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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Sewing With Mermaid Sequins

sequin Collage

how to sew with sequins and jersey

Finally! Some successful sewing!! This is the Tilly and the Buttons Nora top, sewn with a mermaid sequin panel. Isn’t it lush?

If you aren’t already aware, mermaid sequins allow you to change the colour of the sequin according to which way you choose to run your hand up and down the panel of fabric.

sequin detail red and black

I bought these sequins from New Fabric Shop on Walthamstow market at £10 a metre.

how to sew a sequin top

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Do Certain Fabrics Make You Shiver?

sewing kindness

First things first, a blog reader comment that I don’t want anyone to miss:

The nicest people read your blog, Karen. I’ll usually just skim through comments but I read every one just now because they were all kind & encouraging. Made my day. x

This came in from Kathy. Kathy’s family, if you’re reading this: she needs breakfast in bed every day for the next year. And to all of you, a huge thank you for your lovely comments on my last blog post.

And now, on to the burning question of my day. What makes a fabric warm or cold against the skin? No, no! Don’t go yet! Bear with me…

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how to sew a dress

Well, I’m stumped, I don’t mind admitting. I was all set to share a new make with you today. It was a third version of the Myosotis dress, having made two stupendously successful versions – here and here – that get worn week in, week out.

Myosotis Collage

Then, I tried on my WIP as it neared completion and realised it looked … awful. It was some sort of cross between maternity wear, hospital gown and Handmaid’s Tale. Suffice to say, momma didn’t take no blog photos!

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Matching Sewing Patterns And Fabric

the little book of sewing.jpg

At which point during a make do you feel confident you’ve chosen the right fabric?

  • At Moment Of Purchase
  • During Cutting Out
  • Sewing The Outfit Together
  • Trying It On
  • After Wearing For A Few Days

It’s a tricky one, isn’t it?

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In Which I Humiliate A Dog

Hello, hello, my friends! Jayzus, I kid you not, I have literally nothing to say about sewing because I’ve sewed NOWT but I missed you something chronic, like a pain in the gut, and I just had stop by and say, ‘How’ve you BEEN?!’ Did you survive the season of Death By Baileys? If you’re reading this, I can only assume so.

If I sound a little, ahem, frazzled that’s because I am. Christmas was incredibly lovely – one of my best for years – but I never quite stopped working. And then I came home and decided to work some more. So then I gave up on the make-up. And then I decided washing my hair was a waste of time. Eating became one of those boring tasks you do to stop yourself from dying. You know the type of thing. Or hopefully, you don’t! If it hadn’t been for Ella nagging me and clawing at me when she thought my auld arse was about to get permanently moulded to the office chair, I’d probably have the neighbours asking what that smell was by now.

And in the midst of all this, I did not pick up a needle. Chronic, I tell ya!

Anyway, the craziness was all self-inflicted, a project dear to my heart and I wanted to start 2019 feeling that it was done. And now it is. So now I can sew again.

I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. And when I next return I promise to stop doing a bad Marian Keyes impression and I’ll be back to my calm, placid self.

In the meantime, here’s a photograph of Ella wearing an Elizabethan ruff from one of our rare excursions (on New Year’s Day, no less) and it makes me laugh like a drain. I hope you do, too!

PS Did I mention that I missed you? Because I really, really have.

ella in ruff

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GBSB Drinking Game!


It’s safe to say I’m just a little excited about the upcoming new series of The Great British Sewing Bee. Rumour has it, it shall be airing in early 2019 so it’s time to get ready.

Here’s my Christmas present to you – The Great British Sewing Bee Drinking Game!

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