Posted on Leave a comment

A Seamwork Astoria and a self-drafted midi skirt

I’m as guilty as the next person for grabbing a great pattern and then not getting around to sewing it for AGES! The same applies to fabric I guess, and whilst I don’t have a huge fabric stash, some of it has been there for a while!


The Seamwork Astoria Top  has been in my PDF drawer for what must be a couple of years now, and at last I can finally see what all the love is about.


It’s a simple cropped round necked top, and is just lovely. Fabric suggestions for this top are medium weight knits and I went for this blush ponte that I bought from Sewisfaction last time I was down in Wokingham. The textured finish on the fabric gives it a scuba vibe, and the dusky blush colour is super pretty (and also matches my favourite shade of lipstick at the moment which, of course, makes me very happy).

For those remotely interested (because I always like to know these things), my fave lipstick combo is NYX soft matte lip cream in 14 (Zurich) and Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk dabbed on top. You’re welcome.



I cut a straight size medium and this was just right for me. When I sewed in the neckband, it turned out a little too long and saggy. So out came the unpicker and I shortened it by 2″.  If I’m being picky, it could probably have done with a little more shaved off- but I was too lazy to unpick the neckband again!


All the usual tools etc were used – a walking foot, a ball point machine needle and ball twin needle for finishing the neckband and sleeves. I also used the twin needle on the waistband – I get carried away when the twin needle comes out! The sleeves are a little long. Not sure why I cut this length when I always prefer 3/4 sleeves, but hey ho! it’s alright isn’t it?


I totally love it. As someone who wears a lot of skirts and dresses,  I know it will fit well in my wardrobe especially at this time of the year when it can still be a little chilly. I am making more of an effort to sew using plain/solid colours and this pattern is perfect for this as it will pair nicely with my crazy printed skirts and dresses. More of these will definitely be sewn!


Not gonna lie – I do love a good Instagram challenge, and three gorgeous sewists over on Instagram have started a fun challenge each month this year with the general tag of #sewingpatternsandprints . This months friendly theme is animals and can be searched by looking for the tag #sewinganimalapril .Do head on over and check out the lovely three organisers who are TamlynSamantha, and Kealy, for more information!


I chose to make a self-drafted midi skirt using this gorgeous animal print stretch cotton sateen that I bought from the lovely Sarah at Like Sew Amazing when I was down in Bristol a few months ago for her shop launch.

It’s a straightforward sew – just gathered rectangles really! I didn’t want the gather to be too full as the fabric already has some structure, so instead of going for double the width, I probably went for about 1.5 times the width in terms of how much gather I wanted. I added a 2″ waistband which I measured nice and snugly – (I’ve been caught with stretch fabrics on the waistband feeling too loose before), and this one is sooo comfortable.


It simply has to have pockets doesn’t it. No arguments there. My trusty pocket piece that I always have close to hand in case I need to add it was called upon, and add an 8 or 9″ invisible zip from my stash and presto! One quick and easy skirt!


I went for a midi length, which is not my usual length, as I wasn’t sure if I could carry it off at only 5’2″. But I really like it and certainly intend to make more cute gathered skirts this length in the future!

So all in all, two quick and easy makes which I can mix and match with existing items in my wardrobe. Win Win!

Thanks for stopping by, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x


Posted on 1 Comment

The Pleated Zipper Pouch – an online course from The Stitch Sisters.

Just lately I have had little time for as much sewing as usual, and large projects are becoming increasingly difficult to find time for. Smaller, quicker projects like The Pleated Zipper Pouch are ideal not only for giving you that quick sewing ‘fix’,  but are perfect for using up those leftover scraps that we all have lurking in our stash.

Recently The Stitch Sisters launched their long awaited online sewing classes, perfect for those who long to take a class with them, but simply live too far away. Nikki and Rachel are two adorable friends who started off by holding sewing classes at their homes. Their friendship is adorable to watch, and if you aren’t familiar with them I would encourage you to take a peek at their Instagram feed for some sewing inspiration, and of course their youTube channel for regular fun sewing challenges, tutorials and more recently their completely addictive ‘what we have been loving this week’ videos.


So, back to the sewing. In this online class Nikki takes you through the process of making this zipper pouch in a series of individual videos. Each step is easy to follow, and explained thoroughly and clearly, perfect for everybody including beginners.

All cut out and ready to go! (The zip is an old one that is being re-used).

I used some old quilting cotton that I had in my stash, which is perfect for this project. You will get good results on those pleats by using fabric that can take a good presssing. The seam allowances on this are 1/4″ and whilst you can use the engraved seam guide on your foot plate to give you an accurate line to follow, I remembered that I had a 1/4″ presser foot that I had purchased when I tried some quilting some time ago, so used this for this project to get the perfect seam width.

I rarely use this 1/4″ presser foot, but it was brilliant for this!

The whole project comes together quickly, and I enjoyed the process of simple sewing with rectangles – such a relaxed afternoon! The zip insertion is nothing to worry about if you are new to that, I re-used a recycled zip that I had in my ‘old zips’ bag, and although it was a little shorter than recommended, it was the perfect colour, and the use of the clever fabric tabs at each end made it easy to fit neatly.


For those of us who like our sewing to look just as good on the inside as they do on the outside, the pouch is fully lined. It’s the perfect gift (if you can bear to give it away when you’ve finished)!


The finished pouch is quite large – you might be surprised at just how much you can fit inside it. I recently made an evening clutch bag with this pattern, and whilst I used completely inappropriate fabric that time (velvet)! it still turned out really lovely and I enjoyed using it on my evening out. I share a picture of that bag on my blog post here.



Thank you to The Stitch Sisters who kindly gifted me this class to review, I would like to mention that I enjoyed it so much that I have since purchased The Boho Button Bag from their website and very much look forward to making that up soon. I rather like the look of the QAYG fabric baskets too …another scrap busting temptation..

Take care, and I’ll see you again soon,

Kathy x




Posted on 2 Comments

The Pippi Pinafore from Jennifer Lauren Handmade

As you may know, each month I write a blog post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network and this month I am talking about the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Pippi Pinafore.

Ever since this pattern was released I have been eyeing it up (along with other patterns by this clever designer), there are lots of versions to see over on Instagram, and they’re all amazing.

I love the criss-cross strap feature at the back of the dress, and also cute details such as the button placket, skirt pleats and pockets.


Pic 4

I won’t go into detail, as this is a post that I have written for the Blogger Network, and you can read my full review here. But I would like to give a big thumbs up to the lovely navy blue chambray that was sent to me by Minerva Crafts in exchange for my review. It’s my favourite shade of blue and the quality is really lovely.

Thank you for dropping by today, and I’ll see you over at the Blogger Network!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Pic 2