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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A Failed Challenge, Four Successful Garments

It’s been ages again since I updated this old space. I do wonder sometimes, if anyone reads the blogs ( I still do from time to time, but not as often as I used to) or whether we all hang around at IG looking at lovely pictures. ( I do that too, more often than I used to). I did however make among other things, a nice dress from a 70s pattern, the first non-contemporary pattern I’ve ever used. You can read all about it on the Minerva Crafts Blog.

Back in March, I think, I decided that I wanted to take part in the Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge,  organised by Tanya of Mrs Hughes, not so much for sewing something vintage, but more as a tribute to my grandma.

Going through some of her old pictures, I chose the below as my inspiration, because I loved the short jacket and I though that she looked fierce and she is, trust me. I also loved the story behind it. During my grandma’s wedding, her godmother gifted her the fabric out of which the dress was made. The tradition was that it was laid on the shoulders of the bride and the groom, as if it weaved their lives together. It was a silk red fabric, which must have made the scene magical.

I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t going to replicate the dress, because I was not going to wear it and I really wanted to create something that would appeal to my style. I also knew that I wasn’t going to use silk, as I didn’t want to ruin it. I bought a fuchsia poly crepe for the dress part and a blue Irish linen for the jacket. As I didn’t want a full circle skirt, I looked for something that could imitate the volume of the skirt at least. That’s when I came across Megan Nielsen’s absolutely gorgeous Flint Pants. I wanted, however, to stay true to the shape of the dress bodice and for that reason I used Simplicity 1587, view B, as a top for my pants. There was no doubt from the moment I saw my grandma’s photo, I was going to use my all time favourite, the Bellatrix Blazer by Papercut Patterns. But despite all my planning, disasters did happen and I never managed to take part in the challenge, as by the deadline all I had was un-hemmed pants, a horrendous top and the blazer just cut out.

I initially hated the pants and it was only after they had a press with my mum’s high pressure steam iron (it’s old but it works miracles with pressing) that I realised how delightful the Flint pants were.  So delightful that I made a second pair, straight away.



It always surprises me how different garments can look, when using different fabrics. The second version is in a thicker, less flowy fabric and holds the shape of the trousers better. I don’t know which one I like the most, I guess each to its season. Haha.



I cut size xs and didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern. I loved making them and now I’m considering a shorts option for winter to wear with tights. They are so effortless to construct and the instructions are just perfect, so well articulated. The no zipper closure is also genius, because I hate buttons, but I hate zippers more. I did put the buttons on the inside, as I wanted to keep it clean on the front.

I finished the raw edges with the overlocker and this particular pair is on constant rotation. So comfortable. I don’t fall in love with a lot of patterns but this is one of them. Do try it. I think it will also look great as wide leg pants, not as wide as the culotte, style.



Of course, I couldn’t leave the Bellatrix unfinished, since it had already been cut. I cut again the smallest size, but shortened the bodice and omitted completely the pockets to resemble the one in my grandma’s picture. I must say, I love the outcome, although a bit shorter than initially intended. This has also been worn very often at work.DSC_1473

The Bellatrix is a lined jacket but as this is linen, I decided I could skip that part of the construction. I finished the raw edges with bias binding, which looks great in my opinion.


For some unknown reason, maybe because it was a present, I got too much of the linen fabric and as I like a suit, I thought I’d team the Bellatrix with my nemesis at the moment, the Named Clothing Pulmu Skirt  I have developed a love hate relationship with this unbelievably gorgeous and clever pattern. You have not seen darts like these before. I won’t talk a lot about it here, as I’m intending to do a separate post for this pattern.



I think it is the perfect match for this cropped Bellatrix. DSC_1472

It is a very flattering piece from the front, the back and the side. The later being the highlight of the pattern. The side panel and slit are insane. I didn’t use the belt this time, as I decided, I prefer the skirt without it.


This particular version is a bit on the tight side, but allows walking and sitting comfortably. I cut the smallest size again but I think I should have gone one size up at parts. I didn’t even attempt to line the Pulmu skirt as previous experience ended up in a nightmare, but finished it in the same way as the jacket. It is linen after all.


So I may have failed in the dress like your grandmother challenge but managed to make four dress like me pieces. Bonus they combine well with each other. (minus my face in these pictures)


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A quiet book and a refashion

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, taking part in IG challenges is a great way of discovering new people and blogs to follow. It was during the Moneta party that I discovered the Sewingmamas Project organised by The Dancing Dressmaker and Pilar Bear. Each month they pick a sewing project for the little one and his/her mum. The projects for March  were a quiet book for the little one and a refashion of an RTW item for the mum. I decided to join mainly because I’ve always wanted to make a quiet book, so more effort was put in that than the refashion.


As it happens with most of my projects, I had a lot of ideas for the quiet book and the problem is that I wanted to do all of them, so in the end I settled for an alphabet quiet book with removable letters and their representations. Of course I should have started making this probably last year to have it all finished by the end of March, hence I will only show you the beginning of it. All the materials are from my stash.

The only thing I bought was some velcro. I have tons of this grey bias tape, so I thought I’d use it as a finish, but it was a bit sad as a colour, so I treated it with some fabric paint. Still don’t like the result, so I think I will use a different finish for the rest of the pages, when I get to completing them.


I did draw some of the things myself and some others were part of a samples book that a friend of Leandros’ grandma found in the rubbish and saved it. I love C & D pages.

When I drew the elephant balancing a ball on his trunk, I immediately thought of circus and my little elephant performing his tricks, so the curtains seemed very appropriate. I have also added some texture to the elephant ear.

I somehow thought that the little one was going to dismiss the book but I couldn’t be more wrong, he really enjoyed pulling out the letters and the animals, although I have to admit he was mostly obsessed with pulling the duck’s eye. He hasn’t succeeded so far.


Now on to the refashion. This is a cheap dress I had bought at Asda. It was too big and I only liked the flowers. It ended up being a permanent resident of my wardrobe. I found it the perfect project for the refashion. At the end of the day, if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t miss it that much. And I can tell you it didn’t work.

I knew from the beginning, I wanted to make a top. so I thought I’d go for one of these parts that have been added to the stash and never quite made it to the top. This time it was the Simple Sew Patterns Key Hole Blouse that came free with an issue of Love Sewing magazine. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as I hoped. The hole was a bit too low which meant that you’d have to wear a top or something underneath, if you didn’t want the whole world to look at your boobs.


I decided to try and fix the hole and after a few failed attempts, I simply covered it, with a piece of fabric that I thought worked as design element rather than a cover. A bit of hand embroidery, admittedly not very good and some mother of pearl buttons.


However my modifications caused the fabric to pull around the neckline and the bias binding just doesn’t sit flat. It’s not monstrous but I don’t like it.


I love the side view, but the fabric I have used at the bottom isn’t of the same weight and of a shade of black that looks washed out. I finished the hem with bias tape and I don’t like that either. Suffice to say I will not be wearing this top, there’s nothing I like about it and I feel I wasted my time by trying to fix it. In the bin it will go.

On another note, all you mothers who sew a lot, I don’t know how you do it, because every time (every night, I should say) I decide to sit in front of my sewing machine, some disaster will hit either me or the little man. I like slow sewing but this is beyond slow now. How do you do it? Btw, I’ve also gone back to my full time job.

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Moneta: Murder and Resurrection

With a stream of threads hanging from her clothes, the woman with red hair walked out of her front door and disappeared in the anonymity of a rainy day. If someone had noticed her, they would have seen the bags under her eyes, the look of both disappointment and frustration, someone might have even stopped her or laughed at her as she was still wearing her silk carolyn pyjamas, which didn’t really look like sleep wear bar the print of unicorns on them. But one of the advantages or disadvantages of the big city is that nobody notices you and so she carried on walking uninterrupted, towards the park and from there over the bridge, further and further away from home. She was carrying only her  credit card and one pointy object in the pocket of her Minoru jacket.



‘It was the husband, who found the child playing on the floor with the dissected body,’ said fashion detective Ariadne Overlock to her colleague sewing inspector Sophie Bias. ‘He claims that last time, he saw the dress in one piece on the dress form. Apparently his wife was getting it ready to go to some party, the Moneta party he said, at the weekend,’ she continued.

‘Where is the wife now? Why has she done this to the poor dress?’ Bias asked.

‘She’s disappeared. When the husband woke up, she wasn’t in her usual spot in front of the sewing machine and nowhere else in the house. He claims to have called her a few times, but there was no answer.’

‘Hmm, what has happened here?’ Bias said looking closely at the dress, she hadn’t even heard her colleague’s reply. ‘It seems, she started unpicking the dress but then gave up and simply cut the overlocked seams. The waist and the hemline look as if they had been tortured for hours. And the threads, they’ve been splattered all over the kitchen.’

‘Yes this is what I thought as well. If only the child could talk, he must have seen everything. The husband mentioned that he sits next to his mum playing quietly when she sews,’ Overlock added.

‘And the murder weapon, it’s nowhere to be found. Could she have taken it with her? Let’s seal off the place, send the husband and the child to the hotel and I will call the team to come for a more detailed inspection,’ said Bias and her mind had already moved to other matters like the coffee she still hadn’t drunk.


It didn’t take long for the investigation team to arrive at the crime scene and get on with their tasks.

‘The murder weapon was definitely sharp scissors,’ said the coroner, I would place all my bets on Fiskars and I’m pretty sure they are still in the house. The seam ripper was only what started the torturing.’

A photographer took a picture of the stretched body and the ripped hem, whereas the rest of the team, were combing the house for the murder weapon.

‘I found it, I found it,’ shouted a man from the bedroom upstairs and he was soon seen descending the stairs, holding a pair of Fiskars scissors.

It was at that very moment, the front door opened again and the red headed woman entered her house. She didn’t immediately notice the yellow tape in the corridor, nor the man who had just come down the stairs. She did, however, notice all the people in the kitchen going through her sewing stuff. Moneta was still on the kitchen floor.


‘What the he…’ she managed to utter before ten people turned round to look at her. The coroner reached for his phone and before anyone had the chance to move, had Bias at the other end of the line.

‘Hold her there, I’m on my way’ she said and hang up the phone. A little while later, she and Overlock were interrogating the woman with the red hair.

‘Why did you do that?’ Bias asked and pointed at the body.

‘She wasn’t good enough,’ replied the woman, ‘and in any case, I’m planning to fix her.’

‘I think, she’s beyond fixing,’ Overlock added. ‘Tell us what happened.’

‘A day ago, this poor soul, was a lovely dress hanging on my mannequin,’ the woman started without any protest. In her head she hadn’t committed a crime after all. ‘I was so proud of the dress, it looked so beautiful, until I tried it on. What mostly bothered me was the fact that some of the gathers were not sitting properly and they created weird pleats in the back that I really hated. Even if I oversaw the pleats, it was too short and I just didn’t like it. So I did it, I grabbed the seam ripper, and started unpicking, and because I had never been patient enough to unpick the overlocker seams, I took the scissors and simply cut them off. This of course resulted in the waist of the skirt becoming slightly bigger and the bodice slightly shorter, but only slightly so it was ok. I took some more of my clear elastic, gathered the skirt and attached it to the bodice. Going back to it this morning to fix the short hem, I noticed that the seams were visible, and not hidden between the bodice and the skirt. I wanted to pull my hair, if I could see it, it meant other people, could too. This time I didn’t even attempt to use the seam ripper, instead I went straight  for the scissors and just chopped the dress. I showed no mercy, I was so mad at it. ‘

‘Where did you go after that?’ Bias asked.

‘I wasn’t planning to leave it tortured and dissected for others to find but when I reached for some more clear elastic to right all the wrongs, I realised in horror that I had run out, so I went to the local haberdashery to buy some more.’

‘And did you?’

‘No, I didn’t because as it usually happens, whenever I really need something they never have it.’

‘So you will not be able to fix the dress, which means you have to come to the station with us.’

‘No, no wait I will fix it, I will use the regular type of elastic, it won’t be perfect but it will be good enough. Please, I’ve been planning all week for this party.’

Bias looked at her in disbelief for a few minutes. ‘Ok,’ she finally said, ‘but under one condition, I will stay here and watch you.’

‘No problem, but I will need to be given my scissors back.’ The man who had found them, handed them back to her.

First she cut two pieces of fabric as wide as the width of the front and back bodice and as long as the length of the bodice she had chopped off. When she attached them together it looked something like this and she was quite pleased with it.

Having cut the size xs to start with and having chopped the waist twice, she had ended up with a much larger waist, that even if she wanted she wouldn’t have been able to gather to the original size, so she recut the skirt, sewed the pieces together and after gathering it with the white elastic, she attached it to the bodice. It wasn’t perfect but looked much better than the previous version. Then she hemmed it and finally attached the collar, in a contrasting fabric, as she had originally dreamt, but had failed to execute.


When the husband and the child returned from the hotel, the police had sent them. The dress was no longer a corpse, it had miraculously amended itself.

‘Mummy will go to her party,’ he said to his son.

So she did and boy could that dress swish.




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Bell sleeve top and stash busting

Hello world again. How long has it been since my last post??? At this slow pace perhaps I should be changing the name of my blog to The Eternal Summer Stitcher, as I seem to be stuck in that season and you never know despite my efforts, it may be next summer before I post anything else, haha!

I don’t like making excuses (you know the usual, motherhood and life in general) I’d rather make things.


And although I wasn’t actually making anything, I ended up thinking about sewing a lot, especially since the last months of maternity, being unpaid, means I can’t (rather I shouldn’t) buy any fabric. The latter hasn’t been necessarily a negative thing, as it made me look closer at the fabric I already own and how I could use it to satisfy my creative hunger. What you see in this picture is my whole stash, ( I know some of you are laughing now, thinking this isn’t a stash, but I tend to buy fabric with a project in mind) plus some garments waiting to be refashioned or mended. There is one order  in the post for a specific project, but apart from that I will not be buying any fabric, until I have sewn every little piece in these boxes and if I say I bought some, feel free to tell me off. There isn’t a time limit on this self appointed challenge. I do hope though that I will manage to go through most of the boxes during this year?  I have a feeling it will not always be season appropriate either, but we will see some winter in this blog eventually, perhaps during summer.  If  anyone wants to tag along ( I doubt it) and do the same, please feel free.

dsc_0837Not from the very old stash is this top, which I was meant to have finished before Christmas to wear at a special occasion, (my sewing went so wrong that I ended up buying a whole outfit for that haha) but I only finished it last week. It’s a wrinkled something fabric bought surprisingly   from John Lewes(the one close to me has a very boring collection of fabrics) for £12/metre. I bought only one metre, so I had to be a bit creative with the cutting.  As you can see there is gold in it, but it’s quite discreet to allow me to wear it outside the Christmas period.


I have a thing about big sleeves, despite them not being functional when you need to hide them in coats during the winter, and the bell sleeve trend made me go a bit cuckoo. The base for my top is the Aime Comme Magellan top from Aime Comme Marie. Having sewn it before, I knew it fitted and possessed all the qualities I was looking for. I omitted the ruffles and lowered the neckline, I also added a not centred pleat, which didn’t quite work the way I wanted it to.


I finished the neckline with bias binding, which also didn’t work as I managed to stretch the neckline a bit and now it doesn’t sit flat, maybe a heavy necklace will help keep it in place. A good steam, improved it a bit but to be honest, I’m not that bothered, it’s all part of the process. The hem and sleeves were finished with a rolled hem, the first one I’ve ever done kind of successfully.

dsc_0841The buttons are again there purely for decorative purposes as in my previous version. I love fabric covered buttons, they are a nice detail that adds a bit of class to any garment. dsc_0860

The actual bells are sewn by two pieces put together but thanks to the wrinkled effect of the fabric it’s hardly noticeable.

I haven’t got anything else to add about this top except for when something isn’t meant to happen it just doesn’t. I was going to sew this the night before flying to Greece, but guess what the little one decided that he wouldn’t go to bed before midnight. I came back and finished it in an evening, (with minor things having gone wrong) because  I didn’t need to wear it anymore haha. Do you ever get these moments of garments that they don’t want to happen, no matter what you do?



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Stripey aime comme Magellan and Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 1105

So summer continues on my blog and this time it comes with another season favourite; stripes.

The hot weather this year caught me by surprise in terms of wardrobe. On the one hand a lot of things didn’t fit the after pregnancy body and on the other hand there was a lack of relaxed outfits, which is what I needed, since I didn’t have to be in the office every day,

I bought the Magellan top by Aime Comme Marie after being obsessed with this dress worn by Alexa Chung. I seriously wanted some ruffles in my life.


This version is the third Magellan I made, because, as you may have suspected by now, this project was as problematic as the previous too.


I initially cut a size M on a fabric with some stretch. Big mistake as it made the otherwise lovely Magellan hang like a sack, a size too big. Nevertheless, I called that a muslin and carried on sewing it, until I got to the sleeves. The sleeves feature two darts, which I found a bit odd but didn’t mind them as they were at least original. I don’t know if it was me or the pattern but the medium sleeves even on the stretch fabric, were uncomfortably tight, to the point where they wouldn’t go past my elbows. I decided to ditch them and do a sleeveless version. Unfortunately, I stretched the fabric while sewing and the whole top turned into one hot mess. Fortunately for you, there are no pics of that atrocity.


I had recently purchased from eBay again, some candy striped cotton, in three different colours, (green, light blue, dark blue) with no particular project in mind, so I thought why not use one of them for the Magellan, the shorter one to be specific.  This time I cut a size S, and surprise, surprise, it was small, too small. I wanted to pull my hair at that point, as this was another garment I was sewing more than once, due to silly mistakes. I went back to cutting a new version, but I wasn’t ready to let go of the stripes. There wasn’t anymore of the fabric I had used, the second in length (green stripes) was mostly consumed by the Cynthia Rowley pattern, and the third was going to turn into a dress in my head. So as I normally do in these cases, I improvised. I kept, the already cut,small size for the part of the top over the ruffles and cut a small grading to medium size for the part below the ruffles, from what was left of the original fabric and the remnants of the green fabric.


As you can see not only have I used every possible scrap of fabric, my stripes also follow every possible direction. I doubled the width of the ruffles, because in my head, I still had the image of that Alexa Chung dress, just not the right amount of fabric. My ruffles are constructed by three different pieces of fabric sewn together and if I had more fabric, I would have attempted an even longer piece, so that there is more of a ruffle.


I didn’t even attempt to cut the sleeves this time and finished the armscye and with bias tape. I also hemmed the ruffle. The pattern requires only overlocking but I thought a hemmed version would look nicer. I love how these triangles of contrasting stripes turned out.


Out of these three buttons, only the first one is kind of functional, in that there is a snap fastener underneath, the other two are there purely for decorative purposes. Yes, I somehow managed to sew the pieces, not close enough to each other to have buttonholes and needed to fix this somehow, hence they don’t completely align, but at least the buttons bring some consistency. I wore this top so much both here in the UK and in Greece and I got so many compliments, despite the obvious problems with it. I’m definitely making another one with sleeves this time. I even have the fabric for it, fingers crossed it will be enough 🙂


And here is where the rest of the green stripes went. While pregnant I made the dress version of Cynthia Rowley 1105. I wore the dress only once because I decided that it wasn’t flatering, I already looked big enough and the fabric I used didn’t have enough drape, so it does look as if I’m wearing an actual tent. Despite that, I went ahead and made the top version of it.

dsc07612I liked it better than the dress and wore it a lot during the summer too. I omitted the ribbon at the back as I didn’t enjoy that feature either on the dress.


Here’s me wearing it, colour coordinating with my son’s shorts in the middle of a wheat field, where we went at some point to fly the drone. My other half has hobbies too, haha! There is one more make before summer goes for good from my blog.


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Simplicity 1114 Jumpsuit

dsc07571One of the projects I enjoyed a lot last summer, was Jumping into June. I love jumpsuits and one is never enough, which is why this summer I made a second one. I should have made more than that really.  As sewing time nowadays is limited, I needed something with a simple design that would be comfortable, would see me through summer and be quick to sew. Simplicity 1114 was the perfect candidate. I purchased this with a bundle of other patterns, including some for baby clothes (just warning) from Weaverdee.


This jumpsuit is marked as easy and it really is. There are no zippers, or darts, or sleeves. The pattern comes with three jumpsuit versions and a dress. I chose version B, with the wide legs. I like flowy trousers in the summer as much as I like jumpsuits.


The top is very simple, with straps and an elastic encased in a tube, as well as an elastic waistband and a little belt. Another easy and quick make, you’d think. Well, I managed to mess this up too, luckily not as much as dress of my previous post. I blame it all on working during the night, when my brain should be sleeping.dsc07570To start with, I sewed the two back legs with each other, rather with the front leg. The previous garment had taught me well and I had overlocked all the pieces separately, so that I wouldn’t need to unpick those seams in the event of a disaster. Fortunately, I realised my mistake quickly and I didn’t carry on sewing the front legs with each other too.dsc07565

Next on attaching the top to the bottom, I attached the front side to the back and the back to the front. Seam ripper at hand and unpicking done, I re-attached it correctly this time.


When I finished with it and put it back on, I realised that the straps were quite long. The problem was that they were encased in the elastic tube, which meant further unpicking. At that stage, I wanted the damn thing finished (how long should one be sewing something described as easy?) so I unpicked only the top seam, shortened the straps and sewed them again. If you look close enough there is a little seam where the straps join the top, but it’s easily missed in the print. I love the simplicity of this jumpsuit and how quick it is to make it, if you avoid making the mistakes I did. I know it’s not the most exciting of projects, I have shared but sometimes you need the uncomplicated every day wear. I perhaps needed to raise the crotch a bit, but I like my summer clothes loose, unlike the winter ones, so I didn’t mind that at all.  The fabric is viscose bought from eBay, I cut a size medium, but I think, I could get away with a small too. There is plenty of ease.

I’ve never had a winter jumpsuit. I currently have my eyes on the Eliane jumpsuit by Style Arc and House of Pinheiro, but it may be summer again by the time I make it. Anyone out there, who has sewn it?  I have the Kelly Anorak, the Pulmu Skirt, an idea for a top and a coat for which I have no patterns, plus a couple of baby things, plus invitations and other bits and bobs for a christening, plus, plus, plus, to make, definitely summer before I get my hands on another jumpsuit.

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