Pattern Hacking // By Hand London Sabrina Dress Crop Top

I love the boat neck collar and that it’s not overly tight (though it does pull a little, I haven’t figured that bit out yet) and major love for it being completely work appropriate with a high-waisted pencil skirt! I also put in a slightly curved hemline to mimic the (inverse?) dip hem that’s been so popular on crop tops recently. Plus I totally intended to put in that peek-a-boo slit at the back… or maybe the only zipper I had on hand was a couple too inches too short… you will never know 😉

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Given my choice of career that has me spending 9 hours a day behind a desk in a (rather formal) office, you would think that my closet included more business-friendly attire – it doesn’t. My dress rack is full of prints and lace, skirts that toe the line between casual and business and t-shirts. Lots and lots of t-shirts.

Enter the Sabrina Dress. By Hand London’s new offering is a modest, princess seam dress targeted at beginners that (hallelujah!) is of a completely work appropriate length and style. My wearable muslin is also mighty comfortable but I have yet to experience what an actual make will be like.

I did make up a muslin of this dress but sadly it was too long in the bodice and wide on the sides (I lopped it all off but am now wondering if I should have done an SBA instead…) so I made the necessary alterations to it and sadly, it looks nothing like the dress is supposed to look anymore. It is wearable though! And I absolutely love it. Still, I think I’ll wait for the Sabrina sew-along to start proper before I give the dress another go…

In the meantime, spurred on by the ongoing #PatternHackathon, I hacked myself a nifty Sabrina crop top instead!

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I love the boat neck collar and that it’s not overly tight (though it does pull a little, I haven’t figured that bit out yet) plus this top gets major love for being completely work appropriate with a high-waisted pencil skirt! I also put in a slightly curved hemline to mimic the (inverse?) dip hem that’s been so popular on crop tops recently. Oh and I totally intended to put in that peek-a-boo slit at the back… or maybe the only zipper I had on hand was a couple of inches too short… you will never know 😉

I was so enamoured by the top when I first made it that I put it to the ultimate comfort test – taking my crazed dog for a walk. If I could walk my dog in that top and it didn’t fall apart, then I could do anything! Pigs could fly, spiders could tap dance!

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I’m glad to say it passed the test. Naturally, we celebrated with cake and coffee.

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I’m looking forward to making more of these beauties, maybe the next one in double knit? I’m pretty sure it will be a closet staple for quite some time to come. Have any of you guys tried the Sabrina dress pattern? Any tips on getting it to fit right?

DIY // Disneyland Outfit – Minnie Mouse Costume

An easy and functional DIY Minnie Mouse outfit for a day out at the Disney Parks that is guaranteed to get you a ton of compliments.

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Halloween is here again, so what better time to put out this DIY costume tutorial? We don’t have the practice of trick-or-treating on this side of the globe, but luckily I had this baby in my arsenal from my recent trip to Disneyland Paris! (Clearly being over the age of 12 has never stopped me from exploiting any excuse to whip up an embarrassing costume.)

Some of you guys MAY have seen this tutorial on an old blog of mine, but I thought I would take the chance to repost it with new photos for my inaugural post on JessSewFabulous.

Read on for my outfit details and more photos after the jump!

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When brainstorming for my Disneyland Paris outfit, my concerns were: level of difficulty, suitability for running after characters and taking rides and not looking like an overzealous adult who refuses to acknowledge that a ballgown at the park just isn’t tasteful when you’re above the age of 5. I ended up with this:

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A black crop top with a short elastic waistband circle skirt (using Dana’s tutorial) in a Minnie-esque polka dot print. I realise that the polka dots are a little too small to be considered “true Minnie” style, but I was hoping to make something that could be re-worn under more normal circumstances. I topped it off a pair of clip-on Mickey Mouse ears that I bought on a previous visit to Disneyland Tokyo and I was all set! Or so I thought…

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What I didn’t plan for, was rain. And we had a LOT of it… 3 whole days of non-stop rain, to be precise. It was also cold – so cold that I actually bought an emergency pair of black leggings at Carrefour to tide me over the next 3 days. This was the result:

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Black leggings, Minnie skirt and a trusty waterproof jacket. In a bid to amp up the Minnie-ness of my outfit, I included a Brigitte headscarf made using the same fabric as my circle skirt and the Tilly and the Buttons tutorial. I snapped the ears onto the headband and voila! A one of a kind Minnie headscarf that was functional and fashionable – it didn’t fall off even on the more violent rides.

And you guys, this get up may have been my best outfit choice of the YEAR.

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I got SO MANY compliments from park staff and from actual characters themselves, including Minnie (via hand signals of course) and both Wendy and Peter Pan *squeals*. (Peter also opined that it looked rather like Smee’s and naturally, wanted to stab me in case I was a pirate. Luckily Wendy managed to disavow him of that notion)

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I also added in a couple of tiny details, like this Disney Princess charm bracelet that I bought from Etsy and this portrait bracelet that E picked up at St George’s Market in Belfast.

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If you’re a fellow disney fan and you’re visiting one of their parks soon, I highly highly recommend you take the time put together your own unique outfit. If you’re lucky you could get extended interaction time with the characters, plus the satisfaction of being called “Minnie” all day is pretty hard to beat.