Fabrics To Keep You Warm


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s been a sudden and dramatic drop in temperates in these here parts (the UK). I’ve turned all sloth-like, when I’m not doing my Couch to 5k training and want nothing more than to cuddle up in warming fabrics.

So, at pure random and with no particular logic, here’s a run down of some of my favourite snuggly fabrics for winter weather.


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The Rise And Rise Of Sewing Vloggers


Well! I’ve been absolutely fascinated by the newest social media turn of events, namely the rise and rise of sewing vloggers. I LOVE sewing vlogs. When I’m too tired to do anything other than loll in bed, I watch an episode from one of my ‘friends’ as I gently fall asleep, my laptop propped open.

For me, sewing vlogs trump podcasts. I need to feel halfway clever when listening to a podcast. They all – not just sewing – seem to be so earnest.


Book and TV industries are obsessed with Youtube. Some of its stars carry more clout than Hollywood actors, these days. I’m not saying that Leonardo DiCaprio should buy himself a sewing machine (though maybe he should) but I am intrigued that where the likes of Zoella lead, sewing follows. These vlogs aren’t about online tutorials per se; they’re more about an online conversation.

Our sewing vlogs would probably be described as niche – I can’t see anyone yet hitting Zoella’s 11 million subscribers – but I always think niche is good. Niche means passion. What’s next? I have no idea. Some readers have suggested I join in the vlogging fun, but I quite enjoy leaving this area to other people who are carving out their own community niche. Plus, we already have at least two dog-owning sewing vloggers!

Do you have any favourite sewing vlogs you can recommend to me? And what do you think to this latest phenomenon?

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A Couple Of Shots


‘That’s cold work,’ said the auld Irish bloke who’d been surreptitiously watching me. ‘Come to the pub for a couple of shots? Warm yourself up?’

You know when bloggers say it took them 150 photos to pick one decent one? This photoshoot involved a grand total of two photographs. It was so blooming cold out there! But I wanted to share this latest Molly dress from the Sew Over It Capsule Wardrobe ebook, largely because the fabric is so interesting.



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Tilly And The Buttons Cleo Dress


This is the latest pattern from Tilly and the Buttons, the Cleo dungaree dress. Isn’t it cute as a button? And talking of buttons…


What I love about this pattern is that you don’t need to go out and invest in a shed load of hardware, if you don’t want to. Buttons in your stash, and you’re good to go. No buckles, no jean buttons, no rivets, no mallets, no zips. Just start sewing. Though I did use my buttonhole kit, for neat slicing.


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Four Sources Of Happiness


A new (old) novel, recommended by an author friend. I’m assured this is gorgeous. Have you watched the BBC4 documentary about Virago? You should! It’s still on iPlayer for the next 20 days.


New pins. Who doesn’t love a sharp pin? I have a theory that sewing involves the ritualised collecting of accoutrements. I think that’s probably true of any hobby. Just ask the next sports person who shows you their new must have piece of lycra or Garmin watch.


New patterns. Planning the next sewing project. All the potential, none of the failure.


Cleaning my filthy overlocker. There’s nothing I enjoy more.

I’m fibbing about one of these sources of happiness. Can you guess which one?

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Metallic Tunic Dress


Metallic is in all the shops right now, but whenever I look at a price tag I always think I could do better for less. (Does sewing make you arrogant? Guilty as charged, I guess!)

I also knew that if a certain fabric is in all the high street shops, it’s going to find its way to The Man Outside Sainsburys – a fact he and I discussed this very weekend as I purchased a metre of quilted metallic synthetic something. Highly synthetic something. Highly metallic. Not for the faint of heart.

I decided to make a short sleeved tunic version of the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress. Can’t show you the short sleeves on me because it was nippy noodles out there. Brrrrrrrrr!


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The Act V. The Object


I have an entire completed knitting project that’s been finished for two months. All I need to do is block it and sew on the buttons, so what’s stopping me? A new make. I’ve leapt ahead.

I pride myself on always finishing sewing projects, so why can’t I be the same with my knitting? For me, knitting is more about the act than the object. I love the meditative process, the way that my brain zones out and conscious thought turns blurry. I often knit in front of the telly, with a glass of something beside me, and I’m not mega keen on complex knitting patterns. I knit in order to stop thinking.


Still, an Unfinished Object is annoying, when it could be a lovely and yummy item to wear. If you don’t see something blogged soon, nag me!

At least I’m cracking on with the Christmas cake. It’s in the oven as I type.

Good luck finishing your projects this weekend!


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Love Is A Velvet Prison


The dog sewing continues, but shall stop soon I promise. Here’s Ella in her favourite position in my home office. It’s an ancient bucket chair, but it’s right beside my desk and right beside the window. Good times for Ella!



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Sew A Dog Bandana? Never!


I always swore blind I’d never sew anything for Ella. What you see here is an aberration. A double aberration because Ella’s cousin (my sister’s dog) appears to own a new bandana, too.

What can I say? I’d glibly offered to do some sewing ahead of our latest trip to the Isle of Wight. I have quite a bit of the Liberty of London Isle of Wight tana lawn in my stash cupboard. These kerchiefs take up tiny amounts, using this tutorial.


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Strictly Come Dancing – Sewing The Dresses


Every year when Strictly Come Dancing arrives on TV I say to myself, I really must organise a sewing interview. And every year I fail. Until today! The wonderful Gerald of DSI London allowed me to visit the thumping heart of the Strictly costume department. Turns out it’s in Surrey.

Creative director, Vicki Gill (as seen on It Takes Two), pattern cutters, seamstresses, diamante experts and a new apprentice turn round outfits in – gulp – three days. Tired just reading this? You should try attaching 8,000 diamante stones to a dress. And, oh, the dresses…



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