Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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March Sewing

I haven’t been as productive in the last few weeks even though I had a week off work – but we have got a new sofa and armchair (thanks Mum and Dad) and a new bed (Ikea purchase, bought and built on the same day without an argument).

I made 4 things in March, 3 of which were made to enter into some Instagram competitions.

1. Classic tee shirt from Love notions

This lovely cat jersey is from my local fabric shop ‘My sewing box‘ and was entered into their #mysewingchallenge contest on Instagram and won 🤗 I was gifted £25 which I used to buy some jersey for a dress for me.

2. Ogden cami

This was a complete disaster make ☹️ The pattern is in my stash and the crepe is from my fabric stash which matches a jacket in my wardrobe.

I ran it up in an hour and went to put it on my mannequin to photograph and it didn’t fit 🙈

The worst part is I think I made this mistake before…..I have a cut out pattern with the wrong bust size but keep forgetting to bin it!! I offered this to my daughter but it’s too big for her so not sure what to do with it now!! Anyone want a uk size 8 Ogden cami!?

I even used my Kylie and the machine label in the back as I can never work out which way round the top should be!!

3. Nautilus swimsuit from Tuesday stitches

This make was in my line up after having watermelon fabric left over from my leggings but pushed up the list due to the sewing contest on Instagram by @sewisfaction.

This is such a great pattern- clear instructions; clever details like the twists and back; and good bottom coverage.

I’m yet to use this in a pool to see how it holds up but as it was left over fabric it was good trial for fitting. I think next time I would add cups or lining to the bust for a better fit.

4. Betty dress from Sew over it

In March for International Women’s day Sew over it kindly offered a free pdf pattern for the Betty dress. This was so popular it crashed their website and they sent it out via Dropbox. I was really sad to hear that the company received angry and abusive comments from people trying to access their website and totally missing the generosity this company was offering.

As the pattern was free and took A LOT of pages to print and stick I used a local printers to produce A0 copies for me. The printing emporium only charged £3.50 a sheet and responded within 24 hours!

This pattern uses a lot of fabric as it has a full circle skirt so I went to Fabricland and managed to get some pretty fabric and zip for under £14!

This fabric was incredibly slippery and heavy with the volume of fabric- I ended up using spray starch to fit the zip which worked really well.

This fabric ended up too sheer to use without lining so I used some creme poly from my stash to line it.

I made this dress to attend a friend’s wedding but ended up missing the big day due to being unwell 🤧

After finishing it I am not sure it’s the right colour for me – the flowers are correct but the background colour isn’t quite right. The fit is great though 😊

Sewing plans for April

I have a pile of fabric ready for April, I have decided to invest a bit more in the fabric I buy and spend more quality for better quality.

1. Blue linen and Burnside Bibs

The navy linen is from My sewing box and the floral lining is from lovely jubbly fabrics.

2. Floral jersey and Heather dress

This was the fabric I bought with my prize from My sewing box and I have plans for a heather dress.

3. Jersey and classic tee shirt

It’s our daughter’s 13th birthday in April and I always make her an outfit for her birthday. She has picked this fabric from My sewing box for another classic tee shirt like the one made this month.

4. Lady McElroy fabric and Clara blouse

For Mother’s Day my husband took me to the local fabric shop and asked me to pick something. I bought 1.5 metre of this beautiful fabric from Lady McElroy to make a sew over it Clara blouse.

5. Floral jersey and Adrienne blouse

One of my Instagram friends surprised me with a copy of the Friday pattern company Adrienne top 😊

I went back to my sewing box in my lunch break and bought this navy jersey with flowers.

I promise I have left some fabric in the shop for others 🤣

Monthly stats

Number of Makes: 4

Number of New fabric purchases: 2

Number of Stash Fabric used: 3 ( including lining fabric)

Number of New Pattern purchases: 1 (but free)

Number of Stash patterns used: 3 (1 not used before)

Follow my makes on Instagram under @craftysewandsewindorset

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February Sewing

Image result for february sewing meme

Some how i managed to make 8 items of clothing this month (the shortest in the year!) as i think having extra days off to use up my leave helped. I set a plan to make 5 items, 3 that were already cut and ready but only manged to complete two of these.

The first make was for my friend at work; New Look 6104.


This was gifted to me with the pattern, fabric and buttons at Christmas as she had given up with sewing. It had been cut out in size 18 so i made it up in that size for her – turns out her daughter had cut it out who was bigger than her!! I am planning to take it in for her next week, luckily the bust area fits and just needs the waist tapering in.

Next was the Fairfield shirt from Thread theory – I started this back in November and finally finished it this month and he really likes it.


Matching shirts

I bought the shirt for my son and my husband asked for one. This design is so well drafted for fit and quality of finish with flat felled seams throughout.


Practicing his model poses

My third make was Named Kielo wrap dress. I have seen so many of these on instagram so when one was for sale in someone’s destash i jumped for it. I used cream and grey jersey from my stash bought from girl Charlee. This fabric was probably a little too thin for this dress but i just about get away with it and it will be perfect in the summer heat.


Sorry about the footwear – not ready for sandals yet!

Fourth make are my Burnside Bibs from Sew house 7. I found these overalls in Seasalt but they were £80 and i thought “I could make those” and started to search for a similar design. It came down between these and the Roberts collection dungarees and picked the burnside bibs as they looked more flattering and fitted.

I used 2.25m of this linen type fabric from Fabricland – the pattern calls for 3m but i managed fine with what i bought.

I have plans for the view 2 version in navy viscous linen as i feel they will be looser fitted and be a great staple through the spring and summer. Check out #sewbibs over on instagram for a contest running through March.

Next is a self drafted dog coat for our saluki lurcher Ziggy – he loves the coat but is not a willing model:

I bought some polar tec fleece on E-bay and some parachute clips to hold it on around his midriff. I then trimmed the neck and edges with a gross grain ribbon – we are testing this one out for fit before I make his second one with Green fleece.

The 6th make of the month was for my daughter – her third Mini suzon blouse in this beautiful Lewis and Irene beach border fabric. I only bought a metre at the first Dorset meet up to make her a skirt and had thought she had outgrown this design but she asked for a blouse so who was i to say no! It was stretching it to cut the ruffle on the border and it’s actually 4 pieces sewn together and think i got away with it.

Next up is a TNT pattern for me, made quickly as my contribution to #sewmystyle which was t-shirts for february – the Megan Nielsen Briar tee. I made the longer version but shortened to somewhere between cropped and full length, in burn out jersey from Girl charlee.

It’s clearly a little see through so need to get a vest top to go underneath or save for beach wear in the summer. This fabric was tricky to work with as it kept getting chewed up by my sewing machine!

Finally, make number 8 is a pair of dungarees for my son. He has been asking me for some dungarees for a while but it seemed odd for a 10 year old but he has been insistent and I rarely sew for him so searched for a pattern and found I Dig Dungarees from Made By Jacks Mum.


I had the Higgs and Higgs denim in my stash that i bought for Ash jeans but it didn’t have enough stretch. It was lovely to work with and might have to buy more for a second pair of Morgan jeans.

i added facings and pocket linings with Guardian of the Galaxy fabric from Lovely Jubbly fabric also in my stash.

Luckily these will be used for his world book day outfit next week!!

March plans

Monthly stats

Number of Makes: 8

Number of New fabric purchases: 4

Number of Stash Fabric used: 6

Number of New Pattern purchases: 3

Number of Stash patterns used: 5 (dog coat pattern was made up)


January Sewing


I have decided to try and be more dedicated to this blog as a means to track and share my making and not just use Instagram. The plan is to write one blog piece at the end of each month highlighting things I have made that month and plans for the following month.

This month I have made six items which is pretty good going as the whole family lost 10 days to the flu (one after the other like dominoes) and I managed to write and submit a 9000 word assignment to uni.

First up is my second Helen’s closet York Pinafore made in heavy cotton from Ikea – I made this version in the longer length and higher neckline so I can wear it without tights in the summer. I think i prefer the lower neckline and maybe a length somewhere between the two – I have a denim one in mind for the summer when it starts to warm up.



Next up on my list is the Darcey Bra and Frankie pants from Evie La Luve – this was a Christmas present from my husband (sort of, i may have purchased and wrapped it for myself!!).

I have been wanting to try underwear for a while and decided to brave it after making swimwear which is a similar process. I got a kit with all the findings and fabrics as it was this part that put me off when this was the discounted pattern for #sewmystyle2018. I am so pleased with the finished item and fit and will be making more this year.





Number three on my list of makes is the Cable knit jumper from Lauren Aston designs down in Exeter. My Parents bought me this kit for Christmas and the wool was truly gorgeous to use – it’s merino wool in hanks you need to roll into balls. I made the small version and although it is no where as roomy as Lauren’s in the photos it is a good fit on me and really warm. I would like to make another one in medium but searching for equally beautiful wool without wanting to spend a fortune!!


Beautiful wool





Back of Jumper

There is a little bit of piling from wearing it but hoping this will settle down and dreading the first time it needs washing for fear of shrinking it!


I had enough wool left over to knit a snood which is so needed in this recent freezing weather:


My 5th make of the month was for my daughter – a friend sent me a link to the Little legs website, who sells stunning kids jersey, to highlight some llama fabric (daughter’s current obsession).

We went through my patterns, as at almost 13 she is just about fitting the smallest sizes on most patterns with a few tweaks, and agreed on the Jarrah pattern from Megan Nielsen patterns.




I had to remove 8cm across the width of the front and back pieces – add in 4 cm to the length as she didn’t want a waistband and i would’t have managed to cut one out of the 1m of fabric i had.

i had to shorten the shoulders and narrow the arms, basing the changes on an existing sweatshirt she has. The fit came out perfect and this was such good quality fabric to work with.

I have this pattern ready for me to make one in some Guthrie and Ghani jersey i have had stashed for almost a year!

Next up are my juicy watermelon leggings!! Sew my style 2019 set a theme for January of active wear so i went to my local fabricland and invested in this great fabric to make a pair of high rise Avery leggings from Helen’s closet.

I am yet to wear them for anything but lounging around and not sure I am brave enough to wear out to a gym class but i do love them!



I had enough fabric left over to cut out a Nautilus swimsuit from Tuesday Stitches which i was aiming to enter to the Monthly Stitch ‘seasonally inappropriate’ – i might need to enter on the 28.2.19 for the Amnesty posts.

February plans

My plans for February have already started with this New Look 6104 pattern which I am making for a friend at work’s birthday. She gifted me this pattern, fabric and notions at Christmas as she bought them a few years ago when she went to a sewing class but could not get on with it and gave up. I love the pattern but this fabric is not my taste so I thought i would complete the project for her.


I set myself these nine patterns for the Make nine contest on Instagram; i have already made the York Pinafore and Evie La Luve set.


I have taken to cutting out my fabric ready to sew in batches this year so I have the following items in my basket ready to sew:

Monthly stats

Number of Makes: 6

Number of New fabric purchases: 4

Number of Stash Fabric used: 2

Number of New Pattern purchases: 2

Number of Stash patterns used: 3 (4th scarf pattern was made up)


Dorset Meet Up September 2018

Happy 2019 everyone – i have seriously neglected this blog so much so that I have just realised I never blogged about the amazing Dorset Meet up event last year!


Dorset meet up logo

So last year 16 local sewing fans met together in real life – we had arranged to meet at the Old Thatch pub in Wimborne/Ferndown area but a week before the event I popped in to talk about the space we could use to find it had closed down without any notice!! NB: this pub has since re-opened under new management.

i went into a panic but without any reason as the amazing  sewing community came together and all joined in to save the day; calling pubs in the local area and looking for alternative venues. Ellen saved the day by finding The Pure Drop and arranging everyone’s new food orders – things didn’t go quite to plan on the day with lots of drama over ordering and paying for the food by the pub owner but again every one who attended took this in their stride and didn’t let it effect their day.

i made myself a new Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress with stretch denim from my sewing box – paired with my stripy joules top for the big event.


We took up a large space in the pub and had a whole table covered in fabric, patterns and wool for the swap and not forgetting the incredible raffle prizes – see my previous post for the details of the generous gifts donated. We managed to raise £140 for the MS society which was so great.

All who attended received a goody bag with bespoke badges from Girl Charlee with discount codes and some sweets.


Good Bags


My wins from the pattern and fabric swap

Due to the delays in the pub we had to revise our original shopping plans and aimed for 2 independent shops; Lovely Jubbly Fabrics in Ferndown and My Sewing Box in Wallisdown. A few people managed to squeeze in the Wool shop in Kinson and Fabricland also in Wallisdown.

The lovely Jade at Lovely Jubbly fabrics  – sale on at her shop this weekend – was very welcoming to the group and i think we all picked up some stunning fabrics from her shop. I got this Japanese blue twill below for a pair of Guise trousers.


purchases from My sewing box and Lovely Jubbly

Angela and Amy over at the Sewing box stayed open for us, as we were running so late, and provided us with tea and coffee and free reign over their fantastic shop. They had just started to stock a new range of jersey which is dangerous for me as i am walking distance to this shop from work!!

i picked up the floral fabric above with plans to make an Alex shirt from Sew over it – see this post over on the Monthly stitch for details of the finished items.

Everyone had a great time despite the terrible weather and lots of discussions were had on what we can do at the next meet up. We have started discussions for plans across this year so if you are local to Dorset and keen to join in follow us on Instagram or on facebook.




I just wanted to say a big thank you to all who came, those who helped find a new venue, the shops for waiting for us for so long, for the companies who donated prizes for the raffle and for Sue who gave me this fantastic picture below as a thanks for organising the event.


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Summer sewing plans 

I had a bit of a sort out of my fabric stash this morning; removing small pieces of fabric remnants from previous projects and deciding what patterns to pair with fabric. 

I think I need to accept I am a fabric hoarder. If I have a piece left over I think I could use to make a top or shorts for my kids then it goes back in my stash pile, but then I end up buying new fabric for a project!

I have now sorted out 11 sewing plans (all from my stash!!).

Here goes:


I picked up a free copy of the elisalex pattern from By Hand London from my love sewing magazine a few months ago. I bought this stretch cotton from fabricland a very long time ago for a pair of trousers but when I made a toile I didn’t like the design so it has sat in my stash. You can read about this dress here.


My daughter agreed I could make her an outfit and selected this tween pattern from new look and wants view b. The fabric is black with mint green spots and is a viscose polyester so should be okay if the sun comes back again!


This is part of the sew my style line up and due to be sewn for July. I have tried a few Megan Nielsen patterns now so confident that this will fit well. I didn’t want another chambray dress so I am going to see if I can fit the pattern on to this Tula pink fabric (originally destined to be a Collette ginger skirt). Again, I’ll omit the sleeves as prefer sleeveless in the summer.


This was another free pattern from itch to stitch released on Mother’s Day in the US. I’m going to try it out on my stash jersey and might make a few of these for the summer if it works out.


I made one pair of these flint trousers on chambray but keen to make a button up pair on black crepe for a smarter look.


This was from last summers list!! I won this pattern in last years indie pattern month on the monthly stitch but never got round to making it. I think this might be more of an autumn make…..


This is jersey from the girl charlee sale at Easter time. I’ve made a couple of briar tops now but fancy another brighter shirt in my wardrobe.


This will be my third attempt at this pattern. My first was in black rib which came out okay but a bit too much stretch. My second one was in pink jersey but not enough stretch so I had to alter into a tshirt!


This is another pattern that has sat in my stash for a year. I have made a couple of jackets recently and they are not as difficult as I think so need to get on with this.


This is the August pattern for sew my style and I failed to use my imagination and found fabric like the photo!!

I also have a few other patterns waiting such as the paper cut bowline sweater, French navy orla dress and chalk and notch farah top!! 

I think they should see me through to autumn!!!


Roman day

A very quick post to show how valuable having sewing skills can be as a parent!

So last week my son came home from school and told me he needed a roman costume for Thursday….this was Tuesday and we had parents evening that night after work! The school letter said “just dress them in white leggings, t shirt and homemade headpiece “! Like we all have white leggings in our son’s wardrobe.

Off I went to fabricland to recreate this: 

I managed to find a white polyester off cut for 80p, some red satin and faux leather to make this:

All in half an hour as we were booked to watch The Shack at the cinema at 7.30; I got home at 6pm and made this while cooking meatballs for the family dinner!

I basically overlocked the red and white fabric, cut head holes in the white and faux leather and created slits for the red satin to attach to the tabard. I then drew a template and used the rotary cutter to create the flaps. Ta da!!


World Book Day Totoro


I thought I got away with world book day this year, my son announced that he was going as a dinosaur from Tyrannosaurus drip. He has a crocodile costume in his wardrobe and was happy to wear this and my daughter was convinced that her middle school wouldn’t ‘do dress up’.


Then we got an email on Friday last week stating that she would be joining in and immediately asked to go as Totoro.
Our daughter is obsessed with studio ghibli My Neighbour Totoro. At Christmas we bought her Totoro pens, Totoro hat, Totoro pencil case etc!!
It feels like a bit of a cheat as it’s a film rather than a book but she stands by the fact that a film that is almost 30 years old must have some accompanying books!!


The hat and scarf was a Christmas present so I only had to sort the top and trousers….off to primark we went ( don’t judge me!!!! They had posted up directing you to look at ethical primark, but £2 for a pair of leggings does feel wrong!).
In case you don’t know who or what Totoro is, here’s a photo:


There are lots of Totoro sweatshirts for sale so easy to get an idea on how to make one (mainly in adult sizes strangely!).


I started by making a template for the white belly.


Checked it looked big enough.


Cut it out of white fleece on the fold to ensure they were the same size.


Then I cut out seven little v shaped pieces out of grey fleece, splitting one between the two semi circles.


I pinned these on and sewed around the edges on my machine for speed.


Before sewing the semi circles on the front I pinned the pockets out of the way with safety pins so I didn’t catch them.


Ta da finished!!


With her little pencil case.


Field trip top by Oliver and S


My son really needed some new tops so rather than go shopping I started to search online for some pattern ideas.
I have seen lots of Oliver and S patterns in the past but thought they were for little kids and my two at age 8 & 10 were now too big. They actually go up to age 12 so I bought the field trip top as a pdf file for instant gratification and got a skirt pattern for my daughter which was offered at a special price.


Just in case you are interested,  I store all my pdf’s printed in plastic wallets with the instructions and pattern pieces tucked in behind.
I have since downloaded the little sunny day shorts that are free on their website.


I took my kids to my local fabricland and asked my son to choose some fabric.  He was not interested in the slightest and randomly pointed to the green and black! I cut a size 7 for him even though he is quite a tall but skinny 8 year old. I added a little length to the body but the arms fitted well.
When we were at fabricland my daughter insisted that I make her one as well and went straight for a jersey aztec design.


As you can see she is very pleased with hers and happily modelled for me!


So much so she told me that the top was worthy of a “dab”……whatever that means!!


Originally we were going to have black arms but decided to put the pattern on the sleeves as they were different weights. She asked for cuffs that she could put her thumbs through,  so luckily I remembered that Emily posted on how to create this so had a quick recap.
This was made this morning ready for a birthday party at lunchtime so it’s a really quick make.


Selfless Sunday- pinafore dress


My daughter is growing up fast, she’s only 10 (11 in four months) and still plays with Barbie dolls but she’s on that cusp of being aware of fashion and peer pressure.
I have always made her little dresses which she proudly wears and tells people that I made them for her. However, the last few school discos and birthday parties have caused long debates on what was “cool” to wear.
I decided the best way to keep her interested in home sewn outfits was to get her to design her own clothes.
At Christmas we bought her some fashion design books and I downloaded some croquis to design some outfits.
She decided that she wanted a dungaree dress and drew the above design.
Chloe was clear that she wanted a gathered skirt and straps that started from the waist.


I drafted a pattern after taking a few measurements. The skirt is made of two rectangles with tabs at the top that I hemmed and turn in for the side button plackets.


Chloe chose a denim chambray with little white flowers on it and picked out plastic flower buttons. I added a pocket to the front and top stitched around the bib.




I added buttons on the side to fasten it up and finished the inside with facing.


She is very happy with the finished item and think I have managed to sneak another hand made item into her wardrobe.


Top 5 Goals for 2017


This one overlaps with my 2017 nine makes post but that does allow me to add five more things to my wish list.

1. A fitted jacket
I’ve added the Jackie o jacket to my list but I quite fancy the grainline Morris jacket.


2. Underwear
I have bought very little RTW items this week but underwear escaped this rule. I have found a few bra designs I like the idea of and have the advantage of not being very busty.


3. Jeans
I have been watching more and more of the blogging community whipping up jeans and I’ve yet to be brave enough to take he plunge. I like the idea of ginger jeans but also the jeans that come in the sew over it e book.


4. Selfless shirt
This is double edged; firstly considering a project that won’t be quick and needs to be executed week for the recipient to consider wearing it; and secondly the recipient not being me…..I can do this!!


5. Trendier kids clothes
Our 10 year old daughter went to a disco the other day and really struggled to find something to wear. She likes to be different and didn’t want to wear black like all her friends but then everything else was leggings and t shirts! I need to search for more Indi girl’s patterns that keeps her my little girl but trendy for her mates. Plus find some nicer boys patterns.