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!



Christmas Gifts to make for children

Trying to reduce plastic waste with children’s gifts is so very difficult and depending on the child’s age it can be difficult to make what they most want.  My daughter and nephews all love dressing up clothes and I love making them.  So below are just a few fun makes.

mary poppins

Mary Poppins doll & clothes

With the new Mary Poppins film due out next year this adorable PDF pattern would be a fu make.

t bear

Teddy bear

This super smart bear pattern comes with the clothes patterns.  Would be great fun to make the clothes to match its new owner as well.

Rag dolls for every occasion.  Top left is a lovely Alice doll & clothes.  Top right is a superhero boy & girl.  Bottom is Scout and her sausage dog.

Super softies.  The mouse is adorable, complete with the papier mache boat.   Velvet Elephant, and sweet bear.

Fancy dress clothes are always a winner!  Top left wings, girls cloakJedi, Knight, Sir Gawain and unicorn mask.

And finally some super hot water bottle cosies and Playhouse tent.  The kitbag bag is from Dandy star, but one could make the bag or buy a plain kitbag and add on some fabulous patches and pins.  That would make a great bag for girls or boys and also appeal to Tweens and Teens.

sewing, slow fashion

sewing gifts for men

I wanted to share a few DIY gift ideas for men, I have made a dressing gown for my brother this year [more of than in my next post].  But with @my_plastic_free_journey_uk have tried to come up with some good gifts that don’t require much or any plastic.  First up:
purl soho tie.jpgPurl Soho tie

A fun gift for a tie wearer and can be made out of any fabric, be that comic book, silk or Liberty Print.  Or you could knit a version – there are lots of patterns and the Wool Warehouse has a free pattern.

Shaving items can be very synthetic and bad for the skin or packaged in lots of plastic, so here are a few ideas:

For a pre shave oil:  Pour 100mls olive oil and 100mls jojoba oil into 200ml bottle.  Add 4–5 drops of essential oil to the oil mixture – lavender, rosewood, vanilla and frankincense are great.  Seal and shake bottle to mix ingredients.  Don’t forget to add a lovely label.

Shaving cream tutorial.  or this recipe: Place 100mls coconut oil and 100mls shea butter to a glass bowl and microwave for aprox 30 seconds. Stir and microwave an additional 30 seconds. If mixture is not completely melted, microwave an additional 10 seconds.  Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to mixture and a few drops of essential oil and stir.  Refrigerate until solid and then whisk for until mixture is fluffy.  Decant into a jar and add a lovely label.

Mustache Wax, here is a good tutorial.

Beard Oil: 50ml coconut oil, a few drops of argan oil, few drops of essential oils – rosemary, lemon or mandarin are great.  Pour into a jar or metal tin – Baldwins do a great range and have all the ingredients as well. Do add a lovely label.

Bags are a great choice if you have time, there’s still a few weeks to go!  Merchant & Mills have fabulous patterns and I liked the Costermonger.    The kitbag is a fab tutorial, has a real vintage look to it.  And if he takes lunch into work, what could be better than this lunch bag by Purl Bee?  If you add an insulating batting would be fab all year round.

Do hope this may have helped spark a few ideas, if you don’t have time Etsy has some fabulous products.  If you have a gadget mad man, there is a wooden iphone speaker that is brilliant – not just for men either!

Please note this is not a sponsored post, all items chosen by me.


Christmas gifts to make


This week Greenpeace have dubbed #makesmthng week.  So I thought I’d kick off a simple Christmas guide with some lovely things to make as gifts.  I’ve started my gift making, some quick and simple & others are taking a little more time.  One thing I do is pin ideas throughout the year, so if I am stumped for a gift – I’ll click over and scrole through.  If I can’t find one it often sparkes a new idea.  So first up:

lisa mario.jpg

Image and to buy

Great idea for a simple backstitch embroidery and can also be done on woolen jumpers.


tutorial available here

japanese knot bag

image & pattern

These are lovely gifts, great for young, old & anywhere in the middle.  Would be super special made in vintage kimono silk or Liberty tana lawn.


The Orton bag – free pattern

Lots of bags!  I have made many boxy pouches with applique and embroidery, named, first aid even insulated for lunch boxes.  All using this basic tutorial and making changes to size and adding a lining hiding the raw edges etc.

swan scalf.jpg


If your a fast knitter this is brilliant and and you can’t knit they are also available ready made.

frida quilt top.jpg

modern Freda pattern

This Freda quilt pattern is fabulous and would be great in lots of different colourways, it a PDF pattern with instructions for a speedy bondaweb version and also a traditional needle turned method.  Etsy has some also readymade if you love the look but don’t have the time.  The pattern would be great on a tablecloth for Christmas, or small sections for napkins.  Urban threads has lots of embroidery machine patterns and they all have hand embroidery versions of every pattern.

Hope this sparks some fun ideas for your Christmas makes this year.



sewing in the heat

Over the past couple of months we have been experiencing an amazingly hot summer, something my wardrobe is not used to.  I have very few pieces that are for extremely hot weather and those that I do own are rather more beach/resort wear.  So in between commissions I have been snatching a few hours making up a couple of dresses and on Saturday bought some fabulous pure cotton white broderie anglaise, cotton voile and light weight cotton print to make up Simplicity 2587.

simplicity 2587

making view c, with a few modifications  pics in my next post.

vogue 9253.jpg

Another much worn dress has been Vogue 9253, I love this dress!  East to wear and simple to sew, did take 5.5m of fabric as I chose a narrow width.  I made a neckline alteration as I didn’t want such a low V and worn it lots, the african wax print I used is also brilliant and washes like a dream.


Just finished Butterick 5898 for a client in Liberty Tana Lawn, it looks really lovely and perfect for a hot summers day and also smart.  If you can not face getting your sewing machine out, Justine Tabak has some beautiful pieces, made in London and from beautful fabrics including some super Liberty tana lawns.

Will post the photo’s of the finished dresses soon, but for now must get back to work.


#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!


#sodafloat quilt


I tested a quilt pattern by a friend at London Modern Quilt Guild, Carina it’s a quilting project inside Carina’s new e-book Poplar Bear CountryCarina called it the iceberg quilt and as I chose a range of sugary pastels my daughter christened the quilt #sodafloat.  I made it for a friend who is expecting a baby very soon and there’s nothing like a deadline to consentrate the mind and sewing schedule.


Headed out to the Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead for the Kona Solids and setabout making the quilt.  It is built up in blocks that are really cleverly made and grows quite simply, I managed to make the top up in 2 evenings after work.  Found the quilt batting at MacCulloch & Wallis and also bought a pure cotton 40 weight thread in a lovely icy pastel purple.

thread cotton 40

The backing and binding are from Tikki London, so love the contrast of the backing to the front and the stripe worked really well as a binding.  I did waver when it came to the quilting style and so delighted with the way the circular quilting worked out.  I steamed the backing with a warm iron onto the batting and then steam pressed the top, pinned and it really helped to keep the 3 layers together with no puckering at all.  It has now flown out and been recieved ready for the new arrival!  If you like the pattern do have a look over at Carina’s shop and if you are outside the EU here’s a link to buy the book.

#sodafloatquilt quilted