Named Clothing – Ruska Knot dress

Ever since Named Clothing brought out their book ‘Breaking the Pattern’, I’ve wanted to make the Ruska Knot Dress. I’ve actually wanted to make just about everything in the book, but the Ruska knot dress was at the top of my list.

Image from Named’s website of their sample

The great thing about the book is that each design comes with several variations. The Ruska comes as a dress, knot dress, tunic and TShirt. You could potentially mix and match the different features. I always liked the knot dress the best. It’s a simple design but the knot front adds an interesting detail. It’s made from jersey so it’s super comfortable and it’s something that is very wearable!

Although all the patterns are included in the book to be traced, I downloaded the PDF from Named’s website and printed it out and stuck it together. I couldn’t face tracing the pattern as there are lots of pieces overlaying each other and there was a good chance I’d make mistakes! Click on this link and it’ll take you to where you can log in to download the PDF’s if you have a copy of the book.

The construction was actually quite easy as there are no fastenings. The trickiest part was sewing the ties. I found it hard to get the point on them perfect. I managed one side ok but the other side is questionable! I found the instructions to not be very clear at this point. Other than that, it’s a pretty straightforward sew. It’s basically a Tshirt style dress with another panel over the front which ties so your front top is two layers.

The front overlay

I made mine from a lovely lilac French terry from Sister Mintaka. It was a spur of the moment purchase. I’d been looking for some French terry for a while to make the dress but couldn’t decide on the colour. Then, I saw on Instagram that she had the lilac French terry in her sale, so I snapped up a couple of metres. Using French terry means that my dress is super comfy and warm. The downside is that due to the double front layers, it’s probably too warm for summer, even though it’s short sleeved. It also means the ties are a tiny bit too thick to tie neatly. This is a minor inconvenience that I could rectify in the future by drafting the tie a bit longer.

As usual, I made this dress on my sewing machine using a ballpoint needle and a zig zag stitch. I overlocked some of the seams to finish them but I decided to leave the sleeve edges raw. I’m lazy like that!

I cut a straight size 6 based on the size chart in the book. I think that’s the equivalent to a UK 14/16. As it’s jersey, the fit is pretty good with no alterations for me. The only thing to be aware of is with the front top being a double layer of thick material, it makes it feel tighter than a single layer probably would. You may want to size up if you want a looser fit.

I made this dress a month or so ago and it has had quite a bit of wear. It’s something that it very easy to wear, especially for work. It was a quick and easy make. If you’ve made a Tshirt or sweatshirt then this dress should be easy enough. I can see myself making more of these in the future.

What have I been up to?

It’s been a while since I last posted so I thought I’d do a quick round up of what I’ve been up to in the last month or so.

I’ve been really busy with work since the new school year started and as usual, didn’t have as much time to sew or blog. I have been sewing and I’ve actually made a few things. I’ve also bought a few new patterns and fabrics so I’ll do a quick summary here and then write much more detailed posts some time soon for my makes.

I’m finally on half term and luckily, the local authority I work for has moved to a two week October half term. I’ve just got back from a lovely holiday in Cyprus and still have another week to crack on with some sewing!

Patterns I’ve bought

I bought a few new patterns at the end of August/ beginning of September and then I took advantage of Simplicity and Vogue patterns recent discount. I don’t usually sew the big seven but I’m trying to branch out a bit and learn more skills.

One of the patterns I’ve bought is Tilly’s new one which is the Indigo top and dress. I think everyone has bought and made this. I’ve seen so many fantastic versions that I had to jump on the bandwagon and add the pattern to my collection.

I’ve also bought the Cielo top and dress pattern from Closet Case Patterns. This is from their recent Rome collection and I love the simplicity of it, yet it’s got some interesting details which make it fancier than a standard woven top or shift dress. I’ve earmarked a couple of pieces of fabric for both a top and a dress. I also love the options for the different sleeve variations as well.

I bought a couple of Sew Over It patterns recently. As you may know, I’ve made lots of Sew Over It’s patterns on my sewing journey and probably own most of them! My latest additions are the Meredith dress and the Pussybow blouse. I like a wrap dress but haven’t got a jersey pattern so I bought the Meredith pattern. I like the slimmer fit than other wrap dresses that Sew Over It have made. Pussybow blouses are on trend this season and are something that I will wear often. I’ve got a couple of pieces of fabric ready to make up.

The final PDF I bought was the Deer and Doe Sirrocco jumpsuit. I’ve had my eye on this since it was first released. I mean, I can’t think of anything more comfortable than a jersey jumpsuit. I’ve seen so many beautiful versions and I’m desperate to make one! I think I’d like to make a plain black long version as that is simple and classic. If I get this made, I will wear it to my Christmas Party!

The patterns I bought in the Simplicity & Vogue sale are: Vogue 9279, Vogue 9367, Simplicity 8698, Simplicity 8513 and Simplicity 8752. I love a bodysuit and I love a sweatshirt which is why I bought 8513 and 8572. I liked the pattern hacking options on the sweatshirt and the different options for the bodysuit. I also want a proper trenchcoat so thought a very easy Vogue pattern might be a good place to start. I’ve liked 8698 for a while and think they would be really comfy trousers and I chose the dress as it’s pretty!

Fabrics I’ve bought

I’ve just been looking through my fabrics and I’ve actually bought an obscene amount of fabric. I keep seeing all these gorgeous fabrics and have all these wonderful ideas but unfortunately, I don’t sew that fast! I even tried a fabric buying ban but that lasted about a fortnight!

I took advantage of 1st for Fabrics offer when Tamlyn from Sewn on the Tyne did her takeover and I bought some corduroy and a viscose. I’m thinking of making a Sew Over It Ava Skirt and a Pussybow blouse with them.

I then bought some gorgeous purple leopard print crepe and a blue peachskin fabric from Material Girl Laura. These are two of my favourites in my stash! I’m not sure what to make with the purple fabric but I’m thinking a Cielo top with the peachskin.

I got a lovely bird print viscose from Lamazi fabrics which is potentially going to be another Pussybow blouse!

Then I got some amazing leopard print needlecord from Sewistaction. This is the fabric that broke my fabric buying ban but I couldn’t resist! I’m thinking another Ava skirt.

Then I bought several viscoses with the Indigo dress in mind. I bought a grey leopard print and a peachy leopard print from Like Sew Amazing, a blue and orange one from Sew Me Sunshine and the gorgeous black and white dot viscose from Sister Mintaka that everyone went crazy for!

The final fabric was the cream version of the Lisa Comfort wildflower crepe. She had a 50% off sale so I had to buy some. I very nearly bought the black version as well! Not entirely sure what to make but I’m also thinking a pussybow blouse!

What have I sewn?

I’ve sewn several things over the last month or two. Some are repeat makes, some are spur of the minute things! If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen most of these already. As I mentioned earlier, I will be blogging some of these makes in more detail soon so this is just a brief summary.

I’ve made quite a few Tilly and the Buttons patterns. The first was the Jessa shorts which I made back in the summer. These will probably be my next blog post so I won’t say too much now.

I also made another Nora top. This is my third one but this time I made the Tshirt version in a lovely stripy jersey from Pin & Sew. I really like it but now wish I’d used a plain black neckband and cuff. I also want to lower the neckband slightly. Next time…

My third Tilly make was of course, the Indigo dress. I used my grey leopard print viscose for the first attempt. Again, I plan on blogging this in more detail soon.

Another make that has had a lot of wear is the Ruska knot front dress from Named Pattern’s Breaking the Pattern book. I used a lovely lilac French terry from Sister Mintaka and this has become one of my most worn outfits lately. A blog post will be coming shortly!

I completed my leopard print wrap skirt. I got the pattern in the pattern swap earlier this year and it was the duo of wrap skirts that was free with a sewing magazine a few months ago. I started this a while ago but it only got finished a week or two ago! The fabric was a leopard print crepe from New Craft House.

I fancied a cosy sweatshirt now the weather is getting colder so I whipped up Simplicity 8752 in an hour or so. I made the basic sweatshirt from my new pattern and used an amazing sweatshirt fabric that I’ve had a while from Material Girl Laura. It’s so cosy!

The latest item I’ve made is a pair of shorts using Papercut Patterns Palisade shorts pattern. This was a last minute panic make that I sewed up a day before my trip to Cyprus. I wanted some smart ish yet comfy black shorts that would go with a variety of tops. I thought this pattern would be perfect as I’ve already made it so know the fit and construction. Also, the elasticated waist makes it super comfy. Perfect holiday wear!

So that’s everything I’ve been up to recently sewing wise. It’s actually more than I thought. I’ve got lots of blog posts to crack on with and photos to take! I’ve also got lots of sewing plans and fabrics to use up! I best get started!

Papercut Patterns – Palisade Pants

Oh my goodness!! I think these are the comfiest trousers ever! Well, the comfiest that aren’t tracky bottoms! I love these trousers as they are super comfy, look smart enough to wear in public and are actually quite easy to make.

From Papercut Patterns website

I’ve wanted to make the Palisade pants ever since the pattern was released as part of Papercut Pattern’s Geo collection last year. Their website says it is a ‘staple pant to have in your wardrobe for every season’ and that ‘comfort is key’. Anything comfortable, I love and it has an elasticated waistband which gets a thumbs up from me! I was also attracted to them because of their interesting construction and detail. They’re not just a straight forward cargo trouser and I think the pocket detail is a nice extra touch.

The fabric I used was a khaki sanded tencel twill from Sister Mintaka. Because it’s tencel, it’s super soft. It almost feels like silk. It’s probably the most expensive fabric I’ve ever bought but I did wait until Sister Mintaka had a discount code on tencel fabrics which made it slightly cheaper. You can tell it’s good quality though and it’s soooo soft! It makes the trousers feel like secret pyjamas! The fabric is so beautiful that when it first arrived, I wanted my boyfriend to appreciate it’s softness but then made him wash his hands first! The fabric was a perfect match for this pattern. My only complaint was that it’s very slippery, so cutting it out was tricky and I used lots of pins when sewing. Unfortunately, she doesn’t appear to have the khaki colour left but she does have other colours.

As the fabric was quite expensive and beautiful. I decided to make a toile first. I know this is good practice but I hardly ever do! I’m just too keen to sew! However, on this occasion, I made the very sensible decision to test out the fit. I’m so glad I did, because I was originally going to make a medium but it turns out that due to my weight gain, they were far too small. I then made another toile in the large and they fit comfortably. The only alteration I made was I added an inch to the length. Another positive to making two toiles was that I got to practise the construction so I knew how to construct the trousers properly by the time I made them for real.

This was my first time using a Papercut Pattern and I really enjoyed using a new to me brand. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and I definitely have my eye on a few of their other patterns including the Sapporo Coat, Adrift Dress and the Sierra Jumpsuit. It’s nice to branch out and their patterns are very on trend in my opinion.

The construction was quite easy and as it is an elasticated waist, the fit isn’t too difficult. With hindsight, I could have taken a little bit more out of the elastic in the waistband, just to make it a bit tighter and help it sit better on my waist. When I make these again, I will make sure I do.

I love the pocket detail, how it’s two pieces that overlap diagonally to create the pocket and that the leg is made of three pieces, rather than two. My advice would be to make sure you mark all of the notches carefully, especially on your pocket bags so they sit correctly and equally on both sides. I also didn’t topstitch the leg seams down (because I’m lazy) but I probably would next time as I think it would hold them flatter against the trouser legs so I wouldn’t feel them rubbing against my leg. It doesn’t hurt or annoy me, just something I’ve noticed. The instructions do say to topstitch!

Overall, I am so pleased with these trousers and I love wearing them. I love that they’re comfy and I think I can dress them up or down if needed. I’m now thinking about making some shorts for my holiday in October!

Tilly and the Buttons – Romy Top

As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew I needed it in my life! I loved the back tie detail and the dress option as well. I bought it straight away and snapped up the Jessa trousers and shorts pattern at the same time as there was an offer on.

As you know, I’ve made lots of jersey tops lately but I was looking forward to trying this one as it has the interesting neckline that I’ve never tried before. I opted to make the plain back, despite loving the ties. You can use visible binding along the neckline, which I think would be a lovely detail. When I make another, I think I’ll use the visible binding.

The fabric I used was a multi coloured leopard print jersey from Material Girl Laura. As soon as I saw it, I wanted it and thought it’d make a great Romy top. I ordered 1m which was enough for the plain back tshirt. I had a bit of a disaster at first, as I cut two front pieces rather than a front and a back pieces! Such a silly mistake! As I only had a metre, I had no spare fabric to cut another back piece! I ended up having to order another metre so I could rectify my mistake! Once my other metre had arrived, I was able to cut the correct pieces out and get making!

The top wasn’t too difficult to make, you just need to make sure you mark the notches accurately to get the neckline even and layered correctly. Using the binding along the neckline gave it a neat finish as well.

I made a size 5 in Tilly’s sizes, which is a UK 14 and the fit is good. I have put weight on so I maybe could’ve sized up but it doesn’t matter too much.

I enjoyed making the Romy top and would definitely like to make more. I especially want to make a dress version with the tie back detail.

French Navy – Stellan Tee

I seem to be working my way through lots of jersey top patterns at the moment and the Stellan Tee is my latest make. It’s a great pattern and the best thing is it’s completely FREE! Who doesn’t love a free pattern?

I first discovered this pattern on Instagram and I’ve seen lots of fab tshirts being whipped up by numerous sewists over the past few months. The Stellan Tee seems to be a bit of a favourite in the sewing community.

French Navy is a South African company and they seem to have several free patterns on their website so go check them out if you haven’t already. The tshirt was originally designed to be the perfect tee and to be worn with high waisted trousers of shorts. It’s a boxy oversize fit so can be sized down if you want a closer fit. I personally love a boxy tee and the Stellan tee has quickly become a bit of a favourite for me. I find myself reaching for it as soon as it’s been washed every time.

It’s a basic, simple tshirt pattern but it does have some interesting finishing details included which you may or may not choose to use. It gives you a method for finishing the neckband that is more professional looking. I’m sure you can guess that I didn’t use that as it is more time consuming but I may try it when I make this again.

The pattern ranges from size XXS to XXL which is roughly a UK 6 – 18. I made a Large, which is a UK 14 and I love the fit. As I said earlier, it is designed to be oversize so I could try a M if I want a closer fit.

The fabric I used was a pink and cream leopard print jersey from Like Sew Amazing. They don’t appear to have any left but they do have loads of super cute jerseys that would be perfect. I bought 2m but only used around 1m of it so have some left.

There isn’t really much more to say about this pattern. It’s a quick and easy basic tshirt pattern. I made it in an hour or so and love the oversize fit of it. I wore it to work for Sports Day and got several compliments, which is always nice! I definitely hope to make more of these in a range of colours and prints. It’s a great wardrobe staple.

Summer Holiday sewing plans

I am very pleased to say it is now the school summer holidays and I have 5 glorious weeks off work! I plan to spend a good deal of this time sewing! Yay!

I feel like I spend a lot of time planning sewing but not a lot of time doing it or blogging about it. I do have a couple of items to blog about and I will write those in the next week or so and I also have something on my sewing table that is very nearly finished.

I’m in a bit of a strange place with my sewing at the moment. I have loads of fabric, loads of patterns, loads of ideas and (at the moment) time to sew, however, I’m reluctant to. I haven’t lost my sew-jo or anything like that. I’m actually really keen to get making! The problem is I’ve put weight on. I’ve gone up at least one dress size (two sizes with certain shops and brands) and I measured my waist the other day and it’s at least 3 inches wider than it was a year or so ago. I can’t get into a lot of my clothes and I look awful in most of the stuff that still fits. I look at photos of me recently and I don’t like how I look. I’m not enjoying getting dressed in the mornings, especially in this warm weather, and find I’m reaching for anything stretchy, elasticated or baggy. I’m reluctant to make much because of this. Hopefully, I will lose some weight over the next few months and fit back into most of my clothes. I don’t want to make too many clothes whilst I am a bigger size as 1) it won’t encourage me to lose weight and 2) I worry it’ll be a waste as they hopefully won’t fit me for long!

I’m making an effort to basically eat less and move more so I’m hoping to shift some weight soon. In the meantime, I still want to sew and make stuff so I have some summer holiday sewing plans!

Leopard print wrap skirt

leopard wrap skirt

This is very nearly finished! I started this a few days ago as I have very little that fits me and looks nice in the summer weather. The pattern is the duo of wrap skirts that was free with a magazine a few months ago and I actually acquired this pattern in the Pattern Swap. I’m obviously too late to enter but I had always planned on making as leopard print version. You can never have too many leopard print skirts right?? I’m using some of the lovely leopard print crepe from The New Craft House. It’s been lovely to sew with and I’ve really enjoyed making it so far.

Tilly and the Buttons Jessa shorts

jessa shorts

As I mentioned earlier, not many of my clothes fit me at the moment and NONE of my summer shorts do. AT. ALL! So I’ve decided I’m going to have to make one pair of shorts to wear in the warmer weather. I’d like a tailored pair and I recently bought the Jessa pattern. I like that the shorts have a little bit of length to them and they seem quite flattering from pictures I’ve seen. I plan on using a khaki cotton twill that I also got from The New Craft House when they had a remnant sale. I think I got a 2m piece. My only concern is that isn’t any stretch in the fabric, but I’m sure it’ll be ok!

Papercut Patterns Palisade Pants

palisade pants

I still really really want to make these. I have the pattern cut out, I just need to cut out the fabric. I made 2 toiles and the waist is part elasticated so the fit should be fine. I’m using a gorgeous khaki tencel twill from Sister Mintaka. It’s so soft! This might be my next make!

Nina Lee Richmond Blazer


This isn’t top of my sewing queue but I would like a black blazer for wearing when going out for food or drinks. I figured the blazer should still fit if I lost or gained a bit of weight. I recently made a lilac blazer using Mimi G’s Simplicity pattern which is very similar to the Richmond blazer. It was a toss up between the two to decide which to use and Mimi G won. I would, however, like to try the Richmond blazer as a comparison. I have some black crepe to use but I don’t know whether to try it in a slightly heavier/ more structured fabric.

Deer and Doe Myosotis dress

mysotosis dress

I was going to make one of these last summer and I’ve had the pattern cut out since then. I’ve seen so many gorgeous versions and I really want to make one! The good thing about this is it’s a loose fitting style and has plenty of ease so it should still fit even though I cut it out a year ago. I’ve been inspired by Marie at A Stitching Odyssey who made a lovely red flower viscose one recently. I was originally going to make a white crepe one but I’ve instead got some teal floral crepe from Fabric Godmother to use.

I think that’s plenty to get me started! As usual, these plans could change but at least I have plans! Follow me on Instagram @readysteadysew_  if you want to see my sewing as it happens!

Happy sewing!

Sew Over It – Libby Blouse

I started this over a year ago and it’s taken me until now to get round to blogging about it! This is partly because I’ve had an unintentional blogging break. Who knew wedding planning would take up so much time!


I’m back and I’ve got a few recently finished projects to blog and loads of plans lined up for the summer holidays!

I bought the Libby pattern over a year ago when it was first released as I am a PDF club member for Sew Over It. It’s a great pattern! I love the boxy shape of it and it’s quite on trend as these style shirts are popular on the high street.

Libby shirt fabric

The fabric I used is a lightweight crepe from Fabric Godmother and it wasn ‘t too expensive. I can’t remember if I had Libby in mind when I bought the fabric but I think it is a perfect match. The pattern needs something lightweight and drapey and the bold flowers really stand out.

One of the reasons this took me so long to finish was because I got a bit stuck and had to get my mum to help/ finish it for me. I sewed the bulk of it together and attempted the yoke and collar, but then needed my mum to neaten it up and do the button holes, cuffs and hem! Tailoring is not my strong point!

My mum did an amazing job and she even ended up making the buttonholes by hand!

It’s definitely for a more intermediate sewist but it is a great pattern. When I feel more confident, I would like to try Libby again as she is something I would wear a lot. The only thing I would change is add to the length. The shirt is supposed to be cropped but I don’t like anything that risks exposing my midriff!

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Pattern Review

Name: Libby Shirt
Company: Sew Over It
Description: With its boxy shape, cropped hem and pretty collar, Libby is a contemporary yet timeless little shirt with loads of potential.
Printed of PDF: PDF only
Sizing: 8 – 20. I made a 14. As it a boxy, oversized shirt, there are no darts so it is quite easy to fit.
Alterations: None
Fabric: Lightweight floral crepe from Fabric Godmother
Difficulty rating: It’s rated as intermediate and I agree. You need to be accurate which is tricky with drapey fabrics. The shirt includes: buttons and button holes, a collar, a yoke and cuffed sleeves.
Difficulties encountered: Accuracy and trouble perfecting the collar.
Time taken: A while!
Recommend: Yes if you have sewed a few things before. It’s a great pattern and a wardrobe staple.
What would I change: add a bit of length to the shirt.
My favourite thing: The boxy shape of the shirt.

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Sorry about no make up! Bad hayfever means I haven’t worn make up for a bit and I look shocking!

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