Emily and Zippy a l’orange


How are you? It’s sunny here in England, which is good, because my mood is very dark. I shan’t bang on about it, but OMG we have the worst government ever and they are going to destroy everything we hold dear and all my faith in humanity. I’m moving to Scotland.

Right, now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s get back to fashions.

First of all, some VERY EXCITING news! I have been asked to become an editor of the Curvy Sewing Collective, so will be blogging there much more regularly. I am so delighted by this as I think it is the most inspiring, helpful and friendly sewing site out there, and the ladies who run it are my total sewing heroines. It’s like being asked to sit with the cool girls at school dinners. I will be blogging my beginner’s experiences, pattern reviews and general opinion pieces, so if there is anything you would like to see me write about, just shout.

Secondly, I have made some very summery things.

YES! Culottes!

YES! Culottes!

Here I am ‘modelling’ a See Kate Sew Zippy Top and Itch to Stitch Emily Culottes. They are both brilliant patterns and I think go rather jauntily together.  I made the Zippy top in 2xl in some slightly jailbirdy seersucker, and took the sleeves in a bit as I have no shoulders.

The not so wearable muslin

The not so wearable muslin

It was ok, but a little tight on the hips and I wasn’t so keen on the fabric. I made the next one is some lovely floaty, super fine, soft and drapey orange stuff I bought ages ago and added an inch on to the hips of each piece. I was a bit confused when I made it as the front piece is significantly shorter than the back piece, but it all seemed to work out fine when I sewed it together.


The above picture caused a bit of panic. The shirt has a groovy zip at the back which is good because I may have ordered lots of zip bundles from ebay, and I might just have about 70 metal toothed zips….

I do need to get better at sewing this in straight though

I do need to get better at sewing this in straight though

I used some top stitching thread for the first time just to have a go (I know this isn’t really the right fabric, but I wanted my stitching to match the zip)

Smart straight lines for once

Smart straight lines for once

This top is super comfy and I will probably make a few more, both with and without the zip. I am really enjoying sewing with lots of drapey materials at the moment. Oooooh they feel so nice.


I can't describe how lovely this stuff is

I can’t describe how lovely this stuff is

I bought this fabric ages ago vaguely with a dress in mind, but at $24 dollars a yard (not even a metre!) plus international shipping I only bought two, which isn’t really enough for most plus size frocks. So it lingered in my ‘most special fabrics’ box until the Emily culottes pattern came along. And it is perfect for them.

I made the largest size (20) in my weird starchy heavy polycotton wearable muslin fabric knowing full well that it would be about 6 inches too small round the waist and three inches too small round the hips judging by the size chart. Why did I do this you may ask? The answer is, laziness. I couldn’t be bothered to grade it up for the muslin because I had seen lots of pictures of other people’s culottes and it seemed to have a LOT of ease. So I thought I would give them a try as I like my clothes quite tight anyway, and see what happened. And yes, they are a bit tight around the middle, but they are actually quite wearable and very smart. The starchy fabric makes them very angular and jaunty which I like.

Off to work selfie with Style Arc Rosie top

Off to work selfie with Style Arc Rosie top

I made the version with the pleat  and lengthened  the pattern by about 4 inches

I made the version with the pleat and lengthened the pattern by about 4 inches

I also used this muslin to try out my first ever welt pockets, sliced through my fabric to release the welt and lived to tell the tale. They are so not perfect, but I am THRILLED with them. LOOOK!

Groovy collage of welts

Groovy collage of welts

For the second pair in the glorious, soft, smooth, drapey and lovely to sew silky faille from Spoonflower (I will be bulk buying next time they have free international shipping) I added half an inch into both front and back pattern pieces adding an extra two inches overall, and they are PERFECT. 6 extra inches were not needed. I did also lower the crotch on this pair by about a centimetre, I might lower it by another cm in my next pair just to have a little more room for my bum and tummy, but this is fine.

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I omitted the welt pockets for speed. You can also add cute patch pockets which I will try and the pattern allows for lots of different lengths and a version without a front pleat. The instructions are quite clear and simple to follow. I am so pleased with these. They are comfy, flattering and mean I can have cool bare legs in summer without the dreaded ‘chub rub’ of my thighs. I shall be making more!

Oh and if you wondered where I am for these pictures, it’s the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, where we got married just about this time last year! We went for a little stroll down memory lane: it’s so beautiful. I recommend it heartily to anyone living in or staying in London. I’ll leave you with a few of the things we saw, including A BABY MOORHEN and OTTERS!

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Spring sewing

Hello everyone,

This is a bit of a bonza blog entry because I have been making loads of things and entirely failing to blog about them. I do put lots of stuff up on my instagram, so do follow me there if you are so inclined. I’m sparkleface100.

So what have I made? Loads more stuff for others. I need to stop doing it and be more selfish! I need some warm weather clothes. And some more work clothes. However, I love all the things I have made. Especially things for babies. Babies really do get all the good stuff don’t they?

First up, not for babies, but also kind of for babies is a breastfeeding top for a dear friend. I used the Golden Rippy Cinnabar Sky pattern in a suitably baby sick coloured jersey. Its a very cute and easy to make pattern and though I am not breastfeeding, I think I will make a maxi dress version for myself. You can just sew up the gaps, and the ballerina style wrap top is very cute. Here is is, suitably functionally modelled!

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Next up, a VERY jazzy outfit for the baby himself. This is in the same fabric I made husband’s t-shirt in: a super soft (and horrendous to sew) jersey. It’s a Simplicity Pattern I think,  I will check the number if anyone needs it. I made a babygro and matching hat (not pictured). I think he is going to look very fancy. As as his grandfather said to me at his christening: no one will question who made it for him!


Finally I made the cutest T-shirt ever (if I do say so myself) for a second birthday present for an April (showers) born little boy. I used half a metre of amazing Kitschy Coo organic jersey, and I want to be able to fit into it myself. It’s dreamy, and was lovely to sew. Here we go!


In other news, as well as sewing things for Other People, I’ve been helping Other People sew things for themselves. My awesome friend Anna came round yesterday and made a very cute nautical woven t-shirt (New Look 6217: highly recommended as a beginner pattern) from scratch in three hours including tracing and cutting. I was so impressed. Anna can use a sewing machine and has done some alterations before, but had never made an item of clothing herself. And here she is sewing and modelling. I’m definitely going to make a few of these T-shirts myself.

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Time to stop appearing saintly.

Confession time: I have ENTIRELY failed to stick to my pledge to not buy any more fabrics. I decided I did not have nearly enough summery fabrics and have used this for justifying buying many more fabrics. I’m not buying at the same rate as I was last year, and I have been making some good inroads into my stash, but there is no denying it, I have entirely FAILED at my New Year’s resolution. But oh, oh oh, look at the pretty things I have bought of late.

Swoon (shamefacedly)

Swoon (shamefacedly)

Right. On that embarrassed note I shall love you and leave you. I have also made some lovely things for myself (using stash fabrics, yes!) that I shall post very soon. Until then, happy sewing xxx