Workshop Culottes and Burnside Bib Pattern Mash

I recently discovered a new to me pattern company called Workshop, if you would like to take a look at some of their patterns the link can be found below:


I really liked the look of the Emily Culottes/Pinafore pattern and sent off for it knowing that I already had some suitable fabric in my stash. My first make turned out well and I have vlogged about it here:

At a recent sewing event called #SewBrum in the UK I picked up some more fabric with another pair in mind but this time I wanted to combine them with the Sew House 7 Burnside Bibs.

The trousers on the Workshop pinafore were pretty much spot on with regard to fitting so I really wanted to use these to achieve a more fitted trouser but I wanted the shape and ties of the Burnside Bib pattern. I love the previous Burnsides I made during the summer and have worn them loads but they do have more of a gathered fit around the bottom area which was fine for the light weight chambray that I used but I was worried about too much gathering with a heavier weight fabric hence my reason for the pattern mash.

To make my latest pair I cut out the pattern pieces for the front and back trouser sections using the Workshop pattern. I used the front pocket piece from the Burnside Bibs because I love how deep they are – pockets are a thing that I am definitely missing on the previous Emily culottes, I then used the bib, waist band and back facing from the Burnside pattern and used the Sew House 7 instructions (which are excellent) to put it all together.

The pieces for the bib section were wider than the trousers so I cut away the side sections because this amount is excess and would normally accommodate the gathers in the standard version.

I haven’t really done much pattern mashing before and one thing I didn’t take into consideration was that on the Burnside Bibs the back trouser piece is cut to sit on the waist higher than the front piece which is to accommodate the front waist band so brings the front up level with the back. I didn’t realise this until it came to attaching the waistband and bib and sewing up the side seams and realised that the front and back were at different heights. I got around this by cutting a second back facing piece and in essence using it as a back waistband. This does mean that the waistband sits a little higher than on the regular Burnside Bibs but I think it still looks OK.

If I am completely honest they are also a little tighter than the first pair I made, this is in part due to the different type of fabric (I used corduroy last time which had a little stretch to it) and also due to them sitting higher on my waist. They are still wearable though and I managed a meal out for my sister’s birthday the other evening without them being uncomfortably tight. I also managed a couple of comical photos in the garden, really not sure what was going on when my husband snapped these.

I am glad that I decided to experiment with the 2 patterns though and will be making more, I am really liking the bib look at the moment and am currently looking for a pinafore with a skirt rather than trouser attachment for my next make.

Liberty Fabric Kalle Shirt

I picked up some Liberty fabric earlier in the year from the Rag Market in Birmingham, At £8 per metre I thought it was an excellent buy and loved the print so it was put to one side until I was sure what I wanted to make with it.

The Kalle shirt is a pattern I have made before a couple of times. I sewed the tunic version last year and wrote this post about it:

then I also sewed up the cropped version to go with some dungarees I had made for the Goodwood Revival. In truth the cropped version was too short for my liking and the fabric I chose was a little to stiff to sit nicely under my dungarees so I ended up sending it off to the charity shop.

I decided to change this version slightly to get the look I wanted – I went with the tunic version again because the length in very much the style I like to wear with jeans and trousers but I decided to shorten the back which is designed to hang quite a bit longer than the front. To do this I simply measured the front pattern piece and traced off the back at this length.

The hem can be a little tricky because it does have a deep curve, the pattern suggests using bias tape that can be made from the material. I had some left over bias in my stash so decided to use this. I also hemmed the front and back pieces before sewing up the side seams. This is a technique I copied from the Deer and Doe Melliot Shirt, when I first read this method I was a little unsure about it but I must say it works a treat and makes the curve at the side seams sit really nicely.

I did some pretty amazing pattern matching for the pocket (if I do say so myself) and used a contrasting thread for all the top stitching which matches nicely with the dancers costumes.

Finally I added odd buttons which I sorted out from I big tin of buttons that I had gifted to me by my mother-in-law, I was a little unsure if this would work but asked for opinions over on my YouTube channel and the general consensus was that I should go for it. I am so pleased that I did and think that they add an extra feature to the shirt.

The Kalle shirt is a really nice pattern to sew, the instructions are very well put together and there are extra online tutorials if you get stuck. This is definitely becoming my go to pattern for shirts and I like the fact that you can make them look different with the various options. I have made 3 now and they all look a little different with the length options and the different plackets and collars.

Do you have a go to shirt pattern? I would love to here.

Fabric Shopping in Beautiful Krakow

I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days in the wonderful city of Krakow. It wasn’t a city I knew much about and it definitely wasn’t on my radar in terms of places to visit but there happened to be a notice in our local travel agents advertising a few days for a good price so we decided to book very much on impulse and I am so glad that we did.

It is such a beautiful city surrounded by a park area with fantastic architecture and many places of interest. Being a keen sewer I always have a quick google to look for fabric shops when visiting any new city and it was pretty clear that Krakow had many.

We arrived on a Monday evening so dropped our bags off at our hotel which was in the Kazimierz area (The Old Jewish Quarter), an excellent base because it is fairly central for the other areas that we wanted to visit. We found a delightful restaurant just around the corner which was very reasonably priced (for the 2 of us we spent on average about £20 for an evening meal including drinks) after dinner we took a short stroll and found a very nice bar.

The next day was lovely, considering it was mid-October when we visited the weather was glorious and we spent most of the days walking round in short sleeves although it did drop cooler on the evening. We had decided to head to the Old Town for our first day which was about a 20 minute stroll away. We got delayed slightly because within 2 minutes of the hotel we found our first fabric shop so obviously I had to pop in for a look.


Tkaniny Krakow Dietla 40, 31-000 Kraków, Poland

This was probably the smallest of the shops that I visited but had a good selection with some especially nice jersey fabrics. I did buy 2 metres of the jersey fabric pictured below because I thought it was a little different than anything I have seen back home in the UK. I am not sure of its composition because I speak no Polish and the lady in the shop couldn’t speak English but it feels like a ponte weight fabric and is 2 way stretch, the price was also good at 38 Zloty per metre (£7.63) with the exchange rate at the time of purchase.

On the same side of the river in the area known as Old Town we came across this Fabric shop:

Tkaniny KraKow. Madec Świętego Filipa 7, 31-150 Kraków, Poland

Again they had a good selection of fabric but nothing that really jumped out at me so I resisted temptation. The Old Town is a very popular tourist area with some lovely buildings and a big square where you can find The Cloth Hall, several restaurants and horse and carts lined up ready to take people on a tour or the area.


The following day we headed in the direction towards the river and came to the Love Bridge so called because of all the padlocks attached to the sides. It is also a magnificent sight due to all of the acrobatic sculptures suspended along the centre. On the other side of the bridge is the area known as Podogrze which is home to a lovely park where we spent a couple of relaxing hours sat on a bench watching the squirrels – there’s red squirrels which I haven’t seen since I was a young girl (they have pretty much died out in the UK) and black squirrels which I have never had the pleasure of seeing before.


Krakowska 35, 31-062 Kraków, Poland

We came across the shop below after crossing the bridge, it had a huge selection of fabrics of all types including some lovely coating fabric.

Tkaniny Krakow.Meda Limanowskiego 7, 33-332 Kraków, Poland

The coating fabric cost 35 Zloty per metre (£7.07 per metre) and I had what was left on the roll (2.2 metres) which should be just enough for a jacket. They also had a very good selection of lining fabrics so I selected the perfect match which was 8 Zloty (£1.62) per metre.

The final shop was discovered on the way back to our hotel and was in an area that is currently undergoing a lot of work to lay new tram lines.20191017_153700.jpg


By this time I really couldn’t buy any more fabric – I don’t think I would have been able to fit it in my suitcase but hopefully you can see from the window display that they had a lovely selection.

I really enjoyed my time in Krakow and will definitely return some time soon and next time I think I will leave a little more room for more fabric.



Tilly and the Buttons Indigo

I always get super excited when I hear that Tilly and the Buttons is bringing out a new pattern, I love her patterns. The style is very much me and I am confident that the instructions are always going to be good.

When the Indigo top and tunic was announced I didn’t hesitate to order it and to date I have made two tunic length smocks.

The first dress was made up in a light weight viscose from Pin and Sew with a lovely feather design.

Purple Feathers Viscose

I had read a few reviews that said the smock was fairly loose fitting and although I wanted to maintain some of the looseness I didn’t want it to look over big so decided to downsize from my usual size. I usually cut a 4 in the Tilly patterns and then grade to a 5 at the waist but I decided to go for a straight size 3. This was a mistake and I had to use a very narrow seam around the arm and underarm area, luckily Tilly is very generous with the seam allowance which should be 5/8 inches so I brought it in to 2/8 inches all along the sleeve and underarm and then graded back to the normal seam allowance once I hit the waist and the fit came out pretty well.

For my second dress I used some cheap fabric that I picked up at a recent sewing event – #sewbrum is based in Birmingham, England and is an annual event which has been running for about 5 years I think. This was my second time attending and I had the most amazing day. There were about 300 sewists who decended on Birmingham to spend time around the Rag Market where many a bargain is to be had, Barry’s and The Fancy Silk Store and then onto Guthrie and Ghani for refreshments, a raffle and a final bit of fabric shopping.

The animal print fabric cost me £1 per metre from The Rag Market so although it probably isn’t the best quality I can’t complain and am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I seem to have a bit of an obsession with animal print. I sized up to a 4 this time and used the normal seam allowance, I also decided to add ties this time so that I can bring it in around the waist. I still haven’t got the fit perfect, the area around my underarm always seems to be the problem area and I could still size up slightly there but the fit everywhere else is good so maybe it is another adjustment that is required.

I have added the flouncy sleeves on both of my makes but I have yet to add the frill seam to the waist but plan to do this once I have got the fit just right.

this is definitely one of those patterns that I can see me making over and over. It is the sort of style that I like and can easily be dressed up or down to suit the occasion. I also think it is a style that can be transitioned for all seasons with the addition of boots for autumn/winter and maybe short sleeves for the summer. Oh and it has pockets too😍

Do you have a favourite pattern company that you turn to time and again? I would love to hear.

Sewing a Mans Shirt

Every once in a while I do a little bit of selfless sewing. I don’t have the confidence to make clothing for anyone other than my husband so he is the usual recipient. I have made small gifts such as bags and purses for family before but sewing clothing is a different ball game and I think it would cause me too much stress and take the pleasure that I get from sewing away.

This isn’t the first shirt I have made for my hubby, in fact it is the 3rd long sleeved one I have made to date and I am happy to say I have improved each time.  The main fabric is a lovely quality Lady McElroy  Cotton Lawn from Lamazi Fabrics and I teamed it with a plain blue cotton lawn which matches the blue flowers perfectly.

Lady McElroy – Watercolours Cotton Lawn Dress Fabric

I made his first shirt when I had only been sewing for about 6 months and I had not tried many techniques so have to say I really struggled with the instructions back then. The pattern I used was from ‘The Gentleman’s Wardrobe’ and my original blog can be found here:

At the stage I am at with my sewing now I really don’t understand how I found the instructions so difficult, the first time I sewed this I pretty much abandoned the written instructions and turned to YouTube were I learnt how to use the burrito method – this puzzles me somewhat now because the burrito method isn’t even mentioned in the book, instead it gives a far easier method where you attach the front pieces to the inside yoke and then turn the top placket edge under by the seam allowance and top stitch! guess I learnt to run before I could walk.

One thing I did get wrong on this shirt was attaching the undercollar to the collar – totally my fault and not down to the instructions. For this shirt I had decided to use a plain blue fabric for the inside yoke, inside collar stand piece and the under collar. When I was joining the collar to the collar stand I sewed it with plain colours both facing one way and patterned pieces the other way. When I came to join it to the shirt I realised that this would mean either the blue side of the collar stand would face outwards with the patterned collar on top or the patterned collar stand on the outside would mean that the blue collar would be on the top. This is not how I intended the shirt to look so I had to unpick the whole thing, this was made rather difficult because I had trimmed the seam allowances. With lots of care and some careful stitching along a very narrow seam allowance I managed to put things right.

The rest of the shirt went fairly smoothly, I have finally cracked the flat felled seams, again the first shirt I made these seams weren’t brilliant but this time I think they look pretty neat.

I did have a little trouble with the buttonholes, the first couple went smoothly but then my machine decided to start sticking and sewing repeatedly in one place (I really don’t know why this happened because it wasn’t being obstructed by any seams adding bulk) I got there in the end by having to finish a couple of the buttons with a little hand sewing.

This is definitely one of my proudest makes, I took lots of care over the finishing carefully selecting the buttons which match perfectly with the blue and I took my time with some hand stitching. My husband is delighted with it and will be wearing out next week when we are off to Goodwood to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Testing Rosalee

I recently had the opportunity to pattern test for Experimental Space, I have done a couple of pattern tests for Andrea before and was really excited when she put a call out for her latest pattern – The Rosalee maxi dress.

Rosalee Dress : Sewing Pattern (Paper)

I love maxi dresses but being on the short side purchasing shop bought is pretty difficult so having the opportunity to make my own is a big plus👍

I should mention for transparency that the pattern was provided free of charge. A testing callout was put out on Instagram and I followed the link to apply, during the application a few details are required such as body measurements and sewing ability. These details are needed because it is important to get a variety of sizes and abilities in order to do a thorough test.

Once the testing team was selected a group chat was set up and Andrea gave us the details of fabric requirements so we could start selecting our fabric, next came the pdf files for printing off the pattern so we were all ready to go once the instructions were sent over. It is important to note that the files that we first receive may contain errors, obviously this is all part of the need for testing in order to iron out any errors that may of been overlooked so we were advised to sew up toiles first before cutting into our best fabric.

The dress is a swooshy maxi dress so I wanted some swoohsy fabric. Suggested fabrics are rayon, viscose and crepe or maybe a cotton lawn for an easier sew. I chose this gorgeous peachskin fabric from Sewisfaction that I had already got in my stash. I had originally earmarked this fabric for a jumpsuit but knew when I saw Andrea’s pattern that this would be perfect.

There are some lovely details on the dress – a nice cutout detail on the back, some gathering around the waist, a lovely neckline and the biggest pockets I have ever seen.

The size chart goes from 31″ bust to 43″ bust. I went with my body measurements (35/32/38) so sewed up a Cara for the bust and graded up to an Eve on the waist. The pattern is also drafted for different heights starting at 5ft 3″ and going up to 5ft 7″ I found this really useful and was able to cut the shortest size and save on fabric – the pattern suggests that you will need 3.5 metres of fabric 1.4m wide and I was able to get my dress out of 2.5 metres of fabric which was 1.5m wide by using a contrasting fabric for the facings.

The pattern is described as being for ‘Improvers’ because there are a couple of techniques that newer sewers may be unfamiliar with such as a mini burrito for the facing and attaching an invisible zipper but the instructions are very good and walk you through these processes very well.

I found the instructions for the burrito particularly good, I have used this method before but usually take to YouTube and follow a video to see what I am doing but I was able to follow the written instructions very easily and completed my burrito without any problems, this method gives a really nice finish on the inside.

My toile turned out really nicely too – this fabric was discarded in the corner of my bedroom for nearly 2 years! so it is good to finally turn it into something pretty and wearable.

I have also filmed a vlog over on YouTube that can be found here:

If you fancy a maxi dress too then I would highly recommend this pattern. Anyway that’s it from me and next time I wear this dress I plan to be sitting by the pool on our holiday sipping a cocktail.🍹😎

Vogue Pattern V9169 Tee Shirt


I have a preference for the Indie patterns when it comes to sewing but sometimes a have to turn to the Big 4 if I have a particular make in mind.

I recently picked up 2 contrasting fabrics from Lamazi fabrics and knew that I wanted a pattern that would compliment them both.

Danish Design – True Beauty Wine Cotton Jersey

After a little research I came across Vogue V9169 and thought that style A which is a short sleeve tee shirt would be perfect.

My first gripe with the pattern is the sizing – the pattern can be purchased as either Extra Small to Medium or Large to Extra Large, this would be fine if we all fitted into just one size but in reality this is not likely. For my body measurements (34/32/38) I needed the medium size for my bust and hips but the large size for my waist. I have had this problem before with some dungarees I made using a Simplicity pattern and find it so frustrating having to re-size the pattern pieces for my waist. I am pretty sure it is luck rather than judgement that on both occasions the patterns have worked out.

All that said I am very happy with how the pattern turned out and think it looks really good in my fabric choices. I did sew up a toile first (see below) just to test the size out and did find that I was able to take it in at the waist anyway so maybe I could have got away with just sewing a straight medium size.

The pattern itself is fairly easy to sew up although again I do think that the instructions over complicate things. For my toile I followed the instructions but for my final make I did a couple of things differently which I will mention below:

The instructions leave adding the sleeves until towards the end which means the side seams have already been sewn up and you have to add the completed sleeve. I find it far easier to add the sleeves on the flat before stitching up the side seams and can see no reason for not doing this and it means that you then get a nice side seam all the way down from the edge of the sleeve to the hem.

I also attached the bottom to the top part of the top differently. In the instructions you completely finish the top section with all the top stitching before joining the bottom section and then top stitching again this means there are a lot of rows of stitching unless you are very accurate and can run exactly over your original stitch line (I am not). I turned the top section and basted into place and then gave it a good iron. I then joined the bottom section as per the instructions and then basted the top to the bottom section, gave a good press again and then top stitched with a double needle. I found this worked well for me and looked much better than my first attempt. I should also point out that in my first attempt I stitched the sections together in the wrong place (my mistake). If you look at the photo of the floral top you can see the stitching line is too close to the edge and therefore does not give the lapped affect that is intended.


Overall I am pleased with how things turned out and love the fabric that I have used I still prefer the Indie patterns though and think they will always be my first choice.