SWAP2017: An Over and a Lower

My SWAP has 4 overs which are :

  1. Fitted shirt in shocking pink.
  2. Embroidered fitted top
  3. Knitted red and white jumper
  4. White tie back top
  5. A ‘rogue’ dress

For this post I am looking at the pink fitted shirt and the yellow maxi skirt.

Fitted Shirt


Sewaholic Granville and I got back a long way. See here <link>. Its a tried and true patterns that I love.

I had already seen the shocking pink fabric at the Shuttle in Shipley before deciding on the SWAP colours. Once my colours were settled, I was forced to go back to The Shuttle (I want to be clear on this – I did NOT want to go to a fabric shop but in the spirit of SWAP I had to – I was a reluctant  fabric shopper – those other fabrics followed me home – I was reluctant but I am so proud of myself for my restraint). Luckily it was still there when I went back and I bought 3 meters of it. Its  a stretch cotton sateen that was interesting to work with.

I cant say its been my best sewing experience ever. I found that the sateen had a strong needle memory and I couldn’t unpick the fabric without creating a visual disturbance. I quickly caught on though and started using wonder clips instead of pins where necessary. I also needed to use a walking foot to prevent it stretching out as I sewed. It also why I opted not to topsticth the button placket.

Because of the stretch nature of the fabric it is very comfortable. Pictures do not do this fabric justice. Its is very bright pink. As in incredibly in your face unapologetic pink. It makes me happy.

Yellow Maxi Skirtyellow20maxi20skirt

For the maxi skirt I used the skirt portion of the Anna dress. I love this pattern and have made it several times already. The fabric was hard to come by. I wanted a really bright sunshine yellow. I did something I haven’t done before – ordering loads of swatches. I must say that made me feel very grown up indeed. I eventually found the right colour and weight from an Ebay shop called (apologies in advance to any brexiters reading this) EuroFabrics. Its a very beautiful high quality stretchy crepe with viscose fabric that has a micro texture. It has a bit of give on the cross grain which makes for a very comfortable wear.

I sewed up the skirt but while checking fit I realised that I wanted pockets. I try to add pockets where I can in a way that doesn’t interfere too much with the design lines. Because this skirt is close fitting at the hip, in seam pockets would not have worked. So I decided to draft quasi-patch pockets that attach at the princess seams. I felt like this was the most sympathetic addition of pockets.

I still have the option of cutting out the thigh slit but as yet am undecided. I quite like it as is for now. Initially the plan was to add a narrow waistband but I didnt like after the initial basting – it made it even  more high waisted that I was envisioning. So it was Petersham ribbon to the rescue!!!  The only fly in the ointment , however is that I did think it needed lining but when I wore it for pictures – I could see my panty lines – as I grow older I get less keen on VPLs on my own self. I have since bought some lining to add which is an easy fix. I will only line the upper third of the skirt. The other option is to go commando when in this skirt and……. mmm……..again as I get older I am less keen on the whole going commando thing 🙂


SWAP2017 Granville Shirt and Anna Maxi skirt


So here we are reader, the first 2 of my 11 SWAP2017 blogged. Whats next? The orange skirt I think….undecided

Thanks so much for stopping my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time,

Happy sewing!

Peace and love,



10 Fashionable Ways to style a Sewaholic Granville Shirt #OWOP16

Hello everyone,

I decided to join the One Week One Pattern (OWOP) challenge when CinderEllis announced it on her blog. The premise of OWOP  is that you select one pattern that you have made and you pledge to include that garment in your daily outfit for the week. It tends to be a lot easier if you select a pattern you have made more than once.

It didn’t sound like a great premise to me at first because well, why would I want to wear the same thing for 7 days when I have so many handmade things in my closet? Well, the beauty of this challenge, as I discovered, is that it really pushes you (at least it did for me) to find ways of overcoming wardrobe ennui. When wardrobe ennui starts to set in, the best way to beat it is with clever styling tricks. So I’d say that OWOP is more of a styling challenge rather than a wardrobe wearout challenge which inevitably happens with something like MeMadeMay.

I selected my beloved Granville shirt because for me the Granville is a fun style staple. Of course, I was also swayed by the fact that I have made 5 of them :-). Click here for all my Granville shirts makes.

Can I just say that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of having to style them everyday for a week. So much that by the time the 7 days were up, I still had an appetite for more. Big thanks to Hannah for taking the time to host this challenge. I was so inspired by the many people who participated and again my fabric and pattern wish list has grown!

So here are my ways of wearing the Granville shirt. Enjoy 🙂 Picture quality is not the best – some days there was better light than others.

Keeping with light hues for a relaxed smart casual look.
Sleek silhouette with a pencil skirt.
Paired with a voluminous skirt. Need I say more?
Paired with Butterick B5895 and a skinny bright belt for a pop of colour.
My sleeveless chambray Granville with a vintage 80s skirt creates a simple look with light hues.  I chose the wider belt to match the shoes.
Simply pairing with jeans and a slim belt works a treat.
Tis the season for layers. The sleeveless Granville is ideal to fit under a blazer.
Double Sewaholic pairing – my denim Hollyburn goes perfectly with the chambray Granville (quite possibly my favourite because of the blue on blue action 🙂
Another double Sewaholic day here, decidedly autumnal. I got a lot of compliments when I was wearing this outfit
 Another favourite combo. Can you guess why? 🙂 Skinny silver belt and silver brogues complete the look.

I reckon I did OK with my sartorial choices but next time I would like to be bolder in my styling :-). I learnt that button-down shirts like the Granville can be dressed up or down and can be styled in countless creative ways.

Are you the proud owner of a Sewaholic Granville (or any) button-down shirt? How do you prefer to style yours? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by.



Sewaholic Granville No. 5

Hello everyone,


It seems I cannot go 6 months without making another Granville shirt. So I present to you my 5th rendition. Made in a medium weight cotton fabric. I liked the green and fuschia floral print.

There is nothing new to add about this shirt except that I experimented with using snaps. I believed that it would be faster and easier than buttons and buttonholes – how wrong I was -_-.

Pictures ahoy……….

Sewaholic Granville

Continue reading

Sewaholic Granville No. 4

Hello everyone,

For me few things look more together than a quick pairing of jeans (preferably clean) and a well fitting shirt. Having discovered a shirt that suits my lifestyle, I may have made a 4th Granville shirt :-).

The floral fabric was purchased from Ebay over a year ago and I cant say what sort of fabric it it. Its definitely cotton – not fine enough to be lawn and not heavy enough to be quilting cotton.

I have already regaled with the details of fitting here and made 2 further ones in paisley and floral so there is not much else to add.

Perhaps construction wise I made it a lot faster. I can’t imagine making a shirt without using flat felled seams. There is an almost meditative joy in flat felling for me. For the buttons I used repurposed Crew Clothing Co from an old old old shirt.

Some pictures taken a while back.Summers End 15 383

Summers End 15 389 Summers End 15 397 Summers End 15 403 Summers End 15 406 Summers End 15 408Summers End 15 343 Summers End 15 363

I quite simply love the Granville.

In other news I have realised that sewing is one of my favorite ways to refresh. When I am not doing things that I love, that feed my soul then…….well I’ve learned from experience that when I am depleted, I’m not the wife, mother, or friend I want to be. The more I feed my own soul, the more I have to give out.

The only problem is time. Since I can’t clone myself a la Multiplicity ( a great movie if you haven’t watched) or simply wish for more hours in a day – I must make the time.

We all know that doesn’t happen automatically. It needs to be planned, especially if you are responsible for the daily care of kids among other things. I find these stages of constant giving can be draining.  I haven’t yet quite figured out how I will do it but my thinking hat is on. Just the realisation was a huge shift for me. I now know I dont have to feel guilty about spending money on patterns or fabric or time in my sewing cave. Because it actually makes me a better person. On that note many thanks for reading this far into my ramblings.

Happy Sewing




Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1 & Sewaholic Granville

Hello all,

How are you doing? I am ok. Its been a little while since posting but I have been beavering away. First of all I entered the PR Sewing bee. Round 1 was a fitted blouse and well I  knew I had to make a Sewaholic Granville in paisley print cotton lawn. It did not take me long to make at all since my focus was on an outstanding finish and there was little by way of fancy details. I believe I just squeaked into Round 2 by the skin of my chin. The level and quality of makes was incredible and tbh I didn’t think I would get to Round 2. But somehow I did. Before I go on to talk about Round 2 here is my review :

Sewing Bee Round 1 – Fitted Blouse

Pattern or style used and how it fits the criteria:
I love the Sewaholic Granville shirt. I have made it before and spent a lot of time sorting out the fit but once I nailed it it was well worth all the time and frustration! So when I saw this competition I knew it had to be Granville for me. So Granville is a perfect criteria fit because..well…its awesome. Seriously though its designed for wovens. It has a button closure and a collar. The fantastic shaping is achieved by bust darts, a yoke and two princess seams at the back. The side seams also curve in towards the waist. This combo means it can really follow the body contours. It has set in sleeves.
And I made it using cotton lawn.
(I think I ticked all the boxes phew…..next step…)
Fabric Used-Material Content and Yardage:
The fabric is a deliciously gorgeous lush cotton lawn (100%) which I purchased at a local market.I bought 1.5m (sorry for the imperial guys I was raised on metric and have never been able to get my head round imperial). I saw the paisley print and it was love..sweet love at first sight. I can squeeze a Granville out of 1.4m by using a different layout to the suggested one. I have also traced out the pattern and reduced the seam allowances to 1/2″.
The fabric has good handle with a good amount of drape not too stiff and not too flowy either. But this babey can hold a crease like no other. It was such a pleasure sewing and ironing it.

Describe your closure:
The closure on the Granville is a simple button band of 1″ extension folded over an interfaced backing. The backing has a seam allowance to tuck under so as to encase raw edges. This is for both sides. I used lightweight interfacing because my fabric is so fine I didn’t want it to stiffen up too much. For the first time I used fray check on the button holes – it was a bit meh for me. It did make it easier to slice the buttonholes open though. Sewed regular buttonholes.

Describe the other components you used (e.g. buttons, collar, sleeve type, trim, pockets, contrast, etc):
For buttons I used some reclaimed buttons from an old Crew Clothing shirt of my hubby’s. I decided to sew them in with the navy so that there would be little contrast between the white buttons with the dark center. The shirt has a stand collar which was fun to sew up. The upper and under collar were interfaced using lightweight interfacing. I trimmed just under 1/8″ from the uninterfaced pieces to get the turn of cloth which produced a very neat collar I am incredibly ridiculously proud of. My collar points are as perfect as I can get them by using a technique I found on a shirt making blog.
I didn’t put pockets because I never use pockets in front of my boobies. Looking after 5 little people means I bend over A LOT and nothing stays in a shirt pocket.
For the cuffs I took a page out of my favourite RTW Uniqlo work shirt cuff and cut the corners to have a nice shape. I love it especially since it means no turning corner points.

Describe the fitting technique(s) you used to achieve shaping:
My fitting issues with the Granville were at the back. Its drafted for the pear shape body type. The front was fine and I didn’t need to do anything with the bust darts. There was a lot of pooling fabric at the back which I got rid of by pinning out a wedge along the center back. I pinned (actually hubby did cause I cant pin my own back Once I was happy with the back I had to do some maths to determine how much needed to be taken out at waist then dividing that equally among the 4 seams (2 side seams and 2 princess seams). Then it was a case of coming in 3/8″ at the waist and tapering to zero at underarm. Downward I reduced the flare of the shirt at the hem to have a more fitted snug the bum kind of look.

Indicate here that you included the photos required – Remember that the required 3 photos MUST be on a live model (although head may be omitted/obscured) and blog links are NOT allowed:
1. Front [Required]:yep!
2. Back [Required]: Roger that!
3. Inside detail [Required]: AB – so – Lu -Tely!
4. [Optional]: mmmm ok then
5. [Optional]:uh huh!
Describe what you like most about this blouse:
I love the way it goes with just about anything! it looks great tucked into a skirt for a more formal look or tucked with jeans for a casual weekend look. Its very comfortable. I can move my arms without restraint because of the yoke design feature. Its a versatile pattern.

Describe your biggest challenge in creating this blouse:
For this particular blouse the biggest challenge was sewing flat felled seams. I had not done completely flat felled seams before and I am very pleased with this outcome. I even did them on the armholes! This is a set in sleeve so it had all the gathering at the sleeve cap to contend with. I trimmed the sleeve side and flat felled over the sleeve ( hope that make sense). The tailors ham came in really handy here because of the curve on the armhole. I probably should have Googled a tutorial but I was in such a good groove making this that I didn’t and just went with the flow. It wasn’t all smooth sailing – I unpicked the first armhole twice before nailing it. I doubt that I will ever make a set in sleeve without flat felled seams again – they are so neat and professional looking. Worth all the hassle.

What other information would you like to share about this blouse and your process?

I thoroughly enjoyed making this shirt. My focus was on creating a shirt that was as neat on the inside as the outside. I feel like I achieved that and that makes me very happy ;_)

And some picturesGranville 4 Granville 5 Granville Shirt Details interior and exterior Granville Sewaholic Granville 1 Sewaholic Granville 2 Sewaholic Granville 3 Sewaholic Granville

For Round 2 In this round you will add surface embellishments to existing fabric to make a piece of fabric (or fabrics) something truly unique. You will then make a garment out of the fabric(s) that you embellished. Because the embellishment process may take additional time, participants will have TEN days for this round.

Mmmm yeah! I was like WTF!!! Anyho spent all day feeling nonplussed by the challenge because I couldn’t think of what to do aside from dyeing fabric which seems very boring…I am looking into embroidery now. I learnt how to do embroidery a long time ago when I was around 9yrs old at school. I happened to speak with my mum telling her about the challenge when she reminded that I used to be so good at embroidery that I got a 1st in show at the county show a couple of years running. Something I had relegated to the dustbins of my memory for some reason. So the short of it is : I am exploring embroidery and will see where that takes me. I may not feel very excited about this challenge but, by golly I will give it my best shot!

On to other mundane things I have had to deal with sewing wise: this happened yesterday and I was not impressed (that’s putting it mildly):
2015-08-29 21.31.40

I had been wearing it all day and this happened around 6pm in the evening. Luckily I was back home when it happened. Cant be bothered to reinstall an invisible zipper . It will either be a lapped zip or an exposed zip. Jury’s still out on that one. Have you had a wardrobe malfunction too? Has said malfunction been fixed? I really like this skirt and I really ought to fix it as soon as possible but….there are so many things to sew!!! Argh!!! Why did nobody tell me the life of a sewcialist would be so filled with mind boggling dilemmas!

Rant over. Thanks for listening 🙂

….and  for stopping by this little corner of the interwebs.



Sewaholic Granville

Hello Everyone!

Carrying on from my last post about  Sewaholic Granville I have my first Granville in proper fabric! It took a couple of days to make this.

But first let me talk about the sleeves. Since the last one was sleeveless I didn’t go into any detail about the sleeves. I made a couple of changes to the sleeves. The reviews mostly said the sleeves were on the long side. I reduced sleeve length by measuring the sleeves on my favourite work shirt. The sleeve lost 1.5″ as a result. Another change I made was the cuff: rounded corners instead of points as I don’t like/ am not very good at poking out corners. My favourite work shirt has rounded corners too so it provided inspiration ;-).

Speaking of poking out corners, I Pinterest stumbled upon this collar method on Off The Cuff Sewing Style blog and gave it a go. Using this method produced my sharpest points to date. Check it out its very interesting. For the seam finishes I just overlocked the topstitched. I want to try flat felled seams though for next time. The buttons are from Mr SNS’s old Marks and Spencer shirt that has also adorned my Holyburn skirt pockets. It has served me well.

Moving on to the fabric. It is a busy print cotton poplin which handles like a dream. Responds so well to the iron. I love fabric like that. Its not too drapey but has enough structure to hold a crease. I bought it sometime in March specifically to make a Granville after seeing Pips’ (thegirlinateacup). I felt that it looked a little bit like Liberty albeit a cheap imitation at £5/m ;-). I also thought that a busy print without having to worry about pattern matching was called for. One sweet day I will make it in proper nauseatingly expensive Liberty!

Less words more pictures……

angular shot
Ta Dah!!
another back view
Back detail.
My collar points!!
Ridonkulously proud of my points!
Placket and rounded cuff detail.
ep ep
ey shot
Kids about to photo bomb me! Hell No!”!!!
front shot
I just really liked this shot
Granville back
Closer look at the back.
I even monogrammed it 😉
side granville
Rolled up sleeves – how I mostly wear shirts.
Granville side
Love the curved hem and how it hugs the body.
last onr
Side view
nostalgic granville
No now I am trying to be serious. Really!

Granville front happy

I love this shirt – can you tell?

Thanks again for stopping by and until next time Happy sewing!







Hello Sewaholic Granville the Muslin

Hello everyone!

Hope you are all having a good week! Mine has been busy with work seeing little sewing action. I do have a post about my Sewaholic Granville muslins.

I bought this pattern along with the Oakridge blouse during the 33% off sale. Bargain!

I read pattern reviews and learnt that Sewaholic drafts specifically for a pear shaped figure. I knew that there would be a lot of work on my part to fit my as yet unfigured out body shape. I have no idea how I would classify my shape consequently I pay very little attention to that when buying patterns. I just see something I like and I go for it.

I digress, ok back to the good stuff….. 

Muslin numero 1 was made up in a stripey linen. I blocked off an entire weekend to fit until I got a working pattern. And it took that weekend and more!

I cut a size 4 and sewed it up. Enjoyed the process of the burrito yoke method.

Fit wise there was way too much fabric at the back but the bust was fine. Yeahy! No bust adjustments!

granvilee muslin
Left picture showing back with the pooling fabric – swayback. Pics 2 and 3 post adjustments.

For the back I had no idea what to do so I pinched out the side seams. When that didn’t work I took to Instagram and IG buddies came to the rescue. I took a wedge out of the center back in an unconventional way.

From what I gather (after I had done my unconventional fix) a traditional swayback adjustment is when you take the fabric out on the horizontal line but i took my wedge out vertically. I pivoted along grainline IYSWIM. It made sense at the time I was doing it and  it seemed to do the trick. I also pinched abou 1/4″ out the yoke piece. Once I did those adjustments I was happy enough with the fit to move on to the sleeves!

pattern pieces
Pattern pieces that had the most change were the side backs and the back center pieces. The original pattern is underneath the adjusted one.

The plackets were a real nightmare. I have had issues with those on both muslins so next time I am using a placket template I found through a Youtube tutorial here. I cut my losses and moved on to fitting the sleeves. They were fine but I didn’t like the way the sleeves kind of dropped off my shoulder. So I raised my sleeve cap ( still not to sure what this means but in my head it means pinching out the top bit of the sleeve so the seam is sitting on top of my shoulder). And that did the trick.

I then transferred my pattern changes. Once that was done I cut out the next muslin. End of weekend.

The next weekend I sewed up Numero 2. The light weight chambray was just divine! It has such a fantastic drape and handle – cutting and sewing it was such a pleasure. I get excited just recalling how lovely it was to work with ;-). Due to the placket issue I abandoned the sleeves and made it sleeveless with bias bound armholes.

So here it is! I am very happy with the fit. granville2granville Granvilee granville 3 granville back granville1

Verdict: “The harder the battle the sweeter the victory” ….it took a lot of time and effort. There were many times I wanted to give up but it is so worth it! I have cut out 2 more already that need to be sewn up. An awesome pattern if you dare to put in the graft to sort out the fit but if you are lucky enough to be pear shaped you might just get the perfect fit straight out of the packet!

Speaking of pear shape do you know what your body shape/type is?  I never noticed that Vogue McCalls patterns have body shape recommendations on them…Does it even matter? Or is being able to fit any pattern to your body the sewing skill to aim for? Share your thoughts down below!

Thanks for clicking by and as always happy sewing!




Added 23/05/2015

Here is a diagram trying to show how I dealt with my pooling fabric. Its not a sanctioned method or anything its just what I did – in fact there are probably many thing wrong with how I did but I got lucky and it did the trick for this project. So I guess it a lucky fluke.back adjustment