Harriet Bra

Hey guys, I noticed I’ve gotten a few new followers lately so hi! I do sometimes feel like I’m talking to myself on here as you don’t get instant feedback like you do on say Instagram but I enjoy blogging even if no-one is listening!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, life has been really busy. I’ve been teaching a sewing class at Simply Solids in huddersfield once a week on top of being a mama and my nearly full time job as a teacher. I’ve been lucky if I’ve had the energy to sew! Luckily I get lots of lovely holidays and on one childfree day I managed to do some sewing. 

Quite a lot of sewing actually. I’ve cut the Rosari skirt, the Kim pattern (but not fabric), cut and sewed an Inari and finally this Harriet bra. And it’s only day 3!

Sewing a bra has been on my wish list for a while. It feels like a new challenge considering the terminology is all completely new. I’ve been hoarding bra kits for a while but needed some time to sit down to think about what I was doing. I’ve also been breastfeeding so it seemed daft spending time making a bra for my bust to change size once I’d finished. I was planning on sewing the Watson bra (which I have printed) but then Norma released the Harriet which is closest to the style I would normally wear. I couldn’t resist and bought it there and then.  

To celebrate stopping breastfeeding (at 14 months) I finally took the plunge and cut the Harriet pieces. 

Next time I will get my rotary cutter and board out. Those pieces are teeny and fiddly to cut especially in fine fabrics. I’d also like some spray adhesive to keep the lining and shell together. 

I sewed up the bra over two sessions and it took a total of 3-4 hours. It came together relatively easily with just a little confusion over the channeling and finishing the bottom edge of the elastic. I was using random bits of elastic purchased from Very Kerry Berry on Instagram and it’s possible I used the wrong width. Anyway the channeling finishing the elastic wouldn’t fit and I ended up ripping my zig zag stitches out. I’m still not sure where I went wrong. 

The way a bra is constructed it is difficult to try on first. I measured at 30D and my usual  RTW size is a 32. I decided to trust the pattern and go with the smaller band size. I held the cups against my bust and it seemed like it would fit but you can’t check the fit until it’s completely finished!

I finally sewed the hooks and eyes on (wrong way round) and omg. The fit is insane. I never had a problem with the way my RTW bras fit, until now! The support is amazing and so snug. I can’t actually believe how well it fits out of the packet. Despite having never sewn a bra before it came together so well and looks really professional. The instructions are well written and clear. 

The fabric came from Very Kerry Berry destash on Instagram and the findings/elastic/underwires came from Elise patterns. As you can see the bra is totally see through and therefore definitely no modelling! I sewed this as a muslin and almost wish I’d used my fancy laces it went so well. 

If you’re thinking of sewing a bra but are put off, please don’t be. If you can sew a straight line and a zig zag stitch you can make a bra! If you want some help and you’re around the Huddersfield area we’re planning on making this bra as a class at Simply Solids too šŸ™‚


Turia dungarees

Ever since making my Roberts collection dungarees I wanted to try the Turia dungarees. The Roberts are more of an overall and the turia more of a traditional dungaree. My Roberts are now about 2 inches too big and I was missing having them in my wardrobe!

After buying some bargain denim from BnM (Ā£18 for 3 metres) and trawling through Instagram and blog posts I set about making my version. 

I decided after seeing everyone else’s to lower the front by 2 inches and extend the bib by the same amount. I thought the length of the front looked a little odd especially the pockets. I wanted the bib to hit more around my hips than the waist. Turns out this was one of my more stupid ideas. My hips are the widest point and I’m more suited to clothes that hit at the waist. This is what they looked like:

I kept trying them on after a sewing session here and there and I just wasn’t happy. A quick tweet and Amy and Rachel suggested adding a waistband. I had thought of it but dismissed it due the closure. I figured it was worth moving to make them more flattering. 

I feel more comfortable in them with the waistband and it’s less obvious that I’ve had a baby! Thanks to breastfeeding I’m in pretty great shape but I still have a belly. 

After some stalling I finally finished these last night and installed the buttons this morning. I took my Turias and my wee family to Haworth – home of the Brontes and braved the snow(!) to take some photos. 

I slimmed the legs down – I sewed a 38 grading to 40 but then ended up taking them in by a good two inches. Could be the stretch of my denim as I fit the finished measurements (hips 39 inches, waist 28 and bust 34). I also sewed the straps in at an angle after someone commented about the straps sitting funny. 

The excess fabric is because the hem is caught on my boots. I also ommited the zip closure and added jeans buttons. 

The clips I pinched from my Roberts dungrees which were originally from eBay. 

The topstitching isn’t actually wonky!! I used the bib to display my pin collection. 

We had a lovely day wandering around Haworth drinking hot chocolate and people watching. 

Now onto the next project… I have no idea what to sew next which isn’t like me at all! I’m still on a shirtdress kick so possibly an archer-Alder mashup. 

Rifle Paper Co Anna dressļ»æ

I loved my first Anna dress so much that I knew it wouldn’t be long before I made another. This one a little more wearable as my first is a maxi dress and feels very dressy!I substituted the Anna skirt out for a pleated skirt as the original skirt has too many panels and eats fabric. The Rifle Paper Co rayon is stunning, one of my favourite fabrics ever, but it’s only 110 cm wide and therefore limited. I only had 2 metres and I used every last scrap making this dress. I have a tiny fat quarter sized square left!

The dress is based off a Dorothy Perkins dress which is purple but a similar style to this. However that one literally fell apart in the wash, the waist ties came apart from the side seams after 2 washes!
To copy that dress I added a waistband which gives a neat finish to the insides and a pleated skirt. 

There was a bit of excess in the back. I had to take 2 inches out and resew the zip! I’m not sure why as my other version was fine except I’ve lost a fair bit of weight since that one. 

I was playing around with my new tripod and remote on Christmas Day hence why I’m wedged in between our table and sofa! 

I absolutely love the style of the Anna but I’m a little dubious on the drafting especially as the front only just fit but the back was miles too big, a problem I’ve never had before?

I love wearing handmade clothes at work, it feels like a really special treat and brightens my day up! I’m really trying to sew a mix of work and weekend clothes so that I get the most out of every outfit. 

Happy new year everyone!

A quilt for grandma

When Emily was a few weeks old grandma (my mother in law) saw the triangle baby quilt I made and asked if I would make her a quilt. Now I’m forever in her debt as she kept me sane during the intense newborn days and so I was more than happy to oblige. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t take me a year to get around to doing it though… 

It’s backed by the same fabric I used for Emily’s baby quilt and it’s lovely and soft. I think it’s Carolyn Friedlander. 

The ombrĆ© effect comes from a Moda charm pack with 5 inch squares. I made half square triangles out of them and another fabric from my stash – the black textured one. The binding comes from the same piece of fabric. The HST were done months and months ago but I couldn’t bring myself to sew them together, not when I needed a new work wardrobe! #selfishsewing

All the fabric comes from Simply Solids in Huddersfield where I occasionally teach a dressmaking class. 

I actually really enjoyed making this quilt. It’s the fourth I’ve made. I only ever seem to make quilts for other people. However I usually find it incredibly dull. All that straight line sewing – yawn!! I managed to sew half the quilt top, quilt and bind it within a few days. It’s amazing what a deadline can do! Although I wish I’d not stressed over Christmas so much as I’ve made myself poorly and there’s really no need. 

I also figured out my sewing superpower – I can measure distance accurately by eye. I cut this binding without measuring!

And that’s the one and only Christmas present I made this year. I’ve sworn off making things for other people as I don’t feel it’s appreciated. I’ve made plenty of things and literally never even seen it again! Selfish sewing all the way…. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

2017 Re-sew-lutionsĀ 

My 2016 re-sew-lutions consisted of the following:

I didn’t make the Watson bra (yet – I’ve been hoarding bra kits for when I’m done nursing) or the wool skirt but I did make everything else! 

So here’s my resolutions for 2017:

Mustard corduroy Pauline Alice Rosari skirt

Clearly I’m blatantly copying Lauren here and ever since I saw her version I needed to copy it. It took me ages to find similar fabric, trawled every fabric shop I could think of.. turns out all I had to do was google mustard corduroy fabric! *rolls eyes* I also want a denim version and I’ve got 3 metres of denim that needs sewing up. 

Pauline Alice Turia dungarees

Whilst I love Marilla Walker’s dungarees they’re more like overalls and so I’ve just ordered to PA version. I’ve got some railroad stripe denim in my stash which will be perfect! Also a plain denim version as they will go with everything. 

A billion shirt dresses

Clearly I’m not over my shirt dress kick and I’m planning at least 3 plaid versions and a chambray. All from the stash! I’m planning on making another McCalls M6885 and an Alder/Archer mash up. 

Grainline Cascade coat

This is one I can’t shop the stash for, the cost of boiled wool is putting me off for now so a trip to Leeds may be in order and see if I can find some a little cheap. Ā£30 a metre is steep even for me! 

SewOverIt Ultimate trousers 

I’ve had this trouser pattern for years and even considered giving it away but I’m really enjoying sewing for work. It’s like a little bit of happiness before my morning coffee. These will be super easy to knock out and there’s loads of appropriate fabric in my stash. 

My main resolution for 2017 is to NOT buy any patterns or fabric unless absolutely necessary. Whilst on maternity leave my stash doubled as I had lots of thinking time but no sewing time. I now have a lovely collection of fabric that’s collecting dust! I currently have a gorgeous order coming from Blackbird fabrics (my favourite fabric shop) and then that is it (apart from coating/lining fabric). I have a wedding to save for!!

McCalls M6696

I’ve just returned from the Sew Up North blog meet up and inspired by all the lovely bloggers I met I thought I would show you my latest make. 

I had the grand idea of using the timer on my phone but my pictures are still rubbish! Hence why I blog infrequently. 

I made the ubiquitous McCalls M6696 which I think most sewing bloggers have had a crack at. 

It’s a great pattern and I didn’t need to make any fit adjustments except I took some of the excess width out of the back. I also shortened the bodice about an inch. 

I love the finished dress, it’s a little bit twee but it’s very me and will even be a great work dress! Bonus. 

The fabric is the Robert Kaufman chambray which I’ve been hoarding for well over a year and I’m pleased I’ve finally made something with it!

I definitely need to add an extra closure to the waist, after lunch it was gaping slightly which I didn’t even notice until I took these pictures!

The buttons are from eBay but I sewed them wrong side up as the right side had a shine to it. I kind of wish I’d sewn the wooden buttons instead as I think the red hearts can be a little too twee if I’m not in a Cath Kidston esque mood. 

I used Andrea from Four square walls collar attachment and Grainlines burrito method for enclosing the yoke. Everything else I followed the instructions. Except for all the hand sewing, I definitely skipped 90% of that and just hand sewed the inside of the waistband down to be neater.

I’m totally obsessed with shirt dresses and have at least 2 more in the queue not including the shirts I want to make too!

2016 Round Up

In 2016 I made 15 garments; 8 dresses, 1 pair of jeans, 1 skirt, 2 tops, 1 pair of dungarees and 2 pairs of trousers. Here are my hits and misses of the year.


Robert Collection dungarees – well until I split the crotch seam that is and they’re too big now. I really want to make some Turia dungarees but the paper pattern is sold out everywhere and I HATE HATE HATE PDFs!

Anna/Southport maxi dress – absolutely love this dress, I just wish I had more occasions to wear it! I almost considered shortening it so I could wear it more often!

Red heart skirt – worn to death until the weather turned colder. A little too big on the waist now.

Alexandria trousers – easy to wear and great for work. They feel really smart and they’re made of my absolute favourite ever fabric collection.

Alder shirt dress – I love the fabric, the style, it feels very ‘me’. Worn and washed to death.


Ginger jeans – I need a swayback adjustment and have no idea how to do one. The waistband came up really big and so they were worn for a few hours. Shame because it put me off jeans sewing as I have no idea how to correct the fit. They did make me realise I don’t need to sew everything, there’s nothing wrong with the 6 pairs of identical Levi’s I have especially as they fit really well.

Ultimate wrap dress – worn once and then washed but the fabric (from Fabworks) has already faded and it looks terrible. Not to mention it’s very revealing and very short!

McCalls denim shirt – I don’t like how wide and deep the button placket is and the dress comes up  quite short. It was only worn a few times.

Emery button front dress – far far far too big for me now. I made it very early on after having Emily. I’m still mourning this fabric as it came from a Cabbages and Roses fabric sale and is very special to me.

Seersucker Cynthia Rowley dress – something about the fit is off with this dress and I caught one of the pleats in the waist seam so it doesn’t sit flat. Everything about it is wrong (to me).

I’m trying to fix the handmade clothes that I don’t like. For example this Emery dress didn’t get worn because I felt frumpy with the high neck and long sleeves so I chopped them off. Now I love it!


This year I’ve learned to stick to the style I know that I will love as otherwise all that hard work is for nothing! I really need to start doing muslins on a regular basis too but that’s unlikely to start happening!!