It’s Curtains……..


Please groan quietly at the back there…..

The next 2 projects, (31 and 32 by my counting) to show you were done during the chaotic decorating and trying to sort the house out of the summer.

The first pair I made were for my eldest daughters room. She is 10 and this is quite a tricky age. She has moved on from the pink, (thank god), glittery (hurray), princesses (reality bites, there is no Prince Charming) phase, but haven’t got a sense of herself yet and isn’t costing me a fortune in clothes just yet. (last week, I introduced her to e-bay, it went well!)

So, overall I was delighted when she chose the fabric she did, it is very colourful and cheerful, but isn’t girly or childish.


We went for straightforward lined curtains with triple pleat tape. Easy to make, (measure twice, cut once) and didn’t take hours. I did hand sew the hems and lining to the edges and it made all the difference, so I will be doing that again!


The second pair of Curtains ( I really know how to live it up, don’t I?) was for my room, we swapped bedroom with one the children (my clothes hang in a wardrobe for the first time 18 years). The bedroom is at the back of house and feel very overlooked, so we decided on a net to provide some modesty.

I HATE NETS!!!, there has been much talk of Voile, not nets between Mr Sarah and myself, we have a Voile. My reason for the dislike? (I am not the curtain police) the 100% polyester involved and the patterns.

So; I have made a very simple piece of white muslin to hang. Obviously I couldn’t leave it there, you may have noticed how difficult I keep making things for myself. So I added a simple crochet edge using blanket stitch to anchor a line of double crochet for a lovely finished edge.

They are hanging up and do the job really well.

More sewing on going…….
back soon

Sarah xx


It’s all in black & white / cycling fabric, how exciting!

It’s all in black & white / cycling fabric, how exciting!



Life is currently in monochrome. The 2 things (projects 29 & 30 if I’m counting) I’ve made his week have both, completely coincidentally, been white and black.

I’ve started in a new role at work recently and feel the need for some smarter clothes. This fabric was from one of the lovely local fabric shops; The Patchwork Dog and Basket. I love cycling, I love my bike, I saw the fabric, the idea formed and the fabric was in my grubby little paws faster than you can say “Impulse Purchase”.


The pattern was an adjustment of one of my favourites, the Butterick dress pattern I used for Project 1. I realise that my love of collar and cuffs clearly ages me. I love the contrast of the same fabric in white / black and black / white.

Some close up of the collar and cuffs, you can get a much better view of the fabric. I added a covered button to the cuff for contrast.



I really like this; if I’m being hypercritical, I would have added another couple of inches to the length and reduce the bust (how I wish I could reduce my own bust….). But I really really like this and have some other fabric lined up which may become version 2 with tweaks.

This top is really why I love sewing, my eye saw some brilliant fabric (did I mention I am a mad cycling lady?), I’ve made it into something unique to wear. WIN WIN is the phrase to use.


The second item made this week is a nod towards the dreaded C word as I start to look at things I can make for family, friends etc. This is a very simple table runner and these are lovely to make and give as gifts. I had the fabric from a previous project and this wasn’t made with anyone on mind, just as an idea of how effective it would be. A simple rectangle of fabric and backing, I sometimes find these quite stressful as there sewing has to be poker straight and needs excessive concentration. The other things it needs is careful wielding of the iron, which I use with a bamboo  knitting needle (metal conducts heat) to poke corners and flatten edges to iron. The finishing part of these which I think just adds the extra “you can’t buy this in the shop” oomph is the hand finished crochet edge.

The labour of love aspect to doing this is that to get a nice even crochet I needed to edge the whole runner in blanket stitch which needs each stitch to be measured. I measured each stitch at ~5mm, this took ages as the runner was 1.5 long (for the maths orientated of you this equated to about 700 measured blanket stitches). I then put a row of double crochet into the blanket stitch and added a shell edge stitch at each end of the runner.

I confess, I am having 1 of my semi regular phases of “I really must set up an easy / folksy shop to see if this will sell”. I am still pondering this and would be keen to have any feedback from those of you who have.

Next for me:

I bought some wool from the new range carried at the new knitting shop in Lewes!! The Knitting Basket. I am going to give plug for this lovely shop and a plea to anyone who reads this to use their local yarn and fabric shops where possible.

I have some fabric which is likely to become another top

I also have a MASSIVE heap of thing which need mending / altering which I may tackle (I have already mended jeans for Mr S, put a new zip in a skirt for me and repaired a tear in some trousers)

I finally cracked and bought the Collete sewing book so this is likely to feature soon

Keep on sewing!





This may be familiar


Yes, you will probably recognise the fabric from an earlier project. a dress (project 12) which was a lovely dress but in the wrong fabric. The dress has now moved to the “let me think about it” pile. I did, however, really really like the fabric and so did Mr Sarah. So I have made another shirt for him.


We had some pattern alteration as I lengthened the shirt by 4 inches and lengthened the sleeves by 2 and a half inches. He asked for a shirt he could wear to work with a suit, but that wouldn’t necessary need a tie. The fabric does crease easily, but this is less of a problem, on a shirt. I also starch the collars and cuffs of shirts which really helps.

So 1 happy husband, 1 project which isn’t a disaster after killing the jacket (I may return to this at a later stage).


The first U. F. O. of 2012


Well, it had to happen, a complete failure; to the point where me attempts to remedy is really beyond the pale, the current and frozen in time state look like this;




This was the jacket from the bag of shame, I have never made a jacket before or done any piping, why oh why I thought I could this would be fine. Although this isn’t what broke me.

I worked out how to do the piping, I even have a piping foot ( naturally). the jacket pieces went together feel.  The jacket collar was very very difficult. It took about 3 hours to get the collar and piping all correct. At 1 point it looked like this on the inside;


which just made my head hurt, however, with some very careful tacking and sewing and curve clipping, I managed to get the collar looking like this (not pressed) which I was generally happy with, some time spent with the rion and a wet pressing cloth would have sorted this out nicely;



I was working on the sleeves at the same time as working on the collar. I pinned and tacked the sleeves in place, they looked a bit odd. I tried it on, oh dear, oh oh dear indeed. The shoulder was about an inch and a half too wide, the wrongly set arm was hanging down my arm, the shoulder was not sitting anywhere near my actual shoulder. I have been here before, trying to trim shoulders without affecting the bust fit (which is actually very good) is difficult and I am very sharply reminded how much in need of a pattern cutting course I am. 

So, I confess, I am beat!, this is going to UFO pile. The first one of 2012, which is not shocking bad (I will tell myself this as I go to bed).

I would be greatly cheered if anyone has a remedy to this….



This week, I’ve been mainly knitting footwear



This week has been socks and booties (with a bag of shame last night to round the week off).

I finally finished the jaywalker socks, everyone , and I mean EVERYONE on Ravelry has knitted a pair of these and actually I can see why. Simple to knit, but really effective when finished.

Knitted in Wendy Happy, 1 ball with lots left to spare (ah ha!, my next dishcloth is taken care of). I can’t belive how effective the striping was with such a simple stitch. They are slightly long (about 1 cm / half an inch) on first wearing, but once they’ve been through the wash a couple of times, they will be just perfect.

I have previously knitted socks for myself and something has gone wrong, so actually I am also delighted these are so nice.

The next footwear is a pair of baby booties for y friends new son, Soren.

They are both old ravers and these reminded me of a pair of adidas. I have knitted these before for babies and they always go down well. They take about 2 hours each, but the i-cord takes more patience than I sometimes have, I usually motivate myself that the finished effect is worth the effort.

The pattern was from the huge and ever growing stash of knitting magazines I am accumulating. Whilst I rarely buy “Women’s magazines”, I do find knitting and some sewing magazines hard to resist. They seem to have a higher content to advertising ratio than others, and I recently bought a stash from my friend and someone at work donated loads of old pattern books his wife no longer wanted, Rowan and Jaegar patterns books I would never buy.

So, by my reckoning, this is project 25 and 26. I must confess, I realised sometime ago that I will make 40 things this year. So now the panic has subsided and I’m trying to enjoy the process a bit more. I also confess I’ve stopped measuring against  the tally chart Suze and I set ourselves and not worrying about the spend. I am such a spendthrift I have now doubt I am keeping costs low.  (I must tidy the web pages up to reflect this).

I was very quiet in the sewing and blogging front in July and part of August. This was mainly down to my avid viewing of the Tour De France and also we were decorating and living in chaos. How this has settled down and we are a bit more back to normal, having finished the booties, I dug out a “bag” which had been tidied away during the decorating. I had started a semi-fitted jacket and was forcing myself to have a go at piping. I will get going on that next.

There is more catch up blog to do about 2 other things I’ve finished, It has been a lot of homewares of late, but as I’ve been trying to make the house a bit more our home, this has been reflected in my crafting.

I am always happy for feedback, comments, things you’d like me to show / talk about. Please get in touch.








Mum, I really liked the chinese fabric……can you make me something with this, please?


My heart sank.

Eloise rarely asks for anything, she had asked me to make her “nice top” (her words, not mine). I should have guessed what was coming, as she repeatedly came downstairs (where I do my sewing) and kept stroking the spare fabric of Alix’s dress, I just ignored this.

So, when the request was made, I tried my hardest to suggest different fabrics or a style of top that needed different fabric. The reality was that I was always going to fold.

On the up side, having worked with this fabric before, I knew what was needed (iron-on interfacing and working quickly at the fiddly bits, Eloise had chosen a square neck top with gathered sleeves.

The top required a fully lined yoke, which I always find a bit fiddly and clipping the corners in fabric which frays is always a challenge (read nightmare). The sleeves also needed careful handling and quite frankly, if I didn’t have the overlocker to finish seams and edges, I fear all may have been lost.

However, the finished top was very nice, Eloise is happy and wore it to a recent concert where she needed smart clothes (I’m not sure about the white trainers she wore with it, but what do I know? I am mum)


P.S. The red bum bag was something she HAD to wear.



That’s what friends are for………


For the next project (number 23), my friend Alix had a birthday recently, she asked if I would make her a dress. As we are all ladies of a certain age, she wanted something that captured her spirit to mark the passing of a birthday.

We had a long chat about what is was she wanted in terms of  style, fabric,  colour etc. As I’ve only made things for myself and the children / husband / house, this was new territory for me, asking someone else what they wanted.

I directed Alix to the lovely Make this Look and after some discussion settled on this dress style. Measurement were taken, a toile was made and fitted.

This was the first time I had worked with a Vogue Designers pattern, my my my, they are fiddly, aren’t they?. The sleeves were in two parts which folded over and turned up for a near tulip style cuff.

Then we got to fabric……

At the outset, Alix wanted “something in cotton”, with dragons…..she hunted, we had conversations about; buying fabric in the US, birds, pineapples and flamingo’s. In the end, she showed up at the house with some cerise pink with dragons woven chinese satin fabric, she absolutely loved it. Alix picked a pink dress, with a blue satin band,  the skirt lined with blue (for extra swirling) and the top lined with pink muslin to help keep cool.

The satin fabric, it frayed, all the time, ALL THE TIME, I mean ALL THE TIME………. In the end I had to back the satin with iron on stiffener so I could work with it, I must confes it took 3 attempts to get the top front correct.

The photo shows the birthday girl wearing her dress (in a field!), we have spoken about not chucking it in the washing machine. Alix loved it, Happy birthday!