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The Ivy Pinafore from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

I do love a pinafore, and Jennifer Lauren Handmade has delivered a stunning pattern in The Ivy Pinafore. It’s been on my radar for a couple of years and finally after purchasing the pattern using a discount code earlier on in the year, the temperatures are cool enough to actually get around to sewing it.

The last Jennifer Lauren pinafore that I made was The Pippi Pinafore which is a slightly more fitted design with a bib. Another beautiful pattern from JLH. I also enjoy my Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dresses and have linked one of them here for you to look at too.

The Ivy Pinafore is a simple but beautiful dress which can be made in two different styles. I made the slim fitting version which features a very gentle A-line silhouette, and you also have the choice of making a more full tent style dress on this pattern too.


I love lots about this pattern but was really drawn to that pretty curved yoke (front and back), and the wide shoulder straps with large button fastening.

On this version I made no adjustments to the pattern on a straight size 12. I was hoping that this ‘toile’ would be wearable and it definitely is!IMG_5005

The fabric that I chose is a brown corduroy from Birmingham Rag Market which I bought during the SewBrum sewing meet up last month. I can’t remember how much I paid for it now, but don’t imagine that it would have been more than £5 per metre.

I’ve paired it with one of my numerous Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Tops. Funnily enough I think this was made (2 or 3 years ago) using fabric from the rag market too. I must give a huge shout out to the lovely Leanne ( @threadyforit on Instagram) who inspired the styling of this make with her gorgeous brown cord pinafore combo here Her stunning outfit features a York Pinafore (it’s on my Christmas list)! and as soon as I saw this outfit paired with her red and white striped top I was determined to make my Ivy with a brown cord, and also wear it with my red and white striped top too. Now that I’m typing this out it sounds a bit weird. Eek!

Anyhow back to the pattern. A couple of other things that I should mention are that it is fully lined. This is so useful, but if you are nervous about the difficulty of this don’t worry, the great instructions will guide you through everything and it’s no problem at all. I don’t ever envisage wearing this without thick tights in the Winter months so a lined version was just what I was looking for. I think Jennifer Lauren has a blog post on how to make it up as an unlined dress too if this is something that you might be wanting help with.

Also pockets. Nice big pockets that are at the perfect height for me too! I used some scraps of this gorgeous cotton lawn from Sewessential that I had leftover from a previous project as it’s super pretty and I didn’t want bulky corduroy pockets. I could have used some of the lining fabric of course, but love using pretty leftovers for my pockets as many of us do.

The front and back dress pieces are joined together using a flat-felled seam. Unfortunately the lovely detail of this gets a little lost in the wales of the corduroy, but you get the idea! The best way to appreciate this detail is by using a non-textured fabric and maybe show it off with a contrasting top stitching thread. Something I’m sure I will rustle up soon!


The curved yoke detail which is a feature on the front and back is so pretty too. Everything just fits together perfectly, it was such a pleasure to sew. It’s not the quickest garment I have ever sewn, especially as you have the lining to construct too, but it is really rewarding and I can’t wait to make another.

Secret Pyjamas Brooch can be found in my shop.

I also went for jeans buttons. I like how they look and really love the hammering process! The button size recommendation is for buttons that are approx 4cm (1 5/8″) or smaller. When placing a 4cm button in place to get a feel for what size I wanted, I felt that this was too big for me and opted for these 2cm lovelies instead. I did sew the buttonholes too, but you don’t really need to as it is a ‘pull over the head’ dress so you don’t actually need them to be functioning if you don’t want.

What else can I say except it’s lovely and more will follow. Oh by the way, whilst the corduroy is lovely, it is a fluff generator, so expect to get it everywhere! Totally worth it though I think.

Who else is loving Autumn? Today I am wearing this with thick plum coloured tights and clogs for a cosy vibe. Later I’m off to the Post Office and will pair it with my wellies and be equally comfortable.


What’s your favourite pinafore pattern? I’d love more suggestions ..

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My Britannia Airways cabin crew uniform from the 80’s and 90’s

Something a little different from me today. A few weeks ago, whilst searching through boxes in the attic to find old family photographs to share with my brother who was visiting from Australia, I came across a box of my old cabin crew uniforms.

Whilst I realise that this is a sewing blog, I can’t deny that fashion and style is all part of what I love, and I wondered if you would like to take a peek at some of the various different uniforms that I wore for the 11 years that I flew for Britannia Airways from 1987 – 1998. If this isn’t your interest then don’t worry, normal sewing blogs will resume as usual after this one.

Our uniforms were always made up of a ‘Summer uniform’ which was worn from May to October and a ‘Winter uniform’ to be worn from November to April.

My first Summer uniform, worn when I started flying in 1987 was a red white and blue pleated blouse with a double row of red buttons which ran down into the pleated skirt. This was worn with a red belt with the Britannia Airways logo and a skinny neck tie. Shoes were navy heeled court shoes for outdoor, to be changed into flat cabin shoes once the aircraft doors were closed. If you were really feeling fancy you could wear red heeled court shoes with this Summer uniform (at your own expense) how very 1980’s!



The tabard is quite awful isn’t it, but certainly tied in with the whole red white and blue Britannia theme. No expense was clearly spared with the dymo name badge and rather scruffy sew on badge! Oh dear!



The Winter uniform was another similar red, white and blue blouse- slightly different print to the Summer fabric design, and a big old neck bow which I thought was fabulous at the time. A navy blue skirt with inverted pleat and single breasted jacket completed this look. Navy tights could be worn with the Winter uniform.



The hat. What can I say about this hat. I hated it and always felt that it was too small for me. Oh well. Hats were worn at all times with uniform and could only be removed once all passengers were on board and the doors closed.

Brit 3a
Forgive the ‘grainy’ quality of this. I was only 19 here, fresh out of training school in 1987.
Brit 4a
The class of April 1987. I’m front row, 5th from the left.

After quite a short while flying with the airline, probably only a year or two, the uniform changed, and the company went away from the traditional red white and blue and brought in some more neutral colours. The Summer uniform was a striped blouse with matching pleated skirt and a neutral belt. A floppy neck bow in matching fabric was affectionately referred to as the ‘dead bat’ and I remember the white collar was a magnet for foundation make-up stains.


The tabard was a little better (as far as tabard’s go – I mean, is a tabard ever going to look nice)? You could remove your ‘dead bat’ if you wanted to when wearing your tabard.


Brit 1a
Rear galley en-route to the Falkland Islands in 1990 or 1991. Such a privilege to visit these beautiful islands (and Ascension Island on the way there and back). For a short while during the ‘original’ Gulf War, our civilian airline was used to transport the regular change-over of military personnel between the UK and the lower risk Falkland Islands whilst the usual military personnel aircraft used for transporting troops on this route were being used in the dangerous Gulf zones.

The Winter uniform was made up with the same blouse and paired with a slim navy blue skirt and a military style jacket with button details. It also had a reversible belt.

The hat was an improvement on the last one!



Brit 2a
I remember this well. This was taken in Singapore on Christmas Eve. We were just about to fly to Cairns,Australia, landing on Christmas Day. I had never been away from my family at Christmas before this and whilst the Australia trips were very much sought after because they were well paid and involved several days off in the Middle East, Singapore and various places in Australia, I missed my family so much on this trip.

Roll on a few more years and the next uniform was a dramatic change in colours when the company introduced a vibrant yellow into the mix.

Sadly I don’t seem to have my Summer uniform. This was a double breasted mock wrap dress made from the same yellow patterned fabric as the Winter blouse shown below.


The Winter uniform consisted of this yellow blouse, a matching drapey neck scarf, and pencil skirt with off centre button detail. The jacket featured this pleated ‘wrap’ detail meeting with three off centre buttons. A red hat this time.


Again the tabard. Hmmmm. *shakes head*


The final uniform that I wore I don’t have any more. This was a uniform that was designed by Elizabeth Emmanuel (Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer is her claim to fame) and was much hyped and quite expensive by all accounts. Thus when I finished flying in 1998 and left to have a baby, everything had to be returned. Sad times, but I will pop a photo below to give you an idea.


I hope that you have enjoyed taking a peek at some of my old uniforms. I definitely look back at my flying career with fondness now. Some good times, some bad, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Well maybe those tabards .. Ha!

Take care, doors to manual, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x