A lil tank blooms into a willow

Off to the seaside I was last weekend and I wanted to make an aptly sewn top to match the event. It was supposed to be hot (so it typically rained for the whole day) . But as with all things I was short on time , so needed something that will only take a few hours.

I picked the tiny pocket tank from Grainline Studios, now before I start on this, I will say that this pattern has now been discontinued and replaced with the Willow top & dress pattern. But for all purposes, this is about the tiny pocket tank so things may have been improved/ updated for the Willow.

I paired it up with Tossed Anchors by Dear Stella. It was hard to choose as we have quite a few different nautical themed fabrics but as this pattern has darts I was conscious of the impact of putting in a dart into a heavy patterned fabric.  I only say this because it was my first time putting in a dart, (yeah, I know- not sure why that took so long) and I really didn't want obvious pattern mash.

These patterns normally accommodate for a B cup, I'm much larger than that- but i'm too afraid to start extending cups and busts, so haven't, I just measured my bust and went from there, which for me worked out fine. ..well not really. More on that in a bit.

This is a super easy pattern, there is only 3 pieces to sew and the construction is almost identical to the Scout tee (but the scout doesn't have any darts). So I knew I had to be careful with my bias binding, but the rest of it was going to be a breeze. Inserting all the armhole bias binding went fine...but I did overstretch it a bit in the neckline..pain!

I still haven't settled on my favourite way to finish off seams, so I had wished I had finished with french seams but I made that decision too late, zig zag it was.

Back to the bust, I've got a bit of a bust, but also a short chest.  With other tops I have made I haven't made any adjustments and this hasn't been much of an issue, but with this one it was. I stupidly didn't think about my short chest (gotta stop sewing in a rush)  so once it was finished it was way too long in the front with  too much boobage on show for my liking as well as really gapey at the back, it sat like something my aunt would wear.

 It was too late for me to do any proper adjustments, so all I could do was what I do with most shop bought tops I buy, I hemmed up the seams at the top (I normally stick them in my bra). This wasn't ideal as they came in at an angle and now my armpits were tight and rubbing. I lowered it a bit and came to a compromise in top and bottom. 

I don't think it's too obvious but next time I make one I'll definitely have to adjust the top half to make it shorter (there's a new thing to learn!) but I threw a blazer over the top and it looked great. It all held together on the rollercoasters and in the non stop rain (I have a cold now boo hoo). I'll tackle the Willow in it's dress form next but I think I'll go for one of our soft chambrays  like the union...although in the bound would be amazing.... 

OK, pocket is a bit square too....

OK, pocket is a bit square too....

Sewing the Bettine


Well it's May and everyone has been showing off their makes, I've felt so unproductive! So today is all about my single make so far this month (were only halfway through) the Bettine by Tilly and the Buttons patterns.

We have some great budget chambray (£8 a meter!)  in our store and I debated between 3 different patterns to use it with, so I put the question to Instagram- because that's what you do in 2016 right? 

So I put it out there and it came back that I should make the Bettine, which I was glad for as I wanted an easy fast sew (I say fast.. it took a month!) . The only problem I wish I could foresee was that I ate too many biscuits between cutting the pattern and making the pattern.

I traced all my pieces using Swedish Tracing paper, and this is why I do this, as I had to re trace the size again when I messed up the bottom half. 

The bodice came together really easily and quite fast. What I really do want the more dress making I do is an overlocker, my zig zag is ok, but it really needs overlocking.

I did the pocket version , because for me a pocket is essential in all of my clothing. I like walking around looking cool and nonchalant with my hands in my pockets. The first version all came together well, and then I had to put the elastic in...but as you do, I left it, and came back to it a few weeks later (I'm terrible, to be fair the room  sew in was getting moved around so there was stuff everywhere!)

So it's a few weeks later, and I thought best to try on the pieces before I sewn it all together. The top was fine, but I wish I knew what happened (biscuits) to the bottom, because that was snug. As you can see on the picture above (the lines at the bottom are the give away). I didn't want to make the whole front panel again so I just took the back off and made it a size bigger. It worked, it looks a bit hippy. If I make it again, I'll make it less fish tail at the bottom .


This is brilliant for anyone just starting out in sewing world, there are no zips or buttons or anything like that. Although I was slightly flummoxed by how to insert the elastic, I have inserted elastic into skirts before , but for some reason I over complicated he instructions,  this was just down to me being a bit thick. Next I'd like to make this in our polka dot chambray and make it a bit more luxurious. 

In store news

We have lots of new patterns in store including the Sudley and Darling from Megan Nielsen, the Ruby by Made by Rae and our first kids patter the Geranium also Made by Rae. We will get to know them all this week. Until then enjoy the Great British Sewing Bee which kicks off this evening!


We are now on Etsy!

Payment is always a tricky subject and I've been trying to find a way to include Paypal onto our website, which have never been an easy feat. So to get around that we have opened a fabric only store on Etsy! 

For ease, we only ship to the UK from this store. If you still wanted to buy something and you are an international bright young thing, then you will need to continue to purchase through this website.

Wish list makes and cross stitching joy!

Hello again!

This week I've been making lists of stuff I am desperate to make if only there were more hours in the day. These patterns look me over and the yell at me, "C'mon and make me! You know you want to!!" . Yes, very much so lovely patterns is normally my reply. These are what yelling at me the loudest at the moment, and oh boy can they scream!

I've been in love with the House of Wales Plaid, it's everywhere at the moment and I can't  think of a more prefect dress than the Hawthorn for an awesome look. 

But the other thing it would go amazing with is the beautiful Archer

I would also love love love to make this in the shot cotton in bordeaux, it has such an amazing feel and unique look to it, a very chic 70's shirt is to be had.

The most pressing pattern though, is a blazer for spring. I can't decide between the Morris Blazer from Grainline Studio or the Victoria from By Hand London.  I have some wonderful Ponte di roma in black as pictured here and in a marl grey. I think it's just going to have to be one of each.

Cross stitch joy!

Sally from the Crafty Mastermind family hasn't picked up cross stitch for about 20 years. She has started on Emily Peacock & Rob Ryan collaboration  Give Me Work .So to show you all how easy it is to pick up these fab cross stitch set's ,Sally will be keeping us up to date with her progress each week or so, (so no pressure then)

I was given a "Give Me Work " tapestry kit by Emily Peacock last Christmas. The design is specially commissioned exclusively by Rob Ryan, it's very beautiful and detailed. The kit comes beautifully packaged in a gift bag with tapestry, wool, needles and instructions with website links and help online from Emily.

I haven't completed any cross stitch for many years so after a few 'you tube' session refreshers began my kit.

I CANT PUT IT DOWN ,it's very addictive and amazing to be putting on tapestry such a great artists design I'M LOVING IT! I'm particularly enjoying watching the picture come together lots of little details and amazing colours the cross stitch pattern is really easy to follow and even though I have not done a tapestry with wool I am managing really well. 

There will be more to follow in the next coming weeks on Sally's progress.

Thats all for now, until next time share the love of your makes and tell everyone about our free delivery promotion!

Whats new pussycat?

Well it's been a crazy 6 weeks! A lot of hard work and late nights! I'd like to thank everyone who has visited the shop followed us on the various social media networks and have been generally lovely to us. The feedback has been a-maz-ing!

Now to what new stuff have arrived in the store...  firstly a focus on Victory dressmaking patterns from Canada, modern, cool and chic!


The Anouk is either a dress or skirt for intermediate skills. Its loose fitting sleeveless sweet number with a bow at the back for that extra feminine touch. The blouse has the the option of putting in bishop sleeves for what reminds me of the renaissance look.  The cute panel at the front top off this awesome look. You could pair this up with these brilliant fabrics 



The Chloe is a chic A line shape dress, and isn't it a beaut! Features angled front seams and optional button detailing, along with inseam pockets. The back features princess seams and centre back zipper closure.  Choose between sleeveless or capped sleeves. All you need is a cute jackets and some boots and this look would be perfect!

Fabrics that would work well with this are



The Madeleine is amazing! A big skirt with beautiful deep pockets that you can wear with or without the suspenders . Match it with a striped top or light blouse, which ever way you wear it it will be chic! This feels really Annie Hall / Diane Keaton in the 70's This will help you expand your skills in zip and button inserting. 

Fabrics that would work with this beautiful pattern...



Stag heads in gold and blue by Enchino made by Kokka

Do you need some new cushions, or a new throw? These lovely Jacquards are massive and would be a feature on your sofa or anywhere else in the house. These will reappear on the blog shortly as there are projects in the works!

My oh my when this beautiful sateen landed it was even better than I could have imagined. It's soft and silky feeling without having the difficult silky element when sewing with it. I would go so well with so many of our patterns like the Bettine, the Scout tee or the tiny pocket top.


Thats all for today peeps!