Two more quick makes finished


The effort to catch up on blogging my makes continues following the completion of 5 out of 6 garments that I had been sewing in parallel.

So first…another Grainline Linden. After my first linden make ( a pink reversible lightweight summer Linden) , I wanted to make another slightly heavier weight version for the colder weather.

The fabric came from a visit to Abakhans in Manchester in August and cost me only £5.04. ( sold by weight)


There’s not much to add to the making of my pink Linden other than adjustments to the neck band.

My previous make looked as though the band was going to be much too small, so after googling tips on neckbands I cut and applied a band that measured 75% of the neckline. Whilst it looked fine when tacked in place I have always felt it is still too loose and stNds away from the neck too much ( but not enough to unpick and redo it). So this time I calculated the length required at different % – and even the exact spacing for the length at the seam lines of the body. See my notes below!


I settled for a band length of  44 cm or  c 73% %  of the neck length and I am happy to say that it has worked.

The end result is the sort of jumper I wear lots when around the house so I am sure it’s going to get a lot of wear.



The second make was not for me, but for my mother. It was her 90th birthday last weekend and the usual dilemma of what to get her arose. She is in a wheelchair or bed all the time and can do nothing for herself. She is also blind. She has been wearing RTW soft pyjama bottoms with straight legs and elasticated waist for comfort, but many of these are lightweight. So with winter approaching I decided to make her a pair of simple pull on trousers in a heavier fabric. I bought the fabric at Fabricland. It’s ideal – very soft , medium weight and was easy to sew on the overlocker.


I used a very ancient pyjama pattern, checking the leg width against a friend’s pattern as it looked so wide ( and did need narrowing)  the sizing is a bit of a guess. Again my friend who is closer to my mums size helped by trying them on. The waist elastic length is an informed guess ( with amount left for adjustment if required) and the length similarly may need to be altered.


They  are complete with name tab and room number ( required for laundry)


Unfortunately my mum will never see them , being blind. But I hope as someone who used to sew she can still appreciate the effort that has gone into the make.


And here is a picture of the family at the party in the nursing home. Quite a gathering – I think the last time we were altogether was 4 years ago for my Dad’s 90th! ( minus girlfriends then)

I am wearing the last item left to blog – my Sew Different dress. More on that later when it’s washed and ready to photograph




Finally finished some projects


Blogging  has been slow / non existent recently as I seem to have made little progress with sewing. I’m not complaining , I’ve been busy doing other things including a cycling holiday to Essex ( a surprisingly lovely place to cycle) and an exercise retreat to Corfu.

Corfu exercise retreat location

So the second event did trigger some panic sewing. It struck me that most of my exercise gear is for the U.K. climate – long or three quarter leggings . I had about 2 days to go when this realisation hit me. Rummaging through my fabric stash I dug out some scuba which I had acquired at a fabric swap and which I couldn’t quite see myself wearing as a dress


Yes, it’s a bit bright

Now I know it’s not wicking , proper exercise fabric etc etc , but needs must.  I didn’t have time to draw up the pattern in my Melissa Fehr Sew Sew your own Active Wear book so quickly hacked the True Bias Hudson Pants  pattern, changing the waist to a fold over elasticated waistband as described  by Melissa Fehr and making them a mid thigh shorts length.All sewing done on my speedy overlocker

Result, two pairs of exercise shorts worn lots on my long weekend away.



In  case you are wondering there was a washing machine!

Jersey Named Kielo with sleeves


I’ve made up the Named kielo dress twice before, both times in chiffon. My favourite has always been my first make where I added a cotton underlay. It feels lovely swishing along in it , but it has always felt like a holiday / very summery wear rather than something I would wear around generally in the U.K.

A number of makes on blogs inspired me to try a jersey version. Firstly jersey for me is a much more day to day fabric to wear and of course is super comfy. Adding sleeves ( using the free add on pattern from Named) would also in my opinion extend wear occasions.

There were some great striped Kielos on line….


….so I knew the pattern coped well with stripes which lead me to my fabric choice – a striped jersey fromThe Village Haberdashery  ( bought it in January so I doubt it’s still in stock. Quality is lovely though so if their other fabrics are as good I would recommend them for online shopping) . It is  medium to lightweight ( so plenty of drape for wrapping).


Adding the sleeves does require modifying the bodice. For some reason I found piecing together the lines from this from the print out a little mind bending ( not quite the usual A4 pdf print out format)  but once I got it together the process was easy.

Initally I thought I would shorten the sleeves as they looked very long – but I’m glad I left them the pattern length ( you can shorten after, but difficult to add back on) as when I tried the dress on there is something about the length which balances with the overall design.9a00a722-c080-4d25-8cab-8bf148207f7e.jpeg

Stripe matching was relatively successful over the main body, but not from body into sleeve. Is this even possible?



The dress is super comfy and has delivered just what I wanted

Here I am with Kathy ( Sew Dainty) at The Sewing Weekender wearing the dress for the pub meal on Saturday evening


The Sewing Weekender


What a great weekend! Well done Charlotte, Rachel and Kate for putting on another enjoyable event with such interesting speakers and great sponsors.

The highlight of my weekend was chatting to so many people who enjoy sewing – comparing experiences, looking at what they were making and of course admiring the many different clothes that were being worn ( spot the pattern is a great game to play) . For anyone who is nervous about coming to this sort of meet up – don’t be! Everyone is so friendly, and the shared interest is a great ice breaker.

The talks were really interesting and inspiring. I loved Frances of  The Maker’s Atelier approach to design and her unapologetic approach to delivering her design aesthetic through all elements of her business , without compromise. Karen’s of  Did You Make That talk on how to publish a book ( on sewing of course) was so knowledgable and interesting even though I don’t have any plans to do this! Shoena  from Sewisfaction spoke about her experience of setting up her own business, and pulled no punches about the hard work involved( having visited Sewisfaction at the end of 2017 I can say that she has done a great shop. Her shop is well worth a visit if you are in the Wokingham area). And lastly but not least it was lovely to have a different slant on me made clothes with Harriet from  The Clothing Care Co  talking about how to look after the clothes we have put so much time and effort into creating.

I caught up with Melissa( Fehr of Fehrtrade) again and saw her incredible “ made from coffee sacks” jacket in real life. I also finally bought her book-  Sew Your Own Activewear. I keep saying I should sew some active wear as I do some form of exercise nearly everyday so I’m likely to get my use out of a garment. The book is beautifully put together so it might inspire me to get started.


Imbetween  all the chatting and talks I did actually get some sewing done!  You may be surprised to see this comment, as ( you may think) this is what the weekend is about…..  Well last year I didn’t start sewing until half way through the first day, and didn’t even complete a very simple Scout Tee. This time progress was slightly better, partly because I “cheated” and did quite a lot of prep at home. At least I looked as though I had a garment at the end of the weekend rather than a pile of fabric shapes!


More  on my Sew Different Essential Denim dress in a separate blog when it’s finished!

I am still envious of seeing other people COMPLETING AND WEARING something they made. Somehow I don’t think that’s a goal I will ever achieve on a sewing retreat.


It was great to meet up with people I had met before

Great to see Kathy (Sew Dainty) again

And meet loads of new people too

Thanks to all the sponsors who gave us tea, coffee, biscuits, machines to use and of course the much anticipated Goody Bag ( Christmas coming early!)

If you are reading this and met me, please keep in touch! I didn’t get everyone’s Instagram/ blog / email addresses ( too busy chatting?) but hope to find you again somewhere out there in that digital world – or even better, meet you again in person.

2018 Make Nine update



I’ve seen a number of updates/ reviews on this one so thought I would take a look at what I have done so far this year against my original #2018makenine plans

Here’s the picture summary


So this year I included not only patterns but fabric to encourage me to use the stash and make plans a little more real.

A number of changes have been made to plans, both as a result of doing the #designyourwardrobe project earlier this year , and simply changing my mind!

Firstly  – the patterns that have been completed. The big green ticks.

The Named Talviki was completed with no change to fabric, and was a huge  success. The Patty Do  Carol dress is completed as planned but is a disappointment. The Linden sweatshirt has been done in an alternative summerweight fabric after the wardrobe planning, and is also great

I have made a sleeveless dress from the planned turquoise fabric, but used a pattern hack instead of the intended Itch to Stitch Marbella dress pattern. I am sure this pattern will reappear on my 2019 list as it is one I like the look of.


I also swapped the planned SOI Ultimate trousers for Style Arc City Shorts as I needed a pattern with a fly zip for my sewing club project I ended up making  a pair of cotton trousers and twill shorts.


Going  forwards I think there is still a chance that the Style Arc Top will be made – it will work well for autumn/ winter. However, realistically I will not make an Orla dress as summer is gone. The ITS Hvar jacket may get made, but the intended fabric is too summery now to make it on to the autumn sewing list.

And it’s unlikely that the cocoon coat will be made as this was intended as a spring wear.

So here is my revised 2018 make nine plan ( if that’s allowed! ) Autumn makes have been slotted in to replace the items I know I won’t make. Both the Essential Denim dress and the cord Maria Denmark Yasmin skirt are cut out ( ready for The Sewing Weekender) so I might even complete them!


I have also made lots of other garments, including summer tops , which weren’t in my original plans, so although I haven’t made the planned nine patterns , I feel pretty good about 2018 so far.

Wedding do dress



This project has been ticking away slowly in the background. I received an invite to the evening do of one of my friends’ daughter. I was really excited as not only have I known her since she was a baby , but I haven’t been to a wedding since I can’t remember when!( AND I even got to go shopping for mother of the bride accessories )

Excellent excuse to make a new dress and use a piece of fabric that I have been hoarding for “ something special”.

I bought the fabric about 3 years ago when I returned to sewing on my first visit to Goldhawk Road. It has the honour of being one f the first pieces in my now very extensive stash

I fell in love with the colour and the all over embroidery with scalloped edge


I spent a lot of time wondering what pattern would best suit both me and showcase the scalloped edge. I am not keen on dresses that are too shapeless- they tend to drown me. The solution came when I made the previously blogged scalloped edge blouse. The pattern has simple lines, but is fitted, and with the addition of a sleeve would showcase the scallop at sleeves and hem

The main change I made to the pattern was not to use the provided sleeve pattern for the blouse after having problems with it in the scalloped shirt. Instead I used the Grainline Scout Tee sleeve as I knew this fitted comfortably. I made a toile ( old duvet) first to check fit and adjustments before cutting my precious fabric.

I also lowered the bust darts based on my blouse.

The dress is lined

Here I am with my mates enjoying the party! We’ve all known each other since our first children were born ( about 27 years ago)


And I can’t mention a wedding without a picture of the bride. The dress was bought but we won’t hold that against her! She looked beautiful



Planning sewing for The Sewing Weekender

2268255B-E427-413D-B3D7-6028D84C3401I can’t wait for my weekend away in Cambridge indulging in sewing, sewing chat and admiring everyone’s makes.

But of course it means I have to decide what to make! Last time I tackled a Grainline Scout Tee – or more accurately I started one as I spent so much time chatting that I didn’t get anywhere near finishing it.

I don’t expect this year will be any different, but I need to take a project with me .

So I am planning to make a dress from the Sew Different range. I absolutely love the cocoon coat that I made after buying some of their patterns at The Knitting & Stitching Show. I blogged about that some time ago , and proudly sent pictures and a blog link to Laura ( the Sew Different owner/ designer) who I had chatted to at the show. Laura very kindly offered me a free pattern of my choice!

I went on to her web site and read through the section on which patterns suit which body shapes( I had just been on a body shape and style class which defined me as a petite rectangle) . I really liked the look of her Essential Denim dress with the opportunity to create contrasting panels . It’s not a new pattern but I haven’t seen many made up on line and I really liked her styling of it with tights and boots.



My first thought is to try to use scraps and existing fabric from my stash. Of course, whilst I think I have loads of blue fabric in the stash, when I pulled it all out most was unsuitable, destined for other projects or I must admit in some cases I just don’t like cutting into favourite fabric for a pattern I have not tried before ( anyone else have this problem?)

I have found a couple of fabrics which are possibilities.

These  may be supplemented by a third fabric as I am happily in Manchester next week which means I will HAVE to visit Abakhans


I will of course write up my experiences with the pattern and the weekend away.

Has anyone else made up this pattern. Any tips? Will need to cut it out before I go so please let me know ASAP!