• Pattern reviews,  Sewing

    Pattern Review: Zero Waste Gathered Dress

    It’s been a little while since I ventured into making a pattern by a new-to-me pattern designer but after stalking the hashtag I knew I needed to jump in and give this Zero Waste Gathered Dress a go. Like a lot of people I’m also trying to be careful about how much fabric waste I produce and the idea of a ‘zero waste’ dress was really appealing. I also like the loose fit and dropped shoulders. As much as I do love a bit of fitting, I was also really craving an ‘easy fit’ make. You’ve probably already seen the finished garment on my Instagram because it’s already a firm favourite…but there are a few things that are worth knowing before you dive into the pattern yourself. Pattern Review: Zero Waste Gathered Dress By Birgitta Helmersson Difficulty: ‘Beginners’- I’m not 100% convinced on this and would say its more a confident beginner (someone with a good understanding of general sewing construction)… but more on that later… Sizes: One size (fits EU 36-44, AUS/UK 8-16, US 4-12) Type: PDF cutting instructions (no pattern pieces) Price: £14 (PDF) Fabric: I’ve had this dusty salmon linen blend fabric from Rainbow Fabrics for over a year and knew this…

  • Sewing

    Underwear: The trials and tribulations

    This blog post is sponsored by Craft + Thrift: an Etsy store of curated deadstock, vintage and thrifted fabric for the sustainable sewist. All thoughts/opinions are my own. I’ve always tried to use each sewing project as a chance to learn something new- whether its a new fabric or a new technique. It’s all an opportunity to become a better sewer, right? Yeah yeah yeah. I can tell you that that is NOT what I was thinking as I wrangled my twisted jersey from under my needle plate for the billionth time. When Amy @Craftandthriftshop asked if wanted to work with her on a post of course I said yes! I love discovering new fabric shops, especially ones with a sustainable ethos. I was browsing through the fabrics and noticed she did underwear kits. Oo-er. I’ve always been curious about sewing underwear. Truthfully I’ve never had the urge or interest to sew them! My only experience of underwear was sewing a bra on The Great British Sewing Bee. I actually kind of enjoyed it- until my bra *literally* fell apart during judging. So yeah- I wasn’t exactly rushing to recreate that experience! (Imagine that happening in the shop!) But I’ve…

  • Sewing

    Sew Fancy Pants 2020- Fancy details

    I’m sorry this is coming to you much later than expected! I try to keep my Friday mornings set aside for recording videos/posting updates on my Sew Fancy Pants 2020 progress but as you might have seen on my Stories, I couldn’t get around to it this week! But I figured late is better than never, so today I’m bringing you my five beginner friendly tips for Fancy details to jazz up your Fancy Pants… When I was asked to co-host SewFancyPants2020 I saw my role as introducing pants/trouser sewing to beginners because… well, I view myself as beginner. So with this weeks theme I thought I’d share simple ways to make your trousers that little bit more special. Don’t forget though, just by making your own trousers they’re already pretty darn special! 1. Pocket linings This is a great way to make your pants super special without any extra work! You don’t need to cut out any extra fabric, which is a giant win for me as it’s my least favourite bit of sewing. All you need to do is cut out the pocket bags in your chosen Fancy fabric. Be careful to cut the pocket bags only and…

  • Cricut Creations,  Sewing

    Re-usable make up wipes- In collaboration with Cricut

    Like most people these days we’ve been more conscious about single use items in our household. One of the projects I’ve seen pop up a lot on my Instagram is reusable make up wipes- it’s a perfect way to stash bust as well as cut down on cotton pad use. But if I’m honest… I’m lazy, and the idea of cutting out little circles put me off…until I got my Cricut Maker! As I’ve mentioned before, this machine comes with a rotary blade which cuts a huge range of fabrics. The main limitation to using the Cricut to cut fabric is the size of the mats- the fabric needs to be mounted on these to feed through the machine to be cut, so you can only cut fabric as big as the mat (or on a fold-with it temporarily spray basted). But for things like this (repetitive small shape cutting), it is perfect! More than perfect. It’s a dream. It cuts all the pieces out perfectly with zero effort. The SnapGrid function (on the App) is particularly good and helps you make the most of those awkward shaped scraps. I whipped these up in no time and I’ve saved the…

  • Pattern reviews,  Sewing

    Simplicity Hack-Along X Eve Appeal

    As you may know I’ve taken a bit of an unintentional break from sewing for myself since the purple lace dress I made for my brother-in-laws wedding. It’s almost a full three months since I stitched something other than baby leggings for the little un. I’m not sure why, but the idea of sewing just seemed exhausting to me and I needed a push to get my sewjo back. What better reason to get out of my sewing rut than sewing for a cause like Eve appeal? It’s my turn on the Simplicity X Eve Appeal hack-along blog tour and I’m sharing my make! But firstly- what is the Simplicity Hack-along? Simplicity have created a collection of nine different patterns which are made for hacking- the instructions actually walk you through how to make simple hacks, and to make it better the pattern pieces are there for you, ready to go for more complicated changes. And thoughtfully theres an extra bit of gridded pattern paper for you to make your hacks with! During the Hack-along, Simplicity will be donating to the Eve appeal for every hack-along pattern sold. And on top of that, by sharing your makes using the hashtags…

  • Sewing

    Refashioning: Maxi skirt to cardigan

    This might sound like a familiar story to you: I’ve had this skirt since 2013, bought whilst away on holiday in Istanbul. I wore it loads, on and off over the years but for the last little while it’s been firmly sat in my wardrobe without being worn. Something about the proportions/shirred waistband just didn’t work for me anymore but I just couldn’t get myself to part with it. Not even when I semi-Marie Kondo’d my wardrobe post-partum. And trust me, I was brutal.  But something about this skirt made me hold on to it. Maybe because of the memories it contained…we had whizzed off to Istanbul the night of our graduation from medical school and it was the last holiday before we started working as fully fledged doctors (a simpler time perhaps?) But I also loved the fabric- a lovely rich red colour with a diamond lace pattern. But until I could bring myself to either wear it or cut it up it was just sitting there, gathering dust. So after years I’ve finally got the courage to repurpose it and I’d thought I’d share my 5 top tips on repurposing clothes: 1.Have a plan You might already know…

  • Pattern reviews,  Sewing

    Pattern Review: Ness Skirt

    This outfit gives me so much joy. Why? It’s just a throw on jumper and skirt right? Pretty, but kinda unremarkable? …Apart from the fact that I made it out of fabric remnants in my stash! YAS. Stash busting win! One of the problems with needing to dress modestly is that I rarely have use for fabric lengths less than 2m so I have a tonne of 1m (or less) lengths from makes which overestimated the fabric requirements. So to be able to find a pattern (or patterns) that can be used to stash bust is pretty darn amazing! I was gifted the Ness skirt pattern alongside the Nora top when Tilly and the Buttons released their Autumn collection. We all know how much I love the Nora pattern (I’ve made four already!) but I wasn’t sure about the Ness skirt. It comes in a mini and knee length which isn’t really what I wear. But then again the straight skirt style of the Cleo dungaree dress has really been a hit in my wardrobe, so I thought why not give it a go? Not being convinced that it would be my style I thought using stash fabric would be a…

  • Sewing

    Marmite Make or a Statement Maker?

    I was asked by the lovely Amy at Indy Bindy Fabric Company if I wanted to work on a collaboration using some of her beautiful fabric, and of course I jumped at the chance (scroll to the end to see how you could win some fabric of your own!) I’ve been wanting to make myself another Trend Patterns Frill Hem Top/Dress since my beloved black one is a little too tight across the arms and shoulders post-partum (can I still call it that 9 months on?) and after browsing the gorgeous fabrics set my heart on making one with the ‘Minamo’ fabric. I was so excited to receive this package from Japan. Yup. You heard me right. Japan!! How amazing is that? Amy is actually an Australian, living in Tokyo with her family. She started her fabric store just over a year ago and her key goal is to support small indie designers and sell amazing, unique fabrics. She even know’s all the designers personally! This particular print was from the design house, Otsukiyumi by designer Otsuki Yumi. She starts by hand drawing designs which are then digitally printed onto fabric so you can see each brushstroke. The name of…

  • Sewing

    Introduction to Pattern Cutting Course

    I love that sewing and dressmaking is one of those forever-learning skills. There’s always something new to try or learn. But recently I started feeling like I had reached what I could do on my own when it came to drafting patterns. I have ideas in my head and can generally hack my way through a pattern doing this-and-that and eventually end up with what I wanted. But it would take a while and wasn’t the neatest of processes (mentally or practically!) So I decided to invest in myself and my hobby and look for a course. A big motivation was wanting to do something for myself- having been used to be more ‘independent’ and working a full time job, full-time mummy-ing was making me feel like I was losing a bit of my adult self. Knowing I would be heading back to work soon, I thought also it would also be a good excuse to get some time apart from little R and see how she managed without me around for the day. Or that’s what I told myself to convince myself to tear myself away from her! I first started looking at draping or pattern making courses. I’ve…

  • Pattern reviews,  Sewing

    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…