In its past life: remnants of jeans and cotton.

Found new life as: A unique upcycled patchwork jean top! All seam inside are serged. There is a snap closure on the top middle back. There are 2.5" side slits on the bottom hem. (I used Simplicity pattern 8602 for the fit).

Size: US Medium (please refer to measurements)

*Photographed on a size US womens 6/8 mannequin for reference

Width from underarm to underarm (chest) lying flat across front: 20"

Length from shoulder to hem: ~21"

Sleeve length about: 8.5"

Check it out in thee shop here.



A Dress of Violet Taffeta / Tessa Arlen
NY: Berkley, c2022.
335 p.

This novel is based on the life of Lady Duff Gordon, otherwise known as British fashion designer Lucille. I've always been interested in this figure, the sister of sensational writer Elinor Glyn, as they have a Canadian connection. Their mother was Canadian, and they both spent some childhood years living in Guelph with their maternal grandparents after their father died. When their mother remarried, they returned to England. 

In any case, this book focuses on Lucy at the moment that her first marriage is breaking down. Her husband James Wallace was a drunk and a philanderer, and he walked out on her and their daughter Esme. She, somewhat scandalously at the time, filed for divorce. But to support herself and her daughter, she started designing and selling dresses from their... [read more]

Update: May 18, 2023. It took a few weeks, but Twitter finally shut off our API access. Though we were in limbo for a bit, we can now confirm that our services have been disconnected and Twitter is no longer part of Jetpack Social.

In early April, we experienced an unexpected suspension of our Twitter API access. This access is what powers Jetpack Social, which in turn helps you automatically share your blog posts to Twitter. Though the service was restored that same day, it turns out that there were bigger changes looming on the horizon. 

Twitter recently notified Automattic that it was dramatically changing the terms and pricing of the Twitter API. The cost increase is prohibitive for us to absorb without passing a significant price increase along to you, and we don’t see that as an option. We have attempted to negotiate a path... [read more]

Pattern: Deer & Doe Acajou Trousers
Fabric: Denim Stretch twill; dark from Ohlssons Tyger, light from Böttger Stoffwinkel, Alkmaar. (Both out of stock. In fact I bought the last on the roll of the light blue denim)

Notions: 20 cm zipper, elastic, button, interfacing.
Also wearing: Hi-lo shirt.

While falling into a Youtube rabbit hole, I got stuck in a Hunger Games groove, prompting me to re-read the books. They are quite quick to read, as the language is adapted for teens, as well as pretty much non-stop action. Being a total fangirl, I even fashioned my hair into a Katniss braid (which it was before it became an Elsa braid), although I feel my hair is a little too short for the full effect. 

I added an extra back pocket. (Plus my attempt at the Katniss braid)

I don’t think my Acajous will be a trilogy, at least not at the moment, but I... [read more]

This Style pattern was one I had on my wishlist to make at the beginning of this year. It all came together to convince me to make it now, as there is a blouse making challenge on IG, as well as the return of The Refashioners, AND a challenge to sew with some Viva Magenta. 

This was a perfect fit for all of that. It's a pattern from 1986 that I thrifted a while back. The price on the back for Canada is $6.75, which I think would have been a pricey pattern back in the mid-80s. And for such a simple design! The cover images look like there are some big shoulder pads in there, which I would have expected of a pattern of this vintage; however, there are none called for in the pattern. 

I used a half-made dress that I was given a few years ago. The rayon print is beautiful, and there are swirls of magenta in that print! I had first taken the bodice off and [read more]


These two bags were made with remnants of denim and leather. The tote bag has a magnetic snap to keep it closed and the crossbody bag is zippered with dual zipper pulls. Both have pockets inside and out. 

The tote patchwork is an abstract piece while the crossbody is a Seminole inspired patchwork. I had accumulated a lot of smaller pieces of denim and other materials so making these patchworks has been a great way to use them all up. Also quite the creative exercise with the tinier pieces like making a puzzle but without instructions.

You can find the bags in my shop.


 There are a number of reasons I wanted to share this

(it ran this morning on Toon In With Me on and some of them are about Maisie's time management skills

She gives herself five minutes to get ready for work and get to work. There's a family member who would have enjoyed this cartoon this morning, but she gives herself five minutes as well, so she didn't have the time.

the clock a few minutes until

the office job she's going to

an editorial comment about women's makeup

She's going to get that bus

while it careens out of reach

she gets it, just in time for it to stop and her to pay the fare

Cram into the elevator

and make it with no time to spare

some outlandish examples of hats
the hat she came in with, with a blue bow

too big

chapeau a la mode

the latest from Paree

the droopy ear

the Princess Eugenie's convertible snood

Sewing the New Classics: Clothes With Easy Style / Carol Parks
NY: Sterling, c1995.
152 p.

Since I was thinking so much about capsule wardrobes this month, I checked out this 1995 tome from Open Library to see how it had aged. Surprisingly well, actually! It's old school; there are 10 patterns for "wardrobe essentials" included, in the way that it was done in the 90s -- sketched out on a grid for you to enlarge by hand yourself. You'll find these items: a traditional shirt, a collarless tunic, a T-shirt, a straight skirt, a full skirt, elastic-waist pants, tailored pants, a jacket, a fitted waistcoat, and a big vest or jacket.

I remember wearing some of these styles in the past, but many of them could be very easily translated to contemporary styling depending on the choice of size and fabric. The 90s aesthetic is still current in its use of more... [read more]

When I was recently making the free Athina Top from Tessuti, I started thinking about some of their other free patterns... namely the Mandy Boat Tee, which I've made a few times now. This is one of my fave t-shirt patterns, as I like the silhouette and fit, and it's really the only kind of 'tee' I wear.

Well, this seemed to be the perfect fit for this piece of lovely soft knit I had in my stash. I received this fabric from a library patron who knows I sew; she was clearing out her stash a bit and thought that this print would be perfect for a librarian. She was right! 

I was pleased to find that there was enough fabric here for the Mandy, with just a sliver left over. I cut it carefully, trying to get the centre line of the print down the centre of the front and back. I think it worked! I really like how comfortable this top is, and in this super soft knit it's really... [read more]

At, we’re always pushing our platform to do even more so that you can create, design, and publish amazing things with ease. 

The last few weeks have found us as busy as the springtime bees improving the writing and publishing process even more, bringing our ad platform to mobile, and ensuring that previous edits to your work are readily accessible. 

Let’s jump in and take a look.   

Write without distractions 

One of writing’s biggest challenges has nothing to do with the words — it’s filtering out the noise (both literal and figurative) so you can focus. We can’t change your physical environment, but we’re doing what we can to help you get into “the zone” a little more easily. Enter distraction free mode, a minimalist WordPress experience that removes the buttons and... [read more]

So I do realize I keep saying I shouldn’t do tests when school is in, then I do another test, but sometimes a project is just that good that you want to be in on the ground floor.

Let me introduce you to the Amador Top* which is the newest design from Itch to Stitch. It’s a great top that features dolman style sleeves and a fun front detail with the lower bodice forming a point at the centre front the has some gathering under the bustline. It has a v-neckline that is neatly finished with binding.

I made mine out of ITY jersey. As I finished sewing it up we were under a storm watch and I took the photos on a “snow day” from work. Happily all the snow has since melted - although this being the prairies and all we are forecasted to get up to 10cm of snow over the next day. No thank you!! I’d much rather be able to wear my spring like Amador Top thanks!

As I... [read more]

 I started drafting this on the second week of February.

I started cutting this soft boucle cardigan jacket out the third week of February
It really has been drafted and assembled in ten minute bites. 
There's just not enough time. 

Because I knew I was going  to use this boucle knit for this, and I wanted pockets AND I don't like lumpy seam facings, I decided to put the side seams forward and put the pockets into those seams.
I might be stealing this entire jacket design from a Uniqlo one I got during lockdown, mashed up with a Uniqlo vest I got this year.
I mean, it's my MO, borrowing like a magpie.

Overlapping pieces to get seams to match. And the pocket is much larger than that little shape I drew.

Needed to add sleeve cap height, thus the added piece and the measuring tape.

Hoping I remember to add the seam allowances to these pieces.

Think I did okay. And... [read more]

For my project for this round of the Literary Sewing Circle, I went with the overall impression I got from this book. Right from the title onward there is such a strong sense of place, of the grasses and sunlight and the landscape that the story is set in. I had been thinking about a print I've had in my stash for a few years now, a lightweight knit that has a grass-like print. I knew I really wanted to use it, but couldn't quite come up with the right pattern match for it. 

But then I put this sense of grass together with an almost throwaway moment near the end. Margaret is shopping for new clothes in Kamloops in preparation for her travels to New York. 

Margaret found the shop where she had bought trousers the previous May -- John T. Beatton, Clothier -- and bought dresses to supplement her rose muslin gown, one of dark blue and a simple... [read more]

Looking to take your WordPress website to the next level? You’re in luck! Our webinars are designed to help you create and customize your site with ease, and they’re incredibly popular among site owners. Plus, they’re completely free to attend!

Check out these upcoming webinars, which are conducted live by our knowledgeable Happiness Engineers:

Compelling Homepages: Create a Custom Layout with the WordPress Block Editor

Your site’s homepage is its highest-traffic page, so making it count is crucial to the success of your site. Join us to learn how to create a professional-looking and engaging homepage using the WordPress block editor. Our experts will teach you how to build an effective visual hierarchy and design attention-grabbing calls to action.

  • Tues Apr 18 at 9:00pm CEST | 3:00pm EDT | 12:00pm... [read more]

Building the Pattern / Laura Huhta & Saara Huhta
London: Quadrille, c2021.
208 p.

I read the first book by this sisterly duo when it came out some years ago, and enjoyed it, and copied out some patterns. And so I've been meaning to check this one out for a while now! I got a copy through my library, and have enjoyed going through it. 

It's a book full of projects. There are 6 patterns plus one extra purse pattern. But 5 of these 6 patterns have 3 distinct items included - the 6th, the jacket, has two variations. So there are quite a number of pieces you could make here. There are traceable patterns included in the book, no downloading required. Each chapter (one per pattern) includes some nice clear fashion photos, a materials and size guide, cutting guide and layplans, general sewing instructions and specialized instructions for any pattern hacking... [read more]


I am a child of the 60s, and while everyone has their day and time,

I am a little sad and very wistful. Quant was the first designer I knew of (okay I was 8). Her looks resonate with me even now: that's my childhood view of the adult fashion world. Down to the typeface and the five petal flower that was her trademark

For a really nice page with loads of links and rich with information:

Quant was a part of the Youthquake marketing whirlwind.

Very well represented in film

You may be familiar with her from the recent V&A exhibition

And I would have adored this pattern

Feeling springy over here! Flowers are coming up and legs are bare again. We’ll probably have snow again next week, but I’m taking advantage of these opportunities. 

Read more »

The Sewing Bee is back on our screens in May 2023, broadcast on BBC1. Are you nifty with a needle or handy with a hem? Put your skills to the test! We’re looking for more talented home sewers to take part in the next series of The Great British Sewing Bee.

If you or someone you know is a good sewer, adept at following a pattern, who thinks creatively, can fit to the body and has an eye for design and style then why not apply now? Good luck!

Producers of the show, Love Productions, are looking for the next group of brilliant, amateur sewers to showcase their talents for an exciting new series of The Great British Sewing Bee. So if you or someone you know is a brilliant amateur sewer, then why not apply?

Start your sewing journey with us! Start here!

Sara Pascoe will be hosting the new GBSB show which is back on BBC2 for its 9th series. To keep us all entertained over the weeks,... [read more]

The Great British Sewing Bee is one of the highlights of our year at William Gee’s Online Haberdashery! It should return to our screens any week now, and we can’t wait. The challenges, creations and friendships we enjoy throughout each season have charmed the nation, and it’s something to look forward to whether you sew or not.

What’s it all about?

The Sewing Bee is usually run over 10 episodes – bringing us the highs and lows of 12 sewists as they tackle dressmaking challenges set by judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant. From show-stopping couture to thrifty transformations, there’s endless inspiration and sewing joy to be found.

Left to right Patrick Grant, Sara Pascoe and Esme Young | SOURCE: BBC ONE – The Great British Sewing Bee

When will the 2023 series start?

In previous years the show started in April, but this year the show starts at... [read more]

Executive Summary

LUBUS, a development agency specializing in WordPress and Laravel, faced challenges with variable hosting costs and maintenance for their clients. They needed a solution that offered fixed costs, high performance, secure web hosting, and reliable service and support. LUBUS decided to test and, after witnessing positive results, confidently recommended it to their clients.

The migration to led to faster site load times, improved stability during traffic surges, and significant cost savings of 50-90% for clients. This allowed LUBUS to concentrate on its core services and offer a more straightforward solution to its clients without the need for DevOps budgets or ongoing maintenance costs. provided an all-in-one solution, ensuring a stable, secure, and... [read more]


Sewing Your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe /
Arianna Cadwallader & Cathy McKinnon
London: Kyle Books, c2017.
175 p.

I recently got this book from my library; it's one I've seen mentioned here and there, and thought it would be interesting to see the advice about a capsule wardrobe given here. Well, I'm glad I got it from the library, because overall I found it a bit underwhelming. 

The book is organized into a structure around 5 core garments: The Vest Top (a tank top in North American speak), Basic Skirt, Shift Dress, Trousers, and Blouse. These are all fairly basic silhouettes -- the book is aimed at the advanced beginner, which I think is about the right level for these designs. There are fold-out pattern sheets included in the book, so you can trace and alter right away. Each basic piece has a straightforward main pattern, then tells you how to alter... [read more]

Nina Lee in her Carmel Jumpsuit
Nina Chang-Smith in her Carmel jumpsuit (courtesy Nina Lee)

When I realized that Nina Chang-Smith, the designer and founder behind her indie pattern company, Nina Lee Patterns, had moved from London to the Bay Area, I invited her to be Bay Area Sewists‘ guest speaker in September 2022. It was our first indoor, in-person event since the pandemic began. Our Meetup group had been meeting on Zoom since May 2020 and then had a couple of outdoor meetups in the summer of 2022. I’ve been the organizer for Bay Area Sewists since 2014.

The event was a Q&A with Nina Chang-Smith held in the classroom space at Lacis in Berkeley. After the Q&A, Nina also showed how you can change the closure on a pattern (i.e. from zippers to keyhole openings). I took all the photos except for the one of her in the lavender jumpsuit.

I meant to publish this post months ago but I just... [read more]

Today is already our final day of the Literary Sewing Circle focusing on Theresa Kishkan's Sisters of Grass!

I hope you've had the chance to read the book, and both the first and second inspiration posts, and are getting lots of ideas for a project of your own. 

The project linkup will be added to the bottom of this post: as soon as you are done your project, just pop a link to your post into the linkup and we will all be able to visit your blog/instagram etc. and explore your creation -- remember, it can be sewn, or knitted, crocheted, embroidered... any textile art that you practice.

And thanks to our sponsors, Helen's Closet, who will be giving away one PDF pattern, and DG Patterns, who will be giving away 3 PDF patterns! The random draw for winners will be held on April 22 after our project link up closes. Get your projects in :) 

UPDATE: Our... [read more]

It has been quite a departure from my usual MO to use fabric I have not printed myself and silk at that. But some time ago I came across an Etsy site in New Zealand that imports amongst other textiles silk saris from India. They are gently used, or at least the one I bought is in perfect condition. The colours that suit Indian sensibilities are not always in tune with my preferences, but after choosing carefully I was delighted with my purchase when it arrived.

I wanted a cocktail dress I could wear for evenings out on our European trip and it seemed a waste of all that lovely silk to make it too short. So I decided on a maxi skirt with 3 inverted box pleats front and back, set into the StyleArc Sydney dress bodice. I like the cut on short sleeves and high empire waist of the Sydney.

There are different weights of silk and the type I chose is... [read more]

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