Simplicity Bloggers Challenge 


Having just started a blog it was great timing when I saw the simplicity challenge and an even bigger bonus was the free pattern they provided.  Having a love of vintage & a shortage of tops in my wardrobe I choose the vintage make category; the lovely Simplicity 1364 pattern arrive promptly at my door.  
This is a lovely easy make with flattering French darts so decided I wanted to keep the front as it is but add swing & length to the back so out came the tracing paper & pencil. 


Slicing the pattern from just below the armhole level, spreading out the bottom edge to give extra volume to baseline & then drawing the hemline shape required. 

As my fabric was reasonably sheer I decided to line the body of the garment, therefore I eliminated the need for the facings by attaching the lining to the main fabric around the neck edge & back opening. Clipping seams where needed & top stitching close to seamline to prevent lining showing at edge.   

  I like the use of buttons with loops as a closure. A loop turner means it’s easy to make neat thin tubes from a bias strip of fabric, I can’t believe how much I used to struggle before finding this fantastic little tool! 

With the fabric being fine I opted to use a fine machine overcast stitch to finish the hemline then added a button hole in each side seam so the belt could be worn in various ways; by threading belt though buttonholes the top can be worn belted at front but with back outer fabric still free. 

  So that’s my updated vintage make, feels lovely to wear & easy to dress up or down. The simplicity 1364 is a fantastic versatile pattern that I’m sure I will use repeatedly……thanks Simplicity 😃 

    Think the daft dog is attempting to photobomb here!    

One I made earlier…

where did the last week go….sewing todo list didn’t get anything crossed off! 

I was lucky enough to squeeze in a few hours with my daughters & grandkiddes😀 though and it was seeing my daughter walking down the town sporting her baby carrier & changing bag that prompted me to show you this one I made earlier. 

When grandbaby no2 was on her way my daughter was searching for a bag big enough to hold all the paraphernalia needed for a newborn as well as all the bits she was already carting around for a 20 month old. 

So I came up with this…. 


Basically 2 bags in one. The front & back were 2 squares, joined around 3 sides then squared off at bottom corners to give a flatter base. The inside consisted of 2 smaller bags made of a wipe clean fabric  with the top flaps sewn in between them before attaching to outer fabric.

The lovely cotton fabrics used were just remnants I found at a little local shop, which I interlined with a heavier woven fabric to add strength. I was really pleased with how they contrasted but pulled together with the bright bias detail. 

The bag has been well used & still going strong 6 months on. With dinosaurs on one side it’s boyish enough for daddy to happily carry too….not sure I’ve seen him wearing the baby wrap carrier though😃



The Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibition is definitely worth a visit if your looking for inspiration. His journey from an apprentice tailor to innovative designer where his collections expressed influences of history & nature displayed in his distinctive silhouettes. 

I loved being able to see up close how the clothes were constructed to compliment the body form. Although many, such as the ones made of shells or ones with antlers, are not what you could walk down the street in (mind you working in Totnes nothing would surprise me!) I could see how elements were transferred from the catwalk to mainstream. My inspiration came from the collection based on McQueen’s Scottish heritage.  


I love the mixture of wool tartan & lace in the Widows of Calloden collection so there was my spark of inspiration….

  A high waisted skirt with the addition of lace & leather. I’ve made this skirt before, lengthening it to below the knee, & find the shape flattering but this time I wanted the design at an angle so it was a bit of an experiment to see if it would work on a bias cut.    


The tartan was a remnant that has been tucked away in a box for years. Once sewn the lace was draped & pinned in place before cutting the randomly shaped edge which was then stitched in place with black then contrast thread before adding a leather appliqué….cut from remains of a leather jacket that the daft dog took a dislike too😕 


So that’s my McQueen inspired skirt. Really enjoyed experimenting & only thing I would change is the zip. Having put an invisible zip in the side seam it doesn’t lay flat due to bias cut so considering removing it, adding more leather appliqué with eyelets for a a lace up closure  


fabric, fabric, fabric…

I’d heard so much on Twitter from other sewers about the wonders of fabric shops in Goldhawk Road, London so on my recent visit it just had to be my first stop and what a wonder it was! So many shops to choose from (I couldn’t choose so just had to pop in them all😃) Like a kid in a sweet shops with so much on offer….silks, lace, linens, leather…I just couldn’t decide so ended up with nothing. Next time I shall know to go with a shopping list. 

Another day another street. So day 2 off to Soho to visit Berwick Street. Now here I did find some bargains at the fantastic Cloth House. Unfortunatly they were closing one of their shops but luckily for me that ment there were rolls & rolls of fabric from only £1 per metre so it would have been rude not to…. 

Jersey, crepe & a couple of slinky metalics…3mts of each. What to make????