5 things I wish I knew before I started sewing.

1. It’s ok to mess up.

We’ve all do it.  We’ve all piled so much pressure on ourselves and when something went wrong we left the unfinished garment in a crumpled mess on the floor in a corner.  I’ve admitted defeat on one or more handmade garments.  I’ve still got to pick them up and see what I can do to rectify the mistakes but for now, they sit it a small pile away from my view!

At the moment I’m amending a shoulder sleeve due to them being lopsided – don’t know how I managed but this is going to be worthwhile in the long run as it’s one of my favourite makes so far despite the sleeve issue. Making mistakes is also learning from them, how else are you going to learn and stretch that skill base?

2. Ask for help.

I’m very lucky to have such a good teacher at the sewing class that I go to.  I also have a couple of very good sewing buddies I can bounce off ideas and problems with alongside a fantastic community on Instagram too.

3. Measure yourself.

Pattern sizes are completely differencing to ready to wear sizes (RTW).  Please don’t buy a pattern and go on you RTW as you’ll have a garment that won’t fit once you put all that time, effort and lovely material (and dosh!) into it.

Measure yourself. Take that tape measure (grab a friend if you need help!) and jot down your measurements.  Pattern companies can differ in finishing measurements, so check each new pattern before you start the project!

Remember this: Don’t beat yourself because it may seem you are going up a few sizes from the RTW to the pattern sizes and also your finished garment will fit you better if you take your time to measure yourself correctly 😘

4. Seam allowances matter,

Again. Check, check, check!  Read your instructions a couple of times before you even start the process of cutting out. Highlight the seam allowances on each step.

Get yourself a seam guide and test to see if your seam allowance is really 1/4”.  Same with 1/2″ and so on.

When you find the spot on your machine that is 1/4” mark it with washi or masking tape that way you won’t forget where it is.

5. Invest in a basic sewing kit.

Scissors (Straight, pinking, little snippers for cutting little threads and ones for paper), Measuring Tape, chalk, pins and a seam ripper is all a good start and then you can add more, such as hand sewing needles, extra bobbins (make sure you get the right ones for your machine as there are not universal where as are machine needles are), pin cushion (homemade or bought). This list could go on for miles (trust me!) but get the basics and add from that, which should keep you right!


My Sewing Room

Having “had” to sew in living room because of my lack of tidying up mojo of the sewing room this week I’ve been focusing trying to find the floor of it.

I had a great idea last year to wash all of my fabrics, iron, fold away whilst measuring and recording them. It was such a monumental task, it all became quite overwhelming to dealt with. It was all very well in idea form but when you decide to get a puppy all things and plans go out of the window. I’m not blaming the puppy nor myself here, I’m simply addressing the matter that I took too much on and something had to give.

Move on 4 months and I finally can sneak up to the sewing room and finally get to grips with the hoarding of fabrics and goodness knows what else! Don’t think for one second did the puppy stop me from buying fabric nor the billion bags of fabric already up in the S.R. Ha!

I’m seeing a clear path now. It’s looking pretty organised now. There’s a plan to go through all the magazines and pull out projects that I might get round to. I’m going to be stopping my magazine subscriptions as I’m finding I just don’t have the time to read them just now and feel I can keep up to date with other methods. Plus I’ve got to keep the momentum up with my make nine and need space to concentrate on that!

Here’s some photos of the progress so far – sorry don’t have any “before photos” but just imagine lots of bags on the floor!

Loom there's a Floor! Just a couple of pieces ... Ohhh more fabric...And more fabric!Even got the overlocker out of it box 📦 (finally!!)<<<<
ks for popping by!

Happy Sewing xx

Sewing Plans: My #MakeNine2018 Choices


So, it’s taken me until now to get my shit together.  Yeah I know I’m already slipping!

However, rather than ramble on anymore to delay it even further here are my choices for #MakeNine2018 …

1.  Cleo – Tilly and the Buttons (TATB)

Cleo by TATB

2.  McCalls Top 7360

McCalls 7360

3.  Seamwork’s Mesa

Seamwork’s Mesa Dress

4. Penny Dress By Colette

The Penny Dress by Colette

5. Toaster – Sew House 7

The Toaster by Sew House Seven

6. McCalls 7536 Dress

McCall’s 7536

7.  Colette’s Moneta

Colette’s Moneta

8.  The Washi Dress – Made by Rae

The Washi Dress – Made by Rae

9. The Scout Tee by Grainline Studio

Grainline Studio’s Scout Tee

I’ll be able to match them up with Fabric without purchasing anything new.  Most of the patterns I’ve also got.  You may know That I’ve already sewn a Cleo and the McCalls 7536 but definitely attempting another of both!

Once I’ve dug out my fabric choices, I’ll do another post.

Here’s a sneak peak of my 2018 Sewing BuJo too, which I’ll leave you with!

My #MakeNine2018 in my #SewingBuJo


Thanks for visiting!



Sewing: Simplicity 4789

It’s week 4 at Fabric Focus’s Beginners Dressmaking class and I’ve not had to unpick a single thread – woo hooo!


Simplicity’s 4789


Amazingly I’ve not had a tantrum with pockets (Simple Sew’s Sophia Skirt has the blame for that). It went a bit like this with the skirt hitting the floor and scaring my husband in the process. It went a bit like below!


So moving on (quickly) (in fact, the speed of light quickly)… I’m seeing this cotton fabric is quite slippery whilst getting it on the sewing machine.  I’m still in love with it despite it trying to escape the sewing needle.

Darts are now in the front with the front part of the pockets attached.  I’m going to attempt to attach the back pockets on the back bodice/panel then tack the sides together.

Remember in my first project I said I wasn’t going to go full steam ahead of the rest of the class, well I’ve kept the pace – woo hooo (again)!

Also, I’ve learnt how to do tailor’s tacks, which I will be using from now in my sewing!

I’m still collecting fabric and patterns, that won’t stop (now that would be weird if I did) and in a few days time, I will release a post about my November Haul!  Plus there will be a post on the #SewScottish / #ScottishBloggersMeetup and also on my visit to Dovecot Gallery.  Plenty of reading for you to look forward too (plus lots of photos!!).

Only 2 more days until #SewScottish / #ScottishBloggersMeetup (at the time of this post-release) Woooooppppppeeee!

Over and oot!


Disclaimer: All images are my own and opinions are too, in no way are they sponsored!

Not sew much sewing: A little refresh …

Some of you already may have noticed the new look on my blog …


I decided that the original header was a little too busy and wanted something simpler.

I used Canva and Photoshop to come up the new header.  I’m fairly chuffed with the end result.

When it came to the crunch, I also changed the layout as well, why not!

A new page will be introduced soon … It’s like a fabric shop directory.  That’s all the dish I’m going to spill for the moment!

Till next time!


Fabric Haul: November 2016

As you know I do like to keep topping up my fabrics for all of these projects I have in mind. But Boy, the list is now bonkers – I don’t really have a list on paper as most of the ideas are in my head!!

Most of you know I’m doing the #thelittlereddressproject by the lovely running with style’s Renata and finally I’ve got my fabric – woot-woot! To date the PDF still has to be printed, which I’m concerned about as time is tick, ticking, tocking away – should I opt for a pattern I already have? The answer to that one should be a yes, now the big question- WHICH ONE? I think it should be a nice easy number, something that’s straight forward but party bound.


Next, we have some gorgeous cotton and it’s a John Lewis own brand. I instantly fell in love with it as it has lovely wildflowers on a dark green background. It was £14.99 per metre but it’s totally gorgeous and has a lovely feel to it.


I also bought the rather Christmassy Nordic fabric at the same time as the green John Lewis fabric. It was reduced to £5 per metre, so couldn’t say no to the bargain. Plus I actually need it to back my homemade advent calendar. And on that note, I’m still looking into wadding as I don’t want polyester wadding. I got a metre of the Nordic fabric to back the advent calendar. Looking at the date, I better get this done and dusted. Might have some time this week to sew it up. Might. Otherwise, I’ll be sewing it for next year 😂😂😂


Next up, is the fabric I bought from Susie D Designs Shop in Penicuik on her most recent open day. See post for more details about her shop! I have a soft touch for geometrics and this called my same. I bought 2.5 meters of it so it will be a dress! It’s an Art Gallery Fabric, 100% cotton and a lovely feel to it.

Processed with MOLDIV

Fabric focus has this gorgeous suede in both Khaki and tan colours.  I opted to go for the Khaki.  Got 2.5 metres of it.  More than enough for a simple shift or CLEO!


Erm … I added something else and that was the trip that the Lovely #SewScottish Meetup and this was some more lovely suede polyester material.  At £9 a metre from Edinburgh Fabrics, it has a lovely texture.  I thinking another classic shift style dress , perhaps the Bennett Dress from Marilla Walker.  Edinburgh Fabrics has a good range of colour with the suede – it’s worth checking out. Also, I bought matching thread but now I’m thinking contrasting thread and with that i would have to ultra careful of stitching!



BENNETT DRESS by MARILLA WALKER – Gorgeous in suede!

Not only fabric lies in this “Haul” but some niche little tools have been purchased also …


Awing tool



Corner tool

Both purchased via amazon. And a bargain as under a fiver each. I picked up from a youtube video by Last Stitch


Some tailors chalk … I seem to lose mine quite quickly and no idea how!

This handy box should keep the chalk from getting bashed!

Patterns on my radar …

Yes there are always patterns on my radar, don’t  you know I have a list? Ok now you do and boy it is long.  It only seems to be getting longer 😂

And to add to the list is the cute “Cleo Pinafore & Dungaree Dress” by Tilly and the Buttons – isn’t it just adorable? I ❤️ it! I’m head over heels for the dungaree dress 😍!

With Black Friday looming Cleo was quickly purchased with a nice 25% off!

And then ALIX from By Hand London was also snapped up in PDF form!  SO WHEN THERES A NICE DISCOUNT – it’s just impossible for me to say no.  Impossible.


ALIX from BY HAND LONDON – so in love with this dress.


And then there are all the Seam work patterns that I have in my library – eek, I just love seam work (I actually did a wee post about them a wee while ago and all about why I love them). The “Kennedy” and the “Mesa” are the top two favourites to try first from seam work. And I’ve just heard that you can now use your credits to buy Collette patterns- Eeeeek!   YES, YOU READ RIGHT!!

Seamwork’s Kennedy
Seamworks’ Mesa











Adding to my stash of patterns and these were from the swap at the #SEWSCOTTISH meetup –

With these patterns came two bits of fabric – I may have to ask who put them in to the haul and also if they remember what it is … I have a mind like a sieve!


Then there’s this month’s gorgeous pattern from simply sewing magazine – well I think the Audrey dress is stunning and at one point I will try and make it.

So not just fabric, notions, patterns and tools have been added to the haul but also books 📚! Yes, I am also a sucker for a good sewing book.

The most recent one is “The better bag maker” by Nicole Mallalieu. One of my many projects is to make a bag, a weekender bag specifically and this book shows you how with handy techniques, tips and tricks. It’s got loads of lovely bag to make as well as a weekender.

I spotted it via Instagram and I’d say it’s a good find judging by all the hashtag #thebetterbagmaker attached photos!

Beautiful makes from various instagramers.

Next we have

Couldn’t put this one down …
Love the look of these garments!

I was just in Dobbies and spotted these two and somehow they managed to be brought home with me … mind you total bargains!

Talking of bargains, the buttons below were too. I bought them from a stall at the North Berwick Quilters Exhibition. I will post more on the actual exhibition very soon on the blog.  The buttons were £1 plus a book, which was also £1 too.  I’m hoping this holds a couple of good shortcuts for garments.

A little less of a bargain were these buttons bought from Kathy’s Knits on Broughton Street – there’s a nice selection to choose from and are vintage finds! The thicker metal ones are ideal for a jacket!

Remember I said I have a mind like a sieve.  Let me reinstate that dramatically – I received this “Simple Shift Dress” Sew Over Pattern yonks ago with a magazine subscription, only now I realise it has actual fabric in the box – total revelation and I realise I’m quite ditsy at times!

So for December, I’ve decided no fabric, no books, no nothing unless it’s interfacing or lining for projects.  We will see how long I last … Day 3 and still nothing bought!

That’s all for now,


Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I was not sponsored in any way, shape or form. All copyrighted pictures are my own.


Sewing Adventures: Susie D Designs, Penicuik

With being quite close to me and pretty easy to get to by car, I’m wondering why it actually took me until now to visit this cute little shop in Penicuik.

Not where I’d imagined the shop to be!

The ideal opportunity to pop by was one of the monthly “open days” but I was suspicious with my sat nav when it started to direct me further into more of a residential area than the high street. I stayed with the sat nav, which I’m glad I did as I arrived outside the shop with parking spaces to spare. 

The open days look quite popular as there were a few ladies in buying fabric. It’s great to see offers too (20% off non sale fabric and selected tools) – before you ask I was straight in at the sale fabric but didn’t really spot anything for a dress making project. Instead, I went for an Art Gallery Fabric with a geometric print. I totally see a dress in this. 

Love, love, love geometric patterns!

As well as art galley fabrics, Susie D also stocks Cloud 9, Dashwood Studio, Tilda, Micheal Miller and lots more! 

Ooooooh nice fabrics!

There is also a small selection of wool with knitting and crocheting tools. With some haberdashery staples like buttons and machine needles there is a good choice of D-rings, wadding and much more. 

Good selection of wools!

Susie D runs classes as well. I’m intrigued as would love to make a bag. I spotted these patterns, but then thought I would (should) go to a class rather than purchase one and have it stored doing nothing as I’ve got lots of patterns doing exactly that!  Don’t get me wrong – I probably will end up getting a couple as they look good, but I will do a class and see how things go! 

Plenty of table space for classes!
I’m really liking the look of those patterns but I’m proud of myself for refraining myself!

I’ll definitely be going back as I’ve had a few itches to make a bag – especially a weekender. Also there a good range of fabric, even tho it’s normally used for patchwork or quilting it’s still cotton! 

Susie D Designs has a Facebook page and a WordPress blog too! Do check them out! 

Disclaimer: All images are my own. I got permission to take them. All opinions are my own.