Patrones coat finished

At long last I have finished the Patrones coat. This was cut out in late October/November, and has been leering at me from the cutting table for longer than was reasonable. Having determined in my last post to spend the following day making some solid progress on it I can confirm that this was enough to make me get stuck in. I was slightly shocked at how long it took to complete – but completed it now is. Check this out!


The pockets have been hand stitched on the inside so that they look like they are attached by magic. This was hard on the fingers with this thick felted wool but I’m very happy with the results.

In the interests of keeping this looking very simple I decided not to machine top stitch the fronts and collar but to hand stitch  this too. Had I learned nothing from the pockets! It took ages but I’m very happy I spent the time – the layers needed to be anchored and this makes them look really good.

I was slightly disappointed that the buttons I bought specifically for this coat turned out to be too big. Amazingly I found a good alternative in the button stash 😁.

I will get a picture of me wearing this at some point but in the interests of getting it posted I’m relying on Bessie to model.


Buried under the pile of fabric and pattern pieces was a scarf I made some time ago (and had completely forgotten) from a pattern given to me by my lovely sister. It was knitted in the yarn given to me by nana kathy in my Stitching Santa parcel . I loved the way the colour works with the Chartreuse green of the coat so I’m sure it will be well used – and more visibly than socks. The pattern is Hitchhiker, and is available here in Ravelry. It was a particularly good pattern to use as you can keep knitting until you have used up the available yarn. Genius!

My next sewing project is planned but it might just take a while before I get going. Enjoy whatever you are doing!


Greetings in 2020

Yes, I went missing again. I seriously considered shelving my blog but I find it useful to look back at what I did to patterns, and the feedback I get from out there helps with my direction. Also it seemed mean to use other people’s blogs for inspiration and not reciprocate so here I am.

In my last post I said I was about to start a coat – but as you can see I haven’t got far.

The pattern is from Patrones issue 380, and is allegedly designed by Guess. The fabric is fairly deep stash boiled wool bought in Birmingham in October 2016. Time it was used 🙄. I knew if I made a toile I would probably grind to a halt again so this was cut directly into fabric before Christmas, and the interfacing ironed into place shortly after that. I even got a few major seams done between Christmas and New Year so I could try on for fit. And stopped.

Seeing this waiting is acting as a log jam against some other ideas I have so I’m putting it out there to shame me into finishing it. I have a full day available tomorrow (provided I don’t spend an age reading the Sunday papers) so I should see good progress by tomorrow night. Hopefully.



I have been enjoying the art group I attend weekly. It’s wonderful being among like minded people and just playing. We are all exhausted by the end of the day but mostly it’s a happy tired. We made marbled paper before Christmas and I brought some home to try book binding. Sadly the pieces weren’t big enough to use as end papers (like in some old books) but I think they look pretty good as covers 🙂.

I hope you’re being more productive than I, but next time I hope to have real progress to show. Bye for now!

Challenge accepted – and met!

A long time ago (in a land far away…..) I joined a Stash busting Group on Facebook. Yes, I see the joke too. It hadn’t occurred to me that this would be so useful – and it also directed me to a group that were issuing Sewing Challenges. What better way to induce you to sew. I love a challenge!

So, back in January I joined a challenge – the SSW:Deep Stash Challenge. It seemed like a breeze to sew eight (yes, 8) garments from patterns bought before 31st December 2016 before the 30th April deadline. A mere two a month would be a piece of cake. Or so I thought before my gall bladder interfered so much.

I started strongly in January with the Fehr Trade VNA sports top and the self drafted warm ‘leggings/trousers’. The top was blogged here as my Jungle January garment but I never blogged the trousers. They were made from warm lycra from Funkifabrics bought an age ago and have been worn pretty much constantly since. I love these trousers, and the top has been worn for both yoga and running and I can heartily recommend it. I even managed to use Butterick 6388 for the first time.

February was OK too, I made up the Savage Coco Presto top as a dress, and also made the first incarnation of Butterick 6388 as a dress. Loved them both. Both patterns that had sat around a while, the Butterick unused until January and now a strong favourite in my wardrobe. Details here.

Although made in March (I’m pretty sure) the dresses I made next weren’t blogged until mid April. Yet another Butterick 6388 – didn’t I say it had become a firm favourite? – and Vogue 1410 by Lynn Mizono. Both now well established in my wardrobe (I have even cut out another Mizono for summer – ever the optimist!) and I seriously can’t work out what I had against wearing dresses for so long as it makes getting dressed a breeze. No trying to find matching bits. That truly appeals to my lazy side 🙂

Following this I got seriously slow and almost gave up on the challenge. We had the break in Cornwall, followed by a manic week clearing jobs before my surgery, and then a week recovering. And reading old blog posts, sorting through patterns, and making plans.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sharp eyed among you might recognise these flowered ‘what nots’ as the garment The Management called ‘scrousers’. The pattern was from Patrones magazine and was first made in July last year (details here) and worn more than I expected. I decided that they needed to be shorter and have pockets this time.

Since the originals can be worn facing in either direction I didn’t want to lose that when I added pockets. Easy alteration to do – side panels make adding the pocket a very easy alteration. There is a (very) minor nod to current fashion by using a floral cotton from very deep stash for these. Nice to clear that away, and I know that when it is positively tropical here in July/August I’m ready . Stop sniggering – I told you I was an optimist.

I really thought I had given up after making six of the eight garments required to complete the challenge and then I saw Carolyns blog and another of her gorgeous makes from her Japanese pattern book collection. Back on the horse Hood!

Now Carolyn had adapted the last incarnation of the top she made but I knew I had that book (She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada), knew I had taken it off the shelf frequently with the intention of making several of the garments inside, and had made precisely …..  none. Time to change that.

I really liked the Square Top (No. 11) and decided to make that first – although I had cut out the other top at the same time. The ability to wear it in two distinct ways appealed, and though I like it as a straightforward top it really is very square. The clue was in the name so I should have known. I will wear it like this but I think I prefer the way it can be buttoned up, turned around, and worn as a shrug. Magic!

The red striped top is the Top with Epaulettes (No.4 in the book) that I had been admiring on Carolyns blog. Why didn’t I make this earlier!!!!! I freaking LOVE this top. This will be worn to death (despite the fact that I look a bit ‘Where’s Wally’ in it) and will spawn lots of friends in my wardrobe.

So that’s it. I actually got to the end (and well done if you have too) and made all 8 garments needed in the time allowed. Just.

What have I taken away from the challenge? Get those unused blessed patterns out and start sewing woman!

So what about digging out a pattern you have been giving house room to and never made, or an old favourite that could replace one of the worn versions you made and love. You must have liked a pattern enough to stump up cash to buy it so off you go! Which pattern are you going to make? I have an idea which of mine you will be seeing soon.



Stashbusting in July

Yes, I know it is now August 4th but I have been waiting for the weather to improve to take photographs somewhere other than my cream wall. It was quite nice before the kids broke up from school but has been a bit spotty since then.


Wrap pants

While dredging in a not oft used drawer I rediscovered these leopard print wrap pants. I mainly use them on holiday but on a warm day they were perfect. It got me wondering how the pattern would be as shorts.

Pattern shape

Pattern shape

You can see the ties on the back

You can see the ties on the back

Wrap shorts

Wrap shorts

As it turns out I’m not sure I like them. I suspect the problem is that in shortening the whole thing they have lost some of their appeal. They catch the breeze more easily when long, and don’t look quite so ‘tubular’. I think I may try again but add a bit of fullness to the pattern pieces so that they look a bit more like a wrap skirt. The pattern is very simple – just two pieces cut from the width of a fabric piece with a U shape cut out to give the crotch space. I added the darts from my skirt block to the waist to give a little shape and used the full width of the 150cm  wide fabric for the pink. I cut them a bit longer than necessary so lost a bit of fabric when I shortened them. The ties are just strips made long enough to tie in a bow front and back. The style does mean that loo visits are a bit of a fandangle but I like them regardless. The long ones. These were made from some polyester crepe which I know washes and dries quickly making it perfect for hot climates – if a bit sticky. I’m happy to have this used now, even if I don’t wear them very often.


You may remember the odd shaped pants from the last Patrones I reviewed. Well, the leapfrogged the Thai Fishermans pants that I cut the pattern for at the same time. They took no time to make up and I love them!

Sarrouel Trousers front

Sarrouel Trousers front

Sarrouel Trousers - back

Sarrouel Trousers – back

That much fabric!

That much fabric!

I made these in some rayon that had been in the stash forever. I liked the colour but never really knew what I wanted from the fabric so was quite happy to risk it with a project I wasn’t sure I would like. How wrong could I be? These are very comfortable to wear – breezy as you like for warm days – and despite expecting The Management to choke when he saw them he has declared them ‘very smart’. Wonders never cease! He also decided that they were ‘skrousers’ as they didn’t quite fit either category.

Sarrouel Trousers - She Wears the PantsThe seams made me think that it would have been useful to have included some in seam pockets, and also that I might prefer them a little shorter. I remembered that a shorter, much more involved, version was included in the ‘She Wears the Pants’ book I bought some time ago. I recall sniggering a bit when I saw them but I now think they would be well worth a try. Summer suit weight perhaps? This book is another of the wonderfully odd Japanese pattern books (the patterns are supplied) which would never fit me but I can crib ideas from them. Despite the title there are few ‘pants’.

Anyway, that makes three garments made for me (along with the Jasper Hoodie) in July and the PJ’s for The Management using 10 metres in total. Not quite as much as I bought this month but a small dent in the stash 🙂


Patrones 362

Patrones 362


Lucky me! My dear friends G and H came back from Spain with another issue of Patrones – and there is so much in this one I want to make that I will need to retire early!

Garment mash

Garment mash

Patrones 362 wishes0007

Lauren from Hola! Magazine

Patrones 362 wishes0006

Lauren in Patrones


I really liked this skirt (attributed to Ralph Lauren) and knew that I had seen it before. The picture on the left was from a Hola! magazine I bought on my holiday in Madeira a while back. The Patrones version has curved sections on the front splits but the original is squared off. This isn’t clear from the picture which is why I always check the tech drawings in the ‘making up’ section. I have noticed on a few prior occasions that the pictures don’t always quite match the garment as shown. The jury is out on which version I prefer, but with the wide overlap this should be decent even in windy weather.




Patrones 362 wishes0001

Could I wear these pants?

Patrones 362 wishes0002



Burda pants

I adore the yellow top in these photos. I know I wouldn’t wear it exactly as it is shown – I couldn’t show my tum without scaring the horses. I think as an extra layer over a dress, or t-shirt and trousers, it would look good. I would probably want to make it shorter too. But hey! It’s in one of  my favourite colours! The trousers are also very interesting. I’m very tempted by them but I know The Management would be horrified. Maybe that is reason enough to give them a go 🙂 . I saw a very similar patter which is available here from Burda.


Patrones 362 wishes0003

Thai fishermans pants


The other pattern I liked was for Thai fishermans pants. I have seen lots of references to this style but haven’t ever worn them myself. They look as though they would be very comfortable, particularly in warm weather (I have a good imagination – there would be no need here in the UK in our ‘summer’ at present). Can anyone tell me if they are as comfortable as they look?


Patrones 362 wishes0004


I loved this jacket. The front view is in the ‘mash’ of all the designs (above), and is attractive enough, but I thought the pleat in the back gives this an extra ‘easy to wear’ feel. I have a number of fabrics that could probably work for this but if I go ahead I would like to be able to make it part of a wardrobe sewing ‘plan’. Elizabeth at The Fabulous Dr. E’s blog is a master (mistress?) at this and I have threatened to follow her lead on many occasions and failed. Maybe it’s time to do something about it. My wardrobe would certainly be grateful.


Patrones 362 wishes0005

Should I jump?

Now then, I imagine I am like many people who love the idea of a jumpsuit but remember them from the first time around. They certainly look neat – this one is lovely on its own, but it would be offended if you wanted to put a t-shirt under there for decency or warmth. However. How many of us remember (and hated) having to get almost naked whenever there was a need to go to the loo. I love this, but I’m not sure I want to go down the almost naked in loos route again.

Useful shorts

Useful shorts


Being an extreme optimist I thought these shorts might be good for when it does get warm. I am getting used to wearing my running shorts now (and no-one has run away screaming yet) so I might be willing to try them in general wear. I know I wont look anything like this lithe young thing, but I’m ready to give it a try.


I have had a few editions of Patrones over the years but I think this one is one of the most useful in a while, and since I am currently planning things to make for myself you might even see some of these made up. No sniggering at the back!

New Patrones – Issue 357

My dear friends G and H brought me another issue of Patrones back from Spain, and I think this one is particularly nice.

Patrones 357 20013

I was immediately taken with the jacket on the cover. I can’t decide whether it is the style or the colour I like best.

This picture is small, but here are the designs in this issue.

Patrones 357 20019

Patrones 357 20015

This is a better picture of the jacket. It looks like something that could be styled for so many occasions that I am really tempted to add this to my already massive wish list. It seems to be mid way between a ‘jeans style’ jacket and something smarter. As someone who rarely has reason to wear the tailored jackets I so like this might be a good compromise. The shell top underneath with a longer back is also very appealing.

Patrones 357 20016


The top shown right is pretty too – although at my age it would need to be longer to cover my tum. The trousers are a very simple design – such a simple design that I stopped making these many years ago after I got my C&G qualification. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the style. The magazine has them shown at mid calf – I’m not sure about that length but an easy fit, elasticated waist trouser would be a good travel option as long as they didn’t start to look like the sort of ‘pair of comfy pants’ so beloved of elderly ladies.

Patrones 357 20017

I also love these very wide trousers, and I think they look wonderful made in very soft fabric for summer. This particular design is extremely wide. And long. I understand the ‘look’ but I must be getting old – my first thought was for the safety of the person wearing them. Maybe it’s just me that can fall over ‘flat Henrys’ but I would be guaranteed a fall by the end of the day in that length trouser.

Again I can’t remember the last time I wore this style but I am very tempted. I have recently altered a pair I liked for a client and took the opportunity to make a pattern from my block whilst the idea was fresh in my head. Maybe those first.

Patrones 357 20018

I really liked the blue top on the left. It starts off as an ordinary shirt down to waist level but then gets an asymmetrical  peplum for interest. Classic but with a little twist. I’m not sure its for me as I have a UFO I rediscovered recently with similar detail. I love the design but I’m not sure it likes me. I really need to bring this UFO out of hiding and decide what I am going to do with it – I really hate unfinished stuff.

The shirt on the right is an absolute classic shape with nothing different except for the buttons being hidden under a front placket. Nice.

Patrones 357 20014

This coat was pretty special too. The design is credited to Alberta Ferretti and though simple I just love it. Maybe it’s just the fabric?  I really liked the styling around the neckline which could be made in any sort of wonderful trim you wanted. I have been reading blogs by both Kate and the Demented Fairy recently and wondering why we don’t make more use of trim. Maybe it’s time to break out not just in style but also the bling.Patrones 357 20020


The jacket to the right was just fabulous in my opinion. If I were even to consider making it for myself I would want to make the bolero section separately so that in effect I would have three jackets. The style is very ‘Chanel’ and I know I have a selection of Linton tweeds in my stash that almost qualify for a pension. Definitely time to make some of them up. I think I have been avoiding them as they seem to have attained ‘ too good to use’ status. (No I’m not gloating, honest).Patrones 357 20029

I thought you might benefit from seeing the tech illustration for this jacket. I’m warming to this design as part of my wardrobe but struggling to see myself wearing it if I am entirely honest. Despite that it goes on the growing wish list.

These are just a few of the really lovely deigns in this issue. I only wish I had more time to sew, and more occasions to wear fabulous clothing. Anyone else really have problems with sewing for the life they want rather than the life they have?


Patrones 329 Model 9 Top

Every dressmaker I know will identify with my day yesterday. I have known for weeks that I had a lovely night out planned with friends. I have also known for (the same number of) weeks that I didn’t have anything I wanted to wear to the event. Hence the manic day yesterday.

No pressure!

No pressure!

The Management went out for the day at about 7.30am and wasn’t expected back until late, so at 9am this was the state of my top. I am glad to say that the pattern had been traced off and cut out during the week so I can’t be accused of being totally unprepared!

The fabric I used is a woven viscose with a sequin design that I think looks a little like raindrops on a window for the body, and satin for the placket and neckline detail. Not what I would tend to wear – but it was meant to be a fairly ‘glitzy’ occasion so I didn’t want to let the side down. The pattern is a very simple design  (from my wish list of a little while ago) so I didn’t refer to the instructions in the magazine at all. I put the back and front  yoke pieces together and cut them as one piece to avoid a shoulder seam. I did put a balance mark at the shoulder point to enable the sleeve to hang correctly, but really couldn’t see the point of having a seam other than as a guide for this. And it saved a little time.  I cut the inside yoke piece in plain cotton – no-one would want to have sequins on the inside of a garment. It was easy to use the burrito method to enclose the seams before sewing the sides and putting in the sleeves. I should probably have taken 1cm off the shoulder but it isn’t critical.

I did cut the body and sleeves a bit longer than advised, and probably should have cut them even longer. I am only 5′  4″ tall so if you want to make this and you are taller than that I would check the length before you hit your fabric. The only other change I made was to cut the front plackets in one piece (folded down the centre rather than seamed) as the satin I was using was a little heavier than ideal for the job and I wanted to cut bulk, and also I seamed the centre front for about 4″ as I couldn’t find any fastenings I really liked. I had been looking whilst shopping when this was still at the planning stage, and also tipped out all three of my button tins in the hope of finding treasure in there. Sadly not. Closing this with stitching kept this ‘decent’ and no-one was aware it was meant to be any other way.

After multiple interruptions – what a fool I am to think that I would get a quiet Saturday since ‘he’ was out – the top was finished in plenty of time for me to rush out and buy supplies for another job before collapsing into a well deserved bath and preparing to go out.

I had a fabulous night out, ate and drank far too much, sang loudly (everyone did!), and played a tambourine for the first time in decades. All in all a great success. And the top was good too.

Make up worn off in the enjoyment!

Make up worn off in the enjoyment!