Sewing plans · Wardrobe

More wardrobe planning


I spend lots of time planning my wardrobe in my head and then changing my mind! I definitely don’t have the perfect wardrobe that covers all eventualities but maybe I will one day.  The  categories that I think I need to cover are:

Work  clothes
Being at home and relaxing clothes
Out with friends and family
Occasion wear : weddings, graduations, interviews, funerals, posh party
Physical activity wear
Hot holiday wear

That should cover 99% of my life. Obviously clothes can overlap between the categories.

If I started from scratch my basic ideal wardrobe would be:


Suit combos i.e. 3 jackets, 3 pairs trousers,  3 skirts
Dresses 6 all weather  dresses one of which is suitable for funerals or interviews
2 summer  dresses
2 winter dresses
10 tops
3 cardigans
Smart coat
3 pairs of court shoes, 1 pair short boots
3 work bags navy, black and other

2 pairs jeans

2 jersey skirts
4 tee shirts short sleeved
4 tops long sleeved
2 jumpers
2 long cardigans
2 short cardigans
2 casual dresses Summer
2 casual dresses winter
Flat boots
3 pairs flatties

3 pairs of sandals
Casual coat
Warm Jacket
Selection of bags casual and funky


6  pyjama bottoms  – 3 winter 3 summer
6 tee shirts/ pyjama tops
Summer dressing gown
Winter dressing gown

Going out 
Palazzo pants and/culottes
3 funky tops
Formal – one long dress, one short dress

1 or 2 smart dresses
Clutch bag

Weather specific 
Waterproof jacket
Walking boots
2 summer very hot weather maxi dresses

1 pair shorts
1 fleece

4 pairs leggings long and three quarter length
Cycling shorts
4 teeshirts
Cycling top
Cycling jacket
Cycling shoes

I don’t want to make everything I need, I haven’t got the time or the desire to do so. I will probably focus on making dresses, and would love a couple of jackets that look professional.  I’ve been rereading Kate Davies blog Fabrikated and realise (again) that I don’t spend enough time thinking about fit and wearability. I get drawn in by FOMO of seeing fabric and patterns on blogs and websites.  It’s ok up to a point, sewing is my hobby after all, but I’ve got a wardrobe which doesn’t have enough of the basics,  and too many dresses that  I’ll probably only ever wear once or twice.

sewing · Wardrobe

Vintage scuba dressing gown

Despite owning at least thirty vintage patterns, I’ve never made any of them! Until now. This one features in my list of  vintage patterns I really want to make.


I bought this blush pink scuba with a large floral design, because I thought it would make a great dress. But, the floral pattern is so big, I feel the dress would wear me rather than the other way round.  I’m also in need of a summer dressing gown.  This vintage pattern came from a local charity shop, and cost less than a pound. It’s from the 1970s and still widely available on Etsy.

The pattern had already been cut out, so I just used it, as I’m not that bothered about keeping it for posterity.   The scuba  from FCfabricstudio  sewed up with no problems. Although the seams don’t need finishing, to make neater insides I used stitch H on my janome.  I think it looks a bit like overlocking. I regularly contemplate getting an overlocker , but  I just don’t think I could be bothered with the re threading of four reels of thread every time!

I also used some lace I bought three years ago at the Rose and Brown vintage fair in Saltaire, to finish the hems.  So a bit more stash busting!

So my winter dressing gown is waiting to go into the loft with my other winter clothes, and I’m lounging on the sofa watching Danish drama, in my oriental kimono!  As a dressing gown, it will get loads more wear than if I’d made a dress.  So finally I got some photos taken.



Here’s me on my birthday wearing my dressing gown with a glass of fizz for breakfast !


So yes, I love it and use it most days.


#Sewupnorth and June purchases

I had an absolutely fabulous day at #sewupnorth! When you live in a house full of males, there is something really lovely about shopping for fabric and chilling with other dressmakers.  The day was wonderfully organised by  Rebecca   and  Sally  who worked incredibly hard to give us all a day to enjoy and raised over £700 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance !

Just to reflect on the whole day, it was just such an uplifting experience. Just seeing women of all shapes, sizes and heights, all looking unique and individual in our handmade clothing, was so brilliant!  I wore one of my favourite dresses.



We started in Costa, in our own private area,  and received a goody bag each containing discount vouchers, badges, sweets and a pattern. We had about an hour to meet new sewing friends, and reconnect with old ones. Sally and Becca explained what was planned.


Then off we went round Leeds  Kirkgate market and local shops in smallish groups , before hitting the newish John Lewis. I was reasonably restrained ! Lovely white embroidered cotton from John Lewis, navy and white ponte and grey, pink and white jersey from B and M fabrics, and raspberry red ponte from Jaks fabrics.  I went round with Eleanor  and Liz  who were great shopping guides to the fabric delights of Leeds.  They have both made the sew house seven toaster tops, so I decided I needed to buy the pattern before the winter. Hopefully I’ll make the navy and red into toasty toaster tops!



Liz and Eleanor bought some African wax fabric from this lovely  stall. The fabric is sold in 6 yard lengths.



We reconvened in The Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen which had a bar and cheap tasty pizza. We took over the top floor,  as there was loads of room for a swap table, raffle prizes and seating. Here I am having a good nosey at the patterns and fabric. I took five patterns and two lots of fabric to swap.  I know that  Eleanor  took a pattern and Ali    took my fabric so I look forward to seeing what they make.


Everybody had a good rummage!


My final haul included four patterns from the swap, and some grey and red satin I’m hoping to use for lining.  I also bought a packet of needles in the market, probably the only thing I really ‘needed’


Liz had also made a bag and jacket from the Makers Atelier book I’ve got, so when I got home, I went onto the Fabric Godmother site to buy the toaster pattern, some faux leather ideal for bag making  fell into my basket, and yes I’ve decided to make a loud jumpsuit to wear to graduation seeing as my dress failed!   I intend to use the poppy playsuit pattern by Sewoverit, I’ve not had a lot of success with their patterns,  so am hoping this works.


Managed to sneak in a visit to the Shuttle in Shipley on the way back from a meeting. I was very restrained though! I bought 12 metres of fabric for toiles or lining, two metres of fleece backed sweating shirting to try a warm version of the toaster sweater, and a one metre piece  for a teeshirt.

I’ve used 56 metres of fabric so far in 2017, but bought 45 metres! Which doesn’t include the three metres for bags above. I’ve had a lot of failures in the first six months so here’s to successful sewing and no fabric purchases for the rest of the year! Well, except for Black Friday!


Sewing plans · Wardrobe

Wardrobe planning

I’ve been thinking about my clothes, what I like wearing, and all those typical musings of someone who sews!  I don’t want a capsule wardrobe, or to over analyse my look, as I feel most of the time I’m ok with what I wear, it just needs a bit of evolution and keeping to what suits me best, and not getting diverted into what is the current trend for the sewing community, or the latest  Sewalong.

Kate  has been considering her wardrobe recently, and is looking to pare  it down into a small plain coloured, almost capsule wardrobe. I love a lot of the colourful suits and hand painted fabrics she has made and think it would be a shame if she didn’t wear those again.

But it’s made me think about what I wear and want to wear . I still like my jersey dresses and silver jewellery look. But sometimes it feels not quite right  for my new  office environment which is more casual. I need an update, but need to use my stash first!

My favourite style icon is Claire Underwood from the House of Cards, I like the straight angular  lines of her characters clothes. Personally I want more colour and pattern in my clothes though.

My fabric collection has been gathered over the last four years, so some of it doesn’t fit in with what I like now. For example I’ve bought 3 metre lengths of cotton prints, that I wouldn’t wear if I made them up as dresses, but I could make shirts or tops. So taking into consideration using up my fabric and making things I’ll actually wear (apart from the scuba cocktail dress which I’m not sure will be seen in public!) , these are my plans for the rest of 2017.

Scuba cocktail dress for the #sipandsew Eve appeal

Hydrangea dress for a wedding

2 Aldaia dresses from  aqua and kingfisher ponte which are really similar colours.

2 Named pilvi pattern dresses in  red and navy

Navy and navy chevron  ponte dress

Sequin fabric to make a Grainline scout

Flannel for  pyjamas

These aren’t in order and I’ve  already got ideas for 2018, but let’s see how far I get with this list! No doubt there will be more fabric and patterns purchased this year, maybe next week when I go to Sew UpNorth?  I’ve also got ten vintage patterns I’d love to make one day!

Completed items · Uncategorized

June makes


June has been mostly good, I’ve finished a couple of items that had been hanging about for ages, completed my shirt dress, and blogged about all of them apart from this  knitted Cardigan and a sad wadder!

I’m pleased this  Miette is finished, sewn up and has buttons, as it took nearly a year to finish it off.


It’s so bright it’s not going to go with much, the wool and buttons were really expensive. Never mind, I love the lime cowl I made from this wool, as I’d bought it for a pattern that needed a lot more than the Miette, originally.


I’ve realised that I’m not that into handknitted jumpers and cardigans anymore. I wish I’d kept some of the patterns I knitted up when I was at university though, some really stunning, statement patterns.


Just to have complete documentation, a wadder I’m really disappointed with. This one s Vogue 8997 one of the Eve appeal #sipand sew dresses.  I’ve spent so long on it too. I made two toiles out of lining fabric, to get it to fit. However, when  I sewed up the lined bodice I needed to take in the bottom of the v neck, which I got to work, by putting a small dart effect in. Then I sewed in the sleeves which pulled the neckline out of shape and bagged it  on one side! And I really can’t put it right.   I really loved this fabric and lined it with satin backed crepe, so substantial money definitely down the drain!  But as I was making it,  I felt it was probably a dress I wouldn’t wear that often. I don’t know whether  to bother making one out of the bright  scuba now. I’ll leave it til October maybe, but  I do need something to wear for graduation in a months time.  Is it really worth sewing my own clothes? I’ve counted up, I think I’ve made or started  at least 22 items this year and half of them have been failures.  Sometimes I just don’t know.





Completed items · sewing · Wardrobe

#sewtogetherforsummer shirt dress finished!

My sewing has had a torrid time of it lately, so I’m really really pleased to have finished a dress that I love!


Sarah from @sewsarahsmith, Suzy from @sewing_in_spain and Monika from @rocco.sienna set up a friendly challenge to sew a shirtdress in time for Summer.

It’s such a great idea to set up a challenge that is so versatile, as everyone needs a shirt dress in their wardrobe! Prizes will be awarded at random, rather than being judged on ability or Instagram popularity which is a brilliant way to encourage sewists of all abilities to have a go.

So I finally made   McCalls M6885. I made attempts at two other styles but they just didn’t look right.   Sewmanju has made two versions of this pattern. I have to agree with her that turning out the ties was a real pain, but  worth it. I used this Tutorial   to attach the collar, as I don’t think I’ve sewn a collar with a collar stand since doing O level dress at school.


I had a bit of trouble with the button holes, having to unpick four of them, I think my machine and me had forgotten what to do, I can’t remember the last thing I made with buttons. The buttons were from a charity shop in Lincoln, so a bargain!

Fabric was from the Remnant House, in Harrogate, the pattern is so busy you can’t see any of the details like the pockets and ties in these photos! I made the sleeveless version, which has been lovely and cool today in the sun.


Despite my other half telling me it looks likes wee willie winkies nightshirt, l like the high low hem.  I’d love to make some more shirt dresses  using this pattern or perhaps  vogue pattern V8829, which is a shirt dress with no gathers anywhere, my preferred option.


But I need to get on with a couple of dresses for events in July and September, it will probably be next year now before I’ve got time to tackle another shirtdress, which is a bit of a shame.

Completed items · Wardrobe

Cocobella and coatigan

A couple of successes, the top was finished in April and I finally hemmed my coatigan this weekend.

First  a Tilly and the buttons Coco with sleeves from the Simple Sew Bella dress pattern.  I could have just cut down the Bella dress pattern, but I know the Coco pattern fits. I was going to make a dress with this ponte, but think it will get more wear as a top.



Then another cardigan/coatigan from the pattern I used for my navy and white coat.

This fabric was originally intended to be a dress too, but it’s wool ponte and quite heavy, I think it would be too warm.  The colour is superb, and I think it will be great for the cooler summer evenings, but it’s been so cold I’ve worn it all day, today.  It goes really well with my coral grainline scout top.


These two are both great basics that will work well with lots of other items in my wardrobe.

Purchases · Sewing plans

May purchases and summer sewing plans

So not buying anything isn’t going too well…….

In May there was no successful sewing. There was however some buying, four patterns and five and a half metres of fabric.

So firstly a  pyjama pattern. I’ve got  a selection of fabrics already that I could use, in my fabric collection, once I’ve made the ten dresses on my ‘next to sew’ list!


The prima pattern was the cost of a phone call, but I love the basic shape of this and the sleeve options.


This Butterick dress pattern purchase was due to seeing Handmade Jane’s recommendations for woven shirt dresses on her current blog post, I like  the waterfall effect on the skirt.  I’ve got a wedding in September, and think this pattern would look good in the fabric I bought from Guthrie and Ghani.  I hope I don’t look too washed out, I usually don’t wear black, but just loved the hydrangeas and the pale aqua leaves.

The fourth pattern was because I liked it, and I was paying for postage anyway……I’ve bought the sewoverit Heather  dress pattern, but looking at people’s completed versions, I don’t really like the princess seams on it. I much prefer the straight ones on this.


So yes, I’ve definitely suffered from FOMO!

So my plan for June is to hem my orange coatigan, sew buttons on my Miette  Cardigan (only two more to go!)  and finish my  blue and cream shirt dress before the 21st of June, for the sew along.

I would also like to make a start on this dress, to wear to son number two’s graduation, in July. I’m thinking of short sleeves and the  straight skirt.


Hopefully all these plans will work, my sewing has been so rubbish lately, I’m probably too impatient but  I’m not someone who will make seven versions of a toile  to get it right, I tend to give up as I want quick results!

Oh yes the other fabric is a ridiculous purchase really. I bought more of the art gallery fabric that my favourite dress is made from! Well dragonfly fabrics had a 10% discount!  So when this dress wears out I can make another one…….



#Memademay 2017 round up

The statistics are as follows – which may be converted to pie or bar charts at some point!

Tilly and the buttons Coco 5 variations worn  7 times

Grainline scout tee variations worn 4 times

Sosew easy wrap dress variations worn 3 times

New look 6808 variations worn 3 times

prima pattern jacket variations worn three times

Lottie blouse variation worn twice


single items worn twice include Cynthia Rowley Delaunay top and my vogue dress

Other patterns  worn once include a sewoverit  cowl necked top, itch to stitch Davina and Kathryn dresses, my teal ponte dress, navy Santa Monica tee shirt, ponte trousers, Cynthia Rowley jacket, tweed coat, new look wrap dress, Ponte trousers, bronte afternoon top and my Van Gogh maxi.

What do I think?

– No more cocos! Find another pattern, maybe the sewhouse seven toaster pattern.

-If  the weather had been better I’d have worn more dresses.  I wore dresses on only ten days.

-I’ve been wearing jeans and trousers more, but feel no inclination to make them!

-I really like the prima jacket pattern I’ve made in ponte three times, smart enough to wear to work, but comfortable enough to wear with jeans at home.

-I need to cull my wardrobe more often, and make sure I wear flattering items, rather than hanging onto things because I’ve made them.  I like  plain or geometric fabrics and plain necklines, but it would be good to see something more adventurous.

May was unproductive for sewing, I made some fails, and toiles that didn’t work out, but that’s the way it happens sometimes.

I definitely want to do Me made May 2018, so I can see what’s changed, since this year, and whether I’m still wearing makes from 2014!



#MemadeMay week 4

So, the last week barring a few days. Its getting boring, but will be really interesting to look back on, and I would like to do it next year as well, to see what the changes are.   Without further ado, as a lot of sewing bloggers seem to say, this is what I wore this week! And some silly versions of photos that didn’t make it to Instagram!


my selfies of the Delaunay blouse are a lot more flattering than the photo I put on Instagram

And a grainline scout double

And my coco top on Sunday as I spent most of it cycling!


I will do a round up and statistical analysis (joking!) of what I wore, during May. All I will say now is there is a distinct lack of collars!