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!

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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.

Itch to Stitch Uvita top

This is my second itch to Stitch Uvita top. ( see the first here). I bought the fabric at the same time for both from Abakhans in 2016 but this second piece has sat in my stash up until now.


I decided to make up the top in the same pattern as it worked the first time and is a comfortable basic top to wear, so why not?

So this is made up pretty much without any pattern alterations. I did take the side seams in slightly , but I think this was mostly down to the fact that the fabric is really stretchy.



Not much else to add other than if you haven’t already their FREE pdf, it really is worth doing so.  If you haven’t printed st home before , ITS pdfs are a joy to put together ( take a look at Kennis’ tips on how to assemble her pdfs), and this one is a small. Item to start with. I’m writing this with feeling as I struggle to stick a Papercut Patterns pdf together……

Have you ever used a soldering iron in a a sewing project? Or My Allie Olsen Monarch Jacket


This jacket popped up on my Bloglovin feed when it was launched recently and I loved some of the versions sewn. It seemed to have a good balance between casual and well put together, and I thought it might provide a solution to a lightweight throw on jacket for layering.

With  this in mind I wanted to make the jacket in a fabric that didn’t crease badly (yes, I’m guilty of stuffing jackets in a rucksack when delayering). I already had a couple of pieces of scuba type fabric in my stash. These were bought in Abakhans in 2018 ( definitely another #offwithherstash ) with the intention of making something like a bomber jacket with contrasting sleeves / body.

Whilst  the fabrics look different colours in the above photos, the navy blues actually match perfectly in real life! The flower pattern fabric is quite unusual as it is textured, with the flowers being slightly raised.

Finally, with the thought of warmth I decided to line the jacket. The pattern itself does not include a lining. However I have added linings to garments before ( it isn’t much more complicated than making a second version of the garment ) and I found a YouTube vlog by Lifting Pins and needles very useful in showing the steps

The key thing is to cut the front lining narrower to allow for the turn back facing from the front of the jacket – whilst also allowing a seam allowance at this point to join the two together,


For a bit of extra warmth I chose to use some left over sweatshirt fabric to line the jacket. As I didn’t quite have enough , I “cheated” by joining some of the fabric in the sleeve.( well you cant see it) . Unlike the You Tube vlog I also chose to line all the way down to the cuff.


Of course, one of the benefits of lining is a lovely internal finish.


The finished jacket was all bagged out through a side seam( into which I also inserted a handmade label before closing by hand.)7BAE63E4-1590-4370-A5DD-8BD8C7240745


I did my best to line up the flowers when laying out pattern pieces, or at least to get them looking reasonably placed. This was something I hadn’t thought about when choosing a pattern for the main body as lining up the add on bottom band was not entirely possible

The whole jacket came together pretty easily with the help of my overlocker. Two elements too a bit of time – ensuring he collar was inserted neatly and making sure the bottom band depth was identical on both fronts of the front so they matched when fastened.


And now for my single biggest tip from this project. Inserting the popper closures. Now I ( well actually I get my husband to do this as he is much more adept with hammers and tools) have done this before – but with woven fabrics. The scuba  fabric presented a challenge as it is a totally different thing to pierce. And that’s where husband came up with a brilliant idea. The position for the poppers were marked and then he used a SO!DERING IRON to burn a small hole through he fabric.


It also seals the fabric edges nicely. You do have to do this quickly, but it works. I have had to also insert some firm backing ( denim scraps) at the point where the popper is bashed through to strengthen the area and prevent the popper pulling through the fabric.


And finally here is a rare picture of me in glasses wearing the jacket. This was at the Cotton Club where I sew, andhowever much I love contact lenses for daily wear and sport, close up sight for Sewing is miso much better with my varifocal glasses


The 10 year UFO and 5 take outs from finally finishing it

This was my oldest UFO. Now , I don’t have many of these – in fact there is only one other garment (which is much more recent ) lurking in my sewing room. My weakness is Un-Started Objects ( the fabric stash) not unfinished ones.

This dress has however hung around in a plastic carrier bag for ( estimated) about 10 years.

I only really returned to sewing seriously just under 5 years ago when I retired/ was made redundant. I had sewn when I was young, and dipped in and out as my boys grew up, being much to busy raising a family and having a career to indulge heavily in sewing. But occasionally I had a go.

I can’t remember where this fabric came from! It may well have been in my Mum’s stash which I acquired ( as well as the gene to hoard) as she sadly went blind and could no longer sew. It is a beautiful soft cotton – I am guessing a cotton lawn. I had decided to use a free Prima pattern, and before my days of regular sewing and learning about pattern adjustments for my body, I obviously just cut out the dress  and sewed it up – to a point.


And this is when it became an UFO. The bodice just didn’t fit me well. The V neck was much too low, the neckline/ shoulders too wide,the top of the back around the zip gaped and the sleeves just pulled and didn’t sit comfortably.

So it sat, unfinished, unhemmed…

Every now and again I would take it out of the bag and look at and try to work out how to make it wearable. Most of these thoughts centred around how to fill in the neckline (lace?)but nothing looked right.

So ten years on, and five years of sewing and trying adjustments, and I pulled it out again this summer. This time I finally decided to go for broke. After all it certainly wasn’t doing any good in a plastic bag.

So based upon adjustments I have been making I decided on

1. Darts in the back neck to pull upper shoulders in and prevent gaping around the central zip.

2. Raise shoulder seams/ increase shoulder seam width to raise Vneckline (too late to take length out above bust as fabric cut )

3. Remove sleeves . Recut armhole to sleeveless shape and recut / lower underarm to adjust armhole depth after raising shoulders.

4 Straighten the skirt to reduce the A- line flare.  Not a fit issue, just a preference regarding how fabric fell and dress looked on me.

This did mean some serious unpicking of the lined bodice to access the required seams for adjustments.

Internal lined bodice. Seams neatened with overlocker

The other thing I did not like about the dress was the finish. Now at the time of making it, I really don’t remember I had any problem with this. But isn’t it interesting how your standards and expectations change as your skills advance? So out came the overlocker ( I didn’t have this ten years ago) and as many seams as possible were neatened.

Recut armholes finished with bias binding

So all completed, adjustments made and a dress that fits and is wearable. One empty plastic carrier bag added to the pile of reusable bags.


Darts inserted either side of zip at neckline to prevent gaping. Before the days of pattern matching……


And then I realised……I didn’t take any before pictures. If you have read this I am sure you would have liked to see the ill fitting version. I would have liked to have had a record of it too as I think it’s really useful to see the failures as well as successes. But too late I’m afraid.

So what have I learned from this UFO?

1. Prima bodice patterns are much too wide on my body ( I had another failure with this brand)

2. You don’t always notice your own progress. My knowledge and ability to fit to my body have improved dramatically.

3 My standards for finishing have increased – and my overlocker is a tool I would not now be without.

4. Don’t be afraid to hack / substantially alter something that hasn’t worked. Better to try and maybe get a wearable garment .

5. Take “before” photos!


Summer sundress for Greece


So I am still busy making clothes for my trip to Greece in August with the latest make being a sundress.

I spotted this pattern on a Facebook post, and found I already owned the pattern. I will be honest, it wasn’t a pattern I had at the top of my list to make, but seeing the made up version made me rethink


I already had fabric in my stash – it’s a sort of textured lightweight cotton bought in Goldhawk Road in June with the pattern in mind. £6 a metre.


I chose version D . The bodice is lined, but because the fabric is light coloured and lightweight, I also lined the skirt. Both linings are a very lightweight viscose I bulk bought specifically for the purpose of lining dresses for Greece ( lightweight and breathable)

This was a pretty straightforward make . There isn’t too much fitting required. The bodice lining gives a nice clean finish.

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The only difficult bit was fitting / adjusting the position of the straps at the back. My poor husband got roped in for this as it’s impossible to pin the back shut and view strap placement on yourself. I think this is the part of my sewing hobby he hates the most. He vailiantly puts up with finding pins everywhere , the huge stash of fabric and the “ I must visit Abakhans” when we go to Manchester but helping with fitting/ hems is not his favourite. I suspect this is why he encourages my attendance of the local sewing club- a room full of women who enjoy and understand sewing and will help.

Anyway, his skills are improving, and the straps were successfully placed


So another dress ready to go, and more fabric used from the stash too.




I finally made an Ogden Cami


Am I the last person in the Sewing universe to make up the Ogden Cami ?

Possibly….but there may be others out there…….

So not much I can add to the many posts on this one. It does make you appreciate a really well drafted pattern though. It goes together well and it just lies right on the body somehow.

I made mine up in “scrap “ fabric left over from my  just finished McCalls dress, so it’s made in a nice drapey viscose and is “free”.

I made zero adjustments to the pattern.


This is the first time I tried out my strap turning gadget. This was given to me by a friend after helping her to make some tie trousers and wrap skirt, when we both sat for ages turning straps. The Ogden cami straps are narrow so this method would have been even more of a pain. So first try of the widget – and it works, and it is easy! You have to grab the fabric with the end and fiddle a little bit to get it started , but then it is sooooooo easy

They are available on Amazon at under a fiver ( link to one – not sure if this was the one I have, but I know it came from Amazon)


And then, oops, I must have caught the Ogden bug. Two more Ogdens made within days of finishing the first. again both are made from fabric scraps in my stash.

Two more Ogden camis on the go – batch production!

In this case they had been picked up in The Sewing Weekender fabric swap – so more free tops. In both cases the fabric was enough to cut the main pieces and straps , but not quite enough for the facing. This was solved by using my bulk bought lightweight viscose for facings. ( This has been such a good , useful buy) .


For the multicoloured chiffon top I lengthened the facing by about 2 inches to provide a larger non see through area over the bust.



So I recommend buying the Ogden pattern and a widget, and get scrap busting for summer


Zadie Jumpsuit-a leap onto the bandwagon


I had been considering making a jumpsuit for a while , and even put out a request for advice on the different options to see if I could pick up any tips on Facebook


The problem was, I just couldn’t make up my mind which one to go for…..

The Papercut Patterns Sierra took my eye first, but my concern was that if it was warm enough to go sleeveless, would I be wearing trousers or one of my summer dresses?

Then Paper Theory Zadie started to be featured on line in a big way, and I loved the informal relaxed style. But I usually go for something a little more fitted .

And finally Deer & Doe’s Sirocco came onto the scene. Every picture of makes on this looked super flattering. It’s fundamentally different in styling from Zadie. And of course this is what the advice said – both great jumpsuits, just different.

In the end , I went with my initial thoughts/ impressions and opted for Zadie. I think the final decision was after seeing and reading Fiona’s ( Diary of a Chainstitcher) blog. She looked great in this style, and gave / echoed some really useful advice regarding adjustments and sizing, all of which I felt would be relevant to me as I am also petite and relatively short !

I decided to make a toile in old sheeting to check adjustments and style before cutting in to my chosen fabric. For this I jumped straight in with the adjustments. I went down in size to reduce the volume ( I cut the smallest size, size 6. I would normally cut an 8/10). I also reduced the bodice length ( a common adjustment for me on all patterns) and raised the crotch as suggested.  Finally some length removed from the trouser legs too.

I was happy with the results,

My chosen fabric was a cotton linen in light blue purchased from My Fabrics on a weekend offer ( at the time just under £11 – offer no longer on and light blue no longer available but other colours available here) I had 2 metres of this- slightly less than the stated requirement of 2.25

When  cutting out I didn’t follow the layouts, or the suggestion to cut single layered( not required in my humble opinion unless dealing with pattern placement on intricate fabric). I also placed the back piece on the fold to eliminate the seam here ( couldn’t work out why this was required)


The final adjustment I decided to do was to follow online suggestions of replacing the bias binding around the front with a facing. This seems to be a common suggestion , and I suspect was probably less fiddly than making and applying bias binding ( although I would consider doing this in the future if I was using a contrast fabric or directional stripe)

Drafting  a continuous facing was easy – just remember to subtract the seam allowance at the waist for both the top and pants.

The only problem I had was not enough fabric for the facing. I used a contrast patterned fabric in my stash , left over from a dress I  made last year , which has been perfect.


The instructions to make up the jumpsuit were really clear, and assembly was quick and easy as there isn’t any close fitting required. The design is also really unusual which made me feel I was justified in splashing out on yet another pattern when I already have so many!


It feels like a really comfortable garment. I can see why it is so popular amongst sewists.


If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, I would certainly recommend doing so


Maybe Sirocco next?