The Tulgy Woods

As mentioned in my last post, I made a dress. It’s just taken ages for me to post it…



The pattern was the marvellous Christine Haynes Emery dress, with a few alterations.

Firstly, mine is a  lightweight summer dress so I didn’t do lining anywhere.


Secondly, I ditched the back zip and replaced it with buttons.


And finally, I altered the neckline and gave it a scooped back.



Sadly I have been shrinking recently, so the dress is a rather loose fit at the moment. Seems to work OK with a belt though. I evidently am not consuming enough icecream.

The fabric is Liberty tana lawn, in the design “Branchflower”. I completely adore it. It’s like the woods the prince goes through to find the Jabberwocky, or the brambles he hacks his way through to get to the enchanted castle.
No dress would be complete without POCKETS!




Miserably rainy bank holiday weekend could only mean one thing… Slaving away for 10 hours in front of the sewing machine! Fun times.

I finished a dress (next post probably, when I’ve ironed it) and also made this:

Tablet case

And this:

Headphones case

En bref: matching tablet and headphones case in Liberty Elevenses fabric.

For the headphones case I used this tutorial, but made up the pattern pieces because I couldn’t be bothered to download the one given. Seemed to work fine!

Earphones case Earphones case

And as for the tablet case, I made it up essentially. The hard innards are chopped out of some dense foam-board that I received as part of the packaging on a parcel at work, and smuggled home last week. The tana lawn is interfaced throughout, and the foam-board is covered in felt on the outer faces.

Tablet caseTablet case Tablet case Tablet case Tablet case Tablet case

Skirt and Skirrid

Last night I made a skirt, this morning I climbed the Skirrid, and this afternoon I made the skirt a bit smaller and got sunburned.

Liberty Kilburn Rose skirt

Liberty Kilburn Rose skirt 2

Liberty Kilburn Rose skirt 3

Liberty Kilburn Rose skirt 4

Liberty Kilburn Rose skirt 5


Skirrid view

skirt shadow

In short: the perfect beginnings to a long weekend.

Fabric is Liberty tana lawn, ‘Kilburn Rose’. Apparently Tamsin Grieg had something to do with the design. Lining is red taffeta, elastic waistband was purchased either in Florence or North Finchley (to my shame, I can’t remember which).

Bring on the tea parties.

Spring sewing

Some time in early March the weather all of a sudden became glorious for a weekend, and I thought: I need a semi-nice sweatshirt.

A trip to the ‘other’ Cloth House (at the south end of Berwick Street) furnished me with some gloriously cosy fabric – natural cotton jersey with coloured flecks on the front, cosy fluffy fuzzy wonderfulness on the back. And after a bit of help from youtube and a close examination of an old hoodie, I whipped up this sweatshirt based on my favourite t-shirt:

Dropped sleeve sweatshirt

Dropped shoulder sweatshirt cuff

Dropped shoulder sweatshirt

Sadly… I didn’t wash it first. And when, after wearing it night and day for three weeks I put it through the washing (on cold!) it shrank considerably in length.  😦  So it’s now the length of those cropped t-shirts that Topshop girls wear. But whatever. I still love it and wear it almost as much as before.

I went back to Cloth House to get more of the same fabric in another colour, but they were out of the fluffy kind. So I got another 1.5m of navy blue ‘summer-weight’ fabric, carefully washed it (it hardly shrank at all), and made sweatshirt #2. This time with raglan sleeves. It is a bit humongous. I have given it to my mum.

raglan sweatshirt

Then I had enough navy and enough white fabric to make sleeves… But not bodies. So back to Cloth House for a metre more of each. I washed them together, and the white came out 70cm long whereas the blue had become 120cm long. So confusing! I can only think they gave me extra blue because it was the end of the bolt. Anyway, sweatshirt #3 was born. This is for a man friend, but I love it so much I want to make one for me too now. Time to get back to Cloth House!

manly sweatshirt and Rune

manly sweatshirt making-of

manly sweatshirt 1

manly sweatshirt 2

manly sweatshirt 3

manly sweatshirt 4

Growing Fonder

I mentioned in my last post my desire to make something out of Mo Coppoletta’s fabric design ‘Growing Fonder’ for Liberty. Well, now I have.

Growing Fonder top

I started this a fortnight ago, but then had to tidy everything away as the house became French-speaking for a long weekend while my mum’s Parisian friend visited, staying in the sewing room

.Turtles fabric cutting

This morning I finally put together the facings and finished off the top – it’s based on the one I saw in Ray-Stitch the other day, using Simplicity 8523. I used neckline D and the no-sleeves option, so as to conserve enough fabric to make skirt. I also did French seams, because they’re lovely 🙂

Sewing Liberty Growing Fonder

What I really like about this fabric is the gold ink – it’s really lovely and metallic, and so bright in the sunshine! The design is not the sort of thing I’d normally go for, but I loved the ombre effect of the lines of peacocks.

Growing Fonder topGrowing Fonder top neck facing Growing Fonder top arm facing Growing Fonder top dart Growing Fonder french seam

It’s been fantastic making something like this – it opens my horizons to lots of new possibilities with this sort of fabric. I’m particularly tempted by the idea of making a ‘peacock skirt‘ and strutting about (not exactly) like someone from a Beardsley illustration.

After the deluge

I feel like the sun hasn’t shone in a month; and whilst I have not had to worry about flooding where I live, it has been a long time since I’ve had the chance to do some sewing in the sunshine.Sunshine sewing

Today I altered a quite ugly Ikea curtain for a work colleague, so that it will fit in her window; and then moved onto the slightly more interesting task of making a long-overdue iPad mini case for a family friend.

ipad mini case solsetur
The outer is Liberty ‘Solsetur’ tana lawn; the inside is organic cotton from Ray Stitch

I considered using felt to pad the case out, but then decided to buy a sleeve made out of that wetsuity material, from the fabulous Tiger on Finchley Road, and cover it.ipad mini case solseturipad mini case solsetur

I still have some hand sewing to do, but I think I’ll take it with me on the Overground this afternoon and finish it then.

The nice thing about making stuff for other people is it gives me some breathing space to figure out what I want to make for myself!

I’ve been thinking about scallops for quite a while, and last night drew up some ideas on the front of the newspaper:the year of the scallop

From left to right, the patterns I’m considering using are: 1. Plantain tee by Deer & Doe (completely copying the idea of Full Time Vixen – here); 2. Short Chataigne again by Deer & Doe; 3. and finally Garmenter’s Nora skirt.

I also went to Ray Stitch yesterday with a friend and saw this top:Simplicity 8523

I really like how the ombre fabric works with the pattern (Simplicty 8523). I did some digging when I got home and found this lovely example from Mrs Pomeranz; and now I would rather like to make myself a sundress out of the same fabric! It’s Mo Coppoletta’s design ‘Growing Fonder’ for Liberty.