• Sewing oilcloth on the machine
    Sewing,  Tutorials

    Handy Hint: Machine Sewing Oilcloth

    Machine stitching oilcloth can be tricky as the coated side of the fabric can stick to the metal foot making the stitches uneven. Here’s a quick tip that I learnt from a Martha Stewart tutorial, if you don’t have a plastic/teflon foot (the professional solution!) you can adapt the metal foot by adding a layer of plain old masking tape to the underside. This allows the fabric to slide smoothly under the foot. Nifty eh? It also helps to mask off the plastic areas of the sewing machine under the oilcloth fabric to allow for a smoother glide, you can either do this with strips of masking tape or use…

  • Crushing on Riley Blake Fabric Large Chevron Pink
    Fashion,  Interior Design,  Sewing

    Fabric Crush: Chevrons

    January is rubbish right? By this time of the month my money is gone and I’m clinging on until payday! This lack of spare cash makes my heart hurt when I see beautiful fabrics that I need in my life right now, like this one from Riley Blake Designs. Chevrons are going to be huge this year, you’ll see that lovely zigzag pattern on everything from clothing to interior design. They’re quite Scandinavian in style and there’s something nice and neat about a geometric print. I’ve got a real thing for grey at the minute, I’ve got a grey front door, my entire living room is grey and my new…

  • Free Smock Dress Sewing Pattern Download
    Fashion,  Sewing,  Tutorials

    DIY Smock Dress Sewing Pattern – Free Download!

    I posted a while ago about the smock dress that I made a while ago from my own pattern, despite some trepidation I thought that I’d share it and add it to the blog as a free download, there still aren’t many smock dress sewing patterns out there and it’s one of the key shapes of the summer (not to mention it’s lovely and slouchy and hides a multitude of sins!). This is the first pattern I’ve ever drafted up in downloadable format so it’s pretty basic – be kind! You can download the pattern here: Smock Dress Sewing Pattern Free Download PLEASE NOTE: When you print; make sure that…

  • McCalls 6466 Tulle Skirted Prom Dress Pattern Review
    Fashion,  Sewing

    Pattern Review: McCall’s 6466 Tulle Skirted Prom Dress

    I’d set my heart on making myself a dress for my work’s Christmas party. The dress code was black tie so what better to create than an evening dress? Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but my dream job would be Thelma Madine’s (Big Fat Gypsy Wedding) but in my life, there’s not much call for gowns or even cocktail dresses so this was my chance to do something special. It took me a while to decide on a pattern – I’d fallen in love with this McCall’s pattern as soon as I saw it but it took me a while to convince myself that I could pull it…

  • DIY Smock Dress
    Fashion,  Sewing

    DIY Smock Dress

    If ever there’s a trend I like it’s a loosely fitting one, even better if you can make it out of warmish fabric so it’s as much like wearing a nighty as possible. (Sad but true!) Smock dresses are absolutely perfect for this – the whole idea is that they’re oversized and they fit into the 90s grunge revival thing that celebs like Cara Delevigne et al have kicked off. ASOS have lots of smock dresses at the moment in all sorts of fabrics so it’s a great place to go for inspiration. Smocking is the act of sewing loose parallel lines horizontally across the fabric and then pulling the…

  • Leather T-Shirt
    Fashion,  Sewing

    Newly Made: Leatherette T-Shirt Top

    I needed to find a use for the leftover punched leatherette fabric that I used to make the dungaree dress so, with a couple of hours spare on a Saturday morning, I whipped up a leather look t-shirt. I’d bought this Vogue V8916 sewing pattern for the skirt suit but, as it turns out, it’s great value for money as this T-Shirt pattern is a real gem! (I haven’t got round to making the suit yet.) There are only four pattern pieces and no difficult joins. The sleeves need a bit of easing but only a very minimal amount. It took me less than two hours to cut out the pattern,…

  • Fashion,  Sewing

    ‘Dresses Like Rihanna’ – Leather Look Dungaree Dress

    Rihanna is, without doubt, one of the sexiest women in the world and her dress sense is to die for but, let’s face it, not all of us can carry off Rihanna’s wardrobe no matter how much we wish we could! She arrived in London a couple of weeks ago in a leather dungaree jumpsuit, the epitome of street style. Leather’s a key fabric for AW13 but this look is a perfect example of style that needs to be toned down for the normal, every day lives of non-celebs like me! I can’t get away with a leather onesie in the office even if there is no dress code! I…

  • Sewing,  Tutorials

    How To Sew Darts

    Darts are folds of fabric sewn into clothing that help create shape so that the fabric lies better on the wearer. The fold is make on the wrong side of the fabric and, when completed, appears as a short seam line on the right side. Darts are most common around the waist, neckline and bust of a garment. Initially darts can seem fiddly and tricky to master so I thought I’d put together a little tutorial starting off about how to sew a straight dart. I also managed to convince my boyfriend to let me get my hands on his camera rather than having to use my iPhone – so after he gave me a brief…

  • Sewing,  Tutorials

    Spaghetti Straps Solved!

    I’ve always hated making straps, in the past I’ve even sewn two strips of bias binding together to avoid the painful turning process. No need for that anymore! I’ve found the secret to turning even the thinnest of spaghetti straps – a hair grip! 1. Stitch your strap as prescribed by the pattern then make a small slit in one end. 2. Attach your hair grip to the top section around one side of the strap and then feed both the prongs into the middle. Make sure you use a grip that still has the rubber stoppers on the ends so the fabric won’t snag. 3. You can now feed…