#2017makenine – What I Plan to Stitch This Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a restful and peaceful Christmas break. You may have seen my last post of the year – a round up of everything I made in 2016 – and for my first post of the new year I wanted to hop on the #2017makenine train and show you what I plan to make in the upcoming months. So here we go, and in no particular order:


Top Row, Left-Right

1. MillaMia Elk Cushion – I bought this cushion kit at the Knitting and Stitching show a couple of years ago, and it’s very nearly finished! I’ve completed the fairisle front and now just need to slave away on the plain back until it’s done.
2. Sew Over It Silk Cami – I received this pattern as a gift, along with some silk bow-print material, so I look forward to it being a simple-yet-useful make for summer.
3. Burda 6849 Shirt – I’ve made a chambray shirt with this pattern before, and I have 2m of Liberty print lawn in my stash that is calling out to be used.

Middle Row, Left-Right
4. Merchant and Mills Camber Dress – A birthday gift, my husband bought me this pattern plus some linen-look geometric fabric with which to make it. A simple shape but a dress I’ll hopefully wear often.
5. Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Shirt Dress I bought this pattern when it came out in 2016 and have a length of aztec, woven chambray that I just hope will be big enough!
6. Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress – my first make of the year for Minerva Crafts, this loose fitted dress will be made in a silky monochrome viscose and should be good for spring.

Bottom Row, Left-Right
7. Simplicity 1563 PyjamasThe second of my Minerva Crafts makes, I plan to make a pair of cosy, brushed cotton pyjama trousers with a matching jersey t-shirt.
8. New Look 6449 Shirt Dress
Another shirt dress and more chambray! And my final upcoming Minerva project, this time in a timeless charcoal chambray that will match with anything.
9. M&S Safari Crochet Kit – 
A fun Christmas present from my sister, this year I hope to learn how to crochet and make these cute zoo animals.

What are your plans for the new year? Are you making as many shirts/dresses as I am? Let me know in the comments!


Blogger Network #29 – Scandi Christmas Lilou Dress


Happy December everyone! It’s time for my latest Minerva Blogger Network project, and this month I’ve made a Tilly and the Buttons Lilou dress in red and white Scandi-style Christmas fabric! Perfect for all the upcoming Christmas parties, dinners and gatherings, don’t you think?

Click here to read more about my Lilou dress!


Yet another Tilly & the Buttons Coco dress…

nautical stripe tilly and the buttons coco dressHey guys, just a quick photo post for you today! I’ve made the Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress pattern so many times that there’s not much left to say about it except I LOVE IT. This is the pattern of dreams for me. So much so, I actually think I can make this dress with my eyes closed!

I always cut the size 2 and it fits me perfectly, aside from having to take a couple of inches off the sleeve length. I finished making this one in about an hour yesterday afternoon and was out and about wearing it on the windy Yorkshire Coast today. Hope you like it!

(Oh by the way, the fabric is the striped ponte roma jersey in burgundy/white. It’s so perfect for the Coco dress and super comfortable to wear.)

tilly and the buttons coco dressdress

tilly and the buttons striped coco dress


Blogger Network #23 – A Spring Bettine Dress

tilly and the buttons bettine dress

Oh I do love a good Tilly and the Buttons pattern! Especially for the Spring weather. This is my latest Bettine dress that I made for my May Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post, sewed up in a wonderful blue cotton lawn which makes it lovely and light and great for the warmer weather. I’ve made the Bettine dress once before – see that here – and did the version with pockets. This time I tried the version with tab sleeves and used these beautiful metal flower buttons to finish them off. This pattern makes a great dress and I wear it all the time!

Click here to go to the Minerva Crafts website and see more of my make!

Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top

tilly and the buttons agnesIf you’ve been dipping in and out of my blog posts for a while then it’s likely that you’re aware of my love for the Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns. I’ve made a large majority of them – a mixture of the print patterns and the ones contained in the book, Love at First Stitch – but there are still a couple I’ve yet to try. So, for Christmas, my darling other half got me the Agnes top pattern plus some fab stripey jersey to make it with! He’s a keeper for sure.

The Agnes top is pretty much all about conquering your fears of sewing with jersey fabric. To be honest, I think I’d been avoiding jersey up until this point too, purely based on the scary stories you read online. The truth is that jersey is so, so easy to sew! You don’t need an overlocker or a fancy sewing machine foot – just a machine needle with a rounded tip (check this sewing machine needle guide out) and a zig-zig stitch setting. If you’ve got those already then you’re good to go.

agnes neckline

The fabric I used for my first Agnes is this red and white striped jersey from the Fabric Godmother. The stripes are actually a more even size than the website photo shows, but I love it nonetheless! The fabric is made up of a mixture of cotton and spandex, which is what gives it the stretch needed for the Agnes top. Your aim is for the fabric to be ‘form fitting’ rather than loose. However, make sure you choose your material carefully! I actually made a second Agnes from some grey, striped jersey fabric but the amount of stretch just really wasn’t enough. I cut my pattern pieces the same size (since my first attempt went so well) but then found I could hardly get the top over my shoulders due to the lack of stretch! I’ve managed to re-cut the sleeves to fix the problem but do be warned… the more stretch/spandex/lycra in your fabric the better is the moral of the story.

tilly and the buttons agnes tops

The pattern for the Agnes top is a rather fun one to make. There aren’t many pattern pieces (2 arms, a front and a back) but I enjoyed seeing the neckline come together and stitching on the elastic to make the little bit of ruching on the front. The top comes together really quickly, too. I think I made mine in about 2 hours, including cutting out all the pieces!

I’ve seen a few other great Agnes tops around the internet – link me to yours if you’ve made one! And what do you think of mine? I think Tilly would love it!

Tartan Reindeer Megan Dress

tilly and the buttons christmas tartan megan dressWhen this post goes up it’ll be exactly four weeks until Christmas – just where has this year gone to? It’s also my first wedding anniversary this weekend which I cannot believe either. Time has raced past like Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. But never mind that – onto the sewing!

This week I’ve made myself the ultimate Christmas Day outfit in the form of a reindeer print Megan dress from the Tilly and the Buttons Love at First Stitch Book. I’ve made this pattern a couple of times before – a baroque linen Megan dress here and a summer seersucker Megan here – and I really do like it. There are flattering darts on the front and back skirt as well as the bodice, little cap sleeves and a long zip down the back. I also know that I can cut my fabric straight from the pattern pieces and it’ll fit me perfectly! No other pattern company seems to cater for my measurements as accurately as Tilly does. Even the length of her dresses are perfect (normally I have to hack at least 5 inches off the bottom of everything!).

reindeer tartan megan dress love at first stitch

The fabric for my Christmas dress came from the Remnant House in Harrogate. I think I bought 2m of it and I’ve used nearly all of it for this dress. It’s a tartan cotton with embroidered reindeers and hearts all over it and I love it. It’s so festive and cutesy and will make my Scottish mother-in-law very happy! Unfortunately they don’t seem to stock this particular fabric on their website any more but here are a few festive alternatives:

love at first stitch megan dress

If you see me out and about in my reindeer dress this Christmas please can you compliment me on my pattern matching? Aside from a teeny misaligned stripe on the back I couldn’t have got this cut out more precisely! I love how the tartan stripes match up so well on my side seams and how they run straight down the middle from top to bottom. This was quite an easy fabric to pattern match due to all the straight lines in the tartan but it does always impress me when I get it right!

tilly and the buttons tartan megan

Have you made a dress for Christmas this year? Is it as festive as mine or have you gone more glitzy? Show me! I also recommend adding Tilly’s book, Love at First Stitch, to your Christmas wish list if you don’t already own it. I’m sure Father Christmas would be more than  happy to deliver it to you 🙂

Autumn Apple Bettine

tilly and the buttons bettineHello, I’m back! And so is the dressmaking! It’s been forever since I last posted about a garment I’ve made and since then a whole host of ‘life’ has been going on. We moved house 6 weeks ago and have since been unpacking, decorating and organising in every spare moment, plus I was full of cold for the entirety of last week, so my poor sewing machine has had to sit in the corner for a while. This weekend I finally managed to bring it back out of hibernation and restore the peace!

So what was my first dressmaking project in the new house? A Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress, of course! I’ve had the pattern for this dress since Tilly brought it out earlier in the year but, due to both the move and my never-ending to-do list, it’s taken me until now to get it made up. It’s a lovely little dress with kimono-style sleeves, rolled cuffs, an elastic waist and pockets that teaches you a whole host of sewing skills as you work through the instructions. It’s also very easy to wear which is a bonus.

tilly & the buttons bettine dress

The fabric I used for my Bettine is a very autumn-appropriate apple print cotton from White Tree Fabrics (remember you can get 20% off and free delivery using my code, SEWSENSATIONAL). It’s a lovely, soft cotton which is very easy to cut, sew with and press. It’s perhaps a little lightweight for the upcoming cold weather but I can definitely see myself giving it a good try with woolly tights and a massive cardi!

tilly and the buttons bettine dress 2

I think the best part about this dress is the pockets, which are rapidly becoming my new favourite thing to sew. They also make this the perfect dress for wearing whilst you stitch away – you’ll never lose your scissors or seam-ripper again! The pattern also features a plain skirt version if you want to whip up a new dress in mere minutes as well as optional cuff tabs which I think I might try next time.

So what do you think? Have you made a Bettine dress yourself? A quick Google search reveals a myriad of beautiful Bettines in all sorts of pretty fabrics. Show me yours!

Tilly & the Buttons Mimi Blouse

love at first stitch mimi blouseIt’s no secret that I love Tilly and the Buttons’ sewing patterns. If you’ve been a reader over the past couple of years then you may remember all my makes so far: a Coco top, a handful of Coco dresses in Christmas/stripe/aztec prints, two Megan dresses, a floral Francoise dress, some Margot pyjamas and a striped Mathilde blouse… I’m not sure my wardrobe could actually survive without Tilly these days. This week’s make, therefore, is no exception – this time I’ve made my first Mimi blouse!

The Mimi blouse is one of the first patterns I eyed up in Love at First Stitch but it’s taken me a little while to match the pattern with a suitable fabric. Last year my husband and I took a trip to Paris and I bought lots of 5€ fabric ‘coupons’ from Marche St Pierre. One of those pieces got turned into a Deer and Doe Bleuet dress and another has become my very first Mimi! What’s more fitting for a French-named blouse than a piece of Parisian fabric?!

tilly and the buttons mimi blouse

Because the fabric came from France (how very la-di-dah of me), I can’t direct you to an online source, but I can describe it for you. This fabric is very, very soft and drapey and lovely to cuddle up in. It has the feel of brushed cotton but is quite lightweight – perfect for the Mimi blouse! I’ve seen many variations of the blouse in various fabrics around the internet – a few cotton lawns, polycottons, linens, double gauzes, chiffons… it seems that anything lightweight will sew up well. I also love the colours of this fabric – navy blue and white – and love how the little flowers look like actual cotton plants!

tilly and the buttons mimi

The pattern itself is a fun one to make although perhaps a little fiddly if you’re a beginner. There are lots of details to contend with (which is great if you like a challenge or want to learn new skills) but, as usual, Tilly explains each stage perfectly and with lots of pictures. Features include a gathered yoke across the back and shoulders, pleated sleeves, narrow sleeve cuffs, set in sleeves, buttonholes and buttonhole facing plus a fab Chelsea collar. As long as you follow Tilly’s instructions word for word then you can’t go wrong, but there are quite a few steps to this pattern. The end result is definitely worth it though! You can see how much effort has gone into this blouse by looking at all the finished details – it’s absolutely worth slaving over!

tilly and the buttons love at first stitch mimi blouse

I really like my finished Mimi blouse. It fits me well (as do all Tilly’s patterns) and I didn’t have to make any adjustments. I cut the size 2 and it’s perfect for my petite frame! It’s such a comfy blouse to wear and I like the way it’s all loose and floaty. I wear mine with a little camisole underneath and I think it looks great. How about you? Have you ever made this pattern? Show me!

Summer Seersucker Megan Dress

tilly and the buttons meganDoes anyone remember that heatwave we had in the UK the other week? Or does it seem like a distant memory to you, too? The weekend before the sunshine struck I actually made myself a brand new Megan dress (from the Tilly and the Buttons Love at First Stitch book) which turned out to be absolutely perfect for the hot and sticky weather that was to come. Want to see? Let’s go!

I’ve made this dress pattern once before in a ‘baroque’ linen fabric – read about that one here – and I have to say that it’s one of my most favourite makes. I wear it all the time, it’s really comfy, it fits really well, the length is great on me and it matches everything else that I own. A definite winner! Isn’t that something you wish every garment achieved?!

After the success of Megan number 1 I thought I’d use the pattern again and make Megan number 2, but this time in a completely different fabric – a floral cotton seersucker from White Tree Fabrics. Unfortunately they seem to have sold out of this particular print but there’s an equally summery yellow floral seersucker just waiting to be snapped up! This type of fabric weighs about 2 grams and is ideal for hot, sunny days. I’ll definitely be taking this one with me to Portugal in a few weeks’ time (did you know it’s around 41°c there at the moment?!)

tilly and the buttons megan seersucker dress

The pattern features bodice front and back pieces, skirt front and back pieces, slightly gathered cap sleeves and requires a long invisible zipper down the back. This is a good pattern for newbie dressmakers because there are no difficult seams – the dress is shaped using darts on both the skirt and bodice pieces and there are no pesky bits of bias binding or anything else fiddly. Plus Tilly’s instructions are super clear that I reckon even the cat could have a go 😉tilly and the buttons megan dress

I really like this dress and I can see myself making another in future. It’s very easy to wear and it’s a great addition to my wardrobe. I also don’t have to make any changes to it as it fits me straight off the pattern sheet! Apologies for the lack of photos by the way – I’ve been waiting for a sunny day to get some snaps of me in it but we’ve had nothing but gloom and doom recently…

Oh and I might have recently ordered a copy of Tilly’s new Bettine dress pattern so I hope to be making that up soon, too! I do like a good ‘throw it on and go’ dress pattern. Let me know your thoughts!

Blogger Network #13 – Floral Françoise Dress

tilly and the buttons francoise dressWhen Tilly brought out her latest dress pattern – the Francoise – at the end of last year I knew immediately that I wanted to make one. My little sister actually bought me the pattern for my birthday back in December but it’s not until this Spring time that I’ve actually found the right fabric with which to make it! If you’ve not seen the pattern, the Francoise is a sixties-style dress with 3/4 sleeves and – my new favourite thing – a collar. It’s just darling!

The pattern recommends that you use a medium weight cotton or twill to make the dress, so I chose this fabulous navy floral print twill from Minerva Crafts. It feels a bit like upholstery fabric but I don’t half love it. It’s such a great floral pattern for this dress too! (The contrasting collar is made using bit of denim blue chambray that I had leftover from another project, by the way). The reason for using slightly heavier fabric than your normal lawns and polycottons is because you need the fabric to hold its shape: the flared-out skirt will hang differently if you use ‘drapey’ fabric rather than ‘stiff’ fabric.

tilly and the buttons francoise floral dress

As with all of Tilly’s patterns, the Francoise dress is a delight to sew together. It’s definitely a step-up from the Coco in terms of technical ability, but the instructions are lovely and clear so I’m sure anyone at any level could easily give it a go. For my first attempt at the dress, I’m rather surprised by how well it turned out! My ‘can’t be bothered with making a toile first’ approach catches me out sometimes but not today 😉

francoise collarThe finished dress fits me rather well too – as with the Cocos that I’ve made. I think Tilly has got it nailed when it comes to designing patterns for the more petite amongst us! If you’re taller than 5ft6 then I’d probably recommend lengthening the skirt a bit as I imagine it’d be fairly short otherwise (I’m 5ft3 and the length is perfect). I think my finished Francoise will be great for British Spring though, what do you reckon? Bonus points for those amongst you who have spotted my cat slippers in the photos above! Also – have you made a Francoise yet?