Boxy Barkcloth Torrens Box Dress

Torrens Box Dress

There’s a very popular dress and jacket pattern that’s not available for fat-makers and I decided today on a whim that I’d like to make something very similar for myself, but using a pattern that is available in my size. So here’s part 2 of my Torrens Box Dress exploration, using the Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top pattern.

Torrens Box Dress

I’ve been saving this lovely Outback Wife Barkcloth fabric from Fibresmith in Australia for a special project, and since Outback Wife fabric isn’t made anymore, it was more important than ever that I made something that I knew would fit well! I make a Size 1 in Muna and Broad sizes for my 47″ bust and 56″ hip.

Torrens Box Dress

I had 3 metres of this fabric, which was enough to cut a suitably long dress from, the narrow-sleeve long sleeve and also the facings. I doubt I would have had enough of the fabric to cut the in-seam pockets from, but since I wanted to use something a bit lighter and less structured for the pockets, that was fine.

Torrens Box Dress

I added side-seam pockets shortly below the armpit, and lengthened the top pattern in a straight line down after the pattern piece ended using my blue silk noil torrens as a guide for length. I also cut out a self-fabric tie, which I was intending to interface but didn’t need to since the barkcloth was quite firm.

The outcome? I love this dress and can definitely see myself wearing this to work (when we go back to work)! I’m already mentally sifting through my stash to see what other fabrics might make dresses suitable for pairing with tights for winter!

Morning Glory Top

Sarah Kirsten Morning Glory Top 3

A free plus size sewing pattern for beginners? Look no further!

The Morning Glory Top is a free top pattern from the lovely Sarah Kirsten (Check out my post on free plus size sewing patterns for beginners).

Sarah Kirsten Morning Glory Top

I made this top in some slightly shiny brick coloured cotton fabric which I got for the grand sum of $2 per metre from The Fabric Store. I wore this top a lot last summer, and devised an ingenious method for wrapping the ties around my bra strap before tying, if I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t showing.

Sarah Kirsten Morning Glory Top 2

Sizing Details: The instructions step you through drafting the top for your own measurements, so there’s no sizing to speak of here. I tried to ensure that the back ties were quite wide, so that they covered more of my back as they met, but that’s entirely up to you as you are drafting.

I think this pattern is perfect for beginner plus size sewists!

A hacked ruffle sleeve top

Peppermint Ruffle Sleeve Top Cotton 2

It’s quite hard finding good sewing patterns for larger ladies, and I’ve had so many fails with paid patterns that when I find free plus size sewing patterns, I definitely have to find out more.

I’ve learnt so much from sewing the Peppermint Magazine‘s free sewing patterns, and I hacked a couple of short sleeves versions of their popular Ruffle Sleeve Top.

Peppermint Ruffle Sleeve Top Cotton

Sizing Details: I made a Size J and in addition to omitting the ruffle sleeve, I omitted the entire sleeve. I used my burrito facing method which the Peppermint Jumpsuit pattern taught me to fully enclose the raw edges of the armholes and neck in the facing.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this hack because I did nothing to address the different drafting for sleeved and sleeveless things, so this top is forever falling off my shoulders. But, as far as free basic sewing patterns for beginners go, this one is a winner!

Lou Box Top Maxi-Dress

SewDIY Lou Box Top Dress Rayon 2

This is a dress hack of the Lou Box Top from SewDIY and the earliest surviving example of my makes with this pattern (others have been given away to smaller friends or chopped up to make smaller versions for other friends).

I cut out the bodice piece without attaching any of the optional hem pattern pieces and then made a rectangle of fabric to become the skirt, which I gathered in at the waist. The skirt is actually 4 different pieces of fabric (and the pattern definitely doesn’t mix), but I really don’t notice it much.

SewDIY Lou Box Top Dress Rayon

This is some of my shoddiest workmanship (I think I folded the neckline in on itself and sewed it down because I didn’t want to make bias binding), but I wear it a tonne around the house (and maybe out to the supermarket) in the warmer weather!

Size Details: I’ve sewn the XL/XXL size top and added a rectangle of fabric that was larger than my hips. I have a 47″ bust, 43″ waist and 54″ hip.

Montrose Dress in Dreamer Linen

Cashmerette Montrose Dress Linen

This dress is a hacked version of the Montrose Top from Cashmerette

I loved this fabric the moment I saw it online. Linen, large scale print, gorgeous colours- it basically checked/ticked all the boxes I didn’t know that I had.

Since I’m so thrify, I only bought 2 metres, which it turns out was the perfect amount. I managed to cut the Montrose bodice up until the ‘shorten/lengthen’ lines, and I then added on the rest of the fabric, gathering it at the waist.

Cashmerette Montrose Dress Linen 2

I made the skirt with only 1 seam, so I didn’t include my normal in-seam pockets. I regret this a lot and tried to add on patch pockets with leftover fabric but it just didn’t look right. I’ve still got the pocket pieces, in case I change my mind.

Size Details: I sewed the C/D cup bodice in a size 20, grading out to size 22 as the waist starts to curve out. I’m also using the Full Bicep sleeve, which is maybe my favourite part of this pattern.