A Very Toasty Toaster

Once again, a little late to this Toaster party but what a party it is...

I can see why the ol' t'interweb is alight with love for this Sew House Seven beauty of a pattern. Being the fussy creature of comfort I am, I'm not such a fan of high neck jumpers as they just tend to irritate me - however enter Simplicity 8529 - the perfect Toaster Sweater collaboration!

Just to point out - that's not a cross around my neck, its a robot.

Once again it was Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’ that brought this one to my attention (I swear I read other blogs too) when she did a whole week of this pattern.

I opted for View C of the Simplicity version – falling for its split hem, long line length and wider lower neckline.

Still being freezing cold here I thought this would be a perfect use of the cable knit fabric I bought from Higgs and Higgs at Christmas time. I went a bit nuts and got so many colours however I have always fancied a white cable knit jumper.

I cut between a size Medium on top and Large at the hips which seemed to work quite well. I also lengthened the hems by a few inches for extra coverage and lowered the starting point of the side slit so it didn't come quite so high up the body.

The pattern is wonderfully easy to cut and sews up very well indeed, taking only a few hours! When I first tried it on before hemming I wasn't too sure of the style - it seemed too big and too shapeless. However, after finishing the cuffs and hems it mystically appeared to change before my eyes into a pretty cool sweater.

I enjoyed the fact that the fabric lent itself well to making the neckband decorative for a slightly 'fisherman' vibe!

 It's already been worn out a couple of time - of course me + white jumper = immediate tea stain however I'm hoping that will wash out. I'm so pleased I've made another wearable piece, and there's already another version in navy waiting to be sewn up! A friend at Norwich Sewcials made a pea green version which is just amazing. A finer knit for spring may also be a good option for later one. Ahhhh the possibilities again :)

Just one more thing....say hello to the latest member of the herd, baby Esther!

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Space Cadet - Salute to Kalle!

This is my first project of 2018! Wow did it take a long time to materialise...

I instantly fell for and bought the Kalle Shirt sleeve expansion for the Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt Dress and knew exactly what fabric would work. Set about cutting in December last year....then nothing. I have no idea why either.

But here it is...and it was worth the wait. I was meticulous about every detail this time, which makes a change for me, and made sure to do things properly rather than rush through. Hence why its now the end of January and only just finished. You'll have to excuse the poor light levels as the UK is lurking somewhere under a blanket of pure grey and we haven't been allowed out yet.

Firstly let me attest to how PERFECT this pattern is. The shirt is good, the dress is good and dammit the tunic is amazing too. It it hands down THE perfect shirt for me. A long cosy shirt to go over leggings - my uniform. It's so well drafted, hangs wonderfully and I also found it to be an excellent length. I did however make a few tweaks though...just because.

Epaulettes! For some reason this just naturally occurred. It felt right to add them to this lovely material and the shape of the shirt to give it a bit of a twist and a bit of a military vibe. Plus I wanted to use studs, and in the end opted for these amazing ladybird buttons from Textile Garden.  So it's more eco-warrior than mercenary - you can't get mad at a ladybird.

The fabric I used here is Ocean Herringbone Shetland Flannel by Robert Kaufman. I first saw it on Meg and instantly purchased it with the intention of making something similar to her Archer. Because Meg is cool and I need to copy her. Fact. The fabric has however been languising in my stash ever since. Embarassingly I've just seen the date on her post and it was 2015....good thing's come to those who wait?!

This is most certainly a winter shirt as this stuff is thick. The shirt has taken on an almost jacket feel to it! As I result I also went for a few changes to the yoke and inner collar as I wasn't sure my machine would go through 2cm of flannel. Enter the #prettyguts with the addition of some astronaut fabric gifted to me by a lovely friend.

Rolling with a theme I decided to percevere and create bias binding with it aswell. This part was tricky as the binding is so thin and unravelling was a risk. With a hell of a lot of pinning and pressing, it got there in the end.

This was also my first attempt at box plackets (is that the word??) on the sleeves and was a little dubious however it came together of sorts. Not perfect but not bad, plus the fabric hides the threads really well. I ran out of ladybirds at this point, and will power to leave the house, so the sleeves have 'eclectic' buttons.

I adore this shirt and hope in the spirit of #makerscapsule it it going to get some wear - it fits the secret pyjama, smart casual criteria :) I will ABSOLUTELY be making another.

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It's Not Rocket Science - M6044

Now my other half has seen this shirt (it was made as a suprise) I can share it with you...

Ol' faithful M6044 came out to play again, this time with long sleeves. For some reason I had put off making the long sleeve version for absolutely ages, for fear of labour intensive fitting and adjustments. After biting the bullet and just going for it blindly as a Christmas present, it turned out just fine. I pinched one of his work shirts and measured the sleeve against this pattern piece - identical!

Behold the geekiest shirt to date....

This amazing rocket science fabric was from Hawthorne Threads, although quite a while ago and has been sitting in the stash for about 2 years. Blue prints for space ships - perfect.

The fabric was lovely to work with, nice and stable to sew and super soft after washing. Luckily Mr Crafty Clyde loved it. He's in the science and tech world so that's fortunate!

I did find the cuffs to be quite slim (I tried it on myself) and so the buttonhole was done vertically to space save. It worked. Phew. The long sleeve version goes together so easily as there's no seperate cuff placket. The sleeve is 2-piece and so the opening is just formed from the seam.

And as if this couldn't get any nerdier - galaxy-esque buttons were added!

I love this pattern so much - and if menswear is on your 2018 agenda I would highly recommend this pattern!

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2018 - Fresh Perspectives

Happy New Year!

Here we are a week into 2018 - I hope it's treating everyone well so far. After last week's musings on the year gone by, this time I'm looking forward to what sewing may be in store!

Randomly Happy has been doing a 'Maker Capsule' series which I touched upon a while back, but I've really taken this into account when thinking about what I want from my makes this year. It looks at what you actually do with your time, then takes inspiration boards that you filter down to things you would actually wear and would be practical to wear in your life. Then you can look at suitable patterns and adjust accordingly.

From Pinterest I picked out these looks:

I now work at home ALL THE TIME so my need for any kind of formal wear is nil. Neither do I want to spend all day slouching in PJs despite the reputation home working has! My activities generally consist of being at home, being at the gym or yoga, tortoise welare working outdoors, or out with friends in more casual settings. Whatever I may be doing the ultimate goal is comfort and movement.

This leaves me with:
  • Smart casual -  for restaurants/pubs/social stuff
  • Activewear - for both outdoor work and fitness
  • Daytime secret pyjamas - comfortable for being at home, smart enough to open the door/nip to shops!
  • Loungewear
Here was another more casual inspiration board...

So really the things I actually like are really basic and simple. To keep things from getting too dull though I'd like to add a bit of personality - I love the patches on shirts and these pimped up tees!

To go with comfort factor obviously means staying way from buying quilting cotton for clothes! Soft viscose, ponte, jersey, silks (maybe :-/ ) is the way forward. 

Quirky chic. Let's try this. 

And so to the 2018 Make Nine intentions...


  • Black cullottes - I'm going to draft some myself - I can't find a pair I like so to the drawing board it is! A total staple perfect for a graphic tee
  • Blackwood Cardigan - This may get me back on the knitwear wagon, after seeing some out in the wild they look beautiful
  • Sew Sweetness Patterns - I have so much novelty print it's untrue, time to channel that into bag making!!
  • Toaster Sweater (Simplicity version) - Meg totally put this on my radar with her white version shown in the pic. Perfection. 
  • Fehrtrade Activewear - never having tried this I'm a tad nervous but here goes, I pre-ordered Melissa's book at the Sewing bee Live
  • This is the Reeta dress however I would just like one nice flowy shirt dress for summer, regardless of pattern
  • Sasha!! Of course I'm going to be making Closet Case Patterns in 2018. I would love to make these in floral print like my Trigger's Bloom trousers (that I can't fit into anymore and are long gone)
  • Union St Tee - I've heard good things about this, would be a great basic if it fits 
  • Morgan Jeans - these are a wildcard - I already feel like I may not get round to these however I like the relaxed fit and they may be good in a different fabric other than denim 

These are the intentions anyway, nothing is set is stone and as well all know things change and the sewing list is fluid...

What are you guys going for this year? x

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Best Nine Bingo 2017 - Yearly Round Up

It's that time of year where I like to have a little reflect and see which of my makes were successes and which were the learning curves... always an interesting task.

Last year I hopped aboard the #2017makenine bandwagon and set a few goals, which I'm pleased to say I achieved the majority of in one way or another....with a few blips on the way.

The Sointu Kimono Tee got made twice - this simple sew was a real practial make and I wear them frequently, highly recommended!

Technically I was going to make the Adeline dress by style Arc, but it was so similar to the Lodo Dress by True Bias that I marked it as 'made' in my mind. It was the design idea rather than the actually pattern that I wanted :) Perhaps Adeline might get a go in 2018...

The less said about the Driftless Cardigan the better - as you can see here!

I TOTALLY predicted the release of Kalle by Closet Case Patterns and by far it was as good as I was expecting! A summer day saviour. There will certainly be more of these in future in my wardrobe with all the versions available. 

M6044 got another look in with a whale print version - and you may be seeing another one soon ;) An absolute gem of a menswear pattern.

Rosie Bralette - this did get made and I ventured into lingerie sewing. Suprisingly though I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would and can't say I'll be rushing to make another anytime soon :-/

The Emerson trousers did not get made and I'm not really sure why - probably just ran out of time and warm weather! I'm still after some lovely black cullottes so you never know.

This one is a prime example of not tagging onto a popular pattern just for the sake of it. I thought I would try the Emery Dress by Christine Haynes however I quickly realised there was no way it would suit me or be something I would actually wear. The pattern was therefore donated to a lovely friend who definitely would wear it well :)

And lastly, I do have the Ultimate Trousers pattern however I managed to make a comfy version from ponte which did the job just as well, so I'm counting this one too!

I think my favourite make of the year was this Gertie B6453 dress - the pattern is incredibly versatile and seeing so many versions during the sewalong was a pleasure. Have I worn it? Of course not. ::eye roll::

Another noteworthy contender are these Carolyn PJs - never has nightwear felt so smart. Have I worn them? Comfy loungewear.....Oh yes!

Instagram played a heavy part in sewing this year - looking at everyone's marvellous makes and researching projects. Suprisngly my favs were also favoured by others out there, which is often nmot the case. Here's what Insta has as my 2017 Best Nine!

MakeNine aside, it was another good year for learning and improving, as we always do, and sewing for me played a huge part in therapeutic recovery this year so I am thankful for that and the amazing community of sewists out there that are so supportive of each other and inspirational. I'm looking at you. Yes you. Thank you x

Happy New Year all!

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Nights in Blue Velvet - M6884

In what seems like an annual occurance - I once again pulled out the ol' faithful M6884 wrap dress pattern for a Christmas party! During the usual pre-party panic about not knowing what to wear, apparently I thought making a dress the day beforehand would be a good idea... this time it was!

This fabric is a super stretchy blue velvet from Tia Knight, a total bargain and there were so many colours to choose from! I was debating a simple tee dress but felt a Christmas party and this fabric lent itself well to a bit of a vintage vibe.

M6884 is a super simple pattern to whip up, it is stretch so fitting is not such an issue and the dress is a 'faux wrap' so no wardrobe malfunctions a few glasses of fizz into the night. I've already made two versions of this so was confident it would be ok to make in a bit of a rush.

Being luck enough to attend a Christmas party at The Assembly House it was nice to feel fancy for the evening. Had to have a cheeky pic next to the tree!

The venue was so festive and pretty, we even had a little snoop around the building and discovered the kitchens and cookery school full of copper pans. Also just a short walk away from the Tunnel of Light. Highly recommded if anyone was in Norfolk at Xmas time. Look how lovely...

On that rather festive note, may your needles be sharp and your bobbins be full this winter break. Wishing everyone love and a very Happy Holidays, whatever you may be doing :)

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Let It Snow! Kleiber Tree Decorations with Minerva Crafts

Those kind folks at Minerva Crafts have been in the festive spirit and gifted me some amazing little tree decoration kits to try!

There's still time to grab one - they make such cute gifts and stocking fillers.

Snowmen Felt Decorations
Whatever you may be doing - Happy Holidays :)

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