An adventure into dressmaking 

For a while I have been thinking about learning dressmaking but everything about patterns scared me. What did all the markings mean? How do I know what types of fabric to use and where do I buy them? How do I measure myself correctly? I decided 2015 was going to be my year to learn and conquer.

So I signed up for an introduction to sewing class, a weekend, two 7 hour days learning the basics and making an a line skirt.

The pattern we used was Kwik Sew K3877. I was pretty lost on the fabric having been told to get medium weight cotton. I ended up in John Lewis on Oxford Street after work one evening and came out with this:



It is called 1376 Sakura Blossom by Makower UK. It has a Japanese blossom on it and it reminded me of the sort of prints you see in shops like Fat Face and White Stuff.

Here’s the finished article (excuse the dodgy photos – another area to work on). It is a better fit than it looks but it needs lining or a petticoat.




Liberty cushion 

I was very lucky this Christmas to receive two sets of Liberty print fabric cushion kits, one from my husband and one from a good friend. The one from my husband is small blue coloured print squares which I think will be nice in a larger project mixed with some neutral Essex linens.

The kit from my friend was calling out to be made into its cushion so I made it quickly over the Christmas holidays and picked up a cheap infill from Dunelm Mill. It now sits on a shelf in my office, brightening the room!

Owl pin cushion present 

I have a close friend who loves owls and has been very supportive for me the past year so I decided to make her birthday present this year. She is an amazing beader and uses lots of needles so I thought an owl pin cushion would be just up her street.

I found a free template and directions online and raided my stash for the fabrics. I was so pleased with how he came out. She likes him so much she won’t put pins in him as doesn’t want to damage him!

Grandparent Christmas quilts

I am very lucky to have three of my grandparents still with us. They are currently 92, 87 and 85. I always struggle with what to buy them for Christmas so this year I decided to make them a lap quilt each for them to put over them each day whilst having an afternoon nap.

I decided to buy a Moda layer cake to make each of them and to have the design the same on both sides. Rather than binding them I used the bagging method again and did simple straight line quilting. To finish them I freehand embroidered a label for each of them.

I know one is used on a daily basis and that makes me very happy. I think for her birthday I will make a light weight one with no wadding for the summer months.

Embroidered Christmas Sheep 

I haven’t done that much embroidery but I saw this little fella in Hobbycraft and had to make him for the festive season. He has ended up being pinned to my notice board in my office.

It made me realise how much I enjoyed it as this is a craft I can do whilst enjoying TV with my husband in the evening. So I put a slightly more ambitious one on my wish list and my sister-in-law duly obliged. Now I just need to start it!

Wigwam birthday present 

Another niece birthday has come around and I decided to make her a wigwam to play in. I did some research in blog land and found a tutorial to help me.

I picked some bright and sturdy fabric from IKEA, some bamboo canes from my local garden centre and some webbing, ribbon and an eyelet kit from the local haberdashery.

I cut four large triangles, then cut one in half for the front. I sewed them together and then created channels over the seams with the webbing for the bamboo canes to sit in. I closed the bottom of the channels so the canes couldn’t escape out the bottom.

I followed some YouTube videos on how to install eyelets and then put them in the top of the door for decoration.

Ribbon was sewn in to some of the seams to allow the doors to be tied open.

This has been played in over the summer in the garden by my niece and her younger brother.