Wearing my heart on my sleeve…

… or my love of sewing at any rate!

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I popped into our local HobbyCraft last weekend to pick up some back-to-school supplies for the monkeys and saw this fabric. I’ve never purchased fabric here before, and it certainly wasn’t cheap, but on a whim I bought it 😉

After my last, excruciating make, this lovely, crisp bolt of fabric just wouldn’t let me walk on by.


I wasn’t too sure what to make with it, but flicking through my patterns, I happened upon Colette’s Sencha. I’ve made this once before, see here and couldn’t quite remember why I hadn’t made another. Half way through I remembered, all the hand sewing, that’s why… I did consider ignoring the instructions and machine stitching the sleeves, but as I’d already sewn up the side seams, it was too late! I must remember to do them first next time.

This time around, I plumped for version 2, deciding to tackle those dastardly button holes. I had a trial run on a scrap piece of fabric and then went for it. Not sure what I was scared of really, if you have an automatic buttonhole foot the machine really does do all the work for you 🙂 The only nerve-wracking bit was slicing through with my scissors. Sharon of Petiteandsewing suggested getting a buttonhole chisel (thank you), and I have one on my ‘birthday wish list’ for the end of next month, so fingers crossed! I’ve clearly positioned them a little too far in, but other than that I’m pretty pleased with them.

This print is a little busy for me, but I still couldn’t resist a little, lace trim. Seriously, I think it must be linked to my sweet tooth gene. I simply can’t resist, and it did match up really well…

I paired it with some dark, denim jeans in these photos which calms the print down a little. I’m not fully convinced it’s really me, but it was a pure pleasure to sew with, which I think I deserved after my last project. Maybe next time I’ll try it untucked. And now, I even match my header 😉



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 #LoveAtFirstStitchas 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 🙂

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…