Papercut patterns has a cute swimsuit style - Soma - that has a few cool swimsuit variation including the bikini style I've just made using Pitt Trading fabric - Turkish delight print.
This variation doesn't need too many notions. 
I've used two fashion fabrics, lining fabric, cups and fold over elastic.
Without the straps, it's still a lovely tanning suit.
Sewing fold over elastic was a nice design idea to finish off this bikini.
I usually use swimsuit elastic to finish the edges of swimsuits.
After trying on the bottoms, I'll be raising the height of the side leg.
I'll also be lowering the front waistline because it's too high for my height.
The other adjustment I'll be making is to raise the base of the top's hem. I'll be taking 2.5cm off the front hem.
Other than those small adjustments, this pattern is good to go.

…and then forget all about it! 😉

That’s pretty much every single one of my Pinterest boards.

Except that recently I pinned a dress that I couldn’t get out of my head.

I was shoulder surfing my work colleague A as she was scrolling through an online clothing store called The Iconic. I spotted a blue and pink striped dress and I wanted it immediately.
I went fabric shopping that weekend to find blue and pink striped fabric but that didn’t exist so I grabbed bolts of pink and blue cotton instead. Later I noticed that the dress is actually described as black and pink but it’s also pretty horribly made (look closely at the arm hole and back zipper…) so yeah, I’ll do what I want 😉

For my pattern I decided to mash up the pleated skirt from Vogue 1353 and bodice from the Sew Over It Betty Dress. The Vogue bodice is princess seamed and that was going to ruin my stripes.... [read more]



Saturday – we bought the younger lass a trumpet. She’s been playing a borrowed instrument for almost 2 year.





Sunday – I started making a bra, then stopped! I hope to finish it this weekend.






Monday – I saw this amazing leather. Sadly green is really NOT my colour.





Wednesday – NEW TIMPANI!!!!! For the brass band my children play with. Several years of fundraising here.





Thursday – I’ve never had steamed corn on a stick before. Very yummy and well worth repeating.






Friday – Our tree has produced masses of cumquats. They are incredibly sour.






Saturday – looking up into the foliage at the dog park.




The Sunday Sevens thing was started by Natalie who blogs at “Threads and Bobbins”. The idea is to take photos of your week and share them.




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Note to Self: Slow sewing is fine, but if you focused on the task at hand, it wouldn't be silly sewing.

Briefly: A picture -before I get all rumpled!! And I may have to do something about those bust 'darts'.

Awhile ago I purchased some forest green fine wale corduroy with which I planned to make some slim trousers.
After I washed it, some weird things happened to the fabric-a marble-like texture came with it out of the dryer- and I decided to use it for something else, tho' it took awhile to sort out what that would be.
Forest green, not grey -trust me.
Since I am still off work while my foot heals, I have time to experiment.

Many moons ago I made dress from OOP Simplicity 4991, circa 2004. Since it fit well, I wanted to make a sleeved dress and thought the corduroy would be fine for the test.

To increase back coverage and add sleeves I combined the... [read more]
After that fairly mammoth post about my boned silk dress mid week I thought I'd share a couple of slightly more straightforward projects today! Thank you all for the lovely comments and likes for my dress. Its so great to hear that so many of you enjoy those lengthy posts that go into all the details of instruction; they're my favourite thing to read on sewing blogs and probably to write too!

I've got the last of my selfless sewing projects from Christmas last year to show you today. In case you missed them I've already posted about the silk robe I made for a friend's birthday and the hoodies I made for my brother and stepdad. I've spoken in those last two posts about how difficult it is to sew garments as surprise gifts for others because you need to fit them. Fortunately I get lucky with my mum as she is a very similar size and shape to... [read more]

Girlfriend’s out of town, so I made breakfast just for me. What’s next, being a grown-up?

[This DIY Jumpsuit was made for and modeled by my daughter Mori]

I have another new pattern to introduce to you. This DIY jumpsuit was made with the Keira Ramel Jumpsuit a new pattern from Nina Ramel Patterns  by Shari over at MyDailyThreadz. This DIY jumpsuit ain't for no shy gal, that's for sure! The plunging neckline is right up Mori's alley. The wide legs are right up my alley thus that makes this DIY jumpsuit a winner in our book.

The construction was very interesting and I wanted to follow the instructions so that I can provide a true and accurate assessment to share with ya'll. the top was super cool the instructions were clear and I love the was the top is put together, especially the seams under the arm were super cleaver.

Pattern Description: 
Keira Ramel Jumpsuit by Nina Ramel Patterns

Pattern Sizing: The patterns are made to your... [read more]
I was browsing through the Lekala website a couple of weeks ago and stumbled across this little on-trend beauty!  Lekala 5669….. I just fell for it straight away – the cold shoulder detail was bang on trend but subtle enough for a someone approaching middle age to wear – not that I feel it. So it was downloaded and stuck it together before you could say boo to a goose.  Then came the hard bit. I have quite a few jersey’s in my stash.  32 to be exact if I check my Cora App!!!  And true to form I fancied making a muslin of this pattern.  Mainly because it looks a bit confusing how it’s put together, not because of the fit – when I’m sewing with jersey and using Lekala I generally find the fit to be spot on. So I had a rummage through the app on my phone and decided upon this very stretchy see through mesh fabric. I had bought 5 panels, each being 1.2m, for less than £6 inc P&P …

Sew Now Magazine

I’m late posting, since the newer issues are now out, but I had articles in the issues of Love Sewing and Sew Now published during January.

Tribe Patterns Billie Dress

Tribe Patterns Billie Dress

My article for Sew Now was a review of the the Billie Collection, the first pattern from Tribe Patterns, and a collaboration between The Fold Line and Rachel Pinheiro. I sewed this at the same time as my knit version, and, as with that version, it suffers from being a bit loose in the bust (as it’s drafted for a C cup, and I’m a B). The fabric is a gorgeous Geese Flock Cotton Lawn in ochre from Fabric Godmother.

Sew Now Magazine

My article for Love Sewing was a brief history of British Lace Making, with a focus on the Nottingham lace industry and Cluny Lace, who I have blogged about previously.

Love Sewing Magazine

Love Sewing Magazine

…I are mostly sewing a corset.

Sew Curvy ‘Sophia’, in a black ‘tulip broché’ remnant from Vena Cava.

This is for ‘normal’ wear, not steampunk, so I don’t want a huge waist reduction, just a bit of shape for ‘stealthing’ under modern clothing.  I’m making it single layer, to keep bulk down, and will wear it over a camisole or similar undergarment for comfort and to keep it clean.  It’s described as a ‘modern underbust’ and has lots of excellent reviews.

I selected the 36″ waist size, bigger than my Victorian/Edwardian sizing, with the intention of adding slight padding to the hips [in true Dior style] to get the nicest shape I can, while still being comfy.  This pattern does not include seam allowances.  Tracing be damned, I photocopied the pattern, and cut out the size I wanted, then chalked round the pieces, cut them out with rather vague seam... [read more]

…laying bait for racists, and buggering up another corset.

First, the racists.  I spend many, many hours on Facebook, playing pointless games and looking at kittens of course, but I’m also active on several sewing sites, great for general chat and giving and getting advice.  Recently I started watching an interesting site which sells vintage/antique clothing and textiles.  I have little intention of buying any, but they are lovely to look at.  Today this popped up.  Image may contain: indoor and food

In close up  No automatic alt text available.

I was startled, to say the least, and commented that it is racist, and could offend.  Hackles rose, and quite a few people flew to its defence, one saying it was ‘celebrating black women in the South’.

The discussion quickly became very divided, with some insisting that the image was charming etc etc and very collectable.  Hmmm.

I took a copy over to a sewing group on FB,... [read more]

The first step is to select your fabric. The sweatshirt calls for a mid-weight knit with less than 20% stretch. This means fabrics like french terry, sweatshirting, even fleece or ponte. For more about selecting fabric, see the post on Choosing Fabric for the Electron Layette. Along with your fabric, the notions you need are snaps and interfacing.

Cut your fabric. If you cut your pattern pieces out with your fabric on a single layer you can squeeze it into a smaller amount of fabric. Regardless, you need to end up with 2 fronts (mirror images of each other), 2 sleeves, 2 pockets (optional), 1 back, and 1 back neck facing. Note that there are two options for the neck facing piece – one has size 3 months, 9 months, and 18 months on it while the other has size newborn, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years on it. The pocket piece comes in two sizes as well – one for... [read more]

I’m a sucker for patterns with unique details and I love pants with pockets, so I snagged the pattern for the Style Arc Sadie Pant on Etsy during their Black Friday sale.

Pattern name:

Style Arc Sadie Pant. According to Style Arc, Sadie is a “Great pull on pant with a flat front and interestingly shaped pockets.  The elastic is a feature and comes from the front panel and continues across the back.  The ankle length leg has a very wearable and flattering tapered leg with a hem split. The top of the elastic sits on the natural waist.”

Size range: Sizes 4 – 30 (waist: 23.5″ – 50.5”, hip: 32.6″ – 61”)

What size did you make? I chose size 16 because it matched my hip size exactly.

What are your measurements, height, and body type? Waist: 36.5″, Hip: 44.5”, Height 5’2”, Pearish

What fabric did you use?

This pattern is intended for lightweight woven fabrics,... [read more]

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Grab a snack and get cosy – this is going to be a long post!

This weekend I’ll be teaching a class on knit dresses at Spool and Spindle. We like to offer students a choice of patterns so that everyone can get the size and shape that is right for them. This time, we’ve chosen Cashmerette Turner and Colette Moneta, two very similar patterns on the surface… but as I sewed up the samples, I was rather amazed by all the small but significant differences!

First off, the similarities: 

  • both knit fit-and-flare dresses
  • both knee-length
  • both have a lined bodice
  • both have multiple sleeve lengths

But that’s boring, right? Let’s get down to the fun part – all of the differences!!!

Cashmerette Turner vs. Colette Moneta

My fabrics: Before I can really compare the patterns, let’s talk about how fabric may be affecting fit. I sewed the Turner in a Monaluna organic... [read more]

Simplicity 1366 is a pattern I've seen around a lot on social media - specifically the top, not the cami or the very fancy frou frou skirt. It's designed for woven's but I think it would be perfect for knits...and it is!  I made this is a viscose/jersey from The Remnant Warehouse.

Annoyingly I had to trace the pattern as I was pretty sure going with the biggest size on offer, my usual sewing strategy, would just be too big...I traced and sewed the size 18 and it fits well. Tracing is really annoying, fiddly and annoying. Not a fan

I've read that the top is very short so I added 7.5cm to the length - it's not a bad length now for wearing with this type of skirt, but if I were to wear it with a pencil skirt I'd probably want it longer to cover my belly. I was also told that the neckline is very wide so I added 1cm to both the side of the front and... [read more]

For the past several months, I’ve been thinking about purchasing clear storage containers for my crafting shelves. A few years ago, my uncle, who’s an amazing carpenter, made the shelves for me. I have a lot of fiber and card making supplies. I believe this will work well in keeping those items contained instead of just sitting on the shelves.

Rubbermaid Roughneck Clear Storage Container, 50 qt

So even though this was a great idea (at least to me) I didn’t get around to ordering those containers until early this morning. What did I purchase?  Rubbermaid Roughneck Clear Storage Container. They come in a pack of five and are 50 qt. The containers aren’t too large or small, they’re just right! Since I ordered them from Amazon (and since I’m a Prime member) they should be here on Saturday.

Also, a few moments ago, I ordered some soap molds and a soap cutter. I have a new... [read more]


Before my son was born there was a lot more time to sew. Mr Wardrobe would go out to play club cricket on summer Saturdays, and I’d have a lovely long sew-in all afternoon and half the evening, immersing myself in fabric and fitting for the day, half-listening to TMS. And one evening a week I used to go to a sewing class at my local FE college for a full three hours of sewing with like-minded ladies. Bliss.

These days, as I scurry between work, childcare and chores (to a soundtrack of ‘Mumh-maaaaay’ rather than cricket commentary) I now have what’s described as ‘time confetti‘: unpredictable snippets of five minutes here and ten minutes there in between conference calls and pre-school pickups.

And my dedicated sewing space that used to be in what’s now my son’s room has upped sticks to the home office, so I have to pack my machine and fabric away after each... [read more]

Jag fortsätter så sakteliga att fylla på med vad jag gjort senaste halvåret, så kanske jag kommer ifatt till slut :)
Det har blivit en hel del sytt till småttingarna inom släkten, men även något till mig själv och andra, det får komma senare.
Till alla tre har jag sytt badrockar, i en modell som jag sydde till den äldsta när han var drygt ett år och som sen har gått i arv till nästa, men nu började den ge upp. Först ut var därför en badrock till hans lillasyster. Tyget är en jätteskön velour från A&H tyger, och fodret är en vanlig vit stretchjersey. Jag har utgått från ett mönster på en munkjacka som jag förlängde 15 cm. Baktill i midjan har jag fällt in en resår som håller ihop vidden lite och skärpet är bara framtill och är fastsytt i sidsömmen, framtill är det också tryckknappar. Praktiskt med ett skärp som sitter fast, annars blir det ju lätt att det inte... [read more]

As I’ve talked about before, I’m currently re-discovering my style in my stay-at-home life, in my post-baby body. I’ve never really quite been able to put a finger on what my style is, but it has been bothering me recently. The only style book that I’ve ever connected with is Women In Clothes (my review here) and it’s an awesome inspiration for letting your own freak flag fly, but it’s not so much help in figure out what your own freak flag looks like. Enter The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees. It’s a great book that describes a really easy way to figure out your own style and to build your own wardrobe around it. No trying to make yourself fit into a prescribed category, no lists of things you need to have, no pressure to have a capsule wardrobe. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a bit of help paring down their closet (without going all Marie... [read more]

I’ve been avoiding this little corner of internet I created this year (hello Spring!!) and sharing stuff online that the majority of my family doesn’t know left me feeling very, very awkward. However the amazing, amazing words you’ve written to me and the feeling felt cannot be expressed by a small sentence online and I can only say the biggest thank you.

and back to our favourite topic. Sewing!!!

Last years make nine feel kinda flat. Counting I made 4 of them, which is more than I thought I did. However, two are unwearable which is probably why I blanked them from my memory…Looking back the list was thrown together with little thought of practicality or sewing a wardrobe that would work in my day to day life.

I believe in the power of lists and older, *ahem* wiser here’s my list for 2017..


victoria1_1024x1024 lupin-jacket-pattern carolyn_pajamas_envelope_cover-03

By Hand London, Victoria Blazer

I’ve made this pattern before but I... [read more]

This is the first hat that I knit during our trip to Patagonia.

The pattern is the Traveling Cable Hat from Purl Soho. It just so happens that I had two skeins of Berrocco "Voyage" yarn in my stash, of the right weight and length, so it was only fitting that I used it for this pattern.

The pattern has a nice mix of cable and twists. It was fairly easy to make once you get into the rhythm of how the stitches repeat, and it was the perfect past time to keep me occupied on the two days we drove southward on Ruta 40, in Argentina. The road spreads for hundreds of km in the dry and dusty pampa, with not much to look at other than the occasional Guanaco grazing on dry twigs off the side of the road. So while B. did all the driving, I kept my hands busy with knitting and our minds entertained with Marc Maron potcasts.

I was able to finish this hat just in time for... [read more]

Harlots and Angels ‘Asylum’ corset, in a rather stoosh, pricey patterned coutil from Vena Cava.  Geo-Floral CoutilI cut this out before Xmas, and it sank to the bottom of the sewing pile.  Until today.  I whizzed the busk in [getting quite good at that] and zoomed all the seams together, carefully measuring the unusually generous 3/4″ seam allowances.  IT’S HUGE!  Like 5″ bigger than stated, 7″ bigger than my tightest lacing corset.

Back to the pattern instructions in case I screwed up my measuring.  Nope.  It says in big bold letters ‘this chart shows corset sizes when fully laced closed!…Your natural waist should be approx 5″ larger than the corset.’

Right.  I measure [wait for it] 39″ [wince].  I normally lace to 34/35″ quite comfortably.  After some debate, and because this will be an outside corset, not undies, I selected the 36″.  It is designed... [read more]

Springtime in Burda’s world means the start of wedding season, and the March issue is traditionally the one filled with wedding gowns and other formalwear suitable for bridesmaids and guests, too. I’m personally in the market for a gown to wear to a gala event in June, so perhaps something will take my fancy here…?

First up from the wedding feature is this gorgeous surplice gown with long, flowing scarves that drape over the shoulders and are incorporated into the front of the bodice itself. I initially thought this might be a great pairing for the silk in my stash but this dress takes 9(!!) meters of fabric (plus another 3 of lining!) so that’s out of the running then. Granted, you could reduce that significantly by omitting the scarf pieces, but it’d still take more fabric than I’ve got to play with.

Next up is a lovely fishtail gown with curving... [read more]

I know I'm not the only one with a queue a mile long, but how often do we actually get to some of those oldies on our lists? Today I'm sharing a dress that I've had planned for almost exactly four years. I kind of don't even want to share because it's taken me so danged long to make the thing!

The first birthday I had after I learned to sew (incidentally, Saturday is my birthday, hooray?) my husband surprised me with a gift card to Mood. It was the first time I had ordered from them. I spent a solid week breaking it down bit by bit, rearranging my cart, changing yardage. The virtual shopping was as much fun as receiving the fabric. This lightweight poly/cotton jersey is from that purchase. It's super pretty and soft, and it has always been destined for Vogue 1224. I made a size 8, the smallest in the envelope.

This pattern is out of print, but it's been a long... [read more]
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