Back to the Beginning

Every week I spend a pleasant Thursday morning at a sewing club where we work alongside other sewers getting on with our own projects whilst putting the world to rights. This week I had two projects on the go at home, but neither were at the point of being able to pack into a bag to take to group.

Instead I decided to use the time to make a lined make up bag.

This was one of the first things I made when I returned to sewing 5(ish) years ago and attended a workshop at the Sewing Cafe in Hinckley, Leicestershire. I’ve made several in the intervening years, but haven’t given one a go for a while (you know how it is when everyone you know has received one for either a birthday or Christmas!)

I’m pleased to say that although I still have the original instructions, I didn’t need them at all. Also I was able to use a zip that’s been in my stash forever and some left over vegetable fabric from a recently made Anna dress.

Now, who can I give it to..


A Crazy Crafternoon!

Last Saturday I helped to organise and host a ‘Crafternoon’ in aid of Comic Relief. The idea came about after seeing the Mollie Makes Crafternoon book talked about on Instagram. I bought the book immediately and after sharing details of my purchase on social media became aware of how interested people were in supporting such an event.

Once the book arrived it became apparent that I’d misunderstood the concept: Mollie Makes suggested making the objects to sell to raise money. This didn’t appeal nearly so much so I got together with our local sewing guru and we made the event suit our interpretation.

Our plan was to have a crafting, coffee and cake afternoon. People could come along and sample new crafts or bring along a personal project to work on in company while partaking in beverages and food. Jane and I raided our stashes of fabric and yarn and made examples of things people might like to try (including from the Crafternoon book).

Our event was well supported, provided many locals the chance to craft alongside like minded individuals, was a space for local crafters to meet old friends and make new ones, a great way to spend a rainy afternoon and raised £330!

M is for Moneta

Some time ago I attended a Moneta dressmaking workshop at the Sewing Cafe in Hinckley. I had a great day putting together a lovely dress that is easy to make and comfortable to wear.

Sometime after that I attended the Sew Brum meet up in 2015 and bought some gorgeous green jersey from Guthrie & Ghani, where we spent a lovely afternoon.

Fast forward to 2017 and it was time to put the two together.

Since I made my last Moneta I have gained a little weight so my first job was to stick the pattern back together and, as I wanted quite a baggy dress, I cut out the largest size. After cutting out and re-threading my over-locker (I’m getting quite good at that now!) I was ready to go.

It hardly takes a minute to whip it all together however there was a problem – it was way too big! I spent the next couple of days trimming off bits here and there, ending up with quite a fitted number after all (the quote from my OH was “You’ve got a figure, show it off!”).

And so my second Moneta is complete!



Ride ’em cowboy! 

I have finally finished my V2960 vintage pattern and I’m ready to share. 

What an incredible learning curve it’s been. 

When the theme for our end of season party was announced as ‘Country and Western’ I knew immediately that I wanted to get hold of this fabric and make myself a dress. Deciding on the pattern took a bit longer. I love the 50’s look and was already in possession of the net under-skirt but I was looking for a pattern that had a hint of cowgirl. I found Vogue V2960 just about right. 

I say just about because the pattern has a button front that I’m not a fan of, so cue my first ever pattern hack. 

It’s been a while since I made a dress, what with moving house and life, so I really enjoyed preparing the pattern pieces, marking the stitching lines and getting everything ready. I decided to make a muslin to check fit as the fabric was quite expensive now that I’m a part time worker so I didn’t want to waste any. In actual fact the bodice hardly needed any adjustment but I was so focused on that that I failed to spot a more fundamental error that had bigger consequences later. 

I went ahead with the bodice, using up old scraps to make the facing. I had a bit of trouble getting the facing to fit accurately – another clue to my niggling issue that I failed to take heed of. 

Next I tackled the skirt. It was clear that the vintage 50’s pattern needed WAY more fabric than I had so, another first, I drafted my own patern pieces to make the biggest circumference I could round the bottom of the dress. I managed to get six lengths from my remaining fabric so did the maths and made a six panelled skirt that fitted the waist size of the bodice. Success. 

But this is where my earlier mistakes came back to bite me on the bum. When I tried the dress on there was a massive issue with the fit on the arm holes. It appeared I had attached the back pieces of my bodice to the wrong sides! 

After several days ignoring the problem and mulling it over I decided there was no option but to unpick the whole thing and change them round. So that’s what I did. I learnt that unpicking isn’t as awful as you expect and it actually only took one afternoon to unpick and re stitch the entire dress. 

I took my time hand stitching the bodice together around the shoulders and, although I’m not the worlds neatest hand stitcher, I’m pretty pleased with the finish. 

I traced the original issue back to an incorrect marking on my muslin, so of course the fit now needed some adjustment which I took care of when reinserting the zip. After adding a hook and eye and hemming the skirt it’s finally ready. 

It’s far from perfect but I thought I’d share for all the other intermediate sewers like me out there. I am always inspired and in awe of other sewing bloggers, but occasionally a little intimidated. 

I hope you like it. I’m certainly looking forward to wearing it later in the year. 

T-shirt Success

After my false starting on Tuesday night, today I finished my first ever t-shirt. I’m pretty pleased with the results. I have embellished the neckline and hem with some silver and diamanté trim that finishes it off nicely.

I paid 50p for the trim, but the fabric and cotton were both free making this a great money saving projects (making up for some of the ones that I spend a lot of money on!)



If at first you don’t succeed… Unpick!

It’s always exciting to try something new and that is my plan for the next few days.
When I first got into sewing a friend popped round with a box full of jersey knits that have been sitting under my sewing table ever since. My recently made tunic top needs a long sleeved T-shirt to go under it and I just so happen to have a T-shirt pattern sitting around the house. All things seem to be pointing me towards facing my stretch fabric fears.

I spent the weekend reading blogs and the like about how to best sew knits. It gave me a long awaited opportunity to attach my walking foot and give it a go.
My plan tonight was to cut out the paper pattern. This was achieved quite quickly, as was the adjustment to make the pattern longer so I decided to cut the fabric too.
That done (making a shorter sleeved T because the fabric I chose to try it out on wasn’t wide enough for long sleeves) I still had a bit of time to start sewing. Silly me!
It started well – I tried a few combinations of zig-zag width and length to find the best for me. I pinned my back pieces together and off I went. Great. After a couple of false starts because my thread kept snapping I was off. Only, when I came to sew on the front I discovered that one of the pieces was upside down! Cue a long session of unpicking. OK, not the end of the world but then the fabric gots itself stuck in the footplate resulting in a complete dismantling of the sewing machine in order to get it out.
Finally I was ready to go again and this time I successfully stitched the back seam. I have now pinned the shoulders, but that will do for today. Check back again to see if I. Ever get it finished!



Today I finished sewing ‘Beatrice’ by Sew Me Something
. This is a smock top/dress with a cross over back, pockets and bias binding around the edges.

It’s a pattern that I’ve had for a while and having recently bought some beautiful soft cotton cord thought the time was perfect.
I learnt two new skills on this project: overlaid seams and bias binding. With Sew Me Something’s clear instructions both were a doddle.

The finished product is quite long on me but I’m really pleased with it.



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