A year in the rear (view mirror) …

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

I read a lot of sewing blogs, and this image has been cropping up a lot this week  I’m not a prolific seamstress, but I do have plans to become more so,  so I will participate in this retrospective, if you don’t mind.

Many thanks are due to Gillian, of Crafting a Rainbow, for coming up with the theme.  I may not have 5 for each category, but we will see.  And thanks to requests from Beajay and Helen, I have edited to provide links to pics of the hits and misses!


1)  My Cake Patterns grey denim Hummingbird skirt.  I wear it all the time.  It’s neat, practical, comfortable, fits well and goes with everything in my wardrobe.  I will definitely make more skirts from this amazeballs pattern.

2) Sewaholic Renfrew.  This is my Desert Island Pattern.  I absolutely love it.  I have made 3 cowl versions and 2 scoop neck versions so far, and I plan to make at least a million more.  It’s so simple to sew, work appropriate, comfortable and versatile.  I even made one for my mother, who is very hard to please, and she pronounced it to be ‘perfect’.  (Result!)

3) Cake Patterns Tiramisu, V2.  My second version was made from better quality fabric and has been well worn this year.

4) Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt.  Another hit from Tasia’s pattern line.  I am slightly over the maximum size of this pattern line, so for a woven fabric garment such as this, I do need to grade up – which is painful!  However, I bought this fabric whilst on holiday in the USA.  It was in the clearance at Jo-anns and I love it.  It’s a really smart skirt, which I took the trouble to line, and is very useful for days when I need to represent the Corporate image.

5) The Mickey/Minnie fleece dressing gown I made for my 6 year old God daughter’s birthday.  I took loads of time over making this, she loves it, and so do I.


1) Sew Liberated Esme blouse.  I loved this blouse until I tried it on.  It just looks like a maternity top.  Such a shame, the fabric is pretty and it goes so beautifully with denim.

2) McCalls Fashion Star Maxi.  At the time of sewing this, we were planning a trip to Cuba and the fabric seemed very appropriate.  I love the colours, but the quality of the fabric was rubbish (cheap and bought online).  The dress is, as yet, unworn.  However we do now have holiday plans for which this dress will be appropriate, so I am still optimistic that I’ll get to wear it at least a few times.

3) Cake Patterns Pavlova wrap tops and skirt.  The skirt is too full,  I would be so afraid to wear it on a breezy day.  The wrap top doesn’t work for me either, the ties bunch up like old rope, the muffin cover doesn’t stay put.  I wasted some beautiful Chartreuse bamboo jersey on a second version of the top, determined to make it work, but to no avail.  (Sorrry, no pics of tops).

4) Style Arc Hepburn skirt.  This is a lovely pattern and it’s only a miss because I made it much too short and from the wrong fabric.  It’s also rather too similar in style to the Hollyburn skirt I had already made, so I didn’t bother to try and rescue it.  It’s still hanging, unfinished, in my sewing room.  No pic of this one, sorry.

5) The wretched ‘pillowcase’ style sundress I made for my friend’s significant birthday.  The dress was a disaster, despite using glorious fabrics,  and I threw the (useless) pattern away.  I can’t even remember the name of the darned thing, such a beeping mess it was.  And so disgusted I was, I deleted the photos from my Flickr account, so no link for this one.  It is on the blog somewhere though, if you’re really that keen to see it!


1) I don’t enjoy sewing for others,

2) I must try to take more care and sew methodically, rather than being in a tearing rush to complete and wear the garment.  (Hopefully this will be easier once I retire from work – see ‘goals’ below).

3) I don’t need to impress anyone but myself.

4) I need to buy less fabric and patterns, and get on with sewing those I already have.

5) I must focus more on quality when purchasing fabric.


I’m constantly inspired by the sewing blogger community, who are so generous with their encouragement and advice.

I participted in a ‘Giveaway’ and won!

I feel I’ve made some ‘virtual friends’.  It’s nice to feel people are jogging alongside me in this sewing journey, and that it’s ok to be at the rear of the cohort.


1) I hereby resolve not to buy any RTW clothes unnecessarily in 2014.  I will need to purchase knit wear, underwear and probably outerwear, but anything else, I plan to have a bash at making.

2) In late 2014 I will be retiring from paid employment, which will mean my wardrobe needs will change considerably – and I look forward to this new freedom to express myself in the clothes I sew and wear.

3) I really do need to sew with a plan in 2014, making garments that I actually have a hope of wearing, and must not be distracted by ‘shiny bauble’ patterns, which are actually of no practical use to me.

4) I want to learn to knit properly.

5) I need to focus more on getting an accurate fit, and to stop making things that drown me.


God bless us, one and all!

Hello friends!  I would like to extend the season’s greetings to you all.  Whatever your persuasion, I hope you have enjoyed a peaceful and healthy holiday, and that Santa was kind to you.

I was given a new dressmaker’s dummy.  Meet Brunnhilde Mark 2.  She’s bigger, and better than Mark 1


(And she’s even bigger, now I’ve adjusted the hip and waist!).  She has good, sturdy feet.  Rather like myself.

I couldn’t wait to get back into the sewing room, so what’s this?


Why, it’s a mustard yellow polyester double layered stretch knit, that’s what.  I bought the Craftsy Ultimate T Shirt course recently (when they had a fantastic sale and it was really cheap!) and this is the pattern that came with the course – shipped very quickly from the USA, I might add.

Vogue 8793.  It’s a Katherine Tilton T shirt, with long sleeves and a nice collar treatment (which is not used in the Craftsy course, but I will use it one day, I’m sure).

I’m using some very unusual (as far as I am concerned) fabric.  It’s a double layer jersey, the bottom layer is a super stretchy polyester, and the overlay is a viscose (?) T shirty kind of fabric, with a lovely textured and holey pattern to it.  I bought it from Minerva, where it’s in the clearance section.  It’s a teensy bit challenging to sew, because the two layers, although quite firmly attached to one another, like to pretend they aren’t – especially around the cut edges.  And my feed dogs don’t like the poly under layer much, so I had to keep an eye on it to make sure it carried on walking through …


The colour looks more orange on the screen, it’s actually a perfect Dijon Mustard colour.  It suits me very well, and goes with loads of things in my wardrobe.  Thumbs up!

Anyway, I’ve almost finished it, just the neck binding and hemming to do.  We still have a bit of visiting to do over the weekend, (and I still have their presents to wrap, shhhh!), so it’s unlikely I’ll finish it this week, (which is a shame, I was hoping to wear it tomorrow).

Maybe I will be able to wear it for new year instead.  Watch this space.

Plus Size Pattern Pyramid – 4 for 4

For Plus Size Pattern Pyramid Stalkers!
Another opportunity to put your name in the hat here at sewinloveuk.


As the ‘winner’ of plus size pattern pyramid I yesterday took reciept of the wonderous pattern package, it finally got through the chaos of Christmas post and deite it having been clearly kicked round the sorting office, all 19 patterns were there. Guess the postal workers don’t make from scratch like us talented folk 😉

Thank you Bea for sending all this loveliness my way x

There are some really great patterns in here, I have chosen 4 that I feel I cannot live without and replaced with what I hope will appeal to coming recipients of the package. Remember, this is for us curvier ladies so patterns are a more generous sizing to fit our femininity in to!

So heres how it works …… Comment on this post indicating your wanting to take part, at the end of the alloted period of time all names are entered into a…

View original post 79 more words


Just a quickie as this one isn’t for me, and it’s going off to Santa very shortly, for Xmas delivery.

Kwik Sew 2654 Child’s dressing gown, made in Red Polar Fleece.  Our favourite rodent and his girlfriend are all over it!  I sewed it on the ovelocker, but discovered that it doesn’t like more than two layers of fleece at a time so, I’m ashamed to say, there was some unseemly language, and an awful lot of unpicking.


I’ve been working on this for a couple of days, because it’s a gift and I wanted it to be just right.  There was a heart stopping moment when I got the back caught in the overlocker whilst attaching the collar, but I managed not to slice a hole in it.  Phew!

Calling International Rescue …

Well Ladies, you done me proud!  This was so close to being a wadder.

Thanks to Chris Lucas and BeaJay, I purchased and then actually watched the Craftsy Ultimate T Shirt course, with Marcy & Katharine Tilton.  I cut a much longer and wider neckband than this wretched pattern gave me, and I managed to pull it back from the brink.


With the skirt attached, it was starting to look vaguely like the picture on the packet, and something I’d actually like to wear.


Do please ignore that pile of old pillows.  I keep them for the wadding.  I usually move them out of the way for photos, but look closely and you’ll see that all the wailing and gnashing of teeth was just too much for my assistant.  The Lightweight took himself off to bed!


I also need to thank Steph C for introducing me to Steam A Seam Lite.  It’s just brilliant for hemming knits.

But Hell, I was on a roll by this time.  I only fired up the CoverPro!

And so here is the Finished Object


Complete with slightly wonky cover stitched neckline, hems and cuffs in Kingfisher thread that matches the teal in the fabric perfectly!

Thanks also due to Debbie Cook for what I refer to as The Cover Stitch Files.  I don’t use my CoverPro nearly enough, and Debbie’s webpages are invaluable when I do.

I’m wearing this to work tomorrow, with purple leggings!