The Brigitte Dress and the Charity Shop Fabric

Fashion, Sewing

Brigitte Pattern Dress, Fabric TRAID, People Tree necklace

Dress: Handmade (fabric from TRAID)
Bag: {Think} Boutique
Bracelet: People Tree
Necklace: People Tree

I’ve only gone and made myself a dress which is actually 100%, totally wearable! HOORAH! Everything I’ve made up until now has always had something just not quite right about the fit, but this time, THIS TIME, it fits perfectly and I am beyond excited – hence the weird pose below!


Sweet, summery Sorbetto

Fashion, Sewing

So, this Colette pattern is just a little bit heavenly, isn’t it?  I’ve seen the Sorbetto top floating around the blogosphere for a while and have had it downloaded and stored on my computer for a couple of months, just waiting for the right bit of fabric.  I was lucky enough to get a Ray Stitch voucher from work last week and popped in to get some fabric for a different pattern. Unfortunately they didn’t have quite what I was after but this honey gold floral fabric from the Bee My Honey collection By Mary Jane Butters For Moda Fabrics caught my eye as soon as I walked in to the shop, and I knew it was perfect for the Sorbetto.

(If you haven’t got the pattern yet, you can get it from here. It’s free, and it’s blooming marvellous!)

Me and My Sorbettod | Photo: Laura Peta

Me and my Sorbetto | Photo: Laura Peta

As most of you probably know I have only been sewing for a year. I’ve done a few simple sews, cushion covers, simple skirts and a very simple dress (that’s not overly wearable!!), and although this is a fairly simple pattern it is the first one that I’ve attempted that involves bias binding, darts and a box pleat! With all those added extras I was a little apprehensive to say the least, but it was actually a pretty simple sew.

Darts, pleats and bias binding | Photo: Laura Peta

Darts, pleats and bias binding | Photo: Laura Peta

I have mastered French seams so I decided to give those a go too. It just makes the inside of the top look so much neater. Nothing like giving myself too much work, eh?!

French seams! | Photo: Laura Peta

French seams (and almost straight stitches!) | Photo: Laura Peta

The actual top only took an hour or so to put together, but I was completely thrown by the bias binding. It took me a few attempts, and rather a lot of stitch unpicking, especially on the arm holes, but it eventually came together pretty well.

Bias binding and front pleat | Photo: Laura Peta

Bias binding and box pleat | Photo: Laura Peta

The arm holes are a little wide, I think I may have stretched them when battling with the bias tape! Is it possible to stretch out cotton fabric, or have I just cut out the pattern slightly wrong? I know it’s not perfect, but I’m so please with how my Sorbetto top turned out. It’s the most complex thing I’ve made so far but despite it’s flaws (the darts are a little lop sided, shhh!) it is actually wearable! HOORAH!

I love Sorbetto | Photo: Laura Peta

I love Sorbetto | Photo: Laura Peta

I’m still not used to these outfit posts, I feel ever so self conscious doing them! The chap makes them a bit more fun, but I just don’t feel photogenic enough! HAHA! To counter the embarrassment I tend to just make weird faces, here’s one for you all.

Colette Pattern Sorbetto sewing

Goofing around | Photo: Laura Peta

I’d love to see some of your Sorbetto sews, and if you have any advice for bias binding arm holes it would be gratefully received!

[The Sorbetto top was made whilst listening to Hall and Oates and eating chocolate ice cream]

Happy New Year – 2014

ramblings, Uncategorized

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good bye! See ya later, 2013.

Another blog, another post about the dawn of a New Year and a whole lot of promises we won’t keep!

I had a little read through last years obligatory resolutions post and although I initially thought I hadn’t stuck to any of them on reflection it wasn’t quite so bad…

2013’s resolutions

  1. I know every year I make the resolution to keep up to date with my blog, and this year is no different, only this time I will try to update weekly. Ok, so not a complete strike through but I have been much better than I usually am, but it is no surprise that this will be resurfacing again on this years list!
  2. To get sexy legs – which is basically cut out the sugars and start running. – Okay, this definitely didn’t happen, BUT, I have signed up for 10k in May and have started training, you can follow my progress (or lack there of) here
  3. To resolve problems when they occur and let go of grudges, as Marmee March says, “Don’t let the sun go down upon your anger; forgive each other, help each other, and begin again tomorrow”  –  I am getting better at this, and I have had a lot of practice this year! HA
  4. To save, save, save and get that bank balance look jolly healthy. –  I have saved, saved, saved and even started to pay back some student loan! SUCCESS
  5. By the end of the year to have my foot on the first rung of a real job ladderStill hanging around the bottom rung but I’ve already started for the first one this week… keep those fingers crossed, readers.
  6. have opened, or be on the way to opening, my own Etsy shop. – Ok. This was a complete and utter failure.  I would still like to do it, but I’m not pinning hopes on it this year!
  7. I vow to sew sew sew and start making my own clothes –  This one I managed to do.  I have collected lots patterns, read all the blogs and books, and sewn my little socks off.  New cushion covers adorn our sofa, and an array of skirts have taken residence in my wardrobe.  I even made the dress I wore for Christmas Day! I love sewing and I can’t wait to see what I have created by this time next year

So there’s a run down of last years resolutions, but what about this year’s you say? Well…

  1. Put a minimum of £10 in a jar every week, that way rather than spending it on a sly hot chocolate here and there I will have an untouched £520 pounds by the end of the year.
  2. Run more – I mentioned this earlier.  I signed up for the BUPA 10K, so I have no excuse not to hit the streets running!
  3. Become a ballerina (ha!) – Or at least go to some adult ballet classses.  I have found some in Clerkenwell that teach absolute beginner adults! I can’t wait.
  4. As always, write more.  I have even written a list of topics so the old “I can’t think of anything to write” excuse is no more!

So there we have it.  Fairly simple goals, but ones that should see me grow and help me through the coming year.
How did you all do with your 2013 resolutions?  Do any of them over lap with this years?

Thanks for reading and happy new year!

Miette Skirt

My Miette


I have finally gotten around to spending my birthday money from my dear grandparents. My gran has been incredibly helpful and supportive of my new found need to sew, letting me test run her old machine, digging out her old patterns and sending off for new ones. My birthday money from my grandparents came with strict instructions, “Don’t spend it on bills or necessities, spend it on fabric and make yourself something nice”.

I have been a follower of Tilly and the Buttons blog since I started sewing. Her ‘Learn to Sew’ section really helped me grasp the basics, so I was thrilled to learn that she has released her own patterns and the Miette skirt is not only incredibly beautiful but also perfect for beginners! HOORAY!
So I finally headed to the local fabric shop (Ray Stitch in Angel) and picked up a nice, plain, turquoise cotton.

The pattern was simple and Tilly’s step by step instructions on her blog made the whole process so much easier. I made a few mistakes (sewing the wrong sides together…oops!) but nothing my handy stitch picker couldn’t solve. I’m so happy with how it turned out, I even wore it to work today!!

Miette Skirt

Even my bunny shoes got in on the action!

Miette Skirt close up

My first ever zigzag stitching – If only I could cut straight the seems would look so much neater!

There will be lots more Miettes on the horizon, I think I may play with the use of binding on the pockets and the hem, or maybe use a contrasting fabric for the waist and tie. No matter which way I adapt them I can safely say by next summer my wardrobe will be full of Miettes!

Polka dot and floral tie cushion cover

Cushions? I got them covered!


As you may or may not know my wonderful parents bought me a sewing machine for Christmas and I have been slowly but surely teaching myself to sew.  After attempting a few basic stitches and practice hems I made myself a skirt which I blogged about here.  Since then I have made a slightly more complex skirt, following a real pattern and have even attempted an invisible zip, although with not much success as I have no zipper foot with my machine (I really need to get myself one asap) and sewed it without.  I need to unpick and finish it up nicely so once I have finished it properly I will share my skirt woes with you.

Since I started sewing in January I have found it to be one of the most relaxing and soothing things possible.  Being a recent graduate, moving to the big city (London) and trying to make a career for myself has been a stressful and money wrangling few months.  But when the stress starts building and I see no way out of this grey, money, career worrisome slump I take to my sewing machine and suddenly life seems so much brighter.  What’s also helping is the BBC 2 show The Great British Sewing Bee, the chap often describes this programme as something taken from a dream of mine.  Hosted by Claudia Winkleman (a real favourite of mine, maybe because we have matching fringes, who knows) the GBSB takes a group of sewists (I always think sewers can easily be misread!) and puts them through their paces to create a whole range of wonderful things.  They also have a little segment to help get the general public sewing again,  one that I put to the test this week was making tie cushion covers.  A relatively quick and easy way to brighten up the living room.  I wrote out my own instructions and the chap and I popped down to the local fabric store to take a look.  He didn’t want anything floral and I didn’t want anything too plain, a slight argument ensued and finally we compromised.  The great thing about these cushions is that there is a lining for them that disguises the cushion itself, so one floral cushion with a polka dot lining for me and one dark, polka dot cushion with a floral lining for him.  He wasn’t overly convinced in the store but once he saw them taking shape he couldn’t wait for me to finish them!


Navy polka dot and floral tie cushion cover collage

Navy polka dot and floral tie cushion cover collage

We’re hopefully moving to a new flat in the next few months and I cannot wait to start making things for the new place.  Sewing has really become something I can’t live without and I’m excited about the new challenges it will bring.

Ohh deer, I’ve started sewing…


As I mentioned in a previous post my wonderful parents bought me a sewing machine for Christmas.  Getting into sewing is something that I have been wanting to do for some time, but I was a little fearful, especially as my textile classes from ten years ago were far from successful! However, I have decided that 2013 is the year I brace life by the proverbial horns and tackle everything head on.  So with this in mind I sat down and hunted for blogs that would teach me the basics.   Tilly and the Buttons is an amazing blog and the “Learn To Sew” posts were clear and easy to understand.  I have been perfecting my way through each lesson and today, finally, I plucked up the courage to make my first item of clothing; the one hour skirt.

I have been feeling rather under the weather recently, but it turns out waking up at stupid o’clock on your day off is actually a good thing.  I planned everything in my head, and once the chap was up suggested that we head to the fabric store as today was THE day!  After alot of umming and ahhing, I finally decided on a fabric …

Deer print fabricOHH DEERI followed this video from Brett Bara, and it really was rather simple…


And the finished skirt looks like ….

Finished skirt

I did encounter a few hiccups, but nothing a bit of unpicking the stitches and resewing couldn’t fix.  So there we have it, my first and relatively pain free attempt at making a skirt!

Thank you, Tilly and the Buttons and Brett Bara for showing me how simple it is to get sewing!