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.

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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

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

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

Navy Ponte Lindy Petal Skirt

I have been intrigued (and scared) of sewing knits for a good couple of years, never quite knowing where and how to start, but about 18 months ago I came across the Lindy Petal Skirt from Itch to Stitch. It’s a free pattern, and looked to be a pretty good place to start – only 3 main pattern pieces plus a simple elastic waistband, and to top it off, in a style that I thought would work well in my office wardrobe. Once I had found the pattern though, I had to find the material…loads of things I’d read mentioned that Ponte di Roma is a good knit fabric to start with, but I had no idea what it was like, so didn’t really want to order it online, and none of my local fabric shops stocked anything in a knit, so I had no clue what sort of fabric it would be. That then, led to a big delay in actually doing anything about it, until my husband and I went away for a couple of days and found, just around the corner from the hotel, a branch of Abakhan’s! Wow! I was overwhelmed, and very pleased to find some navy Ponte di Roma for a reasonable price. Googling the fabric requirements, I popped in to Abakhan’s the next day, and bought the required 1.5m to make my very own Lindy Petal Skirt.Continue reading

Microwaveable Rice Pack

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not a fan of the cold weather. In fact I have rather bad circulation to the extent that I frequently wear socks in bed, even in summer. I therefore would find the wheat packs that you can buy rather useful. But much as this makes me sound like a skinflint, I begrudge paying ten of my hard earned pounds or more on what is a simple pocket of material filled with wheat – so I live with cold toes! That is, until last week, when I decided that after my machine had been fixed I needed to undertake some very simple straight sewing to try it out.

I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to make my very own warming pack. I have loads of scraps of material from various projects, and loads of left over bits of thread, so this cost me the price of 1kg economy rice – in other words, about 50p! I consider that a win 🙂Continue reading

Finished Chinese Costume, initial version!

You may notice I haven’t posted here for a while – I’m afraid it’s not for lack of trying – this post was written in the first week of December, and it has taken me until now to actually get the photos in! Life, it seems, gets in the way of blogging.

A few weeks ago my daughter announced that she is going to be a Chinese child in the school nativity play (they are doing an international theme, so the kids are dressing up as children celebrating Christmas with different traditions from around the world.) The school asked us to provide a costume, and as a busy working mum, I promptly forgot about it! I then remembered, the night before the costume had to be in school. So what to do? Well, initially I rummaged through all of her clothes, then her brothers clothes, then I rummaged through my clothes, but no, we had nothing in the house that looked remotely like a Chinese outfit. I did find a red t-shirt, and I was close to cutting out and sticking on some yellow stars, so that she looked like she was wearing the flag. I didn’t really like that idea though, so instead I rummaged through my stash looking for anything that might be considered remotely Chinese! Continue reading

Brown Knit Top Front

I don’t know whether every sewist is the same, but some patterns hang around for a long time in my pattern stash waiting for their time in the sun. This pattern has been waiting patiently to be made for 25 years – but it’s finally had its turn, and I love this pattern! It’s a pattern from Prima magazine, from November 1991.

Prima November 1991 Pattern

Prima November 1991 Pattern

My mum bought Prima fairly regularly back in the ‘90’s, and between us we kept some of the patterns (although not all unfortunately). This pattern has probably been overlooked for a couple of reasons – the first being that it’s described on the sheet as a sequin top. That’s probably not that off-putting for most people, but I don’t really do sequins – in case you’ve not noticed, I very rarely do patterns, let alone sparkles! The second reason is that I don’t have the instructions for the pattern and also it’s designed for knits – so with my very limited experience of sewing knits, I’m afraid it’s just lurked at the bottom of my pattern box. Continue reading

Finished Flo dress

Last Christmas I requested as a present some material to make a dress for my little girl. My mother-in-law came up trumps with this material from her local fabric shop. It’s a beautiful soft drapey cotton with a delicate floral print.

Small floral cotton

Small floral cotton

Along with this, I was also given a white cotton lawn to use as a lining. With the start of summer coming up (yes, you did read that correctly!) I had to decide which of my girls dress patterns to make…I narrowed it down to a couple of patterns, but left the final choice up to the little girl in question. The pattern was then chosen as the Flo dress from Love Sewing magazineContinue reading

GBSB A-Line Skirt Pink Striped Wool

This is the first time I’ve made a pattern twice. I’m not sure why I’ve never done it before, I just haven’t, despite having some patterns that I’ve loved. (Does it have something to do with my childhood, where my parents would buy one of whatever in every colour? I can understand why, I’m notoriously picky about clothes in some ways, so to find something I like was probably a minor miracle which shouldn’t be wasted!) That, in itself, was enough of a novelty that I felt that this fulfilled my objective of something new with every make. I really wanted to learn from the mistakes that I had made the first time around and make a much better skirt the second time around, treating the purple as a wearable muslin. Continue reading