The Lounge Lizard Joggers – sewing the Monsal Lounge Pants

As promised, here I am back with another make from earlier this year. Yep, 2020 has definitely been the year of loungewear, and fittingly I’ve made the Monsal Lounge Pants from Wendy Ward’s Sewing with Knitted Fabrics book.

Monsal Lounge Pants in purple French terry

You can find out more about the process of sewing the Monsal Lounge Pants up on my Minerva post here. Interestingly, it’s been a while since I wrote that blog post and when I read it through I discovered that I was absolutely in love with these joggers back when I wrote it. So what changed? Continue reading “The Lounge Lizard Joggers – sewing the Monsal Lounge Pants”

The Lovely Llama Print Toddler Dress and Trousers

Hey everyone! I’m back to blogging regularly by the looks of it. Here’s to keeping up with good habits once the lockdown ends and Christmas preparation goes mental…

Today I’m sharing something I made for Lauren almost a year ago, but which is now up on Minerva’s brand new site here. It’s a super cute dress and trousers made from some awesome llama panel print jersey. They definitely shouldn’t be worn at the same time, though!

Llama panel jersey toddler dress and joggers

The patterns are both from Ottobre magazine: the dress is the Sunray Jersey Dress from 3/2018 and the trousers are the First Steps Pants from 6/2019, both in a size 80 although I lengthened the dress to a 98.

Amazingly enough Lauren does still wear both of these, although the dress is getting too tight for easy dressing and the trousers are starting to look a bit short. I’m seriously considering getting the most out of my makes by finding some co-ordinating stretchy jersey (pretty sure I have some nice grey stuff somewhere) and recutting and binding the neck and armholes to get a few more months use out of the dress. Continue reading “The Lovely Llama Print Toddler Dress and Trousers”

The Stella Hoodie Dress from Tilly Walnes’ Stretch book for Minerva Makers

Phew, that title was a bit of a mouthful! Yes, I’m back and sharing another project made with free fabric from Minerva (in return for a blog post with pics on their site–no obligation to post here). This is one from early in the year–February to be exact–which is now coming back into regular wardrobe rotation. I present to you, the Stella Hoodie dress:

Stella Hoodie Dress from Stretch by Tilly Walnes in grey sweatshirting

You can find the full post with details of the fabric and sewing process over on Minerva here. I’m not 100% sure that sweatshirting with so little stretch was ideal for this project–it’s fine for the oversized look where stretch isn’t necessary, but I prefer something more fitted which means this isn’t as easy as I’d like to take on and off. Still, it’s really comfortable and practical, and makes a lovely snuggly winter dress. Continue reading “The Stella Hoodie Dress from Tilly Walnes’ Stretch book for Minerva Makers”

Hello, blog! I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go…

Sequin Cocktail DressHi everyone, I’m still here, and I’m still sewing!

Yes, 2020 has been quite a year and I don’t think anyone’s going to judge me too harshly for neglecting this little blog. Basically, I have no childcare now (my mum has a serious respitory condition and can’t risk having the kids) and instead am now doing lots of childminding for other people. It’s really nice to not be broke any more (why hello, all you beautiful fabrics I can now afford to buy!) but the flip side is I have hardly any spare time for blogging.

Anyway, I’ve made lots of things and have a backlog to share here. I’m getting them up on the shiny new Minerva site–seriously, it’s awesome!–as there are lots made with fabric I was either gifted by or bought from there. I’ll be blogging all the ins and outs of making them there, but also be doing link posts here where I might say a bit more about how the items are fitting into my wardrobe. I’m still really interested in refining my style and think it’s one of the best ways of creating a sustainable wardrobe. Continue reading “Hello, blog! I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go…”

The Ride-Sallie-Ride Dress – a monochrome Sallie Maxi Dress

Oh wow, what a week….

When I wrote my blog post last week I was in a state of extreme agitation and worry about my mum, who has a chronic lung condition and seemed to be in a state of denial over how serious the COVID-19 threat was. I tried to distract myself by writing a post that didn’t acknowledge the situation in any way, and I hope it didn’t seem too frivolous to be posting sewing projects at this time.

The thing is, I think we need some distraction and things to lift our spirits right now (and for the forseeable future). So I’m going to continue blogging my sewing projects. There probably won’t be many party dresses because I don’t think there are going to be many parties this year. There might be more in the way of practical sewing–I can’t buy toilet roll so who knows, I might have to make washable wipes out of fabric scraps!

I’m less emotionally shaken now that I know my parents are self-isolating reasonably strictly, although I’m somewhat apprehensive about having everyone (including my teacher partner Andy, who also has a lung condition) at home ALL THE TIME. For who knows how long?

I think I’ll be going out for lots of runs and get myself fit again. Also sorting out my garden. Silver linings…

Closet Case Sallie Maxi Dress in Lady McElroy crepe jersey

So without further ado, here’s a share of a Minerva post I wrote some time ago, about my joint favourite dress of last summer. Continue reading “The Ride-Sallie-Ride Dress – a monochrome Sallie Maxi Dress”

The Whatever-the-Weather Cardigan – a Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan for Daisy

I made one of my TNT patterns, the Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan for Daisy. And this post actually went live on the Minerva blog back in July, but hey, I’m sharing it here now. Better late than never!

Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan in Cloud print French Terry

Ah, the Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan. My love for this pattern knows no bounds! Seriously, I wear one of my two versions (blogged here and here) nearly every day, even if that’s just around the house in the evening. And quite often that’s not the case: I’ll be wearing it as part of my outfit for the day.

Why do I love it so much? Continue reading “The Whatever-the-Weather Cardigan – a Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan for Daisy”

The Bits and Bobs Pocket Top – Ottobre

I thought it was about time I shared one of my favourite kids’ makes from last year: the Longline Loop-back Sweater from Ottobre Magazine.

French Terry Ottobre Design Boys Sweatshirt with pocket

This make hit the Minerva blog back in August, but in case you missed it then I thought I’d better link it here. Also, I like to have a record of everything I’ve made on my own blog. The full write up is over there, but I’ve got some more thoughts to add here.

Gabriel loves this top and pleasingly he’s wearing it right now, with no prompting from me. In fact, I’d only just put it back in his drawer clean yesterday, so this is definitely an item of clothing in regular circulation. That’s definitely what you want with kids makes as they grow so fast, it seems a total waste to make something they only get to wear a few times before they grow out of it. Continue reading “The Bits and Bobs Pocket Top – Ottobre”

The (unseasonal) Party Animal Jumpsuit: Closet Case Patterns animal print Sallie Jumpsuit

Yep, this is a very belated sharing of my very last make as part of the Minerva Blogger Network, and it’s the Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit in a rather in-your-face animal print. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Sallie Jumpsuit

The post actually went up in August so I’m more than a little tardy in blogging it here, and it’s definitely not seasonally appropriate (unless you’re lucky enough to live in the Southern hemisphere), but hey, if I’m going to catch up with all the unblogged stuff I’ve got to start somewhere!

There are lots of sewing details on the Minerva post, so I’m going to skip recapping all that and just muse about jumpsuits in general. Continue reading “The (unseasonal) Party Animal Jumpsuit: Closet Case Patterns animal print Sallie Jumpsuit”

The Sewing Bee Zebra Swimsuit: making Butterick B6358

Just popping by to share my latest Minerva Blogger Network post, which is a super-cute zebra print swimsuit, using the now out of print Butterick B6358. You can find out all the nerdy sewing details here: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1005899

Butterick B6358 zebra print swimsuit

This post is also my penultimate Minerva Blogger Network post (for the time being at any rate), as I’ve decided to step down for a while. Continue reading “The Sewing Bee Zebra Swimsuit: making Butterick B6358”

The Black Linen Shirt Dress – Vogue 8903

Hey up! Now that summer seems to finally have arrived in the UK, what better time to share my version of Vogue 8903: a classic shirt dress in black linen. This is my June Minerva Blogger Network make and you can find the full post with lots of nerdy sewing deets here: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1005877

Vogue 8903 shirt dress in black linen

Continue reading “The Black Linen Shirt Dress – Vogue 8903”

The Margo Scuba Skirt: making the Seamwork Margo skirt with scuba crepe

Hello peeps! I’m back with a make I completed back in January, a lovely version of the Seamwork Margo skirt using John Kaldor scuba crepe gifted to me by Minerva in return for a 500+ review with pictures over on their blog, which you can find here: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1005864

Seamwork Margo skirt in navy John Kaldor scuba crepe

Yeah, I made this in January! However,  sometimes those Minerva Fabric Focus blogs can take a long time to make their way onto the blog. Even longer if you’ve been a bad blogger and taken ages to write the post up. In my defense, Daisy had heart surgery just after Christmas so my mind was somewhat preoccupied in the months after.

But what I really needed after the ordeal of Daisy’s surgery and post-operative hospital stay was an easy win. The Seamwork Margo skirt definitely fits the bill! Continue reading “The Margo Scuba Skirt: making the Seamwork Margo skirt with scuba crepe”

The Purple Not-a-Turtle Neck – Seamwork Neenah top hack

Hey peeps, I’ve found a few minutes for a drive-by blog post, so here goes! This is the Seamwork Neenah dress pattern which I hacked into a top. The real star is the John Kaldor Isabella Jersey which I received free from Minerva Crafts in return for writing the post on their blog, which you can find here: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1005865

Seamwork Neenah cowl top in John Kaldor Isabella wool jersey 1

Now, I absolutely love this top and wore it loads before the weather warmed up. Partly it’s that gorgeous colour, partly the Seamwork Neenah pattern, which I know by now works just right for this kind of snuggly, slightly looser but still narrow fitting garment (for other versions and hacks of the Seamwork Neenah, see here and here). But I think the real star is the fabric itself (affiliate link). It’s pretty much the holy grail of garment fabrics for me, as it has that soft drape from the 72% viscose content, the four way stretch and recovery from the hefty 8% elastane, and the snuggly warmth and general resilience from the 20% wool. I still have some decent size scraps from this and over a metre of the gunmetal grey I bought years ago and haven’t dared use yet, so there will definitely be more of this fabric appearing on the blog in the future… once I’ve figured out the perfect patterns for it 🙂

Seamwork Neenah cowl top in John Kaldor Isabella wool jersey #1

Random Musings

I’ve been feeling a little guilty about the fact that I only seem to blog my Minerva makes just lately, and don’t want this blog to come over as some kind of extended advertisement for them. Not that I don’t really appreciate Minerva for all the freebies and buy some fabric from them still in addition to that I receive free, I hasten to add.

But I have been making things that aren’t Minerva makes and with three kids to look after I just don’t find much time for blogging them. I have to blog the Minerva ones and have deadlines, so they always jump to the top of the queue. I’m thinking I might just have to do really short blog posts to clear the backlog of projects. That would make me feel a whole lot better about the situation.

And the fact remains: if it weren’t for my Minerva Blogger Network allowance I wouldn’t be able to sew much. Spare money is hard to come by in this house at the moment, so I really appreciate the chance to splash out on fabrics and patterns I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. I’ve been choosy about my projects, though, and am planning them to be things I really feel a need for in my wardrobe, or that the kids could do with (there are a few kids clothes projects in the pipeline, so watch this space for cuteness!).

I have been thinking about my big stash of old clothes and decent size scraps in the loft, though, and am hoping to get them all sorted through in the next couple of weeks so that I can start using them to make new garments (possibly for the kids as they use smaller pattern pieces) or failing that, something like washable cloth wipes. I’ll let you know how I get on with that one.

Right, I’d better get off as I have to wake a sleeping baby then take the boy to his swimming lesson. Cheerio!

The Skinny Pedal Pushers – Jalie Éléonore Pull-On Jeans

Hi everyone, hope you’re all enjoying Me Made May! This is my fourth year participating and I’m loving it. Tell you what, though, I’m kind of wishing I’d chosen a different challenge as all I want to wear every day is my latest make: these cute and comfy pedal pusher “jeans”. They’re the Jalie Éléonore Pull-On Jeans and I love them to bits! More details on sewing them up over on the Minerva Blogger Network. For rambling thoughts about jeggings, personal style and the like, read on here 🙂

Jalie Eleonore Pull-On Jeans #1

I always used to consider “jeggings” a bit of a dirty word. They were the comical pretend jeans that were a sure sign you were letting yourself go. Then along came child #2, and the delights of maternity jeans. No, seriously, I was a convert. With my first I’d only ever had those weird over-the-bump maternity jeans but second time around I bought a pair of Red Herring jeans that had a soft elasticated waistband, but looked just like regular jeans from there on down. I was smitten. Comfiest jeans EVAH. Continue reading “The Skinny Pedal Pushers – Jalie Éléonore Pull-On Jeans”

The Hoodless Hoodie – my latest Minerva Blogger Network make (Burda Style 6847)

My latest make, Burda Style 6847 (affiliate link) is now up on the Minerva Blogger Network. It’s a casual sweatshirt jacket, and it’s probably one of my favourite makes ever! You can find out all the details of sewing it up over on the Minerva Blog.

Burda 6847 knit jacket

I first saw this pattern on Dr T’s blog when she posted a huge list of patterns suitable for the Dramatic Classic Kibbe type. Without wanting to go into all the theory behind Kibbe and why I think I’m a Dramatic Classic (that’s for another post, at some point soon), the key things Kibbe says about jackets for this type is that they “should be crisp and tailored, with sharp shoulders and elongated line. If unconstructed, they should be very narrow and fall below the break of the hip.” Continue reading “The Hoodless Hoodie – my latest Minerva Blogger Network make (Burda Style 6847)”

The Knot Your Average Top

Okay, this is the last of my catch-up links to Minerva projects I’ve made over the last few months. Phew, now I can start writing posts about all the other things I’ve made and haven’t yet blogged!

Knot Your Average Shirt 5 out of 4 patterns

This is the Knot Your Average Shirt and Dress from 5 out of 4 Patterns and I first made it as a dress a couple of years ago as it’s one of those cunning concealed breastfeeding access patterns. You can find my full Minerva write-up of this top version here: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1005856

I really love wearing this top and I think that’s down to two main reasons. Continue reading “The Knot Your Average Top”

The Spotty Cowl Top

Daydream Patterns Sophia nursing top

This is one of those “whoops, I thought I’d already posted this” posts! Yep, finally sharing February’s Minerva Blogger Network post over here. You can find it at: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1005905

I have to admit, this is not one of my most successful makes and it’s currently in my wadder pile, hopefully to be harvested for fabric to make something more “me”. It’s not the fault of the pattern, which was really well written and fun to make. It’s not the fault of the fabric, which although a polyester (boo!) jersey is really comfortable and pleasant to wear. Continue reading “The Spotty Cowl Top”