As usual, I’m playing catch up and still sharing some of my favourite summer sewing projects! I also don’t have much to share in the way of winter appropriate sewing as my sewing time has been occupied with sewing baby clothes ready for the rapidly approaching arrival of my niece. I'm also about to tackle a big coat project which I think may take me some time...I'm excited to get my teeth stuck into a long and complex project though.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Core Patterns Elodie Wrap Top Hack in Cousette Viscose Twill from Good Fabric
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What Am I Working On Today? Well, at least this week? A bunch of different things! 

I haven't been getting much finished on the garment making side of things. Life is busy, and in my sewing time I've been working on some small art quilts -- one just started and one an older project I've gotten back out to finish. I've just used basting spray for the first time to prep these for stitching and it is FAB! I'll never go back. Lots left to do on these, but I was missing the feeling of prepping a garment. So there's some cutting going on as well. 

What you can't see in the picture is that for the last week or so I've also been deep cleaning and reorganizing my stash. Yikes, so much to look at and it all takes SO much time. I'm nearly there now, just a few more decisions to make and a couple more bins to buy and it should all be somewhat tidier and all the... [read more]

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The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes / Joi Mahon
Mount Joy : Fox Chapel Publishing, ©2022
288 p.

Today's read is an encyclopedic approach to sewing -- the "ultimate" guide, and a "complete course" on sewing garments. It's only 288 pages long, with many illustrations, so while it is a decent reference book I think it overstates its claim a little ;) 

I liked it for many features. As mentioned, it's heavily illustrated with clear photos, and has some good tidbits in it even for someone who has been sewing for a long time. However, I wouldn't suggest it for a beginner, and that's because, even though it's giving the basics and an overview of many things, I think you'd need to be familiar with what's being shared to really benefit from it. This might be an effect of trying to include an awful lot of subject areas.

It's broken up into 6... [read more]
3 years after my initial draft, I am ready to share my tried and tested, then improved, pole shorts pattern with the world! These have seen me through 2 photoshoots, a performance, and countless classes. These are what I keep coming to time and time again, because, well, they are literally custom made for me in every way and my absolute favourite. 

Download your copy here for FREE. 

Style lines

I would describe these as low cut, slightly cheeky with a scrunch bum. The crotch coverage is pretty wide and it's never let me down :) The legs and waist are both finished by fabric bands with no elastic added. The shorts are not compressive (but also not lose), but don't dig into your skin. Here are a few photos (please note that these beautiful beach pics by Artistry Photography are unedited): 

pole dance shorts DIY free pattern photoshoot beach

pole dance shorts free pattern photoshoot beach

As swim bottoms (see below) and also my separate post
pole dance shorts free pattern DIY bikini bottoms
Flat lay of... [read more]

Mavis Marks of Ikuntji Artists has created this brilliant design called Womens Business.

I know I have a lot of readers from the US and Europe who might not have had much exposure to our fabulous indigenous artists and the ikuntji group should be of particular interest to sewists. They don’t only sell paintings and artefacts such as boomerangs, but also fabric by the meter. All the members of the group are women artists, so ‘Womens Business’ is aptly named. Have a look at some of their eye candy fabric for a possible sewing project.

I recently saw an RTW dress using a variation of this design and it inspired the design for my own dress. I hope Mavis sees it as imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. (The dress is purely for my own personal use, I do not monetise either my sewing nor this blog.)

I drew up my design in... [read more]

I saw an angel become the devil

Still they look pretty good, hand in hand

Well, baby, I don’t need any of them
Heaven nor hell

I don’t know when it was, but sometime between 2010 and 2015, I’m not sure of the date, I heard the song Heaven Nor Hell with Volbeat on the radio. As I do like rock, the song appealed to me, but the lyrics really spoke to me. As an atheist I don’t need heaven nor hell, I’m trying to be a good person here and now, without the threats of hell or rewards of heaven.

I saw an angel become the devil

Anyway, after many long years living as Volbeat fans, we were able to score tickets to see them in Copenhagen. As it is their home ground, the tickets sold out quickly. My husband, by listening to them a lot on Spotify, were in the second priority group, the first were fan club members, and it was pretty slim pickings for our... [read more]

Hello and Happy Halloween! Man, as much as I love costumes and dressing up, Halloween can often be stressful around here. Three kids with multiple costume demands, a variety of events all with different rules and weather wears me out. But today is the last day, so time to recap what we wore this year and take a break until next time!

My oldest daughter wanted to be Mary Poppins this year. This was an AWESOME costume idea, because most of it is just regular clothing! And she got by far the most compliments. The shirt and bow tie were bought second hand, it's a simple school-uniform type polo shirt. The skirt was found at Goodwill and is actually a ladies' size 18. I bought it for a 101 Dalmatians costume many years ago and never wore it because my kids were sick that Halloween. To make it fit my 10 year old, I cut the center back seam,... [read more]


Sewing Love / Sanae Ishida
Seattle : Sasquatch Books, ©2022
271 p.

This is the second book by Ishida that I've read, via my library. It's a wonderful book! I really enjoyed it and I know I'll be reading it again to soak in all the detail involved. 

It's more than a basic sewing book, and more than just a project book, too. It's a great book for the intermediate sewist, who is looking for more learning and more challenge. The first part of the book deals with block making -- how to create a pattern block based on your own body. 

The second half then goes in to the projects: how to make yourself actual garments using your blocks. The garments are all fairly loose-fit casual clothes, so the adaptations and adjustments you'll have to make to get a decent fit are easier than closely fitted, detailed clothing would be. So it's a good way to start getting... [read more]

I made this top a while ago and it has swiftly become one of my favourites. It has been particularly good for that late summer into autumn season when I find it tricky to know what to wear. It looks great with jeans or wide legged trousers. The pattern is the Sofia from Victory Patterns which I've used once before to make a dress but I wanted something a little different from it this time.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Victory Patterns Sofia Top in Embroidered Gingham from Fabric Godmother
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I knit a sweater! 

More specifically, I finally finished a sweater I have been knitting since August of 2020. Oops!

Read more »


Cover Designs is a feature in which I try to match up the outfit on a book cover with a dress pattern and sometimes even potential fabric matches as well. Today's pick is a suitable spooky read for the fall season -- and one by a favourite author of mine -- The Other Side of Midnight, by Simone St. James.

Summary from the publisher: 

London, 1925. Glamorous medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. Now she's been murdered at one of her own séances, after leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter.
Ellie doesn't contact the dead—at least, not anymore. She specializes in miraculously finding lost items. Still, she can't refuse the final request of the only other true psychic she has known. Now Ellie must delve into Gloria's secrets and... [read more]

77- NuBra Review: Perfect backless dressing for low-cut & straplessNEW VIDEO Alert: Here's a great review of how I use the best NO BRA-Bra. Made for wearing backless, strapless, halter or low-back tops. Review: I got this one off amazon, but first found it at Dillard years ago.Don't worry, I'm not showing too much "cl88vage" in this one... I'll let the


The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle / Jennifer Ryan
NY: Ballantine Books, c2022.
411 p.

This was a very enjoyable novel, set on the home front in England, mid-WWII. It follows the fortunes of three women as they adjust to the new patterns of life in their small village. 

Grace Carlisle is the vicar's daughter, and she's trying to fix her deceased mother's wedding dress for her upcoming nuptials. But she's as uncertain about the wedding as she is about the repairs, especially after she runs into Hugh Westcott, a childhood friend and member of the local aristocracy who she hasn't seen in years.

Cressida Westcott is a successful, London based fashion designer who left the village when she was young and had no intentions ever to return. But her fashion house and her home have both just been destroyed in the Blitz -- she had a narrow escape. She has nowhere... [read more]

This is my latest project as a Fabricville blogger. I was choosing from the most recent fabric releases, so after much deliberation finally picked this 100% cotton corduroy. It was a hard decision! But when I saw the deep red with the cobalt, green & black motifs I thought it would fit in nicely with my 80s inspired sewing of late. Also it's quite seasonal, looking like falling leaves.

It's a lightweight & fine wale corduroy so I thought it would match up well with a simple shift that doesn't require any real movement in the fabric. I used Vogue 8805, but combined the middle & bottom panels, to only have the yoke seam left. 

Fortunately the print matches up well enough that even that topstitched seam doesn't break up the visual  line. I didn't shorten it at all so while it's thigh-high on the model it's just at the bottom of my knee, my preferred length.

I... [read more]

Always one to accessorize, I wasn’t about to let my new obsession with rock climbing go without proper attention to wardrobe. After a day … More carabiner climbing bracelet »

The post carabiner climbing bracelet appeared first on My French Twist.

I told you I was down a gathering rabbit hole with my latest projects. First the Aims blouse, now bringing the volume and gathers and ruffle drama today with this project!

Read more »

The team is always working on new design ideas to bring your website to life. Below you’ll find the four newest themes that we’ve added to our library, with beautiful options for food-based businesses, podcasts, and bloggers.

To install any of the below themes, click the the name of the theme you like, which brings you right to the installation page. Then simply click the “Activate this design” button. You can also click “Open live demo,” which brings up a clickable, scrollable version of the theme for you to preview.

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Ric rac braid has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and it’s easy to see why – you can use it on just about everything! It comes in a wonderful array of fun colours, and I’ve seen it used in lots creative ways.

First invented in the 1800s, it was often used as edging for finishing garments. Today, there’s so much you can use ric rac for – whether it’s decorating clothing or something for your home like curtains and cushions.

Have a look through sites like Pinterest and Instagram for some ideas.

Getting inspired by ric rac

I’ve been thinking of a way to use ric rac that recognises its history, but with a fun twist. In the end I decided on one bigger project (a big, collared blouse), and also a smaller, scrap-busting one!

Big collars and puffy blouses are a huge trend at the moment, and are hopefully here to stay. If not, I’m going to keep... [read more]

Fashion on the Ration / Julie Summers
NY: Profile, c2015.
240 p. 

This was a fantastic read, a history of (mainly) women's wear in Britain during WWII. If you're interested in fashion history, you'll love it. I was able to get my hands on it thanks to the wonders of Interlibrary Loan. 

It's broken up into a series of themes; clothing rationing and coupons, women's uniforms, CC41 and Utility clothing & the involvement of high fashion designers in making utility clothing acceptable, make do and mend, fashion magazines during the war years, and the idea of beauty as a morale booster. That's just a quick overview. There is so much in this book, and the bibliography and notes are extensive to lead you on to more. 

Unfortunately there are just a few photos included; while they are wonderful I'd have loved to see even more examples of what she was talking about.... [read more]

This is the time of year when I should be announcing a new Literary Sewing Circle title -- I'm already a couple of weeks later than I should be for this project. Alas -- the announcement this time is that the Literary Sewing Circle will be on hiatus until Spring. 

I've been trying to pull something together for us all, but it just didn't work out in time, and life has been so hectic that I've decided to put another round off until early next year. Rushing out a title that I haven't fully prepared for feels less inspiring that just waiting until the next round and having something solid for you to read and participate in. 

I'm sorry for any disappointment but I do hope you'll look forward to a new start for the Literary Sewing Circle in early 2023. 

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