My Super Sweet ’16

After giving myself a much needed physical and mental break I am ready to tackle 2017 and get back in the creative groove. I have a post about my plans for 2017 lined up so keep an eye out for that to find out more about my sewing plans and what to expect from this blog and my vlog, but for now I wanted to do a round up of the year.

So here is a look back over 2016…

2016 Roundup | Dominique Major

Instagram: So 2016 has been quite the year for my love of Instagram and I have found it such a great creative outlet to share things with the sewing community. Here is my top 9 from the year and I am so happy to have reached over 1000 followers, which I know in the grand scheme of things is small but seeing as I started the year on about 200 I am so happy to be able to share my photos with all my wonderful new followers.

2016 round up achievements | Dominique Major

Work and things: After a rocky end to 2015 and start to 2016, one of goals for the year was to push myself further with my work so I am happy and proud to look back over some of the things I have done in 2016. Of course the biggest and most exciting has been making Suzy Magazine and seeing it going out into the world. It has been such a great way to the end the year and surpassed any expectations. I can’t wait for more Suzy fun in 2017. I have also been pushing myself to write for other websites. Earlier in the year I published  writing for The Huffington Post and most recently for  gal-dem magazine. Some of you might also remember the dresses I made for The Tuts’ music video, these were also on the cover of Bristol Live Magazine. I completed a Introduction to Pattern Cutting course at LCF and, of course, became part of the Sew Crafty Design team. Phew… I can’t wait to have a 2017 full of even more exciting opportunities.

2016 round up travel | Dominique Major

Travel: I had another year of wonderful travels with a VERY cold trip to New York in February and another summer trip to the US travelling from Vancouver to Seattle and finally down to Portland (somewhere that had been on my travel list for quite a while).

2016 round up me made | Dominique Major

Me Made Wardrobe: And, of course, my handmade wardrobe has really developed this year. Since the start of the year my small handmade collection has developed significantly and I am now actually wearing #memadeeveryday. I feel my skills have developed and while there are still many areas of improvement and ways in which my wardrobe can expand, I am proud of how much I have achieved in such a small space of time.

So that’s 2016 in a nutshell and I can’t wait for 2017 to be even more exciting!

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Vintage Sewing Pattern Haul vlog

Two posts in one week?! Craziness!

Here is my latest vlog which is the second part of my holiday sewing haul. This time I talk about vintage patterns and some other sewing treasures. I hope you all enjoy!

Holiday Fabric Haul (and an update)

Hello guys!

I’m back! Sorry it has been such a long time. I had hoped to schedule some posts while I was away but holiday fun got the better of me.

But now that I’ve been back for a couple of weeks I’m finally back in the swing of normal life and back into the swing of getting my sewing in order. Particularly because with a change of season my wardrobe needs an update. So do expect regular posts to be back up.

For now while I work on getting them in order I have a new video over on my YouTube channel. It’s a haul video of all the fabric I bought while I was away. I do also have another video scheduled to go up this weekend so stay tuned.

Hope you enjoy the video and do let me know if there are any particular posts you are dying to see.

Sew Crafty Design Team – Francoise Dress

Hello there!

I’ve been having some trouble getting blog posts out there at the moment. Not for lack of ideas, I have ton of things I want to share with you and a bunch of new makes I want you to see, but I can’t get the photos. I know it’s nice to see photos of makes being worn but at the moment I have been struggling to get any pictures taken. So I do apologise I’m working on catching up with that!

But anyway  on to my make. So I have my fist make from my Sew Crafty haul and this is one which you would have seen me talking about in my July Haul video.


It’s the *Tilly and the Buttons Françoise dress in this *Dashwood cotton from the Bloom Collection!! Here is how it looks on….

I love the fit of this dress. Although it’s erring on the edge of being too short for bare legs. It’s just ok. But I think it will be a great transition piece as this dress will look great with tights and maybe even a roll neck underneath. With any summer sews I’m making at the moment, all I can think about is how I will transition them into autumn. I love the fabric and think it suits this dress perfectly especially if you’re looking for a patterned version that adds a bit of fun without being too in your face.

In terms of the actual sewing, I would say this is a pattern for the intermediate sewer. While the style of the dress is simple there are some features that could pose as tricky for a beginner sewer. However, that being said Tilly’s clear instructions as usual make things much easier. I did have to leave off the tab because I didn’t have any self covering buttons to hand and I wanted to wear it out. But I do have the tab made so this could always be something I add on after because I do like that design feature.

Overall I like this pattern, love this fabric and would definitely make this dress again. Out of the Francoise options I do prefer this sleeveless design but perhaps I’ll give the sleeve version a go next.

I have one more make from this haul to show you (it’s a sparkly one!) and you can see me talking about the Sew Crafty Dressmaking journal in my July Favourites video. Then I’m off to shop the Sew Crafty website for my next makes, so let me know if there is something that catches your eye and you think I should try.

So what do you think? Have you tried the Francoise dress? I’d love to know what fabric you made it in and how you found it so let me know in the comments below. I’d also love to hear your pattern recommendations.

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*Pattern and fabric gifted to me from Sew Crafty as part of the Sew Crafty Design Team but all views are my own.

5 Last Minute Summer Sewing Patterns

Guess what guys, summer is not over yet. Yes, if  you live in the UK most days it feels like summer never really actually came around. Sunny days have been few and far between which means summer sewing hadn’t really been a priority. (That’s probably why I’m panic sewing some last minute bits for my holiday!) But there seems to be a few sunny days left in this summer and we all know there’s always a last burst of sunshine in September.

So I wanted to do a round up of 5 last minute summer sewing patterns that are quick, work for warmer climates but can also be transitioned into autumn winter.

1. Adelaide dress 

Another great dress for layering. I’ve just sewn this beautiful pattern up in a slightly altered denim version perfect for summer travels but when I’m back and the sun is no longer around I want to get more wear our of it and  when sewn in the right fabric it is perfect for layering. My denim version could be worn with a striped top  underneath (I’ve just sewn multiple Nettie’s that would be perfect) and some ankle boots. Transition done!

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(Pink cord, Denim , Liberty cord

2.  Sudley dress 

I’ve just made this dress in a beautiful Liberty Tana lawn and I love it which has made we eager to sew others. I have a top version in the pipe line for my holiday but again I think this pattern, while beautiful, is also a great pattern to transition. It can be worn as it is now and when made in a beautiful fabric like a Tana lawn is breezy and cool but as the colder weather comes you can layer a jumper over and show off the collar detailing or add a cozy chunky cardigan over the top.  Make it in a blouse and wear it with shorts in the summer and under your Adelaide dress in the winter with thick tights and boots.

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(Liberty, Rifle Co., Feather)

3. Françoise Dress 

Some of you may have recently seen my first Françoise dress and I think this makes a great summer to Autumn transition piece when sewn in the sleeveless version.

While this isn’t a super summery piece being sleeveless makes it easy to wear when the weather is warmer paired it’s some nice sandals. However this can be transitioned into A/W through the wonderful art of layering. When made in the right fabric this 60s style pinafore dress can easily be warn with a long sleeve top underneath or even better a roll neck and tights!

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(Cat, Dashwood, Cloud 9_

4. Bailen Slip dress

I spoke about this dress in my July Favourites video and it was the pattern that prompted me to think about this post. Slip dresses are great for warm weather. When made in a viscose, as I did with mine, they are light and breathable. Exactly what you need when it’s just too hot. But layer a polo neck or jumper underneath when the chill hits, they then add some colour to your winter wardrobe and help you embrace 90s chic. An easy (free!) pattern and versatile. I like a lot!

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(Poppy, Tropic, Medalion)

5. Coco dress

I have a new found love for the Coco and I can see why it is a Tilly and the Buttons best seller. It is so easy to sew and so comfortable. Now knits might not be what you think of sewing in the summer but seeing as our summer’s aren’t hot hot the coco makes a great transition piece. It’s easy to wear without tights or sew a loose fitting top to wear with short or a denim skirt. I have sewn a long sleeve top version in the yellow stripe and a short sleeve dress in the black and i’ve only had the pattern for about a week.

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(Spots, Black stripe, Yellow Stripe)

What last minute summer sewing are you doing to transition into AW? Have you tried any of these patterns? Let me know if you have any fabric or pattern recommendations in the comments below.

(PS I am on holiday for two weeks so there will be fewer posts and I no videos though I do have so good ones lined up for when I’m back. Do check my Instagram to stay up to date with my travels and Handmade Holiday Wardrobe. You might even see some of these in there.)

 

July Sewing Favourites 

I have a new video for you over on my YouTube channel! Enjoy!


I’m also planning out a bunch of new posts so what kind of things would you all like to see both here as written content and over on YouTube in video form? I’d love to hear so let me know in the comments below. 

New Favourite Pattern? Butterick B5030

If there was ever an example of why you should never judge a pattern but its cover the Butterick B5030 would be that example. Ok, so it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen but it looks frumpy and lets say I had to use my imagination when buying it.


So the reason I bought this pattern and ignored the horrible cover is because I had a vision and this pattern was the closest I could find to bring my vision to life. As some of you will have seen in my previous post this vision came from the beautiful dresses over on Reformation. I wanted to make a modern take on the wrap dress. It’s a style I’ve never tried before because I’ll admit, I imagined it as a style for an older woman. But Reformation opened my eyes to it’s potential and I am so glad. While this design isn’t groundbreaking it’s the little changes that make it modern.

So first up the pattern.

pattern review butterick b5030 dominique major

The biggest change I had to make was the length of the skirt. Now I’m not short I’m 5ft 7 and even so I had to shorten this pattern A LOT! Just from looking at the pattern I knew it needed to be shortened. So when cutting the pattern pieces I shortened the paper piece straight away by about 4inches. Yet when I had completed my sewing, when I tried it on, it still came past my knees! Now it was fine, but I felt that this dress needed to be shorter to keep it modern so i then had to shorten it by about another 4 inches. Even now it’s short but its not indecent. Another change I made was with the gap in the neckline. In the images the neckline is quite reserved. I am not a big boobs on show kind of girl but again to keep the modern feel I felt it needed a lower cut. I’m happy with it. It does need a popper in the front to stop it gapping but I like the neckline and the amount of skin on show.

pattern review butterick b5030 dominique major


As you can see from the pictures I went for the sleeves on version C. Overall I could not be happier with this dress and with the changes I now know I need to make I can’t wait to make more and you will be seeing a lot more of this pattern.

pattern review butterick 5030 inspo dominique major

I have a new favourites video going up on my YouTube channel tomorrow so if you haven’t subscribed head on over so you don’t miss out! 

Have you tried the Butterick B5030? Do you have any suggestions for fabrics I could try next? Let me know in the comments below.

Monthly Motivation- August Edition

Hello there! So this post is a little bit later then planned, I had hoped to get this up on the 1st August but you know life gets in the way.

So I wanted to kick off a new feature, Monthly Motivation. Some of you who have been reading my blog since i started (all those months back) might remember my Monday Motivation posts which were ultimately not sewing related. What I wanted to create is an almost mood board like post  with things that aren’t sewing patterns or fabric that will be inspiring me creatively in the upcoming month and resources that I have been using to plan that month’s sewing. What this should do is give you insight into how I find inspiration , provide you with new sewing inspiration resources, as well as showing you some just generally cool things I have been enjoying.

monthly motivation august edition dominique major

Music – You guys might have seen that I LOVE The Last Shadow Puppets and their latest album is one I have been playing non stop. I listen to it when I am out and about, on my record player when I am sewing. Needless to say this has been a real source of motivation. Style wise it has been making me think forward to AW where I can imagine the ‘rockstar girlfriend’ look coming into full force. I’m thinking a mod style Francoise dress with chunky boots or an AW appropriate Vogue V9123because those sleeves will be great for dancing around in. (Btw this is my fav song.)

Online Shopping – I have been loving everything on Reformation right now. It has been the inspiration behind by Butterick B5030 (post coming soon). They have beautiful wrap dresses which makes me want to keep making more, I love the sleeve detail on this one. So this is next up on my project list. Plus I want to make this, this and this! See I said I loved it!

Blogger- If there has been one blogger/Youtuber/instagrammer/all round cool gal that has been inspiring me it has to be Rachel Nguyen. I have been watching her videos for a while but since she was doing #31daysofchic over on her Youtube channel I have fallen into a That’s Chic inspiration hole. I love her style, her general aesthetic and her seeing life in LA is always inspiring to me.  Firstly, she has been inspiring me to create better content both here and on my Youtube channel. But also in terms of sewing she has making me want to create edgier looks, that are subtly sexy. Check her out she is cool.

Film- Last up is a film. This film I have mixed emotions about. While I absolutely love it, it makes me so sad and angry. You’ll have to watch it to figure out why. I love Michelle Williams in this film, the way it is shot is beautiful. It makes me want to churn out a bunch of pretty summer dresses and recreate this scene.

That’s it for my Monthly Motivation- August Edition. You will hopefully see some of this inspiration come to life in my upcoming makes and in the content I am creating.

Let me know in the comments below what inspires your sewing. I’d love to hear about your favourite music, films, shops and inspirational people!

Pay Day Sewing Wish List – July Edition

Pay Day this month has crept up on me, I can’t believe we are at the end of the month. Sadly pay day this month has also passed me by. With a holiday looming, my money went as quickly as it came. So this months pay day wish list is mostly sadly just that, wishing. But making sacrifices for a holiday is hardly the biggest hard ship.

Lets jump into my wish list.

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First up is fabrics. This month my fabrics are all from Liberty. The reason for this. I have a gift card. My friend very kindly got me a Liberty gift card for my birthday and I have patiently been waiting to get spending. So all my fabric browsing has been on the Liberty website thinking about what lovely fabric I can buy without making a dent in my own bank account. So these are the fabrics I have been lusting after. I sadly don’t have enough for all of them so I will have to make a decision. Let me know in the comments which is your fav. But knowing me I’ll go in store and will end of being wowed by something different.

Pay Day Wish List Dominique Major Liberty Fabric

First up is the Juniper Tana Lawn. Every time I scroll through the Liberty website this fabric catches my eye. My heart says this is my favourite and the red colour way in particular but I am fond of the black with the yellow flowers!

Pay Day Wish List Dominique Major Liberty Fabric

Hard decisions but I have this dress in mind for the red fabric. Dreamy!

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Otherwise I really like the girliness of the Delilah fabric in this green. I don’t really have fabrics like it but feel it very me and can imagine lots of dresses made up on this beautiful fabric, perhaps even the Wear Lemonade top that you are about to see in the patterns section.

Lastly is the Lolly Tana Lawn. Again like the  Juniper I’m having a colour dilemma but as much I like the green, my sewing visions are having a red moment. I can imagine the dress I previously mentioned made up in this fabric . Oh Liberty why have you got to make such beautiful fabrics?

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I have been really interested in sewing my own bras recently. I’ve seen some beautiful ones popping up on the Internet and seeing as underwear is so damn expensive I have been considering whether this can be a new skill I can learn.

 

The first pattern I have been lusting after is the Boylston Bra by Orange Lingerie and this is mainly because I saw this bra made by Miss Make in this gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton and Steel rayon.

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Boylston Bra by Miss Make

Isn’t this just the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? I have some wonderful Liberty scraps left over and I think there will be enough to knock up this bra. Imagine this in the Liberty floral from my Birthday dress, ahhh perfect!

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Another bra pattern I have been eyeing up for a while is the Watson bra by Cloth Habit. I really like bras like this, not being particularly blessed in this department is something that has never bothered me as I love easy bras without wires. So much comfort. So the Watson bra is definitely one that could become a sewing staple.

Pay Day wish list Dominique Major Wear Lemonade Falbala

Last up on my pattern wish list is another Wear Lemonade pattern. Back in my Pay Day Sewing Wishlist I included the Lila skirt. I just love the Wear Lemonade patterns, the branding is so on point and their styling is everything! I am tempted to sign up to their take on an Netflix for sewing patterns. I love so many of them it seems like a good investment. My favourite this month is the Falbala blouse. I love a ruffle so it was tie between this and the Leia. See I said I need this subscription.

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Pay day Sewing Wish list rosie martin no patterns needed

Lastly, I have a bonus item for this months sewing wish list and it is a book. This month I am intrigued by the new book by Rosie Martin – No Patterns Needed: DIY Couture from Simple Shapes. I’ve seen some beautiful images on Instagram and there are so many things that I can see myself wearing so I might just need to give this book a go. Any one tried it?

So that’s it for this month. What do you think of my picks? Do you have a favourite? What’s on your pay day sewing wish list this month? Let me know in the comments below.

July Sewing Haul

Right so let me start off by saying that this video has been the biggest pain. I’ve had to film it three times and I think it has been uploading for about 6 hours. Was it worth it? Hopefully! Regardless but here is my latest sewing haul.

Thanks again to everyone who has subscribed. I know I’ve been a bit patchy on the blogging front recently but it is now the summer holidays (woo!) so I have lots of sewing planned and quite a few posts lined up so stay tuned.

As I am planning new posts and videos let me know what you’d like to see in the comments. What’s everyone been making? What have you been buying?