Mostly orange and mustard

Hello everyone, 
It feels like ages since I’ve stopped by in blogging world. I’ve had a few blog ideas but no ‘real’ time to write a post… Sadly the exciting plans I had for all my free time seems to have vanished in a puff of smoke. I honestly don’t know where the mornings go, and the evenings are eaten up by homework, reading, spelling practice and mild exhaustion! 

I’ve been busy making stuff though, trying to play around creatively, and also trying to learn a few new dressmaking skills. I have started trying to make clothes with jersey and knits, so I can make full use of my overlocker. I made this sweatshirt out of the gorgeous orange space dyed jersey I bought at the Handmade Fair from the Eternal Maker.  I made it using a free pattern from It’s Always Autumn, which I found via Pinterest. It was very easy to make, even for a jersey newbie like me. I added a little length to the sleeves and shortened the bodice. Raglan sleeves are great! However due to my square shoulders I did have to add a little dart on the shoulders, to take the fullness out, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable. It’s also cosy and warm and very orange!! I used a twin needle to finish the cuffs and hem off- that was another new skill! I’ve nearly made a dress out of jersey, but VERY annoyingly I broke my twin needle before it was finished. So I may have learned a new skill but I still forgot to take the pins out as I sewed…

Another new winter wardrobe item, I’ve sewn a cord skirt with a buttoned front fastening, using the instructions from Tilly and the Buttons Picnic Blanket Skirt. It sticks out a little bit, which I rather like, and it only used one and a half metres of fabric (from Guthrie and Ghani, sadly no longer in stock) and is going to be very cozy in winter too. Just not to be worn with the orange sweatshirt me thinks. 

I went to IKEA for breakfast the other day after the school drop off (£1.50!! You can’t go wrong!) with another mum. Obviously we had to have a look around afterwards and spotted this amazing cat fabric, which I made into an envelope cushion for her. It only took half an hour so was rather satisfying and quick. 

During a sort out I found a freebie paper-cutting gift that came with my Mollie Makes magazine a while ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing this piece. It’s a bit tough on the fingers, but very absorbing to do, I might have a go at designing one myself. One day! 

I’ve also started making a couple of Christmas gifts, which I can’t share here for obvious reasons; I think I’ve now got at least 20 projects on the go. I keep telling myself that I need to finish things off but then some lovely new yarn/fabric/ideas come along and I just have to start something new. I drive myself mad! 

Thinking of new fabric, look at this vintage barkcloth I bought from eBay! I love it! No idea what I’ll make, suggestions welcome, it’s only 1m in length but it’s just fabulous and I had to buy it! Look at what those couples are up to…
Have a lovely crafty weekend
Teresa xx

Not a failure… 


I’m sharing a few recently finished projects today that haven’t gone exactly to plan, in the hope that once I’ve talked about them I will be able to move on and sort my mistakes out! 

First up is the Blouse Top from Megan Nielsen’s  Darling Ranges pattern. I saw this during MeMadeMay, and really liked the style of both top and dress. The pattern comes in sizes XS to L, and when I compared my measurements I was S at the bust and M at the waist. I duly altered the pattern, cut out and made the top. It stretches and pulls from the shoulders to the bust, which is really annoying me! The whole point of making my own clothes is that they should fit me! Argh! 

So I made another one. This was probably a pretty stupid idea, I should have spent some time working out what went wrong with the black top. This time I added a bit more ease through the shoulders, and the result is better but not perfect.  

I found a book in the library at the weekend which is called ‘Sewing Patterns, 200 questions answered’ which suggests the problem might be caused by the angle of the shoulder seams. My shoulders are definitely square, not sloping so I’m going to play around with it to see if that makes it better, and then begin the painstaking job of unpicking the neckline binding and re-sewing it! I’m definitely going to make a toile for the dress, I have some lovely indigo chambray that I really don’t want to mess up. 

Project number 2 is a lesson in checking and double checking. I ordered some lovely Drops 100% Alpaca Yarn, to make a shawl from Simply Crochet magazine No 40, and only half way through did I realise the yarn was 4ply not lace weight. The shawl is lovely but tiny. I should have started again when I realised my error and used a bigger hook, but that yarn is really hard to pull out! The fibres all stick together.  I haven’t taken many pictures yet as I’m still in a huff with it. 

I’m going to be using that library book again for the Carrie Trousers by Sew Over It that I’m making. I am intending them as a wearable toile, I really like the trouser style but these are not going well so far! Far too big in the thighs but I’m working on it and will share it all properly in a separate post. 

So there we go, I do feel a bit better that I’ve shared some of the tricky bits (I’m not saying failure yet!) and I’m going to get busy with my unpicker now.

Have a good week!


PS my online shop will be back open again tomorrow! Hurray!

Me Made May 16- it’s over! 

Well, today is the last day of May which means it’s the last day of Me Made May too. I’ve really enjoyed it! Will I be diving into my shop bought clothes tomorrow? No, not really. I now know where the gaps are in my handmade wardrobe and I feel quite keen to fill them up. On sunny and warm days this month I’ve felt like I have a lot of choice with what to wear, however on colder days it felt harder. So I’d like to make some more cooler weather clothes, or things that are easier to layer up with cardis and jumpers. I’m naturally drawn to cheerful summery prints to sew with, however on dull days I don’t want to wear these clothes! With that in mind I’ve recently bought some lovely indigo chambray, a navy and olive silk and linen checked fabric and a heavy crepe in navy to make some dresses that can be worn all year round. Now I just need to decide on the dress patterns!So, over the last week this is what I wore:

New Look 7654 top in a light weight chambray. I really like the look of this top, however for some reason I decided to use self covered buttons at the back instead of a zip, and as a result the top is very difficult to get fastened without help, and makes leaning against the sofa very very uncomfortable! I think I need to sort this out as this puts me off wearing this top, and I do like it. 

On Tuesday my swishy skirt Bettine Dress made another appearance. I wore my Bettine Dress with an A line skirt on Wednesday but the tights were back on again! To make it a Bettine triple I wore my green Bettine on Thursday. I can’t actually remember what I wore on Friday… I didn’t make a note of it and really can’t think what it was. 

I did manage to finish my Emery Dress in Liberty Tana lawn in time to wear it on my birthday. We had a family day out to Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire and I really felt the birthday girl in my pretty frock. Pattern by Christine Haynes. 

I am really pleased with how this top has turned out- another Bettine Dress into a top, in a striped crepe from Minerva Crafts. It was my first time sewing with crepe and it behaved itself a lot better than I thought it would! I’m wearing it with my new tote bag from the Lucky Dip Club

Monday involved a child free trip to Manchester, and I wore my refashioned bridesmaid dress and enjoyed a cheeky cocktail!

And for the last day of Me Made May I wore my Suzie Top by Sew Over It- this time I took a (slightly odd) photo while wearing it. I like it better than the first time I wore it, but not I’m still not entirely sure. I think it needs to be worn with jeans or it can look too formal. Maybe I need a more modern or graphic print…

And that’s it! I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has liked blog posts, Facebook posts and Instagram pics and said lovely things about my clothes. And also to Zoe at So Zo for organising Me Made May 2016. I can now pack up my tripod and forget how to use the auto timer on my camera, until next year!

Teresa x

Week 3 of Me Made May 16

Week 3 of Me Made May has been and gone, so here’s a round up of my hand made outfits…

Cotton Lawn Clemence Skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes, and a crocheted flower on my sun hat. 

This dress is a special refashion I’ve been doing battle with! The dress was originally worn by my aunty at my parents wedding nearly 34 years ago! My mother gave me the dress a couple of years ago when she had a sort out, and I wore it to a friends wedding. It was a full length dress, which made it tricky for every day use (ie the school run) so after asking permission to refashion it, here it is! I’ve let the seams out a bit, (which means I can now eat when I wear it) however that caused an unforeseen fitting problem- the back bodice was too long. This helpful blog post showed me how to sort that out, and I’m now thrilled with this dress, I can see it being worn a lot more now.

This shirt was made a few years ago when I did a dressmaking course. It took me about 8 months to make… And I absolutely hated it by the end. So it’s never been worn much, although I couldn’t chuck it out after so much effort was put into it! I much prefer it with the sleeves rolled up and the little collar turned down, which I’d not tried before, so maybe I’ll be wearing it a bit more now.

Thursday saw my grey dobby spot / Swiss dot Emery dress with my Sewing Basket necklace by Lucy from Smile and Make.

One of my favourites tops is this Silk Cami by Sew Over It, in the same navy viscose as my Emery Dress. Worn with jade green cords by Boden and my fab Gold Pineapple necklace by You Make Me Design.

Cotton Lawn Top from my Bettine Dress pattern, by Tilly and the Buttons. My badge says Drink Tea and Read Books, and is by Fable and Black.

And finally, my self drafted Sound of Music Skirt, so called because it reminds me of the clothes Maria makes for the children out of curtains! I’m really pleased with how this turned out. The fabric is a polycotton from Fabric Godmother and is quite stiff, which gives it a lovely fullness when it’s gathered at the waist. It doesn’t crease much either which is always good! 

One more week left, and I still haven’t finished my Liberty Emery Dress I promised myself I’d finish by my birthday, better get a move on!

Teresa X 

Me Made May- Week 2

I’m back with a round up of my Me Made clothes for week two. This week has felt a bit harder to wear a hand made item every day- don’t know why, but it was! However, I’ve done it and am prepared to share another series of slightly awkward photos of myself! 

Monday was still lovely and warm and I wore my Emery Dress (from Christine Haynes Patterns) with bright pink sandals.

On Tuesday I wore one of my recent makes, a Suzie Top by Sew Over It, which I made from a lovely Javanaise Viscose from Abakhan. I’m not sure if this top suits me or not- I’m never sure about collars. I got caught in the rain and soaked through before I took a photo wearing it so I can’t ask your opinion!

Denim mini skirt, from a New Look pattern which I bought when I was at school, and a handmade felt flower necklace, available from my Shirley Rainbow Folksy Shop. The cardi is shop bought but I changed the buttons on it. And no, I’m not expecting! (Thank you for that, dear husband…) 

Navy Clemence Skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes, (one of my wardrobe staples) and a gold pineapple necklace by You Make Me Design.

Wearing my Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It in grey and black cotton check from IKEA. I need to sort out some issues with the fit I think. 

Super Swishy Viscose Clemence Skirt from the Love at First Stitch book by Tilly Walnes (Tilly and the Buttons) with a handmade crochet envelope pendant. 

Bettine dress with an A-line skirt (see blog post about this here) and my much loved navy clogs. I bought the fabric from Fabric Rehab, they no longer have it in stock but I recently spotted it for sale at Fabric Godmother. Can you spot the puffin in the garden?! 

I’ve been working on three new items of clothing this week, hopefully I’ll finish them before next week is out! And the Great Britsh Sewing Bee starts at 9pm on Monday on BBC 2. I’m looking forward to post watershed sewing- will we actually hear the swearing when the contestants make mistakes? 
Have a lovely week! 

Teresa X

Week One of Me Made May 16

Here’s my round up of what I wore this week. I’ve really enjoyed making the effort to wear something I’ve made everyday. I’ve also really enjoyed seeing all the outfits on Pinterest and Instagram, and I’ve spotted quite a few nice patterns I’d like to have a go at! 

Cotton Lawn Top, made with my pattern hack from the Bettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons, worn with a necklace by Aboe Coco Designs.

Clemence Skirt by Tilly and the Buttons in cotton lawn, (with a helpful gust of wind puffing my skirt up!) worn with a Tea Pot Brooch by Hello Sunshine, no longer in stock but lots other lovely things available.

Pink Gingham Top (fabric from Abakhan) worn with a Swallow in the Trees Necklace by Layla Amber.

Refashioned Midi Skirt, from a second hand 70s Maxi Dress, worn with a Yay Necklace by RockCakes

On Friday I wore my Navy Clemence Skirt by Tilly and the Buttons, and my Layla Amber Necklace again, but never quite got round to taking a picture!

Bettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons, fabric from Abakhan and necklace made by myself, using an embroidery hoop necklace kit by Dandelyne (which are available from Cloud Craft). 

Bettine Dress with a full skirt with in-seam pockets, fabric from Abakhan. Hat from Dorothy Perkins with a ‘me made’ crochet flower.Hopefully the lovely sunny weather will continue long enough for me to wear some more of my summer dresses! 

Have a great week,

Teresa X 

Dressmaking in my spare time: how to make a top from the Bettine Dress

When I made my first Bettine Dress by  Tilly and the Buttons last summer the thing I liked about it most was the bodice: I liked the scoop neck (nice but not too low), the all in one sleeves, and the cute turn up cuffs. I like the way it fits too, loose enough to look casual but not too baggy. So… I thought it might look good as a top on its own. With a few simple adjustments it worked! I’ve written a sort of ‘how to’ guide

To start with I made a new copy of the front and back bodice pattern pieces on tracing paper.

– Measure how much longer you want the top to be, and add 1.5 cm to this measurement. (This is to make the hem). Add this measurement to the centre fold side of the pattern, front and back.

– Measure around yourself at the point you want the top to come down to. I measured loosely so that the top wouldn’t be too tight. Add 3cm to this measurement ( this is to give you a seam allowance.)

– Divide this measurement by 4. From the bottom of the centre fold draw a line towards the side seam to the width you want. 

– Grade the side seam towards the new hem line. Transfer the pattern markings to your new top pattern pieces.

– For example: I wanted my top to be 10cm longer, so I added 11.5cm to the length of the bodice at the centre. I measured around myself, at the right length which was just on my hip. My hip measurement is 95cm so I added 3cm and divided by 4 to give a pattern piece measurement of 32.6cm at the hemline width. I then drew the new hem line on the pattern pieces and graded the original side seam down to my new hip length and width.

– Cut out your fabric and make the bodice, but just adding a simple hem at the bottom, by pressing up .5cm and then 1cm. 

I hope this makes sense! If you need to ask me any questions please leave a comment and I will do my best to help. 

I’ve made two tops now based on the Bettine bodice, one in a floral cotton lawn and another, cut slightly longer, out of pink gingham. I have plans to make quite a few more! I’d love to see if you do make one, leave a comment on here or tag me on Instagram or Twitter.

(Here I am posing slightly awkwardly in my summery pink gingham top!)

Teresa X