Shirt dress number 2

Made this for a Christmas do with fabric from the local hospital fete and buttons from the charity shop so cost me about £2 in materials. 

Cut a 12 on the top this time and a 14 from the waist down instead of a 14 all over. Still loving the patten – what shall I make the next one in?!

The pockets don’t sit quite right but as I only intended to wear it once I wasn’t bothered, but now I would like to wear it again so I’ll have a look at that issue at some point. 

Happy Christmas!

Posted in sewing | Leave a comment

Long time no post

It’s been a while but I have made a few things since my last post…

  1. A dress that was never finished as the sheer panel kept fraying and it didn’t fit that well either (project ditched!)
  2. Two sets of Christmas PJs for the girls
  3. A skirt I made on a course I attended at Sew In Brighton sewing school
  4. A white shirt for my husband (the one I was supposed to make him for a wedding last year!)
  5. A flamingo outfit. For me. For mine and my cousin’s 40th birthday BBQ
  6. A dress made from flamingo print cotton
  7. A printed denim shirt dress
  8. Various upcycle projects (some successful, some not) and skirts for the girls.

Shirt dress is Simplicity 8014 and I love this pattern. I have the next make of this cut out already.



Flamingo outfit based on Bjork’s swan dress.


Posted in sewing | Leave a comment

The Made Up Initiative skirt

I made a pledge to make a skirt for Myla (for her birthday next week) as part of the Made Up Initiative. It had to be done by the 10th September to be entered into the prize draw so just in time!


Posted in sewing | Leave a comment

A lot of peacockage

It was my cousin Dolly’s (Denise) wedding on Saturday to Adam and at the beginning of the year I decide I would make all our outfits, something for me, dresses for the girls and a shirt for my husband.

Well the shirt didn’t happen, I made a couple of toiles but realised time was running out, so my husband ended up with a pocket square!

The girls’ dresses were patterns I used before; Myla’s was an adapted nightdress pattern, which was an adapted top pattern, very simple and quick (no fastenings!!). I altered the sleeves as she wanted no sleeves and that was it.  Willow’s dress I have made many times before – classic little girls’ dress I think.


After a couple of false starts with mine (a dress with a complicated crossover back which I couldn’t work out and a jumpsuit which didn’t get beyond the bottoms were abandoned because the fit was wrong around the crutch) I went for a top (see previous post) and some simple elasticated trousers in matching material so it looked like a jump suit.


Photo © Andrew Newson

I decided I needed a belt to break it up a little, (and give me a bit of waist definition) but then we went on holiday for two weeks and I forgot this so on the morning of the wedding I had to text my sister to bring me one but she is 2-3 sizes smaller so it sat higher than I would have liked!


Emma (SIL), Mum (Mum), Steven (bro),  me and Myla. Photo © Andrew Newson

Posted in sewing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Two tops

DSCF7830_1500px DSCF7833_1500px

I decided to make this top for my outfit for a wedding next month but thought I would make one first out out of some fabric from my stash just to make sure I liked it and to refine the make. I’m glad I did this as I did make some changes to how I put it together such as understitching the facing round the neck for a crisper finish. I moved the zip from the back to the side – mainly because I didn’t have a long enough zip for the second top and by putting it down the side it didn’t need to be as long!

DSCF7831_1500px DSCF7832_1500px

The pattern came from Prima magazine, which my Mum subscribes to and shares the patterns with me. The seahorse fabric  I bought from Spoonflower last year and the gorgeous peacock print fabric came from Immanuels in Burnley (if you are ever near it you must visit it!).  (PS the tops look much nicer on me than on ‘Daddy’s New Body’ as it’s referred to in our house.)

Posted in sewing | 3 Comments

Yeah I made it, ALL of it


This skirt is rather special to me because not only is it a self drafted pattern but I designed the fabric using a photo of blossom I’d taken.

Of course I didn’t print the fabric, that was done by BeFabBeCreative, my husband and children bought me a metre of my own designed fabric for Christmas. The blossom in the photo was taken at the Notre Dame, Paris where we went this April to run a photography workshop, which also coincided with our 10 year wedding anniversary.

The original photo and a close up of the fabric

DSCF6203  DSCF7444

I’m really pleased with how it turned how, it was quite a straight forward make for once. And when I wore it to my cousin’s 40th party no-one asked if I’d made it which usually means they think it’s shop bought!


(Almost got the pattern to match.)

Posted in sewing | 2 Comments

Two quick makes

I felt I needed to make something easy to get me back into sewing (my last make wasn’t that successful).

I decided to make a skirt for my 7 year old, which actually turned out to be a bit of a pain. She chose from my stash some thickish slightly stretchy fabric but the thread just kept snapping and my machine was quite noisy and clunky. I changed the needle for a stretch needle and gave it a bit of a clean but it still kept snapping. I suspect now it was to do with the thread and/or the bobbin I was using.

_DSF3836_1100px _DSF3837_1100px

The second thing I made this week was some trousers for my 4 year old using Frozen fabric. I bought the fabric at the beginning of the year to make her something for her birthday in February – only 2 months late! Still had a few thread snapping incidents until I changed the thread from the cheap supermarket stuff to Gutterman, I also changed the bobbin (I have many different bobbin styles I’ve collected over the years), then it was much better and quieter.

_DSF3830_1100px _DSF3829_1100px

After doing these I feel a bit more enthused again to tackle something more challenging now.

All photos by the very talented Andrew Newson

Posted in sewing | Leave a comment

Update on the C&H Fabrics Sewing Bee

Myla got ‘highly commended’ for her bag! So proud (and slightly jealous).

Posted in sewing | Leave a comment

A so sew skirt (but a great bag made by my 7 year old)


Well this skirt isn’t going to win any competitions, but it did get me a £5 voucher as I entered it into the C&H Fabrics sewing bee (the only reason I entered it was to get the voucher, it really isn’t going to win any prizes). I traced it out of one of my many Burda Style magazines which is a bit of a nightmare as there are so many lines on one pattern sheet plus they don’t include seam allowances – and I forgot to add them when I cut the skirt out two weeks later.  So I had to add side panels as it was too tight around the hips but the finished skirt is too big around the waist! One for the charity shop I think, still it did get me a £5 voucher.

The bag however was made by my 7 year old daughter, she too entered it in the competition, and promptly spent her voucher on a microscope in a box. It is the first thing she has made on her mini sewing machine, she has done a little bit of hand stitching before, I’m hoping she’ll get the bug – although I’m not sure I want her raiding my fabric stash.

Posted in sewing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Little Black Dress

I made this dress in January from the book Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress which my husband bought me for Christmas. It’s a great book with 20 patterns inspired by famous dresses through the decades. This one is the Mary Quant 60’s inspired dress.


I’m really pleased with the dress, I think it will become a wardrobe favourite.

Posted in sewing | Leave a comment