I started sewing in August 2011. At the time I blogged on LiveJournal on a locked account so thankfully most of my very early efforts (which were, as you would expect, completely terrible) are hidden away there.


When I first started out, I was really into sewing bags and accessories and swore up and down I'd never make garments! I made a LOT of stuff, so I've just picked out a handful of the early projects and then some of my favourites as I got proficient enough to use more complicated/larger patterns.

From left to right:

1. The first thing I sewed when I started out: Oyster card (the London transport system fare cards) holders. In OILCLOTH. Too clueless to know better!
2. A more sensible second project: a boxed bottom, unlined tote.
3. First lined handbag: an old (no longer available) Keyka Lou/Michelle Patterns pattern, from recollection, in white linen that misbehaved horribly.
4. First bag with any kind of embellishment: pintucked bag from the book 1-2-3 Sew, which I made for my mother as a gift.
5. First attempt at fussy cutting. The pattern is a free one by artsycraftsybabe.

As I got a little better at sewing, I made a few bags I really liked. These are a handful of my favourites from 2011:

 From left to right:

1. Another fussy cut bag -- the fabric is Twinkle Toes by Harlequin, and it's adorable.
2. A little wristlet I made for my niece (made to another defunct Keyka Lou pattern). It is so cute, but my niece much preferred the sweeties I put inside.
3. Most complicated bag I made in 2011: the ChrisW Evelyn in brown faux suede.
4. Amy Butler Cosmo Bag from the book Style Stitches -- it is GIGANTIC, you could put my sewing machine in it.
5. My first attempt to "design" my own pattern, which actually turned out pretty cute!

 From left to right:

1. Purple vintage wool clutch with little metal flowers. Another Keyka Lou pattern.
2. A messenger bag for my nephew with applique felt cars.
3. Another Amy Butler Cosmo bag, this time a commission from a friend.
4. Another Keyka Lou pattern, the Skirt Bag. I love this for the fabric, if I'm honest.
5. Another commission -- a matched set of What a Hoot fabric bag/key clutch and passport case.


I carried on making bags in 2012, though fewer as the year went on and I switched to garment sewing. Here are my favourites from among the (many) I made that year.

Top row, left to right: Pinafore Bag, pattern by U-handbag; Gingercakes Duffle bag (love the fabric on this one; Keyka Lou Pleated Clutch (which I use still for my knitting needles); Tulip Bag from the Sew Sweetness: Bags book. Red bag with a buckle -- no idea who this pattern was by, just that it was evil.

Bottom row, left to right: Bag with turquoise handles -- this was a free pattern from somewhere, I don't recall where. A pile of bags I made for sale. And finally, my all time favourite bag I have made so far, the ChrisW Olivia, which I made for Christmas for my sister-in-law in grey denim.

Around March 2012, after sewing for 8 months, I got really bored of bags, and decided to branch out into garments, and at around the same time I also decided to move my sewing content off LiveJournal and start this blog instead.

I started, as recommended by pretty much everyone, with pyjamas. I started with a couple of versions of the shorts view of New Look 6321. The white ones I wore for a few months until they shredded, the red ones were made with too heavy a fabric and were unwearable. I then moved on to make a pair Ottobre 05-2011-02 "Sweet Dreams" PJ shorts which I actually kept in my wardrobe until 2015. Next, I made a simple top using New Look 6025. No matter what I said at the time, this was, in fact, totally unwearable.

I also made a bunch of (also unwearable!) skirts. From left to right: navy pinstripe skirt (Simplicity 8664); refashioned purple polka dot skirt (Ottobre 05-2007-03); a skirt with a flounce (Simplicity 3881); horrible, HORRIBLE brown wool skirt (Simplicity 5351); disastrously awful black wool skirt. Other than the purple polka dot skirt, which I wore a couple of times, I never wore any of these -- they ran the gamut of the wrong size, hideous fabric choice and horribly sewed!

I also bought an overlocker (serger) and started sewing knits (ALSO badly!). 

From left to right: first ever knit (Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee) which I wore until it disintegrated in wash, which took about 6 months (mainly due to poor sewing) ; A "pattern hack" tee, where I failed to take into account the fact that the lack of stretch meant it would be deeply uncomfortable to wear (Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee with minor pattern alteration); a cowl neck top 2 sizes too small (My Image M1152); PJ tees at least three sizes too big (New Look 6321); the wrong size (1-2 sizes too big) of hideously floral long-sleeved tee (Ottobre 05-2010-01 Nora Top).

In 2013 I started to do a better job of sewing. Here are the things I made:


Jackets: Embroidered beige linen (New Look 6911); Turquoise Linen (New Look 6911)

Tops. From left to right, top row: Black and white patterned 1 and 2 (Ottobre 02-2013-02); Red and white patterned (Ottobre 02-2013-02); Pink and green floral (New Look 6025). Bottom row: White with lace yoke (Ottobre 02-2013-02); Pale blue (Ottobre 02-2013-13); Blue polka dot (Ottobre 02-2013-02); Shades of blue raglan (Ottobre 05-2013-04).

Dresses. Grey with birds (Made by Rae Washi dress); Cream with birds (Made by Rae Washi dress, maxi variation); Black ditsy (Deer and Doe Sureau).

Skirts. Top row: Brown crocodile (McCall 5431); Turquoise feathers (Ottobre 05-2007-03); Layered white and turquoise floral (McCall's 5431). Bottom row: Khaki "safari" skirt (Ottobre 02-2010-15) Border print maxi skirt (Lorenna Buck Maxi Tutorial); Pieced denim (My Image M1103)

PJs. Border print and non-border print PJ shorts (Ottobre 05-2011-02)

Bags & Clutches

From left to right (links go to related blog post): Top row: Half-moon handbags. Middle row: Owl & Stripe Bag; Seafarers Satchel; Hollyhock tote. Bottom row: High Tea Clutch; Wedding clutch.


From left to right (links go to related blog post): Top row: Skinny Beginner's scarf; Kit scarf 1; Kit scarf 2; Gaptastic Cowl; Kit scarf 3. Bottom row: Super Chunky Cowl 1; Super Chunky Cowl 2; Firefly scarf; Kit scarf 4; Taffeta Scarf

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