The Very Greek Jumpsuit, AK Patterns Rachel Jumpsuit

If there is a garment that I never wish for it to go out of fashion, this is the jumpsuit. I love it in all forms and shapes, dressed up or down, formal or casual. I don’t even see the problem with the toilet, I’m even willing to tell you there isn’t one, haha! You can imagine my immense happiness when I realised that the #sewtogetherforsummer garment of this year was going to be the jumpsuit. When it was confirmed, I threw the greatest imaginary party in the history of sewing parties.


My jumpsuit sewing queue is endless and I don’t even own half of the patterns, I’d love to sew. However for this particular challenge I decided to take advantage of the discount that was offered once the challenge was announced and chose the Rachel Jumpsuit by AK Patterns. I’ve admired Athina’s patterns for a while but never got round to buying any of them, so saw this as the perfect opportunity to give it a go.


During Me Made May, I kind of pledged that I would participate by casually wearing my me mades but also refashioning/mending something. The Rachel jumpsuit is also part of this pledge. I had originally cut and sewn the bottom as a different jumpsuit from Burda, hacked with a corset stye top, which I ended up not liking, mostly because it was too big and needed too many alterations, that I didn’t feel like making. I recut it but as the legs for the Rachel are a bit wider, I had to add an extra piece on the side of each leg, front and back, which created a really nice effect of some sort of stripe on the side. I’m not sure how visible it is in the photo. The fabric is a type of cotton sateen, I’m assuming, with a nice texture that’s not very visible in the photos.


I cut a straight size 10 and made no alterations. I think the fit is spot on and managed to do not a too bad job with the invisible zipper, which naturally had to install and uninstall a couple of times.

I love the top of the pattern front and back, I find it unusual and unique at the same time and I already have some ideas for adding things to it. The trousers also work great as trousers, so watch this space for a pair too. I can’t recommend the pattern enough. Not only it’s extremely well drafted, the instructions are very detailed and clear too.


I call this the very Greek jumpsuit, pattern designed by a Greek, sewn by another Greek, with a fabric that was bought in Greece. Perfect for relaxing on the grass too. Thank you Monika, Sarah and Suzy for organising!


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Yellow Tartan Dress

DSC_2128I’m not sure what I am trying to say with these pictures. I love the colourful editorial photography that takes place in a domestic environment and since this one took place in the middle of the night, like most of my extra-curricular activities, it could have only taken place in such environment. I was determined to have yellow bright or at least colourful things surrounding me that I even unearthed my son’s yellow plastic balls, which haven’t been used in a while.



The inspiration for the dress came from this Delpozo dress I stumbled across on Pinterest, the place of my eternal inspiration for everything. I really wanted to find something in a pink hue but after having searched in various fabric shops, I ended up buying two metres of this wonderful yellow Cornish tartan from Truro fabrics. Their fabrics are of the highest quality and I love buying from them when the budget allows.

DSC_2147The top of the dress is this burda peplum top,  minus the peplum and the sleeves. The top is also the only part of the dress, I pattern matched, as per my usual bad habit, I didn’t think of buying enough fabric to accommodate that.


As you can see any sense of pattern matching has disappeared in the back, which looks a bit messy. To be fair though, I had matched everything but due to some modification it seems that the pattern wouldn’t align anymore. I have to admit, I find the process a bit intimidating and try to avoid it when possible. What can I say, I am a bit lazy in that department and also don’t care too much. It does look great when it happens though.

The bottom is a self-drafted A line skirt, cut on the bias, ending in a handkerchief style hem on one side.


The skirt is underlined as the fabric is very drapey and I wanted it to have a bit more structure. I have added facings for the neckline but have finished the arms with bias binding. There is also an invisible zipper on the side.


Despite the simplicity of it, it took ages to finish as it was a bit troubling getting the right fit at the top. Overall, I’m really pleased with it and I think it’s a dress that could be dressed up and down, simply by changing my shoes and hair style haha!


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Designin’ December 2018


Although well in to 2019, only now did I manage to take some pictures of my finished entry for Linda’s of Nice Dress! Thanks, I made it! Designing’ December. I’ve been trying for a couple of years now to take part but always run out of time. This year was no exception and I barely made it. Part of the problem for me isn’t just the lack of time and the fact that I want to sew a trillion more things that I can, but also the too many ideas and inspirational images I pin on Pinterest, that make any decision, simply impossible.


My inspiration  was this photo that I originally saw in Stylist magazine and immediately cut out and stuck in my notebook, so that I don’t lose. Later on, I found it on Pinterest by chance.


To construct my version, I used the Papercut Patterns Mito Cami. I cut the bottom front into two pieces and sewed an extra black fabric around the edge of each of the front pieces, top and bottom.


The first top buttons are functional and keep the front together, whereas the all the rest are decorative, purely for recreating the look of the original piece. The inside is fully lined, front and back.


The fabric seems to be wool of coating weight, which I found in a plastic bag marked as rubbish near where I live. I suspect that behind the closed doors, outside which this bag was lying, there is a small coats sewing operation and these pieces were discarded as scraps. It was very fortunate that they came in good shapes and sizes to be used in this project. Of course, there wasn’t enough fabric for any pattern matching but it’s not the end of the world, especially since this process isn’t my favourite. I also opted for a high-low hem.


I had initially cut the back the wrong way round and only realised after I had finished it and while wearing it, I noticed that the nice shape of the low cut back was missing. Luckily there was still enough fabric to recut it. I also omitted the adjustable sliders as the straps fabric is quite thick and it wouldn’t fit the sliders I already had. Delightfully-Peculiar-Blue-08254

All things considering, I’m very pleased with how it turned out and I think I may like it a tad bit more than the original piece. Linda was very generous with the presents and gave each participant one. I chose the Lliria Dress from Pauline Alice Patterns, which I’m hoping to be able to sew this year. Again big thanks to Linda for organising.


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Fur Fleece Bomber Jacket


Back in 2018, I got once more the opportunity to play with some fabric from MinervaCrafts. You can find all the details on how I used it to make this bomber jacket here It’s got pockets, hood and a quilted thinsulate lining.

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The Refashioners 2018

The refashioners is every year the challenge, I mostly look forward to. Not only because for me is my chance to make something a little out of the ordinary but also to see all the wonderful creations of fellow sewists.  So far I have managed to participate once and my entry was only half of what I had envisioned. This year I followed a different approach, that of planning and starting early enough. Also trying not to overcomplicate my project.


I made this Tilly and the Buttons Francoise dress some years ago when the pattern was first released and I am ashamed to admit that I never wore, except to take photos for the blogpost. I had long decided, it was going to turn into a pencil skirt as there wasn’t enough fabric for anything else.


When I made the Francoise dress, I used the leftover fabric to make a colour-blocked jacket, which you can see here. I liked the combination of the two fabrics and decided to repeat the colour-blocking for a skirt this time. The second piece of my refashion was a skirt I made around the same time following the tutorial by Cotton and Curls. This skirt was more fortunate and got a lot of wear, but it always felt a bit too short, so eventually it resided mostly inside my wardrobe.


One of the things that I love the most when it comes to sewing, is creating let’s say my own fabric by colour blocking or mixing prints. I know sometimes this yields pieces that a lot of people wouldn’t wear or wouldn’t know how to, but I feel I would probably die instantly if my clothes became too boring. For this refashion, I was hugely inspired by the work of Roksanda Ilincic and Fausto Puglisi. Looking at the fabric I had to play with I decided to to go with the dress and the yin-yang type of design.

IMG_5659 2

To avoid spending too much time with fitting, I used my tried and tested Lottie pencil skirt pattern, which came with an old issue of Love Sewing Magazine. I cut the pieces in stages, while laying them on the floor to see how I could actually recreate the design.


The suspicion, I didn’t have enough green fabric for the whole skirt, became a reality once the front of the skirt was lain on the floor. I’m always in denial when it comes to admitting, I don’t have endless supply of any desired fabric. At that point, I turned to my eternal inspiration Cate Blanchett who happened to be wearing this Roksanda Ilincic dress and decided the back of the skirt would be in the beige colour of the details on the front.


I did a back pleat vent in green, so that everything was more coherent and also a green zipper, which I actually intended to make more visible than it is, in order to replicate that design feature of the original dress.



Because I still had some leftover green fabric, I decided to go a little bit further and although I knew there wasn’t enough to make a dress, I thought maybe I could make a top.tempImageForSaveI unearthed another skirt, RTW this time, from the to be refashioned pile and used the Aimme Comme Marie Magelan pattern, which I had made a couple of times before.



On the back I used a green strip of the darts part of the Francoise dress, which created a really nice effect, if I may say so. The ruffles of the skirt became ruffled sleeves.


While finishing the above ensemble, I saw the below picture of the Marc Jacobs show and became slightly obsessed with this jacket. That was my chance to create something slightly crazier (because I mean the green skirt and top are quite normal haha)


Two more garments came out of the pile in my closet, this time both RTW from H&M. The skirt is completely unwarned and have no idea what possessed me to buy it. The jacket, I’d say has served it’s time but never felt very comfortable or the right size. I wasn’t sad to lose either of them.


I started again with the loved and tried a couple of times pattern the Jackie-O jacket, which again was free with an issue of Love Sewing magazine. My RTW garment was quite short and narrow to fit the whole pattern pieces, so I enhanced it by adding some faux leather from my stash.


This particular process although quite time consuming, was good fun and I enjoyed the pattern puzzle I created. IMG_5995

The majority of the skirt was used to recreate the lapels, the cuffs and the facing inside.


I used the sleeves of the original garment but tried to create a sort of a puff sleeve, in order to give more volume around the shoulders as per the original photo. However, I feel that it wasn’t a success. The buttons are from an old jacket and the bias tape around the lapels is the only thing I bought for this item.


The back piece is mostly from the original garment with additional fabric on the shoulders. Perhaps this is more unconventional than the first refashion and maybe a bit costumy but I think it would make a great jacket to wear at a gig or with jeans and a t-shirt, with pop-corn on preferably.



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Sewing the scene: The Aviator

Last time sewing the scene was organised by The Unfinished Seamstress, the whole universe conspired against me to prevent me from participating. This year it did the same, but being determined to succeed, neither the hospital visit that knocked me out for two weeks, nor the nasty cold that followed it, were able to stop me.


My inspiration image was the same as the previous time. A still of Cate Blanchett playing Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. Somehow Cate Blanchett features very often in my inspiration boards. I guess I like slim, tall figures who have no resemblance to my own, haha. If only I could grow longer legs… That aside, I consider Cate Blanchett an incredible actress and one of the most stylish women that elevates any garment she wears.


As you can see, I went for the faithful interpretation, with the golf bat and everything. I really liked the style of all the pieces and although I will probably not wear them all together as in the pictures, I think they are very useful individually. The jacket has definitely proven to be so. It was made by my grandma a bit over 40 years ago and my mum wore it over her dress at her wedding reception. I was planning to make a similar jacket for the challenge using burda jacket 06/2011 #115B by refashioning one of my partner’s jackets which was too small for him but quite big for me. I thought I could bleach the jacket so that it turns white-ish, but it only acquired a slightly pink hue, remaining otherwise unaffected, despite sitting in bleach for days. At that point 1) I was running out of time, 2) didn’t want to spend more money ( I can be very stingy at times) 3) decided it was highly unlikely I’d need another white jacket at this time of the year, 4) the existing one would work just as well in terms of achieving the style of the inspiration image.


The shirt is the burda pleated blouse 01/2018 #118B in a cotton poplin brown polka dot. It was really hard to find the specific polka dot in a different fabric, without breaking the bank. This is great but it’s a bit stiff for this shirt and you can see it creating a bit of a bulk inside the pants. Nevertheless, a perfectly wearable shirt, which I think will look great with a pair of jeans.


This is only the third shirt, I’ve ever made and the first one I’ve ever sewn with pin tucks. I have to admit that once more the burda instructions for this pattern required a bit of imagination. The original pattern has 3 pin tucks but I had to make 4 as I ended up with some excess fabric due to my bad maths. The buttons are also meant to be concealed but I decided against it, since I liked the exposed buttons of my inspiration image.  I think I could have gotten away with the smaller size too, as I feel this is a bit too buggy for my taste.


The back of the shirt features the usual pleat and is much simpler than the front.


I still find sleeve plackets quite intimidating but these turned out nicer than my previous ones. I did put the fabric on the wrong side out though, so I cut another piece of slightly smaller size to the original placket and sewed it on top. I quite like the effect it’s produced, with the wrong side of the fabric underneath, creating a frame around it.


For the trousers I used my TNT pattern the Megan Nielsen flint pants, lengthened for to about 8cm to work well with heels too. I followed the tutorial on the blog to remove the release tucks and convert to a flat front.

The fabric is a poly crepe, which is bit shiny but has this gorgeous maroon colour. Again it was hard to find a fabric in a similar colour to the original image at an affordable price. It seems like good quality and I like the drape and flow of it. This is by far my mostly made and worn pattern. You can see it here and I’ve also made a linen version, which hasn’t been blogged yet.





‘Howard, we’re not like everyone else. Too many acute angles. Too many eccentricities.’


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Pulmu Skirt with a twist

I am not the one to give up on a project. Once I start something, I am determined to finish it, no matter how many times I use my seam ripper, no matter how many needles I break, no matter how many consecutive nights I sit on my table turn the sewing machine on and start sewing the same seam over and over.

I bought the pattern for the Named Clothing Pulmu Skirt about a year and a half ago. At that point, I was going through a phase of really hating PDF patterns, the assembling, the sticking and then the tracing and  finding a way to store them afterwards. Do I roll them? Do I fold them? Do I cut them up? So, I started working on it as soon as I got it out of the envelope that came through the post. I had seen the below look and the Pulmu Skirt was in my eyes the perfect candidate for recreating it.


And I got pretty close with this wool crepe version, the look of which I loved.  The problems though started once I began sewing the lining. Whatever I did, once I attached the lining around the vents the main fabric would pull up. I tried everything and in the end, I just decided I couldn’t fix it. The ladies at Named Clothing were most helpful and they advised that part of the problem might have been the fluidity of the fabric I was using and I agreed. However, as this was a project for a specific occasion, I ran out of time at this stage and the skirt was moved to my UFO pile, where it still lives to this day.IMG_9376

Despite the fact that I already had a semi-failure with the skirt, I decided to give it another go, this time in an Irish linen, much stiffer than usual linen. As I only wanted the skirt, I didn’t bother at all with the lining (which wasn’t necessary anyway) and instead finished the raw edges by binding the seams with bias tape. You can see the result here

Almost a year later, I decided to go back to it as part of my make nine list, because I simply couldn’t stomach the Pulmu failure. While pregnant, I made this tent dress which was worn only once more except for taking the blog post pictures. There seemed to be enough fabric to make a skirt but not enough for this particular one. As I love colour blocking, I thought I’d use the dress fabric for the back and the front and some plain black cotton sateen for the side panels and I think the result is great.ORG_DSC03752

Filled with determination, I spent a few nights, inserting and re-inserting the lining and the outcome was always the same as the first time I sewed the skirt, FAILURE. I don’t know what the problem is, I am probably doing something wrong, because the pattern is very well drafted. Perhaps, it’s the fact that I had to shorten the skirt quite a bit, as my height is nowhere near to a tall Finnish lady, haha! I don’t know what it was, but whatever it was, it tipped me over the edge. I was literally standing with it over the bin ready to send it to hell, when I had a revelation.ORG_DSC03778

I loved the shape of the skirt and the fabric too much to throw it away, so I cut out the part of the skirt from the vents below and replaced it with a gathered piece made from the contrasting fabric,


For me the way it turned out is perfect. I don’t know if it feels a bit out there, personally I find it very cool and unique. I guess I’m also not one for quiet clothes, I like them when they are at least delightfully peculiar, so it’s true to my aesthetic and style. (too much project runway, I tell you)


Needless to say that this was my last attempt at sewing the Pulmu skirt. I will consider this as one more of the make nine list ‘done’ and get on with the next project.


And you, at what stage do you say enough is enough with a handmade project that isn’t behaving?


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Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

It seems there’s no need for umbrellas anymore, but head over to Minerva Crafts Blog to see how me and my umbrella tested their wonderful cut-our scuba.DSC_1863

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A Handmade Birthday

As a child, I always remember having had a birthday party. When I was very young it was mostly family, but we were so many children in the family and then it was friends from school, the neighbourhood and my parents’ friends’ children. It was always the same set up, the same children and me in a lot of pictures a bit unhappy. Perhaps I had understood already that growing up was a trap and resented it happening anyway.

When my son turned one we threw him a party, with no specific theme and a mixture of guests. He didn’t really understand what was going on and he also seemed quite dissatisfied that all these people had invaded our house. So when the time of his second birthday came a few weeks ago, I decided against a party. I still wanted to give him a special day though and even if he doesn’t remember it, there are photos and videos to prove that it happened. Ah, the joys of  the digital revolution.

As he is currently going through a massive obsession with trains, I concluded that this was the best theme for his birthday. Pinterest, my trusted source of inspiration didn’t disappoint this time either.

I wanted the day to start as soon as he would come out of his room. We have a big collection of toy trains already, so I put some of them on each of the steps leading to the living room, certain they would catch his attention and he would follow them all the way to the bottom of the stairs.DSC_1759

There a set of railway tracks waited with more trains leading to the living room and the train carrying all the presents.


Initially, I wanted to make the main train completely out of boxes, like all the amazing trains I had seen on Pinterest, but unfortunately I had to use whatever was available in the middle of the night, which is when I do these projects usually. I was never an especially morning person, but life with a baby has forced me to become fully nocturnal, haha.

I used some leftover cardboard boxes to form the top part of the engine, where the driver sits and my two trunks to form the rest of the train. The wheels were made from paper plates, leftovers from his 1st birthday.


I covered everything with red wrapping paper and some Thomas the Tank Engine paper. I also used these transparent but filled with confetti balloons pretending to be smoke coming out of the train’s chimney. I made a paper chain with some more Thomas paper to connect the two carriages. I couldn’t bear cutting a window on the cardboard box at that time of the night so I outlined it with some ice cream sticks and hang a small Happy Birthday bunting for decoration.


As you can see in the picture the space at the front was filled with more presents, which also helped to stabilise it.

For the cake, I made a set of cupcakes to resemble train wagons. I used this Marry Berry recipe for the cupcakes. 

DSC_1752I started by sticking marshmallows to the sides of the toothpicks in order to make a stable base for the cupcakes.


Then added some icing on the outer sides of the marshmallows which served as a glue to stick the oreo wheels on. DSC_1754

I couldn’t find any biscuits or crackers big enough to hold the cupcakes, so instead bought some garibaldis, which came into two connected pieces and sat perfectly on top of the toothpicks.


Thomas the Tank Engine drove this train too, accompanied by some minis. I had to make this from the previous day, which resulted in the Oreos not being as crispy as the first day but still quite tasty. If you do have time, take them out of the packet the same day so that they remain fresh.


And here is my little man before he blew the candles. Behind him the permanent pile of unironed clothes.

I was very pleased with the train surprise and so did he. I am now thinking of next year.

And what about you, do you have themes for your children’s birthdays and what was the best one so far?

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Le 601 DP Studio

I don’t remember how I came across dp Studio Most likely someone posted it on Instagram, I checked it and it was love at first sight. Such unique designs for modern and clever garments. Needless to say, I wanted everything from that first collection. How could one resist to the shirts with the bows, the colour blocked skirts, the interesting and unusual cuts. For me the stand apart from all other pattern houses, but that’s purely because they speak to my escapist tendency and they lend themselves to dreaming of editorial photography. The pieces themselves as they appear on their website are highly editorial, And now I’m going to turn off Project Runway.

Out of all the beautiful patterns I chose Le 601, a shirt with flounces and big sleeves, a bow in the back and an oversized look, which doesn’t seem to appear on their website anymore. The packaging was equivalent to the quality of the designs and the instructions are both in English and in French.

I must have had the pattern for nearly a year before I actually started working on it. Part of the delay was the absence of appropriate fabric, part the fact that I found the 21 pieces that consisted this garment quite daunting. As my free time has almost disappeared, since the birth of my son, I have noticed that I approach with fear any sewing that will require days for me to trace and cut, let alone actually sewing. Make Nine was a good motivation and decided to do this as my first project as at the time it looked that spring was on its way and I could soon wear this with a jacket or just on its own. I couldn’t have been more wrong as a couple of weeks in and snow returned to London. It took me about a month of night sewing to finish it and it’s not without its problems, but here it is in a phone call with fashion paradise,

img_0045-2.jpg\I found the frills a bit intimidating due to the their volume but I ended up really liking that feature. It may look too much but I can assure it’s just right.


The pattern calls for overlocked edges on the frills but I decided to use some bias tape instead for a more polished finish and I think it worked great. One thing, I didn’t see mentioned in the instructions was the need to gather the frills before attaching them, so initially, I didn’t do it and it shows at the front.


My other favourite feature of the pattern is the collar, which is one piece of genius design. I mean it ties with a bow (or not) at the back, how cool is that? It was a bit tricky trying to add the collar to the collar stand and finish it in such a way that it looks polished, so I had to unpick a couple of times, but we got there in the end.



The fabric I used was a very light weight chambray that might have been a bit too light weight for this project. It resulted in ripping at places, while I was unpicking it and the slits of the sleeves, somehow expanded. I tried to solve the problem by unsuccessfully installing a placket from various tutorials. Well, my dear placket we will need to meet again in the near future. The stripy fabric there adds a nice detail, but I’m not sure, I’d like to draw attention to this failure. The main problem with this thing chambray though, is that it creases like crazy and all the lovely features of the shirt make ironing it an onerous task, as one of our editors usually says.


Another element I completely missed in the construction process was the concealed buttons at the front. So carried away I was by the beautiful design and my desire to finish it quickly that I just didn’t even remember reading it in the instructions but it is there. And because I hate buttonholes, I still concealed the front closures by sewing some  snap fasteners. Far from perfect result, but it will do for now.

DSC_1810I will call this a wearable toile and attempt another version in the future, hopefully before next winter, but for now I’m very happy, I made one at least of my make nine. There is already a very good possibility, I will not make all of them, haha.


This is my journal entry for this project and the plan is to do the same for all the rest. Personally, I think this is a great pattern, very well drafted and packaged, that does require some attention to detail and a bit of experience. But don’t let that ever intimidate you. IMG_8265



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