Designing The Cover For The Little Book Of Sewing

stitched up sam

When it came to cover inspiration for The Little Book of Sewing, my editor asked me to send over a few visuals that I liked. Amongst them was a link to Stitched Up Sam’s Instagram feed. I really like the way she combines the traditional technique of free motion embroidery with some edgy images. She chooses to work with lovely fabrics and her embroidery is always so neat!

david bowie embroidery

Having shared my mood board with the publisher, I continued to admire Sam’s work from afar as the book was brought together and was going to print. By this stage, I’d seen the cover, of course, but had no idea who had embroidered it – until Sam got in touch to thank me. SHE HAD DESIGNED THE COVER!

I was thrilled that a fellow creative had been part of the journey and couldn’t resist asking Sam about the process. Read on to find out how you embroider a book cover!

The Little Book Of Sewing newsletter

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Tracking Down Vintage Vogue Patterns

how to sew a vintage vogue pattern

riccardo gbsb

vintage vogue pattern gbsb

Did any of you see the recent stunning use of a vintage Vogue pattern by Riccardo on The Great British Sewing Bee? I loved this dress made from a set of charity shop curtains!

The pattern is the Vogue Paris Original 1483, faithfully tracked down for us by Rachel and Kate at The Foldline.

riccardo vogue pattern gbsb

But as I began scouring the Internet looking for an undoubtedly expensive copy, it occurred to me that this pattern reminded me of a vintage Vogue pattern I’d already sewn with – the Vogue 5098. This also reminded me that, actually, vintage Vogue patterns are not that tricky to source.

Vintage Vogue Collage

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How Many Outfits Can You Make With One Piece Of Fabric?

Five years ago, I bought nine metres of silk in a sample sale. I’ve finally used it all up! Two metres were given away. The rest has been used on…

A silk Myosotis dress

how to sew a silk dress

My first silk Sew Over It pussy bow blouse

Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse

This kimono cardigan using a FREE tutorial

Kimono Cardigan ii

How much sewing have you eeked out of a single fabric purchase?

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The Caress Of Silk

how to sew a silk dress

Can anyone recommend a blogger-friendly point and shoot camera? I’ve been using the same one almost since I started blogging, and it’s dying on its feet. I’m not interested in an SLR – I find those impossible for taking photos of myself. Just a nice, simple, high-quality camera that means I don’t always have to scurry outside for best light.

Because this is what happens! A bit of a Marilyn Monroe moment, overlooked by neighbours. Though a person might argue these are the best shots.

myosotis dress in silk

When I sewed my first Deer and Doe Myosotis Dress, I promised myself one in silk. It’s finally happened.

For this version, I used the last of my House of Hackney silk, bought in a sample sale. I didn’t have quite enough to add my usual extra ruffle hem, but I like this shorter, flirty version. Do you?

I took a lot of time over hand stitching various details and added some NW3 of Hobbs buttons, rescued from a cardigan…

I like the fact that I might confuse people. Hold on. Is that Hobbs or House of Hackney. Neither! It’s hand made.

nw3 button

The silk has a very dense weave, which sometimes makes it tricky to sew with. Silk pins definitely needed. But oh my goodness, the print and colour saturation!

dress on a manequinn

This is why we sew. So that we can feel the butter-smooth ripple of silk fibres against our skin as we stand in the wind. When most people are scurrying home, faces to the ground, we’re absorbing the joy of stitches made by our own hands. Stitches that allow silk to caress our bodies. And, really, it is a joy. I can’t think of a better reason to sew…

dress blowing in the wind

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The Little Book Of Sewing Party!

Did You Make That At The Village Haberdashery

What are you doing on 11 April? Would you like to join Annie and I for a party to celebrate publication of The Little Book of Sewing?

There shall be nibbles and fizz and plenty of copies of the book, plus you’ll enjoy one of the most beautiful crafting spaces in London. The Village Haberdashery is a two-minute walk from three separate train stations – it couldn’t be easier to get to!

knitting village haberdashery

You can RSVP for your free place at the party here. We’d love to see you! I can’t promise that Ella shall attend (she doesn’t approve of humans having lots of loud fun) but I’ll be there and so will Annie – and so will the books!

The Little Book Of Sewing newsletter

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Galentine’s Prize Winner!


The person randomly selected from the Happy Galentine’s Giveaway is Rebecca Matthews who nominated her mum to receive two metres of Oriental Koi Lena Crepe from The Sewcial Studio. Isn’t it lush?


I’ll be in touch for a postal address, Rebecca!

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Writing The Little Book Of Sewing + FREE Guide!

the little book of sewing ella

My journey in writing The Little Book of Sewing began in a cafe, over a coffee. A friend suggested I write a book and introduced me to an editor. It was just before Christmas 2017. The meeting went well and I was invited to pull together a full proposal over the festive period.

I took my time, thinking carefully about theme and structure. If you’re writing a book to be published, you alway want to think about your USP (unique selling point) in the marketplace.

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What Makes A Great Sewing Muse?


“Draw me like one of your French girls…”

I tell you what, SewManju is going to get a shock when this pops up into her feed! Do you have a sewing muse? I have! Can you guess who it is… Manju’s blog header reads ‘Make Your Own Style’.

No, Manju, I shan’t. I want to make yours!

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Happy Galentine’s Giveaway 2019


It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to…

Flipping heck, I’m 49. I’ll be 50 next year. (Me and maths, huh?) I should do a really big party next year. In the meantime, I thought we could celebrate the day of love, romance and friendship with another Galentine Giveaway. Anyone remember last year’s?

The rule is simple. Throw a friend’s hat into the ring. Nominate someone else to win 1.5 metres of beautiful dressmaking fabric from The Sewcial Studio. You can choose ANY fabric you like!

If you want to treat yourself too – and why wouldn’t you? – there’s a 15% off code you can enter at checkout: Galentine15. This discount runs until midnight Friday 15 February.

Below are some of my favourites – I must be in a blue phase.

blue fabric Collage

Clockwise from top left: amber vine viscose, wale cord, fine denim blue marl, sweet surrender crepe

There’s also this lovely fleece back sweatshirting that I sewed up into a Nora top:

nora top sew me sunshine

So knock yourself out.

  • Look around The Sewcial Studio
  • Choose 1.5 metres of fabric
  • Leave a comment below
  • Tell us the fabric and your chosen Galentine Day friend!

I’ll choose someone randomly after the giveaway ends at midnight GMT Sunday 17 February.

This giveaway is open internationally. Have fun!

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The Little Book Of Sewing – First Glimpse


Hello, my friends! I have written a book, it’s super cute, it’s publishing on 4 April and it’s available to pre order here!

Pre orders are really important to a book’s launch and they’re loved by Amazon, publishers and humble authors alike. It helps the industry judge appetite for the book – and I’m hoping there’s plenty of appetite for this!

The Little Book Of Sewing is quite literally a little book, a pocket-sized hardback that is perfect for keeping next to the sewing machine or by your bedside. The book takes readers through the range of emotions associated with sewing. There are chapters on self-love, body image, mental health, passion, kindness… Plus, there are a range of other fun details:

  • sewing tips
  • inspiring quotes
  • black and white illustrations
  • words of wisdom

Whether you’re a beginner, or an experienced Sewist, this is the book for you – or so I hope!

The Little Book Of Sewing Mock Up

It’s been a joy to write, and I’m so proud. It’s also been an unbelievable collaboration between creatives – some of whom you may know, and will hear more about!

So, watch this space for more details. Many thanks if you’ve already shared kind words about this news. I have soooooo much that I want to discuss with you all. Beginning with, how do you say thank you when the words alone don’t seem enough?



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