Top 5 Misses 2014

I’ve been really enjoying reading about everyone else’s hits and misses of 2014, so it was only a matter of time before I joined in (thanks for the nudge Barbara). First up of the misses had to be my most painfully, frustrating sew of the year… My 70s Clemence… An absolute bu**er of a make…imageimage

Next up had to be BHL Elisalex, which didn’t work on so many different levels: length, fit, finish… However, with a little help from my internet friends 🙂 there was a happy ending to this miss, see here.

Next up was my BHL Polly top. A great, free pattern, but unfortunately one that just didn’t suit me at all. I was really pleased with my neat curve and navy lace, but it was off to the local charity shop for this one 😦 Hopefully it’s found a more suitable home since…


Fourthly (this fabric must have been jinxed), was my cerise, linen Delphine. This was far too short for comfort. Other than that, I was quite pleased with this, but I’ve shamefully never worn it. I remember thinking I’d add some navy lace to the hem to attempt to lengthen this slightly, so definitely a project to return to next Spring…

And lastly,


I really did did love this Colette Ginger, but it just wasn’t well made, hence my disaster and patch-up. I have learnt to slow down and improve my finish since, but I had to admit defeat eventually and convert it into a skirt for my daughter instead, so not a total disaster 🙂

We had our first snow of the year tonight, so the thing I notice most in these photos is the beautiful weather, and yes, these really were all taken in Manchester! Seriously, I was as shocked as anyone that we had such a lovely, prolonged Summer 🙂 Seems like a long time ago, which is good in a way as that means most of my misses were from a while ago. But now I’ve probably jinked myself completely, especially when I think about my aim for the next year: to conquer my fear of trousers…

And lastly, one of these misses will actually make it into my hits list too, can you guess which? If you can bare the excitement, stay tuned 😉

Many thanks to Gillian from for hosting 🙂



Learning Restraint, Part I

So back in the Summer, I placed myself on a no-fabric and no-pattern-buying ban 😦 I’d been driven to despair over the state of our spare room/office/my sewing room and the amount of ‘stuff’ we’d accumulated. Over the last three months I’ve been slowly clearing the clutter and attempting to tidy up or use up my sewing stash. And I’ve survived it (I’m clearly and wilfully ignoring my unplanned purchase of the two Sew Over It patterns at IWM North a few weeks ago), just 😉

And despite my initial grumbling (I’ll be honest, I really like selecting a specific fabric for a specific pattern), I actually began to enjoy the challenge. I also (probably) saved myself a small fortune, as the way I see it, all of the below projects, with the exception of the odd zip here and the odd length of elastic there, were free.

In the light of the start of the silly season, I thought it a good time to reflect on what I’d achieved on my self-inflicted diet, before I give some serious thought to any future sewing-related purchases…

So I managed to make four new tops: three for myself and one for my daughter:



See here, here, here and here for making details.

I made two versions of the Megan Dress; the second version fitted perfectly:


See here and here for making details.

I made three skirts: one for myself and two for my daughter. I’m not allowing myself to count my Tweed Delphine, see hereas I bought the material specifically for that project, much though I was tempted to add it to the list 😉


image image

Oh, and a ridiculously small pin cushion. See here, here, here and here for details.

I now have some seriously tidy sewing drawers, fabrics carefully sorted by type, get me! I still have a small stash of Summer-weight fabrics to use up, but inspiration for using these up is, quite frankly, totally beyond me now it’s truly Winter here in the UK.


I much prefer dressmaking to scrap-busting, but I also ran up these as token Christmas gifts for various friends and my #sewingsanta recipient (I’m hoping she doesn’t inspect my hand sewing too carefully…).

I’m chomping at the bit to go on a fabric/pattern binge, but I’m forcing myself to give some serious thought to what projects I tackle next. Restraint doesn’t come easily to me, but I’m getting there very slowly…


Why I love this little corner of the internet…

My husband often mocks my ‘imaginary friends’ I’ve made through blogging, but he’s really missing the point of why this little, tiny corner of the internet is so fab 🙂 When I posted about a recent make that came out far too small, I was genuinely amazed at how many people offered their reassurance and advice. And what great advice too! My previously unwearable make, see here, that I had resigned myself to packing away until next Spring to fret about, suddenly became easy to rescue. And here she is…


The simple but revelational (to me), advice of removing the sleeves worked in lessening the ‘pull’ across my chest. I then neatened up the side seams, made some additional bias binding (not my favourite of tasks, but I can see I’ve improved a little), and attached accordingly. It’s now wearable, hurrah! Thank you Thimberlina ( 🙂 The idea of inserting a couple of lace panels along the side seams would have been my next step, totally in-keeping with the theme of the top (if tops have themes!?!) had this not fully worked, thank you Teri (

So my daft husband can laugh all he likes (what do men ever know anyway?), but I love being involved in such a supportive and inspiring community. Thank you to anyone who reads or leaves comments (and for the links to leggings patterns) They really are much appreciated 🙂


Incidentally, you may have noticed my new BFF. I’m naming her Betty, after both my unplanned pattern purchase last week, see here, and a discussion of a certain, famous tea and cake emporium with Amanda of which I was conducting while putting her together at the weekend 😉 I love how ridiculously tiny her waist was before I adjusted her to my, ahem, more ‘realistic’ measurements. Sorry Betty, but if we’re going to be best friends you’d better get used to the cake…