It’s a NedniL Sweatshirt


What’s that?  ( I hear you ask)  A new release indie pattern ?

No, it’s my first Grainline Linden sweatshirt- and it’s reversible.

It started with the fabric. As part of my #designyourwardrobe summer sewing I needed some pops of colour and versatile tops to go with a mix and match wardrobe ( largely blue). So a bright pink sweatshirt was on my list

I have a RTW sweatshirt made from a lightweight terry that I find very useful in the summer. It’s a simple boxy shape, short enough to throw on with skirts as well as trousers, and the lightweight terry is great when you need something to keep the evening ( or U.K. summer days (in previous summers) chill off.

I spotted the ideal fabric at Girl Charlee and ordered a couple of metres. It’s got a lovely drape and really nice quality. Perhaps a tad lighter weight than my RTW top but still great for the project


I already had the Linden sweatshirt pattern. Having seen some great versions in other blogs it was on my list of patterns I wanted to make up.

And then the dilemma. Which was the right side?

My first google search said the looped side ( bright pink) was the “wrong “ side. And then I found the magic words…..

“ tri-blend french terry knit. Super soft with a smooth top surface, very low bottom loop pile so you can use either side, fluid drape, and nice stretch.”

So I decided to make it with the bright pink as my right side, but attempt to finish the inside in a way that made the sweatshirt reversible.

I cut a size 2 omitting the bottom band but lengthening the body slightly to get the same finished length as my RTW top

All seams were overlocked in a contrasting white and then stitched flat using a stretch stitch on my sewing machine. I did this from the overlocked side using white thread in the upper needle but bright pink thread in the bobbin to create a neater less visible effect on the bright pink side.



The neck band and sleeve cuffs were both used with smooth light pink as “right” side


One modification I did have to make was to lengthen the band for the neckline. I took one look at it before attaching it and thought “ too small”. I googled for any info on this and quickly found a blogger who had Encountered exactly the same problem.  She had used a calculation of 0.75 of actual length, which I have replicated. I think it could have been slightly tighter and have made a note of this for future makes.

I am happy to say the final result is that it worked and I have a reversible Linden!


There are a couple of things I would do differently next time

Play a little more with calculation for neck band

Consider taking in side seams slightly ,especially if thicker fabric, as it is quite roomy


I can see why this pattern is so popular. It’s a good staple garment and is easy and quick to make. It also lends itself well to modifications and mixing and matching fabrics. I have seen some lovely versions on line using a front contrasting fabric – maybe next time!


A Second Seamwork Addison Top


7B73A8B7-DEDB-4499-8C30-D13AF2AAB07BYou know you like a pattern when you make another one almost immediately after finishing the first. It’s just taken me a little longer to blog this one.

This is another Addison top from Seamwork. My first one was in cotton, this one is in a draper fabric that I picked up about 3 years ago in Walthamstow market. Not only is it a lovely colour, but what really drew me to it was the die cut pattern on the border. I had no idea what I was going to make with it at the time , but at £1 for a metre it seemed worth adding to the stash.

I cut this out at the same time as one of my SOI cami tops . I wanted to use left over scraps for the latter  and with placement needed for the die cut I didn’t want to risk not having enough fabric for the main project given I only had a metre.

Here is the fabric used as a contrast highlight on the cami top originally planned and then again the final scraps on another one for a friend.


For the Addison blouse I used the die cut along the bottom hemline.8FA85DBF-007D-41B5-B22B-AD35C61032DF

You may spot that the back facing  of the Addison is made from a scrap of the cami fabric! Nothing like a bit of mix and match to make fabric go further.

I love the die cut far with all the hot weather we’ve been having here in the U.K. I’ve only worn this with a skirt, but I’m sure it will look equally good with jeans or trousers.




Yet another SOI Silk cami?



Only one small change- this time it’s selfless sewing as I made this for a friend.

My friend admired my camis when we were on holiday recently together, tried one on and loved it.


So here is the surprise for her – her own version



There is not much to add to my previous post. I have used exactly the same alterations to the pattern ( removing some length from above the bust and at waist). I have also omitted the facing as before in order to allow the cut out element of the contrast fabric to show.

Unfortunately I was down to the absolute tiniest scraps of the cut out fabric, so no back yoke on this version.

The main fabric is the same as my original blue SOI cami. When I bought the blue it was from Adam Ross, but they have now launched a new on line fabric store poundfabrics where I bought the orangey / brown version ( blue sold out) for only £1 a metre. It’s great for this top as it has a good drape – and I know it also washes well and doesn’t need ironing so will be good for my friend when she goes on her holiday to Greece.

And if it doesn’t fit, I have another cami,

Seamwork Addison and B6184 hack together


After making the Seamwork Addison twice I knew that I loved the neat collar and the cut of the armhole. I also like the shaping of the dress made from Butterick 6184

So the thought was, why not try to combine the best of both worlds, using the armholes from the Addison to create a sleeveless dress, modifying the Addison collar into 2 parts to allow for the back zip required for the shaping of the Butterick dress


Fabric used is a cotton bought from Leon’s in Manchester in 2016  #sewmystash

FB9532C9-7B40-4C52-88A7-04655C87AB8EI simply overlaid one pattern piece over the other, matching the top of the shoulder lines , to get the desired effect for cutting out.

As with my previous version of the dress I have lowered the bust darts and flared the bottom of the dress to an  A line to omit the back vent.


On the Addison I introduced a back seam to match the dress and allow for the zip insertion, making sure that I did the same on the back facing. The collar was not cut on the fold – instead a seam allowance was addded on the fold line ( centre back) to allow for the back zip.


The final result is pictured being worn in Cordoba in the evening. With temperatures at 36 degrees at 10 pm a cool cotton dress was a good make.



Sew Over It Silk Camis


I’m off to Spain soon, and with forecasted temperatures hitting 30 degrees I decided my wardrobe needed the addition of some cool camis.

I toyed with the Ogden cami as it seems to be so popular, but couldn’t quite justify the price, and ideally wanted something with slightly wider straps. At this point Abi bought in a couple of camis she had just made to the sewing club. They were made with Simply Sewing magazine’s free pattern for May – the SOI Silk cami. Advantage was that I could try one on, which quickly convinced me that my post sewing pop into Sainsbury’s for some bread rolls was going to include the magazine in my basket

So before moving on I have to add that there was a bonus. Not just this pattern but 2 others which also appealed to me. A lovely little backpack ( on the to make list) and a dress. Plus a magazine to read. Result


I started with what I considered to be a toile using a piece of free chiffon fabric.( Sewing Weekender goody bag last year, Adam Ross). Probably a mistake as the chiffon stretched all over the place, so not a great practise run. I had to raise the shoulders ( although to be fair I repeated this adjustment on the more stable fabric to follow) and lopped a huge amount off the back hemline as the curve just seemed to pull down. I also took the width of the body in.- a personal preference as I don’t like tops to swamp me.

The facing was omitted as the fabric is so fine. I just overlocker the neck and sleeve and turned a small hem

End result  – wearable and OK


So on to Version 2 using fabric I had spent money on! This was purchased at the Stitching & Knitting Show as part of the colour scheme for my #designyourwardrobe.

0c608ba0-17cc-479c-9301-0c187b249cd6.jpegI meanly only bought half a metre as I intended to make a small strappy  top. Squeezing the top out of this was( to say the least) a challenge!  I did shorten the body length( plus adjustments to width and shoulder straps as above) , and with some jiggling around, I managed it. ( and I even did a facing this time with the addition of a bit of contrast fabric due to running out of main fabric).I can honestly say I have achieved zero waste .

Really pleased with the end result.


And here I am in Spain actually wearing it in Seville

( Skirt is also made by me – Maria Denmark Yasmin skirt)

So pleased it was onto version 3 and another limited fabric challenge.

This time I had a small bit of fabric which again came from The Sewing Weekender goody bag ( free again!) which was navy blue with mustard coloured elephants and giraffes.


This time, try as I might I just couldn’t squeeze the pattern onto the fabric ( not helped by need to match horizontal stripes!)

I loved the fabric though, so I was determined not to be defeated. I knew somewhere in my stash I had a piece of mustard fabric with die cut border that I picked up at Walthamstow market about 2 years ago for the huge sum of £1 for a metre. And it matched.

Again I only had a metre , and intended to make a top from this, utilising the die cuts on the hem. I decided to cut out a mustard top and use the left over bits to supplement the elephant cami. More on the mustard top in a separate post, but for the cami I used the mustard to extend/ complete the front straps and created a mustard back yoke. In both cases the die cut edge has been utilised.48F8837B-F82F-4A96-B677-94FE6A6B76407240EE10-D650-4902-8595-B1A60CD35179 The facing was omitted on this version again in order not to hide the cut out design. I simply overlooked the edges and rolled them over to hem , adjusting for the seam allowance.

So this one maybe didn’t quite fit into my original #designyourwardrobe plans, but it is blue, has a splash of colour / accent- and I love the little animals

So three new cami tops to wear on holiday , and lots of fabric used up ( with a bit of creativity )



Shirt Refashion Entry


Here I am modelling two XL men’s shirts. Why ?, you may ask ( a question I asked myself on more than one occasion during the following couple of days).

I belong to a local WI and for the first time our craft group decided to enter the local South of England show WI Craft & cookery competition. We entered a number of classes, one of which was a challenge to refashion 2 men’s shirts into something / anything without using any additional fabric other than interfacing and minor accessories. Unfortunately the lady who was going to do this challenge had to withdraw at the last minute , so as we had paid an entry fee I rashly volunteered to step in and produce something.

I was on holiday at the time in Manchester ( yes, I did visit Abakhans and Leon & Barry’s) so went searching in charity shops for 2 shirts I thought might work together. When did charity shops get so expensive? I swear it would have been cheaper to buy fabric in Abakhans. However, rules are rules and these were found in the RSPCA shop at a more reasonable price of £4 each.


I decided to make a dress for myself using colour blocking on a Burda pattern ( not sure this was a good idea having never traced off and made a Burda style magazine pattern before but I started on the Wednesday afternoon with a deadline of 9.30 pm on the Friday.

Due to the large number of pattern pieces, and the two different fabrics, I first drew out the plan of what I planned to cut. Tracing off the pattern wasn’t too bad and then it was down to creative placement / use of the existing elements of the shirt. Luckily I am petite so just about squeezed a dress out of the shirts.

So here are the shirt design / construction elements reused( as opposed to fabric only)

Front with buttons from both shirts to make front of shirt dress




Sleeve plackets with buttons from all shirts as design element on back of dress


Contrast triangle insets from pink shirt to make design feature on split hem


Shirt tails from both shirts to create curved hemline


And , yes , it even fits!

I completed the dress at 9.25 pm ready for collection and submission at 9.30 pm fitting in as much time sewing as I could spare over the 2 days I had to complete the challenge when I got back from holiday.

It has confirmed one thing – I would never enter for the Great British Sewing Bee! I hated the time pressure and the need to get it right because this is going to be judged. I actually didn’t even go near my sewing machine for about 3 days after.

And the results were…..

I waited for the judging before publishing this . Afraid I didn’t get placed! The standard was high, and a lot of entries. The winner was actually a miniature dress mannequin doll – pretty off the wall for a shirt refashioning. Second prize was a lovely little toddler’s romper dress which I am told is reversible. 3rd place went to a tote bag. I’m told ( although I haven’t seen the judges comments on my item yet) that it was well received but no credit / points are given for utilising elements from the shirt.


So  that was a new experience! At least I will know what to expect if I enter next year…..

Seamwork Addison summer cotton top

I have subscribed to Seamwork magazine since it first started. For those of you who haven’t come across it, it is a digital magazine that gives you pattern credits every month to redeem against the patterns they publish as part of the magazine or Collette Patterns. As a result I have loads of credits and loads of their patterns – but bizarrely I had never made one of them.

Earlier this year I also signed up for their #DesignYourWardrobe 2 week course which was free to subscribers. Whilst I didn’t complete it in the allotted two weeks it really was a great base for planning my summer wardrobe. Maybe inspired by this, one of the makes that made it onto my list was the Seamwork Addison top .


I liked the look of the clean , simple lines with the added interest of the sharp collar.

My fabric choice was another Stitch Fabrics purchase from The Knitting & Stitching show.  A lightweight white cotton with a sort of embossed white pattern on it -another versatile top colour!

This pattern came together really easily. The instructions were clear and introduced me to a new method of facing the neck and sleeves in one step. It involved rolling up the garment, flipping facing and then pulling the garment back through- the instructions were really good and it has created a very neat armhole finish.

The only change I made to the pattern was that when I had almost finished it I decided that the top was far too voluminous for me – it sort of swings out from the sides under the bust. This is partly personal preference and down to the fact that being quite petite I felt that it was swamping me. So an easy adjustment- I just redrew the side seam lines from under the bust dart and restitched- as you can see from the


Love the final top . The armhole line is really good, and the crisp collar is great.