SWAP2017: An Over and a Lower

My SWAP has 4 overs which are :

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

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

Fitted Shirt


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

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

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

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

Yellow Maxi Skirtyellow20maxi20skirt

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

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

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


SWAP2017 Granville Shirt and Anna Maxi skirt


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

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

Happy sewing!

Peace and love,



Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 4, 5 & 6

I can’t believe I only made my first Renfrew top early this year around February time. Now I have 6 versions – with still more to make.

Renfrew Pt 4

Made in polka dot poly jersey that’s been a stasher for yonks (since stash began actually) and it makes for a drapey lightweight top. I made this for the SewDots challenge, but I didn’t submit it because I decided I wasn’t particularly keen on the prizes.

Polka dots Renfrew – makes me feel jazzy!
Cowl neck detail

Renfrew Pt 6.

Made from some John Kaldor fabric left over from another project. I just manged to squeeze in the scoop neck version with three-quarter length sleeves. Not bad for about 3/4meters of fabric. I am happy with this. I really quite love the dramatic floral print.

Sewaholic Renfrew
Scoop neck detail

Renfrew Pt 5

Made in a ponte weight fabric bought in early days. I only had  one meter but I was determined to make this a cowl neck version. After much messing about – I got it to fit but had to sacrifice the cuffs and have a narrower hem band. In lieu of same colour cuffs I colour blocked with a lovely contrasting grey. I wear this a lot as layer under stuff. Rarely on its own though.

Neutral Renfrew – love the drape of this cowl – so much body to it.
Cowl neck detail



That will do as far as Renfrews go for this year. Will I make more Renfrews in 2017? We will have to see………Have you made 6 of one pattern this year too? 

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

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 🙂). 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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

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

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 🙂 Picture quality is not the best – some days there was better light than others.

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by.



Sewaholic Oakridges

Hello chums,

I took a rather unexpected break from blogging. Actually it was forced upon me…its summer holidays and the kids have been wanting to play a new PC game they got as a present. Wrestling for control of the computer when you are a significantly outnumbered as I am means that I have no access to write up my blog posts :-(. I need a laptop <sigh>.

Still I have managed to bribe them with extra morning PC time in exchange for 30 mins to write up this post. Please forgive any typos and remember that Done is better than Perfect :-). I am running behind on posting my finished items and these were finished over a month ago actually. OK here goes…

I bought the Oakridge pattern a  long time ago but never got round to sewing it up . I even started it but never finished it off. In a flurry of productivity I decided to tackle some of my UFOs after getting back from holiday in early May and these 2 were in the pile.May bank holiday weekend 480 Continue reading

Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 3

Hello everyone,

Another day another Renfrew top. This one a simple scoop neck version. Fabric is from Fabsworks in Dewsbury. I squeezed this out of leftovers from making a Lady Skater dress (post coming soon).

I love it! Now if only I could find a solid colour fabric in my stash. It turns out that I am not a fan of solid colours so much. My only issue with this is that I cut the cuffs on the wrong grain so they don’t stretch as much as I’d like. As a person who rolls up her sleeves a lot, this is a tad annoying.

I really cant stop gushing over how much I love these tops (see my love letter here and here) . But I shall spare you and just move on to the pictures :-).

Cami Skater Renfrew photoshoot 315
Sewaholic Renfrew paired with Birkin Flares

Continue reading

Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 2


Hello all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Renfrews = Love!

Couldn’t resist making a collage 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and until next time

Happy Sewing!



Open Letter to Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 1

Dearest Sewaholic Renfrew,

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

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

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

It is true what Seth Godin says:

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

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

Love Hila,


Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1 & Sewaholic Granville

Hello all,

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

Sewing Bee Round 1 – Fitted Blouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rant over. Thanks for listening 🙂

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



Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

The Hollyburn 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 😉 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:

– not 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..

2015-01-29 13.23.44
Obligatory twirl shot!
It works well with a short jacket.

2015-01-29 13.23.47
2015-01-29 13.24.38


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.