Dressmaking · EPP · Hexagon Patchwork · Knitting

Its been a while

Its been a while…………..  about 8 months! 

I did quite a lot of sewing in the summer but didn’t do any blogging about it, my sewing tailed off in the autumn and then a crazy period of Christmas present sewing resulted in 4 cosmetic/pen cases, glasses case, 2 hot water bottle covers and a Kimono style dressing gown in Liberty cotton lawn.  None of which I took any photos of!!

Another reason the sewing took a backseat was I got my knitting mojo back (its been lost for a very long time) I knitted a chunky sweater, 2 bobble hats and then I discovered knitting socks ! I have made 5 pairs so far!

Knitted  using circular needles,  great for TV knitting. After knitting with super chunky  on large needles, knitting with tiny  circular needles felt a bit like knitting with cocktail sticks.

If you want to try sock knitting, I recommend watching Tina of Simply Stitches on YouTube she uses the Unapologetic Knitter Vanilla Sock pattern which is a free download and converts it very easily to knitting on a circular needle.

But what to do with the left-over yarn? 


My Liberty hexagon quilt has been getting some love recently, I got it out after Christmas, as a sofa sewing project.


I currently have on the sewing table a pinafore dress in grey corduroy.  The pattern is Simplicity 1252 which I have made before

I am waiting for a zip to arrive in the post but meantime I can’t decide whether to add pockets or not. 


What do you think yes or no to the pockets?
Dress · Love Sewing · Simple Sew

Simple Sew Sienna Dress

Really I should have been finishing 3 roman blinds for my bedroom make over  but I abandoned the boring blinds to sew a summer dress just because I wanted to.

I found a pattern in  my out of control collection, a freebie with Love Sewing magazine, Sienna Dress by Simple Sew

The Sienna Dress is a classic style with a flattering vintage-inspired silhouette. The fully-lined bodice has a gorgeous sweetheart neckline, and the optional short, fluted sleeves give you two styles in one. In-line pockets complete the look.

2m of fabric from the stash a cheerful viscose fruity fabric from Adam Ross, probably a late night purchase!

I didn’t make a toile which is a bit risky with a fitted bodice  but I really just wanted to sew a pretty dress and not faff about with a toile, so  I thought I would risk it, the Simple Sew patterns I have made before I have cut a size 14 with a 12 at the neckline and achieved a good fit.

The bodice front is not cut on the fold but two pieces with a seam up the front, next time I think I would cut the front on the fold and eliminate the centre seam.



The bodice is lined with a fine satin which was left over from the wedding dress I made last year. I also lined the sleeves, which gives a nice clean finish.



I am really happy with this dress, its great for twirling and its got pockets!!




Blouse · Love Sewing · Top

McCalls 7357

McCalls 7357 was a free gift with Love Sewing issue 49 and I thought it would prefect for one of the Seasalt fabrics I bought for half price in the Seasalt sale.


Loose fitting pullover tops have neckband self lined yokes, applied tab, side front and side back seams, three-piece sleeves, shaped hemline, and narrow hem. A, B: Stitched hem on sleeves.  B:Front sleeve and side slits.  C: Purchased trim. C,D: Sleeves gathered into binding.  NOTE Separate pattern pieces are include for cup sized A/B, C,D.

I made view C, size 14,   Cup size C.

The front band is closed together with hooks and eyes, I didn’t bother with this and just hand stitched the bands to together, I still need to wear a camisole underneath so I may yet put a few more stitches in.


A few weeks ago we spent the day at Hidcote Manor Gardens and the reluctant photographer  was forced to take a few shots.


me hidcote







Liberty Tana Lawn · PJ's · Sewing

Liberty Tana Lawn Pyjamas & Kimono

I made these PJ’s  back in September but never got round blogging about them, I am using these lazy days between Christmas and New year to catch up with my backlog.

Whenever I go to London I always try to visit the Liberty store to admire all the lovely fabrics,  I also love the ladies sleepwear but as the pyjamas in Tana Lawn sell for about £130  they’re a bit out of my price range!  So when I found 3m of Liberty Tana Lawn, Maddock design on ebay for £18  I knew I wanted to use it to make pyjamas and if I could squeeze it in, a matching robe.

For the pyjamas I used Kwik Sew 2811 which I used before here


For the robe I used a free pattern from Love Sewing that I found  by searching the internet for a free robe pattern Floral-oriental-kimono-robe

I shortened the length by about 6 inches as I am only   5’2″ and by happy coincidence was the perfect length to fit on my limited fabric.  All sewn with French seams which with kimono sleeves is easy.  I  remembered to add a hanging loop for hanging on the back of the bedroom door.


Sleeping in Liberty Tana Lawn is every bit as  luxurious as  I imagined.


Dress · Jacket · Simple Sew · Wedding

Simple Sew Amelia Tea Dress & Notch Collar Jacket

When I read that Simple Sew had released the Amelia Tea Dress pattern, it reminded me with all that happened since the wedding,  that I hadn’t blogged about the Amelia dress I made to wear to my son’s wedding , the Amelia dress was a free pattern with Love Sewing way back in issue 28.

tea dress pattern 2

After I finished and handed over the wedding dress I only had a couple of weeks to make my own outfit.  I started looking around for a suitable dress  pattern suitable for  small and informal wedding following by a plough man’s picnic in a 16th century Ale House, very much a homemade handcrafted wedding.  So a formal two piece and a large hat would be a bit over the top.  I wanted a Tea Dress and luckily I had just the pattern.


I  made up a muslin with some fabric from my stash and cut out a size 14 straight from the envelope, the fit was pretty good and the only change I made to go down a size on the shoulders and neckline.


Then the question of what fabric to use, well if you follow my blog you will now I love a bit Liberty Tana Lawn, perfect for a Tea Dress.  I wanted to wear Navy shoes and the theme of the wedding was books and the colour red.


I searched the internet and found it on e-bay 2.2 meters of Liberty Tana Lawn Kayleigh  Sunshine.

Kayleigh sunshine

The instructions on Simple Sew patterns can be a bit sparse  and though I don’t really mind too much I do wish when the seam allowance  changes  it is mentioned on the instructions and not just on the paper pattern because if you don’t use a 1cm seam allowance at this point the front won’t align with the back of the dress.





As the weather is always unpredictable in this country I made a navy jacket from another Sew Simple pattern and again another free pattern from Love Sewing magazine .

jacket notch

I used 1m of navy triple crepe from Minerva Crafts.   This was not my best sewing, the crepe seemed to stretch as I manipulated it,  this is an unlined jacket but I always prefer a lined one so I cobbled together a lining at the last minute with lining fabric and bias binding (the binding was part my Stitching Santa gift last year from Corinne who blogs at Applebymakes@wordpress.com –#Stitching Santa thanks Corinne)








PJ's · Sewing

Kwik Sew 2811 – Daisy PJ’s


My son gave me  this pretty daisy fabric for my Birthday and  thought it would be nice as PJ’s.  As Kwik Sew patterns were half price at the time I decided on K2811

The shirt has front button closures, a collar, a pocket with a pocket band and sleeve cuffs. The pull-on pants and shorts have elastic in a casing on the back and ties on the front. 

I cut a size M  but as I didn’t have the required amount of fabric it was a bit of a tight squeeze to fit  in all the pattern pieces but by cutting the under collar out of a plain white cotton it worked out.



The problem came with the short style bottoms.  Seam allowance is only 6mm but I forgot this when sewing them up, also I probably should gone up a size for the bottoms for comfort.   They did fit but were a tad too tight for which is not idea for PJ’s,  I had already trimmed the seams and over edged them so I couldn’t  let the seam out,  I got busy with the seam riper and unpicked both side seams and  added a strip of white cotton down each side.



Overall this is a good pattern  with good instructions, apart from the 6mm seam allowance which is ok if you remember!


I have plans for a set PJ’s in Liberty Tana Lawn with a matching Kimono style dressing gown.

In other news I received an unexpected parcel on Friday


It was a lovely surprise!


Blouse · Liberty Tana Lawn · Sewing · Simple Sew

More Liberty Lawn

This is the last of my Liberty Tana Lawn  I bought from the Alice Caroline Studio sale.  My sister fell in love with this design which I think is called Flora Eve, so I made her a  quilted hot water bottle cover and a boxy bag for last Christmas.

Out of the remaining fabric I squeezed out a sleeveless Simple Sew Lottie pussy bow blouse


French seams and self made bias binding give the blouse a nice clean finish.



I managed to get my very reluctant photographer to take a picture of me at Hidcote Manor Gardens.



Blouse · Dress · Liberty Tana Lawn · Sewing

Edith Shirtdress and Blouse

What could be better than shirtdress in cool Liberty Tana Lawn to wear in this very hot weather we having in the UK.  I bought this fabric from a  sale at Alice Caroline last year.  Occasional Alice Caroline hold a sale from their stone  barn studio on the edge of the Cotswolds.


I have lots of shirt dress patterns but I wanted a quick sew and cut out a Maria Denmark Edith dress on Sunday, finished sewing the buttons  on Monday after work and wore it to work on Tuesday and it was very cool and comfortable to wear.


I just met the deadline this morning to join in with the  #sewingtogetherforsummer on instagram.


I didn’t have enough of this fabric for a shirtdress but I did have for a blouse version of the Edith pattern.

I can definitely recommend Liberty Tana Lawn as lovely cool fabric for hot weather.  I am off to cool down, this laptop is sooo hot on my legs!

Sewing · Wedding Dress

Yes, I made a Wedding Dress

I have done very little blogging this year but I have done a lot of sewing.  Mostly for my son’s wedding, the wedding dress and my mother of the groom outfit.

It’s been a lot of fun, mostly………….. occasionally when things didn’t go well I did wonder what the hell I was  doing.  I won’t bore you with lots of details, especially as I didn’t think to take many photos.

The Design Brief

The Bride wanted a white dress, lace, lace sleeves and not long, but not sure what length.  After a email exchange of pictures and patterns of what I thought might be suitable we arrived at a very loose idea of a strapless boned bodice with a lace bolero, skirt to be decided later.

Which Pattern

This was narrowed down to

Simplicity 4070


and a pattern in The Wedding Dress by Becky Drinan (Florence Bodice)


I started by taking lots of measurements of the Bride as instructed in the book and using the pull out pattern sheet, marked the measurements and joined the dots to create a custom bodice pattern, then traced the bodice pieces on to grease proof paper (I don’t normally ever trace pattern if I can help it and this is all I had to hand, but it worked really well) So I had a front, side front, side back and back bodice piece.


We had a fitting of the two bodices I had sewn up in some old curtain lining to get some idea of the fit.    The bodice from the book was an excellent fit.  The Simplicity 4070 was quite good but needed to be shortened.

The next thing I did was to recut the bodices in calico and add the boning, there is lots of information to be found on the internet regarding boning, but I simply stitched cross grain ribbon  to create channels  over the seam lines into which the boning was inserted.  I thought boning would be difficult, in fact it’s really quite simple.

Bodice cut from Calico with  boning.

So now I had two bodices for two different dresses but  no decision about the length.

I cut the bodices again from an old sheet and stitched them to the calico boned bodice. The skirt for the simplicity pattern  was made as per the pattern with no alterations.


From The Wedding Dress book I followed the Florence dress instructions, the book instructs you to draw your  skirt pattern, the only large sheet of paper I had was the back of the pattern sheet supplied with the book so this became the length of the skirt pattern. I took the two dresses for the Bride to try on and she chose Florence from the The Wedding Dress book and it just happened the length turned out to be floor length on the Bride and she decided she did wanted a full length dress!  But unlike the Florence dress in the book, she didn’t want a corset back or layers of fabric or to change the neckline, she liked it as it was.  Keeping it simple.

Florence Toile


We both ordered a few fabric samples and settled on fabric from White Tree Fabrics

Duchess Satin for the skirt and Duchess  Satin for the bodice with a lace overlay and a lightweight satin for the lining, and the same lace for the bolero.

Dress Construction

The toile was a good fit, but I did need to take out some fabric from the skirt centre back seam,  which must of been a error on my part when drawing the skirt pattern.

The toile was unpicked and then used as pattern pieces.  The calico boned bodice formed the inner bodice of the dress, which was sandwiched between the main bodice and the bodice lining.



The pattern for the Bolero was again from The Wedding Dress book.  The lace had two scalloped edges so the back and sleeve hems were cut to use the scalloped borders.  For the back of the neck and bolero front I carefully cut the scalloped border from the remaining fabric and and hand stitched it to the bolero front and neck.  Satin bias binding covered the side, shoulder and arm hole seams.

We only have few photos so far

the happy couple




If you got this far well done and thanks for reading.




EPP · Uncategorized

Perfect Pinafore

I just couldn’t decide if i was too old to wear a dungaree style pinafore dress, but in the end I just had to have a go, but I didn’t want to spend any money on an expensive pattern, so after some googling around the internet I discovered that Sew Now had a pattern from a past issue that could be download as PDF pattern.

Sew Now - Issue 3!
Pinafore dress pattern free in issue 3 of Sew Now magazine.

Of course the downside of this is that I didn’t have the magazine, so no instructions.

The fabric is a very nice pincord from John Lewis, but it attracts every bit of fluff, dust and white cat hair that’s in the house.


It turned out a bit on the large size and I had to take in the side seams.  If  I make it again I would alter the pattern to make bib smaller as I am quite short waisted and so it’s a bit long and tends to be a bit baggy when I am sat at my desk.




Overall I am really pleased with the dress and I love the pockets!