Clothing the children · Sewing Projects

I might have unblocked my sewing mojo

At last. Finally. I’ve made something. Two things, in fact!

I had a bit of a break over the summer after I made a top and a vest for myself, and then even more of a break as we had a new floor put in the kitchen and everything (EVERYTHING) in the room had to be moved out and relocated (some…most…of it is still relocated. Let’s just close the door on the spare room and never go back in there…) which included the sewing machine. And with one thing and another I just couldn’t be bothered.

then I could.  Because I had some lovely fabric and the children demanded clothes to be made from it. It’s a lovely heavy jersey, grey background with trees and bears printed on it. Just right for autumn and winter.

I made the boy a long sleeve top (trusty old Ottobre design) with an adapted neck line. Adapted because I wanted to have the option of him wearing it rolled down like a normal sweater or rolled up like a polo neck in place of a scarf. And not at all because i cocked up with the original neckband and ripping it out made me cry and not want to try it again.  Not at all.

anyway, is always the case, he LOVED the top. To look at. To wear?  Let’s look at how he reacted…


Note – you can see my multifunctional collar there. Once you get over the wee face of “no mummy, mummy not do that me”. Anyway. It got worse…

IMG_0744He ran away at this point. Dragging the top off.  The child has no appreciation of my mad sewing skillz.

Anyway. On to the other child. The slightly more appreciative one. The one who occasionally agrees to wear something I have made for her on her request.

she asked for a skirt in the same material.  I searched a bit for patterns but only half heartedly as I knew I could just whip one up in an afternoon.  Then I laughed at myself because that’s what all these bloggers say, and they do indeed whip up their items in one afternoon while I am sitting there at my kitchen table, swearing as I jab myself with the fecking seam ripper, unpicking a badly sewn neckband.  But I gave it a go.

once I had tidied away the den

IMG_0749Okay, so maybe i got started first and then when shit got real and I had to attach that skirt waistband to the skirt, I procrastinated and tidied away the den. Potaytoes potahtoes. (Also – the children were upstairs rampaging through another room, I wasn’t a total killjoy, they had abandoned the den.)

Back to the skirt. My pattern – self drafted. So only myself to blame, really, if things went wrong.  Waist band was made out of two wide strips (measuring I don’t know inches long because I forgot to measure it), joined at the short ends to make a circle. The skirt was one long strip 36 inches wide by 15 inches long. I sewed up the short ends to make a circle, then pleated the top edge all the way along so that it fitted the waist band. Neat.  Then I folded over the waistband and hand stitched at each 1/4 mark point. Two reasons – my top stitching is shit, and I was running out of black thread. It looks ok. Then I hemmed the bottom, brought it up about 2 inches due to my tendency to always make things too big.

End result:

IMG_0750Aces.  (And ooh – lovely floor!)



and how long did it take me? Guess!


two hours, tops. And that includes den tidying away time.

I don’t have a picture of my daughter wearing it, because she only put it on for five minutes and wouldn’t cooperate. She claims it’s a thumbs up, so i feel like I can force her into it now.

But I am pleased. I’m happy with the makes and the finish of them. And as I have noticed over the summer that I am choosing to wear clothes I have made over shop bought stuff, I am in the game for making more items for myself.

Lets see what autumn brings.

Clothing · Sewing Projects

Finally! I made my Renfrew!

about two years ago, my sister gave me a fabric+pattern Sewaholic Renfrew kit. It was either for Christmas or my birthday, so long ago I cannot remember. And it has sat in my sewing stash ever since.  Occasionally I would pull out the fabric or have a look at the pattern, but I always folded it away again because i was a bit reluctant to cock up the nice fabric and was concerned I’d end up with something unwearable.

then I made my cloud top last week. I love it. And it gave me the confidence to just cut the damn fabric. In the space of a week, I cut out the pieces, sewed it together and I’m wearing it right now.

IMG_0509(Maybe I should have brushed my hair after all… never mind. Hello!)

now, there are a few things I’m a bit unsure about. What does “finish the seams” mean? Because when I finish my seams, that’s pretty much me looking at the seam I’ve stitched and then muttering “that’s that done then” and moving on. I will assume this is the case for everyone.

another is the sizing on the packet. Do i go with my measurements – this was a 14 on this pattern – or by the “finished garment” measurements? Because I’ve ended up with a top that is at least one size too big. I’m not too worried about that (my superior clothes washing abilities will get it shrunk in no time) but it’s a bit unclear which one I should follow. If I go for the finished garment size I could end up with something too small…


i like it. The fabric itself is a lovely heavy jersey, just right for the inbetweeny snow/sun weather we have these days (often the same day) in nearly highland Scotland. I like the way the neck is finished (“there, that’s done now“)

IMG_0508Although I have got a tiny pick up on the front neck, I don’t care. Because I MADE THIS AND I AM WEARING IT AND ISNT THAT BRILLIANT?!

i like the cuffs and waistband insertion too

IMG_0507I didn’t top stitch around the seam here because I was worried about over stretching the cuffs. Because of the over sized nature of this (next time I’ll size down), the sleeves are quite loose already. But as I said, my wonder washing techniques will sort that no problem.

here it is, in all it’s glory

IMG_0506I love it.

and what I love most of all is that I actually did it. Fandabbydozi.

next item on the books is a cloud to for my daughter. Her expectations are worryingly high…


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?

Review · Sewing Projects

Magazine review – Stitch Your Style

Last month I bought a sewing magazine. Hooray, I thought, a magazine with free patterns and lots of handy hints and tips to get my sewing mojo back (and somehow generate an extra 5 hours a day to make use of all these things).

I’m sure I’m not the only person who stands in the newsagent staring at the seemingly abundant options for hobby magazines. There are all sorts of quilting, crocheting, knitting, paper crafting, modelling, stitching and sewing magazines out there. After rifling through a good dozen or so, and discounting those that give you patterns for two dozen item but prints them all on the same page which makes me cross eyed and grumpy before even attempting to cut or trace them, I went for Stitch Your Style (June 2015 issue).


The magazine came with 3 free proper patterns:


This one I might well make for my daughter.

plus two other adult onesimage


The first set, trousers and tunic tops, look pretty… Retro. In not so nice a way. The dress pattern looks simple enough. BUT the patterns are all petite.  PETITE.

isnt that a bit of a gamble? Not all readers are going to be petite. Nor petite refuges from a 1970’s cocktail party.  I felt slightly annoyed, I should have checked the size before I bought, I know, but hadn’t expected the patterns to be so small.

In addition, the magazine itself has only been flicked through. Initial readings showed it to be quite dated, whether that’s a reflection of the free patterns or me being (un?)reasonably annoyed with it from the start I don’t know. I

I’m not going to buy it again though, there are LOADS of other magazines I can buy that looked interesting.

if I manage to use the patterns, I will blog. But at the moment this magazine gets a thumbs down from me. I’m a harsh reader and easily disappointed.