SWAP2017 Pt 6: By Hand London Anna Dress in Frida Kahlo

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>.

This is the fifth garment that I made for the SWAP2017 capsule – an endeavour which started in 2016! I did finish this in time for the April 2017 deadline but for some reason its taken its time to get to the blog.

The capsule plan was to have one statement-y dress.

My SWAP2017 “Vision Board”

There was a limit on how many patterns you could use – the max was 8 patterns for 11 garments. I used the Anna dress because it could be easily modified.

The trick was to find a fabric that I loved but that could go with all the other pieces. After much searching, I eventually landed on the Frida y Catarina fabric in a blue background on EBay. To say I fell for this fabric is an understatement. I freaking love this fabric and consequently the dress.

I have made the Anna dress three times before. I have not made it using a medium weight quilting cotton like this Alexander Henry fabric. Ruth’s Core Couture tutorial was a godsend. She shows with well-detailed instruction and rationale how to prevent neckline gaping that can be an issue with wide V necklines. You can check out the tutorial here – a must-read for anyone who has ever been exasperated with a neckline that won’t lay flat.

Stay tape in the neckline of the BHL Anna Dress

The results more than speak for themselves. I have since used that same approach on many more projects with great results.


When we went to the US last year for my FIL’s 70th birthday celebrations I took it along. Its one of what I like to call “The Magnificent 3” dresses. Whenever I wear any of those 3, I get a lot of compliments. I will probably write up a post about them and why I think they get so many compliments – advance spoiler – it is not about the dress per se. Anyway, I digress pictures.

BHL Anna Dress on location in Central Park, New York – hence the walking sandals ūüôā
BHL Anna Dress

The fabric is a border print and I was not keen to cut into the print. I cut the bodice on the cross grain so that the Frida print was only at the hem. The skirt pieces are rectangles with darts added. The darts matched up with the bodice darts. That created the A line shape of the skirt. I contemplated adding pockets but decided that the design lines were more important. My problem is that I do actually use my pockets heavily and there are some styles that look and feel odd to me when the pocket is in use.

The hem is exactly at the selvedge edge. I wanted the maximum length I could get. It used 3 meters of fabric with very little scraps. The benefit of quilting cottons like the Alexander Henry ones is that they do wash and keep the colours well. I imagine that in time, with more washes, the fabric will get softer. The thought brings a smile to my face as I hope to be wearing this dress for decades.

Picture was taken in May this year – with my frohawk and post SticthRoom Sewcial so my eyebrows were neat ūüôā
I love the vibrant orange flowers on the fabric.  BHL Anna Dress
Power pose….LIKE A BOSS!!! BHL Anna Dress
BHL Anna Dress

Last week on Saturday I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit in London – I believe that’s what prompted me to finally write about this dress on the blog. I am still processing my thoughts on the experience and will be writing a post about it soon.

Back to the SWAP2017 – I still have more of the garments to write about and those posts should be ready…..soonish :-).

In the meantime, I do have a video on my YouTube channel if you’d like to see this dress in motion.

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,



SWAP2017 Pt 5: Ansterick Holsten Sweater and an Experiment in pre washing yarn

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For one of my uppers РI opted for a  knitted item. The inspiration was based on a Bella Freud 1970 Jumper . This jumper retails at £300.

The pattern I used was the Holsten jumper by Anstrick. 

Once I had selected the pattern the next challenge was finding the bright red yarn colour. Someone on Ravelry recommended Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton DK yarn. The yarn has a lovely lustre to it and it had a lipstick red shade that looked promising. I ordered several balls of different reds from various brands but this was the one that nailed it. Luckily they also had the black and white of the same yarn.

The next challenge was how to prevent bleeding. From the many posts that I read where people had knitted with red and white or black and white Рthere was a bleeding issue when the garment was washed. After ruminating on the issue for a while I thought that maybe I could try pre-washing the yarn before knitting to reduce any bleeding potential in the same way we prewash fabric for sewing.

Luckily the yarn comes in skeins. My first attempt was a bit of a travesty because I didnt do anything to prevent the yarn from tangling. On my second attempt, I loosely tied the skein at 4 different points so that I could easily reconstitute the skein.

The prewashing process involved filling the sink with hot water and soaking for about an hour, gently wringing the water out and repeating until the water ran clear. For the red this took approximately 4 soakings, the black took 6 soakings to run clear. I also did the white twice because I needed it to have a similar texture to the black and red.

After drying out the skeins I then had to wind them into yarn balls. There were a lot of online tutorials to help. I used a kitchen roll tube and spent several hours balling up the skein. It was tedious but I think it was worth it in the end. 

Dryng the prewashed yarn

Pre washed and un washed side by side
Prewashed on left. Has a ‘fuller’ look and feel. Unwashed on right.


I swatched with 3.75, then 3,5 but it was 3,25 that got the correct stitch gauge. I should have done some mods since the pattern calls for fingering 4 ply but my yarn was DK. However, I still do not understand these things so I went on ahead with the proviso that I would be trying it along the way to see what I need to change. On the whole this worked, I think I managed to get away with it :-).

This pattern knits up quite quick since it all stokinette stitch. It was also a great opportunity for me improve my Portuguese knitting skills. I think the fit is quite good. Yarn feels comfy against my skin.

The prewashing seems to have worked. When I washed this there was no bleeding.

And here I am wearing it last year.

The pattern instructions were very clear and well written. I learnt some new techniques like the saddle stitch for the raglan sleeve. It may not be the best but I had a great time knitting this. I’d have liked to do add in a HILA motif on the white section but my skills are not yet there. I am still very happy with this jumper.

Finally, I used just under 5 skeins of red and less than 1 skein each of black and white. The total cost of the yarn was £50.48. Not bad considering the inspiration retails at £300. Win!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internets. Until next time, happy knitting!

Peace and love,










Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,


SWAP2017 Pt 4: Sewaholic Hollyburn & Granville Shirt

Hi guys!

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For my lower, I had the Hollyburn skirt which was to be made in an orange bright orange fabric.

I bought the fabric from Fabworks. It’s a cotton twill weave which also has a geometric¬†pattern. It has spandex it with some (about 3% stretch on the cross grain).

Instead of a facing, I used Petersham ribbon on the waistband. Pink satin bias binding on outside

Sewaholic Granville modified –

The fabric is linen dyed a navy blue using Dylon washing machine dye. This was one of the few successful results from my experiments with dyeing fabric.

The embroidery is from Kate N Rose patterns which I had bought over 3 years ago but hadnt ever bothered with it. It’s called Faraway Garden. When Kate was helping me with inspiration pictures I remembered that I had it somewhere in my digital files. Unfortunately marking dark fabric was challenging. Chalk faded away easily and my Frixion pens were not very easily visible. Patience is not one of my strong virtues and eventually, I reached a point which I just wasn’t¬†bothered. But that’s¬†ok – I realised that I am not yet at the beautiful intricate embroidery stage. That’s¬†okay.

I eliminated the center front button placket. The front is sewn together¬†with a flap for snaps of some sort (am yet¬†to do this). I made it sleeveless by raising the armscye by 1/2″ and narrowing the shoulder by 3/4″. This makes it have a closer fit around the armhole. I bias bound the armholes using same linen fabric.

The idea was to have further embroidery on the front and back but seriously, it’s not my thing. I should have got appliques and in future, this is what I will do. As far as embroidery goes – I need to walk before I can run :-).

I am very happy with these 2 garments, more so because they are 2 of my most beloved patterns that I have made more than a dozen of collectively. Pictures….be warned the orange is really bright :-). Pictures were taken in May 2017.

Sewaholic Patterns Hollyburn Skirt and Granville Shirt

Guess the song from the dance pose ūüôā


Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,


Penultimate Summer Sewing aka Another Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt…this time in linen

Hello again,

Let me start by saying that this is my last Hollyburn for a while (I promise ūüôā). As the seventh one it doesnt need a lot of ceremony so here it is in linen…..


Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

Side View : Hollyburn SKirt
Inner waistband detail
Centered zip
Gratuitous twirl shot
Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt
Hollyburn Skirt the 7th

Again I am more than pleased with this skirt and I still have an appetite for another Hollyburn…….

Thank you for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing ūüôā

Peace and love,


Alterations to pattern: changed from straight waistband to a contoured waistband using tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch¬†(I did this alteration on my third Holyburn and haven’t looked back since).


Another Denim Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

Hello chums,

I have only gone and made another of my favourite skirt sewing pattern. Since giving away my denim Holyburn back in April (it was a bit big ), I needed another one.

A true TNT pattern it took me just under 4 hours to make from start to finish including cutting.I normally expect a Holyburn to take me less than 3 hours but the addition of an exposed zipper complicated things somewhat.

Alterations to pattern: changed from straight waistband to a contoured waistband using tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch¬†(I did this alteration on my third Holyburn and haven’t looked back since).

Construction Notes:

Medium weight indigo denim fabric. ¬†I used a hammer a few times to flatten seams. The waistband lining is Cupro left over from my tailored jacket V8601. I used grey bias binding on the hem. Old shirt for pockets. ¬†An exposed zip using Lladybird’s tutorial. I wasn’t planning on an exposed zip¬†but when Lauren posted her tutorial it¬†bolstered my confidence to give it a go.

I should also mention that I started this skirt¬†for the OutfitAlong OAL2016¬† challenge of which the counterpart is a Chuck sweater that I started knitting and still haven’t finished….yet. Anyhow pictures ūüôā

Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
Pocket lining
Obligatory twirl shot. Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
Bias binding on hem
Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
Exposed zip
Insides back
insides front
Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt

I love this skirt! I am so grateful to the friend who insisted on wanting the old Holyburn. If she had never asked (and persisted), I would not have had the chance to make a much better fitting and better sewn skirt. This giving away my me mades malarkey may yet have some benefits ūüôā

¬†Thanks for stopping by. I guess the denim skirt can count as the beginning of autumn sewing? ūüôā

Have you started on your autumn sewing yet ? I will be back soon with my autumn mood board.

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 ūüôā 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 ūüôā
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? ūüôā 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.



Indie Pattern Month 2015 Musings

Hi all!

Indie Pattern Month 2015 has been and gone and my word I enjoyed every day of June for it! Everyday my blog feed with filled with wonderful treats and delights of unknown patterns and new takes on known patterns. Just like with Me Made May my sewing queue just grew and grew. I challenged myself to make something for each of the 4 weeks of June.

I am proud to say I achieved that goal. I was motivated by the fact that there were 7 prizes up for grabs each  week so it felt like I had a decent shot at winning something. A free pattern is something I will ALWAYS try to go for Рits a win win situation really:

1. I get to use the fabric stash

2. There is a chance  of a free pattern

3. I make something new to wear ūüėČIPM

Anyhow I am happy to say I did make the finals 3 times and I won 2 times so yay! Continue reading

Sewaholic + Mouse House Creations = Julia Hollyburn


I am super excited to share my makes for The Monthly Stitche’s Indie Pattern Month¬†separates competition. This post is quite photo and text intensive so I am just going to get right into it. If you don’t have time to read through or like me struggle with uber long posts here it all is in a nutshell! There are loads of pictures further down ūüôā

I’d also love to hear what you think of this post format where I put all text first then all the pictures at the end. Trying something new. Enough dilly dallying – on to the good stuff ūüôāPicMonkey Collage

Sewaholic Holyburn in Barkcloth

I love a Holyburn I have made 4 Holyburns so far here. This one was inspired by Beth’s (AfterDarkSewing) Ruby dress. I loved the navy and white colour and how it worked on the circle skirt part. I never did find a similar navy and white spot fabric I liked but I did¬†come across this Time Warp¬†Cloud 9 Navy ripple barkcloth. Image source: cloud9fabrics.com/

Since I have already made¬†this pattern before I¬†was able to ¬†focus on constructing¬†it with tulle. I have never used tulle before.I did Suzy Furrer’s Skirt Drafting¬†class and she shows some of her A line flare skirts¬†that¬†hang so beautifully. She advises using tulle to lift a flare¬†skirt especially if you are using a heavyish fabric.

I really wanted to showcase the fabric. I bought 1.25m ¬†and just managed to squeeze in a Holyburn sans the pockets. There was not enough fabric to do the pockets but that’s OK because pattern matching would have been a nightmare. Instead it would have side seam pockets using the pocket pattern piece from ¬†Moneta.¬†I cut the front piece on the fold instead of having 2 pieces. I had to remember to not cut out the pocket so to be on the safe side I put a post it note on the pattern before I started cutting! When you have made a pattern this many times it very easy to just go on autopilot ūüėČ

Now the cutting of the fabric has its own little drama worthy of a separate post but I will try to condense. Barkcloth¬†has quite a loose weave and stretches like mad¬†when cut on the bias. In addition, because of its loose weave it¬†frays and unravels…quickly. Tarry at your peril she unravels faster than Lindsay Lohan. I didn’t overlock before prewash so I lost some length :-(. Ah well. It made me change my approach to finishing the seams. Basically I would cut out a piece and off it ¬†went to the overclocker straight away ¬†before cutting out the next piece etc.¬†After steaming to set the overlocked edge I¬†staystitched each individual piece. Even with all these precautions it still stretched out! I spent ages trying to get perfect pattern matching on the back seam but by the time I got to inserting the zip there was about an inch excess fabric…could have had perfect pattern matching but poor fit…which to choose? Ack! Decisions decisions! Can you guess which I chose?

I lost all my marks since I serged¬†the¬†edges straight away. Without the¬†pockets, the pattern pieces are so similar. I got round it but it’s something to think about before cutting and serging. Next time I will use pins.

Next up, the waistband was cut on bias and ironed out. I was ironing out the stretch before applying fusible interfacing. The waistband would be unstable otherwise. OMG the waist band kept stretching and lengthening until it had about 1/3 extra length. Once interfaced it was good to go.

Next on the list was sorting out the side seam pockets. The material for pocket bags is the same as the lining material used for the skirt. I didn’t want to add bulk. I love the luxurious feel of the lining but my gosh it was a slippery thing! Well worth it though for the beautiful feel of silk. Its a synthetic silk.

The tulle is nice and lightweight used for bridal wear. I cut 2 layers of tulle exactly like the pattern and made them up separately before attaching at the waistband. The tulle went in before the lining. The tulle also acted as a stabiliser when I inserted the invisible zip. Used Nicole’s (Sewing with Scooby Snacks) tutorial and achieved a near perfect seam alignment! To reduce bulk at waist I used petersham ribbon which is a fab fab invention! Again this is worthy of its own post but I will try to be succint. Petersham = awesome!!!!!! I used A Challenging Sew’s tutorial here. A good resource worth bookmarking.

The skirt had to be hung up for 2-3 days for the barkcloth and lining to drop. Its cut on bias so it needed to release its stretch. Hem finished with a red bias binding for pop of colour.

Verdict I love love love this skirt!

Mouse House Creations  Julia cardigan


I will start of by saying you can never have too many cardigans. When I saw this pattern for the Julia Cardigan my fate was sealed. It was one of those purchases I didn’t even¬†have to think twice about. And I‚Äôm SO pleased I¬†got it! ¬†Its quick to sew up and entirely completed on the overlocker. ¬†I chose the 3/4 sleeve with a doubled-over collar (to avoid the need to hem).¬†I love a pattern that doesn‚Äôt require any hemming.

I don’t actually know what the fabric is – it looks like an interlock knit. Its been in my stash for yonks now. It was only 1m but I managed to squeeze in a cardie. You need 4 of the collar pieces and lets just say that 2 of them are off grain!

Ok more deets on Julia: its sized XS ‚Äď 3XL‚Ķhow awesome is that!¬†The cardigan drapes around the waist creating a lovely curved shape.¬†¬† It also drapes so prettily around the neck

Size wise: I cut a small, based on my high bust measurement. It’s flattering without being too tight. Though I’m really happy with the fit when I make it again I will do a slight broad shoulder adjustment.

The instructions were really clear and easy to follow with a photo for every step. They also include tips on how to customize the fit to your own body. I love this about the instructions РI am such a visual person.

I would say that this is a beginner pattern with¬†really basic construction: 1.sew shoulders, ¬†2.attach sleeves in the flat, ¬†3. sew side seams, 4. add cuffs, 5.the collar. The longest bit was sewing on the collar. I took me less than 2 hours to make this and that was because I was trying to make sure I didn’t muck anything up. I am looking forward to the second one because I know it will be faster to sew up. Oh and did I mention¬†I made the doubled up hem version‚Ķso there is absolutely no hemming involved ūüėČ Yeah!! ¬†If you aren‚Äôt crazy about hemming knits this option is lovely!!

That’s it! This cardigan is beyond comfy. I think this is a great pattern!  It ticks so many boxes.

Do you have any good cardigan patterns that you would recommend? ¬†I feel like I am only scratching the surface of whats available to sew….

Now for the pictures. Double Sewaholic because I am wearing my Granville sleeveless shirt as well :-).


Chatting with the kids through the window

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my little space on the interweb!

Happy sewing!




Hello Sewaholic Hollyburn the 4th! A summer Holyburn!

Sewaholic Patterns Hollyburn Skirt Sewing Pattern Review

Hello good people!

I have made another Sewaholic¬†Hollyburn skirt! No.4. Since I have made this before in denim, in gold¬†tweed mix and in crepe – there is little more to say about construction! Fabric is a drapey viscose in a light purple colour with some embroidery flowers. I made view B with the short skirt. It’s one of the first of my summer Hollyburns. I have a bevy of Holyburns and its growing!

Ok nuff said..on to pictures ūüėČ Wearing it with my linen Morris blazer for the pictures:-).Visc1 visc2 visc3 visc4 visc5 visc7

Hollyburn Skirt Plus Grainline Studio Morris Blazer

It goes without saying this is my comfort sewing TNT pattern.¬†It¬†takes me about¬†3.5 hours to make (from cutting to hemming) if it unlined. What’s your comfort sewing TNT pattern?

Thanks for stopping and Happy sewing all!




Sewaholic Patterns Hollyburn Skirt Sewing Pattern

Hollyburn Sewing Pattern

‚ÄúThis post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.‚ÄĚ

Hello Sewaholic Hollyburn the 3rd!


I am back with yet another Holyburn skirt! I have made one in denim here and in mustard tweed wool mix here. Yes I have found a TNT pattern!

Spot the camelia!

For this one I drafted¬†a contoured waistband because of the gaping issue I had with the mustard skirt.¬†Geo P over ¬†at ¬†Made in my Living Room mentioned a contoured waist tutorial¬†by Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch. I used Sunni’s tutorial which was easy to follow and it took me less than half an hour to redraft the waistband. ¬†I cut a size 6 of View A and its a perfect fit. This black one is shorter and I love the length!


There is not much more to say about the construction except for a couple of observations I have made so far. So when using a lining material for the pocket I need to use a sturdy tightly woven fabric otherwise there is some¬†pulling ¬†on the pockets. The denim skirt pockets do¬†that and I think its because I used flimsy polycotton (the ¬£2/meter type). Against the weight of the denim the polycotton¬†struggles. I don’t have that problem with the mustard one where I used an old M&S double cotton shirt fabric for the lining. The pockets are still perfectly flat even after several washes. ¬†So for this black one I used a stripey cotton harvested from an old maternity top (also harvested some lovely buttons ;-).back

I also used the stripey cotton for the waistband facing because my fabric was very lofty. It sewed up well but it was quite thick meaning seams were¬†very very chunky. Zipper is¬†higher above the waistband than it should be. But I am not bothered because it was real pain getting it on especially over the thick seam. I managed it in the end but its not quite ‘invisible’. I topstitched all the seams to get them to lay flat and neat. Even though the material doesnt unravel I decided to serge the seams for a neat interior.¬†To finish off the¬†hem I used a burgundy¬†satin bias binding tape. It came out fine , even if I do say so myself.Details collage Collage

Pocket detail.

The waistband was finished by handstitching. Its weird but I am beginning to enjoy¬†hand stitching the finishing touches on a garment. I feel like it gives me a nice sense of closure. So far it seems to have given me time to meditate and ponder on the project as a whole. Ok (I am not cazy) but i have been having conversations with my garments as I handstitch. Nothing serious¬†just things like “My¬†haven’t¬†you come a long way!” or “I cant believe I first saw on a roll at that shop and now look at you!” ” When I am done we’ll give you a nice final press and boom!” It seems to be helping with my Serious Squirrel syndrome.


Obligatory twirl shot ūüôā

Another win and great addition to my winter wardrobe. I now need to make some cotton skirts in anticipation of the warmer weather ūüėČ


Holy Smoke! Its another Sewaholic Hollyburn!

Hi! How are you doing? ;-D.

I am good thank you! Thought I would do a post about the fastest turnaround I have ever had with fabric. Its also a tale about my um…. second Hollyburn skirt. I really REALLY love my Hollyburn the First! So I decided that I needed a second one in a different colour – a mustard-y colour. Lucky for me I had to go into the city to get ¬†my son’s violin fixed so in that context I was able to bypass the stash and go straight to the fabric shop ūüėČholyb 2

Saturday ¬†Decision made –¬†go after hubby and kids get back¬†from swimming and music classes. My 4 year old comes with¬†-( he loves all things fabric, glittery and sewing ;-). Choosing the fabric was easy my 4 year old is so incredibly decisive. “We are getting this one mummy now I need to go wee” and well that was that! In all fairness it was a good choice. I love the sack clothy¬†look of this fabric. The fabric merchant said¬†its a tweed look wool mix fabric – it washes and dries in the normal way I treat my clothes;easy care! The mustard-y colour is gorgeous. Plus¬†I’ve had in mind a mustard -y winter skirt for a while now. Headed back home by 3pm. Fabric washed and tumble dried by 7pm. Kids in bed by 8pm. Pattern pieces for view B cut out before an early night at 9pm. Instead of a size 8 I cut a size 6 to achieve¬†a more snug fit around the waist since I wasn’t planning on wearing this one with a belt. Meantime I realised that skirt will need to be lined- quickly ordered 2m ¬†of lining off Ebay.

Sunday¬† Fused different weights of interfacing to see which had the best structure for the waist. The firm/heavy fusible interfacing¬†ticked all the boxes. Found the closest matching thread in my thread stash that lives in the attic. Next I worked with interfaced scraps of fabric to determine the thread tension and stitch length. I was surprised that this fabric sewed best with a low thread tension and short stitch length. I kept trying till I got a combo that didn’t pucker or have loops. Once that was sorted I moved on to topstitching settings. My plan was to topstitch either side of the seams to create a neat super flat look.

Playing around with different stitch lengths  on seams.
Playing around with different stitch lengths on seams.

Monday  Sewed up the pockets and pocket lining then attached to the skirt pieces. For the pocket lining I used fabric from one of my husbands old M&S shirts. Its a lovely pale salmon pink and the cotton is a lush double cotton. Finished the front seam. Attached back pieces and staystitched the waist. Sewed the wasitband on.

Tuesday Luckily the lining arrived in the post today. Pieces cut out. Even remembered NOT to cut the pocket shaping on the front skirt piece. Darn that lining is slippery!! Took forever to pin it and even then it still shifted when I was sewing! Attached the lining to the waistband. Found this tutorial on My Messings.

Weird angle showing lining attached to skirt.
Weird angle showing lining attached to skirt.

Thursday Big day! Invisible zipper going in! Went in without a fuss at all. Finished off the main fabric back seam and lining back seam. Hemmed the main fabric first followed by lining hem.I was going to make view B with the tabs but when I made up the tabs  and pinned them on I realised I preferred the clean simple look of the waistband. Stitched in the ditch to hold waistband in place. Missed Great British Sewing Bee ;-(PicMonkey Collage

Friday Sat down when wee ones were napping to do a spot of handstitching the lining to around the zipper. while catching up with GBSB on Iplayer. By the end of the episode I had a skirt!!!!!holb

In less than a week I bought fabric and made an actual skirt I am wearing! Well pleased with myself.

holyb 2
Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

My handstitching has come a long way since this A line skirt I made last year. I am not proud of that hem though. ¬†In a rush to finish I didn’t¬†handstitch the hem opting instead for machine hem. It looks chunky. Ah well.

The keen eyed among you might have noticed that the waistband is about an inch less thick. Kudos if you picked up on that. Nomatter what I did the band would come away from my tummy. It fit perfectly around my waist but above it it sort of gaped. For this reason I kept reducing the thickness of the waistband till it sat nicely on my waist. Which meant losing about an inch or so. I think it works well though and its super comfortable.Holly Must

Nothing much more to say except that I love it (again). Before I started writing my blog I used to lurk about other blogs and used to wonder why sewers made¬†the same thing more than once¬†~ yep I get it. I think I may finally have what the sewing community so insatiably call “My TNT”¬†Quick question ~ does it stand for “tried and tested” or Tried and true”?Side view

Hollyburn featured imageOne final thought I did have the same issue of a sudden immediate desperate desire to start a new project when all the big stuff was done Рaround the time when the zipper went in. I had to be very strict with myself (even recruited hubby to be my accountability partner)  but my gaze was already wandering onto other patterns. I even started using affirmations to try and help. Do you have the sudden overwhelming urge to begin another project when you have nearly but not quite completed a project? How do you deal with it? My willpower is waning..

If you got this far thank you for taking the time to read my wondering post. On the radar I have another skirt in the works , no its not a Hollyburn ūüėČ


Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt Sewing Pattern

Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt Pattern Review

The Hollyburn Skirt has been tempting me and teasing me for ages now. I decided to bite the bullet and bought it during last year’s Black Friday sales when there were all those fabulous discounts! Yes I did not excersize restraint and I bought LOADS of sewing patterns ūüėČ But a seamstress never buys and tells!

In keeping with my sewing goals I  absolutely made a muslin first to check fit and whether the style suited me.  Basically I followed my own steps and voila!

Yep making a muslin helps! It took about 4 hours to make the muslin. By the time I came to sewing the denim it was a breeze. What was interesting was that since I sewed up immediately after the muslin I whizzed through the steps – they were still fresh in my mind.

The denim was originally purchased to make the Jalie 2908¬†jeans for The Monthly Stitch’s¬†Denim Never Dies Challenge ¬†but it became clear very quickly that I did not have the time to make jeans this time around. ( I did trace and cut the patterns for the jeans so at least some progress has been made towards those.)

I am so proud of myself for:

Рnot beginning the project until ALL the materials and notions were gathered,

– making a muslin,

– checking the thread tension,

– testing lightweight and medium weight interfacing on the swatch to see which was more suitable,

– testing the topstitching settings for the denim so it wouldn’t be wavy,

– doing a trial zipper insertion on denim to check if it needed a reinforced seam.

In taking all these steps beforehand, by the time it came to sewing it up it was such a pleasure and there were no bottle necks. Normally I loose momentum on a project when I reach a bottleneck , like realising the interfacing weight is not appropriate and I have to wait¬†till i have bought more, or the thread¬†doesn’t¬†match, or the buttons etc. So I kept up the momentum through out. That was quite a revelation for me!

More details construction.

I cut a straight size 8. The pattern sizing was pretty spot on. In terms of instructions – they were great, allowing me to have a very neat finish on my interior.

The only change I made was to cut along the foldline of the pocket and added seam allowances so I could use a different fabric for my pocket lining.

For the hem I staystitched along the bottom edge, turned it under and pressed so the staystitching was just on the inside. I then folded the raw edge under and stitched. So my hem is visible.

The invisible zip went in in one go – without a fuss unlike when I was making the muslin! I did some handstitching around the zip but its not the neatest. Something I will need to work on.

Now for some gratuitous photos..

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Obligatory twirl shot!
It works well with a short jacket.


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SewaholiC Hollyburn Skirt

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20150129_150007 So chuffed with how neat my insides look!
Hollyburn Collage
Invisible zip and topstitching like a BOSS!
Hollyburn 2 Collage
A spot of handstitching.

The fit is flattering and I like the length. I have been wearing this to work dressed up with a shirt and at home with a T shirt. Versatile style that fits well into my wardrobe.

I can see why a lot of people have made this skirt and why its quite popular.

Until next time when I will blog my belated January Burda Challenge make – another skirt!

Thanks for stopping by.



Sewaholic Hollyburn Sewing Pattern