Category Archives: Dressmaking

Simplicity 1459 Feature

#vintagepledge Simplicity 1459

Apparently reproduction patterns qualify for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge curated by Marie at A Stitching Odyssey and Kerry at Kestrel Makes.  That got me excited because I had been slowly making Simplicity 1459 with some awesome poly viscose I’d snapped up when visiting Minerva’s shop (& this was from Minerva’s  massive warehouse) last summer.  I am not able to link to the fabric, I am sorry – it was a random roll in the warehouse, & please don’t hate me when I tell you that it was *silly cheap*.  The fabric has amazing drape, but it suits my colours & I just loved the vintage vibe given off by its pattern – a kind of splatty check/ plaid.  Which is not on grain so that immediately helped give up any notion about trying to match it up.  [Score!  Hassle averted!]

Simplicity 1459


Simplicity 1459, as mentioned, is a repro 50s dress with a button bodice, that also has a side zip, and the most amazing collar.  There are also sleeve length options too.  I am picturing the most romantic sleeveless version for the summer.  Gingham perhaps?  Candy stripes?

I made view A, 3/4 length sleeves and instead of a side zip I converted the dress to a shirt dress with buttons all the way from bodice through to skirt.    I couldn’t see the point in adding a zip and buttoning up the bodice.  This was not that difficult –  I cut the skirt from a straight piece of fabric – as opposed to the pieces provided in the pattern & maximised the width / length of fabric I had left to do this- making a back skirt that was about twice the width of two front skirts.  Some of the front skirt width needs to be a front facing- & I interfaced this facing.  Apart from that, & making more buttonholes, all the dress sewing is the same as in the pattern, except for not having to insert a zip.  Result.

Inside out- can you see the facings?

Inside out- can you see the facings?

My skirt facings are not as wide as the facings used in the bodice- so I could have  managed that better-  if I was worried about the inside!  But I am not.

Simplicity 1459

The collar is a shoulder covering wonder!  Not being sure just *how big* it would turn out, & whether it would suit a small framed person like me, I felt safe in experimenting in this fabric, afterall, if the collar was oversized, the pattern would mitigate.  I don’t think it is oversized, but if it’s a dress pattern you like, but would feel as if the collar was too much of a statement, think about what fabric you’d use.

Simplicity 1459

This dress has plenty of swoosh!  From behind the collar almost covers your shoulder blades!  I have worn it with a cardigan, collar on the outside, & it didn’t cause me issues.

Simplicity 1459

So making this up was fine.  I didn’t make any changes to the fit, but made sure to try on as I went along, well the bodice anyway.  Potentially bust darts could do with being lowered (as always, it’s my age!), & with that belt on it seems as if I could probably do a small swayback adjustment next time too.

The sleeves were interesting.  Can you see from the technical diagram that there are three darts?

Simplicity 1459 I don’t know if you can see them in this picture?  The sleeves are pretty sculpted because of this- & in keeping with the snug fit (not much ease across the back) this is not a dress for hanging pictures in.  The sleeves are also finished with facings at the hem which is a nice clean touch.

I love the movement of this dress!  As I said above, I did not cut out the skirt pattern, but used three rectangles in as much of the width of fabric that I had left.  There is a load of gathering going on with this skirt, but because the fabric is so light, drapey & copes so well with gathers, it works like a dream.

I started this thinking I could finish it as part of Miss Clara’s Autumn of 1,000 shirt dresses, but failed to get in there in time (but I still kept the blog badge in my sidebar- the intention was there) .  So with that knowledge, I sewed this slow time, and it lived on Barbarella while other projects were being completed.  I suppose I treated it as something I really wanted to savour the making of, since it would not be an everyday dress, but I knew it would kick being worn with boots (yay for boots & dresses!).

Simplicity 1459

And yay for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge!  I am aware that I have not actually pledged yet.  But I will be making some vintage inspired makes over the year, promise!


And maybe, just maybe, my entry for Simplicity’s Blogger Challenge could qualify if I channel some vintage vibes ….are you going to give the challenge a go?

Whilst I am collecting badges, I think this dress could fit with the Simplicity Blogger Circle?


I’ve definitely got the intention to make this dress again.  I love it.  I am also interested to see how it compares to Butterick 5747…..same kind of statement collar ….

Moneta feature

Moneta Monday?

It’s exactly a week since my last Moneta post, and here I am with another one to show you- a Moneta dress (by Colette Patterns) made using some lovely teal interlock from Plush Addict.(Disclaimer I received this fabric free from Plush Addict to review)


Now remember,  Moneta is Colette Pattern’s pattern of the month.  And  there is a 20%. discount if you want to buy it this month too- marvelloso! Follow that link!


Now it’s only recently that I became aware of what interlock actually is, & ask me a couple of months ago what it was, & I would only be able to suggest that it was some kind of jersey, but I had no more knowledge than that.  It all changed when I read the article in Seamwork about doubleknits by Alyson Clair & discovered What you clever folk will doubtless already know, that interlock is a kind of double knit (or double knit is a kind of interlock hahaha).  She writes, “Interlock jersey is in fact a double jersey, with a smooth surface on each side. The wales of the fabric on each side are alternated, with the back loops knitted together. This means both sides of an interlock will look the same”.  And the penny dropped.  This interlock is indeed more structured than the Liberty jersey I made my last Moneta out of.  It has less drape & it’s one of those knits whose edges behave & don’t curl up.  It’s easy to work with, & as you’ll see it gathers easily, so it’s not that thick, in fact it feels like quality t-shirts from M&S that your Mum rates highly.  It has less stretch & recovery though, so I would reckon it’s not such a good choice for leggings & truly figure hugging things.


I chose it based on its colour, with a Moneta in mind.  I LOVE teal.  But it’s one of those colours that are sometimes hard to find, which is why I snap them up when I do find them (& why you might be under the illusion that they are common place based on how often I make things up in teal!).


I have already peeled on about how I have found making the Moneta (easy).  I took some photos this time of the elastic waist shirring process.

Fun hey?!  Then there was the collar.  More on that in a minute, but look what happened.

Blade needs changing

This is the ugly mess that results in the overlocker blade not being able to cope with the thickness of fabrics.  YUK.  It persuaded me to get my screwdriver out & replace the blade.  Only, when I came to swap the old for the spare (provided at time of purchase), they were different sizes, so I had to put the old one back in.  SOB.  At least I tried.  I won’t be so scared next time.


So, let’s talk about the collar.  Once again, I opted for a collar, not wanting the plain turned under neckline.  I wanted to make the roll collar, which has been designed with a two piece back.  But I just couldn’t shake off the desire to make it without a break in the back, and using the roll back that is used for the tie collar.  I am sure there is a practical reason for making both these neckline options split either in the front (the tie) or the back (the roll collar), but perversely I had to find out for myself & potentially make the mistake, ignoring the styles provided & cobbling together the roll collar front & the tie collar back.  Nothing special needed for this, since the bodice & neckline shape does not vary, so the collars all fit & are therefore potentially interchangeable.  I was preparing myself for a fall however.


Shall I tell you now?  Did I make a boo boo?  Well I don’t think so….as far as I could guess, the practical reasons for the collar being split in the original designs could be either to make the collar sit down at the back/ front & not flip up.  There is a slight tendency for my collar to be a bit perky, but once under a cardigan it gets flattened into submission.  The other reason is to tell which is the front & which is the back!  Hahaha.  I need to sew a ribbon or something into the back as the only way I can tell is to look at the shoulders to see which way the seams are facing!


So that’s my teal Moneta dress.  I have three Monetas now, & they are so easy to wear – extremely comfy for working at home too.  I could see a sleeveless version in my summer future (with a collar of some description) – but for now, I think three “semi wintry” versions that will also see me into Spring is enough for now- so no Moneta next Monday- promise!  Have you see the tips for Moneta month – especially how to bind the edges?  I like the sound of that!

Miette skirt

Fancy Miette skirt and Fancy Moon Giveaway

So in my last post about a certain investment purchase in Liberty jersey I was telling you how I was coming around to the idea of actually spending a little more for fabrics that have that wow factor.  That conclusion has been reaffirmed by this skirt I am about to show you, although, full disclaimer, I was lucky enough to be given a choice of fabric to review from Fancy Moon, so no purchase necessary (for now but I WILL be back!)


The trouble with trying to single out a fabric at Fancy Moon is that there are too many gorgeous fabrics!  I  had fabric-mania – my shortlist of fabric to die for was getting ever longer as I perused the categories.  Helpful hint – try not to look through the whole stock but decide upon what themes you want – I took a breath & focused on florals and Asia and Far East.

So after far too long looking at fabric treats I chose Peacocks- Black Oriental fabric by Elizabeth Studio.  After making my last Miette skirt, I knew that it is the perfect pattern to showcase a beautiful print – with an amount of flare but no gathers, the design details would be allowed to sing in full feminine chorus.

Peacock designs are just one of my weaknesses, (exhibit A: Colette Ginger skirt & exhibit B: Duathlon leggings) & being in the oriental design range ticked off another weakness!


Some thought went into how to optimise the fabric with the Miette pattern.  And I have to say that with such a bold print as this, even the cute bow details of the Miette are cast into second place – the fabric really does hog the limelight!  Which is why it was more about the shape of the Miette for me, not the usual Miette details.   I omitted the big front pocket, but as this fabric is cotton, crisp enough to hold the flared shape, but eminently soft enough to make an awesome front bow without being ridiculous, that was my priority- a pocketless bow tied Miette.  I cut the front piece on the fold (overlapping the centre front by 1.5cm to eliminate the seam allowances).  That was all the change that was needed.  Everything else was sewn following the instructions & came together really quickly.

Miette skirt

Now, you need to know that I have heard amongst Miette makers, that there is a certain degree of trauma/ tedium associated with turning the mega ties that make the bow- they are *rather long*!  Have no fear, you do not need to suffer any longer!  I found a usefully quick & painless way to turn the ties using  my handy unpicker (but any similar implement would do) .

This is such an old unpicker, I had it in my first sewing kit as a child.  I use it less for unpicking, and more as a point turner- the end is really useful!  Anyway, it’s perfect for this- it’s a bit shorter than a pen- maybe a pen would do (as long as the lid stays on- you don’t want any leakages!).  So I put the “implement” into the sewn end of the tie & push it through, squooshing the tie around it.  At some point you reach the part of the tie that is open at the waistband, & the “implement” can be pulled through, turning the tie right side out.  Once turned, you can shake the implement out of the tie and then do your usual for getting pointy corners.  Think you’ll try this out?

Miette skirt bow

I sewed the hems & waistband facing by hand because it was a lovely TV watching thing to do, in the warm during a particularly cold part of the month.  Don’t get me wrong, my sewing conservatory is *my most favorite room*, but at night, in the winter, I can only take so much chilling, so the proportion of hand sewing I do can increase as I dispatch to the cosy living room where I can put the fire on to defrost……& continue sewing :-)

This is the wrap back

This is the wrap back

The skirt though.  Do you love it as much as I do?  I don’t think it is possible.  Worn with a slip, woolly tights & my warm chunky boots I adore it- I think the black background makes it a winner for the winter as long as I keep myself warm enough.  Equally it’ll see me into Spring, as the fabric is a crisp-ish cotton.    Now that’s making a wise purchasing decision – longevity through the seasons! Despite the lack of photographic evidence, I have worn this a lot as it makes me feel so individual.  It is truly an awesome skirt.


So if you have skimmed the paragraphs above, to get to the giveaway, the time is right!  Yes, Nancy at Fancy Moon is offering a £30 gift voucher to the lucky winner who I will draw at random.  All you need to do is head over to Fancy Moon and leave me a comment telling me which fabric you would choose (& if you know what you would use it for, please share that too!  I am nothing if not nosey inspired by others) .  The giveaway closes at midnight GMT on the 27 March 2015 and I will pick the winner during that weekend.  Good luck!

Moneta feature

Liberty Moneta

Time for something lovely.  And that should be loverly with a capital L for Liberty!  Yes, here is my Liberty jersey Moneta, promised after making my polka dot Moneta earlier this year.


And what good timing as the Moneta is Colette Pattern’s pattern of the month.  And apparently there is a 20% discount if you want to buy it this month too- excellente! Follow that link!


OK Kilburn Rose Liberty Jersey is one of my high hitting fabrics this year.  Bought in Shaukat when I visited last year, this was the most expensive length of fabric I have ever bought for a dress.  (But you know I am a bargain sniffer, it’ll take a big shift to change me into a quality gal) .  But this is so worth it.  The fabric is just *amazing*.  Its drape, the colours, the beautiful roses (designed by Tamsin Greig don’t you know – read about it here).


Having made Moneta once, I knew what was in store.  I shortened the bodice slightly & think I got it just right.  This therefore impacted on the overall length of the skirt too, making it a tad shorter which is a good thing.  I also opted for the tie neck, because, *of course!*  It’s a tie & a collar & as well as looking dreamy & classic & vintage to suit the beautiful fabric, I also did not like the neck just turned under, which is how the basic Moneta is designed.


The back of the neck scoops & has a scooped collar, which I love, although, currently wearing under cardigans squooshes it up a bit at the back.


I don’t think I made any other changes to how it was put together – I really like the gathered skirt, I love the way it swings & feels super girly.  I kept the sleeves at elbow length which I also think is very feminine & surprisingly doesn’t bring me out in goosebumps with my wrists only covered by cardigan at the moment.



I am really into wearing dresses, tights & boots & this dress is getting worn a lot.  It is yet another of my dresses that is super easy to care for – no ironing people!  Just wash, dry naturally & wear again.  Score!

I tell you what.  Spending more on fabric, to make less really does create some amazing clothes that become firm favorites.




It’s clearly obvious, that if you spend at the very top end of your budget, your spending decision is going to be far more sound & long lasting than bulk buying because it’s a bargain.  I am learning.  Honest!

Steeplechase leggings

I’m a walking technical diagram- Steeplechase Leggings!

Check out the new pattern from Fehr Trade – the Steeplechase leggings. I was thrilled to be a tester, so let me tell you about them. Designed cleverly (of course, it’s Melissa we are talking about here- she never designs something that anyone else has done) – yes, designed cleverly with no inseam, these are leggings that are super quick to make as well. Two pieces, that’s all you need – a yoke & a leg (times two of course). But the shape of the leg is weird, I warn you – it doesn’t look like any leg piece I’ve ever seen before. (Before I launch into more about the leggings, I need to say that since testing these, Melissa has made a few tweaks from tester feedback to get an *even better* fit around the back of the knee, & a bit more room at the ankle.  Just saying, because my photos are tester pics).

Steeplechase leggings

Paying attention to the notches is a must as these leggings have a curved seam that wraps its way around from your outer glute down the back of your leg. This avoids any chafing that you might experience from inner leg seams, and is apparently born from a suggestion by a horse rider. Smart!

Steepelchase leggings

So they come together really quickly – there is an option to add an inner pocket if you want, and of course options for different leg lengths. I have only made full length leggings as it is full length legging season for me. And I wanted to make sure I got the seams right – if they work all the way down my leg, then they will work as shorter versions was my thinking.

Steeplechase leggings

Want to hear a confession? Due to my laptop’s software, including operating system having to be reinstalled my Adobe settings had changed & I was a real idiot and didn’t measure the test square. Take it from me folks, always measure your test square! My first pair came out 25% bigger & did they cause Melissa & me headaches in trying to work out what went so desperately wrong with the sizing? But I managed to salvage a pair of usable leggings out of it, to be revealed in a later post of holographic awesomeness. I then roadtested the pattern at 100% in some expendable fabric (also to be revealed as part of a holographic treat later) which proved that all was well & the light was green for go to get making my besties.

Blue steel

My last pair for now are made out of this fabulous lycra from Plush Addict- In coral- given to me for me to review. Being a solid colour I took a chance & went crazy with my seams- on the outside! #shocker# I know how to live on the edge. Yes, I used my overlocker’s rolled hem seam, sewing these wrong sides together. I machine basted the seams with a long straight stitch at the seam allowance before letting loose with my rolled hem over the top of it. I used four cones of normal cotton thread, but it would have looked so much better if I had woolly nylon in the loopers. I just don’t have any at the moment, but that will be speedily rectified for the next pair….

Steeplechase leggings

I played around with the stitch settings first – I think the stitch length was as short as I could get it. But it’s OK, I think, isn’t it?! I only used this seam finish for the long leg seam & the yoke seam.  The crotch was sewn right sides together with a regular 4 thread overlock stitch.  Hems & elastic as per normal – twin needle or Coverstitch.


I just had to include this – super dork face – someone who would print out at 125% !

And the leggings were a dream to wear – really special fabric next to the skin, silky, and extremely comfy to wear. The fab Plush Addicts can neither confirm nor deny at the moment whether this is a breathable or wicking fabric, and if they hear otherwise I will update this with deets. It is sold as swimwear fabric.  However, I cannot say enough just how luxe this fabric feels to wear – it plus the Steeplechase leggings pattern – are so comfy to run in at this time of year. I have so far ran a good 7 miles in them (a cool evening run half of which was uphill) & also a shorter 5 mile daytime run. I cannot provide any feedback on whether this fabric is suitable for warmer workouts, but by gum, it’s amazing for me at this time of the year. I have since ordered some more in blue! Wheeeee!! (It also comes in Hunter green and black…..)

My problem is that they are seriously competing with the Duathlons as my fave leggings to sew for running.  How can I decide?  Duathlons have more pieces – but super useful side seam pockets.  The Steeplechase leggings are amazingly quick to sew, extremely comfy & do have an optional back inner pocket.  I am unable to pick a winner.  See some examples of the Steeplechase leggings sewn up my Melissa.  If you want to buy some, then until March 25 there is a discount code – SADDLE10 - for 10% off – & if Paypal using, you are taken a way through the process until you can use it.

Surf to summit

But what about the top of awesome zebra confounding?  Why it’s another Surf to Summit top, using lycra from UKFabricsonline.  Those arms caused me so many giggles as I had them poking out under a regular t-shirt I was wearing to promote local fostering at the Bath Half Marathon.  I love the Surf to Summit for winter running, I love the neckline and the handmitts that make me feel as if I am wearing a morph suit (but provide good finger toasting, and no glove loss when you need to take them off – perfect especially in a race!)  It really is my ideal winter running top, especially in a lovely lycra.  Super comfy & very practical.

So for now, it’s over & out on the running togs.  But I promise you I will return with the craziest Steeplechase leggings you might ever see,  (Now that’s a challenge), modeled by someone other than me, a special guest. .  Just be prepared to grab your sunglasses!

Simplicity 1696

It’s Chino time! Simplicity 1696

Hello everyone!

Chino 1



I feel I have struck Chino gold, but in order to explain why, I need to go back in time to a less positive place. Do you remember when I made *those Burda* trousers (Burda 7017) after being convinced by how awesome Katie and Karen looked in them? The trousers that just did absolutely nothing for me, just looked like someone had taken a bicycle pump & inflated my rear? And my stomach? Not to mention the jodhpur style legs I’d already had to slim down. Well the funny thing is that it was one of those blog posts that I accidentally deleted when I had my laptop problems & was working off my ipad. (I know you don’t believe me, but every cloud as they say …) So therefore I can’t link back to it, nor the very helpful comments, & those that laughed along with me too.

So I am going to show you only one picture of the offending trousers as a baseline. And offer up some hope to other people struggling to find the right fit. After baring my balloon I received so much endorsement to *avoid pleated pants*. I could not ignore the swell of opinion!


Burda youth

The blouse is a Colette Violet hack.

I had an old McCalls 9233 in my pattern stash, but I was tempted by the newer “Perfect Fit” Simplicity 1696 pattern. Flat front chino style narrow legs. Was that welt pockets on the back too? (actually they are welts, not pockets).


chino welts

But good none the less to break up the expanse behind. So after consulting Vicki at Minerva about chino suitable fabric & being led to the selection of Gaberchino I determined that I would add this pattern to my March make for the Minerva Blogging network.


chino (2)


I have not used any Perfect Fit patterns (but you since know that I have also bought the jacket as an option for my Tweedy hacking jacket). I sat down & read through – what makes this so different? Well there are three different body shapes, & instead of self diagnosing, there are some key measurements to take to determine which shape to go for. In this case, hips and the crotch length. (I would have self diagnosed wrongly btw, it was worth reading the instructions!)

What else do Perfect Fit pants have that other trouser patterns don’t necessarily have? Well, side seams are larger, to allow for better fitting. Also the inner leg seam, at the top has excess in order to play around at fitting time. As you would expect, there is guidance in the instructions for fitting, & combined with “Pants for Real People” I would say this pattern gives you enough grace to mess around with the fit, even if it involves multiple basting/ trying on/ unpicking. So you have a very good chance at getting a good fit.

There are also “Perfect Tips” scattered within the instructions, such as applying bias to the bottom of the cut bottom edge of the zipper to make it smooth, that you can incorporate into your sewing, or not, as you choose.  

Perfect fit

Showing clockwise from left, belt loop extra stitching, neatening corner of waistband facing, extra seam allowance at inside upper leg

OK, so that’s what’s different about Perfect Fit patterns in my humble opinion, based on a solo experience – for what that’s worth!! How about the normal stuff, like, steering through the whole trouser with front fly making process? Well, what do you think? Do they look OK to you?

chino (5)

I found the instructions really easy to follow & enjoyed making them up.

Chino fly

The only irritation I had, following the instructions came with the waistband. It is a four piece with two pieces for the back (like the Thurlows, making it easier to fit) & a right front & left front – all with doubles as facings. The instructions have you finish the lower (waist) edge of the facing before attaching, & finishing with bias binding is an option, which I chose. You then attach the facing to the waistband- some nice corner turning action which I did appreciate, however, I did not like the finish I got by stitching the facing down in the ditch.

Chino Facing

Usually I would fiddle around by pinning in the ditch to make sure my stitching in the ditch follows an even line with my facing – tweaking as necessary in the pinning process. You can see here that the stitching line, governed by the “ditch” does not follow the already bias finished edge uniformly. But that was my only niggle.

Fitting? I compared myself to the finished measurements and shortened the leg length before cutting, and confident with the 1” seam allowances cut the size based on my hip (not my sausage waist). I did baste them to fit.

Chino fitting

Left & middle before, right hand after fit adjustment

And found that I needed the slightest tweak at the waist/ upper hip to get rid of those pesky draw lines. I did not narrow the legs at all, and like how they fit.

Chino (3)

What about the wearing? Well, so far so good. They are really comfy, like ever so nice to wear. They are the kind of trousers that you feel you need in several colours. They really are for me, the perfect chino pattern. Minerva have a lot of different colours in this Gaberchino, which does feel soft & has a nice level of drape.

OK, you see from the photos it creases a bit after being worn, but I kind of expect that in trousers like this (& I did have some major league loafing around on the day that these pics were taken!) I shall be making more, as they clearly show that I do need to avoid pants with pleats!

chino (4)

And photo credits this time, Handmade Jane, who really knew without being asked, how to focus on those all important butt/ crotch close ups!! Thank you so much! – on location in Cirencester.

Linden Sweatshirt – a well worn test

I have seen so many tempting versions of the Linden Sweatshirt, by Grainline, that in the end I weakened & coughed up for my own version. Eminently wearable loungewear was my thinking. All I needed was some sweatshirting.


I had my ribbing, this awesome turquoise knit ribbing from Plush Addict (remember a little goes a very long way – I bought a metre and anticipate a wardrobe of knits coordinated by their ribbing!)

Linden sweatshirt

Sweatshirting was on my shopping list when I went to Goldhawk road the last time & I found some that suited my needs – a funky enough colour, & with a fluffy reverse but with a not-too shiny right side- some sweatshirting looks to me to be too polyester-y – I want soft & matt please. But clearly in Goldhawk Road I was also looking for a bargain.

I found this, but please don’t ask me which shop. It was excellent value, and came as a tube. Unfortunately it wasn’t until I cut it out that I discovered fade lines which has therefore rendered this sweatshirt as definite domestic use only, as I could not cut around the fade marks.

Linden sweatshirt

See fade mark through the mid sleeve

Heyho. Never mind. I still wear it – a lot.  Beacause this is SOOOO cosy and warm.  It’s a winter domestic essential, seriously.

I enjoyed making my Linden, but think there is room for improvement. The neckline could be a little bit more uniform – even though I always tend to overlock neckbands with an eye on the finished band width rather than the seam allowance I am cutting off, there are a few places that are narrower than others, & with a contrast ribbing this shows more.


The Linden is very boxy, although the arms in this version at least are reasonably narrow fitting considering the amount of “box” in the body. I don’t mind this, but could think about fitting my next one just a smidgeon. I also think that it looks far better being worn with skinnies than it does being worn with my (coordinated ribbing) Hudsons. When worn together I look as if I am either about to enter a ballpool, playing with the other toddlers, or else am in custody.


Anway, I have more sweatshirting now,


it’s like, emerald green!  From Ebay.  Should I be tempted by other colours in the Plush Addict range or should I stick with turquoise?

Options could be emerald with …



Yellow – too boy scouts?



Too much choice!  I also like the idea of making a baggy short sleeved t-shirt too sometime. Looks like Linden & I have a nice future ahead of us!

Summer PJs (4)

Summer PJs in winter?

If there is one thing you surely must know about me by now, and that is that I feel the cold.  I am always the one hogging the radiator (probably hanging on to it with blue toes), the one that stays in the car that bit longer after arrival (car heaters are just so efficient!) & can think of nothing more comforting than a hot mug in front of the fire.

But I made the finest summer PJs in December.  And that’s because they were destined as a gift for Muppet Cookson (my very occasional photographer) as she was going on a fab Indian holiday in February.  In fact she is probably still there as I write this.  Just.

Summer PJs

I can’t tell you about the pattern I used as it is a one off not available for sale.  It is a simple camisole with french knickers though- & there are plenty of patterns around that you could find, including the Colette Pattern’s Savannah cami from issue 2  and a selection at Measure Twice Cut Once that could result in something you’d wear in bed even.  Burdastyle have a few lovely patterns that would be gorgeous bedtime/ loungewear if you were somewhere hot don’t forget.  This one- with ruffles then there is this empire waisted cami, and these spiffy French knickers.

Summer PJs (3)

Anyway, back to what you see in front of you now.  I had some silk/cotton fabric with some coordinating lace.  There was just enough to eek out a cami & the knickers & then I also cut out bias strips for the straps.

Summer PJs

I used the Seamwork Savannah instructions for sewing the cami, especially applying the lace around the top.  The whole sewing experience was one of fragility.  french seams, the lace, the narrow hems, the delicate fabric.  It was ever so satisfying.

Summer PJs

My spaghetti straps were oh so easy when turning them using the “Bobby pin” method, for which I am eternally grateful to Tanit Isis, showing me the light, but it is also documented in Seamwork, with three other methods for turning rouleaux.

Summer PJS

As I said, this set was a gift & I am pleased to announce that it was well received & was even modelled (on top of existing winter clothing – so at least I didn’t make them too small!)

Summer PJs (9)

i will look forward to finding out whether they put into action in India ….

Laurel feature

The Laurel pinafore

The Laurel dress by Colette Patterns has to be one of my staples.  I have made *quite a few* with the last one showcasing how well it works with a lining as my LBD.

Laurel dress

Upon my last expedition to Goldhawk Road with Jane, a blatant copy of sorts was afoot, when she happily showed me where she bought the teal  crepe she used to make her Francoise dress.  After hearing how it worked well with thermal tights (we are such goddesses) I felt that it could well be possible to wear a cute dress – above the knee- in winter- & still be warm enough.

Laurel dress

But somewhere along the way between deciding I would buy a length of this fabric (£12.99 per metre) & asking for a proper amount, I sort of, er, didn’t ask for enough.  In my head I thought a metre would be plenty, as this fabric was pretty wide.  Yes,  I can get a shift dress out of a metre of fabric, but not the sleeves.  Doh!

Laurel dress

Anyway, I discovered this when venturing forth to cut out my Laurel.  Sleeves, even short sleeves, were out of the equation.  Some mad brain computing later churned out the alternative Laurel – the pinafore (or jumper?) in teal with purple lining.


Now when I made my LBD I sewed this in an evening.  Exactly, or almost exactly the same.  Not so this time.  I attempted to add pockets – which I lined – but were nothing beyond the pockets provided by the pattern.  Apart from that, I did nothing different.  I used the same tutorials as they are pretty darn excellent, for lining a sleeveless dress by machine.   Although, the final time I inserted the zip (yes there is a story here) I attached it by hand.


So what’s the story?  Firstly the crepe is more of a challenging fabric to sew if a crisp finish is desired.  I am not 100% pleased with the pockets – they look decidedly amateur & I didn’t achieve brilliantly square edges.  But that is the fabric I am sure.  It’s reasonably thick & bouncy.  Doesn’t hold a firm fold.

Laurel dress

The zip though?  I usually tend to opt for lapped zippers, & was anticipating this not being straight forward so I remembered to interface the zipper  seam edges (ie centre back) before attaching the zip.  Despite this look how it has a tendency to bulge through sewing.  I even basted the zip with perpendicular pins to counter this fabric jokery.

But this is not the reason why I had to unpick the zip more than once (I think I took two attempts to get it this far).  Sadly I was all ready to try the dress on to hem it, when I discovered that one of the shoulders had twisted.  Aaaargh!

SO I had to unpick & start again.  On a positive note the zip went in a lot better.


I also forget that some of Colette Patterns dresses are a bit short – this is no exception.  But hey ho.  I should maybe add a note to my pattern piece for future memory lapses.

Laurel dress

I’ve only been wearing it with jersey long sleeves, but really do need to see whether it works with a button-up shirt.  I will have to report back to you if it’s a goer.  Anyone else a fan of the sleeveless dress= pinafore/jumper?  Could an aging badger pull it off, or would the collar be just a little bit too Lolita?

You choose! Just what shall I make out of this Funki Fishy fabric?

I am clearly insane giving up control to you, my readers!  I have one last Funki make, and am in a sewing dilemma.  And have been for a while.  You are going to decide….

Check it out first then I am hoping that the polling widget I have found will allow you to tell me what to do.

Funki fishy fabric

Yep.  Tropical fish.  And coordinating ripples.  Up close.

Funki fishy

funki ripples

This was given to me by Funki fabrics and as I have already made rather eye catching Duathlons out of the peacocks and the leopardskin roses I feel making Duathlons again would be too lazy of me.    First of all, you need to know this is going to be made for running in.  In public.  I know.  My imagination is just too excitable.  However, it’s going to happen.  I originally ordered the two fabrics to make PB Jam leggings as there are flashes of contrast through the legs.

Source: Fehr Trade

Or should it be Ooh La La leggings using the contrast in a clever way somewhere amongst the piecing?

Source: Papercut patterns

But then I then thought, “whole legs of reef? ????” should I make a running skirt instead?  Maybe Jalie skort – but maybe another of my own concocting.

Source: Jalie

So that is the choice dear readers.  You decide.  I don’t want to skew the results too much by splitting the vote between two different leggings patterns.  If you have an opinion you want to share you can always leave a comment :-) if you can be bothered!  But otherwise I shall make either a skirt or leggings depending on the final vote!

What shall I make using my Funki Fishy Fabric?

  • Running skirt (58%, 163 Votes)
  • Leggings (42%, 116 Votes)

Total Voters: 279

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It’s up to you!  And thank you!

I’ll leave the poll open until I am ready to make them….I am not sure yet when that will be ….March sometime perhaps.