This pattern is from Frances Tobin’s book, there are eight patterns and the clever magnetic cover  keeps the patterns and instructions together


The pattern is simple, and I love the deep asymmetric hem. There are darts in the back for shaping.


This is a very lightweight denim fabric and I originally used two large press studs to close the skirt but changed to a smaller press stud internally and a button on the outside. The pattern uses herringbone tape to stabilise the waistband and prevent stretching

A lovely quick make, but I did faff about a bit getting the closures in the right place!


The book has ideas for variations for each of the patterns so good value, mine was a pressie from a lovely friend 😺   You can really see how the hem falls when the skirt lies flat



Hey my Peeps! What's up? I know I've been gone for a minute, getting this magazine together, I want it to be as EPIC as the image inside my head. I'm still on track to the November release and updates will be coming in the next few days.

Meanwhile, we took a few pictures for the magazine and I also took the time to photograph the jacket which was my first published piece with Sew News magazine's April/May issue. This was a denim jacket refashion with a little bit of Ankara fabric sleeves. This is a super way to give that old denim jacket a new lease on life!

Stay tuned for the magazine updates & have a great weekend!


Hi everyone

I hope you enjoyed my last post about the making of the skirt! I’m now onto the bustier base, which one one of the hardest part until I found an amazing tutorial on YouTube!

Attempt number 1 – I started of trying to make the top using a halter style self drafted top. Whilst very simple to make, WAY to much side boob for a wedding dress!

top v2

Attempt number 2 – I then found the following tutorial showing how to make a bodice using a bodice block.

It was a very good tutorial however I don’t think I had my bodice blocks correct and whilst ok on the mannequin, it gaped on me!

top v1

top v2.2

Attempt number 3 – After attempt number two failed I found the following tutorial which used a mannequin to draft the pattern:

I have an adjustable mannequin and followed the instructions in the tutorial to map out the form:planning

I created the pattern pieces then sewed... [read more]

Yes, yet another Vogue 1312 by Lynn Mizono.  SO COMFORTABLE!  Don’t start with the ‘secret pyjamas’ thing, this is a go-to-work NIGHTIE.  Love it love it.

Here are the last two, as a reminder:

version 1- black jersey top, lightweight chambray skirt
#2, in heavy white printed damask cotton, poly jersey top

Two was not enough.  The black-and-blue one gets heavy rotation, the white one is very summery, and would get very grubby when I’m in full teacher-with-a-maker-pen mode, so is staying as ‘best’ for now.  I needed more!

Into the breach jumped this BEAUTIFUL red stretch cotton sateen, and a lovely lightweight cotton-feel jersey.  And out of the Drawer of Heavenly Delights came the lovely cherry-blossom appliques I succumbed to on eBay a year or two back.  I bought lots.    Oh dear.  5 LARGE cherry blossoms, several large roses, and many small... [read more]

What a day that was!  We were supposed to be going to a certain much-awaited wedding on Saturday, but as we started to get ready to go out, Dawn came down with a horrible upset tum, and had to go back to bed for the day.  I cursed a fair bit [not at her, just about not making it to the wedding] and then used the time to best advantage, and sewed.

Dawn re-surfaced a bit after 3pm, and commenced to test her appetite.  I have to say, it passed with flying colours…

I was close to finishing by the time we’d got ourselves sorted out, so ploughed on with the final hemming stages, and got it completed in good time to doll up and go join the wedding for a few hours of the evening do.  More on the wedding in other posts, back to the jacket for now.

I think it has fulfilled my aim of being a very versatile jacket, styled to look dressy if needed, but still fine for... [read more]

Onwards, onwards.  Now for the red, straight skirted version, with three quarter sleeves, and turn back cuffs.  And a detachable peplum.  Why not?

The fabric is very odd- thick, almost felt-like, it looks very much like wool, feels like wool, but burns like a bitch polyester.  Oddly, despite fighting me when pressing seams, it allowed me to steam it into shape beautifully for the collar and shaped sleeve.  Weird.

The sleeve is a beauty, despite that flattish armscye, and is shaped with three little darts at the elbow, giving that lovely vintage curved sleeve shape that is so satisfying!  The bodice was a doddle, although I made life harder for myself by refusing to recut the facings when I did the FBA, and just patched some scraps on to the bottom to lengthen them.  Meh.

The cuffs and half-circle peplum looked set to be rather bulky, so I... [read more]

First, the blue, full-skirted version.  I started zooming it together.  The copious instructions  start with detailed info on making up the toile, and fitting it.   Yeah yeah, you know me.  I zoomed ahead, just checking assembly order.  All seemed very nicely drafted, the collar went together easily…until I tried turning the edges under to neaten it.  They didn’t match.  I sent an email, yes, someone else had found the same issue, it was a change made by someone along the process of producing the pattern layout, not as originally drawn/drafted.  Easily fixed, it just needed a trim.  I did so, and got the bodice assembled.

Too small.  Way too small.  No way to close it too small.  Wanting a quick fix, I umpicked the front darts, and resewed the armhole seams a tiny bit smaller to release a little width.  Nope.  Not enough.

Now, this is my... [read more]

**The posts on this pattern testing were written months ago, and I’ve been waiting for the pattern release ever since.  It’s finally out, so here goes!

I was faffing about on Facebook a while back [as usual] when I spotted a request for pattern testers from Sense and Sensibility.  This is a historical pattern site, and I used one of their patterns to make an Edwardian style jacket for Dawn to wear as the Other-Mother of The Bride, for my youngest’s wedding, 5 years ago.

I liked the pattern, and have fancied being a pattern tester for  awhile, so volunteered my services.  Conveniently, she wanted testers for the largest and smallest sizes on offer, to check grading,  and my measurements were close enough to the largest.  Oh the shame!

Then I sat back and waited.  And waited.  There were all sorts of technical difficulties, so we got lots... [read more]

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Do you horde your scrap stash?

I do, probably to a fault.

I'm guilty of saving scraps a few inches big for some project, someday. (Which, let's be honest, I'll never use). 


But, sometimes the hording comes in handy. Take these Lexi Chick Boxers by Evie La Luve for example! Using scraps from leftover projects I've been able to make five (yes, FIVE) pairs of boxer shorts to wear around the house. I basically have a brand new sleep wardrobe and I only had to buy elastic - sewing to save money at it's finest. 

Moments like these are how I justify saving all off the scraps.  


Today I wanted... [read more]

Awhile ago, back when I was living in California and sewing and blogging regularly, I took a trip to New Hampshire for the wedding of one of my good friends from college. A few friends from my college days had recently found this sewing blog of mine, and I remember sitting down with them at an outdoor cafe soon after arriving and getting a barrage of questions about both sewing and blogging. I don’t remember most of what they asked, but I do specifically remember one friend asking how much time it took to sew my own clothes and then blog about its often as I was. By the way he asked, it was clear that he thought it must take an incredible amount of time. I had to pause and think since I didn’t actually know how much time I spent sewing and blogging. I found it fun and enjoyable, so I never kept track of my hours. But, I knew I was working long hours in the lab for my day job;... [read more]

If you suspect this tutorial will contain phrases like “this weekend my hubby and I” or “first I had someone install the” – you … More woman’s guide to building a giant pegboard »

The post woman’s guide to building a giant pegboard appeared first on My French Twist.

I know the first official day of fall might still be a bit too early to be thinking of fall clothes here in North Carolina but a girl can dream, right? I do still have a few summer projects to finish up and post, but I've been watching lots of Korean dramas recently and it seems like every single character in every show has an extensive wardrobe of gorgeous coats, so I've been dreaming of coat sewing! I have a few projects I'd like to complete this fall, before it gets really cold, so that I can wear my completed garments all winter:

1. A spring/fall transitional trench. I snapped up the Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench coat immediately after it was released but it took me a while to finally make it--in the same fabric as the sample, oops! I love blush for fall and this trench was such a pleasure to make. Kicking off my coat making wonderfully, it'll be on the... [read more]

Are you halfway through Something Wicked This Way Comes yet? Do you have opinions? Today is the day to start talking about our responses to the book.

Here are a few questions to ponder today and for the next week or so -- and please feel free to leave your thoughts whenever you can.

I'll add some of my own thoughts and you can riff off of them or add your own impressions. If you want to hear other takes on a part of the book that you found either wonderful or annoying leave your own questions in your comment, too. I hope you are all enjoying it!

1.What did you think of the writing style?  Did it take any effort to get used to it? Do you like it?
I love Ray Bradbury's writing style; his excessive use of adjectives, wildly creative and sometimes opaque metaphor, the snap and spirit in his stories as they rush along. I know it can seem melodramatic... [read more]

Happy Friday!! It’s hard to believe we’re in late-September these days. I’m heading to visit some family tomorrow and also excited for some sewing time on Sunday. Before I sign off for the weekend, I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the week! Allie’s Charleston Top I can’t stop thinking Allie’s Charleston […]

The post Friday Favorites | September 22nd appeared first on Handmade by Lara Liz.

I finally completed the Pretty Peplum Top!

OMG!  I cannot believe how long it took to complete this project.  I eliminated so much width with this pattern.  This was definitely a lot of frog sewing with this one.  But I was bound and determined to get this to fit as I really like this fabric and it was worth it to keep trying.

The pattern is now adjusted with all the fitting changes.

I have not worn this yet.  It is a heavier weight knit that will be great for cool/cold weather.
Here is the completed top-front view and close up

So I am now on to my next project using fabric from stash-a navy blue scuba knit.  This is a recent pattern purchase from Simplicity, S8425 with choker neck band.  I plan on making the dress.

I have pin fitted and made adjustments to the pattern.  I need to pin fit again to make sure all adjustments are what I need.  Updates to follow.

When my daughter was born, a family friend gave us a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit. Of course I had read it as a child, but I as a new mother the idea of something that is so loved that it becomes "real" struck me as all the more poignant. 

So when I started making home-made toys for my kids, the Velveteen Rabbit was high on my list! 

My first pattern, the Bunny Lovey, is very sweet for a baby, but the Velveteen Rabbit is a toy that a child can play with throughout childhood. It is soft and cuddly, but also is wonderful for imaginative play or for taking a place at the tea-table. 

Love Sewing Magazine noticed my blog posts about my first versions, and they asked if I had finished the pattern. Last spring, in cooperation with Love Sewing Magazine, the pattern was released in the spring of 2017. 

Now, I am happy to be able to offer it to you as a... [read more]

Almost as soon as Cosmic Coterie officially decided to tackle Madoka Magica for our big build this year, Koholint and I started brainstorming Madoka. We split the labor so that Koho took the upper half of Madoka and I took the lower half. I’ve followed several Madoka cosplayers over the years, and I was absurdly excited about making that ridiculous donut skirt.

The Petticoat


My first step in tackling my portion of Madoka was the petticoat. That giant donut skirt needed a support structure for the floof, so I turned to Jessie Pridemore‘s Madoka petticoat tutorial as a starting point. There are 10+ fabric layers total in the petticoat: 5 layers of chiffon circle skirts with serger-gathered satin ribbon ruffles, a layer of cotton crinoline, and 5 layers of gathered double-circle skirts made from tulle. There are also 120 yards of satin ribbon... [read more]

Disclaimer: I’m not a professional sewist or pattern maker. This tutorial simply describes an approach I find helpful in improving the fit of my sewn garments.

I started sewing a couple of years ago, and after a frustrating beginning in the wonderful world of fitting issues, I discovered the fabulous Curvy Tutorials on CSC. Who knew there were adjustments for shoulders, busts, waists and tummies?? And since when was grading between sizes allowed when all of my Kwik Sew patterns shouted at me in capital letters not to do it?!?

More significantly I realised that, like me, many women don’t fit clothing patterns straight from the packet. Being able to grade between different sizes and make fit adjustments is one of the key joys of sewing. Unfortunately, it can also be baffling, time consuming, sometimes unsuccessful, not to mention that every... [read more]

So, I recently "inherited" this iPad 2 from my boyfriend. He had bought it used from my twin brother around Christmas 2 years ago and found that he just didn't use it enough. So I got to play around with it, MWAHAHAHA.

And what did this sewist do? Installed some nifty sewing apps, of course! And one of them was Cora.

Now, if you don't know Cora, it is most likely because you have Android on your phone. Me too. And Cora only works for iTunes/AppStore/Apple products. Like the iPad 2. Aha!

It is a fabric stashing app, where you can catalog your fabric and then browse through or search it. You can filter your stash by type, weight, wash status, star-markings or by the minimum length your next project will need. The fabrics are beautifully displayed and a long tap on the picture will show the photo in full size while a short tap will show all the details you... [read more]
I'm pretty sure Vogue 9253 was declared The Dress of summer 2017, right? It was absolutely everywhere, in part due to the contest that McCall's was having in August. I totally missed the contest until it was over, and just happened to coincidentally be working on the pattern at the same time. Mine might be a bit unrecognizable though, since I made so many changes! I have a lot of notes about alterations, so scroll to the end if you want to read those.

Vogue 9253

The idea for this dress started when I saw a similar one on TV. I put out a request on IG for someone to find me a pattern like the dress I saw. My husband has a work event for us to attend this weekend and it's basically my only chance to dress up (think wedding attire). I wanted to make a dress and ended up purchasing Vogue 9253 and McCall's 7315.

The McCall's pattern had the handkerchief hem and was... [read more]

My poor neglected blog. I’ve really missed writing these posts and I’ve got so much I want to catch up on. Like….

The looks I made for the December Sink the Pink Ball. I think there were 20 costumes in all because I like to punish myself.


And all these for TOYS, back in March. I lost count of the trolls, Care Bears, Clowns and cowboys in this.


And June’s Children of The Revolution – many, many children. In many, many looks.

And a few things for myself.

But all that will have to wait because I’m on my way to the Great British Sewing Bee Live to do an alteration challenge in front of people. After that I’ll be spending the evening putting together the remaining costumes for the next show, with an audience of cats judging my stitching.


In which I share awful photos of an awesome skirt...

After admiring Halle Skirts from Lara and Pauline, I bought the pattern during the most recent Style Arc sale.
Read more »

Since I decided to sew and wear more tunics this fall, I need some truly opaque leggings. I don’t know why this is such a hard thing to find in RTW or fabric stores!

Tessuti Ilsa and Jeggings

Currently, my only pair of public-worthy leggings-as-pants are some jeggings I made with fabric I found locally. (It was $5/m, so I bought 5m!) That fabric is thick cotton and lycra jersey, but something about the two-tone effect camouflages more than just a solid fabric.

I’ve been on the hunt for similar black fabric for over a year, so when Canadian store L’Oiseau Fabrics posted 8ish colours of jegging, I snapped it up! I’ve ordered from them before (remember the peacock tee and cactus tee that I sewed during my #2hourchallenge?) and they seem to have really excellent quality fabric, especially if you like European knits and cotton/lycra... [read more]

The Vees Big Adventure is up in the air, free-falling, and we are devastated.

Due to circumstances beyond our control and unscrupulous RV dealers, the costs to repair the RV properly (despite us being told by the salesman AND the technician that it had a FULL check out and some “brand new” bits and pieces) are piling up at an alarming rate. The repairs could cost almost as much as the RV. The RV dealership basically told us to take a hike and read the documentation. Husband is reeling. We’re both reeling. Our savings is pretty much gone at this stage and we’re faced with some very difficult decisions.

I’m still struggling to find work, despite my certifications and practical experience. I’ve applied to more than 50 jobs and written at least 12 different entrance tests and been told: “we’ll get back to you.” The movers come to pack up our household... [read more]

Okay, I’ve got to admit that this post is a bit of a lie because we don’t get a traditional “Fall” here in Texas.  It’s more like “that hot season before it gets kind of chilly for two weeks.” However, the second September hits, I break out the boots and sweaters because I love fall clothing and I don’t care about the funny looks.

I thought that when I made my Summer sewing plans they were way too lofty.  However, these fall plans definitely surpass those.  September is (somehow) almost over, so I doubt I’ll be able to get all of these done, but thankfully these sewing plans are meant to be more flexible!


  • Lonetree Jacket – I finished the vest version back in April, and I’m just now getting around to the jacket version!
  • Fairfield Button-up – I have fabric on hand to make three more for Nicholas. The plan is to get at least one done a... [read more]
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