Saturday, 31 December 2016

A Year in Sewing

Hey everyone!

With 2016 rapidly drawing to a close, I just wanted to take a moment and look back at my sewing output for this year. You might remember that in December last year, I set myself some sewing resolutions to complete throughout 2016 - you can find them here. Well, thanks to a combination of university and the appeal of other sewing projects, I haven't completed any of them! That's alright though, I'll get round to them at my own pace. For now, I'm just glad that I still enjoy stitching fabric into clothes I love to wear.

I've decided not to set myself any sewing resolutions at all for 2017. I'm in my third year of university, it's a busy time and I want to put my effort into studying. I will still try to make time for sewing whenever I can, I just want to be able to choose projects based on how I'm feeling at the time, not on what resolutions I made at the start of the year. Hopefully this will mean I continue to create a wardrobe which works for my everyday style, rather than one off pieces which don't fit in with the rest of my garments!

So, now for a look back on my sewing in 2016, what worked and what didn't. I've blogged 13 items of clothing this year, and completed 5 more whilst I've been back home for Christmas. This is definitely down on previous years - in 2015 I made 28 garments and 34 in 2014! However, I put the decrease down to an increased workload at university.

My top three favourite makes of this year are as follows:

Geneva Raglan Top

Megan Dress

Backless Emery Dress

All three are worn regularly and the dresses in particular fit into my signature navy floral style. However, not everything I've made this year have made it into my regular wardrobe rotation. Here are a couple of garments that haven't seen any wear this year and why:

Flora Dress
The By Hand Flora Dress is a gorgeous pattern and I really want to make it up in a different fabric - the (rather ugly!) fabric I used to make this dress was some cheap cotton I found in the bottom of a box at my university's craft club. Perfect for practising sewing a pattern I'd never used before, not perfect for day to day wear.

Renfrew Dress
Yes, navy is my colour, but without a pattern like flowers or polka dots, I will very rarely reach for a dress. This is a really comfy garment, but it's seen virtually no wear because it's just too plain for my usual style, and as a general rule I wear woven dresses far more often than knits. Lesson learnt!

Overall, I've grown really comfortable with my style. I know what I love to wear and sew, so even with the decreased sewing output I suspect coming up in 2017, hopefully I'll have a greater chance of sewing garments I wear on a regular basis. Navy floral fabric is more or less a must for me to reach for a dress in the morning, as is a heavily gathered skirt. I'm going to keep this is mind when planning future makes, and am looking forward to getting started on adding to my wardrobe in 2017!

To all of you out there, I wish you a wonderful, happy, healthy and creative year, and thank you as always for reading,

Beth x

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016: A Reflection

Hey everyone!

With the year coming to a close, I thought that today I'd take a look back on 2016 and reflect on both the good and the bad. For me personally, 2016 has been a wonderful year. I feel like I really hit my stride at university; I love living independently, studying what interests me and learning how to manage by myself in the wider world. I also took part in two national demonstrations (one against Trident and one against austerity), spent my first full year as a vegetarian (as opposed to the eight years I spent as a pescetarian - someone who eats fish but not meat) and celebrated me and my boyfriend's first year anniversary.

However, in many parts of the wider world, 2016 has not been a good year. Britain chose to leave the European Union, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, there have been dozens of terrorist attacks all over the world, mass shootings and a 41% increase in hate crime throughout Britain following the Brexit vote. It's at times like these when we should be standing together, supporting each other, not demonstrating divide and hate.

2016 has also become known as the year of celebrity deaths and this, too, is devastating. So much talent has been lost this year, so many inspirational people. But whilst you spare a thought for those whose passing is big enough to make the headlines, please remember all the people whose deaths have gone unnoticed by the media, but who are just as important and just as worthy of mourning and remembering.

I watched Pride earlier on this evening, which in part was what motivated me to sit down and get this blog post written. A funny, moving and completely inspirational account of how the LGBT community came together in a show of solidarity with striking miners, it has really reinvigorated my love of activism, socialism and the fight for peace. I don't identify as LGBT, but I do identify as a socialist and a feminist - and when you stop to think about it, they're all interlinked. The fight for peace and equality is something we should all be invested in, no matter who you are or where you come from. That is why in 2017, I want to get more involved than ever in trying to make our world a better place. In March, I'll be attending the 'It's our NHS: National Demonstration', and I really do hope that you will consider coming along too. I also want learn as much as I can about the feminist movement, so am aiming to join the feminist book club Our Shared Shelf, which was founded this year by Emma Watson.

I know I'm just one small person in a sea of voices and I know that at 21 years old, I'm still young and inexperienced. But I don't want my life to be harmful in any way - I want to reduce my impact on the planet, I want to care for animals rather than contributing to their deaths through the meat industry, and I want to help people who need it. I want to use my life to fight for equality and peace, and I want to help inspire others to do the same. If we all work towards the same goal, we stand a far greater chance of achieving it than if we work alone.

I will aim to be back at some point before the New Year to share my sewing achievements of 2016 and my plans for next year!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and have a lovely week,

Beth x

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Christmas Sewing List

Hey guys!

With the exception of my dissertation oral presentation tomorrow (I am absolutely terrified, keeping my fingers crossed it goes ok!), I have finished my work for the semester and am free to start planning all the lovely things I'm going to sew over the Christmas break.

With that in mind, I thought I'd put together a list so you can see what I'm hoping to make. I've not sewn since August so I'm planning on getting a lot done over the three weeks I have off, so if you have any more suggestions please do comment them below!

Cleo pinafore & dungaree dress - sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

First up is the Cleo pinafore dress from Tilly and the Buttons. I am absolutely in love with this pattern and have got some absolutely gorgeous aubergine needlecord ready and waiting (I got the fabric as part of the kits Tilly has made to accompany this pattern, they're awesome and make the process so much easier).

I can definitely see a dress like this becoming a wardrobe staple for me, I've always been a huge fan of both dungarees and dresses, so to combine the two seems like a genius idea!

Evelyn Wrap Front Romper Teddy Sewing Pattern Ballet Style Lingerie PDF Instant Download Tutorial

Next up is the Evelyn Romper from Ohhh Lulu. I've had my eye on this pattern for ages, so I've finally taken the plunge and ordered some black satin from Abakhan to have a go. It's different to the kind of garments I usually sew, but I'm looking forward to trying something new. Plus my pyjamas usually consist of old t-shirts that I've had since I was 10 and some bottoms that don't match, so it'll be nice to have something a bit posher!


I was inspired to sew the Ogden Cami from True Bias Patterns when I saw Erin's gorgeous versions. I've ordered some teal crepe from Minerva Fabrics to make my own. Although my heart lies with dresses, I've been trying to get into the habit of wearing jeans a bit more often in the cold winter weather, so adding a few more tops into my wardrobe to wear with them is definitely a necessity.


Finally, the Astoria Sweatshirt from Seamwork Magazine. I've already got three of these in my wardrobe (navy, cream, then a colour blocked one with a cream body and navy sleeves). However, I've been wanting a burgundy one for ages! So I picked up some burgundy sweatshirt fabric from Ebay and am looking forward to adding another Astoria to my wardrobe.

I'm also planning on doing some selfless sewing and making a sweatshirt for my boyfriend with some grey sweatshirting fabric I have (I've never been much into grey, but he swears it goes with everything).

So, that's my sewing list for the Christmas holidays so far! I'm 99.9% certain it will grow, especially as I'll be able to visit my home town's fabric shop for the first time in almost four months!

Do you have any sewing plans for the holidays? I'd love to hear about them!

I hope you've all had a fabulous weekend and, as always, thank you for reading,

Beth x

Thursday, 17 November 2016


Hey everyone!

It's been a while, I know, and still no sewing going on around these parts. I miss my machine so much! It's sitting neglected and a little dusty in the corner of my room. Third year of university is leaving pretty much no time to indulge in sewing, so I'm finding myself semi-stalking Instagram, Pinterest and sewing blogs for some much needed inspiration. I have a long list of garments to make over the Christmas break, I can't wait to get started!

In the meantime, I thought I'd share my final make from over summer with you. I was running out of suitable stash fabric by this point, so the fabric I used is reasonably awful, but it worked well as a means of testing a new style...the faux wrap of the By Hand London Flora!

In a nicer fabric (this is some really cheap cotton stuff I was given from the Craft Club at my university; I really dislike the print, far too much pale pink for my taste), I think this could easily become a pattern I use over and over again. I made up a size 6, which is usual for me. When finished, there was a little gaping at the neckline, but I remedied this by adding a line of stitching down where the wrap pieces cross over, a quick and easy solution. 

Like normal, I swapped out the drafted skirt pieces for a simple gathered rectangle, my favourite style and the one I've used with almost all of my handmade dresses. 

Overall, I really like this dress. The bodice neckline is a little different to what I'm used to, but I have so many dresses similar to each other that it's good to try something a little out of the ordinary (note the navy floral fabric though...that's not going anywhere any time soon ;) )

As usual, thank you for reading, and for bearing with me through all the long silences. I'll try and write again in the next few days with a sewing plan for all the garments I want to make over Christmas!
Have a wonderful week everyone,

Beth x

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Navy Sewaholic Renfrew Dress

Hey guys!

No sewing has been going on around these parts as of late, as I foolishly decided not to bring my sewing machine to uni this year (never fear; this should hopefully be rectified next weekend!). However, I do have another make completed over summer to share with you.

This is another Sewaholic Renfrew hack - like with my other versions, I just cropped the bodice pieces and added a gathered skirt to make a dress. This is so comfy to wear, especially in the snuggly navy jersey I picked up at the flagship John Lewis store on Oxford Street in London.

As per usual I sewed up the smallest size (0) and didn't have to make any fitting alterations. I'm really pleased with the finished result, it'll be great to wear once the colder winter weather arrives. I adore winter clothing and am thrilled the cooler autumn weather has at last meant I can switch back to wearing tights and cardigans.

Here's a closer look at the bodice. I've never really managed to get on board with the 'secret pyjamas' trend which seems to have been sweeping the blogosphere as of late, but this dress does fit the requirements!

That's about it from me today. Hopefully I'll be back soon to share another finished make once I have my sewing machine back!

I hope you all have a lovely week, and thank you so much for reading,

Beth x

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Typically Me - A Navy Sewaholic Cambie

Hey guys! How are you?

I am fiiiiinally back at uni and it is awesome to be here. Lectures don't start for another two weeks, so I'm just enjoying spending time with my friends, working on a book review for my dissertation and watching Stranger Things on Netflix (which is seriously good, though creepy - would definitely recommend).

At the moment though, it is super warm and sunny outside, so I'm inside staying out of the heat with a bunch of double chocolate chip cookies to get through, so I thought I'd share another one of my recently finished makes with you!

Yes, it is yet another Sewaholic Cambie. To be honest, this being my eighth (!!!) version of this dress, I haven't got a lot of new stuff to say, but I like it and it fits my style perfectly, so I figured I'd blog about it anyway.

As per usual, I made up View B with the gathered skirt in a Size 0 with no fitting issues, and used a gorgeous cotton fabric that I found in my local market. It's navy with tiny white daisies, so from afar it looks very similar to another one of my Cambies - the first dress in this post, if you're interested. That wasn't an accident though, as I love that version of the Cambie so much (it gets worn alllllll the time) I've been planning on making another one for ages, so this one fits the bill perfectly.

Here's a close up of the bodice, you can see the print a little better. I can envision myself wearing this dress all the time come winter, with cosy cardigans, tights and boots.... is anyone else dreaming of colder weather at the moment?

So, that's pretty much all from me for now - the Cambie may be my favourite sewing pattern, but I think even I'll run out of stuff to say about it eventually! Still, I doubt this will be the last time you see it, I can definitely see more Cambies on the horizon!

I hope you're all having a brilliant week and, as always, thank you for reading,

Beth x

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Outfit-Along 2016: My Completed Outfit

Hey guys!

I am exceptionally late blogging my completed garments for the Outfit-Along, but I only just got around to photographing them. Whilst I did finish both pieces before the deadline, unfortunately I never uploaded a picture on time for it to count in the competition! However, for me the real prize is that it inspired me to create an entirely new outfit, including a knitted jumper! For someone as slow at knitting as I am, I feel really proud of this accomplishment.

For the first part of my outfit, I (rather unsurprisingly) chose to make a dress. I had an absolutely beautiful length of Liberty Tana Lawn in my fabric stash which I'd been delaying using for fear of something going wrong! I decided the competition was the push I needed to create something from it though, and chose my favourite tried and tested pattern, the Sewaholic Cambie.

I made up the Size 0, which is standard for me, and didn't come across any fitting issues sewing it up. The whole of the dress is fully lined as well, including the fully gathered skirt.

I absolutely adore this pattern, which can be seen through the amount of times I've sewn it up! I have seven Cambies in my handmade wardrobe, the most times I've used the same pattern. 

Here's a close up of the bodice so you can have a better look at the beautiful fabric! I know that Liberty isn't for everyone, but I've been somewhat of a super-fan since the moment I stepped inside the store in London. Even the building itself is gorgeous, fitting to house such exquisitely designed fabrics. I have been known to spend more than an hour on the fabric floor, doing nothing but walk round and feel the buttery softness of the Tana Lawn. Whilst expensive, I do love the fact that I'm not able to sew with it for every project; the rare times I'm able to get my hands on some Liberty, my project feels that little bit more special.

Now moving on from my ramblings about my love of Liberty, let me show you my finished jumper! Whilst not perfect, I am really pleased with the fact that I managed to finish it at all, as I am definitely more of a machine sewer than a slow hand knitted project kind of girl. But I am glad I persevered!

For this garment, I used a pattern I found on Ravelry - the Coronis Jumper by Emily Ringelman. It's knitted in the round from the top down, which for a beginner knitter like me seemed perfect. My only regret is that I didn't follow the yarn weight instructions, using a thick aran instead of the recommended double knitting, so it's come out quite bulky. But, it's all a learning curve! And the finished jumper is still perfectly wearable.

I do love the yarn I used though, despite the fact it's a little weighty. It's a deep navy colour with little white specks, perfect to match all my dresses! I'm sure it'll see some wear come winter, as it is really warm and cosy.

Aaaaand here's the completed outfit! A Sewaholic Cambie dress and a Coronis jumper. I'm so pleased with both garments and happy that although I didn't get everything uploaded on time for the deadline, I've furthered my knitting skills and come away with two new items of clothing to wear.

Did you take part in the Outfit-Along? If so, I'd love to see what you made!

I hope you all have a fabulous week and, as always, thank you so much for reading,

Beth x

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Backless Emery Dress

Hey guys!

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally got round to photographing some of my more recently finished makes! I've got so much to share with you, so I thought I'd start with my absolute favourite, a hacked version of the Emery Dress by Christine Haynes.

From the front, the dress looks like the Emery Dress as drafted. I cut the smallest size, using View A for the bodice but omitting the bow at the waistline. As is typical for me, I used a simple gathered skirt, which I lined. It's the back of the dress which is a little more interesting!

I bought a ready-to-wear backless dress from New Look this summer and fell in love with the style of it, so I wanted to experiment and see if I could replicate it. Using the back piece of the Emery bodice as a starting point, I simply got a pencil and drew a line down from the neckline, curving in towards the centre back as I reached the waistline.

I didn't bother to line the bodice, simply gave every visible raw edge a narrow hem, which worked out fine. I then added a little strap at the back just for some security and inserted the zip like normal. I'm so pleased with the finished result!

For the fabric, I used a lovely length of something I picked up in Abakhan in Chester, only I don't know what it is! It feels like a soft version of cotton canvas, or something similar? It's quite a heavy weight, but with a beautiful feel to it. I love the print as well! Navy floral? Yes please! It was a dream to work with, as it pressed really well and didn't fray.

Here's a close up shot of the back. It is quite dramatic! As I was making alterations to the paper pattern, I was just winging it really - I've never hacked anything in this way before. I just drew my new shape directly onto the pattern and cut it out, as it's a PDF file so I can just print off another copy if I ever decide to make another non-backless version. I do want to continue my experiments with backless though, perhaps a slightly less full version next time - have the scoop finish higher up my back and bring the sides round into my shoulder blades a little more. I do love it the way it is though, it's a real statement and I've worn it loads this summer.

So, that's my new Emery! I have loads more to show you though, so keep your eye out for more posts from me which should be up quite soon.

I hope you all have a fabulous week and thank you as always for reading,

Beth x

P.S. For the very observant amongst you, you may have noticed I've had a new haircut! I got bored of my curls and full fringe, so I've had a side parting and side fringe cut in instead, and have been experimenting with straightening! I'm still a bit undecided as to how to wear it full-time, but for the meantime I like it like this.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Floral Megan

Hey guys!

I have finally got around to photographing some finished makes, with the help of my wonderful new phone. I can't express how pleased I am to have the ability to take photographs back! I love capturing images and surround myself in the ones I take; both my room at university and my room at home have the wall space covered in photos I've taken and printed off. That's not to say I'm a good photographer! I'm certainly not, but I do love the memories that photographs hold.

So, with my regained ability to photograph my handmade garments, today I thought I would share with you my most recently finished make - the Megan Dress from Tilly and the Buttons' book Love at First Stitch.

This is my second Megan (you can see the first here), which I sewed up in a gorgeous floral cotton from Abakhan in Chester. It's quite a weighty fabric, almost like a softer version of a canvas, which made it a dream to sew with. I fell in love with the print as soon as I saw it and knew immediately it had to become a Megan dress. As you've probably realised by now, floral prints on navy backgrounds are definitely my signature style, even for my purse and phone case!

I already had the smallest size of the pattern traced off from the first time I'd made it, but I did encounter an odd fitting issue this time around. The finished dress was really gaping around the neckline, but after some thought I just pinched out a dart on either side of the zip, which solved the problem perfectly and got rid of the excess fabric.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the finished garment and have already given it it's first outing, to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. I had a lovely day and saw the Staffordshire Hoard (the biggest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold to be discovered in Britain, which was found by a metal detectorist), which I have been wanting to see for years! I also saw a lot of Roman, Greek and Egyptian artefacts, including a ring which belonged to Queen Nefertiti. If you're ever in the area I would definitely recommend a visit!

At last, a finished garment blogged. It feels good to be able to share my makes with you again; I've got a couple more posts planned which should be up soon, so keep your eye out for those!

I hope you all have a lovely week and, as always, thank you so much for reading,

Beth x

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Checking In

Hey guys!

Can you believe it's July already? This year is just flying past. I'm having a lovely time so far this summer and, with all the free time I have on my hands, I've already completed my Outfit-Along jumper! I'm usually a fantastically slow knitter, but I was really motivated to finish this project and finished weaving in the ends today. Now I just have to sew up the Sewaholic Cambie in some gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn I have and my outfit will be complete.

My phone is being a huge pain at the moment and isn't letting me take photographs, but a new phone is on the way! It's due for delivery on Tuesday so fingers crossed I'll finally be able to photograph and blog some long-finished makes. I know I haven't blogged about any actual sewing for a while, but that doesn't mean I've been completely idle, I promise! I've got two dresses to share with you - and at the end of July I'll be sharing my Outfit-Along with you, so watch this space for those.

Apart from that, there's not much news from around here; I mostly spend my days watching Netflix in my pyjamas. Last week was lovely though, my boyfriend came to stay for a few days and it was great to spend time with him, especially since I'd not seen him since leaving university for summer nearly a month ago. I've also got a trip to Norway coming up in a couple of weeks, so that should be a fantastic experience and allows me to tick off another place on the list of countries I've visited.

Have you got any plans for summer? I'd love to hear about them!

As always, thank you for reading,

Beth x

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Outfit-Along 2016

Hey guys! How are you all?

I'm back at home, spending my days lounging around in my pyjamas and binge-watching 90210 on Netflix. Three months of freedom is starting to look like rather a long time... if anyone has any suggestions for cheap things to do in my summer holiday, please do comment below! I was planning to spend my time sewing, but a severe lack of fabric funds means I can't spend as much time crafting as I'd like.

Still, I do have a length of gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn waiting to be sewn up, so I thought I'd drop by to let you know I'm taking part in this year's Outfit-Along (OAL 2016), which is hosted by the lovely Lauren over at Lladybird and Andi at Untangling Knots. The aim of the competition is to sew an item of clothing (for example, a dress) and knit another garment (such as a cardigan) between 1st June and 31st July. At the end you should end up with a whole me-made outfit! Though on it's third year running, this is my first time entering the OAL and I'm really excited to be a part of it. I've never worked to make a whole outfit before using both sewing and knitting skills, so I can't wait to see how it goes!

For my sewing pattern, I've chosen the Sewaholic Cambie, an old favourite of mine I've made many times before. For the knitting pattern, I've gone with the Coronis Jumper by Emily Ringelman, which I stumbled across on Ravelry. Hopefully the two garments will go well together! I've not chosen the yarn for my cardigan yet, but I'm heading down to my local market tomorrow to try and find one I like.

Cambie Dress by Sewaholic Patterns, View B

Finishing my dress on time for the deadline on July 31st shouldn't be a problem, I just hope I can finish my jumper! I'm not the world's fastest knitter. I've also promised my boyfriend I'll knit him a jumper too, so we'll have to see how that goes!

Are you taking part in the Outfit-Along this year? If so, what are you planning on making?

Have a lovely week everyone and, as always, thank you so much for reading.

Beth x

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Summer At Last!

Hey guys!

Gosh, it's been over a month since I last posted. Time flies! Thankfully, I have at last got all of my assignments handed in, exams are over and I have officially completed my second year of university - now to enjoy the summer! 

I've already got started on enjoying the freedom of the holidays with a trip to London last weekend with my boyfriend and three of our friends, which was really lovely. I even managed to pick some absolutely gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn! (Yes, my love of Liberty still knows no bounds...) 

I'm still deciding what to make with my Liberty fabric, but my sewing output in general has increased dramatically since finishing my exams last Thursday, with two dresses and a blouse completed! I'm slowly getting round to photographing everything so watch this space for their posts soon. 

You might also have noticed that I've added a new page to my blog's header - My Wardrobe! Photographs of all my handmade garments can be found there with the link to their original post, just to make it a bit easier to find past makes and to see the progression of my sewing (and photography!) skills over the years. In general it has to be said I'm not a fan of people who apologise on blogs, but I really think you're owed one here - my early blog photos (selfie in the mirror) are fairly horrific! Thankfully I've figured out how to self-photograph without the need for a mirror now. 

That's pretty much everything that's been going on with me recently. Just seeing people, sewing and binge watching TV series on Netflix! I'll leave you with a train selfie I took today on a trip to Chester. Hasn't the weather been lovely?! 

As always, thank you for reading - I'll be back soon with some completed project posts, but in the meantime, have a fabulous week! 

Beth x

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Happy Me-Made-May!

Hey guys! 

Things have been pretty quiet on the sewing front round here recently. My sewing machine is currently at home rather than at uni, so it's been a while since I've made anything new. However, despite my current lack of creativity, I still wanted to check in and say happy Me-Made-May to everyone taking part! 

This year, due to assignments, revision and exams, I've decided not to take part. Vowing to wear a handmade item of clothing everyday just seems like an unnecessary stress to add onto an already pretty busy month, so this year I'm opting out. I still love dressing handmade, I just don't want to sign up to a challenge I know I probably won't be able to keep up with, especially because the weather is warming up significantly but all my self-sewn summer clothes are in my wardrobe back at home rather than here with me at uni. 

However, I'm cheering you all along this month and looking forward to seeing all of your documentation pictures! To everyone who has made a pledge for Me-Made-May this year, a huge good luck to you all - lets learn to love our handmade garments! 

As always, thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend. 

Beth x

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Plans for Summer Sewing

Hey guys! How are you all?

The weather is at last starting to pick up here in Wales, it really does feel like spring is here, with summer on the way. I handed in my assignments today, so I have a couple of weeks break before I need to start the next one, which feels awesome. With the warmer weather in mind, I thought I'd put together a list of some sewing projects I want to get finished in the next couple of months to wear this summer.

1. White Coppelia Cardigan from Papercut Patterns - the cropped, tie waist version will go great with all my shorts

2. New Look 6457 - I've already made two of these, View A is just the perfect summer dress. If I have time, I'll make more than one in pretty floral prints

3. Megan Nielsen Briar - I love this pattern, it's just so cute! I think the cropped version would be a really good staple in warmer weather

4. Christine Haynes' Emery Dress - this has been on my To-Sew List for ages, it's about time I got a version sewn up!
Emery Dress Sewing Pattern

5. Backless dress - this is going to be a challenge, as I don't actually have a pattern for one. I was planning on hacking either the By Hand London Anna/Flora...wish me luck!

6. Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt - I'm basically in love with the sample picture, I definitely want a copy in a white viscose
Mélilot shirt

That's about it! I'm sure I'll deviate somewhat so whether everything actually gets sewn up remains to be seen, but there's the basic plan!

Do you have any plans for your summer sewing?

Thank you for reading,

Beth x

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Fifi Pyjamas

Hey everyone! How are you all? 

I'm doing pretty good, I'm at home for the Easter break and finally have a completed sewing project to show you! 

Truth be told, I finished this project in January, but I've been putting off blogging it. Ahh well, I've got round to it eventually! 

This is the Fifi Pyjama set from Tilly and the Buttons, and a classy lady she is. I don't think I've ever felt so posh wearing pyjamas! 

The light in these photos is dreadful, you'll have to excuse me - proper daylight in January was a little hard to come by! 

From start to finish, excluding cutting everything out, this project took me about five hours. I stayed up rather late to get it finished, but I am super happy with the end result! 

I made the Size 1, which is usual for me and didn't make any adjustments. It fits pretty nicely straight out of the packet, but I do think I'll go back at some point and shorten the straps a tad. 

All the seams are French, which I've never bothered with on a whole garment before. They look sooo neat, I am seriously tempted to use this style of seam more often - the extra effort is definitely worth it. 

You can get a bit of a better look at the fabric here, which is an absolutely droolworthy, soft and buttery Liberty Tana Lawn. Yes, my love of all things Liberty is showing no sign of stopping - I visited the store with my mum last weekend when we were in London and to my surprise, realised that I can now name a lot of the fabrics! Definitely becoming a bit of an obsession...but look how pretty! 

A few close ups. This was my first time making an elasticated waistband, which definitely wasn't as tricky as I'd been imagining. I also added a little blue bow to the top, which I think looks cute! I was also really pleased with myself for how neatly I managed to get the bias binding, as that's another technique I haven't really had much experience with. Overall, these pyjamas were a real learning curve for me, but I had so much fun! 

Well, that's about it from me on the pyjama front. This is definitely the project that I feel most luxurious in whilst wearing and I'm really proud of it as a sewing achievement. 

In other news...ooh, I did recently manage to turn some 40" waist jeans into a 28". I know, that should be more or less impossible, but long story short my boyfriend wanted some jeans in the sale from River Island, and the only size they had left was 40". I ended up taking 4" out of each side seam (which ate into the front pockets a little, but they're still usable), then 4" out of the back. I also took in the legs a little all over, to balance things out. To my surprise, they actually look ok! I got my mum to check, and she assures me they look like regular jeans (though she's astounded I managed to take out a whole 12"). So, there we go! It's been a post for attempting the sewing extraordinary, at least where I'm concerned. 

How are your sewing projects going? I'd love to hear! 

Thank you, as always, for reading, 

Beth x

Monday, 21 March 2016


Hey everyone! How are you all?

I've finally broken up for the Easter holidays, so I'm back at home missing my uni friends, but enjoying being able to see my family. I have a couple of essays to write whilst I'm here, but I also have a few nice plans to meet up with people which should be really fun.

In the absence of any completed sewing projects to show you (but I have brought my sewing machine home with me, I promise!), today I wanted to talk about the favourite things of my childhood. I recently found out about the website Invaluable, which has all kinds of auctions with nostalgic items. The site can help people reconnect with items they may have loved as children but have forgotten about as they've grown up. As an online auction site, Invaluable also has a lot of collectibles which means it's a good resource for hunting down old books, coins and memorabilia. Mostly though, I just thought writing about nostalgia would be a great way to try and remember the things that were so important to me as a child!

I'm pretty sure that most of you, like me, all loved Lego. I have so much of it stashed away - a police station, pirate ship, castle and even Harry Potter's Hogwarts, as well as a huge box just filled with random colour pieces. To be honest, I still enjoy playing with Lego; one of my mum's friends has a little girl who we get Lego out for her to play with when she comes to visit, and I'm sure me and my dad have more fun playing with the Lego than she does!

I was also a huge fan of My Little Pony, spending hours brushing and braiding their hair. As far as I'm concerned, they've absolutely ruined them, they're just not as good as they used to be. I had a collection of about twenty ponies, all with their own brushes, as well as a couple of videos and a computer game (which I would spend absolutely hours playing).

Here's my absolute favourite from when I was little... I'm fairly sure she was called Strawberry. I used to know the names of all of them, but alas, that information has been nudged out by other things:

And here's what they look like now...

*sigh...they are just not the same.

My last favourite would probably have to go to Sylvanian Families. Please all tell me you know what they are! I think I had little frogs and dalmations. One Christmas, I remember being brought an absolutely enormous house for them to all live in, and for my next birthday, a canal boat. One of my friends Eleanor, who absolutely adored them, was once bought a Sylvanian wedding set which I remember playing with and thinking was beautiful!


The canal boat was always secretly my favourite, mostly because I've always wanted to live on one, and it came with loads of cool little accessories I could get the frogs to play with, like a mop and a life ring.

So, there we have it, the favourite toys of my childhood! Also worthy of note would have to be Barbie...yes, I know, but I'm not going to deny I've always had a very girly streak, and probably Baby Annabelle as well, my toy baby. She was very cute and I had a pram for her and everything. My mum used to take me to Toys R Us to buy her clothes (when she wasn't dressed in my own baby clothes, including my christening outfit! What a well dressed doll she was.)

Ooh, I also loved Felicity Wishes!

I had books, toys, pencil cases, advent calendars at Christmas...all adorned with the beautiful Felicity Wishes the fairy and her friends. Gosh, there's so many favourites now I've got onto the topic! Of course, toys aren't the only aspect of my childhood I remember and think of slightly wistfully...

Jelly tots were completely delicious, particularly the bottom of the pack where you could lick your finger and dip it in all the sugar. Magic Stars, they were good too...I would never eat them without first seeing what facial expression was on each star. I do still occasionally eat both jelly tots and Magic Stars; both give me a sense of nostalgia, but I don't look at all the faces on the Magic Stars before I eat them anymore. Times change I suppose!

TV was also a good one for me, I remember the first time we got a digital box, coming home from school and being able to watch a channel totally dedicated to children's shows! I was always a CBBC child, CITV had too many adverts! Arthur, The Wild Thornberries, The Rugrats and Tracy Beaker are my top picks, but there were a lot of other good shows too. I'll be here all day if I list them all!

Finally, books. I've always been a huge reader, with people like Jacqueline Wilson, J. K. Rowling and Lemony Snicket shaping my childhood. Whilst I'm here, my thanks go out to those wonderful authors (and my father), who all helped inspire my love of words. I'm forever grateful.

Well, that's probably enough from me. Now, over to you! Tell me, what is your favourite memory of childhood - a toy, a game, a food they just don't make the same anymore? The choice is yours! I can't wait to hear all your answers.

Have a brilliant week everyone, and thank you for reading,

Beth x

Disclaimer: I was approached by Invaluable to write a blog post about the nostalgic items of my childhood as part of their community blogging project. I received no payment and agreed to write the post because I genuinely thought it would be nice to help my readers to remember and reconnect with the items they loved as children. All opinions stated here are my own.