Simpicity 2906: How I did….

IMG_2849I saw this ‘Cath Kidston esque’ fabric in Trago Mills a few weeks ago and then went back to get it. I have no idea who it’s actually by. Its very summery though. The pattern was another simplicity sale one, as I needed a plain slightly flarey skirt pattern.

It is a fairly straight forward pattern.

Firstly you sew up the side seams, bottom to top on the right side and up to the stitching mark on the left side, as this is where you will insert the (lapped) zip.

Next you insert the zipper. A 7 inch normal (so not invisible) zipper.

First pin and sew the right hand side of the zipper as normal.

As you can see I’m using my zipper foot to get a close stitch.

Next, pin the left side of the zipper with a folded over lap to create the ‘lap’ of the lapped zipper. I had never created a lapped zip before, this is how the directions in the pattern said to do it, so this is how I did it ๐Ÿ™‚

Now onto the waistband. This requires webbing, again something I have never used (had to ask in the haberdashers what it was ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

The instructions in the pattern said to pin and stitch the top edge of the webbing onto the top edge of the waist.

Then, flip it over to the wrong side, thus creating a nice encased edge to the waistband. Pin and stitch.

Now, I’m only 5ft 1 inch, so most things are too long on me. When I cut this pattern out it seemed like it was going to be a midi skirt. It was, but with the width it did not look good, so I wanted it to be knee length, meaning I had to adjust the length (ahem, cut the excess off haha) IMG_3206

Penultimately was the hemming. I am not great at this on curved edges but we got there.

Lastly was the buttonhole and button. I had one of the lovely pink buttons left over from the sailor dress – it happened to be perfect for this skirt so it got used. I think it looks lovely.

Finished! I really liked this pattern, it was very easy. I would highly recommend it if you want to practise your zips, as it was easy to put a zip in as its a straight seam and you can just do an exposed zipper (or invisible) rather than a lapped one ๐Ÿ™‚ It didn’t take me long at all to make ๐Ÿ™‚ very recommended for beginners.



A rather full and fun week



I haven’t actually wrote a family post for a week. I do have rather a bit to cover. Nothing of importance but we have had a good week :).

Starting last Sunday one of our local country clubs had a FREE family funday – its the China Fleet Country Club, in Saltash, Cornwall. It has strong links with the Navy and as hubby is in the Navy we have free membership, which is amazing.

The free family funday was great. There were free rides, free games, free bouncy castles, free candy floss, free entertainment. It was great. The kids had a whale of a time, as we don’t go to fairs etc often due to the cost and the fact no 3 can’t deal with really busy places with his autism and sensory processing disorder. As we went early on it was quiet and he had a great time.

The hubby took the youngest two for a walk. No 3 also is wary of dogs. Apparently 3 came running up to them, number 3 said ‘ooooooooohhhhhh!!!!! a doggy army!!!’ he is so great with the language he is learning ๐Ÿ™‚ The hubby was in stitches ๐Ÿ™‚

He does have bad days though. He has a chromosome disorder 47 XYY syndrome (which means he has an extra Y chromosome). His form of autism is a rare form, called pathological demand avoidance (PDA). It means that he has problems with demands being placed upon him. He gets very anxious if he feels out of control. He has a special needs buggy as, as well as the behavioural issues which means we have to be able to strap him in for safety, he also has hypermobility. Most mornings is a real struggle and we have to follow certain strategies in order to get him to school. The main one of these is to give him choices, which mean him getting to school but him feeling in control, so a couple of times a week he goes to school in pyjamas (or a superhero costume haha) IMG_3131

This particular morning we had to wear our pjs and take a boat haha ๐Ÿ™‚

I got a delivery of some sale fabric and some sale simplicity patterns from daisybuds fabric shop IMG_3133

Can’t wait to make the dottie angel kids frock especially

I have cut out a few dottie angels to be getting on with:

I have sewn the adult one up as of writing this blog post, will do a separate post as it went quite a bit better than the first time ๐Ÿ™‚

I have been trying to make the most of the youngest as he’s starting school in September. He isn’t 4 until the middle of August so I’m so very sad. This week as we were in Plymouth looking around a high school for the eldest to start in September 2017, we decided to go to the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. We had a great time. He is so much fun on his own.

On Thursday as well as knit and natter at the core cafรฉ in Saltash I had a Jamberry party. Not one person turned up. Not one. Just my friend who came to help. I was gutted, but hey ho. I think it still looked nice. IMG_3317

I have given myself a new jamicure, and also met another friend for coffee and applied the ones she bought off me at my launch party for her.

Hubby and I organised a works party to paint this building when they were trying to re-open it as a community place. We didn’t choose the paint haha – although I quite like it ๐Ÿ™‚

I have also been practising my papercutting more, these designs are all paperpanda by the way ๐Ÿ™‚

My favourite is the teapot ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday there was a vintage fayre at a local National Trust place – Cotehele – beautiful place. The kiddiwinks all loved it. Their favourite bits was of course the vintage cars.

It was a great day. Wish we’d of been able to spend longer.

So, that’s been our week! Hope you’ve all had a good one too ๐Ÿ™‚

M6913: How I did…. Part three

Final part to the lovely sailor dress pattern and how I did. The bodice is the hardest part on this pattern, and so now this is done! Thereย are a couple of fiddly bits on the skirt part.

First there is a cut line on the front bodice pattern piece IMG_3100

You need to mark onto the fabric on both sides where this line is – giving you a V once the piece is opened out. You stitch along this line – stay stitching – and then slash inbetween these two lines so you have an open V.

The piece for the opening is just a rectangle piece, which you pin and stitch to the right side of one side of this V.

Next you turn this to the inside of the skirt and then stitch the piece of fabric onto the other side of the V, and stitch the bottom shut, giving you a V pocket. IMG_3106

Next I put two rows of pink binding onto both the front and the back skirt pieces, measuring where I felt they needed to go so they were at the same height front and back.

Next, you sew the front and back skirt pieces to one another. IMG_3140

Then you need to gather. I did this inย 4 parts: 2 at the front either side of the V, and 2 at the back breaking in the middle.

I do the lazy way of gathering. You don’t get as even gathers or as good looking results with the ‘proper’ way to gather, but at the moment its good enough generally. All you do for the lazy way of gathering is to set your machine to the longest stich with the highest top tension and sew ๐Ÿ™‚

There are 2 threads, the bobbin and the top thread, you need to pull one of these, I like to pull the bobbin thread. When you pull it properly gathers the fabric ๐Ÿ˜‰ viola ๐Ÿ™‚

Next is to attach the skirt to the bodice. I pinned and stitched the skirt to the bodice right sides together, starting at either side of the V and matching seams.

One thing I always seem to do when stitching a gathered skirt to a bodice is catch some of the bodice so I end up with this: IMG_3156

Soooo, unpicker time…. and restitch.

The pattern requires 3 buttons on the opening of the bodice. So you sew button holes onto one side of the bodice (above the V in the skirt) IMG_3157

I have been lamenting only having a automatic button hole more than normal recently. I wish that I had a 4 step buttonhole as an option, as it is such a nightmare when bulk etc stops the buttonholer working to complete the buttonhole fully. You have to unpick and restart every time, where as with a 4 step buttonhole you just select the stage you are at and continue. IMG_3161

In order to keep the sailor collar ends together there is a stitched on ‘woggle’. This is just a loop of fabric stitched between the button holes on the bodice.

And then hem the bottom

Lastly to sew these pretty pink buttons on ๐Ÿ™‚ I did it whilst watching the great British sewing bee ๐Ÿ™‚

And the final product, in age 1-2 years this time. I do love a sailor dress and can’t wait to see my niece wearing it ๐Ÿ™‚

M6913: How I did… part two

Welcome back to how I did for the gorgeous sailor dress pattern for my niece in Australia.

I’m now going to briefly cover how I did on the bodice. I say briefly because I didn’t take many photos. This was because I rather struggled so was concentrating too much to remember to take pictures! sorry :/ I am very much learning at all this ๐Ÿ™‚

The next stage was to attach the collar to the bodice. You only need attach it by the unsewn bit around the back of the neck on the inside of the collar.

You pin this to the right side of the bodice, with the wrong side of the collar to the right side of the bodice, just the way it will be once the dress is complete. IMG_3014

Next is to make up the bodice lining, this is made up the same as the bodice, sewn at the shoulder seams. This is then placed right side of the lining to right side (so upper) of the collar. Once again stitched at the gap. Once this is turned to the inside all the stitching on both the collar and bodice should be encased between the lining and the bodice.

Clever, yes? IMG_3020

Next is the sleeves. Now, I made a booboo (again haha) with these. With set in sleeves I usually don’t sew up the side seams until after I have sewn the sleeves to the sleeve curve, it makes it so much easier. I was on auto-pilot and following the instructions on this pattern so I had already sewn up the side seams! ooops! so of course I had to do the sleeves the hard way.

Firstly I put the pink binding on, and gathered the sleeve caps

Next, I sewed up the centre seams on the sleeves

and turned them right way out. IMG_3027

Next is the hard bit – setting in the sleeves. You have to insert the sleeve into the sleeve hole, with the sleeve right side to the bodice right side (always check when its folded back out the right way it is right as you don’t want to set it in more than you have to!)

then (very slowly and very carefully) sew – if you have a freearm and its small enough to do it put the sleeve around the free arm as this makes it very much easier. IMG_3028

Once this is done turn the sleeve right side out

Bodice done! phew! in part 3 I’ll move onto the skirt – it does require quite a bit of different techniques this pattern and it took me 3 days to complete ๐Ÿ™‚ I enjoyed it though and the end result is definitely worth it!

M6913: How I did…part one

One of my lust makes before I started sewing was a sailor dress. I absolutely adore children in sailor collars – maybe its a sound of music thing – I don’t know haha.

I saw this pattern and just had to have it. IMG_2843

It says easy, but I find it challenging (in a good way).

One day I’m sure I’ll make it up in a print, but I have only made it in contrasting solids. This time this baby blue and darker pink. The first time I made it in a taupe and a mint green.

I really liked thisย colourway.

I like the collar shape of the back of view C, but the rest of the dress and collar of view B. That’s what I made up.

Firstly is interfacing! I use medium weight, iron on interfacing for most things, but especially as I mainly use cotton in my sewing.

In this pattern you are required to interface the two front bits and the collar. You cut these pieces out of the interfacing and iron on according to the interfacing manufacturers instructions.

The interfacing I use asks for the iron to best on a medium heat ie wool,IMG_2961 and for the iron not to be moved, to be placed, and for no steam!

As you can see I couldn’t be bothered to get out the ironing board haha

As I like to keep all the pattern sizes for each pattern – unfortunately I don’t have the cash to splash to get a new pattern for each size. I often need to cut out the biggest size and then trace and trim to the correct size on the smaller, fiddlier pattern pieces.

Next I sewed the front bodice pieces to the back bodice pieces, at the shoulders and the side seams.

Now I put this to one side, and work on the collar. First is to sew the two halves together. IMG_2987

As you can see, you don’t sew the inside middle of the collar.

Then I trim the seams so as to (hopefully) get a crisper finish once it is turned right way out.

And because of my love of topstitching… IMG_2994

I do enjoy this next bit – applying the binding that really makes this sailor collar. First is to mark the distances on each side where the binding is going to go. I did make a mistake in this but didn’t realise until I’d finished – see if you can spot it after!

Once you have marked on the position you just pin on the binding

and sew at top and bottom edge

I think such a simple thing looks really effective (if you don’t make any mistakes like me haha – although mistakes make youย better at sewing I think!) I also put some binding onto the points of the collar as I like the look of them.

That’s the collar finished!

I have had to split this how I did into several parts as there are quite a few steps to it ๐Ÿ™‚ in the next part I’ll cover how I did the bodice ๐Ÿ™‚

Flutterby Romper: How I did….

Some of the best clothes for kiddies are ones they can just throw on.

I made the girly a romper in the spring and she loved it. I made it from quite boyish fabric as she still prefers boyish clothes a lot of the time, although I hadn’t realised there were jack daniels bottles on the fabric with the rabbits! haha IMG_8996

Its not that noticeable when she’s wearing it.. honestly!

I was also given some really pretty poppy border print fabric so I wanted a project that incorporated that too.

This is a PDF pattern by little kiwis closet, which I got off etsy. I print my PDF patterns off once, then trace the size I need onto greaseproof paper and then save the patterns in A5 envelopes. IMG_2827

As I said, I really wanted to use the poppies fabric, and so I had to find some other fabric from my stash that matched – the best I could find (that I had enough of!) was this left over polka dot Ikea fabric. IMG_2838

I used my new rotary cutter again, the problem I had was that there wasn’t enough for the border to be used on both front and back of the shorts, so I just cut out the front short pattern pieces with the border on.

This pattern has sooooooo many options, long sleeve, short sleeve, flutter sleeve, sleeves with elastic, shorts, long trousers to name but a few! and it goes right the way through the ages. I choose a short sleeve and shorts as its for summer.

The short sleeve is a raglan, so much easier than a set in sleeve. I hem the sleeve first.

Next is to attach the sleeves to the bodice, firstly to one side, then to the other.

As you can see it now looks like a huge off the shoulder top. As the only way in or out (there are no fastenings onย this romper at this size) is through the neck the fabric has to be able to expand large enough for the child to get in it, but shrink small enough to fit around the neck.

This is done via the medium of elastic haha ๐Ÿ™‚ You create a casing all around he neck opening

Whilst doing this you need to decide which will be the front and back (both bodice pattern pieces are the same front and back, the shorts pieces are not)

You need to mark the back, and I do this with a wee piece of ribbon folded into a loop.

You need to leave a gap the stitching so as to be able to thread the elastic in.


Once you have threaded the elastic through you need to sew the ends in order to make it into a loop. I use a small zigzag stitch in order to do this.

Then stitch the gap shut.

Bodice done! Onto the shorts.

There are many ways to make shorts. I made these the way the pattern asks you to.

So, I sewed the fronts to the backs, rights sides together, at the sides first.

Next is the crotch seam, so I opened out the shorts and put them right sides together to each leg.

I then pinned the crotch seam and sewed.

After this is to sew the under seam. To do this I opened out the shorts again, front and back in the correct place IMG_2909

Then I pinned the under seams together, fronts to backs IMG_2910

Then sewed

and hemmed

Next is to attach the bodice to the shorts, whilst creating the channel for the waist elastic.

You pin the shorts approx. 2cm above the bottom of the bodice

and sew

then fold down the top of the shorts a little bit (approx. 1/4″) and pin and sew to the bodice to create the elastic channel.

Remember to leave a gap to thread the elastic through, and then zigzag the ends of the elastic together once they are threaded to make a loop.

Sew the gap shut, turn the right way out and voila! a romper ๐Ÿ™‚

and the girly looking gorgeous as usual wearing it ๐Ÿ™‚

A very hot week…

It’s been a glorious week here in Cornwall, and the kiddos were back at school. We didn’t do a lot on Monday, and Tuesday the youngest was at nursery so I sewed and made (see the bunting, bags, and mixer cover posts).

As Wednesday was forecast to be yet another beautiful day and I didn’t want to miss out I arranged to go to the waterfront with a friend. We are so lucky to live where we live. The waterfront is a 10 minute walk from my school. The view is beautiful.

The youngest and my friends little girl had a great time ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll say it again, we are so so lucky to have this within walking distance.

After a few hours in the sun we went for lunch, in a ‘posh’ wine bar – perhaps not the best place to take the youngest but the two of them were really well behaved.

That thing with the egg timers on is apparently a steeping timer, to let you know when your tea is stewed, was still far too weak for my taste though… I like a strong builders brew without the sugar… pg tips for me! yum! haha IMG_2750

Was a lovey day ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but, I’m poo free/no poo – which means I don’t use shampoo. I stopped using it because my skin is very sensitive on my face and scalp and having used everything I could and my scalp still being in a mess I stopped. I didn’t use anything except water for 3 months, and have been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar for the last 2 months. The kids got nits as soon as they went back to school and ‘kindly’ passed them on. No poo meant a scramble to see what I could use… I came up with olive oil… and cling film! hope it worked! lots of nit combing too…IMG_2826

Had my Jamberry launch party – didn’t go very well fortunately and didn’t have the interest – I’ll keep trying but was quite disheartened. Although I’m still enjoying them immensely!

I also voted in the EU referendum and I proudly voted to remain, for a myriad of reasons, but everyone will vote their own way ๐Ÿ™‚ I am terrified if we come out though hat it will mean for families and our children. IMG_2853

In order to cheer me up after the disaster of the launch party the hubby ordered me a new handbag knowing how desperate I was for a new one, and knowing I’d seen one I really liked in the national trust shop at antony house at the weekend, bless him. IMG_2850

I have also been practising m papercutting.

Papercutting was featured on make! craft Britain – a bbc four programme. They all said the same as I – that you get so absorbed in it that everything else fades away – which is why it is a fantastic mindfulness activity. I thoroughly recommend it ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, I’ve got a few sewing projects in the pipeline that I cut out with my new rotary cutter. I have completed one already and am part way through another! All of them I shall detail in blog posts ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve got a coffee afternoon for my Jamberry on Thursday this week at a community cafรฉ – really nervous but hope that goes well. Wish me luck.

Hope we all have a good week ๐Ÿ™‚ IMG_2956


Custom (spotty!) mixer cover….

A friend asked me to make her a mixer cover, after giving me the dimensions.

ย She asked for it to be made in spotty duck egg fabric. I had no idea how I was going to do it so queue my saviour pinterest (again!)

I drafted the measurements and some ideas down based on he other projects pinterest users had uploaded. IMG_2758

Very rough, but this is how I plan, I just vomit ideas onto paper helps me organise my thoughts. Would be interesting to see how others do it?

Next was the cutting out. Having watched the sewing bee I wanted to try one of these new fangled rotary cutters. No idea what to do with them, but thought I’d give it a try…. I just bought a cheap 45mm one and I already have a cutting mat. IMG_2765Next was drafting a pattern piece for the end pieces. Just a rectangle would do for the side pieces. I just did this on a piece of greaseproof paper (necessity I find, sooo much cheaper than pattern paper etc) and used my quilting ruler to draw an dome at the top.

Next I pinned and cut out the pattern pieces. I really should of practised with the rotary cutter on a scrap piece of fabric – and I knew I should – so that didn’t go too well! But I ended up with usable pieces (2 end pieces and two side pieces)

Not content with using a rotary cutter for the first time, I also decided to use backed quilt wadding for the first time too. So I needed to cut out the same pattern pieces form that. I wasn’t confident using my rotary cutter on these so I went back to my trusty scissors.

ย I actually really liked this material! But I have no idea what you’re supposed to do with it so I just made it up as I went along (as usual! haha)

I decided I wanted to put piping around the end pieces, so made it up as usual (see my post about binding and how to)

Next I decided that I would just attach each wadding piece to each corresponding fabric piece, so as to get 4 pieces with the wadding on.

So, wrong sides to wrong sides I pinned and sewed.

Next was to attach the piping to the end pieces so that they would run around the edges once the cover was complete.

NB: due to the thickness of the material I used a nicely thick needle, 100/16. IMG_2791

it was at this point I was mortally wounded: IMG_2806

A blood transfusion later and I survived – so it wasn’t a mortal wound! phew! haha

Next was to put together the pieces, starting with the side pieces, right sides together to form one wide piece, with the seam in the centre of the top of the cover.

As you can see this straight rectangle has straight sides. The end pieces have curved sides. It is pretty hard to get straight fabric to curve around curved edges. The way I get around this is to put small snips along the straight edges so as to help them to curve easier.

Once I am satisfied with the curve its time to (carefully) sew

I then need to trim the bulk off the seams and any excess fabric at the bottom

Next, I attached binding around the bottom edge so as to finish it off.

All done! Hope she likes it ๐Ÿ™‚ here it is covering my sewing machine ๐Ÿ™‚

Bunting and bags…part two

I do love bunting! Girly, patriotic, vintage, any type catches my eye! It was one of the things I desperately wanted to sew prior to learning, so it was one of the first things I sewed! IMG_1873

This particular bunting was the first ever bunting I sewed and the 3rd thing I ever sewed – it is farm fabric out of fat quarters which I got from hobby craft and I still have it hung in my kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

I was asked by my friends mother in law if I would sew her some nautical themed bunting to be hung above the bar in her boat themed private bar. I also wanted to sew some bunting for the Jamberry coffee afternoon I’m putting on next week.

There are many, many ways to make bunting, none are wrong, all are right, its just however you want to make it.

For my Jamberry bunting I just wanted to quickly sew it up, for the nautical bunting I obviously wanted to produce a more substantial bunting.

Firstly I needed to cut out the triangles. I decided to try the pre-printed bunting triangles from Rose and Hubble fabrics

I will definitely use these again, so much easier than how I had to do the Jamberry triangles

Next was the lettering, I do this by measuring the width and height I need for the letters (make sure and measure the width at the most slim part of the triangle where you want the letters to go)

I draw squares onย  felt or fabric I’m using with these measurements and then draw the letters in to fit within these dimensions

Hands up if you spotted the (non) deliberate mistake? yep, I wrote the letters the right way round, they should of been the wrong way round! I still do that almost every time by the way haha IMG_2596

Cut one out the wrong way around before I realised my mistake!

I cut the rest out correctly. IMG_2597

Next is to pin the letters onto the triangles to ensure they fit.

Prior to appliqueing the letters on you need to ensure they are approximately all in the same place on the triangles. I do this by measuring up from the bottom point of the triangle and put the bottom of the letters the same distance up on each one.

I personally like a large zig zag for applique

10 is my zig zag stitch, the 4.0/6.0 is stitch width, 2.0/3.0 stitch length.

Next is to carefully applique around the letters

I did make a good mistake on the first R I did, of stitching the front to the corner haha

This is where the nautical bunting differs from the Jamberry bunting. I made the nautical bunting double sided.

I pinned another triangle onto each flag, right sides together.

Then sewed them together, leaving a gap on one side so as to turn the flag right side out.

So as to attempt to get crisper sides and points when turned right way, I then trim the seams. I leave the gap with more fabric though to make it easier when sewing it shut ๐Ÿ™‚ IMG_2636

I then turned it right way out,

I then topstitched around both to close the gap and to give the flags a crisper view

I went to my local haberdashery place bought some nautical ribbon. I love this ribbon, it is gorgeous. I was going to make a channel for the ribbon to go through the flags, but this ribbon is so cute that I decided to sew it to the actual flags.

I sewed it both at the top and the bottom of the ribbon so as to make sure it was secure.

For the Jamberryย bunting as this doesn’t matter so much the finish I decided to use my pinking shears to cut around the edges to prevent them fraying instead

ย and then put to ribbon on in the same way as the nautical bunting as it was a quicker way than making a channel, even though I’d done it for aesthetics on the nautical bunting.


and some other bunting I have made over the last 21 months, in all different ways. As I said, there is no right way to make bunting, just do what you feel like! and they all look great and are easy to do so give bunting a bash!