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.


pattern review, sewing

The Utility Coat: a review


This weekend I went to North Wales to the Good Life Experience, a wonderful festival that is so much more than music – although that was brilliant.  As advised packed for all eventualities and my new rain coat came along.  It is the Utility Coat by the Maker’s Atelier and lined with a warm quilted fabric.

Pattern: The Utility Coat by TheMaker’s Atelier.

Fabrics: Water proof cotton fabric from The Cloth house wearhouse & quilted lining.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] thread.

Pattern description: A relaxed, unlined coat with hood or round-necked collar.

Pattern Sizing: I made the size 12.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?: Yes, although a little fuller because of the lining.

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: I love the simple clean lines for the pattern.

Did I make  any pattern alterations or design changes?: Yes, I fully lined the coat, so didn’t bind any of the seams.  I also used eyelets on the hood, as well as the waist,  simple patch pockets, poppers instead of buttons and made a parker shape at the back.  There is a very simple ‘how to‘ on The Maker’s Ateliers website, I used a parker of my daughter’s as a basic shape.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?: Yes, a very well written pattern and if making the basic unlined version it is a quickish make.

Conclusion: delighted with my new winter raincoat and had some really lovely comments about it when I took it away for the weekend.


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


#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

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.