Crafty Clyde's Emporium - Tortoise Time

Hello all

I lost my sewjo for a little bit back there but it seems to be back in action -yay! Unfortunately although I've made a few bits - poor light, poor weather and lack of time means I just haven't been able to grab any pics just yet.

So today dear folks, I just wanted to do a little post about my Etsy shop. Crafty Clyde's Emporium.

I always fancied having an Etsy shop, and over the years used to sell a few handmade bits and pieces - bags, purses etc. But it was always a bit random. One day I just wanted to make a tortoise necklace so I thought - go with what you know!

The other reason my shop has gone totally turtle is because there is a huge lack of tortoise related goodies in the UK. For all the tortie lovers out there (and I'm assured it's not just me) I thought I'd do us all a favour and create a little gift shop based on my 3 little lovelies.


I designed these little drawings based on Clyde (big green), Sammy (melllow yellow) and Esther (the little lovely) and ran with it...


So far I've gone for washi tape, stickers, necklaces, keyrings, glitter tortoises and tree decorations! If there are any tortoise types out there that would like to request something do let me know!


Little Esther has proved to be quite popular, as are the tree decorations at the moment which is nice. Now don't get me wrong I can't retire off this and move to Hawaii or anything, it is just a hobby!

Anyway I thought I would just share this on here - should anyone have tortoise types in their life that would love a little reptilian based gift you know where to go!

Many thanks for reading - normal sewing service shall resume shortly.....

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

Long Leopard Armidale - Style Arc

So here's a new one. The Armidale dress by Style Arc.

New to me for sure, and new to the Style Arc collection at the time I made it! So new in fact there was very little on the interweb that I could stalk for inspiration.

Inspiration came from a different source this time. I remember my Nan had an amazing red leopard shirt dress that she had made herself. As I kid I loved it, it was glamorous lovely Nan. As the leopard trend came about I was hoping I'd find a perfect leopard shirt dress that was similar but it was not to be. For ages the fabric was not available either but then..... this amazing 'ruby leopard' viscose from Sewisfaction appeared!

It was just calling out to be something elegant and gorgeous and fulfill its destiny. As if by fate, the next day this amazing pattern by Stle Arc was released! As a big fan of the shirt dress, this pattern really stood out to me. It is simple in its design but flowed in all the right places.


I've never made a Style Arc pattern before and heard rumours of the sparse instructions. This was partially true. Whilst the instructions aren't all singing all dancing coloured step-by-step like you get on some indie/beginner patterns - there is a pretty comprehensive construction sheet, complete with map of what piece attaches where! (That bit is really useful and a nice touch). In my haste I had not realized this, and was going by the text on the pattern sheet itself. The lovely people at Style Arc have since reached out to me and sent the full instruction sheets (3 pages of text and diagram) - so check you have them! (Thank you Style Arc!!! It makes much more sense now!)

Fortunately for me the dress only consisted of very few pieces and it was FAIRLY straightforward to put together.

I say fairly - as I did mess it up initially. The skirt portion of the dress has 6 pieces to it. I had only cut out 4 (back, front and two sides). Panic set in - I had no more fabric! Sheona to the rescue as there was more in stock and an emergency meter was purchased....

I hadn't realized the side panels were 2 each side. To allow for a pocket. Of course!! How could I forget the all important pocket!!

I made a straight up size 14 expecting it to need a bit of tweaking - but not so! The relief...


The collar and bodice has a really vintage vibe. There are no darts, but the bodice is shaped with tiny gathers under the bust and at the back. I'm not usually a big fan of gathers (*yuck*) but these are beautiful and serve a purpose. The gathers are forgiven.


The collar is a simple shape and just attached around the top neck, trapped into the facing.

As I mentioned before, due to the mishap with cutting the skirt, I definitely didn't have enough fabric for the button and neck facings which are one large piece going right from the bottom of the skirt all the way up to the top neck. I didn't take a picture but basically these facings are patch-worked together from red leopard scraps and pieces of black viscose! It worked. I'm happy.

This has yet to be worn in the wild, but I intend to get in some use this autumn winter by wearing it with a tights/boots/biker jacket combo. Would I make this pattern again - yes! Does it make me feel nice and think of my Nan - absolutely!


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

Kalle and the Bears

Hello :)

I'm back with something a little more seasonal this week. Seasonal...but not new.



It's Kalle again! I contemplated a different shirt pattern - but if it works it works. I find the Kalle to be the right amount of roomy, has all the features of a loose shirt you may need, and a wonderful length for wearing as a tunic/long shirt over leggings.

Now this Kalle was serving a purpose. You may have seen on Instagram that I've been on my honeymoon (#honeymoose) in Canada and OF COURSE I wanted to take a brushed cotton plaid shirt with me.

I found the perfect plaid on Minerva and ordered this lovely blue colour. Which incidentally matched my surroundings......  (gratuitous holiday snap incoming). It's gorgeously soft and very cosy to wear in the drizzly weather.


There had been a lot of bear chat before I left - do we need bear spray?! Would we even see any?! So with that in mind, what better way to celebrate going wildlife watching with little bear buttons...


This is the long sleeve version of the pattern. Like a fool, I did leave this until the last minute and my sleeve plackets are awful - however if someone would like to criticize my sleeve plackets in a day to day non-sewing-related scenario I would invite them to reassess their life priorities. You say badly made, I say woodland rustic.


In such desperation to take my shirt on holiday, I did actually leave it a bit 'unfinished' with no mini placket cuff buttons and no pockets attached! Those got added at home afterwards...


Days went by without a sight of much wildlife at all until......


BEARS!!!! Don't worry folks this was taken from a safe distance. We saw a momma and baby black bears in a clearing as we drove to Jasper! (No doubt any Canadians reading this will wonder what the big deal is but I'd always wanted to see wild bears :)

By day 10 you couldn't shift for bears.


These grizzlies were however in a safe sanctuary hence the pics - otherwise you wouldn't have seen us for dust...or just wouldn't have seen us again.

So there we have it. Kalle and the Bears. New band name. (An entire post without a tortoise reference! Apart from that one. Oops.)

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

Blending in on Union Street

Hey June - howd'ya get your patterns soooo good?

This is not a new pattern for me, but it's certainly a favourite and the most versatile. After multiple attempts at finding the perfect tee - turns out I had it all along. Hey June Handmade - Union St. Tee.

This post is all about blending into the wild.... camouflage at it's best.

Can you see me?


How amazing is this chameleon fabric?! From Olumis, I already used this for a friend's Ogden top and had a load stashed for something fabulous. It has vivid colours and such good quality, resistance was futile.


After toying with the idea of a jumpsuit, I opted for something I would get more wear out of. Enter the Union St. dress hack - again. Simple, sleeveless and sassy. I added a pop of colour to the neckline with some jersey bias binding from Beyond Measure. I tried to add it to the arm holes aswell but it ended up too tight so got snipped.




Next up, a very similar dress but in a really different fabric. This absolute beauty is from Enchanted Fabrics (a UK pre-order site) and is the slinkiest, softest bamboo lycra. Perfect for those urban safari's.



And last but not least - for when you need to go incognito near the sea. BOOM. No-one will be able to spot you near the rock pools in this one.



I have to thank a lady on The Fold Line Facebook group for this inspiration as she posted a picture from Pinterest of this beautiful fabric. It turned out it was available from Spoonflower called Tides#3 and wow I was taken.



A simple tee dress was in store for this to use the print to it's full effect. I only JUST managed to squeeze this out of the fabric, hence the rocky sleeve vs. water sleeve.


I am also significantly wider than the Pinterest girl so on the back there is a line where the image repeats. Who cares though. I haven't worn this yet as I really enjoyed making it, rarely wear white/lights and feel like I'm going to drop something on it! It will get worn though...



It's quite funny looking back at my last few posts as I always used to wear black... Colour feels so much better these days.

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


Nina Lee - In The Kew

I'm not sure I need another summer dress pattern.... I found my perfect version!

And made it three times.




Enter the Kew Dress into my life. To be honest I've swerved Nina Lee patterns as they always seemed rather 'girly' and I wrongly assumed that they were only for very slender petite figures. I could not have been more wrong.

The pattern cropped up as a result of a Minerva project #minervamakes a little while back where I was kindly gifted some digital print cotton and challenged to make something that showed off the print. The result was this absolute beauty:

I won't say too much about this as my project post will go live on 25th September on Minerva's blog where you can have a browse of the pattern hacks. I'll give you a little peek at how I felt about it though!


I was all prepared for a week's worth of pattern adjusting and fitting, having just fully given up on a Deer & Doe Magnolia dress (oh the hours of my life I will not get back).

Checking measurements carefully I went for a size 14 at the bust graded to 16 at the waist and hip. To my utter astonishment - it fit!!!!!! Not one adjustment was made to the patterns. No broad back, no bust faff, Nada. Unbelievable. Even better is that this dress totally covers bra straps which is pure genius.

My tulip field version is a soft cotton poplin and sewed up really well and without issue. The zebra print version is cotton fabric from Fabrics Galore I bought an age ago at the Sewing Bee Exhibition!


This one was made for my sister who really liked the print and colour - and of course the pockets ;-)

My last and favourite dress is this beautiful viscose from Sewisfaction called 'Divine Landscapes'. It being slippy and slidey, the dress was much more of a challenge to make and the back did stretch out quite a lot and the buttons gaped.


I MAY have fixed this with bond-a-web. Gasp. So it's pretty on the outside, but held together inside by string and glue. I also had to rip out the pockets and move the placement as I seemed to have sewed them in at the knees. I can't unbutton it now and it has to go on wriggled over the head but never mind.

None the less I love it now and the extra room is quite nice and comfortable, plus it makes me feel all nice. 


Just to evidence that I do leave my back garden sometimes, here is the dress in action actually being WORN. Result for me.


The dress passed the day out and mega-lunch test on a trip to Urban Jungle with The Fabric Wrangler. Awesome cafe, would highly recommend.  


The buttons on these dresses are lovely and fairly unusual. I found them on Textile Gardens and they are made of cotton!The colours in real life are like 'bright pastel' and they have this great matte texture to them.


Summer 2019 - The Year of the Kew. Love it.


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

Dotty Anza Dress - Itch to Stitch

It's that gauze again!

Last seen on my Cielo dress in black, here's the green version in action. (The yellow is still biding its sweet time).


This dress is the Itch to Stitch - Anza Dress (& Jumpsuit) pattern - in dress format obviously.

I came across the dress on the Love Sewing magazine cover and liked the casual style of it. There seemed to be lots of details and a nice shape to the neckline so went for the download. It was inevitably massive so I admit to having it printed. Ain't no-one got time for that.

There it all came unstuck as once I'd cut my pattern pieces out - and just a warning - there are many, I could not figure out the magazine instructions for the life of me. So I bought the actual pattern, got proper instructions and felt generally much better about life.

(Well it feels a lot of pattern pieces to me, who makes 3 piece t-shirts all the time and rethinks life-choices if there's more than 6...)

It was a good meaty little project this one - after sewing many basics, it was nice to have a go at something a bit more involved. I wouldn't say more complex as the separate features are not massively difficult, just more time consuming. I think it took a couple of weeks in total, just doing bits of it here and there in my lunch break.

Can we just take a moment here to appreciate the god's of haberdashery who were on my side when it got to button day. It needed 4 buttons for the front bodice and low and behold, 4 glorious matching buttons were in my stash!!! (Found a while back from Textile Garden - my go-to button gal).



The pattern is really well drafted - there is cup-size options as well as normal sizing so a lot of folk will love that. I went for B cup and therefore no darts were needed. Lazy girl's dream. I graded the pattern between 12/14 without any modifications and it seems to be spot on. Next time, the bodice could come up by 1cm ish but that's just a minor niggle.

Just proving I ironed my fabric this time, check out the back crease hehe
I totally messed up the position of the button holes so I have one right next to the waist band that sticks out, and the top gapes a bit so I've sewn in closed. The dress can just pop over your head anyway its pretty roomy.

The dress is super comfy, there's a bit of a belt and braces job at the waist which is a bit weird. It has elastic casing AND a waist-tie. I did myself a favour by mistake in this respect as I didn't fold over the waist casing and applied it more like bias binding. Turns out it was a good job as the casing would never have been big enough for the elastic and tie as it was on the pattern piece.

If you're going to make this dress - double the width of the casing strip!! I've since since some other reviews of this dress who also say the same thing so glad its not just me being daft.


All in all a good and useful project - I've worn it several times now so a good sign!

Just a little note - not all projects are a success I just generally can't be bothered to write about the disasters (unless it was particularly comical). For example - my usual love of Closet Case Patterns designs was slightly blighted by the worst fitting trousers known to mankind when I tried the Pietra's! That was definitely a case of what suits one person will not suit everyone! The quest for trousers continues....

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest and Bloglovin too