The Blanket Paradox

For someone whose New Year Resolution was - 'I should probably get dressed this year' - this make was bound to be risky. For us work at home types - we perpetually walk a fine line between human and blanket at all times. 

The fact I haven't bought make up for about 2 years will tell you which side of that I usually land on.

I had purposefully not bought myself an Oodie/other brands are available/wearable blanket this winter knowing that I may just join Clyde Tortoise in hibernation if I did put one on.  


Enter the Billie Wearable Blanket - (let's be real, it's an Oodie). This is a FREE pattern by DIBY Club. You'll be pleased to know it's Unisex. That made chuckle as it better be Unisex, its a blanket. It's probably Unispecies. 

FREE pattern - 1 point in the direction of making this. 

Minerva then contacted me for the Brand Ambassador scheme and offered up this bug print fleece!! Free fabric (in exchange for a post on their website here). 2nd point and the deciding vote as to whether this was going to get made. 

The pattern calls for a knit fabric. I disregarded that information. Although to be fair it does say you can use normal fleece but stretchy cuffs. I did that instead.  

 

Voila. You may now forward all correspondence to P.O. Box This Blanket and I will respond sometime in Spring. 

I'm not sure if moving into this for January means I've given up on life or made it way better. (As it happened I got poorly so it was a perfectly timed blanket).

I cut a size Large. Which I can verify - is very large. 

 

The fabric is amazingly soft and cosy and is double sided so there was no need to line this blanket. I did initially want to do french seams as the fluff was extreme - however the thickness meant that a good overlock of the edges was the only option. I was leaving more fuzz around the house than Bagel Cat in summer.  

Work appropriate - probably not however how do you know I don't have a full suit and tie on under this blanket?

No-one will ever know. Schrödinger's Blanket -  I am both simultaneously dressed and undressed until the blanket is removed. 

It's not getting removed.


All I can says is that if you want to occasionally live as a blanket, this is for you. Just make sure no-one tries to fold you or set up unsolicited picnic foods.

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Bloglovin too xxx

Starting Cosy - Southbank Sweater

Happy New Year!

Hopping onto the blog today with a new to me pattern, in the form of the Nina Lee - Southbank Sweater.

I had resisted this pattern so long - I figured it was basically just a long jumper, so why not just lengthen a jumper. Which I did, and that was perfectly fine. 

 Buttttt something about the Southbank just kept niggling away at me. There are so many rave reviews about this pattern so I decided I'd just see for myself how good it really was.

Turns out - great! Worth the hype. (Although reviewing these photos it's not the most 'flattering' make but it's certainly comfy and well drafted).

For a  kick off, one of my favourite patterns (the Kew Dress) is by Nina Lee and fits really well so I thought that was a good start. 

Yes, it's just a long jumper but there's something about the cut and the fit that just elevates it in that Nina Lee way.

I cut a size 18 top grading to 20 at the hip and this seemed absolutely fine. No alterations made. I like that it's not tightly fitted but neither is it completely shapeless and baggy. The Goldilocks Zone of fit.

My fabric choice was this amazing galaxy print sweatshirt knit from Lilly & Mimi - I had never bought from them before and was pleasantly surprised to find some different prints unavailable elsewhere. This sweatshirt knit is so thick and cosy!!


As the knit is very thick I did worry about the stretch factor however this was not a problem. I just used ribbing for the cuffs.

The turtle neck on this is a nice size aswell as it doesn't strangle you or get in the way. Warm without being annoying. 

I  must have liked this version as about 2 days later I stash busted and used this amazing leopard sweatshirt from Truro Fabrics to make another. The perfect work from home outfit! Leggings and a Southbank - comfy and fairly put together should you have to go out.


There's not a lot else to say about this other than the pattern pieces go together really well, everything is where it should be. The whole thing you can whip up in about an hour and a half. I would definitely use ribbing for the cuffs where you have a less stretchy fabric though and save yourself some wrestling. 

All in all, I'm quite happy to have jumped aboard the Southbank bandwagon!

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Bloglovin too xxx

Hits, Misses and a Dress with a Destiny

Yes it's one of 'those' blog posts - a little yearly round up of the hits, misses and the great unworn. 

I'm going to start with the epic fails because let's be fair, we all like sewing a sewing fail.I've only done a few here, the list could have been much more extensive! As I was looking through my pictures there seems to be far more fails/unworns that loved makes - hmmm, that needs to change.

1. Jarrah Sweater - the cropped version just wasn't for me. It sat awkwardly on my waist and felt bizarre. I am happily able to report I did repurpose it into a long line jumper but cutting off the ties and adding in strips. 

2. Marlo Cardigan and a Maxi monster - the Marlo cardy makes me feel 90 and the dress was utterly see-through!

3. An attempt at The Blouse by the Avid Seamstress - absolutely not designed for people with biceps. No fault of the pattern, just not my cuppa. Both pieces got re-homed.

4. The 'Grab a Cuppa Cardi' - whilst a nice pattern, I made it far too big and the fabric was not a great choice as it is synthetic and itchy. 

5. Sigh - my lovely frog dress - I still don't know what to do with this - it's way more structured that I like to wear so it bothers me - I do however LOVE the fabric. 

6. The biggest fail of the year has to be this Fayma pattern!!!

7. It breaks my heart this is a fail. My late mum had a lovely spanish dress and I finally plucked up the courage to make something from the fabric. I had loved the Saltwater Slip pattern however as I popped this on in Spain - it's completely sheer!!! Unwearable :(

8. Just nope. 

To the Hit Parade! I genuinely really loved these makes and patterns and would happily re-make them again. 

1. The Sauvie Dress - an absolute hidden gem of a pattern and fantastic for that 40 degree hit this summer. 

2. Tilly and the Buttons Indigo - I didn't expect to love this as much as I did. I wore it so  much this year and got a lovely complement just about every time it went out! Mysterious. 

3. Whilst not the most fun to make, the Closet Core Pouf has had some great use in our house, and is currently the favourite snoozing spot of Bagel the Cat.

4. Tessuti Lois - my goodness this is my favourite pattern of the year. Once tweaked to get the neckline height it was a dream to whizz up and a pleasure to wear. 

5. Saltwater Slips - plural. I made loads. Such a great dress to pop on or layer up.

6. Not necessarily the tee pictured - but the free Closet Core Tee pattern is fantastic! I have found a real fondness for his pattern and it's flattering shape and have now used it several times in other makes. 

7. True Bias Shelby Dress - another winner once I'd tweaked my pattern to fit. Love this. A beautiful silhouette and very comfortable to wear.  

8. My all-time favourite pattern features again here - Nina Lee Kew Dress - I felt so good in this maxi dress (a rare feeling for me) and that's what it's all about right?

 Below are a few makes which are in the 'great unworn' category!

1. This bloody thing. I worked my ass off for this for an exhibition, what a waste of time and energy. Note to self- don't do that again. 

2. The Cameron Shirt by Helen's Closet - I made this great version for my husband but unfortunateoly despite the 'unisex' title we definitely thought it looked a bit blousey and feminine. It keeps getting  swerved. 

3. Lots of effort for a lovely ladybird made with my Cricut machine - LOVE this tee but I daren't wear it because of the white! I will. In Spring. When I'm not eating.

4. Oh this was a labour to find the right pattern - after months of trying most shirt pattern I mashed up my own to make this annnnnndddd never wore it. I think the seasons changed so perhaps it will get an outing in 2023. 

5. Love this. Made it too late though as we went from summer to deep winter overnight. True Bias Zoey Tank has a great shape and I would definitely make a couple more for summer.

 

Well done if you've made it down here! Finally the Dress with a Destiny. This was actually a 2020 dress and inspired by The Good Place final episode. (I dare you to watch that last episode and not question your very existence).

In 2022 it got to fulfil it's destiny and walk summer Mediterranean streets just as intended. The wait was worth it.

Thanks so much for everyone that hops on here and has a read of my ramblings. I do often wonder if blogs are on their way out or whether to bother but actually it's a fun thing to do so for now I'll keep going. Wishing you a Happy New Year and see you on the other side! x

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Bloglovin too xxx

A Festive Union and a Fairy Lit Octopus

Sneaking in just before Christmas with a little festive cheer and sparkle in the form of some party wear!

First up is good ol' M6044 which is the absolute nuts of the men's shirt world in my opinion. I have made this many times!

This was completely inspired by the fabric. This wonderful octopus fabric, with added fairy lights, is from Like So Amazing. It's my husband's favourite print - now with a festive twist! It's a Sarah Watts design which was in a collection called 'Mystery Food by Cotton + Steel' but has now cropped up as Ruby Star Society 'Jolly Darlings' collection.

This shirt comes together so quickly. There is no yoke and the cuff plackets are formed from a 2 piece sleeve so no fiddly bits to contend with there either. A seriously good beginner pattern if you haven't made a shirt before.

Mr Crafty Clyde wanted to wear cuff links and I realized I'd done the button holes in the wrong direction. These have been sewn up and re-done so it just looks like a blue cross. Plus, the cuff link covers the stitching anyway.

It's been a while since I've made this shirt and let's say, it could have done with another inch of breathing room this time. I must re-trace the pattern as it's such a great one for showing off a fantastic print.

As this little number was made for a work Christmas party, I popped an appropriate label in (from Sew Anonymous). Oh yeah - and I hand stitched the cuffs and collar - wooooo!

As for me - I WAS going to make a Gala Gown by Patterns for Pirates. About 5 minutes away from cutting it out I changed my mind, as it was snowing and the idea of a dress and no tights felt a bit chilly considering we're in minus figures outside now. 

So instead I genuinely just 'winged it'. Out came the velvet sparkly leggings - maximum comfort and jazz factor combined. I then figured it needed some kind of tunic top - with a difference.

I used my TNT Union St. Tee pattern as a base and cut it at the waist. The greatest thing about this pattern is that there's a shaped back option that fits amazingly on a sway back. (It's for the Sheridan Sweater but works on all their patterns :)

 

The peplum is made from a circle skirt shape - with wiggles in. That's the only way I can describe it!! Diagram alert:

 Attach the skirt to the t-shirt and BOOM - super comfy party outfit. In need of a press here!

 This fabric is really sparkly in real life - but incredibly difficult to photograph! It's from Pound Fabrics and AMAZING! The quality is lovely - it's a viscose jersey but has good weight to it and sews up really well. I actually ordered another piece for the stash as it's so good. Would recommend - think it's on sale right now too!

So off to the 'ball' we go in our handmade outfits! (And a quick selfie was all I had for you...)


Wishing you all a happy holiday period whatever you may be doing. 💖 From me and all the creatures!

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Bloglovin too xxx

Seasonal Stitching and Sewing

 Helloooooo

 It's that time of year where the blog gets a little neglected. I haven't posted in ages as I've mostly been working/poorly/sewing up secret Christmas gifts that can't be photographed yet! 

I'm back today with a very random array of seasonal sewing and knitting for you - a bit of 'sew and tell'. Nothing life changing, just a bit of 'sewing sorbet' in between bigger projects. 

It's no secret I'm a big Snoopy fan and so this Hey Sew Sister jersey leapt into my basket in November. (It's on sale now if you want a piece!)

It called out to be a roll neck - total 80's ski vibes. I used the Tilly and the Buttons Freya top which I've found to be very comfortable around my neck and not particularly tight.

Next is my new love, in the form of the FREE Closet Core Tee pattern. I'm really loving the loose yet feminine shape of this one. 

I snapped up 1 meter of this super cute penguin fabric from Like Sew Amazing and managed to squeeze the tee onto that piece. 

I also raided my stash a while back and whipped up a Helen's Closet Jackson Pullover from this 'glitter bug' french terry. Another fantastic basic pattern that can be re-made a zillion times. 

I popped this on with some snazzy Style Arc Parker Ponte Pants for a recent festive Sew Day and was nice and cosy all day.

As you can see it's all simple TNT patterns that I've made before and take about an hour to sew up. I can't handle anything too challenging at the moment!

Next come the knits. Dark nights and sofa sitting lends itself well to knitting and I enjoy faffing about making random stuff. This included some knitted fairy lights! This was a free pattern from Ravelry, but a little boring to make if I'm being honest. Fun to hang up though.

I FINALLY finished a pair of socks that have been on the go for the best part of a year. Not perfect but nothing is so who cares. It's self-striping yarn called 'Pairfect' however they are definitely not identical. 'Sisters not Twins' as a lady once said about eyebrows....

My Christmas present to the world this year is a little knitted ladybird pattern called Linden Ladybird. Beginner friendly. Knit him in sparkly yarn and hang him as a decoration or keep him as a pocket pet! If you'd like a copy of the pattern you can download it here.

 

I gave myself a little introduction to Fair Isle knitting and had a go at this mouse with an integrated sweater - so cute! He's called Slyp.Another freebie pattern that you can find here.

I shall pop back on the blog before Christmas as I do have a couple of party pieces to show you! Just need to actually finish them off.....

Until then I'll leave you with Elf on a Shelf - lovely Big T in a Tree!


Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Bloglovin too xxx

Pattern Drafting - Frog Dress

Hello again :) 

I suppose this is a part 2 installment of my earlier post about drafting a dress bodice block. 

With Norwich Sewcials we hosted a second drafting retreat, and again I thought it would be nice to wear something from my own drafted bodice block. 

My previous dress was an 'easy fit' version with just bust darts and no further shaping. I thought I would take the next step and create a 'fitted easy fit' bodice. I think that just means you can breathe.

I bought this gorgeous stretch cotton from Beyond The Pink Door - no prizes for guessing why I was drawn to this print. (Ahem - frogs.See top left shoulder!)

The Winifred Aldrich drafting method has you pop additional darts in the front, back and waist shaping in the side seams to achieve a more fitted block. I duly undertook these amendments to my pattern - and low and behold - a fitted bodice was created. 

 

This project was not without it's issues though. I absolutely could not get the skirt to fit - and that is my fault for not actually drafting the skirt pieces to match the bodice. I sort of - winged it. What I ended up was with a huge amount of sway back. 

Had I drafted the skirt properly I would have found this fitting issue a lot earlier. But of course this was all last minute as usual (:sigh:). 

This was resolved by pinching out the excess at the back waist seam and tapering to the side seams, taking a wedge of fabric out which mimicked a sway back adjustment. Thank you to The Fabric Wrangler who received about 400 photos of my bum during this process. (And that was before I showed her the dress.) (Just kidding.)

The second fairly obvious issue was that I didn't have enough fabric and the dress is a lot shorter than I'm comfortable with. It looks cute with opaque tights but an issue of a big booty - is of course that any amount of bending makes the length a bit obscene. I just have to stand up straight when wearing. 

I found some buttons from Hobbycraft that had a slight 'swampy' vibe and they seemed to go quite well. They are actually bright green pearl on the right side, but the underside looked better amongst the leaf print of the dress.

My absolute hero piece of this outfit is the belt! I found a lovely vintage 'kissing frog' belt buckle on eBay, a lengthy of green elastic and viola! Frog Belt of Dreams. I'm thinking of getting some other colours of elastic so I can swap about as needed.


 I wore the dress all day for our sewing retreat and whilst the fit was comfy - I just don't think I'm a fitted kinda gal. The length bothered me a bit and I felt I kept pulling it down all day, especially with tights on. The fabric was much stifffer than I'm used to aswell. I have a feeling this may get chopped to short tunic length to make it 'intentionally short' and wear it with leggings more like a peplum stop type situation. Unsure yet. Let me know what you think :)

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Bloglovin too xxx






(Not So) Spooky Sewing

This is about as close to 'spooky' as it's got this year so if you came for an epic Halloween costume you may feel short changed with this blog post. In fact the state of the UK is probably scarier than any October makes I've made. 

None the less, I love a theme and here we have a little selection for you!

I did have grand plans of making some long black Elvira style vampire dress, just because I fancied it. However time was not on my side, common sense took over and I settled for a spider t-shirt. I think I made a good choice. 

This pattern is the Itch to Stitch - Soller Top - a lovely little alternative to a classic tee. I cut my usual Itch to Stitch measurements at sizes 14/16/18 graded and sure enough it fit. 

The fabric is a really cute cotton jersey from the stash - I think it was probably from Jelly Fabrics. There was only a meter in the stash and so the grown on sleeves were ideal for this as it didn't take up much space in the cutting layout.

Next up I made myself a pair of spiderweb gym leggings. This is the Apostrophe Patterns - My Fit Leggings pattern which I have made many times. Big fan of this pattern. Pop in your measurements and it generates a custom fit pattern!

I've always fancied a pair of web leggings and so I treated myself to a meter of lycra from Funkifabrics to whip them into reality. Whilst you may think their lycra is expensive, it is incredibly good quality and definitely passes the squat test at the gym! No transparent tights here. Plus the little pocket is very handy.

 Lastly, and we're really stretching the ol' spooky theme here, is another Shelby Dress by True Bias. I'm classing it as spooky as it has moths on. Oh, and I saw a load of bats when wearing it.

On a previous version of this dress, my toile came up really big especially across the bust. I put some real effort into fitting this properly by taking a panel of 2cm out of the center front bodice piece and reshaping the bust curves. The effort paid off and I absolutely LOVE this dress. I've worn it several times since making it and definitely will get good wear.

The fabric is a Lady McElroy viscose that has also been living in my stash for several years as it was 'too special' to cut. Enough of that now.

The fabric is called 'Moonlight in Madagascar' which is wonderful in itself and feels lovely to wear. I think it found it's destiny to be this Shelby. It also saved me in a weird bit of October heatwave in Barcelona when it was too warm for much else!

As always, many thanks for stopping by and wishing you all happy stitching! 

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Bloglovin too xxx