Alexandria and Jarrah

Happy Spring lovely sewing people! I’m back outside and I have two new makes to share with you … the ‘Named – Alexandria Peg Trousers’ and the ‘Megan Nielsen – Jarrah Sweater’.

Have you ever ordered some fabric online and loved it so much when it arrived that you instantly shelve all other project plans to make something with it as quickly as possible? Well that’s what happened to me with this gorgeous jacquard jersey from Guthrie & Ghani. It is so, so soft and so, so cute (I have a little collection of real life cacti so I already had a soft spot for them).

Straight away I knew which pattern I wanted to make with it – the Jarrah sweater. I’ve made this top before, I’ve even made this version before (with the tie waist) but in a plain pink fabric that made me feel like a freshly washed piglet.

One of these days I will remember to put on some proper shoes in the photos!

This time around I decided to lengthen the body a little bit. I know this is a very weird thing to do when you’re 5’3″ but I remembered that the previous version, once tied, tended to ride up and leave a little space above the top of my pants. If there’s one thing I CAN’T STAND in winter clothes it’s any access for a cold breeze!

I’ve made the funnel neck version too in the past and it’s a lovely pattern, both to sew and wear. It’s quick to come together and there’s nothing very tricky about it. Probably the most difficult bit is getting the curve around the ties to look neat. With this very stretchy jersey it was fine and I’m happy with the overall finish.

I paired the top with a pair of Alexandria pants that I made a week or so ago. I’ve made these before too but only in jersey so I was interested to see how they work in a woven fabric. (it’s one of those patterns where you can use either). The fabric is a sort of linen, I can’t remember where it came from.

Do you get inspired to sew things by people you see on the street, in a magazine, or on TV? I do all the time and it’s usually a pretty mundane look rather than something super stylised like the Pinterest suggestions I get served up. There was a scene in The Morning Show where a character was wearing some casual sort of sweat pants that I instantly wanted to copy. I didn’t bother pausing the TV to study the pattern or anything so these are probably nothing like the version I saw but I like them all the same. Sometimes the spark of the idea is all you need.

I didn’t shorten them as much as I usually would because I wanted to roll up the bottoms. I also tried to emulate a technique from the Closet Case Pietra pants (made three times so far and not blogged once!) where although they are held up by elastic, the front waistband is kept flat and all the gathering is in the back. I know I am not alone in loving the comfort of stretchy waistbands but not wanting to showcase that I’m wearing elasticated trousers (anyone else in the UK have a horror of looking like something out of the ‘Classics Collection’ in M&S?)

Anyway, this outfit is a bit off track for my resolution of sewing more smart and fancy items but as an ‘around the house’ set I feel it is a success. The only thing I’m less than happy with is the back pockets. I can never just do plain pockets as given in a pattern, I always have to mess around and put my ‘creative stamp’ on them. I’m vaguely aware that there are a set of rules regarding pocket size and placement for ultimate ‘flatteration’ and I’m pretty sure I have made the back as unflattering as possible. Probably they are just spaced too far apart … all suggestions welcome!

Until next time …. happy sewing!

Pauline Alice Ninot Jacket

Hello sewing people. and thanks for dropping by. I finally finished it! My Pauline Alice Ninot Jacket and I love it! (Sorry about the miserable grey photos – winter just won’t give up yet here!)

Last year, I didn’t blog much but I was definitely sewing … just not the sort of sewing that’s terribly interesting to show and tell. This year I’m going to get out of the sweatshirt rut and sew some more exciting things.

It wasn’t my goal to have a completely hand-made wardrobe but things are heading that way and it makes me very happy. Moving away from the city two years ago (less access to clothes shops, more space and time to sew) has meant that I’ve been focusing on useful basics. I work from home so I don’t need office appropriate outfits and my social life is far from glamorous so I’ve just been filling my wardrobe with comfy jersey.

Just before the Christmas holidays last year I decided I wanted to get my teeth into a big project. I had a gap in my wardrobe for a fancy winter jacket and really wanted something with a fur (fake of course) collar. I already had the perfect pattern in my stash – the Ninot Jacket (I love Pauline Alice – I want ALL her patterns)

All the fabric and notions came from who have an amazing range. Their shipping to the UK (I think they’re based in Germany) has got loads quicker than it used to be (for this order it was free as it was over a certain amount.)

For the project I ordered:

2m fulled loden

3 matching buttons (I was so happy that I could get these in the same grey fabric)

1/2 m Whorly Faux Fur

1.3m lining fabric

With the matching thread the order came to £59.17 – so not super cheap but surely cheaper than you could buy most winter jackets for in the shops?

I would say that this pattern is intermediate level. There are some high-end techniques involved such as welt pockets and bound button-holes but the instructions are great and there are some tutorials on the Pauline Alice blog which I found really helpful. I didn’t have any major issues sewing this up, the pattern is very well written and comes together nicely.

For info I am 5’3″ so the length is pretty spot on if you’re on the short side.

I sewed view A which includes the collar but doesn’t have the sleeve tabs. The only change I made was to add fur collar and cuffs. I think the most time-consuming part was hand stitching the lining in place.

The whole project took a few weeks but I did it in small chunks of free time. I’m really happy with the result, it’s cosy and warm and I feel very glam when I’m wearing it.

We are currently being battered by storm ‘Dennis’ so I couldn’t take the photos on my usual ‘posing stone’ outside – these are taken on the inside of the Roundhouse and are a bit rubbish due to it’s a grey coat against a grey wall in the grey British February light (or lack thereof!)

Easy Ombre Slouch Hat

Happy New Year 2020! I thought I’d kick things off with a little bit of knitting! (I’m in the middle of a biiiiggggg sewing project which is taking longer than planned that I’ll blog about soon so watch this space!)

This is the ‘easy ombre slouch hat’ and it’s a free pattern that you can find on Ravelry. It’s pretty straightforward and it takes very little wool. It’s knit with round and double pointed needles. The pom-pom is not part of the pattern but who can resist a pom-pom?

I enjoy knitting but I’m very slow with it and I’m really only at the hats and scarves level. However I shrank both my shop-bought hats last autumn by washing them too hotly so I was in need of a bobble hat that didn’t give me a headache after an hour of wearing it.

I found this fab tutorial for making knitting with two colours easier and quicker and it’s really given me the urge to try some Fair Isle patterns. First though, as I have plenty of this wool left over, I’m going to try to make a matching scarf.

I did amend the pattern by making the ribbing twice as deep so I could have a turn-up. No reason really other than it makes it a bit cosier.

In The Folds ‘Collins Top’

Aloha Sewistas! It’s been a while since I posted anything here but I have actually been sewing quite a lot. I’ve got a few new items that I’m really happy with so I’ll try to get them all written about. First on the list is the ‘Collins Top’ from sewing company In The Folds.

This is the first pattern I’ve made of theirs and I really enjoyed putting it together. It’s a bit unusual as top patterns go. None of the pieces are recognisable as ‘sleeve’, ‘front’, ‘back’ etc. when you cut them out. There are just lots of weird looking geometric pieces that fit together in some kind of magical way to make a top! The way the pieces are shaped gives the garment an exaggerated 3d effect when you wear it and although it’s very loose and flowy it doesn’t feel swampy.

I made the first version from this gorgeous cotton poplin from Fabric Godmother. I have a real weakness for any fabric with animals on it – this has a very subtle blue and white stripe and very UN-subtle pink cranes embroidered all over it.

Because the cranes are big and quite widely spread I paid a lot of attention to where they were placed when I cut the fabric – I wanted to keep as many whole birds as I could. Unfortunately I made a mistake with the middle back panel. The pattern gives you the option to either add a fastening in the back or not. If you chose not to add the fastening you cut the back on the fold. (The top is very easy to put on over your head without the opening).

I should have read the directions more closely because if you cut it on the fold you have to account for not needing a seam allowance .. I missed that step so ended up having to sew a seam up the middle and therefore cutting one of my poor cranes in half.

Other than that the whole thing came together very easily once I got to sewing. It’s very important to mark all the notches on this one as it would be very easy to get in a muddle if you don’t. (maybe you don’t need this warning but I can be a bit slapdash when it comes to notches – and I usually regret it later)

I decided to take these photos early in the morning before the forecasted wind and rain which accounts for the dramatic shadows and my scrunched up face in the glare of the morning sun.

It’s a lovely easy-breezy summer top in a light fabric and I was so happy with how it turned out that I decided to make it a second time in something a bit heavier.

Sadly I can’t remember where I bought this burgundy fabric but it’s really gorgeous. I think it’s a linen mix and it’s reversible. I used both sides of the fabric for a two-tone effect. The Collins Top pattern is perfect for using two contrasting fabrics and you can pick and chose which panels you use them on making it completely unique.

You can’t see it very well in the pictures but the front panel has the orange dobbies and the side panels are the darker underside of the fabric. (Also I assure you I have not forgotten to zip up my jeans! These are my Ginger Flares and the fly guard gapes open. I can’t figure out why… they don’t feel too tight. It is either some kind of weird fitting issue or some kind of shoddy sewing issue … suggestions always welcome!)

I really love the high-low hem feature and the way the panels guide the fabric into it’s folds (if that makes sense) I’d really recommend this pattern if you’re put off by how complicated it looks – there are actually no tricky sewing bits. Just follow the instructions carefully and don’t get the bits mixed up and it’s pretty quick and easy!

A blog post is never complete without a weird action shot in my opinion!

Lander and Paola

Hello everybody.  Thanks for stopping by.  Today I have a whole outfit to talk about!

I’m pretty happy with the way this has worked out – I’m not usually very good at planning my sewing, I get distracted by the latest patterns and the newest fabric without much thought as to how they will fit into my wardrobe.  So to be able to wear two handmade garments together is a bit of a triumph.

I made these True Bias Lander pants a few weeks ago and I just love them.

The pattern is easy to put together and the instructions are clear. I didn’t make any alterations other than my usual shortening. I did draft my own back pockets though because I wanted them smaller.  I also had an idea to use the fringed selvedge at the top just for fun and I am very pleased with how it worked out.

I am way behind with this pattern because there are so many fantastic versions already floating around the sewing blogosphere and I can see why.  They are really comfy but stylish and I particularly like the high waisted fit and those deep front pockets.

I got these fab buttons from Amazon – they were really cheap and you get about a hundred all with different printed patterns.

I have sadly failed in my endeavour to be totally organised with my fabric log so I have no idea where this orangey/mustard material came from.  It’s a sort of thick linen, no stretch at all and a rough woven texture. You could probably make a very nice pair of curtains with it.  It’s perfect for trousers and I love this colour.  Wearing any kind of yellow near my face makes me look like a corpse but I really like mustard so yellow trousers is a good compromise.

The fabric for the top I got more recently so I can tell you it’s from Croft Mill and it’s lovely.  Soft and fine with a subtle stripey texture and it comes in several colour ways.  It’s a bit of a pain to sew with because it really rolls up at the edges but it’s very nice to wear.  The Named Paola top is very quick and easy to put together.

The only alteration I made was to add a narrow band to the bottom.  As many sewists have mentioned, the pattern is really short – that didn’t matter too much to me as I’m only 5’3″ anyway but I liked the idea of a band with the stripes going the opposite way so I added one. The arms are a bit long but I like that cosiness so I didn’t shorten them.

When I wear these and look in the mirror I really like the fit but in this photo they look a bit baggy in the back … my fitting skills are very basic so I don’t really know what I would do here – any suggestions are welcome!

I am well aware how ridiculous my bright green Crocs look here but I’m always too lazy to change my shoes when I take photos.

It’s so grey outside at the moment that I decided to try a new posing spot in the garden to catch a little bit of late afternoon sun.  I’m going to include this photo because LOOK AT MY HEAD!!  It took me longer than usual to run to the spot while the timer was going so I think I must have got there just as it went off. HAHAHA!


Megan Nielsen Jarrah Sweatshirt

Happy New Year from the Little Round House.  I’ve been doing quite a bit of sewing over the last few weeks but not much blogging – it’s been pretty cold and damp around these parts so taking photos outside hasn’t seemed very appealing.

In the winter I pretty much live in sweatshirts and so when I saw this pattern come out I immediately wanted it.I’m already a big fan of Megan Nielsen patterns and the Jarrah sweatshirt looked so cosy plus with 4 style options I snapped it up as soon as it was available.This is version A but with the version D funnel neck (turtle neck/polo neck?? … I’m never entirely sure about the naming of this type of neckline)I’m a UK size 8-10 and so I cut the size 2 which fit perfectly. I probably should have shortened the arms by an inch but it feels so comforting to have sleeves that you can pull over your fingers in the winter.As always with this pattern company the instructions were perfect and it went together very quickly and easily.The fabric is from Fabric HQ and they still have some here. It’s gorgeous to wear, really warm and soft and fleecy inside.

I’ll definitely be trying the other versions, I love the look of the tie waist.


Vogue 9312


I loved the idea of this challenge  from The Sewcialists as soon as I saw it.  I’m always running off to buy a pattern because I saw another blogger looking fabulous in it.  There are so many really inspiring sewists out there but one of my favourite sewing blogs is written by Erica Bunker of  She’s gorgeous and elegant and has the kind of va-va-voom style I can only dream of.  Plus she’s obviously a very accomplished seamstress so an ideal #sewstylehero.

A lot of her outfits whilst amazing on her would not really suit my lifestyle but I thought this dress was very cute. It’s Vogue 9312.

Another reason I picked this project as my inspiration was because Erica had very helpfully posted up her FBA instructions.  It’s an adjustment I sometimes need but am not that confident about doing so what better way to learn than to follow someone using the exact same pattern.

I did a quick muslin and sure enough the bodice would have been veeerrrry revealing without  the alteration.  You’d think they would include cup sizes with a dress design like this – those Vogue packet ladies have no boobs to speak of at all!

Other than the fitting adjustments this is super easy to put together – it’s just 4 pieces! One of the greatest things about sewing your own clothes is the little tweaks you make to suit your own personal style.  I have omitted the elastic under the bust which makes the dress a little looser and breezier because I feel more comfortable when my clothes skim rather than hug.

I searched around to see if I could find a black and white geometric print similar to Erica’s. This gorgeous fabric is from Minerva Crafts (it’s still in the sale if you want to pick some up.)  It’s a John Kaldor print jersey.

The ‘V’ neck is quite low and so to avoid bra-flash I tied the ties in a double knot quite tightly. This has the effect of lifting the front of the dress up slightly and means that the cut-out bit is hidden.  I don’t really mind this – there’s enough skin on show here already and I’m pretending the front rise is a design feature!

I think I’m going to count this as my last bit of summer sewing and set my thoughts to some cooler weather garments. This dress will definitely get worn on the warm days, it’s super comfy and I feel good in it.

If you like bloopers here’s my hubby coming back from putting the recycling out and photobombing me.

So thank-you lovely Erica for the inspiration and thank-you to The Sewcialists for the challenge!

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress

I should be planning some Autumn sewing but the heatwave shows no sign of abating so I did this instead.

Let me start by saying I hate this dress and I hate these photos.  I was half tempted not to post about it but in the interests of ‘blog-honesty’ I thought I should .  This is the Xerea dress from Pauline Alice.  and I’ve made it twice before.  I’ve also made her Rosari skirt which I love and have my eye on a couple of other patterns, especially the Sorrel trousers.

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Papercut Anima Shark Pants

Happy weekend lovely people.  Allow me to introduce my Shark pants!

Whilst I really love sewing fancy tops and pretty dresses some of my most successful makes (successful as in I wear them a lot) are what in our house we call ‘scrumfies’ (scruffy comfies). You know, the sort of clothes you wear when you’re not planning on leaving the house (and you hope no-one is going to pop in)?  AKA not-so-secret pyjamas, AKA scrumfs.

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