I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Saturday 30 September 2023

Autumn Sewing Dresses, tops and utilising unloved fabrics and haberdashery

 Autumn sewing 

I want to share with you the garments I have made recently.

Everyone needs warm tops and this is where my sewing begins . I am also keen to use fabrics and haberdashery which would otherwise be thrown away.

This top , The Cosmos sweatshirt, is made from fabrics left over from  other projects.  The   beige fabric is a sweatshirt fabric and the pink is a circular ribbing . 

By using left overs you are firstly preventing the disastrous effect caused by far too much of what we buy going to landfill

Secondly, you are getting a garment for almost nothing so it makes sense doesn't it. If you make a garment from leftovers treat the project with the same respect as if you have used the most expensive fabric ever and you will get great results 

This top is by Katherine Tilton for Vogue Patterns. 
The unusual and attractive neckline is actually sewn using an unused zipper as a trim.
The top itself is made from a charcoal wool blend and I used a long open dark green plastic teeth zipper for a trim. The neckline comprises two separate collars each made from two  contrasting fabrics with the divided zipper sewn as a trim by sandwiching it between both pieces along the top edge.

In case you are wondering the zipper does not irritate my skin at all. As you can see from the photographs it doesn't actually touch the neck.

For this version I found scraps of covered Piping and used it to edge the collars in the same way as I used the zipper on the Charcoal top 
This fabric is French Terry
I love both versions. 

My most recent make is this Grey dress and shrug. The dress is made in Ponte Roma and the shrug from a fine mohair 

I added a touch of machine embroidery to the centre front 

Do take care when fitting this dress, and pay attention to your underwear as you want to display a smooth figure.  Body suits, tights with control tops and or control slips are all suitable. They make you feel confident,  so do not hesitate to buy shapewear even if you are very slim. It really does make a difference. 

I love Simplicity s9644 this one is made in a snuggly wool mix rib 

Thank you for reading this post. All of the patterns mentioned are well worth buying.  Do purchase new fabrics as and when you need them but think about how you can use leftovers too.




Monday 5 June 2023

Using my new Brother Coverstitch machine on a top made in Stretch Cotton Jersy Rib

 The Brother CV3550 Coverstitch Machine 

I am very lucky to now own a Coverstitch machine,  I have wanted one for years . They are not a necessity but are an incredible addition to a sewists collection of sewing machines.

Coverstitch machines are primarily used to create professional-looking hems to garments. They can be used for covering raw edges of a fabric,  for example in seams , they can be used for embellishments and are suitable for stretch and woven fabrics ,

Mine is from BrotherUK and I purchased it from Jaycotts.co.uk

It has many stitch options plus a feature I love is the possibility of creating multicoloured stitching using any variation of thread colours to give the effect you want 

This is a Top Coverstitch using multiple coloured threads. 

This is the reverse side of the same stitch.

It has numerous stitches in addition to the top  Coverstitch with three needles it will do a Coverstitch like this one with up to three top threads which can also be adapted to wide and narrow stitches This sample is a narrow two thread 
I found that YouTube has plenty of suggestions.


Cotton Rib Stretch Jersey Top.

The best way to learn about your new machine is to use it. I self drafted a top and made it up in  this Cotton rib stretch fabric which was gifted to me from Minerva.com 

I made a simple design as an extra layer on cooler summer days. The front and back have little shaping but the sleeves are slightly full with a cuff which can be worn in multiple ways.
The neckline has a band. This needs to be cut with the stretch along  the length and stretched slightly when applying to the  neckline. 
Whilst we want the band to stretch, the main fabric needs to remain the same. To stop it from stretching therefore I stay stitched along the garment neck edge. 

If I could give you a hint. It is far easier to install the neckline if you stitch just one shoulder and join the other one later. 
Similarly it is easier to add sleeves before stitching the side seams. 

To finish the neckline I added a triple top Coverstitch in shades of pink and purple 
I used the same stitch on the hem. To prevent the hem from stretching out of shape I used some iron on seamtape 

I think you will agree that this very simple top will be a very useful addition to my wardrobe 

Just a touch of embellishment helps lift it from the ordinary to something special

The fabric is soft, light but has plenty of body. It lends itself to lots of different garments

Thank you Minerva.com for gifting the fabric. And thank you to Jaycotts.co.uk for sorting out this fabulous machine for me







Tuesday 30 May 2023

Vogue 1693 Special Occasion Dress

 My Birthday Dress May 2023

I always make a new dress for my birthday,  this Vogue pattern really appealed to me. 

It looks complicated but honestly it's not. The fabric I used is from my own stash,  I have been waiting to find the perfect pattern and they are perfect for each other.

The fabric is a fairly heavy embroidered Indian cotton with a lace edging along one side. It is navy Blue with sequins 
"Broderie Anglaise" would be perfect 

I positioned the pattern pieces so that the hem and sleeves would end in the lace part and I adjusted the length of the skirt before cutting out. 
I only just had enough fabric so I was really happy that the fabric has a lace edging so I was able to utilise it in order to make ab interesting sleeves 

 The main body of the fabric is covered in sequins too.
For the lining I chose a lightweight cotton lining fabric. 

The lining actually extends right down to the hem, but I decided that I would just line the bodice and the top part of the skirt, leaving to frill to be more fluid and free.
I felt that the weight of the skirt needed some support otherwise I may have considered removing the skirt part of the  lining completely 


If you want a mini dress you could actually stop here and hem the dress as it is.  


There are many possibilities with this pattern. Another idea is to reduce the width of the upper skirt and lining , taking it in at the bottom to create a bell shape. Adding the frill to this will then produce a mermaid skirt.  This can further be adapted by lengthening the back upper skirt  This would make a stunning wedding gown especially if the upper fabric is a heavy lace fabric and the lining is satin.
The sleeves can also be adapted, mine are straight but you can make yours more bell shaped .

The pink lines  give an idea of what I mean.  I do like to reuse my patterns as much as possible and this one gives plenty of opportunity to put your own touches to the garment 

I felt that the front is a bit low for me so I joined the front pieces for three inches. It is still very low. 
You could put a piece of your fabric or a lace fabric behind the front instead to make it more modest.
I just made two carriers for the cording. I made them from lingerie elastic stitched to the inside of the dress. 

I love the way in which the sequins catch the light, and I love the swishy skirt 

An experienced beginner would easily be able to make this dress. The most important part is to get the fit right, there are separate pattern pieces for different bust sizes , so if you are not sure then please make a toile of the bodice in order to check the fit. 

The dress is very suitable for wheelchair users , it is a joy to wear for any celebration or an afternoon picnic in the park. 

Pattern is from Jaycotts and may be ordered via this link 

Thank you for reading my post 



Friday 14 April 2023

Butterick Sewing Pattern 6856 in linen Look cotton fabric


This Butterick top was made in this gorgeous cotton fabric from Minerva.com and can be purchased by clicking the link below highlighted in Blue 
Minerva Core Range Washed Vintage Linen Look Cotton Fabric  Minerva linen look cotton
I had intended to make this over  Easter but my lovely son "forgot" to tell me he was coming to stay. I was delighted of course and hastily converted my craft room into a bedroom. It was his birthday too.so it was a wonderful time 

Little Coco was overexcited, she is only a few weeks old and hadn't met Matthew before.

Anyway, back to sewing.
If you are a newbie then you may not want to go through all the prep but trust me on this, you need to do several things before putting sewing machine to fabric.
Firstly wash and press your fabric,I never skip this bit as fabrics can take you by surprise and shrink in the first wash.
While this is happening take your measurements and compare them to the measurements on the pattern envalope. I also check the finished size but this can involve a hunt as some pattern companies place them on the relevant tissue pieces, others put them somewhere on the envalope or the instructions. A cup of tea is welcome at this point.

Butterick Sewing Pattern 6856

Transfer your pattern markings onto your fabric and then iron on any interfacing.

It may take a couple of days to do all this prep but now sewing the garment can be carried out easily and quickly. One final point is to press each seam as you sew it. It makes the difference between a homemade garment and a Handmade, bespoke garment. It is far better to spend time before sewing to get everything done and will save time in having to make alterations or wondering which is the right side of the fabric.
Well, I shall get on with sewing it then I can wear it.

The pattern is fairly straightforward but in one or two places it left me to figure out which way round some of the bands were meant to be sewn. Studying the diagrams recommended.

I spent ages top stitching the entire garment but it took the blouse from the very casual look I wanted to something a whole lot smarter. So I spent an evening unpicking all the top stitching, maybe it was an unnecessary thing to do but I wanted to stay true to when and where I wanted to be able to wear it.
The altered sleeves are successful, one of the photos shows how I did it.
I shall wear this again and again, it's perfect.