Christmas Gifts, sewing, Uncategorized

sewing updates

A little late into the new year, but here a few Christmas gifts I made – some I didn’t get to photograph as they were sewn and then flew though the post.  The pj’s above do have matching bottoms, a fab pattern Butterick 5537 – the same as my previous dressing gown.  My brother love the dressing gown and even my eldest nephew asked me to make a pair of PJ’s!  The top of the PJ’s is long and perfect of your wanting to make a short night-shirt.  For the next pair I’m going to cut the facing so I can carry the piping detail down the front of the top to the hem and also pipe the pj’s hem turn up.

I also made 3 dog coats, the blue is a cotton lining and has a beautiful waxed linen for wet days.  Top right is a waterproof cotton and lined in Liberty tana lawn, both of these have a layer of cotton quilt batting for warmth.  Bottom right is Pop’s with her waterproof and padded lining, made from off cuts of my padded rain coat made late last summer.  I loved the photo of Tess the Springer in her coat on Christmas morning!

Happy New Year!


sewing, slow fashion

Dutch wax fabric dressing gown


I’ve been working on another shawl collar dressing gown as a Christmas gift.  The fabric is a great Dutch wax pattern I found when I went to Middlesex Street, a treasure trove of fabric shops! The fabric, I thought called out for a little lift and I ordered 3 super bright neonish Kona solid.  The yellow worked brilliantly, wish I had recut the cuffs and will do that next time, possibly adding to the pockets as well.

The fabric has to be pre washed, because of the treatment it has and washed brilliantly.  Not had any shrinkage problems so far and it comes in 5.5m [6 yard] lengths, this dressing gown takes 5 metres.  I’m a huge fan of this type of cloth, great quality and in an abundant array of patterns. The pattern is based on a previous dressing gown I made earlier this year and blogged about here.  That was also made in a Dutch wax print and I use it everyday.

Now to get back to work as I’m busy with commissions that need to be finished before Christmas!

pattern review, sewing

Simplicity 2587

I have been working on some dresses based on Simplicity 2587.  I have increased the fullness in the skirt, raised the plung V neckline and also made the sleeves more bell like.  I love the floatyness of the sleeves and it is super to wear, the cotton embroidery anglaise is lovely in the heat and lined with cotton voile.

I added some piping detail to the neckline and midriff panel, really love how well the piping works.  Its a fabulous dress to go from day to evening, with heals or flip flops.


For lunch with friends or just running errands.


I love the fit and have made a couple for customers – who saw mine and wanted a version for themselves!


#springsunshine baby quilt

In the last 6 weeks I have made 2 baby quilts, the #sodafloat and #springsunshine – now both gifted.  #springsunshine was made with the same collection of pastel Kona cottons and also a very pale grey that toned beautiful with the sugary hues.

It’s made up of half square triangles, 5 1/4 inch squares bace.  I have found starch is by far the best solution to stop any bias movement, it’s the first time I have used with method and loved it.  Used 100% cotton quilt batting from Macculloch & Wallis and also quilted with 40 weight cotton thread.  I found the backing at Fabrics Galore, although  sadly no photograph.  The binding was made up of all the left over fabrics, joined in a chain and trimmed to 2.5inches wide.  I loved the super scrappy look and it worked really well, again no pics as yet because the little boy arrived and I had to bind, washed and tumbled dry the quilt – gifted the same day!

pattern review, sewing

Butterick 5537 | a review


Pattern: Butterick 5537

Fabrics: Dutch Wax print from Middlesex Textiles.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] thread.

Pattern description: Loose fitting, shawl collar dressing gown.

Pattern Sizing: Small, Medium & Large.  I made the medium.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?:  Yes

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: Well written pattern, with clear instructions.  Simple and straight forward.

Did I make  any pattern alterations or design changes?  No.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?  Yes, I will definitely make it again.  Thinking of a winter weight version, may be lined with terry towelling.

Conclusion:  Great pattern and it is quick to make.  I like the sleeve turn up detail.  It’s the first time i have sewn with Dutch wax fabric and I love it, pre-washing is essential to remove the stiff finish.  Used the whole 5.5m length with only a little fabric left over – the pattern say 6m.  The fabric is sold in 6 yard lengths [5.5m] and is a brilliant economic fabric in a huge array of prints.

Butterick 5537

This is not a sponsored post, all opinion are my own.  I purchased the pattern and fabric.

book review

Tilly and the Buttons: Stretch!

At the Knitting and Stitching show we met Tilly and T loved her new book Stretch!, so we bought a copy that Tilly so kindly signed it.  T chose the Stella hoodie and while we were browsing around the show found some fabulous super cuddly teddy bear fabric at Higgs & Higgs.  It’s not a jersey as such, although does have a stretch to it.

The pattern pieces for each project are on separate sheets and easy to trace off, I traced the largest size as T’s favorite hoodie that must be around 7 years old is super oversize and great instead of a dressing gown.  One extra feature she asked for was teddy bear ears!

The construction was very straight forward and a super quick make, I used my overlocker for most of the construction and only top-stitched the hood front for the cord and hem.  The hem has a pointed detail to match the original hoodie and is about 6 inches longer than the patter.  So loved making this and T is delighted, only shy about being pictured wearing it.  I have plans to make the Joni dress next, when I can find the right fabric and I know Tilly is having a pop-up shop tomorrow – so will try to go along if I can.

Love the new book and am sure it will help cure me of my fear of stretch fabrics, have had a couple of disasters over the years and I’m sure it was just down to the fabric I used.  So if you’d like to start sewing with stretch, its a perfect book and great also just for all the patterns!



This month has been super busy work wise and I haven managed to do any sewing for myself, just a little knitting in the evenings.  With the first huge project this year I have used 2 downloadable PDF patterns from Black Snail Patterns, I don’t usually make up PDF’s as a rule, but these shapes were perfect starting point shape wise.  They worked out in the end, although I did give up on the instructions completely with one pattern – sometimes things just get lost in translation.  I also choose 2 other pattern companies I have never used before, Folkwear and Sense & Sensibility I bought via a brilliant pattern company called Habithat.  These patterns were brilliant and thoroughly recommend them, below are 2 sneak peeks of a s&s blouse and a hack of a Folkwear during construction.

I’ve had to do a lot of research for this project and dived into Downton Abbey on DVD as well as books and searching for original clothes from WW1.  The costumes on Downtown were wonderful and it has been a joy to watch again.  I visited the Imperial War Museum for the first time and spent a day looking at the collections and in the research library, the V&A collection was also a huge inspiration and a place I love to spend time.

images: top Downton Abbey,

bottom row from the left V&A collection, Downton Abbey & vintage photograph.

I hope to be able to show photographs of the collection I made, the actors start rehearsing next week and I can’t wait to see them in action.



Make Nine challenge for 2018


I read about the #2018MakeNine via Rochelle over at Lucky Lucille.  If you want to see what others have picked use the hashtag #2018makenine over on on instagram.  Below are my 9 pattern choices.

Project 1, Vogue 9103 summer dress.  This dress has some nice fitting details, is easy to make and there for once fitting it done quick to make.  I am thinking view C or F as they are a good midi length.

Project 2, McCalls 6600.  A simple shirt-waister style that will be great for spring or autumn, thinking a light weight corduroy or dutch wax fabric.

Project 3, the ultimate pencil skirt.  I love this super easy and fast skirt, perfect all year round depending on the fabric.  My thoughts are heading spring/summer in a jersey, so would be a great everyday basic.

Project 4, the box shirt. A super simple shape and perfect to wear with the pencil skirt or jeans, excellent every day basic for spring, summer & autumn.

Project 5, the holiday shirt & top.  Another Maker’s Atelier pattern, again super easy to wear and would cover spring, summer & autumn.

Project 6, simplicity 8014.  A shirt dress that made me think of Kirstie Allsopp and Samantha Sung, although a little more streamlined around the waist.  Again this has good options for wearing all year round, depending on the fabric I use.

Project 7, the Nell shirt.  I have been wanting to make this shirt and even have the fabric ready!  A dear friend gave me around 5 metres of a very beautiful white window pane cotton shirting.  This would be lovely for spring, although a perfect all year staple.

Project 8, simplicity 1059.  Thinking about what I need in my wardrobe, I need a couple of more formal dresses and thought this would be lovely in a silk.

Project 9, simplicity 8013.  Again this is another evening dress, have seen a few versions made and adored Marcy Harriell version.

I don’t have a fabric stash to raid, so will be buying fabrics as I go along.  Have a rough order to work though, the maker’s atelier patterns and a shirt dress I’d like to have done by June for my holiday.  One more dressy dress for May.  I’ll be posting my progress here and over in instagram with the #2018makenine and I’m @cloth_scissors_thread