Silk Cami hack

One of the many great things about sewing is that when your friends are having a clear out they often ask whether you want anything for refashioning purposes before heading to the charity shop.  That’s how this dress came to be.  A friend of mine gave me some clothes to look through and I came across an Aztec print maxi dress.  I’m too short for maxi dresses, as a general rule, but the gathered skirt had masses of fabric and I liked the print, so I knew I’d be able to make something out of it 🙂  It took a while to decide what I wanted to make – the fabric has quite a lot of drape so I knew it couldn’t be anything too structured.  Then, as I was packing for my holiday a few weeks ago I had that ‘Eureka!’ moment.  I wanted a simple shift/cami style dress to take away with me.

What do you think?  Pretty good, no?  It was nice and light for my holiday, but because it has black in the print I can wear it with black tights for work.  I’ve decided it’s still a tad too long though, so I’m going to take it up before I wear it again.  Serves me right for trying to be lazy and reusing the hem the first time around.

The pattern: a hack of the Sew Over It Silk Cami.  I love this pattern – there’s a front, a back and the facing, and that’s it.  It’s so easy and comes together really quickly.  Plus, I got to use the all in one armhole and neckline facing trick from the Sew Over It YouTube channel, which is possibly my favourite technique I’ve learned so far.

Modifications: just lengthening the pattern.  I didn’t even need to change the shape because the top is designed to be loose fitting at the hip anyway – I just continued in pretty much a straight line until it was the length I wanted.  Oh, and because I reused the hem it’s just straight at the bottom, whereas the original pattern has a curved hem.

The cost: I donated £10 to Mind, which was the charity my friend was choosing to give her clothes to.  I got three items though, so let’s say this cost me £3.33.  Can’t argue with that 🙂

It’s got me nicely in the mood for Portia Lawrie’s the Refashioners 2016!  Anyone else taking part?

Stash Update

Guys, it’s time for some serious stash-busting!  I have been vaguely aware for a while now that my stash has been getting bigger and bigger, and while I’m aware that compared to some I really don’t have big problems, I decided it was about time I plucked up the courage to go through it all.

It’s all thanks to Zoe, off of So, Zo… What Do You Know?, for putting me onto the Cora app in one of her recent posts.  You can see Zoe’s post for more information about it, but basically it allows you to take photos of your fabrics and input all the information relating to each piece, such as fabric type and length.  Sort of like cataloguing for dressmakers – librarian by occupation, librarian by nature.  Anyway, it’s awesome!  All you need to know about your stash on your phone to carry around at all times.  Great stuff 🙂


I discovered that I have 28 (gasp!) pieces of fabric large enough to make into something.  28 possible garments!  So, I am once again vowing not to buy any more fabric until I’ve made a notable dent in this lot.  I say this just as I’m planning my next trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate.  Must.  Stay.  Strong.  Until Harrogate, anyway.  There’s just no way I’m going to make it through a whole Knitting and Stitching Show without making at least one purchase, is there?

I have a few projects line up for my stash already.  In fact, I rarely buy fabric without at least having some ides of what I might make, so I can match most of my stash up with patterns.  So many lovely things to make, so little time!

There is just one thing I know I want to buy before Harrogate.  You see, I’m already talking myself out of this, am I not?!  I’m finally feeling brave enough to make my Papercut Patterns Watson Jacket.  Well, ‘brave enough’ might be stretching it a little – I’m feeling obliged to make it before another autumn and winter come and go.  I’m still terrified, but I really am going to have to attempt it sometime.  I’ve had the fabric since my trip to Harrogate last November, and my lovely friend very kindly gave me the pattern for Christmas last year.  I had high hopes of roaring through this make and getting some wear out of it last winter, but I took one look at the pattern and scared myself.  But it can’t sit around forever, and now I’m hoping to have it done for this autumn/winter.  I may have to toile this a couple of times, so the sooner I get started the better.  Anyway, the point of all this is that I’m going to need to buy fabric for the lining of said Watson Jacket.  Other than that, I’m going to try not to be tempted by any other fabrics.  Wish me luck – I’m going to need it for both the jacket and fabric abstinence!

Whale Pyjamas

Does anyone else get a huge sense of satisfaction when you get to wear a matching pair of pyjamas?  I don’t know about you guys, but more often than not I end up wearing completely mismatched pyjamas.  Usually it’s because the tops or bottoms shrink (never both, for some inexplicable reason) or become curiously misshapen in some way.  Given my resolution not to buy clothes anymore, my pyjama situation is getting a bit desperate.  Luckily for me, I found the perfect fabric for pyjamas at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh.


Aren’t they adorable?  I’m so pleased with them.  They’re perfect for these warmer months 🙂

The fabric: a lovely embroidered cotton from the Fabrics Galore stand – it’s on their website too.  I love this fabric – it hints at traditional grandpa pyjamas, but the embroidered whales and modern pattern give them a more contemporary feel.  I think they had some with little anchors on as well.

The pattern: I got this free with Simply Sewing magazine a while back.  It says the pattern is by the Makery, but I don;t think it’s available to buy on their website just yet.  You might find it on Etsy or eBay though.

Modifications: a couple, actually.  I don’t usually like to deviate away from patterns, but I’m glad I plucked up the bravery on this occasion.  I took one look at the paper pattern piece for the bust section of the bodice and knew there was no way I was going to get as much coverage as I’d like.  I added about an inch and a half to the length.  I simply moved the bottom seam down an inch and redrew the side seams.  I forgot (I don’t know how!) to add more length onto the back pattern piece, but luckily the channel for elastic is meant to be quite deep.  I just had to make a much narrower channel and use skinnier elastic, but it seems to have worked out alright.  If I were to make them again (which I probably will) I’ll put elastic in the shorts instead of ribbon, just so they’re easier to get on and off.

The cost: I got 2 metres of fabric at £8 per metre, so the fabric was £16.  I think Simply Sewing magazine is usually about £6 – let’s say the pattern cost half that much, because you tend to get a few patterns with a magazine.  I bought some grosgrain ribbon, but that can’t have been more than £1, and I already had the elastic.  Around £20 in total, then.

Our little helper

I’d like to introduce you to our latest sewing buddy.  Meet Bobby 🙂


For the past couple of months I’ve been teaching my sister to sew and it turns out Bobby is a huge fan of sewing, as you can see.  He loves to ‘help out’ by lolling about all over fabrics, but that’s nothing compared to how much he loves to roll around on big sheets of pattern paper.  He sneaks around like a ninja and appears when you least expect him – you go to iron for a minute and you turn around to find him getting comfortable on your skirt, or he leaps onto the table without warning when you’re handling the sharpest implement in the room, just to keep you on your toes.  He keeps us company every time we sew and provides much entertainment.

Does anyone else have any animal helpers?  We’d love to hear about them!