Holiday Planning (help me out!)

Hi all! So my laptop had a meltdown last week (the tracking pad was malfunctioning in a way that made it pretty well unusable), and now it’s away being fixed so I’ll need to wait until it’s back before I can edit or post any pictures of finished garments. Hopefully it won’t be too long until I’m underway again… In the meantime, I’m still sewing and planning for our upcoming trip to the UK. It’s only 5 weeks away now, eek! I might have to cull my ‘to sew’ list, I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that it’s a bit ambitious.

We’ll be in the UK for 5 weeks all up, and we’ll be driving through England, Wales and Scotland. We fly in and out of London, and we have to be down on the South Coast for the Goodwood Revival, but other than that we’ve got a pretty blank schedule! I want to go to Brighton, Glastonbury, Bath, Stonehenge, Cardiff, the Brecon Beacons and the Lake District as we drive up to my family in Glasgow, and once we’re in Scotland I’d like to go to the Outer Hebrides (going to see some tweed and some puffins!). Then we’ll head back down through the highlands, via a few distilleries for Hamish (though his favourites are the peaty whiskys from the islands, so I suppose we’ll do some there too) to Edinburgh, and back down through England to London. Looks like quite a lot when I write it out like that, but hopefully we’ll manage! 

So, I was hoping those of you in the UK could give me some suggestions of where to go? What are your local fabric/yarn shops and markets? What about your favourite pubs and cafes, and your recommended  local highlights? Local delicacies we have to try? I’m so excited to be heading back, I never meant to leave it 6 years between visits…

Warm weather planning

Once again I’m buried underneath a mountain of schoolwork as we approach the end of the academic year, so I’m not sure if I’ll have much sewing to blog about until the end of October! It doesn’t help that the last thing I made has ended up being a total disaster, its jammed in a bag in the top of my wardrobe currently…however, I have been buying (copious amounts of) fabric, and making lots of plans for sewing summer clothes, so I figure I might as well blog about some of my plans! 

First up is another Grainline Moss Miniskirt in this navy and white striped denim from the Fabric Store. I love my cat Moss, but its a bit big around the back waist, so I’ll need to fiddle with the yoke a bit this time. I’m also going to have a go at lining it, as my other one climbs up my tights all the time, and my half slips are all too long to wear with it.

Next up is another Grainline Archer shirt in some lovely Italian cotton I bought this weekend at Drapers Fabrics in Auckland. Its really soft and lightweight, so I think it’ll be a lovely summer weight shirt! Must remember to shorten the sleeves this time, and I might try a tower placket for the cuff too.

  I know I’ve included the Ginger Jeans in my last two seasonal sewing plans, and have as yet failed to make them up, but now I have two lots of denim and the pattern printed out and ready to go, so there is really no excuse not to get them made this summer!

I’m pretty excited about sewing up View A of the True Bias Southport dress, all the versions I’ve seen have looked so nice. I’m hoping to squeeze it out of this Cotton + Steel Frock rayon.

  I figure I always need tee shirts, so I’ve been collecting fabric for new ones for a while. I’m going to try out the Grainline Lark Tee pattern for these. I have to admit to being disapointed to see that the new Grainline pattern was a tee shirt, but a few days later I did an abrupt U-turn and decided it would ve worth investing in! I’ve never been 100% happy with how my Renfrew teeshirts fit, and I love all the neckline/sleeve options that Lark has. 

Slightly more ambitious plans now, I would love view B of the ever popular McCalls 6696 shirtdress in this white cotton eyelet that I got from a designer remnants sale earlier in the year. I’m going to make a few changes (mainly taking all that gathering out of the back and removing the yoke) to work with the heavy cotton, but hopefully it works ok!

There is plenty more in the pipeline, but these are the things I’d like to get done first! There is always the possibility of urgent queue jumpers though, so we’ll see…

I also have some unselfish sewing lined up, including a Papercut Patterns Waver jacket in waterproof nylon for my sister (I might make myself one too…) and some Scout Tee shirts for my Mum. 

Looks like stripes and Grainline patterns are going to dominate my sewing for a few months! Are you a planner, or more spontaneous with your sewing?

An awesome surprise

You guys, I won something! I never win anything, but being the eternal optimist I am, I keep entering things just in case…you have to be in it to win it, right? Anyway, the amazing Sonja from Ginger Makes had three Malu Coat patterns from Schnittchen to give away, so I stuck my name in the draw. And then I got an email today to say that I had won one!


I’m really looking forward to making this up! We’re heading out of wool coat weather, but The Fabric Store has some awesome waterproof-coated cotton so I might make a light waterproof jacket. I’ve been wanting a cute raincoat for ages, but there is a serious hole in the Wellington raincoat market. Its impossible to get something that doesn’t look like you’re about to take to the hills for a hard core tramp…not quite the look I’m going for!

So yes, a bit of excitement to liven up my otherwise dull afternoon. Huge thanks to Sonja for hosting the giveaway, and to Silke from Schnittchen for the pattern!

Spring Sewing

Spring is here! I’m furiously plotting my sewing for the next few months, and clearing out my wardrobe. Anything that doesn’t fit, is visibly stretched out of shape or overly shabby, or hasn’t been worn for over 18 months is going in the bin, or to the local hospice shop. I have to make room for all of my new makes somehow!

Tee shirts! I am planning a veritable plethora of Renfrews this spring, and I’m pretty keen to try out the Scout pattern too. All of my tee shirts are looking pretty stretched out and sad, so I’ll need to keep a look out for some nice knits. Especially a good breton stripe, I have a few projects just waiting for the perfect striped knit!


Drapey confortable trousers. I’m thinking of the Tessuti Suzy pants pattern, with the flat front waistband modification I’ve seen a few people make. Again, I’m just waiting to find the perfect fabric! I think a patterned rayon would be perfect, if I can find some.


A lighter jacket. My favourite blazer is in desperate need of a new lining, and I also really like the Tessuti Tokyo jacket. I think if I made up in wool crepe it would be perfect for the random Wellington weather changes!


A spring dress. I already have the BHL Flora pattern and some cotton voile washed and ready to go, so as soon as we get close to bare legs weather I’ll get onto that! I also have the Grainline Alder pattern (in print! Exciting!) and I’m super keen to make up version B with the gathered skirt.


Another archer. I’ve had some orange silk cotton blend earmarked for an Archer since before I made my first version! I think I’ll try it with the curved button band tutorial from Four Square Walls, its a lovely girly variation on the pattern.


A spring skirt. I’d really like a floral floaty skirt, so a knee length Hollyburn in a light cotton would be nice! I’m also seriously loving the Dalloway skirt, the new pattern from Jennifer Lauren Vintage. I’m sure I have room for two skirts in my wardrobe…


A knit dress. Probably another Moneta, in a lighter (hopefully less stretchy) knit than last time! If I can find my perfect breton stripe, I might buy enough for this too.


I have lots of other vague plans swirling around in my head, but these items would fill most of the holes in my wardrobe. A lot of my other ideas will hopefully come to fruition later in the year and over the summer, like the new BHL Holly playsuit and a Papercut Patterns Soma bikini

Also, three posts in a week! I’m definitely procrastinating. Only ~600 words to go…

Professional Attire…

I haven’t been feeling too great this week, I think I have caught the cold that has been doing the rounds at work. This means that I’ve been particularly uninspired to sew as well, all i want to do when I get home is lounge around and read my book. Enter a super simple sewing job that I can do with minimal input from my brain…Scrub hats!


I work in an operating theatre, so of course I wear scrubs all day and have to have my hair covered. Its a pretty great uniform, as far as work attire goes, scrubs are pretty much just pyjamas (and when you get covered in blood or vomit, you just change them and put them in the laundry for the wonderful laundry staff to deal with! Brilliant!), and scrub hats hide all manner of bad hair days. The hats that we are provided with are just paper disposable ones, but I’ve been making my own fabric ones for a few years now. Partly because they fit better (the paper ones are massive, and I have a little head and not a lot of hair to fill it up), and I like having bright colours and patterns to break up all the blue from the scrubs! They’re also really good to distract kids with.


I have a very technical pattern for the hats-I draw around a side plate for the top, and then cut a strip of fabric which is then hemmed and pleated around the circle. Then I thread some elastic into a little under half of the back hem, and repeat! I’ve actually made a paper pattern this time, as a few of my new colleagues have commissioned some hats and I feel that I should try to make them the same as the sample one they tried on…


Trust me, I’m a professional! Honest!

Since this is a bit of a short, boring post, I’ll show off some of the gorgeous new fabric that I’ve bought…


How amazing is this embossed leather?! I have no idea how to sew with it, its quite soft but much thicker than what I (or my machine) am used to. I had to buy it when I saw it in the Fabric Store though, I love the pale blush/nude colour, and the beautiful art nouveau embossing. I think I’ll make it into a clutch, once I figure out how to sew it…


My other stellar purchase (also from the Fabric Store, man I love that place!) is this lovely floral swimsuit fabric. I think I’ll make the bandeau version of the Papercut pattern Soma swimsuit, in about six months when its beach weather again! Its absolutely freezing at the moment, definitely not time to be thinking about making a bikini…

Fabric shopping! (Or, Help! I think I have a Problem…)

Yay! How awesome is this fabric? I’m particularly enamoured with the foxy chiffon, and the wide grey and white lacy stripy knit.

I’ve been seeing everyones posts for Me Made May, and I wish I could join in! Realistically though, I just don’t have enough hand made (cold weather) clothes to join in this year, even if I was only going to wear one handmade item a couple of times a week. So I’m going to spend this month sewing comfy basics that I can put into high rotation in my wardrobe, and hopefully next year I’ll be all set to join in! I’ve got plans for a Grainline Hemlock tee, and also some long sleeved Sewaholic Renfrew tee shirts. I’ve also got some sewing to do for my Mum before she goes on holiday next month, so it won’t be totally selfish sewing (like it usually is!).

Can’t wait to see everyone else’s Me Made May posts!

Planning my winter wardrobe

Its funny, when I started thinking about this blog I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with something new to make every week. Instead the opposite has happened, the more success I have sewing, the more confident I feel, so the more projects I start planning! Its getting to the stage where I think I need to slow down and organise my ideas a bit more, or I’m just going to have a random mishmash of handmade items that I don’t wear. So, for the winter, I would like:

1) A Papercut Patterns Coppelia cardigan

I already have some cherry red merino washed and ready to cut out for this pattern, so its a definite plan! I really wanted a fitted cardigan to go over my dresses for winter, so this is perfect.

2) Some long sleeved tops. I really love the Coco by Tilly and the Buttons, or the Renfrew by Sewaholic. Everyone and their mother seems to have made the Renfrew, so it must be a good pattern, but I think I prefer the Coco. I love a good breton top! I also have Grainline Studios Hemlock printed out, so that’ll get made at some point. I’m thinking a plain front and sleeves, and a floral or otherwise pattered back, if I can find the fabric.

3) A merino knit dress. I’m tossing up between the Lady Skater and the Out and About dress

The Lady Skater is another pattern that seems to be beloved by the online sewing community, but the O&A dress has pockets, tough decisions! Through if I buy the Coco pattern, theres a long sleeved dress option there too…

4) I’m also having feelings about the Rigel Bomber by Papercut.

I’m so not a bomber jacket person, but I’ve seen some awesome versions made up, and I really want something to throw on thats heavier than a cardigan, but lighter than my wool coats (and that isn’t a hoodie). Also, these amazing wools have just arrived at the Fabric Shop, and I cant stop thinking about them…



I also have my Archer pattern cut out and ready to go, but I’m still a bit scared of actually jumping in and getting started. Maybe when I’ve had a few more successes…

So, any opinions/suggestions/tips/tricks for any of the above would be most welcome!