New Online Fabric Shop and talking hats


Online Fabric Shop

I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time but I’ve been busy opening my own brand new online fabric shop over the summer.

online shop open

I think I mentioned it before that it was in progress but back at the end of July – I took receipt of my first shipment of fabric – a pallet load. I’ve been busy since getting my website up and running – a job that will never be finished, marketing, selling, making stuff with the fabrics and all of that. The boys were also on their very looong summer holidays until last week so its been busy.

buy half metre


Check it out – here is the new arrivals page.

OK, moving on……


Since the boys are back in school I now have most of the day mon – fri to get stuff done and hopefully I’ll have time to spend a few minutes on my old blog. I have a new blog on the website if you want to have a gander. I’ll keep this one going too – it might feel like a bit of an escape from the business end of things. This ones going to be for fun.

When I was sewing as a teenager – the year I did my leaving cert (end of secondary school) I started making hats – floppy hippy types of hats. I think it was a bit of a release from all the stress of studying and the exams, I decided after wearing a different one every week to the pub and Carrick Springs (the hotspot at the time) I would make them to sell at the Fleadh Ceoil. Its an annual Traditional Music Festival. Those were the days when there were few summer jobs (1991) so money was scarce. I made enough money the first year to pay for my weekend of divilment.

I had forgotten about that summer of hats, and of course I don’t have any hanging around or any photos. I even made flat caps for my dad and some of my uncles. What’s reminded me of this is my husband wears flat caps and loves them. But he has a big head. He eventually found a few that fit him but it’s rekindled something in me – I’m going to try to make him a hat – for christmas. I started on my journey this morning by trying a muslin of Waffle Patterns  free cap pattern.


It turned out ok – the smaller size fits me. The husband prefers a slightly different design and I’m going to try and draft it for him.

Well, what do you think of my first attempt?

Ginger and Edith



Ginger 022

Two finished garments to discuss today Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files and Edith Top by Maria Denmark (also a dress pattern). These patterns work well together as a summer outfit (if we ever get some summer appropriate weather here)

First Up Edith:20150528_135211

I’ve made this before – maybe two years ago (I think the pattern is around that long). It comes in a B and C cup option so that is great is you are a C cup – it eliminates the need to do an FBA. I still had to do my other regular adjustment – for broad back and a forward shoulder. I used Nano Iro double gauze fabric and it is so soft and feels great to wear.  I got it from Miss Matatabi during the winter.

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I got a new button hole attachment for my machine and it improves the whole buttonhole making thing tremendously.

It looks like this:

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I got it from an eBay site – I don’t remember which but you can easily find them on there.

I am so excited about it I made a video of how it works. Here is the link to the video – my first YouTube video!!

This is the finished buttonhole:

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Ginger Jeans

There been lots written about these jeans pattern and I have to say I agree with all the good stuff. I’ve made up a few trousers & jeans patterns up over the last few years and this one needed the least amount of messing around with to get to this point. I made up a quick muslin of size 12 in View A – low rise version with a bit of stretch denim I had leftover and had enough to muslin a shorts length version – (that’s gone to the bin – I don’t wear shorts anymore – just not me!).

After fitting the muslin, I added about 2 cm to the body length front and back – usual adjustment for me and fired away. They are super comfortable in this grey stretch cotton sateen. I only had enough fabric to make cropped trousers and unfortunately haven’t been able to wear them yet as it’s still freezing here in Ireland.

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There seems to be a lot of drag lines going on here. If anyone has any comments please feel free to let me know where I might be going wrong. I think they could be tighter in the legs and the waistband definitely need to be reduced as I have to wear a belt with them.

Heres a full length version:


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Overall, I am really happy with this outfit. It’s very easy to wear and I can suck up the weather and throw a cardigan on top and just wear it!!


My photos need a bit of work, I haven’t taken many timer photos of myself lately, but decided to give it a go in my new workshop/ Dress Fabrics HQ. My fabulous sewing space and soon to be online fabric store!!

This is the sewing area:



If you are on Facebook would you please give me a like – I’m trying to promote the shop in the lead up to launching in the summer. Here I am!

May 2015

May is a funny old month in this part of the world – one day you could be out in short sleeves and sandals and the next a woolly jumper and big boots. Well -this year its more of the wooly jumpers and boots!

I’m following Me Made May and posting an occasional pic on IG, it’s lovely to see everyone else’s outfits – I find it very inspiring and start to decide what I really need to make for myself. Check out Zoe’s blog post on Me Made May 2015 to catch up on the crack.

So in other news – I’m working on Ginger Jeans finally – I’ve a pair half made in a khaki sateen – I only had enough for a cropped pair but didn’t want to use my nice grey denim till I tried a proper pair first. I did muslin in some left over denim but I want to wear them for a few days before I decide if any further adjustments are needed. But straight out of the packet – they are a great fitting pattern.

Also made recently is a Granville shirt (Sewaholic Patterns) in lovely Cotton and Steel Frock rayon fabric. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough for full length sleeves  so made them short sleeved.


My best Collar ever!!

My best Collar ever!!

The Jasper dress pattern from Paprika Patterns is also a new TNT pattern for me, I tried it out as a sweatshirt first and then went ahead and made a ponte version of the dress and I love it.



Jasper Dress – no pockets


Jasper Sweatshirt – Love the pockets (Also Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings)






So before I go and make my coffee – I’m just going to let you know of my plans – I’m in the process of setting up an online fabric shop – based in Ireland.  I hope to be up and running over the summer – I’m working on the website and our premises at the moment and I shall be fabric shopping at the end of June – beginning of July. If you want to keep updated – like my facebook page and subscribe for my newsletter on the website –



How is it Spring already!!!

What happened to the first 3 months of this year.?? I have been working is probably what. I have made about 5 things since christmas, a shirt for my husband, 2 archer shirts for me, a knitting bag – Maria Denmark Lady Lotta, and lastly a Paprika Patterns Jasper sweatshirt, which I am currently wearing and needs a wash.


Photos needed for all of these but I have one of the bag:


What’s on my sewing table? – a new pair of Fehr trade PB Jam leggings in black and zebra print. There a half finished Lekala tunic keeping Molly the Dolly warm for a few weeks now.


My sewing plans – I got both the new Sewaholic shirt patterns – Granville and Oakridge. I have printed out the Granville pdf and stuck half of it together. After I finish the tunic and leggings I’m going to muslin the Granville.

I got some lovely Cotton and Steel Frock Rayon a few weeks ago and am hoping to make the Granville with this (the fabric on the bottom).


I’m not making too many plans as I have slowed down on the sewing at the moment, I’ve a lot going on. At the moment every half hour I get to spend in the shed is great though – I find it really relaxing and an escape from all the stress. Thats what its all about!!


Keep on sewing…..

So that was 2014…

Hi Readers!


This is the year end and also the end of my first year of blogging. Thank you to all of you who have stumbled onto my blog and read, commented and liked my posts. It means a lot to me to realise that somebody out there is reading what I have to write about.

Since this is the end of year round up time, I’ll summarise my findings:

What I’ve learned this year –

  • Got better at making and fitting pants – both regular trousers and jeans
  • Made a few muslins of shirts for both myself and the husband – just need to polish up my collars and plackets and make them in some good fabrics.
  • Made lots of active wear – all by Fehr Trade patterns – leggings and tops.
  • In general got better at fitting myself, sewing knits, manipulating patterns to suit my own taste.
  • Spent a shit load on patterns and fabric.
  • Spent very little money on RTW clothing

Plans for next year:

Keep working on all of the above!!


 To catch up on the last few months sewing:

I made a list of garments I wanted to make – my Autumn/ Winter list see below:



I’ve ticked off most of these items – mainly due to the fact I have had very little paid work since Halloween – silver linings! A few have got finished over Christmas since we have been all too sick to eat and in isolation from visitors!! (more silver linings).


I decided, after some welcome interactions in the comments on my last few posts that I needed to make a few shirts and trousers for work. Thanks to GC Couture  who recommended the Burda JJ Blouse. I got this to fit with a few tweaks – my usual broad back adjustment. I made it in a chambray that will be great for summer or under a cardigan.


I also made a shirt from KnipMode magazine, My collar leaves a lot to be desired but Ive found some good tutorials since and think I should be able to improve on my next one. I dont have a photo of the finished blouse but take my word on the collar. Its got princess seams in the front – easy to avoid an FBA ;)



I got the Grainline Archer shirt during the recent Black Friday sale. Its next on my sewing list (the one in my head). Have to muslin it first but hoping to get it all done before the end of the christmas break.


I made pants – I started with the Simplicity Amazing Fit pants pattern and made numerous changes to it incorporating elements of Sewaholic Thurlows and the schedule of sewing of the Jalie Jeans pattern. I made them in the beige stretch cotton and they are a great fit, a bit mumsy looking but will be great for light fieldwork.

I made another pair in navy corduroy but I was a bit short of fabric and cut the legs out in opposite direction, wow – disaster!!!! I’ve learned now never to do this with corduroy!! They will be going in the charity bin.


Now I’m working on another pair of Jalie Jeans in dark blue denim. I hope they turn out as good as the pair I made a few years ago, I don’t know why I’ve only recently started wearing them regularly but I now love them. I will post a proper photo wearing them when I get the chance. ( I have finished them and they are comfortable – still need photo).




Just before Christmas, I got some Scuba fabric from Ebay. I made the Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil Dress with it on christmas day. It was a quick 2 hour dress, I’ve already used this pattern to make a nightie (and another on Boxing day) and a few t shirts. I like the raglan sleeves and the neckline on this dress. The pattern placement worked out well and thats purely by accident, I tried to see if I could line it up somehow but gave up.



Some other items I’ve made since my last post:

Bluegingerdoll Violet dress made in knit fabric from Michael H at the Knit and Stitch show in the RDS, Dublin. I had to take a lot of the fullness out of the skirt as I cut out the bodice first and almost ran out of fabric!!



Burda Cocoon cardigan in a light sweater knit I picked up at the market in Holland:




My biggest disaster this year was this:



Burda coat : If i had made it a straight size 42 and not made any alterations like I did (added 1cm to seams, did full back and full bust adjustments) it probably would have been ok! I showed it to my sister as it was like this on the dressform and her initial reaction was uggh…poxy… looks like  a grannies dressing gown! So maybe its just as well it didnt work out :’/


Right Now:

As in today, its been very cold the last couple of nights and the shed is beyond trying to warm up so I have brought a few lengths of fabric down to the house with patterns and I am in the process of a cutting marathon. I’ll be ready when temperatures climb above sub zero for a sewing session.

I also intend to make a page of photos of all my 2014 makes. I will aim to do this in January.

To Finish up:

Tis a while since I last posted. After the initial flurry of frequent posting I feel I’ve run out of steam. I started the blog in January of this year and recently I’ve been considering giving up. I actually prefer socialising with the Sewing world by twitter and IG. Or maybe its just a case of the winter blues set in- so for now I will keep an open mind and see what pans out…

Hope you’ve had a good Christmas and best wishes to you all for 2015 :))

Autumnal sewing update

Well. Thanks for the suggestions after my last post – I’ve added a few extra projects to my Autumn sewing plans.  Mainly shirts and trousers to wear while attending site visits and meetings and maybe just for wearing ;).

After being at home / working from home for so long I’ve gotten out of the habit of wearing jeans and trousers.  Knit dresses and leggings are my outfit of choice these days.  But after the last six months of regular part time work, I’ve identified a hole on my wardrobe. I put it out there in my last post for advice How to Fix This.  The general consensus was for more trousers and button down woven shirts / blouses.   Probably the two items of clothing I am most afraid of making!!
Anyway the Burda JJ blouse was one of the suggestions so I have muslined it  and think I’ve sorted out the fit.  This pattern is great – just a few cent and it has seam allowances added if thats your thing!
I’ve picked out a chambray for the blouse – which I’ve cut out and started sewing up.
I also have a knipmode shirt pattern I muslined in the Spring that I could also make – I’ve cut it out in some purple shirting I had in the stash.


I started muslining trousers – Simplicity amazing fit 2860, I kind of got carried away over the last few days working on these and I settled on the size 16 – average front and curvy back. I’ve drafted front pockets and back pockets based on the pockets from my Jalie jeans pattern so now I don’t know whether to go ahead and cut it out in some beige cotton I picked up for a few euro in the market in Holland or should I muslin again just to be sure??


In other news I’ve had great success with my first Jenna cardigan by Muse patterns and the buttons and button holes went smoothly not shown here – need better photos.  Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time wrote a great blog post earlier today about her Jenna cardigan. Its really a great basic and has lots of potential with the variations included.


So there you have it, I’m trying to stick to the plan even though it may be evolving a bit.


The Knitting and Stitching Show is coming to Dublin at the end of the month – I’m looking forward to that. I didn’t buy any fabric there last year – but enjoyed the day out and all the inspiration.

Going a bit off track today


Greetings. I’m sitting in a wood pondering the week that has past while the boys and friend build a gruffallo trap.

I had a work related meeting yesterday and as usual had the ‘what the hell am I supposed to wear’ dilemma. See I work for myself,  by myself most of the time either in my home office or out on site which can involve mucky fieldwork clothes or site safety gear and weatherproof clothes at best. So nothing very glamorous is required except when I have a day like yesterday.


Now with the benefit of hindsight jeans and a handknit cardigan or sweater would have done the job.

But i opened the wardrobe and I got out a tweed a line skirt I would have liked to wear with tights,  purple jeans and my – never before worn in public – navy Thurlow pants.

The Thurlows won out in the end with a portrait blouse and cardigan. I would have preferred to wear the skirt but chickened out. Now I’m glad I didn’t as I was freezing by the end of the meeting.



I’m not a fan of shirts of the button up variety on me and find them a drag to sew even though I muslined a princess seamed shirt earlier in the year. I think it’s the thoughts of all those buttonholes.

So what I am asking myself/ thinking out loud is: what do I wear to these sort of meetings?? I don’t think there is any kind of dress code in my line of work as long as I am clean and presentable.  But I would like to have a few outfit choices I can turn to without sifting through the wardrobe at the last minute when I’m trying to get the boys out to school.
I feel self conscious wearing skirts and dresses in this environment even though I have a few appropriate skirts – a line knee length that would work with cardigans and sweaters. I have one pair of trousers – the aforementioned Thurlows and jeans. My dresses are mainly knit casual dresses and probably not quite right for this job.
So should I be brave and wear the skirt? make some more pants? Muster up a few work appropriate dresses in sombre colours?

All suggestions welcome please…..