Helen’s Closet Suki


It was my birthday last Monday, and as a birthday present to myself, I made a Helen’s Closet Suki robe. It used some cotton lawn from Abakhan which is absolutely gorgeous but now sold out, I wish I’d bought more so I could make myself a dress as well!

I really enjoyed making this pattern, for the sleeve cuff and the collar there are two methods of sewing described in the instruction booklets. I chose the more difficult, concealed seam methods, and alongside using French seams for the rest it meant that my robe has no exposed seams! I love finishing fine fabrics with French seams, it gives a beautiful finish and prolongs the life of the garment. My measurements fit into the largest size, which I made, but even with the inner tie, the robe had a habit of falling open, so I added a hook and eye in the front to make sure that didn’t happen.

This robe is great for lounging around in on the weekends, the cotton lawn I used is lightweight but not sheer at all. I took these pictures on holiday last week, we were staying in a yurt in a gorgeous meadow, which was the perfect spot for taking pictures!


Cashmerette Ames Jeans


Folks, I made jeans!! These are the Cashmerette Ames jeans, made using some stretch denim from my local fabric shop. I made them using the Cashmerette online jeans sewing course and it made the whole process so easy, I was worried about using denim in my sewing machine, but the course was filled with tips to make it easier. I bought the course because I understand the process making things so much more easily by watching a video rather than looking at picture instructions. The video course made all the tricky bits, like sewing the fly front, a breeze.

Despite jeans being the most difficult thing I’ve sewn so far, these only took me a week to complete. My partner was away last week for work, so I spent the evenings sewing. The downside was that some of the fitting parts (such as the placement of the pockets) which needed a second opinion or someone to take photos, I had to do by myself. So on the next pair I make, I’ll adjust the placement a bit more. However, I wanted to get these jeans finished today so I could take part in the Curvy Sewing Collective’s #CurvyYearOfSewing challenge, which is Jeans and Trousers for January and February. I was also really inspired by Closet Case Pattern’s #NoFearNewJeans challenge on Instagram, even though I’m not making Closet Case Pattern’s jeans.

Before I made these, I made a toile in a cheap stretch denim. As the Ames jeans pattern comes with two different shapes, apple and pair, I figured I would be an apple, so I made the toile using that pattern piece. However, when I tried it on, I had some gaping at the back, so I switched to the pear pattern pieces. I also did a low butt adjustment after looking at the drag lines on the toile and using these diagrams from Closet Case Patterns and extended the yoke pattern piece up at the top because I wanted a higher waist. As I was sewing the jeans I also tried them on a few times, I ended up taking the hips in a bit and the bottom of the calves in a lot.

After wearing the finished jeans for a bit, I have a few adjustments I’d like to make in my next pair. There are a lot of drag lines at the front, so I’m going to ask for some help to reduce those. I also think the yoke should start a bit higher up, the waistband is a little loose as it is and I’d like them to have an even higher rise at the back, even skinnier legs and deeper pockets.

My ideal fit is these Lucy jeans from Simply Be, which I’ve been buying and wearing for the last three years. The jeans fit perfectly, but the denim is so thin the inner leg fabric wears through after six months, and can’t really be patched. This is super frustrating and it strikes me as quite wasteful to keep buying the same jeans when I know they’re going to last such a short amount of time.

I took these photos this afternoon, I was super excited about finishing them and I went straight out to take pictures. The t-shirt I’m wearing is from Wicked clothing, I’m really into graphic t-shirts at the moment and I love this design. We’re having a cold snap at the moment, so I tried to take these pictures as quickly as possible, so I wasn’t standing around without a coat for too long!

Causing a Buzz! Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress


This is the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dungaree dress, I started making it back in the spring, but by the time I finished it, the weather was too hot to wear it! It’s made from a yellow babycord I bought from ebay here, which was lovely to sew with. I completely forgot about the knap when I was cutting out the fabric, but luckily I’d cut both the front and the back in the same direction!

I really enjoyed sewing the dress, as the construction was simple I could focus on the small details like the topstitching. I finished the bee embroidery on the front pocket before I started making the dress, which meant that I could attach the pocket at the right time. After I’d started sewing the dress, I found a Singer 127k sewing machine in my local Oxfam shop for £20, after I’d got it home and working again I used it to do some of the topstitching.

The t-shirt I’m wearing is also me made, I got the fabric from the fabric swap at the Sewing Weekender in 2016, and used it to make a self-drafted t-shirt about a year ago. I think it looks cute and a little twee with the bee on the dress!


Sashiko Clutch

IMG_0044IMG_0043IMG_0042I’ve had a lot of fun recently playing around with sashiko, it’s so much fun to do in front of the tv or on the bus.

This bag is a simple fold over clutch, fastened inside with magnetic clips and with a zip pocket inside. To attach the straps, I sewed on some d-rings and used a clip-on chain that I bought from eBay. The fabric is some dark blue viscose I bought but decided that I didn’t like it enough to make into clothes, but it’s perfect for sashiko as it’s not too tightly woven and looks similar to the indigo fabric used in traditional sashiko. I tacked some cotton flannel fabric onto the back of the fabric and quilted through both layers to make the quilted look more prominent. I used Olympus brand sashiko threads and Clover brand sashiko needles, but I’ve also had good results using a normal embroidery needle and thread.

The sashiko is an ‘asanoha’ design, which means hemp leaf, which I used from Susan Briscoe’s ‘The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook’. I really love the book, and I’ve made four or five designs from it so far and they’ve all looked lovely. I really love the meditative art of getting all the stitches a similar size and making sure none of the threads cross. It does take some time initially to draw the grids out, but after that step is done, the sewing is really fun!

New Look 6262

IMG_0039IMG_0040IMG_0041Ok, so I finished this dress ages ago (maybe a couple of months?) but I’ve only just got round to blogging it. It’s the New Look 6262 dress made in this floral cotton.

Fitting wise, I made two toiles for the bodice, the first one a straight size 22 and the second one a size down but with a full bust adjustment. In the end, I cut a size 22 with two inches FBA and it fits pretty well. The only adjustment I would make if I made it again (which I probably will) is a rounded shoulder adjustment. It’s not too prominent when I’m wearing the dress because I accidentally made the back neckline more scooped that it was supposed to be, but I think if I make it the right height though, it would gape too much. I also added pockets, because they’re so useful.

I really like the bright blue of the dress, as I don’t really have any dresses that colour in my wardrobe.  As I made it a few months ago, I’ve got a lot of wear out of it over the summer. I wore it to my brother’s graduation, to two gigs, and out to various meals with friends and family. It’s been perfect for warmer weather, with a cardigan or a denim jacket. I have another planned in an 80s patterned viscose, and I think this is the perfect dress to show off the fabric without being too busy.

Moneta Maxi Dress


Whenever it is warm I always want to wear a nice cool maxi dress. This one is based on Colette’s Moneta pattern with a self-drafted skirt pattern sort of based on the Moneta skirt.

The fabric is some organic cotton jersey from Fabworks which is lovely and cool, although I underlined the top because it is a little see through. When I ordered it I only ordered 3 metres even though I knew I wanted to make a maxi dress, but I managed to email Fabworks before they had sent the order out.

I’ve fallen out of love with sewing with knits lately. Even though they’re super quick and you don’t need to finish the inside seams, I just find them really frustrating to work with and end up cutting corners to get things finished. I think I’m going to buy a walking foot before I next try to work with knit fabrics since some of the seams sewn with the zig-zag setting ended up a bit wobbly. In order to counteract the wobbly seams on the neck, I used neck bindings rather than a band, as illustrated in the Hey June Santa Fe instructions. This worked well and there’s no wobble to be seen! I also cut the neck band vertically rather than horizontally so there are stripes of each colour rather than one solid stripe.

The skirt was self-drafted, I used the width of the Moneta skirt at the top of the skirt, measured the length and then marked the width of the bottom of the Moneta at the bottom of the maxi skirt. I was expecting to put a slit up the side to make it easier to walk, but the skirt actually had enough space for my legs when it was sewn up, thanks to the gathering. Initially, I gathered the skirt using a thick piece of elastic to provide more stability with the weight of the skirt, but the elastic ended up twisting and being uncomfortable so I re-sewed it with clear elastic instead.

Despite my fatigue with sewing knits, I’m pleased with how this turned out, and I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this summer!

New Look 6180

IMG_8729IMG_8719It’s another shirtdress, this time it’s a New Look 6180! I think this pattern was on sale when I bought it, I added it to an order to make it up to free shipping and then decided it was far too difficult to make. However, after the success of my Alder shirtdress, I figured I could probably tackle this.

I chose a lightweight viscose for this so it would be nice and cool for the summer. I really like this turquoise Ikat fabric (which was £3 a metre from Minerva Crafts!!) but you can’t see the collar detail very well in these photos. I tried to pattern match, but the only part it was really successful was across the front of the bodice. I think I need some more practice on the sleeves, I still find it a bit hard to visualise where the stripes need to go, and I don’t think the chevrons really helped in this case.

The construction was pretty straight forward, the skirt has pleats and is gathered with elastic which was easy enough and I followed the Grainline Alder sew along to help with the collar construction. If I make another dress I’ll do an FBA as you can see in the second picture it is pulling at the bust. Overall, I’m pleased with the fit, and it’s quite relaxed and roomy which is perfect for warm weather… now we just need some sunshine!