All the cool kids seem to be on YouTube, so I decided to give it a go myself...for better or for worse! By way of introduction my first video centres around #TheSeamstressTag, a clever initiative by Holly Dolly which enables sewing vloggers/bloggers to link up with each other. As I'm late to the party I can't think of any new vloggers to tag, but it's open to absolutely anyone...so do play along if you'd like to!

I have a few ideas for regular videos if time allows, but please do let me know if there's anything specific you'd like to see on my channel. And if you like what you see - I'm hoping to become less wooden with time - don't forget to subscribe :o)



This is the Monet Messenger Bag from Simple Way. I took the kit down to Brighton with me in December as a way to stay creative while Charlotte was recovering from surgery in hospital, and completed it over a couple of days. It was the perfect portable project - flat to pack (on the way there at least) and no sewing machine required!




Like the Heart Bag Kit I made in 2015 while Charlotte was recovering from another surgery, this one includes the bag pieces pre-cut and pre-punched too. It also comes with a special needle and thread, as well as an instruction booklet. The instructions are pretty basic, but for a project this ridiculously easy they're fine.



I'm really fond of the scarlet colour and streamlined design, but I think the Monet Messenger could benefit from a couple more features. At just £8 cheaper than the Heart Bag Kit, I'd rather pay a bit more for a magnetic closure and inside pocket. 

The biggest disappointment with my second Simple Way transaction was the delivery. Charlotte paid extra for a speedy service because it was a last minute birthday present for me, yet the kit took ages to arrive. They did refund P&P posts for her though, which was good, but still a tad inconvenient at the time.

Also disappointing was the bizarrely uneven front piece, something I didn't notice until I finished hand-stitching the bag. It caused the front flap to sit askew and really annoyed me that Charlotte had paid good money for a faulty kit. However, after much sulking, it was a very easy fix - I used a ruler to draw a level line across and just cut away the excess (seen below) with a pair of scissors.  




Saying all this, the quality of the leather is really good and hard-wearing if my Heart Bag is anything to go by. I really enjoyed making both bags as they're satisfying projects which you can relax in front of the telly with and then enjoy donning daily.

Despite the hiccups we encountered with the Monet Messenger and the fact that the kits are pretty pricey,  I'd still love to try my hand at some more designs. I'm currently crushing on their satchels, the Cartridge Bag, the Toggle Bag and the Fox Handbag.

Have you tried a Simple Way kit before? What do you think?

Your commitment to #VintagePledge never fails to inspire me, you guys! As we're already a quarter of the way into 2017, I thought I'd share a taster of what you've been busy pinning to the dedicated Pinterest board

I'll be posting quarterly updates on the blog and more regular ones on Instagram, but in the meantime don't forget to sign up to #VintagePledge here. I've shared my plans, what are yours?

Vintage Gal - 1930s crochet jumper and matching hat in mustard


English girl at home - 1930s reproduction pattern paired with velvet


EM Originals - 1940s blouse pattern paired with vintage rayon


Mermaid's Purse - 1950s pattern paired with an autumnal cotton


Allie J - 1960s pattern paired with a lightweight cotton sateen


These Days are Few - 1960s pattern paired with a cotton floral print


Try Curious - 1970s pattern paired with silk

You guys seemed to fall pretty hard for sneaky shots of this make on Instagram, so I hope the full reveal of my Stoff & Stil 23127 top doesn't disappoint!

Before you scroll down any further, a disclaimer: The following photos could not be helped for it was impossible to not pose in such ways that show off the dramatic sleeves reminiscent of 1930s glamour.  




Don't say I didn't warn you about the cheesy photos! Anyway, moving on... 

The dress and top pattern is designed for woven fabrics, but I really fancied pairing it with this delightful french terry that Portia coerced me into buying during our trip to Stoff & Stil's headquarters earlier in the year. With it's textured metallic look and luxuriously slinky feel, it's hard to believe it's actually a snuggly loose-weave knit.



Like all Stoff & Stil patterns, this one's only available in single sizes, so I went by my largest measurement and chose a 14/42. I think I would have struggled with the fit across my hips for the dress version, but the top turned out pretty fine. I just pinched a bit of surplus out from the neckline and side boob area.

I only pieced the back piece due to lack of yardage and I was hoping to omit a closure altogether. However, the neckline's quite high and I didn't want to stretch it out over time, so I added an exposed zip. I love the way it looks, though the centre back of the pattern is curved so it doesn't sit as nicely as it could. That's an easy fix for next time though.



Another thing to note about Stoff & Stil patterns is that they come pre-cut on something that looks and feels like interfacing. While there's no tedious cutting out, don't get your hopes too high though about checking the fit without wasting fabric. Sadly they don't include enough pattern pieces for that (in this case only one back half and sleeve), but I worked around it by tracing another back half onto Swedish tracing paper and sewing the whole lot together (minus one sleeve) before cutting out my fabric.

Patterns also come unprinted with perforated shapes as markings, much like some of the older vintage patterns out there. This wasn't an issue for such a simple design, but could be a little intimidating for more complex ones I guess.

What is really remarkable about Stoff & Still patterns is the very resonable price, this one being under a fiver! They design, print and cut them all in-house (the cutting machine is so cool and clever!) making it more affordable for themselves.

Have you tried a pattern from their range yet? If not, are you tempted?