A next time



I've recently gone back through my previous sewing projects and read what I said about them at the time. I've often said things like 'if/when I make this again I will...' or 'next time I'll change...'. Inevitably many of these 'next times' have not happened yet. So I thought it would be a good idea to look at past musings on some of my previous sewing projects and then decide whether the 'next times' were still on the cards or not.

One pattern I was definately still motivated to have a second stab at was Papercut Patterns' Clover dress. I made it back in November 2014 and I had trouble getting it to fit because I didn't choose the correct pattern size. I really enjoyed this project because it helped me have a big revelation about pattern sizing and the importance of the high bust measurement!

In a nutshell I realised that I should choose patterns based on my high bust measurement. First you should find out the difference between your pattern's high bust measurement and full bust measurement (if in doubt go for 5cm as this seems to be the standard for patterns drafted for a B cup). Then you take your own high bust measurement and add this difference to it. Then choose the pattern size with the bust size which corresponds closest to this measurement. You will then need to take out the difference between your actual full bust measurement and the pattern bust measurement as the pattern will fit at the shoulders and back but it will still be too big at the bust. So you will need to do a small bust adjustment. (See my previous post for a fuller explanation!)

So, last time I made the mistake of just choosing the size XXS (bust 82cm) - my bust measurement is 78cm so I thought it would make sense to choose the smallest size and then just do an SBA to take out the excess at the bust. But what I didn't realise was that when you substract 5cm from 82cm you get a high bust measurement of 77cm which means this size is actually too small for me at the back and under the arms (my high bust measurement is 79cm).


This time I took my high bust measurement and added 5cm to it (79 + 5 = 84cm). So based on this measurement I chose the next size up, XS (bust 88cm). Then I did an SBA to take out the difference between my bust measurement (78cm) and the pattern size (88cm). The main problem for a pattern like the Clover is that it's not very obvious how to do an SBA! So I just decided to invent a method which involved taking in the centre front seam. I taped all the pattern pieces together and sort of held it up to myself to see what seemed about right and then redrew the centre front down all pieces at the same time. I'm sure that is not a 'proper' method but it worked for me!

In the end I took out slightly less than 5cm at each side as it seemed like a lot when I held up the pattern pieces to my body. I'm really happy as it sits perfectly at the neckline and doesn't sag at all. At the back it is not tight at all and it is much more comfortable under the arms than my previous attempt - if I was being really picky I should probably take out a bit at the back neckline but I think it looks fine and as it is a loose style you don't notice.


I decided just to do the bust insert pieces in the same fabric but do some grey topstitching to accentuate them.


All in all I'm really happy with the finished result!

The fabric comes from a shop I recently discovered and it was ridiculously cheap, 2 euros a metre. The shop is just beside the canal in Anderlecht and is called 'GoTex'. Really friendly and nice staff too! Highly recommend a visit there.

I made the dress a few weeks ago and have been wearing it loads so far. I cut the hem quite short so it is more of a tunic than a dress - but I've worn it with chunky tights a lot. In these photos I'm wearing it with another skirt underneath for warmth. I took the opportunity to get some quick pictures while visiting Blankenberge on the Belgian coast this weekend. It was pretty cold and windy so when I say 'quick picture' I'm not lying. I was keen to get my jumper and coat back on!


I'd previously visited Ostende and Knokke but this was my first visit here and it didn't disappoint. I like the slightly kitsch faded-glamour of Belgian seaside resorts. They always remind me of childhood trips to Blackpool in the UK. We ate ice cream and waffles in a place called Chez Vincent with amazing 80s' decor, played air hockey in an arcade, walked in the sand dunes, walked along the shore, drank hot chocolate in the café on the 'Belgium Pier', and ate our packed lunch in a very windy spot with a generous serving of sand.

From Brussels (via Blankenberge) with love x x x



  1. cute dress - I love paisley and that goes so well with the tights ;o)

  2. thank you! :) Yeah me too - I couldn't believe my luck when I found the fabric!

  3. What a fab dress/tunic! And thank you for the Gotex tip, I will be making my way there soon enough no doubt... :-) I went to Blankenberge for the first time recently too and loved it for exactly the same reasons. Can't beat touristy coastal towns on the North Sea!

    1. Thanks, Jo! I was so happy when I spotted the place, not everyday you find a new fabric shop! No doubt bump into you there at some point then! :) Yeah I need to spend more time on the North Sea! :)