New make: Linden #2 – a mixed affair

You know sometimes you make something and you’re not that keen and then you see the photos and you think, “Actually, it’s not that bad…”. Well, this was the opposite for me. I was really chuffed when I finished this Grainline Linden sweatshirt and now I’m… less so. And there’s a simple reason. I love the fabrics, I like the shape of the sweatshirt anyway – but the sizing/shaping is completely off on this one. The neckline is the worst. I mean, it’s not terrible, but it’s too big and droopy. It’s partly the fabric – there just isn’t enough recovery in the knit I used and I should absolutely have used ribbing. But I also think there’s something afoot with my pattern pieces, because this happened with my last Linden too (which I didn’t finish/ blog, because the neckline application was B.A.D). We adjusted the pieces as part of a class and I think I need to go back and check them. I may also have traced the long sleeve badly. Something is going on.


Continue reading “New make: Linden #2 – a mixed affair”

New make: Brindille & Twig Free Hoodie

I wrote a fair bit about the Colette Beignet skirt a few days ago and so, in contrast, this will be short and sweet. Finally I’ve made something else for the wee guy. We’ve had so many lovely gifts from friends and family of gorgeous clothes for Joe that he’s really only just starting to get to the point where it’s worth me making him some. I’ve had my eye on Brindille and Twig for quite some time. I very nearly bought a bunch of patterns in their most recent sale, but, due to the above, he just didn’t quite need anything at the time. Then I happened upon their free pattern – this hoodie – and thought, well, why not? He actually needed one.


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New make: Colette Beignet skirt

I’m so happy to have finished what I’m thinking of as my first “proper” skirt. I suppose what I really mean is my first “intermediate” skirt and I definitely learnt a lot making it. It consolidated many techniques and skills I’ve already picked up over the last year and a bit – and, most importantly, I really like it!


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Blogger Recognition Award

What a lovely surprise to get a wee award that tells me I’ve made some online friends in the sewing world! At least, that’s how it feels, which is blinkin’ marvellous, since it’s one of the main reasons I started writing the blog in the first place. The internet is such an expansive and interesting place, which can be mined for facts and knowledge, provide a meeting place for like minds and, sadly, can these days also be used to misguide and misinform swathes of people simply by merit of their online social media choices. Nevertheless, without the internet, I’d never have encountered such lovely people and certainly wouldn’t have been able to indulge and invest in my new hobby to the extent I have. I’ve truly found something I enjoy deeply and sincerely, which is in no small part due to the many talented and kind-hearted bloggers I’ve found within the sewing community. Hopefully I can point you in the direction of some of my favourite reads below.


There are a few questions to answer:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Thanks so much to swarm of chickadees for this lovely award, which gives me a chance to mention a few other blogs I enjoy reading, as well as to reflect the sentiment back to her. I love reading her blog for its attention to detail, sewing dilemma discussion and fitting quandaries, not to mention the wonderful prose and reassuring conversations we have when there’s a little time in the day! Thank you Kamila!

2. Write a post to show your award.

Et voila! This is a post to show my award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

Brevity: not my strong point, but I will try. I had my son, Joe, almost 2 years ago and picked up crocheting while pregnant. I was in Germany and my husband had already moved over to Seattle for his new job, so I had a little time to kill, even more so since partying like a mad thing was out of the equation. I made a number of blankets and really enjoyed it (although naturally his favourite is the $8.99 Target blanket his Dada bought him, not the one I spent 3 weeks cursing over). I’ve always been crafty and when I moved to the States, I discovered that fabric, patterns and sewing equipment in general are a TON cheaper than in Europe, which made me think about picking up apparel sewing as a hobby.

My full-time job was/is as a managing editor in the videogame industry and I wanted to at least keep up a little writing, to ensure that particular creative muscle didn’t wither away (it doesn’t take long). I’m not the biggest diarist, so the combination of a new blog + learning to sew seemed appealing. Little was I to know that there was a huge, well-established sewing community out there, that would foster my interest, inspire my learning and allow my husband to learn much more about sewing than he ever cared to know in 100 lifetimes (sorry, pet).

I don’t blog as often as I’d like, but I try to keep it up as much as possible and it has been very rewarding. Long may it continue!

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

Advice huh? Well, I’m not sure this will be anything revolutionary but:

a) Be yourself. So much of social media is about presenting a front or a best version of yourself. Personally, I find it rather boring to read and can smell a potential “brand” a mile off. I much prefer reading honest reflections and seeing “genuine” photos of people. Some of the best blogs present natural photos that may be shot nicely, but aren’t Lightroomed to death, overexposed and don’t feature the same unnatural pose in every shot. Given the gazillions of followers some of these branded lifestyle sites have, it may indeed be just me, but that’s how I feel and that’s what I personally want from a blog. There’s always IG and Facebook for the perfect shots! 🙂

b) Don’t be shy! By which I don’t mean strip down to your undies for your photos or tell us your relationship history in eye-poppingly honest detail. We all have our “comfort zone”. I just mean don’t worry too much about what other people think. I was absolutely cacking myself when I started publishing posts and taking pictures. I still don’t like having photos taken very much, but I find that when I look back on them even a week later, I get a tangible feeling of satisfaction seeing what I’ve accomplished and the feedback I’ve received. You can make real friends online, but it tends more towards the anonymous space than not. You could be friends with someone for 5 years, never meet them, and then you both disconnect and disappear. It happens. So I say enjoy the moment and throw yourself in wholeheartedly – in whichever capacity feels the most comfortable for you.

5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

I suspect I won’t be the first to nominate these people (I’ve left out some others I’ve seen have been nominated), but I do enjoy them all very much (amongst many, many other blogs), so check these 10 or so out if you don’t already know them! I’m already discovering new blogs from this initiative.

Sie macht: a sewing blog


Self Assembly Required

Brambleton Threads

Bee Made

wasted weekends

zoubi zoubisou

See Carmen Sew



Helen’s Closet






New make: Toaster Sweater #sewmystyle January

This is my first make as part of the #sewmystyle community sewalong. If you don’t know about it, then you can check out the initiative at Bluebird Fabrics or on Instagram with the hashtag, where there are a ton of Toaster Sweaters to peruse. That’s because the challenge involves sewing one collective garment a month (completely voluntary) from now until the end of the year. I plan to be sewing 9 out of the 12 (one, the Saunio cardigan simply will not suit me and two of the others I have alternative patterns for already). This is the Toaster Sweater #2 (there is a quite different #1 version too) from Sew House Seven and it’s the first pattern I’ve sewn from this company.


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New make: Seamwork Almada robe

Hello there! Hands up who ate too much over Christmas and New Year…?  Yup, me too. Which is why this latest make comes at the perfect moment for hiding my well-tended belly, which it does beautifully, I’m happy to report. You may have seen this robe on IG already, but now I’ve had a chance to snap a couple of on-body pics. Ignore the peely-wally legs please (good Scottish word; don’t say reading sewing blogs doesn’t teach you anything).


I feel like this pattern has been made in so many stunning versions before (including the ones from Swarm of Chickadees and Helen’s Closet to name but a couple) that everyone must be familiar with it by now. But if not, this is the Almada robe from Seamwork Magazine. It’s kimono-inspired in style and is a quick make, pegged at 3hrs of sew time. I would say that’s fair, although I may have taken slightly longer. If you make your own bias tape, add on an hour, I suppose. Continue reading “New make: Seamwork Almada robe”

A Christmas Moneta and other pressies

Last post of the year, now that I can update with a few recent makes. It’s been a funny Q4. For some reason, I really thought I was going to get a ton of sewing done, but it hasn’t worked out that way really, and I don’t even know why. In any case, I did manage to make a few things for other people. I had planned quite a few more, but of course you never have as much time as you think. I just re-read this paragraph and this is possibly the dullest intro to a blog post I’ve ever written, so I think I’ll just get on with the makes, shall I? Haha.


First up, I made quite a number of Petal Pouches by Noodlehead (Anna Graham) as gifts. I mentioned it in a previous post, but didn’t want to completely give the game away for #stitchingsanta, so here’s a little more. I had planned to make six sets initially ( six large and six small) but finished up with four sets. Two were made from this fun pink Japanese linen, which features celery (I think) and a green linen lining. The other two sets were made from a Japanese striped canvas and have a fun clashing blue checked lining. I cut out out two sets of yellow bird canvas, but still need to finish them up. Continue reading “A Christmas Moneta and other pressies”

#StitchingSanta 2016 revealed!

A very Merry Christmas to everyone! Here’s a little post to unveil the gifts from #stitchingsanta this year. This is a secret Santa gift-giving activity organized by Sheila from Sewchet and it was a lot of fun!


I received my exciting parcel fairly early in December, which spurred me into action and I’m glad to say I managed to get my parcel off shortly after.


My parcel was sent by the very thoughtful Moira from The Quilted Snail. At least, I hope that’s right Moira! I only have your email address, so I did a bit of googling and I think this is your blog. If not, let me know. 😀


Moira had clearly been checking out my blog, as she had me down to a tee with a beautiful grey and metallic length of cotton fabric. You can’t see the gold and silver accents in the picture too well, but they’re really pretty. Funnily enough, I just finished up an Almada robe in a fabric that also has gold accents, so you’re on my wavelength Moira! 🙂 To complement the fabric was a reel of grey thread (my favourite colour of thread to work with – it’s so useful!). Also in my package were a pair of small scissors and a storage box. Coincidentally, I was just looking at these the other week and didn’t get around to buying any, so this is perfect! Now I have somewhere to store my snaps and hooks effectively. And the best touch were the little “handmade by me” labels. I have been meaning to buy labels for soooo long, so this is great!

Thanks so much for your kind gifts Moira, and thank you so much Sheila for organising this. It was a lot of fun putting together a parcel, but also so nice to receive a gift from someone who enjoys the same hobby as yourself. When my recipient blogs about their parcel I’ll add a little post about those makes, but for now, have a very Happy New Year!


#StitchingSanta and #SewMyStyle

Hey there! I hope you all had a very lovely Thanksgiving. We headed up to Vancouver and it didn’t occur to me for a while that of course it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving up there (silly European that I am) but we had a great time pottering around and enjoying the city. As far as sewing goes, I’m right in the middle of lots of pre-Christmas projects that I rather annoyingly can’t blog, but it would spoil any surprises that I do actually manage to finish in time.


A cool café in Vancouver where you can play with and adopt cats


Continue reading “#StitchingSanta and #SewMyStyle”

New make: The Weekender Bag

Hey folks! I’m determined to make a few Xmas presents this year, and while this bag isn’t necessarily one of them (although it could be) I’m definitely going through a little non-apparel phase. I have to say I’m ridiculously happy with this bag. I can only describe it in terms of it being the way I’d like to feel about the clothes I make. That is, that it’s so much better and nicer than anything I could or would purchase in the shops, and not even because the sewing is so wonderful, but just because of the level of detail and the materials. I’m sure I will feel this way about clothes once I’ve improved on the fit and made something a little more complicated (maybe my coat?), but for now, the bag rules!!


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