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!

Grainline Alder Shirtdress

Look, Ma, I made a shirtdress! This is the first time I’ve posted in a while, even though I’ve been sewing and knitting I haven’t had much motivation to take photos while the weather was grey and miserable. However, I finished this dress on Friday and got my partner to take a few snaps when we were at the pub.

The dress itself is the Grainline Alder shirtdress, I cut it in the largest size and drafted the sleeves myself. I completely astounded myself with how well this came out, I’ve never tried making a shirtdress before, however, the sew along on the Grainline blog was super helpful, and I managed it without many mistakes. The only major mistake I made was to make the curve at the edge of the collar stand too thin, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to put a buttonhole on it. In the end, I didn’t add a buttonhole, but I usually wear my top button undone, so I’m still pretty happy with it.

Fit wise, I love the shape and style, I prefer more loose silhouettes and it’s really comfortable to wear. I did have to add a hidden button at the bust to stop any gaping and there’s some excess fabric at the back (you can see it slightly on the second picture) which I need to remove next time I make it. As this was a wearable toile, I just quickly drafted some sleeves without much consideration to style or shape, and they worked pretty well, but next time I think I’ll tweak the sleeve pattern a bit. The fabric itself was £3 a metre, so I wasn’t expecting much quality wise, and the threads tended to catch and show through on the front of the fabric. However, it is fine for the toile, and I actually quite like the pattern, it’s not too feminine so works well for this silhouette.

I was inspired by #sewtogetherforsummer on Instagram and figured it was worth a go, as I said, I was pretty pleased with the results. I have another Alder shirtdress planned, and I’ve also ordered some fabric for a Newlook 6180 and I might even make my partner a shirt, now I’ve tackled collars and buttonholes!

Odyssey Shawl

I’ve been so excited about this shawl for months now, ever since I bought the green and black skein of Countess Ablaze’s yarn. It’s from The Odyssey Trail, her series of one of a kind colourways based on the Odyssey, and this colour is ‘Take your turn in order from left to right’ from book 21 of the Odyssey. I studied Latin and Ancient Greek at high school and took a module on the Odyssey when I was studying English literature at university, so I was really inspired when I discovered Countess Ablaze’s colourways. I love the last few books of the Odyssey, which cover Odysseus’s return home and I was so glad I could get some of this colourway.

The pattern is Asunder and I chose it because I thought it showed off the variegated yarn well with the dropped garter stitch, and the stripes remind me of a shield. I also chose it because there are enough rows of grey that the variegated yarn is not next to my neck when I wear it, because it’s a sock yarn and isn’t quite soft enough for me to wear next to skin. The grey in the shawl is Cascade Heritage Silk, which is a nice grey colour, and lets the green yarn stand out.

I loved knitting this so much, it was so soothing and comforting. I really enjoyed watching the yarn change colours as I was knitting it and I adore every shade of green in the shawl. As you can tell from the pictures, it’s been quite warm here, so I haven’t had a chance to properly wear the shawl, but I’m hoping there will be some cool summer nights where I can wear it round my shoulders to ward off the chill.

In the pictures, I’m also wearing my Seamwork Mesa dress which I just finished. I’m not completely sold on it, I think because I used too thin fabric so it isn’t as flattering as I liked, and the stripe matching on the gingham was pretty stressful. As usual, I added patch pockets to the front, because I can’t help it, and also I liked the way the contrasting stripes looked.

Bank holiday sun

Moneta DressMoneta Dress

I’ve finally finished my Moneta dress! I spent quite a long time putting off making it (because of the 63 page pdf, ugh) but I’ve finally finished. The top went together quickly and smoothly, the only alteration I made was to add a neckband because it makes it a bit more stable.

When it came to the skirt, I didn’t add any pockets into the seam because I didn’t want it to be too bulky around my hips. I originally used the same striped fabric as the top but the way the stripes fell on my hips looked a bit off so I used some grey jersey I had lying around instead. I added the patch pockets to pull the whole thing together, but I think the left pocket is a bit wonky so I’ll need to sew that again. I’m really enjoying wearing this dress, it’s really comfy and I can definitely see more in my future.

As it’s a bank holiday my partner and I went for a wander to the Plantation Gardens, they’re a hidden garden in Norwich with a mix of different things including hidden paths, a bridge and a medieval type wall. I’d never been before and really enjoyed looking round and taking photos.

I also got my hair cut yesterday, it’s quite a change from my last hair style, but I’d had a pixie cut four years ago and really wanted one again. My hairdresser was so excited to do a pixie cut, and I’m really happy with the result.