Category Archives: Adventures in Overlocking

Linden sweatshirt

Oh go on then! I’ll have a floral Linden this time….

Oh people I have had some mega sewing going on this last week, but because I was also hugely busy work wise I am a bit behind with my writing – & I have so much to write about!   I have to start with the simplest as some downtime calls (& I’m watching something with subtitles at the moment which means no multi tasking!) So here we go on the next episode of my causal wardrobe, suitable for warehouse work (maybe rather posh for warehouse work in all honesty but I’ll do it anyway) & also for general mooching around looking rather groovy.

Linden sweatshirt

Yes, my attraction to the Linden sweatshirt continues, not having resolved the pocket issues from the green one, but having worn the grey one * very much indeed*, may I present the newest addition to the Linden sweatshirt stable?

This fabric is from the Fabric Godmother (& was provided for me to review)- the floral is a rose pique jersey in blue  (there are two other colourways- pink & purple) & the solid navy is a gorgeous Milano jersey, stretchier than a ponte, thicker than your usual t-shirt weight with something *very* cosy about it, without it being too thick.  I am smitten with it to be honest, & am already thinking of some navy Hudsons – it would be perfect …. just like it is for the sleeves, cuffs & bands for this Linden sweatshirt.

Linden sweatshirt

Don’t you just love the two-tone raglan sleeve top effect?  I love raglan sleeves anyway, but it’s times like these when two fabrics pair so wonderfully that the raglan comes into its own.  I may have been swooning over the navy Milano jersey, but let’s face it, the rose pique jersey is the star.  It works so well in its pattern – bring on the flowers I say!  Sweatshirts can be pretty too!

Linden sweatshirt I ‘ve made this a few times now & it’s a 100% overlocker make – I think it took me about an hour to sew….

Linden sweatshirt

So many photos! That’s because I LOVE this sweatshirt. I’m so thrilled to have made something that is eminently functional but pretty. But I’ve also taken a few extra to show you  a new part of my cottage  – surreptitiously.  This is the upstairs hallway.  To the left is the bathroom & straight ahead is my bedroom.  It has loads of olde features – including these doors with latchy handles (note technical olde worlde terminology).  The camera in in the doorway of the back bedroom (aka sewing room/ office) & both bedrooms are on a higher level than the hallway & bathroom.  Nice step up to both.

Linden sweatshirt To my right are the open plan stairs.  There are a few nooks & crannies including the recess to my left which is a nice little presentation space….

There ends the guided tour of the only non room in my cottage.  Just because you might be curious.  I will bring you other backdrops as time progresses!  And who knows, maybe even more Linden sweatshirts!!!

In the meantime have a very good week & I’ll be back soon with some more – I have a couple more tops to show, some trousers using my block pattern & then a special posh frock that I wore to a bit of a do in London last week…

Disclaimer, the fabric was provided to me free of charge for me to review.  All views are my own.

Pacific leggings feature

Pacific Leggings- floral leggings take 2

Happy Friday everyone!  For anyone who has been following me on Instagram – (thanks new phone :-) ) – you will have seen a few details of my floral leggings.   These are the Pacific Leggings by Sewaholic which I purchased a bit ago, intrigued by the added details from your standard leggings – a crotch piece (behave!) and a zipped back pocket in the waistband.  ooooh!

Floral leggings

Having sewn Sewaholic patterns before I have certain expectations of great pattern cutting, clear instructions and generally some nifty sewing detail.  I was not disappointed.  In fact I have been delighted & will proceed to explain why.

Floral leggings

But first, the fabric.  This is a Spoonflower Sport Lycra and in this design- baroque flowers.   Check out the specifications but this is a breathable activewear fabric with 4 way stretch.  Perfect for leggings.  (I have roadtested them & can assure you how comfortable they have turned out).  Spoonflower’s first activewear fabric is Performance Knit which I have used a few times – my marathon top and running skirt as well as my badger running top also.  BUT this fabric is 2 way stretch and I made the fatal error of making leggings out of some performance knit without taking into account lack of vertical stretch – something that you can allow for in the cutting out – adding more depth in the body & leg length- but I did not & had to learn the hard way.  I would say Performance Knit is much better suited to tops & skirts now that there is the Sport Lycra for leggings.   Want to do a spot the difference?

Version 1 – ‘Legs with nothing but flowers’

Yes, this is the same fabric design – I am heartbroken to have given up on the first pair but people they are at serious risk of ‘builder’s arse’ so short are they in the body.  (I allowed no one behind me when doing post run stretches).  They are also very tight around my legs as well – I think the fabric’s stretch was being pulled in all ways to capacity- I have worn these quite a lot, stubbornly refusing to admit my mistake, but when comparing these to the latest pair- I can let them go as a lesson learnt.

Floral leggings

So I bought a yard in a free shipping sale last year & I am sure I have managed to get a pair of leggings out of 1m of fabric in the past, and whilst there’s a small difference between metric & imperial I had to rethink my plans to get full leg leggings as there was no way this would fit & so I cut the cropped length – but to the length of the largest size.  There is no obvious pattern direction on this fabric (I am sorry if I have upset the designer here!) but I had to cut pieces different ways up.

Pattern pieces

Leggings generally fall into two pattern types- those with one-piece legs & therefore one leg seam – usually inside leg apart from Fehr Trade’s innovative Steeplechase leggings – & two-piece leggings with an outer & inner leg seam.

Pacific leggings fall into the latter category, however the outer leg seam has a nice upper curve to it so that it sweeps behind & over your hips to meet the bottom edge of the pocket.  You won’t really see it with these leggings as the fabric’s pattern is far too busy- but you can see it on the line drawings  & here below you can see the seamlines.

Pacific leggings

Now that pocket.  It is the business- really easy to sew – just remember to interface the folded zip edge before inserting the zip.  (All explained in the instructions).  The pocket fits nicely within the waistband – a fantastic deep waistband – so comfy & providing enough depth for even larger smartphones in that pocket at the back.  The waistband ‘s shape is kept from sagging / stretching too much by some thin elastic sewn into the seam allowance at the top edge.

Floral leggings

I am thrilled with these leggings, seriously.  No that is the zip, not a piercing.

I took them for a spin yesterday & they felt luxurious, well fitted (that crotch piece adds a certain something to the comfort factor) & easy to run in- the running itself may have been a struggle, but it wasn’t the leggings holding me back this time!


Linden Sweatshirt x2 or just because you can sew welt pockets doesn’t mean you should ….

Before I share a couple of Linden Sweatshirts, I’d like to thank you all for the suggestions about what to do with my boiled wool in the last post.  I will check out all the ideas you’ve left – I knew you wouldn’t let me down!  There are a few ideas for Schnittchen patterns – coatigans/ jackets which are intriguing – never sewn any of these before.  You can bet I’ll keep you posted …

But today I’ve some Linden sweatshirts to show you that I made up this week.  After deciding to upgrade my ‘test Linden sweatshirt’ & putting it in writing to the world the other day, I sprung into action & cut two out.  The first was in the green sweatshirting that I had set aside, an eBay purchase along with the ribbing from Plush Addict.  The second was a lucky extra – I had enough of some lightweight grey marl sweater knit that I had left over after making a cardigan, Simplicity 2154 .

Linden grey marl

But there wasn’t enough to make any of the neck, hem or cuff bands out of the grey so I had to pick some contrast ribbing- also from Plush Addict – & I am so glad I was forced along this route as I am immensely pleased with this particular Linden – I love the way the lighter weight fabric allows a bit of drape & it totally suits the wider neckline.

Linden grey marl (2)

And the pop of turquoise knit rib gives it a definite edge that a plain grey Linden sweatshirt would not have.  I have worn this a couple of days (in the warehouse job with jeans) & oops I see a bit of a smudge on it, so it is now in the wash.  My pink skirt (A Tilly and the Buttons Airielle)  is also victim of tending a woodfire but only revealed to me in these photos.  At least I am living up to my ‘scruffy’ name….

Linden grey marl (3)

As usual I ramble and am talking about the results before the process.  This is OK for the grey sweatshirt because what else do you need to know?  It has worked out better than I hoped & was a great sew.  But I have made more than one, on the same day, but this other is controversial….and I haven’t made my mind up about it yet, and as a result have not worn it outside yet….

Linden with pocketsYes it has pocketses.  Welt pockets.  And I conjured up this plan whilst cutting out.  But here’s the thang.  I do not think it works as a wearable item of clothing.  Isn’t it a bit ….. crafty?  Is it a classic case of ‘just because you can add welt pockets to a sweatshirt, it doesn’t mean that you should …’??

Linden with pockets (2)The cosy side of the fleece (sweatshirting’s wrong side) hosts my hands as the pocket inners.  But that is not the reason I created welt pockets.  The idea was to have a safe place to carry my phone when working in the warehouse (I’ve a new phone & want to look after it y’see).

Linden with pockets (3)Keeps it safe, is just the right size (bigger than an iPhone) & means I can access music on the go too.

Linden with pockets (4)But just because I can sew welt pockets doesn’t mean it’s right.  Is it the contrast ribbing? I am tempted to unpick the lower front half of the sweatshirt and add a kind of ‘kangaroo’ pocket on top of the welt pockets, hiding the original pockets under a more anonymous generic self-fabric pocket, whilst allowing the original pockets to function.  With side hand entry.  What do you think?

What’s funny is that I was so confident in this design detail that I even took photos of the steps along the way to add welt pockets.   I drafted them myself & referred to the instructions in the Colette Patterns Anise jacket to guide me.  I am not going to waste the photos, but share them with a touch of caution – use this wisely and don’t end up in the same dilemma I am in.  Remember the mantra & repeat after me- ‘Just because you can sew welt pockets, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do’

I’m going to note the steps I took – but please don’t treat this as a definitive guide for sewing welt pockets – there are plenty of others about with all of the steps clearly illustrated.  (OMG this tutorial from Workroom Social is just so incredibly neat & clear showing a single stage welt pocket – not separately pieced welts)  This tutorial on Craftsy uses a similar approach that I have taken.  However if you have done a few welts in your time, mine below might serve as an aide memoir … as that is what it will be for me…

So first of all I marked the horizontal placement of the welts pockets, referring to the size of my phone as a guide.  Going forward you might want to draw on stitching lines – above & below these horizontal lines.  Tip – Stitching lines on a single welt are less critical than for bound buttonholes which is like a double welt with two welt pieces that need to meet nicely in the middle.  Single welts do not need to meet anything else – it’s just about how deep you want your welt to be.  So relax a bit.  I did.  My stitching lines were about 1/2″ either side of the original horizontal line.

Linden pockets 1I then cut the welts so that they were longer than the horizontal welt lines (to provide a good seam allowance) & width was calculated by doubling the finished welt depth & adding seam allowances x2.   (But more on welt depth/ width calculations below). I interfaced each welt.

Linden pockets 2

And then I cut pocket bags about the same width as the ribbing welt’s long measurement.   Have a play with the folded pocket bag to make sure it doesn’t poke out underneath your hem!  Adjust if necessary.

Linden pockets 3Next, make the welts – fold in half right sides together and sew each of the short ends.  Turn right sides out and press & baste the open long edges together.

Placing the welts to attach to the sweatshirt requires a bit of thought- the welts are sewn at the lower stitching line (upside down) & because I was feeling relaxed about the precise size of the finished welt, I placed the raw edge alongside the original horizontal pocket line.  However, if you are more specific about the finished depth of the welt, you need to make sure that the depth of the stitched folded welt is equal to the desired finished welt depth plus the distance between original horizontal pocket line & stitching line on the sweatshirt front.  I would trim the welt to this depth before I attached it so that I could place the raw cut edge against the original horizontal stitching line.  I would also transfer the stitching line to the top of the welt to make sure I sewed along the right line.  (Does that make sense?)

Linden pockets 4Now onto the pocket bags.  They are attached ‘upside down’  to the stitching line above the original horizontal pocket line.   You want to attach them so that this new stitching is slightly shorter than the attached welt pocket (see my vertical pins that mark my start/ stop lines).  Think about what you want to be the inside of the pocket bag – in this case I sewed the wrong side pocket bag with right side of sweatshirt body & will end up with the fleece on the inside of the pocket bags – this can show up, you may want to sew right side of pocket bag to right side of sweatshirt.

Linden pockets 5Next is the cutting in between these two rows of stitching.  This is what it looks like from the inside.  Only cut the sweatshirt (not the pockets or welts) & cut diagonal snips close to the edges/ corners of the stitching.  Pull pocket bags inside through these cuts & place the welts to sit in their intended final position, right way up.  You’ve got some neatening to do next – like sewing the triangles at the side of each cut line (caused by the diagonal snips) to the body of the sweatshirt.  The welts also need to be topstitched down at each short edge, and the top of each pocket bag needs to be sewn to the seam allowance of its welt.  You can then settle the pocket bags, pin & sew to form the pockets.

Linden pockets 6Sort of like this.  Then make up your sweatshirt as normal.  (I used a regular machine with a straight stitch for most of the pocket stitching even thought this is a knit fabric.)

Linden pockets 7But the question remains…will I hide these or not?

MIY skirt (4)

Me, my garden & MIY Tapton skirt

Curious to see my new backdrop (or one of them) now I am installed in my new badger burrow?  Welcome to my garden.  And please meet my MIY Tapton skirt.

MIY Tapton skirt

I take no credit for it whatsoever.  Having lived here for two weeks now I have not even needed to sweep leaves or tidy up the weeds.  This is all the wintry legacy of the previous careful owners.  I am all expectant to find out what pops up during the Spring, but for now am really enjoying the birdies & the sound of the strong winds we have been experiencing.  And whilst I have not been sewing *much* (with sooo many Christmas present plans that have fabric bought but really not enough hours in the remaining days) I have managed to make myself a quickie but as a tester for a gift you understand.  I have made the MIY Collection Tapton skirt – a ‘Comfy fold over waist skirt of the asymmetric variety.

MIY tapton skirt

I bought the paper pattern whilst I was in my temporary home, quite rightly thinking that access to printing would not be my priority during my move.  I spied it as a potential gifting pattern as a knit skirt is not only a quick make but arguably pretty easy to fit without having the person there.  A good estimate of size is all you need & the fabric can do the rest & forgive lack of specifics.

MIY Tapton skirt So I made me a quick one up to understand if the A line, non asymmetric version would be suitable for the person I had in mind.  I also needed to understand how long it would turn out to be.  I made the Tapton skirt in this black/ purple floral viscose Liberty jersey from CroftMill & am very pleased with it.  Lovely quality, quite light – exactly what you’d expect from a viscose jersey.

MIY Tapton skirt

I made size small but with the length of the XL & did not hem it- for info.  (I just overlocked the bottom edge for neatness & a bit of weight).  Now you may be thinking that asymmetric is rather an unusual style for me & you are right.  But when  saw the photos on the website I was rather taken by the way it looks with the asymmetry, or the ‘tail’ at the back like a bustle.  It reminded me of the gorgeous Clothkits bustle skirts.

MIY Tapton skirt

The skirt’s tails are made really easily & there are two of them!  But the drape of the fabric gives the impression that there is just a cascade & it takes the breeze or walking very fast to create the flow that shows that there are two of them.  But you can wear the tails to the side or at the back.  I am still experimenting.  I think I want the ‘tails’ to be a bit shorter in relation to the hem of the rest of the skirt so may play around with it some more.  But I have worn it a couple of times now.  When you wear the tails at the back, there is a centre front seam- something you may want to take into consideration.

MIY Tapton skirt

As it says on the packet this really is a very quick skirt to make.  I think I made mine in less than an hour, easily.  The A line skirt was even quicker.  I made the A line skirt a lot longer as I know that’s how she likes it & unfortunately it was all too much of a rush to take photos.  Sorry!  Enjoy the Liberty jersey.

The MIY Collection patterns are printed on white paper and have an A4 booklet of instructions with a sturdy A4 printed paper bag to keep them altogether.  It’s not cheap at £15 but I felt the investment was worth it for the two skirts I have made so far & the others I have in mind – for other friends actually.  (And maybe another for me perhaps…..!) I can’t stress that this is a really easy skirt to make – straight lines & three pattern pieces.  It really is a joy to wear with its deep fold over waistline.  I feel however that I am lacking a Nettie to wear with it – I think it has something of the ballet look about it?  And speaking of MIY collection sewing patterns, check out Zoe’s version of the MIY Collections Brightside shrug.

Outfit notes:

Wearing with Ottobre purple top (can I find the link – it was several years ago now…)  & Muse Jenna Cardigan.

oslo cardigan

Oslo cardigan forever!

I confess I made this version of the Oslo cardigan at the beginning of September – in fact I made two almost identical but can only show you the cardigan I kept.

oslo cardigan

This is the purple sweater knit from Truro Fabrics (sorry cannot find it on their website) made into the Oslo cardigan available in Seamwork, Colette Patterns’ online magazine.  I have made this before out of a red cotton mix sweater knit and it has been a summer stalwart.  In fact I wore it when I was in Cornwall and my Mum liked the style so much that the purchase of purple sweater knit in Truro was already earmarked for two Oslo cardigans.  I bought three metres- it was like carrying a couple of pillows around with me in shopping bags!

This picture so cracks me up

This picture so cracks me up

My Mum knew this would be a birthday present for her and requested shorter sleeves, as that’s her style.  So I made one with the regular long sleeves (& yummy long cuffs- the sleeves cover up wrists so well when it’s cold) – & the other I made with slightly shorter 3/4 sleeves and drafted a different cuff arrangement – it was wider (as the sleeve would be when it is shorter) & not as deep.  I am really sorry I didn’t take any pics, but you can probably imagine it?

This is the technical drawing.  I have not added fastenings to either of my Oslo cardigans so they just hang open unless I clutch them around me, as demonstrated above  :-)

Oslo cardigan

I made them both at the same time, sewing all of it on my overlocker.

oslo cardigan I think it’s the colour as much as the style that makes this such a useful cardigan.

oslo cardigan

For the making notes, have a look at my previous Oslo cardigan as nothing much changed (except my overlocker blade – a huge difference in sewing those triple thickness seams at the join of collar to cardigan!).  I also used wondertape again to set the hem before I sewed it.

The other benefit from these cardigans?  I had enough left over to make an Astoria sweater- but haven’t worn it yet.  I will update you after the opportunity for some trials!  I do find that there are some really good wardrobe builders in the Seamwork package, and did you know the subscription operates differently now?  You collect pattern credits & can choose which patterns to use them on.  I haven’t tried it out for myself yet, so can’t tell you any more than that, but it seems more of a flexible system?  oh to have the hours in the day to sew everything you fancy …

Wearing notes: With my Oslo cardigan, my Itch to Stitch Carey top and my embroidered  Ginger jeans.

Girl Charlee Fabrics UK discount !

Hello peeps!  So you may have seen that Girl Charlee UK provided me with some fabric to review for my Knit Bettine.   And i have a feeling they are still out of stock of this particular fabric.  But just to show it off again – to tempt you cruelly here it is …

So Girl Charlee UK is relatively new on the online fabric scene – I had  been aware of the US Girl Charlee,but now we have a full blown UK store, eager to develop their UK & Eurpoean market.

This is an online store specialising in knit fabric.  Oh the glory!!  Loads of collections, of course I go straight for florals but there are nauticals , wildlife themed fabric and the biggest & funkiest ponte roma selection I think I have seen in one place!

Check them out if you dare- & if you get tempted Girl Charlee are offering a 10% discount (on non sale fabric) for UK & European orders up till and including Monday 21st September.  Just use the code BADGER at checkout.

Enjoy!  I must keep it short & sweet.  I have dates now for my move out  & it all feels rather imminent!  So sewing & blogging will have to fit in as & when.  And replying to lovely comments too.  I will get there in the end. Keep crossing your fingers for me!

I am going to split my move & put my things into storage, with temporary funtimes living with family (taking sewing machines & cat of course!) That in itself needs some sound planning – what will I be sewing in September/ October/ November?


SIM bundle 2

Sew Indie Month – Bundle 2 and what I have made

I am coming up right at the end of the sales period for the second bundle of patterns for Sew Indie Month (SIM).  Whilst you probably haven’t missed it, you might be like me with things like this & think that you’ll remember to grab it later- well if so, hurry! Today is the last day people to get your mitts on this cornucopia of sewing goodness- up to 10 patterns at good value with 20% going to charity.  Plus of course this is about support to those Indie sewing designers too.  This time there are even more lovely patterns on offer- what a treat!  This bundle contains some patterns for knits, which of course grabbed my attention as you know how I am a sucker for a knit project.    (I’ll put more information about the bundle, pricing and the charity supported this time around at the end of this post.  )

I reckon this bundle could be a new season’s wardrobe with :

There are a couple of new patterns unavailable except through this bundle for now until they are released & I have to say I was almost tempted to make the Kinga skirt, by Kate & Rose myself & keep getting drawn back to it….I could imagine it in a needlecord with chunky boots for the autumn (check out three dresses’ goth version) .  There is also a lovely coat – the new April 1962 Coat by Soma Patterns, drawing on style inspiration from the 60s.  In fact I want to make the Nettie (which I already bought), the Jasper hoodie & I quite fancy a proper swimsuit too…so what did I make?



Well, I knew how busy I was going to be so elected to make a couple of speedy makes- The Walkley vest by MIY Collection(it can also be a dress) as well as the Pinot Pants Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick.  Now I could wear them both together, and maybe I will ….at the end of this post?

I chose the Walkely vest because I was attrated to its boatneck – it looked quite sharp – in a smart kind of way.  I really liked the nautical striped dress featured on the cover art as well & almost made a dress, but considered what would be most useful- the top (vest) won this time.

I had some black & grey stripe bought in the Village Haberdashery sale – & there’s still some left – am I repeating myself if I say grab it before it runs out?  It’s a lovely quality- perfect tshirting & not too flimsy.

The Walkley vest can be made with a centre front/ centre back seam – or cut on the fold.  As much as I was tempted to be lazy, I decided to make something of a centre front seam as a feature.  The sharp style of this vest made me think sharper & I deliberately mis-matched my stripes- bot at centre front & centre back.  Now I could have kept one of the pieces on the fold, as they are both cut from the same pattern piece – this top is reversible.  But I cut out four individual bodice halves, thereby ensuring the stripe mismatching (& side seam matching) that I required.

The pattern suggests that you can cut diagonal seamlines for effect too- but instructions tell you how to do this, there are no specially printed pattern pieces already made.  This means you can slash your bodice to suit you.

The vest is a very simple sew, especially if you cut the front & back on the fold.  All the hems & neckline are just turned over to hem – no bands or cuffs.

walkley vest


I wonder if I would have done better by using a little elastic to support the neckline?  Not sure.

It’s turned out to be a sharp top though – one that’s just a bit smarter & could be worn with jeans as well as a potential work appropriate tee shirt.  Useful fit to have in your wardrobe!

pinot pants

OR how about going all out ‘lounging in style’ & pairing with the Pinot pants?  I was interested in sewing these as they look as if they are your classic yoga pants & I almost made them up in a running fabric (but did not have a long enough length of something suitable).  So I did manage to rescue some jersey that has been sitting in my stash for a good few years now.  It was from Croftmill & is a metallic effect gunmetal jersey.  Disco!  Or is it wet look? You tell me!

pinot pants

As well a bit of a shimmer & glimmer it also has a twill weave effect, & its reverse is quite a soft cotton.  No idea what I had in mind when I bought it, but making some Pinot pants out of it seemed a good idea.

pinot pants

They were a very straightforward make – I think it took me no more than an hour to make them using my overlocker, if that.  Four pieces for the two legs & a waistband with elastic.  The pattern has inside legs options marked – how helpful!  Unless of course you mis-measure.

But it wasn’t the end of the world- it just meant that I did not have enough for a hem, so I just overlocked the raw edge to reassure myself that they were ‘finished’ & not half made.

pinot pants

I’ve been wearing them around the house & will also be brightening up my pilates class with them in the autumn.  They will love me & my shiny Pinot pants.

So that is two elements of the SIM bundle 2 that I have made in just a few hours.  I am still thinking about the Kinga skirt though …for winter….

Here is more detail about the bundle.  yes, it’s true.  you are more than likely to have seen these same words used on others’ blogs.  Why reinvent the wheel?

  • The sale will run from Tuesday September 1st through Thursday September 10th (yes just a few hours more!)
  • Visit the sale at:
  • 20% of bundle proceeds will be donated to Women for Women, which helps women dealing with violence, marginalization, and poverty due to war and conflict.
  • Sewing Indie Month (SIM) is a month-long celebration of indie sewing patterns where designers collaborate to bring you fun blog posts and informative tutorials. This year SIM is taking place in September. It’s accompanied by a sewalong contest with fantastic prizes. Since the patterns in the SIM Bundle 2 are mostly knits, this sale gives you time to make quick projects for the contest while supporting small women-owned businesses and raising money for charity.
  • This year the Sewing Indie Month HQ will be Sew Independent, which Mari from Seamster Sewing Patterns took over from Donna, who decided to step back from the site. You can buy the bundle and keep up to date with the latest SIM news on


Pay what you want for the bundle! The more you pay, the more rewards you’ll receive.
  • Pay $25 or more to get the VNA Top, 6101 Fit & Flare Skirt, Bess Top, Nettie Dress & Bodysuit, and Pinot Pants.
  • Pay $32 or more to get the Walkley Vest & Dress and Jasper Sweater & Dress.
  • Pay $38 or more to get the Nautilus Swimsuit, the NEW Kinga Skirt, and the NEW April 1962 Coat.
Check out these Bundle 2 bloggers to see what they made:
And apologies for the sudden rush in blog posts this week.  I really did not plan it at all well !  There were a couple of timescales I forgot about.
Bettine neckband

Knit Bettine dress – of course!

One of my first thoughts after sewing my first Bettine dress, was, ‘I bet this would be a cracking dress in a knit’.  So when Tilly started to reveal on Instagram that she had made  Bettine out of a knit, & that she started the thinking for me by showing how the neck facing is replaced by a neckband (of course!  simples!)  I charged ahead.  The knit Bettine dress would be even more of a constant wear than my chambray version which to be honest gets a bit too comfy in the ironing pile.

Bettine in a knit?!

Bettine in a knit?!

And when Girl Charlee UK contacted me to offer me some fabric to try out, well it was a match made in heaven.  Until this point I had of course heard about the US Girl Charlee, but tucked that gem away for interest – I had no idea that we were getting a full blown UK store, so I was eager to give them a go.  Because an online store specialising in knit fabric?  Oh I am so there!  Loads of collections, of course I go straight for florals but there is the biggest & funkiest ponte roma selection I think I have seen in one place!  I chose this teal oriental floral jersey (temporarily out of stock I hope)  & when it arrived I was really pleased with the quality, the colour & how it would work as either a dress or top.  But Bettine it was to be. (Without pockets)


So here are the things I did to adapt a woven Bettine to a knit Bettine.  Tilly has some tips here too including measurements & process for adding a neckband.  I made most of my Bettine using my overlocker (serger) but there are some steps that need a regular machine.  I will point these out too, but you may have your own thoughts about how you would do it.

I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams, I always do it for knits, it’s in my genes now I think, as it supports the seam which has to carry a bit of weight & avoids stretching out of shape.  i think!

bettine shoulder

The invisible clear elastic in my shoulder seam

Of course the neckband is a difference, but use Tilly’s guide and you will be fine.

Bettine neckband

I kept the tabs at the sleeves, but sewed these using a regular machine with a straight stitch- it’s not as if these will suffer any stretch during use, they are just decorative really.

Cute flower buttons x

Cute flower buttons x

I think the part of the dress I was most conscious of sewing was the elastic casing.  Joining the bodice to the skirt can of course be done on your overlocker, but not the next step in making the casing out of the seam allowance.  You need to use a narrow zig zag.

Zig zag the casing seam

Zig zag the casing seam

On the inside it looks like this

bettine knit casingAnd the effect in the finished dress is ….

Knit Bettine


At back

Bettine back


And what about on a real person?  Looking at how this fits me I think I should have done an SBA as the creases at my shoulders disappear when I pretend I have bigger boobs.  (NO- not with socks in my bra!)

bettine (6)From behind …


She loves it, you know!

knit bettine So might you be tempted to try a knit Bettine dress?  It really is the perfect combo of comfort, style & lazy washing!!!!  This one does not languish in my ironing pile & has not seen the iron since it was made…..

Barrie Boy Cut Briefs !

Just a quick one and a chance to see my underneathies!

I love trying out new underwear patterns and sometimes making smalls is just the job for a satisfying journey into practicality with a little experimentation thrown in.


Why experimentation? Well despite increasing the success rate (ie wearable) of my hand made pants, I still feel unable to predict the success of each fresh pair I cut out to sew. Maybe that is because I tend to use fabrics in my stash and dig out ‘any old’ stretch elastic I have in my strecth elastic stash. The result has created some baggy saggies that feel a bit mismatched, and also some brighty tighties that are just plain uncomfortable but only a waste of the hour I spent making them.

The back

The back

My favorite pants pattern up until Barrie has been the Rosy Lady shorts by Cloth Habit. They are free! And the success rate is highest for me with this pattern & I understand the odds better matching elastic & fabric with this style. But then along came Barrie Boy Cut briefs, from Kitschy Koo.

Barrie briefs

Barries are shorts too, designed to hug underneath those buns, & not cut across cellulite thus resulting in a far less likely incidence of the dreaded VPL. The pattern has two options for rise, but I have made low rise. What’s really different about Barrie is that they do not use any form of elastic but are constructed using fabric bands – much as binding off a neckline. Therefore if you are a little nervous of applying stretch elastic or FoE (Fold Over Elastic) these are the pants for you – entry level pants. ?Trainer pants? Er, that might give the wrong impression, but they are easy to make!  I made mine all on my overlocker.

barrie briefs 2015 collection

These are all the pairs of Barrie briefs I have made since originally being asked to test them months ago now. And they are amazingly comfortable. I think you could use stretch elastic instead of the bands if you wanted to – in fact I will try that one day, but for now, I have just been enjoying whipping up a portfolio of these – not quite one for every day of the week, but nearly!

And you don’t have to make them so vibrant, but there was something very inspiring about this pattern &  in the company of other testers who also use Amanda’s most awesome fabrics (I mean superhero cat pants anyone??)  that made me want to deploy some of my favorite tshirt scraps into undies!


Tutorial: Sewing a headband using jersey

I have been promising this for a while, but it was so wrapped up in all the marathon excitement I wonder if anyone even remembered?  Here is the headband.  A nice little weekend project?

Jersey Headband


Can you see that it doesn’t use elastic and is just made out of a single piece of jersey.  It can be scrunched up on your head to be as wide or as folded up as you need it to be- to keep the sun off your head, to keep pesky short haircuts under control and hopefully longer styles too (not that I would know about that).

This is me wearing it….it matches my top 😉 I needed it to be wide enough to keep my hair from poking out like a crazy person.  (Ironic)

What you need:

A piece of jersey fabric with some stretch that can wrap around your head where a headband would sit.  The fabric needs to have enough recovery so that your headband will stretch to stay on your head snugly but will easily return to its original size and not sag  once stretched!

Mine is about 46cm x 18cm.  You need to experiment to get a snug fit.  I guess you could try measuring your head & deducting 15% to get the long measurement but I have not tested this to know if it is a good idea!  Low tech method –  I wrapped the fabric around my head & stretched it a bit, holding the place I thought the seam joining the ends was needed with my fingers.  And then marked this with a pin before laying the fabric out flat & preparing my seam.

Headband 1

Sewing the tube to fit snugly around my head- you might need to make a few seams to get the fit right.

So prepare your seam by folding your fabric in half right sides together so that the shorter sides are together & sew where you think the seam needs to be.  Use a short zig zag stitch, an overlock stitch or your serger.

And then try on for size.  I had to sew another seam to make the tube of fabric small enough so that it felt a good snug fit like you would expect of your headband.

headband 2

Finishing the edges with my overlocker

Next finish the long now tubular edges of your headband with an overlocker or a zig zag stitch.  You might decide you don’t need to do this, maybe your jersey isn’t looking messy & jerseys don’t fray afterall, but as I have an overlocker it makes the edges look nice & neat.

headband 3

Darning in the ends

Darn the ends in if you have used an overlocker/ serger.

Next you are going to sew with a regular machine using the zig zag stitch to make pleats in the underneath of your headband so that the pleats reduce the fabric and makes it a lot more wearable underneath the back of your head.

You will be making three pleats with the centre back seam running at right angles down the middle of the pleats ( & the back of your head.)  Each line of stitching is 16cm long and parallel to each other.


Three pleats sewn with a zig zag stitch make the headband narrower at the back

To do this …

First of all fold the headband in half, right sides together, centre back seam on top &  with the long edges matching.  Pin to secure.  Your stitching line will start 8 cm before the centre back seam and finish 8 cm beyond it and will be 1.5cm (or 5/8″) away from the folded edge.    Mark your start & finish points & start your zig zag seamed pleat.  Make sure you back tack at the start & the finish to ensure the seams do not unravel.


headband 4

Sewing the first pleat. The pin marks my finish point.

Now it’s time to make the next pleat.  I measured 3cm from the edge to make the fold for the next pleat, pinning to secure, and measuring the start and finish marks at 8cm either side of the centre back seam.

headband 5

Pinning the next pleat- on all these pleats it’s nice to match the centre back seam line through the layers with a pin.

Sew this with a zig zag stitch with a seam 1.5cm  from the folded edge.

headband 6

Sewing the side pleats

Do the same for the other side pleat.  And voila!  Nearly there.

headband 8

Admire your handiwork

It’s a good idea to control those side pleats underneath so that they lie flat while you wear it & don’t try to poke out .   Fold each pleat towards the centre & pin.  Topstitch over the folded pleat using a zig zag, right sides up, close to the seam.

headband 9

Top stitching the side pleats with a zig zag

You’re done!

headband 10


Wear it well, wear it happy!

headband 11


u badger