And the winner of the Emery Dress is…

Thank you to every one participating with your comments and your lovely stories of garments that didn’t exactly go smoothly first time round.

So without further delay the winner of this wonderful pattern is…..

Beth of Afterdarksewing Beth please send me your details on so that I can post you the Emery Dress pattern. I hope you end up loving it as much as your Clemence skirts.




Thank you all again.


Thank you and a give away


While I’m between boxes – yes the miracle of the move is happening this time – but with my sewing machine and most of my sewing tools still unpacked, I wanted to say first of all a big thank you to anyone who voted for my Yoyo Dress and Skirt during IPM2015 at the Monthly Stitch, on the One pattern Two takes category. I won, I won! I managed to win at something haha, and that was thanks to your help.

My prize was two gorgeous patterns by Christine Hanes The Chelsea Dress and the famous Emery Dress. I have seen amazing versions of the Emery Dress all over the sewing world, but I have to admit that my first attempt was very unsuccessful to say the least. I simply hated the dress I made and after wearing it twice, it was moved to the recycling pile (in one of the boxes now). When I fail with a pattern, I usually don’t make it again, not because it’s the pattern’s fault but mostly because of fear, it will result in another failure. There was something about the Emery Dress though, that told me I should give it another go and so I did. The result was this version, a dress that when I put it on, I never want to take off, haha.

So if you haven’t made the Emery Dress, if you haven’t bought he pattern, but you would like to, look no further. As I already have the pattern, I would like to send this new copy to a lucky winner as a big thank you to all of you who visit this blog. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me of any patterns that although the first attempt was a disaster you ended up making another one or more successful versions.

Emery DressYou have until Sunday 9th August at 00:00 GMT. I will post the pattern anywhere :) I look forward to reading your stories and I will announce the winner on Monday 10th August.

Bubbles & Yoyos Papercut Pattern Dress & Skirt

This is the last challenge for the IPM 2015 month at The Monthly Stitch and the theme is one pattern two takes. At the beginning of this month I took a trip to NYC and like every good sewer I visited Mood fabrics. To me the shop  is forever associated with Tim Gun saying: Designers you have 30 mins go. Look at the excitement on my face and my crazy eye, haha.

Mood FabricsAs you can suspect, I stayed far longer in there but in the end I came out with this gorgeous stretch cotton.

Yoyo Dress Papercut patterns

I had my eye on the Yoyo Dress from Papercut patterns ever since it was released but didn’t buy until my return from NYC. I thought this fabric was the perfect match for such a modern pattern. My first version is the dress. As it is called the Yoyo dress, to my mind came a yoyo, that was popular was I was a kid. Sadly I couldn’t find one anywhere, so I settled for some bubbles.

Yoyo Dress Papercut Patterns

One of the features that I liked the most in this pattern is the front zipper and the cut-out at the bottom of the skirt. I cut the XS size all the way. I took the bodice in by 2cm on the side seams and on the shoulder seams, but made no other alterations. There are also two pleats on the front skirt.

Papercut Pattern Yoyo Dress

The back has an interesting v-neck on the bodice and two darts. I fiddled a bit with the dress in order to match them with those of the body but we got there in the end. The inside is finished by a facing on the front and back of the bodice as well as around the zipper and the hem.

Papercut Patterns Yoyo Dresss

The ginger boy you can see photobombing my picture, saw the bubbles from afar and came towards me screaming full of joy, “A bubble machine, a bubble machine” Now I have never been called that before and he was clearly disappointed when it was only me no bubble machine.

Yoyo Dress Papercut Patterns

For my second version, I chose the skirt option in a pink very subtle plaid suiting fabric, bought locally this time. The details are more visible on this fabric that isn’t as busy as the one of the dress. I cut the same size again but I could have gone to S perhaps, although it’s not tight or anything.
Papercut Patterns Yoyo Skirt

I used the bodice of the dress to create a crop jacket with flounce sleeves.  I haven’t attempted anything like that before and although it’s not perfect, I think it turned out really well and compliments the skirt.

Papercut patterns Yoyo skirt

For the flounce sleeve, I used a tutorial I found on pinterest but I don’t seem to have pinned, so it will have to follow at a later stage. From the side it looks as if I have this massive belly but it really is the way I’m pushing the fabric forwards.

Yoyo Skirt Papercut Patterns

I kept the design of the original bodice at the back but omitted the diarists I didn’t want it ti be fitted and added about 5cm of extra fabric in order to make it more interesting

Yoyo Skirt papercut Patterns

The inside of the skirt is finished in the same way as the dress and the jacket is fully lined with a flowery viscose that I bought for another project.

Papercut patterns Yoyo skirtPersonally I love both versions and I’m sure to wear them both. If you like the style I obviously recommend the pattern. Perhaps not for an absolute beginner but definitely for someone who wants a bit of a challenge. The instructions are very clear, the only point I was confused was on the insertion of the facings for the bodice, but I worked it out in the end. If you can buy the paper pattern, there’s always the beautiful packaging that comes with it.

Which version will you  choose? Have you sewn it already?Papercut Patterns Yoyo Dress

Papercut Patterns Yoyo Dress

Jumping into June with Lekala 2024

I’m jumping into June
Lekala 2024 jumping into June

Just Jumping into June

Lekala 2024 Jumping into June
What a glorious feelin’

Lekala 2024
I’m happy again…

What do you mean, I can’t be jumping into June the month is almost over? Well in all honesty I started jumping into June on May 30th to be exact, in a different version of the same jumpsuit. (this post is full of silly) If you were on Instagram for me-made-may, maybe you saw my impersonation of the Statue of Liberty, before my flight to NYC that day, kindle and light bulb at hand.

Jumping into June Lekala 2024

And that was not the first time I attempted that jump into June, oh no, I had one more go on the same jumpsuit in yet another fabric. Please see evidence below, when the zipper broke as I was unzipping it so I stayed trapped in it for a while.

Lekala 2024

The Gods were against me on that one, because soon after, it let me go, it got caught up on the overlocker and acquired two holes, at which stage it moved to the upcycling/destroying completely pile. For those who don’t know about Jumping into June, you can find all the details at the residence of Handmade by Chris, you still have time to join.

Lekala 2024 Jumping into June

The day these photographs were taken was a very windy one, so it’s really hard to see the shape of the jumpsuit, but as you will see on the indoors pictures it features,  wide legs and isn’t very fitted around the hip waist area. The waist rises just below the bust, whereas the bodice of the dress has Kimono (not sure what they are called) sleeves, a boat neck and pleats on the front and the back.

Lekala 2024 Jumping into June

This is the first time I made something from Lekala and this is their 2024 jusmpsuit. My version  looks nothing like on the model but that’s perhaps because I unfortunately lack the 2 metres long legs hehe! I took the option with the seam allowance. The instructions were only two pages, so not much there but some of the construction is self-explanatory, I thought. The only thing that baffled me was the fact that the pleats of the top wouldn’t align with the darts of the bottom and I had to move them quite a bit, but maybe this is me and not the pattern. Other than that, I really enjoyed making all three versions. The pattern calls for a lined bodice but I thought that would make it quite warm so I finished the edges with bias tape.

Lekala 2024

The only alteration I made was chopping about 2cm of the back where the zipper fits but I usually do that to remove some gaping. Unlike other jumpsuits, this one has more of a mechanic’s uniform feel to it and I don’t mean that in a bad way. To me it is a very comfortable pair of trousers that is already combined with a top. The fabric is a lightweight crepe Ikat. The blue one was cotton and I think I prefer this jumpsuit in the stiffer fabric as it holds the shape better. I have to warn you though, the toilet is a nightmare, especially if it’s the plane tiny one.

Lekala 2024

I probably need to shorten it a bit more, in order to be able to wear it with flats, for a very hippy style. On this last version I also lowered the waist, because it was too high, but I should have raised the crotch as I think this one would probably drive Michael Kors nuts, I personally don’t mind at all, it adds more to the boho feeling. If you like the wide legs and the top, I recommend the pattern, it hasn’t got a lot of pieces and I think it’s not hard to assemble, in the cotton fabric it’s a breeze. Overall despite the adventures, I would say it was a good landing ;)

Lekala 2024 Jumping into June

Zsalya Dress Kate & Rose Patterns French knots and wind

Every summer, and I don’t mean the five days of British summer we have every year, I dream of a simple flowy , comfortable white dress, something that brings to mind those boho embroidered dresses. I had the Zsalya Dress/top pattern by Kate & Rose for a while now and thought it would serve as the perfect canvas for such a dress. I’ve also been obsessed by broderie anglaise lately, which would make a nice fabric for such a dress, I thought. However, my local fabric shop had only the classic type of broderie anglaise. I bought two metres of that, thinking it would  still work for the style I wanted to achieve.

The finished dress however, wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. In my eyes, there was something of a christening gown to it or even worse a night gown, I wasn’t loving it but I did like the actual dress.

Zsalya Dress Kate & Rose Patterns

I decided to try and fix the things I didn’t like, I bought some fabric dye and changed its colour to yellow, which turned out paler than what I liked, so I was still not happy with it. It needed something else to make it special.

Zsalya Dress Kate & Rose Patterns

Sometime ago I had read a post by Anne at The Compulsive Seamstress where she had embellished her daughter’s skirt by using the technique of French Knots and ever since then I wanted to try but never had the opportunity. The pale yellow broderie anglaise seemed it needed that kind of embellishment. I unearthed some of my embroidery threads and got to work, filling in with lovely French knots the floral centres. And then went even further to use some embroidery on the bottom trace, creating a rather pleasant effect.

Zsalya Dress Kate & Rose

The top of the dress still troubled me, the thread of the broderie, was still too shiny. The fabric paint came out and by using a tool that looks a lot like a fountain pen and has nothing to do with sewing, I applied some of it on those flowers. Blue and purple are good colours to combine with yellow.

Zsalya Dress Kate & Rose

The additions transformed the plain dress into something special and it now looks more like the summer dress I had in mind. The wind wasn’t very kind to my hair haha

Zsalya Dress Kate & Rose Patterns

I didn’t touch the back except for the hem embroidery, which works for me.

Zsalya Dress Kate & Rose Patterns

Now for the pattern details, I cut a straight size S and didn’t make any alterations at all. I followed the quick & dirty approach of attaching the top to the rest of the dress as it seemed less complicated and quicker as the name implies. I omitted the sleeves completely, as in my mind this is Greece hot summer dress, so no sleeves needed. I would definitely recommend the pattern, which doesn’t take long to put together at all. The thing that took me the most was the gathers at the front and the back. Not my strong point at all, I can never get them right or even. I’d like to try it with a less stiffer fabric as well for a smarter style.

I will leave you with me singing to the tree using one of its branches as a microphone. Have a good week everyone.

Zsalya Dress Kate & Rose

The Green fabric that keeps giving: Colour-blocking the Jackie O

Don’t you just love it when you can sew a garment out of scraps of fabric? In my case, it may be my favourite sewing project. When I finished the green Francoise Dress, I still had a bit of the green fabric left and in my habit of not throwing anything, I kept in a box with all sorts and sizes of scraps. You never know when the time comes to need something right? In that particular box lived for the past year another piece of fabric, a left over from this skirt. Their relationship came to fruition and became official with the marriage between the two remnants in the creation of the Jackie O jacket from Love Sewing Magazine ( I know, I’ve been making a lot of those lately)

Jackie O Jacket Love Sewing Magazine

I cut a size 8 but it ended up being a bit tight around the arms, so I decreased the seam allowance to give them some more room. I’m quite pleased with how even the colour blocking is. As I haven’t done this sort of  thing before, I was certain I would end up with a very mismatched jacket, but I think the result is pretty good.

Jackie O jacket love sewing magazine

Jackie O Love Sewing Magazine

The pattern doesn’t call for lining but since there was more cutting and pasting in my version, I thought it necessary to use one, plus I couldn’t resist to this lovely viscose that my grandma donated me some time ago. Matching colours and the first time I used my labels, a birthday present from my boyfriend. The jacket didn’t take long to sew. I think the fiddliest part was measuring the pieces and adding the lining, so I imagine that with just one fabric it will be a quick project and definitely good, for someone who isn’t a pro in making jackets ;)

Jackie O Love Sewing magazine

The real reason for this jacket was that I wanted something to match the green Francoise, as it is sleeveless and I’m constantly cold. They do work very well together and the cream breaks the green monotony in a pleasant way. My face is a bit silly, looking at something up there but hey ho!

Jackie O Love sewing magazineHow about you, have you given new life to any lonely scraps of fabric lately?

The Hudson Pant

I dread trousers and anything that needs really good fitting around my bum and isn’t a dress or a skirt. They look very complicated and the more I read posts with fitting issues the more scared I get. For me they are in the same category as men’s shirts. Fiddly and time consuming.

In the same way, I’m not a big fun of tracksuit/jogging trousers, I somehow find them unflattering, so I’m more of a leggings type of person. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful version of the Hudson Pant by True Bias, but still wasn’t convinced it was for me, until it landed in my inbox with one of the Perfect Pattern Parcels (was it 6?) a long time ago. I assembled the PDF in November and thought I had put it in my box of patterns but when I went for it, it was nowhere to be found. Months later one of the drawers, where in my usual disorganisation, I shove things, spat it out. The reappearance of the pattern was surely a sign I had to make it.

Normal wear/Hipster wear

Normal wear/Hipster wear (I’m no hipster, but hats and glasses seem to be the essential pieces? haha)

I knew from the beginning that I wanted my Hudson to look more like a comfortable pair of trousers rather than lounge wear only, so I went for this print, which takes it away from the tracksuit image. It’s a viscose stretch jersey from Minerva Crafts and worked perfectly. Hard to see any details though. I cut a size 0 for the waist, grading to 6 to 8 for the rest of my lower body, I could have gone for smaller but I didn’t want it to be skin tight. I found the pockets a bit complicated but I was really pleased with the result. I also didn’t use the string at the waist to avoid the tracksuit look again. I could have tightened the elastic at the waist a tiny bit more but I like the loose fit anyway.

Hudson Pant True Bias

I can definitely see the appeal of these trousers and I wonder why I hadn’t made them before. So far I have worn them indoors and outdoors with different combinations and I really love them.  I think I will be making a couple more. I did most of it on the serger and it felt as a very quick project. I think though I will cut a size smaller around the upper hip, for a slightly tighter fit but other than that I won’t be changing a thing. Nothing to report on the back, but I thought I’d show you one more picture.

Hudson pant true bias

Hopefully, I will overcome my fear of trousers slowly and I will end up making proper trousers with zippers and all in the near future. Have a good week everyone.

Lottie Skirt and the hard to photograph pink Bellatrix

At the beginning of this year, I decided I was going to sew more and buy less patterns and fabric. The first one I didn’t manage to do, but I’ve been pretty good with the second one. One thing I did buy though, was Love Sewing magazine and I grew quite fond of their sewing patterns. The style appeals to my aesthetic, as the designers would probably say at Project Runway. My latest attempt was the Lottie SkirtLottie Skirt Love Sewing MagazineI was in need of a simple pencil skirt for work, that would look smart but the style would allow me to combine it with shirts, blouses and tops and this is perfect. It is slightly high waisted with two darts at the front.

Lottie Skirt

It was very easy to grade between sizes, as I have a tiny waist and massive hips in comparison, haha, but the fit was really good without many adjustments. The fabric is from good old Fabric Land in Brighton and I like how it makes the skirt a bit more special.Lottie Skirt

I didn’t have an invisible zipper so I used a normal one, which doesn’t look bad and I also used a simple split rather that the option of the pleat. The truth is, I just couldn’t be bothered with it.  I will definitely make some more of these, in solid colours for easier combinations. It’s also very quick to make. One thing I will do next time though is to interface the waistband as I think, it’s a bit too soft, without the interfacing.

As you will have noticed, all the pictures feature a pink jacket. This is my latest Bellatrix, which simply wouldn’t photograph well for this post.

Bellatrix Blazer

See how blurred it looks compared to the skirt, plus my face is a no comments moment. Anyway, I think I will have to do a separate post for it as my hair and the red background don’t help at all, with the colour of the jacket. I just wanted to say that I have finished it though. I wore both of them during the book fair in London and they both faired well during a day full of meetings ;)

Have you made anything out of Love Sewing magazine? What do you think of the free patterns in their patterns?

Hope you are all enjoying the bank holiday.

The Drapey Knit Dress The Great British Sewing Bee:

I first saw the drapey knit dress at Karen’s blog, reviewing Fashion with Fabric. To my eyes it was amazing, especially since it was in stripey fabric, but possibly not very flattering for my body type. I forgot about it, until I saw a similar version on Gaby’s blog and thought it was an unusual dress, in the sense that it had a unique design, but definitely not for my body type. I forgot about it again.


Then it was advertised as one of the free downloads in Love Sewing magazine issue 12. With no recollection of having seen it before and the doubts I had, I downloaded it At that point it only reminded me of a dress with big pockets and nice drape that a colleague of mine was wearing. Subconsciously, I must have had in mind Karen’s version, because I went for stripes too. Once I finished it though, my doubts paid me a visited. My pockets were very wide, a bit like scclown’s trousers. You get the picture.


I didn’t hate it, but wasn’t sure whether it was cool, weird or simply ridiculous. A simple search for a pocketed version, brought me to Ali’s blog, who had found the dress completely unflattering. I was amazed once more with how differently the same garment was perceived in the comments, which at that point made me think that this was a weird dress and had wasted my fabric on something that would never get worn. However, since I was so late in the day with my research, I decided to try and fix the pockets at least, because despite the doubts and the comments, I still didn’t hate it.

Drapey Knit Dress Sewing Bee

And after the clown’s trousers were eliminated, I loved it. It’s very unique and comfortable. The black ponte on the front was accidental, as I run out of my main fabric with the stripes. The dress features kimono sleeves and ease to infinity and beyond. I cut the XS size and I had to take it in, so as not to look completely swallowed by the dress.

Drapey Knit Dress Sewing bee

The front pleat is a nice touch but almost like everyone else, it doesn’t seem to be as obedient as on the model in the picture, but I can live with it.

Drapey Knit Dress Sewing bee

And then you turn round and surprise it’s a different dress, haha!

Drapey Knit Dress Sewing beee

The back of the dress comes as one piece in the pattern but my limited fabric meant, I had to improvise. There was no room for matching or even making the stripes coherent, but I really like the result.

The Drapey Knit Dress Sewing beeOverall, I find the dress stylish, unique and only the right amount of weird :)  Have you made this dress? Would you make it and how would you describe it?

Green is for spring: Another Francoise dress

dusty house-thumbHmm, hmm, it’s dusty in here. That’s what happens when you are away for a long time, the dust sits everywhere. At the beginning of the year, I was full of energy to make things but gradually life took over. New responsibilities at work and house hunting kept me away both from making and blogging. I went into full hibernation in these two sectors. I didn’t even have the energy to comment on your posts, despite reading them. Now that the days got longer and I finally see the light when I leave home, I feel awake and like the flowers in spring ready to bloom. The weather isn’t very supportive lately though. We have some lovely days and then the cold, admittedly less, returns.

Back in the winter and the long darkness of the months, my mum bought me some lovely fabric, while visiting the UK. In a magazine, I saw this dress and overestimating my limited skills, I wanted to do some sort of version of it. I was more drawn to it because of the colour rather than anything else. I thought Tilly’s Francoise dress was the perfect pattern, as the A-line skirt would make it easy to fit one dress inside the other, right? Well, it couldn’t have gone more wrong than it did. The polycrepe, I was using was too soft for that kind of job resulting first in the neckline of the pink dress widening dangerously on the one hand and on the other, I cut the slit at the front without even thinking what would happen when this of fabric is cut diagonally; DISASTER. I tried to fix it by adding some interfacing and fabric. Please don’t cringe, I was improvising, without having any idea what would work, if anything. At that point I even started disliking the colour combination and cursing the amount of time I had put in this project. Finally, I made another Francoise dress for Tilly’s competition, which was the reason I was sewing the below, in the first place. IMG_5315 IMG_5316

And then I left it hanging on the mannequin for weeks and weeks, until the light came back to the days and felt that it was time for more bright colours. I took it all apart, every single piece of it. Luckily, I had some extra green fabric, which I used to cut the back of the dress that was pink in the unsuccessful version.

Francoise Dress Tilly & the Buttons

This wasn’t easy to make either. While making the first version, I made changes on the neckline taking it in substantially.  My top is much thinner than my bottom, praise for the pear shape in a pear colour, haha. However, the pattern with the changes was nowhere to be found. I’ll tell you a secret, I have this drawer that eats patterns. Lately, it threw up the hudson pant pattern, I guess it couldn’t digest it, so now I can finally make it. Back to the Francoise, I had to make the same alterations from scratch and it took a while. The neckline is still a bit wide, but I don’t think I could have done anything more, or maybe I will try and fix it again at a later stage, when I have more energy.

So many seagulls in the sky

So many seagulls in the sky

I like solid colours because they work well with patterned pieces, what I don’t like is plain, there must always be that little something and in this case, it was some glass beads that I have carried around moving houses and towns for many years and I decided they were the perfect match for this dress and so I threw them on.

Francoise Dress Tilly and the buttons

I’m not very happy with the back view but any changes will have to wait in line. I think it is very wearable in general and it will serve its purpose.

If you are wondering about the pink stuff, I can tell you that it’s turning nicely into a Bellatrix short version. So watch this space for the finished version ;)

You're going to be a lovely bellatrix when you 're done! #papercutpaterns #bellatrix #sewing #sewcialists #handmade

A photo posted by Vasiliki Machaira (@delightfullypeculiar) on

Hopefully, I will be back here before summer haha!! How are you doing with your plans from the beginning of the year? Any others who were in hibernation out there?