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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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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