Plume de paon

Hello internet sewing world!

It’s been a while since I posted anything here, but today I’m clearing the dust off my post editor and reacquainting myself with the art of being a ruthless sub-editor to myself.

The usual life reasons have got in the way of blogging (and sewing) over the last few months and when I did sew I didn’t feel motivated to take pictures let alone write about it. Hopefully I’ll be a more prolific sewer and blogger in 2018! Quality not quantity though, right? I might yet post about some of the things I made, or I’ll just turn the page, but for now I want to share my most recent make which I can’t wait to wear when the weather gets a bit warmer.

This is the Papercut Patterns Clover dress which I first made in 2014 (!) and then a second time in 2016 when I made some fit adaptions. So making this for the third time was relatively relaxing as I knew it would (in theory) fit. That said, the fabric for this dress was quite hard to work with and I really had to take my time to make sure the neckline, hem, and sleeve hems were finished as neatly as possible. It’s a woven rayon-type fabric with a bit of stretch in it. And I think I may have bought it at the Fabric Sales a few years ago but I’m not 100% sure.

My idea for this dress was to make a really comfy but smart dress with nice topstitching. Something I might categorise as a ‘basic’. But then I remembered I’m not so into basics and sewed on these peacock feather embroidered patches around the neckline because they make me really happy every time I look at them.

I definitely recommend this pattern; there is so much scope for making a great feature out of the ‘V’ bodice piece. I wanted to put the peacock feathers in the V but they actually looked better round the neckline.

See below for some (slightly awkward) self timer shots of me in the dress. You can tell it’s been a while since I blogged as I don’t remember how to take pictures of myself without feeling like a plonker.

So hopefully I’ll be back soon and I won’t let Belgian Seams get so dusty again! This year I’d like to write more on here about slow fashion and the environmental and social impact of the clothing and fabric supply chain. I love to write and by day I work in an environmental NGO so it seems like a nice idea to try and bring my interests together more on the blog.

I also realised this year that I really value blogs and the long(ish)-form. I’ve tried to dip my toes in the Instagram pool but so far I’ve not really taken to it. That might change but when I’ve gone on it so far although I’ve seen some lovely things and it’s great to get peeks into others’ sewing, the sheer amount of content on the platform is quite overwhelming to me.

That’s all for now, I’m off to eat yummy vegan pancakes – I used this recipe but I changed the soy milk for oat milk as I hate soy milk. And instead of vegetable oil I used olive oil as I didn’t have any vegetable oil.




This is the ‘Robe Éléonore’ from the République du Chiffon book ‘Un été de couture’. It’s been on my to-sew list for a long time. The cross-over bodice is such a great blank slate to play with. I was rummaging around in one of my (three) boxes of scrap fabric that I don’t know what to do with and this mustard wool with chevrons on it jumped out at me and I immediately thought of the Éléonore dress. The blue fabric is some chambray I bought a few years ago for the Archer shirt. Nothing much to say about this dress other than I really love it!


Thanks, Anneke!

This bodice for this fancy-pants dress was drafted using this wonderful tutorial from Anneke Caramin‘s super blog! Seriously, if your basic block is just itching to be manipulated and you’ve got dart rotation on your mind then WAIT NO MORE! Anneke has done a handy tutorial on her blog post which is really easy to follow. Thank you so much, Anneke!

I followed Anneke’s tutorial for the bodice and waistband but I changed it up a bit by just adding a simple circle skirt. I made this dress to wear to my friend Catriona’s wedding in St. Andrew’s in May and it was a fun dress to wear for ceilidh dancing!



I was having too much fun at the wedding to have the foresight to take pictures of me wearing the dress where you can properly see it but here is a shot of my friend Grace and I showing off our shoes among some confetti just to prove I did actually wear the dress to a wedding!


Pinstripe Salope(tte)

It’s a funny old pastime, putting a picture of yourself on the world wide web wearing something you’ve made, standing on a pile of books, and smiling into your camera which is balanced on a precarious tower of boxes on top of a bread bin.

And I’m a little rusty as it’s been a while since I’ve updated here! Mostly because I seem to find it harder to get photos of what I’ve made these days, through a combination of having less time (or a perception of less time anyway), forgetting to ask people to take my picture when I’m wearing something I’ve made in a nice location, and being less enthusiastic about constructing make-shift camera tripods from household objects when everyone else is out! Oh well! I’ve also definitely sewn less in the last year or so too, and when I have sewn something I’ve not necessarily found it interesting to blog about.

But here I am, taking advantage of a quiet morning and some nice light to get some snaps of this dungaree dress which I made around April/May I think.

The pattern was rubbed-off a second-hand dungaree dress I bought a while ago and adapted slightly. I like the oversized length and I think the bottom section makes the overall pinstripe effect look more balanced. The fabric comes from Gold Fingers and is a lovely thick wool blend with a very smooth lined underside. I initially bought it with fantasies of pinstriped trousers in my mind but then the idea of these dungarees came to me! I still have enough fabric left for the trousers so hopefully those will happen too!

It was my 30th birthday last week and I celebrated with my family in Portugal for a few days which was very very lovely. One of my ‘ambitions’ for my twenties was to learn to make my own clothes so I’m really happy to be able to say to myself that I have done that. So now I need some new sewing goals for my new decade.

And as birthdays are the kind of moments when we get all reflective, I also need to remind myself that life is better when I make time for my funny old pastimes!







On the Terraces

I’ve been wanting to make a ‘swing tent’-style dress ever since my flatmate rocked up in our kitchen wearing a lovely one. A t-shirt dress with evenly dispersed flare for maximum swishing is a style that ticks that much sought after ‘feels like wearing pyjamas but looks quite stylish’ box. After a bit of googling I found this wonderful tutorial from Ebony H’ at ‘SewStylist’. I was half way through making the pattern for this dress when Heather from Closet Case Patterns released her Ebony dress pattern which Heather says was inspired by this very tutorial! I half considered downing tools and just buying the pattern but I’m glad I drafted it myself using my own block as it fits perfectly around my neck and shoulders. The tutorial shows you how to make the dress by adapting the Grainline Scout tee but as I don’t have that pattern I just used my own block to make a simple t-shirt first and then adapted that pattern.

I initially planned to make up a test version in this shiny velour jersey fabric before making the ‘real’ version in some nice grey jersey but I actually couldn’t be happier with how this ‘test’ dress turned out and it has earned a place in my wardrobe in its own right! I’ve had the fabric for a few years now (bought from a stall at the Marché des Abattoirs in Anderlecht) and it was one of those ‘magpie moments’ when you buy something a bit mad and shiny which then sits on your shelf for ages because you don’t know what to do with it. So I’m happy to have finally found a use for it! I like how the dress looks with and without a belt.

The photos were taken in Nivelles (where my boyfriend comes from) when we were having a walk around the town. When I saw this very stylish spectator stand at the running track I thought it would be the perfect spot for an impromptu photo shoot 🙂