The best of ’14! #sewingtop5

This has been a good sewing year for me, I’m glad to say that I’ve learned a lot about this amazing craft. I’ve also set up and continued to write this blog and had the pleasure meeting some really nice people along the way, bring on #NYLon 2015!

As it’s that time of year I thought i’d do a little round up of my fave makes so far but then I also came accross Gillian’s Top 5 of 2014 so thought I may as well jump on board! Only thing is that I think adding in my worst makes will suck the fun out of me writing this, you know how it is when a sewing project goes wrong! So I’m gonna keep it positive for your sake as well as mine!

Here we go with my top 5 hits…

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Highlights of 2015…

(1) I love going to the theatre but hardly ever go so earlier this year I made an effort to actually go. Admittedly my theatre-going has tailed off during the second half of the year but I still got to see some great productions most notably Les Mis (AWESOME), but also The Commitments, Kingston 14, Wicked and Spamalot.

(2) Hubby and I visited Bath twice this year, once for our 4th wedding anniversary and once as a half term getaway. Its a beaufiful city and we really enjoyed both visits. We went to the roman baths, cinema, did some shopping (including fabric shopping of course) ate great food and I even got a tour around a farm!

(3) My hubby graduated with a Masters in Education. I was so proud as I watched him walk accross the stage in his cap and gown ♥♥♥

(4) Live football, as in 2 trips to West Ham football ground once to see a friendly between Argentina and Croatia and once to see West Ham Vs Swansea. Usually with football on the TV I can take it or leave it but I do really enjoy a live match, the atmosphere is brilliant.

(5) I’m finally making dresses from a pattern – I’m in love with By Hand London patterns and, as you can see from above and in other posts, I have made quite a few skirts and dresses from their range. And the Kim dress was ordered yesterday and should be on its way to me as I type!

Reflections – what have I learned this year?

(1) Well staying on dresses, I fitted my first dress. Hello Elisalex. This was actually the 2nd one that I made but the first one that fitted properly, almost…

(2) New recipes – I’ve made an effort to try out new recipes and have added spicy shrimp, veggie stew, roasted broccoli with parmesan, and stuffed trout to my cooking knowledge. I once read somewhere that most people know how to cook about 10 different dishes and pretty much have those things on rotation most of the time. I think that’s pretty much true for me so i’ve been trying to break out of that rut!

(3) I learned (am learning) the art of embroidery.

(4) I learned that it’s very important to make time to rest – although it can be quite difficult!

(5) Not so much learned but I remembered how good it can be when you make the effort to be social. NYLon 2014 and the social activities and friendships that have come of of that have definitely been a highlight of 2014.


Goals for 2015

(1) Buy a house

(2) Start a Counselling Psychology course part-time

(3) Try out new sewing techniques – i.e. shirt and trouser making – the Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt and BHL Holly Jumpsuit are calling my name…

(4) Become more active

(5) Still thinking about the last one…

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2015!



Top 5 of 2014


Sugar, spice and all things nice – Ideas and inspiration for my Autumn/Winter wardrobe

Sugar, spice and all things nice – Ideas and inspiration for my Autumn/Winter wardrobe

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that I want to make for this Autumn and Winter. I’m pretty impressed with Jodie’s sewing plans and attention to detail, I only wish I was as organised! I’ve tried to … Continue reading

My first vintage sewing pattern – Maudella 5987

My first vintage sewing pattern – Maudella 5987

Can’t wait to get sewing with my first vintage sewing pattern…

Fabric shopping + Walthamstow market = Joy!

I LOVE shopping for fabric! I think it’s one of the best things about sewing my own clothes, being able to choose the material and the pattern to make my dress/skirt/whatever just the way I like it. There’s so much to choose from aswell! Natural fibres are my favourite and I was tempted by some nice linen today but ended up going with cool cotton flowery, leafy, not-really-sure-what-it-is print from ‘the man outside Sainsburys’. The plan was to make a wearable muslin of New Look 6180 although I like this fabric so much I think it’s too nice to be classed as my muslin. Might have to make a muslin of the muslin!

The Textile Centre also had some lovely fabrics. I usually pop by their stall in Watney market when I’m in the area and they always have something I like. This striking red, blue and white striped pattern immediately caught my eye and at £2.75 a meter I took 2! I have a skirt in mind for this and might even get round to sewing it up this week, if I have the time. I also picked up this ivory lacy fabric. Who knows what I’ll make with it, but I think I think it’s a nice addition to my stash. So where do you go shopping for fabrics? Are there any great other East London fabric shops/markets I should know about?




The GBSB: sew your own wardrobe book


I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book and I must say I’m impressed. I have the first sewing bee book which I think is really good but I think this one has got an improved format and more projects that I would actually make. The book is split into three main sections (fabric, fit and finish) and within each section there are projects which highlight each of these aspects of sewing. What’s even better is that after each project there is a mini masterclass showcasing various techniques such as inserting a zip or sewing buttonholes. There is also an upcycling project and a patternless project for the free-handers out there (Chinelo is a genius!).

I already have my eye on a few projects from this book, one of my favourites is the bowling shirt. I like the casual shape and the flat collar and especially the way they have used contrasting fabrics in the picture. I think when I make this I’ll also use a different colour fabric for the collar and cuff. Although it has darts in the front and the back is quite a loose fit so it will be perfect for casual summer days.

The draped top looks absolutely gorgeous. I love the gathers at the neckline and the low back. It’s a fantastic shape and as it’s one of the makes for beginner sewers it looks super easy to sew. There are only three pattern pieces and it’s a one size fits all garment. I have the pattern printed, ready to
go, I just need some fabric!

Last but not least is the yoke skirt. I have been looking for another skirt pattern for while and I saw something similar to this a while ago while surfing the net. I think the shape is gorgeous and because the main skirt pieces are cut on the bias the fabric drapes beautifully.

So I think those are my top three patterns from the book, I’m sure once I get started I’ll make many of the others. So have you got the new GBSB book, what’s your favourite pattern?


Inspiration for summer

Inspiration for summer

Sunday was a glorious day and it got me thinking about my summer wardrobe. I think I need to get sewing some summery stuff, I have quite a few patterns to choose from but I don’t really know where to … Continue reading