The Maker’s Atelier Stretch Pencil Skirt

The Makers Atelier Pencil Skirt

Did you know that TMOS has started giving me style advice? When I bought a metre of this odd futuristic jersey, he asked what I planned to make. Honestly, I had no idea. ‘A pencil skirt,’ he suggested – and a plan snapped into focus!

makers atelier stretch pencil skirt

Thankfully, I already had a pattern to hand in The Maker’s Atelier Essential Collection. It took all of ten minutes to trace my size, I had enough elastic for the waist and a stretch lining fabric.

Yes, I had everything I needed. And by the time I went to bed that evening, I had a new skirt.

makers atelier

LOVE this pattern! I’d been a little doubtful about a pencil skirt with an elasticated waist, but it totally works. The gathering at the waist is subtle and the skirt can be as figure-hugging or easy-fitting as suits your personal taste. I’d suggest each make deserves its own basting and trying on, as fit shall surely be dictated by the stretch of different jerseys.

I also really like how the hem grazes the knee – sophisticated.

One adjustment I made was to peg the skirt, tapering in a little towards the hem. Just to prevent things looking too boxy.

The fabric is black, but with a slight copper sheen to it. Don’t you love the split hem detail on the Boxy T-Shirt? I’ve been wearing this top non stop (the Non Stop Top!) in our current Baltic weather.

makers atelier skirt detail copy

I shall likely make many more of these skirts and I am currently working on a silk top to pair with this one. More soon!

My entire outfit is handmade – yippee! – other than the trainers. They’re from Air and Grace and they’re worth every penny.

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Galentine’s Day Winner

The Village Haberdashery Giveaway

Drum roll … is Melissa who nominated her friend, Janelle V. Melissa, I shall be in touch for a postal address to share with our generous supplier, The Village Haberdashery.

Thanks, everyone, for taking part. It was really lovely to read all the stories of friendship and sisterhood. And Happy Monday – we survived the first day of the week!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Gigi’s Dressing Room – E17 Curated Vintage

Gigis Dressing Room

Are you looking for the perfect vintage item to wear to that next wedding, graduation or birthday party? Then you have another good reason to visit Walthamstow: my old cobblers has become a curated collection of vintage clothes aka Gigi’s Dressing Room. 

gigis dressing room wood street

I first blogged about Gigi many years ago. It’s been fascinating to watch this local business grow from a rack of dresses to the shop it is today. All down to Gigi’s extremely hard work and charm, I am quite certain. But more than that – down to her immaculate taste.

Don’t take my word for it. Just look at the photos.

suede stilettos

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, vintage | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Happy Galentine’s Day Giveaway!

Did You Make That At The Village Haberdashery

One of the people in this photo has a birthday today…

It’s my birthday! It’s also Valentine’s Day. I’ve always had an ambivalent relationship with this calendar day. On one level, the world is in a good mood on the day I was born. Good times! On another level, I’m like, Yeah, but when you’ve finished with that over-priced meal  … my birthday? Bad times.

Fortunately, in 2018 we all have a bit more ownership over the shape of our lives. Enter, Galentine’s Day! Inspired by a scene in Sisters, the premise is that we can subvert this day of cod romance to celebrate the most meaningful relationships in our lives – our female friends.

The Village Haberdashery Giveaway

In honour of this, Annie of The Village Haberdashery has kindly supplied a Galentine Giveaway to help us all have fun with our friends.

A person could win:

As Annie said: ‘Sundress goals!’ (God, aren’t we all over winter?)

But there’s A TWIST to this giveaway.

You need to nominate a friend to win.

That’s right. Nominating someone else to score fabric and pattern? Only a Sewist could be that kind. Just leave a comment below telling me which friend you would like to win. When I pull a name out of the hat, I’ll drop you an email and you can supply your friend’s postal address.

So, knock yourself out. Throw a friend’s hat in the ring. Then tell her you love her. It’ll be the best thing you do all day.

This giveaway closes at midnight GMT on Saturday 17 February. It is open worldwide.

the village haberdashery class studio

And if that’s all just too much largesse for one day, allow me to recommend new Sewing Social weekly get-together at The Village Haberdashery. With sewing machines supplied in their gorgeous workshop, all you have to do is turn up and sew with friends. Such a great concept! I’m definitely going – shall you?

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 116 Comments

Are You A Plotter Or A Pantser?

planning mila dungarees tilly and the buttons

Knickers. Shorts. Kidney warmers. Bikinis, brazilians, midis or thongs… Call them what you will. Sometimes, we fly by the seat of them.

There’s a shared joke in the author community that a writer is either a plotter or a pantser:

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged | 33 Comments

Cos AND Cosy

The Makers Atelier Boxy T-shirt

Brrrrrr! Jeepers, creepers. Coldest week this winter? The meteorologists ain’t kidding.

My sewing timing could not be more perfect. I’ve finished sewing this boxy T-shirt from The Maker’s Atelier magazine, just in time for our cold snap. The jersey – quilted, bouncy and structural – was bought at Guthrie & Ghani.

The top is paired with my B6178 wool culottes, which have become my emergency warm clothes for extreme temperatures. Paired with a pair of wool tights, they keep me super-cozy. The fit of these culottes is brilliant. Don’t forget – this pattern came FREE with a copy of Love Sewing magazine. Dig out your May 2017 copy.

autumn colettes

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

When You DON’T Need To Pattern Match

pins in red stripes

We’ve all been there. Exceedingly proud of our careful, painstaking pattern matching. And well done, us! It’s a great skill to have. The day you have the foresight to think about your fabric print before cutting out is a great day indeed. I’ve not always had that skill. Did you ever read about my kamikaze butterflies, early in my blogging career? YUP.

kamikaze butterflies

What is wrong with this photo? I’m not talking about the gorilla.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Sew Your Own Activewear – Book Review

sew your own active wear melissa fehr

Tonight at 8pm the BBC airs The Truth About Getting Fit. As a Fitbit addict, I shall be watching. My own exercise regimes have changed over the years. I used to cycle a lot; now the bike languishes in the shed. I ran half marathons, then stopped running. I bought an energetic dog and found that three walks a day were mandatory. I left my corporate job and started running again. I swear by custom made orthotics. I have dreadful stiffness in my joints and every day berate myself for not doing more yoga or any yoga. I spend long amounts of time sat at a desk.

Any of this sound familiar?!

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Three Top Tips For Sewing With Solids

Sewing With Solid Colours

It’s easy to be seduced by prints. Ooh, bunny rabbits! Unicorns! Dogs in space! And prints TOTALLY have a place in sewing. Because if you can’t sew a bunny rabbit unicorn dress, something is very wrong with the world.

BUT there is also a place in your stash for solid colours, and that doesn’t have to make your sewing boring. Solid colours are adaptable, evergreen and can bring their own creative inspiration.

Here are my three top tips for sewing with solids!


Whenever I see a decent quality solid colour fabric that I know I will sew with, I buy a couple of metres. Decent crepe, ponte or wool can be hard to find. When you do find a brilliant solid, stock up. A stash doesn’t need to make you a bad person; it can make you a planner.


How To Sew With Wool Crepe

My latest Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress, sewn in a navy crepe, could have run the gamut of school uniform meets corporate robot. So I made sure to include one key detail that just helped to break things up.

button detail sew over it ultimate shift dress

I did the same thing on my The Maker’s Atelier’s dress with some ribbon at the neckline.

chocolate linen

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | 22 Comments

When You’re An Unhappy Blogger

Having recently written a couple of blog posts linking sewing and blogging with happiness, I thought I’d touch on the opposite end of the spectrum. What happens when you become an unhappy blogger?

Most of us set up a blog or Instagram feed in a spurt of creative energy and at a time when life feels good – right? The early months of your new social media profile can be exciting, satisfying and FUN. But for anyone who pursues a sustained blogging career, sooner or later life is going to trip you up and send some awfulness your way.

A detail you never even consider when you write that first giddy blog post.

Craftivist Collective Evening

An early blurry blog photo!

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | 59 Comments