Italian job

I’ve had so much guilt around this project for so long – it’s been sitting cut out and ready to go on my bookshelf for four years…




I’m glad I waited too – four years have seen me get better at sewing, purchase an overlocker, and discard my original fabric choice for the yoke.



This is a self-drafted blouse based on one of my favourite tops, from the eternally wonderful Lazzari, a little fashion house in the Veneto. Here the two blouses are together:


The blue feathery fabric is Liberty tana lawn from Shaukat. The yoke is made of some cheap n cheerful broderie anglaise I picked up in Toronto.





A couple of years ago I made my mum a beautiful dress covered in pears using Liberty jersey fabric in the pattern Jack and Charlie. At the same time, I’d bought some lantana in the blue colour way of this pattern, intending to make her a mod shift dress. But I think you can have too many pear dresses quite quickly, so instead I made a loose-fitting, slightly bohemian blouse. The drape and softness of the lantana are just gorgeous. I wish I could afford to make myself pyjamas out of this fabric. Sigh.

Jack and Charlie Liberty blouse

The pattern came from my mum’s back issues of Prima magazine, and I don’t think much of it. I added French seams everywhere to make it extra special.

Down the rabbit hole

It’s been a long time… There was I thinking in my last post that I would all of a sudden have tonnes of time to spare for sewing and knitting. How wrong I was! New job, university exams, essay writing, a succession of houseguests occupying the sewing room, and my dad visiting for a fantastic holiday aboard a narrowboat in Wales all intervened to make sure I only did the tiniest bit of crafting; and what I did make I didn’t have time to blog.

Since my exams finished a fortnight ago I’ve been in intensive crafting mode – all of the million things I’ve been itching to sew for months are suddenly exploding into reality.

But I’ll start slowly on this feast of sewing.

Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse

I made this blouse in March out of my favourite Liberty tana lawn, “Elevenses”. I still have reams of the fabric left over, in two colourways, and I will definitely be making more with it!

Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse

The pattern for this blouse is Simplicity 1422. When I got it, my mum was like ‘that’s a fat person pattern’ but actually (as ever :-P) I’ve proved her wrong, and I’ve actually worn it quite a lot.  It’s been a godsend to have it during Me Made May (I think I’ve actually managed ‘me made’ every day this month – although sometimes simply because of my pyjamas!) because it’s easier to wear separates to the office some days that full blown Liberty-print 50s-style dresses. Anyway, you can check out my instagram for the full selfie nightmare (I just checked, and I never instagrammed the three occasions this month where I wore this top. Oopsie!).

Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse

My main regret is that I didn’t add some darts at the sides – it’s a bit gaping at the armholes. Live and learn.

Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse

But yes – it’s comfortable, it’s versatile and I really like it. The collar was really simple – the collar and the collar stand are one piece; which I think would have worked better without interfacing. It’s a bit pointy-foldy and the back of the neck with the interfacing. I’ve actually resolved never to use interfacing again after this project, and so far, I haven’t. I read on the brilliant series of Granville shirt tutorials on the Sewaholic blog that you can use lawn or muslin instead of crunchy interfacing; I’ve done this on subsequent collars and button plackets and it’s worked a treat.

Ahhh teapots 🙂 What better for the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

Woah – omigod – I just saw a fox cub in the garden while I was writing this. Super cute; but I’m suddenly worried that I haven’t seen my cat since yesterday morning…

p.s. Rune just walked in and I’m happy again!

Top of the Fox

A few months ago I discovered Deer & Doe patterns, from France. They are absolutely beautiful, and I promptly bought three without a clue as to what I wanted to do with them, aside from a bit of French revision.

Simultaneously, I was having one of my periodic moments of extreme covetousness for fabrics, and bought some fabulous foxy quilting cotton by Sarah Watts from Miss Ginger’s.

And so, last weekend, the Datura fox blouse finally started to take shape.Greymalkin on Datura pattern

There was a wee setback in the form of Greymalkin, because of which I was forced to postpone operations for some time. However, we got there in the end.

The Greymalkin interlude actually proved helpful, as it gave me time to think harder about how I wanted to use the patterned fabric in the design – these mockups were done while Gremmie was sprawled on the datura blouse copy

In the end I went for a plain collar, but added yellow piping (made from bias binding tape and cord, both from MacCulloch and Wallis).Datura blouse frontDatura blouse backDatura blouse button detailDatura blouse buttonhole detail