Molly Top and Cleo Dress – A Cleolly? PLUS giveaway


Yes, I have made another Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress, and if you look at this photo for long enough your eyes will turn fuzzy. Don’t you love 15th-century buildings?

My fourth Cleo was sewn using purple pin cord from Saeed Fabrics and top stitched using gold top stitching thread. Saeeds have a lovely range of cotton baby cords at the moment – get yourself down there.


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#2017makenine Survey Results


To date, I’ve had nearly 600 responses to my #2017makenine survey (thank you!). The most popular items are:

  • Dress – 37.10%
  • Jeans – 32.38%
  • Top – 31.87%
  • Trousers – 23.78%
  • Knitwear – 23.27%
  • Skirts – 18.72%

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As I Walked Out One Midwinter Morning…


It’s a little ironic that as someone who loves sewing clothes, I have spent the past four years, walking around three times a day, wearing this across my body…


Disgusting, isn’t it? It’s my dog walking bag and despite its sorry state, I’ve loved it dearly. Purchased from the brilliant Edwyn UK when Ella was a puppy, it really has been the perfect cross-body tote for dog walks. The fabric means it doesn’t slip around my body and hit Ella in the face when I bend over to put on her dog lead. It’s big enough for all the dog walking essentials – poop bags, hand sanitiser, tennis balls, dog treats, tissues – plus I can pop shopping in there whilst I’m out and about. Lots of pockets. Lots of memories.

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I tend to be a spontaneous blog writer. Snap some photos, hammer at the keyboard, slap the laptop shut, take my dog out for a walk – job done. But for some reason, I was struggling to encapsulate exactly what I thought about a future year’s creative planning.

Thank goodness for Instagram and Lucky Lucille‘s #2017makenine.

This is an initiative to make nine items over the coming year. I believe we’re meant to share an Instagram collage of nine items we plan to sew.

I’m not quite ready to do that yet. I’d like to make nine capsule items that build a coordinated wardrobe, but I need more thinking time.


How to plan coordination? First, I looked at clothes I’ve already made. There are often common themes when it comes to colour.


All I need to do is pick out some colours, so that new items coordinate with existing makes. But why not push the envelope a little, taking colour inspiration from a piece of fabric in my stash.


Isn’t this gorgeous? I really like the idea of working that mustard into my wardrobe. It’s a colour I’m always drawn to, and yet fear.

So, I just need to choose some basic items to sew. I wondered if you could help me. What are your go-to items for a capsule wardrobe? Would you be prepared to answer my really quick questionnaire to give me a steer? You can tick more than one box, and if you want to go into more detail, leave a comment below. I’m intrigued to know what items of clothes really work for us.

Go on! Ticking a few boxes will give you something to do whilst the champagne chills.

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!

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Laser Cut Faux Leather Shift Dress


Adventures with strange fabric continue. My latest make is a Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress in laser cut faux leather bought from Ditto Fabrics. It’s no longer in stock and I’ve struggled to find other online sources. Any suggestions?

I’ve really got my money’s worth out of this pattern! I wouldn’t risk working with faux leather on a new-to-me dress pattern. As you can see in the shine above, any poor fitting or pressing would be immediately obvious. As ever, I can’t stress enough the importance of a press cloth and clapper.

Laser cut faux leather doesn’t leave anything to the imagination, so I underlined the main dress pieces (but not the sleeves) with black stretch lining fabric.

With underlining, you cut out the pattern pieces twice – once in fashion fabric, once in lining – then baste both pieces together before any construction begins. As you construct the dress, you treat both layers as one, as you can see in the dart below.


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Five Tips for Creatives To Enjoy Festive London


I don’t stay in London every festive break, but when I do – oh, it’s blissful! The city empties out, you can get a seat on the tube, wander down the South Bank with room to swing your arms and always get a table by the fire in your pub. Heaven, heaven, heaven. London becomes, well, gentle.

This is the special time, isn’t it? The lull between Christmas and New Year. So if you’re in town and want to explore, create or think, here are my top tips for inspiration and resources. And if you’re reading this from the other side of the world, maybe it will give you an insight into a great city destination for Christmas.


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Bad Making


If your making can’t be a little bit pants at this time of year, I don’t know when it can. Each year, I relish placing my homemade sourdough decorations on the tree.

These decorations are as indestructible as cockroaches. Each warped piece of dough carries the felt tip initial of an attendee at my Christmas dinner a few years ago. The dinner when I forgot to put the turkey in the oven…


This year’s wreath is a bunch of holly I cut from the back garden and strung together with twine. It makes me giggle every time I nearly take an eye out opening the front door. I just hope my postie isn’t of a litigious nature.


And my Christmas cake has a gothic vibe because there was black ribbon in the house and I couldn’t be arsed going out to buy anything more festive. (I secretly love my gothic Christmas cake. The Addams family would be proud of me.)

Of course, the key to the holidays is knowing when to stop. Turns out I’m not going to roast that ham or make a last present. I do still have to tidy the house, and that involves putting the sewing machine away. Maybe.

Love to you and yours and if you’re travelling – stay safe!

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Vlog? What Vlog?!

It’s that time of year when I set my camera up at a wonky angle, share my cold-ridden, wheezing lungs with the world and say HAPPY HOLIDAYS! video-stylee.

This is my fourth – fifth? – Christmas video at Did You Make That. Anyway, I’m not yet done with public humiliation so … sit back and, um, enjoy?

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All I Want For Christmas Is A Glittery Cleo


When I said I was done with all things glitter and sequins, I was clearly lying to myself. This latest make is unashamedly inspired by the genius sequinned Cleo dungaree dress sewn by Kate of The Foldline.

Sadly, I couldn’t find any sequinned fabric I liked enough on Walthamstow market, but I did come across this glittery knit in Classic Textiles. £3.50 later, I was carrying it home and wondering if all my senses had abandoned me.

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Project Pouch For My Knitting


No way was I throwing out the scraps of gold faux leather (also available in silver and black) left over from my recent skirt project. This stuff is too good for the bin. So, I decided to sew myself a project bag for my knitting.


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