Sunday, 8 September 2013

Archer Shirt - Grainline very first shirt and I absolutely love it!  So much in fact that I've already started Archer shirt II!

The only alteration I made to this was the length.  I lengthened it by a good 4 inches, mainly because I'm so tall and I wanted to be able to wear it tucked in.  I love Andrea's (Four Square Walls) white version so opted for a shameful copy.  I figured it would make a great wear for work.  The fabric is a medium cotton.

You can get an idea of the length here.  I'm wearing it with my Grainline Moss skirt too!  

I initially put the pleat in my muslin the wrong way around on the back (oops) and after reading around blogs I realised just before starting this one! Phew!

I love the detail of the top stitching.  It was my first time with top stitch, I had a few "moments" when my machine kept jamming on the collar but with a little help from twitter I changed the needle to a denim and messed about with the tension.  I'm not thrilled with the finish under the collar as I couldn't get the tension right but it can't be seen so I can get away with it!  

I'm amazed at how easy it was to make.  The Sew Along certainly helped, to be honest I mainly used that as I'm more of a visual learner and prefer pictures but the pattern instructions were pretty straight forward too.

Here's how I usually wear it.  Overall a huge sewing success! 

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Super Sweet Award

Wowzers two nominations for awards!  Sally Bee Makes nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogger Award.  Thanks Sally!

Here are Sally's questions:

Cookies or cakes? Mmmm cakes every times

Chocolate or vanilla?   Can I have vanilla chocolate??

Favourite sweet treat?  So difficult!  Probably carrot cake.

Sweet nickname?  I couldn't possibly say! ;-)

So all that's left to do is...
1) Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you (Thanks Sally!)
2) Answer 5 Super Sweet questions (consider it done!)
3) Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post (yup)
4) Nominate a baker's dozen (13) other deserving bloggers
5) Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog!

My nominees (because you're all super sweet sweeties!)
Sew Little Time
Bimble and Pimble
Almond Rock
Poppy and red clover
Miss Demeanour (right back at ya! ;-))
Mabel Makes
Ginger Makes
i heart fabric
Sew Wrong
gksagenda (today's agenda)
Josie and May

Liebster Award

The Lovely Rehanon at nominated me for the Liebster Award (new blogs with under 200 followers)!  I've been nominated before but too lazy to do anything about it.  Now is my time, here we go...

Rehanon asked:
  1. Who would you get to play you in the story of your life?
Err, no idea!!  Not sure I'm that interesting!

2.  Career wise what would your plan B be
Would love to do something creative.  My biggest regret is not studying something in the textile/design field in my youth!

3.  Say you found yourself in a Quantum Leap type role, which enabled to jump to any event in history what would you choose?
Awesome!  There are some many points in history so I'd probably just have a sneaky peak into the lives of people I know ;-)

4.  If you were coming on stage what would you choose as your walk on tune?
Something comical no doubt!

5.  In Grease what character would you most like to play?
Sorry, I'm not a fan of Grease (hears the thud of people falling off chairs in disgust!)

6.  What skill would you most like to have?
Currently to be able to grade patterns, sizing is driving me mad!

7.  If you could make any outfit from a movie what would you choose?
Argh, I can't think but I loved the BBC drama The Hour- something like that would be fab!

8. Do you have a recipe for something that never disappoints if so can I have it?
Ha, I like to keep trying new things so constantly change my recipes.  Think I may have perfected my mince pie one now and yes of course you can have it!

9.  Can you recommend a good book you've read?
Bit trashy but I enjoyed Before I Go to Sleep.  I'm not much of a reader.

10.  What's guaranteed to make you laugh?
Funny people!

11.  If you could choose another name what would you go for?
Well, being a Sarah along with a million others, probably something obscure so I'm not constantly answering to the calls from strangers of "Sarah" in the style of Alan Partridge "Dan"!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Colette Laurel

Summer, summer, summer time...

Here's my wearable (although too short for me - wearable for someone out there!) muslin Colette Laurel Shift with hazy sunshine, dreamyyyyyy....
I used a spotty cotton for the dress and satin bias binding for the neck.  The sleeves are from the Colette Peony. 

 I added the pockets to the front but it's quite difficult to tell what with all the spots!

 Check out the invisible zipper, my best yet! Apologies for poor pics, the spots haven't shown well and the hazy summer sun didn't help!  I might make this again but omit the zipper (it's easy to slip straight on over your head without it) and definitely lengthen!  I'd probably go for a more drapey fabric though.  The cotton makes it some-what tent-like!

(Note to self- Iron before taking photos for blog!)

Monday, 13 May 2013

And the winner is...

The winner of the Sewing and Fitting with Darts book is...

Congratulations Sally!  DM or email me your contact details and I will pass it on to Heather who will send you the book directly.  Enjoy!

Sunday, 5 May 2013


So excited my first giveaway!

I was kindly asked by Heather Claus to review her new book Sewing and Fitting with Darts and there's a copy to give away!  If you fancy winning a copy just pop a comment below and the random winner will be announced on 12th May.  This is open to everyone around the globe, easypeasy!

I'm a beginner slowly building my knowledge and confidence in the sewing world.  I loved this book!  The instructions are super clear.  Heather sent me the digital copy which had links to online discussion forums for most chapters, great if you're a Kindle user or like reading on your mobile device (if not you can see them on her website)!  Heather talks you through the perfect dart - I wondered where I was going wrong with the finish and now I know!

I'm definitely going to give it a go.  Perhaps starting with adding and removing dart shaping, I often have problems with fitting around the chest.

The book also includes a pants, sleeve and bodice slopers (blocks).  

One thing I would say is this book is not for the more advanced, I think it's pretty simple techniques but perfect for the beginner.  This is the first in a series of  books.  Can't wait for the next! Heather will give away one copy, so if you fancy one you know what to do!  Pop a comment below, go on you, know you want to...!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Picking fabrics and patterns

Just thought I'd test out this really cute app!

I took some inspiration from this beautiful Black Books video

Took me a few attempts to get it right!  I'm loving this!  So here's some fabrics I'm thinking about another Colette Sorbetto (yes another!) or a Kelly Skirt from the spotty navy cotton.  What do you think?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Colette Sorbetto II

Tah-dah!  Sorbetto number 2 to add to my army of Sorbettos!

This was the original muslin.  I rescued it by taking off my "handmade" bias binding and replacing it with this satin bias.  Much happier with it and now wearable.

I contrasted the stitching on the bias with the same colour as the fabric, worked well I think.

Finally, a giant button card I bought at Leeds Gallery I will send to someone during national stationery week!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Colette Sorbetto

I conquered bias binding!

For my previous Sorbetto muslin I tried to make my own bias binding.  Never. Again.  Purchasing is the way forward for me!

I used a very slippy peach skin (that's what the lady who sold me it said it was!), possibly crepe?!? I finished the hem with the same colour thread for the bias but I'm not sure about it.

The Sorbetto is such an easy pattern and all for free!  I love Colette's flicker group too (although I'm still learning how to use it!) After browsing the web for inspiration and found lifeisexamined.   I'd love to make a box pleat one next!

 I've got a lovely little selection of crepe's at the moment so it was a tough decision! (Someone over order on the bias binding, hmmm!)

I wanted to make an army of Sorbetto's for my summer wardrobe and the fabric on the right is a lovely crepe de chine so I'll probably start on that one next.  Which bias colour though, hmmm.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Denim Moss Skirt

Here's my denim Moss Skirt.  I lengthened it with the band at the bottom this time so that it's a more "decent" length.

Still issues with the waistband, as you can see.  It's just too short!  I'm now convinced it's the pattern and not me!  I thought perhaps I had overstretched the fabric on my corduroy Moss skirt so didn't lengthen it for this one, rats!

I highlighted the fly with some white stitching (not proper top stitching-I'm still learning, will try that next time).

I shall mostly be wearing my denim Moss skirt with this...(not made by me, made by Zara).

Footnote- it's long enough to cover the waistband, phew!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee

To Bee or not to Bee!

I loved watching the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC 2!  Where to start...!  First of all I think all the contestants did amazing well!  I'd have been an absolute bag of nerves.  I can't help but feel so proud of Tilly.  Tilly and the Buttons was the first sewing blog I came across when I first started sewing and she's been on an amazing journey teaching herself to sew to now producing her own patterns.  I bow down to thee Tilly Buttons!

I thought the good old Beeb did really well with the format of the programme.  Not too much technical jargon to put off the non-sewers - Claudia Winklebob (Josie and May's term!) was a great choice of presenter and it was fantastic to see men involved in the Bee!  Good going chaps!

Ann - flipping Ann!  Where do I start.  Dangley yoga, I want me some of that!  Her sewing was awesome too!  Loved that neck line!  And Patrick, mmmm Patrick.  Beard,suit,  man that talks sewing, how you doinnnng!

So good luck Tilly and everyone!  Can't wait for the next episode!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Completed Moss Skirt

The final completed Grainline Studio Moss Skirt

I've finally completed my corduroy Moss Skirt muslin (wearable me thinks!)!

 For those of you following my twitter it's been a bit painful!  I used a fine corduroy (this is actually a muslin) which turned out to have a little stretch in it.  I think I was pulling it around with my man-hands and stretching it out of shape and so couldn't get the waistband to fit, it was just too short.  Jen very kindly emailed me some instructions on how to lengthen it.

At this point in construction Sarah was too lazy to unpick and re-do so opted to add some little tabs to the end of the waistband to add extra length. Which you can just about see here above the zip.

Next time I will use Jen's instructions to lengthen it.  

It fits like a glove!  Around the waist is too baggy but this is not uncommon for me with skirts as I'm larger around the hips, so it doesn't bother me.  It is, as the pattern states, a mini-skirt.  I'm around 5'9 and it's short, short, short but I do love it!

It drove me nuts when I got to the fly but it was my first.  I didn't particularly find the instructions very clear (sorry Jen!) the diagrams didn't seem to match left and right! But it was easy enough to figure things out.  I would have struggled a lot more with this if I hadn't had the advice of a friend.  It's difficult to tell whether this is because I was pushing myself as a beginner with something new or whether it really wasn't that clear.
I will definitely make another though, I'm thinking denim (longer version) next time!

Sunday, 31 March 2013


Happy Easter Chickens!

No bunnies only buns

I haven't posted recently due to busy-busy-busyiness with work and studies but I have just managed to complete my Grainline Studio's Moss Skirt, yey.  Photos to come!
Happy Easter x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Sorbetto - Colette

Along side the Moss skirt I've also been working on a muslin of the Colette Sorbetto.  The plan is a summer wardrobe of Sorbetto's for workwear.  I bought this super cheap fabric at the market in the sale and have had it stashed away for awhile.  The Sorbetto requires bias binding around the neck and armholes (is that the correct technical term!?!).  I always struggle to find binding that I like or that matches my fabric so thought I'd have a go at making some.  Off I went to the virtual shops and ordered myself a bias binding maker.  This one is for 12mm bias.
With a little help from Colette's tutorial I just about managed to make some but with such slippery fabric it wasn't even. When I came to sew it on there was too much bulk at the bias seams, but hey live and learn.
Overall I really like the look of the Sorbetto and was hoping for a wearable muslin from this but think I may have to give up and move onto the real thing (maybe buy some bias binding-see how brave I'm feeling!)

Moss Skirt Shortage

So I had in my head I had how I would whip up Grainline Studios Moss Skirt and write a fabulous post about it but it seems I've been thwarted by the waistband!

I conquered my first fly, woo get me! (excuse finger in shot!) but just can't understand what is going wrong with the waistband.  It's a good 2-3inches short!  I checked I cut the pattern correctly, checked the cutting instructions and tried pinning and re-pinning in various positions but nothing seems to work. Any advice would be gratefully received!! 
I'm so close to finishing this super cute little number I can almost feel the brush of the corduroy!

Please help!!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Colette Peony Photos

As promised here's some pics of me in the colour block Peony.  Insert moody shots...

Muslin (still not finished, got over excited and started the colour block)

Glass of fizz, don't mind if I do...

Hem, hem, hem!!  I will master hand stitching! And look what happens to the neck when I move!

No hook and eye yet!

Ta Da! Happy with my Peony (kinda!)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Colette Peony Colour Blocking

So I've had this marvellous piece of twill (that's some denim hiding underneath) for a couple of weeks and have been itching to colour block with!

I'm loving the colour block clothes around at the moment, I took some inspiration from this yellow dress I saw in a magazine.  I initially thought of trying another Burda Jamie Shift but, sorry Jamie, I still hate you *growls*.  So opted for the Peony.

Since making her I've spotted the same colour in Topshop! Get me I'm "on trend"!

Prepare for gasps...I did a muslin!  I've made a Peony before but had sizing issues, for some crazy reason I always insist on cutting at least 2 sizes too big.  This time I was true to myself and my real size.  The muslin worked out beautifully.  I had shortened the Peony as I am going for more of a foxy evening wear look rather than a cutesy tea dress.

I love this muslin it's a little too short, so I lengthened the colour block Peony an inch to still keep the short length.  Making the muslin made me feel all superior and smug when I remembered the facing was too big for the colour block and it needed extra large gathers on the skirt.  Ha, in your face sewing errors-that-would-have-been-without-a-muslin!

The colour block is a twill that I got from a market.  Things I have learnt about twill
  • finish seams as soon as they are cut, this is one fraying mother!
  • pressing - what the heck.. if I figure this one out I'll let you know! Perhaps I have a super naff iron!
  • Hemming - hmm, I went for a slip stitch. Twill does not like hems!
  • It's kinda a bit stretchy!

Here she is, what a beaut!  I love the weight of the fabric and the fit is great, yey!