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The Mandy Boat Tee from Tessuti Patterns.


Just lately I have been making an effort to sew more tops. Whilst I am a dress girl through and through, there is no getting away from the fact that it is freezing here (literally – the snow is falling as I type) and I just want to layer up in separates.

Inspired by the lovely Nikki and Rachel from The Stitch Sisters, who made an amazing YouTube video all about free top sewing patterns, I picked up this FREE pattern from Tessuti Fabrics– The Mandy Boat Tee. I mean, who doesn’t love a free pattern?

It’s a ‘one size fits all’  oversized boxy top, with a boat neck and 3/4 length fitted sleeved with drop shoulders. I have chosen to make it in this gorgeous brown and grey striped cotton jersey blend knit fabric  from Girl Charlee  but it would look equally fabulous in a cotton or viscose fabric too don’t you think? On the YouTube video Nikki had made this top in a stripe jersey from Girl Charlee too and I totally wanted something just like hers!


I picked up the fabric during the Black Friday sales, and I was lucky enough to choose it using a voucher which was kindly given to me by Ana from Cocowawa Crafts as a prize for a competition she ran just before Christmas for making her Chestnut Sweater. I have written a couple of blogs about these sweaters which you can catch up with here and here.  Lucky me! I also chose a couple more fabrics at the same time which I haven’t cut into yet but I have plans!

So the pattern is a free download, but is available in printed format for 12 Australian dollars if you prefer. It was simple to download and print out at home. I must admit the pattern pieces look a little basic – they look hand drawn and the writing on them is hand written, but they are a good shape and I found that they fit together nicely. The instructions are also fairly basic looking but are accompanied by clear photographs and in fact they are actually very well written and to the point. I liked how the neckline was the first step of the process, also the sleeves are added before the side seams are sewn which is always good, and the final step to neaten the boat neckline is the finishing touch and really gives it a neat finish.

I adore the drop shoulders. They are very similar to the Molly Top I feel from Sew Over it, although that top is not so boxy and oversized.


I must admit I had my concerns that it would be too large in the body and whilst it kind of is, I actually quite like it and will not hesitate to wear it. I think the slim sleeves work to balance it out nicely. Perhaps I might slim it down in the body very slightly next time I make it, I’m not sure. I will definitely make more and probably in a stripe fabric again as those drop shoulders in a stripe are amazing I think.


Just to mention the boat neck is quite wide and you might get a glimpse of your bra strap if you’re not careful, but hey, it’s not the end of the world!

I am chuffed that this is now the second make of my #2018makenine list, where I am trying to make nine items from independent pattern companies that I have never used before. So far so good.

I would thoroughly recommend this pattern. It’s a useful everyday top and is quick and easy to sew. Thank you for the freebie Tessuti Fabrics!


Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x




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A Breton striped Tilly and The Buttons Coco dress.


When browsing back through the archives on my blog I realised that it has been a year since I last made a Coco dress  . My final thoughts after my last Coco were that I would like to make it in a striped ponte fabric. Voila!


I have had this navy and white striped ponte roma in my stash for a long time now, I can’t remember when I bought it but I have a feeling it came from Leicester market. It is incredibly similar to the ponte that I used to make one of my recent Chestnut sweaters.

As before, I wanted to make the dress version (there is a top also). I traced out the pattern (as I needed a smaller size than what I made before), and was pleased to remember that there are only 3 pattern pieces for this dress. How simple! If you were to choose the funnel neck, cuffs or pockets then of course there would be more. For me though I wanted to keep it super simple.

To give my stripes the best possible chance of matching up I cut the dress pieces out on a single layer of fabric rather than on the fold. This way I have total control over my pattern placement. I always do this with stripes.


As most of you will know, Tilly and the Buttons pattern instructions are superb. Colour photographs and great written instructions guide you through the whole process, this would be a great beginners project. It takes next to no time to sew. For best results I used ball point pins and machine needles, ( I used a ball point twin needle to finish off the neckline, hem and cuffs). I used both the regular sewing machine and the overlocker for this project.


The sleeve width feels a little wide. If I were a little more clever I would have looked back at my last review before I made this one and taken note that I mentioned that the sleeves needed narrowing down next time I were to make it. Lesson learned. It’s not a problem. I can always alter them if I really wanted to.

The length is just right for me. I needed to make no alterations on it at all.



I am so pleased with how it has turned out. I have my eye on this gorgeous red and white striped fabric  on the Tilly website and think that this would make a beautiful version for the Spring.

All in all it’s a super little dress which is so comfy and easy to throw on. I am going to love wearing this one.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x



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McCalls M7561 stripe knit dress pattern review



It’s the beginning of the month again which means that it’s time to share with you my latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network and this month it’s this gorgeous knit dress – McCalls M7561.

Do head on over to Minerva Crafts using the link above to see lots more pics and read all about this delightful pattern!

See you over there!

Kathy x

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A Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top


There’s not a great deal to say about this pattern that hasn’t already been said I feel, but it is finally my turn to see what all the fuss is about with The Agnes top.

I picked up the pattern from Sew Crafty recently when they had a 50% sale on patterns. At the moment I am trying not to be tempted by sewing patterns unless they are on sale, so I was delighted to see this, as I hadn’t ever seen any Tilly patterns at reduced price before. Maybe I should have picked up more…  Anyhow it is a really great website with lots to tempt you with, so I would recommend that you head over there and take a little peek!

I know it’s been said before but this top really is a great wardrobe staple, and it is the perfect close-fitting jersey top to be worn under all those Cleo pinafore dresses that we all have! I chose to make a simple long-sleeved version, but there is also the option to choose cropped or ruched sleeves, and there is a ruched sweetheart neckline version too.


Tilly patterns are a dream to sew. Beautiful quality thick paper pattern pieces are just the best to trace from, and the instruction booklet is just gorgeous as it has fabulous photos as well as thorough written instructions. You can’t go wrong! There is a huge amount of helpful information on the Tilly and the Buttons website too, so do check that out if you are a beginner. The skill level requirement for this pattern is described for ‘improvers’.

I chose a red and white striped jersey knit for this project (insert your ‘Where’s Wally/Wenda joke here)! I love it. I have a ton of striped fabrics in my stash at the moment so expect to see more very soon!


It’s lovely and easy to cut out as there are only four pattern pieces in total. As for the sewing – this is super quick to make too. I guess that it took me about 30 mins to cut out (including tracing my  pattern pieces), and maybe about an hour to an hour and a half to sew up. Thumbs up for that!


Stripes involve a certain amount of pattern matching of course, but it went pretty well I think.


The length of the sleeves and body are nice and long – how I like it, but you can try it on before you hem either of them and shorten them if you prefer.

I could not be happier with this top, and I ask myself why it has taken so long for me to give it a go. I have lots more Agnes plans and like many of you will soon have several to choose from in my hand made wardrobe.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x