The Landgate | a review


Goodness its been a while, work has been very busy and has meant not so much sewing time. The landgate has been wanting to be made for a while, Sarah kindly told me quite how long – as we met up in Rye last summer for my first trip to Merchant & Mills.  I had been concerned that my old machine wouldn’t sew the oilskin and having tried a small section was right, my new machine sewed the fabric like a dream.

Pattern:  The Landgate by Merchant & Mills.

Fabric: Gold British oilskin – Merchant & Mills.

Notions: denim size 12 needles, all purpose thread,  Merchant & Mills brass zip.

Pattern description:  This was a straight forward pattern to sew, I followed every step and opted for metal eyelets for a more professional finish – the pattern does say to make button holes.  Delighted with the finished jacket.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern: I loved the easy construction and pocket options, thought I may make another version in denim with pockets on the outside, great for walking the dog.  Had anticipated it could be tricky and with a fabric I have newer used before – was wrong on both counts.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: bound the hood facing with bias tape.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others:  Yes, once I got home thought I’d bought a ‘cagoule’ pattern- showing my 70’s roots there!  Perfect outdoors, gardening, walking and of course rain wear.  Would be a fab make for a Chap too, there are pattern changes, very straightforward.


The Azaire


Pattern: The Azaire by GatherKits

Fabric: soft drape mixed fibre

Pattern description: A dress and top pattern with 2 sleeve choices, a petal and a bracelet sleeve.

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, well written with clear diagrams.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern: straight forward to make and it has 2 great sleeves to choose from, so lots of possibilities.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: none.

Would you recommend it to others: it was a quick make and very straight forward.  Would recommend that pattern to others.  Planning on making another in a cotton fabric and will be perfect to wear through the autumn and winter.  Thought tana lawn with a cardigan and boots.

Conclusion: I was delighted to be asked to test run the pattern and as with all the Gather patterns was a great make.

Below is my version made with some fabric I was give at work, cute hedgehog mix fibre.

the azaire side

If you’d like to win this lovely pattern, do please leave a comment below and I will pick a winner on Sunday.

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?