Completed items · Purchases · sewing · Wardrobe

September makes and purchases


I’m really pleased with my September makes.

I made a dress for my neighbours wedding, using this pattern and lovely drapery viscose from Guthrie and Ghani.

I was good and made a toile. The darts are really unusual as you can see in the toile.


It also gaped, so I pinched out two inches from the neckline.  I also decided to keep the skirt front flat, rather than draped. I added flutter sleeves from the  prima pattern, I’ve not made any of the tops yet but have used the sleeves twice this month to hack patterns.  I used orange bias binding rather than making facings, which I definitely prefer.

I don’t think black is a flattering colour for me, and if I was going to be really critical, I think the sleeves should be an inch longer.  But I loved wearing the dress, it was a perfect ‘wedding guest’ dress, and the black background stopped it being too summery.  I know I’ve changed the pattern quite a bit, it’s very similar to the sewoverit Eve dress now. It’s my first proper wrap dress, as all my others are mock ones, it was fine though, as the wrap part is big enough not to lead to any flashing of next weeks washing as my mum would say!

The wedding was in North Yorkshire, and the temperature was decidedly on the cool side.  I wasn’t sure what to wear as a cover up, and started looking at pasminas, but my coral coatigan matched the orange middles of the hydrangea perfectly!  So although the dress fabric was a case of “beautiful fabric I must have” without really thinking about if it suited me or went with anything in my wardrobe, it actually worked with something I’ve made this year!

This dress was my attempt to have some thing that reflected current fashion in my wardrobe. I think it’s worked, it’s a great colour and a comfortable weekend dress. Apart from the fact I’m a lot shorter and wider than the model from the Finery website! I used McCalls M6886 for the dress, and the prima pattern above for the sleeves.


Here is my third sewhouse seven toaster top. It’s my favourite one, the fabric is beautiful faux suede from the fabric godmother.


I also made some pyjama bottoms using the TATB Margot pattern that I’ve used before.


I think I’ve got enough to make a top to go with them, but it will be next month now. Might even get a photo!

My purchases this month were the faux suede and some turquoise jersey from Fabrics Galore  that I couldn’t resist.


So I’ve bought five metres this month and used eleven.  So it’s going in the right direction, and the best thing is that I’ve made clothes I like and will wear.

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.

Completed items

February update

No fabric bought this month! Mind you, that would have been different if I’d gone to #sewdowndewsbury, but it was half term and I was away.

Successful sewing this month was about jackets. I completed my Italian tweed one. It’s ok, but… I think I should have lined the front with some sort of interlining to firm it up, I’m not sure I like the sleeves, I think the fabric was a bit chunky for the band at the bottom. I’ve worn it three times with with this  RTW dress, and am liking it more, the more I wear it.  Hopefully I  can squeeze a skirt out of the left over fabric.

I really like my second make of the month though, it’s an unlined coat. I had bought this fabric for a suit, from Fabworks last year, but it’s quite a heavy wool, and works better as a coat. I have hong konged all the seams,  look!


I’ve also top stitched the edges which makes them lie flatter.


I saw a girl in her twenties at York station in an RTW coat, which was virtually identical in style to this, so feel it’s quite on trend as a spring jacket. I used some Liberty tana lawn scraps as pocket lining.

So my fabric use this month is 10.5 metres, including lining and toiles. Yes I did toile both the above jackets, go me!  Oh yes I made another  tshirt,from left over jersey and the pattern used twice already.  Ive already managed to get a blob of glue on it, messy pup!


I did have a fail, this is my third attempt at sewing with stripes, they never match up, no matter how hard I try. Life is too short, to bother with stripes again!


So three successes and a fail for February!





Completed items · Uncategorized

January update

I’m pleased with my sewing achievements in January. I’ve made a dress, two tee-shirts, cut out another one,  sewn  two toiles for a jacket and completed half a jacket.  I’ve also  made a disappointing wadder!  so I’ve used about 12 metres of fabric (but bought 5). Let’s have a look then!


I was pleased with this, a dress that had to be black, purple, silver or white to fit in with a theme for a 50th party. This was  some purple velour fabric from fabric godmother. I found I did have to keep fiddling with the neckline to stop it moving about, so if I ever wear it again, I would sew it in place.

Two teeshirts  – both from the Santa Monica tee pattern from Textile studios. This is designed to go under suit jackets. I love this pattern, its definitely a TNT ! This fabric cost me £2  from a charity shop. I wasn’t sure of the fabric pattern it feels a bit 1980s with the strange shapes and mixture of colours but the jersey is lovely quality. Once I was wearing it, I really liked it though!  I’ve cut out a short sleeved teeshirt too, from more left over fabric!



This is one I made a couple of weeks ago out of some more left over ponte roma.



The toiles I made were for the Cynthia Rowley jacket to the right of this photo, Simplicity 1688. img_2634This is the second toile,  which I used to make the final pattern for my jacket. I needed to lengthen the body and increase the bicep width using  these guidelines   making your sleeves fit   I also deepened the armscythe


I’m using some cotton Italian tweed from the fabric godmother for the jacket (and hopefully I can squeeze a straight skirt out of the 2m too!), the navy dogtooth lining came from St Gemma’s vintage fair a couple of years ago, and cost me 50p! I’ve sewn the basic body and lining, not added all the bottom panels yet.


My wadder disappointingly was the Sew over it  Suzie blouse. I couldn’t get the neck to lie properly, I didn’t like the thickness of the facing,  I had to move the bust dart, the sleeves were a bit tight, and to cap it all, I did something I have never ever done before – I sewed one of the sleeves in upside down!  at that point, I decided it was time to give up. I think the pattern is my style, but the thing I’ve learnt this January is that I need to make a toile for anything new. I might return to the Suzie blouse, but not for a long time! so I need to think of something else for my Swap2017 tops.

I’ve sorted 27 patterns for the charity shop – definitely just keeping what I love and will use this year, as per the Kondo way.

But – I have bought fabric and a pattern – blame Camilla and her blog!  I really liked this jacket pattern


that she used, and it doesn’t look too difficult.  I would like to make up my vintage tweed, into the jacket the model on the pattern is wearing


rather than another Cynthia Rowley 1688  which was my original intention.

But feel I need to practice on something else first, so have bought 5 metres of  navy pinstripe stretch suiting cotton from the fabric godmother, to make view D. I’ ve got enough to make a skirt and dress too!  I had to get the pattern from ebay as its discontinued.

I’m hoping to finish the Cynthia  Rowley jacket in February and maybe make a skirt too, anything else would be a bonus!