The Marilla Walker Roberts jumpsuit.

“Ooh” I say to my daughter, “I’ve seen this really nice dungarees pattern, would you be a recipient if I were to make them”?

“Yes” she said, “can I see the pattern” ? So I sent her the link to Marilla Walker and asked her to look at the Roberts pattern.

This was the response I got

I would very much like this!
do i get to make decisions about it, or are you going to make what you want to make?”

I replied “You can input”

very thanks
well i like the top style best where it’s basically a whole jumpsuit
and i think i’d prefer it if it had a low-ish round neckline and no sleeves”12887349_10156680772840486_945903179_o

“Ok! And if im actually going to wear it these are my criteria: I can sit and kneel and curl into a ball comfortably without it being too tight on my shoulders
I have to be able to comfortably move my legs in any direction
Which is rare even in shop dungarees”

HA flipping HA !

So I rifled through my old patterns from the 1980’s which is when I was about the same size as daughter is now and came across this which incredibly fitted pretty seamlessly onto the Roberts jumpsuit bottoms.


I ordered the paper pattern as I thought it would be easier than the PDF for such a big garment and sat back to wait for the postman. Unfortunately the pattern was one of two items where delivery was ‘attempted’ during the only 5 minutes in the day where I had popped out to hang up the washing so I had to go to the post office the next day to collect. EXCEPT…when I got there they had my fabric parcel but they had lost the pattern ! I was not impressed, not at all…I think they got the message because a Post Office employee turned up at our front door at 6.30pm with the missing pattern and many apologies….

So a day wasted and I was eager to crack on with my project, too eager..because the first mistake I made was to do the first lap felled seams in opposite directionsIMG_3551

I knew this would really annoy me if I carried on so had to unpick, but due to having trimmed the seam the pattern piece was now too small so I had to cut another one. I merrily carried on through steps 1,2 and 3 and then pinned the resulting ‘back’ onto my mannequin when I was horrified to see that I had made a really major error (MORE HASTE, LESS SPEED)


That ‘V’ is supposed to be the other way round, pointing upwards. SO…more unpicking and reconstructing but on a large scale which took me nearly 2 hours !!


Once I had got this bit right the garment started coming together nicely. Due to having changed the construction of the top I had to make some armhole bindingsIMG_3558I bought these two bias tapes but didn’t really like either of them so in the end I made my own from scraps from a dress that I had made for the same daughter previously which I was much happier with. I used this same fabric for the pocket lining and the neck, button and buttonhole facings as well as the hem .IMG_3565        IMG_3560

With the intended recipient being 150 miles away, daughter 3 had to be the initial model although being 5 inches taller and a dress size larger the fit is a bit snugger than it should be but I was pleased with the initial impression.



Daughter 1 for whom the garment was made came home today and this is how it looks on her

IMG_3595          IMG_3596    IMG_3602


Apart from my initial incompetence I am really pleased with how this project turned out, I haven’t ‘bodged’ any of the elements and daughter says “10/10 top quality garment”

Can’t say fairer than that….



The Marilla Walker Roberts jumpsuit.

Kommatia boxy tunic x 2

I saw this top on megsewing and loved it. I bought the pattern from Kommatia patterns straight away but couldn’t find exactly the fabric I wanted until I found this lightish sweatshirt jersey on my fabrics. I downloaded and traced out the pattern and then the wait for the fabric…..on the Monday I received a dispatch notice and thought it might arrive on Wednesday, no joy. I was in all day Thursday except for 5 minutes when I went out to hang the washing on the line. Wouldn’t you know that that 5 minutes was the exact time the postman came and left a card though the letterbox saying I could collect the parcel from the Post Office the following day. So frustrating ! Anyway, on Friday I finally had my hands on the fabric…I was really pleased with it, it’s sort of reversibleIMG_3463

Once I had seen it I realised that I wanted to make a feature of the reverse side of the fabric and decided to do the neck binding and hems in reverse.

I noted from megsewing that she had found the garment to be a bit short so I decided to add 10cm to the body length to ensure my make was long enough to cover my backside. IMG_3464The instructions were very easy to follow and the garment came together very quickly, however when I came to try it on I found that the sleeves were very tight to the extent that I could barely bend my arms ! Oh dear ! The extra length also was too much and it just looked as if I was wearing a sack. What to do ?

I ended up by resewing the sleeve seams with the tiniest seam allowance I thought I could get away with and cut away the length from the front to make a hi/lo bottom hem.

This is the end productIMG_3536

I really like the way the reverse trim has worked out.

IMG_3547I’m actually very pleased with it although I may have cut the front a little high and would do it a couple of cm lower next time.My daughter loves it and I can see it may ‘vanish’ from my wardrobe in the near future unless I make her one of her own PDQ !

Ok, so today I decided to make the second one for my daughter. I had bought two lots of fabric, blue and grey so she got the grey. She asked for it to be big all over with a straight hem so I left the hem as per the pattern +4 inches and increased the sleeve width.


I’m amazed how such small changes can completely alter the look of a garment. I think I prefer the style of the blue, but she seems very happy with the grey longline version.

Kommatia boxy tunic x 2

Vintage Pattern Sewing Challenge


I have been given some vintage sewing patterns by a friend who was having a clear out of her mother’s things. The patterns were all used to make garments for my friend and her sisters in the 1960’s.

I have been wondering what to do with them and, having seen the Vintage Sewing Pledge on   a stitching odyessy have decided to have a go at making a garment from one of them. None of the patterns are in my size so I am going to have to do some work on resizing. Hmmm…..which one to choose…..It needs to be something that won’t be too complicated to resize and it must be something that I would actually wear.


Not this one, I don’t like the way the sleeves and shoulders are part of the back, unless I’m going to sit up ramrod straight every time I wear it I think I’ll just look hunched over.


Just not me (I’m not really a dress person)


This is a possibility. I like the length and style but maybe not quite enough of a challenge ?


Too flared….


Hmm….no jersey in my stash…


Buttons down the back ? With my dodgy shoulder ? I don’t think so.




I really like this jacket, but I think I’ll park it for the time being as the sun is shining and I’m feeling summery. I’ll try and come back to it later in the year.


I think I’m going to have a go at view D, this is something that I could and would wear if I get it right. I like the idea of the multiple darts and who doesn’t like a pocket ?


This is the pattern out of the packet. There are no written instructions on the tissue just lots of holes of varying shapes. Small holes, large holes, triangle holes and square holes. The tissue is very thin and fragile and I was a bit worried about pressing it flat.


Fortunately it survived !


The pattern and colour coded markings all copied and transferred to a sheet of Costco’s finest Baking Parchment.


This is the fabric I have chosen for this project. A Makower cotton from C+H


I pinned the pattern pieces to my mannequin and have decided to increase the width of the front and back without moving the darts at all as they seem to be in the right place.


Initial pattern adjustments. A straight insert. I’m a bit concerned about the armholes as they seem very small and are of a shape I have never come across before. I’m going to leave them as they are for the time being and not cut out the armhole facings until I have a better shaped bodice to try on the mannequin.


Darts tacked on the back.

So with the darts in the first instruction is to sew the shoulder and side seams. This gave me sufficient information to see that the finished garment was going to be too big so I have taken out the extra width I put in the back at the beginning. This has meant putting a seam straight down the back but I don’t think it will be too detrimental to the finished garment.image

The next step was making and attaching the pockets which went without incident.

imageThen onto the collar…I have never made a proper collar like this successfully before and if I hadn’t already committed to recording it here this one would have been consigned to the bin early this afternoon. The first mistake I made was a misreading of the pattern layout which meant I had only cut out one collar piece when I needed two. I had a small amount of fabric left which I was going to use to make the armhole facings once I had worked out what size those should be. I used quite a lot of this remaining bit of fabric cutting out the second collar piece which means I now don’t have enough for the armhole facings and they will have to be finished with bias tape. The second mistake was having adjusted the collar for the back increase I had failed to make adjustments for the front increase. As I was now out of all except scraps of fabric I have resorted to cutting the collar pieces in half and inserting a 2inch insert in each one. The instructions for making the collar were very difficult to understand but eventually I interfaced one side and attached the collar piece. The collar seemed to be HUGE, like an Elvis collar !



After thinking about it for a while I thought a lighter weight interfacing might make it a bit softer and appear smaller so I took the collar off, scraped off the lightweight interfacing I had used which was an absolute pig of a job and applied an ultra lightweight interfacing. Then I reattached the collar.imageExcept I attached it the wrong way round ! Aargh ! I had to unpick it again and start for the fourth time ! Normally I would have just given up by now but it was worth redoing as I am quite pleased with the end result.imageimage

The collar is very large by modern standards but I think I quite like it.

After the collar and facings it was time to do the buttonholes and buttons. I’ve never used the buttonhole feature on my machine before  but it worked really well and the four buttonholes were done in about 10 minute. I won’t be afraid of buttons in the future. The buttons are some recycled from a garment bought at Oxfam for children’s fancy dress years ago and I’m glad I kept them as they have been double recycled  now.


Other adjustments I have made today are moving the darts down. They’re still not exactly right and I’ll look at them again tomorrow.

This is the garment so far. It still needs a few tweaks but overall I’m quite pleased with it.


This is the finished garment.IMG_3458IMG_3456IMG_3453

Would I actually wear it ? Yes I think I will. I think it looks good with these Clover trousers I made a couple of years ago. I still think the collar is very large but that’s how the pattern is and it was a Vintage Pattern Challenge.

Vintage Pattern Sewing Challenge