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Reviewing recent makes

Here are a few of the things I have made over the last few months since I upped the ante on my sewing. I’m pleased with them all in different ways as while they are far from perfect I learned from each experience.

Orange and yellow dress

I made the pattern loosely based on a dress I made a few years ago with my Mum (Simplicity 9446, from her teenage pattern collection!). The main things I learned were that the while I think the fabric colours go well together they don’t match at all in terms of weight. I made some bias tape but I didn’t, err, cut it on the bias, or in a very straight line for that matter, and I really rushed to sew it in, the result being that it looks pretty shoddy.

Orange and brown dress
I’m quite fond of this dress! It was my first attempt at inserting a lining and a zip together. I made the pattern using a basic block I had made up and then drafting a skirt to go with it. The brown fabric was an old pillowcase!

Blue dress with orange zip
Same pattern as above. I didn’t press the seams well enough.

Colette Sorbetto top
I loved making this top! The fabric is a cotton lawn I bought at Gare du midi market one Sunday. I really took my time and tried to pay attention to achieving a clean finish. I made my own bias tape too. I should make this top up in a multitude of colours as it is really nice and simple to wear. Also seems like the perfect pattern to try out some adaptions: a peter pan collar and some capped sleeves, perhaps?

Techniques: Sewing button holes


Here is a quick step by step guide to how I sew buttonholes.

First mark on your fabric* the length of your buttonhole in chalk and make sure you have a buttonhole presser foot.

Step 1:
First you sew down right-hand side of the buttonhole using the 1 function (or equivalent function depending on your machine type, I use a Silver 1008). Make sure that the last stitch you sew is on the left and that the needle is up. I like to go down once, then reverse stitch back over it before sewing downwards once again.

Step 2:
Use the 2/4 function and do an odd number of stitches, so that you finish on the right-hand side.

Step 3:
Now you use the 3 function to go up the left-hand side. The last stitch should be on the right and the needle should be up.

Step 4:
Now use the 2/4 function again to do the top of the buttonhole.

Step 5:
Now I sort of ‘trick’ my machine and use the 1 function to go over the left-hand side two more times to strengthen it like I did for the right-hand side. Make sure you place the needle carefully so you go exactly over the stitches that are already there.

Step 6:
Carefully burst the fabric in the middle of the buttonhole with a seam ripper.

*Always do multiple practice buttonholes on a scrap of fabric first!

Tea is the answer to all sewing quandaries


Hello sewing world….as a longtime sewing blog peruser, I decided it was high time that I too joined in the fun and set up camp in my own little corner of the wonderful online sewing community!

I hope to both log my dressmaking exploits and pattern cutting pursuits, as well as keep track of important tips, tricks and techniques I learn along the way. I’ve presented myself in more detail here.