Vogue V9112

I actually first made this toile in June 2015 – I know because I have a log of the picture of the muslin.

Vogue V9112 is an asymmetrical seam detail dress design by Marcy Tilton. Loose-fitting, pullover, sleeveless dress has single-layer, pleated, stand-up collar, seam detail, side pockets, bias neck and armhole facings, shaped hemline, and narrow hem. Wrong side shows on collar and hemline.

Here is the cover picture:


….and the line drawing which shows all the lovely intricate seams:


I was put off this pattern by how much ease it had after making the toile. I cut the size medium based on the pattern size recommendations (this was before  I figured out the lack of finished garment measurements). Needless to say it sat around in the UFO box for a while then I picked it up again determined to fix it as I liked it in principle. However, I was very ruthless in removing ease and ended up with something that barely resembles what the designer intended. I am okay with that though as I made it work for me.

I took it in by a lot on the sides and the back seam. I omitted the pockets as this was a toile. Although now, with hindsight, I should have just added the pockets since its turned into something wearable. Being linen – it if of course lovely to wear. It’s the sort of thing I will throw on when its nice and hot and I want to be unfettered.

I will  be giving the pattern another go definitely – in linen again maybe with some Sashiko embroidery on one of the curved pieces.


The original size was quite baggy on me.
Vogue V9112 Gathered curved hem
V9112 Collar detail


Vogue V9112

The final result is something much more fitted at the bust and loose-fitting everywhere else. I finished the armholes with bias binding. The only thing I need to change now is the colour – I am thinking of dyeing it a deep violet colour.

Verdict – worthy of a second shot at it because despite the fit issues (based on personal preferences only) I still like it. I do need to remember to be careful when cutting it out as it is all cut single layer – I got away with it because I was using a plain solid fabric but with directional fabric I would have messed up.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, happy sewing!

Peace and love,



Instagram and Vogue V1314: An Unexpected Rescue

I joined Instagram (IG) with a very sceptical mind. I kept my eye out for the catch. Having tried Facebook very briefly when it first came out and disliked it intensely, Twitter as well which I didn’t and still don’t get – I was of the opinion that social media just wasn’t for me. But slowly my favourite bloggers were also going onto IG and touting how amazing this platform is.

As a general rule I like to think of myself as open-minded enough to try out new things and experiences (at least once). Trying to live by what I preach – if my kids had a penny for every time I said to them “But you haven’t tried it!” they’d be millionaires by now. So I went ahead and joined IG in Nov 2015. I had no idea what a hashtag was or how things worked on there. Since then my affair with IG has been on/off with the on being more prevalent. There are times when I do get annoyed at the proliferation of an overly promoted new pattern or event but its all part of the experience (it’s a minor irritation at best). But it is quite a helpful place for info on patterns, sewing or just about anything really. And I think this is where the IG and the sewing community meets to create a confluence of energy, creativity, inspiration………its a wonderful place.

For example, have your eye on a fabric that you MUST have but can’t find it in your regular haunts? Not to worry IG buddies are the best at telling you where to get it. Want to buy something from the US but postage is prohibitive; IG buddies tend to offer to pick it up for you and send slow cheaper mail (you pay P&P of course). Got a pattern you are not sure about? IG is always full of opinion. Cant decide which buttons to use; IG can help. Have a RTW inspiration garment you want to sew but dont know if there is a similar sewing pattern; Ig to the rescue. Missing pattern piece; IG to the rescue. I could go on and on.  But sometimes you don’t even know that you need rescuing before IG comes to the rescue. Which brings me to Vogue 1314….

Vogue V1314

As part of a sewing challenge I was doing last year the prompt was “On my table” and I posted this…..

Immediately my IG buddies warned me about the sizing problem with it – It runs large they said. Thanks, said I……… I had already cut it out. They are right I said, after basting it to check fit. The ruching was drooping which looked unpleasant.

I cut away about 5/8″ from each side seam and basted to check fit – I liked what I saw without the ruching so I left it at that. I dithered over whether to add the sleeves or not and my OH weighed in with ‘no sleeves’ which is what I did. Lets pin this here for now and look at some pictures.

Vogue 1314
Vogue 1314
Vogue 1314
Vogue 1314
Vogue 1314
Vogue 1314
Vogue 1314

Fabric is a John Kaldor ity jersey that I bought ages ago from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market. I have loved this fabric for so long and was too sacred to cut into it but I am trying. Readers I am really trying to use my precious fabric. Now this is beautiful lightweight jersey with a slight sheen to it. It also has the characteristic of showing up every simple cellulite dimple, muscle clench and panty lines. So I had to line it with power mesh and wow – what a difference that makes. I went from Nicki Minaj to Kim Kardashian…(maybe not that much of a difference. But I think you get what I mean). The mesh gives it a nice smooth lining and feels really nice on. It also meant that I have clean finish armholes. The neckline is finished with a band. I hemmed it with a twin needle which stretched it out, so I cut it off and left it unhemmed since this doesn’t unravel. The hem definitely needs stabilisation before hemming.

Sorry for the long rambling post but the story behind this dress was so integral to how it turned out that I wanted to share it. I associate this dress with the awesomeness of IG – it’s not perfect at all but there are a lot of great aspects to IG communities with much less of the negatives that come with other things like Twitter and Facebook (IMHO).

Verdict: I like this dress a lot (truth be told it makes me feel like I have a big booty which in turn makes me feel guilty that I like the feeling of having a big booty which I think makes me very unfeminist —argh TMI).

Right. So yes I like this dress and will make another one in the next size down with the ruching at the sides. The relative simplicity of the design lends itself well to loud prints and I do love a loud print. It has the potential of becoming a TNT.

And…back to social media… Do you like it for your sewing? Do you prefer other social media platforms? or better yet share a sewing story where social media helped out. G on, we’d love to hear it. 🙂

Until next time,

Happy sewing!

Peace and love,


Vogue 9084 Peplum Top : Pattern Review

Hello chums,

Hope your summer is winding down as nicely as it is here in the North of England. We have had a couple of thunder storms but otherwise most of the day I forget that its September already. Its been unseasonably warm – I am not complaining however :-). I am a tad annoyed that I had already packed away my summer clothes though!

Anyhow here is a cute little top I sewed up some time in summer. Trying to keep it simple so here is the pattern review for it.


Pattern Description:

On-trend peplum top featuring a fitted top, a zip fastening on the reverse and a ruffled, floaty hemline.

Pattern Sizing:

8-24. I cut the size 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes and no. Yes it looked like the line drawing but I thought it would be more fitted based on the cover illustrations but it isnt – I supposed I could have made it more fitted by taking it in but I had already sewn up the peplum and the hassle didnt seem worth it. The armsyce is also quite lower than on the illustration. It shows my bra.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes. I read through them once before starting but its a simple top so I didn’t need to refer to them again.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the floaty high low peplum hem.

Fabric Used: 

I used a viscose fabric bought from Lucky Fashions in Dewsbury during the Yorkshire Spoolettes meet up in Feb.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The only change I made was to not include the zipper. I can pull it over my head easily.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes I will sew it again, I’d like to make the long sleeve version but in a knit fabric. I will be raising the armsyce though as that is too low. I am not sure about recommending it because of how it looks fitted on pattern illustration but its actually not. I would make a conditional recommendation as follows:

I recommend you sew up a muslin of the bodice first to see if you like the fit. It can be quite easily taken in at the waist but the you have to adjust the peplum pattern pieces to fit your new waist circumference.


Its a good addition to my wardrobe – a very comfortable top that looks great with skinny jeans and leggings. I really love how the peplum moves and drapes. Apart from the issues mentioned above I like it and will definitely make another one.


And pictures….

Vogue 9084
Vogue 9084 Back view. Its a bit roomy at the upper back .
Vogue 9084 I need a swayback adjustment.
Vogue 9084 The armscye is quite low
Vogue 9084
Vogue 9084 Another view of the low armhole showing my bra.
Vogue 9084 I am trying to do an ASOS model pose – #fail
Vogue 9084 Love how the peplum billows out when I am walking.
Vogue 9084
Vogue 9084 Insides finished by overlocker and armhole finished with bias binding

And a clip to show you how the peplum moves. Just click play..


Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time Happy sewing all!

Peace and love,


Vogue V1486 Skirt in Cobalt Embossed Scuba

Hello chums,

Hope you are having fantastic sunny weather wherever you are. We have been having beautifully sunny days. The downside is how much time I have to spend watering the garden at home and going to the allotment to water the vegetables there. It took only 1 full on hot day without watering for my swiss chard and spinach to bolt. Anyhow I am not here to talk gardening woes; I am here to share my muslin for the V1486 skirt I entered into the Pattern Review comp in June (the post is here).

As mentioned before the dramatic flare of this skirt was quite attractive for me. I must admit that when I made this muslin up I was very annoyed at myself. Truly I could have easily drafted this pattern myself. Its a simple A line shape with a straight waistband. Lesson learnt – in future I will be more restrained and buy patterns that I am not able to easily draft myself.

I didnt put any pockets on this one. I barely had enough fabric to do so. Because of the insufficient fabric I also had to reduce the sizes of the pleats on the lower skirt. So it has less drama that the subsequent one.

The pattern calls for an exposed zip but I went with an invisible zip. The embossed scuba is so distinctive and quite a feature in itself I felt that an exposed zip would only clutter it up too much. I didn’t hem it as per instructions.

Size wise I traced a 10 based on the finished garment measurements (I am normally a 12 on Vogue patterns). I did this because the scuba has some stretch in it. I could have gone tighter but that would mean you miss out on the embossed detail. Continue reading

Vogue V1486 Pattern Review Skirt Competition

In which I murder a curtain.

I bought this fabric more than six years ago when I was making curtains for our  new place. With only 3m end of roll left it was never going to enough for curtains. I bought it because I loved the large dramatic floral and thought I would make cushions.

It stayed hidden, forgotten, until I gathered all my fabric together over a year ago in a futile attempt to organise my stash and rediscovered it. Continue reading

Vogue 8601- tailored jacket and graduating…

Hello chums!

How are you? I am am doing well thanks! Especially now that I have completed a colossal task of making a tailored jacket in 10 days. Finished on Sunday afternoon just in time for a photo session in the gorgeous Indian summer we have been having here in the North of England.

Here is my review for the competition. Its very much abridged as I didnt want to sound like a windbag. Could easily do 7 separate posts on how this jacket was made. The feeling of elation after I snipped that last thread was palpable – I did a fist pump and went off to take pictures straight away. My eyes are very very tired from all the consecutive late nights pulled to get this done. Between my work and the kids hectic schedules I was only able to sew properly after 9pm. So of course there are loads and loads of pictures and even a super special one right at the end if you manage to get there :-).

What pattern did you use? (Please include brand and pattern name / number if applicable.) Is it new to you, a tried and true, self drafted or a combination of patterns?

I chose Vogue 8601 – A basic design pattern. New to me so I cut a size 12 as per measurement chart. Its got a sweet urban equestrian look that attracted me.

What fabric did you use for the jacket exterior and lining.
I finally bought a spectacular and long hoarded piece of wool out of storage. I bought it over a year ago after I had looked at it for a long time before buying, not knowing if I could do it justice. It screams British heritage with its orange, mustard, beige and navy blue check. I’ve never sewn with anything like this before and really didn’t have any idea where to start. Pushing past initial hesitation I took the plunge and chucked it onto the dryer with a couple of damp towels to preshrink it. I absolutely loved working with this wool. it was stable and thick enough to manipulate easily but soft and light enough to make the darts and seams almost invisible.

Used a high quality anti-static synthetic fabric made of 75% Triacetate and 25% Polyamide, dont know what the name for it is but it has a great handle and is soft to touch, breathable. A lot nicer than the cheap linings I have used in the past. More expensive (though cheaper than silk charmeuse) but worth every penny. I found it easy to sew (not too slippery) and it didn’t disintegrate the moment I cut into it. It feels nice against the skin and the colour is so pretty and vivid.

Are you experienced at sewing jackets or was this a terrifying first?
Initially I thought that sewing a peacoat for my husband last year meant I had oodles of experience. But in comparison that was just a coat with interfaced fronts and shoulder pads. This was my first tailored jacket in that sense.

Describe your sewing journey with this jacket.
My starting point was making the size 12 muslin as is. I knew that for the initial shape of the jacket I wanted a sleek silhouette. I removed 1/2″ swayback to get the fit on the bodice. Since my fabric was a check and I was anticipating problems with pattern matching I eliminated the center back seam and cut on fold. I sacrificed a really snug fit at the back for easier matching – a worthy sacrifice.

I didnt like the split coat tails. Once removed I decided to add a 1″ extension from the waist down by pivoting out the second smaller dart, which gave it the flair I wanted but still kept the drama at a fairly subtle level.

The sleeves were too long with too much ease. I drafted a two piece sleeve with vent sloper using Suzy Furrer’s excellent pattern drafting book after faffing around; I have learnt the hard way that a two piece sleeve cannot be made just by cutting the existing one piece into 2 then adding seam allowances . Kept increasing the seam allowances until I got the slim fit I wanted. Next was adjusting the armhole to fit the new sleeve cap. The result is my shoulder has never looked so good.

The pattern doesn’t have a back facing so I drafted one and also had to draft a lining piece with an ease pleat for wearing. My lifestyle means I move my arms around a lot bending over lifting my little ones. My store bought jackets all have linings that have pulled open at the seams so I knew I needed to have a lot more wearing ease in the back lining.

After those changes, I still felt something was missing and to zhoosh it up I added angled welt pockets. I was happy. In total I made 3 muslins by Sunday night.

Then after all that prep, it was time for the star of the show…my simply gorgeous check plaid. Despair set in at realising I had to cut into it. I haven’t had to match plaids like this before. I added seam allowance lines on pattern pieces to see where the cutting line would be and plunged. This part took me 4 hours from start to finish, accompanied with a lot of swearing and “I hate plaid! Never again!” In retrospect I don’t know where I got the strength and temerity to keep going. Just the memory of that night makes me feel exhausted. I didn’t do too bad though – it’s pretty good I think. There are areas where I couldn’t line things up enough, the curves and angle of the design made things difficult to keep in orderly neat lines in places, so I just picked the most obvious horizontal match lines and left it at that…Lucky this was a balanced check (I think) otherwise it would have taken even longer.

Interfacing Each piece has some interfacing on it. The back peces were doubly interfaced on the upper areas with bias strips on the edges. Cutting out the bias strip and fusing them was a nightmare that took up a whole day. This was time I had not budgeted thus I fell behind my schedule of finishing on Saturday. The sleeves, upper and under collar were interfaced with knit tricot interfacing which created a very interesting spongy scuba like texture on wrong side. Pocket flaps were double interfaced using heavy weight. When I ran out of heavyweight I just used 2 of medium weight.

Pressing the seams open also took a lot longer than I thought. How many times did I refill the water in my iron? A lot more than I can count.My ironing board is wonky now from all the pressing using my clapper which by the way is the MVP during this jacket.

Welt pocket into the waist seam. Eeek! This was scary. I did it and tbh the first one wasn’t all that great but the second was pretty much perfect. However when I added the welt pocket with flap to the design I forgot that my hem would be cut away at an angle which meant the pocket bag was sticking out significantly. I had to reduce it in size so it wouldn’t interfere with the hem; leading to a pocket I can hardly fit half my hand into SO the second one didn’t get a pocket bag just an ornamental pocket. The welt opens to a face backing.

I added a repurposed horsehair canvas as a shoulder plate as well.The shoulders were padded quite significantly in order to both support all that structured wool and balance the large (ish) peplum at the bottom. I carefully added a layer of fleece to pad up the shoulder pad and that helped to keep the line smooth and subtle..

Because the hem is curved I chose to use a make a faced hem to help weigh down the jacket. As well as small upholstery weights in the hem at the center back to keep the jacket pulling down nicely and a 3″ double layer of medium weight interfacing fused directly above the hem for a crisp hem. Oh and the hem facing pieces were interfaced twice using lightweight interfacing. I didnt want the hem to easily loose shape from being sat on IYSWIM.

The last thing that went in were the mock suede elbow patches which were a last minute addition. Sewn on blanket stitch style.

Did you use any interesting techniques?
Piped seams on the edges connecting the lining to the facing of the jacket. Used a floral bias tape to make for a cute contrast.

Setting the under collar by giving a steam bath. Ok this was the most fun – after interfacing with knit tricot I cut out a lower curved heavy weight interfacing to fuse to the the part where the collar would stand. Didn’t seem strong enough so I added another layer of medium weight and the stand seemed strong enough. They were sewn together. pressed the heck out of the seam then wrapped and pinned around mt tailors ham for a long steam bath during which it was blasted with a lot of steam. 24 hours later a beautifully shaped undercollar with a perfect roll. My spirits soared for at least two days until darkness fell when I realised that I had made the collar upside down !!I had to go lie down with a head compress. Restarted the whole process but without the time to do a steam bath. The second one sufficed But my collar would have been better lol.

Mitering a sleeve vent. I had fun with this again. Since this was a fake vent it needed a mitred corner. Again there was a lot of interfacaing on the sleeve hem and along the vent so that when folded it would a crisp neat finish. It felt a little bit like origami folding but easy with an online tutorial.
I loved catch stitching. Its a sing song way of stitching and my best memories of making this jacket revolve around catchstithing

What are you most proud of about this jacket?
1. Not giving up. There were moments where my spirits soared and moments when I retired to bad late at night vowing I am dropping out. Each morning I woke up with a renewed vigour. The reality is that my sewing journey (especially as a sewing blogger) is fraught with emotional land mines; dealing with the blogging process, reading my posts, settling on just the right idea for that next project. That can make me feel insecure and like a fraud.
I can’t sew! I have everyone fooled. I am an imposter. What made me think I could enter this with less than 2 years of sewing under my belt?
There are moments when I’ve been sure that everything I’ve made and written is garbage and I’m terrified I’m going to be found out. There are also some moments of loving my project. I think this is all a normal part of putting oneself out there on the interwebs.
But that insecurity is good because it’s that very insecurity that drives me to keep growing, keep learning, to be the best I can be.It’s part of the larger process of growing and developing not just as as a sewer but as as a person; it is not a question of “arriving” but more a discipline of figuring out how to keep going especially when I am feeling hateful towards my WIP or when things are going wrong.

2. ResourcefulnessThe only thing I bought were the buttons. Everything else came from stash or was re-purposed right down to horse hair canvas harvested from an old jacket that was in the kids fancy dress box, the shoulder pads from my old unworn jacket ( the pads were easy get to because the lining was ripped) I needed a chisel to slice open the button holes because of the thickness so I just borrowed chisels from the hubs’ shed. Using scraps of polar fleece for sleeve heads. Doubling up on interfacing to create the right weight instead of buying more.

3. I’ve learnt so much about foundations, structure, stability and manipulation that its been worth every minute. I am most proud of how it looks between the face fabric and the lining. The insides look like a hot mess; there’s a certain intimacy I have with it …like know its wearing naughty knickers inside ..but only I know that .

Why should YOU go on to the final round?
I frequently thought about how to answer this question. It turns out making it to Round 3 didnt automatically fill me with self-confidence and unending affection for my creations.
You have given me a sense of my own creative resourcefulness. Surprisingly the time constraint has allowed my creativity to thrive. The Sewing bee has provided a focus and a framework for it to flourish; the limits and obstacles spark my imagination. I have abilities in me that I didn’t even know I had. I’d love to go to the next round and see what other myths I will debunk about myself.
I have debunked the myth that I cant use super precious stash fabric so that means that I am finally unleashed on all sorts of amazingly gorgeous beautiful fabrics that I would use for Round 4!

Oodles of smug pics!deets Collage Interior Collage Jacket collage Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 105 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 108 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 138 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 151 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 153 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 177 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 180 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 205 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 206 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 214 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 218 Late Summer & Mamas Jacket 223 me collage v8601 2 collage v8601 collage

The entries were quite stellar so I will not be bummed if I don’t get to the final. I am incredibly beyond proud of this jacket. Needless to say after all this work I feel that I can move from advanced beginner to Intermediate sewer! I hereby confer my own graduation :-). Do you have a project that made you realise you have leveled up?

Oh and here is my picture of my sewing cave as is…I haven’t been able to go in there (neither have I wanted to) since Sunday afternoon. Puts me to shame doesn’t it? And this is the most flattering angle…2015-10-05 16.17.15


Happy sewing everyone!



Check it out! Another Vogue V1440 chinese collar variation

Happy Wednesday all!

Greetings and salutations! I have been quiet – busy beavering away. Frantically  trying to set up our new home before the little people break off for summer.  Between the end of year plays, scout camps, music exams and all the craziness that comes with summer sewing time has been rare as hen’s teeth. I have managed to squeeze in a late night here and there out of a sheer need for a fix….yes I get angsty and irate and impatient when I haven’t done anything sewing related for more that a few days. Is that withdrawal? Does that mean I am an addict in a sense?

So anyway here goes…predictably I made V1440, a TNT which I knew would be quick to make up. I had this in mind for The Monthly Stitch Check it Out challenge! This is my 4th V1440 top. Made in linen here and in purple quilting cotton here and cotton poplin here.

By the time you make a pattern the fourth time round (fifth including muslin) you pretty much go on auto pilot. The challenge with this make was pattern matching the plaid. I managed at the front ok but the back – argh! The fabric is quite a fine cotton lawn that does not like being unpicked. I matched the pattern at the seam line instead of the stitching line. Lessons were learnt.

I love the fabric its so light weight and cool to wear. Despite the pattern matching issue I quite like this top. Pictures taken on my phone- our DSLR had some hiccups that weren’t going away so its gone to camera hospital. wpid-wp-1436888440836.jpeg wpid-wp-1436888434369.jpeg wpid-wp-1436888426775.jpeg wpid-wp-1436888419571.jpeg wpid-wp-1436888412008.jpeg wpid-wp-1436888403389.jpeg


In other news because of the house move – for the first time ever ALL my fabric stash came out of its hidey holes into the light of day. And oh boy – I have a lot! Here it is in all its glory. I even tried to sort through it but after 3 hours I gave up. I did find a lot of lovely fabric I had forgotten I had 🙂wpid-20150623_210118.jpg

Thanks for stopping by and Happy sewing all!



Mustard ditsy Vogue V1440 chinese collar variation

Happy Friday!

I have committed a repeat pattern offence! This is my 3rd V1440 top. Made in linen here and in purple quilting cotton here. This is made in a cotton poplin that has a lovely drape. Its such a joy to iron and sew with this fabric. Responds beautifully to the heat and steam.

Finished with french seams, the inside are so incredibly neat. The variation with this one was just not adding the upper collar. I love it 😄So comfortable. For buttons I used mother of pearl buttons. .So dainty. Its become a fast make as this took me a couple of days to sew up. I didnt have to worry about pattern matching since its quite a busy print.

Verdict……… well on its way to being a TNT since I plan on making another one in a check pattern.


Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 049 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 048 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 047 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 046 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 045 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 042 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 040 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 039 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 037 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 036 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 032 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 028 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 026 Mama Photoshoot 20Apr 023

Happy sewing everyone and thanks for stopping by! I have moved house last week so no PC set up yet. Posts will be less but on the plus side I now have a proper sewing room. Squee!! Not set up yet. How should I celebrate? More fabric or patterns? Los.



Update on purple top which had the stiff collar. Its been washed twice now and it looks like the collar is getting softer so yeahy!

Purple Vogue V1440

Hello all,

I am back with my beloved Vogue V1440 top.

Since I’ve already made the pattern once, there’s not really anything new to report in terms of construction. I have made this before here in linen and I did a comprehensive post here about the construction.Purple v1440

I made this in what I now know to be a medium weight purple quilting cotton.  When I bought the fabric it was being sold as 100% cotton suitable for shirts. You live and learn.

Purple v1440 3
Check out that Collar! Like a BOSS!!

I gushed when I saw the colour and it was love at first sight. I brought it home; it washed dried and cut within 24 hours. The fabric has a beautiful jewel tone .. however it doesn’t drape very well. Its quite stiff but perfectly serviceable.

I made this exactly as before except for the collar. I decided to try glue basting. Spent £5 on fabric glue and also bought a meter of sew in light weight woven interfacing… Yeah I am not convinced. Either I messed up the application or I got the wrong glue. The collar is stiff and am considering taking off the the upper collar and leaving the collar stand.

purple v1440 2

I accidentally sewed the armband to the inside of the bodice. But thats ok… You can only see the line of edgestitching.

Purple v1440 4
Conversating with the hedge 😉

I thought I would be getting more wear out of these tops by now but the weather hasn’t been playing ball. I am hopeful for the summer though <fingers crossed> :-).

I think the next time I make it I will use a smaller collar but other than the fabric issue I really like this shirt. The colour is aMaZing!!  I have only worn it around the house with a cardi.

The pictures are a bit blurry because the light was so poor… ah well. I thought I’d use a different background.Purple v1440 1

Thanks so much for clicking by and until next time …Happy sewing everyone!




Well duh! I made leggings! Another V1440 make.

Hi guys!

I am so excited today’s post is super short and sweet. So yeah I finally made leggings! Waaayyyyy back in Sept I made a Fall “To Sew” list and leggings featured. Well I only just got to making them – Better late than never so ta dah!

Leggings CollageThey were quick to make; I mean very quick. From cutting to tacking the elastic it took an hour ;-). A satisfying make that has had a lot of wear since! The material is something I got off Ebay ages ago and I have no idea what its is. It looks a sportswear kind of material which is firm but breathes. The insides are not too shabby either!The elastic sits nicely on the waist too.

2015-03-23 16.05.32
The elastic is tacked at the four seams. Overlocked seams.

Once again my beloved Vogue V1440 has delivered for me. I cut a straight size 8 and shortened by 1 inch . The hems were finished using a zig zag stitch (couldn’t be bothered to get the twin needle out and thread it). The pattern contains an elastic guide which meant the elastic was just spot on and perfect.  And he best part – I love them, like seriously they are the best leggings I have ever had!

In other news we just had a lovely sunny day and keeping fingers crossed that spring has finally sprung – even planted the seed potatoes so here’s hoping!

Have you ever made something and thought “Well Duh! why didn’t I make this sooner!” and you kick yourself in the the behind for not having made it sooner! Well this is my “Well duh!” garment ;-). No doubt there will be loads more “Well duh!” garments in my sewing future. Speaking of sewing future on my radar is another Holyburn skirt that’s nearly done.

Happy sewing everyone!


Vogue V1440

Hello all,

I am back with the construction details of my beloved Vogue V1440 top. I warn you this is quite text and photo intensive so feel free to scroll on by ;-).

Size and fit

As mentioned previously looking the at Vogue pattern sizing I should have cut a size 14. The pattern tissue itself looked like the size 14 was huge. I looked at the finished garment measurements on the tissue pattern (the pattern envelope only showed the finished length). The finished garment bust measurement was 38″. My bust is 33″. That’s a lot of ease…I mean a huge amount. Even when I was pregnant with twins this would have had plenty of ease.

Instead I used those tissue measurements to determine the size to cut which was a size 8. Still doubting myself I prudently cut a size 10 with the idea being I could take it in where it needed taking in. But little did I realise that it would still be very loose for me with the armholes gaping somewhat. I dealt with the armholes and bust by simply pinching out the excess at the side seams and pinning. I marked on the muslin how much was pinched out. Measured and took that off the front pattern pieces and the back pattern piece. 5/8″ was taken off on each of the 4 seams so about 2.5″ in total taken off to make it fit just right. So in the end it was a Size 8 with 2.5″ removed at side seams. From a size 14!!! I am so glad I am at that stage in my sewing now where I no longer blindly follow a pattern. It would have put me ff Vogue patterns otherwise.  I reckon I am an intermediate beginner now :-).


This was fun. I was very apprehensive and procrastinated a fair bit out of fear of failure. I didn’t think I had the skill to make a collar or a yoke piece. This year is all about pushing myself and expanding my boundaries so I insisted, against myself, that since I had spent money on the pattern therefore I had to make it. No sitting in my stash looking pretty! I am trying to break my cycle of buying patterns and packing them away by using what I buy straight away.

I dithered over tracing because there was so much tracing to do. I usually trace on greaseproof paper and these pattern pieces were too wide for the greaseproof paper so I thought of …hush now….cutting into my tissue paper :-o. But I couldn’t and had to go onto Instagram to hear whats what with tissue cutting. Instabuddies bolstered my confidence I went for it. Well sort of…..I cut the tissue BUT not to size 10. Kept all the sizes and did that thing where the edges are  folded into the size i needed. I know I am a wuss but I am not there yet!

I used a linen fabric and it took me an hour to cut out and transfer markings. I used pencil to transfer markings as that seems to wash off well plus I can actually see the markings (I know I am naughty using pencil).


In my previous muslin I followed the pattern instructions until the collar and  switched to Pam Howard’s Craftsy Class. On this one I did the collar first. I used lightweight fusible interfacing on the collar. Again used the Craftsy class and produced this neat clean looking collar which I am insanely proud of. I remembered to topstitch with the top collar facing up and it looked much neater than the first time.collar

Fly Front or Concealed button placket

With the collar ready to go in I worked on the left front which has the fly front. I struggled with understanding the fly front instructions in the pattern so I used this Youtube video tutorial. It was great at explaining how to create a standard hidden placket. I am such a visual person and I love Youtube for its wealth of tutorials.

Something I also like about this pattern is that the  buttonholes are made right at the beginning. Buttonholes tend to slow me down at the end of a project. But here they are the 4th step after the darts. However, it was very important to have transferred my markings very very accurately. I didn’t with  my first muslin and the buttonhole ended up too close to the stitching line and the fold; entirely my fault for being quick and fast and not paying proper attention. Once the front left was done I moved on to the right side which had a lot less folds. The instructions say to handstitch the first fold made but I didnt do that and it still looks fine – I don’t understand that step because by the time you make the second fold that handstitched part is not visible…?? So yeah not sure what that’s about!

2015-03-05 08.33.22
Concealed button placket.

Center back slit. The back has 2 pieces sewn together at center back. The instructions have you finish the seam by turning under and basting the seam followed by edgestitching. It looks very neat. I squinted a lot while doing this step. For the slit I basted the slit pressed open the seam, finished the seam by edgestitching. A seam ripper to remove the basting and open the slit which  created a super neat slit. I didn’t do this in my first one and the seam there was wonky.  The benefits of making a muslin!!!!.

Next stage was sewing the back and sides together using french seams. I love french seams for their neat look. The pattern instructions say to “stitch 3mm (1/8″) from seamline in seam allowance. Trim close to stitching. With right sides together, crease along seam:press. Stitch along seamline encasing raw edges” From my understanding that would create a seam allowance of about 2/8″. The pattern states the 5/8″ seam allowances included. SO yes I found that a bit confusing and  I decided to stick to what I had already known as french seam seam which was sew 6mm (2/8″), trim, turn and sew another 6mm(2/8″). I learnt this when I made my Carme blouse.

collar and main


Ok this is where the fun bit started for me. The arm bands have 2 pieces a back and front which are sewn together. They are attached to the armholes with right side of armhole banding to wrong side of bodice. Sew and trim clip and turn over press. Now the instructions dont tell you to uinderstitch but it seem intuitive to do so. I didn’t with my first muslin but did so with this one and it was much flatter, neater and no peeking.

Hem finishing

hem and armholes
The back slit and the hem. The insidede of the armhole.

Instead of yoke I did the hem finish. Pattern requires you to cut the bias strip for bias binding. This means that the fabric requirement is about half a meter more than necessary just for a self binding. I didn’t cut on the bias. In future I will use bias binding rather than using up unnecessary fabric (especially if its pricey fabric). The instructions were very good and clear on this step.  The hem is a bit stiff because I didn’t cut the trim on the bias. I also used a contrast trim to add a little pop of colour.

The triangular yoke needed to be sewn to a point and I used this Youtube tutorial which immediately made it clear. It’s  actually for a godet insertion but its the same principle. So I got this in and created a sharp point nearly perfect! Another bit I am insanely proud of! When that goes in the remaining seam has to be turned under ready for the finished yoke band.


For the band I took the extra step of drawing in the seam lines and basting before pressing the seam under. My V band was spot on (I didn’t do this first time around) but the difference is very clear non? V band ready it gets place over the triangle yoke and  basted in before edgestitching. I tried to do something fancy with double stitching but I wasn’t great at keeping even distance. Meh… you live and learn :-).

For comparison purposes. My first V band was a hot mess.
This is much much better!

I used a LOT of pins and sewed on the slowest speed.

I think I was trying to sneak up on my photographer…..

Next was french seaming the shoulder seams. Again thoroughly love french seaming 😉 Then bodice was ready to be attached to the collar. Straight forward – no issues there. It was so nice knowing that once the collar was sewn on, all I had to do were the buttons and it could be worn! Used a lot of pins on the collar to make sure it didn’t shift. I finished by handstitching the inner collar. For the first time ever I enjoyed handstitching. Gave it a final press and it looked fab. The instructions are to topstitch the collar band but I skipped that – I liked it just as it was!

In conclusion (phew)

1. Check the tissue for the size. It is very very loose fitting.

2. Understitch the armhole band to give them a nice easy curl under.

My thoughts are that the collar may be a bit too wide for my liking (its a very minor thing though). I  have already cut out another one!

Is it just me or is shirtmaking quite addictive? Have you made a shirt recently? Did you enjoy it or it put you off?

Its a long post and I dont normally do such long post but I had a few emails asking about the construction of this top. I promise no long posts for a while yet (unless they involve lots of pictures cause you all know how much I love my pictures!

Happy sewing everyone!


Notebook: Vogue V1440 Muslin 2

Hello everyone!

How are you? Hope you are having a great weekend! I am super excited to share my completed second muslin of the V1440 top. Firstly fit was an issue on my first go which I wrote about here. Here is a picture of the first muslin fit.

muslin 1 without collar
I felt that it was too loose fitting for my liking.
The armhole gaped too much such that my bra was visible.
The armhole gaped too much such that my bra was visible.

Now on to Muslin2….

Much much happier with the fit. The armholes feel secure and lie flat .
Looks more like the picture on the pattern envelope. It feels so comfortable!yoke detail

And the back yoke detail that I love so much! My edgestitching is dodgy…so is my topstitching for that matter ;-(..

The fly front was much faster and easier to sew second time round. Its still not finished. I need to slipstitch between the button holes and up to the top.
I like the little slit at the bottom. My edgestitching down the centre back seam is much better 😉
,uslin 2 collage Collage
I just got into Yoga and I love that I can do this very comfortably! I can do yoga in it!!!!
colla idea
I have an idea to make one with just a collar stand instead of full collar. I unpicked the top bit of the collar so I could see what it looks like. I quite like this variation too 😉

Vogue V1440 View A

So whats the plan now?

  • I am cutting out another one this weekend and will make it with just a collar stand.
  • This one counts as wearable muslin.
  • Figure out neat edgestitching.

I will do another post just on the construction and the interiors – I had so much fun with it and took loads of pictures. So that will be coming soon ;-).

Happy sewing everyone and have an awesome weekend!