Archive: Jan 2015

Black and White: Contest and Wardrobe Capsule

A few months ago, Rhonda asked if I would be interested in participating in the “Motor Running Competition”. I was delighted and accepted her offer. Each contestant was given about a 2/3 yard piece of fabric to incorporate into a design of their choo…

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Snakes and ladders

OK maybe more snakes.I should be showing you a picture of me in a Stylearc Slip on Suzie, a pseudo wrap dress I worked on today. You are going to have to do with the pattern picture only.I can’t show you any more than that owing to the fact my dre…

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Ottobre 01-2015 #16 Jersey Dress

Here’s my first pattern from the new Ottobre Kids’ magazine. I made design #16 which is a basic, loose t-shirt dress. This dress is showcased in the magazine quite a few times showing how you can cut up the bodice to change the look. I decided to make it simple this time. I made a size 110 and folded out about 1/4” at CB and CF before cutting. I should have added length back to the arms.


I used a beefy cotton knit for the dress and a thinner cotton knit for the sleeves and pockets.


She loves it, of course.


I like the length with leggings. She has quite a few pairs of leggings now, and I don’t really like it when she wears shorter tops with them. This goes with them marvelously.


The pockets are a nice touch.


I used green picot elastic for the neck opening. I like how it looks, but should have made it a bit bigger so there are fewer gathers. I measured and cut the elastic, sewed together the elastic at CB, marked the quarters on elastic and shirt, serge the elastic to neck opening, fold elastic to inside, and coverstitch. You can see when she is wearing it above that it pulls a little bit. I cut elastic at 85% of the true measurement. Next time, maybe I’ll do 90%.


This is what it looks like from the inside. 



I have one more kid thing to show you. I’ve started on my February Burda Challenge already. Well, I’ve traced it, does that count???? There are so many of you out there that are participating on the Burda Challenge!! Keep it up!!

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FINISHED! Pollock Peplum

Part of the Charlie Hebo public memorial in Place Kleber, StrasbourgWe are back home from 6 weeks holiday! Back to school and work on Tuesday, so I am profiting from the last few days off to get to know my new sewing machine, my birthday present from l…

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I cut off probably six inches of hair! It’s still fairly long, just long enough to put in a ponytail and I’ve gone back to the bangs. I love, love, love it! Think I might go a tad shorter next time… It feels amazing to have the weight of my hair off …

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Brandon Sanderson Book Signing

Last year I fell, headfirst, into Brandon Sanderson’s cosmere.  It started by my stumbling upon his Mistborn trilogy and getting sucked in.  A few months, and several books later, I was moping about, waiting for the next installment after Wor…

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The Anna Lou Dress – Sewcialists #polkadotjanuary

I’m sliding this dress in under the wire for the Sewcialists #polkadotjanuary.  I finished this  in the second week of January when I was off on leave, but then I got a cold and had to take the next week off sick!  I was only fit for lying on the sofa with a box a tissues and a bottle of Irn Bru, and alternately watching Craftsy classes and knitting.  On the plus side, I finished a scarf/shawl thingy that I started before christmas, but it still needs blocked.


Anyway, this post was mostly written about two weeks’ ago, but I only got to take some photos today.  It’s bright and sunny here in Belfast today, hence the sun flare in my modelled photos; but don’t let that fool you, it is also blowing a hooley – which is Belfast for it’s really windy.  There was nearly an embarassing incident this afternoon when I was coming into the house.  The wind caught the back of the skirt, but luckily my sister was right behind me, and grabbed it.   So, onto the dress!  This is the second of my three planned dresses using the Tilly And The Buttons Lilou dress skirt, and this time the bodice is the good old By Hand London Anna dress bodice. 

It’s a bit breezy!
It was pretty easy to mash the two patterns together, all I had to do was to move the  front and back bodice darts a few millimetres to line up with the pleats.


My fabric is some cotton sateen that I bought in Craftswoman Fabrics in Carrickfergus last November.  Some of our local sewists adviced me to make the trip, and I can’t believe that I left it so long to go to this shop, because it’s fantastic.  The thing that put me off was the distance, about 40 minutes drive from my house (although some of that was being stuck in road works).  Now, I fully appreciate that that is nothing to most folks, but after about 20 minutes of driving I get really bored, and also I have absolutely no sense of direction.  Thank goodness for the sat nav on my phone!  Here’s what I bought:

Rubbish phone photo!
Top left: Blue denim for a pair of Sewaholic Thurlow trousers.  These  were mostly made during the Christmas holidays, but I fell out of love for them, and only finished them just over a week ago.  But that’s for another post.

Top right: Black ponte roma that has already been made into a Tilly And The Buttons Coco Top.  I didn’t blog it, but you can see it here on Instagram.
Middle left: Flowery cotton poplin which is going to be another pair of Tilly And The Buttons Margot pyjama bottoms.
Middle right:  Black and light brown ponte roma which is going to be a Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte Top.

Bottom left: Cotton sateen for this post’s dress.

Bottom right: Purple flowery cotton poplin for another pair of Tilly And The Buttons Margot pyjama bottoms.  These have been made, and you can see them here on Instagram.
This is the first time that I have used cotton sateen, and it’s lovely.  It’s heavier that poplin, and has a slight stretch.  I bought two metres at 58″ wide, and it cost £8.95 per metre.
This went together with no problems, and I added some pockets from Simplicity 2444.  I’m very pleased with my pattern matching on the front at the waist,

sadly the pattern matching part of my brain must have went for it’s tea break when I cut out the back…

As mentioned above, this was made when I was off work two weeks’ ago.  I had to get my car fixed after one of my neighbour’s reversed into it, (neighbour was very apologetic, but these things happen, and I’m not going to fall out with someone over a car). I got a courtesy car, but I didn’t like driving it, so it sat on my driveway until I got my own car back.  This was a good thing, because it meant that I couldn’t go faffing about anywhere, and I could tackle my list of sewing jobs.


I made most of this dress in one day, which impressed me mightily, and then left it to hang to see if the hem would drop and hemmed it the next day.  I made this dress a bit shorter than my other dresses, and whilst it feels short, I really like this length.   I also made this shopping bag, which was trickier that it should have been, and my machine did not appreciate the many layers of thick fabric.  Then I finished the above mentioned trousers and shawl, and traced and toiled my Deer and Doe Sureau dress pattern, but the sleeves still need a bit of work.

I have also started another quilt (after I said I wouldn’t!).  This one isn’t as big as the last one I made, and is also for my friend’s baby.  Oh, and I have cast on the Chuck jumper, and it’s going well.  But they are all for other posts.

Have a great week,
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January Indie Pattern Update!

I don’t know about you but I don’t know where January has disappeared to! It’s been a wee bit hectic around this parts and from the looks of the amount of news I’ve got to share with you it’s been a hectic one in the indie pattern designer community!Ne…

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A stitched Thank you

Do you have a special person in your life? Someone who possibly doesn’t realise how dear they are to you?I do.My cousin Shannon has been a huge support to me. She opens up her beautiful home to my family for accommodation when we ha…

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Multicolor French Cotton Jersey – Katherine Tilton/Butterick 5925

Happy New Year all!It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted on the Mood Sewing Network. I’m very happy to be back!Today I’m showcasing an unusual fabric, multicolor french cotton jersey (FC19834). At least it’s unusual for me. I found it months …

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The Tropical that Pushed Through – Annalotte (BHL Pattern Smash)

Hey Guys, Back again! And clearly a detour from my ‘Demure’ year, eh? Well seen as this was started back at the end of last May, so maybe we can give this a free pass??Pity I ain’t going to Viva this year, because this would be perfecT for the Vin…

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Watson Sew Along #8: Sewing the Bra Cups & Frame

At last we get to sewing everyone’s favorite–the bra! I’m going to jump right into it, because this is going to be a picture-heavy post. Today we’re going to make the straps, put together the cups and sew the frame of the bra. I’ve also included some hopefully helpful tips for sewing with slippery tricot. […]

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The post Watson Sew Along #8: Sewing the Bra Cups & Frame appeared first on Cloth Habit.

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Watson Sew Along #8: Sewing the Bra Cups & Frame

At last we get to sewing everyone’s favorite–the bra! I’m going to jump right into it, because this is going to be a picture-heavy post. Today we’re going to make the straps, put together the cups and sew the frame of the bra. I’ve also included some hopefully helpful tips for sewing with slippery tricot. […]

Continue Reading…

The post Watson Sew Along #8: Sewing the Bra Cups & Frame appeared first on Cloth Habit.

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Watson Sew Along #8: Sewing the Bra Cups & Frame

At last we get to sewing everyone’s favorite–the bra! I’m going to jump right into it, because this is going to be a picture-heavy post. Today we’re going to make the straps, put together the cups and sew the frame of the bra. I’ve also included some hopefully helpful tips for sewing with slippery tricot. […]

Continue Reading…

The post Watson Sew Along #8: Sewing the Bra Cups & Frame appeared first on Cloth Habit.

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On Parenting and Greediness and Gratefulness and Christmas

One Saturday last month there was a small Christmas fair at the end of our street.  You could hear the blaring Christmas music in our flat, the kids could see the helter-skelter from the window by the steps, and they watched it excitedly while it …

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Eley Kishimoto dress and Linden swap!

This month I have had the pleasure of participating in the Linden swap hosted by Carrie and Ingrid. I asked Ute if she would be up for it and I received an amazing package in the post last week. Ute totally got my style and made me a sweatshirt out of a really cool virgin wool knit with cotton ribbing. I seriously don’t know where she finds such nice fabrics. Are there better fabric choices in Germany? I’ve never even come across wool jersey here in the UK, let alone one with such an interesting design, but maybe I need to shop further afield!!!!

I really struggled taking pictures of this as it’s so dark outside and I am wearing all dark colours, so I have had a play with the colour levels, which hopefully doesn’t make it look too weird. This green wall is actually a photographing nightmare!!!

As well as this beauty Ute had also included a German magazine, which I am unable to read, but is so inspiring. It includes three patterns inside, one of them being this Eley Kishimoto dress. Yes, I have made this already! I happen to love the work of the designers and this particular style is similar in aesthetic to the Japanese sewing book styles I am also fond of. A uni friend Rhian did some work experience with Eley Kishimoto and she took me along to their studio one day as they loaned her some shoes for her final collection. I was able to go into their archive cupboard and have a good look through. That was a great day!

Here is my version of the dress. I made it up in this bargainous sweatshirt fabric. I love how it’s been drafted in just two pieces, but the cape sleeve wraps around to the front. The stripes are perfect for this as it highlights the simplicity of the lines.

I made a new pair of Alice tights to go with, natch!
It is quite clingy on the hips because of the sticky sweater knit, so I’m going to have to break out the slip. 

Love, love, love it!


The other two patterns included in the magazine are a coat and bag. I really think the styling is so cool and it makes me want to make the things even though I don’t need the things! I wish that more sewing mags looked like this, as this is what I would buy into.

Thanks Ute for being the best swap partner! xxxx

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For every mother out there

If you haven’t already seen this, it needs a share. My husband got teary over this, this morning. I figure this woman did a great job – kids with a sense of humour are the best of successes:

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Now in Even More Languages!

Exciting news – you’ll soon be able to get hold of my book about making your own clothes in four more languages – Finnish, Danish, Czech and Swedish!

As far as I can tell (alas not being able to speak these languages), the only differen…

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Dressed-Up Jacket, hat and handwarmer

I have some fun winter wear to share with you all today.  A dressed-up coat, a fuzzy warm hat, and a pretty little handwarmer.  Below, I’ll share free patterns for the hat and handwarmer in three sizes!  And the coat is actually the Ruffled Cardigan from Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link), with a couple of easy modifications.  I’m over at Melly Sews today sharing the

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What’s on my mind? HAIR!

Gettin’ my hair done today. Pretty excited about that.
I’ve been growing my hair for a few years now. It’s long. It’s fine. It’s THICK. It sheds everywhere. It ends up in my food. And now that I have a baby, it is constantly being pulled and tugged by her little hands. Yesterday I found a strand wrapped snuggly around her little wrist… Long hair is SO overrated. 
So, I’m ready for a change!!! Here’s me now. I couldn’t even fit all of my hair in one picture, but you get the idea.
My New Years Resolution was to wear more lipstick!
Here are the things I like.  What do you think? Bangs? No Bangs? Short bangs, long bangs? I’ve been obsessed with pinning hair-spiration to my Pinterest Board the last two weeks.  I really like the wavy bobs à la Ahn Co Tran, but my hair is pretty straight.  If you look at my board, you’ll notice the cuts get shorter and shorter… In the picture it was just washed and air dried, and that’s about all my hair does… I pretty much always wear it in a bun or ponytail. I love the idea of doing a braid or something fancy… but who am I kidding, I never do it.

Via Pinterest…

I really like the idea of an exposed neck. It’s funny, it’s like all of a sudden I’ve just had it with my long hair. I’ve went from loving it to being slightly grossed out by it… At the same time, I’m afraid to lose all these years of length!

So, opinions, thoughts? I want something fun and stylish – I feel like my hair is lacking those two elements right now. I’m going in for the chop at 3, wish me luck!

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Announcing the Crochet-Along Afghan Sampler!

Crochet 2 squares a month and have a finished afghan by the end of the year! | The Inspired Wren

I am going to crochet a contemporary afghan sampler over the course of the year to be finished in time for Christmas 2015; perfect for giving away or cuddling under. And I’m going to make it up as I go. Join me! 

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DSC_0662DSC_0660 DSC_0661 

It is a ponte knit, so a few wrinkles are probably part of and different depending on the way I stand. Of course the camera battery was low and my son only managed above pictures with the camera that makes the colors correctly (on my monitor at least). Below another camera which has a strange blueish color to the photo. Never mind, you get the picture….


I’m entering this dress in the Bargainista/fashionista contest on Pattern Review. So many great entries already, take a look!

There were questions about the pattern used. I did not use a pattern and drafted a pattern to my own measurements from scratch. More details in my review that I will publish later today on PR and here on my blog too.

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Knit Gabby Dress

I think this dress is possibly one of my most favourite makes to date. AND I actually think I might wear it. Out of the house! Maybe tomorrow. I’m already contemplating if it’s too casual for my workplace (which lets face it, is one of the most casual …

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Well hello there!

It’s summer around here. There have been lots of play dates, park dates, swimming and movies. Some sewing too. After 2 months off blogging, it’s great to be back. I’ve been on a selfish sewing kick all of January – it’s been fun I’ve been eyeing off some lovely summer dress patterns, particularly the Ruby […]

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ZIGGI Jacket – Style Arc. Couching Tiger, Hidden Cougar…

hmmmmm, not sure where to start with this one… Firstly, I love that fabric and not because Mood Fabrics NY gave it to me as part of the blogger network I must sing its praises. I absolutely think it’s fabulous fabric, … Continue reading

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Vintage Black History Month

I decided to do something a little different for my blog, and have a little series of posts relating to something close to my heart.(source)Growing up, during the month of February, I would often find solace in researching famous Black people for Black…

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Knitting + Spinning (Records)

I know I’m not the only one who, even with a menacing pile of unfinished projects taunting them in the corner, decides to throw caution to the wind (ha!) and pick up a new pattern/project/hobby anyway. I recently started a knit headband pattern. Yes, I am stilll working on the knit vest even though it […]

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Ottobre Magazine

So I’ve gotten a few questions lately about Ottobre and how it compares with other companies when it comes to kids’ clothing. Here’s my two cents and I’m getting no kickbacks from anyone. I love Burdastyle Magazine for me. I don’t really love it for kid’s clothing. I maybe have never made a single thing for my kids from my Burda magazines. Not that I can remember, anyway.

Ottobre magazine ends up being a little less than $20 per magazine. I only have a few of them for kid’s designs. I also have a couple for adult clothing, but they don’t fit me as well as Burda, so I’m sticking with Burda. Personally, I think the Ottobre magazines are a great deal for kids’ clothing. Yes, I could Frankenpattern something together and make it work, but like I said in this post, I lack creative juices. I can make anything, just not make it look great. Ottobre has really cute design details and they usually show many versions of the same pattern. My last two magazines were 01-2014 and 01-2015.  I don’t have a subscription and I buy them individually.


Here’s a little picture summary for you. Already made. You haven’t seen all of these yet. I need to take some photos and make some princesses smile before that happens.


Will make for sure. The white numbers are the pattern number and the black numbers are the size range. I have one in the 110 size, two in the 122 range, and one in the 134 range. The dots are the difficulty rating.


This is from the newest magazine. I just got it two days ago. What I also love about Ottobre is that they have sizes for that tricky “tween” size range. 


I do really think that Ottobre is a great deal if you are sewing kids clothing. Yes, you still have to trace them out, but they are easier that Burda patterns.

Here you can peruse all the magazines and all the line drawings for each issue.

I’m slowly working on a few simple projects right now. I’ve been really into making kids’ clothes lately and have a few things to show you!

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sonora jacquard pillow

Pendleton Woolen Mills, a 150 year old family-owned Oregon company, seems to be having a real moment right now.  i’ve seen the fabric recently in all the cool shops around town as pillows and recovering vintage couches/chairs, and it’s all over the blogs in ponchos and purses and in this book (affiliate link), of course.  so after drooling […]

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"New" studio!

I mentioned a while back that I re-did my studio. Previously, it was painted a horribly depressing beige… the walls were cracked, and it was generally a pretty ugly space. So, with the help my my BFF Abbey, we patched the cracks, painted furniture, e…

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