Clothing · Sewing Projects

Top of cloudy wonder

hello people! I am back from hibernation. And I’ve made myself a cracker of a top. I have literally just finished stitching it and already I love it. My top of cloudy wonder.


Woah, massive poor quality selfie there. Sorry. But still, I love the top.

I’ve wanted a quirky raglan sleeve top for ages but couldn’t find one in the shops didn’t look that hard to be honest as I hate shopping and decided to do a bit of browsing on and found some lovely navy stretch jersey and some even lovelier bashful cloud jersey. Order made, I got the fabric delivered and as is now traditional, left it for about 4 months before I was brace enough to cut into it.

the pattern is…MY OWN. Yeah, amazeballs, right? It’s the same one I’ve used to make a few short sleeve tops and I cobbled the body and short sleeves together with sleeves from a GBSB pattern, just made narrower. I also narrowed the body pattern pieces as they were too wide, and raised the neck as the tops I’ve made are lower cut and suitable for tops but not for this jumper type thing I was hoping to make.

pattern cut, fabric cut, I then left the pieces for another traditional rest. Just a month this time.  After the rest, I tacked the sleeves and body pieces together to check the fit, and it was great so I didn’t need to tailor it or cut it any further. I’ve resisted tacking and trying on in the past as I thought it was a bit of a waste of time in the past, but it really helped knowing the top would fit before I sewed it up as I hate having to unstitch and restitch and YAWN.

I also decided to buy some stretch needles as I thought I probably should. Never used them before, I wasn’t really convinced there would be much difference in the stitching. Well HOW WRONG COULD I BE? This stitched like a DREAM with the proper stretch material needles. Who knew.


so, it came about easily enough. I used navy for the cuffs and body and the clouds for the sleeves and collar.  I only had one minor WTF moment when I pinned the hem cuff to the wrong side and had to unpin and repin. It was a 20 minute waste of time but I pushed on through and out it all back together the right way eventually.

IMG_0503I top stitched the cuffs because I like it

IMG_0504Not that you can see it. But it’s there and neat. Ah, look a top those bashful clouds. Lovely. And I did a double line of stitching along the collar. Not quite as neatly as I wanted but it’s good enough*

IMG_0505And that was that.

It is really comfortable and flattering to wear. My cloudy top of loveliness.


* good enough is, I’ve finally realised, actually good enough. I don’t need to see things perfectly in order to wear them. I mean, it’s not like clothes I buy are perfect. So why expect ridiculously high standards from myself when I don’t expect it from ready to wear clothes? Good enough is good enough.

Clothing · Clothing the children · Sewing Projects

Small top for a small boy

I made a top in 24hrs for the boy. It’s a raglan sleeve jersey knit top, using an Ottobre Autumn 2016 magazine pattern and I love this. I decided that it was time the boy had some home seen clothes, seeing as his sister has so many skirts and dresses. And I spotted the Ottobre magazine in a paper shop a few weeks ago and that sewed the seed in my mind. However, I didn’t buy the magazine. ROOKIE ERROR. My head was full of the cute patterns and designs in the magazine, including a hoodie design I’d earmarked for the girl, but I didn’t have the magazine…

i bought jersey fabric from, a cute circus design and a knight design for the boy, purple star sweatshirt and grey cat jersey for the girl. All ready to make the patterns from Ottobre. BUT I DIDNT HAVE THE MAGAZINE.

i merrily went to the paper shop a fortnight ago to buy the magazine. But wait…THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE MAGAZINE?! Aaaargh!

Eventually, I managed to buy it from – ordered last weekend and received it on Thursday. Excellent service. And THE JOY, all the lovely patterns were there.

imageLast night I traced out the pattern, cut out the fabric (which I had already dutifully washed and dried, which is very unusual for me, I know) and today in between boy nap time and the odd twenty minutes here and there, I pinned the pieces together and sewed it up. I have to admit here that I didn’t follow the instructions. As in I didn’t follow the instructions AT ALL. They seemed pretty sparse to me and I just thought, meh, I’ll figure it out. Im sure the neck could have been neater. I’ve realised I pigging HATE bias binding. Especially jersey stretch bias binding. But I’m still completely thrilled with this top. Go me!


I love the raglan sleeves


And the cuffs were meant to be jersey rib or what have you, but I just thought that the same fabric would look nice. Remind me that it was my choice if it stretches…


and the bonus is that the boy is too young to refuse to wear the top. So no refusing to put it on like his big sister. Win!



I went to the Edinburgh Knitting and Stitching show and bought everything

Or so it seems… don’t ask how much I spent because I am not entirely sure I can face it. But I had SUCH a good time. I loved it. All the fabric!  Ah, lovely.

I went on Sunday, the weather was not promising at all so I felt pretty pleased to be spending a few hours on my own (my own!  The sheer LUXURY of being on my own!) Inside looking at All The Nice Things.


Here we go… I didn’t take many photos inside.  Mostly because in was too busy trying to buy everything. But I did see some truly amazing knitted things



And bought a scone the size of my own head when I was having a breather


What did I buy? 
Two patterns, I’ve been looking for this kind of style for ages


Three fat quarters


Two metres of stars in a grey blue material


Some robots and Japanese dolls, a metre of each



Two metres of this lovely blue fabric with fish swimming on it


Two metres of denim with lime green stripes – I think I’m going to make the tunic from this


And finally from the AMAZING stall from Fabrics Galore some gorgeous material. I got quite over excited about this and I am NOT ashamed because it is BRILLIANT and beautiful


That’s right, Freida Kahlo (apologies if spelled incorrectly) on fabric. So cool. It’s going to be a skirt.


FLAMINGOES. Two metres. YES.


Navy blue with green elephants.

I love it all. I also bought thread, carbon paper and a tracing wheel. All I need now is the time to make clothes…

Who else was there?

Clothing · Sewing Projects

I made a skirt!

I made a skirt! It’s essentially a wearable muslin (check me out, knowing about these sorts of things. Vaguely knowing about these sorts of things) as I intend to make it again in some lovely turquoise corduroy. But I made a skirt and I will wear it to work.

the pattern is McCall’s M7022, view C. Boy, did I get confused about there being different views… Anyway, the pattern was chosen as I fancied a simple skirt to practice my mad sewing skillz on, and the fabric chosen because I bought an armful of pinstripe material from a charity shop and thought it looked suitably work like.

so here it is:


Its a simple enough skirt – one front piece, two pieces for the back, a top yoke and a zip. But I am SO proud that I not only started it, but finished it too. Because I cried over this pattern. Really, I did. I mean, some of that might have been because of the sleep deprivation and the fact that the baby (who turns 1 soon so should know better) refuses to go to sleep and stay asleep in the evenings meaning I barely have the time to plug in the sewing machine never mind use it.. But… WHere was I?


I had a few stumbling blocks.


Like here, when I was sewing in the zip and managed to break not one, but TWO needles.

Or this part of the pattern:


Steps 21 and 22 I’m just going to call the WTF bit as I had no idea what was going on. I ignored it and just carried on. Let’s pretend it wasn’t important, and move on…

(do you see the baby monitor peeking out underneath the pattern? This was in the fifteen minutes or so the baby was sleeping. He gave me a bit of time to cry over the pattern steps before deciding to ignore it).

in spite of those stumbles, I finished. I put in a skirt and top stitched the hem and the top of the yoke. It fits, a bit bumpy where the zip meets the seam if the yoke & skirt but that may be down to the weight if the zip. But honestly? It’s brilliant because I made it and finished it. Woo!

more pictures:

Next project: make the skirt in turquoise corduroy.

then I’ve got a Sewaholic Renfrew kit (present from my sister for Christmas) and I’ve some natty flamingo fabric for a short sleeve top.


Christmas · Sewing Projects · Uncategorized

Christmas stockings!

Here’s another one of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” projects. I rashly promised my daughter that I would make Christmas stockings for her and her brother. And then for their two cousins too. I had decided that I’d do a lovely patchwork design and they would be LOVELY.


it took many, many weeks to make these. And many, many swear words too. I’ll update with a “finished product” post soon, but here are the “how I made my stockings” work in progress pictures.


I bought a few different festive materials for the stockings. The red Nordic style is disappointingly thinner than I’d hoped for. And the grey reindeer fabric is very, very similar to the colour of the blue reindeer fabric which caused me quite a headache when planning out the pattern. But I LOVE the reindeer print  and the red Santa print is super cute. I bought about a metre of each and cut the fabric into an approximation of equal sizes.  And that’s where it stopped for a while. Because I had LOADS of time you see, and didn’t have to hurry to make the stockings.  (I am a FOOL and should stop listening to myself when I witter on like that in my head.)


I started to piece together the squares into a stocking shape. To make matters as complicated as possible for myself, I decided to patchwork both sides of the stocking. Sooooo much pinning…


Here they are after starting to sew the squares into rows and rows into stocking shape. How jaunty!


And this is the inside material. Even more festive! I love the gingerbread pattern. The fabric is quite thin but fine for inside the stockings.

now, the complicated bit wasn’t making the patchwork outside, it was trying to figure out how to get a nice “quilted” appearance on the stocking. I read around a gazillion online tutorials and blog pieces about making a stocking and pretty much ignored all of them. Instead I did what seemed easiest to me:

  • stitch the lining to the outer with right sides together, leaving a little gap to pull the fabric through leaving both right sides outside. This made one side of the stocking.
  • then I stitched diagonal rows back and forth across the stocking adding a bit more interest.
  • I did this on both sides of the stocking, so 8 times in total (2 for each stocking).
  • then with the outer parts facing, I just sewed around the edge leaving the top open.
  • i thought they looked a bit plain so added some left over white fleece around the top.

hey presto! Only 26385 hours of sewing, 28887295 swear words and 300 metres of red thread later, 4 stockings were made.


Clothing · Sewing Projects

New dress in 12 hours. Yes! really!

Last week, the four year old chose some fabric so that I could make her this pattern:


It was one that I got free in a magazine (reviewed Here back in July). I stupidly didn’t check a) how much fabric I needed and b) what size the pattern went up to. Because a) I bought 1metre but should have gone with 1.5 as the pattern needed 1.15 and b) the freebie pattern only had sizes 1,2,3 and not 4,5,6 as well. The size 3 was fine for her waist but was waaaaaaay too short.

That meant I had to adjust the pattern. Erk. Not something I had done before. I measured the girl and noted I needed an extra 5 inches (yes, mixing metric and imperial like a WINNER here) to make the dress long enough. But because I didn’t have enough fabric, and because the skirt of the dress was going to end up way too wide for her figure, I narrowed it down quite a bit. End result was a dress that fits and looks ultra cute. Top win!

It was really simple to make as well. Cutting out, including measuring and adding an extra bit to the pattern, took about 40 minutes in between lunch and going to the library for Rhyme Time for the baby. Sewing the pieces together (front, back, front facing, back facing) and doing the hem about an hour or so although that includes time spent having a cup of coffee and watching bits of a TV programme. Then this morning I did the button holes and sewed the buttons on.

I had two difficulties, first was caused in some way by amending the size of the pattern pieces. When i sewed together, I made sure to match the symbol things (I read the instructions! So unlike me) and ended up with around half an inch longer front than back. No sure how I did it, so just cut the front piece shorter to match the back before hemming. Looks fine,

second difficulty was using the button hole settings on the machine,  I’ve NEVER used these before. I practised a bit and understood what was meant to happen. Then did the first button hole.  Success! Looks lovely. But then the second button hole was just impossible to stitch. No ides why. The needle kept picking up earlier stitches, getting in a fankle and generally making a mess. I kept trying again but it just didn’t seem to work. Eventually I got a serviceable button hole stitched up but, urgh. Was not fun.

But hey, it doesn’t really matter. For I made a dress that the girl WANTS to wear. SUCCESS!

more pictures:

the fabric, bought from the Dress Fabric Company in Edinburgh, a gorgeous navy background with really vivid strawberry print


This is one of the altered pattern pieces, I used newspaper for the extra I needed


Finished dress!


If the buttons look familiar, it’s because I used them originally on a pink corduroy dress I made when the girl was about 2 years old.I blogged about it (“Let’s address the dress”) It was a poor affair, and all but fell apart after the first wash. But the buttons were still fine so waste not want not and all that jazz!

Next project will hopefully be a skirt for me.

Sewing Projects

The Patternless Top

I finished a top! I started and almost finished this top over a year ago, then the baby bump and newborn days got in the way so it was left almost-but-not-quite finished state until yesterday when I finally bit the bullet and finished it off.

I bought the fabric from a discount bin in Kings Fabrics in Glasgow about 18 months ago (yes really!) and it languished in the fabric stash for a while. Then I thought about copying a top from GAP that I really liked so with great precision (not really!) I put the bought top on the fabric and drew around it, in a wobbly line. Then with a shaky hand I cut out two layers of the fabric. Then I cut the wobbliest bits off. Next step was the sleeves. I genuinely have NO recollection how I did the sleeves other than i know I wanted puffy sleeves, so must have planned it out as it’s happened.

As it was over a year ago, I assume I pinned it all together then stitched it. Double stitch along the back collar to neaten it up. And that’s how it sat, in a little almost finished bundle until yesterday.

I tried the top on and realised that there was NO WAY the top would fit because of my chest and because I hadn’t done anything fancy like darts or what have you. So I just cut down the middle of the front to about half way. Easy. I tried it on and it fitted. Woo! Next step was to finish off the raw edges round the front collar and the opening. I decided to face it – or possibly it was a half attempt at binding? I dunno. Anyway, I used some offcuts of the fabric and put right side to right side, stitched close to the edge, then folded it over and top stitched it (get me with my lingo, assuming its the right terminology…) then top stitched it again so there was a double stitch all the way around. I think it looked pretty neat. And I will wear it. Outside!

picture time:


The fabric is a sheer grey with pink butterflies. Don’t worry, I’ll be wearing a vest underneath…


A puffy sleeeeeve


Double stitching. I tried to neaten up the facing/inside fabric. But cutting it with a wobbly hand. Ach, I’m not bothered and it’s not a big deal.

I tried the top on to show my husband and he said that “it almost looks professional” which is a win in my book. Hooorah!