My First “Big” Quilt- Finished!

So a few months back after making a few smaller quilted projects including a sampler quilt sample for our 6 week quilting course, I decided to make my first “Big” quilt. Read about how I started out with this project in my previous blog post here.

At that point I’d pieced all my blocks and was ready to join them with sashing. I opted for wide 3.5 inch sashing to break up the bold blocks. After constructing the quilt top I used spray adhesive to create a “quilt sandwich” with batting and the backing.

After that I had a good think about how I wanted to quilt my quilt. There are So. Many. Options!

Quilting is a really creative art! I researched freehand quilting and other quilting designs and decided that as this was my first big quilt I’d go for simple in the ditch diamond quilting and foot-spaced stitching on the sashing.

I decide after this to go a bit mad and test out some of the embroidery stitches on our workshop machines along the outside border of the quilt. Some I like, some I’m not so keen on. But it does make it really unique!


I finished the quilt with straight cut binding which I hand sewed on whilst watching the Great British Sewing Bee.

 Have you been watching? Who’s your favourite to win? My money’s on Charlotte. I love her style and she’s a great quilter too!

I’ll be working on a few smaller quilting projects for now but I am keen to make another big quilt again soon.



Making Plans…Continued!

Continuing from last week I’m still wading through my stash and planing what to make with my long loved but, I’m ashamed to say, forgotten fabrics … until now!

Picking up at number…

8. Poly- viscose – matt- satiny stuff!


This feels lovely and is really slinky. I originally had it earmarked for a kimono-style jacket but over time I went of the idea thinking it might look a little too boudoir!

With that in mind I may just make myself a little nightie/slip dress by adapting the Tilly and the Buttons Fifi top into a little night dress. I love the little pleats under the bust and I know this fits really well as my Crafty business partner Freya kindly made me a set for Christmas 🙂


9. Soft brushed interlock jerseyIMG_6635

So it’s the length of this piece which makes it tricky. As a top I think it would be too short in the arms for a long sleeve but the weight of the fabric lends it to being a winter weight top – maybe a 3/4 sleeve would work. Not sure on what style though! This one will puzzle me for a while I recon! Any ideas?

10. Quilting weight cotton in navy gingham print with cherries and cream flowersIMG_6631

I have enough of this to make a sweet little sun dress with pleats in the waist. I’m thinking if I make one with built up straps I might get a bit more wear into autumn of it with leggings. This is my design so far. I’m going to have a go at drafting this pattern myself.

photo (2)

11. Printed cotton poplin- with a nice crisp feel – and co-coordinating polyester Indian shawl which could be used as liningIMG_6622

Originally I bought this to make a pair of trousers out of. I got distracted, ended up using some of it for a different project – a cushion or something- and now only have a small piece left. a mini pencil skirt maybe? Or maybe some smart shorts to wear with tights?

I love these high waisted shorts but I’m not sure if I would actually wear them – I might get the pattern and make trousers in black or something and see if I like the fit.


I have wanted to make the Sewaholic Thurlow trousers for a while too so maybe a shorts version in this fabric could work…


11. Shoe fabric – a remnant left over from making one of my absolute favorite makes – a Sewaholic Granville shirtIMG_6616

This quilting weight cotton will be made into a handy draw string shoe bag for transporting pretty ballet pumps to and from work whilst I’m wearing my clunky trainers with orthopedic insoles to save my feet. Since working in a shop, walking 3 miles to and from work and being on my feet a lot more in work I’ve had badass foot pain, leg aches and the like- not glamorous. The doctor said I might be getting bunions- eeesh! So I need to wear ‘sensible shoes’ to work. I usually remember to get changed out of them when I get to work and this little bag of joy will help!

12. Woven brocade from an Indian charity shop – via my friend Helen.IMG_6617

When Jenny bought this wonderful, vibrant brocade fabric into a class one day I cheekily requested that if she had any left could I buy it from her. A couple of weeks later, after she decided not to use it for her project she let me have it. I owe it to her to make it into something AWESOME! The other fabric is a polyester mix woven check which I think would work well as a lining- this fabric is pretty but pretty scratchy too. I’m thinking a high waisted pencil skirt maybe? or a shift dress?

Maybe the simple Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt or their Tulip Skirt. When the fabric is so special a simple shape works best.

Or maybe it could be a a dress. This shape is lovely – ooh – this could be my Christmas Party dress! I love the slightly squared scoop neckline and the little lined cap sleeves. This might deserve a better lining though…maybe the gold satin we have in the shop… got the ideas whirring now!


13. Onto something more practical. Polyester viscose lightweight jersey. This will make a great tiny pocket tee as our lovely volunteer in the shop, Bekki, has made several times now.

14. I have this small piece, a scrap basically of this cotton elastane jersey, which I love. I also have some cotton elastane plain black jersey too. I never make anything with panels, this is crying out for it!IMG_6630

But what pattern/style/shape? This colour/pattern block variation on the Coco by Tilly and the Buttons is interesting. I think I only have enough for a top though. would it work as a top…?


Maybe the Fraser by Sewaholic – when I first saw this I was put off by the Sewaholic sample version in punched pleather and sluby sweat but I really like the version below by Marie from A Stitching Odyssey. Yes I think this could work.

15. MORE pink ponte roma!IMG_6640

I’ve made a fab Chloe dress by Victory Patterns in this vibrant stretch fabric, and a matching cropped jacket, both of which I love. So I want to make something different with this remnant of fabric which came to me after discovering it was unsalable (small flaws which I can cut around).

I really like the Davie dress by Sewaholic – with colour block detail. I also have some grey ponte roma so I might try a pink and grey combo. If not it’ll end up as another TATB Coco!

davie sewaholic dress colour block

And last but not least – trims!

I have these lovely buttons which I picked up in London from Ray Stitch. It was the day I met up with my amazing friends Chloe and Laura and we came up with the name for my business Crafty Sew&So. These little shell buttons printed with black ink have a lot of sentimental value and therefore I can’t bring myself to actually use them on anything! One day I will!


And I have a ton of these buttons…


… which I think are calling out to be put on a winter coat… which means I need to make a winter coat! But that’s another blog post entirely!

Making plans… stash busting!

So after Me Made May (read all about how it went for me here) I decided to have a good sift through my stash and sort out lengths of fabric which I have enough of to be made into something.


Turns out I have some really nice fabric in my stash! I can remember where each and every piece came from. This can be a hindrance sometimes – I remember what i bought it for but may have gone off that idea since but can’t see any other use for it! So I tried to look at each piece in an entirely new light.

I measured and labeled up all my pieces so I know what I have to play with. I also trimmed off any stray weird shaped bits to make my fabric pieces more uniform- I find I am more likely to use them that way- do you? IMG_6636

So here’s what I have:


  1. An African Wax print – unfortunately not enough to make the fabulous peplum dress they made in the final task of last week’s Sewing Bee – but enough to make a skirt – maybe pleated tulip shape. I really like this style by People Tree.

People Tree | Purple Zandra Rhodes Skirt £90:

I might use the contrast fabric for the waistband or a contrasting hem band or make a matching bag

2. A printed Quilting Cotton picked up from The Village Haberdashery when I visited in January. I bought this to make a Colette Laurel after trying on a similar dress in the Lindon Showrooms on my last trip to London.

I still like it for a laurel I think. IMG_6598

I really like this scallop neckline idea from the Colette Blog so I might give that a go.

scallop neck

3. I have nearly a metre left of this cotton poplin left from making PJs, so I’m planning a Tilly and the Buttons Arielle – a short one as I only have a bit of fabric. If I need to I’ll do the facings in contrast fabric. I picked up these metal buttons in an antique shop in Nottingham and I think they will be perfect for this. they’re not too heavy and just the right size.

4. I do looove this border print and should have bought enough to make a dress with, but i didn’t! lesson learnt!


Feel like this will probably suit a gathered waist 50s style skirt best as the hem needs to stay straight to really show off the border print well. I think I keep avoiding this because it’s quite sheer so maybe I’ll line it with light weight white cotton sheeting.

Note to self: add side seam pockets!

5. Liberty silk -ahhhh soooo gorgeous!


I bought this years ago but have been too scarred to use it!!!

This would make a beautiful simple bias cut top I recon but really I’d like it to be a little bit looser than the usual style I make

I love this double layered effect but I don’t think I’ll have enough fabric-I’ll have to save this idea for a different fabric


6.Poly crepe – turquoise with white spots


Tilly has made a lovely Mathilde top and more recently a Bettine dress (which is high on my to-make list) in this exact fabric!


I only have a small piece so maybe this will be a simple tee with pin tucks-taking inspiration from the detail on the TATBMathilde top

7. Fabulous foxes quilting weight cotton by Robert Kaufman


So this hasn’t been in my stash for long, we only got it into the shop a few weeks ago, but as soon as I saw it i grabbed 2m and have been toying with what to make ever since. it’s a pretty bold pattern which calls for a simple shape. i did toy with using this for a skirt but I’d have the age old dilemma of what tops to wear with it. So when I saw the free pattern with this month’s Sew magazine I thought it would be a great match.


I was doubley convinced on seeing GBSB’s Charlotte in a similar dress in the grey colour way on last week’s episode.

fox dress

GBSB’s Charlotte, not in her finest hour, getting a telling off from Esme, but wearing a fabulous fox dress!

One of my lessons from my Me Made May round up was to make more fun day dresses and I think this fits the bill nicely. I’m going to make view C with little sleeves. I might lower the neckline a little too.

There’s a lot more in my stash so I’ll leave it there for now but do come back next week for stash busting- round 2!


Making Plans after Me Made May 16

So originally I had a real downer on Me Made May – seeing it as constraining, just an excuse to show off and, most of all, hard work – but for exactly those reasons, I loved it!

I really enjoyed constructing me-made outfits, delving deep into my handmade wardrobe to dig out old forgotten gems. It also helped me have a good old clear out of some makes that I don’t or shouldn’t wear, like this VERY short full circle skirt!


A very old photo- no way am I getting that much leg out now!

I find it really hard to get rid of clothes I am attached to and have fond memories of wearing – especially me-mades.

By sharing my Me Made May makes I used Instagram a lot more and started to make more connections on there, I really enjoyed seeing what other makers were wearing every day and their new projects coming together too.

Me Made May gave me good overview of what I wear regularly and gave me good reason to  analyse what I wear and what’s missing from my hand made wardrobe.

round up

A little snippet of my Me Made May 16 outfits

The main thing I learn is that I like lots of different styles.

I like fitted clothes rather than looser fits, I like bold patterns but often forget to make plainer clothing so outfit building can be a bit tricky.

During this month I made quite a few items too – By wearing my makes I was inspired to make more.

I finished off my long awaited Tilly and the Buttons Coco top made from some gorgeous sweat fabric I picked up from Guthrie and Ghani back when Freya and I went on a research trip there last June!

I made 2 Agnes by Tilly and the Buttons long sleeve tees – the weather was miserable for most of May and I needed layers! I made this one first and lost the neck band! so I decided rather than cutting out another 1/2 m of fabric I’d just stay stitch then turn under the neckline and twin needle top stitch – It worked really well and I made my 2nd navy blue top in the same way.

I added a little bow to each of them at the neckline to personalise them. One of my New year’s resolutions this year was to use embellishments in my makes more. I really like the little tabs I’ve started putting on some of my makes and must remember to incorporate little details like this into my designs more.

laurel agnes and slipper

I also dug out this simple tee embellished with an upcycled sequin heart motif – I really like this and must do more upcycling and embellishment like this!

So onto the ‘Making’ plans…

These are the things I need more of in my wardrobe:

  1. Skirts- casual skirts and formal skirts
  2. Tops top go with the skirts- something I am terrible about doing is not making matching tops to go with the lovely bottoms I make – like the gorgeous lace pink skirt I made in February but still haven’t made a top to go with!
  3. Agnes tops -in prints and plains – long sleeved for layering and short sleeve too- maybe I’ll try a Sewaholic Renfrew too
  4. Day dresses- I weirdly have very few me-made dresses! That still fit me!
  5. Jeans – I have a pair cut out and waiting for me – i just need to sew them!
  6. A coat – the main thing that let me down from wearing full me-made outfits
  7. Jeggings – I have the self drafted pattern and the fabric- no excuses!
  8. Jumpers for layering – I really like my Coco sweat so maybe more of those, or I also like the Sewaholic Fraser although not really with pleather yoke like the sample on their site! This is a nice version by A Stitching Odyssy

So that’s, well, just about everything! Better get planning!

As I do I will bear in mind the other lessons I learnt:

  1. Add embelishements – tabs, bows, beads, embroidery – Just a little something to make it personal
  2. Make tops to go with skirts
  3. Fit clothes properly then I will actually wear them!
  4. Make layers

All in all it was a good month – even if it has created EVEN MORE ideas and work for me 🙂 TO the stash….