The Trapeze Dress


Today I finally got some sewing done for me!  Yesterday I bought the Trapeze Dress pattern in Liberty and had a plan – this morning I cut it out and made it – yipee.  It is a super simple dress, I went for the sleeveless version using this fabulous eyelet cotton fabric from Ditto Fabrics, found a navy cotton voile on Ebay to line it.


Pattern: The Trapeze Dress by Merchant & Mills.

Fabric: eyelet cotton and cotton voile.

Notions: hemline number 11 quilting needles & Gutterman sew all thread.

Pattern discription: Merchant & Mills signature dress, designed to flatter most body shapes.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow: Yes, with the exception of the arm hold facing -after comments from Sarah mentioning a tricky part.  I saw immediately what Sarah meant and decided to make up using a traditional method.  Do watch Angela Kane’s great explanation.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern: Simple, easy to wear dress, with sleeveless, cap sleeve and 3/4 leng sleave option, making it very versatile.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Only change I made was shortening the pattern by 6 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others:  Yes, will make more using the sleeves and defernatly reccomend with the sleeveless version made the traditional way to make things super quick and easy.

Conclusion: Brilliant shaped dress that will be much worn – fingers crossed for summer to warm up!



Autumnal sewing inspiration

nanotech fabric

Given the amazing weather we have been experiencing in London, wet weather fabrics may not be a top priority.  I was searching for some boiled wool to make an autumnal Raw Edge jacket and while searching found this interesting fabric that would be perfect for a raincoat – thinking of the utility coat or the landgate.  Maybe with some neon piping?

dragonfly fabrics

I have been pinning patterns for autumn/winter 16 and loved this jacket by How to do patterns available from Dragonfly Fabrics.  Love the checks, although I was wondering about some super soft alpaca.

vogue 9197

Do like this simple Vogue pattern, very easy to wear and perfect for work.

merchant & mills trapeze dress


This summer I have worn a fabulous lace trapeze style dress I found in Anthropology, it’s not a style I normally wear and it is so easy to throw on and run.  Think this Merchant and Mills Trapeze dress would be great with boots as well as heels.

butterick 6352

I love this dress, perfect party wear and by the fabulous Gertie.


This little black dress Nour – the ornate robe pattern again would be brilliant.  So easy to wear and that is always a plus!

butterick 5030

Loved Butterick 5030 have some linen to make view a, perfect for my hols.  Finally one more pattern I have bought and have some midweight denim for

Butterick 6178

Butterick 6178, view d.  I have been wanting to make these for some time and will be cutting them out in my lunch break today – if I can.  Have a super size table at work, my dining table at home is a small round and can be tricky sometimes.  If I try the floor, the dogs find sitting as pattern weights a great game!

sewing mends the soul

I’ll try to work out a little list of must make for autumn and then go hunting for fabrics, always a fun thing to do.  Do you have any ideas of patterns to sew for the cooler months?


shimmering single girl quilt – wip

Had some fun putting my machine through its paces, it’s the first time I’ve quilted a king size quilt and wow am i impressed with the Janome!  Also used a grey variegated aurifil thread from the Eternal Maker in Chichester.

janome horizon 8900qcp

The spiral started in the centre and I spiraled out by eye, not perfect but I try and quilt by Jenny’s moto “finished is better than perfect’.  It took days to quilt and ended up using washing up gloves to help, they worked brilliantly too.

shimmering single girl quilt

The spiral started small and gradually got wider towards the edge, will take more photo’s once its bound and finished!

Big Easy Top | a review

There’s been some sewing going on!

BE Main 936

image from The Maker’s Atelier

I made the collarless version earlier in the year with an amazing wool jersey I brought back form a trip to Copenhagen and decided to make a lighter sweatshirt version with the cowl neck.  Perfect for putting on after surfing and walking along English beaches this summer.  In fact I wore it this morning walking the dog before work.

me Big Easy Top

Pattern: The Big Easy Top by The Maker’s Atelier

Fabric: Fleece lined sweatshirting from Fabrics Galore.

Notions: Schmetz stretch needles, Gutermann sew all thread.

Pattern discription: Simple, stylish and easy to make, these two styles flatter most body shapes. Choose between a round-necked, slim-sleeved, longer top or a more boxy style with a grown-on cowl neck.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow: Yes, brilliant, well written pattern and super fast too.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern: I love the simple lines and the way it is cut and goes together so easily.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: none

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others: Yes, will defernatly sew again and its a great pattern for any beginner.  As with Fransis’s patterns they are great to wear and make.

Conclusion: Love this pattern, easy to wear and make in lots of different fabrics.

big easy top a

here it is with the cowl up and down.

big easy top b

And just in case I want to slip it on back to front I added a lable!

big easy top close up

To stitch the fabric I used an elongated stretch stitch on my machine and overocked the seams as I went.  It was pointed out to me that I could have just used the overlocker – but I do like to use my machine and overlocker – how do you stitch stretch fabrics?


the ultimate pencil skirt | a review

the ultimate pencil skirt patter | makers atelier

I bought the ultimate pencil skirt pattern a little while ago and been looking for fabrics to make it in.  Planning a sequined version next once I have found some sequined fabric – thinking of a day trip to Brighton and visiting Ditto Fabrics.  I found some fabulous stripy jersey at Fabrics Galore and decided to sew the stretch version.  As with all of Fransis’ pattens it worked like a dream and I had a skirt ready to wear in under an hour!

The Ultimate Pencil Skirt

Pattern: The Ultimate pencil skirt

Fabric: stripe jersey from Fabrics Galore.

Notions: Schmetz stretch needles, Gutermann thread, elastic & pins.

Pattern discription: Create the ultimate pencil shaped skirt whether in stretch or woven fabric, this pattern has instructions for both.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow: yes, great instructions and very simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern: quick and easy to make, perfect to wear – a real wardrobe staple.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: no none

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others: yes, brilliant quick project in jersey and plan to make another in stretch as well as the other woven version.

Conclusion: A brilliant pattern that is so easy to wear, try it!


Already worn and its great, can walk the dog and run around at work – had lots of lovely complement too.

Tarnish | knitting wip


Last year I bought a lovely yarn called Frost in the sales and knitted the Tarnish pattern.  Took me ages to knit as I kept putting it down and loosing my place and then starting again.

tarnish close up

Very simple knit, if you keep track of the pattern repeat – something I kept loosing.   Finally lifted it out of my knitting basket and sewed up the side seams and now its ready to wear in the autumn!

tarnish back view

Going to be a great piece to wear to work, simple throw on and go.  Here is the Rowan book photograph and what it will look like once I have stitched a button on!

tarnish by Rowan

Now to finish off a couple more projects!

English paper piecing | a tutorial

hexy diamond

My very first patchworking project was as a child at school and have made many projects using the epp method, from tiny hexagons to giant and lots of other shapes in between.  I have shared my love for quilting with friends and as a help thought I’d post a tutorial on how I epp.  There are lots of online tools for making hexagons, I use these by Love patchwork & quilting magazine.  Once you have the templates cut out, I punch a hole into them.  This makes popping the templates out later so much quicker.

hexy diamond 2

For my 1 inch hexagons I cut just a fraction over a 2.5inch square, this gives a good overlap.  To baste my template, thread a needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread.  Fold fabric edges over the card template, as below

hexy diamond 3

Whip stitch the fold of fabric a you go around the hexagon

hexy diamond 4

and then you have a basted your hexagon.

hexy diamond 5

To join the hexagons together, place to hexagons right side together.  With a threaded needle tie a small knot at the end of the thread and whip stitch along the one edge, being careful to catch only the fabric and not piercing the card template.  I guess I use around 10 per hexagon side – but this is only a guide.

hexy diamond 7

To join a 3rd template, place the the new hexagon template right sides together as below and whip stitch to the end of the one side.

hexy diamond 9

Open up the stitched templates and then fold gently ready to stitch the next seam.

hexy diamond 12

making sure to stitch from the centre out.

hexy diamond 13

and the reverse

hexy diamond 14

Here’s the back of my completed templates.

hexy diamond back

To pop out the templates, I use a knitting needle or chop stick, gently pop into the punched hole and the template will slip out quickly and neatly.  You can also leave all the basting stitches in, as they will never be seen.

hexy diamond

Just ready to baste and quilt now.  Have wondered about a youtube tutorial, as seeing things made makes so much more sense to me – its just  the way my brain works I guess. And if you were wondering the main fabrics used are from a collection caller Shimmer 2 by Jennifer Sampou, the pale grey is kona.