Gingham Yuki Dress

Yuki Dress Collar Black Silk Tessuti Fabrics

I’ve sewn a second Yuki! (Where does that name come from?) This time in gingham cotton for the shell and black silk for the drawstring collar. Goyjus! The drawstring was much easier to turn in this finer silk, and it makes for a really lovely detail. Top tip – don’t press your drawstring tie. You want a nice bouncy cylinder.

Yuki Dress Gingham Collage

Interesting to see the back collar details

Good gingham is like a good man – hard to find. There’s a lot of school uniform poly cotton out there. So I snapped this up from TMOS, especially at £3 a metre.

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A Squid, A Pebble Or A Policeman

wine and sewing

If I’m going to use my sewing blog to review wines for In Vino Veritas, there’s one inevitable question.

Do you?

Do you drink and sew?

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Tessuti Yuki Dress

tessuti yuki dress did you make that

On Monday, Minerva Crafts sent me some of their famous Prada Self Lined crepe. (And yes, it stands up to the hype.) On Tuesday, Tessuti Fabrics released their Yuki pattern. By Thursday, I had a new dress.

Remind me. What did I say recently about slow sewing?

Tessuti Yuki Dress Red Crepe Image

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Baking, Babies, Quilts, Wine, Stew – Recipes For Life

in vino veritas walthamstow

Yesterday was a good day. I cooked lunch for three friends, including one who is pregnant with her first baby. I have lived on this planet for so long that I am now going through my second generation of friends who are having babies! It’s a lovely time.

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M6885 Shirt Dress – More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

M6885 pattern

Want to sew a shirt dress with interesting details, but without sleeve plackets or a gazillion buttons? Welcome to the M6885 shirt dress!

This is a dream to wear. I can say that with confidence because I’ve already worn it for a meeting. The true test of a successful make is whether or not you sit twitching, fidgeting and tugging when you should be erudite, focussed and professional. I’m not saying I’m any of the latter, but at least I wasn’t twitching.

M6885 close up

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Bend Like The Green Reed

pinned sleeve

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” Confucius

The M6885 is a GREAT pattern. But for now, you’re going to have to take my word for it.

Life has seriously got in the way of this make, and progress has been achingly slow. It’s been worth it, though. If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll have seen most steps along the way. The lawn cotton is from The Sewcial Studio. It’s been a dream to sew with, and I don’t say that lightly. (Though I recommend a microtex needle, and it’s best not to leave pins in the fabric overnight.)

basted hem

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In Vino Veritas – In Wine, Truth

bronte parsonage signpost

There’s been a distinct lack of sewing at Did You Make That Towers, largely because there’s been a distinct lack of home time at Did You Make That Towers! I’m 200 miles from home in Haworth, West Yorkshire.

Haworth was the home of the Brontes. As a student, I spent a summer working at the Bronte Parsonage, and two of my university friends would come and visit me. Little did we know that this cobbled village would become our lifelong mutual touchstone; the place we returned to as our lives scrolled through marriages, jobs, pets, children, homes, journeys and adventures.

So, what better way to celebrate our latest reunion than with a bottle of something cold, crisp and fizzy.

In Vino Veritas wine

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Top 5 Tips: Sewing, Reading, Motivation

top 5 essentials for sewing

My Top Five Sewing Essential Stockpilers 

  • Overlocker thread in a variety of colours. Stock up when you see it.
  • Microtex needles, fine enough for your more delicate projects.
  • Pins regularly need replacing. As Ooobop‘s mother would tell you, throw out a blunt pin immediately! (I always think of Janene’s mum when I toss a pin. I’ve never actually met the woman.)
  • Quality interfacing. I really need to stock up on mine from here.
  • Chocolate. Enough said.

My Top Five Weekend Reads

Top 5 weekend reads

I’m trying to even out the balance between blog reading and physical books. Here’s what is in my reading pile:

  • I’m brushing up on my Shakespeare, because I have tickets booked to see Twelfth Night at The National starring Tamsin Greig.
  • I spotted this sage green old sewing book last summer and couldn’t resist buying it. The tone can be a bit dour, but that’s half the fun of reading it:

Some know instinctively what suits them, while others never trouble, but rashly choose some colour or style that attracts the eye, the result usually being disastrous.


Ahem, moving on…

  • Sewing magazines – my backlog is stacking up.

sewing magazines

My Top Five Motivational Tools


  • I learnt about the Chalkboard Method from Braid Creative and I LOVE it. My chalkboard is from Flying Tiger but I’m secretly hankering after these. Every Monday I write down one goal for the week, prop up my chalkboard somewhere I can see it every time I walk into the office … and you can bet your bottom dollar that task gets done. Incredibly simple, incredibly effective.
  • Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique? 25 minutes dedicated work, rewarded by 5 minutes play. If I need to plough through a project with no distractions, this is what I use to stop myself wasting yet another hour on Twitter. I don’t bother downloading an app, just use this uber simple online Pomodoro.


  • Stationery. Nothing more motivating than new stationery.
  • Deadlines. What’s that famous Douglas Adams quote? I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. Nah. I love a good deadline and I love meeting it.
  • My final piece of motivation? A sewing project that needs completing. On which note, I’m off to sew!

Happy weekends, everyone. Hope you found some inspiration there.


FINAL TOP TIP Girl Charlee UK is having a flash sale over the weekend. Go, check it out!

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15mm – the rule of thumb


15mm. I never knew this tiny measurement would become such a key part of my life. But it’s the standard seam allowance in most sewing patterns and now I can eyeball 15mm with impressive accuracy.

It’s not always clever or wise to eyeball, so sometimes I use measuring tools. Get me! If I don’t have a measuring tool, I use my thumb. From thumb tip to the base of my nail is about 15mm. (That’s how long my thumb is. You should measure first if you want to sew by your own rule of thumb.)


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Creativity And Motivation

First of all, the winner of my Liberty tana lawn giveaway is … Foodie Nelly! I’ll be in touch for a postal address, my friend. Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last blog post. You’ve given me a lot of brilliant feedback regarding future blog posts!

An overwhelming majority of readers want more of this:


Ella and I have been training!


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