Wowzers! Without wishing to get too political/emotional 2016 seems to have universally sucked for so many reasons.

It's been a challenging year personally too. I've travelled as far as Seoul in South Korea, and less impressively to London and Brighton, to support Charlotte through her transition. Worrying about her surgeries and keeping it together during her often gruelling recovery hasn't exactly been a walk in the park. Her latest recovery is ongoing. 

At the same time I've also been getting to grips with a new job (which isn't so new anymore) and to top it all off, we challenged ourselves further by ploughing ahead with some serious house DIY. We transformed one of our spare bedrooms, as well as our own bedroom, which I've yet to blog about.

So despite the temptation to call 2016 a write-off in terms of sewing and blogging, I must remember the above and be kind to myself. So, what have I achieved?

2016 MAKES

I stitched seven makes this year, excluding gifts for kiddies. With the exception of Hayden, they're all hits so I can't really complain...


I may not have fulfilled my own #VintagePledge this year, but you guys have been as prolific as ever! To recognise your efforts Kerry and I have organised nine awesome prizes across six different categories, as part of our End-of-Year competition. Make sure you enter your makes by the end of today (31 December 2016) to be in with a chance of winning!

We also had a whole load of fun during #VPJuly with a wonderful line-up of guest bloggers and yet more prizes during our month-long Instagram challenge


At the risk of not sounding ambitious, I'd like an easy ride in 2017. I feel like I really need a breather after this I need to look after myself better and make time for the small things in life that excite me. These include sewing (of course), hanging out with friends (stitchy pals and others) and travelling /holidaying for fun (not for surgery)!

I'm really looking forward to getting back in the sewing seat with SO many ideas swooshing around my head. To break myself back in gently, and to make a much-needed dent in my fabric stash, I've lined up some simple yet super cute projects... 

As for the #VintagePledge in 2017, I truthfully don't know what the plan is yet. I feel I need to scale it back as it's as time-intensive as it is enjoyable. Trouble is, I've loved seeing it grow over the last three years and your contributions have been SO inspiring! I may keep it simple with just an Instagram challenge in July while I gather my strength for something bigger in 2018. Either way, I'll keep you posted!

How has 2016 treated you? What are your hopes for 2017?

It sure has been a little while, but I'm delighted to be back with good news for #VintagePledge friends!

Despite my rather laissez-faire approach since #VPJuly, you've been busy sewing bees and we'd like to acknowledge your wonderful work with another End-of-Year Competition! First I’ll talk you through the fantastic prizes, categories and our guest judges, then I’ll explain how to enter...


With dresses being the most popular #VintagePledge entry, we're offering up a prize each for two lucky winners. £50 each to spend on anything online at either Sew Over It or Weaver Dee.


T-shirts, blouses, shirts, as well as crop, halter and any other tops you've made will be in with a chance of winning £50 to spend online at Sew Essential.

This category covers all bottoms, including culottes, jumpsuits and playsuits, with the prize being £50 to spend online at Girl Charlee Fabrics.

Outerwear & Accessories
We're recognising the best of your coats, hats, gloves, scarves and all other accessories including toys and homewares, with £50 to spend online at Remnant Kings.

Best Pattern Adaptation
Creativity goes a long way, so if you've refashioned, modernised or hacked your vintage pattern in any way we want to know about it. You could win £30 to spend online at Beyond Measure and a carefully selected fabric kit from Sew Wardrobe.

Finally, we're looking for the extravagant wedding dress, evening gown perhaps, coat, suit, etc! If you impress you could win a £100 fabric hamper from Minerva Crafts and three patterns of your choice from Decades of Style.


Kerry and I are very excited to have Kate and Rachel of The Foldline fame to help us pick this year's worthy winners...thank you SO much ladies!!!


Entering the End-of-Year competition couldn't be easier! Everything already pinned to the dedicated #VintagePledge board is eligible and you just need to pin any new entries you have. If you don't already have permission to pin, then just get in touch with your Pinterest username/email address and I'll give you the relevant rights.

You don’t need a blog to take part and if you don't have a Pinterest account, just email me your picture(s) and I can add them for you.


•    You can enter as many items as you like for each category
•    Please only upload one picture per entry

Closing Date

The competition will close on the 31 December 2016 at midnight GMT. We will announce the winners in January 2017.


Kids clothing fits into the same categories as above, but please comment below or email me if you have any questions about the competition.

Right, I'm off to try and complete my modest #VintagePledge this year...until then, happy sewing and happy pinning!

Do you like surprises? Then you'll love Sew Hayley Jane's subscription boxes

If you don't already know, the idea is delightfully simple: each month you can sign up to receive a themed package of fabrics and haberdashery items handpicked by Hayley herself. What you end up making with your goodies probably depends on what size package you go for, as fabric lengths vary.

There are three options to choose from, which you can set up a regular subscription to or just order when you feel like treating yourself.

£20 Mini Box: 1m of fabric, 3 fat quarters and a selection of haberdashery items

£35 Medium Box: 2.5m of dressmaking fabric, 4 fat quarters and a selection of haberdashery items

£65 Luxury Box: 3.5m of luxury dressmaking fabric, 5 fat quarters, an indie sewing pattern 

What you can see pictured is October's medium box, kindly sent to me by Hayley to review. It was super exciting to receive it in the post and a real pleasure to unwrap its beautifully packaged contents!

This month's Autumn Bliss theme was nailed by Hayley with a wonderfully warm colour palette. As a dressmaker rather than a crafter, I was most excited by the 2.5m of fabric, which is a moody floral cotton blend with a medium weight and nice drape. 

This concept is ideal for the adventurous stitchers among you. The boxes are fun to receive, look lovely and are filled with nice quality products. It would also make a very thoughtful Christmas, Birthday or Valentine's Day gift for a special someone...or for yourself of course!

Adding to the sense of excitement is one of my favourite features of Sew Hayley Jane's website...the rather helpful countdown clock!

Personally though, I don't think I would subscribe to monthly boxes, as I'm not daring enough with my cash. If I'm spending money on sewing supplies, I need to know I'm going to definitely like and use them, as I'm quite particular in my fabric and sewing pattern taste.

One thing that would maybe sway me is if boxes were differentiated between dressmaking and crafting. As lovely as fat quarters are for example, I don't have much use for them, so I'd rather have more dressmaking fabric or an indie sewing pattern instead.

However, if you have a sense of adventure, then I think Sew Hayley Jane's fun offering is perfect for you!

So, I finally put my money where my mouth is by making Charlotte something other than pyjama bottoms! Firstly, can I just extend my condolences to all you tall girls out there? Before I lived with one, I never quite appreciated how limited the RTW tall ranges are and how hard it is to find clothes that are both stylish and affordable. You ethereal creatures deserve so much more! 

Anyway, Charlotte is still working on building a robust wardrobe for herself and like most girls she is discovering her fair share of gaps. One such gap is slightly smarter items that she can wear to work meetings, so she asked if I could make her a skirt. Like me, she's not a huge fan of densely-gathered waistlines, but does like a fuller shape. 

As I don't really do skirts myself, I turned to my plentiful dress patterns and By Hand London's Flora Dress seemed to be just the ticket! The dramatic pleats maintain a streamlined waist adding volume exactly where Charlotte wants it, and drafting a waistband was nice and easy.

This little project was a rude reminder of how little ease By Hand London patterns have. It's a good thing of course, because the sizes really are true to the finished measurements, but it would have helped me had I remembered this. 

As a result the skirt was a little tight at first, so I unpicked the waistband and let the front pleats out a bit. I guess I got overzealous because the skirt ended up just a smidge too loose in the end, but I really couldn't face unpicking it again. The good news is that Charlotte prefers wearing her skirts / dresses belted, so this is still wearable...woohoo!

Even though Charlotte was after a smart skirt, she still wanted it to be cute with a subtle print. She chose a beautifully textured jacquard from Minerva Crafts, which is sadly no longer in stock.

In a moment of pure giddiness following my semi-success I may have offered to make a dress for her birthday in November. I hope I don't live to regret my generosity, because sewing for someone with such different proportions to your own is a real challenge!

Do you do much selfless sewing? I'd say mine is done begrudgingly - it's rewarding, but with precious little time I hate loosing sight of my own priorities.

During what seems like a lifetime ago (January), we visited Seoul in South Korea. Although we were there for medical reasons, I did manage to sneak off for a few hours to the rather epic Dongdaemun fabric and craft market!

I'm not sure words or pictures can do Dongdaemun justice, but I'll give it a go. Picture a sprawling market/mall spanning seven floors and four 'dongs'/sections (A, B, C and D). Just think about that for a minute...let the sheer magnitude sink in!

Ok, have you composed yourself yet? 

This crafty heaven is overspilling with fabrics (literally all kinds) and more haberdashery items/notions than you ever knew existed. Frankly, it's overwhelming...but an absolute must if you're ever visiting Seoul.

I was dumbstruck by it all (the jet-lag didn't help) and ended up wandering around aimlessly for a couple of hours (getting very lost). I finally walked away with the three pieces of delicious rayon pictured at the top of this post, but I was particularly impressed by the gorgeous selection of jersey and knit much choice!

What really struck me is how meticulously tidy all the stalls are, despite their volume of stock. Many of them only hold samples and will place your order with their warehouse for you to collect within an hour or so. Here's a blog on how to buy fabric in Dongdaemun that I found useful, with a handy map and directions to boot.

I'm so glad I took on the advice here and arrived early (9:30am) on a week day, missing the crowds. You can imagine just how uncomfortably cramped the narrow aisles get at peak times!

Check out this blog for more information and pictures. Also, a MASSIVE shout out to Meg The Grand who took time to email me tips and advice based on her experiences in Seoul...I owe you one!

Have you been to Dongdaemun market? What did you make of it?