sewing slump

With the new year I had plans and indeed fabric and patterns ready, but couldn’t muster the energy to sew.  Work has been so very busy and when I get home I have just wanted to sit and do a little gentle hand stitching to calm my mind.  I have finished my ‘Rome‘ needlepoint


and really enjoyed it, kind of got the needlepoint bug.  While stitching the grid I though about what this could be and had an idea that I’d like to do more thank make a cushion, possibly cover a chair after seeing Sophie Robinson’s sofa.


With all this whirling in my head, after a brilliant Borough Belles meeting at the Goodlife centre just before Christmas and a chance conversation at work – the company offered to pay for me to do a 3 month course of evening classes!  A chair duly arrived and I set off on an upholstry adventure.


This chair will be heading back to work, but with the skills I am learning I do hope I can eventually cover one in my own tapestry patchwork.  So far this little mid century has been stripped and now being rebuilt, the teachers are brilliant, small classes and lovely class mates.

I’m plotting my progress over on instagram @poppyinstitches and getting excited now the top fabric is going on.  The Gooflife centre is an interesting place to learn a new skill and there is lots of choice, I’d love to go on the lampshade class and plumbing basics!  Are you learning a new skill this year?

handmade handbags


So just before Christmas I made the monster a new dress out of some Marvel fabric and there were a few pieces left over.  So instead of making a fabric bag, we decided to buy a shell and strap to make a super cool bag.  The shell is from U handbag, as is the strap – a great detail.

There is a great tutorial and it very simple to make.  The edge detail could be neater and I would love to make another bag and improve the interior edge finish.  Overall I’m happy with it and the monster loves it – which is the best!


The ultimate pencil skirt


I decided on New Years Eve to zap up a skirt to wear out and had luckily found some scuba fabric in  Fabrics Galore’s sale – I loved it so much bought it in 2 colour ways!

Pattern:  The Ultimate Pencil Skirt by The Maker’s Atelier

Fabric: Scuba from Fabrics Galore.

Notions: stretch needles, Mara 120 thread, elastic.

Pattern description:  pencil skirt sewing pattern for stretch fabrics – also included is a pattern for woven fabrics.

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, the pattern is really well written and so easy to follow.  Looks just like the photograph.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern: I love the super simple stretch skirt pattern and is a brilliant quick make.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: none.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others: Yes, Ive made 4 stretch skirts with this pattern so far – although they have not all been for me.

Conclusion: A wonderful simple make, so easy to wear and brilliant as a wardrobe staple.  I hemed the scuba on my machine and it worked well.  Also used the stretch elongated zig zag for the main stitch and zig zag for the elastic casing.  If you haven’t tried the Maker’s Atelier patterns, do they are really well written and wonderful wearable styles.


sewing inspiration from film


Yesterday I saw Fantastic Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, my daughter is a huge HP fan and she was so looking forward to seeing this.  It was a great film, the costumes where fabulous!  Loved Porpentina’ s clothes, so very everyday wearable and Queenie’s more glamourous collection.  It was the pink coat with a shawl collar that really caught my attention, wouldn’t it be perfect for going out to parties in!  So this morning I have been searching for a pattern that could possibly make it


above is a close up I found, source unknown.

Here are a few I think would do it

The left patter is McCalls 7478 and the right Gertie’s Butterick 6105.

Left The Maker’s Atelier shawl collar coat, out of print Butterick 5824

above Vogue 8875

If you can think of a better pattern do let me know!   HAve you ever been caught by a fils costumes and wanted to make them?  Oh – do go and see the film, you won’t be disapointed – even if its only to see the wonderful costumes!

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.