A wrap skirt ( to wear with all those tops….)

The stack of cool sleeves tops are planned to be worn with shorts , culottes and skirts for sightseeing.

Most of my skirts are just above the knee( as are my shorts) so given I am also advised that below the knee clothing is a must for visiting temples, I decided I could squeeze in a quick wrap skirt.

The fabric is a lightweight ( feels like chambray) denim with a sparkly design on it bought in Goldhawk Road for this purpose.


I already had a suitable pattern in my collection – it was free with Love Sewing magazine


This was a quick and easy make. I checked the measurements on the pattern envelope and went for a medium – the right decision.


Construction  is very easy, and given there are only a couple of darts for shaping, and no zips / buttons this came together really quickly


And here are some photos of Ariel dressed more  modestly – the tops I have recently made worn with my new wrap skirt


Woven tops


I decided to keep it simple and concentrate on the two patterns I had already made – the Seamwork Akita and the Grainline Scout Tee.

The result is -lots of tops!

So the final make tally

Scout Tee : 4

Akita top : 4

Its a draw! ( though I do have 2 Scouts I can add from my wardrobe)

and here they are

Scout Tees

Blue and white flower viscose


white cheese cloth


Multi coloured paisley viscose


Blue cheesecloth


Akita tops

white bordraise anglais


White cheesecloth


Teal in something drapey from the stash


Blue – poly?



So  I’m pretty pleased with my output vs plans and ready to pack

2020 Make Nine

I love planning and the New Year brings the opportunity once again for selecting nine items to make ( even if once again plans alter during the year),

So once again where possible I have selected not only the pattern, but also the fabric from my stash, if I have it.


My list this year( from top left)

1. Allie Olsen Highlands wrap dress in a viscose fabric

2. An undisclosed pattern with fabric bought in Goldhawk Road. This was bought on a shopping trip with 2  friends. We have all bought the same and the challenge is to each make a dress and then we will share / disclose what we have made on the same day. Looking forward to see how each of uses the fabric!

3. More stash fabric. Trousers ( Asian wrap style – copy RTW ) or wrap skirt

4. Style Arc Montana Midi dress

5. Thread count Wrap skirt ( Love Sewing magazine) in lightweight denim

6. Papercut  patterns Stacker jacketin cord. My most challenging choice

7. Helen’s Closet York pinafore dress. I’ve been eyeing up makes and bought the pattern in 2019

8.  Misuse Patterns  Stereo jumper  Pattern bought after seeing Sewing a la Carte’s Make here

9. Itch to Stitch Mountain view jeans. It’s about time I tried to make and fit some trousers/ jeans.

I think I can confidently predict that I won’t make all of these , and will make lots of other items not on the list!



Woven tops – what to make?

I have been looking  for inspiration for quick and easy lightweight woven tops.

Why  woven ? I want to make them in a lightweight cotton or viscose to be cool in a hot humid climate.

Why quick and easy? I need a few by early 2020 as I’m off to Sri Lanka for a holiday

This also means I want to follow the suggestion of a more modest style to be sympathetic to the local culture, so ideally with short or capped sleeves. This definitely rules out the numerous Ogden tees I made this year, and whilst the SOI camis which I also wear sightseeing in Europe may be suitable on occasion, they are not ideal.

The first pattern that sprung to mind was the Grainline Scout Tee.

I have already made a few of these , and it certainly fits the required criteria. I also found an option to ring the changes by adding petal sleeves.

Then I also found a number of blog posts praising the Seamwork Akita top. I subscribe to Seamwork but this was not a pattern I had previously decided to download. It did however look very straightforward – it is one pattern piece only!

My plans are to make tops primarily in a blue and white palette to go with the shorts, culottes and skirts I am packing . Hopefully easy mix and match wardrobe for travelling, and sightseeing which will include towns, temples, walking and safaris.


All the fabrics above are ready and waiting in my house.

I have made a start and have completed 2 tops – one from each pattern. The Scout Tee has once again turned out well. The only modification I make to this is to shorten it slightly as I am only 5’ 2”.


I decided to make the Akita out of the white broderaise anglais ( which is an off cut passed down to me by my mum. I have the suspicion the fabric is probably 50 years old!) . It did not have enough length for the single piece Akita pattern piece, but I saw that another blogger after making her first Akita modified her second by creating a shoulder seam. I am pleased with the finished Akita top. It gives some arm coverage, and with the front bust darts there is a bit of shaping.


Other  modifications I needed to make to the pattern were

1. I shortened it slightly ( as for the Scout Tee)

2. I adjusted the position of the bust darts. The points were too low for me . This is not a standard adjustment I make ( if anything I would often need to lower the bust apex point in indie patterns)

You should also note if you consider making this top that whilst the one piece pattern makes it a really quick easy sew, it’s not particularly economical on fabric layout as you need length but not width of fabric .a result  Alos importantly – this means that any directional pattern is upside down on the back , so think carefully before cutting. This can of course be overcome by the simple addition of a shoulder seam as I have done.

So the fact that I already own both of these patterns at no cost has tipped me towards making up these, but if anyone has any suggestions for other patterns that fit the criteria – even slightly more complicated so they have a bit of added interest value, – please comment with your suggestions below



MakeNine 2019. How did I do?

Well I certainly got a couple of things right in my 2018 review!

As forecasted I didn’t make all 9 of the initially planned projects, and I DID change my plans. But once again I liked having something to aim for.

So my original 2019 Make Nine were


Some items were revised – my son decided he didn’t want the shirt, I made a different jacket and I decided on ( and made) the dresses for the wedding in Greece.


I made the Gatsby dress and wore it for the engagement party, and made my new sweatshirt.



I didn’t make the pinafore ( confession – I bought one), and have not got around to making the TAB cord dress either. No more underwear either I’m afraid!

But I did make loads of other items – in particular for the holiday in Greece.

My most used pattern of 2019 was definitely the Ogden cami. I made them for myself and as gifts ( birthday and Christmas) .


I think (unless I have missed some) I made 25  garments in 2019 ( plus other non wearables) and I may even have reduced the fabric stash slightly!

I have also noticed I like using  the idea of picture planning for projects ( fabric and pattern) so whilst I may not have completed my official Make Nine 2019 I have used a similar format when planning other makes.

So time to start planning Nine makes for 2020….


Christmas Sewing


Its not often I sew decorative objects – dressmaking is more my thing – but this Christmas has seen 2 new Christmas decorations sewn in my weekly Cotton Clubs Sewing classes.

The first project was to use free motion machine embroidery . The proposed project was to create a hoop hanging decoration – and this is what the rest of the class did. I however decided to create a coffee table runner for my lounge.

Work in progress

The design was changed from round to square, and I planned three panels for the runner which would be individually created before being mounted on the runner itself. My room features blue and maroon so these colours were picked up.


Designs were researched on the web and drafted on pattern tracing paper before being cut into sections and applied to a backing fabric with


Then the fun bit – the machine embroidery, whilst this had to hold the pieces in place, we were also encouraged not to make it too regular /  appliqué like, and to use it to sketch in elements.


I think the details on my reindeer and  snowman have probably been the most successful at achieving this


And just for interest , here is some of the beautiful work of others in my class.


The second project was much quicker – many people made multiple  versions. This was a cute little reindeer. The bottom of its legs are weighted with rice so it stands up


And just to complete my Christmas decorating creativity ,here is the Wreath I made for my door at my local WI’s wreath making session!


And a somewhat scarey Christmas tree snowman for the local tree competition ( again with my WI).


And just heard Frosty the snowman got 2nd prize!

Final Ogden Camis of 2019

There has been a reason these haven’t been posted earlier – they are Christmas presents.  But as we had our family Christmas yesterday ( 22nd December) I can now write and publish.

After the success of the Cami sewing for my son’s partner earlier this year, I asked what she wanted for Christmas, and guess what? More camis

This time as I was visiting Manchester – and Abakhans – I took her with her to choose her own fabric. She chose 3 very different  fabrics- a drapey sequin fabric, a grey knit and blue polyester.


And here are the results.


Once again she loved them, and changed into the sequin cami immediately, she looked beautiful in it!

Enter a caption

Boy,a  have I got my money’s worth from this pattern this year! I think i could almost  make it with my eyes shut now.