Yes, I had a bit of a set back.  As soon as I returned from my lazy holiday in Mexico my back went out.  Walking is fine, standing is fine.  That’s about it.  So … no sitting in my sewing chair.  😦 I couldn’t help but dream, browse, and plan my future projects though … […]

How to do a Full Bust Adjustment on a Tshirt | Vintage on Tap

Let’s be real: tshirts and sweaters (generally) don’t fit busty ladies very well.

Unfortunately, this is insanely common and we often overlook bad fit in lieu of a cute novelty crew neck or pull over sweater.

Bad fit on a knit top usually manifests in the following ways:

  1. Giant fold from the armscythe/armpit to the bust area
  2. Stretching between the bust points
  3. Weird gape of the armscythe seam, exposing your bra (if a t-shirt)
  4. Tightness in the back bra area
  5. Skewed/crooked/wavy side seams, especially next to the bust

Seamwork Magazine Astoria Sweater | Vintage on Tap

Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Especially if you rock a larger bra size than the standard B-Cup.

A quick Google search of the Astoria Sweater used in this tutorial will yield beautiful sweaters… except for that giant full-bust pull on some of the curvier ladies (including on my own!)

This weird fabric pull made me feel extremely self conscious... [read more]

Thank you to Hart's Fabric for providing the fabric for this post. For more details on these white jeans, head over to the Hart's Fabric blog!

I've wanted white jeans for ever but I've never bought any--I could never find just the right pair and so I chickened out every time. When Harts Fabric got this amazing designer white denim in stock, I obviously knew it was fate and that I just needed to buckle down and make my third pair of jeans (that's a phrase I never thought I'd be saying, y'all). These are the high-rise Gingers... and for more details, you'll have to pop over to my post on the Harts Fabric blog!

Keep reading for five simple ways to style white denim for spring...

1. To brunch or day drinking with wedges and an off-the-shoulder top like this one (also made with fabric from Hart's!). This is a very on-trend outfit and there's a good... [read more]

floral ice cubes -

When I entertain, I almost always place a vase of fresh flowers on the table. I love bringing a bit of the outdoors in. So why limit flowers to a vase or two? Why not infuse a bit of floral elegance into an unexpected venue? Like, say, my ice cubes?

This little trick is so incredibly easy. Snip a few blossoms from your flower bed, leaving no stem.

floral ice cubes -

Then grab a cupcake tin.

floral ice cubes -

Place a flower head, face up, in each cupcake hole. Then fill with water and freeze overnight. It’s as easy as that. And the next time you have friends over for a chilled glass of wine, serve it in style.

floral ice cubes

The post floral ice cubes appeared first on .

I listed 10 FREE Plus size summer dress patterns that I found online and ideas in how you can use them. The patterns and tutorials linked in this post are available in plus sizes. These dresses are easy to sew and … Read More

The post 10 FREE Plus Size Summer Dress Patterns appeared first on My Handmade Space.

I ummed and ahhed about posting today. I had meant to post this a few days ago but I had a poorly child so kept postponing and then after the events of today it seemed sort of inappropriate to post. Sort of disrespectful? And then I remembered that me posting on my blog isn't disrespectful, setting off an explosive device in a crowed arena is disrespectful. My heart is with the entire world

So as a recap I’ve started an evening class with Edinburgh Council in pattern cutting. It’s good value but my God my brain is on fire at the end of 2 hours! Here is my first blog about it.


We were given a whistle stop tour of fitting a bodice using one of the intermediate ladies who is in the process of making a bodice block.

There was a lot of chat about moving darts so they point towards but end 1-2 inches from the apex. Then there was a lot of pinching and pulling and discussions about thick trunks and low boobs etc. We’ve been warned not to take comments about our body shape personal but my God our teacher is direct and to the point!

Pattern manipulation

This was the really fun activity for me. We were given half scale size 12 blocks to play with. This makes manipulation far easier and actually quite fun. We’ve been set the challenge of... [read more]

When I say easy peasy.  I mean from cut to hem and finishing an hour tops.   This is as simple as it gets.  Oh please disregard the freaking band aid on my arm.  I had to give blood on this particular day and didn't realize before my photo I didn't take the darn thing off.  

The fabric is a remnant, and I think I only had about a yard and a half from The Sewing Studio here in Maitland, FL.   It has sat in my stash for a couple of years, and I originally purchased it to make an infinity scarf.  I needed something to wear to work one morning so I whipped this baby up in about 30 minutes.  The pattern had already been cut, since I have used this pattern several times its one of my favorite TNT's.  

The Pants I made some time ago.  They are made of a Linen Blend and just a simple pair of pants with elastic waist, and strawstring.  

Happy Sewing!

My sewing activewear book won’t be out til early 2018, but due to lead times in the publishing world, the words are already written, illustrations drawn, patterns drafted, and samples sewn. Some of you may think I’m just being a cruel tease by not showing you all 13 designs right now but honestly, it’s better this way – if I revealed all now, not only would you still have to wait til next year to sew them up anyway, but they’d also be tired and old in your mind – “Didn’t I already see this design somewhere before…?”. So at least this way you may have to wait a while to see everything, but you’ll be able to start sewing them without too much of a gap. When I do have bits I can share, however, I’m happy to do so as I know so many of you are as excited as I am to see its arrival, which is awesome!

One big advantage of working with a major... [read more]

Another busy few weeks. I’ve started a new part-time job which has involved a lot of training. Things will settle in the next few weeks and I’ll be back to sewing again.

I needed the calm inspiration that is found when browsing fabric shops. Button displays are almost hypnotic.





Penny is always a delight to gaze at. She relaxes so completely.




Happy mail delivery of patterns for me. Already had a go at the Lisette trousers (they were terrible). The McCalls is next on the list. A cardigan in black, for work, in a merino blend.



Patterns for the lasses too.




I saw this graffiti art on the way to the markets.




Also saw this bike – not much left now.


Finally – I used up the rest of my birthday gift card on some new shoes.



The Sunday Sevens thing was started by Natalie who blogs at “Threads and Bobbins”. The idea is to take... [read more]

One of the coolest things about sewing your own swimsuit is that you can make the torso the right length. As a tall gal, 1 piece swimsuits have always been my nemesis as there’s nothing worse than rocking a wedgie every time you put on your swimsuit. The Laminaria swimsuit has printed shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern pieces to make shortening and lengthening easy.

How can you tell if you need to add/remove length from your swimsuit? The size chart tells you the crotch length that the pattern is designed for which is average for an average height woman (5’6″). If you need more/less length in ready-two-wear swimsuits, you’ll probably want more/less in this swimsuit. However, the only way to tell for sure is to make a muslin out of the same fabric that you will be using for your final suit as small differences in horizontal and especially vertical stretch... [read more]

Seamwork Elmira

Hey guys, I’ve got the post holiday blues! You might have spotted on IG that I was in Tuscany in Italy last week. I know it’s now almost a cliche to rave about how amazing it is, but it really is. I had been dreaming of going to Florence since I was 14 and got an A+ for my essay on Lorenzo the Magnificent in History, but this was the first time. And I was truly blown away! I absolutely adored Florence, in spite of the hoards of tourist being spewed out of tour buses and the ridiculous queues for anything remotely interesting. But perhaps the best parts met us when we stepped out of the cities, in the Chianti countryside, with vineyards and rolling hills and the most beautiful light anywhere!

I’m sorry that I won’t delight you with an amazing photo shoot from Italy. I really did not have anything new with me that was worth photographing, apart from the dress that... [read more]

Last night, I wrapped up a second version of Lekala 4420 minus the sleeves and with some contrast bands and a pocket that I literally traced from my Jalie 2908 jeans pattern. It’s in the wash right now, so we’ll see what happens when it comes out, but no matter what I’m sure it’ll be fine for a summer work shirt, which is another hole in my closet that needs some serious filling. (Let’s put it this way, it’s summer, and the only things in my closet besides a half dozen less crappy t-shirts are the long sleeved shirts/sweaters that I’ve made over the last couple of winters, and that isn’t even an exaggeration.)

After finishing that though, I started doing some cleanup in my disaster zone that I lovingly call a sewing room. I filed away the pattern pieces for the McCall’s maxi I made for the wedding, cut up a bunch of knit scraps into undies, fixed a couple of... [read more]

Sewing Weekender banner

The Sewing Weekender will be returning for a second year!

What: A sewing weekend break in Cambridge, sponsored by (Birmingham-based) Adam Ross Fabrics.

When: Saturday 05th – Sunday 06th August 2017

Our venue, Murray Edwards College in Cambridge, will be transformed into a sewing room for the weekend; bring along a sewing project, or two, and sew while chatting to friends and drinking plenty of tea.

Over the weekend, we’ll have a series of informal talks and hands-on workshops from fellow sewing bloggers and independent business owners.

Tickets will go on sale on the morning of Thursday 25th May. Tickets to the event will cost £65; optional accommodation will cost an additional £95 (single room) or £145 (twin room).

Full details here.

Read my thoughts on last year’s Sewing Weekender here, and those of attendees here.


nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

Since it is currently Me Made May 2017, I have a brand new outfit to share! It’s made up of a Closet Case Nettie Bodysuit with a few hacks and a maxi skirt made with a Burda pattern.

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

The skirt is made with the “Train Maxi Skirt 09/2014 #105” by Burda. The only modification was to cut the train off at the end. It was so beautiful, but not practical at all. This skirt pattern was drafted in a very interesting way, and it is unlike any skirt I’ve ever seen. There are two very long front darts that extend down to the knee, and there are no side seams. There are only the middle back and side back seams. From the front, the skirt looks like a maxi with a straight silhouette, but the back is very voluminous. I used a floral rayon challis from that I purchased last year. It’s important to choose a lightweight drapey fabric for this skirt... [read more]

When it comes to a mini capsule, you need your clothing pieces to be versatile. I decided to add a “two piece dress” to my mini capsule. I’d seen similar ideas used in travel clothing and thought even just having a coordinating top and bottom would be a good idea. I can wear them together or switch them up with the other pieces of my mini capsule. I didn’t realize that the ways I could wear them together or on their own would expand my style choices as much as I found out they did.

Most of these are just ways to tie, or repurpose the top and bottom in ways you might not have thought of. The important factors in these pieces are having a very high 4-way stretch percentage, and making the top long enough to wear on it’s own. I found it a good way to incorporate a bold print into my capsule as well! I will say that making it in a solid would probably make it more... [read more]

Hi all! Carrie here and we’re getting ready to launch into our Lenox Shirtdress sew along, so today I’m here to share some amazing shirtdress inspiration and fun fabric options! There are so many looks you can achieve with a shirtdress depending on your fabric choice and styling. Here are some looks that we love!


A graphic check, a vertical stripe, or an African wax print lend a bold, graphic feel to your shirtdress.


Tanesha, queen of the shirtdress and style icon at Cashmerette HQ, has such a beautiful array of dresses! The red with the lace trim is to die for!


Keep it simple in black and white, but you can still make your shirtdress feel vintage, romantic, or edgy!


Or go for a bold print! The classic shape of the shirtdress helps it carry whimsical prints without feeling too juvenile. Have a fun quilting... [read more]


I made another couple of things for SEWN recently, and though they’re not for me, I think they’re worth sharing.  I’ve really enjoyed making things for this store even if they don’t end up selling (I hope they do!).  It’s good to work with fabrics that I love even if they aren’t things that I would personally wear.  So it is with all of these back cutout dresses.

Bow back refashion

My lovely friend D agreed again to be my model.  She modeled some of my other dresses for SEWN here.  We’ve decided it’s fun to play dress up and no doubt I need to properly just make her something as a treat!

back cutout dresses


This stripe dress was a RTW dress I found.  I had an idea for a back cutout with bows that bridge the gap.  One of my son’s friends has a dress like this and it seemed a fun style for an adult as well.  I kept the front neckline the same and simply cut the back.  The back neckline is bound... [read more]

For Mini Capsule Wardrobe Month we’re bring  you a Royal Rumble! Part Pattern Throwdown and part Same Pattern, Different Bodies. We came up with the idea for this post when we realized that both of us (Michelle and Jessica) were planning to do a side-by-side comparison of the Cashmerette Springfield and the new version of the Colette Sorbetto woven shell patterns. Someone made the comment, “Hey, you both have very different body types–how about combining that with a Same Pattern, Different Bodies post?” Hence, the Royal Rumble was born.

Woven shells are a natural fit to a capsule wardrobe. They can be made out of a wide variety of fabrics and can be worn with pants or skirt and can be layered with ease. They are also quick to sew and take little fabric yardage. Win!

The Patterns

Colette’s Sorbetto – Free PDF available in sizes 0-26... [read more]

It’s another Me Made Monday around here and I’m really excited to share my Penelope Peplum from See Kate Sew! It’s got florals and a circle skirt – so it’s right up my ally! Yesterday I talked about five things I learned in my first year of sewing, and my love of florals was one of those things – so this top is highly appropriate!

The Penelope Peplum is a knit top with multiple sleeve length and the original pattern comes with a gathered skirt. See Kate Sew has an add on pack to add a circle skirt or to make it a dress. Because I’ve learned that I much prefer a circle skirt to a gathered skirt, I decided to go with the circle skirt option and the cap sleeve length for a great spring and summer top!

I loved my Rosa Top so much, so when I saw this top, I thought it was similar but a little bit less casual. This top was also a lot more fitted than the Rosa... [read more]

green beauty mascara myfrenchtwist.comOur eyes are not only one of our most expressive features, but they are also one of our most sensitive. Ever used a foundation or moisturizer that made your eyes water and sting? It is especially important when selecting mascara to find one that is gentle and non-irritating.

After going through many drugstore brands, I finally picked up a little tube of Mineral Fusion mascara from my local health food grocer, Fresh Thyme. With summer here, I chose the waterproof option in a gorgeous black/brown shade called Cliff. So far, I’m loving it. Applies smoothly; doesn’t clump; doesn’t smear. It also gives a soft, silky look rather than a harsh artificial one.

green beauty mascara

You can learn more about the company Mineral Fusion here and their entire product line, which is free of parabens, gluten, artificial colors, phthalates and other harsh ingredients. In fact, I’m anxious to try more of their... [read more]

I'm so in love with dress.  The fabric is a really soft Challis from Fabricmart.  I purchased the fabric some ago and wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, because it was very busy.  I though a nice pair of Palazzo pants or wrap skirt.  I didn't imagine initially it could be a dress let alone a long flowy dress.  The fabric was just way to bsuy for me. 

I actually went against the grain on this one literally, I mean the pattern called for a Knit, but I decided to give it a try with this fabric.  I really didn't know how it would turn out, but thank goodness it turned out even better than I expected.  

Quick Review:  McCalls 7382:

Was it Easy:  Very
Modifications:   I used a challis instead of a Knit
Sizing:   True to size (I went up a size because of the non-stretch of the fabric).
Would I Make Again:  Definitely
Do I recommend:  Highly
Notes:  This is definitely and TNT for me.

Happy Sewing!

Comino Cap Peasant Dress

The Kitschy Coo Comino Cap is one of my favourite patterns. In my first Me-Made May wrap-up, I realised that I’d worn variations on this pattern four times in just 9 outfits!

To celebrate, I thought I should sew up a really classic, as-is version of the pattern to show you all why I like it. That was the intent – but somehow I found myself lengthening the skirt, adding a cut-out, and then tossing in a bow for good measure! So here it is, my not quite classic Comino Cap!

Comino Cap Peasant Dress

So, what’s so great about this pattern?

Let’s start with the bodice. It has a perfect scoop neck that isn’t too low or too wide, and the scoop in the back makes it a bit more feminine than a classic skater dress. The front bodice is drafted with more length than the back, so it accommodates a bust. The cap sleeves finish at a diagonal, which I find flattering on the arms. Best... [read more]

I am very excited to show you the second garment I have made using fabric printed with one of my Mum's own paintings. You may have seen the dress I made a few weeks ago with a Eucalyptus design.

Painting by Chris Oxberry

This painting depicts masses of everlastings (flowers) on a red-earthed, Australian outback landscape. I chose the lower part of the painting for the design with just a bit of the tree at the top.

I had the fabric printed by Contrado UK. This is the 'Slinky lycra matt 210gsm' and I absolutely recommend it for a swimsuit. The fabric is beautiful quality, soft but firm with good stretch recovery. The printing turned out really well on this fabric too as the colours are accurate and very vibrant. I have spoken about ordering from Contrado in this blog post.

I ordered a piece of fabric 100cm wide by 60cm long and just squeezed this swimsuit out... [read more]
It's not going to rain for awhile.
I just look sooooo excited, don't I? Flattering angle, great lighting, happy face...

Which is good, because I need to put this aside for awhile. It needs more than I can give it right now. It's sucked the fun out of me.

I do think this raincoat has a lot of promise. 

It fits. It fits over my enormous sweatshirt and the big sleeved Miyake shirts. It covers my backside. The sleeves are long enough and I can raise my arm. I put in useful pockets at just the right points.
It will take a very rainy day. It has reflective bits and a visible print. The hood will stay up but the jacket isn't hanging from my head.

It just took so long to get here. Every step has taken a day of thinking and rethinking; I'm running out of time before I'm working full time and have 'pace around and change my mind' time.

And I need that... [read more]
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