I started out blogging years ago on Blogger and left it for Wordpress. When I decided to start a sewing blog I decided to try things out with Blogger again because many of the sewists use it and because the templates offered here are so much prettier. With that said, Blogger and I started on the wrong foot.

On the first day I posted Blogger had a HUGE melt down and lost my first post. Luckily for me I subscribe to myself so I had a copy. Sadly I lost my first comment. Anyhow, I am not a fan of the dashboard, and the photo uploading process, and I have to admit, I am quite fond and partial to Wordpress. With that said I'm heading back there...again.

Hope you'll join me there as I continue my sewing adventures:



Amy Butler 028

I made a skirt! I have to say, I've made this skirt before. I took a one-off class at The Make Lounge (craft cafe in Islington) and was helped throughout the process. Taking on this process on my own was a bit nerve-wracking. I took the class ages ago and really couldn't remember much from it except that we never once looked at the directions. The instructor told us what to do each step of the way.

I went through a few hiccups, mainly the concealed zipper. The first time around I attached that bad boy in one go and it looked perfect. But I think that had to do with luck. Today I attempted to attached the zip at least TEN times. I could not get it right (uneven sides or the needle refused to line up correctly, and more woes). And finally, finally I got it even with a smooth seam in the back. Unfortunately I attached it at the very top of the skirt before I finished the raw edges. Oy. But I made it work.  The zip won't close all the way up but I can attach a little hook and hopefully that will sort out the problem. Hopefully.

I made the skirt for a friend. Here's hoping she likes it. And it fits!

I am just really happy to have this project behind me. I really went through a lot of self-doubt and wondered why I was torturing myself with trying to make the skirt perfect. It's not perfect (don't look at the lining, oy!) but I am okay with that. I'm still learning and hopefully the next project won't be too terribly frustrating.

One good habit I practiced today: when frustrated walk away from the fabric when all you really want to do is burn the mother up!

PS-I totally forgot to line up the pattern pieces in the back. D'oh!


More fabric?!

Yes. Yes I did buy more fabric. Why? I cannot resist a great deal. I was in the neighborhood (if that means me getting on a bus to get there, sure, I was in the 'hood) so I stopped in at Rolls and Rems just to see if they had anything in their sales bin. Last time I was there it was a bit scarce. But the last time before that it wasn't and I came home with some great stuff.

Yesterday I went in and found too many choices in the bin. So rather than decide between one or two, I bought all the ones I liked. Naughty, I know. But I got some great linens that I am hoping to make into some blouses and cute skirts.  The fabrics in the sales bin doesn't have a measurement along with the price. You just have to measure it there or wait to be surprised once you get home.

I rushed home and it turns out I bought 15.75 yards, or 14.40 metres, of fabric for only £29! For the quality I got I feel as though I hit the jackpot. That only comes out to £2.07 a metre. Not too shabby (Right? Please tell me I did good. I'm so new to this). Here's what I scored.




I have another fabric that I forgot to take a picture of but now it's all wrinkled after going through the washing machine.

So here I sit, readers, with metres upon metres of freshly laundered fabrics scared to cut into them! I knew that one day I would venture into clothes-making and that sometime is now and I'm scared! What if my wobbly bits look awful in everything I make?! What if I end up with the wrong pattern on my butt?! What if, what if, what if...that's what I am feeling these days. I think I have to go fondle my fabrics to feel better. That always calms me down.

So what makes you just jump in and cut away?


Show me your space!

I got really inspired to tidy my space after reading this post about sewists and their sewing space. Prepare to get a bit jel (any TOWIE fans out there?) before reading it. The bright light, great organization and neat stacks of luscious fabric. I love when everything has a home and maybe one day I can have my very own craft room. There is so much inspiration out there! Just look here!

Well that post got me thinking...I'll show you mine if you show me yours? Yes? Well, I'm going for it. Here's my space...but do note that it's very much still a work in progress. And it was a dark day in London (surprised?) so a dark day inside.

 I work in the dining room/living room.  I wish I had a room dedicated just for crafting but in London space is precious and hard to come by. So I do what I can with the help of the glass table that came with the flat. Here's just a small list of the things I use every time I sew.

1. My 'vintage' three tier sewing box. Is it really vintage? I don't really know. It definitely looks it. I bought this precious little thing off of ebay. I know I could have settled for a tackle box for £5 but it wouldn't have been as cute. And cute things matter. I think, anyway. Sadly, I am already growing out of my box. Will need some more storage in the next coming months. For now, living in the box are my 30+ thread spools, seam ripper, tape measure, pinking shears, bias binding, etc.

2. My iron. It's not the best but it's hot and that's all that matters for now.

3. My dress patterns (although few) provide me inspiration. The one on top is my 'goal' pattern. It's the dress I would love to make and wear for the Royal Ascot next month. *Sigh* I can dream.

4. My bag of strips. I keep all my strips, for now anyway. Hoping to make one of these.

5. A sewing calendar. Experiencing sewing block? This calendar with daily projects can help.

6. Sewing machine. Or Dorothy, as I like to call her. Mrs. Zbornak if you're nasty.

7. Sewing books and sewing machine handbook. I often look something up so I can make sure I am doing things correctly. Or not as bad.

8. Self-healing cutting mat. Can't go and ruin the landlord's pretty glass table, can I?

9. Craptastic ruler. One day I will get a nice big one. But for now this one will have to do.

10. A knitting needle. Got a set at a charity shops for 50p. Bargain. Helpful to turn things inside out, especially corners.

11. My pincushion. Or pin cushion? Pincushion for me because I LOVE compound words. We need to bring them back, use more of them, I say.

12. Scissors. Okay scissors. Wouldn't call them shears. Definitely wouldn't cut paper with them. That would be a big no-no.

13. Water soluble pen. I am partial to these more than tailor's chalk. I like to really see the marks I make.

14. Rotary cutter. Great for cutting up your fabric fast and in straight lines (when using a ruler).

Close-ups of things:

So there's my space. If you've blogged about yours please comment and leave a link. I'd love to check it out...I'm nosy. If you haven't blogged about it yet...well, get on with it. Show me what you got!


Wipe 'Yo Face!

The need to learn to sew came from my failure to find amazing napkins. Yes, napkins. Last November was my first Thanksgiving abroad and I offered to host the event. Ever heard of the saying, "Hostess with the Mostest?" Yeah, that's me. Nothing gets me more pumped than preparing a menu, cocktails and 'Blasts From the Past' playlists to take the guests back in the day. Officially a grownup now (not sure when this happened) I decided that our table could not be set without proper cloth napkins. Paper napkins were not allowed. I searched and searched and never found anything that screamed 'bringing the fun to the dinner table and leaving your dignity intact.' Get me? Everything was either plain or gaudy and a bit...um...cheap looking. Unfortunately, with no sewing machine (yet!) and time running out I ended up buying craptastic* cream ones.

But this year I am prepared. I am totally giving my guests pretty, soft and fun napkins to wipe their delicate faces and fingers with.

Purple Hawaiian


I made these for my bestie (Hi Lindsay!) and experimented with two fabrics and mitered corners. Whoa.

Purple Haze

I'm looking forward to getting a bit more flamboyant by adding trims: pom poms, ruffles, ric rac...So many choices. I think that's why I love working with fabric and trims: all the possible combinations. And the sizes: picnic/lunch napkins, dinner napkins, cocktail napkins!

I do love me some napkins. I will have to conqueror the table runner next.

*They looked good from far but upon investigation...yeah...it was another story.


Fabric Fandango: Goldhawk Road

Luck was on my side the day that I came across a blogger's post about a fabric shop hop! Karen from Did You Make That? organized a brilliant get-together, Fabric Fandango: Goldhawk Road. She provided a map of the sewing shops in the area and prizes for the first ten people who showed up! Amazing. And always the eager beaver guess who got a bag? Me...correct. About 40 women showed up for the event. Coincidentally another sewing group was having an outing to the shops as well. We all split up into small groups and on we went.

I think I got a bit overzealous, along with some other of the sewists. Only a handful managed to stay on track and not buy much. My group leader, Dibs, or as I call her, The Haggling Queen, managed not to pay full price for any of her fabric. I learned a few tricks from her. Here's hoping I can haggle next time I go fabric shopping for my birthday. I will call on the haggling spirit of Dibs on that day.

Dibs and her mountain of fabric!
I had such a really great with my group: Dibs, Adrienne, Justine and Marie.  Time flew and we still didn't get to go into all the textile stores. Just another reason to re-visit. 

After shopping we headed to a local bar and shared shopping finds over drinks. We were asked to put out all of our fabric onto the table in front of us to show everyone. 

I cannot wait to see what I can make with the fabrics I purchased. This was the first time that I went out to buy fabrics I would use strictly for clothes. I often only buy quilting weight fabric for my crafts. I am afraid I don't know what I will produce from my clothes sewing skills but here's hoping they're wearable!

I met such wonderful, inspiring women. I am very glad to be part of such a supportive community. Hoping to cross paths with y'all in the interwebs and in real life again.


Let me introduce you...

...to my first sewing project. 

Cowboys! Reminded me of where we lived before: Austin, Texas
My first sewing project

 I would love to be able to tell you that I as a child I learned to sew alongside my grandmother as she baked us cookies. But unfortunately my grandmother spent most of her time running illegal numbers and running from the cops (that's a whole other story). So I took it upon myself at the ripe old age of 30 to learn to sew.

I love to create things with my hands: meals, breads, crafts. So it made sense that sewing and I would *click*. I never would have considered it had my friend Sara not sparked my interest. She sewed me the most adorable vintage apron for Christmas and I was left in awe after seeing it.

Flash forward a few months and I am an expat in London and in heavy need of a creative outlet. Enter The Make Lounge and after a few classes I was loving the projects I was creating.

My first apron, and second project
I conquered straight stitches. Hurrah!
Soon began the loyal partnership between me and my new sewing machine, Dorothy. I am looking forward to writing about our late nights, long hours and sometimes fiery meetings. Hope you will stop by and see what's going on and feel free to share your thoughts!