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Me Made May 2018

Me Made May 2018

Me Made May 2018

Its that time of the year again and time to dust off the woolly winter coats (at last) and participate in this long running challenge in the sewing community. Spring is definitely here after the longest winter ever so its a good opportunity to go through the wardrobe and decide what works for you and what need to go in the charity shop bag or the alterations pile.

Zoe of So,Zo blog is the founder of this initiative and she has written a detailed blog post including the piece below with all the information you need:

What is Me-Made-May?

Me-Made-May’18 (#MMMay18 for social media interaction) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear and love them more. This challenge works on both a personal and community level. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them (more on this below), and aim to fulfil that pledge for the duration of May 2018. Some participants also choose to document their challenge photographically (though this is in no way compulsory for taking part) and share them with other participants.

Taking part in #MMMay18 can help you…
  • to start integrating your self-made items into your regular wardrobe rotation.
  • get out of a wardrobe rut by focusing on your lesser-worn items and creating new outfits that include them.
  • find out what the ‘holes’ in your wardrobe are so that you are able to use your garment-creating time more usefully in the future.
  • begin wearing the clothes that you really want to be seen in, rather than the same old things you usually reach for most mornings.
  • enjoy the excuse to finish off any lingering UFOs (unfinished objects), or to finally start a project that has been on your mind for ages.
  • discover what the rest of this large community of makers has created and is wearing in their day-to-day lives, and enjoy the support, advice and inspiration that they will provide.

How do I sign up?

And you can sign up officially here (not compulsory- do it whatever way works for you – there should be no pressure)


All you have to do is copy the pledge below and paste it into the comments section of this post, adapted to include your details and the personal specification of your challenge before 1st May:

‘I, (insert name here and blog address/instagram handle if you have one), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I endeavour to…………………………………………………………………May 2018’ 

In summary its a great way to figure out if the clothes you are making are really working for you if you can wear them regularly. Its also a good way to find other like minded sewing folk to follow on Instagram if thats your thing. It can be very inspirational and motivational.

For the last week of the month there will be discounts from lots of suppliers (including Dress Fabrics) instead of the usual giveaways so everyones a winner ;)..

My pledge will be

‘I, Maeve ( maeve_dressfabrics (IG)) , sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I endeavour to wear as many different me mades as I can to see what I really like in my wardrobe including tops and trousers/ jeans and limit leggings to twice a week during May 2018’ 

To prepare for the challenge I am going to sort out one section of my wardrobe and put in all the clothes I am going to try and wear for the month. Then I will write a list of all the items I feel I need to fill the holes I imagine are in there. I’ll post photos on Instagram and Instagram stories and maybe write a summary blog post at the middle or end of May.

So, who’s up for the challenge??




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Spring Open Day – Saturday 24th March 10am – 4pm

Open Day Saturday 24th March 2018

10am – 4pm Saturday

We are opening our doors and welcoming you all in to see our new spring / summer collection. We have loads of beautiful florals and bright colours just arriving as well as our ever expanding selection of standard fabrics. We have increased our colours in sweater knits, rib knits, sweatshirts, denims and lots more.

Also the usual 10% off all regular stock! (in store only).

Refreshments and cake for all visitors!

Irish Sewing Meetup

Charlotte (Charlottewhincup on Instagram – go follow her) is organizing an Irish Sewing Meetup during our Open Day at 1.30pm. The plan is to meet up with other sewing enthusiasts at Dress Fabrics HQ – have a chat, look at some fabric and head off somewhere nice for a cuppa and a bite. Let her know if you would like to be kept in the loop either by messaging her on Instagram or by email –


Browse all Our New Fabrics in our New Arrivals Section….  
 We have a few more gorgeous prints that arrived this week and we are waiting for the open day to debut them.

Things to do in our area:

If you want to make a day out – there are loads of things to do and see in our area. Check out some of these links:
Loughcrew Cairns – Megalithic tombs (similar to Newgrange)
Loughcrew Megalithic Centre
Historic town of Kells
Loughcrew Gardens and Adventure Centre
And there’s lots more  a short drive away – Fore Abbey, Mullaghmeen Woods, Girley Bog….

Refreshment Stops:

Theres some great cafes and coffee shops close by in Loughcrew Gardens and Loughcrew Megalithic Centre.
Oldcastle: Kraft KaffeHappy Cup CafeOldcastle House Hotel
Kells: Book MarketButterfly CafeInsomniaHeadford Arms Hotel.



To find us – we are situated between Oldcastle and Kells on the R163, approx 1 km the Kells side of Ballinlough Village. If coming from M3 / N3, take the exist north of Kells at Drumbaragh. There are signposts for Oldcastle/Ballinlough and Loughcrew. We are about 3 miles from here and we will have big signs (like in the above photo) at our entrance.

The easiest way is to put our postcode into google maps – A82YT91Contact us if you need more information. Hopefully see you soon!

If you can’t make it  – you are always welcome to visit anytime by appointment, just contact us by email – or on 087 4395792.


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Preparation of your fabrics before you sew and a few other tips..

Preparation of your fabrics before you sew

Preparation of your fabrics before you sew:

  1. Prewash at the recommended temperature which will be the wash cycle that you will use for all future washes of the garment.
  2. Iron at the recommended temperature to remove all creases and foldlines.
  3. Cut out your pattern and sew 🙂

I’ve had a query about that pesky foldline/crease that forms when the fabric is folded and rolled on a bolt in the manufacturers warehouse. Generally after washing on a normal wash and drying and maybe a steam iron if appropriate will remove all traces of this line.
However in certain cases this doesnt work. After a bit of googling I’ve found this article that explains how to work around it.

This exerpt outlines how I usually deal with it:

Double fold.
When making a double fold,be sure the full length of each folded side is the same width. Measure as shown. This will ensure that the folded edges are straight with the grain.
You may use a double fold when you cannot press the original foldline out of the fabric. You may also use it when several pattern pieces are to be cut on a fold.

Folding Knit Fabrics
Try to press out the lengthwise crease on knit fabrics before laying out pattern pieces. Often this crease is permanent in knit fabrics and, if used on the garment, may be unsightly. If you cannot press out the crease, you can avoid using it by folding your fabric with a double fold.
Another possibility is to position the crease to work with the pattern design. For instance, place pattern pieces so that the crease will fall down the center of sleeves or pant legs.

© Goodheart-Willcox Publisher

Faulty Fabric:

Now and again there will be a defect in the fabric – normally these are small and you will be able to work around them.

Please check the fabric for any obvious flaws as soon as you buy it (and before you wash it). It’s impossible for us to see everything on the fabric while cutting it out and preparing orders. If you find a flaw / fault contact us immediately – sometimes a photo of the problem is enough to issue a refund to avoid postage costs. However in all fairness we can’t issue a refund if you have already washed the fabric, or used it in any way as its hard to tell when in the process the fault occurred.

This is our refund policy as stated in our terms and conditions.


Thanks for reading!


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My Winter Sewing Progress at Dress Fabrics HQ

My Winter Sewing Progress

Winter Sewing Progress

There’s been a moderately productive few months of sewing recently. I went back to Grafton Academy for a day a week between Halloween and Christmas and had a few projects earmarked for that. I also made a few other basics that were needed in my wardrobe.

The main project I embarked on at the Grafton Academy was a Jacket for my husband (Laurens). He hasn’t been able to find a good fitting jacket since I met him – the sleeves are always too short or its too tight across his back. I have yet to get some decent pictures of him in the jacket so I will write a separate post about that.


High Neck Top

During the jacket saga I drafted a pattern for a top with raglan sleeves and princess seams.


I drafted it for a woven fabric but of course I had to use a ponte – I really liked the colour of this Royal Blue. This resulted in me having to take in all the seams by 1 cm.






I put a zip in the right shoulder seam. I luckily had an invisible zip in the exact colour.  I’m not too gone on polo necks or high necks on me – I like them in theory but I think they make look odd. Anyway – I think it looks like a running top and it might get relegated to my walking/ workout clothing drawer but it was a good exercise in learning how to draft the raglan sleeve and the high neck.


Cashmerette Ames Jeans

When the Cashmerette Ames Jeans Pattern came out last year – I was impressed, I’ve made a few pairs of Ginger Jeans and I’m a big fan but in the interests of research I thought I should give the Ames a whirl. They start at size 12 and go up to 12 to 28, with interchangeable pelvis (apple or pear fit) and leg (skinny or straight) pieces. Putting my Ginger pattern on top of the Ames to see what size would be best (and based on my measurements) I decided to make the smallest size (never happens for me).  Now to put it in perspective I would be a 14 in the Gingers and a standard UK size 16 in the trousers dept. Then I added 3 cm to the centre back height and dropped the centre front by about 1.5 cm ( typical adjustments for me).  I made a short pair to try out the top in some left over denim from a previous pair of jeans (I went with the pear pelvis and skinny leg). I didn’t make any more changes and just went for it using this Super stretchy denim from our shop.

The result – I’m very happy with these – I made them as they were, with only my initial adjustments and they are very comfortable especially in the legs compared to other jeans. There’s something about my calves that the fabric usually catches  but not a problem with the Ames Jeans.






I highly recommend this Jeans Pattern and the option for the different body types is inspired.


Winter Coat.

Image from Toast Website

Over the Autumn I went through my ‘winter’ coats and decided it was time to retire them to the charity shop. Some had been rarely worn and the rest were worn to death. It was time to use my skills and draft a new coat since I had a lovely collection of boiled wools just arrived in store and a few nice pieces in my old stash.  I had a vague idea of a coat in my head earlier in the autumn and after scrolling through pinterest for ideas I found this one from Toast. I like the tidy collar, the A-line shape and the single button but I wanted welt pockets and for it to be more fitted than the original Toast one and I’m not a big fan of wide sleeves – too cold.

When I was drafting this I used the sleeve pattern piece from my blazer I made last summer, I should have added a bit of width towards the wrist as its quite narrow but I haven’t worn any big jumpers under it yet to see if its too tight.


I interlined the coat completely with Stay Flex interfacing – the good stuff I purchased in the Grafton Academy (hopefully a roll of it will coming to the website very soon).  Canvas interfacing was used on the facing and the upper back and collar.  You can see all this in the ‘guts’ of the first two photos.

Innards – Interfacing and shoulder pads
Practise Welt Pocket


After practicing the welt pocket on some scraps first and realised I really needed to keep a clear head while trying to pattern match (middle pic above). This was probably the most time consuming part of the construction – but worth it in the end!

Welt Pockets!

I lined the coat with the silky satin fabric from our ex designer section – it’s a nice heavy weight fabric – perfect for lining coats for an extra bit of insulation, I liked how the colours work well together. (The finished outdoor photos below show the real colour of the fabric)


The rest of the coat went together as normal. I had fully intended making bound buttonholes for this coat but I left it to the end. After reading a tutorial I realised it was too late – I should have done this part earlier in the construction. Instead of trying to finding enough suitable buttons and make buttonholes I had these big snaps in the shop and decided to use them and the one button at the top for decoration.

The collar is a bit bulky and it won’t sit down – my fabric is probably a bit thick for a narrow collar. I still love it though, it’s really cosy and warm and very easy to wear. Its only been finished a week and it’s already got lots of use.

Sewing plans :

Next up is the Lisa Comfort Cocoon Coat which I am hoping to finish today. Its the one from the magazine she recently launched. Its a well drafted pattern and comes together very quickly.

After that it might be time for a few easy wardrobe staples – t shirts, leggings, pj’s etc. Then it’s back to the drawing board for another go at Laurens Jacket Mark II…

Have a good week!



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Seasons Greetings 2017


Seasons Greetings to you all and thank you for all your custom this year – it’s been another great year and that’s down to you – my lovely loyal customers.

Our range of fabrics is constantly expanding and we plan to introduce more fabrics and supplies in 2018.

Our sewing classes are still going strong – if anyone would like to get more information in January for our classes in 2018 please contact us by email maeve@dressfabrics or text / call 0874395792.
We will continue our Kids Workshops in 2018.

If you would like us to tailor a workshop for a few friends or a small group (adults, teens or children) – please get in touch, anything is possible!

After a quick stocktaking session after xmas – we will have our January sale – subscribers will receive an email in advance to give you a heads up of the bargains.

Don’t forget – we have an unlimited supply of gift vouchers available – we can send them in the post all this week so there is still lots of time to grab a stocking filler – don’t be afraid to drop lots of hints if it’s something you would like to receive.

Til next year,

All the best wishes – hope you all get some crafting time over the break,

Maeve & her team of elves





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Pants – Making Trousers

Making Trousers!

With the days getting cooler  and shorter it might be time to pull out the long pants! If you are ready to try and make a few pairs of your own here are a few ideas of patterns and fabrics to get you inspired about making trousers…

We won’t mention jeans or denim in this post – we will save that for another day!

We have lots of Crepe fabrics in stock at them moment including a big pile of remnants in various colors – many have enough to make trousers. Click on the pics for links!

We also have bolts of regular stock that will be very suitable for making trousers:

Black Pinstripe Trousers Fabric

We have a few shades of Stretch Cotton Twill in a lovely weight for trousers

And finally Linen – traditionally a summer fabric but if lined would make a good transitional pair of trousers:

100% Linen Fabric - Brown

Trouser Pattern Options:

There’s a world of great patterns out there – from the traditional pattern companies to all of the new independent pattern designers many of which can be downloaded, printed at home and put together in an hour or so. (perfect wet evening activity!)

True Bias Pants – new Lander Pants  pattern – the newest pattern taking the online community by storm at the moment. Its a straight legged high waisted trousers and can be made in a variety of fabrics. Perfect for work or casual wear depending on what fabric you use.


Burda have a huge range of pdf patterns ready to download. Check them all out here..









Sew over it have a lovely simple straight legged trousers pattern – Ultimate Trousers.



Sewaholic Sewing patterns have the Thurlow Trousers and shorts, these are designed for pear shaped bodies and I can confirm that they are a great trouser pattern having made it years ago. There is a very useful sewalong series written by the blogger LLadybird – it will take you through each step with lots of photos and a really good description and can be applied to any trousers pattern.










Here are a few more patterns to peruse:

Itch to Stitch North Point Pattern:

New Pattern: North Point Trousers


KB Stitch Designs – Siren Trousers


Style Arc – An australian company have a large selection of Trousers / Pants patterns.


Hope this helps inspire you for the weekend sewing  😉



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Open Day Saturday 9th September!

Open Day Saturday 9th September 2017

10am – 4pm Saturday Only

We are opening our doors again and having an open day on Saturday 9th September. You are all welcome to view and have first dibs on our latest stash of designer remnants. We have 70+ new pieces just arrived  between 1m and 3m lengths. The fabrics include sequins, sparkles and satins for those xmas party dresses as well as Chanel type boucles and knits.

Also the usual 10% off all regular stock! (in store only).

Refreshments and cake for all visitors!


Black and Silver Sequins
Black Matt, Silver and Burgundy Sequin Fabric
Open Day Saturday 9th September
Drapey Satins in rich purples, pinks and wines..
Open Day Saturday 9th September
More Satins in cool tones


We’ve a fresh delivery of designer samples – lots of sequins, lush satins and sparkles suitable for all those christmas party frocks we’re going to need.
Theres also some Chanel knits and boucle fabrics to make stylish jackets and coats.
All of these fabrics will be available to visitors to our  Open Day first, they won’t go online until afterwards so you get a better choice if you call in person.
We also have all our usual stock including new winter prints and  visitors get 10% off everything on the day (not online).
Open Day Saturday 9th September
Exquisite blue and silver floral sequin fabric

[box border=”full”]Logistics: To find us – we are situated between Oldcastle and Kells on the R163, approx 1 km the Kells side of Ballinlough Village. If coming from M3 / N3, take the exist north of Kells at Drumbaragh. There are signposts for Oldcastle/Ballinlough and Loughcrew. We are about 3 miles from here and we will have big signs (like in the photo) at our entrance.Open Day this Saturday 9th September!Contact us if you need more information.   Hopefully see you soon!      If you can’t make it – you are always welcome to visit anytime by appointment, just contact us by email – or on 087 4395792.[/box]

[su_box title=”Things to do in our area:” box_color=”#de55d9″ title_color=”#000000″]If you want to make a day out – there are loads of things to do and see in our area. Check out some of these links:

Loughcrew Cairns – Megalithic tombs (similar to Newgrange)

Loughcrew Megalithic Centre

Historic town of Kells

Loughcrew Gardens and Adventure Centre

And there’s lots more  a short drive away – Fore Abbey, Mullaghmeen Woods, Girley Bog….[/su_box]

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Summer 2017 at Dress fabrics

Summer 2017 at Dress fabrics

First of all – a Big thank you to all who supported our summer sale.

We understand it’s not the perfect time of year to be stockpiling fabrics as theres so many other distractions and expenses with kids off school and holidays so a big thanks.

Royal Canal, Westmeath – Longford Border.

We have had a few short camping trips and days away and are planning on another camping trip (weather permitting) before the boys are back in school and the Autumn begins. The boys have had their best summer ever  – they’ve got to do a few summer camps that they really enjoyed and other day trips and workshops that were right up their street. Its means that I have had little time or energy for sewing – I had a bit of a list but I have barely made a dent in it. Anyway in a few years time – they will be older teenagers and won’t need me so much!!

My Self Drafted Linen Coat – Nearly there!!

I’ve made significant progress on my linen coat – I decided I would try waterproofing it to make it more useful in an Irish Autumn so that put a delay on it. I googled it and decided to try a few waterproof sprays I had for shoes (they say they are suitable for fabric too). The Punch one seems to be fine and after performing rigorous tests it does make it a bit ‘showerproof’? So I now don’t know whether to spray it before I put in the lining or to wait til if finish it completely and then spray? More procrastination!!


Another big project I wanted to start this summer in preparation for a return to the Grafton Academy this winter is a Jacket for Laurens. I’ve made the initial block and it fits ok apart from the shoulders/ sleeves which is to be expected. That’s parked now until I can find the energy needed to puzzle it out – more procrastination..

Back to business –

We have some new fabrics in stock that arrived earlier in the summer and dare I mention the ‘C’ word???
We have new christmas fabrics online if you want to make a start on your xmas decorations etc..

We also have a selection of Halloween fabrics if that more your thing!

We have a few new prints that just arrived this week along with a restock of some regular fabrics.

Find all our NEW Fabrics here..

Ponte De Roma - Black Floral Design
Ponte De Roma in a Black Floral Design
Black Floral Print Poly Crepe
Black Floral Print Poly Crepe


[box]Don’t forget there’s still free shipping when you spend over €50!![/box]


Payment Details Update:

We have expanded the number of ways you can pay for your orders online and by phone. We have added Stripe as a method of credit card payment. Simply choose the option to pay by Stripe and it will prompt you for your card number and usual details. Its a secure way to pay without having a Paypal account.

I would ask you all to consider switching to Stripe – it’s as secure or more so than Paypal, it was started by an Irish person and the fees are substantially lower than paypal, so I can save an average of €1 every transaction. This in turn  means I can keep costs down – not increasing the shipping costs for example and maintaining the fabric prices as they are.

Previously customers who phoned in an order – had to send a cheque or postal order to pay for their fabrics. However, now thanks to Sum Up we can take credit card details over the phone and securely process the payment so your order can be sent to you straight away.



[box]Sewing Classes:

We will be starting our sewing classes for adults again in mid September. There will be 2 hour sessions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and evenings. If you would like to be added to our waiting list please get in touch – or 0874395792.  I will text all of our existing students and those on the waiting list in a few weeks with all details for the first term.[/box]


Kids Workshop – Applique Cushion

[box]Kids Workshops: Our children’s workshops are proving popular so we are going to start holding monthly sessions on a Saturday afternoon. We will have the first one towards the end of September to allow everyone to settle back into the old routines. If you have a small person (age 9+ / teenager) who would like to learn to sew – get in touch. Our workshops are generally 2.5 hours and include all materials, a machine is not necessary but if you have one – bring it so they can get used to it.[/box]

[box]Open Day:

We will be announcing our Autumn OPEN DAY next month. It will be sometime at the end of September or beginning of October. Keep an eye on our blog posts or newsletters and the usual social media outlets 😉 [/box]


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Our Big Summer Sale is now on at

Our Big Summer Sale is now on – there is up to 50% off over 150 selected fabrics.

Find all our SALE FABRICS here…

Most of the ex designer fabrics are on sale and all of our remnants are 50% off.
We have a huge selection to kick start your autumn sewing!

Find them all here »


Many of this seasons summer fabrics are included in the sale including this lovely viscose. It would be perfect for floaty dresses and tops for holidays or any hot days we get here.
View similar products »


Its also our Birthday weekend – we are 2 this weekend!!! We have come a long way and have a huge range of fabrics built up in the two years, and we’re still building ;)…


Don’t forget there’s still free shipping when you spend over €50!!
Subscribers – check your emails for additional benefits 😉
Have a great summer!!