The Polly Goes Gingham


This is my second attempt at ByHand London’s Polly Top. The first one needs a little reworking before I venture out in public in it. After completing this second version, I think it was my previous fabric choice that didn’t really work out the first time around. I’m slowly getting better at matching fabrics to patterns…

This was a free downloadable pattern (hurrah!), which is a bit like a giant jigsaw putting it together, but a bit tricky to keep to your selected size once you start cutting it out, especially the odd piece which you only need a tiny corner from. I originally cut a size 10, which was perfect for the Charlotte skirt, but far too loose in this design, so this time I cut an 8. Truthfully, I think I’m probably somewhere between the two, I can just about get this over my head.

I’ve tried making my own bias binding in the past and failed miserably, so this time I simply bought some ready made and it went in without a hitch. The contrasting fabrics are a bit out of my comfort zone but I actually think I’ll get lots of wear out of this item 🙂

Now I need to go back to my first version and attempt to rework it…



Silver Spots and Lace


I picked up this bargain of a skirt for just £4.50 from the Didsbury Cancer Research shop. It’s a Jaeger Boutique skirt, so lovely quality and I strongly suspect never actually been worn. It was however a size too small and incredibly short. I though it was worth a gamble though and I’m so glad I picked it up.

I originally thought I’d attempt to add either some black lace or even a contrasting ribbon, but when I got it home and had a rummage through my trimmings box, I remembered the silver lace from my previous upcycling project. It matched the silver thread of the spots perfectly and I had just about enough.

So I simply unpicked the hem, which gave me an extra inch and a half, then carefully pinned and hand-sewed the lace to the wrong side of the skirt. Simple but effective. As for the waist, I simply moved the button back along the waistband to increase its width.

Unbelievably, the sun is still out, hence the sunglasses. It’s probably more of a Winter, or even Christmas wear item, but I’ve no doubt the Manchester drizzle will be back with us before long so I might manage an outing in this before next Winter.



The Charlotte in Springtime


Yes, you guessed it… it’s another ByHand London Charlotte 🙂

in my defence unlike its predecessors this definitely heralds in Spring. I think three must be my lucky formula when it comes to reproducing patterns, because this one came together surprisingly easily. The main part of the skirt was pretty speedy to make up, although this fabric did fray rather alarmingly. I’m hoping it doesn’t integrate once I start wearing it…

I added the ruffle this time just to try to make it a little different from the earlier two. I’m pretty sure I must have missed an instruction or two out whilst I was following the online tutorial though, as I couldn’t fit it to the right hand side of the fabric at all. I also needed it a lot shorter as well, due to my limited height so I had to improvise a bit, but I think I just about pulled it off. This is by far my neatest hand sewn item so far and I’m really pleased with it.

I even added the lace trim to the waist, which I had in my stash. I was inspired by the beautiful Notre Dame skirts from Bodenbut as I didn’t have the right shade of grosgrain ribbon, I though this lace would do just as well.

My only reservation with this make that is that it’s ended up being pretty dressy. I had planned to wear if for work, but it’s ended up a bit ‘wedding’-y. I’ll have to play around a bit with dressing it down. I’m thinking grey knitwear to avoid it straying into ‘mother of the bride’ territory, not that mothers of the brides can’t look great of course, but at the grand old age of 41 too ‘classic’ can have the habit of making me look a bit dowdy…


Thank you daughter for the photos again!

Jumper Hobbs, shoes and necklace M and S.