The Birds aka Another self drafted skirt….

Hi everyone!

Its nearly the end of August eek! Must get on with finishing my summer projects – my head cannot stay buried in the sand forever. I will have to say “Good bye summer I hardly got to know you this year“.

Anyhow, allow me to present another self drafted skirt. This one is a taffeta lined, high waist A line skirt with pockets. It’s nearly the same as this one I made in Feb however it has a waistband instead of a facing. Drafting it took about 45 mins because I faffed around with whether I was going to keep the front waist darts or not. This was important because of the pockets. The positioning of the pockets is in the dart area. In the end I just kept the darts because I wanted a fitted look. I lengthened the skirt by about 6 inches to hit my knees. The pockets were split into 2 pattern pieces – one of the pocket bag lining and one for the visible part of the skirt. I did this to reduce bulk as my fabric was a cotton canvas. A Cath Kidston cotton canvas…

Say WAHHHHHHH!!!! Yes I bought 1m of Cath Kidston ‘Birds’ fabric. For months I had been looking for something to make for the Monthly Stitch Put a bird on it Challenge (I had voted Foxes and have plenty of foxy fabric in the stash but no birds). Took a while of searching but I finally found this birds fabric as something I could get down with. Unsurprisingly I first saw it on InstaGram (Thanks IG…for a free app you are turning out to be quite expensive!)

The fabric came in this lovely spotty packaging (which I still have). It was so exciting! – the thrill of receiving a fabric package. Waiting till I had enough time to savour opening it (little people having naps ;-).  My next issue was the lining. I went shopping specifically for lining and found this red taffeta and I knew it was prefect.

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Happy mail day!
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Thought of making a
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Playing around with outfit ideas
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seriously just love this fabric.

All things assembled cutting was next. Took longer than normal because I had to get the optimal pattern placement. I did not want decapitated bird heads. So everything was cut single layers. Because cotton canvas frays it had to be overlocked straight away. I also overlocked all the lining pieces as well since I was at it.

Sewing it was quick work. I use an 80 sewing needle which made a nice difference to the stitch quality. For the waistband there were a few options for me and I tried the fold a band which was a first for me. It creates a crisp sharp waistband without a lot of work. I also did a button waistband for the first time and used a hook and bar.

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Reminds me of Cinderella the Disney original animated movie
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I think it called waistband tape..picked it up at car booty. Its make quick work of the waist band.
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Crisp fold.

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To maximise length I went for  a bias hem and it looks so neat on the insides. Its a very nice skirt – I feel very To the Manor Born in this. Love it very much, all that’s missing is a wide brim sunhat and Daiquiri with me swanning around saying “Dahlin…”.August blog photoshoot1 498Cath Kidston  birds fabric skirt
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Overall I am very pleased with this skirt …Despite the invisible zip not being quite invisible (DONE is better than PERFECT)– I enjoyed taking my time over the new techniques and getting a neat finish. Plus, the fabric is lovely, it has pockets and I think that the shape of this lends itself well to a few more skirts in different fabrics/colours that could become easy wardrobe staples.

In all honesty, I’m immensely proud of how far my sewing and dressmaking skills have come. To think just over a year ago I was tentatively dipping my toes into sewing, now I am designing, drafting and creating my own clothes!

Anyhow, you know the drill guys, til next time…



Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress aka my leap of faith dress

Hello everyone!

I am back with a leap of faith make that I am so excited to share. Leap of faith because I made no muslin in contradiction with my sewing goals from end of last year!  My waist and hip measurement fitted squarely into Grainline Studio Size 4.  After my success with the Morris blazer – I felt justified in going ahead and cutting into my fashion fabric.

Let me talk fabric. This is cotton lawn – shares top spot with linen as my favourite fabric to sew. Saw the palms and flamingoes against the navy blue and it was love at first sight for me. Initially I saw this as a Granville shirt but as I was about to cut into it – the fabric whispered “Alder shirtdress……”and the rest is history. Do you find that happens sometimes – a fabric you bought specifically for a pattern turns around and literally becomes something else? Its weird to explain but I heeded the call. Granville would have to wait for another day.

On to the pattern. I have had my eye on Alder for a while especially after seeing SewBusyLizzy’s versions here, here and here then CarlyinStitches’s versions in polka dots and batik pushed me over the edge and I purchased literally after reading the batik post. Tis so hard keeping to a pattern buying fast……ah well…

The PDF taped up beautifully. I went with the easier view A i.e without the bum ruffle. A lot of reviews mentioned the length as an issue but I decided to see how it would look before lengthening. Held up the bodice front pattern piece against me – it seemed ok. Plus if it turned out too short I could always wear it as a shirt with jeans and leggings, so fine. Deep breath and I cut.

Throughout the sewing I was nervous about whether it would fit and the moment of truth came after sewing the front and back together. It looked OK. It looked good! My faith was rewarded by a well fitting shirtdress. A lovely fitting dress that I very much love. Its very comfortable.Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress August blog photoshoot1 318 August blog photoshoot1 315 August blog photoshoot1 308 August blog photoshoot1 295


The sewalong is outstanding. I didn’t even use the instructions that came with the pattern. This pattern is well drafted and all the seams meet perfectly on point.

The yoke went in smoothly. I loved doing the pockets. I didn’t bother with pattern matching them. Does it show?

My collar making skills are improving with this collar taking less that 30 mins to do.

The buttons were harvested from an old M&S shirt that had frayed collars so could not be reasonable reused even if donated.

I love it so much I monogrammed it.August blog photoshoot1 323 August blog photoshoot1 328 August blog photoshoot1 329 August blog photoshoot1 330 Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress

This was so much fun to make. I cant recommend the sewalong enough!  There were no head scratching moments for me at all and I like that.  True to form Grainline has delivered. And I am very glad I listened to the fabric whisperings – cant even imagine this as Granville now!


Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!




Butterick B5948 Take 2: Birdy fabric

Good day, sunshine! At long last, summer is here for real and I’ve got loads of pictures of my bird fabric Butterick B5948 top.

Preamble: made before here in lilac linen.

This fabric is a gorgeous medium weight quilting cotton with a good drape and handle. Its Alexander Henry’s La Paloma in Multi from their Folklorico collection. At only 110cm (44 inch) wide its quite expensive for my pocket. How ever I really wanted it after I first saw this fabric on  Instagram. I only bought 1 meter :-).moving

The colours are beautiful jewel tones that so far haven’t faded after 2 washes.front

Mr. SNS loves this fabric. I have been trying to get him to choose a fabric for a shirt but so far he has vetoed everything I have placed in front of him.  This he was like: I wouldn’t mind a shirt in this fabric. And when he was taking pictures he was swooning over the birds. Lols. Nice that it meets his approval!Backfront 1

Construction deets: Mock french seams all around. Took longer to make up because of this. Otherwise this can be a one sitting make (a couple of hours at most).

I used red bias binding to finish armholes and neck. This is fast becoming a favourite technique for me.insides

There is some wonkiness – I cut out while watching TV and somehow  this happened. boboDidn’t even realise till sewing up. Because I cut it single layer I had to flip the pattern piece so when i flipped the back I must have shifted it… grrrrr. So it had to be patched with a scrap. But I like to think  it kinda looks design element-y don’t you think? If anybody notices I will <haughtily> say “Its my signature dahlin.”bloopers
There is still a bit of swayback but I really really like this top. Its perfect for summer sunny days like we have had this weekend. I have been wearing it with jeans and my Mabel mini skirt. I feel fabulous in it – the power of a simple top plus gorgeous print = Happy Hila! I shan’t be making another one till next year though – getting loads of wear out of this one :-). The swayback  will have to wait until then.Collagesideultimate collageHot Day August photos 395

In other news the camera is back from the fixing place so I can finally get completed project pictures. Yay! This means there will be a lot of posts over the coming week as I frantically try to blog all my summer makes before the seasons start to shift gear 🙂 Happy Days!

As always thanks for stopping my little corner of the interwebs and happy sewing everyone!



The Made Up Initiative – M6696 Muslin and Jodphurs…..

Hello all!

Its a fine Friday morning today and I hope its also a fine day where you are. Continuing on from my last post about my Made Up pledge. I decided to do a muslin post.

As per  M6696 sizing chart I cut size 8 and unusually for me this shirt dress fit right out of the packet with no alteration whatsoever. The sleeves are a bit tight near the elbow but other than that  Yay! I don’t know what the fabric used for the muslin is – its something I picked up for 90p/m from a woman who had shut down a fabric store.

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Why the pious look?…

When I looked in the mirror for the first time my thought was “I look like a mole woman!” . Yes. I am rocking the mole women look from Unbrakeable Kimmy Schmidt (if you have never seen this brilliant Tina Fey produced Netflix show look it up).

Do you see how I could easily fit between the pink and grey?

Most reviews on this pattern did not like the back gathers. side and backThe blousey back detail is actually quite nice. I like it. Considered taking it out but I wanted to see what the designer intended for the dress. Something Kate (Fabrickated) said on her post about the integrity of the pattern resonated with me so I think in future I will try to see what the designer intended it to look like before removing any key design features. Does that make sense? I hope I can stick to it.

Construction wise this dress had soooo many steps! Its cute but gawd! I have very nearly finished my actual dress. Photo shoot this weekend and hopefully blogged before deadline :-).

In other news I have bought a new garment for the first time in over 5 years! Whilst looking for thermal underwear at Aldi I came across these and they looked so comfy bought then at £12.99. Which I thought was a reasonable price.

Mr SNS doesn’t think they should be worn outside the house. “It all out there isn’t it?” were his exact words this morning when he was taking pics. Looking at the pictures I think I get what he meant. The camel colour of the jodhpurs is close to my actual skin tone it creates an almost nude effect..what do you think? To wear or not to wear? They are incredibly comfortable though I have never been horse riding – nor will I. Ever. But I can rock the look with my Sewaholic Granville :-P.jodphurs jods back

For more details of the awesome Made Up Initiative hosted by Karen of Did you Make  click to  Karen’s post here for full details. Go on and make a pledge too!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy sewing everyone!




The Made Up Initiative – I’m in!


Most of you quite possibly already know about the awesome Made Up Initiative hosted by Karen of Did you Make that. If you dont, hop skip and click to the Karen’s post here for full details.

I am in because I enjoy sewing to a challenge and this helps a cause close to my heart – Literacy.

Without further adue here is  my self-set challenge. I pledge to make McCalls M6996 Shirtdress using stash fabric by 10 September 2015 to support Made Up.

Off to sewing cave 🙂

Happy sewing everyone!



McCalls 5431 and adventures in dyeing fabric

Hello everyone!

I am back with a quick post sharing my misadventures in dyeing fabric and the making of McCalls 5431. This flared skirt has a yoke and back zipper closure; HUGE pockets! That illustration had me at hello. HUGE pockets! Purchased last year but only made about 3 months ago.

McCalls M5431

I made it in….linen! Lilac linen. This skirt consumes a lot of fabric. I made View D which is the longest skirt. The construction is very straight forward, similar to Hollyburn skirt for those who are familiar. For me the sizing was a bit on the larger side. Even though I went with the waist size nearest to my waist measurement I still had to take out 1.5″ in the center back seam to get the fit that looks like the pictures. Otherwise it was hanging off my hip (belly dancer style). Continue reading

Self Drafted Pencil Skirt No. 1 Completed.

Hi everyone!

How are you? Is summer with you yet? I hope so- in Northern England its been half and half and I am trying to make the most of it. My two eldest are really enjoying not having much structure to their day: no music lessons, homework, scouts etc. I have to admit I am letting them watch a lot more TV ….which gives me a bit more time to sew :-).

I got into a mad panic this weekend having realised that there are only 4 weeks left till Autumn!!!! Where did the time go?? I haven’t finished half of my summer sewing plans. Do you feel like you are ready to think about Autumn sewing? I am not! Like an ostrich I will stick my head in the sand for a while longer yet 🙂

I am not ready for Autumn Fall sewing pattern releases. Stop it. Just stop it. Its still summer!
I am not ready for Autumn Fall sewing pattern releases. Stop it. Just stop it. Its still summer!

And so onto something I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys! Remember my post about how I sometimes get random ideas that are not on the sewing queue (wrote about it in this post here)? Well pencil skirts is one of those. In my head I want to have about 5 pencil skirts in patterned fabrics. I got my sloper out and used Suzy Furer’s Craftsy class to draft the pencil skirt with a facing.pencil skirt 3 Continue reading