Simple Home Projects

I’ve been up to my neck marking at home for the last couple of days, whilst simultaneously smoothing feuds been my two children who are on half term this week, but I thought I’d share a quick and simple home project I completed a while ago.


These little beauties hang on the back of our wardrobe door and I use them constantly for separating ‘delicates’ (and fragile home sewn items…) from the rest of the wash. I used a couple of ‘granny chic’ pillowcases I picked up for practically nothing at a local charity shop. They even had a lovely ‘crispness’ to them, so suspect they’d hardly ever been used. The tutorial I used (somewhere on the internet, but I just googled and there’s a whole host of them out there) involved simply chopping off some of the length, re hemming and adding a contrasting ribbon to the top. I had some lovely, old lace in exactly the same muted colour in my stash (another charity shop find) so added this too. I think they make a welcome splash of colour to our muted colour scheme.

I even made a couple of very quick and simple ‘bird’ lavender bags (using Cath Kidston’s Sew template) to use up the cut off fabric, so my awaiting laundry smells good too.

Sometimes the simplest makes are the most satisfying ūüôā



Guilty Sewing Confession No 1*

Ok, I’ll come clean… This is the first project where I’ve actually…. well, you know…¬†actually¬†followed the instruction to pre wash¬†my fabric before sewing! I know, this could have been disastrous, but my impatience to actually just get sewing has always got the better of me. Given that I’ve mostly sewn skirts in the past, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I only actually wash skirts if I absolutely have¬†to, I’ve gotten away with this. (I have two small children so the poor washing machine has been on pretty constantly since they arrived on the scene without me adding needless extras). Well, so far nothing’s shrunk in the wash, fingers crossed…

Anyway, this was my first attempt at an actual ‘blouse’ rather than a top and my chosen fabric was a white cotton with a raised blue dot (Swiss dot?) so I figured it’d better get used to being washed. My pattern of choice was¬†Colette’s Sencha¬†1007. I originally intended to sew up version 1, but then got tempted by version 2 half way through, but chickened out of doing actual button holes, so ended up with a version somewhere between the two.


I added a¬†Brigitte Scarf¬†from Tilly Walnes’ free tutorial to celebrate the launch of her first book #LoveAtFirstStitch,¬†as I wasn’t entirely happy with the ‘plainness’ of the finished front. Maybe it’s the pretty high neckline, I’m not sure, but I just felt it needed ‘something’, hence the addition of a pretty large necklace too. I like the¬†air hostess¬†look on the right, but actually went with the¬†pirate-style¬†waist sash for the rest of the day. I guess I was in a more¬†swashbuckling type of mood ūüôā

The main body of this sewed up pretty quickly, so lived up to its ‘beginner’ tag. However there was a whole lot of hand sewn ‘catch stitching’ that slowed me down. I had to google it, as it’s not a term I’d come across before. My sleeve hems weren’t quite as invisible as I’d have liked, but I got the hang of it on the back openings. I don’t mind doing a bit of hand sewing, but this did seem a bit excessive to me. Not sure if there’s a way round this for future projects?

On the plus side this was the first time I’d attempted applying facings to a neckline and this went pretty well. They did kind of just ‘hang’ there though, and I ended up sewing the ends into the back opening to stop them swinging out. Not entirely sure if I was supposed to do this?

I really had a hankering for covered buttons for this top, another first. To say they were fiddly was an understatement, even with the ‘covered button’ apparatus, but we (I roped both my mum and my husband into helping me ‘click’ them on) got there in the end.

My automatic button hole foot was clearly designed for ‘normal’ buttons however, and despite consulting numerous books and blogs I was still pretty mystified as to where to start, so I cheated and just used poppers. If anyone can point me to a good tutorial on button holes I’d greatly appreciate it as I don’t want to continue avoiding any patterns with buttons for too long.


Please excuse the incredibly creased shot above. Granted I should have taken the photographs at the beginning and not the end of a day’s wear. It was also beginning to spit heavily at this point, hence the scarecrow, windswept hair.

I’m pretty pleased with this overall, but I’d definitely try a different version for the front alone, to avoid such a high neckline next time. My body measurements don’t quite ‘fit’ Colette sizes. I cut a size 4, as I did for their¬†Ginger Skirt,¬†which seemed to work out, though not quite as well as their skirt.


*As I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last…

MMMay14 Week 4

I’m beginning to think I may have set my MMMay pledge a little too low as I’ve at least met, if not overachieved my aim each week. And believe me overachieving isn’t a term I’d have applied to myself in the last few years since having kids, more like just-about-achieving! Well, at least I have a benchmark for next year now.


Enjoying Tatton Park in the sunshine, wearing my denim, Colette Ginger¬†skirt,¬†fast becoming a favourite. This was prior to my MeMade mishap…

Debuting my Colette Ginger in navy linen (above right).


Excuse the bad lighting on this one, grabbed a quick photo first thing, before work. Wearing unblogged Sewing Bee Circle skirt and matching Colette Sorbetto top (I had plenty of leftover fabric).

And finally braving the rain, and yes, this is more typical of our usual Manchester weather, though the sun has made a welcome change these past couple of weeks. Wearing my navy, linen Colette Ginger skirt (again), for work.

Another week of skirts (and a clear ‘blue’ theme). Clearly, along with dresses, the most used items in my wardrobe, especially if it’s term time and I’m at school. So I guess my sewing projects have been pretty spot on, if a little ‘dressy’ at times perhaps, but so be it!

Me made wardrobe gaps identified so far? Sleeves! And knits (eek! I really am going to have to bite the bullet on this one). There’s also a noticeable lack of trousers, but as the only ones I actually wear tend to be jeans at the weekends, I’m going to totally disregard this one as they’re so far beyond my skills set at the moment.

So, the twin needle beckons… Cue drum rolls and theme music from¬†Jaws ūüôā