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The Stella Hoodie from Tilly and the Buttons.

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O.K, Summer might be over now,  but here’s a way to eek out those tropical vibes for the cooler months courtesy of the Tilly and the Buttons Stella Hoodie and this super cosy Jungle Flowers sweatshirt fabric which was very kindly sent to me to review from the online knit fabrics boutique Pin and Sew.

This is the third project that I have made from Tilly’s book Stretch! and after seeing so many other fantastic versions online, the Stella was always going to be high up on my list of sewing projects when the weather got cooler. It’s an easy-fitting sweatshirt with a 3 piece lined hood with drawstring.

To add a pop of colour to the sweatshirt, I decided to use this pretty pink viscose jersey which picks up some of the pink colours in the tropical flowers perfectly. I also continued that theme with the drawstring cord too.

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The hoodie is really easy to sew, and I made it up in a day. As always with Tilly and the Button patterns, clear written instructions and helpful tips are accompanied by great step by step photographs. You really can’t go wrong.

Instead of using buttonholes for the drawstring cord, I decided to pop in some eyelets from my stash. They are quick and easy to apply and I love how they look. I positioned them right in the centre of the buttonhole marking (shown below), and I hope you can also see the soft fleece on the reverse side of the fabric too.

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I swapped between pink and black thread throughout this make, and when I was stitching the hood lining to the hood to create the channel for the drawstring to run through, I used pink thread in my top spool, and black in the bobbin so that the stitching on both sides would match.

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Another addition that I made was to use some toggles from my stash to finish the ends of my drawstring tape. I ordered this tape online, and whilst the colour is a perfect match for the pink hood lining, the weight of the tape was much lighter than I was expecting. These cord ends therefore, give the tape some weight and they look pretty great too!

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The only alteration that I would make another time would be to shorten the sleeve length. I can’t believe that I just went right ahead and kept these the same as the pattern, as sleeves are always too long for me. Not to worry, I plan to wear this as a layering piece so I might be glad of the extra length after all …

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Finally I added a kangaroo pocket. Because this is an addition to the pattern, it is discussed in a separate section of the book, and I forgot to add it at the correct stage of construction – which is before the side seams have been sewn. Adding it at the end like I did is a little awkward, but not impossible, and next time I make a Stella I will definitely make life easier for myself and sew it in at the correct time!

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Thank you again to Aga for this great sweatshirting fabric. I am sure to be nice and cosy this Autumn/Winter with this in my wardrobe. Have you made a Stella yet? I plan to make the Stella joggers soon too for head-to-toe Tilly comfort!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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A Fabulous Floral Bomber Jacket – McCall’s M7100

How is it October already?  The first Monday of the month means that it is my turn to post a review on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, and this month I am happy to share with you a make that is a little different for me.

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It’s the McCall’s M7100 bomber jacket (I might mention here that Minerva have 40% off McCall’s patterns at the time of writing this), and I made it up in this incredible red floral Ponte Roma fabric which is also currently on sale at £5.99 per metre at the moment.

I won’t say too much over on my blog here, as you can read all about it over on the Blogger Network  but I really enjoyed making this one and it is an incredibly quick and fun pattern to make – perfect for this time of the year!

Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing you over at Minerva Crafts.

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Bea Blouse from Simply Sewing Magazine.

 

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I’m a little behind with this review. Originally made and photographed back in May, I had quite forgotten that I hadn’t got around to writing a blog post about it.

This is the Bea Blouse, and it was the free pattern in issue 38 of Love Sewing Magazine, which I think was the January 2018 issue. It’s a vintage style pussybow blouse with a choice of two sleeve lengths. I had been eyeing up the Sew Over It Pussybow Blouse, and hoped that this might be a way of trying this style top on me.

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My fabric choice was a vibrant floral viscose that I purchased from Sewisfaction. This is no longer in stock unfortunately (as I purchased it about 6 months ago), but lots of pretty alternatives are available. I love the drape of a viscose and think this is a great fabric type for this style of blouse.

I chose to make the elbow length sleeve, but on reflection I think i might have preferred the short sleeve – something that I can change another time if I really want to. I also noticed that it looked fairly short in the body length, so before I cut it out I added 10cm to the length. Perhaps this has made the length too long now? Again this can be easily fixed if I feel like it.

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If I’m honest, I’m not altogether sure that this works for me very well. The shoulder seams seem to sit too far forward for my liking, and it doesn’t feel too comfortable to wear.

The collar/bow also gives me a headache! Firstly the length of the bow tie is too short to tie in a bow (in my opinion), so I would extend this by a few inches next time I make it. It is, however, a great length if you just want to tie it in a double knot.

I just can’t seem to make the collar sit right. If I have the collar standing up, it looks wrong and if I have the collar folded down (shown below) it still doesn’t lay right (even after about 15 minutes of messing around with it). Hmmm…

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I think I need to have a little play around with this pattern and make a few more adjustments to make it work for me – I have seen some really pretty versions from others online so will probably give it another go sometime, although I do have the Colette Patterns Jasmine Top in my pattern stash, so will possibly give this one a try first, as I think the slim bow on this might suit me better.

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So the jury is out on this one. Have you made the Bea Blouse? Did you come across any of these issues too?

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My #2018makenine makes.

Happy Monday!

Time for another blog post, and this week I am sharing with you my completed #2018makenine makes. For those not familiar, the yearly ‘make nine’ challenge is a friendly and gentle challenge to yourself to create a list of nine items that you would like to  make during the year. They can be sewn, knitted or created however you like, and you can share your progress with others over on good old Instagram using the hashtag #2018makenine

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This fun event is hosted by the lovely Rochelle from Home Row Fiber Co and I will link to her ‘make nine’ post here where she explains everything that you need to know about the challenge. It is not a race, it is not a competition, it doesn’t matter if you complete it or not, it’s all completely relaxed, but at the same time very inspiring and will definitely allow you to access some inspiring creators and new pattern, fabric and yarn ideas.

My own personal challenge to myself this year was to support nine independent pattern companies that I have never used before, and sew a garment using one of their patterns. I did it! Here’s what I made..

 

1. The Mandy Boat Tee from  Tessuti Fabrics

Such a great pattern, and it’s free! I made this in February and blogged about it here.

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2. The Fringe Dress from Chalk and Notch

I made this dress last June as a make for the Sewisfaction blogger team. You can find a link to the review that I wrote by clicking on my post here. I am currently in the process of making another as part of this month’s  #sewmystyle challenge.

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3. The Ogden Cami from True Bias

Another make during June, during the UK heatwave, and promptly followed by another two straight away. They have been a lifesaver this Summer and I plan to make a hundred more in the future, particularly in plain fabrics as wardrobe staples. I haven’t as yet blogged these tops, but here is a look at one of them, made from a delightful crepe fabric picked up at a recent fabric swap.

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4. The Out and About Dress from Sew Caroline

One of the most comfortable ‘throw over the head’ dress I have. This was my July make for the Minerva Crafts blogger Network. There were a couple of little things that I need to change next time I make it, which I have mentioned in the link on my blog post here, but it’s one I will return to for sure.

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5. The Paola Turtleneck from Named Clothing.

I’ve just realised that I did not blog about this make.. whoops.. but now is the time of year to be reaching for tops like these. Will get around to blogging this top shortly .. in the meantime forgive the rather last minute snap of this project, better photographs to follow along with the blog post!

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6. The Sunday Dress from Friday Pattern Company.

Heavily hacked into something that I would find more wearable, and blogged about here, I made this back in January as part of the #sewmystyle challenge. I think I may shorten this at some point into a shorter knee length dress, as I feel I would get more wear out of it in this length.

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7. The Mayfair Dress from Nina Lee

I was lucky enough to have been part of the pattern testing team for Nina on this pattern back in June. It’s a lovely jersey dress pattern that is so comfortable and a great everyday pattern, read about my thoughts on the Mayfair here.

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8. The Peak T-Shirt Dress from Wendy Ward.

Love this dress. I was so lucky to have won a copy of Wendy’s book ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics’ and instantly knew that this would be the first project I would make from it. Adding a grey neckband gives it a little bit of interest and who doesn’t need a striped t-shirt dress in their wardrobe? My blog post written in July can be found here.

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9. The Franki Top from The Wearable Studio.

The Wearable Studio is a fairly new independent pattern company, and as soon as I saw the ruffled hem and tie sleeves on this top I wanted it! I have made two versions of this top, and still cannot decide which one I like the best.

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Phew! That’s all of them. A huge thanks to Rochelle for pulling together this challenge again, I have had such a great time exploring and trying out patterns from these inspiring independent companies, and hope that you have enjoyed seeing what I made with them. I have tried to include links to the patterns and blog posts where possible.

Have a great week, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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New Look 6446 Jumpsuit

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I have been eyeing up this jumpsuit for ages, it’s an incredibly popular pattern which has been all over Instagram for quite some time now, and I finally got around to making it a couple of weeks ago.

I wanted something special to wear to The Sewing Weekender recently, and decided that this could be the time to make my first jumpsuit. New Look 6446 is a great pattern with several options. I made view C which is the version photographed on the pattern cover, there is a shorter leg length version included in this pattern, as well as the option to make a knee or maxi length dress. It has a square neckline with shoulder straps and a belt.

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I absolutely love the fabric choice shown in the picture on the pattern cover, and decided to choose something similar to make up my toile. I didn’t want something too expensive, but was hoping that it might be wearable, so opted for some Ikea Lenda fabric, which was only £5 per metre. I only needed 2 metres for this project. The fabric is a lovely teal colour, but perhaps not the best quality, I’ve only washed it a couple of times since I made it and suspect it might be prone to some bobbling in the not too distant future, but it certainly is wearable in the meantime, and I am very happy with how it turned out.

My measurements put me at a size 14, so this was my starting point. I enjoyed the construction process, particularly how the bodice is lined. I used a pretty blue floral cotton for my bodice lining. This was a leftover piece that I had in my stash, and whilst it’s difficult finding room sometimes to store all these leftover bits and pieces ( I sometimes think my leftover stash is bigger than my main fabric stash)! eventually you find a use for them.

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The fit was spot on for me, apart from a small gape on the bodice underneath my arms. Something  that a dart might fix, but as I only discovered this fit issue after I had sewn it up (including the bodice – doh!) I decided that the quickest way to fix this was to unpick the bodice and bodice lining and pinch in approximately 1.5cm from the top edge of each side seam and sew/grade this down to the waist seam.

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A glimpse of the bodice lining.

The shoulder straps were way too long for me, and I found that I had to trim 10cm from the length of these. It took me a long time to decide what leg length I wanted and after a great deal of deliberation and lots of research into images of this pattern on the internet, I removed 10cm from the leg length too, which left me with a 1″ seam allowance for the hem. Just right.

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The jumpsuit is fastened/unfastened with an invisible zip at the centre back, and it’s nice and easy to reach without help which is always a bonus. I love the little pleats at the front of the trouser legs, (it has darts at the back), the belt tie is the perfect length and looks really cute. Oh, and it has pockets!

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As soon as I put this jumpsuit on, I loved it. It was definitely the outfit that I wanted to wear on day 1 of the Sewing Weekender and in fact I decided to quickly cut out another  to take with me as the project that I wanted to sew that weekend too. For this version I used this beautiful stretch cotton twill which I really love, but if I’m honest it has a little too much stretch in it and the finished result doesn’t fit me as well as my first make. You live and learn!

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Again I lined the bodice with a cute floral leftover fabric, and finished it off with one of the wonderful gifts that we were lucky enough to have received in our goody bag at the weekender, which was this super cute clothing label kindly given to us all by Sew Me Sunshine.

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More floral lining and that fabulous clothing label from Sew Me Sunshine.

I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough, and think it looks really cute as it is, but hope I can get some wear out of it in the cooler months with the addition of a cardigan over the top or a t-shirt underneath.

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Some Swishy Butterick B6178 Culottes

Although dresses will always be my first love, I am stepping a little out of my comfort zone just lately and have recently made my first pair of culottes.

Driven by all the great images of culottes that I have seen over the past few months I have finally given it a go, and couldn’t be happier with them.

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They are my latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, and I have used the incredibly popular Butterick B6178 pattern for this project.

I chose to use a super soft crepe for the culottes, at the bargain price of £4.99 per metre and they are so comfortable and soft, my only regret is not making them sooner.

Do head on over to the Blogger Network linked above for my full review, and I’ll see you over there!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Sewing Weekender 2018

Kate, Rachel  and Charlotte have only gone and done it again.

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Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

Let me set the scene. Imagine a gathering of one hundred sewing enthusiasts. Bring them together in the wonderful setting of Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. Provide them with a smashing Janome sewing machine to use, should they desire, or allow them to bring their own and throw in several overockers, irons and ironing boards, and inspiring guest speakers.

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Provide lunch, tea and coffee breaks, evening meal suggestions and accommodation arrangements and breakfast the following day. Not forgetting some incredible sponsorship which allowed the event to take place (and provide a fabulous goody bag – eek)!

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Plus a great deal more… There you have it – the perfect weekend.

I was very lucky to have been able to grab a ticket when they went up for sale in May. I bought a ‘bring your own machine’ ticket and also booked one night’s accommodation at the college. I was lucky enough to attend last year also, so had a good idea of what a great weekend I had in store!

After the initial arrival and settling in, a well timed tea/coffee break was the perfect opportunity to gather together and catch up with old friends and new. Due to the increased ticket numbers this year there were two large separate sewing rooms in use.

 

 

My sewing project was New Look 6446, which I had recently purchased from Sewessential. I clearly did more chatting than sewing and barely made any progress on it all weekend, but it will of course feature on the blog some time soon – when I have finished it!

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Lots of excited sewing and chat followed and took us through until lunchtime when we all headed up to The Dome dining room.

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Saturday afternoon gave us the opportunity to listen to two inspiring talks from Sheona from Sewisfaction and Frances from The Maker’s Atelier. These fabulous women gave us all an insight into their businesses and how they were created.  Rather disappointingly my pictures of all the speakers this weekend are not the best, so I hope that you might be able to grab a glimpse of these on other blogs/vlogs on this event.

More sewing and chat followed, more chat than sewing in my case,  a further tea and coffee break, and finally at 6pm day one came to an end.

That evening we all gathered to head on out for an evening meal and some drinks. This gave us the opportunity to catch up with those that may not have been sewing in the same room, and it was a great evening spent with some lovely ladies.

 

After a comfortable night in the College accommodation, we all met for breakfast at 9am. Following this were more wonderful talks, this time from Harriet from The Clothing Care Co. who talked about how to care for your clothes – do check out her new book here, and Karen from Did You Make That who gave any aspiring authors amongst us some valuable tips!

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Myself and Sheona with the author herself.

Throughout the weekend there was a fabric and pattern swap table available to dip in and out of, and 2hr workshops were being hosted by Spoonflower where I understand they were teaching about designing your own fabric and the basics of a seamless repeat. Unfortunately these classes were all full so I didn’t get a chance to take part in this one but those that attended looked like they were having a great time.

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Check out all the patterns and fabric up for grabs!
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One of the Spoonflower workshops in full swing.

More tea and coffee was provided to keep us all going, some frantic last minute sewing took place, and all too soon the weekend came to a close at lunchtime, rounded off with the usual group photograph- this year taken indoors due to the rain.

Aside from all the wonderful things mentioned above, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed, the most precious part of the weekend was soaking up the company of so many fabulous  women. It was so lovely to catch up with sewing friends that I have already met before, those that I hadn’t met but felt like I already ‘knew’ thanks to Instagram! and a whole host of other lovely ladies.

Without the kind and generous sponsors, this weekend would be a very different affair, so at risk of missing anyone I will try to list them below.

Janome,  Spoonflower,  Pound Fabrics,  Minerva Crafts,  Sew Me Sunshine, Cotton Reel Studio,  Clothspot,  Sewisfaction,  The Village Haberdashery,  The Draper’s Daughter,  Fabrics Galore,  Sew Over It,  WeaverDee,  Sew Essential,  Remnant Kings,  Cocowawa Crafts,  Dragonfly Fabrics,  Fabricate,  Monaluna,  Sewbox,  Pavilion Books,  Prym,  Crafty Sew and So,  Love Sewing,  Stof and Stil,  Pink Coat Club,  and Simply Sewing,

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I cannot thank Charlotte, Rachel and Kate enough for the incredible amount of hard work and thoughtfulness that has gone into the planning of this weekend. I couldn’t be more grateful. I loved it.

For more pics and links to The Sewing Weekender do search the #sewingweekender tag over on Instagram and don’t forget to subscribe to The Fold Line and English Girl at Home to keep up to date with plans for (hopefully) next year’s event (fingers crossed).

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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A Pattydoo Marie dress

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I continue to be a real fan of this company. Pattydoo provide great patterns at an incredibly low price that are well drafted for everyday wear, and are easy to make.

The Marie Dress  is no exception. This is a fairly recent addition to their pattern collection, and it’s beautiful. It is only available on their German site (ie – it’s not written in English), but it is still really easy to understand with a little help from Google Translate and the brilliant YouTube Sew-along tutorial video. Whilst the video is spoken in German (I don’t speak German), the visuals and on-screen prompts enable you to easily understand what is happening.

It’s only 3 Euros for this download, which is such good value, and what is more, I only needed 1 metre of fabric for my dress! Such a budget make all round!

The good news just keeps coming – the dress comprises of only two pattern pieces, it really doesn’t get much better than this!  They are rather peculiar looking, and it was fun to see how they fitted together.

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My fabric choice is a scuba which I picked up on eBay. I’m not totally happy with it – it’s not as vibrant as I was expecting IRL and I don’t think that the colours suit me that well either. Hey ho! That being said, scuba fabric is perfect for this dress. One of these days I will get myself a colour consultation from a professional so that I will always know which colours to reach for.

Because there are only two pattern pieces, this comes together really quickly. The princess seams front and back create soft flattering pleats which create a pretty shape over your hips.

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I have a curvy figure and find that the pleats have just the right amount of body to them so as not to exaggerate an area that I don’t want to add width to!

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The princess seams and pleats are a feature of the back of the dress too and fall in just the same manner as at the front. Oh, and there are no fastenings for this dress. Pop it on and off over the head.

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The pattern has a slightly curved hem, and this was the only alteration that I made. I cut the hem straight across so that it has a completely horizontal hem line now, just my preference.

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So, the neckline and arms are finished by simply turning under and sewing with a double needle. There are no facings or bands, but it would be simple to create these if you so wished. I will perhaps make a neckband for my next version.

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I must admit, I would prefer if this dress had sleeves. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that perhaps at some point there will be an expansion pack with some sleeves for this, and maybe in the meantime I will try to have a go at drafting my own as I think this style is a little too severe for me, and think I would wear it more if it had short sleeves. I also think the neckline sits a little too high for my taste. Not sure.

The design lines are stunning though, and I think that this dress made in a simple plain fabric would be amazing. If you’re a fan of Instagram like me, check out all the Marie Dress inspiration that there is using the hashtag #pattydoomarie

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Thanks for taking the time to hop on over here today, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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A Tale of Two Franki’s

There are lots of reasons why I am pleased to share with you this weeks blog. I am happy that I finally got around to making this pattern which I have been sitting on since it’s launch earlier on this year. It’s also very unusual for me to make two garments from the same pattern back-to-back like this, but I loved the first one that I made so much I couldn’t wait to make another.

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Also *drumroll* this is the NINTH make from my #2018makenine list. Some of you will know that this year I challenged myself to make nine patterns from nine independent designers that I hadn’t used before. I did it! Expect a blog post about this challenge in the next few weeks.

So, this is The Franki Top by The Wearable Studio. It’s a relaxed fitting boxy top with a cute ruffled hi/lo hem and 3/4 sleeves fastened with pretty ties. There is also another version which simply has a cropped length and short sleeves.

 

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Their patterns are drafted for a C cup bust (note the bust darts extend from the sleeve rather than the usual side seam), but this can of course be adjusted if necessary.

The fabric that I used for this first version is a pale blue cotton blend that I picked up from the fabric swap table during my recent trip down to Wokingham to attend #thebigsummerstitchup at Sewisfaction HQ. It’s quite lightweight and I feel it’s the perfect weight for this pretty top. Thank you so much to whoever donated this generous amount of beautiful fabric!

One thing that I did notice about this pattern is that it does not include a cutting layout. The pattern pieces are well marked however, so by using the ‘place on fold’ markings and ‘grainline’ arrows etc, and noting how many pieces of each to cut, it was easy to work out your own pattern placement before cutting.

The instructions are good and contain great written directions as well as photographs to guide you through the construction process. The only minor addition that I made was to add a double line of topstitching around the binding edge of the keyhole sleeves as I felt that the binding might not lay flat inside the sleeve otherwise. The length of the sleeve ties is perfect, and they are just so pretty.

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I like the hi/lo ruffled hem, and decided to use my wing needle and a fancy embroidery stitch on my machine to create a pretty line of broderie hemstitching when turning up the hem of the ruffle. I almost used the matching blue thread for this to keep it subtle, but finally decided to use a white thread for a bit of a contrast and am glad that I did.

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It’s the perfect pattern for a confident beginner and upwards,  and the ruffles and ties are right up my street!

As mentioned I could not wait to make it again, and whilst I was at Sewisfaction recently I purchased this gorgeous mint double gauze . It’s a pale mint green colour and has a delicate grey floral pattern all over it. After making my blue version I couldn’t wait to use the double gauze to make another Franki and am so happy with this version too!

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I made this exactly in the same way as the blue version with no alterations other than the double row of stitching around the binding of the keyhole sleeve again.

Such a great pattern, and I can’t wait to see what Mel at The Wearable Studio comes up with next. I thoroughly enjoyed making these tops and am so happy that they are all photographed now so that I can actually wear them!  Does anybody else have to wait until they have photographed their blog makes before wearing them for fear of spilling something down themselves – I am so clumsy so always have to do this.

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It’s a great top that I will reach for lots during the Spring, Summer and Autumn months, and intend to make many more versions of. I rather like the idea of a simple white seersucker Franki or maybe a black crepe version ( I need more black tops in my wardrobe).

I hope this has been helpful, particularly if this is a designer that you haven’t yet come across.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

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A Gingham Burda 6401 with added embroidery.

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Happy August everyone, and the beginning of the month means that it’s time to share with you my latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.

As always my full review can be found using the link above, and this month I have been using this pretty 1″ check gingham which is available in 15 colours and is only £3.99 per metre!

For a bit of fun I decided to add some machine embroidery to the cuffs and the hem. I am always meaning to use the neglected embroidery stitches on my machine, but keep forgetting, so it was good to give them a go, and I am pleased that i did.

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Thanks for dropping by, and I’ll see you over at Minerva for my thoughts on this dress.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x