Friends, it's July and I'm still catching up on blogging last year's makes!

This here is my third version of the lovely Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress, made using a cute confetti-print jersey from Stoff & Stil. Sadly, I think this print is sold out, but they have plenty of other jerseys to choose from.

I shared comprehensive thoughts on the pattern and fit in my post about my first version. You can also see my velvet Aldaia Dress here, which I've since refashioned and still need to blog about.





A short and sweet post for you, but I thought this dress was too pretty not to share.

Have you made this pattern yet? What do you think to it?

Hands up if you're smitten with the new Tilly and the Buttons patterns!

I mean, what's not to love about the Stevie Tunic and Seren Dress? Seren has jumped to the top of my sewing queue (especially after seeing this dreamy version by The Foldline's Rachel) and I was lucky enough to test Stevie, resulting in not one but two gorgeous versions in my wardrobe.



As a tunic, I don't think Stevie would do anything for my shape due to my crazy bust-to-waist and waist-to-hip proportions. But as a top, it's everything I look for. Easy to wear and simple to sew with cute details.

The kimono sleeves means no fiddly easing in and the back yolk lends itself nicely to some  contrasting print and directional fun. Other super sweet details are the turn-up cuffs and a patch pocket, which I omitted on mine for a more streamlined look. As much as I love those details, I find cuffs don't work well with my cardigans and pockets make my bust look even larger.

Incapable of resisting a button, I went for a loop at the back instead of the ties. I love Tilly's trick of using an elasticated hairband!

I cut a size 4 across the neckline and shoulders, grading to a 5 for the rest, and I'm pretty happy with the fit. Be warned that it's a semi-cropped design, so add length before you cut out if necessary. 



As soon as I finished my test version, using fabulous floral rayon from Seoul's Dongdaemun fabric and craft market, I cut out another. This time using some monochrome ikat from my stash. I literally changed nothing and I'm happy to report that Stevie looks great in both drapey and more structured fabrics.







Stevie is definitely going to help plug a massive gap in my wardrobe!

What do you think to the new patterns from Tilly and the Buttons?


Hi friends! It's been a while, but I finally found time to sew something thanks to the lovely Ana of CocoWawa Crafts, who sent me a copy of her latest pattern.

At first, I wasn't sure if Honeycomb (available both as a paper pattern and PDF) was for me. I'm used to more fitted silhouettes and was convinced the relaxed fit wouldn't give me enough waist definition. That's why I fished out this animal-print viscose from my destash pile (bought from Minerva Crafts many moons ago), thinking that if it looked terrible on me at least I won't have wasted fabric I love. 

It turns out I quite like the looser fit and wish I'd gone for a print I'll actually wear. Still, I now have an excuse to make another version or two. If you're a fan of this pattern then you're in luck, as today is the start of the Honeycomb sew-along!



Let's talk details! The bodice has a front button placket with a Mandarin collar and two sleeve variations. You can choose to make a blouse with a gathered peplum or a dress with a midi-length skirt which can easily be adapted. Both versions get their waist shaping from sweet little side ties.

I sized down, making a 4 (UK 12) with no major alterations and I'm pretty happy with the fit...although I did make a couple of small changes.

I added two more buttons to the front placket because there was way too much gaping with just four buttons for a big bust like mine. I should have added an extra one between the top two, but I'm never going to wear it buttoned all the way up, so I got lazy.

My one observation is that the armholes are pretty big, something that would definitely need addressing if you wanted to make a sleeveless version or use a fabric with less drape. Despite the suggested 1cm seam allowance, I sewed my sleeves on at 1.5cm to try and eliminate some of the armhole ease. 

Next time, I'd love to find a way to shorten the back bodice without compromising the matching up of my side seams. Due to my larger bust again, I find that when a front bodice fits, the back bodice comes up a little long. Should I be shortening the bodice pieces and doing an FBA? Any thoughts/advice on this would be much appreciated!



Overall, this is a pretty cute pattern with lots of inspiring versions already out there. In fact, it's so easy and comfortable to wear, that I'd go as far as calling it the woven equivalent of secret pyjamas!



What do you think to Honeycomb? Will you be giving her a go?

Late last year I collaborated with Minerva Crafts on a review of Vogue 9075 for Sewing World magazine. With spring/summer just around the corner (we're even due some sunshine today apparently) I thought I'd share it in full below. I picked out the pattern/fabric myself and both were sent to me for free, but what you're about to read are my honest opinions.




Jumpsuits and tropical prints must have been this summer's ultimate dressmaking dream, right? Well, I got to make mine a reality thanks to Rachel from The Foldline for introducing me to Vogue 9075 and to Minerva Crafts for stocking this wonderful crepe

The pattern lingered in my stash for a good few months before I came across the fabric, but when I did, the attraction was so strong that it pulled me right out of my sewing slump and reignited my sewjo. As an added bonus, this light and floaty crepe takes to pressing very nicely, yet doesn't crease when worn. It's quite robust too, so you don't have to worry about ironing on a lower heat - in fact, I found it behaved better on my setting for cottons. 

As a jumpsuit, view B has pretty much everything I look for in a pattern - short sleeves, a princess seamed bodice, pockets and pleats rather than gathers at the waistline. The neckline could be lower (an easy alteration for anyone who feels the same), but personally I'd rather one that's a smidgeon too high than too low. 

Annoyingly, Vogue 9075 is a split-size pattern meaning you can either choose a range 6-14 or a range 14-16. Overlapping the size 14 makes it easier if you're in between sizes, which is good, but I still much prefer having all sizes in one packet. You never know when generosity might strike for a little selfless sewing!

On the plus side, the sizing was spot on. Going by my measurements I cut out a straight size 14 and without any grading whatsoever, the neckline didn't gape, the shoulders weren't too wide, my full bust was accommodated and the waist fit nicely. Also, choosing the largest size in the range meant no tracing for me...whoop! The only alteration I did have to make was to chop 7cm off the bottom of the pants before hemming, but that's to be expected.



One of my favourite things about this pattern is that the bodice and pants pieces have fold lines for petite people. Being 5ft 3in, I always have to shorten pattern pieces, but having a guideline already there feels like such a luxury and it worked perfectly for the bodice. Word to the wise though: just because you have a petite torso doesn't mean you have a petite crotch! There, I said it. I automatically shortened the crotch using the petite guideline and really wish I hadn't. Any sudden upwards arm movement results in an automatic wedgie...front and back!

Despite being conservative with words, the instructions are pretty clear with detailed diagrams. Where I think there's room for improvement in terms of instructions and construction, is around inserting the pockets. Not only are the diagrams for this step a little confusing, there is no mention of under-stitching the pocket facings, which I did anyway for a cleaner finish. I also think the pocket openings end up a little on the small side, so I will probably rectify this next time. 

To this day, I'm still not sure whether the pants pleats are supposed to be stitched down or hang free like I've left them. The instructions advise you to baste down the length of each pleat, but at no point do they go on to tell you to a) remove the basting stitches and/or b) topstitch in their place. I'm sure either finish looks just as nice, but this oversight is a little perplexing. 

Alarmingly, aside from hemming the sleeves and pants, there is no mention of finishing any seams in the instructions at all. It could be that I've been spoilt by indie patterns going the extra mile to help create insides that are as beautiful as the outsides, but as Vogue 9075 lends itself well to lighter fabrics that tend to fray, I think finishing seams is really important. 


It's definitely something you might want to think about before you get started if you want a longer-lasting jumpsuit. As you can imagine, the construction of the pants is a bit fiddly, so I suggest finishing/overlocking your pants and pocket pieces before you start sewing. 

However, Vogue 9075 does call for a neatly lined bodice, which eliminates the need for irritating facings and encloses the unsightly waistline seams. I used a luxurious silk cotton for mine and it feels heavenly against my skin. Once again though, my experience came in handy when finishing the armholes. Instead of following the instructions which would leave me with unfinished and exposed seams, I overlocked my fashion fabric at the armholes and then handpicked the lining to it for a much cleaner finish. 


Aside from my minor niggles, Vogue 9075 is an excellently drafted pattern and I'm seriously impressed by the fit. I'd say it's 'very easy' for slightly more experienced stitchers, but a well-worth challenge for beginners. 

I'd love to make a wool version for colder weather and a chambray version for next summer. I think it would also be fun to play around with the length going with maxi for maximum elegance and above the knee for a more  playful look. 

All in all, Vogue 9075 is a winning pattern in my book.