Sewing Plans


Happy Monday peeps. I hope you all had a nice weekend. Mine hasn’t been the best. On Thursday night I had a phone call from my mum because my nan had fallen over while they were walking the dogs and she needed me to go and get them so she could go in the ambulance with my nan. I got there before the first responder, let alone an ambulance and when Mum called back to check how long they’d be they couldn’t give any indication so in the end we took her to A&E ourselves. It turned out she’d broken her wrist and then the next day we found out she’d fractured her hip too and on Saturday she had to have a partial hip replacement.

It all went well and she seems to be back to her old self already bar the pain and lack of mobility but it’s been a very worrying few days. We don’t always realise just how lucky we are that my nan is so independent and capable. She’s 90 years old and only gave up her job as a cleaner a couple of months ago. She was complaining about being on a ward with old people and we had to reassure her that she’s on the orthopaedic ward, not the geriatric ward and she tells every doctor or nurse who comments on her age that her mum got her date of birth wrong. So back to her normal self.

But anyway, I realised that I never blogged about my Make Nine plans for this year and I’ve been wanting to blog about something as it’s been ages so I figure it’s better late than never.

I was in two minds about whether to choose any Make Nine plans at all this year as I found last year that I did a lot of over-planning and put a lot of pressure on myself. When I mentioned that on Instagram loads of people told me that they hadn’t made all of their 2017 Make Nine selection and they were still making 2018 plans because they enjoy the planning so I did pick some after all and I’ll try not to beat myself up if I don’t make any of them.

1. Alina sewing + design co chi town chinos

I’ve already got these cut out that I planned to make last year but didn’t get round to. I wore my shorts version on my recent holiday and I really like them so I’m keen to get cracking with these as I think they’ll be a great trouser for spring. If it ever gets warm enough to stop wearing boots that is.

I’m making them out of a beige gaberchino for my first version and if I like them I want a navy pair too as I love the navy sample.

2. A knit pencil skirt

This is sort of carried forward from last year but I’d picked McCalls 7331 last year. The plan has always been to use a black and white striped ponte from my stash, which I realised won’t really work with McCalls 7331 as it has a curved yoke. So I’ve “drafted” my own from my hip and waist measurements and cut it out last week. I’m planning to copy the construction of my favourite knit pencil skirt and overlock some elastic to the top edge, turn it to the inside and stitch in the ditch at the side seams to keep the elastic turned under.

I’ve also got a Bibi skirt from Tilly and the Button’s new book Stretch cut out, which I could probably count too as I haven’t specified a pattern. I’ve pretty much copied one of the samples from the book and used some teal ponte scraps I had left over from the Manfriend’s first Paxson and some of the black and white striped ponte.

3. Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable top

I suspect I may actually find the high neck on this a bit irritating but I love the way this top looks on other people and I think Jen’s block is a good match for me so I want to try it. I’ve also fallen for her latest pattern, the Ostara top and will be buying that at some point.

4. Sew Over It Eve dress

I’ve wanted to make the Eve dress since last year but I kept putting off tracing it. I’ve done that part now and I’m hoping it’ll make the perfect wedding guest dress for a wedding I’m going to in the Summer.

5. Gown

This year I’d quite like to have a go at making a big nonsense gown just for the pure hell of it. I haven’t really got a clue what sort of style I want, let alone chosen a pattern. I think I want godets, it’ll probably be off the shoulder and I’m leaning towards green or red.

6. Grainline Archer shirt

I have a few oversized checked shirts from H&M that I really like so I wanted to have a go at making my own. I’ve cut out a wearable toile version using some checked flannel and I did not enjoy it at all. Some people thrive on that sort of perfectionist cutting, I do not. It just filled me with rage.

It’s done now though and ready to be sewn up when I get a chance. I’ve got some buffalo plaid to make my “proper” version out of.

7. Grainline Cascade coat

I’ve realised that I only really wear my coats that have hoods so I’ve dumped my long planned Deer and Doe Pavot for a Grainline Cascade. I’m going to use the same royal blue gabardine that I was going to use for the Pavot but I might have to shorten the cascade slightly to get the coat out of my 2.5 metres of fabric.

I don’t really like patch pockets so I don’t know what I want to do about the pockets. I sort of want welt pockets but I don’t have a pattern that has welt pockets to steal the pieces. Maybe I could add a horizontal in-seam pocket to the seam at the hip on the longer version but I don’t know if that would be right either. I like pockets for hands so I sort of feel like they should be at an angle. I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it.

Normally, I quite like assembling PDF patterns but I couldn’t face the million pages Cascade would be so I got the A0 files printed with Netprinter. I’m sooo not tracing either, I can’t think of anything worse than having to trace all those pieces.

8. Deer and Doe Melilot shirt

This is another one carried forward  from last year. I still want my white crepe Melilot. I cut out what I’d hoped would be a wearable toile using the pattern pieces I’d traced yonks ago. Then realised that I’ve gained weight since then and the size I traced – helpfully, not written on the traced pattern pieces – will not fit these days.

9. Jeans

Urgh, jeans sewing. Why is fitting trousers so hard? Other people seem to do it fine. Am I just being ridiculous and picky? I really don’t think I’m being too picky because I’m not obsessing over a couple of crotch wrinkles. It’s bizarre weirdness that I have never had in RTW trousers. I can go into a clothes shop and try on a pair of jeans and the crotch will just fit. Other areas might not fit how I want them but I’ve certainly never had the weird-ass poofiness and lines from my crotch to my thigh. This post about crotch curves from Cindy at Cation Designs was really interesting and makes sense as the Lander short have the straightest front crotch curve of any short/trouser pattern I’ve sewn and my crotch area is definitely the least weird in them. (This one is also really good.)

So those are this years Make Nine plans. A bunch of them are already underway and as soon as my overlocker comes back from sewing machine hospital (or I buy a new one if it’s kaput) I’m going to get on with them. I’ve got too many things started and half made, I need to finish a few.

Are you a one at a time maker? Or do you have a few projects on the go at once like me? Have you made Make Nine plans this year? Crumbs, some of you may have finished already!


If you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen quite a few of these little grids of nine popping up since the end of last year. #2017MakeNine is something Rochelle of Lucky Lucille came up with last year but this is my first time trying it. It’s exactly what it sounds like really, you just pick 9 patterns that you’re going to make this year and I thought I’d share my plans here too.

They’re not in any particularly meaningful order, just what I thought looked the most balanced – which I spent waaay too long faffing about with. They are all patterns I already have and I’m going to use fabric from my stash for all of them too.

1. Knit pencil skirt from McCalls 7331 – Black and white striped ponte

Jen from Gingerella mentioned this pattern to me when I asked for cardigan pattern recommendations and not long after I spotted it as the free pattern with Dressmaker magazine so I snapped it up. Spookily that’s happened to me twice now, I decide I want a pattern and then spot it as a magazine freebie (the second was Butterick 6285).

I’m going to use this striped black and white ponte that I bought on my one trip to the fabric shops of Goldhawk Road back in 2015 – trying to make good on that stashbusting goal. I can see myself either shortening or tapering the skirt in a bit as I want a slightly more fitted skirt than this looks on the pattern envelope but I’ll make the decision when I’m sewing it probably.

2. Deer and Doe Plantain tee – mustard jersey, maybe

This is a pattern that I’ve had for a couple of years but haven’t got round to making yet. It’s a free PDF pattern and it’s even been printed, assembled AND traced for probably 2 years. This is its year!

The fabric may change or there may just be multiple versions. I’ve got some green jersey that’s also on the table and some cream. I’ve sort of got it in my mind that I want these nine garments to work together so cream might be the better bet for that. But saying that, all of the bottoms are fairly neutral so mustard or green would still go with them.

3. Closet Case Files Ginger jeans – blue denim

The photo here isn’t my actual denim. I didn’t have a photo when I was making these collages so I just got one from the internet. I think it looks like this but I might be wrong. Anyway, it is time to revisit jeans making. I had planned to do it this month but I am distinctly plump after an incredibly overindulgent Christmas (and December… And January…) and don’t really want to stay this size. So it seems a bit foolish to battle fitting, just to need to do it again after I get my eating under control.

4. Seamwork Neenah poloneck top – black jersey

This one isn’t my actual fabric either. My fabric called itself crepe jersey (or it might have been jersey crepe) and is ever so slinky but not so slinky it’s hard to work with. It’s the same fabric I used for the off the shoulder Mesa dress top I’m wearing in the photo in this post.

I’ve seen a lot of people sewing polonecks lately and it reminded me how much I used to wear a black RTW that is languishing in the back of my wardrobe (too snug). So I thought I’d make a top version of the Neenah dress from Seamwork magazine to save buying a new pattern.

5. Sew Over It Alex shirt dress (from City Break eBook) – purple viscose

The Alex shirt and shirt dress is probably my favourite pattern from the City Break eBook. It seems like a nice pattern to start the introduction to shirt making as there’s no collar stand or cuff but I’ll still be learning something new with the yoke.

I’ve had this pretty plum coloured viscose in my stash for a long time. I originally bought it with the plan to make another maxi By Hand London Anna dress thinking I would wear it in autumn as it’s such pretty autumnal colours. But then I realised that I wouldn’t wear a maxi dress in autumn – what shoes do people wear with maxi dresses when it’s not sunny? – so it’s sat in the stash ever since. But soon it will fulfil its garmenty destiny.

6. Deer and Doe Pavot coat (discontinued) – royal blue gabardine

This has been planned for sooooo long. I’ve traced the pattern, bought calico for a toile and done a butt load of research on drafting a lining. It’s time to just crack on with it really.

7. Deer and Doe Safran jeans – black denim

Another one that’s not my actual fabric and I think my denim is blacker than that. We’re not technically allowed to wear jeans to work (except Fridays) but I’m hoping to wear these as stealth jeans.

8. Deer and Doe Mélilot shirt  – white crepe

Everyone needs a white shirt don’t they? The fabric is a white crepe that I bought on Goldhawk Road. I originally intended to make a Sewaholic Belcarra blouse out of it but I think it’ll make a lovely Mélilot.

9. Style Arc Simone cardigan – grey sweater knit

I am worried this one might end up looking a bit school cardigan like but I think the grey will make for a nice versatile layering piece.

So that’s my #2017MakeNine plans. Of course I haven’t actually been near my sewing machine since before Christmas and don’t seem to have any sew-jo whatsoever. I’ve even got three projects cut out that I can’t seem to get up the oomph to actually sew. (Muse Jenna cardigan, Seamwork Mesa fit-n-flare hack and Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes.) I think I need to give my sewing room a good tidy so it’s a more appealing room to be in. It’s so so messy at the moment.

Anyway, hope you’ve all had a nice weekend. Take care and I’ll speak to you again soon, hopefully with some finished projects to show you. I think I’m up to about 10 unblogged makes now. Ooops!

Me Making March

Me Making MarchI was working my way through my huge number of unread blog posts on Wednesday and saw this one from Meris of The Fabric Alchemist about how she’s going to have a Me Making March, where she spends some time every day doing something crafty. I think that’s a really good idea so I’m copying her.

The most productive sewing spurt I’ve ever had was at the end of last year when I was doing my Christmas present crafting and I think it was because I was doing a bit here and a bit there. Stick a PDF together one day, cut out a couple of projects the next, sew one up the day after, that sort of thing. It would be nice to be able to spend a whole day at the weekend sewing but life gets in the way and means that sewing plans quite often get bumped. So I think allocating half an hour or so every day is a more achievable way to get through some of the many projects I have planned.

Technically I’ve already failed at my Me Making March as I didn’t do any sewing last night and I’m currently full of Thai food and gin so I don’t know if any sewing will happen tonight either. But I’m not going to beat myself up too much for missing the odd day here and there, a general consistency will do me.

I’m trying out working on multiples projects at the same time so I have a Dixie DIY Ballet dress nearly complete, a Seamwork Mesa dress hack at the toile stage and Ginger jeans/trousers traced but not cut out yet. I’m hoping that by doing a step or two most evenings I can get them all finished by the end of the month.

Anyone else want to join in? Or is this how the rest of you sew all the time and you’re rolling your eyes at me because I’m such a noob?

The C Word


*whispers* Is it okay to start talking about Christmas now? The Christmas adverts have started so I’m guessing it’s okay. Side note: Everyone else bawled at the John Lewis advert right? It’s in association with Age UK and it’s the first time one of their adverts has made me cry, because it’s about a very real and incredibly sad issue. I don’t live near a John Lewis and probably wouldn’t shop there if I did because I’m cheap but I did donate to Age UK and I’d like to try to do something more practical but I don’t know what. Anyway, you’re not here for me to whitter on about charity, you’re here for the sewing shenanigans.

As is my usual way I have decided to make far too many things for gifts and should really get cracking on it – November will fly by, I’m sure. So I thought I’d share a few of my Christmas sewing plans. Mainly in the hopes that writing them down and having them public will make me actually do it.

The Manfriend loves crisps and likes to call Christmas crispmas so last year I made him a Crispmas Advent Calendar. I just bought 24 packets of crisps, individually wrapped them, wrote numbers 1-24 on them (24 was a sharing bag – he reeeally loves crisps) and put them in a box that I wrapped and decorated. But this year I fancy jazzing it up a bit, so I’m planning to make a garland style one with little pouches.

I’m going to actually make my mum the festive Scout that I was planning to make her last Christmas but didn’t get round to. I’m going to give it to her pre-Christmas though so she actually gets a chance to wear it. Her office is really hot and if she wears a Christmas jumper to work she cooks so I thought a t’shirt would be much better for her.

I mentioned my dinosaur loving pseudo nephew at the end of my last post and my plan to make him a t’shirt out of my leftover dinosaur fabric. I’ve just bought the Oliver + S Field Trip raglan t’shirt sewing pattern for it and I’ll probably use the dinosaur fabric for the sleeves.

I also want to make him a dinosaur tail. I’d seen them on Etsy before and was already considering making one and then I saw Liza Jane’s adorable version, which sealed it for me. I have to make one. Mine won’t be fancy and include a hoodie though, it’s just going to be the tail.

As well as his advent calendar the Manfriend will be getting some pyjama bottoms and a Paxson sweater, hopefully in marl if I can find some nice fabric – he loves raglan and marl.

Gosh, this is getting long and daunting and I haven’t even finished!

There’s also my nan’s Christmas cake, which I’ve already made and will just need to decorate closer to the time (after it’s had a bit more booze). I’ve been prowling Pinterest for decoration ideas and I think I’m going to go with Santa stuck in a chimney.

I made mango chutney last year that went down really well with my nan and Manfriend’s mum so I’m planning another batch of that this year. I think we’re going to make a little hamper for his family so there will probably be a few chutney type things being made. Last year I made onion marmalade, beer mustard, arancello and pomegranate vodka for hampers and I might repeat some of those.

And last but not least, there are the things I want to make for me. I’m planning a festive Scout for myself too and my work Christmas party outfit. Last year’s hunky simplicity 1418 is pretty much untoppable so I think I’m going to just go for something a bit more elegant this year. Maybe By Hand London Anna dress in some sort of slinky fabric. Or possibly a jumpsuit.

How about you? Have you made any Christmas sewing plans? Have you started? Or do you have any tips for me to make sure I actually achieve this years plans?

Stash Plans Video

I’ve seen a lot of Autumn/Winter sewing plans posts popping up over the last couple of weeks and as I always enjoy reading them I thought I’d share some of my plans. Though mine is going to be more in the way of showing you fabric I’ve already bought and telling you what I’m going to make with it.

So I’ve made another video, ta dah!

It’s nowhere near as good as the last one because it doesn’t have any woodland creature fabric on so it’s a bit boring really sorry. But not all of the fabric I buy has animals on so it was going to happen eventually, might as well get it over with straight away.

Outfit Along 2015

Click me to find out more

Or OAL2015 if you prefer.

I’m going to join in this year. I wanted to join in last year but I couldn’t really knit yet so it really wasn’t going to happen. I’m a pretty slow knitter so it might be a bit of a challenge to get my cardigan knitted in time but I’m hopeful.

I’m going to use the official cardigan pattern, Vianne, but not the dress pattern as it’s not really me. I’m going to be making a Sewaholic Cambie (or Cambie mashup) instead.

Lizzy House Natural History fabric
Lizzy House Natural History fabric

Check out that awesome fabric! As soon as I saw it on Instagram (on this dress by Julia from Stars and Sunshine) I had to have it. I couldn’t find any from a UK supplier but managed to find some on Etsy and snapped it up straight away. The pictures of Julia’s dress show the colours more accurately than mine, the fabric has a lot more purple in it than it looks like from the picture above.

The yarn I’m using is Cascade 220 Superwash in Amethyst Heather, which has a lovely mottled blue and purple look to it close up so I think it should look nice with the finished dress (and if it doesn’t, I’m going to rock it anyway).

Cascade 220 Superwash in Amethyst Heather
Cascade 220 Superwash in Amethyst Heather

I cast on my cardigan last night and haven’t gone horrifically wrong yet *touches wood*. I am a bit worried about keeping track of where I am but hopefully I’ll get into the swing of that after a few more rows (I’ve done 3). I’m cluelessleigh over on ravelry if anyone wants to be my friend. I’m a billy no mates over there at the moment.

I had hoped to get my dinosaur dress made in time to wear it to go see Jurassic World but I’m not sure I’m going to get time as I need to make a toile/muslin first. I am reeeally excited about Jurassic World. The other day, the Manfriend said to me, “It’s Chris Pratt* AND dinosaurs, however will you cope?” My answer: I won’t!

*Chris Pratt in a waistcoat no less! I love waistcoats.

Anyone else taking part in OAL2015? Are you as rubbish a knitter as me or will this be a breeze for you? More importantly, how excited are you for Jurassic World and how do you feel about waistcoats?

June Sewing Plans

This month I’m planning to make:

A maxi length Anna. I’ve got all my pieces cut out and the darts and pleats pinned ready to be sewn. Hopefully I’ll get a chance over the weekend.

A navy Deer and Doe Anemone skirt. I think I’m going to cut the shorter version but I may leave out the peplum (or fins as I’ve described them to other people) and add some gold buttons for a nautical feel.

I’m going to sta20140606-105948-39588960.jpgrt work on a Megan dress from Tilly and the Buttons’ fabulous book, Love at First Stitch. I may not finish in June as I’m slow and I seem to always have to make up a couple of trial versions ironing out fitting kinks. Though from the looks of the finished measurements on Megan I should be able to cut a straight size 4 but I doubt it’ll be that simple. I was planning on making a wearable toile first (copying Tilly’s red and navy colour blocked version as I have leftover fabric of both colours) and then making it in this gorgeous mustard floral cotton lawn but I’m not sure the fabric is right for the dress. You are supposed to use something a bit heavier and I really want to use this fabric for exactly the right thing because I love it. I would love to turn it into a Sew Over It 1940s Tea Dress but it says it’s an advanced pattern so I don’t think I’m ready for that.

I’d also like to try and make a Grainline Scout t’shirt but I’m not sure I’ll get round to that as I’m being a bit ambitious already.