[GIFTED] Last week I was a bit down about blogging about sewing and sustainability and style in these dark times, but hey ho, a week of lockdown puts things in perspective. We’re going to be here a while, folks, and if I’m waiting for normal life to resume, I might disappear into blogosphere oblivion before long. So here I am with some ‘lalalala hands-over-ears’ mindless distraction talking about sewing. So, for your viewing pleasure, here we have the Dawson Coatigan from Thrifty Stitcher, a project that was soooo long in the making and soooo long in the blogging as well…


This week I started a new dress from a 1989 pattern (Simplicity 9111, a Christie Brinkley 'Surf Club' pattern) and some thrifted fabric from my stash. This large print blue & white fabric in my stash was 36" wide and I had just over 3 yards, just enough to squeeze the main pieces on. I'd thought about using a rayon, but found it just didn't have enough body.

Because of the narrow width of this blue and white print, I had to cut the facings from a solid blue linen, and the pocket bags from a beige cotton voile so that they wouldn't show through the white elements of the main fabric. But that way I could use it!

It's a neat little pattern. While it is just a straight elastic waist dress, it has a shoulder detail of an overlapping button band - very 80s indeed. The dropped shoulder and cuffed sleeve are also nice, though I had to shorten the sleeve... [read more]
After all those garments from my holiday wardrobe I've got something more seasonally appropriate to share with you entirely woollen outfit!

The Mandy Boat Tee is a free pattern download from Tessuti Fabrics which is very popular with sewists online. I'm sure many of you have made one already! I've finally jumped on the Mandy train and am wondering what took me so long when I am such a fan of Tessuti's pattern drafting and suggested construction techniques. This top is a slouchy knit style with boat neck, dropped shoulders and close fitting three quarter or full length sleeves. It is a very quick sew and so so easy to wear! I like to wear mine with a high waisted bottom and a french tuck - very Tan France!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Merino Jersey Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee and Wool Herringbone Closet Case Patterns Pietra Pants The Fabric Store

I think I had been tentative about making this top (despite the rave reviews) as I tend to prefer a more figure skimming... [read more]
Well bloody hell, that escalated quickly didn't it? If your anything like me then you went from theirs a virus called corona [not to be mistaken for the beer, although oddly that does seem to be the only thing in stock in the super markets at the minute] to well bogger me they've closed the schools. So yeah, corona virus........ Well me and lil dude are at home, aside from the days he spends

I am reviewing the Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress. This dress is currently only available up to a size 24, which is 48.5″ bust, but the pattern designer seems to be working on upgrading the sizing on her patterns up to a size 34 (hopefully that will be about at 58″ bust) and she recently sent out a newsletter stating that this pattern will soon be in testing for that new size range. So keep your eyes out for that if you are interested in this pattern!


Measurements: High Bust: 44″, Bust: 47″, Waist 44″, Hip 56″

Body Shape: Representing team pear!


Pattern Size Used:  I had some concern about the fit of this pattern in the larger sizes, based on the product photos and other versions I had seen around the internet, so I decided to take careful flat pattern measurements before I cut my fabric. But do as I say, not as I do, I would suggest... [read more]

This past couple of weeks have not been easy and as someone who deals with anxiety, it has been extremely hard. Unless you live on Mars (in which case, congrats on getting away from earth), you've heard of the coronavirus and its effects that have, essentially, put the world on pause. This has caused panic, terror, and anxiety in most of us. It has led to us over-reacting which is not good for our health, physically but mainly in this case mentally.

"You have your first set of build plans, and then you have the plans from after you've built (it) "
You make a thing, and then you make it right.

December 2019 Popular Mechanics, page 8

I cut the sleeve too short because I used the lining pattern piece rather than the fabric pattern piece.

I have made this V1664 Miyake as a shirt to great happiness, using a totally traced off pattern (so no original landmarks). As a completely finished moleskin jacket, it really would like full length sleeves. To resolve this expensive and time-intensive jacket, I inserted extra purchased moleskin fabric.
Is it a bug or a feature?

 Inserted upside down. Very subtle error here, which I cannot stop myself from pointing out. Must stop doing that. Is here the place to start? No. You aren't strangers in a crowded elevator (or maybe that's what this blog really is).

I... [read more]

Such strange days we are living in my friends. Who would have imagined only four months ago that our collective lives would be so utterly disrupted by the complacency of our governments and their inability to see what was coming, let alone prepare? (Rant over).

So here we are for 12 weeks at least: after being piped out of school on the 20th, K is at home, bored and lonely. School can be tricky but no school and knowing you likely won’t go back until it’s time for secondary? Very stressful, very stressful indeed. Mr S is working super hard – the last two weeks entirely from home. This last week we got the garage hooked up to the internet and cleared what had been my studio out so he can paint and listen to his music, have zoom meetings etc as much as needed. Keeping a business going in these times is extremely hard work.

Me? Mostly attempting to stay on top... [read more]

Dear Gabby,

I have so many problems fitting garments, because I have scoliosis. My right shoulder is higher and bulges out, and my left hip twists forward. Not only is it physically uncomfortable, I struggle to find clothing that will lay properly on me. Can you suggest some pattern adjustments I can try to stop my makes from twisting and pulling?

Shifty in Sioux City

Dear Shifty,

Of course, my friend! For all the uninitiated, scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine—please see below for a basic explanation.

Diagram showing spinal curvature for a healthy spine next to four different types of scoliosis curves
Image shows types of spinal curvature, courtesy of

Let’s chat about it!

In this video, Gabby talks about various pattern corrections you might consider if the body you are sewing for is unbalanced.

The pattern adjustments in the video break traditional pattern balance rules. Even... [read more]

Lockdown in the Maus House: Week One

What a week it’s been, for all of us. Everywhere you look someone is saying that we’re living in unprecedented times and they’re right. It’s…

The post Lockdown in the Maus House: Week One appeared first on The Marvellous Mrs Maus.

A while back I posted about sewing books and in particular some of the hidden gems you can find. One…

The post How to start Sewing – book review appeared first on Male Devon Sewing.

It's been a couple weeks since I've written a post... and the whole world has changed. It's pretty rare that anything other than being very busy will affect my desire to sew, but when the world started turning upside down, all I wanted to do was knit and watch Next in Fashion. 

Also contributing to my knitting binge was the sudden cancellation of the family ski trip I had been planning for months. It was looking like a go, I had even talked to people at the ski lodge to book lessons and they had been sure they would be open... and then everything very suddenly shut down. Therefore, lots of time to knit. 

So, I finished my first ever sweater! You can also find me on Ravelry here for all the knitty details.

This is the Snoqualmie by Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed. Quite honestly I never would have considered such a project if it wasn't for [read more]
The Poison Thread / Laura Purcell
NY: Penguin, c2018
351 p.
This chilling book was a captivating read -- set in Victorian England it features seamstresses, gothic terror, poverty, phrenology, single daughters trying to break out of their bounds, and everything Victorian that I love.

Dorothea Truelove is a young woman who is wealthy, lovely, single, and obsessed with phrenology.  She is convinced that the shape of one's head will predict characteristics, particularly criminal tendencies. (I feel like Dorothea would be a true crime podcast fan in our own days) She's not much interested in the men that her father keeps inviting to dinner in order to meet her, being far more focused on her own research. 

Ruth Butterham is poor; her father is an artist and her mother takes in sewing. Ruth helps her with sewing, since she seems to have an unnaturally precocious... [read more]

You have a little longer to join in with our current mini challenge, to sew a project inspired by your birth year. We’re extending the challenge until Sunday 5th April!

With most of us unable to just pop out for fabric at the moment, that’s an additional week to order some fabric in, or to delve into inspiration from the year you were born (or the decade — you can choose to interpret the challenge in a way which suits you).

Share your plans, and view the projects shared so far, using #SewcialistsMiniChallenge on Instagram.

Hello again! How are you all doing? Have you been sewing up a storm or has your sewjo been dampened recently? I would say it’s a 50:50 split with the sewists I know. If you fall into the latter, I can completely understand, but take heart in the fact we’ll be over this soon and I’m sure all that sewing enthusiasm will come roaring back with a vengeance! Anyway, that’s my public announcement over, so time to give you a few more details on my recent linen coat project.


This was a very fun and quick coat to make. This is my second project from the Nani Iro Atelier, or Atelier to Nani Iro book (as the Instagram translation has it) and I took a bit of a risk on it. It was the topper for my capsule wardrobe as part of #thegreatmodulesewalong project hosted by Whitney and Carla over on Instagram and was the piece that was supposed to... [read more]

No new vlogs for two months and then two in one week!

I’ve just uploaded a new vlog about what I’ve been up to lately, including my plans for the Sewcialists Sew Your Birth Year mini-challenge, and attending a soft basketry workshop.

View it below or via my YouTube channel:

Things mentioned:

The Sewcialists Sew Your Birth Year Mini Challenge

Sugardale, Len Coveralls

SewOver50, #so50visible challenge

My The Maker’s Atelier Asymmetric Gather Dress

Paper Theory Patterns, Olya Shirt/Shirt Dress

Soft basketry workshop with Averil Otiv

The SewBrum Meet-up (Saturday 24th October 2020)

Little Black Duck, Spools of Thread Mini Quilt

This project is finally completed!!

This has been a stop and go sew for this top. I had several fitting adjustments to make this fit better. I lost my sewjo along the way and my concern over the COVID 19 situation became overly consuming.

I finally started saying the Serenity Prayer over and over--
    God help me to accept the things I cannot change
    The courage to change the things I can
     And the wisdom to know the difference.

So I know the things I need to do to try to be virus-free and sewing helps me de-stress so got in the sewing room this morning and finished this top!

I took some shots of the top hanging.  It still needs some pressing.  I will wear it later for better photos and a review.

Front view
Front view of a sleeve

Back view-sleeves look wonky because of the clothes hanger used

Back view of a sleeve
Thanks for stopping by and I hope all of you are doing well. More details soon.

Yesterday I packed up my desk at work and drove myself home, knowing that it would probably be the last time I drove anywhere for a while. I’m not sick, but the pressure is on to self isolate for the good of society.
I hadn’t been too worried about it, because I’m a bit of a homebody and would generally prefer to spend my weekends crocheting on the couch with a good show, or curled up on an armchair with an epic fantasy, or creating sweet deliciousness in the kitchen.
So naturally, I should be fine in self isolation.
In theory.

In practice, it turns out that I actually go out a lot on weekends. I would normally pop out to a local bakery cafe for brunch, or stop past the shops to grab a specific ingredient, or hang out with my mum, or (and I don’t know why I hadn’t previously considered this fortnightly activity as “going out”) playing D&D at a friend’s house.

Today,... [read more]

It's time for another inspiration post, and this one will focus more on specific, sentence level inspiration that we can find in this book! (our last post looked more at the characters, if you missed it)

As I was reading, I was thinking about some of the imagery that stuck out for me, and also some of smaller characters and elements of the story.

If you look at it this way, there really are infinite directions you might go in with a project!

First, I'm looking at some of the places that this story takes place.

The obvious main setting is Long Island. That's where the Wilde House is and where most of both stories are set.

To reflect this setting, you could make the Long Island kids tee.

Of course, a larger focus on New York is possible, since both Charley and Lydia travel across the harbour to New York for their own reasons. There are various... [read more]

So here we are.

Watching a virus travel across the globe in a surreal (and sometimes very real) newsfeed montage of images of people in face masks, shopping carts full of supples, and late night comedian news summary clips.

We’re avoiding each other, buying a couple extra of everything when we venture out to the store, and clawing desperately for any word of scientific certainty about how this will play out.

There are bleaker and darker stories that I can’t venture emotionally into right now for this post – detention centers, prisons, children in protective services, the homeless, and list goes on.

This is supposed to be the stuff of speculative fiction and summer action movies.

How are you and your loved ones holding up?

I’ve been working from home for the past three weeks and it has been exhausting in ways I didn’t imagine. Some... [read more]

How are you doing? The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world and changed our daily lives in so many ways. Our schools and workplaces are closed to conform to social distancing and stay-at-home orders. In the midst of this crisis, I recently underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. I am on the road to recovery, navigating it on crutches or in a walker. 

In difficult times, sewing and humor have served me well to lift my spirits and get me through. The new Sew Chatty fabric line by Riley Blake Designs has arrived right on time. This is a colorful collection with the cutest graphics and adorable sewing puns. 

I recently renovated my garage into a new sewing studio and knew I wanted to add this fun fabric to my new space. I used a combination of Butterick  5506 and self-drafting to make covers for my sewing accessories. 

Butterick 5506 Waverly Reversible Sewing Room Pattern
This pattern has... [read more]

Sometimes I’m amazed that I’m not a hoarder with 50 cats and armies of miniature gnomes in my flower beds. Because I LOVE small, … More egg shell candles »

The post egg shell candles appeared first on My French Twist.

Sewcialists Mini Challenge Sew Your Birth Year Logo

Have you decided on a project for our Sew Your Birth Year challenge yet? If not, then hopefully today’s blog post will provide the inspiration needed (or at least send you off to enjoy revisiting movies and music from the year you were born).

Having given my own project some thought, I’m sharing my process for deciding on a project inspired by my birth year, 1983. I stuck strictly with my birth year, but of course you don’t have to (you’re free to interpret the challenge as suits). You don’t have to sew for yourself, either; perhaps you’ll sew a project for a relative or friend based on their birth year instead.

For my own project, I began by thinking about movies released in 1983, and the clothes featured in them.

One film from 1983 stands out as featuring a memorable costume — Flashdance, and specifically that wide-necked sweatshirt. Also... [read more]

In the last few years, the teams working on the block editor have learned a lot about how people build sites now and how they want to build sites in the future.

The latest version represents the culmination of these discoveries, and the next stage in the editor’s evolution.

With better visuals and more advanced features, it’ll keep designers, developers, writers, and editors productive and happy, and — tension-building drumroll — it’s in your editor right now!

What’s new

With a comprehensive visual refresh, a plethora of new features, and dozens of bug fixes, the new block editor comes with a lot to unpack.

What follows is just a small (but delectable) sample of the many ways we’ve upgraded your editing experience. (You can get the full list of goodies in the release notes.)

We hope you enjoy.

A revamped editor UI

The first thing you’ll... [read more]

We are proud to host many websites for language tutors, yoga schools, and personal fitness coaches around the world.

It’s exciting to see how educators and consultants across different industries are getting creative with their online offerings: language teachers conduct 1:1 sessions to help students hone pronunciation, yoga studios livestream group sessions, and instructors lead writing boot camps via Zoom breakout rooms. Even my own strength coach is monitoring my workouts — I launch the camera on my phone, place it against the wall, and do deadlifts while he supervises.

Last year we launched Recurring Payments to support creators, consultants, small businesses, and other professionals in establishing dependable income streams. We were very pleased to discover that online educators using this feature are thriving as well!

Marta, for example, runs [read more]

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