2018 Christmas Gift Guide

Ella Says Happy Christmas

Oh, what fun! We can start planning what we want to buy or be gifted around the seasonal holidays. So, without further ado, here is my round up of fantastic gifts.

First, if you’re in the London area, get yourself down to the Christmas shop at Liberty – this will put you right in the mood. Whilst there, you might want to stop by the haberdashery section… Go on, treat yourself!

liberty store tana lawn

If you insist on treating others, Liberty do the most gorgeous gift coins – their equivalent of vouchers. These make a lovely present for a friend.

Each year, I buy myself a Liberty bauble for my Christmas tree, though this year I might order a Vaginament from Felt Melon instead. Oh yes, my friends…


Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 18 Comments

Tumble Out Of Bed And Stumble To The Kitchen

tilly and the buttons sewing nora

Would you take a meeting with this woman? I know, debatable, right?

I’m getting ready for a work trip away, so obviously I had to squeeze in some sewing! I’m wearing:

Burda 7020 Jacket – sewn four years ago

The Maker’s Atelier One Hour Skirt – sewn seven months ago

The Tilly and the Buttons Nora top – sewn this weekend!

This is sooooo going to be an outfit when I’m racing around New York, but in the meantime I guess I should show you the Nora top. Can you see it better now?

karen and ella 2018

Ha, ha! I’m taking lots of photos of Ella as we’re about to be separated for three weeks. SOB.

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 20 Comments

My Top Five Useful Sewing Blog Posts

If you’re new to sewing or to Did You Make That, I thought I’d do a little round-up of my most popular and useful blog posts! Hopefully, these could help you, too.

Fabric Focus – Viscose

viscose blouse did you make that

Viscose is one of the most wearable fabrics to sew with and this blog post is my number one most popular of all time. Clearly, we all love viscose. Brew yourself a cup of tea and take the time to read the 75+ comments as there’s a wealth of reader information and tips.

Don’t forget to check out the full Fabric Focus series here.

Walthamstow Market Downloadable Map

walthamstow market fabric stall

It turns out people love a free downloadable map! Here you can find my guide to fabric shopping on Walthamstow market, along with a map to guide you. Make a day of it!

An Idiot’s Guide To Working With Satin


Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Stoff & Stil help me sew a bag!

stoff still gold.jpg

dog walking bag

When I first introduced a puppy to my household, I was given loads of advice:

  • You are now parent to a toddler that never grows up
  • Hide anything you care about
  • Always walk into the home before she does
  • Give up on keeping her off the sofa or bed

All of these rang true, though I never quite mastered the art of being the first to walk into the house. What no one told me is … you’ll have an excuse to sew a new dog-walking bag once every other year!

Six years on, here’s the latest.

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

The Myosotis Dress In Viscose

deer and doe sewing pattern_edited-1

The last time I sewed this Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress, I announced I’d make a second version in silk. I didn’t. I made it again in viscose bought for £3 a metre from The Bloke Outside Asda. Just kidding! I bought the fabric from TMOS.

sewing with viscose

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Autumn Sewing Inspiration & Totally Random Question

The season’s are changing. Does nature’s palette influence your sewing and colour choices?

I would never have paired my turquoise earrings with red lace, if I hadn’t spotted a local cottage garden. This stunning cotton lawn from Sew Me Sunshine magnificently combines both colours. As Harriet herself says, ‘perfect for autumn’!

Sewing In Autumn Collage

And some hues just make you want to cuddle up in cosy fabrics. Coat sewing, anyone? I’d love to make the Tessuti Oslo coat.

Sewing For Autumn Collage

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 19 Comments

How To Manage Your Fabric Splurges

walthamstow market fabric stall

Goodness knows, we’ve all been there. You’re tired and deserve a reward for a hard week. Lying on the sofa, you browse online fabric stores and hit that Paypal button once too often.

Or you’re out physically shopping and the lure of those patterns and those prices is too much to resist. You carry ten metres of fabric home, wondering if you can stuff this under the bed before anyone notices.

Yup, we’ve all been there.

But I’ve noticed an increasing trend towards anxiety over these impulses and a desire to fabric shop more responsibly. People are starting to question whether or not a large stash is a good thing.

I think a stash can be a very good thing. If I spot a rare-to-find fabric, particularly in a solid colour, I’ll stock up on three metres. And I love holiday shopping – fabric as a reminder of places I’ve visited.

But in the meantime, here are my tips to manage your fabric splurges whilst still enjoying the creative inspiration of all those lovely bolts.

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged | 51 Comments

Deer And Doe Myosotis Dress

deer and doe myosotis dress

I have so many opinions about the Deer And Doe Myosotis Dress! Which makes for a good sewing pattern, don’t you think? Nothing worse than indifference, after all.

I was inspired to sew this after trying on a dress in COS. A cotton dress that cost £80. Nah, mate, I thought, placing it back on the rack. I own a sewing machine.

And I LOVE my Myosotis dress. It’s a loose-fitting shirtdress with a tiered skirt. I would never have considered this pattern if I hadn’t seen Rachel of The Foldline wearing it at The Sewing Weekender. I thought she looked absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t stop gazing at her. I was sold.

So, the Myosotis. Once you nail the bodice fit, you’re laughing – but you do need to nail the bodice fit.

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Top Five Autumn Sewing Projects

One day you’re walking through parched fields, slathered in sunscreen. The next, squirrels are scampering before you and leaves crunch beneath your feet.

Ah, Autumn! The time of year when women clamber back into their tights and cardies and breath an audible sigh of relief. I don’t have to lay eyes on my own flesh for the next six months. Is there anything more satisfying?

Yes! Sewing for autumn. It’s a whole new season of inspiration, just as you thought you couldn’t churn out yet another Ogden cami. So, I thought I’d do a quick round up of projects for this time of year.


gingham pyjamas

I seem to collect pyjama patterns the way other women collect cats. I have several! You can’t really go wrong with a PJ sewing pattern as the fitting is close to negligible. The last pattern I worked from was the Kwik Sew 3553 and it was perfect.

If you like your bedtime toasty, hunt out some brushed cotton. A quick Google search turned up this and this.

If you prefer to stay cool, I recommend a quality viscose. I sewed a pair of pyjamas from this viscose at Stoff & Stil and I love wearing them.

pyjama sewing patterns

Of course, the ultimate question is whether or not 2018 should be the Year Of The Onesie? People seem to have strong opinions on these, so maybe I’d better move quickly on!


To go with my pyjamas, maybe I should finally sew together these quilting squares. Any tips? I have 42 squares here and am a quilting novice.

quilting squares


You absolutely cannot beat a coat for a satisfying autumn make. Or if you’re in the groove, make two! I use my Sew Over It Lola coat in chambray as an early Autumn outfit and then shrug on my pure wool V9275 longline bomber jacket as it gets colder. Both are easy to sew and have been worn on heavy rotation.

Sew Over It Lola Coat

bomber jacket

Ridiculous Posing Optional

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Can There Ever Be Too Much Content?

sewing patterns

One Of My All-Time Favourite Patterns

When I was recently interviewed on the Stitcher’s Brew podcast, one detail of sewing that Almond Rock and I touched on was the rise and rise of sewing pattern companies. When Amy and I began sewing about eight years ago, there were The Big Four – Vogue, McCalls, Simplicity and Butterick – and the only indie was Colette Patterns. Burda fitted in there somewhere.

Boy, has that picture changed.

The Foldline’s database of sewing patterns currently runs to nearly 250 pages of content. That’s a lot of patterns to sew. Interestingly, Tasia (who used to run Sewaholic) recently shared on Instagram that her sewing productivity runs to 21 items a year.

Continue reading

Posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged | 67 Comments