The Portrait of a Stranger Blouse

In the first installment of “garments I’ve made ages ago but have been wearing too frequently to take pictures” is this voile blouse, which is really cool and comfy in this hot weather. It is Gertie’s Portrait Blouse (as made here and here) so other than moving the tucks so that the print matches up, there is nothing new to say about the pattern. Except that the fabric was a present from Gillian all the way in Canada!!!portrait back

Gillian and I are almost the same person on different sides of the ocean; we are both teachers of little kids, we both love polka dots and we both have similar colour palettes. When I posted pictures of my Aubergine Hummingbird skirt, Gillian loved the colour and since I had plenty I offered to send her some. In return Gillian showed me pictures of her stash, but it was all pretty and I couldn’t decide so I asked her to send me a surprise. She sent me this lovely, soft, buttery voile that is so easy and cool to wear. I made this blouse and I’ve worn it at least once a week since making it.

portrait front


This is definitely my most worn top of the summer and the colour fits in so well with my wardrobe. Thanks Gillian!

Great minds think alike

Karen recently noticed that high street stores are making the same clothes as us home-sewists. So I was slightly surprised to see that Monsoon has made a dress just like one I made two years ago (before I started blogging).

My handmade blue floral summer dress

Monsoon’s blue floral dress

The Monsoon dress is on sale for £75 whereas mine cost approx £5 (I got the fabric at Kilburn Market thinking it would be a muslin) Me 1: Monsoon 0

The jersey in my dress is a decent weight and drapes well, but is probably a big mix of poly-blends. The Monsoon dress is 100% cotton Me 1: Monsoon 1

Both dresses have fitted bodices and full skirts, and are sleeveless. My dress is (a little too ?) short, has decorative stitched hems (I had just bought my lovely Janome) and is embellished with lots of handmade roses. The Monsoon dress looks like it is a more modest length and has a nice piped waistband. Who is the winner? You decide!

I have got lots of wear out of my little summer dress, and I love that it is a print I would never normally choose – I got the fabric because it was cheap and intended to make a muslin, but ended up keeping it. However I do sometimes feel a bit self-conscious as it is shorter than anything else in my wardrobe and is not good on windy tube escalators! Last year I had been considering adding a layer underneath the skirt to make it a smidgeon longer (and maybe give it a tad more body), possibly in navy or white with a matching waist band – what do you think?

Pyjama Party!

After a long week (fancy taking 26 4 year olds on London buses anyone?) and the seriously gloomy weather, today was a day for sewing. And what better comfort-sewing than some new jim-jams?

Karen at Did You Make That? has been hosting a pyjama sewalong which has been popping up in my Google Reader account, and today was the day of the big party so I thought I’d join in with the fun.

I had a rummage through my stash but there was nothing suitable in the correct amount, so I took a bus ride down to Fabrics Galore in Battersea – when I lived in SW London this is where I bought the fabric for my first dress-making adventure – and may have got a little bit distracted by all the pretty fabrics.

French seams and sewn-in elastic waist band

What book is on your bedside table?
Last week I was listening to a discussion about sweets in books on Radio 4, so I picked up Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams in the library this week (a brand new, unread library book!)

What was your favourite (childhood) bed time cuddly toy?
Percival the penguin has already had his fifteen minutes of fame on here, so I shall introduce you to Flopsy the rabbit. I got Flopsy for my birthday when I was ten or eleven, which makes her a grown-up sixteen years old now. Over the years she has moulted a lot and been so well hugged that she is now molded into the perfect huggable shape – as much as I love Percival, Flopsy is still the perfect shape to cuddle to sleep.

What is your favourite sewing pattern?
I bought some raspberry jersey to make a matching pj top, but the colour is so scrummy that I think I might have to jazz it up and wear it during the day. My favourite go-to pattern for jersey is my tatty and much-modified Sadie vest pattern from BurdaStyle – it fits, it is quick to sew, and there are lots of ways I can change it – but today I decided to use a one-piece kimono tee (also from BurdaStyle).

Purple – check!
Polka dots – check!
Pyjamas on a cold wet evening – check!
I just need to wait for my Jammie Dodgers to be ready (well the oven was on for dinner, so I’m saving the planet…)


Home is where the craft is

I recently moved house so things have been a bit quiet on the blogging/sewing front while life got in the way, but, with only two and a half boxes left to unpack I decided it was time for some crafting 🙂

I bought a second-hand sofa for my new living room that is a lovely burgundy-pinky colour, almost the same colour as some cushions I made from a felted jumper years ago. Notice the word almost – time to make some new cushion covers!

Cushion no.1 - patchwork

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