February I’m ready for you- with my 2018 Make Nine

Soooo… many people who know me will know that I don’t make January new years resolutions, I figure it takes pretty much the whole month to get over Christmas and January is a crap month when I usually get a cold (tick) and generally just feel a bit rubbish and battle through! I make February plans instead.

January was pretty much taken over with preparing for the launch of our new pattern range – My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns – at work, and outside of work I spent most of my time under a blanket feeling January-ish.

But February- now that’s whole a different story! February is the start of wedding making! And I am sooo excited to get stuck into it!

I’ve taken a bit of time to think about a make nine which will encourage me to make items I need rather than just want to make.

So here goes from the top left to right:

1. My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns Cosy jersey Tunic and Dress. I’ve already got a dress cut out in this fabric below.

I plan to make lots and lots of variations on this pattern but I need a cosy jumper to get me through the rest of the chilly winter in the Crafty Sew&So Shop so I’ll be making one in super snuggly soft denim marl brushed back sweat next.

Honestly, this is pretty much THE softest sweatshirt fabric I have ever felt, can’t wait to make and wear this! I’ve got some mid blue rib for the cuffs and hem band too. I might do something fancy with the neckline like an add-on shawl collar maybe.

2. So Over It Eve dress

I’ve got 2 m of this poly crepe bought from Walthamstow last August. Not sure if it’s enough for the eve dress but I’ll give it a go. I want to wear this for a wedding in March.

3. This Chaffinch on Navy cotton lawn by lady McElroy is another one from the Crafty Sew&So Shop and it will be a full circle skirt. I realised on review of my wardrobe, that I don’t actually have a full circle skirt! I love them so I don’t know why not! I think I might want to line this in navy poplin to avoid a Marilynn moment!

4. Now onto the juicy stuff! I bought a second hand wedding dress from Loros which I am reworking. It’s pure silk- there must be at least 3 metres of it in the skirt- and it’s at the dry cleaners at the mo. I’ve got 2 whole days off next week so I’ll be finalising the design and starting on alterations of the top half then. I won’t be saying much more about it on here for obvious reasons (not that Matt reads my blogs normally but just in case!) so to follow my progress check out @diyweddingdresssupportgroup on Instagram. It’s a private feed but just request to view and I’ll let you in!

5. My fabulous bridesmaid Chloe has designed a gorgeous print which I will use to make the bridesmaids dresses. The style will be similar to the photos- simple fitted bodice with a pleated skirt and cap sleeves- and maybe the low back detail although that could make fitting more tricky. It’s going to be tricky enough with my bridesmaids in Scotland and London! My sister Libby is in Leicester so she will be the first guinea pig!

6. This is the fabric Matt chose for the waistcoats so I’ll be making 4 waistcoats- one for him, his best man and my dad and his dad. They will have navy lining, covered buttons and back and gold buckles and the back.

Serious face for serious fabric shopping! Haha! I think he’s happy with his choice though! 😂

7. Named clothing Kielo- I literally have everything I need for this – fabric, lining- except the pattern. This will be great for our Indian honeymoon. If it goes well I’ll make a few to take with me. Including one with the sleeves add on.

8. I really want to make a swimsuit this year. We have a coverstitch machine at work now which I need to conquer. Attempts so far have been less than successful with lots of skipped stitches. I found out it might be because I need to use stretch needles not ballpoint ones?!?! And a top quality thread like Metler. Anyone have any other tips?

Anyway I like this style for a swimsuit.

9. This is the first draft of a potential new pattern for the MHW range. Continuing in the theme of making a whole handmade wardrobe of super wearable garments we’ll be adding more wardrobe essentials patterns to the mix over this year. And I’ll be making lots of samples of them all!

Right, best get on with it then!

Happy sewing!

Sarah x


Hello 2018!

Hi guys, just checking in to say a very Happy New Year to you all!

I’ve been a bit absent over here on my blog and my personal vlog over in YouTube of late because I’ve been working on the very exciting “My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns” project.We successfully ran our Kickstarter Campaign and reached our target in time for the deadline at the beginning of December.

Since then we’ve been beavering away completing pattern testing, sampling, photographing, formatting the pattern instructions, arranging printing and sending out the kickstarter rewards. We’re now in the final push towards the launch and we will be celebrating with a lovely launch party on the 20th January at the Crafty Sew&So shop!

Take a look at the My Handmade Wardrobe Patterns blog to find out more and see all the designs!

So a new year always brings new creative plans! My plans for this year include:

– Making my wedding dress! Plus bridesmaids dresses, waistcoats for the boys, miles of bunting and a few other little secret plans!

– Replacing my much loved handmade items which are looking a little tired (handmade every day= actually wearing-out my handmade clothes 😩)

– Making lots and lots more versions of our MHW patterns!

I’m still toying whether to do a make nine – I know will make a lot more than nine garments so not sure if it will be that useful to me but some kind of plan will be needed!

I’m taking part in the 2018 secret valentines challenge #2018sve which I’m really looking forward to.Matt and I don’t tend to celebrate mainly because it’s massively commercial but also because it’s very close to our meeting anniversary on the 6th! We tend to go out for a celebratory burrito (not sure why but it’s a tradition now!) the weekend after.

I love the idea that we are encouraged to use only materials that we currently own. I’m really looking forward to seeing who I get and riffling through my stash to find the perfect fabric!

If you want to get involved in the SVE check it out at http://sanaeishida.com/

o that’s most of the first half of the year planned out! I think things will probably be a little bit quieter and more work-focused in the second half as we hopefully prepare to launch a second range of patterns and plan for another Dressmakers Ball in 2019! So there are lots of exciting plans on the horizon!

Here’s to a happy, healthy and creative 2018!

Happy Sewing! Sarah x

My 2017 Colour Review

I always thought I was a “Pink” person but looking at my wardrobe I have made very few pink items lately. 

I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at what I have made so far this year to see if there was a theme in terms of colours I consistently choose.

I’ll never be decisive enough to have a ‘capsule’wardrobe but I do think to hone in on a few new colours for each season helps keep everything concise and helps with outfit building a lot. 

And my colours for this year so far it seems have been red, ochre and navy, not exclusively, but in the most part!

I made:

Red trousers

Navy bikes print Bettine

And shorts..

A simple tee in red and white stripes

Navy based birds print sun dress

A Denim Bettine

A Yellow, black and white bikes print gathered skirt 

My red satin Dressmakers Ball skirt 

A Denim Cleo Pinny- worn with my favourite Ochre cardi 

A red wool coat

A self- drafted pinny dress in navy and white check with a pop of red and bright blue. 

A navy polkadot Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress with a contrast tomato red pocket- I have worn this to death already!

Navy and white Roxanne blouse worn here with my Ochre Morris Blazer and coordinating man-friend! 

I’ve got my eye on these lovely fabrics from the Crafty Sew&So shop for my next lots of “on-palette” makes:

Mustard ponti Roma 

Navy with tan spots bonded jersey

Red with white blossoms crinkle georgette

But what to make next… 


A mustard Morris blazer

In case you hadn’t noticed I have a bit of a thing about Ochre/mustard/yellow in general at the moment!

Not only am I a big fan of richer shades of yellow in my clothing choices at the mo, Matt and I have decided to go for sunshine yellow shades with deep red, orange and navy for our wedding colour palette too!

I’ll never be decisive enough to have a ‘capsule’wardrobe but I do think to hone in on a few new colours for each season helps keep everything concise and helps with outfit building a lot. And my colours for this year so far have been red, ochre and navy.

So when this beautifully soft mustard loop back terry came into the Crafty Sew&So shop I decided to make the Morris blazer by Grainline studios from it.


It is perfect for an un-lined jacket as it’s super soft on the inside and outside. The pattern isn’t specifically for stretch fabric but it is quite a snug fit in the arms so suits a stable heavier weight knit well. I’d recommend measuring the sleeve pattern and your bicep to compare before cutting this out.

The pattern isn’t specifically for stretch fabric but it is quite a snug fit in the arms so suits a stable heavier weight knit well. I’d recommend measuring the sleeve pattern and your bicep to compare before cutting this out.

I made a size 10 (Us size) and lengthened the sleeves to full length. Other than that I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern

I used a lightweight fusible interfacing on the facing panel and stay tape in the shoulder seam.

I love that this jacket feels as comfy as a cardi but smart and business-like. The colour is fun and goes with so many things in my wardrobe.

I wouldn’t change anything about this make! I want to make myself another one in navy next for winter.

I’ve enjoyed wearing it on many occasions already including my friend’s Birthday BBQ party. I wore it with my lovely Roxanne top which I made in gauzy navy and whit warrior cotton. I must make another one of these too, it’s so cool! 


Bicycle Bettine

I decided I wanted a nice casual spring to summer dress that would go with a lot of the colours they currently have in my wardrobe. I’m really taken by navy and yellow for this spring with the usual sprinkling of red and pink. I chose a Dashwood studios cotton quilting fabric with super cute bikes print on. It’s the second bike printed fabric I’ve picked up this year – a bit mad as I don’t even own a bike and haven’t ridden one in several years but I like the vintage nostalgia of these cute prints!

I previously made the Tilly and the Buttons betting dress in a fluid viscose which draped well and I wanted to try making this pattern in a slightly stiffer cotton fabric for a more casual trans-seasonal look.

I am very happy with the scooped neckline and the overall fit.

I feel if I had used slightly narrower elastic at the waist it might be a bit more comfortable.

I think it goes really well with my Ochre Morris Blazer!


Pretty birds travel maxi dress

I picked up a fab bird print fabric from the fancy silk store in Birmingham a few months back and I’d been looking for the perfect style to use it for ever since. It’s a really unusual lightweight non-crease fabric which needs more exploring…

It looks a bit like a crepe de chine  but on further inspection it turns out to be a very lightweight polyester and elastane mix fabric which has the look of a microfibre with the feel of an activewear or swimsuit fabric – very odd but absolutely perfect for travel dress as it’s super cool, scrunches up to nothing and needs absolutely no ironing! I made it just in time for our recent trip to Dinard in France along with my Pantalon Rouge! When traveling with hand luggage only it’s all about the non-crease, stretch fabrics!

Following in the footsteps of my sewing friend Jess, I decided to (kind of) jump on the bandwagon of the pillowcase dress after seeing her lovely version.

Who doesn’t love a 1 hour dress!

But of course I’m never one for keeping things simple, so rather than creating a channel to thread a draw string through to create the straps as shown in this fab Melly Sews tutorial, I decided to make life more complicated and rouche the front and back with gathering stitches then finished this off with self binding and little ties at the shoulder. It took a bit longer than the tutorial version but I really like the finished effect. 

It’s nice and cool worn loose but I loved it with a sparkly belt for a bit of holiday glamour! 

It was a bit chilly at night in Dinard so I’m glad I had this lime green cropped cardi already which goes really well.

Happy sewing!

Sarah x


Les pantalon rouge

I’m just back from a few days of French Adventures with Matt. We went for a lovely little break to Dinard (don’t worry, nobody else has heard of it either) in Brittany, North France. We bagged a bargain flight for £35 and an air BnB set us back the princely sum of £150 between us for 3 nights leaving a few euros for lots of delicious food and vin rouge! 

Even though it was a short trip I jumped on the excuse to make a few new items of clothing to wear on my hols. 

I picked up a fab bird print fabric in Birmingham a few months back and I’d been looking for a reason to use it ever since. I’ll write a bit more about this in a future post as it’s a really unusual lightweight non-crease fabric which needs more exploring… 

This trip was also a fantastic excuse to finally crack my nemesis- Trousers! 

And what better than a pair of jolly nautical red pantalons for my Vacances sur la mer! 

I have used the Sew Over It ultimate trousers pattern several times now and even after making several fit amendments post cutting out I’ve never been 100% happy with the final fit.

This might also have something to do with the fabrics I choose for my first 2 pairs- the first being a navy star printed stretch cotton which faded terribly and shrunk with each wash- after 3 washes they were grey, bobbly and ankle length – and pair 2 which I made from pink cotton sateen which started the day with some stretch but this disappeared throughout the day meaning by lunch I ended up with slouchy mum-pants and by the evening they looked like jogging bottoms (so I was informed by my wonderfully honest friend Emma!) 
So this time I decided to do this the right way. I used high quality cotton twill with elastane from out shop. It has brilliant stretch return and was a dream to work with. I made up the pattern in a size 14 as before but when I got to the side seams I basted these and tried on the trousers for fit. I then pinched, tucked marked, unpicked, re-pinned and sewed nearly every seam and dart to achieve the perfect fit. 

My fit amends included taking in 2cm at the top of the inside leg seam making the crotch scoop less dramatic and the rise shorter, taking in 5mm at each side seam above the hip to the waist, taking in the waist  darts, shifting the seam below the knee to pull it toward the back of my leg, and adding a waistband. I then did what I hadn’t done before and traced off the pattern and applied the changes to paper. 

I also added extra length but I’m still not sure I added enough. They are just a smudge short still. 

I finished the hems and waistband with hand stitching on the plane of the way over. It kept me out of mischief! I closed the waistband with a trouser hook and bar. 

One thing I didn’t do with this pair was trim anything so the larger previous seam allowances are still all inside making the seam quite bulky so I’ll trim these away and refinish the seams before I wear these again. 

Overall I’m pretty happy with these now. 

I just want to add some more length.  And maybe some pockets. Roll on pair number 4! 

Happy sewing! 

Sarah x


Wedding fair fun at Bawdon Lodge Farm

Yesterday I was at Bawdon Lodge Farm wearing 2 hats! As well as attending as a punter taking the chance to soak up the a wealth of inspiration at this fantastic fair, I was there with my crafty stall letting everyone know about the fab hen parties and events we have to offer at Crafty Sew&So.

I was in the pop up shop area along with a host of lovely makers and wedding suppliers including Florence and Bow, Tickety Boo, Burleighs gin, Polly and me, mi +my and Ruby Lous treat co. 

My neighbours for the day mi+my made very cute mini wooden teepee table centre pieces and shared some top Instagram and wedding tips with me over the day too! I was asked by the lovely owner of Bawdon Lodge Lyn Bailey, to make some bunting to decorate the teepee. I made it using craft foam and I’m really happy with how it turned out – plus it was super easy. I’ll definitely be making some more of this for future events and maybe my wedding. 

We’ve had lots of interest in party packages for ladies looking for something a little different to do for their hen dos and other celebrations. 

Here’s a small selection of some of the projects suitable for parties.
To find out more about our party packages take a look at our parties page HERE

Having recently booked my wedding venue, Waltham on the Wolds village hall, I enjoyed picking up a few ideas and some lovely inspiration from the fair. This simple cutout lettering frame is really lovely and I love these cut out lettering cake toppers by Polly and me. Owner Ali is lovely and (as well as being very kind and letting me borrow her phone charger for the day,) she told me about her calligraphy workshops which I’m really interested in checking out. 

The tables in the main teepee were styled by Tara from Tickety Boo events. I love all the green foliage on this dressed table which sits really well on the pine slatted trestle tables. 

She used a marbled paper table runner, an effective way to display the wedding breakfast menu. 

These gorgeous blooms in the bar area confirmed our colour palette of orange and yellow in my mind

I also enjoyed some very yummy tasters from Thomas the Caterer and look forward to finding out more about what they have to offer. 

All in all it was a great day talking to lovely people and spreading the Crafty vibes a little bit further to a brand new weddingy audience whailst soaking up a bit of inspiration myself too! 

Happy Sewing! 

Sarah x


Two new Vlogs up on YouTube

Hi guys! I’ve just popped 2 new Vlogs up on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOhQ5DS8VtSZiSa0-1ooSDw

The first is a little insight into why I’ve decided to start Vlogging…

… And the second is a roundup of my makes this year so far and my making plans from March onwards including some of my #Make9 plans

I’ve got some pretty hefty projects on the go including a Kellie coat by Closet Case patterns, a pretty Indian style quilt and a few stash busters too!

Hope you enjoy!

Sarah x


I made a vlog! 

I decided it was about time I had a go at vlogging. My first vlog is a (slightly shaky and poorly edited) guided tour around my craft room ably assisted by Ollie of course!

It’s a bit chocker at the moment! I could really do with some advice about how to get more organised and get more out of my craft time so all hints and tips very welcome! Take a look at the first vlog on my new YouTube channel…


Happy sewing! 

Sarah x