Can Giants Wear Giant Gingham?

sewing with gingham fabric

I am nothing if not derivative. This entire outfit was inspired by The Foldline’s Sew The Summer Trends vlog that featured a place holder image of a giant gingham outfit. I mean, the gingham was giant. Not the outfit. Only a giant could wear a giant gingham outfit. But a normal person could wear an outfit sewn from giant gingham…

Oh, you know what I mean!

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You Are Awesome Giveaway WINNER

wren and rook giveaway

… is Ciao Linda who teaches AWESOME maths lessons. I’ll be in touch for a postal address, Linda.

Do go back and read the extremely humbling stories in the comments on this giveaway. You might find you have something stuck in your eye…

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Not A Princess? It Doesn’t Matter! You Are Awesome GIVEAWAY

wren and rook

When I heard about Wren and Rook’s number one bestselling book You Are Awesome from author Matthew Syed I couldn’t have been happier. I’m a big believer in the power of hard work and embracing failure. Hey, do you think I’d sew if I couldn’t embrace failure? I just ripped out a collar TWICE this morning!

seam ripper

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Do I Want An Overlocker?

janome 6234XL

Silly question, right? Choosing an overlocker (serger to our US friends) is possibly the second-biggest decision after investing in a sewing machine.

If you don’t know what an overlocker is or does, a machine like the Janome 6234XL overlocker allows you to quickly finish seams neatly and so that they don’t fray with wear or laundering. Your sewing starts to look more finished and that can be a big boost to your creative confidence.

I’ve had my Brother M1034D overlocker for seven years. I bought it in 2011 after shoving pound coins in a jar. (I still recommend this as a great way of saving up for goals – I currently have two jars on the go.)

The Brother M1034D is an affordable model. It’s pretty much perfect for beginners and has been a loyal friend.

Unfortunately, my head had been turned. Pretty much every sewing school I attended had a Janome overlocker – and oh, what a treat they were to use. Such even stitching. So fast! And their own little trays for collecting scraps. I was smitten.

how to choose an overlocker

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April Showers, May Flowers

Or so the saying goes. My home has been full of flowers over recent weeks; I love a cheap bunch of tulips or daffodils. Plus, it’s that time of year to start replanting the annuals. How this makes my heart sing!


I thought I’d do a quick round-up of the floral prints that have struck my eye over recent bouts of Internet surfing. No affiliate links here, just knee jerk yowls of delight.

I’ve tried to go for the not-so-obvious as, to quote Miranda in The Devil Wears Prada: ‘Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.’

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Fabric Focus – Silk Jersey

what to sew with silk jersey

This is my latest make – an Agnes top in silk jersey. Actually, not entirely in silk jersey – the back piece and neckline were cut from black French terry.

how to sew a silk jersey top

I found the silk jersey beautiful to work with and wear:

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Scuba Winner With The Sewcial Studio

scuba top

Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway of 1.5 metres of scuba from The Sewcial Studio. Drum roll … the winner is Kim Watson who recently celebrated a birthday. Happy birthday, Kim! I’ll be in touch.

I hope we’ve inspired lots of you to contemplate whizzing up a one-hour skirt.

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The Village Haberdashery Sewing Socials

the village haberdashery class studio


Recently, I was lucky enough to be guest host at one of The Village Haberdashery‘s Sewing Social evenings. They run each Thursday night, 6.30-9pm. Each attendee pays £8 to access the studio and sew with friends and a host who shall make them feel welcome and answer their questions. Oh, and there’s cake.

This was the first time I attended and I LOVED it. There were about eight or nine of us there – we each had a sewing machine and plenty of space to work. The wide windows were flung open to the evening summer air and a member of staff (hi, Freya!) was on hand if we had any questions. There was also a knitting group in the shop area and the atmosphere was friendly, relaxed and fun. Honestly, I was in heaven!

wool the village haberdashery

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Sew A One Hour Scuba Skirt – Giveaway

The One Hour Scuba Skirt

Thanks to everyone who watched my vlog interview with The Foldline and made a comment. It looks as though many of us feel the same way around sewing, and how natural fabrics can manage our internal radiators.

If you have a tendency to overheat (at any age) does this mean you’re forced to eschew fun synthetic fabrics? Hell, no! Just ask The Sewcial Studio, who recently sent me a gift of some scuba. Would you like a gift, too? Keep reading… Continue reading

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Buying Stuff – Does It Platform Intent?

I was thinking about this the other day as I gazed slack-jawed at running tights on the Internet, wondering how many pairs to buy.

The truth is, I haven’t been running in weeks. Or, wince, maybe months. But if I bought some new running gear, I’d definitely haul my behind outside. Wouldn’t I?

I wonder if the same rationale applies to sewing. I don’t mean the spontaneous splurges on fabric; I’m talking about the big investments.

toshiba sewing machine

I first started sewing on a secondhand Toshiba to test my commitment to this new hobby. I didn’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on a machine, only to watch it gather dust. Once I was certain that my new love was consistent as well as passionate, I invested in a Bernina – a machine that has proved to be loyal and true. (Can you tell I had a flakey man sending me drunk text messages last night? I have no patience any more for flakey men…)

bernina sewing machine

Buying my sewing machine and then my overlocker were my messages to myself. You’re in for the long haul, girlfriend. Time to take this seriously.

Do you feel the same way? Have your investments been worth it or have they become expensive clothes horses – you know, the objects you toss your clothes over in a neglected corner of the bedroom?

Okay, time to peel myself out of my own bedroom and go for a run!

cardiff half marathon


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