• Cricut Creations,  Reviews

    The Cricut Maker- A newbie’s review

    You might remember at the beginning of the year I asked around on my Instagram about the Cricut machines and whether people thought they were worth the hype, because let’s be honest, there’s a *lot* of hype around these machines. On the whole it got great feedback and I put it on my wish list. Here’s something you need to know about me, I’m quite a calculated shopper. On the whole I don’t do impulse buys, and instead brew on something for a few weeks/months deciding whether something is ‘worth’ it (often to my detriment when it comes to fabric because it’s always sold out by the time I ‘give in’!) But Joy (@pinkcoatclub) also pointed me towards their ‘influencer’ programme and I thought, hey why not give that a go? So I put in an application and thought nothing of it. Months went by and I hadn’t heard anything, so I made a plan to just buy one when they went on offer knowing we’d put it to good use during my brother-in-laws wedding. But suddenly out of the blue I got an email from them inviting me to join the Cricut family. I’m not gonna lie, I Whatsapp-ed…

  • Pattern reviews

    Pattern Review: Eloise Dress

    As you know I’ve really been trying to be more practical in my sewing, and while it’s a good feeling to (very very slowly) fill my wardrobe with versatile dresses- I’ve been finding it a bit soul destroying. Strange right? But I’m being so strict about the fabric composition, spending hours and hours trying to source the perfect fabric online that I kind of killed the thrill of sewing. So when I thought of making a frilled leopard print dress I decided to give myself a break and run with the idea! I went to Walthamstow and found this poly fabric (bleurgh, I know) which was the perfect shade for me. It’s funny, I never realised how difficult leopard print would be to find for me! So many of the prints had too much of an orange tone to go with my skin colour (almost blends into my skin and makes me look like I’ve actually got weird leopard spots).Here’s the sketch of what I had in mind. I knew exactly which pattern I wanted to use for this dress and jumped into my very first By Hand London pattern. I know: first?! Where have I been? I’m not gonna…

  • Pattern reviews,  Uncategorized

    Pattern Review: Nora

    Oh Nora Nora Nora. The new autumn Tilly and the Buttons pattern was released a few weeks ago. (Sorry I probably should have warned you…it’s yet another Tilly pattern post!) and I obviously had to give them a whirl! There’s the cute Ness skirt and the Nora top: a straight skirt with a shaped waistband, and a boxy top with loads of options. Being on maternity leave I spend 90% of my time in lounge-y trousers and cropped jumpers. I’m currently living for loose fit clothes around my shoulders and anything boxy but flattering over my tummy area. I was certain that the Nora was perfect for lounging but wasn’t sure if I would wear it out…until I made it of course! I’ve worn it umpteen times already and it’s now my go-to throw on during these chillier days. So on to the review! Pattern Review:  Nora Top @Tilly and the Buttons Difficulty: “Confident Beginners” Sizes: UK 6-20 Type: Paper and PDF Price: £12 in paper form, £9.50 in PDF

  • Pattern reviews,  Uncategorized

    Pattern review: Shauna Coatigan

    I’m sure you noticed that the weather has been a bit crazy this year. First we had that scorching summer and then we thought autumn had come. But in standard British-style the weather has been utterly unpredictable. From frost in the morning to glaring sunshine by noon. I don’t know about you, but it really messed with my wardrobe! I’d wrap up warm to leave the house and end up boiling by the afternoon. It’s too cold to leave without a coat but too hot to even carry one by the end of the day. Enter: the coatigan. For those who don’t know what that is: it’s a coat slash cardigan. Something a little bit heavier than a cardigan but not as heavy as a coat. It’s been all the rage but I have to admit up until now I’ve just stuck with no coat or coat, so this was a first for me. I had this great fabric in my stash which I rediscovered (as you do) when tidying up. I actually offered to make something for Taufiq but he didn’t seem that keen (a decision he’s now regretting!) so opted to make something for myself. When I started…

  • Pattern reviews,  Reviews,  Uncategorized

    Pattern review: TPC5 Frilled hem top (plus midi hack)

    I feel like I say this with every post, but this one really is massively overdue. It’s been sitting in the ‘to-do’ pile for over 6 months after I got quite a few requests on how I made my midi version. So here it is! (Finally!) I’d seen Trend Patterns pop up on my Instagram a while ago and really liked the way they released capsule like collections with every season. Check out their designs- I guess its in the name, but they’re really great at picking up a trend and creating a garment which is not only on season but would last long beyond. Like the frilled hem top: frills are eeeeverywhere which makes anything frilly fashionable right now. But too much frill and a garment will age quickly when the new season’s trend comes in. Just the right amount of frill and you’ve got an outfit with some longevity. And that’s what I like about the top- it’s got the balance just right. It’s quite a dramatic and structural design- especially with the frill that goes all around the back, but that’s what I was looking for to shake up my wardrobe. I actually planned to make the top when I bought…

  • Book reviews,  Uncategorized

    Book review: Sew Your Own Activewear

    It’s my turn on the Sew Your Own Activewear blog tour and I’m super excited to share my thoughts on the new book from the ever-amazing Melissa Fehr of Fehr Trade sewing patterns and blog. You might remember that I made her brilliant XYT workout top in week 6 of The Great British Sewing Bee. I’m secretly amazed she doesn’t hate me for having a bit of a disaster with it on national TV (an ill-planned combination of too-thick lycra and trying to make binding in a rush) and hasn’t banned me from touching her products again. But I’m not complaining! And I’ll tell you why: Melissa is hands down, *THE* activewear sewing guru. There is surprisingly little information out there for sewing activewear and 99.9% of that you’ll probably find on Melissa’s site. And with activewear being so popular it’s time the sewing world played catch up…Thats where Sew Your Own Activewear comes in…

  • Pattern reviews,  Uncategorized

    Pattern Review: The Kielo Wrap Dress

    I’ve been itching to make a Kielo wrap dress ever since I found out that Named Clothing had a free long sleeve add-on. The original is a beauty but ever since I started sewing clothes for myself, I shy away from sleeveless patterns. I know, I can always wear something underneath or on top to make it hijabi friendly. But to be honest, I’m totally over layering. Which is quite funny since my entire wardrobe used to be made up of cardigans and sleeveless dresses! But unless it’s winter time, I really can’t be bothered with having to find something to match with a top/dress. I also got frustrated that a lot of design features end up being covered up- cute peplum styles/ shoulder details end up covered by cardigans/blazers etc. But mainly…I like to be able to be out of bed, showered, fed and ready in under 40min- which means, the less items of clothing to go on, the better! So a sleeved pattern is an absolute must. Pattern Review: Kielo Wrap Dress by Named Clothing Difficulty: Beginner Sizes:  EUR 32 – 46 (US 0 – 14 / UK 4 – 18) Type: PDF or Print Price: €13 (PDF), €19 (print)

  • Pattern reviews,  Uncategorized

    Pattern Review: Jedediah Pants

    I’m not quite sure how it happened, but somehow I ended up agreeing to make Taufiq some trousers for our trip to Bangladesh. Do you find that happens to you? You feel foggy on the details, can’t quite remembering if you offered to make something or got asked to… It might have been when I asked him to chuck out his old holiday cropped trousers (which really had seen better days). The conversation probably went a bit like this: “I think these need to go” “No way! They’re great!'” *picks up faded grey camouflage 3/4 length trousers with commando pockets* … I mean, need I say more? “I’m pretty sure these belong to the 90s, and not in a good way” “No. I like them, plus they’re my holiday trousers. They’re staying” *Feeling desperate* “I’ll make you some new ones!” “Yeah alright. I do need some new ones.” Yup…that’s probably how the conversation went. Some may say I only have myself to blame. So off I went on the search for the perfect pattern and as ever I ended up back at Thread Theory (I know I go on about them, but they really do do my favourite menswear patterns!), and went…

  • Pattern reviews

    Pattern Review: The Cleo Dress

    I know, I know. How many Cleo dresses have you seen now? This Tilly and the Buttons pattern has been a hit in the Sewing world since it’s release (I even heard it caused a European shortage of dungaree clips!) I’ve watched on from the sidelines as Instagram filled with everyone’s amazing creations and held off from making my own until now- which is pretty good in my books. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was my style (something which I’m not sure I can define any more as it constantly seems to be evolving!) and in an effort to be more sustainable with my clothes, I’m really trying not to jump into trends at the moment. Plus, I wasn’t sure if it would be hijab friendly. That was until I saw Rosie’s midi length version (aka DIY Couture) and this yellow polo-neck jumper I bought. I knew they would be a match made in heaven so off I went. Pattern Review:  Difficulty: Beginner Sizes: 1-8 (6-20 UK) Type: Available in print and PDF format (I used a PDF because I’m too impatient to wait for the post!) Price: £12.50 (print) and £9.50 (PDF)

  • Pattern reviews

    A little promise of a mens coat: A pattern review Vogue 8940

    When I asked Taufiq what he wanted for his birthday I probably should have put some ‘Terms and Conditions’ in because a couple of weeks later I was sewing a coat; an actual coat with shoulder pads and everything…Considering the first ever coat I made was the in 60’s week on The Sewing Bee (where there were tears, uneven hems and wonky buttons), this may have been too much of an ask. I’m always asking him for an opinion on my makes- combination of colours, print, fabric and I’m usually met with a response which falls within the spectrum of a half-concentrating non-specific nod and a completely unhelpful “yeah I guess so” with a face that says the opposite. So I thought this would give him some incentive to join in on the pleasures/chore of searching for the right pattern and fabric. Initially all the direction I was given was “a coat”. After some pestering this turned into “a peacoat”. With that I managed to narrow it down to two patterns: the Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat  and Vogue 8940. Having made the Fairfield shirt by Thread Theory (which was an absolute dream to sew up) I did my best to nudge him into choosing their…