Scrubs, but no blogging

I knew I hadn’t written up anything on my blog for a while, and this morning I finally checked to see when the last post was. February – 3 posts just before I went skiing in early March.

There is my dress I made and then wore in Sri Lanka.
And did I mention travel? That’s right – Sri Lanka followed in March with a week skiing in Austria.

Since then the world has changed. At the moment, never mind travelling abroad, I would be happy to go to a local cafe with my friends for tea, scone and chat.

I made a list at the beginning of this ( I love lists) of the things I could do in lockdown. Of course there were lots of sewing projects, catching up on blog posts amongst other things. And despite all the “spare time” very little has been ticked off.

My “new normal” consists of zoom chats with mates, walks / cycle rides and indoor exercise classes ( I was prepared – my son who is a doctor gave his “elderly “ parents a stern talking to about not taking risks a week before lockdown even started. Result was we both suspended gym membership and I ordered a spin bike before lockdown started).

But my wish to sew things for myself completely evaporated. After all, where was I going to wear anything, what was the point?

That’s when I spotted the on line effort to make scrubs for the NHS.

And  that is what I have been doing.

I spotted a weekly post from a doctor at my GP surgery and approached her directly to ask if they needed any scrubs. Not long before scrubs for 5 – 2 sets each- we’re requested. I added to this 2 pairs for my son who is working in a Manchester hospital.

The fabric was ordered ( Cotton and poly cotton)and I waited to see what 50 metres looked like! It didn’t look as much as I thought but was really heavy to drag in


Next stage was to pretest shrinkage. The poly cotton was fine, but I got about 5% shrinkage with the cotton which posed the challenge of calculating sensible lengths to cut the fabric in to and pre washing it all.


The pattern I used was a free one from For the Love of Scrubs Facebook page.

I actually mocked up a couple of sizes ( XS and L) to check on myself and my husband before cutting in to the fabric – I had all the measurements of the doctors but of course no opportunity to fit anything. Anyway, this gave me a known size for 2 of the sizes enabling me to “guess” knowledgeably at what to make for who.

I soon gave up on trying to use my cutting table with 6-7 metre fabric lengths and resorted to that old tried and tested method of laying out  and cutting on the floor

After an intense week and a half of sewing ( with breaks for exercise etc of course) I completed 12 tops and 12 trousers and delivered to the local surgery and posted to my son.

Here is one of the local doctors in her made to easier scrubs


and here is my son in his


All are made with a neater V neck rather than a facing ( see You Tube video here)

and with a tie waist ( rather than elasticated) to withstand washing at high temperature.


It was great to feel I was contributing in some small way.

In the meantime my son has actually been off work with Covid 19. I guess it’s not surprising as he is working in a hospital that has been 50% converted to Covid-19 treatment and had 4 cases on his non Covid ward not long before he became ill. His partner also caught it – and the two consultants  on the same ward. The latter were hospitalised, but I guess the benefits of being young and fit hAve worked in son  and girlfriend’s  favour and both are well. My son is back at work.

And my next make ? Fabric masks





Moneta dress number 3


The Moneta dress was one of my earlier makes (here) when I restarted Sewing about 5 years ago. I have worn both dresses numerous times as it’s one of those dresses that is so easy to wear. My versions have sleeves, so fit that in between British weather when it’s not quite warm enough for sleeveless.  It’s made up in jersey with an elastic waist – so comfy. The top is fitted but it has a lovely swishy skirt . And of course, it has pockets!

One of these early makes is definitely beginning to show wear . That’s sad as it is a favourite dress, and don’t you find it even harder to admit a me made item is no longer at its best?

But it does provide the opportunity to make another one.

So given I have loved my blue Moneta, it had to be another blue one.


I was slightly surprised to see that I bought this fabric at the Ally Pally Stitch and Knit Show in 2016 – a definite #offwithherstash.

This also gave me the opportunity to try to rectify some of the issues I have had with previous makes. Both, to varying degrees, stretched out around the neckline when sewing up. And both were slightly wide at the neck too. I dealt with this after the event on the previous dresses by adding darts at the neckline.


For my latest version I tackled things differently. Firstly I cut a size smaller at the neckline above the bust. This bought the width of the neckline  and shoulders in slightly.

I then cut a narrow facing in fusible interfacing for the  neckline and applied this before constructing the dress.

The rest of the dress was completed as previously.



I’m pleased with the result. The neckline has held its shape and there has been no need for darts.


And here I am wearing it – with an unusual guest appearance by my husband ( he’s usually taking the photos)


So have  I disposed of my old blue Moneta? What do you think?

Of course not…..maybe when I don’t wear it in the summer???????



Highlands Wrap dress

img_8946I have just completed theAllie Olsen Highlands Wrap dress .Following my production line sewing of Scout Tees and Akita tops this was a welcome change – and a lot more involved.

Fabric choice was a John Kaldor lightweight linen/ cotton type fabric picked up from Rosenbergs at a Knitting & Stitching Show in  February 2019 for £8 ( for 2 metres- an absolute bargain)


The first thing to note  is that there are a lot of pages to print out with this pdf . ( Husband noted that the printer cartridge had almost run out yesterday – I wonder why?).

Sticking  together was not too bad though as all the lines seemed to match up well ( some pdfs do seem to be better than others for this).

I have made a sleeved midi version. Whilst I love the sleeveless version – and will definitely make it in the future – I wanted sleeves for my holiday due to information that they are more culturally acceptable in Sri Lanka.


Its worth noting that seam allowances are unusually only 3/8 inch .

I adjusted bodice length slightly to shorten , and reduced length of the skirt ( I’m a petite 5’ 2” so standard adjustments for me).

Due to my fabric being lightweight and with a tendency to fray, I followed the suggestion to interface the front facings, and used my overlocker heavily to prevent fraying.

For some reason I had a bit of trouble getting my head around the waist / tie construction with the button packets. After a bit of pinning and looking I worked it out – I tend not to follow instructions very closely and had missed that one of the button packets is placed on the inside, and one on the outside.


My final change to the pattern was that I have not used elastic in the back waist section. The size of the waist seemed to fit me anyway, so no requirement to use elastic to pull it in. I also read in some other reviews that this could lead to a tendency to pull the side seams to the back slightly. Finally I had a dress in the 80s which had a very similar back waistband with skirt and bodice gathered in to it and a looser tie front which I loved so felt I would like a flat back waist and better.


Style Arc Montana Midi dress

This is not my usual choice of pattern. I tend to go for more fitted dress styles. On this occasion however I wanted something loose , comfy and cool to wear in 30+ degrees , with some arm coverage and covering the knees ( more makes for my holiday in Sri Lanka.)

I chose this Style Arc pattern – the Montana midi dress


and already had this summery cool viscose in my fabric stash.


It was bought from the Textile Centre in July 2019  for £7.75 for 2 metres

The construction of this dress is pretty simple – no zips, buttons or inset sleeves. Whilst the pattern gives a lined bodice, I also decided to line the skirt as the fabric being light coloured was a little see through without this. My lining is an extremely lightweight viscose that I bought in bulk specifically for this type of project.


I decided on size  6.  ( 32.3 inch bust) And that’s when my love of slightly more fitted styles kicked back. Yes I know this style is meant to be loose, and the lack of fastenings etc is a big clue for this, but my first try on made me feel like I was being dropped into a sack ( albeit a pretty one). Not wanting to loose the comfort, coolness and ease that I originally wanted, my solution was to seam  in  the bodice from under the arms down to the “ waist” and add ties at the waist. Simple , but effective.


For me it has given the dress that little bit of extra shaping without compromising the comfort and coolness.


Here I am off on my tuk tuk tour of Colombo in the finished dress.

5DD6C07D-C25D-4119-9407-AB66049D9E0DIt fulfilled requirements.


It was cool and comfortable ( temperatures were about 34 degrees that day) whilst still being acceptable for temple visiting .


And added bonus, there was enough fabric left over to make a top ( Scout Tee )


Burda Style December 2019 velvet top

This top caught my eye in the December issue of Burda style magazine.

i loved the added interest of the shaped sleeve edge and thought that made up in a drapey velvet it would make an ideal top for wear with trousers for  Christmas events.


The fabric –  a deep blue stretch velvet- was acquired in Abakhans buy by weight section.


i haven’t made many Burda magazine patterns up. The need to trace off the pattern and add seam allowances usually means I go to other patterns first. It didn’t take too long with a simple top though.

I am still not sure if I have constructed the front neckline correctly as there are no picture instructions – but it does work. It’s finished with a pretty button from my inherited button box.


The sizing, even allowing for the style not being fitted, came up too voluminous for my liking, so I did run the side seams in a bit to reduce width.


I wore this on a number of occasions to various meet ups over the holiday period


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!



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….