Category Archives: Stash

Finished! Simple Sampler Corfu Quilt


I started this quilt at the beginning of October last year, as part of The Sewing Directory Simple Sampler Quilt Along.

I hadn’t made this type of quilt before, and most of the patchwork techniques were new to me.  Kerry explains them so clearly, I really enjoyed the process.

The fabric I chose was inspired by a Corfu holiday,  and I’m so pleased with the way the blues, greens, pinks and neutrals have come together.  I’ve included some subtle metallics to represent the light on the sea and stone.

I planned to make a lap quilt and used the bonus partial seam sashing tutorial to join the blocks together.  When I realised how much bigger this made the quilt I decided to go further and add 6 extra blocks to make it into a small double bed size.

I wrote about some of these blocks in a January post, and the others are –2017-03-09

  1. Folk Flower by Anna Maria Horner.  Creativebug
  2. Butterfly – Sew Magazine, October 2016 (You can get back issues of Sew Magazine on Readly, with a free months subscription using this link)
  3. Whippersnapper by Anna Maria Horner. Creativebug.  I’m very pleased with the placement of the little house on this one.

The back is a cream and black floral, with a stripe of cream Moda Zen Chic scraps.


And I mustn’t forget the support of my little fluffy helper.  Hetty thinks anything on the floor belongs to her!


Thank you very much Fiona and Kerry for organising the QAL.  I learned so much, and it’s inspired me to carry on quilting!


2017 Make Nine Challenge


New Year, new challenges – there are so many interesting ideas around, and I’d like to join in with lots of them, but I must be sensible and not over commit!
I am going to add one more to my #52weeksofblockprintandstitch though, because I really like the #2017makenine challenge.
The nine I’ve chosen to sew this year are a mix of patterns I’ve had for ages, a year old UFO, some which need me to learn new sewing skills and a few for my smallest niece and nephew.
1. This Burda 6987 coat has been hanging unfinished in my wardrobe for over a year! Top priority.
2. Another Banksia top – I loved the first one I made, but the fabric wasn’t great. I have a beautiful soft chambray for this.
3. Vogue 1395 – one of the many patterns I bought with great enthusiasm, and didn’t make up.
4. Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers – I haven’t made trousers before, and these have had great reviews. I love the shape.
5. Colette Beignet – bought it, didn’t make it. I have some denim for this and the trousers.
6. DKNY Vogue 2941 – the skirt is a beautiful shape, with a gathered hem. I like the camisole and kimono top too…
7. I’ve had Girls Style Book for ages, waiting for tiny niece Greta to be big enough for the patterns. There are some beautiful things for summer, including this dress, some bubble shorts, a wrap back top – I like almost all of them.
8. Burda kids 9482 – I want to use up some of the larger knit remnants I have left over from other projects. Hoodies seem ideal, and it’s nice to have a pattern for nephews too.
9. Gigi dress by Olive Ann designs – that bow back! And it comes with a matching pattern for an 18″ doll dress. Perfect.
I have masses of other patterns I would like to make, and plenty of fabric to make them, but if I can make these nine I’ll be very happy.

Colette Jasmine revisited

I decided this week to remake the first pattern I made successfully – as in, actually wore! – the Colette Jasmine.


I definitely had beginners luck the first time round, especially with my fabric choice, which was a slightly sheer vintage flower print with a bit of stretch.  It worked without any alterations, which was very encouraging.  I was even fortunate in not stay-stitching the neckline, as I liked the lower v-neck when it stretched.  Told you I had beginners luck!


This time I used another vintage print which I bought as a bolt, with it’s original label still attached.

I lowered the neckline by an inch at the front (to get that stretched out effect) and attached the sleeves flat so I could serge the seam edges.  I also took it in a little at the waist and hips.


I love this top.  The bias cut gives such a flattering line.

It was fun to go back in time – and here’s the first version I made in 2012.

Colette Jasmine

Finished outfit! Sirdar sweater and denim skirt

I’m cracking on with my stash busting list, and I’ve a whole outfit to show you today.  Outside pics too – it must be Spring!


My skirt is Vogue 1247  and the sweater is a pattern by Sirdar.  I can’t find a separate knitting pattern for this (it was in Knitting magazine, April 2014) but the Ravelry link gives all the details here.  The yarn is Rowan Purelife cotton – gorgeous.


This is the first time I’ve done so much cabling, and I’m rather proud of it!  I did have to rip out my first attempt (there was a mistake in the chart so a cable twisted the wrong way).  But I hadn’t got very far so it was good practice.

IMG_3588This is my knitting magazine pose – what’s that in the distance? – and Hetty is looking too!

I haven’t made this skirt pattern for a while, and had forgotten how lovely it is.  So easy, and the shape and those pockets are great.  It’s also much easier now I have an overlocker, and don’t have to bind every seam.  I lengthened the pattern by 8 inches, as usual for me.

Sewing space and stash essentials

I enjoyed reading about Jenny’s ( Bobbins and Whimsy ) 7 sewing stash essentials – and interested to see most of them were different from mine. So I thought I’d share too!

1. Thread of many colours

Dottie Doodle sewing tray

This is the wooden tray I keep by my sewing machine.  I found it in an antique shop and it’s big (65cm long) with deep compartments.  I sew in the dining room, so it’s very useful when I need to clear the  room quickly – for dining purposes!   The top three sections hold all purpose thread, sorted into cool, warm and neutral colours.   The mini mince pie is a needle cushion – I don’t often stash pies here.

2. Bias binding and coloured tapes for hems


I like experimenting with colour and having a stash of tapes mean I can try out different options.  If I’d gone to buy binding for this skirt I would probably gone with black, but I love the way this blue brings out the blue of the print.  I search flea markets and jumble sales for supplies.

3. Buttons


I’ve been lucky to inherit lots of buttons, and I buy more from vintage fairs.  I’d love to store them all together in a tin like my Granny did, but sorting by colour is more practical!  I hardly ever have to buy buttons for a project, but have indulged in some pink sparkly and daisy ones for tiny niece!

4. Zips

I prefer using invisible zips, but it’s a half hour drive to my nearest stockist.  So I order them online, whenever I’m ordering fabric.  And save them from clothes on their way to the recycling bin.

5. Denim

Denim skirts are my favourite thing to wear at home, winter and summer.  Pretty Grievances said recently that she needs to stop making tops which only go with a denim skirt.  I have the same problem, but my solution is to make more denim skirts!  I still haven’t found my perfect denim fabric so I usually have a couple of metres of a new candidate to try.

The latest is from Plush Addict, here.

6. Silk/Cotton lining

I love this stuff, it is so cool and luxurious.  I buy mine from a certain auction site, from Hong Kong.  Just search for silk cotton lining and you’ll find it.

7. Interfacing and knit interfacing

Boring but essential!

And finally, a glimpse of my sewing space –



Great British Sewing Bee laundry bag

I’ve been meaning to replace my boring plain cream laundry bag for ages, and as this year is all about using up the stash and getting things done, here it is!

This pattern, from the Great British Sewing Bee book, has some very nice details.  There are two ties, which ‘drawstring’ at the sides, and the channel for the ties is a little way down the bag, so it has a frill at the top when closed.

Great British Sewing Bee Laundry Bag 1

There is also a loop at the back to hang the bag, which is a lot neater than using the drawstring to hang it.

Great British Sewing Bee Laundry bag

I made my bag wider than the pattern so I could make full use of the repeat on the fabric.  I also used a hemmed square of fabric for my loop fastening instead of the grosgrain ribbon they recommend.

The fabric is from the Habitat V&A collection, 1988 and is called Morello.  I bought this from a vintage dealer for a few pounds.  It has some tiny marks, but those were easy to cut around.  I think the colour combination is lovely.

Habitat Morello 1988

You can find the bag pattern here.

Fabric: Vintage, Habitat £5
Time in stash: 7 months

Pattern: £0 (a gift)

Other: herringbone tape from stash

2014 Sewlution – 52 things


I do like to have a goal, so what to commit to this year?  There are so many things I’d like to learn to sew – trousers, a lined coat, many many techniques….but if I try to do too much I won’t achieve anything!

This year I’m joining Sarah and around 200 others in the Goodbye Valentino Ready to Wear fast.

I’ve bought only a handful of items in the past couple of years, and this means some of my clothes are wearing out.

Most of my purchases last year were because I didn’t have enough t-shirts and tank tops for the summer.  I had the fabric and the patterns, but no time to make them.  I don’t want to break the fast, so I need to plan ahead this year and make what I need.

I’d like to make a few things for my baby niece – she’ll be one year old in April – and there is some home furnishing sewing to do.  Those 6 dining chairs I was going to recover?  I’ve done one!

Mr D occasionally looks wistfully at the lovely shirts other bloggers make for their men (my plan to persuade him this was a hoax didn’t work) and he has a favourite jacket that needs relining.

Combined with all this is an overflowing stash drawer, and many unmade patterns.  I can do a lot of sewing without buying anything – maybe a zip or two.

So, this year, my sewlution is to make 52 things, one a week.  I have no idea if I will be able to do this, but I’m going to plan my sewing and always have something to work on on my sewing table.  Little and often might just work!