Handmade baby bloomers by

Life last weekend moved a little bit slower. My husband and I headed up to his family's cottage for a long weekend to spend fishing, boating, and enjoying the sunshine. The weather was a balance of rain and shine each day. We were able to spend the days on a little bit a slower pace, sans the early mornings, traffic, and busy schedules that come with our typical workdays. Since I knew that we were headed up north Michigan and that the activities that I can participate in at this point in my pregnancy are becoming limited, I opted to bring my sewing machine and some supplies along with a goal to sew at least one baby item.

Using free patterns found through blogs, I spent a few hours sewing up two new diaper covers, one with a floral print on a gray background and one with a fun pink and blue rocketship print. The rocketship printed fabric was... [read more]
I feel like to be a proper British person I need to start this post off by mentioning the weather.... I mean haven't we just had it all?! The blazing sun followed by pouring rain! High humidity and then this morning it was actually chilly! Anyways I made this skirt a lil while ago but I've gotten out of the habit of posting regularly, what can I say after a day of trying not to melt I'm
Well-I am a little flustered with my progress!  The fabric I am using is very similar to the inspirational top, the fabric content is probably not the same at all.

 I am using a semi sheer rayon that was a pain to cut out as it was a little slippery.  Not difficult to sew, just more fiddly than I prefer to sew.

I was going to use the sleeves with elastic at the hem but that was frustrating for me and after two attempts to get the elastic just right using a casing, I gave up.😒  I had enough fabric to cut out the sleeves with the ties and there is where I stopped for now.  It should not be that difficult to insert elastic into a casing but trying to then stitch down the remaining edge was frustrating and turned out to be unkind to the fabric.

Back to the sewing room after a short break.😏

Hi All, 

I thought I’d share a quick refashion I did this week. I bought an XL t shirt from H&M and decided to hack at it.

I did like wearing this baggy but I wanted to attempt a t shirt refashion as I haven’t done one for years now.

Here it is paired with matching khaki coloured block heels (picked out by a friend, from New Look). The lace was picked up quickly to use as a belt, it was left over after attaching some to the hem.

This is how it looks without a belt in case you were wondering.

This can be worn different ways, with leggings, over the knee socks or jeans

I’ll throw in some random pics from the “photo shoot”

Happy Saturday y’all!


Tagged: diy, handmade, lace, refashion, sewing, t shirt refashion, upcycle
Well happy Saturday SewDay!!!
Is it time to say, you know all you need to know about fitting and designing your skirts.  Or, is this where you tell me, you haven't been paying attention?  I have just two questions for you.
  1. Did you know every possible skirt can be made from a basic straight skirt?
  2. Did you also know a circle skirt will have an automatic Full Butt adjustment and needs no MATH and does not hike up in the back!!??
    Circle skirts that DONOT hike up in the back.
    Google Image
Read more »

I think it’s important to talk about things that are hard. By sharing struggles we gain strength from knowing we’re not alone, that others have the same struggles and that we can make it through them. When I was struggling in graduate school, I gathered the stories of other sewists who had made it through and found strength in sharing their struggles and successes. Now I’m at the start of a new challenge/adventure – motherhood – and I’ve joined with some sewist friends to talk about our experiences. We’ll be sharing our stories throughout the month of July and we’d love to have you join us.

Ease In to Motherhood is a sewists’ celebration of motherhood and the changes it brings to our lives. During the month of July, we invite you to share your experiences of the physical and mental changes of pregnancy, childbirth and/or any other way a child comes to your life. We invite you... [read more]

The number one thing people ask me about for furniture make-overs is how to paint furniture. Over the years, I have fine-tuned how I approach painting furniture. Just about every big piece of furniture in my house has met my paint brush, and for good reason: it's the cheapest/easiest way to achieve my makeshift modern farmhouse-esque stucco'd home in good ol' El Paso, TX.

My techniques have changed over the years, slightly. I have painted everything from decrepit and water damaged barnwood to laminate furniture. Now that I've worked out the kinks, the technique remains the same, and I'm amazed at how well it has worn over the years.

If there is one thing I hope to accomplish with this blog (that I pay the domain for annually with great intentions but little follow through...) it is: I hope to inspire everyone to just paint "that old whatever" that is on the... [read more]

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Today it’s my turn to share the outfit I’ve made for the Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour Sew-along, complete with cocktail! As with last year’s Big Vintage Sew-along, McCalls have selected a range of patterns for the event, with proceeds from the sale of those patterns (between March until November) being donated to The Eve Appeal gynecological cancer charity.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

The twenty patterns included in the sew-along are evening-wear themed, with lots of dresses, but also separates, outerwear, and accessories. After liberal umming and ahhing, I decided to sew Vogue 1428.

Vogue 1428 is designed as a dress in three parts – a skirt, vest under-bodice, and lace bodice – which are joined together at the waist. I decided that they would get more wear as separates, so constructed the skirt and bodice in that way, skipping the vest altogether in favour of a RTW one.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour[read more]


A golden prom dress — made from plastic garbage bags!

A tie-dyed denim pantsuit worthy of Prince himself!

A bomber jacket covered in multicoloured Andy Warhol-style portraits!

If you know Michelle Morris of That Black Chic, you’ll know that I could only be talking about her amazing makes. On the latest episode of the Clothes Making Mavens Podcast, I chat with Michelle about her creative sense of style, how she sews on a budget, and her plans to launch a new, more inclusive sewing magazine. This is the most fun you’ll have all weekend! Check it out.


Michelle Morris of That Black Chic

This week I gave up a couple of hours to help out the Buddy Bag Foundation. They pack backpacks for children who have had to leave their homes for refuges all over the UK, usually as a result of domestic violence in their home. The bags have around twelve items inside to help the children transition into their new lives, often without any of their own possessions.

Amazing charity helping children in refuges

We’ve supported our local women’s refuge since Eleanor was small, donating all sorts from clothes to our buggy, but what I loved about these bags is that everything is brand new. It’s a small thing for those children, but it can really help them feel valued and loved. The first thing they see when they open the bag is a teddy, which is so nice!

The Buddy Bag Foundation are always looking for help, so if you can donate time, money or items for bags, please contact them here.

Buddy Bag Foundation
We packed 180 bags!

The rest of this week... [read more]

I picked up a new (old) vintage machine today and boy does it have a story! As well as some beautiful provenance to match it’s beautiful cabinet. I haven’t even really had a chance to look at the actual machine but if the outside is anything to go by…

It’s still in the boot of my car because I need a second person to help me get it upstairs and that will have to wait until tomorrow….which reminded me that I was going to try and catch up on blogging about my (apparently ever expanding) machine collection.

That’s going well isn’t it? 😉

So here’s my lucky find from November 2015 (see, I told you guys I seriously needed to catch up!)

Obviously no vintage sewing machine collection is complete without a Singer Featherweight…actually no vintage sewing machine collection is ever complete…but now my little collection includes one.

They are a little hard to find in... [read more]

The lace overlay bodice was the part of my wedding dress that worried me the most as it was the part that could so easily go wrong! In addition, we didn't have a plan for it until we got the lace. The reason for this is because we wanted to check the character of the fabric and also work out how to show it off to its full potential. 

Shelley lace for cutting out

The Shelley lace is a wonderful ivory lace comprised of a tulle base, which has been embroidered with a rich, lustrous thread to form the floral design and is finished with a light dusting of sequins. The edges of the flowers and leaves are subtly edged with a silver thread and the lace has matching scalloped edges on both sides. The tulle base makes it delicate to work with and very easy to distort the shape. 
To answer some of our questions about how to cut the lace, I spent an hour in front of the mirror in my partially... [read more]

I had a great chat with Laurie  part of the "Clothes Making Mavens' Team" about the clothes I make, Mori ,the magazine I will be publishing and everything in between. Shout out to Helena for the cool intro for the Podcast. Stop by and listen, it's pretty funny if I do say so myself! 
[Mori was not a part of the interview but I do talk about her]
 photo 35845374-bce1-426b-9e7a-633f43c85d42_zps12c60185.jpg

It’s that time again – maxi dress sewalong! I’m always super excited for these because I love maxi dresses and sewalongs! Happy Summer!

Ashley from Sewn By Ashley and I are hosting the sewalong this year and everyone is invited (and encouraged) to participate! You don’t need a blog and it doesn’t matter your sewing expertise. We also have some great sponsors:

LA Finch Fabrics has offered a $50 gift card to one of drawing winners. I’m super jealous I can’t win this myself! I’m loving their selection and fabrics.

By Hand London has offered up a free pattern to a random drawing winner. Free patterns are the best and these girls know how to draft a cute dress!

If you’d like to display a badge on your blog, use the above image. Look for inspiration ideas from Ashley and I in the coming weeks. Below are some rules and information, please feel free to reach... [read more]

Learning how to use a French curve in your pattern drafting is important.

So important, that I would wager to say that besides my straight edge grided ruler and mechanical pencil, I would honestly flip my sh*t if my French curve went missing. Ever since I learned about it at university, its super high on my list for top sewing tools; there is not a single project that my French curve is not integral to success.

The types of French curves on the market are numerous.

If you’re searching Amazon, I can definitely see how they might be intimidating to even think about!

The two in their listings that I would recommend are:

I have something a bit different to show you today, which is this little clutch bag that I made for my sister, who absolutely loves it.  I first spotted it on Instagram when Kirsten from Fifty Two Fancies made it, and instantly though that my sister would like it.


The pattern is called the Ida Clutch Bag, and is a free pattern from Kylie And The Machine.

One of the bags on the introduction page is leather, as is Kirsten's, and I really loved them, so decided to give it a go myself.  

Much googling finally brought me to Leather4Craft on ebay, where I bought some veg-tan goat skin leather for £22.00.  It came as a rectangle of leather, which I stupidly forgot to measure, and is lovely and soft.  There was more than enough for this little bag.

More googling was done on... [read more]

Amy of That’s Sew Amy and I are super stoked to announce the return of maxi dress sewalong! We’ve got some great sponsors this year, and I can’t wait to reveal my fabric and pattern to you guys! SPEAKING OF SPONSORS THOUGH…

We are mega happy to announce LA Finch Fabrics as a sponsor this year! They’ve kindly offered a $50 gift card to one of drawing winners. How cool is that?? Free fabric is the best fabric, amirite?

The ever lovely ladies at By Hand London are also a sponsor this year. If you know me, you know how much I love their patterns. That’s why I’m thrilled to be able to give away a By Hand London pattern, of the winner’s choosing.

If you’d like to display a badge on your blog, use the above image or imbed using this link. Look for blog posts from Amy and I in the coming weeks, we’ll be posting fabric and pattern inspiration for ya! And of... [read more]

In preparation for our Webster Top & Dress sewalong, we thought we’d share with you some tips on sewing with silk. The Webster is the perfect pattern to pair with silk and because it’s not too complicated to sew, it could be a great first silk project!

Sewing with silk or other slippery fabrics can be intimidating at first, but with preparation and practice, you’ll be cranking out silk tops in no time! Today, we’ll talk about preparing, cutting, and sewing your silk.

Preparing Your Silk

Believe it or not, most silks can be machine washed! Now, I wouldn’t recommend taking your favorite silk shirt and tossing it in the washing machine, but if you prewash your silk fabric in the washing machine, you’ll be able to machine wash the finished garment. Something to keep in mind: machine washed silk loses some of it’s shine, so if you want a high-shine garment,... [read more]

If you’re looking for a good way to quickly and cheaply build up your pattern collection with a lot of different styles, consider picking up or subscribing to a European pattern magazine or two. Popular among European sewists, pattern magazines are released either monthly or a few times a year and contain entire collections of new sewing patterns, often in very on-trend styles.

The main caveat to pattern magazines is that in the interest of economy, the patterns themselves are printed in an overlapping format on large pattern sheets, often looking like a maze or a roadmap, and you’ll need to trace your pattern in the correct size before you can use it. Additionally, the quality of language translations varies quite a bit by magazine. However, these magazines provide a lot of bang for your sewing buck, and most are very well drafted and fit true to... [read more]

rosebud napkin -

This little napkin folding trick is not new at all, but I’m so in love with it. Although, I’m not sure what I love most about it – how beautiful it is, or how many times my husband will say (15 minutes into the meal) “Oh, is this the napkin?”

It is a simple way to add a dose of charm to your next dinner party.

step 1

Fold napkin in half in a triangular shape as shown.

rosebud napkin -

step 2

Starting at the bottom, roll the napkin up, but not all the way. Stop about 3 inches from the top point

rosebud napkin -

step 3

Flip the napkin over.

rosebud napkin -

step 4

Tightly roll the bottom of the napkin into a “wheel” shape. 

rosebud napkin -

step 5

When finished rolling, tuck the loose end into the “wheel.”

rosebud napkin -

step 6

Keeping the “wheel” or rosebud tight, spread out the 2 loose pieces.

rosebud napkin -

step 7

Flip the napkin over and gently fluff “leaves” into shape.

rosebud napkin -

rosebud napkin -

This design is also quite lovely using a simple white napkin. See below how I used it for... [read more]

Several month ago, I stumbled upon this video about sock knitting. They’re using DPNs and knitting one sock at a time. It’s their preference. My preference is knitting four at a time. Two pairs of socks are completed. Which means my daughter receives a pair and so do I. I imagine when I reach a certain number of handknit socks for both of us, I MIGHT go back to knitting two socks at a time. Then again… maybe not. We’ll see!

Week 3 Part 1: Skirt Designing Happiness!!!!
Aren't you glad we have been working systematically through fitting our skirts during this month.  YYYaaaayyy!!!  I am glad we are almost done, because that means we will be on to the show & tell next week.  I can't wait to share! I'm trying not to get ahead of myself though, because we still have a few videos you all haven't seen and a few things we have yet to discuss!!
I was able to knock out another great video for you on the topic of designing a pencil skirt and what to look for when shaping your seams to fit those lovely voluptuous curves of ours.  And I mean, you will be quite surprised at how easy it is to make such a fantastic skirt happen, with such simple changes.  You will even finally understand what an HBL is... uh I mean, a Horizontal Balance Line.  That's right, I'm throwing in a few technical... [read more]
Pattern addict strikes again, this time with one of the new patterns from Papercut Patterns' latest collection, Sakura. This is the Aomori Twist Top!

Read more »
Thanks so much for voting for my Bias Tape Dress! I won the Threads Magazine Sew Stylish Spring Challenge.

You can read all about the 2.5 weeks worth of work that went into the construction of this dress here.

Thanks so much!

Happy Sewing,

Today the heatwave has finally broken here in Somerset, but I’m sharing the perfect dress for summer. Here’s hoping I can get plenty more wear out of it this year! Although I don’t really want any more days as hot as yesterday, thank you very much. That was the hottest June day in my lifetime and I could happily go another 40 years without seeing another one like it.

Anyway, enough about the weather. On with the sewing!


Sweetheart maxi dress 2
Yes, I know I shouldn’t have worn a black bra but it was the only colour not in the laundry!


In a Nutshell:

The perfect vintage-inspired maxi dress for a heatwave!


The Knit Sweetheart Top from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book by Gretchen Hirsch. I made it once before as a black tank top that got loads of wear during Me Made May, but this time I hacked it into a maxi dress with the aid of my knit maxi skirt pattern, drafted... [read more]

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