lee Patterns Carnaby dress pattern Review

Who does not love a good comfortable shift dress for summer? I always forget that the world summer is relative to wherever you stay. I am in the UK, and to be honest with you for a total of six years I have lived in this lovely country, I have only experienced just one true summer. Being a tropical girl, one warm day amidst a week of rainy and cloudy does not count as summer. Let me stick to talking about the Carnaby dress by Nina Lee Patterns.

Pattern Description

The Carnaby dress is a shift style dress with separate bodice and skirt piece and of with inseam front pockets. The skirt piece connects to the bodice at around the hipline which makes it really interesting. And the separate bodice and skirt pieces allow for colour blocking. This dress also features an exposed zipper at the back.

The Carnaby dress offers two style options; View A which is a sleeveless dress and View B with short sleeves. Both can be made out of a range of fabrics and can also be worn in the colder months with some layers.

Pattern Sizing:

This pattern runs from sizes 6 up to size 20. And according to the pattern size recommendations, I was a size 6 at the bust and in between sizes 8 and 10 for both waist and hips. I decided to cut up two dresses in size 6 for both the bust and the waist which I blended into a size 8 at the hips. I decided not to cut the waist at size 8 considering it is a shirt dress which has some ease around the waist and the hips. 

The pattern fitted pretty well all around apart from the armscye which felt small and the sleeves were a bit tight considering I cut up the recommended size at the bust. I plan to sew up the second one I cut up then omitting the sleeves and hoping it will fit much better. 

Fabric Used:

I made this version out of an African wax print (Ankara fabric) I got from Uganda (home) which sewed up beautifully. And I have a second one cut up already in light blue chambray fabric.


I love how my very first Carnaby dress turned out and I plan to make more in the near future. However, I intend to cut up a size 8 all throughout as that might give me the best fit around the sleeves.

And one thing I have also loved with this pattern is the well-written instructions and especially the instructions on sewing the exposed zipper on which are brilliant.

The Carnaby dress is a well-drafted pattern and I am sure it would look nice on various body shape.

Ivy Pinafore – Jennifer Lauren Handmade  Pattern Review

Ivy Pinafore – Jennifer Lauren Handmade Pattern Review

I am obsessed with pinafores and I just thought I would put it out there. It is for this reason that I decided to buy the Ivy pinafore by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. My initial inspiration to purchase this pattern was my RTW denim pinafore from Dorothy Perkins which I bought almost 2years ago. I have worn it year-round with layers underneath in the cold months and in the warmer months on top of vests or short-sleeved t-shirts. And I have always received compliments whenever I have worn it. I contemplated creating a pattern from it as I would be able to reproduce it in many other fabric choices while keeping the fit. However, just before went down that road I landed on The Ivy Pinafore by Jennifer Lauren Handmade on Instagram.

 Pattern Description

The Ivy Pinafore is designed to be layered over collared shirts and knit tops and it comes in two views or versions. Version 1 is of a rather full skirt pinafore which I was definitely not after. However, version 2 is the pinafore of my dreams. It is an A-line semi-fitted pinafore which would be flattering on all body shapes. And this pattern comes within seam pockets (who would not want some pockets on their pinafore?

Ivy Pinafore in a tropical canvas fabric

This pattern original recommendation was to construct it fully-lined, however, Jennifer wrote a post showing how the lining can be omitted and replaced with bias binding around the armscye.

Pattern Sizing:

This pattern comes in 10 different sizes and it ranges from size 6 to size 24. Based on the pattern size chart and finished garment measurements, I went with size 8.  And being me and my dislike for making toiles, I decided to cut up two pinafores in two different patterns in size 8.

Ivy Pinafore in an indigo denim

I first sewed up the first one without pockets just in case I need to make any alterations. And yes, it ran really big around the waist and hips area. I took a break and came back to it after a week. Needless to say, the bust area fitted really well and the alterations I needed to make were from the bust dart down to the hem.

The instructions of the Ivy Pinafore are well-written and very easy to follow considering it is designed for confident beginners to advanced seamstresses.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

The original idea of sewing it up fully-lined was not appealing to me as It would end up being quite warm if made out of thick outer fabric like denim. However, the idea of omitting the lining and rather sewing it up with some bias binding instead was more appealing to me.

Fabric Used

The printed version of the pinafore was made out of a canvas fabric which I bought from Pound a yard fabric shop in Dewsbury (and no the fabric was not just a pound a yard). It was sold as a bag making fabric but as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for an Ivy pinafore.

Ivy Pinafore

The plain pinafore is made from a midnight sheen denim fabric I purchased from pound fabrics (an online store that stocks a range of good quality fabrics at such a bargain).

Ivy pinafore

Both fabrics sewed up and ironed really well and they were perfect for the pinafore.

Fabric recommendations for this pinafore

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The first alteration I made was to add some centimetres to the length as I often do to most patterns. I added 1 ¾ inch or 4.5cms at the shorten and lengthen line on the pattern.

And the second alteration was the amount I took in around the pinafore. I took out a total of 7 inches around the hips area which I blended into the side seam at both the hem and just below the bust dart. And I transferred these changes to the original pattern.


After making the necessary adjustments to the original pattern, I can confidently say these two are not the last Ivy pinafore I will ever make. I plan to make way more in different fabrics and colours. And I am also proud to say that the Ivy Pinafore is the pinafore of my dreams.

Here is a video where I review this pattern if you would rather watch than read.

Burda 6829 Pattern review

Burda 6829 Pattern review

Our 10th wedding anniversary was fast approaching and I thought of making a beautiful dress to wear to dinner at our anniversary mini-moon. I remember passing by my local fabric store and I had some time to spare which led me to the pattern books. I passed through quite many of them but the Burda 6829 stood out for me and I knew it was the one.

Pattern description

Burda 6829 is a multi-sized dress pattern that goes from size 8 up to size 18.  And it comes in two options A and B of which the only difference between the two is the length from the waist to the hem. Option B is 3 inches or 8 cms longer than option A.

This Pattern is fitted dress with waist gathers on one side which makes it rather flattering. It is recommended for a 4-way stretch fabric which makes fitting it much easier compared to woven fabrics.

Size made

From the pattern sizing recommendations, I was meant to make size 36 /10 whoever when I read recommendations from others who had sewed up this dress, they all seemed to recommend sizing down to the next size. I cut up the smallest size (size 34/8) and it was my perfect size.  And I also went for option B which slightly longer as I found it more appealing.

The Making

The instructions were easy to follow and It comes together quite fast as it is with most knit fabrics if you are able to sew it up with an overlocking machine /serger.  

The interfacing used for the neckline seemed to have been of concern of most people who had sewed up this dress as it kept popping out since it was not anchored anywhere inside the dress. So I decided to omit it and instead folded the neckline over once and sewed it down using my coverstitch machine.

Fabric Used

I used this gorgeous knit velvet fabric in wine from Minerva Crafts which sewed up really well. And it also washed very well, however, extra care was taken while ironing it (I guess it is the case with most velvets) as it almost melted on me before I had lowered heat of my iron.

Pattern Alterations

I made a sway back adjustment on the pattern piece.

I omitted the neckline interfacing.

My Conclusion

The dress came out really well and it honestly exceeded my expectations and of course the hubby’s too.  I was really chuffed about it. I can confidently say that this is the most fluttering and smartest dress I have ever made in my less than 2 years of dressmaking.

I Plan to sew up this pattern again and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a smart occasion dress to wear.

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Pauline Alice  Patterns Rosari Skirt Pattern Review

Pauline Alice Patterns Rosari Skirt Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

I had been eyeing the Rosari skirt Pattern for such a long time until I decided to buy it as I felt it was a missing piece in my wardrobe. Now that I own two of them it is clear that I needed them. They have already had a lot of wear in such a short period I have had them. I bought a pdf copy of the Rosari skirt from Pauline Alice Website as it is more convenient for me to buy and print it off immediately.

This is an A-line button-down skirt which comes in two lengths; a mini and midi. It is quite a versatile skirt which can be worn with almost everything. This pattern also comes with 4 pockets options: A rounded with a coin pocket, B Patch pocket, C Invented pleated pocket with a flap and D Zipped pocket. And this pattern is recommended for medium weight fabrics.

Pattern Sizing:

This is a multi-size pattern which comes in size 34 up to size 48. I made both of them in size 36 and the pattern run true to size. I did not need to blend any sizes to get the right fit but cut up the recommended size as per my body measurements.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions were well-written and quite easy to follow.  The two skirts I made had 2 different pocket options where one had a rounded pocket and the other with a Zipper. The rounded pocket option was the easier one to put together as the Zipped one called for more precision which inserting the Zippers.

Fabric Used:

And I made the Zipper option out of an olive suede fabric which I picked up from the Shuttle (fabric store in Shipley). This fabric sewed up well too however, extra care was needed while ironing it as it was quite sensitive to high heat.

For the rounded pocket option, I used a navy corduroy which I bought from B&M Fabric shop here in Leeds, UK. I sewed up beautifully and it ironed up well too.

Pattern alterations:

The only alteration I made to this pattern was on the length of the skirt. I was neither on the mini nor the midi so I decided to reduce the length of the midi by 4 inches as opposed to adding the required length to the mini version. This is mostly because if I had added the 3inches to the mini I could easily have messed up the hem shaping or changed the shape of the skirt. 


I love my two rosari skirts as I get to wear them with many other items in my wardrobe. And I have not taken them off since I made them. I plan to make many more and I would highly recommend this pattern.

True Bias Ogden Cami Sewing Pattern Review

True Bias Ogden Cami Sewing Pattern Review

Every girl or woman should own a cami top in their wardrobe. And if you are a sewist, you should own many of them as they are such a feminine versatile piece of clothing. They can be worn layered under jackets or cardigans and by themselves (of course with some bottoms) when the weather is warmer.

I am confident to say that the best cami you will or should ever need is the Ogden Cami by True Bias. This cami features a soft V neck at both centre front and centre back necklines. It also has delicate spaghetti straps which add a feminine touch to this blouse. It can be sewn up in a variety of lightweight fabrics which makes it the best top for the warm weather.

Pattern Sizing:

This pattern comes in sizes 0 up to size 18 and I cut and sewed two in size two which I found to be true to size. I did not need to make any adjustments regards to fit apart from shortening the straps by 2 and 1/2 inches or 6.4 cms as the straps came up a bit long.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

This pattern is drafted for a confident beginner and i can’t agree as the instructions were very easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

One thing anyone would love about this pattern is the fact that that it requires such little amounts of fabric. It is the best fabric buster.

Fabric Used:

I made both my camis out of rayon fabrics I picked up from my local fabric shop B&M Fabrics in Leeds. I recommend any lightweight viscose or rayon fabric for this pattern.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I love wearing both my camis and it does not help that they are made out of these pretty prints. And I have recently hacked this pattern into a midi dress with frills at the bottom for my Minerva makes.


The Ogden Cami is a beautiful piece of clothing to have in anyone’s wardrobe.

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