Let me start off by saying how much I love Me Made May - it's inspirational, educational, sociable and Zoe is an absolute genius for coming up with the idea. When I took part for the first time ever last year - musings and links to each week's outfits - I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and even surpassed my little pledge.

So, why am I not taking part this year then? This time round I knew that I wouldn't be happy with just three or four me-made outfits a week. It was a great way to ease me into the challenge, but I feel I should have more to show for over three years of consistent sewing. Yet despite my efforts I actually don't. Why? There are many reasons - including poor fit and bad pattern choice for my shape. And because holding onto me-mades I don't like or wear makes me feel dispassionate about sewing, I've been getting rid of them instead. Just like I would with shop-bought clothes.

Throughout 2012, I gifted a couple of items to my mum and gave a few more bits to charity shops.  And with Me Made May literally just around the corner, I had one more ruthless cull and made a final me-made inventory.


This lot has to go, I just don't wear them...ever!
  • I must be expanding because my beloved Sorbettos are too snug for comfort now.
  • I used way too stiff a fabric for my Burda Sleeveless Blouse.
  • My Applique sweater gets more misshapen with each wash, I wish I'd stay-stitched the neckline.
  • Aubergine Ginger had fitting issues from the start.
  • I still love my self-drafted circle skirt, but damn it it smells of mildew! The fabric smelt from day one and despite washing, airing and various other tricks...it still smells.
  • There's no sugar coating it, Vogue 8728 is still too big and misshapen, but I will be re-cycling the fabric to make some fancy undies. 
  • I don't know what's happened to my Mad Men dress, but it suddenly fits terribly through the shoulders.


These are good to stay, but aren't exactly wardrobe staples...
  • My beautiful Pendrell with a 30s twist is a bit snug too, but I genuinely think the silk cotton has shrunk in the wash. I can't stand to part with it though, so I'm saving it for 'skinny' days!
  • I adore my heirloom Armistice blouse, but I'm saving it for special occasions because my great-grandmother's silk is pretty fragile.
  • The fit of my self-drafted skirt is spot on, but it's a bit figure-hugging for everyday wear.
  • Love my Tilly picnic skirt, but I keep meaning to replace the waistband because it's linen and stretches out easily.
  • Western Ginger is cute, but I may have to shorten it a little to get more wear out of it with tights.
  • My Hazedale was a success in the end, but I can only really wear it weather permitting.
  • Minnie Mouse most definitely can't have her dress back, but I won't exactly be wearing it weekly.


As you can see this doesn't exactly leave me with a month's worth of of me-made items. But what it does leave me with is comfortable, well fitting me-mades that I love to wear: Renfrews (here and here), re-fashioned PendrellAlmaMathildeDixie DIY animal print sweaterMiette skirt, Dixie DIY Ballet Dress30th birthday dress.

Granted, jersey and knit fabrics feature heavily in my staple wardrobe. I want to increase this (more Renfrew's and casual dresses are a must it would seem), but the fabric snob in me also wants to rectify this. So making more pretty blouses and woven dresses is high up on my agenda too.

I hope you don't read this as a negative post, because I'm actually in a really zen place about my sewing at the moment. Sure I wish I could sew faster and more often, but I'm excited to slowly sew the wardrobe of my dreams. Best of all, I feel like finally, in my third year of sewing, I'm getting there.

Are you taking part in Me Made May this year? I hope you're feeling confident and know that I'll be cheering you on from the sideline...hoping to come back stronger myself next year!
** This giveaway is now closed and a winner has been selected **

I can't imagine there are many of you who haven't come across the unique lingerie designs by Ohhh Lulu. I got my fill last year and the year before, and there are still plenty more Ohhh Lulu lovelies on my wishlist!

Did you know that Sarah - the mastermind behind Ohhh Lulu - has now made it possible for you to sew your own fancy undies? Maybe not to her impeccable standards, but wouldn't it be fun to try? Well, your wish has been granted, because Sarah is offering a beautiful PDF pattern to one lucky reader!!! The rules are simple:
  • Feast your eyes on the full Ohhh Lulu pattern collection and leave me a comment (with your email address) telling me what pattern you'd choose if you won.
  • The giveaway closes at midnight (GMT) on Friday 3 May.
  • A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Sunday 5 May.

Now, I don't want to go putting ideas in your head, but personally, I've fallen hard for the five latest Ohhh Lulu patterns. Aren't they just stunning?!?

If you're eager to get your hands on an Ohhh Lulu freebie and you want to hedge your bets, you can also keep an eye on Sarah's blog as she's about to launch week 3 of her '5 Weeks of Give Aways'!

Or, if you just want to treat yourself to some ready-made, romantic lingerie then check out Ohhh Lulu's shop. Go on, you know you're worth it, but do be prepared to spend longer browsing than you thought! Here are just some of my favourites:

Happy Sunday!!!
I don't know how, but soon after Saturday's epic meet-up I mustered the stamina to hotfoot it down to London again this Tuesday. Well, I do know how - tired or not, there was no way I was missing out on the chance to watch the Great British Sewing Bee final with seven sewing celebrities!

Tilly graciously hosted us (yep, we got to see where the magic happens and gets photographed) and as you'd expect it was loads of fun. The bubbly flowed, the nibbles never ended and there was a lot of chatter and laughter. Oh, and we did actually watch the final episode too...congratulations Ann, your experience and skills certainly deserved the recognition!

Janene (ooobop!), Tilly (Tilly and the Buttons) & Rachel (House of Pinheiro)

Zoe (So, Zo...What do you know?), Janene & Tilly

I look up to all of these wonderful women and feel very lucky that I got to enjoy their company on such a relaxed evening. And getting to hear some backstage gossip from Tilly didn't hurt either. The icing on the cake though (pun intended), was a batch of sewing bee cupcakes baked by none other than Rachel - the all round domestic goddess. Aren't they too cute? They tasted delicious too!

We're left with a void in our Tuesday night TV viewing for now, but have you seen that Love Productions have already started recruiting for a second series? Will you be applying?

Sooooo, who's excited for the Great British Sewing Bee final tonight? It's been a short series and by no means perfect, but what a treat settling down to watch a bit of sewing on the telly each week. A novelty really, which I sincerely hope becomes more common place, perhaps with future GBSB series or with other spin-offs.

Back to tonight's final though...who's your money on? Personally, I think all three finalists are awesome for different reasons (in fact all the contestants were) and all are worthy of winning. But, if the aim of the programme was to promote the cool side of sewing and inspire a younger generation to give it a go, then my money's on Lauren. I could be totally wrong of course, but that's the fun of not knowing!

Speaking of Lauren, do you remember the very pretty, peplum blouse she made in Episode 2?

Well, the nice folk at Simplicity / New Look got in touch, wondering if I'd like to make it! I honestly don't care if peplums are 'on trend' right now, because I love them, so I obliged of course. I wish I'd been able to make it up in time for today, so I can cheer Lauren on whilst wearing it, but sadly the pattern arrived late last week. I'll try and get to it soon though!

Whilst we were on the subject of all things sewing, I was also asked if I had any other Simplicity patterns on my wishlist that they could send me. Two immediately sprung to mind, because I've seen the most gorgeous versions of them ever!

Karen has made two breathtaking versions - patterned and plain!

I was sent both sets of sizes for the dress patterns and I donated my spare sets to Saturday's epic swap, so I'm sure they've gone to a good home!

What sewing patterns are on your wishlist at the moment (don't pretend there aren't any)? I can safely say that my list is growing by the week, but my stash is not decreasing at the same speed...
I sound like a broken record, but I'm sure you all know about my skirt fitting issues by now. I've managed to draft one successfully, but I'm still not an avid skirt-wearer. So when Tilly's cute Miette pattern made its debut I was a little reluctant, but I thought a wrap skirt might fit differently. And fit differently it did!

The ties allow you to adjust this skirt to your exact measurements and so I can get away with it sitting a smidgeon lower than non-wrap skirts do. Which makes a big difference to my proportions in my opinion, especially coupled with a cropped number.

I made the pocket version of Miette out of some lovely deep blush upholstery fabric which I found for £1 a metre, making this skirt an absolute bargain! The fabric has a soft, peachy feel a bit like suede...I'm kind of in love with it. Because it's in a solid colour, I thought I'd add a bit more detail to the pockets with a crochet trim. I think it's worked out very sweetly with the cute trim and girly bow!

If you're worried about your modesty with a wrap skirt, you don't have to with Miette. Tilly has designed it with plenty of overlap, so gust of winds won't get the better of you. I cut out a straight Size 3, which is fine as I like a close fit at the waist, but I imagine if I went up a size the overlap would be even bigger and I'd still get a close fit at the waist, due to the adjustable ties.

Finally, a note on the construction. Miette is fairly labelled as a 'beginner' pattern as it doesn't get much easier than this. The part that took me the longest time had nothing to do with sewing - it was turning the darned waist ties back the right way! If you have a bit of experience under your belt, you'll find the simple instructions (with nifty tick boxes!) more than enough to get you through. But if you need a bit of extra guidance, Tilly's online instructions are exceptional. If you're tempted by Miette, do jump in and give it a go - the pattern pieces match up perfectly, it comes together really fast and the end result is adorable.

Two thumbs up for my Miette! Now I need to find (or make) some more fitted cropped tops to pair with it ;o)

Have you made Miette yet? If you need even more reasons to give it a go, check out Tilly's Maker Gallery.
BREAKING NEWS: You can now see the professional photos from the day, organised by Rachel and taken by Digpal Singh 

Friends, I have just limped back home from what can only be described as an epic meet-up, organised by the beautiful and unflappable Rachel (House of Pinheiro). I reckon there must have been at least 40 and maybe even 50 of us, including sewing friends from as far as Australia and America! Fingers crossed for a full name and blog list from Rachel, because there were a lot of new-to-me faces and way too many people to list without leaving someone out. 

Despite the huge scale of the day it was filled with laughter, sincerity, excitement and...wait for it...sunshine! I loved meeting up with old pals, making new pals with those whose blogs I've admired forever and discovering even more talented people. Too much chatting, shopping and eating prevented me from snapping quality photos, but here's a few that highlight the magnitude of it all!

It all kicked off at the breathtaking Victoria and Albert Museum (my first ever visit!), where we enjoyed the glorious sunshine and had professional photos taken by a friend of Rachel's. I'm sure Rachel will be sharing these soon, so do check her blog for updates.

There were so many of us! And this was taken way before everyone had arrived...

Beautiful ladies wearing their beautiful handmade dresses!

I don't know how Rachel did such a great job at herding us all from the V&A to Goldhawk Road. There was a bit of a high noon moment as we waited on opposite sides of the road for everyone to arrive...hehe!

We literally overwhelmed an entire Lebanese restaurant - yes, the food was delicious!

I didn't get any pictures of the swap, which took place in the basement of the restaurant, but it too was epic. I've literally seen nothing like it before...there were overflowing suitcases and wheelie bags and we even got a goodie bag each...more on what mine contained at a later date ;o) 

I managed to 'get rid of' my four lengths of fabric and two sewing patterns, without being tempted to take anything for myself. I did, however, 'treat' myself to the two lovely prints below (and some plain silk cotton for lining purposes which was too boring to photograph) - my hand's in the pictures for a sense of scale.

Finally, I want to say a massive and heartfelt 'Thank you' to Rachel! She was a charming host and did an excellent job at organising such a large-scale event and looking after us all so well. Having organised a meet-up on a much smaller scale last year, I can only imagine how exhausted she must feel right now. I hope you can put your feet up and relax tomorrow Rachel!x  
It's no secret that I've amassed a rather large quantity of stitching paraphernalia over the years. Too much to get through in a lifetime, in fact! So, after a ruthless Spring clean I've identified some items that could do with a new, loving home. Before listing them on eBay, I thought I'd give my dear readers first dibs.

I'm happy to ship anywhere in the world, although I don't think it will be cost-effective to post the books abroad. If you do live outside of the UK, be mindful that my prices are for 2nd class signed for postage within the UK - so I'd have to re-calculate the cost of shipping to you.

If you're interested, just leave a comment with the email address linked to your paypal account and I'll send you an invoice.

The Gentle Art of Knitting: 40 Projects Inspired by Everyday Beauty
Condition: Like new
RRP: £20
My price: £13.70 (£10 for the book, plus £3.70 for 2nd class signed for postage) 

Chic on a Shoestring
Condition: Like new
RRP: £14.99
My price: £9.70 (£6 for the book, plus £3.70 for 2nd class signed for postage) 

One Piece of Fabric
Condition: Like new
RRP: £11.99
My price: £8.70 (£5 for the book, plus £3.70 for 2nd class signed for postage)

SOLD Simplicity 3920 - 1960s pattern
Size 16: Bust 36, Waist 28, Hip 38
Excellent vintage condition - complete, printed and mostly uncut
My price: £8 (£6 for the pattern, plus £2 for 2nd class signed for postage)

SOLD Simplicity 2095 - 1940s pattern
Size 14: Bust 32, Waist 26, Hip 35
Good vintage condition - fragile envelope, complete and robust, printed pattern pieces
My price: £10 (£8 for the pattern, plus £2 for 2nd class signed for postage)

SOLD Simplicity 2087 - 1940s pattern
Size 16: Bust 34, Waist 28, Hip 37
Good vintage condition - fragile envelope, complete and robust, unprinted pieces
My price: £10 (£8 for the pattern, plus £2 for 2nd class signed for postage)

SOLD Simplicity 2926 - 1950s pattern
Size: Bust 34, Waist 28, Hip 37
Good vintage condition - fragile envelope, complete and robust, printed pieces
My price: £10 (£8 for the pattern, plus £2 for 2nd class signed for postage)