Spring has sprung

Spring is here and so are the holidays!

I’m planning to do a bit of sewing over the next few weeks and have planned a few gaps in my wardrobe that need to be sewn ready for spring and summer.

Sewing plans

  1. First on the list is making another V8560. In the new year I picked up some navy and white polka dot cotton which I have been itching to make into a summer skirt. I am going to attempt some piping along the horizontal seams. I have made this a couple of times already and settled on somewhere between view B and C to get the correct length.

    Vogue full skirt

  2. Next up is a shirt-dress. Every summer I see them in the shops and think what easy summer dressing they would be, but they always look weird on me. I saw this pattern free with Sew magazine and thought view C would be worth a try as it is more fitted than the usual shirt dresses in shops, and should be easier to add FBA and accurate positioning of the waistline. If it works I can see myself rustling up a few of these, starting with

    Lisette Traveler - View C

  3. Recently my favourite jeans have worn away at the seams, and I thought that instead of buying a new pair I should try and sew some! I haven’t decided on a pattern, but am wondering whether I can adjust the trouser pattern I fitted last year…
  4. I normally wear knit tops but last year decided to make the blogger’s favourite Sorbetto top from Colette patterns. I made a couple, making adjustments on each, and they fit but don’t feel right. Maybe it is because I am not used to wearing woven tops, but I want to get it right so I can make some tops using all the lovely printed cottons I keep seeing (especially if they include cute animal or flying-bird silhouettes)
  5. A spring-summer jacket. There was one in the March issue of Burda style that looks promising. I think I need to get some more fabric to make a muslin.
  6. Finally my staple wardrobe outfit – more modifications variations of my basic t-shirt pattern. I’m not sure how much modifying needs to be done to a pattern before it becomes self-drafted, but my favourite quick sew is a combination of Burda’s Lydia and Sadie tops, with some tweaks to fit me. I have been exploring ways of jazzing up the pattern (Peter Pan collar, pussy bow tie neckline, contrast hem and cuffs…) but I think there are still more adaptations that could be made.

    Burda Lydia-Sadie pattern mash-up

So those are my immediate spring sewing plans, although there is always room for more inspiration. What are your sewing plans for the summer?

p.s. I also have baking plans for next week, more details to follow next week!






Peacocks at the zoo

Last week, you may know, was my big brother’s wedding in Bristol Zoo, and the first outing of my Peacock dress. So here is a picture post full of animals and sequins!

The final dress complete with beautiful corsage.

Silly wally pose!

Teeny baby meerkat!

Fascinating feathery fascinator.

I put the fascinator on a headband in the end and it stayed in place all day, although some of the feathers didn’t like all the rain and drizzle.

Sea-lion enjoying the rain.

Beautiful silk shining under the disco lights.

I love the two-tone effect of the silk 🙂 I’d like to say that I spent hours choosing the perfect length for the dress, but I was limited by fabric. However I think the length and a-line combination was great – long enough to feel decently dressed but short and swishy enough to feel fun.
p.s. look at that invisible hem!

"Hello, ooh look at that lovely dress."

A good view of all the hand-beading.

Sadly a couple of sequins didn’t survive all the dancing, but the fit had plenty of dancing-ease.

Pitter patter raindrops.

Stripey lemurs.

It is pretty rare to wear something for a whole day and night of walking, eating, standing, posing, eating and lots of dancing, and then crawl into a cab after midnight still feeling totally comfortable (pointy stilettos excluded!). But this dress fitted like a glove – no waistband digging into the wrong place, no straps slipping down the shoulders, and no lining twisting around. The dress got a big test-wear and here is the proof…

Rocking on the dance floor

Stitches and sutures

Urgh! Not another cold/sore throat/cough/flu! Luckily there is a slight silver-lining – a day off work and 5 hours a night awake sat on the sofa means I have plenty of time for hand sewing. This means a lot of progress on my dress (expect a final round-up tomorrow!) and finally giving a special someone some much needed medical attention.

***WARNING*** The rest of this post contains gruesome medical details that some readers may find unsettling***

Due to the effects of old age, Percival the penguin has been in need of some reverse-liposuction for a year or so, but due to waiting lists on the NHS he has had quite a long wait for treatment.


But yesterday the wait was over. After a small dose of anaesthetic, a small incision was made on his back and medical-grade implants were inserted to his head, body and neck, before the opening was sewn shut. To aid his recovery, Percival then received a short course of deep-tissue massage therapy, which has been proven to reduce the risk of rejection of the implants.


He seems to be recovering well, and now needs to wait for his stitches to heal before he can have a sponge bath (a camera phone flash seems to do wonders for his complexion).