Tag Archives: Sewing

2016 versus 2017

So with 8 months since my last blog post I think we can safely say that 2016 was not the year for upping my blogging quota! 2016 was a fairly productive sewing year however. It was the first time that I started to really build some confidence in my sewing. One thing I need to work on is finishing projects; not my forte! Unlike most, I really like assembling PDFs and cutting out patterns, and as soon as a new pattern catches my eye, I have downloaded it and cut it out. Problem is that it then sits there whilst the next pattern comes along and so on. Another issue I faced this year was changing body dimensions. I went on a diet programme this year and lost 3 stone. As most reading this know, making your own clothes is a fairly slow process and I didn’t want to make anything special that I was then not going to be able to fit.

Now that I feel more confident in my sewing, my plan for 2017 is to build on that and develop my skills further and improve the overall quality of the garments that I am making. I also REALLY need to work on fabric choices. Looking over my makes last year – a lot of the fails were down to poor fabric choices, fabric that looked great in my head but not in the pattern that I had chosen.

All of these fails are down to bad fabric choices:

  • Moneta Dress – Colette Patterns in a lovely (but too heavy!) black bamboo jersey.
  • Geometry Top – Katy & Laney in a green crepe backed satin – seams wouldn’t lie flat and I burnt a hole in one panel.
  • New Look 6217 – in a far too lightweight viscose.
  • Inari Tee Dress – Named Patterns in a jacquard that made me look like an extra from Star Trek.

And just a fail was:

  • Southport Dress  – True Bias – not worn because I should have graded down for the bodice. Still hanging onto it but not sure why.
  • Moneta – a second attempt which was better but still unworn – starting to think this pattern just doesn’t suit me no matter how much I want it to.

Moneta Dress – Colette Patterns

The wins were:

  • Coco – Tilly and the buttons – one for me, one for my mum – LOVE this pattern.
  • Axel Skirt – Megan Neilsen x 2 – made using the aforementioned bamboo so as to not waste it!
  • Hemlock Tee – Grainline Studio x 2
  • Bettine Dress – Tilly and the Buttons – got plenty of wear over summer but sadly too big now.
  • Silk Cami – Sew Over It x 3 – Two made for me, one for my sister -mine are too big but will be making more!
  • Ogden Cami – True Bias – made for my sister and I NEED some for myself.
  • Inari Tee Dress and Tee shirt – I made the inari last year in a grey ponte and it was way too big – I actually ripped it apart and re-made in a smaller size because that is how much I love this pattern/fabric combination! Also made the Tee – now sadly too big but loved it.
  • Ultimate Shift Dress Top – Sew over it – great summer top
  • The Gable Top – Jennifer Lauren
  • Rise & Fall Turtleneck – Named Patterns (one of each) – not a fan of the boxiness of the fall one but love the rise – I see more of these in my future!
  • The Molly Top – Sew Over It
  • Linden sweatshirt x 2 – a staple!

  • Cleo – Tilly and the Buttons in one of the aubergine needlecord kits – I love it but not sure that it really suits me – finding it hard to style but I will persist!

Cleo Dungaree Dress – Tilly and the Buttons

Not a bad list of makes and I know where I need to improve in 2017! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas/New year break, I spent it in Vigo, Spain, with family, relaxing, pottering around, drinking lots of coffee and too much wine – it’s proving seriously hard to get back to reality!


MMM16 Progress

How’s everyone finding Me Made May? I am pleasantly surprised that I am managing it. I don’t have a lot of me makes as yet; mostly just t-shirts but they are fast becoming my go-to garments.

MMM16 Emmeline T

So the tops I tend to rotate are my Emmeline t, Renfrew with Cowl Neck, Tilly & the Buttons Coco x2, Dolores Batwing top and a Hemlock tee.

Me Made Makes
Me Made Makes

The hemlock tee and a new coco t-shirt were made this month to give me a few more options. The hemlock tee is my absolute favourite!! I love it! It’s a free pattern from Grainline and it’s a one size fits all. Whilst some might have to grade up, others grade down or wear it loose fitting, on me its just right. It’s like it was designed for me! I can see more of these in my t-shirt drawers future!

MMM16 also inspired me to finish off a few jobs. My Dolores batwing top was one of the first tops I ever made and it needed the hem re-doing and the neckline top stitching. After avoiding it for ages I finally got it done and it was very satisfying!

Dolores Batwing Top
Dolores Batwing Top

I also rescued an Emmeline t that I had started but the fabric was too drapery and just didn’t work when you got to the sleeves. I managed to eek a Renfrew out of it; not my finest work but it will get wear.

Rescued renfrews
Rescued renfrews

So the first few weeks have been mostly tops and jeans! Clearly plenty of holes in my wardrobe to fill!!

Are you participating? How is it going so far?

Prepping for Me Made May

From my last post we know I have patterns and fabric galore, now I need to make some clothes using those patterns and fabric! If I dive straight into the stash, I’m not going to prioritise or be at all rational, it will just be the prettiest fabric and whichever pattern comes to hand first! Also Me Made May is just around the corner. I planned to join in last year but didn’t manage it as I just didn’t have enough hand made items and no time to make any. I can’t say I am in a better situation this year so hopefully with a bit of planning and sewing, I will get to be able to at least make a reasonable pledge and stick to it! I am aware that its not really what Me Made May is about, but I don’t have a load of me made clothes lying around that I am not wearing!

sewing (2 of 2)

With this in mind I have looked around the closet and had a think about what clothes I need and here they are:

Work Clothes

Definitely the biggest problem area; sadly, like most people, I work more days in a week than I get to stay at home!

  1. I wear lots of stretchy (jersey) skirts, normally in black to keep them smarter, but I seriously need to replace what I have. Tempting to walk into H&M and buy some more for £3 each but trying to stick to my principles here! I have loads of jersey fabric and some elastic in the stash so want to make at least two of these. I have been drafting my own – to some success, but in order to have something for MMM I am going to try the Manhattan Skirt by Anna Ka Couture.
  2. A smart top or two wouldn’t go amiss either I have the Sarah Shirt by By Hand London and the Susie Blouse by Sew Over it. I’m not guaranteeing two shirts though as that might be pushing my luck.
  3. I also have an Inari T Dress in Jersey that with black tights would be pretty smart – bonus is that its partly made – just needs facings, hemming and sleeves.
Weekend/Slightly smarter than average clothes
  1. I had this dress from Zara years ago, black jersey dress, elasticated waist, low v.neck and gathered at the shoulders, it fell apart eventually and I miss it so much! It was casual but could look smarter with the right shoes and cardigan . I have some fabulous bamboo jersey from Ray Stitch and I’m going to finally make a Moneta Dress from Colette  – I’m sure I’m the last person to make this dress! I LOVE this moneta from Cookin’ and Craftin’ – simple in the solid black but looks so chic!
  2. I need to replace my original Tilly and the Buttons Coco, as my old one is worn out and tired looking. I love this top (I usually make the tunic top), its smart but comfy – sooo handy!
Casual Clothes

Last but not least I want to make another Linden sweatshirt with a cowl neck like this one from baste & gather. A simple adjustment but I think it will improve the pattern for me, I always find that the neck on the Linden is too wide for me – I need to learn what adjustment to make to fix this – any help would be welcome!

So that’s the plan – lets see if I can stick to it! How about you – any Me Made May last minute(ish) sewing?

Battling the Stash

I’m back! I think I just have to accept that my blogging is going to be sporadic and patchy at best! Things just pile up and writing a blog falls to the bottom of the list. Not that I don’t enjoy it, when I start writing one its really enjoyable!

Anyway, its a quiet Sunday at home and Pretty Little Liars is on in the background (my new obsession, its awful but addictive; please don’t judge me), which is a perfect time for me to write an update post.

At the start of 2016 (how are we nearly at Easter already?!), I read a couple of blogs about organising (and getting control) of your stash; namely these from Paprika Patterns: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. These cried out to the anally retentive/OCD side of my personality and I never know what fabric I have so I decided to use some of the principles that Lisa describes.

Fabric Swatches

So I downloaded the handy template from Sarai’s blog post here and got to work. So far I have pulled apart my fabric stash and measured the fabric, cut a sample to attach to a tag and wrote the details on a tag and also into a spreadsheet. So far I have 88 bits of fabric, and in writing this I have reminded myself that I have another box of fabric hidden away upstairs.

I also put all my PDF patterns in my spreadsheet (I have yet to do the paper patterns but I don’t have many – I tend to prefer PDFs) and created a list of projects which include the fabric and pattern that I will be using and I can also include how much of that fabric I have used per project. This means that I can track how much I have used in a month vs how much I have bought. I am also tracking the costs and trying to scare myself into not buying more fabric…but I think that Lisa’s method of unsubscribing from all fabric shop mailing lists and blog posts would be much more effective!


I am feeling a little bit more in control of the stash now – time will tell if it slows now my fabric buying! I will report back!

I have been doing some sewing as well! I am most of the way through an Anna dress, just waiting for a zip to turn up in the post. That will be my next blog post – hopefully soon!

Right, I am lost now, need to catch up on who might be A this time.

Until next time!

Sewing weekend extravaganza!!

Once again I disappeared from the face of the planet! But I am back and planning to have a sewing-fest of a weekend!

I have only a couple of weeks before I go on holiday (YIPPEE!!) so I have lots of holiday sewing to do and I also promised my aunty that I would make her a couple of skirts and dresses for summer – have I even started them?? No! Of course not! We will be seeing her when we are on holidays so really should have it all done in two weeks…hmmm…feasible!

I am at my Mum’s this weekend and when I packed up the fabric I would need I may have gone overboard!

Sewing Extravaganza

Yes I’m sure I can use all that up this weekend! The pile is made up of (starting from the bottom) Jersey, Stretch cottons x3, neon cotton, chiffon, cotton lawn, jersey, jaquard,  crepe, cotton, chambray, stretch jersey x3.

I have made a pinterest board with some of the things I plan (read ‘hope’) to make for the summer!!

I haven’t been totally lazy on the sewing front since my last post, I’ve been trying a few t-shirts patterns in an effort to find the best pattern for me. Here are the efforts so far:


From top left clockwise; Grainline Scout T, Emmeline T, Dolores Batwing Top, Renfrew.

I will do a separate post on these tops soon!

What about you? Any summer sewing plans? On tight deadlines?

Sewing Strategies Part 2

Ok I’m back with the remainder of my fabric stash! There isn’t much left I promise….

Let’s get straight back to it!

Sewing Strategies Part II-5ANOTHER Tilly & the Buttons Mathilde top with some sort of very synthetic drapey fabric.

Sewing Strategies Part II-7Wikstein tank in a mustard cotton lawn.

Sewing Strategies Part II-4Polly top by By Hand London in unknown fabric (probably some sort of viscose) with a panther panel!

Sewing Strategies Part II-8Tilly & the Buttons Margot Pyjamas in cotton lawn.

Sewing Strategies Part II-2Another Charlotte Skirt – By Hand London in a black polyester crepe.

Sewing Strategies Part IIThe Jade Skirt by Paprika Patterns in a ponte Roma Jersey.

Then I have a few fabrics that I just have no idea what to use for:Sewing Strategies Part II-2 Another border panel fabric.Sewing Strategies Part II-6 A selection of African wax-esque fabric – a Christmas present from my Aunt in Mozambique.Sewing Strategies Part II-9Fairly stiff cotton covered in cute painted birds.

Any help is welcome. I particularly love the painted birds, so want to make sure I use that on something that will get plenty of wear!

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Me Made May 2015

I have always observed Zoe’s Me Made May challenge with interest. As an outside observer who would love to have enough me made clothes to take part, it served as a massive source of inspiration. All those amazing clothes hand made by real people!

So this year I am diving in in order to give myself some incentive to get sewing on some of my projects. I have made the following pledge:

I, Amy of www.betwixttheknits.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear two me-made items per week for the duration of May 2015.

So that’s only eight items; I already have two wearable tops and one wearable dress. Hopefully I will have made some more items by the time May rolls around.

To learn more about Zoe’s ‘Me Made May’ challenge pop over to her brilliant blog; http://sozowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/me-made-may15-sign-up-here.html.

Wish  me luck!

Sewing strategies Part1

I’m back!! I can’t believe that I last posted in August…more than 7 months?! Its just been so manic around here…new jobs for both of us, house jobs needing to be done, the standard Christmas mayhem (12 people crammed into my parents house) and a 2 week trip to India with my mum…phew!

So I’ve just not had the time to get any sewing done, despite a growing list of projects that I cannot wait to start. I even have a few projects already cut out and ready to go…I just need some more time!

Though I haven’t been sewing, I don’t seem to have let that hold me back on the fabric purchases, so my fabric stash is going a bit wild!! So, in this post I am going to decide upon which fabric to use for which pattern so I have a plan for my sewing.

I have had to split this post into two…thanks to the amount of fabric in my stash!!

Sewing Strategies (8 of 23)By Hand London Anna Dress in a Linen and viscose mix.

Sewing Strategies (7 of 23)By Hand London Flora Dress in Navy Crepe.

Sewing Strategies (20 of 23)By Hand London Kim Dress in a Floral cotton.
(sorry about the blurriness)

Sewing Strategies (16 of 23)By Hand London Georgia Dress (for my sister) in Stretch cotton.

Sewing Strategies (23 of 23) Sewing Strategies (9 of 23) Sewing Strategies (1 of 23)3 x Tilly & the Buttons  Mathilde Patterns – 1 in a floral cotton and 2 in viscose.)(I need some work tops!)

Sewing Strategies (3 of 23) Sewing Strategies (2 of 23)2x Tilly & the Buttons Coco Pattern in ponte
(the stripey ponte is for my sister)

Sewing Strategies (4 of 23) Sewing Strategies (5 of 23) Sewing Strategies (6 of 23)3x Colette Mabels in various knits.
(I also need skirts!)

Sewing Strategies (11 of 23) Sewing Strategies (18 of 23)2x Ultimate Wrap Dress by Sew Over It – in a floral jersey and a black Roma jersey.

The flowery fabric is for a dress version and then I want to hack the black ponte into a wrap top just like this one by the Seamstress from Venus which looks amazing!

Sewing Strategies (22 of 23)Colette Dahlia dress in a checked cotton and linen mix.

Sewing Strategies (10 of 23)Sencha by Colette patterns with this fab Tui fabric for my Mum.

Sewing Strategies (12 of 23)Sewaholic Crescent Skirt – in denim bought in a kit from Sewaholic.

Sewing Strategies (1 of 1)Tilly & the Buttons Mathilde in Japanese double gauze

And now for the pdf patterns – not printed so not the best photos I am afraid!

Sewing Strategies (19 of 23)Charlotte Pattern – By Hand London in a stretch cotton.

Sewing Strategies (17 of 23)Lou Box Top in a super soft cotton lawn (covered in owls!!)

Sewing Strategies (14 of 23)Bronte top in a polka dot Roma jersey

Sewing Strategies (13 of 23)Sinbad & Sailor Dove T in a Japanese double gauze

Ok, that’s enough for one night. I know what you are all thinking…’Stop shopping and start sewing!!’.

Long time coming

Oops! After only a mere three posts I appear to have taken a blogging break! I do have good reason! I am changing jobs so the last month has been pretty damn busy with CV writing, daily phone calls with recruitment agencies (is it just me or do they feel the need to phone everyone everyday and ask the same questions as the day before…’Why is it you are looking for a new job?’!?!), phone interviews, real interviews, then frantic finishing off projects at my previous job before finally finishing there last week! Phew! I feel ready to collapse!

On top of that I have been dog-sitting for my mum…yes we have had this handsome mutt keeping us company for the last three weeks…


He was very good but did insist on two walks a day…it wasn’t really worth arguing with him unless you like being jumped on all evening by a 35kg lump!

Happily I now have two weeks off before I start the new job, during which time I intend to do not much but sewing/knitting projects and DIY. We have been re-decorating the bathroom for what feels like forever, but its slowly taking shape – so close!

I have managed to make a few things since my last blog post here is a quick summary:

SummerBagsWool&theGangSummer Bags as presents for my Aunts – the left one is the Milo bag the right is the zigzag shopper, both from Wool and the Gang. This is my second zigzag shopper – its a great bag but heavy! I do find it a little hard on the hands as it only just fits on my needles! Must get some big circular needles! The Milo bag was a incredibly easy and nice to knit – not a great photo of it but its lovely – the perfect beach bag! This was the only photo I got to take before I handed them over! I need one of each for me!
The Staple Dress from April Rhodes, only the second item of clothing I have ever made! So I was really pleased with this. Nice and easy to make – so few pattern pieces! I got this as part of the perfect pattern parcel – so I have several more patterns to get on with! Since then I have fallen completely in love with Amy’s jersey version – I am dying to completely copy this!

Well that’s all for now! I hope to be posting lots over my two weeks holiday as I should be busy sewing!