Snap! I made trousers! TROUSERS! Butterick B5895

Trousers people! I made trousers! Ok Ok calm down.

Hello everyone.

I am super excited to share these trousers that have turned out to be a very wearable muslin. I bought this pattern about a year ago now and never got round to  it from fear of the dreaded crotch seam. However I thought these were fairly harmless in that they don’t have a fly front which in my head makes me feel like it would be an Alien vs Predator scenario (I cant decide which I would be in that scenerio) Anyhow……

Butterick B5895 is described as semi-fitted, tapered jeans (rolled-up, wrong side shows) have waistband, side front pockets, stitched hems, and back zipper. The high waist attracted me like a moth to a flame :-). Before I cut out the pattern I meticulously checked my measurements against the finished garment measurements on the pattern sheet. Using those I cut  size 8 on the front and a size 10 for the back pieces. Had I used the pattern envelope measurements I would have cut size 12 which would have had way too much ease. My rationale for cutting 2 different sizes was that I have a sway back so in order to avoid the need for a swayback adjustment I would make the front smaller so it would ‘pull‘ the back in….. I am struggling to make it sound sensible but that’s what I thought at the time I was cutting. By the way this is in no way is this a proven hypothesis – I was just going by my gut. Continue reading


My football shirt….Burda 02/2016

Hello everyone,

I made a second top from the February issue of Burda. When I stepped out for the photo shoot hubs started chanting “Go Leeds Rhinos!”. That’s because this  simple blouse featuring a flattering v-neck and cuffed short sleeves has a boxy fit. Add to that the blue and yellow of Leeds Rhinoes ……it goes from this………….


Cuffed Short Sleeve Blouse 02/2016 #105C

… this…..Football shirt5 Continue reading

Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 2


Hello all!

Happy Wednesday! All good things happen on a Wednesday – at least thats what I like to tell myself. My good thing is I have time to post one of my latest makes – another beloved Renfrew top. After falling hard and fast for my first one (link here) I immediately cut out another using Spoolette fabric. This stripe was from Lucky Fashion.

So I didn’t actually have enough fabric to make the cowl neck but I REALLY wanted this fabric to be a cowl neck. So what are you going to do? Well one part of the cowl neck is on straight grain and the other is on crossgrain. Its seemed to work :-).

My stripe matching is still in its infancy but its wearable. There is nothing I can add to the construction of this top that isn’t in the excellent instructions already. My next one is a scoop neck in a plain solid colour. Ali suggested making a dress using this as the top half and I am thinking of using the Moneta dress bottom…..creating some sort of Coleholic or Sewalette………I digress..

Right. On to pictures….(this past weekend was so gloriously sunny that I had to wear my sunglasses because I was squinting so much!)

Sewaholic Renfrew Top Cowl Neck
Renfrew Top Side View
Renfrew Top Back View
Sewaholic Renfrew Top
Renfrew Top
Renfrew Cowl Neck

I really cant stop gushing over how much I love these tops. But I shall spare you.

Two Renfrews = Love!

Couldn’t resist making a collage 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and until next time

Happy Sewing!



Spring Watch Pt 2


More spring watching this past weekend. I was delighted to find that the frogs in the pond were at it! So lets start with the frogs shall we…

Frog spawn. It was very warm on Saturday so the frogs were quite busy in their orgy.
Another view of the frogs. They disappear as soon as they hear a sound but if I was patient and waited they would come out. I guess they need air to share ‘pleasure’ 🙂
There were a lot of threesomes going on as well. I did not realise how sexually liberal frogs were. This female doesn’t seem to mind though.
Those 2 in the middle brazenly staring at me were my favourites! They had been facing the other way but turned around and looked at me as if saying “And what?!We are not ashamed. F off and respect our privacy” 🙂

Moving on to plants…..

Late Grape Hyacinth. I planted this at the beginning of December last year.
I love how the Crocus seem to be opening their arms wide to welcome the sun into a big hug.
A lone crocus by the pond path.
I found this red flower but I dont know what it is – I think it may be Primrose judging by the leaves.
More sun worshiping crocuses. I love the purple ones very much.
More purple Crocuses. So cheerful with the yellow centres.
This path divides the orchard and lawn area. I worked on clearing the ivy that was taking over. Its now walkable.
The first red Camellia! The sun dipped behind clouds when I was taking this picture hence its so warm.
And here it ablaze in full splendor.

We also spotted a butterfly fluttering around but I couldn’t capture it on film. It was orangey so I think it might have been a Monarch. There were also 2 bumble bees floating around. It was a lovely sunny weekend and hopefully the first of many to come. I hope you also had a lovely sunny weekend too.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs.




Open Letter to Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 1

Dearest Sewaholic Renfrew,

When I first saw you I paid little attention. You looked pretty yes, but my eye roved elsewhere. For months you came and went from my radar yet I never quite comprehended what it was about you that kept coming back to haunt me. Was it your scoop neck that was neither too low, nor too high. Or your seductive cowl? So much has been written about you yet though I bought you home, printed, taped and traced – still I tarried left you sitting for months -nay – a year even!

Will you forgive me darling Renfrew? For now that I have made you I am both ecstatic and desolate! Ecstatic because sewing you was so simple. Desolate because I have wasted all this time without having such a wonderful staple in my  wardrobe.

Renfrew Top
Sewaholic Renfrew Cowl Neck Top
Cowl Neck on Sewaholic Renfrew
Sewaholic Renfrew Top
Renfrew Top Cowl Neck Back
Sewaholic Renfrew Top Back view

It is true what Seth Godin says:

The eyes cannot see what the brain is not ready to comprehend.

Where have you been all my life. Love you so much. So quick and easy to make. You took me as I am with no alterations. Size 4. Perfect for me. Thank you Renfrew!

Love Hila,


McCalls M7244

Hello everyone!

A bit late with this post but here is my main make using the fabulous black and white textured scuba from Fabworks. It took some time for this fabric to be paired with this pattern. I was planning on making a Coco dress version a la Love, Lucie (which is where I first saw this fabric) but it just didn’t happen. Somehow I landed on this Plenty by Trace Reese McCalls M7244 – a semi-fitted, partially lined dress (close-fitting through bust) has flounce and invisible back zipper. The fabric’s fate was sealed.

McCalls M7244

The dress is designed for medium-weight moderate stretch knits so this fabric fit the bill. Plus the rich texture of this fabric brings up the dress a notch IMHO.I cut out the size small but as soon as I compared the pattern to my knit bodice sloper I knew a swayback adjustment would be needed. I did a tricky  1.75″ swayback and that did the trick. That CB seam follows the curves of my back perfectly now. Skims rather than tight IYSWIM.

McCalls M7244 Side view

After cutting out the fabric I basted the bodice together to try it on and unfortunately it was way too big. In 1/2″ increments I got the right size for me when I had taken in the side 1.5″. I also remembered to take that off the sleeve head as well. This distorted the bust dart and I think next time I make it I will have to redraft the dart by grading the pattern down.

2.5mm Twin Needle hem
Isn’t that a lovely neckline?

I didn’t bother with the zip. It easily goes on and off. There are a few things I did that were not in the instructions:

  •  stabilising the shoulder seam. The instructions do say to double stitch but I find its more effective to use clear elastic.
  • stabilised the dropped waist seam. The dropped waist falls where there will be movement so I think it could do with reinforcement to stop it from stretching out. Plus the fabric has a bit of weight to it and the flounce does pull on the upper bodice so the extra support helps.
  • stabilised the hem for top stitching by using double sided tape and my clapper (while the material is wrinkle free it resists pressing!). It did the trick and I have minimal tunneling here.
  • that lovely neckline needs to stabilised before sewing up, otherwise it will stretch out. Staystitching is not enough. Either use clear elastic or twill tape or stay tape or fusible stay tape. I am not too happy with the bulk at the neckline and I could have topsticthed it down but that would stretched it out. Next time I will use a thinner jersey fabric for the facings to reduce bulk. I will also make the facing about 10% smaller to reduce the slight gaping at the neckline.
The rich texture really makes this dress pop.

The faced finish on the neckline is nice and clean. I was tempted to skip it (in my impatience) but I am glad I followed through. I do like that neck line – its wide and deep without being too….expansive :-).

McCalls M7244
McCalls M7244

One new thing I absolutely loved about making this is that I learnt a new skill – working with power mesh! Its fantastic stuff and in future I will use it on knit projects. I feel like it just makes the dress hang better and feels nice against my skin. It cost me £6/meter for the mesh and this used less than one meter. The instructions on how to attach the lining are frankly speaking ….. terrible. Its easy enough to see that you are supposed to sew up the lining mesh. Attach it to the neckline facing then sew the outer bit to the inner bit at the neckline. That’s what I did.2016-03-07 12.37.00 2016-03-07 12.37.09

The sleeves are set in.I am not sure if thats just me but I felt that the sleeve cap was just too high. For my next iteration I am reducing this a little bit and see how it goes.

Despite the changes I made I feel I managed to maintain the original proportions intended by the designer. This dress turned out so much better than how I pictured it my head and I love it! SO much so I have already cut another one. Its also quick to make up. I think it might also look nice sleeveless for a summer make  although this would require a bit of redrafting on the armhole.

It swishes when I stride.
…and it twirls well too!
Loving my new M7244

I like this dress. Its not often I show off my little cleavage 🙂

Thanks for stopping by until then…..

Happy Sewing!



My Spoolettes Make : Simplicity 1317

Hello chums!

Happy Mothers Day! I had a great day with many little surprises from the family. For starters my pale light coloured walls were transformed into a post modernist gallery. Each a painting from one of my little people. This was followed by a full English breakfast – a real treat for me as I always have Weetabix for breakfast.2016-03-06 08.28.30 2016-03-06 08.28.46 2016-03-06 08.28.52 2016-03-06 08.28.58 2016-03-06 08.29.05 2016-03-06 08.29.14 2016-03-06 08.29.23 2016-03-06 09.01.35 2016-03-06 09.01.41

Anyhow I hope you all had a lovely day celebrating all the mums around you.

As the title of the post suggests I have completed a project using some fabric from the Yorkshire Spoolettes meet up. Ali had given us 4 weeks to make something from the haul and I just squeaked into the deadline. To be fair I finished this a few days ago – I just didn’t get to blog it sooner. But never mind here goes.

This top is my Linden fix. To be sure I have been craving the Grainline Linden sweat top pattern but cant bring myself to buy it. I happily discovered this little gem of a pattern that I had purchased during my first Simplicity pattern sale (yes I thought that sales were very very rare and that I just HAD to snap them up before the sale goes) …<sigh>.

I cut up the size small and decided to do some blocking. Both the main fabrics were bought from Fabworks in Dewsbury. I didn’t plan on the cuffs and neck to be in a different colour but the sweater jersey used for the arms doesn’t have as much stretch even on bias. It was fine for the hem but for cuffs I wanted something I could pull up onto my elbows easily.

Simplicity 1317 3
Simplicity 1371 Sweater Top View D
Simplicity 1317 1
Wearing Simplicity 1317 with my Mabel skirt
Simplicity 1317 2
Simplicity 1317 Back View
Simplicity 1317 4
Sun! I cant see! Not used to the sun!
Simplicity 1317
Simplicity 1317

Everything was fine with this pattern except for the sleeves. They are too short in my opinion hence the extra long cuffs. Next time (yes there will be next time) I will add a good 2″ to the sleeves. Its darn quick to sew up taking just under 2 hours from cutting to finishing. I made it all on the overlocker.  This sewing with knits thing is quite addictive!

Verdict – I love LOVE this top so much. Its ridiculously comfy yet stylish enough for me to pop into M&S for my once every 2 years bra and knicker buying expedition:-). I walked out with a firm resolution to start making my own undergarments!!!!


1317 Selfie
The only thing I like about shopping in M&S is the fitting rooms! Here I was in one yesterday trying out some bras. I ended up buying only 1 bra (a strapless one) and some thermal vest that were 25% off.


Here’s to secret pyjamas! Do you have secret PJs too?

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of interwebs and until next time-

Happy sewing!

PS A sneak peak of the dress I finished today using more of this fab fabric……060316 Mothers Day 196

Another self drafted pencil sirt

Hello everyone!

This a fabric that I had been dreading to cut because of fear of pattern matching. Too many times I brought the fabric out and started pinning trying to match and always gave up. The idea of perfection was getting in the way. Eventually I just decided to just do  it! I failed at pattern matching but thats ok.Self drafted Pencil skirt 3

Ok so on to technicalities…..The difference between this skirt and the previous one (link here) I made is that this one was made from a knit sloper. The first one was from a woven sloper. Thinking on it now I am not sure why I did that.Self Drafted Pencil Skirt 2

Making a knit skirt sloper basically uses the woven sloper as the base. All the darts are removed from the side to give it a more rounded shape. I also pegged it in about an inch athe hem for a more pencil -y shape.Pencil skirt

I loved sewing this up because it has to be my fastest make to date. Took me less than 30 mins using my overlocker. Hem was just zigzaged. I have said before that I like the twin needle but sometimes I just dont feel like stopping to set it up.I have been wearing this a lot with tights and boots and its just so nice, warm and comfy.pencil skirt 2

I am happy I have used up the fabric thats been in my stash for over 18 months. Most of the fabrics I purchased at the beginning of my sewing journey are frankly speaking …….think word that rhymes with hit, bit, kit 🙂 ….but I think this is one occasion where I didn’t do too bad. DO you ever look at some of the fabric you bought early in you sewing journey and just slap your head?Self drafted Pencil skirt 1

Its the First day of spring people!!!!!!!!

Thank you for stopping by,

Happy sewing