chit-chat · sewing

{ BY HAND LONDON } Kickstarter…

Hello Lovelies –

414 awesome people of this world have backed the gorgeous ladies of By Hand London so far in an effort to raise 35000gbp.

With only 8 more days to go, please head over to their Kickstarter page to read all about how you can pledge to help them achieve their dream of printing fabric on demand.  The smallest pledge would help so dont be shy.

These girls have offered us one smashingly good pattern after the next, just imagine how amazing their fabrics would be….

x Ange



Guys, Ive finally gotten Anna on the cutting table….{ FINALLY }.

Now, you guys know Im not one for muslin-ing BUT after the near crash that was the Datura I decided all new brands deserved at minimum a quick fit – just to be sure. So, having not sewn a By Hand London garment as yet, I decided it was prudent to start with a little mockup…

Boy am I glad I did.

This betty’s bewbs dont fit!!! { WAAAAAAAAH }

Its far too tight, the side seams are under some serious strain & the back – well, theres absolutely no chance of getting a zip in there.

As frustrating as it is, Im soooooooooo pleased I decided to muslin, even though I hate it so much!! I cant say I wasnt tempted to just chop into my silk coz damn, I was revving to go.

Moral of the story – Always listen to your inner monkey.

Anna_muslin_frontAnna_muslin_back Back to the chopping board for me….



{ PATTERNS } Free downloads…

Unless I manage to stumble on a real deal sale in a fabric store, decent quality fabric costs big bucks – especially here in Europe. Add to that the cost of notions plus pattern & its easy to see why home sewing has dwindled over the years. Gone are the days of sewing me-mades because its cheaper like our grandmama’s used to.  The ‘fast fashion’ era arrived & crapped all over the reality of home sewing being cheaper…now its sometimes hard to find a decent fabric/sewing store in your ‘hood because they’ve all been driven into the ground & out popped a darn H&M or similar…

When I buy a pattern I try to think about how much that pattern can work for me & how many times I can use it & get my money’s worth out but the reality is, its very seldom that I use the same pattern more than once or twice. They can also be prohibitively expensive so I always wait for the sales and then get screwed with postage but thats a different issue all together. So when I come across a good { FREE } pattern, then Im all over it because it means that producing a garment will cost substantially less.

Luckily, with the technology era, locating free patterns online is not such a difficult task & over the years I have come across some really stunning patterns that are free & ready to be loved, over & over again.

Here are a few of my favourites :

{ PLEATED SKIRT } from BurdaStyle – is so fun and versatile & you know me and pleatspleated_skirt_burdastyle

{ KASIA SKIRT } from BurdaStyle is a great pattern. I love how this skirt works for all seasons & I love that there is so much opportunity to play with exciting trims like lace or piping or buttons, topstitching, colour blocking…the possibilities are endless.


{ LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON DRESS } by Twinkle Sews, available from Threads. This is the cutest pattern which can also be shortened to make a tunic but again, I adore the little details that allow for so much creativity. If you google this pattern/book, you will see how many lovely versions of this have been made, all bright & cheerful with some beautiful fabric choices.

{ SORBETTO TANK TOP } from Colette Patterns is awesome, again with opportunity to really have fun & play with fabrics, pattern, trim & colour.  A basic top that can be used over and over again. sorbetto_tank_colette

{ CELEBRATE SUMMER DRESS } from Your Style Rocks is one of my favourite dresses to look at..of all time. I haven’t had a chance to make this yet, but I am really hoping the right fabric will come soon… celebrate_summer_yourstylerockscelebrate_summer2_yourstylerocks

Another more recent gratis pattern is the { POLLY } from the girls at By Hand London. I made one recently for the #RedOctober challenge in October. You can read about it here, where will find links to their website for your own free download.

Have you sewed any of these patterns? Which others free patterns have you tried & tested ? Do share…

{ You’ll notice WordPress have enabled the “snow screen” again since its the 1st Dec. Enjoy }

pattern review · sewing

{ #RedOctober } The Polly with sick hemming…

The colour red really is one of my favourites & Id take it over green or blue any day of the week so I really didn’t need much encouragement when it came to sewing for #RedOctober.

Some of you might remember that I had mentioned in January I wanted to sew more red this year. I finished my red pea coat and the lovely shoulder tie top but I didnt feel like I had sewn enough red so #RedOctober came at a good time.

A few weeks back the By Hand London girls send out an email to those subscribed offering the very cool Polly Top & if that wasn’t enough, they are offering this pattern as a { FREE | GRATIS } download. Say what? Yeah free….and, they even have a little vid on their website to show you how to stitch it up. I immediately sent off my request to receive & { PING } that pattern touched down on my inbox with record speed. { THANKS GIRLS }.

Unfortunately she had to sit in the queue waiting for the La Mia Boutique top & the New Look 6191 pants to be finished first. { Deets on these coming soon }.ByHandLondon_Polly_front

Miss Polly skidded into October with not many minutes left on the clock but she lives on the edge like that 🙂 October was a disaster month for me, too much going on in my head, too much procrastination & not enough focus on my part. Yes I finished 3 garments but I feel like I could have done more. If truth was to be told Miss Polly was finished, bar the hemming, on the 30th October. The evening of the 31st we headed out to see Nickelback live in Vienna. I already had tell-tale signs of illness setting in but it didnt stop me from queuing in the cold, shaking my ass & signing ’til I was hoarse and therefore I woke up on the 1st Nov with the strangest kind of sick Ive ever had. I therefore finished Miss Polly’s hem in the depth of this “sick” & Ive been man down ever since. { HEY HO } moving on…

Ok, so what did I use :

The black polka dot fabric is a woven, very light weight georgette offcut I had left from the Burda wrap top I made back in 2010, and the red is a viscose jersey I found recently.  I had reservations about whether these two fabrics would marry well but they seem to be real content with each other.  Far be it for me to tell them otherwise! I topstitched the side seams and the shoulder seams with black thread. I was thinking of topstitching the front panel too…Im just worried it will distort the shape so Im leaving it for now.  I did have a little difficulty with the binding around the armholes & neckline but I recall having trouble with the polka fabric and bindings when I made the Burda top too. Its not a 100% perfect job but it will do I suppose.ByHandLondon_Polly_side

Its difficult to get a sense of the sheerness of the polka fabric on the dress form so here is a pic so you can see how the fabrics differ.


As far as the pattern itself is concerned, I found this project really easy & the sizing, for me, was spot on. I cut my usual size and had to make absolutely no alterations whatsoever. Id really like to make another Polly or two because she’s so versatile & there are so many different fabrics you could pair to make the Polly something really special. Think lace around the edges, think polka dots & stripes, think colour blocking… { OH YEAH }!

I really liked the BHL pattern & Ive been putting off buying the Anna pattern for so long. I really wanted to make it during summer but I was overwhelmed by all the Anna’s popping up here, there & everywhere that I figured I’d give you all a break & re-introduce her next year 🙂 So all of you thinking you’re the last to make the Anna, think again 🙂ByHandLondon_Polly_back

Im seeing more and more #SewRedOctober makes coming out of the sewing rooms & Im more and more impressed. If you want to see another Miss Polly, head on over to Gjeometry….she’s a stunner!

Anyway, Im hitting the sack soon – hopefully some zzzz’s will help rid me of this terrible “sick”.

’til next time xx