Say what you wil- Inspector Gadgets backup singers are on point.

It kept happening. Enid couldn’t stop having the dream where right before runway- she morphed into an emu.

Someone’s princess bed is missing it’s dustruffle, MARGOT!?

Alice’s date liked to drop a ball bearing down her neckline and track it’s progress as she greeted their guests.

Design inspiration arrived over a lovely Sushi meal-

The meatcutters ball attendants were dazzled by Fiona’s waterproof apron turned frock!

I don’t want to commit to a trench coat, but I want the appearance of one- perhaps a London Fog sandwich board….

Well, you’ve done it. You’ve officially removed sexy from the same continent as ‘leather skirt’

Bethany so feared halitosis that she sewed chiclets to all her dresses.

Photo credits:

I love favorites posts because a. I love to shop and b. I love buying things that are tried and true for other people! I follow a lot of lifestyle bloggers and get so many beauty and fashion ideas from their favorite posts – they’re some of my favorite posts. I wanted to put together a list of my favorite sewing notions, beauty and lifestyle items, and books from 2017 before we get too far into 2018!

Sewing Notions

I love gadgets – you can always find me buying tech gadgets (looking at you Apple Airpods and iPhone X…) and sewing notions to me are a bit like gadgets. They’re designed to make you life easier or solve a problem you either know you had or didn’t know you had. My sewing room is full of them! Here are a few of my favorite from the year.

Dritz EZY Hem Guide

I love this hemmer – I use it for hemming 100% of the time. It does get really hot when you put... [read more]

I knew when I selected purple kitten wallpaper for my bedroom (in second grade) that I was onto something. Varying shades of purple have … More retrofitted – the color purple »

The post retrofitted – the color purple appeared first on My French Twist.

Let’s all take a moment to talk about gussets – crotch gussets in particular, and what they can and can’t do, because there is just so much misinformation floating around about them. A gusset is a separate piece of fabric sewn into a seam, most commonly seen on underarms (especially in vintage styles) and on the crotch of trousers.

The purpose of a gusset is to increase the range of motion of the limbs nearby – so in the case of the vintage blouse, its because a dolman sleeve doesn’t really allow the arm to raise naturally due to the shape of the bodice/sleeve piece and the limitations on the non-stretch fabric. So a small gusset is added to the underarm will allow the wearer to raise her arms. The same principle applies to crotch gussets – the purpose of a crotch gusset is to increase the range of motion of the legs.

A crotch gusset will not magically fix... [read more]

Hey! I’m Heather from Heather Handmade, and I love sewing my own clothes and especially sewing with stripes!

What is it about stripes that attracts so many people? Stripes can look good when they are bold and when they are soft; stripes can look good vertical, horizontal, and diagonal; and stripes can look good on all genders, all shapes, all ages, and all sizes. I personally really love stripes and how placing a pattern piece on stripes in different ways can change the look entirely! In my examples below am using pictures of myself, a woman, because that is what I have available to me, but I hope it can still inspire your own unique creations.

Stripes and Skirts stripe-placement

The simplicity of stripes are a great place to start with choosing stripe placement and direction. Above I showed how cutting out different skirt pattern pieces would look on striped... [read more]

Simplicity 1325: A Turtleneck Top

Hacking Simplicity 1325 into a Turtleneck After I made my striped maxi dress, I still had a fair bit of fabric left. I’d overestimated how…

The post Simplicity 1325: A Turtleneck Top appeared first on Thimble End.

Actual footage from Sunday.

We went on a family walk on Sunday.  Only a couple of kilometres and there was only a few moans from the children.  Of course there was moaning; there is always moaning.  We don't like walking, we don't want to go near the canal, we don't want to explore the woods, we don't want to climb on a lock, we don't like these things at all, and we are not being silly, this is a real and genuine dislike, and is nothing to do with us not wanting to leave the house.

It wasn't a beautiful day, but it was cold and fairly crisp, and there were slight signs of Spring everywhere - from bulbs poking through the leaves to little buds on the otherwise bare branches. 

Distance: 2.6km
Weather: Cloudy and cold - about 6⁰C
State of Mind: reluctant at first, moving towards actually having fun
I love the old saying business in the front party in the back because well who doesn't love a party? This top was the original inspiration for my make.  I found it on pinterest but you can view the whole article here! I loved the style though and I thought it might be fun to recreate.  Let me start by saying I HATE this top from the front I think its the most unflattering thing

My friend group is in the early years of its “baby boom” and not being a parent myself, I don’t always know what new parents (or new humans) need and want.

Thankfully I was once a small child and I remember how much fabric wall hangings and playmats got in my household. My mom made both my brother and I playmats, wall hangings, and curtains with street and house scenes.

These fabrics were backdrops for our playtime and provided interesting things to look at. I can remember laying in bed staring at my curtains and just visually picking out patterns or shapes in the negative spaces.

So I can imagine a friend’s kid laying on this playmat counting the animals or learning colors and animal names. Maybe they’ll play a matching game with their parents and put their stuffed animals on top of the corresponding critters.  When they are older it can be a backdrop for their... [read more]

I’m back after several recap posts to show you a couple Christmas gifts I made for the two newest additions to our family! When our first nephew was born, I made him a quilt which he now sleeps with every night. So when my sister in-law told me that and asked for two more quilts for the two newest nephews, of course I said yes.

Before I share pictures of the quilts with you I need to warn you that I am NOT a quilter.  I made mistakes and adaptations to this quilt that would probably make quilters cringe.  You’ve been warned, and don’t look too closely at the seams 🙂


I used this free triangle pattern piece from See Kate Sew. I’ve had this pattern piece saved since she shared the post (maybe a year-ish?) just waiting to put it to use and using it for the nephews’ quilts was perfect.

These are the fabrics I used…most were from Hawthorne Threads:

Hi All,

Of course I was busy with the festivities and celebrations (like most people) but I managed to sew a few things. Some I still need to finish!

One of the many quick sews I did was this fluffy black scarf, I wish I made this a lot sooner

On cooler, windy days I’d wear it like this BUT it be cold as an old, bitter mans heart! So I’ve been wearing it like this….

I like to wear all black everything on most days so swamping my face with this looks mysterious and sneaky, especially indoors

I’m not a devious anime character here to take your soul, don’t worry!

Stay busy


Hello readers!

We’re on Jeans & Trousers for the #CurvyYearofSewing and one of our suggested patterns is Simplicity 3688, a well loved and reviewed 1940’s wardrobe pattern that goes into the plus size range.  Along with a retro wide leg pant, this pattern includes a jacket, a blouse and a skirt.  On Pattern Review, this pattern has been reviewed 47 times!  I’ve had this pattern since it came out, but never really had any plans to sew it up.  I’ve been working on a fall/winter capsule wardrobe and decided this year that I wanted to add some pants to it and I’m certainly glad that I did, as I’ve been steadily wearing the jeans and trousers that I’ve been sewing.

Pattern Name: Simplicity 3688

Size Range: 10-28W

What size did you make? 26/28W

What are your…..

Measurements: 48-41-52
Body Shape: Pear-ish/Spoon
Height: 5’8

What adjustments did you make... [read more]

Apologies for the delays in posting this review of the first issue of Burda for 2018! I know a lot of you use these reviews to decide whether or not to buy this issue while it’s current, but the newsagent by my office where I tend to buy these didn’t have it before we broke up for the holidays, and, well – I’ve been very busy with posting all about the designs in my book recently!

But the good news is that this issue is worth the wait IMHO! I won’t be signing up for the Burda Challenge this year (been there, done that back in 2012!!), as I’ve already got way too much on my sewing plate already, but I’m not going to feel bad about not sewing much from these issues, either. I’m just going to enjoy the inspiration and talking points they provide, and hope that one day I’ll actually get to sew everything on my list!

I know quite a few people were trying to... [read more]

I made something from my #makenine2018 list.  And it's only the middle of January.

It helps that I've made this pattern about 15 times already, and can pretty much make it in my sleep.  I still need to do something like a full bust adjustment on it, because there is a lot of fabric across my chest, above my boobs, which is due to the six inch difference between my full bust and my high bust measurements.  Still, that's only really visible to me, so I may not bother.

It fits well, and I'm pleased with it.  Not sure about the cuffs, but I'm going to leave them in place for a couple of wears and see how I feel.  Also, that blanket covering the mess that is the spare room sofabed was the first thing I made, back when I first started knitting, and it's still just about going strong.  It has a couple of holes, cleverly hidden under the cushion, but... [read more]
Perhaps you have seen these photos on my Instagram account?  It seems I can’t crochet in peace – Simon will steal my ball of yarn away and Sophie will play with the length of yarn.  This calls for a simple, but necessary project! Perhaps you have seen this advertisement on Facebook or Instagram?  This is […]
This dress just had to happen again. New Look 6000 using a chambray flower print from Minerva Crafts. I've been working my way through some remnants, as you can see.

There are always parts of the construction process that spur me on, like getting the sleeves made.

Once I get to the invisible zipper stage, I know the dress is coming along nicely. Until I have to try the dress on. This is the perfect stage to adjust the fit.

Can you see the piping along the neckline. I still had enough piping for this dress.

The piping acts like a necklace. 
This is the same piping I used on the original Deer and Doe Belladone dress I made for September. The fabric colours of this fabric is the same on the Minerva Crafts website.
This version is work-worthy.
The sleeve length also help with battle with aircon that gets very cold during the day.
There's much less stress sewing a dress from a pretty remnant that you know works.
I am once again sharing a project which I made up for Fabricville Canada, as part of their blogging program. This is a beautiful velour tunic which I just *love*! (check out their blog here -- you will recognize a few other sewing bloggers there too!)

I used Vogue 9275, a wardrobe pattern, focusing on View B, the tunic. Although the pattern calls for lightweight knits for this item, I saw it made up in velvet by Lori at Girls in the Garden last fall, and thought it was such a gorgeous idea that I had to jump on this stretch velour when I saw it.

Actually I spent quite a bit of time in my local store petting the bolts until I received this maroon piece from Fabricville. Then I bought some more in pink. More on that later this month... This is such a wonderfully soft fabric, it's like you are wearing a Gund. My coworkers couldn't hold themselves back... [read more]

I’m slowly making progress with my knitted blanket.

Well, it’s actually a king size blanket. The width is 102″! I must stay that it’s coming along quite nicely and while but I still must go slow because of my left wrist issues. At the moment, I’m unsure of what colors I will use. Initially, I was going to do the body in dark purple and then, I thought of making a progression blanket, to reflect all the color changes in the sky, but do it in reverse from just before dark to bright sun and fade back to the early morning light, but now… I’m unsure again. Well, I have plenty of time to make up my mind of what this blanket will become.


Over the Christmas holiday, I spent a day or two listing my fabric stash in the Cora app. My intention was to have an easy way to check the fabric I already own before assuming I need to buy new fabric for a project, and to have a way to record where and when I buy it, as I have sometimes forgotten this by the time I come to sew with a fabric.

Whilst listing my fabric in Cora, I rediscovered a number of fabrics which I had bought to make a specific pattern, and where I still very much wanted to make that pattern. Rather than just put those fabrics back in the stash, I made a note in Cora of the planned project and decided to put those projects to the top of my to-sew list by participating in #2018makenine.

The nine fabrics I have selected from my stash, and associated patterns, are featured in my latest vlog:

My nine fabrics and paired patterns are also pictured... [read more]

SWAP 2018 #4:  Butterick 6287 pieced tunic.  Using print and red fabrics salvaged from much-loved dresses, and scraps of black viscose jersey.

Fabric-wise, this is a complete nightmare.  The print is an unidentified poly from the market, quite slinky and silky but with medium heft.  The red embossed [sweater knit?] was another market find from YEARS ago, probably acrylic.  It’s quite beefy, but the dress I cut it from was well-loved, much -worn and -washed, so it’s nice and soft.  The black jersey is very lightweight.

As you attach pieces together [I used the overlocker] you also top stitch the seams [messily of course if you’re me] and this seems to let you get away with different fabric weights, reinforcing it slightly.  I suppose you COULD reinforce with tape or iron on stuff, But that takes too long!

My only gripe with this pattern [this is #3 of the tops... [read more]

Due to some efficient cutting, I found myself with a bit of Fabric Mart's black ponte fabric leftover from my Metropolitan Chimera Jacket... while the black was still threaded in my machines, I decided to make it into a quick dress!
Read more »
I love a sale! Nothing is better in this world than something you want at half the price. Which is why I was so excited when I heard that the Abakhans fill a bag sale was coming to My local Hanley store.  And I was even more excited when I realised I had quite the little pot of Christmas and Birthday money accumulated from my Mum and Dad. Now I am planning on doing a video showing all

60s Inspired Coco Dress

At some point in December I finally started watching Mad Men. It’s been in my Netflix queue for an age and amazingly, I’ve managed to…

The post 60s Inspired Coco Dress appeared first on Thimble End.

The weirdest thing happened to me this weekend.  I had traced off the Burda blouse #114 from January 2016 and was ready to toile.  In the stash, lurked a length of red and white viscose crepe, kindly swapped by Del almost 2 years ago.  I never could think of what to use it for, but I thought this time, try for a wearable toile.  I had already checked width measurements etc, so was sure the pattern would be 75% fine, I just needed to know what changes to make to make the pattern 100%.

I cut the straight 44, version A length.  The pattern makes up easily enough, there’s nothing complicated in the instructions.  I opted not to have the buttonhole in the yoke to allow the drawstrings out, instead I pinned the cord in place until I was ready to bind the neckline.  By then I knew how much pulling up I wanted.  I’m not sure I really want dangly bits on the final blouse either, to be... [read more]

day 8: Jared started a new job today! He’s a substitute teacher in the Kansas City schools. So I was really looking forward to the day, knowing I was going to be spending it with Ramona, just like it used to be when she was a toddler & Jared was teaching at KU. He basically stopped working after my cancer diagnosis, which was more than a year ago, because I needed so much extra help with my health in decline. So his starting a new job was a sign that things are returning to normal.

Ramona & I had a great day playing together, & mostly I just worked on my sewing plans for the next couple of months. I’ve committed to a couple of guest blog posts, which require sewing on a deadline, & I’m participating in a few other challenges & thinking about trying a Pattern Review contest.

Patter Review could really stand to update their branding. That swirly-headed stick figure... [read more]

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