Does sewing sometimes just leave you feeling plain stupid?

So, am I the only one who sometimes just feels plain stupid trying to learn a new skill?

This is my second attempt at Seamwork’s Akita top. I was really pleased that I had this much lighter fabric in my stash as much though I loved the colour and print of my previous one, it left me feeling a little bit ‘boxy’. I don’t have all that much experience of sewing with flimsier fabrics, but this was actually really straightforward right up until the bias binding… Armed with a book I received last October as a birthday present (but which mostly features Spring/Summer wear, hence I haven’t used it so far), I attempted this technique at preparing bias binding…

But dear God, this made no sense to me at all! I think the idea is that you do it in a square so that when you cut it, it forms a long, continuous strip as you snake your way down… But I’m using the word ‘think’, as I simply couldn’t do this at all! The first time, to be honest I didn’t measure my two squares exactly, so a little frustrated I discarded these pieces (luckily I had plenty of leftovers), and started again, this time measuring carefully. But I still couldn’t get my triangles to match up as in the illustration, grrr…. I even left it a couple of hours before returning with fresh eyes, but nope, this was totally beyond me!

Annoyed by now (and left just feeling plain stupid) I resorted back to cutting simple, long strips. Even this wasn’t easy though as the fabric was so flimsy, it proved really difficult and fiddly feeding it through my new bias binding gadget. I think possibly I need one in a wider width for this kind of fabric which doesn’t hold the creases as easily? I vowed I wouldn’t be doing this again with such fabric, but actually on reflection, the finish looks so neat that, much though I hate to say it, it was probably worth the pain…

For me, this style works much better in a lighter-weight fabric (and tucked in). I’m really pleased with this, as not only does it go perfectly with my old, faithful BHL Charlotte skirt, as seen in these images, it looks like it will need to go nowhere near an iron either 🙂

Again, I failed miserably at completing this in the approximated time, but only because of the darn, bias binding! Grrr…

Pattern: Seamworks Akita Top


Adjustments: none

Soundtrack: Birdy Birdy



A Stash-Busting Burda 7175


I came across this left over fabric from my BHL Charlotte, whilst I was tidying up my sewing stuff a couple of weeks ago. While there was a fair bit left, try as I might I couldn’t quite get a whole top out of it. Despite this, I figured it was the perfect fabric for another Burda 7175. My navy version (also in a tweed fabric) is probably one of my most worn, handmade tops. I also get a lot of wear out of my knitted version, see here. So off I went to Leon’s in Chorlton to try and match it up… But my options were disappointingly limited. I needed something of a similar weight, but in a contrasting colour. The lilac tweed actually features an array of lovely colours, but I just couldn’t find any of them annoyingly. Eventually I plumbed for this kind of deep- rose coloured, ‘fake’ tweed, but I was pretty unconvinced by the quality of it to be honest. In its defence it was pretty cheap, but it’s got a kind of nasty shine to it. With no other options, I thought it was at least worth a go.

Since I’ve made this top up twice before, the process was pretty quick and easy. I’m regretting not buying any lining fabric for it though, as I’ve got those nasty facings again. However in a thicker fabric, they do tend to sit a little better. On this version I decided to omit the slit details on the front. While I love the detail, it does require you to wear it with something pretty high-waisted post-children, and I only really have one pair of jeans that cover me up enough for comfort. It’s a little boxier without the slits, but I think that kind of suits the style. I used a fancy zip on the back to try and ‘pretty up’ the fake tweed, which I do like, but you can probably just about make out that I still need to finish the bottom of the zip by hand. I couldn’t quite get my machine needle in close enough.

I love this top from the front and it goes really well with my white jeans, but I’m less convinced by the back! I guess that’s the right way round at least! Excuse the bad, selfie-stick images, but it’s pretty tricky getting a photo of the back whilst holding it (monkeys both at school). What do you think? Does this top work? Maybe if I avoid showing anyone my back? Walk around backwards at all times? 😉


The Ho-Hum Top


I thought this easy, ‘no pattern‘ pattern (!) would be a really practical way of using up a pretty-much-drawer-full of leftover knits I’ve accumulated from recent makes. I’m trying to be good and make space before going out to purchase more. We’ll see how far I get with that one… It was a free , ‘beginner make’ featured in Sew Home and Style magazine (April 2015, ‘draped top’). A cowl neckline is not something I’d ever really considered trying (although I do have Colette’s Myrtle lined up in my sewing queue), however Lucy over at LoveLucie.wordpress has made a couple of lovely ones recently, so I thought I’d give it a go.


But I’m not terribly convinced. Not sure if it’s the colour, which feels jarringly bright next to my face (even though it goes nicely with the blossom tree in the background) or the style. Maybe a combination of both? I didn’t have any ‘fusible hemming tape’ so just used my overlocker. The seam allowances were huge and I ended up hacking a lot of them off on said overlocker, especially around the shoulder area. The results are far from pretty, which left me feeling annoyed, as I’ve gotten much better at this recently. To be fair, they do describe it as a ‘loose fitting’ style, so maybe if I reduced the width measurements, it might prove more flattering? It would have been really nice to have been able to have used up my spare knits to sew up a host of these for work, but now I’m really not convinced I can be bothered. Has anyone else tried this ‘pattern’ with better results?