My first ever knitted hat

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m not an expert at knitting, but I do find it relaxing to do on a train on the way home from a long day at work. I bought a load of wool about a year ago and made scarves with the Sirdar Sylvan, finishing up the third scarf from this wool in August this year. Since August though, I’ve been wondering what to do with the remainder of the wool (two balls of each colour – I overbought because I didn’t really have a clue how much I would need). I started looking for a hat pattern, but couldn’t find any that had the same stitch, or used similar wool to this, so I ended up making it up as I went along.Continue reading

Finished Handmade Fabric Advent Calendar

10 years ago I made my husband and I a fabric advent calendar. The numbers were made out of an old green t-shirt, and the pockets were red I think, all on a white ticking backing. We used it for two years and despite its flaws, we loved it. When I say flaws, let’s just say that the numbers were all slightly different sizes and fonts, and the pockets were too small. I wanted to put in a wrapped chocolate for both of us into every pocket – but I had to choose the chocolates carefully to ensure they were small enough to go into the pockets! 2 years after making that advent calendar, we moved house, and despite unpacking every box, and looking everywhere, it’s not been seen since. Continue reading

Girls Purple Jersey Nightdress Front View

Well, it has been a while since I’ve written anything here, but please don’t worry; work has been busy, and additionally my youngest started school, so fitting in lots of drop-off’s and collections as well as working full time has been somewhat time-consuming to say the least! I have been sewing though, but only in very short bursts, hence the lack of finished items and therefore posts!

Given that I’m changing both weight and size, I have recently felt the need to start sewing less selfishly. The trouble is actually working out what I can or should sew. A while back it dawned on me that all my daughters pyjamas were too small. I then realised I had some perfect lightweight jersey that I could make into pyjamas. Then I realised that she actually prefers nightdresses to pyjamas, and that’s even easier 🙂

I looked through my pattern stash for a nightdress pattern, and realised that I could use the Petitboo Jasmine T-shirt (a free pattern) that I had downloaded about a year ago with the intention of making a t-shirt for her, until I realised that she had no need, nor desire for a t-shirt! The Jasmine Tee is a simple round-necked tee with grown on sleeves and a curved hem. The sleeves actually have a folded cuff, and I started off intending to use this, but then my daughter tried it on as is, and declared that she wanted the sleeves to stay the same length. I also thought that folding the cuffs would add bulk on something that needs to be super-comfy.Continue reading

Front View of the Walkaway Dress

It seems ages ago now, but when I first saw the walkaway dress on the Great British Sewing Bee, I knew I wanted to try and make it. The construction alone seemed so different from any of the dresses I have made (admittedly not that many!) that I wanted to make it to just see how it was made. A year later, and I was given the book to accompany the series (Fashion with Fabric) and in that book was the pattern for the Walkaway Dress. I still wanted to make it, but I knew that I wouldn’t ever want to actually wear it! As that realisation dawned, I set aside the idea of making it, as really, who wants to spend precious sewing time on something that is never going to be worn – add to that the use of precious fabric, and that was it – the dream died.

Continue reading

Portfolio Dress (Simplicity 2245) Front View

Recently I decided to see what Instagram is all about, and signed up (if you want, you can follow me @sewsmartuk). I stumbled across another sewists post regarding a pattern relay for Simplicity 2245.

Simplicity 2245, Lisette Portfolio Dress Pattern

Simplicity 2245, Lisette Portfolio Dress Pattern

Essentially the idea is that if you win, you trace the pattern (no cutting allowed so that it can be passed on to others) and then make up one of the views in a month. You then post your finished garment, and do a giveaway for the next person to make it up in a month. Well, as I think you may be aware, I’m not the fastest sewist in the world, and when I found out I had won, I was rather nervous about making up a garment within a month – especially over the school holidays, with work, children at home, and all of the other calls on time.
I decided that although it’s not my usual style, I just had to make the dress, so once the pattern pieces were traced, I started cutting the fabric that I had bought especially for this pattern (typically, I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash) which meant I just had to buy some of this gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn, from Abakhan.Continue reading

Girls polkadot dress front view

A couple of years ago my mother-in-law gifted me some beautiful cotton polkadot jersey to make a dress for my daughter. This fabric is so beautiful that I was scared to cut into it, hence it became one of my Use 5 2017 fabrics. I’ve got a couple of knit dress patterns in my stash, but both looked to be more wintery dresses, with long sleeves etc. I could have taken the sleeves off and adjusted the armscye, but I decided that probably the easier route was to copy a much worn RTW dress. I also thought the multi-coloured polkadots on white was rather summery and so a summer dress would be much more appropriate.Continue reading

A beautiful summer sky

So another three months have gone past, and it doesn’t feel like I’ve had all that much time to spend at my sewing table. I have been busy recently doing other things; work has been busy, I’m trying to do more work on our house, spend more time with the kids and get more exercise. I’ve never been all that keen on exercise, but I’ve always liked to do a bit, but I’m getting more focused – I am really enjoying challenging myself to run that bit further or faster. As a consequence, I am losing weight, which is also having an impact on my sewing; after all, I don’t want to sew something for me if it’s not going to fit me at the end of the process, and I think we are all aware by now that I’m not one of those sewers who can rattle something off in an afternoon.
So, now the excuses are out of the way, let’s just have a quick update on progress on my Use 5 2017 challenge:Continue reading

See & Sew 5704

OK, so here’s the thing; I love wearing pyjama bottoms – I’ve reached that stage in life where when I’m home and not entertaining I want to be comfortable. There is just about nothing better in the world than coming home after a busy day and changing out of work clothes into pyjama bottoms. You’ll notice though, I’m stressing the bottoms here – I don’t actually find woven pyjama tops all that comfortable, and I’m afraid my favourite pyjama tops are actually long or short sleeved t-shirts that have pilled (I’m pretty certain that’s the official way of saying “gone bobbly”) or are otherwise not suitable for wearing out of the house any longer.Continue reading

One of the reasons behind Use 5 2017 was to reduce some of the stash. It’s gone quite well so far, and I have completed a couple of the projects. That said, I’ve not done too well at reducing the stash. I’ve had a couple of work trips that have taken me close to fabric shops, and much as steel is attracted to a magnet, I am attracted to fabric shops. Additionally I needed to buy some interfacing, so of course I had to add a little extra to the online basket and get free shipping!

So the end result is that we’re only half way through the year and I’ve added the following beauties to my little collection.Continue reading

New Look 6150 in purple jersey

Hi, it’s been a while since I posted here. Sewing has been continuing, but not blogging unfortunately. Anyway, I’m really pleased to say that I’ve completed another project with my Use 5 fabrics. I started off with about 1.5m of beautifully soft drapey t-shirt fabric. I’m afraid I can’t be any more specific than that – I bought it from Abakhan’s from their “T-shirt” fabric basket. I bought the pattern a couple of years ago from Jaycotts, along with a load of other New Look patterns that just happened to be on sale when I was browsing. Unlike everyone else it now appears (just see the number of reviews on pattern review) I wasn’t particularly excited about sewing all the gathers; I bought it because I wanted to have a knit top pattern. When it came to making this top I was slightly concerned that I wouldn’t have enough fabric for view A, but I had more than enough for the simple top, so I decided to chance it, working on the theory that worst case I would end up with shorter sleeves, or possibly a sleeveless top. The one thing I didn’t like about view A was the 3/4 length sleeves. I find I fiddle with 3/4 length sleeves all the time when I wear them, so long sleeves would be ideal, as with a double layer of fabric in the front I didn’t think this would become a summer top.Continue reading