its not all black and white

P1040423 P1040424well, the skirt toile is done. Getting the last bits done (like tweaking the fit) was a bit of a slog but I can now see what it looks like. I’ve added white top stitching which helps highlight the many seams.

I’m a little unsure if this is the best shape for my silhouette……I’ve not really worn many skirts like this before as circle skirts, or at least something with a bit more flare is more my thing.



its shaping up nicely

Surprisingly, after the initial tedious time spent redrafting this pattern to my measurements (due to the many pieces the lengthening took quite some time) it’s all sewing up quite quickly!

After spending two nights sewing, the skirt (without lining, hemming or zip added yet) is done. The amount of ease was quite silly, it was really hanging off me. I took each side seam in by 1.5cm (so a reduction in circumference of 6cm in total) and it now fits so much better.

The skirt itself has been lengthened by 8cm to bring it just below knee length. I reduced the curve on the high hip side front and back skirt pieces by 1cm using a french curve to get rid of the excess visible on the pattern envelope picture. The jacket has a little bit more work to go before its finished.

So, here we go!


barking mad

So, it’s the end of August. The skies are blue, and filled with sunshine. So what an earth has possessed me to be sewing a triple layer of wool? 

This all goes back to a conversation a few weeks back with a friend. Don’t ask me how, but we were talking about Christmas. She tells me it would be really nice to have a dog coat for her little Chihuahua. Earlier this week I decided to make this idea a reality, and used leftover wool (from my skirt and jacket toile fabric), spare batting (from the quilt I still need to finish) and some leftover bias binding and thread.

Thanks to the simplicity pattern sale (and pattern 2393), this whole project has cost less than £3! The result is quite cute, if I may say so myself, and will be my earliest ever Christmas present. Given in advance naturally, to maximise its benefit.


I hope these curves won’t drive me round the bend….

It is with some slight trepidation I embark on my next project. Vogue 8543. This pattern has lain dormant in my pattern dream box waiting to see the light of day for quite some time now.

I had not been so starstruck by the beautiful lines to ignore the rather obvious fact that this would require quite a bit of sewing to piece together the many pattern pieces (17 in total, many of which need to be cut three times by the time you include the lining and interfacing).

I’ve not shared anything until now, as it’s all been decidedly unexciting. Cutting out the pattern pieces, lengthening the skirt and sleeves, reducing the shoulder and sleeves to my usual 12 (as the pattern envelope was 14 upwards). I had one near disaster when I accidentally binned a pattern piece (I blame it on being ill at the time with a rotten cold) and searched the whole house before finding it. Sometimes being lazy and not emptying the bin pays off.

But first of all I am making a proper toile. Regular readers will know this is rather unusual as I normally dive straight in, but this time I think it is worth being a little more cautious. I’ve shaved off a cm off the high hip curve for the side panel pieces, as this seems to be a problem area for many reviewers, and is even visible on the model posing on the pattern envelope. We shall see if it’s enough, but this is what a toile is for after all. Luckily this is £5 a meter wool. Bargain!ImageImage

fluffy thoughts before focusing on the next Big Project

So, despite intending to do a nice simple project, my new slip wasn’t turning out that way. Too many design choices. So – it was back to something less taxing. A little project for a friend surfaced to the fore of my thoughts, and I happily bought some more fabric (cause I’m not keeping it, its to give away, so allowed!).

It’s a revisit of a pattern I have used previously, Newlook 6170. This time making the dressing gown. I used a double layer of cotton flannel with contrasting blue flannel to make it more visually interesting. The stuff is very easy to sew, and just what I needed right now. Next the outfit to make to go to my sister’s wedding, and it’s back to Vogue and taxing the brain cells a little more.


I hope I’m not going round in circles….

The last few days I have been like a dog with a bone, except I’m been pouring over lace (I am after all a vegetarian!) and have been trying to get my existing notions to work. There had to be a way.

I’ve done some rejigging and replacement. So hello silk organza scraps (so nice to use leftovers) for contrast fabric and welcome new improved format lace which I have literally chopped up. 

I think this works better than my first design, but comments are of course always welcome…..


I’ve added machine embroidered circles to one side panel. A little uncertain about if this is a good idea or not

it merits a mention

I’ve made it! literally and figuratively. I’ve just had the news that I have passed my dressing making course, almost getting an overall merit (alas, missing one crucial mark) and am really pleased that its paid off. It wasn’t all about the final grade, but it is nice to see that I have made progress academically, as well as in practical terms.

I’ve also finished a quick project, and so here are the results of V8888 option F (french knickers) made from cotton lawn, using the embroidered hem as a replacement to the lace. Its worked really well and due to being cut on the bias they have a good amount of natural stretch. They are a little bit transparent, hence no modelling today.





close up of the embroidery

close up of the embroidery

getting untangled from wardrobe problems

Its been an utter delight to have No Coursework to attend to, and concentrate on other things Of Interest.

As usual I been side tracked, and instead of sewing from my stash I went and bought some more fabric. It was in the sale! it was silk and cotton! in short, it had to come home with me.

I decided to make view E from V8888 (a lovely vogue pattern). Accept I’m now not so sure about my lace notion choices. I am slightly concerned about the colour mixes. I thought they would go together, but now I am wondering if I need to bleach the blue to white. Decisions……



There have been a few other wardrobe issues. My Butterick (4790) walk away dress literally tried to walk off in windy weather. I was left clutching my skirt to maintain the rather light weight fabric from whipping about. I think it needs something to weigh down the hem. I was thinking of horsehair braid, which should also make it stand out a bit more.

Wardrobe problem number 3. One of my earlier dresses (Vogue 8743) had developed a problem round the box pleat. The fabric was repeatedly ripping from the strain and I was worried about it being damaged further making a real mess.

Thanks to some great suggestions at pattern review I have now interfaced the end of the seam, added organza to stabalise and strengthen it, and curved the edges of the pleat (the photo should help this make sense) to reduce the level of spread. Its helped a lot, thankfully.