Oh boy, the competition is well and truly on apparently! It may only be just over a month since we launched 2016's #VintagePledge, but you guys are off to a cracking start and the proof's on Pinterest. I've picked out some of my favourite makes below and doing so filled me with excitement for what's to come during the rest of the year! 

Kirsten's 1930s-inspired outfit for an Art Deco Weekend is utter perfection in its simplicity.

This slinky slip by Vintage On Tap is so sensuous and feminine!

A lot of planning went into Jane's topper, which perfectly reflects her chic sense of style.

Allie's 1960s coat is a real show-stopper in every sense...that colour, the bow, its contemporary-looking lines!

From one 1970s pattern Liza Mae has created not one, but three, awesome tops.

Are you suitably impressed? I ruddy hope so!

Make sure you check out #VintagePledge and sign up for some fun July activity and end-of-year prizes!

I have the cutest, cheekiest and craziest niece, who recently turned two. She has a ridiculously sweet tooth to boot, so I couldn't resist making her a cupcake-print Louisa Dress. I've said it before, but I really can't get enough of this pattern from Compagnie M.! Even though I've only made the one version multiple times, the other views are super adorable too. 

This time I decided to sew the sleeves in flat, rather than set them in and it was a much more pleasant experience. Setting in teeny tiny sleeves can really test one's patience! Anyway, you can read my thoughts on the pattern from when I first blogged about it.

I used a beautiful denim-look linen from my stash, but I've had it so long I can't remember where it came from...maybe M is for Make. The fun cupcake print was a spontaneous Leicester market buy a couple of years ago. I'm particularly pleased with how the subtle ric-rac pocket trim turned out - this unusual ric-rac (navy with a while lace/crochet effect) was kindly gifted to me yonks ago by the delightful Winnie of Scruffy Badger Time.

And just in case you didn't believe the bit about the sweet tooth, here is the little madam herself, scoffing the remains of a trifle at Christmas!

Pssst! The Louisa Dress pattern is also available in big girl (adult) sizes!!! 

On Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting the Liberty in Fashion exhibition at London's Fashion and Textile Museum. Celebrating the 140th anniversary of Liberty, it charts the company's history and its role in setting key fashion trends over the years. It's a relatively intimate affair and utterly delightful, but if you want to go you need to get your skates on as it finishes at the end of the month!

Not usually a huge fan of the 1920s, I couldn't help being enamoured with the exquisite collection of silk and lace kimonos. I've definitely had kimonos on the mind lately!

1930s designs always excite me and this blouse is no exception. The smocking on the shoulders, the collar and the embroidered cuffs could easily look fussy, but here they look simply elegant.

The feminine dresses from the 1930s and 1940s are also captivating. I spent ages examining each one and discovering new design details every time I went back. The exhibition had a good mix of professionally-made and homemade dresses, lending itself to some fun comparisons. 

I even surprised myself by being quite partial to some of the late 1960s and 1970s dresses. A number of them, dare I say it, look quite wearable!

My only slight qualm was that among the 150 items displayed, I could only find one recognisably 1950s dress. This was particularly disappointing as some of the fashion sketches on show looked really promising.

I still thoroughly recommend a visit, but be set aside the notion of quintessential Liberty prints and be prepared embrace a real range of designs!

P.S. Big thanks to everyone who entered my recent Sew Essential giveaway - the lucky winner is Miss Maddy Sews!!!

I may not have shared a finished project since December, but I hope you'll agree it was worth the wait. My first make of 2016 is pretty special, for two main reasons. The beautiful silk fabric was custom-printed for me by Bags of Love using a stunning photo taken by my talented photographer friend, Ed Melia. If you're interested about the process I went into the detail here.

I needed a simple pattern to let my fabric sing and one that I could squeeze out of a mere metre of fabric too. Although I'm almost two years behind the times, the Afternoon Blouse by Jennifer Lauren Vintage was just the ticket! The pattern has been on my wish-list ever since it was released in 2014, so I'm glad that I finally got to make it up in style.

I love the simple lines, lack of closures and vintage-inspired design details. With no sleeves to set in either, this really does only take an afternoon to sew up! My silk fabric was a dream to work with and feels sublime to the touch, while the perfect button, a shiny/reflective lilac affair, was languishing in my stash. 

Jennifer's instructions and diagrams are crystal clear, which is a huge bonus even for a make as simple as this. The only things I did differently were to under-stitch my facing and to finish off with a roller hem...it's crazy how bulky such slinky fabric can become when folded!

Would you consider custom-printing fabric for a special make? Bags of Love have a really extensive range of fabric options

To mark the end of dreary ole January and the start of my birthday month, we're celebrating the addition of indie lines to the already extensive pattern range at Sew Essential...with a giveaway! You could win a cool £25 to spend on any combination of patterns your heart desires...just imagine how much bang for your buck you could get in their half price McCall's sale!

Before I outline the giveaway details, let me introduce you to the indie pattern lines now stocked by Sew Essential, which you can browse directly: Tilly and the Buttons, Colette, Grainline Studio and Sewaholic. I've highlighted just a few of my personal favourites below, you know, just for fun :o)






If you want to win the £25 to splurge on sewing patterns, there are a few simple rules to follow:
  • Leave a comment below to let me know which patterns stocked by Sew Essential are at the top of your wish-list. Don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you if you're the winner.
  • For extra entries follow Sew Essential on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. Make sure you let me know in your comment if and where you're following them.
  • You have two weeks to enter the giveaway, so leave a comment by midnight GMT on Sunday 14 February 2016.
  • The giveaway is open to readers in any country!

Good luck and happy Monday!