Dungarees baby!!

turia dungarees

Let me present the Turia dungarees, I had been mulling the decision to make these babies, for oh only about 4 months, but here they are and I am pleased as punch.  I have no idea why I felt that I had to have such an item in my wardrobe but I did and hey the benefits of a handmade wardrobe is that you can go with your wims without it breaking the bank!!

So my concerns were:

  1. I would look pregnant (I’m not!!)
  2. I’m too old for such a item!!!
  3. I might look like I’m borrowed from the dressing up box

But yeh (in my opinion) all my fears were unfounded, because I love the way they turned out.

Turai dungarees

This was the first time I have sewed a pauline Alice pattern and I can really recommend it. The instructions are clear and concise (and in 3 languages) with each stage carefully explained and with lots of drawings to help. I cut a straight 10 but have made a few adjustments. A big part of my inspiration to make this pattern was the dream pair made by fruits flowers and clouds, and I stole some of her adjustments, mainly lowering the waist as I wanted them to sit more towards my hips and adding a waistband (purely for aesthetic reasons!!). The pattern is cut to allow a more relaxed fit on the hips and legs but I wanted a slim fit and so basted the legs first to get fit I wanted. The only issue I had was some excess fabric in the crotch area, which as you can imagine didn’t look so great, so I redid the front flat felled seam (not a pleasurable experience) taking in an extra 1/2″ and that seems to have sorted it. The inside leg seam is also to be flat felled so I sewed the first seam and then  did my fitting, which played havoc with my seam allowances as the material frayed…arrgghh, I still managed to flat fell them but they have since started to come undone in places so a little strategic zigzagging was needed…hopefully their visible only to me!!

turai dungarees

There is a lot of top stitching in this pattern, (you could omit it, but it is recommended) which I perversely kind of enjoy, I think its the challenge of getting those lines straight that gets me.

Turai dungarees

I also omitted the side zips as the fabric is Gaberdine with a little bit of stretch to it so I can just about shimmy into them.

Overall I’m pleased as punch with these, the pattern was a delight and did i mention that I love wearing them…. I  don’t care how old I am (or how old I look!!)

Turia dungarees



Hello autumn

Hello there, hope the you’ve had a lovely summer filled with laughter, sunshine, family, friends………But the weather has started to turn and now my mind is turning to my autumn/winter sewing plans……I tend to make a little list of items I would like to make for the coming season, it is based (very scientifically) on:

  • Items I think I need to make
  • Things I want to make
  • Things that haven’t been made from the past seasons list
  • what I have fabric/patterns for (always trying to stash-bust!!).

Usually I am not a list making kind of gal (can ya tell), but I started my making list about 2 years ago and most of the time it works out ok….. I probably make about 2/3 of the list. It’s really just a way to organise my mental list of projects, as I tend to get ahead of myself and want to make about half a dozen things at once.

So here are a few plans…….(be interesting to see how much of these I actually make or if I get distracted by newer shiny things)

Ginger jeans– I’ve been dying to make these for ages, and after my first foray in to jeans making I’m confident that they would’nt be too painful, but still I have yet to cut them out….. I think I have concerns about the fit, but all reports on this front are good so really I just need to take the leap and get on with them.


Trench Roger – pattern by Republique du chiffon,  I bought this last year on a wim, its not my usual style…but there is something challenging I like about, especially since the instructions are in french!!! The fabric I have in mind is a beautiful soft duck egg blue gaberdine…..just think it might look a little…..dull..what do you think????



Turia dungarees – I am strangely drawn to these, especially since seeing this pair so I bought the pattern and even went to the shops to try a pair on…just to check I wasn’t totally dreaming. I think I just might be able to pull them off…wish me luck. – I have just finished these (writing this post pushed me into action)…. post coming soon.


The weather is starting to turn so think a sydney coat might be in the works too….I’m only 5’3 though so might have to take a few inches off so it doesn’t drown me.



Culottes maybe? I have this pattern in my stash and am thinking it would be nice in something black and drapey…wool or crepe??

How’s this for inspiration

tessuti cullotes

*credit – Tessuti Blog link here*

Another Nettie to two will also be made, I would have never thought that a bodysuit would be a wardrobe staple for me but as my first one was comfortable, streamline to wear and warm meant that it got lots of usage… I definitely love a hard working staple. This a cracker of a pattern with a lot of bang for your buck.



Shift dress- Another 6145 I think, I lived in my denim version last year so I think another is in the off

Shirt – I have the Archer pattern in my stash and so might just address my fear of shirts…no collar though…I don’t like collars

I have just bought a lovely red print from Atelier Brunette (picked up from Maud at the Handmade fair, you can get it here) and am thinking about another Eve robe or possibly a Sigma ??

Pyjamas – so badly need to make me some comfy pi’s so a pair and a robe to match are gonna be my early xmas present to myself…..got my heart set on making them in a lovely Liberty print though so I’ve started saving for now!!!

Have you started your autumn/fall plans…if so good luck, just compiling this list has give me the urge to get sewing…….. I hear the machine calling me.





The past few weeks have been filled with great refashions of mens shirts, curtesy of Portia of Makery and the event that was (is) Refashioners 2015. If you go to her site or check out the instagram hashtag #refashioners2015  there are some truly fabulous refashions

refashioners 2015

So this is my contribution, which is going in just under the wire, seeing as the deadline is midnight tonight…better late than never!!!

I started with an old shirt belonging to my partner, that I don’t think had seen the light of day for many years and was not going to be missed!! The only issue was the colour, very boring beige..


So in to the dye bucket it went, with a packet of Dylon hand dye in Jeans blue !!



And then we ended up with this nice navy linen shirt, though this shot doesn’t really show the colour.





My inspiration was one of my  favourite tops and this is basically a recreation, I traced the bodice and added darts in roughly the same position as the originals, but I have no experienc drafting patterns and to be honest the darts are a little off, and the bodice a tad tight so will apply more attention to detail next time.  The back is fashioned from the original button placket, with an added elasticised piece at the top, just to give it some wiggle room (so i can get it on!!)



The whole thing was really simple and I cut it and sewed it in an evening which has given me a lot more to think about when seeing all those unused shirts in the charity shop!!






Vogue Culottes Part II

So here is my second version of Vogue 9075, this time in a lovely floral waffle cotton, (part I is here)  I made these for a christening (I was a godmother!!) and as per usual finished them the night before. Basically I’m saying I had all best intentions to be careful and thoughtful with all the small details, but ended up rushing as I ran out of time!!

I’m still totally stoked with the results though, I loved wearing it and felt very proud to say I made it.

vogue 9075


This time I omitted Vogue’s petite adjustments and applied my own between the bust and shoulder measurement….much better!! It also gave me that extra inch I needed in the crotch.

I love this fabric, it’s from Fabrics Galore and is a soft and light cotton, with a waffle texture (they still have some in store and in some other floral prints too).  I lined the bodice in a plain white cotton lawn and put in an invisible zip (on inspection its a normal zip as its all I had).  I cut a straight size 10 but on reflection I could take it in a bit at the waist, saying that though there was some room there for lunch, so maybe it’s ok after all.

I am not tall but left the length as per the pattern, it’s been awhile since I did the midi length but I’m a convert…..love it (think I need to keep the heels on though). 

vogue 9075


To finish off the hem I had grand plans to blind hem the legs but as I was rushed for time and there was a lot of fabric in those two legs I just did a regular hem, it does slightly bug me so I might re-do this in the future…. but that might also be a pipe dream!!!

vogue 9075

vogue 9075


Crazy lady shot!!!

vogue 9075

Thank for looking x

Vogue Culottes part I

So I went and made myself some culottes!! A style that I haven’t  rocked since ..…well never!! But they seem to be everywhere at the moment and so I felt that now was a good a time as any to venture in to unknown fashion territory, and I think that they turned out alright !! These are my working muslin pair, I’ll post my second pair in the next post. vogue 9075 The pattern is Vogue 9075, which I first glimpsed on Ada Spragg‘s insta feed (I think) and boy does that girl have style, so I though I might steal a little of it!!

I bought the pattern from Sew Direct, I don’t know if you know but they have a great membership deal where for £7.50 per quarter you get 50% off Vogue, Mccalls, Butterick and Kwik Sew patterns. You also get a monthly magazine with the latest pattern releases and usually some good sewing advice articles, you also get two free patterns when you join , which if they are Vogue tot up to the same price as the membership……..win win in my book!!

Ok, back to the pattern, it has two variations, dress or culottes with a fitted bodice and the option of short sleeves or sleeveless. As you can see I went for the sleeves, as I thought they would balance out the culottes. They are are made in a navy cotton poplin, which I thought had enough crispness to do the style justice. This pattern also had the petite adjustments that Vogue do with some of their patterns and I was eager to try this out as it’s the one adjustment I usually have to make to patterns. Theirs consisted of shorting the bodice in the waist area, this did not work for me, (my normal adjustment is to shorten the length between the bust and shoulder), it left me with the problem of the shoulder sitting up too high, leaving the neckline gaping a little, and then shortening the bodice made the culottes ride high in the crotch area, it’s not uncomfortable but let’s just say the seam could be lowered just a tad!! Oh well this is what muslins are for right!!!!Vogue 9075

I found the instructions confusing relating to the pleats, supposedly the pleats are to be tacked down only temporarily, but I just went ahead, sewed them down and kept them this way, I wanted some shape to the hips and not just lots of fabric, and I’m happy that I did. Just liven up the whole navy thing I added a hot pink exposed zip!! ….as you do

vogue 9075     vogue 9075   On the whole this is a very wearable muslim, the outfit hasn’t has an outing yet but it feels smart and fun so I don think it will be lurking in the cupboard too long!! At the beginning of June I signed up for my first sewing blogger challenge, Jumping into June, all about jumpsuits, I think these qualify and seeing as its the 30th of June I am just about squeezing my entry in……check out all the inspiring creations over at Chris‘s blog x

Summers here (supposedly) and so is Kim

By hand london Kim dress

So at the end of last week Summer decided to really shine (unfortunately since then the mercury has dropped….arrrgggh…. English summers), but while we did have a taste of the heat it nicely coincided with me finishing this By Hand London Kim dress, I bought this last winter in prep for summer but only just got round to sewing it up. The fabric is a lovely cotton voile that I bought from Ebay specifically for this dress and I don’t know if I am regressing but I have been dreaming of a similar dress that I had when I was a teenager and was hoping to recreate it. I have partially succeeded as in I have now got a dress that is comfortable, light and flowy…….just what I need for summer (when it decides to stay!!)

IMG_8300-2If your not familiar with the Kim dress, it’s a lovely pattern with 2 very different versions (good value for money if you ask me) version 1 is of the square necked bodice with a tulip skirt and version 2 is a sweetheart neckline bodice with a gathered skirt, of course I made the bodice from version 1 with the skirt from version 2!!

by hand london kimdress


I should have made a muslin, but well…..i didn’t,  just ploughed in regardless and guess what?? the bodice was all wrong, it was way too wide and the straps just wouldn’t hold up, of course I discovered this once I had attached the skirt and inserted the zipper. (I just can’t really get the idea of how something will truly fit until I have put in the zip!!) I did a bit of fiddly adjustment,  taking in the front two bodice seams by 1cm each, and fortunately this partly corrected the issue, but the straps are still a tad too long and this I couldn’t adjust without picking apart the whole thing, and noooo that was not gonna happen, so I put in two bra attachers to hold those babies up..… and this seems to work!! The skirt is a very simple gathered skirt with the nice detail of pin tucks around the lower edge of the skirt. I added pockets, because I am actually addicted to having pockets and feel lost without them (sad huh!!)

I really like the finished dress (I’ve already worn it twice in three days) but not sure a gathered skirt is the most flattering for me, my tummy has housed two children and is hence not too flat so the skirt tends to stick out slightly, maybe next time I’ll try a circle skirt with that bodice.

by hand london kim dress pin tucks

by hand london kim dress

I currently have a back log of makes so look out for lots more posts soon.  This year I have been blighted by computer glitches, mishaps and failures,  I have hopefully sorted them all so will be to blog  with a bit more regularity (fingers crossed).

Anyone have exciting summer sewing plans??? Or are you already thinking of Autumn?? I know that sounds mad but I recently found myself purchasing this pattern!!!! What did I say about wanting more warm weather!!!!


Me Made May…….I made it!!!!

It’s over and I actually did it, I wore two handmade items (and some times more) for each day of May. I thought two would be a challenge (I did one item last year) and some days it was, some days I did cheat little by including my watson bra as one item (technically it is, but you know what I mean). The hardest thing was remembering to document every day and I did slack a little on that as you can see if you count all the photos (only 22…..opps), but….to be fair I did go camping in the middle and was trying to be phone free!!!

If you were participating in Me Me May ’15 how was for you? Did you complete your pledge? And if you were just observing did you get inspired? I personally loved checking  Instagram everyday to see what fab creations were popping up!!

me made may '15


Ist row, New look 6145 top and Named Jamie Jeans, Nettie bodysuit and Scout tee, Fehr trade surf to summit top and steeplechase leggings

2nd row, Style arc Carly jumpsuit and Sew U home stretch breton top, New Look 6145 knit dress and watson bra, Burda wool biker jacket, Simplicity 1366 top and Jamie jeans

Row 3, Burda trousers and Lisette top. Nettie bodysuit and new look 1696 trousers, grain line moss skirt mini and self drafted top

me made may '15

Row 4, BHL Victoria blazer with Jamie jeans and Sew u home stretch Breton top, Vogue 9175 culottes jumpsuit, Simplicity 1696 top with new look 6104 trousers

Row 5, Watson bra with dress, Jamie jeans with simplicity 1366, new look 6145 in chambray (and watson bra!),

Row 6, New look 6048 & Simplicity 2451 hack dress in Liberty print , Republique du chiffon robe eve with Nettie underneath. And a new Stylearc Carly jumpsuit in blue slinky microfibre!!

me made may '15

Row 7, style arc Carly jumpsuit, schnittchen coco jacket with Jamie jeans

Row 8, new look 6144 in linen, burda lounge pants and sew u home stretch raglan quilted sweatshirt!!


Ok so the conclusion is that I have pretty decent handmade wardrobe and most items are in quite heavy rotation, I probably need to try not wearing jeans so much in my life., and I seem to have a thing for yellow shoes!!

I’m missing some decent skirts and maybe a few more t-shirts would be good, but apart from those I’m quite happy, of course I have sewing plans…always have sewing plans, next up is  a few summer dresses and a pair of culottes !!!!

How about you what next on your sewing list??