Hi, I’m Karen! I’ve been blogging about sewing and knitting for more than half a decade – wow. Over that time, Did You Make That has grown into one of the leading UK sewing blogs. Friendship has always been really important to me, and that’s informed every word on this blog.

I grew up in the foothills of the Peak District, but as a teenager realised I was a city girl at heart. Nearly 27 years ago, I moved to London.

My home, Walthamstow, pops up here a lot. (So does my dog, Ella!) Walthamstow has the longest market in Europe and some of the best fabric shopping in London.


My dog, Ella

My day job involves working with beautiful children’s books. This career is all down to my wonderful mum, who taught me to read as a little girl.

I firmly believe that creativity IS contagious and I want to help you catch the bug. Whether it’s sewing a skirt, knitting your first scarf or writing a blog post, it’s empowering to stand back and think, I made that.

You can contact me at didyoumakethat[at]fastmail[dot]fm

Please note that on occasion blog posts contain affiliate links.

45 Responses to

  1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

    Sounds like my sewing – i call it theatrical – if it looks good from a distance it works for me 😉

  2. janey says:

    Hi I just found you from a link on Roobeedoo. I too love to sew and knit and when I started in my teens (a year or 2 back!) the best compliment was, where did you buy that? I hated it if people thought i had made it myself. Now the world has gone full circle and w are proud to say Yes I made this. I have also learnt that few non sewers will ever recognise a bodge and they are just as impressed as they would be with a couture finish!!

  3. Justine says:

    I just turned 41 too!

  4. Sandy says:

    I just found your blog last week. I must say, you have pushed me, without even knowing me. How cool is that? I finally got courage to not only figure out how to use Google Reader (now I know how to subscribe to blogs!), but also to start writing my very own blog. I am giddy with my pluck and perseverance. Thank you, thank you for inspiring me with your writing, your sewing, and your all-around winning personality.

  5. Karen,
    I discovered your blog last month and I like it and as visitor I think I should say Hello.

    Mari Cruz

  6. Sarah Davies says:

    Hi there!
    I’m thinking I should become a new beffie so you can make me a cool dress for Bologna! Though given I’m not in the office, I guess sticking the pins into me could be tricky . . . .

    Really enjoyed looking at your outfit piccies.

    Sarah (as in Sarah D of Greenhouse) x

  7. Jen says:

    I am *so* much into the handmade that I’ve named myself “The HandMaiden” ! I will be watching yours …. 🙂

  8. Jen says:

    ps. what is scary, is that (though you’re 41 and I’m 49) that our kid pictures look scary similar !!!

  9. Salma says:

    Just stumbled on your blog and laughed so hard over the Sewing Amnesty Series! Oh goodness I can so relate to it!

  10. Jacq says:

    Hi, whilst trying to muster up the courage to master my sewing machine your blog has really inspired me. Accepting that the only person holding me back is myself has probably been the biggest hurdle! Anyway, as you said ‘good enough’ is great and having made 3 Sorbettos (seemed like a good place to start – how much damage could I do with 0.5m of gingham?), 1 and a half dresses and a skirt in my week off work ( all of which are absolutely wearable in public – well, perhaps the ‘half dress’ would work better once I’ve put a zip in!) I am totally hooked. Thank you so much 🙂

  11. Heather M says:

    I like many who have posted here am a lurker on your blog. Because of you I found Walthamstow market, after 20 years of living in London, oh what joy! Thanks.

    • Caroline says:

      For fabric I go to the man outside Sainsbury’s at Walthamstow market, his fabric is wonderful for the price, I am hooked! I would love to meet some likeminded dressmaking ladies for fabric shopping meet-ups in Walthamstow and would be grateful if someone could please let me know about these meet-ups. Many thanks.

  12. Steph A says:

    I just found your blog recently, and LOVE it!! You have such a great colour sense, it’s fun too. The idea of “good enough” is something I should have in bold letters in my sewing room!
    It sounds like you have a great job. I love reading children’s books as much as my boys (or maybe more so!) Now, at 47, I wonder if I’ll have to grow up by the time I hit 50?! It just doesn’t seem right!!

  13. Matthew King says:

    I found your blog at a link from the Teen Granny blog, which I found in my wife’s Women & Home magazine! I have been sewing since I was a fat teenager and I taught myself to use my mum’s sewing machine when she was too busy to shorten my trousers! I now make my own shirts and a few things for my wife but there is not the same scope for us chaps as there is for you ladies – although I have recently made my first waistcoat and bow tie.
    I was also taught to knit by my late sister-in-law when I was about 18 or 19 and I have been kniting ever since – eventually I’ll learn to cast off!! I guess I do more of this now as I find it easier to do while watching TV. See we men can multi-task!
    I currently live in Cyprus and am so frustrated by the lack of wool and fabric shops, but we are moving back to the UK soon so I’ll be able to indulge a bit more.
    I love the idea of the Great British Sew Off and if I was living in the UK now I would definately have applied. Let’s hope it is a success and there are more series.

  14. Kihli says:

    Hi! I just found your blog when I read about your pyjama party on burdastyle.com. I had to grin when I read about who you are, because I am also very often asked “did you make that?”, and I feel the same incertitude about it. But now I think that as soon as other people know that you are making your own clothes, they assume that everything you wear that looks a bit special and not so “mainstream” is self-made. I think we can take it as a compliment!

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  16. Oh, I know exactly what you mean about that question!
    well said.

  17. mmmarzipan says:

    What a lovely blog! I will follow you 🙂

  18. creative pixie says:

    Great blog, like you I love sewing and crochet. I’ll call back again soon for some more inspiration.

  19. zozo says:

    hi i have only recently acquired my daughters laptop and have been inspired by the dressmaking/sewing blogs i have found. I have been sewing for a long time and did not think i would ever find somebody else who ‘got’ it. my work colleagues think i am mad. the internet has liberated me. I found your blog this week and it is inspirational to me i am busy catching up on all your previous entries. looking forward to 2013.

  20. tfaswift says:

    Hello, well you’re obviously fabulous, busy, and have a big famous blog, so you probably won’t be interested in my question, but I shall ask anyway just in case. My name is Tilda, and I came looking for knitting-focused blogs for a reason. I do a Blog Challenge, which until now has been focused mainly on writing and a photo challenge. I would like to introduce some more creative elements to the next Challenge, however, which is due to start fairly soon, and I have been thinking of adding a knitting part to the Challenge (as well as drawing, painting and poetry). But before I commit to a knitting challenge, I need to go around some knitting-focused blogs to ask if any knitters would be interested in participating.

    Do you think that might be something that would interest you or your followers? The knitting challenge would simply be that I would offer two themes and then knitters could knit anything they like based on either theme, whichever they prefer. For example, meadows or moonlight. Then the knitter could knit anything incorporating a theme of either meadows (flowers, grass, sheep, etc.) or moonlight (moon, stars, etc.).

    If they like, they could participate in the rest of the Challenge and be eligible to earn Awards to be displayed on their blog, and win prizes, but that is purely optional. Here’s my blog in case you’d like to take a look at the current Challenge and if you think you or anyone else would be interested in participating if I included some more creative aspects to it, including knitting, would you let me know? http://tfaswift.com.

    I’m not trying to plug my blog; I just need to know before I start a knitting challenge if any knitters would know where to find it, or whether they’d even be interested! Thank you so much for your time, and either way, good luck with all your projects! Clearly you are exceedingly talented. 🙂

  21. Rebecca Keen says:

    Hello, firstly your blog is fab and the items you make are incredible. I wondered if I could talk to you about a potential project i have coming up and if you might be interested in getting involved? Thanks Becky

  22. Hi Karen! I’d love to get in touch with you, but I can’t find your e-mail address. I’m not a solicitor, just another blogger.

  23. Kessem says:

    Hey Karen! I’ll be in London in about two weeks and I wanted to get your advice on fabric shopping. I do want to spend some time fabric shopping and I’m hoping London will have some gems waiting for me! I’m not much of a spender, I guess I should say that out right, on the other hand I don’t like cheap badly made fabrics (difficult to satisfy, I know). Well, I’d love to know if you have any recommendations! Thanks Dear!

  24. Julie says:

    I am trying to find a swing pattern and thought you would be the perfect person to ask. I am looking for a 1940s style, high waist, wide straight leg. Something that would suit a beginner/intermediate sewer. Any recommendations?

  25. Angela Kane says:

    Hello Karen, I thought you might like my own site. I was sorry to have missed your item on Making Your Own Jeans. I believe I have the best jeans tutorial and using my own pattern. Every item on my site I design and makeup.

  26. Hi there
    I have nominated you for the Leibster award, read about it here- http://onoodlesstitchcraft.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/darling-beloved-liebster/

    enjoy x

  27. Ivy says:

    love your pieces, and love your Schnauzer! I have one too and her name is Hannah.

  28. Lyric says:


    I found your blog via a listing at http://www.madalynne.com/best-sewing-blogs-2014-part-2. As you are a WordPress blogger I decided to “follow”. Madalynne states you have a dry humour and it’s all good in my book. I’m looking forward to reading your words.



  29. Emily Clarke says:

    Hi Karen,

    ‘Knit Your Own Broons’ by Jackie Holt and Ruth Bailey is the latest release from Black and White Publishing!

    The Broons have been making readers laugh for decades, so what better way to celebrate Scotland’s much-loved family than by creating miniature woolly versions of your very own!

    From the authors of the much-loved ‘Knit Your Own Scotland’ and ‘Knit Your Own Britain’, comes this detailed and humorous guide to knitting your own Broons family. With step-by-step instructions, Knit Your Own Broons is perfect for knitters of all abilities and is an ideal gift for fans of Scotland’s favourite happy family.

    We would love to hear what you think of our latest publication, and would be more than happy to send you out a free copy for review!

    If this is of interest to you please do not hesitate to get in touch and drop us an email.

    Best wishes,

    Black & White Publishing

  30. UtaC says:

    Hi there, I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award because I love reading you blog 🙂
    No pressure at all. You can see my blog for more details. 🙂

    Keep being an inspiration


  31. Danielle says:

    Hi Karen! I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now (and have left comments, participated in some of your sewalongs and the pattern pyramids from time to time). I’ll be heading over to the UK for the first time in January and will be in Maidenhead/Reading. I’m going for work so I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have, but just in case, do you have any fabric store recommendations for that area? (I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to London in the few days I’ll be there). Thanks!

  32. revdrl says:

    I’ve nominated you for a blogging award. You don’t really need my help, but I enjoy your blog and got a chance to share it.
    I am nominating you for the ” Very Inspiring Blogger ” award.
    Should you choose to accept the award, there are certain rules you would need to bide by :
    1.Thank the blogger who nominated you,
    2. List the rules and display the award.
    3. Share seven facts about yourself.
    4.Nominate 15 other amazing blogs on their blog to let them know you nominated them

  33. M Kelly says:

    I really enjoy your blog. I had looked at some sewing, knitting, and textile groups on facebook, and everything that people posted looked so perfect, like in a magazine, that I became quite discouraged. Your blog is funny, entertaining, and you even admit that you make mistakes sometimes. I am short on time, working and taking care of my daughter with Aspergers, that I don’t have much time to sew. I wonder about those people on Facebook, where do they get the time to make all those masterpieces?

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  37. Ah we have sew much in common! We both have Miniature Schnauzers, and Bernina machines, note to mention a great love of sewing 🙂 So glad I found your blog, Karen. You write so well.

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