Archive | December, 2012

Recap of 2012 (part two)

31 Dec

Top 5 Graphic

Now it’s time for some naval-gazing to review my year with reflections, inspirations and goals


  • My second year of sewing didn’t go too badly. I started blogging; kickstarted by participating in Me Made May. I worked on key skills like neatness and calm efficiency; mostly helped by my buying a serger which has made a massive difference to the quality of my garments. And I practiced fun techniques such as french seams, invisible and exposed zips, sewing in sleeves flat and drafting my own Peter Pan collars.
  • I’ve been quite naughty with my fabric and pattern stash but comparative to other sewers I think I’m doing okay on that front. It’s still fairly contained and tidy but has definitely grown exponentially!


I discovered pinterest this year. I have pinned so much since I joined. Its awesome fun! I also recently started to get full on addicted to Modcloth which fuelled further pinning.

I have also been really inspired reading about Edith Head’s career and I love Project Runway for its endless creativity and humour.

I’m so so impressed that my friend Charlotte is starting up her own business as a professional seamstress after years of teaching. She is going to do brilliantly.

Finally and most obviously I have been most thankful for the wonderful blogs I read with so many talented sewers and pattern makers out there to draw inspiration from.


Right, 2013 is the year I get serious.

  • Tailored jacket course. I have been gifted a 2 day Chanel style jacket making course which will hopefully produce a sophisticated jacket and teach me tailoring skills.
  • Blouses. Collars, buttonholes, cuffs… I’m gonna conquer them all!
  • Jersey. I want to make lovely jersey items as they are so comfy and flattering. Feedback indicates tension issues may be the reason for my jersey fails this year. Surely this is achievable in 2013?!
  • Sew with more cotton. Sounds simple enough right? So why do I keep gravitating to chiffon, crepe and polyester?? Cotton may be my new best friend in the new year.
  • Stop rushing. I need to stop imposing stupid short deadlines on myself and take longer so I make fewer mistakes. I have been good at trying this throughout the year but feel I can get better at calm efficiency with more practice.

Recap of 2012 (part one)

29 Dec

Top 5 Graphic

As I read everyone’s reflections of the sewing year I notice excellent throughput and similar tales of joy and woe.

Now I want a go!!! Here are my hits, misses, reflections, inspirations and goals!

5 hits

1. The knockoff Elsie dress


2. New Look 6808 FINALLY


3. Little Green UFO


4. Slippy shiny slinky fake cambie


5. I love polka dots 6808


5 misses

1. Twinkle skirt – still not hemmed and mega frumpy


2. Tartan 6808 – cut a big slash in the back bodice when being careless


3. Fish print dress – Something about the fit or the length just isn’t right but I adore the fabric


4. Little Red Lace Dress – Too smart for work but too prim for parties


5. Not-so-sexy Sadie – Already falling apart due to poor jersey sewing skills

Sexy Sadie

Sexy Sadie

Stay tuned for more in part two!

And the winner is…..

27 Dec

I’m very pleased to announce the winner of the Pattern Pyramid!!

First I’d just like to say new people have commented on the blog which has thrilled me.  And there was a great response from some familiar faces! So thanks everyone

And now without further ado…


Congratulations you’re going to win all of this….


Check your email as you should have a message from me. If not please contact me on the email address to the right.

**I used random number generator to pick the winner**

GIVEAWAY TIME – Pattern Pyramid is in Yorkshire!!

18 Dec

It started with the lovely Karen of Did You Make That? and 30 plus patterns (OMG) and it has travelled around the world, spreading sewing joy to the blogisphere.

And thanks to a fluke of fate I won the pattern pyramid hosted by the delightful Rachel of House of Pinheiro.

I have to confess I was a little scared when I heard I’d won. I didn’t think I’d have anything to repopulate the pyramid with.

I know that isn’t a rule of hosting a Pattern Pyramid (PP*) but I really want this thing to keep going as long as possible.

Soon I realised I did have some patterns to contribute so I can see this pyramid standing a lot longer yet!

Here’s what my parcel contained:


The coat Rachel added, a blouse that has been in there since the start (woooah), a pattern for a doll’s wardrobe and a draped shawl jacket/coat.

Only four items left!

I really wanted to like the blouse pattern. The girls look so sassy on the pattern envelope right?

I decided to take the coat pattern instead though as it will suit me more and give me a new challenge.

And here is what I added! A selection of prima patterns.**

20121218_2154272012-12-18 21.56.1020121218_2157002012-12-18 21.56.25

To Enter The Giveaway: 
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post expressing interest.
  2. The winner must agree to choose 1 pattern for herself and be ok with sending the rest off to any corner of the world.
  3. You must have a blog of your own to host the giveaway of the extra patterns.
  4. When you make your item, be sure to share with us . You will even have a lovely label to put on it.
  5. You must claim your win by sending me an email (see “contact me” in the right-hand pane) with your postal address. If you don’t get in touch within a reasonable time I’ll have to redraw.

With Christmas right on our doorsteps and the post office shutting down for a few days I’m going to let this run until midnight December 25th (GMT).

Consider it a belated Christmas present if you win!

* Have you ever realised what a weird word “Pyramid” is?! I tell you typing it for what feels like the twentieth time will make it hit home.

** I don’t think Prima patterns get fair credit. They do plenty of nice simple garments in well varied sizes and all for a very cheap price! So I hope someone will appreciate these.


9 Dec

Small ones, medium ones, giant ones.

So it’s not surprising I bought 5 types of polka dot fabric at the Birmingham meet up!

This is what I did with my three metres of black and white large polka dot satin fabric.

First up I wanted to make a Colette Truffle dress. I made FOUR toiles trying to get the fit right.

2012-12-03 23.24.04

I got the bodice fitted after two toiles because I used a TNT pattern to get the sizing and darts placement right.

I just could not for the life of me, get the skirt to fit. So I gave up.

I desperately wanted the flounce but settled for a gathered skirt that I drafted myself.

2012-12-05 20.18.45

I teamed the dress with gold glittery shoes and a black glitter headband.

I’m pleased with the fit in the back. I usually have a lot of gaping around the upper back but nailed it this time and my zipper is pretty neat.

There is a little bit of gaping around the neckline but think that’s because it’s a touch too low for me combined with such a drapey fabric. Also I normally love gathered waist dresses but after a few too many cakes lately I’m not sure it’s as flattering as it could have been. I’m too ashamed of my handstitching to show you inside I’m afraid.

And then because I didn’t need the extra fabric I’d bought for the flounce I made I had a metre left over!

Hello New Look 6808!


The best bit about making another one of these tops is that I knew I could fix the sleeves. I did this in two ways. I altered my pattern pieces to lower the bottom of the armhole on both pieces but increase the armhole curve on the back piece by a few millimetres.

Then I sewed the sleeves in flat! This was a revelation!!

I knew you could sew sleeves into jersey tops/dresses in flat but I wasn’t sure about woven garments.

A quick rummage around my google reader unearthed Sunni’s confirmation that you can!


I made the gathers a bit more pleat like on this version. Though it’s hard to see in this photo.

The top fits like a dream with room for a big fat dinner.

I’m soooo making 50 more of these.