Dress of Meh

Now don’t get me wrong I love this pattern, which is Robe Eve by Republique du chiffon, it’s just I made this for my Christmas dress and I had high hopes, I chose a fabric which I loved in the shop (a paul smith cotton) but now that it is made up it just looks so….. meh….unexciting, dull and boring, so much so that it prompted my New years goal of NO MORE GREY FABRIC!!!!!!!


république du chiffon robe eve



I have lusted after Republique du chiffons patterns for a while and decided to take the leap, now I could have ordered one of the patterns that have english instruction, but nooooo, in a mad moment I ordered two with french instruction…..how hard can they be I thought….ha little did I know. Of course I had to chose one of the more difficult ones, as it turns out though we live in a great age, with the use of google translate and lovely french sewers who contact you on instagram and point you towards their own (fantastic) versions, with construction details ..…very handy.

république du chiffon robe eve

The fabric is a lovely paul smith cotton, bought once again from my staple fabric shop Fabric Galore, it is my local fabric shop so most of my stash comes from there!! It’s a little heavier than shirting cotton and is really lovely but made into this dress I think it brings back memories of my grey student midwife uniform that I had to wear for 3 years and I think that’s why I have such a distaste for it, I did actually wear it for Chirstmas (cos I’m stubborn and since it was made I had to give it an outing), but lets just day it hasn’t seen the light of day since then!!!!

Paul smith cotton

république du chiffon robe eve

The pattern came together pretty easily, once I submitted to google translate and Upon a thread’s instruction on how to attach the facing was invaluable, as you have to do it with on side of the zip facing in, one side with the facing out, one of those sewing moments when it all seems very complicated and the you actually work it out and it’s aahhhahhhh!! thats how its done. I did make the mistake of not making the notches on the facing or the dress so the bottom curve could probably sit a little straighter as it pooches slightly.

république du chiffon robe eve

I really valued the challenge of this make, its good to push your boundaries…isn’t it?? I do like that aesthetic of the pattern and I will try to make to again, but probably in a print so it doesn’t feel like a uniform!!  I still have the second pattern (Roger trench) to test me further so might be doing that first…fingers crossed.





Introducing Ginger (and exciting news)

So in keeping with my New Years resolution of avoiding grey fabric, I instead went in the other direction and chose a fab lurid floral to make the ever so simple Colette Ginger skirt.

colette ginger skirt

I am loving the print and the vibrancy of the flowers (it is countering the bleak coldness of winter currently upon us!!!), the no grey is definitely feeling like the right move, I do have to remind myself as I still tend to gravitate towards it in the fabric shop but once this skirt was made up I couldn’t wait to get it on.

I am usually not a ‘tuck your top in kind’ kind of gal but this skirt was just begging to be shown off and looked quite frumpy with the top on the outside, I’ve discovered that creating the illusion of a waist is beneficial to my rectangular shape (instead of trying to cover it up), proving it’s never too late to learn new tricks.

colette ginger skirt

The skirt comes together ridiculously easy with just 4 skirt panels,  6 waistband pieces and an invisible zip. In hindsight I probably should have omitted the front seam as my fabric is quite stiff, but I just stayed true to the pattern. Because of the stiffness of the fabric the a-line of the skirt is more pronounced than i usually wear but I kind of like that, especially as a winter look with the jumper and boots.

colette ginger skirt



The exciting news is that I will be teaching how to make this pattern over at the lovely space that is The Old School Club, I am super excited to be asked to do this and the Ginger Skirt is the first class, followed by the Colette Laurel and the fabulous By Hand London Anna Dress, you can find all the details here,

Can you tell I’m happy about this ????


colette ginger skirt




The Coat of Love

Now this coat is not a new make but at the moment I am having technical difficulties with my camera and so haven’t been able to take any pictures of the last makes of 2014 (I know I’m always a few weeks behind!!)

burda coat 03/2012 #110

I don’t know why I haven’t blogged about it until now but seeing Jane‘s post about her coat plans spurred me to re-examine the photos (which i hated when i took them but don’t seem to bad now) and thought I’d let you see one of my favourite projects.

I love love love this coat………

burda coat 03/2012 #110

I have no idea what inspired me to tackle a coat project but I think it was the wool!!! (I found it first and it just insisted that it be a coat) It came from Fabrics Galore and says it is from YSL…don’t ya know!! every now and then they get a load of bolt end Italian designer fabrics, they are wonderful but you have to search them out…well worth a look (unfortunately they aren’t on the website though). The wool I chose is a blue and grey tweed and has little flecks of  blue, yellow and green through it..so lovely, tried to capture it here:

burda coat 03/2012 #110

The pattern is Burda 03/2012 #110 which I already had in my pattern magazine stash, I don’t subscribe but pick it up when I see a good issue (and this is a beaut of an issue!!) The pattern is a straight forward and simple pattern with darts, princess seams, 2 piece sleeves and inseam pockets.
Now because I tend to rush projects I decided that I really wanted to do this thing justice, as I wanted a  well fitting coat that would last. I did a muslin, which was a first for me but so useful, I needed to tweak the shoulders, take in the side seams and do a swayback adjustment, totally forgot to photograph this stage though. Here are a few integral pictures of the next stages

Getting started

Coat Burda 03/2012 #110


Because I wanted to do it ‘properly’ I research interfacings and landed on English couture‘s website (P.S they do amazing courses too, one day I will venture to Leicester to do one), and I was a little dazzled by the selection but after emailing them the very helpful Michelle pointed me towards a coat fusible interfacing for the body, a fine fusible for the sleeves and recommended armhole reinforcement tape for stability and strength, all three were absolutely perfect for the weight of wool I was using, and I’m so glad I took the time to get them, I believe it has made a difference to the end result and made me slow down and think about each stage!!

View of the insides, not pretty but you can see the fusible coat interfacing I used, the sleeve head (I built..!!) and the petersham on the shoulder seam.

Coat Burda 03/2012 #110

I also used a strip of petersham on the shoulder sleeve, I’m not very gentle with my clothes so again wanted durability here, I think I got this tip from Claire Shaeffer’s book Couture sewing techniques, I love this book but find it slightly intimidating, if only I was that technical …one day baby!!!

A closer view of the petersham and the grey you can see at the bottom of the picture is the armhole reinforcement tape I used when attaching the sleeve.

coat Burda


Here is the lining, a lovely lovely Liberty silk twill, which I used for the body and a regular orange polyester lining for the arms.



I hand stitched in the lining as I felt I had a bit more control this way to avoid any mis-shaping and it also looks lovely. For the fastenings I just added giant snaps (bought form ebay), I considered bound buttonholes but I thought the wool was too thick, that and I just chicken out and thought that if I attempted them I might fail or worse….I might have ruined the coat…next time I will be brave…definitely next time!!!

burda coat 03/2012 #110 liberty lining

burda 03/2012 #110

burda coat 03/2012 #110


I have worn this coat a ton and will continue to all winter, it’s warm and (I think) pretty stylish

Hope you like it too and thanks for stopping by x

Happy 2015


New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black background

Happy New Year Everyone!!! I hope that 2015 brings you hope, joy and creativity xx

For me I am setting myself some New Years goals, I started this last year and it was something that I could work towards, a small list that I looked at from time to time, a few items that I wanted in my life to enrich it. This blog was one of those things and even though it is still a work in progress it is actually a reality…yay!!

So this year I want to do a list that is sewing related and I wanted to outline it here, so it is out there……no going back.

I have been loving Gillian’s hit and misses of 2015 that the sewing blogs have been doing and it has gotten me thinking about my sewing output and how I feel about the things I make. This year I decided to make myself a christmas dress, so chose a lovely french pattern and some great paul smith cotton, I was full of excitement and hope, (like I guess I am before every project)t, and it wasn’t until half way through the make that I realise that the dress was ….meh, boring, unexciting and dull!! Now I did finish it (did I mention that the pattern was in french, and complicated…I was not going to be beaten people) and I did actually wear it (pictures later) but it made me think about how I get caught up in the thrill of a new project, the fabric, the pattern, the possibilities and lose the ability to see the reality of whether or not it will flatter me…..so the goals are:

  • -No plain dark fabrics
  • -More use of print and colour
  • -More thought to fit and what suits me
  • -To stash bust as much as possible!!! (ha ha This might be tough) joining this should help

I think this list ties in with a general feeling that I want to define my style a bit more, I am 42 now and even though I really don’t feel it, I do want to feel that I have a style (some style!!) I care less now than I did before about what others think and I want some fun in my wardrobe. I love that sewing your own clothes gives you the power to do this but I get a little lost with all the possibilities. I want to sew everything and sometimes lose the finer details in my rush to just create something new. I also think that I stay safe as I don’t always know what I want or how something will turn out.. So I’m willing this year to venture out of my comfort zone and inject some colour and pattern to the stash!!

So here’s to 2015…….let the sewing adventures commence!!!!