Digital print skirt

Another short post from me, I made this skirt in a hurry before going out to a friends birthday dinner on Saturday. Initially I went to Walthamstow to buy a zip and some bias binding but then decided to make a skirt last minute!



The fabric was a blue and black, cotton and silk digital print at a bargain £6 for a metre and a half. As it’s just an elasticated waist skirt it was super quick and easy to make. I thought I had actually cut it a little short but it looked okay in the end. Here’s the finished article…




McCalls 3341 #3…

One of my favourite skirt patterns so far, this time I added in seam pockets following this tutorial from A Common Thread.

The fabric was gifted to me from my lovely friend Pamela and I have about 5 metres of it left! I’m thinking of an Elisalex dress in this fabric but I have to get ’round to making the muslin first. Anyway, here are some pics of the work in progress…


When finished…


And in the garden just for fun…


Great British Swing Bee 2: Simple T-Shirt

I hadn’t got round to making any of the patterns in this book despite buying it a while ago so I thought I’d give this t-shirt a go (I did attempt to make the shift dress but I’m too traumatised by that experience to talk about it!). This t-shirt pattern has only 2 pieces so was set to be really easy, no set in sleeves or fiddly zips, buttons etc.


The fabric I used was a really light, drapey viscose from my favourite stall in Walthamstow market. I cut a straight size 8 as it’s a loose fitting top and got stitching the shoulder and side seams together. I was so happy that it was coming together super quickly, until I tried it on. The neckline was SO wide. No wide in a fashionably wide slouchy top way, but wide in an it’s actually falling off my shoulders and cannot stay on kinda way. Not impressed. Some quick research (a.k.a. Google) and I find I’m not the only one having a problem with this pattern.

I love this fabric and didn’t want to resign this project to the trash so I decided to change it up a bit to make it fit. I added a pleat to the front (Colette Sorbetto style) and an inverted pleat to the back. I also added a pleat to each sleeve as I though they were all a bit too wide. I think you can just about see the pleats in these pics, the busy print is a bit like a camouflage…

20140522-113059-41459918.jpgEven with the pleats it’s still a wide neckline, but it fit now and I like it. I forgot to mention that this top has a dipped ham at the back which I also quite like. I think I could wear this casually with jeans or, as I did yesterday, tucked into an a-line skirt for work, it is me-made-May after all!

To be honest even though I do like this top I probably won’t make this pattern again because I feel like the pattern pieces just aren’t right. It has given me a bit of inspiration though, I could easily hack a dipped hem into another pattern for a similar effect. So here’s my finished top, not exactly as the book intended but I like it anyway!

Front view…


And from the back…


Have you made anything from the sewing bee book?


Sewing to run (or jog, or walk)…

I’m trying to get fit so I decided to sign myself up for 2 Race for Life’s this summer (the 5k ones) and I need to be able to get my butt around those routes! The first one is on May 31 and the second is on July 6, so there’s not much time to take myself from zero exercise to 5k warrior. However, I’m not silly enough to think that I’m going to be able to run either race all the way in the small time frame that I have. What I want to do is just be better than I am now so I started by going for a few jog/walks but now I’ve buggered up my ankle! Dr said no weight-bearing exercise for 2 weeks. Boo.


I’ve been cheered up no end though by coming across not one, but two (!) sew along/contests/challenges (whatever you want to call them) hosted by Melissa of Fehr Trade (Spring Race Challenge) and Karen of Did you make that? (Sporty Summer Sewathon). In short, to enter either one you just need to sew something sporty and let them know about it by July 6th to be able to win some prizes – sounds good to me!

So since I’m not meant to be doing the weight-bearing thing I might as well sew something up for when I can, I’m pretty sure sitting at the table won’t put any pressure on my ankle so I’m good to go! I have a couple of things in mind…

(1) Sinbad and Sailor Dove tee (another)!

(2) Sinbad and Sailor Raven shorts

(3) Seamster pattern Yellow Tail camisole

(4) By Hand London Polly top

None of these are marketed as exercise-wear but I think they could work for walking/jogging a 5k, and at my pace I could probably wear anything!

So, will you be taking part in either of these sporty challenges? If so, let me know what you’ll be making!


Spring Race Challenge

#NYLon14 Sewing Meetup

What a fab day, as I began to write this post I was in bed with a cuppa and aching feet – not complaining though! It was brilliant to meet lots of other sewers and put a human face to many blog names.

The V&A museum is an amazing building and I was a little sad not to have arrived a bit earlier to have a peek around though, especially at the wedding dresses exhibition, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never stepped foot in there before (typical Londoner). I WILL go back though, my brief walk through to get to the main entrance point has drawn me in and I can’t wait to go back.


After an hour or so of mingling and getting our big group picture taken I quite looked forward to our trip to Goldhawk road for fabric shopping. I’ve heard a lot about this place so was quite looking forward to going but a few shops in and I must admit I wasn’t blown away. It’s good but no better (or worse) than Walthamstow I think. But that’s just my opinion! I did end up with 2 new fabrics to add to my stash though – some pink thick cotton jersey for my next coco (thanks to Lindsey for the colour advice) and some vintage-looking polycotton for my Elisalex toile (and thanks to Lisa for helping me choose). The jersey is in the wash as we speak (or more correctly, as I blog)!


A few drinks and some food in the pub ’round the corner finished the day off nicely and now I’m relaxing at home thinking about all of the great people I met yesterday and really looking forward to next years meet up. Big thanks to Rachel for organising, it’s a great idea and I’m sure was enjoyed by each and everyone that came.

Oh yeah, here are my me-mades that I wore – Sinbad and Sailor dove tee and matching Brigitte scarf…


And here’s a few pics of just some of the fabric on offer at Goldhawk road…




Sewing Indie Month with Coco

I just entered my Coco into the Sewing Indie Month ‘Everyday Casual’ contest – the prizes look fab so fingers crossed!






Brigitte scarf

Brigitte scarf

I love my new scarf! I made it following the instructions from the Tilly and the Buttons blog and am really pleased with the result. This was super quick and easy to make so I might make another one soon … Continue reading

Latecomer to the coco party!

Well it took me some time but I finally got ’round to buying the Tilly Buttons coco pattern! I opted for the .pdf download as it was half the price of the hard copy + delivery and was pleased at the ease of the download. No messin’, just click on the link as ‘Save as’. Joy.

There were 31 pages to piece together which I can’t say was the most fun experience ever but hey, I was on my way to making a coco. I have seen SO many cocos via twitter and I’m in love with the funnel neck version. I was thinking funnel neck, 3/4 sleeves and a little (mini-haribo sized) pocket on the right hand side? The possibilities really were endless…


The fabric was already purchased thanks to the legend that is 'the man outside Sainsbury's' in Walthamstow market. If you have never been there before, go now. Literally, stop whatever you are doing, down tools and go. The stall is epic. He has all types of fabrics – jerseys, linens, dress fabrics, denims, velvets, silks, the list goes on, and what makes it even better is that it's all reasonably priced. So there's my big-up to 'the man outside Sainsbury's'! FYI I went with some plain black pointe roma fabric which has a tiny bit of stretch to it and I picked up these lovely buttons from one of the shops further up the market.


The coco really was a quick make, a couple of hours and it was all done. Faithfully following the brilliant instructions on the blog I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was to get to the finish line. I cut a size 1 at the bust and graded to a 3 at the waist because I wanted a snug fit and that’s certainly what I have. I love it! I think the 3 buttons I added really stand out on the black fabric – I added them because I thought that the plain fabric would be, well just too plain, if you know what I mean. And I added a little dinky pocket too – it was the ‘small’ pocket pattern piece and it really is tiny! Now I’ll have to find some miniature things to put in it!


I’m already thinking about my next coco. I have lots of the black fabric left as I bought 2 metres so I’ll definitely use that for my next coco but I do want to go up a size at the bust next time. I might also add cuffs to the next version and add a bigger pocket, apart from that that who knows! There really is so much that can be done with this pattern. One thing I do know is that this is definitely another wardrobe staple for me. Here’s to many more!


Free patterns!

I’ve come across a few free pattern downloads recently that look really good so though I would share them with you all. I love a free pattern because a) they’re free! (of course) and b) they give you the chance to sample the work of a pattern company before you go head-first into buying one of their patterns (which can be costly, but worth it especially if it’s from an indie company). So here’s what I’ve found…

The Deer and Doe Plantain top

The pattern is for light-weight jersey fabric and seems nicely shaped at the waist. it even has cute patches on the elbows, I’m looking forward to making this one.


Teach Me Fashion two-tone singlet

Teach me fashion looks like a fairly new company so they only have 1 pattern out at the moment, this lovely looking sleeveless top that can be made with contrasting coloured top and bottom bodice pieces and bottom panel with gentle pleats at the back.


Swoon Patterns scarf-neck cardi

A casual looking throw-over, I think would be perfect for the weather right about now, those cooler days before the long, hot summer (fingers crossed!)


By Hand London Polly top

I really like all of the pattern designs that the By Hand London ladies have published so far, and I think the look of this top is testament to how lovely all of their designs are. I love the contrast (if you want it to be) panel and already have some fabric in mind!


Have you come across any good free pattern downloads? Please share!

Charlene x