Better Late than Never Blazer : BurdaStyle Blazer 03/2016 116A #burdachallenge2018

This jacket has been waiting a long time to be made. I bought and cut this fabric over a year ago, changed my mind about the style and left it in my UFO box, forgotten. Until I was browsing all my March issues while planning my #burdachallenge2018 makes for this month.

Reaching for my UFO box is never a nice experience. I like to pretend it doesn’t exist. You understand don’t you, gentle reader, that being confronted by your own personality defects must be avoided? Especially if said defects might justify a fabric fast?

But I reached for it, if only to refresh my memory of the project.

On a tangent, diving into the UFO was just as unpleasant as I thought it would be – too many carrier bags of projects in there. They were very angry. They hadn’t seen the light of day for a long time. I did not like facing them. I decided that I was going to have a sort through later on and chuck most of them (after all if I havent sewn them by now then I dont need to).

Back to the story at hand – once I saw the fabric I decided to have a go at sewing the jacket – It looked like an easy enough pattern. The jacket is unlined. Here is the line drawing: 



BurdaStyle 03/2016 116

I cant recall much about the fabric except that I bought it from B&M Fabrics. It has some lycra in it I think based on the cross grain stretch.

The fabric was quite nice to work with – it has that beautiful quality of letting stitches sink in and become invisible so you can unpick and mess up royally with little visible impact :-).

The jacket came together quickly. I made my usual size 38 without any alterations. The only change was to leave my sleeve band unfolded. In the instructions, the sleeve band is folded in half and sewn on to sleeve giving it a three-quarter length. My sleeve band had been cut on the selvedge so I thought it would be nice to incorporate the selvedges thereby also making the sleeve longer.

Verdict: Quite simply – I LOVE IT! Love it! Nuff said.

BurdaStyle 03/2016 #116


So coming back to my UFO box – I get why they are angry with me. All they want is to show me how beautiful and useful they can be. They just want to be given a chance.

Because somewhere, at some point a tiny spark of an idea had emerged and I started pulling it together.

The idea was excited about coming to fruition but then I dropped it like a hot potato.

Of Course, they are angry. And I am shamed.

Shamed into action.

I nearly threw out this project because of unpleasant feelings of shame. Well if there is one thing this beautiful spring jacket has taught me – its that it is never too late!

So do not worry my lovely UFOs – you will not be left behind. I am coming to get all of you and give you your chance! 

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

Peace and love,




BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Leggings #burdachallenge2018

I made these leggings at the beginning of the year and already they have become my go-to for yoga. By the time I got round to taking blog pictures (during the snow days), they had been washed about 5 times already.

In the magazine they are described as ; So practical: To keep these leggings from pulling during a workout, we’ve sewn wide ankle cuffs at the hem. The front waistband has an overlap that is not only comfortable, but stylish, as well. 

Here is the line drawing:

BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Leggings

The leg cuffs piqued my interest – I have Reynaud’s Syndrome which means I really feel cold in my feet and hands all the time. I do ashtanga yoga which is a dynamic yoga practice and you are not supposed to have socks on during the practice (for safety reasons as they can slip). So this simple idea of covering some of my foot while the crucial parts that grip on to the mat are left able to do just that, was a tantalising prospect.

Before reviewing them I wanted to see how well they did in situ and I am converted! Though my feet still feel cold, I don’t feel it as acutely as I did before. The leggings performed exceptionally well because of the high waist. There are a lot of forward bends in Ashtanga and low rise leggings constantly need to be pulled back up. But not with these ones. Not once have I felt the creeping chill of an ever lowering waistband. So yeah the verdict is that I LOVE these leggings! Plus the wrap effect band is quite stylish too :-).

BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Leggings
BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Wrap effect wide waist band


I traced my usual Burda 38 and without any alterations at all. The fabric is a jersey that I was given by a friend. It is not a drapey sort of knit but it has more heft than T-Shirt jersey but less than ponte. I used my overlocker for all seams except for the hems on the foot cuffs. The instructions were good on this one. Well done Burda!

This was the first of my January #burdachallenge2018 makes. More coming soon as I race to catch up with all my unblogged makes.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,



BurdaStyle 01/2018 #107 Leggings Pattern



Vogue 9259 Tropical Jumpsuit: Pattern Review

This is a long wide legged jumpsuit that I absolutely loved wearing last summer. Pardon me for posting such an obviously summery make in winter but bear with me, please. Spring is on the way and I am very excited about moving on to sewing with lightweight fabrics so this is whetting my appetite.

I knew that I was getting Vogue 9259 the moment I saw it. Unfortunately, I had to wait months before collecting my patterns while we visited the USA. It was worth the wait though.

It has a criss-cross halter neck front. Here is the line drawing:

The line drawing looks like the band is at the waist but I found that for me it was a smidge higher than my natural waist. I looked at the model pic and it also looks a bit higher than the waist. It is not uncomfortable or anything but it does make me look like I have very long legs.

Although we only had a few days where it was hot enough to wear this on its own I cant tell you how lovely it was! I loved the feel of the sun on my back and the breeze against my skin.

My initial worry about making it had been than my breasts wouldn’t be secured and that I would constantly be tucking them in. But this was not the case at all. I found that there was no gaping (to be fair I am not very endowed in that area when I am braless so I might not be best placed to recommend this if you are a larger cup size than B). On other days I wore it with a lightweight black elbow length cardigan.

I took my son to a birthday party that had a bouncy castle which I snuck into while everyone was singing Happy Birthday and had a go. No escapees. They were safe and secure. 

These days I am trying to qualify myself when I say that something was easy to make. As an intermediate seamstress, I found this to be a straightforward make that was easy to sew and get a good fit on. I cut my usual size 12 for Vogue patterns and made no alterations.

I do like the lightness of viscose. It was a swish factor that I love.

Verdict: Its a winner! Deep pockets and comfortable while making me look like I made an effort.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,



Butterick B6097 – Pattern Review

The story with this top is that it started as a Pinterest pin on my Clothes I Think I Can Make board.

Sometime later, I randomly stumbled upon a McCall Pattern Company all brand sale wherein I made the acquaintance of  Butterick B6097.

Butterick B6097

Butterick B6097 is described as a fitted shirt, has collar and peplum variations, princess seams, front button-down closure and button band. Technically speaking, this is a toile which turned out to be very wearable.

I used quilting cottons that I bought from Leeds Market. There was point in my early sewing life when I would buy 1m pieces of quilting cottons <why?> /sigh. Anyway, I had just enough to make this top in the short peplum style with box pleats. I can’t recall why I went for the peter pan collar but I think I wanted to practice finishing a peter pan collar with bias binding.

I cut a size 8 based on the finished bust measurement. I made no alterations at all. The fit is pretty spot on. It could do with a small swayback adjustment if I was being all perfectionist about it. But I’m not, so I won’t and that’s okay.

Butterick B6097
Butterick B6097 Box pleat detail

Armhole fininshed with bias tape.
Butterick B6097

I do like the peter pan collar 🙂


The style is ……..sassy. I feel quite sassy when I am wearing it. Now I just need to find some nice white cotton lawn fabric and finally realise the inspiration image.

Verdict – I will make again in solid neutral colour. Recommended with the caveat that I used finished garment measurement to select my size.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, Happy Sewing!!

Peace and love,


PS. I am nearly caught up blogging my 2017 items 🙂 That makes me happy.



Burda 05/2016 Bat Sleeve Dress #115B

This is another dress I made specially for a holiday to the seaside. Its from the May 2016 issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The style is called a bat sleeve dress. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I was intrigued by this pattern enough to make it.The pictures didn’t really do anything for me but it was the line drawing that grabbed me:

BurdaStyle 05/2016 #115B


I have made it in ponte before here.The instructions were quite good – though this is very simply constructed dress made up of 2 pieces (front and back) and a neckband. You just have to finish the arm flaps before draping them over each other and securing with the neck-band.

I used a viscose jersey – very drapey and perfect for my purposes. I wanted something akin to a beach cover-up. Easy to to pop on and off. It did the job admirably! Here it is in action.

I definitely see more capelet dresses in the future. Its so quick and fast to sew up too.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time-

Happy Sewing!



Simple Sew Patterns The Cocoon Dress x2

Today I have something a little different to my usual style. In an effort to move out of my comfort zone, I decided to make this cocoon dress. The pattern came for free with Issue 8 of Sew Now magazine. Here is the pattern envelope with the line drawings.



Simple Sew Patterns – The Cocoon Dress


The style is very simple. AT the time that it came on to my radar, I was preparing for a family holiday to USA where we going to be at the beach in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. I knew that it got very hot and humid, I wanted something that wouldn’t be too formfitting.

I sewed the first make with a linen chambray type fabric that I bought from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds Market. Sewing it up really is very easy. No zips. No buttonholes. I eliminated the center front seam but cutting the front piece on a fold (I can’t recall why I did this but it worked out).

I staystitched the neckline and used stay tape to keep it from gaping. If there ever was an hour project then this surely is. By the time I made my second one – it was less than one hour from cutting to snipping the final thread.

The sizing was accurate. My bust measurement is between their size 8 and 10. I opted to cut size 10 which was just right. The pockets are nice and deep.

I confess a part of me was worried that this might look like a sack of potatoes on me. By the time I tried it on for fitting I got a bit more excited. It is so comfortable and quite stylish. I made a video immediately after I had been wearing it for a day because the number of compliments on the dress I received that day was astounding.

My personal philosophy about making my clothes is that I make and wear what makes me happy. When I am putting together an outfit – my concern isn’t primarily on how I look to others who see me. It is on how I feel and whether I like it. Of course its lovely when I get compliments on my outfits. But, when I have left my comfort zone and I receive compliments – its an even nicer feeling.  I digress….

Simple Sew Patterns The Cocoon Dress

And my YouTube review..

The second one was made using some fabric that I had been very precious about for a long time. The fabric was won in an Instagram competition wherein 2 meters of Nani Iro triple gauze fabric turned up on my doorstep – FREE!!!

I have oohed and aahed over this fabric for years. I thought it might work well with the Cocoon dress. Cutting was hard! There was plenty of wincing and bottom lip biting. But cut it, I did. It was a point of importance that I sewed it up straightaway in order to avoid buyers remorse so to speak.

A note on sewing with triple gauze…..triple gauze is made of 3 layers of gauze that are loosely woven together. Its about twice the thickness of double gauze. Being 100% cotton the fabric is breathable and incredibly soft. Sewing it however was not fun. The thickness created by the 4 layers of gauze added up. Though I have never quilted – I imagine that it was like sewing a quilt. After sewing one seam it was clear I had to use the walking foot which made things a bit easier.

In the end, I had a lovely deliciously comfortable dress, albeit that looks a bit like pyjamas. I love it. Its bright, lively and vibrant! It is the kind of dress that makes me feel obliged to project the energy it embodies.

Enough words…pictures…..

Simple Sew Patterns The Cocoon Dress


Verdict: Highly recommended! Another thing I love about this dress is that I can go braless without any obvious issues. Win!

Thanks for stopping by!  Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,






At some time in December last year, I came across a French pattern company on Instagram, DP Studio Fashion. The company ethos is to keep abreast of the latest fashion news to find out about new shapes, volumes and shades. They sell a collection of ready-to-use patterns through their online boutique. I was quite taken by the designs which are so unique and fashion forward. There had so many patterns I wanted to buy, however, I limited myself to two. Here is the first one – a skirt:

Le 406 is an asymmetric skirt constructed in one piece and has no waistband. The pleats on the right side create volume that is then added to a frill sewn on the true bias creating a front ruffle of full volume and effect.

This is the picture that got me 

Postage and Service

The ordering process was very simple. The online website has pages for english and french language users. Postage was incredibly efficient with the patterns arriving within four days via courier. I was impressed. 

I knew I wanted to make my Christmas outfit using this pattern. Looking through my stash I considered using a denim and very nearly cut it out in denim but at the last minute remembered some tartan fabric that I believed would be more festive.

A note on the pattern – it has one of the largest pattern pieces I have ever worked with! The main front piece has two pieces that have to be taped together. The 2 pieces were not aligning perfectly along the grainline points. I emailed DP Studio Fashion and they responded within a couple of hours saying that this was a problem they were aware of – an error in the printing. I had to tape it along the right side seam and draw in the hem curve. It’s a simple enough thing to do – I don’t know if subsequent batches of the pattern will have this error. This picture shows what I mean – it really is a minor issue.

All the pieces are cut single layer so this pattern requires a lot of fabric. I failed with pattern matching the side seams but I figured it could be a design feature.

As an intermediate level seamstress, I found the instructions clear and well written. There is a picture tutorial available on the website.

Sizing was spot on. I chose the pattern size based on the provided grid and it was perfectly right for me.

I made no changes to the pattern. The waistband is supposed to have a facing but I opted for a Petersham ribbon. Two reasons: it is quicker and more comfortable.

I managed to finish the skirt in the nick of time on Christmas Eve and was able to wear it on Christmas morning paired with my black BurdaStyle roll neck top. A fetching combo that I felt good in.

After a couple of hours I noticed that the side where the flounce is anchored tended to ‘drop’ creating an asymmetric waist look. My assessment is that the waistband needs to be snugger to keep both sides at the same level. But then again it might just be this particular fabric which has a slightly loose weave that seems to let out over time and tightens when washed.




Verdict: I love this skirt! I felt edgy when I was wearing it. The swish factor is a definite plus for me. It is a skirt made for striding forward towards…something! My sister in law said it had a Vivienne Westwood punk rock vibe. I was pleased beyond reason with that compliment :-).

I am looking forward to making another version of this skirt. It has much potential when using different fabrics. There are more patterns from DP Studio Fashion that I have my eye on.

Thanks for stopping by and until then, Happy Sewing!

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 🙂


Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,


BurdaStyle 01/2017 #105 Activewear Edition

I actually made this outfit in January 2017 (Yay for actually sewing a BurdaStyle magazine of the same month!).

Athletic Tank Top 01/2017 #105

Tha fabric for the top is a self wicking knit which has some stretch. The stretch is quite minimal and not like a t-shirt jersey. Unfortunately, I don’t know its exact specifics as it was part of a bundle of fabrics from MinervaCrafts that I had won on IG in 2016. It is very comfortable to wear and supports my bust well.

The top is made up of 8 pieces – nice seam detail to look at but a pain in the neck to deal with. First of all, when tracing it I forgot to write in the seam numbers that tell you which edge to join where and had to rip out twice and cut more pattern pieces (I was using an overlocker). Eventually, I got my head around it and it worked out nicely.  I even put in a fancy neon green exposed zip. The zip is purely decorative, in my opinion, as I can easily pull this over my head without using the zip. The next time I make it I will omit the zip.

I really like this top because despite all the seam lines it is very comfortable. The upper half is self-lined so no overlock seams rubbing against my skin. Its fussy but well worth it.


Athletic Leggings 01/2017 #106B #106B

The fabric for the leggings is deep dark brown ponte roma with a shiny surface. I quite liked the angular seams and the high waist of these sporty leggings. Though fussy to sew up if you are trying to line everything up, I think they are worth the hassle. The pattern actually calls for zips at the ankle side seams. No thanks.


For both patterns, I cut the size 38 without any adjustments. I have worn both of these quite a lot over the last year, especially for yoga classes. The leggings are a tad too warm in summer but perfect when the weather is on the cooler side (on account of the ponte).

This outfit was/is a win for me – a great addition to my activewear collection!

Athletic Tank Top BurdaStyle 01/2017 #105


Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,


McCalls Shirt dress M7387 Pattern Review

This was a dress that I made for a sewing challenge called #sewingtogetherforsummer last year. The challenge was to sew a shirtdress in time for the British summer (I know – its an oxymoron). Anyhow, I chose this pattern as it had been a recent addition to the stash from my epic US pattern haul.

McCalls M7387 is a top, tunic and dresses pattern. Its semi-fitted through bust and has a collar, back pleated into self-lined yoke with forward shoulder seams, and front-fly button closing.

I was drawn to the pattern by the high side slits and the super curved hemline. The fact that it has dolman style sleeves was also lovely. I made view D, size: small.

The fabric I used was bought from Jacks Fabrics during one of my many fabric shopping jaunts last year. It’s a lightweight rayon or viscose challis. I don’t normally go for black and white but this ikat print was attractive.

Sewing the pattern up was reasonably okay. The button placket is covered so that had a few tiny challenges which resulted in me eliminating the covered placket in favour for showing off my cute black rim buttons.

The style of this reminds me of the Deer and Doe Melilot which has similar sleeves. Curved hems are always a bit tricky to sew but with rayon a good pressing removes all evils.

The back pleat is a big one – not a regular box pleat. Consequently, it is very important to mark the notches and the direction of the fold for the pleat. When I make this again in the future I will be adding pockets – its the one thing that’s missing for me. The pattern envelope shows it worn with a belt but I much prefer it without one.

Its a joy to wear this dress – light and airy,  it was perfect for summer. Here is how I wore it most of the time. Sometimes I swapped the wedges for black flip-flops.

This pattern is great value all round – it has many variations which I am definitely interested in making. The next one will be view E in some rayon fabric languishing in my stash at the moment :-).

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day 🙂

Peace and love,


Love Sewing Issue 44 Reader Review M6886

I made another M6886 as a reader review article for Love Sewing magazine (Issue 44). They invited me to their studio for a proper photoshoot with a make up artist and everything! Even got my nails done :-). It was quite an experience – one that I will cherish. Here is the review……

McCall’s M6886 Pattern Review for Love Sewing Magazine

You can never go wrong with a classic silhouette like McCall’s M6886. Designed to be a close fitting pullover dress, it has three neckline variations and four sleeve lengths. I love the scoop neckline on View D. The simplicity of sewing this dress is at odds with how well presented and chic I feel in it – surely something so quick to sew shouldn’t be so elegant?  Yet it is and that is the beauty of this pattern – I can see why it’s incredibly popular in the sewing community with over 160 reviews on PatternReview.

Well written instructions mean that even a new beginner can tackle this. The instructions are also written for sewing machines so even if you don’t have an overlocker you are covered. I cut a size 8 which fits me well – I took in a half inch at my narrowest waist point as I wanted a snugger fit there.

Let’s talk fabric – this lush wool ponte from Minerva Crafts is the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow as it were. I was torn between the brown and pink colourway but settled on the popping pink of course! Unusually, this beautiful ponte roma stripe is made from 100 percent wool fibres. It has a luxurious feel and was an absolute dream to sew. The stripes measure approx 7mm wide so I easily got away with minimal stripe matching (I can honestly say that stripe matching is not my forteJ.). It also helps that it’s reversible which means cutting out can be economical. The fabric is comfortable to wear, isn’t scratchy and the wool makes for a cosy warm dress – perfect for fall/winter. Love!

This dress has got so much layering potential for winter too – I plan on keeping it cosy by layering it over a black turtleneck with tights and knee length boots! Sweet!!!

If you are looking for a practical, easy to sew and figure flattering pattern then look no further than McCall’s M6886. I have more plans to add to the three that are already taking pride of place in my closet!

And pictures…….

I don’t think I did too bad in a studio 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!


Peace and love,



Named Anneli Double Front T shirt maxi Dress as featured in Sew Now Magazine Issue 8

I am super, quite possibly uber, excited to finally be able to share this project. This is a pattern review I wrote for Sew Now magazine (Issue 8 circa May 2017) – a publication I really enjoy as it is a mix of sewing and fashion. For the review, I sewed up Named Patterns Anneli Tee Shirt dress in a delicious green jersey. Enjoy!

Everyone loves tee shirt dresses and I am not an exception. Named’s latest offering from their SS17 Playground collection is the Anneli double front dress. The pattern includes two variations: a straight, ankle-length jersey dress, and a casual T-shirt.


Named Patterns Anneli T Shirt Maxi Dress – showing some leg 🙂


The packaging screams exclusive brand and you certainly get what you pay for with this incredibly well drafted pattern. The instructions and sizing are excellent. This is achievable as a first time project. All the seams lined up beautifully – even the neckband snaps perfectly flat against my body. Super quick to sew up, it took only 1.5 hours from start to finish with no alterations at all. The double-layered front which creates an interesting wrap effect gives it a uniqueness and a point of difference, making it perfect for the warmer days of spring and summer. 

If I had to pick a word to describe the Milano jersey fabric – delicious! Verdant in colour and lush in texture, this gorgeous fabric is reminiscent of 2017 Pantone’s Colour of the year ‘Greenery’. It feels soft and luxurious next to the

Trying a new pose – its called “Running to catch the bus”
Perfect neckband lies flat



I love this casual and easy to wear dress. Minimalist with a directional edge, Anneli is effortlessly stylish. I paired my Anneli dress with hoop earrings, chunky bracelet and a pair of thong sandals— and I was all set!  I love that I can stay warm with an oversized baggy sweater. Or get sporty with a denim jacket and trainers, or bohemia with a statement necklace and a floppy hat or throw on some cute flats for a more polished look…..endless possibilities.

I have to say that Named understand the appeal of the tee shirt dress. They are comfortable and when we feel comfortable, we feel confident. Anneli ticks many boxes for me; it is fashionable AND feels good to wear AND delivers on comfort AND is quick to sew. A new favourite!


Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time – Happy Sewing!!!!

Peace and love,


PS. It was a really windy day when we did the photoshoot so apologies for my VPL – it couldnt be helped!