I love rich florals, earth tones neutrals and muted palettes. They are my go-to favorites. This year however, the metallic fabrics from Riley Blake Designs have made me rethink adding a little shimmer and sparkle to my wardrobe. The Glam Girl collection is a fun and feminine collection featuring ultra trendy rose gold metallic accents.


My immediate thought upon perusing this collection was fun and fancy Christmas ensembles for our family. When I suggested it to Little Miss, she had other ideas. She thought the fabrics were beautiful and needed to be made into something that would get regular use. She encouraged me to think about something I've been reluctant to make, but for whatever reason hadn't yet. She suggested I use the fabric as the motivation to get cracking!

I love sewing books but I'm not a fan of tracing patterns. I bought the... [read more]
I am SO excited about today's post! It's been so fun to be a part of The Fabric Fairy blogger team. The group is very creative and I'm always inspired. A few months back, Sarah from Sewing With Sarah posted about a new fabric, a super cool stretch mesh/lace suitable for athletic wear (it also comes in black!!). She used it as an accent to a top and leggings. I wanted to try the fabric myself, but to mix it up and not directly copy Sarah. I settled on a hoodie and I think I've got a pretty cool piece!

The texture of this fabric is great, and since it's a mesh, it allows air to flow through it. It's 80/20 poly/lycra, so a stable stretch and recovery. To make the hoodie, I used the Sloane pattern from Love Notions. It's a basic pattern that easily transforms depending on your fabric. This is View A, with a slim fit and and shirttail hem. My bust is 33" and I made the... [read more]

Earlier this year, Little Miss completely hijacked my Blooms and Bobbins fabric for a tiered maxi dress. She has been out of the "dress phase" for a while and I was thrilled when she asked for a dress for twirling. Her dress was perfect and we loved it. I loved it so much I was envious that she got it and I didn't! That's what good moms do right? We sacrifice for our kids to have the best.

I knew my sacrifice would pay off because there is always more beautiful fabric on the horizon. Enter Wildflower Boutique by Riley Blake Designs. This collection called my name and the blue colorway of the main fabric was just what I was waiting for.

It was time to get the maxi dress of my dreams. This year, tiered maxi dresses are in all of the pattern catalogs. I have bought a few, but none of the current patterns gave me the "umph" I was looking for. I... [read more]

Here at Sewcialists we are definitely not about “the traffic and the likes.” We aren’t monetized at all, so our only mission is to share sewing stories from as many people as we can include. As our mission statement says:

Our goal is to build community and make everyone feel welcome. Our blog is here for everyone to share their sewing stories and to celebrate our unique identities and experiences. We support crafting as an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, orientations and sizes. If you sew, we want to hear your voice.

The above comes with great responsibility. While we don’t spend time on mysterious audience-building tactics like search engine optimisation, we DO spend a bunch of time sourcing stories from our community and highlighting them as hard as we can!

Given that,... [read more]

So it has been 7 months since my last post!!! Yes, for 7 months I have been AWOL and I can only apologise. As you know this blog was started, really for my own benefit: I never expected it to get so much attention. Well it did and I have been really enjoying it but […]

The post AWOL? No too busy to Blog plus other things… appeared first on Male Devon Sewing.

This project is the one thing from my handmade holiday wardrobe wish list that I regret not getting finished back in January. I had the pieces all cut out but just ran out of time before we flew to South Africa. The pattern is the basic bikini Well's Bay from Halfmoon Atelier and I absolutely adore the clean and minimal aesthetic of it. The most exciting thing about the pattern is that it is completely reversible so you are effectively getting two bikinis in one! There are no fiddly fastenings to contend with as it simply ties at the back.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Basic Bikini Well's Bay in Argyll Liberty Print Swim Fabric from The Fabric Store

The minimalist design is perfect for showcasing a special swimwear print which is exactly what I chose with this Argyll print swim fabric from the Liberty range at The Fabric Store. There are some amazing prints on their website and I have at least one more squirrelled away! What I love about them is the quality... [read more]

September seems to be the month of scrappy sewing over on Instagram -- I am still intending to sew along with #scrappySeptember via the Make A Garment A Month group. To that end, I've been trying to decide on a project!

I do love to use up my larger offcuts by putting them together into something else, and I especially love print blocking, when it's done right. I don't sew with too many solids so don't do a lot of solid colour blocking -- just because I don't have many of those scraps to work with.

I was thinking about some of the ways in which I might use some of my larger remnant pieces for this September's scrappy challenges, and that led me to investigate which patterns I already own that might fit in well with this technique. It turns out I have quite a few. So I thought I'd share them with you for inspiration. If you have any patterns that you find helpful for... [read more]
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019

I dashed off on holiday on the Tuesday after the Sewing Weekender (and pestered Phil to take a lot of photos while away; blog posts to follow when I get a chance!), but now that I’m home I’ve had time to edit the photos and video from the Sewing Weekender, which are shared below and on my YouTube channel.

This was the fourth Sewing Weekender, jointly organised by Kate, Rachel and me. We’ve kept some things the same each year – including our location at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge – but there are also a few changes each year. The same applies to our attendees; this year 33% of attendees had attended before, with 67% of attendees new to the Weekender.

Each year we are joined by a number of speakers from the sewing community and this year we heard talks from Juliet Uzor of Sew So Natural about the Sewing Bee and sewing with wax print fabric,... [read more]

Not everyone of my projects ends up being absolutely awesome, I have to say. Some things are just a little ordinary and maybe I should write about them too, in the interests of passing on what I have learnt.

This tunic started life as a cover-up for plane travel. Australians are cursed with very long flights if we want to go anywhere but New Zealand, and achieving any sort of comfort is not easy in cattle class. The cotton seersucker I used does not crush and is light and breathable. Planes are often hot, especially when the airline wants you to sleep, and the air is invariably extremely dry. Having a cowl around my face to breathe into saves my air passages from becoming dried out and vulnerable to infection, and a light cover over any exposed skin stops the rest of me from turning into a prune.

There was no real pattern, only a very large square,... [read more]

Kia ora from a not quite “Spring like” Auckland. I’m longing for warmer weather and a chance to transform all the lovely linen and cotton in my stash into pretty tops and dresses. I feel like I’ve lived in boots and tights for months now, my sandals are sitting quietly in my wardrobe, teasing me every time I root around for yet another pair of socks!

So when Sew Me Something offered to send me their latest pattern to review I was intrigued. I’m always trying to think of ways to make my clothes work over all of Auckland’s reasonably temperate seasons, and the combination of sleeves, and easy fit and length made me think this would be another winner. Even if I can’t quite lose the merino and boots just yet.

Emelia is an easy fit dress with a feature pleat detail at the front, a yoke with another pleat at the back, tie sleeves and the option... [read more]

Today I’m contributing to the ITS Spotlight September with three versions of the Hepburn Turtleneck from Itch to Stitch (ITS). I made my Hepburns in three fabric types to show off the different looks you can achieve with one well designed pattern. (Keep reading for tour details, a discount code, and a giveaway) Version 1: … Continue reading ITS Spotlight on the Hepburn Turtleneck
I've got a round-up of three more shibori-dyed tops I made for my sister!

Read more »

I only started sewing my own clothing in earnest about 1-2 years ago. All of the first items I made were relatively simple – boxy shirts in various fabrics, wide-legged pants with elastic waists, and so on. I was so proud of every single piece that I made! I wore them all immediately and answered any and all questions about how I made them. My friends, family, and coworkers were always so impressed with my sewing skills, and I enjoyed showing off new makes.

However, after the initial excitement over a new me-made item of clothing wore off, I realized that a lot of the clothing I’ve made doesn’t actually fit into my current vision of my personal style. Some of the items are made with prints that I just don’t like any more, or I made several pieces of clothing in a silhouette that actually doesn’t work well for me, or I chose a color... [read more]

I seem to have taken a bit of a blogging break! It's been a bit crazy around here, a lot of things were made but not really documented. The biggest thing I made the past few weeks was a project for a drawing festival called Tekenpudding, organized by my amazing friend Charlotte Dumortier. It's a sort of drawing funfair with, apart from the usual talks and zine fair a bunch of attractions. They had an open call for booth ideas so me and my Veranda buddies got together, submitted an idea and then heard we had the all clear to build it!

We wanted to build our own version of the automated fortune telling booths we'd encountered on our US roadtrip last September (Zoltar being the most common one, although we did find an Elvis or two), with a little twist: the fortune teller would only predict bad news. However, our skills are a bit limited when it comes to building... [read more]

In less than a week, it will officially be autumn.

Although the season is hard for some people because the temperature is becoming colder, the world getting darker (shorter days) among others, there are so many fun things to do this season. Like collecting leaves, or drinking apple cider. So I thought I'd share a list of fun things to do this coming fall!

Happy Homemade Sew Chic / Yoshiko Tsukiori
trans. from the Japanese by Masashi Karasawa
North Clarendon VT: Tuttle, c2013.
64 p.
This week's feature is another book by Yoshiko Tsukiori -- I think she is my favourite so far among all the Japanese pattern books I own. Her style is casual, natural, and just quirky enough for me. 

In this book she shares 20 patterns, most for dresses or tunics, though there are some pants and jackets in here too.

Like her other books, this one has Westernized pattern sheets in the back to trace. The size ranges up to a bust size of 40 1/4" and hip size of 43 3/4". So while it's a limited sizing, it is larger than many other Japanese sewing books. I just squeak into the largest sizes here. The patterns are fairly boxy and geometric, though, so if you have any experience at all with altering patterns, you should be able... [read more]

No, not that…

…my sewing club returns for a new start!

Last year, I gauged enthusiasm for a sewing club at my new school, and found staff and students alike were quite enthusiastic.  I eventually trialled it as a once-a-week lunch club, and it ran successfully for the rest of the year, numbers fluctuating from time to time, and eventually the die hard enthusiasts were turning up every day, even when I had to go elsewhere, getting their sewing out and cracking on.  Very nice!

At first, time, space and cash restrictions [none of any] made me decide to stick to very basic hand sewing skills, so I took in a few yards of cheap curtain lining fabric and showed them how to make sure they didn’t cut their thread too long, how waxing it makes it easier to sew, how to enjoy the thrills of my desk top needle threader, and how to make cute little drawstring bags.

the... [read more]

I love making tshirts at the moment. Actually, just working with knits is a joy. Especially if I can complete the garment quickly and use just the overlocker and coverstitch machines.

I have been buying fabrics that are beautiful and can be used in my business casual profession. Sometimes it works well, other times I think the top is more casual. As is the case with this beautiful fabric and top.

I got the fabric from Seamstress Fabrics. It is a lovely cotton + spandex with a gorgeous print and has sold out. I did buy it in April 2018 and added it to the stash while I pondered which pattern to use. It has the most beautiful weight and drape. I chose the long sleeved lark tee and set about cutting it.

As always – no dramas. I cut out one weekend and sewed it together a few weekends later. As I finished the collar with the coverstitch I added a label from Kylie... [read more]

As you probably know, I’ve tested garments a few times for Beth from Sew DIY – and was more than glad to test the updated version of the Lou Box Dress 2 for her recently: particularly since it was on my list as a straight-up make before the call for the testers went out!


I first took notice of the pattern when I saw Beth’s own grey version in a thin knit (you can see it on the bundle cover) and thought it looked like an elegant take on a comfy knit dress. So when I decided to make my own, it was a fairly quick process to pick this version and view of the Lou Box Dress 2 – and equally easy to select this thin botanical knit with a  ton of drape. It’s been languishing in my stash for several years now, waiting for the right project, and I think this was a nice match.


The Lou Box Dress 1 and Lou Box Dress 2 patterns are not new as such, but Beth has... [read more]

24 hours from now, I want to remove my Instagram account. I am leaving, but felt it would be rude not to say goodbye 👋

I find that opening the Instagram app has a net negative effect on my motivation to invest the time and effort to make or build the things I believe are worthwhile.
There’s a shallowness that permeates the platform, and that I seem unable to completely block out. Long story short, the bad is now vastly outweighing the good, at least for me personally.

That being said, the sewing community has been instrumental in my ‘coming out’ as a guy who likes sewing, and I feel a depth of gratitude towards all those of you who have made me welcome, and who allowed me to develop a side of me that feels so much more natural to me than the toxic masculinity that surrounded me throughout my youth and young adult life.

I want to mention some people explicitly. Not because I only... [read more]

A reckoning came for my fabric stash. Full of fabrics for costumes long-completed, I wanted to make physical and emotional room for new fashion sewing projects. During that reckoning, I kept the leftover costume fabric with potential for functional every-day clothes.

Spandex was repurposed fun, personalized workout gear.

I started with the Seamwork Aires, one of the earlier patterns released by Seamwork Magazine/Colette Patterns.

The pants have a nice wide waistband with elastic inside. I’ve only pranced around the house, but so far they move well and stay up.

The pattern is designed to have a mid-thigh accent band. The purple mesh spandex is semi-transparent in the black dots, which I hope translates to extra breathability in addition to snazzy style.

I sewed the entire garment with my 4-thread serger, using a double-needle on my... [read more]

"Super Simple Sewing Patterns"
(Snippy comment removed)

My spouse dragged this out of me, and I do have a bright idea at the end.
No tech drawing? Hm.
Leaning how to sew is harder than it needs to be.
Super simple sewing patterns are boring. There's too much repetition of the same basic shapes. So much depends on fabric choice, and that's easy to screw up.
Independant pattern companies are plentiful, but pricey.
The price point of entry is always too high, because the cost of doing business goes up all the time. Shipping is EXORBITANT now.

We've seen these patterns before. We probably own them, in multiples. They are in many books pitching sewing to the young and fashion-friendly.

A mere drop in the bucket

The McCalls 6074 is not a... [read more]
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