Are you taking part in House of Pinheiro's #SewPhotoHop on Instagram this month? If not, make sure you do next September as it's heaps of fun with loads of prizes up for grabs.

Anyway, today's 'makes you happy' photo prompt spurred me on to get this post written. A little while ago, my cheeky monkey of a mum went through my sewn makes and sent me a wish-list comprising of things she thought would suit her. She already has my Sewaholic Lonsdale Dress (modelled in the pictures above) and a few others too!

Despite it being a long list (SO cheeky), she knew that I've not been wearing many of them recently and so fancied her chances. Truth be told, nothing makes me happier than seeing my unwanted makes go to a good home...and there's no better home for them than my mum's! 



She was so excited and grateful to receive them, that she volunteered to take photos for my blog. Isn't she literally the cutest?

Being a slightly smaller frame than me, she did have to get a local seamstress to take them in a smidgeon, but it was well worth it I think. She's modelling the Belladone and Vogue 5671 below, with hopefully pictures of the others to come.





What do you do with your unwanted makes? Do you have an eager friend or relative to lovingly take them off your hands?

Over the last couple of years I've definitely taken a bit of a back seat when it comes to pattern testing. It's not due to a lack of goodwill, just a lack of time sadly. But every now and again a pattern crops up which looks too darned cute to pass up and fast to stitch up. That's how I felt about the latest pattern from Cocowawa Crafts, the Chestnut Sweater and Top




As a lover of back detail and snuggly sweaters, this pattern offers the perfect combination of both. I paired it with the snuggest cactus-print French terry from Stoff & Stil and it's like wearing a pyjama top. Hell, it may even look like it, but I really don't care because it's SO comfortable!




As much as I love the sweater version, I tested the top because waistbands can look unflattering on my shape. I really like how the back facings help give a clean finish at the neckline and hem. I'm also a fan of the high-low hem and the cheeky little side splits.

I couldn't resist the bow-closure back, which in hindsight I may need to reinforce. The pattern calls for hardy ribbon, but I used jersey strips because I loved the colour combo with the teal. They won't stand the test of time though, so I may have to replace my bows soon...anyone know where to find teal ribbon please?!?

The pattern pieces came together very nicely and to get this fit I cut a size 4 for the neckline, armholes and sleeves, then a size 5 for the rest.

Aside from some small niggles which Ana has amended, the instructions are detailed and easy to follow. Like most patterns made with knits in mind, you can sew this on a regular sewing machine so it's no biggie if you don't have an overlocker, twin needle and so on.


Having never sewn a Cocowawa Crafts pattern before, my first experience has been very pleasant indeed! What do you think to Chestnut?

I made my first ever Named Kielo Wrap Dress for a wedding in April...and I've never worn it. I convinced myself that I looked hideous in it from the back, when in fact, it's not quite as bad as I first thought. And now it's too cold to wear it. At least I have a 'new' maxi dress in the bag for summer 2018!




To be clear, my issue with the dress is purely personal relating to my body shape and nothing to do with the pattern itself. Kielo is undoubtedly cool and looks effortlessly elegant on everyone I've seen wearing it, but my issue stems from the fact that it hugs/exposes far too much of my muffin top and wide bum than I'm comfortable with. 

For the record, I'm wearing the BIGGEST control pants EVER in these pictures, which has definitely helped to smooth things out a bit.


Let's just take a minute to appreciate my gorgeous floral jersey from Minerva Crafts though! It's sadly sold out, but there are plenty of other flowery pretties to choose from. 

Back to the pattern, it's super speedy to sew up, so a real winner in that respect. If you're a fan of the design, you could quite easily whip up an entire summer wardrobe of Kielos. The only thing I found frustrating was trying to get a neat finish around the armholes. The interesting side seams make the shape at the underarm tricky to finish with binding, so it's definitely not my neatest work ever. If you have any tips/tricks for perfecting this, please do share in the comments below!

In terms of sizing, I cut out a UK size 12 and shortened the bodice by 4cm (it may have even been 8cm, but I can't remember!?!). Next time I think I'll shorten it by another 2cm or more to better align the ties to the narrowest part of my short waist. I'm sure I also shortened the length, but it's been so long my memory's faded. It's fair to say that Named patterns are drafted with tall girls in mind!



Obligatory unwrapped Kielo pictures with bonus faux-flexing. 



To see you through the cooler months, just add the long sleeves which Named have made available as a free download. This can be quite a versatile number too, if you're inclined to explore different ways of tying your, erm, ties.

What do you think to the Kielo?

Instagram tells me that the idea for this dreamy robe came to fruition in February 2016, so how on earth did it take me so long to sew up?!? Better late than never, I guess!

The pattern is Seamwork's Almada, which feels Japanese-inspired to me so I paired with a Kokka double gauze from Miss Matatabi and I love the combination!




It's a satisfyingly simple make, so there's not an awful lot to say about the construction. I really like the way the ties are made, with the seam running down the middle of the underside and with a very neat finish once they are attached to the front of the robe. I decided to go all out and use French seams throughout for a super polished look, which I'm really pleased with.

The neckline is finished with bias binding, which I decided to carry on to the hem as well, because double gauze can be surprisingly bulky. As well as being bulky, double gauze is also a shifty character, so my walking foot played a crucial role!  




I'm delighted with the result, but there are a couple of things I'd do slightly differently next time. First, I would raise the positioning of the ties to better suit my short torso/higher waist. I would also raise the placement of the snap to better cover my modesty - in the pictures I've just crossed the robe over as high as I could and limited my movement...hahaha!

Finally, I'd suggest stay-stitching the neckline before applying bias binding, because I definitely stretched mine out a bit.  


Has Almada stolen your heart? I'd love to see your version, so please do share a link below...