Turn into Fall …


I’m not too fond of fall, or autumn as we call it in England. Fall in the mountains is winter’s precursor. Winter in itself is fine. It’s full of snow and freshly fallen snow always makes me smile. When I was asked to join this tour I thought “yay, warmer clothing with a bit of flair”. I feel I live in leggings, sweaters and thermals from October to April. There has to be another option, doesn’t there? And there is …

Stylish Fabrics kindly donated fabric for this blog tour. The fabric arrived quickly and their prices are reasonable; as a Canadian I shall be buying more, as and when the exchange rate allows! I chose a vibrant turquoise ITY stretch jersey knit fabric because it looked pretty, but didn’t have a clue what it was. Here is a link to the fabric. I loved the colour and had planned to make EYMM’s Off the Shoulder Dress. When it arrived it was clear that the fabric wasn’t going to be anywhere heavy enough. Fortunately I have a lovely Vogue pattern and it cried out from the pattern box to be allowed to be made up.

I loved the pattern instructions and that the fabric looks so fab. I’d not made a cowl neck before but the ITY knit drapes beautifully. I also made the top shorter as had decided to make a maxi skirt to wear with it. I have a heavy almost-knit; as in a knit with minimal stretch. I hacked Muffin Head Patterns Tracie Skirt with EYMM’s Capsule Skirt and aimed for a trumpet look. It almost worked. I’m taller and need more than 2m of fabric to make a maxi skirt, so added a band and crocheted lace. The lace then caught on my crutches! I feel the hem needs some horsehair braid to help it stand out, but that will have to wait. I almost cut the skirt back to straight but decided I could use all the warm air under it when the colder weather arrives. I am thrilled with the result. Oh yes, it has pockets!

I also can’t resist the chance to showcase how another pattern transitions from summer to fall. I tested Muffin Head Patterns Shelley Wrap Skirt in early summer. One I made from chiffon and the other from quilting cotton. They are both fully lined with a fine cotton.

The chiffon one feels like wearing, well, not a lot. It is as light as air and cool in the heat of the day. The cotton one is a real autumnal weight skirt, and heavy enough to keep the wrap skirt in place when the wind blows. I love how placing pockets has made almost a tulip effect on my fabric.


Thanks for stopping by. My views are my own. Wonderful Rachel took some stellar photos.  The patterns I owned, and as I already said, Stylish Fabrics donated the fabric. Fabric was hurt in the cause of this blog tour, but it didn’t mind after it metamorphosed into beautiful creations. 

This blog tour has been sponsored by lots of different wonderful businesses. The fabric, the prizes, the support. Do follow the links to look at the other creations, then enter the giveaway! It’s pretty impressive so have a go – especially as I can’t! 

August 1st

Sewing By Ti and Rebel and Malice

August 2nd

Gray all Day

August 3rd

Wild and Wanderful and The Sara Project

August 4th

Doodle Number 5 and Sweet Red Poppy

August 5th

Paisley Roots and Dos Natural Sistas and My Crafty Little Self

August 8th

Made By Melli and Sew Far North

August 9th

Sew Sophie Lynn and Creative Counselor

August 10th

Frivolous at Last and EYMM

August 11th

Lulu and Celeste and Sprouting Jubejube

August 12th

Adventures with Bubba and Bug and All Things Katy and Sewing by Ti

To enter the giveaway click on this link! Good Luck!!



Wrapping myself in Loveliness


I have recently started sewing Muffin Head Patterns. I mean, who doesn’t smile at that name? The patterns are well thought out and while not beginner patterns they come with clear instruction, and the owner, Frances, is responsive to queries and very helpful. Muffin Head has a website, an active FaceBook group with access to the testers group, an Etsy shop and Pinterest.

The latest Muffin Head Pattern to be released is the Tracie Skirt. It’s a simple pull on elastic waisted skirt with optional inseam pockets and lining. It can be made in either knee or ankle length; and the longer length has a flared hem, which allows me to walk at more than a hobble. I’ve been looking for a neat, simple skirt for a while now so was pleased to make the cut as part of the tester panel.

The pattern fits well if you follow the instructions! It’s a waisted skirt, which is a bit new for me, as I tend to wear low waisted / hip level skirts. It took a little getting used to but is very comfortable. Siting higher at my waist means it doesn’t dig into the ‘fluffy’ bits either. Anyway I digress … To get a great fitting skirt when you make yours, fit the pattern to your hips first! The well defined hip curve means the skirt doesn’t need a lot of elastication – is that a word? You then  adjust the waist size depending on how much fabric you need to get it over your hips. I sew slowly and it took me 2 hours to make my grey needlecord knee length skirt from cutting the fabric to sliding it on the body. I was very impressed with myself! Of course the well written instructions, good visual aids and overall design has something to do with it as well. The Tracie Skirt is available from The Muffin Head Etsy Shop for US $7.50. I’m a real bargain hunter but think its well priced considering the options and versatility offered.

It was also my first opportunity to sew one of my new labels in my skirt. I love that I now can label my clothing with more than a wish and a smile.

For this new release Muffin Head Patterns has teamed up with Rachel Rossi Designs to feature one of Rachel’s designs; The Squared Fashion Wrap. I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to make the wrap as well, and to be honest I jumped at it! After all, who doesn’t love a wrap and this one has some neat finishing touches that take it a level above the usual wrap and scarf patterns. Those features include mitred corners, a neat neck template for comfort and a separate front facing. As such I think its well worth the US $6 price tag. Rachel has a FaceBook Group, and a good website with blog and pattern links and Pinterest.

I have some lovely sari like fabric. It’s been sitting in the drawer for ages but it yelled out to me that I ought to have enough to make a long skirt and a wrap.  Well, there was enough to make the skirt but the wrap is shorter than the instructions called for. Not that I let that put me off. It is the perfect layering piece in its current length for a balmy Vancouver day. To add a little extra length I inserted a section of the skirt fabric over the shoulders. It isn’t hugely visible but it does add a little extra weight to hold the gauzy fabric in place. I had fun with my daughter-in-law taking photos in the local park’s rose garden. I can see me making several of these wraps. One in fleece for the lake, perhaps a huge one to snuggle up in with Himself, and a selection of them to go with each and every evening dress I create from now on! I think it could be made in a lightweight terry towelling as well to wear when getting out of the lake.

With these two items in my Pattern Stash the sky and my imagination really is the limit.

Here are the links to other posts. Read, share and enjoy!

Muffin Head’s designer, Frances Twining’s blog post is here.

Marie-Eve’s FaceBook page is here at Creations Miss M 

Once again I have to thank both Muffin Head Patterns for the opportunity to test the Tracie Skirt and Rachel Rossi Designs for donating the Squared Fashion Wrap Pattern. This written content holds my own opinions. The photography is courtesy of my delightful daughter-in-law, Rachel, and my husband Andy, AKA Himself. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come again soon.

Lets make Tights!


I haven’t made tights before. Before we go any further, lets clarify what I mean by tights. In the UK, tights are what North Americans call pantyhose. They come in everything from slinky 7 denier to thick wintry ones. They’re a wardrobe staple, and probably have a place as ‘not very reliable’ methods of birth control.

When I was asked to participate in The Wolf & The Tree’s Ladies Gazelle Tights Blog Tour I agreed thinking, ‘well, here is something new and different’. I have long legs and often end up buying tights 1 – 2 sizes larger to get the leg length; footless tights and leggings are always too short; perhaps the way to go is to make my own.

The Wolf & The Tree has an active FaceBook Page, a website and an Etsy Shop (click for the links). The owner, Saskia was helpful in replying to any of my queries, and of course in her generosity she donated the pattern. Thanks Saskia.

Two patterns are included; one for a two way stretch fabric and one for four way. I used the four way stretch pattern. The instructions take a bit of reading, and options include full footed tights to shortie shorts, and socks. With those options I think its well priced and one that will be used repeatedly. It’s also on sale! Keep reading for the coupon code.

When last in Vancouver I found a dangerously attractive store called Fabricana. Oh dear … Let’s say that I was besotted with the shiny psychedelic fabric that screamed “Fame!” at me. My sensible side also purchased a swimsuit mesh for the waistband. The experienced sales woman assured me the Fame fabric was four way stretch but … the lesson I learned is that while it might seem stretchy on the edges, always check the middle (because it was a lot less). From that point on this was a learning curve in sewing stretch fabrics.

Sewing custom tights takes some measuring. I’m a bit warped as I’ve broken my right leg a lot; I didn’t realize how much difference that has made until I measured myself. I traced off my custom pattern onto freezer paper and realised it looks a bit like a mermaid tail; and it possibly will become one at some stage. I chose to make the mid rise option with a triple height yoga waist band, which I folded in half to get the width and recovery I wanted. I used a Stretch needle and my finest Wonder Bob thread. In retrospect I should have used Fleecy Nylon thread as I have already had some seam popping. I should also have used my Serger. I read a few blogs about which stitches to use and played with the fabric scraps. I’d thought I’d cracked it…

Through the trials and tribulations I realized that my fabric wasn’t the four way stretch I thought it was. I would have been better with the two way stretch pattern. I ended up taking them apart after they barely skimmed my ankles, let alone my hips! I sewed the fabric back together, adding more inches until they fit. My ankles are both swollen from old injuries and the fabric clung like Nora Batty’s. I had a flash of brilliance to alter them into Boot Tights; sock bottoms and tights legs. Out came the scissors and here is the result.

Overall, the pattern is great.  I learned a lot and already have some very definitely four way stretch pink lace to make another pair. I can also see me being able to use the pattern to make my own leggings for winter. My husband didn’t really want to take any photos for me but I insisted. I also have some great tights to wear to my next Lady Gaga concert.

I’m pleased to have been able to participate in this tour. The going was occasionally tough, but the support and funky fabric kept me smiling. As I said before, the pattern was given to me to use. The dodgy photography is my Husband’s.

You can get your own copy of the patterns HERE or HERE. You can use the code YellowRibbon to save 25% through Friday May 27. 2016.

Be sure to check out the other blogs this week for as no two have sewn the same item!

5/23/2016 Amy Carter http://wallyandgrace.blogspot.com
5/24/2016 Patricia www.sewfarnorth.wordpress.com
5/25/2016 Heather Tinkey Jones http://allthingskaty.blogspot.com/
5/26/2016 Essence Adventureswithbubbaandbug.wordpress.com
5/27/2016 Michelle http://littleheartthreads.blogspot.ca/
5/28/2016 Kelly www.handmadeboyblog.com
5/28/2016 Larissa www.connectedbyathread.wordpress.com

Dolman Pattern Review: The Easy Breezy Summer Tee


Dive Into DolmansFor my last stop along the Dolman Tour I chose a  Nap Time Creations pattern because of the company’s name. After all, anything that can be made during nap time has to be fast and easy, right? I’m also off on vacation soon and the thought of an ‘Easy Breezy Summer Tee‘ was right up my street. The pattern doesn’t have options but is reasonably priced; there are also several free patterns in her shop and on the website. The designer, Emily, states it’s meant to be loose and worn over a camisole, and can be made with a woven or knit fabric. I have a loosely woven gauzy fabric that has sat in my stash for years and it called my name asking to be sewn up before it rotted away. It’s light enough to allow me to tan, but it will filter enough rays to prevent sun burn.

True to my thoughts the pattern was pretty fast to make. I did lengthen it by 2″ and I sized down to a large. I had a bit of a blonde moment and cut the front as a U, rather than a V. It still looks pretty though. I like the finishing details of binding the neck seams and attaching a sleeve cuff. It’s the difference between a hastily sewn garment and a more professional finish.

Even making this in a woven fabric and sizing down, it’s still large. If you want something  more fitted I’d advise making a muslin or measuring the pattern pieces to ensure you get the size you want; especially if making this in a knit! It does have a place in my summer wardrobe though; It’s ideal for wearing with capri pants in the heat. I fish and swim, and having an airy cover-up to protect me from burning is hugely important.

Lastly, many thanks to Nap Time Creations for donating the pattern. I truly appreciate it! 

Here’s the info sheet:

Sizes  XXS – XXl (30” – 50” chest)
Printable pattern pages/copy shop version  Printable only
Skill Level  Easy
Measurements for Rectangle Pieces  Neck band
Line Drawings  No
Size made  Large
Options chosen  No options
Fabric Requirement for your size  1.5 yards
Measurement Chart  Yes
Cutting Instructions  Yes
Pattern Printing Layout  Yes
Cutting Layout  No
Suggested Fabrics  Woven with good drape OR knit
Layer Printing Option  No
Neck Line Options  No
Sleeve Options  No
Hem Options  No
Color Blocking  No
Seam Allowance  3/8”
Hem Allowance  ¾”
Separate add-on pack  No
Fit  Very loose
Easy to read instructions  Yes
Drawing or photograph instructions  Clear photographs

Here’s the link to ALL of the posts in the Dolman Tour. If you’re a Dolman lover, there’s bound to be something appealing. Thanks for reading along and humouring me

Diving Into Dolmans Week 1

Sewing By Ti- Sew Much ado Sea Farer

Creative Counselor- Sewing Cake’s The Tee

Sew Sophie Lynn- Patterns for Pirates Pumpkin Spice

Made By Melli- Patterns for Pirates Sweet Tee

Guest blogger: Rebel and Malice- Jalie Dolman #3352

Diving Into Dolmans Week 2

Sewing By Ti- Create Kids Couture Donna’s Dolman

Creative Counselor- Blue Dot Patterns Georgia

Sew Sophie Lynn- EYMM Kymy’s Dolman

Made By Melli- Love Notions La Bella Donna

Guest bloggers: Rebel and Malice- Kzjo Poppy

Adventures with Bubba and Bug- Little Kiwi’s Closet Take Flight Dolman

Diving Into Dolmans Week 3

Sewing By Ti- Peekaboo Sunkissed Tee

Creative Counselor- Seamwork Aberdeen

SewSophieLynn– Hey June Aurora

Made by Melli-Peekaboo Sunkissed Tee

Guest Bloggers: Sew Far North – EYMM Assymetrical Top

Adventures with Bubba and Bug- Seamingly Smitten Dolman Sleeve Sweater with Assymmetrical Collar

Dos Natural Sistas- Hey June Aurora

Diving Into Dolmans Week 4

Sewing by Ti: Jalie #3352 Dolman

Creative Counselor: Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

SewSophieLynn- Itch to Stitch Carey

Made by Melli – Shwin Day Tripper

Guest Blogger: Sew Far North – Seamingly Smitten Women’s Dolman Sleeve Sweater

Mahlica Designs: Fancy Tiger One Hour Top

Diving Into Dolmans Week 5

Sewing By Ti: Patterns for Pirates Pumpkin Spice

Creative Counselor: EYMM Natasha

SewSophieLynn- Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

Made by Melli – Maria Denmark Kimono Tee

Guest bloggers: Sew Far North – Nap Time Creations Easy Breezy Summer Tee

Lulu & Celeste: Shwin Day Tripper



Pattern Review: Women’s Dolman Sleeve Sweater


Dive Into Dolmans


It’s now week 4 of the Dive into Dolman’s Tour and I am back with my second creation. Its a pattern by Seamingly Smitten. I haven’t made any of their patterns before and a part of me wished I’d just made a couple of their Dolmans in order to compare them. There is a website, a blog and an active Facebook Page (I’ll be following that in future). What appealed to me about this pattern is that it is designed for heavier knits, and it has an asymmetrical neckline. I live in the chilly mountain climes , and despite writing this while in the California Desert (don’t start me off about the heat!), I live in cool weather clothing most of the year. Or at least it feels that way! I’m also partial to a top that finishes below elbow and as such, was attracted to the modelled photos. 13076711_10207828013793125_5140605154639820867_n

Like my previous pattern choice this one called for a fabric with good drape. I chose a sumptuous purple medium weight cotton polyester lycra knit fabric. It washes wonderfully and feels so soft; like wearing a light blanket. One thing to remember is that the neckline is slightly lower at the front than the back. Don’t be a dufus like me and wear it backwards several times, wondering why the heck it wasn’t comfortable and didn’t sit right at all! I have recently ordered labels and when they arrive I will sew one in to remind me which side goes to the back of my neck! I’m also improving making tops that drape well for my hourglass figure, and this one is more flattering than its boxy shape led me to believe.

I really liked how the asymmetrical neck is created. It is a bit quirky, just like me! I found the sleeves to be quite wide. I think they’ll either be a cooling agent in the warmth or encourage drafts. Either way, they took a bit of getting used to. I think if I followed the pattern line to extend them to wrist length (not a pattern option, but not a difficult hack), they would narrow nicely. A narrow cuff would then finish the sleeve off. It’s in my notebook for when I make it again. I cheated a bit and used my trusty knit tape to create the hems. It gives a lovely finish and (if I could be bothered) would look great with a twin needle hem stitch.

That said, the pattern has clear instruction with visual aids. Its an easy pattern to make and is wonderfully comfortable. It is also currently on for 50% off, so hop on over and grab it while you can!

Note: Seamingly Smitten kindly gave me the pattern for this blog tour – but they haven’t a clue what I made or what my review states. I thank them for their faith in me! 

Underneath is a link to all the bloggers and their blog posts. The table that follows has information on each pattern on the tour. I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as we enjoy writing!

Diving Into Dolmans Week 1

Sewing By Ti- Sew Much ado Sea Farer

Creative Counselor- Sewing Cake’s The Tee

Sew Sophie Lynn- Patterns for Pirates Pumpkin Spice

Made By Melli- Patterns for Pirates Sweet Tee

Guest blogger: Rebel and Malice- Jalie Dolman #3352

Diving Into Dolmans Week 2

Sewing By Ti- Create Kids Couture Donna’s Dolman

Creative Counselor- Blue Dot Patterns Georgia

Sew Sophie Lynn- EYMM Kymy’s Dolman

Made By Melli- Love Notions La Bella Donna

Guest bloggers: Rebel and Malice- Kzjo Poppy

Adventures with Bubba and Bug- Little Kiwi’s Closet Take Flight Dolman

Diving Into Dolmans Week 3

Sewing By Ti- Peekaboo Sunkissed Tee

Creative Counselor- Seamwork Aberdeen

SewSophieLynn– Hey June Aurora

Made by Melli-Peekaboo Sunkissed Tee

Guest Bloggers: Sew Far North – EYMM Assymetrical Top

Adventures with Bubba and Bug- Seamingly Smitten Dolman Sleeve Sweater with Assymmetrical Collar

Dos Natural Sistas- Hey June Aurora

Diving Into Dolmans Week 4

Sewing by Ti: Jalie #3352 Dolman

Mahlica Designs: Fancy Tiger One Hour Top

Creative Counselor: Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

SewSophieLynn- Itch to Stitch Carey

Made by Melli – Shwin Day Tripper

Guest Blogger: Sew Far North – Seamingly Smitten Women’s Dolman Sleeve Sweater


Sizes  XS – 3XL (0-26)
Printable pattern pages/copy shop version  Printable at home
Skill Level  Beginner
Measurements for Rectangle Pieces  Yes
Line Drawings  No, just photos (but good ones)
Size made  XL
Options chosen  Cut to the tall hem length
Fabric Requirement for your size  2 yards
Measurement Chart  Yes
Cutting Instructions  Yes
Pattern Printing Layout  Yes
Cutting Layout  Yes
Suggested Fabrics  Medium to heavy  weight knit, sweater knit, ponte, or similar
Layer Printing Option  No
Neck Line Options  No
Sleeve Options  No
Hem Options  No
Color Blocking  Collar binding only (could do collar tho)
Seam Allowance  3/8″
Hem Allowance  1″
Separate add-on pack  No
Fit  Pretty Good
Easy to read instructions  Yes
Drawing or photograph instructions  Photographs

Dolman Pattern Review: EYMM Asymmetrical Drape Top

Worn higher at the hips

Dive Into DolmansIts Dolman time and I am part of a five week blog tour on Dolman tops, and how they work (or not) on different body shapes. I am a child of the 70’s and yes, in the 80’s I wore those big Dolman sweaters. To suddenly step outside my comfort zone and make a pattern I never felt very comfortable in to begin with was, well, a bit unsettling. As such I turned to EYMM’s Asymmetrical Drape Top for my first pattern. I must admit that the point of this tour is to work out  whether different patterns suit our body shapes, and if not, what we can do about it. My body shape is pretty much hour glass. There is 2″ difference between my full bust and my hips. I seem to be working my way towards an apple shape, but I am trying not to as I like myself this way. I feel that women with hourglass figures generally have flatter stomachs. It might be an optical illusion from the waist to hip curve, but that’s my thought anyway.

But onto the pattern! Like all EYMM patterns this top printed and was put together easily. I’m obviously improving in the whole print ‘n’ stick process! I chose this particular pattern as I like EYMM patterns generally, and I liked the modelled view. I don’t like round necklines or boxy shapes, as I feel the round necklines do nothing for my larger bust, and  boxy shapes make me look like a Sherman tank: I avoid both if I can! Interestingly, Essence, another blogger, is pretty much the same shape and loves Dolmans for their hide-all capacity. Her reviews can be found in the permalink section at the bottom.

The pattern is just two pieces and has two views; I made view A. In retrospect I should have made view B as it is a bit more shaped. I chose a lightweight polyester knit with good drape. EYMM has a section in the pattern on how to check the fabric drape: it’s really useful.
This top is asymmetrical and can be worn pulled down as a tunic to showcase the hemline, or pulled up to sit wherever you like. Sadly, the photos don’t do justice to the fantastic drape on the right side. I tend to wear leggings and I like coverage to my thighs. As a wise woman once said: “if you are wearing leggings or tights then cover your tail”. With jeans I can wear it higher on the hips; that’s the beauty of having a fabric that drapes well! I added 2″ to the overall length, and had intended adding the hip band. I found the top to be long enough for my 5’8″ frame, without the band. Unless your torso is 2″ longer than normal you could pass on adding any extra length.
It took me a while to like the neckline, after all Dolmans are well out of my comfort zone. When I make it again I’d like to include a back lace panel and make the front neckline scooped or with a V, as these lines accentuate and flatter a larger bust.
This is an ideal top for those days when I want to cover it all up though.
All the Dolman reviews contain the following information, allowing the readers to compare the patterns.
Note: EYMM donated the pattern for the tour. Thank you! The sewing is all my own work. My opinions and the review are entirely my own. 
Sizes XS – 5X
Printable pattern pages/copy shop version Pattern pages
Skill Level Beginner
Measurements for Rectangle Pieces Yes, for optional hip band
Line Drawings Yes
Size made XL
Options chosen A
Fabric Requirement for your size 1.5
Measurement Chart Yes
Cutting Instructions Yes
Pattern Printing Layout Yes
Cutting Layout Yes
Suggested Fabrics Knitted fabric with minimum 30% stretch and good drape
Layer Printing Option No
Neck Line Options No
Sleeve Options No
Hem Options Yes, optional hip band
Color Blocking No
Seam Allowance 3/8″
Hem Allowance 1/2″
Separate add-on pack No
Fit Pretty good. Long.
Easy to read instructions Absolutely!
Drawing or photograph instructions Both

Swinging my Way into a Capsule!


I recently started making Everything Your Mama Made & More (EYMM) clothes despite owning a few of the patterns for a while. When the opportunity came along to participate in the latest blog tour for their Capsule Skirt I jumped at it. Or at least my fingers did; They were all over the keyboard in their haste to see if EYMM would choose me to be part of their team. Yay! I made the grade, was sent the pattern and decided to have some fun with this sweet little skirt. I nearly wrote cute, which the skirt is, but at my age I’m beyond being called cute. I’m not going to rave about the designer, Kymy, or the patterns as I did that on my post about their Harem Pants. Scroll back through and have a good read, or just click on the link, eh! I must mention that EYMM give great coupon codes. There is one for the skirt (for all ages) at the bottom of this post.

Like the other patterns I’ve made the fit is true to form and the instructions are concise with visual pictures for help. I’m a fan of black and white line diagrams and the picture showing what the pattern pieces should look like when stuck together is invaluable. I like that the ladies’ sizes are split between XS – XL, and 1X – 5X on separate printer settings. It is an easy pattern to cut out and put together. It has several length and coverage settings, including a maternity one, and I decided to add the longer length on the back. Yes, I feel I have a big bum, but I didn’t need it for the extra coverage; I just like the swooping look of a high low hem.

I also must admit to not liking hemming knits, despite having my trusty Pellon knit hem tape to hand. As such, I added a bit of flirty lace. I feel it ties the fabric colours together and it makes me smile.

I initially used a white rib knit for the waistband but it didn’t have the stretchy recovery that yoga type waistbands need despite its lycra content, and I worried it would fall down. So I cut it off and, as Fagan would say, “… I think I’d better think it out again”. I’ve been struggling with these stretchy, good recovery fabrics and now own 6 different ones. The problem is that despite stretching the fabrics in the store, their stretchability changes after washing. I’ve now decided I am buying online from someone who knows what they are talking about. Perhaps I will have better luck?

You can’t see the waistband’s end result but I used a 20% lycra fabric and it seems to hold it all up nicely; no baring my knickers this time! I felt confident enough to have a bit of a swish for photos. Believe me, with a half circle skirt and a light knit fabric, it’s a great skirt to swing about in. I think that this skirt is a great one for those of us with hips. After all, a flick of the hips and the shay shaying begins! I plan taking it on holiday to the warmer weather soon; I just wish I had the time to make more before I go.

I’d planned sunny weather photos, but it was 1.5c today and snowing: the ski hill I live on had 8cm of fresh snow last night. No wonder I need some sun. With my next capsule skirts I’d like to add a bit of a petticoat underneath to give them fullness. Perhaps as a winter skirt? That gives me lots of time to make another few.

Thanks for reading! Have a good week now

Thank you to EYMM for giving me the pattern to make. I do appreciate that! 


Make sure to check out all the other stops on the EYMM Capsule Skirt Tour. (Note: The links won’t be live until the day they’re scheduled, but feel free to click through and check out the other blog posts any time.)

Wednesday, April 6

Connected by a Thread, Sugarplum Cuties, The Wholesome Mama

Thursday, April 7

Sew Far North, Lulu & Celeste, Pattern Revolution

Friday, April 8

SewSophieLynn, Welcome to our Crazy World, EYMM

Saturday, April 9

handcrafted by RED, Pretty and Precious, Capture, Craft, and Cook

Sunday, April 10

create3.5, Sewing the Seasons, HattieLu Handmade

Monday, April 11

Creative Counselor, Rebel & Malice, Blessed x 5

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the pattern while it’s on sale! Use coupon code PERFECTSKIRT to save 25% on the Women’s Capsule Skirt, Girl’s Capsule Skirt, or Capsule Skirt Bundle until April 12 at 11:59pm PST.

Easter Treats aren’t just Chocolate!

Super swirl factor

It’s hard to be excited about pretty Easter dresses when you live on a ski hill. Added to which it’s an El Nino winter, which means mild (for us) temperatures and buckets of snow. Heck, It’s been snowing for 10 hours today! As the spring flowers aren’t poking through the snow yet I thought I’d make a dress that has been on my mind for a while. Its pretty, I like the style and, it might just cover the end of winter extra weight that has become far too attached to me.

I bought George & Ginger’s ‘Ginger Dress‘ a while ago, but like most things, hadn’t got round to printing it off, let alone sewing it up. The pattern is sized from XXS – 2X, and drafted for a woman of 5’6″ height. It has a layers option, allowing just the sizes you need to be printed off. Another attraction is that it’s available in A0 format, so my trusty printer did the hard work for me. Bargain! After I printed it off it sat in the patterns bucket until this Blog Tour came along, when it jumped up pleading to be made.

Somehow, hitting 50 years old has affected my waistline; it went on vacation and hasn’t returned. Ho Hum …  So, I thought, why not make a flowy, swingy dress and pretend I am five years old again. I chose a bright knit fabric to cheer me through the last of winter with a contrasting knit trim. The dress is a proper handkerchief dress and takes a lot of fabric, but as the L’Oreal advert keeps reminding me I’m worth it. There is also a child’s version, called the Ginger Snap. Cute, eh?

George & Ginger Pattern Co. has an active FaceBook page and an Etsy Shop. The patterns cater to womanly shapes. Don’t get me wrong, they look good on women of all shapes and sizes but their clothes do flow nicely over womanly figures … all of them … especially mine!

On the FaceBook page a wonderful woman had altered the dress to fit closer at the bust, resulting in less volume. I followed her principle by measuring down an extra 3″before swinging out to meet the pattern piece, meaning my dress is semi fitted almost to the empire line before all that volume starts. The end result gives a bit more shape and is flattering. Having looked at several photos on the FaceBook page I also added 6″ to the dress length (above the trim). I wanted the option to wear the dress on our warm spring days without leggings or tights and somehow wearing a knitted dress that finished above my knees just wasn’t working for me. I have worn it in town, where the temperature can be up to 10℃ warmer and my extra length works well for me.

I like the fact that it swings and flows nicely. I think it runs a little large but this kind of dress is meant to flow over the body, not cling to it. On those ‘not so confident body days’ it seems to smooth and hide the unwanted lumpy, bumpy bits. Overall I recommend the pattern, and look forward to making the tunic length. Lastly, while the weather prevented good photo opportunities, this dress allows me to twirl away to my hearts content. I love that I can swing in it; it will be great to dance and shake my booty in.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains my opinions and I used my own pattern. No reimbursement has been made for featuring the Ginger Dress in my blog. 

Please check out the other writers in this Easter Blog Tour
3/28/16: Larissa from Connected By A Thread
3/28/16: Linda from Sew Happily Ever After
3/28/16: Amy from Wally and Grace
3/29/16: Cindy from Cindy Parrett
3/30/16: Ula from Lulu & Celeste
3/30/16: Fenna from FABulous Home Sewn
3/31/16: Courtney from the WHOLESOME mama
4/1/16: Patricia from Sew Far North
4/1/16: Tibeca from Sewing By Ti

It’s a Spring Pyjamarama!

Really? Morning already?

Spring is a coming and with it the opportunity to toss the flannel PJs in the cupboard and make something a bit more girly. Having been brought up in England I didn’t have a chance to partake in the shenanigans that I’ve heard happen in North American spring breaks. That said, who am I kidding? I was a student nurse and while we worked hard we also partied heartily!

We have a pet Moose. He goes by many names; Lord Moose, LL Cool Moose, CM (Chocolate Moose). Last year he came to Hawaii with us and I made him board shorts, This year I made sleep pants using the EYMM Harem Pants. He likes these as they’re comfy to sleep in and also great for yoga! I made the newborn size and they’re still a bit big. Sadly stuffed toys don’t grow up and I didn’t follow the doll pattern, so I shall have to alter them.

The something else evolved from an original  historical American Girl pattern, now scanned in to computer land by AG Playthings and available as a free download. I altered ‘Molly’s Pretty Clothes’ to make Moose some spring PJs. The end result is pretty good and I recommend downloading them.

As for me, well I decided to sew another pair of Laela Jayne Comfy Cozy PJs. I was part of the tester panel and here’s the link to my original blog post. They are supremely comfy, I wear them a lot and it was a no-brainer for me to sew this pattern again. I chose a lightweight check for the top and (because I ran out of fabric) a lovely cool cotton for the bottoms. I decided that I wanted a nightshirt length top with 3/4 sleeves, so I don’t get chilly when I sit up to read. As the idea grew I decided to change the neckline to more of a V. To do this I cut the front piece on the fold of fabric up to the 3rd button, then followed the pattern’s original neckline. I did the same with the facing, cutting it off at the 3rd button placement. I’ve made several SisBoom Patricia tunics; it’s one of my favourites. I pulled up the instructions and morphed the Patricia neckline onto the Laela Jayne front neck and collar. I added button loops to give me the option of adding pretty buttons later, but currently I like the soft feminine look with the open neck showing the contrast facings. The same PJ pants fabric is used in the sleeve cuffs.

The pyjama bottoms have side pockets. My last pair didn’t, and I really missed having somewhere for  tissues and my phone. I added several inches to the overall length and cut the higher waistline. To continue the theme I added contrasting fold-up cuffs to the pants, by simply doubling the width of the cuff and pressing it up, tacking it at every quarter point, to keep it in place.

Before you leave, have a quick look at the 24 companies who have sponsored the blog tour as well as provided prizes. Do follow the links and enter the competitions; you never know when you will be lucky!

Note: No animals were harmed in this blog post. I owned the patterns already and am honoured to be part of this blog tour. Hopefully the photography is improving! 

There are 24 shops sponsoring prizes for this tour!

Along with today’s daily giveaway (see below), there is also larger giveaway and a link up happening. Go to today’s post over at Sprouting JubeJube to get the full details on how to link up and to enter the giveaway! We are also lucky to have four fabric shops offering readers discount codes: Fabric Sponsors Mabel Madison is offering 20% off with the code JAMMIES. Code expires March 31st! PhatQuarters is offering 10% off OR FREE shipping to US addresses on orders over 40$ US (with an equivalent discount for international shoppers). Use the code PHAT10 for 10% off OR FREE40 for free shipping to US. Raspberry Creek Fabrics is offering 15% off with the code PJPARTYTOUR. Good through March 26th! Tangled Blossoms Designs is offering 10% off with the code PJPARTY. Code expires March 25th!

And now for today’s giveaway!

Today’s prize is sponsored by The Handmaiden’s Cottage. You could win 2 patterns of your choice! Visit The Handmaiden’s Cottage to see what they have to offer. The giveaway ends March 22nd at 11:59pm. See the Rafflecopter on how to enter! You have up to 7 chances to win! The winner will be chosen March 23rd and will have 48 hours to respond to the email before a new winner is chosen. a Rafflecopter giveaway

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Want to win more prizes? Visit Create 3.5 tomorrow to see what new prizes will be up for grabs as well as see the previews for tomorrow’s bloggers.


Missed a stop on the tour? The full schedule is below:

Monday, March 21st

Sew Far North | The Wholesome Mama | From-a-Box | Pattern Revolution
Inspinration | Paisley Roots

Tuesday, March 22nd

Sprouting JubeJube | 5 Out Of 4 | Sew Happily Ever After | Beri Bee Designs
Phat Quarters | Connected by A Thread

Wednesday, March 23rd

Create 3.5 | Handmade Boy | HattieLu Handmade | Made by Melli
The Crafting Fiend | Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Thursday, March 24th

Lulu & Celeste | Sew Starly | Phat Quarters | Pear Berry Lane
Rebel & Malice | Creative Counselor

Friday, March 25th

Made By Jaime | Mae & K | Mabel Madison | SewSophiLynn
Amazing Adventures of Bubba & Bug | MahlicaDesigns

Harem Pants in the Great White North!

Ready for the City

I live in that fabulous country affectionately known as the ‘Great White North’. The British Columbia (BC) Interior is dry, snowy and chilly in winter, and hot in summer. Participating in a March Blog Tour featuring Harem Pants seems a little daft, unless I make them from fleece or wool. But hey, what the heck! We’re off to the  California Desert in spring and maybe they will come in useful.

I have reservations about wearing harem pants and hope this exercise can debunk my own myths. I am curvy with hips, (my waist is disappearing on me though), have always thought they’re for skinny women, and will make me look a bit like a Sherman tank. For the same reason I’m not a huge fan of anything loose at the hips, baggy through the crotch, and narrow at the ankle. While my Himself has some strong fashion opinions, I’m also my worst critic. But ‘In for a penny, in for a pound‘ as the saying goes. What also doesn’t help is when people wear clothes inappropriately. My girlfriend recently commented that they aren’t appropriate men’s wear in the gym. It sounds like she had an ‘eyes-bleed’ moment at work yesterday. I don’t think it was the pants but the occasion. Poor love; I hope she doesn’t need counselling from the fashion faux pas.

The pattern, Women’s Freestyle Harem Pants and Capris is by Everything Your Mama Made and More (EYMM) and is a beginner pattern. If you choose to make any of the alterations it’s classed up to advanced beginner. The ladies’ pattern has a huge size range as does the children’s pattern, which has the added bonus of a doll pattern. EYMM has a website with a good blog. There’s a very active FaceBook page and an Etsy Shop. It’s worth watching their website or FaceBook page as every month they have a Manic Monday sale where some patterns are priced ridiculously cheap! These Harems were on sale for $2 last week! Yeah, I know, you missed it … BUT … read to the bottom where there is a 25% discount code. And feel free to share the love!

The pattern was easy to print off as it has an option for layers, allowing me to print just the sizes I want. The no-trim pages option took a little bit of working out for my blonde brain (it was one of those days) and I appreciated the instructions. Once I’d worked it out, it came together wonderfully easily, so much so I realized I’d not stuck previous no-trim patterns together properly. Ah well …

Following the pattern recommendation I chose a woven polyester fabric as it drapes beautifully. It’s navy and gold with diamonds and balls, though the detail is hard to see in photos without a close up. I don’t use a lot of polyester as I like the breathability of natural fabrics, but this is rather lovely. I have a long torso but there is very little distance between my last rib and my ileac crest (the top of my hips), and usually stay away from wider waistbands as they tend to fold over. Although my fabric isn’t knit it is soft, so I interfaced the structured front waistband; they’re elasticated in the back. The wider waistband extends over my ribs and hips, meaning the elastic measurement needs to be increased. The further the elastic is from my natural waist, the longer it needs to be, or it feels as though I’m being cut me in half. I also find that not all elastic stretches the same amount; some shrink in the wash. I plan washing some as an experiment to see if my theory is true.

Harems are a funny pattern; Himself came into my sacred sewing space, looked at the pattern and remarked “What on Earth are you making?” Like all pants they’re fabric hogs and despite my best pattern placement I found the fabric estimate to be correct, with a lot of large left over scraps. I am slightly taller, with a 33″ inside leg. The pattern is drafted for a woman of 5’5″ height. As such I added 3.5″ to the length. My failing was in not reading Joelle’s blog post on making Harem Pants for her daughters. These pants are narrow at the ankle; Adding length to the bottom as I did means I ended up with a pair of narrow from the calf down pants. Joelle added the extra length at the shorts cutting line; her pants look better than mine! That said, for summer my above ankle harems will be just perfect with flip flops or sandals, and they tuck nicely into my winter socks.

The pattern also instructs taller people to add extra length to the rise. I chose not to add it as while I have a longer rise, I wasn’t sure just how baggy these would be. I think I will add it when I make them up in a lovely soft cotton voile. They will be cool in the heat, but still flattering.

The sewing part was easy. Instructions are well written, and a standard 3/8″ seam meant I used my regular machine foot. The fabric is slightly stretchy so I used my lightning stitch and finished all seams on my Serger, where I have wooly nylon thread installed as standard.

When Himself saw the finished item he remarked “They are great as lounge wear, but can you wear them outside?” I saw that as a challenge and packed them (because I needed to take photos, obviously) for our recent trip to the rainy city of Vancouver. I chose to prove that yes, they can be worn outside without people looking at me like I was in my PJs. My daughter-in-law gave her approval when saying, “I’d like something that isn’t jeans; I can wear out and still be comfortable.” I guess I will be making her some for her birthday next month. Having worn them round the city all day with my cowboy boots, a top and jacket, I can honestly say that they are tremendously comfortable. I don’t look like I have forgotten my horse either!

In conclusion, I debunked my own myth of whether I can wear Harem Pants. I had to think about what to pair them with, as a loose baggy top would make me look like the Sherman tank I was worried about.  They are extremely comfortable, fold up small, won’t need ironing, and will definitely be in the suitcase!

Disclaimer: Thank you to EYMM for providing me the opportunity to blog for them and giving me the pattern. My sewing and views are my own, as is the photography. 12790833_10153296879857016_6216027968750875319_n

If you enjoyed this week’s read please check out the other Freestyle Harems Blog Tour Bloggers. Note: The links below won’t be live until their scheduled date

March 9 – Joelle at EYMM

March 10 – Patricia from Sew Far North

March 11 – Tami from Sew Sophie Lynn

March12 – Kelly from Analog Bytes

March 13 – Lore from Blessed x Five

March 14 – Larissa from Connected by a Thread

March 15 – Aimee from Capture, Craft, and Cook

During the blog tour, you can get the Freestyle Harem Pants on sale. Use code FREESTYLE to save 25% on the women’s or youth sizing or on the bundle. The discount expires at 11:59pm PST on 3/15/2016.