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Monday 27 November 2023

Keeping warm

 In another polo neck  (turtleneck)

Once again I used I used OOP New Look 6008. I've altered the sleeve for a full bicep and the back piece for a high round back. 

This is a plain single knit jersey with only crossways stretch. It was a bit prone to rolling, and I had to snip into the seam allowance to get the sleeve heads in.
It should be a nice nod to the festive season whilst staying warm and comfortable.
I bought the fabric from MyFabricPlace which is fairly local to me.
It looks to still be in stock at £3 per metre.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Sparkling party dress

 This is a sparkling party dress for my young friend C.

The fabric is a black knit which is also micro pleated and covered in silver sparkles. (Bought several years ago from a local physical shop)

The bodice is the Style Arc Molly knit top, shortened to waist length and with 3/4 length sleeves.

The skirt is from Simplicity 9473. I've also added inseam pockets in the skirt.

When she comes for try-on we may add some narrow elastic into the waist seam to pull it in a little.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Aqua print top

I used a pretty print for this neck polo neck (turtleneck) top.

I'm not sure if it is supposed to be feathers, leavers or just abstract, but it has a nature inspired feel to it.

Once again I used the long sleeved collared top from OOP New Look 6008. I've altered the sleeve for a full bicep and the back piece for a high round back. 

I have some sewing to do for other people, so I'd better get the sewing room tidied up and different thread on the machines!

Sunday 19 November 2023

More Aqua pieces

I kept the same overlocking thread cones on the machine as for the blouse, but changed up the sewing machine thread and coverhem threads for these pieces. Sewing knits can be quite quick and I was short of suitable winter tops in this colour which is great for me.

This picture of them all together shows the subtle variations in the colours

This is the lightest coloured fabric, it has little stretch though so hopefully OK to wear.

This is shirt at the bottom of the pile, its a lovely fabric with nice drape and stretch so should be lovely to wear

This is the joggers, which if I have a suitable top could be great for Pilates (not sure I'd wear a polo neck/turtleneck to class!)

This is the tie dye fabric in a top. I used all but tiny scraps of this fabric

For the top I used OOP New Look 6008. I've altered the sleeve for a full bicep and the back piece for a high round back. 

The joggers are the Monsal Lounge Pants by Wendy Ward (From her book "Beginners Guide to sewing with Knits).

I still have Aqua on the overlocker, so I may stick with this colourway for a bit!

Monday 13 November 2023

Aqua print blouse

I've just finished my first Remy Raglan, I used a US size 14, UK size 18 with the full sleeve with band and I think it's lovely.

I've had the fabric for many years, it is a viscose with a print in shades of seafoam green, teal and cream.
It looks similar on both sides and id very slippery, so as you can imagine was a pain to cut and sew. The finished result is nice though.

Sunday 12 November 2023

Christmas Angel Decoration

 Inspired by the ones I found online here's my Christmas Angel Ornament

It's made from felt and handstitched.

Thursday 2 November 2023

Travel Capsule Wardrobe for South Africa Garden Route

Do you remember me sewing things for my Start With A Scarf Wardrobe? I used those clothes along with a few RTW pieces as a travel capsule wardrobe for a trip to South Africa's garden route. I even took the scarf with me though I didn't actually wear it!

I also took footwear - walking shoes, walking sandals and silver flat sandals as well as sunglasses, underwear, PJs, socks and toiletries. Everything packed up into the packing cubes nicely. DH and I both had some clothing in each other's checked luggage and spare undies and top in our hand luggage (rucksacks), though we didn't have any issues with our checked luggage.

I did wear everything, and as we were away 3.5 weeks, we visited a laundrette half way through and had a service wash done of some items (underwear, socks, tops and dirtier bottoms/layers).

All my bottoms and layers were plain colours, as were some of my tops, and I stuck to a colour palette of black, sage green, burgundy and pink, this let me mix and match whatever was clean and suitable for the weather that day. We had rain, sunshine, heat and cold, so lots of different combos were in operation!


I took a Craghoppers lined waterproof jacket with hood and pockets. In the pockets I had gloves, beany hat, tube scarf/buff and a lightweight peaked cap. These fold up small, but were great for protection from the sun (peaked cap) 


I took seven bottoms, perhaps it could've been slightly fewer. They were

Black stretch woven trousers, worn on all flights and over the joggers on cold morning and evening safari drives.

Dark grey slim leg joggers, worn for relaxing in the room/cabin, one night as PJ trousers when it was cold and as thermals under the black trousers.

Black stretch jeans, worn for evening meals and some around the town days.

Stretch woven tan shorts, worn a lot on the hot days. The internal zipped pocket was great, though banged a bit on my leg when I put too much in it.

Black culottes skirt, an alternative to the shorts on hot days.

Olive green Craghoppers trousers. Worn for hiking with a belt but not good for a boat trip - the fit isn't  right when sitting.

Sage green stretch woven trousers. Worn for wine tasting, some evening meals and etc. Fit not right on these either.


2 lightweight fleece jackets from Craghoppers (one burgundy, one pink), and a self sewn cardigan in sage green. I wore all of these but could've probably managed with only 1 of the fleeces + the cardigan.


I took 4 shirts, 2 self sewn (sage green and floral) and two purchased Craghoppers in Pink and Regatta in Burgundy check. More shirts would've been good and the ones with pockets were more useful. The floral shirt was worn the most and washed twice (once by hand, once at launderette).

3/4 sleeve tops

Wore all of these and washed them too.

Short sleeved tops

Useful as layers under the shirts, as well as self sewn I took quite a few RTW t-shirts, mostly from Decathlon.


Overall things worked well. Secure pockets were definitely useful. My self sewn items worked out quite well. My RTW pieces have been bought over the years and were not expensive. I have pieces from Regatta, Craghoppers and Decathlon. The better my sewing gets, the less RTW I wear :-)

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Learning Foundation Paper Piecing

 I decided I'd like to learn the foundation paper piecing technique.

To avoid overload I started with a really simple mountain scene from Etive & Co.

I found the video for how to assemble this really clear. I watched it all the way through first, then followed along the second time making my piece at the same time (with lots of pausing).

For my version I decided to have blue sky, purple mountains and green fields.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Second bright print top


Here's the second knit top from the bright print fabric.

For this version I used the poloneck/turtleneck top from OOP New Look 6008.

I was limited on fabric so the sleeves have long shaped cuffs to make the sleeves long enough.

Saturday 28 October 2023

Bright print tee

 I cut two tops out of the bright print fabric.

Here's the first one completed.

I used my homemade pattern (traced from a favourite RTW top).

I plan to wear it casually with jeans or joggers in dark blue.

Friday 27 October 2023

A bright print on a grey day

 Its grey here today so I'm going to make myself a knit top from this fun print.

Thursday 26 October 2023

Thursday 19 October 2023

Skirt and tops for a friend

 I'd picked up a remnant of floral jersey, which made a beautiful skirt for C.

For this I used the skirt pieces from the Simplicity 9473 skirt. I stitched elastic to the top and flipped it over, stitching it the ditch at the side seams to secure. I also added some inseam pockets from another pattern.

To go with it I made two t-shirts from the Closet Core Tee pattern

which if worn tucked in, give the look of a dress

I've used the 18D front with an elbow length sleeve for both of these.

Thursday 12 October 2023

Personalised Backpack

I had a plain black rucksack, bought cheaply one back-to-school season. I decided I would like to embellish it a little.

I used three things

- a length of upholstery braid in olive and pink

- a length of ribbon in olive

- an embroidered patch of an elephant in olive

First I stitched the braid around the top of the backpack and the hanging loop. I used the remaining braid with the olive ribbon to make zipper pulls for the 2 top zippers and the zipper on the pocket.

Next I interfaced a scrap of black variegated quilting cotton and embroidered an elephant motif using my embroidery machine. It took a few goes to get it right.

I then finished the edges and turned them under to create a patch.

I then stitched this onto the rucksack. I decided to leave it open at the top so it's a little extra pocket.

I'm much happier with my personalised rucksack!

Thursday 5 October 2023

Off Black Divided skirt

I had originally cut out some wrap around beach trousers - I think from Simplicity 5508 - in an off black thin cotton (or polycotton).

(It looks black until you see it next to something black - like the black serging thread, and then its clearly very very dark grey)

I wasn't convinced by the style and didn't sew them up.

Sometime later I found the pieces when I wanted something dark as the background for a test P&Q block. I whacked a chunk off one of the legs and did my block!

Recently I came across the remaining pieces and decided I'd rather have a divided skirt and wanted pleats that would make it look more skirt like and less trouser like.

I cut the legs off so they were all the same length, a good midi length fortunately.

Enter Vogue 9090, which is a skirt pattern I'd got free with a magazine. I copied the pleat placement. The deep centre front and back pleats nicely disguise the inner leg seams.

I added a wide elastic waistband making the skirt easy to pull on.

Here you can see the two legs.

A great piece for overseas holidays where its hot!