Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Autumn Hollyburn

As soon as I saw this autumn fabric made up into culottes in the window of my local fabric shop, More Sewing, I knew I was going to have to make another Hollyburn skirt!  I decided on a midi length, so lengthened the the skirt by 4 inches.  It went together really easily again, straight out of the envelope.  I love it, it’s so swishy!  (Sorry about the photos, the light is so bad at the moment and as you can see I was using my phone)


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Baby quilt no. 6!

DSC_7923I’ve made quilts for our nephew’s and niece’s babies for their first Christmas.  I’ve just finished no 6!  This one is for my niece’s little boy.  I chose 2 brightly coloured  charm packs from www.craftsandquilts.net at Sandown Quilt Show back in June.  I decided to join them in groups of 4, and spent some time arranging them and rearranging them on the floor before sewing.  I bought the red for sashing and the monkey print for the back from More Sewing, my local fabric store.  I found the lovely stripe fabric for the binding at More Sewing too.  I’m really pleased with the final quilt, it looks very colourful which was the look I was after.



Friday, 23 October 2015

2/3rds of the way through–no longer a lurker!


No longer a lurker on people’s blogs, I have come out of the closet and am commenting left, right and centre!  I am 2/3rds of the way through my 300 blog comments in 30 days.  I’ve just written my 200th comment!  Here are some of my thoughts so far:


I have left lurkdom behind!  In the past, I did not comment on many blogs that I visited.  I hardly ever commented on sewing blogs, especially the more well known ones.  I guess I didn’t feel confident to comment, not worthy of their greatness in the online sewing community, and anyway they already got loads of comments!  Since I plucked up the courage to comment (and subscribe to their comments), some of them have commented on my comment, ie communicated with me! Not only that but lots of people I’ve left comments for have been back to visit me!  It’s a two-way communication, and that makes me very happy.  No more lurking for me!

I’ve found lots of new-to-me blogs that I will go back to have a longer look. I’ve mostly found them through blogs I know, for example, Julia’s Stamping Ground WOYWW.  I took part in an online blogging course some years ago, and have followed a few of fellow participants through the years.  Now I have connected with the others in that little community. 

Through Sandie’s blog I have found 30 days of blogging challenge. I have signed up for the 30 daily emails.  I can see that it is aimed at businesses, but am hopeful that I can use some of the ideas for my photo blog, as well as my Etsy business SewLindyLou.  That will be November’s challenge!

I have realised what I like in a blog post.  Not too long (some of the sewing blog posts are really long when they write about a particular pattern and how they made it up.)  I really like crafting blogs.  I’ve looked at some gardening blogs, but I don’t find them as compelling as paper crafting or sewing. I also like to get to know the blogger, so a few personal details and what they’ve been doing is great.  I particularly love the memes like ‘Pairs’ on Helena’s blog and Me on a Monday on Sian’s blog.  Watch out!  I’ll be joining in next month!

There is some fabulous inspiration out there!  I have noted some dressmaking patterns and fabrics that I would like.  There are some great sites with sketches and inspiration for my scrapbooking.  I have discovered some wonderful art journallers (through WOYWW) and really want to try it out for myself.  I am thinking of including it in my goals for next year, and maybe do an online course.

Now for the negatives:

Boy, does this take up a lot of time on the computer!!!  I have followed my usual blogs a lot of the time rather than always finding new blogs, as this has saved me time.  When I visit a new blog, I like to take some time to look around and read a few blog posts.  Sometimes I haven’t commented, for example, if the blogger hasn’t blogged for a while.  300 blogs in 30 days is 10 blogs per day, and there have been many days when I haven’t commented at all, especially at the weekend.

This means that I have been feeling behind all the time!  Even now, it’s the 22nd and I have only made 209 comments.  So even today I am 11 behind!  And feeling behind is stressful!

Consequently I haven’t done many of my own blog entries!  I did a post about my quilts on SewLindyLou because I was leaving comments on quilting blogs, and a post about Barney to keep my photo blog going.  I’m hoping to rectify this and start to blog much more regularly from next month on, especially with my 30 days of blogging challenge.

I need to find a way for people to follow me!  Somebody asked me how they could follow me, but I don’t know!  I think I will have to look into Bloglovin’, in fact I think I did register on there a while ago.  I am a little bit lazy when it comes to technology.  Something to put on my to-do list, along with learning about the statistics available.


It just remains for me to say ‘thank you’ for all the return comments you have made on my blogs, and I hope that we can continue communicating.  That’s what makes me happy!

Monday, 12 October 2015


As well as dressmaking I love quilting!  It was a goal of mine several years ago to learn to quilt, so I signed up for a local quilting drop-in class.  Val and Mary ran the classes from their homes after closing down their quilting shop for semi-retirement.  They taught hand quilting.  Here is my first ‘sampler’ quilt:

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It sits on the back of my sofa, but is covered by another quilt now!  I have made 11 finished quilts so far.  I have 1 baby quilt in the making and a scrap quilt top that is ready to back and quilt.


Since then I have progressed to using my sewing machine for construction and quilting, as on these baby quilts I made for nephews’ and nieces’ babies.  The 2 on the left are from a pattern called Color in Motion from www.etsy.com/shop/sweetjane.  The quilt on the right features some very cute retro style fabric with little boy astronauts.  I made up the pattern myself. 


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A flower garden quilt for Mum.  I can’t remember where the pattern came from, perhaps a Moda Bakeshop pattern, but I can’t find it there..

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My favourite is this Block of the Month quilt from Antique Angel. (I don’t think they are in business anymore,can’t find a link)  I loved hand appliqueing all these little pictures, and the colours are just gorgeous!  The design is by Bunny Hill Designs

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This one is my favourite, loads of gorgeous colours and applique here.  It is supposed to be a Tuscan scene.  The middle is appliqued with lots of embroidery and different quilting patterns.  This is one I started with Val and Mary, it was in a magazine years ago.  I don’t appear to have kept the magazine, so not sure who designed it.




And I have a rather eclectic collection of patchwork and quilted cushions in my lounge!

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Friday, 2 October 2015

300 blog comments in 30 days

I’ve decided to take up the challenge set by Julie of Notes on Paper to write 300 blog comments in 30 days.  Here’s why:

* I’d like to get back into blogging regularly. My blogging has lapsed this year for several reasons: not having anything interesting to blog about, not having time at the computer because of having a puppy to look after, and having 2 blogs, I often can’t decide which one to write!Linda 008

*I am everso guilty of reading blogs and not commenting.  I would hate to think that people read my blogs and don’t comment.  I simply don’t know if people read my blogs or what they think about my posts if they don’t comment.  I aim to rectify this and aim to comment on every blog entry I read from now on.DSC_6097

*Like Julie I want to write considered comments, so this will make me think deeper about the blog entry.  I’m hoping to get some new ideas from the blogs I read, both new things to do and ideas on how to improve my blogs


*I’d love some new readers!  I’d love to connect with more people in the blogosphere, and the only way to do that is to leave comments!

*With all the other ways of connecting with others, ie facebook, instagram, twitter, there is often talk that blogging will disappear.  I hope not!  Blogging is more in-depth, and I love it!  I’m going to do my own little tiny bit to keep blogging going.

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Like Julie I am going to keep a record of the blogs I visit, and the ideas I would like to come back to.  I’m not sure whether I will read 300 different blogs, or whether I will leave several comments on some blogs.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve been thinking about how to find new-to-me blogs.  I recently started dressmaking again, and decided I’d like to read sewing blogs.  I simply googled ‘sewing blogs’, and soon worked out which were the leading sewing blogs.  I did the same for gardening blogs, and found a lovely blog that I regularly visit (but don’t always comment!) When I first started blogging 10 years ago(!!) I had recently started scrapbooking, and had soon linked up with other scrapbookers, writers and photographers.  Over the years the bloggers I have connected with have changed.  I’ve dallied with art appreciation (a painting a day), family history, organisation (Simplify) and health issues such as my recently diagnosed diabetes. 

Other ways I use to find new blogs:

*Other people’s side bars (I used A Stitching Odyssey’s side bar for sewing blog reading for ages before I started SewLindyLou)

*Comment-a-thon.  Start on one blog, choose a comment, then visit that blog and so on.  This way you get to visit blogs on entirely different subjects.

Linky’s.  For example, Rinda’s Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt

Swaps.  I’ve found several new scrapbooking blogs this way.

I like to keep my favourite blogs in a list on my side bar.  I don’t use blog readers.

I’ll keep you up to date with my progress, and what I learn.  Are you going to take up the challenge?  How do you find new blogs?

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Vintage Hollyburn

How I love this skirt!  It is the Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic.  I bought this blue vintage fabric from ebay.  It has a 1970s/80s vibe don’t you think?  It’s got a fabulous design with some great colours; pink, green, yellow and white.  I don’t normally wear blue, but because I can wear all these other colours on the top it’s fine!  I love the swish of the skirt and the side seam pockets!  I did the tabs version and found these 2 big buttons in my vintage stash.  Perfect!  I know I am going to get plenty of wear out of this.  Although it is cotton I am sure it will transition into the autumn with boots and a cardigan.  I have got a yellow cardigan which is exactly the same as the yellow in the skirt, but I left it somewhere last week!  Hopefully it will be in lost property!  I am looking forward to making a winter version too, maybe corduroy?  What fabric have you made Hollyburn in?


Friday, 7 August 2015

1969 dress

Since starting to collect and sell vintage dress patterns on Etsy, I have been wanting to make one of them.  I choose Simplicity 8381, a 1969 shift dress with princess seams and pockets on the front.DSC_7726

The pattern istself was not in great condition, but still usable.  Laura at More Sewing helped me with the fitting.  The pattern is a size 16 (38inch bust).  Adjustments included taking an inch or so off the bust and adding onto the hips.  If you look n the pictures below, I cut the lining where the pins are.  Just shows how we have changed shape over the years!

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Here’s the invisible zip going in, and a close up of the fabric.  It is a crepe like material and has a lovely drape.  It was easy to sew with and pressed nicely too.  The fabric was in a big bag of scraps given to my friend by Maryamm at Mazelino Designs, a wedding dress designer and sewing school.   I lined it with white polyester to give it that 1960s ‘rustle’ as I swish around!

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I am really pleased with the fit of the dress!  I love the princess seam detail and the groovy pockets!  I found some vintage buttons to finish off the pockets.  If I made it again I think I would make the neckline a little bigger, it’s just a little high for my taste and comfort.


And a bonus!  A photobombing puppy!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Pattern Friday–an occasional series

As you know, I have been collecting vintage dressmaking patterns and thought I would highlight one or two of my favourites in an occasional series.

First is the ‘Greet the Spring’ dress, a 1950s/60sdress pattern produced by Woman’s Realm. 


Woman’s Realm was a UK magazine launched in 1958 aimed at post war women who were used to ‘running a house on a ration book’.  Goods of any kind were scarce and many women would make their own clothes.  Sadly this magazine closed in 2001, and was merged with Woman’s Weekly.  It was said that mature women were more interested in celebrity lifestyle magazines than cooking, baking, crotchet and dressmaking.  I feel that this tide may be turning back to craft magazines now, judging by the number of sewing, knitting and crotchet magazines on the shelves!

Imagine my delight when checking this pattern for completeness that I came across the original magazine article about this dress!  I love it when I find someone’s notes or a clipping in an old pattern or book!  It is the ‘Greet the Spring’ Dress, and the article suggests that ‘all the gay delights of spring are blended in this dress that cannot fail to flatter you’! 


All for the bargain price of 9d (about 4p in today’s money), incidentally that is the cost of a can of baked beans in 1965.  How times have changed!  You can’t buy a dressmaking pattern for the price of a can of baked beans now can you?

I think this dress looks very 1950s, but as the magazine only launched in 1958, it could be early 1960s.  I guess if the magazine was aimed at the mature woman, they wouldn’t be selling mini skirt dress patterns!  I love the gathers into the bodice at the neckline, very pretty.  The full skirt is created from soft gathers, but is flat between the bodice darts to hide a full tummy!  The article says that it has been made from the ‘new drip-dry cotton’, to avoid creases and the need for much ironing.  It is pretty much fabric-hungry as it takes 4 3/4 to 5 yards of 36” wide fabric!

This pattern is for sale in my Etsy shop   along with lots of other vintage patterns from other decades.  Do pop over and have a look.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Casual tops

Looking back over Me Made May, I decided that I was in need of some casual tops to wear over leggings.  So I bought these 2 Kwik Sew patterns, 3593 and 3533.

First up is Kwik Sew 3593.  I sewed this from brown t-shirting bought from Fabricland.  The contrast yoke is from a big bag of scraps that was donated to me.  It’s a lovely stretch fabric with a slight nap, giving it a lovely velvety feel.  I deliberated over the length this top should be, and nearly shortened it to t-shirt length.  I decided t keep it longer on the advice of friends.


Here’s Kwik Sew 3533.  I sewed this using a remnant of jersey from C&H fabrics.  I really love the colours!  I found the black jersey for contrast bands in the big bag of scraps too!  It’s a light jersey that will be useful in summer and winter with a long sleeved top underneath.  I cut this as a large size and then took it in lots!  I am still not too happy about it, it still feels a bit big.  I decided on the modesty panel as it has turned out very low!  Maybe I need to lift it at the shoulders?


Finally, I made this little doggie messenger bag to carry essential stuff on dog walks!  I bought the printed hessian type fabric several years ago at Sandown quilt show.  I found the pattern in an old Better Homes and Gardens quilting magazine.


And here’s the little doggie that I am just beginning to take for walks!  His name is Barney and he is nearly 4 months old now.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Me Made May–The first half

Here are some of the items of Me-Made clothing that I have been wearing this month. It’s a great project for me, as it has made me think about how to wear my Me-Made items, and what other items in my wardrobe will go with them.

First up are my Style Arc Barb trousers.  I made these from stretch cotton bought from Fabricland.  I must admit to not wearing them much until now, but I found them so comfortable the day I wore them!  I increased the 'rise' so they really do sit on my waist and there's no 'muffin-top' on show!  I have some black ballet pumps on in this pic which I thought looked quite good, but they are a bit small and very uncomfortable.  Perhaps I will get some more in a bigger size.

Second is the Tova top from Wiksten.  This is made with really cheap polycotton from the market!  But it is quite thin and has a nice drape for this top.  It's a good top for this time of year.  I quite like it with brown leggings and boots.

Third photo is my brown jacket made from Butterick 5623
I love this jacket!  It’s just right for this time of year when a coat is too much.   I’ve worn this a lot just recently.  Here it is worn with grey jeans and red suede ankle boots

Fourth photo – a skirt made from a pattern in the second Great British Sewing Bee book.  I recently had to re-do this as I had sewn the zip in the wrong side!  The fabric is quilting cotton I bought at a quilt show!  It’s got a nice weight to show off the box pleats.   I really like how this looks with the brown jumper (from Next) and brown boots.  The yellow necklace was made by my friend Burnice. I don’t usually wear skirts, but I did find this very comfortable, and can see this skirt being worn a lot.

Fifth photo – Sewaholic Renfrew made with off white knit fabric that came in a big bag of scraps!  I love this pattern, it fits well, and is dead easy to make, although the neck is a bit wobbly where I stretched the binding.  It’s just about wearable!  Think I could do with a bit more practise.  Worn with the grey jeans again.

Sixth photo – Black Deer and Doe plantain top.  I took this in a little bit at the sides, but I think I might shape it a bit more after looking at the photos!  It’s a bit warm for this time of year unless we have a cooler day as it is made from Ponte, which is very warm.

I'm hoping that the weather will continue to warm up in the second half of the month so that I can wear some of the summer stuff I have made.


Friday, 8 May 2015

A New Adventure

Welcome to my new sewing blog!  It's my place to show my me-made items, and hopefully get to know other sewing bloggers.

I have always loved sewing!  I learned how to make clothes when I was a teenager with my mother, who in turn learned from her mother-in-law, my grandmother.  My grandmother worked in Rackhams, a big department store in the centre of Birmingham as a seamstress.  She altered all the lovely gowns to fit the rather upmarket clientele.  It was said that she only had to look at a person and she could cut a dress to fit!  She made me several dresses, including my christening gown.  I'll come back to this in a future post.

Through the years I have revisited dressmaking several times, attending various evening classes, making clothes for myself in my 20s, and for my daughter when she was a little girl. I have again returned to dressmaking, and am attending a drop-in sewing class at More Sewing, a local fabric store.  When I rekindled my love of dressmaking one of the first things I did was read the sewing blogs!  I discovered a whole world of independent designers of dress patterns, and gained lots of extra information from tutorials and sew-alongs.  Not only that, but I love looking at the photos of the items made up in all sorts of colours and textures of fabric, and the pattern hacks.

I became aware that there is quite an interest in vintage patterns.  See Marie from 'A Stitching Odyssey' and Kerry from 'Kestrel Makes' Vintage Pattern Pledge.  I began to search in local charity shops and on eBay, and have amassed quite a collection in a very short time.  I adore the vintage illustrations, they are so cute!  The glamour of the 1960s is my favourite at the moment!  Although I love a good 1970s sundress, or a 1980s ‘Lady Di’ haircut! 

So I have opened an Etsy shop selling vintage patterns, and some vintage sewing notions and haberdashery.  I love the cards of buttons, and the old wooden cotton reels!  And the little cards of press studs and hooks and eyes!  Please do pop over and have a look.  I would love to know what you think!