chit-chat · sewing

{ LET’S TALK } Patterns…

Carolyns recent post got me thinking. There are times I feel guilty about purchasing so many patterns especially when a haul of 8 arrive at one time but the feeling of guilt never really lasts too long because I always buy on sale. Also, & this is a big { ALSO }, it’s my hobby. I love looking at the pattern envelopes filled with opportunity. The drawings & construction details (on some!) are inspiring & get my mind going about all sorts of things.

Some of us buy patterns only when we need but Im the type of person that purchases patterns as soon as I see them because Ive learned that if you leave it too long, the pattern eventually goes OOP which is a real pain in the ass when you get your shit together & decide its now time to sew that particular garment. Believe me, Ive learnt from experience & Ive paid silly money to purchase OOP via etsy & the likes!  Another huge consideration, which is similar to the chicken vs. egg scenario, is what comes first…the fabric or the pattern? For me sometimes its the pattern, sometimes its the fabric & its another reason why I purchase patterns before I even know what I’ll be sewing it with…..& it also happens to be the same reason I buy fabric sometimes without knowing what its going to be. Its probably the reason why so many of us sewers have substantial stashes of both patterns & fabric!  Im quite passionate about ensuring the marriage of pattern & fabric is perfect. Sometimes I nail it, sometimes I don’t… { YOU KNOW }.

I think one of the biggest questions around the sewing community is :

{ How do you store your patterns? }

Quite honestly, I keep it as simple as possible.

I store my patterns in their original envelopes, pattern house by house, in numerical order! These are all stored in clear fully sealable bin containers that fit nicely under my work station one above the other. Each bin contains around 200 patterns & Im well into my second bin now. That includes Indie patterns that Ive printed & enveloped as well as BurdaStyle patterns etc. I realise that once my collection gets to the point of more than 2 bins, I’ll have to strategize on a new storage solution but for now, this works & I like to see them rather than have them in a wardrobe tucked away.  This is what they look like : pattern_storage1

The orange dots you see on the top right corner of some of these tells me Ive made something from that particular pattern already. When Im looking for something new to sew ie. something Ive not sewn before, its a quick & easy reference. Im a self-confessed Mini-Monk so I like to have everything in order…all.the.time! Im not judging  in any way but when I read that some of you battle to find pieces of patterns & whole patterns etc, I just cringe. Im looking at you Miss Dibs 🙂 As much as I love reading her stories about missing pattern pieces, Ive just got this mild OCD syndrome that doesn’t allow me to be untidy or have things out of place. Its not a gift I tell ya…Saying that though, Ive always cut my tissue, never traced….until recently 🙂

Ok, moving on…

On my shelves I have these timber crates that fit patterns perfectly. In here I keep anything that Im currently working on or a little queue of whats to come, ideas etc. I also bomb any new patterns in here until they’re either packed away or sorted…


Then…. there’s this :pattern_catalogue1

I catalogue my patterns digitally as well!!!

Now I know that may sound rather over the top { BUT } its helped with preserving the actual pattern in a huge way. I dont have to thumb through every pattern every time I want to look for something. I found handling the patterns all the time was ruining the envelopes. The flaps were tearing & getting crumpled…being the mini-Monk that I am, I just had to find an alternative way. So this works – I just go to my digital pattern catalogue & look through them from here. Its quicker & easier when Im low on time plus it really has minimized the damage to my patterns.

I photograph every pattern that hits my sewing room first & foremost. All the pics are uploaded to iphoto. I sync to my ipad which I have an app called Bento. From this app Im able to sort all these patterns into pattern house, number etc. That helps me to keep track of whether its a top, skirt, coat, jacket blah blah blah. Ive also started categorizing the amount of fabric needed. I know, its a little OTT 🙂 but its fun.

So thats pretty much it…

How do you store your patterns ? Do you have a system or do your patterns just roam wild? Id love to hear & feel free to leave a link to your storage solutions if you’ve blogged about them.

Hope your’e all having a great Saturday…. xAnge

chit-chat · sewing


Folks, some of you have emailed me asking about why I deleted the post regarding the free pattern offer earlier in the week.

That post was removed after it was brought to my attention that there were similarities between some of the aforementioned company patterns and another established pattern company. Im not able to go into the details because quite frankly, its got nothing to do with me however as Ive said many times before, I love our sewing community. I love that people are incredibly supportive of one another. I would never want to believe that such shittiness could be going on in our wonderful world of sewing but maybe thats just me being naive….



chit-chat · sewing

{ ON THE CUTTING TABLE } & other news…

Hello friends –

London was great. Busy but good. I wish we had planned in Friday as well just to do our own thing but sadly ….next time huh. On Thursday I decided to clear my schedule for 2 hours while I jumped the tube & headed off to Goldhawk Road for a quick fabric shop.

I found some gems to be honest – absolutely not what I was expecting because I feel like when I shop under pressure I can never really enjoy it & end up leaving frustrated. Do you have that too? Anyway, it was weird to see all these fabrics popping out at me even though I was { VERY } aware of being on the clock. Here are the fabrics I took home with me :fabric_shop

{ left to right }

// multi-coloured (but mostly pink) irish linen which is heavy & beautiful quality.

// great floral cotton – so crisp but so soft too

// a viscose blend but the colours & pattern are rad

// an olive-ish green poly

// a black cotton with cut-outs – very cool. i only got a metre of this because i only intend on making a sleeveless top but thinking now, i really should have got more for a dress.

// a black & white cotton with the most adorable paris print

I picked these up from a variety of stores along goldhawk road. Every store I went into, the staff were super friendly and eager to assist. Where I felt fabric was a little overpriced for what it was, I said so & the sales staff had no problem negotiating.  Looking forward to visiting again – perhaps with more time on the clock!

Before leaving for London, I took advantage of the McCall Company sale & ordered a whole stack of new patterns so I was excited to see them sticking out my mailbox when I arrived home. There is { NOTHING } better than arriving home to sewing bits ‘n bobs – Im sure you know the feeling 🙂 Anyway, new patterns means I have to find an afternoon to sit & cut them all out. I really dont like having to cut patterns out before I start sewing so I like to get that done asap.  Cutting 7 patterns literally took all afternoon. Some of those suckers were huge! This is the recycle pile : pattern_cutting

And new to my sewing room is a drawer unit to help with storage of my threads and smalls, stationery & general crap. I was quite keen to use one of those thread holders to display them but then I started looking at how much thread I have and quickly realised my thread holder would have to be one giant coz I got lots…so I ditched the idea & used the drawers instead which doesnt look too bad. Whatcha think ? threads_drawer

The sewing room has been taking shape over the past couple of months & its almost { ALMOST } finished. As soon as I think its photo worthy, I’ll give you a peek inside ok?!

Ive also finally decided to make something of the yellow silk I purchased  a few months back. Silk has been pre-washed, pressed & ready for cutting 🙂  Coming soon…silk

Ive also got 3 or 4 pieces that have been finished for some time but Ive been wearing them to death so I really do need to photograph them to show you. Ive made a linen skirt with an offcut from the white linen I used to make the shirt dress plus I recycled one of the hubsters shirts to make another Datura which Im so in love with…so those should be popping up here real soon.

I know its only Thursday but have a good weekend 🙂 x Ange



An envelope containing these 3 beauties dropped into my postbox yesterday.



but dear me, it seems I am actually the last sewcialist to join the BHL Anna Brigade.


the pressure to learn from all your experiences & create the perfect Anna is terrifying…I shit you not.

But she’s coming soon…


chit-chat · sewing

{ VOGUE } New offerings, part II

Vogue have released their part II of new offerings for spring/summer 2013.

Im crushing on 5 of the new patterns ..vogue1348vogue1354vogue8898vogue8904vogue1357

{ All images from Vogue Patterns }

V1348 is a Tom & Linda Platt number – very basic but with the right print could look amazing. Last year I purchased a dress from Zara which was cut exactly like this however the only difference is the back zipper only went up to around the level of the middle back which I personally prefer more – gives the dress some added interest. I see this dress being a stunning LBD, uncomplicated & chic.

V1354 is a grecian style maxi from Anne Klein with stacks of potential. I love the cut of this & I love how inexcusably feminine it is. Prints or plains will work with this dress, short or long but it does look like alot of work all that gathering.  Had this been 4,5 years ago, I would totally have picked this dress for my beach wedding.

V8898 I guess we’ve seen before but for some reason this just looks effortless, both to wear & to make. Casual evening wear or to the office, this pattern is going to sell.

V8904 – funny, when I saw this Marcy Tilton I immediately thought of Mimi G 🙂 This is so her style & I bet it wont be long till we see her in this. Its simple & fun, in a rather sophisticated kinda way…i think. I would love to make it in black too.

V1357 I find this Rachel Comey kinda flirty & fun. The blouse is super cute & I love the centre pleat in the skirt.

So, these are my picks from the new collection. See anything you like ?

Thanks for stopping by & have a good sunday x


knit · sewing

{ KNIT } What next & freebies…

Since I was almost finished on the Kim Hargreaves Sizzle, I naturally started looking at my what my next knitting project could be.

Similar to sewing, there are a million things I would like to knit, but time is evil! While I was perusing the net, I found this really cool website that offers plenty of free knitting/crochet patterns. Overall,I do love that there are so many { FREE } knitting patterns on the web, why spend good money on pattern books when we can spend good money on awesome yarn right?!

Problem is, there are so many lovely patterns to choose from… but I think I may have settled on a shrug this time…you know, the itsy bitsy thingie that keeps your shoulders warm. Not the lacy type, the chunkier more grungy type….watch this space!

On the sewing front – I have muslined up the maxi bodice! The urge to have the Sizzle finished was more important that the maxi, but now that the Sizzle is complete, Im looking forward to getting back on the sewing horse.

Will post pics of the Sizzle soon.

Thanks for stopping by & have a great weekend x

{ related posts }

chit-chat · sewing


Hey Look – My NewLook patterns have just arrived! {YAY}

Purchased them on sale recently, in fact, its the {ONLY} time I ever purchase patterns – on sale I mean.

pattern_haul_newlook{ left to right }

NL6051 which is a great cover-all for hot summer beachy days

NL6003 is a skirt pattern with some lovely frilly variations

NL6100 is the shorts pattern I mentioned I wanted as a NY reso here


{ left to right }

NL6968 is 4 dress variations

NL6148 is some top variations. I particularly like the middle left with the “v” inset which Id like to attempt in a lace or netting & no sleeves – could be lovely

NL6067 is again a dress but I love the “V” tucks to the centre & I have a piece of fabric just waiting to be made up to this.

Last week I was sorting some of my stash & trying to decide what to make next. I know, I still have that V8550 hanging on Poppy – for some reason, Im just not that into it anymore. I know I have to push to get through it but I think I could take my mind off it for a while too – its going slow & I need some more instant gratification.

{ in other news }

I am into the last week with this {ANKLE SHACKLE}. Its been 5 extremely long weeks wearing this cast & Ive never been more ready to shed this bind. The last week I have been able to move around without crutches however I think I overdid things a little & now it feels like the cast has rubbed an area raw so its burning & Ive had to retreat back to the couch! I am in no way fooling myself to think that once the shackle has been removed I will be back to 100% normal. Firstly, drs will need to remove the large pin so I can get movement back & I realise I will need to go for physio & still use the crutch for weeks before returning to any sense of normality. I just want this thing off so I can de-scale & wash my leg & foot. The amount of nastiness going on under the yellow submarine makes the rest of my body quake. {YUK} 🙂

& on that fun note – I bid you a wonderful Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by x


{new vogue offerings…}

as you may already know, the vogue company have released their new patterns for spring 2013. there is quite a bit of discussion going on in the world wide web regarding the new offerings & ive gotta say, im with the lot of you that are ambivalent.

i quite like these & will wait for the sale to purchase :


source : vogue pattern company

and then there are some that i just cannot! at first I hated everything & then a few started to stand out but overall, im getting quite bored with vogue to be honest. i dont find their collections inspiring enough & “split” down the middle in terms of how fashion forward they are. this excludes {MOSTLY} the designers patterns of course. the other thing that niggles me is the quality of fit we see on the envelope images and more so the fabric selections, IMO, is sometimes just wrong.

your thoughts ?



{NY Resos and other things on my list of things to do in 2013…}

I have a long list of things I want to achieve in 2013, not just in my sewing world but in my world. {FULL STOP}. Karen over at Did you make that ?  asked sewers what their NY resos were regarding sewing and there were some interesting results. Visit Karens blog to see exactly what the stats revealed.

My sewing world :

  • I really wanted to get stuck into that dreaded alterations box (which alot of you know) and Ive already achieved this by completing the 1-hr cardi & getting back on the V8550 coat which will hopefully be completed soon-ish. Im having fun with it…i promise.
  • I also need to sort out the sewing space to make it a little more organised so I have already {ORDERED} one of those timber thread holders from the hubster to go on the wall – the bigger the better. Cant wait for a little colour injection.
  • For further organisation, I need a regular peg board to store all the general paraphernalia ie. scissors, tapes etc. Perhaps a shelf or two with mason jars to store the smaller notions and supplies like thimbles, snaps, buttons etc. Im probably going to go with this but take it one step further & make it more {MOI} :


source :

  • There are a few sewing projects I would like to get done this year too ie. V1314 (because it looks so good on everyone thats already reviewed it), V1174 (because it just screams SUMMER), V1027 (because it seems like Im the only person that hasnt made it & I have the perfect fabric waiting), Simplicity 2406 and a few Burdas. I wanted to join the many that seem to be taking the “oath” to make 12 in 12 months but I couldnt commit so I will just make what I can & if it turns out to be 12 in 12 months then I’ll be a happy betty.
  • Purchase these Simplicity/New Look patterns & make them. 6100, 6051 (as a cozzie coverup), 1802, 2305, 2512.
  • Try something new ie. bra or knicker making or sew a costume/bikini for the summer.
  • Make a pressing ham & pressing stick. Im mad about pressing & I will be doing a post on pressing sometime in the future.
  • Focus more on discovering new colours that work for me. I wear alot of black and grey because I really dig those colours but sometimes I need something a little more fresh so this year I am going to try to incorporate more navy instead of black, reds instead of pink as well as greens and yellows into my wardrobe. Seeing them together looks like a primary colour wheel 🙂 Since emerald green is the colour of 2013, it seems rude not to give it a shot ‘eh?.

2013 colour combos

Who knows how many of these I will actually achieve especially since I now have this {AWFUL} ankle thing going on! I hope to make a serious dent in the list as a minimum but wouldnt it be cool if I could tick {ALL} of these off the list by 31st December 2013. Challenge on…

What is your 2013 list of things to achieve looking like and how many of them do you think are realistic? Are you also borderline commitment phobic when it comes to sewing? Id love to hear if you have anything specific on your lists this year.

Thanks for stopping by x