sewing · Sewing plans

Summer sewing and purchases

Do you remember the recent blog post with my plans for the rest of 2017? Have I stuck to it? Of course not! I blame #sewupnorth. I got this  New Look pattern in the fabric and pattern swap, and despite planning a week in Wales this year and not a Caribbean cruise, I made the dress. I love the  fabric, but it’s so bright I’m only going to wear it on holiday or on a really hot day.


I’m so pleased with my zip insertion. I’ve never managed a successful concealed zip before. The lovely Amanda  included her technique in a vlog post which I used, and it’s brilliant – look at it!


So so the next thing I made, again more suited to a cruise, was this Polly  Margot  mashup jumpsuit.



I printed out the Polly playsuit PDF,  the top and bottom are two separate pieces. The trouser shape was very different to the Margot pyjamas, which I knew fitted successfully, so I decided to use the Margot pyjamas for the bottom half.  I made a toile of the top, and ended up lengthening it by 2 inches.

I put a handpicked zip in the back, as found it was a bit difficult to get on and off with the opening  suggested.

Part of me thinks  I should have kept them as separate pieces, but I’ll see how much I wear this. I posed the question on Instagram, the consensus was wear it, and maybe split into two pieces when no one is wearing jumpsuits anymore.

I also made some bags this month, using fabric and pleather from the fabric godmother.  The fabric was black coated with silver lurex. It looked great, but the silver is coming off.  The pleather was lovely quality, but too stretchy and soft, when hemming or trying to make straps the fabric twisted. Out of three bags only one was really successful, which is the gold one.   I used stiff interfacing behind the lininng, and used the back of the silver coated lurex as handles.  The black and silver ones have gone in the charity bag, but I’ve used the gold one quite a bit this summer. The tutorial I used is here



I made a navy toaster sweater, but the fleecy backed sweatshirting didn’t have enough stretch so feels constrictive and is a bit heavy really. So I made another one in the navy and white ponte I bought on the #sewupnorth day. I combined the two versions of the pattern, and like this a lot!




I also made another Santa Monica tee shirt,  but am not sure about it either. The colours aren’t good for me,  I look drained and tired here, and its a really bad hair day! I’ve worn it again since, and looked exactly the same, drained and tired, so off to the charity shop this goes!


I got sucked in by Instagram into buying this lemons fabric from pigeon wishes on Etsy, it will  probably be made into a spring or summer dress next year. I also bought 8 metres of lining fabric, navy with tiny polka dots but I don’t mind that, and it doesn’t count in my fabric collection.



So ive used  10 metres of fabric this month, and bought 2.5 (excluding the lining!) which is pretty good for me, I might finally be getting into using my stash!



Sewing plans · Wardrobe

Autumn plans and updating my wardrobe


I wore an RTW dress and a pair of high heeled black court shoes today, and felt  a bit frumpy! How can I update my wardrobe this autumn  using what I’ve already got in my fabric and pattern collection?

Look at some clothes on the Finery website, the ones I like look quite simple to make.  I like this top, I haven’t got any pink fabric but I’m sure I could modify the toaster sweater pattern to get a similar look, by combining the two pattern variations.


I bought an old prima pattern from a charity shop for 10p which I could use for this blue dress. I’ve got some purple wool jersey that should look good in this pattern.


A mashup of a couple of patterns I have could lead to this dress


The Bella dress pattern could be used as a basis for this dress, don’t think I could manage that lovely curved zip though!

I’ve got some blue and teal ponte Roma that could used for these two dresses.

I could probably hack this McCalls  shirt dress pattern, to get a similar look to this Cos dress.


So my plans might be changing again! But that’s part of the fun of sewing, you can keep changing your mind until you cut into the fabric!

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 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!

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…….


Purchases · Sewing plans

March purchases and plans for April

I only bought three patterns, and the Vogue one is for the Eve appeal so that doesn’t count right?


I also bought love sewing magazine, which has lots of inspiration for fabric for your cocktail dress. It did include a free pattern, but I don’t think I’ll be using it.

I’ve fallen off the wagon big time with fabric though!  In my defence, it’s my birthday month, and I’ve given up sugar and alcohol for lent, so I needed to indulge in something!

I loved the colours in this digital scuba from Croftmill. I’m hoping to make the cocktail dress from this, maybe it’s a bit wacky, but I’ll give it a go!

I couldn’t resist this from Fabrics Galore , called Delaunay, supposedly inspired by the artist I guess!

I saw Sonia Delaunay’s Exhibition  in 2015 and loved it.  I was going to make a tie neck blouse, but I’ve got five, and am feeling that’s enough now! So I’m probably going to make a   Cynthia Rowley 1366, like this one. It’s the only drop shoulder pattern I’ve tried, that I feel suits me.  I also want a pattern with no detailing to show off the fabric.

So what else did I buy?

Two lots of ponte for the quality and colours, the blue is really similar to one I’ve already got.

And there’s more!  I regret this last purchase, the fabric was cheap, but the mint floral and geometric viscose jerseys are very thin. I love the pink floral scuba, but the pattern is huge, I think it might end up wearing me, rather than the other way round!

So I’m really going to try to not add anymore until Black Friday, or the northern knitting and stitching show in November.  I’ve added 16.8 metres to my fabric collection in March.

I did buy some sewing accessories which I really needed…..


And I got some Ernest Wright dressmaking scissors for my birthday.


So I should be set up for lots of sewing and no buying for the next few months! (Except I’ve signed up for Sew up North at the end of June).

My plans for April are the Delaunay Cynthia Rowley,  a ponte Cardigan and a navy and white shirt dress. I’ve cut all these out already.

Sewing plans

#sewtogetherforsummer shirtdresses

This challenge caught my eye on Instagram. Easy to do, sew a shirtdress by 21st June, no requirements for specific patterns or colours.  Shirtdresses are one of my favourite styles of dress, and I only have one, which I love.

Favourite Dresses

Obviously I have a choice of patterns!


And fabrics!  Bought when I was into woven fabrics rather than knits as I am now. So if I could make eight shirt dresses, that would reduce my fabric collection. Seriously, I’m thinking of a polka dot navy one, which I could wear to work,  and then using the poppies fabric for a weekend shirt dress. I’d like to use the top right hand pattern, which is similar to my map dress. If I got those two done,  I’d like to try the McCalls pattern in denim or the navy and white floral.


Purchases · Sewing plans

Purchases and plans

I know I need to post my February makes, but haven’t taken any photos yet!

I have been spectacularly good on the fabric buying front so far. In 2017, my only fabric purchase has been this.



5 metres of a poly cotton suiting from the fabric godmother  my plans are a dress, jacket and skirt.

But time wise, this won’t happen until the autumn. Any fabric I buy tends to sit in my stash for a while. I wish I could make an item a day!  Anyway given it’s my birthday in march, I think there will be some more fabric buying, maybe ponte from Leeds market.

I also bought this book, for its simple and elegant designs. I might start with the tie neck blouse, I know it’s similar to my four lottie blouses, but I’d like something with long sleeves. I have got the sewover it pussy bow blouse pattern, but I think this is more casual, and less vintagey looking. I’ll be good again, and make a toile.



My planned march makes are two skirts from leftover fabric from my jackets, and a tie neck blouse.

I bought some wool, I love wearing the lime long cowl I knitted, more than anything else I’ve made, so I bought some hot pink malabrigo yarn to make another one.




Sewing plans

Sewing plans for 2017


So what are my ideas and plans? How will I use all those patterns and fabric I’ve bought?  I’m not going to  do #makenine2017, as I  don’t want to set myself up to fail.

My main aims are:

To finish SWAP2017, and will put on regular updates here.

I seem to  have some special occasion fabric which is all dark blue, that I want to sew, mostly towards the end of the year. These include a sew over it poppy jumpsuit  in some navy satin backed crepe from Calico  Laine. An Elisalex dress in a black/navy  satin fabric from Guthrie and Ghani. Is this a good idea? Who knows, I am hoping to end up with an elegant cocktail dress, but will I ever wear it? And a  scout grainline in navy sequinned fabric from Guthrie and Ghani.



But the first thing I need to tackle is a 50th party with very specific dress requirements in purple, black or silver and it has to be long! I have ordered some crushed damson velour from the fabric godmother and am going to make simplicity 8045 a simplicity mimi g style pattern.



I hope it works! I’m not sure what to do if it doesn’t! I’ve got some other purple jersey, but not enough to make something long.

So that’s all the party wear plans, for my non existent glamorous life style. I hope the play suit and sequin top will get some wear at least.

I’d like to focus on shirt dresses this year, I have 3 patterns which are contenders for casual summer dresses to use up my bright patterned cottons.


1. the Maria Denmark Edith pattern                                                                                                 2. vogue 8970, which looks really frumpy in the long length, but the one with collar and short sleeves looks like my map dress, so I think is good style for me.
3. McCalls m6885, and I’ve got some navy and white flowered and some denim that would look good in this.

I would like to make at least two of the named pilvi coat dress, as I think this a really good style for me. I’ve got navy and coral ponte that would be good for this, and a good style for work too.


I bought the Pauline Alice Aldaia pattern, for its versatility and would like at least three of these.Apparently there are 27 variations!

So thats enough to be going on with, I’m sure I’ll change my mind a few times.