Sunny Shirt

Summer briefly arrived in London for the Easter weekend, so perfect timing for finishing my brightest. make. ever. Still a bit nervous about wearing this amount of yellow but I’m going to be brave!

The Fabric.

I recently wore a 100% me-made outfit, and wow did that feel great. I felt so proud that I’ve finally got to the point where I no longer need to buy any clothes.. that being said, the outfit may have been 100% me-made but it was also 100% black. Black Closet Case Patterns Ebony tee, black Tilly and the Buttons Ness skirt, Black Emerald Erin Jordy bralette and Black Megan Nielsen Acacia Undies.. I told you it was 100% me-made..!

I’ve realised I wear a lot of dark colours and yet one of my favourite things I’ve ever made is a bright red patterned midi dress. It was very out of my comfort zone, and yet the risk paid off – so I’ve decided I’m going to try sewing with a more varied palette.

I recently picked up a mustard tablecloth at a nearby charity shop for £4 – what a steal. The bright colour called out to me, but frankly I wasn’t sure it would suit me.. I think if it had been brand new fabric, I wouldn’t have bought it – but if it didn’t suit me, it would probably suit one of my friends so worth giving it a go!

The Pattern.

I had pretty limited fabric to work with, so my initial thought was a True Bias Ogden cami – possibly keeping the original tassels as fringe along the bottom.

That being said, I have plenty of Ogden camis and I can’t wear any of them to work, so they get limited use. I love wearing me-mades everyday, so I’m trying to make pieces that are work suitable whilst also something I’d wear at weekends.

I decided on the Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt. I’ve previously made the cropped version without adjustments, and I’ve only worn it once.. it’s not that I don’t love the style, it’s more that it’s very cropped. Plus I used some rubbish polyester material for that ‘wearable (or not so wearable) muslin’ and unsurprisingly it doesn’t feel nice to wear. I decided to give the Kalle another go, but lengthening the cropped version by 3-4 inches.

I had just about enough fabric for the Kalle but did have to piece together the yoke facing because I didn’t have enough fabric on the fold. The hidden placket is also made from two pieces – there’s a horizontal seam in the middle – but that was entirely my fault (I forgot to add the extra 3-4 inches to the placket as well as the front and back pieces).

The Make.

I really took my time sewing this one up, and I think it really paid off..

There’s miles of topstitching which I think really adds to it. This included:

  • The collar
  • Along the placket
  • Top and bottom of the back yoke
  • Two lines along the cuffs
  • Two lines along the hem facing
  • Two lines either side of the side seams

I really think it adds something to the overall shirt, so I’m glad I bothered.

The buttons were salvaged from an old shirt which adds an extra cherry onto the guilt-free/earth friendly cake that is this shirt.

This make didn’t involved any new items – the fabric and buttons were second hand, and I already had the interfacing and thread in my stash.

I even considered buying matching yellow thread and new topstitching thread but decided against it – mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to walk to the fabric shop (!) but also because it wasn’t necessary – I like the contrast of the white.

The Verdict.

I’m pleasantly surprised with how this shirt turned out. I wasn’t sold on the colour originally but I’m definitely coming round to it..! Adding length the Kalle definitely paid off and I’m glad I bothered with all of that topstitching!


Yes to Yoga

I’m a January cliché. I’m on a serious health kick (or I like to think I am, but I’m writing this whilst eating Kettle Chips…). I’m following this a-maz-ing 30 day yoga challenge, I’m doing dry January and I’m trying out pescatarianism (baby steps to saving the environment eh?). I play netball every week and I’m also trying Couch to 5K (although that stalled when I got ill after the second run… I’ll get back to it!).

Anyway, this is all to say that I am in serious need of activewear. In a moment of desperation, I bought some Adidas leggings late last year. As a sewist who makes basically all her clothes, it breaks my heart to say this, but they’re really good. The fit is great and I like that they have mesh panels; however they cost a fair bit and it troubles me I don’t know how they were made. Enter ‘Operation Sew Activewear’.

The Pattern.

As a Christmas gift to myself, I bought Sew Your Own Activewear by Melissa Fehr. Melissa is the go-to sewist when it comes to activewear, so I thought her book would be a good place to start as a newbie activewear sewist.

I picked the yoga bottoms pattern which features a high waist and – crucially – a back pocket (something my Adidas leggings sorely lack – seriously where do I put my keys when I go running?!).

The book has you hack basic block patterns to make different items, so a good ream of tracing paper is a must. Overall the instructions for putting the pattern together are pretty straight forward, although the gusset took me a little while to understand… I think the hardest thing to be sure of was how big to make it, but I must have guessed right in the end based on the pictures in the instructions.

The Fabric.

Finding activewear fabric was a bit of a puzzle. All my normal go-to shops (both in person and online) didn’t really have any suitable activewear fabric, or if they did, they didn’t have a massive range. Fortunately Melissa has put together a great list of retailers to look at and I ended up shopping at Funki Fabrics.

I ordered five samples (free of charge) because I really had no idea where to start and what sort of fibre to look for. I wanted fabric similar to my Adidas leggings – relatively thick with enough stretch. I ended up going with some black Perform fabric, which has worked well – plenty of stretch with a slight sheen.

The Make.

I made most of the pattern with my overlocker apart from attaching the waistband elastic and the leg hems, where I used a three step zig zag. After the first try on of the leggings, I heard a few snaps where the overlocker stitching broke so I shortened the stitch length and it improved a lot.

The fit wasn’t simple. Based on the original pattern fit, it was really baggy around the knees and ankles but a pretty good fit around the hips. One of the reasons I love sewing is that I can make garments to fit me perfectly, so I shaved off a cm at a time on the side seams until I had the perfect fit. Realistically I think I took a good 5 cm out of each knee, and I should now really go back and transfer those amendments to the pattern block.. one of these days I’ll get round to it!

I had some difficulty fitting the waistband. The instructions say you need a piece of 2-inch elastic, 90% of your waist, which for me that would have been 59cm. When I tried to sew the elastic on, it was considerably shorter than the leggings waistband – I knew it had to be stretched a little bit, but this just didn’t seem right.. it was way too tight and pulled in the waist way too much. (maybe I measured wrong..?) I ended up taking the elastic off and making it slightly longer. It sewed in much better that way, although having worn the leggings a couple of times, perhaps I should have stretched it slightly more.

The other mistake I made was sewing the outer front waistband with the wrong side out. An easy mistake to make because the front and back are similar, but they’re not the same and in some lights you can tell. Ahh… but I only realised once it was all sewn up and hey, I’m not a perfectionist. A lesson learnt for next time!

The Verdict.

I’ve worn these leggings for a yoga practice now, and they worked really well. There was one spot where the stitches slightly ripped because I’d used a longer stitch length – lesson learnt, use a short stitch length.

So, will I make more leggings again? Yes definitely. I might be tempted to try a different pattern just to see how the construction differs, but I really like the block construction method.

Easy Ebony

I’ve decided 2019 is going to be the year of making patterns more than once. I love improving my sewing skills by sewing multiple versions of the same pattern, but it’s something I rarely do. In fact, I know I’ve ended several blog posts with a ‘I’ll definitely make this again’ but do I? Very rarely. This, my second make of 2019, is a prime example of improving upon a previous make – the Closet Case Pattern Ebony Tee.

The Pattern.

The Ebony Tee from Closet Case Patterns is a great pattern – really comfortable and versatile. I’ve made two versions of the cropped view before, one stripy and one purple. I loved both versions but they’re not perfect. The stripy version is slightly too short – I can only wear it with high waisted jeans (of which I only have two pairs) so it limits its wear. The purple version is made in a knit which isn’t that stretchy… it means it’s a little tight in the arms so not super comfy!

Taking both of those together, I decided the Ebony was worth another go – with a longer length and a stretchier material. Because of that, I added about 3 inches to the length. I also added a bit more length to the sleeves as I found them a tad short.

The Fabric.

I have absolutely no idea about this fabric apart from the fact it was a remnant and it had a few holes it! That meant pattern placement was more of a jigsaw that I’m sure the pattern designer originally intended! All I can sure of is that it’s a lightweight jersey with quite a bit of stretch.

The Make.

This top was a dream to sew. I overlocked all the seams so it took next to no time to sew up.

For the hem, I used Heat n Bond soft stretch tape to stop the hem going wavy – and it did just that. In the past, I’ve never has very good results with a twin needle but I’ve decided this year I’m going to revisit my past sewing demons. I loosened the bobbin tension quite a bit and lengthened the straight stitch, and the result was just about perfect – definitely something I’ll be trying again.

For the cuffs, I decided a twin needle wouldn’t do because it wouldn’t allow for enough stretch. Instead, I decided to use a three step zigzag – perfect for the cuffs where there’s likely to be more strain.

The Verdict.

This has well and truly reignited my sew-jo! The length is so much better and I really like the finish of the twin needle. Really glad I revisited the Ebony Tee, and I’m sure I’ll make some more in the future!

Monstrous Molly

Wait, what’s this? A blog post? Surely not.

Yep, you better believe that one of my new year’s resolutions is to blog more, so I’m keeping myself accountable by putting it in my bullet journal. If it’s in the #bujo, it has to happen, right..?

So my first make of 2019 was a Molly top. I wanted something quick and fun, and I’ve successfully made the Molly a couple of times in the past. Plus, the Molly was the first knit garment I made on my overlocker so it holds a special place in my heart.

The Pattern.

The Molly top is a pattern from Sew Over It’s City Break E-Book. I love, love, love this pattern. It’s such a simple sew, and I’ve worn my previous Molly dress almost to death.

I will say, this sweatshirt started life as a dress but once I put it on, it drowned me in quilting – not an ideal look.

I ended up lopping off several inches to make it a top which worked much better; it was a bit of a waste of fabric, but I feel like it’s better to create something I’ll actually wear and lose a bit of fabric to the scrap bin! It’s all in the creative process I suppose…!

The Fabric.

I used a cosy quilted grey sweatshirting I’ve had in my fabric stash for a while now. It was a remnant from one of my favourite independent fabric shops, Mad Jaks in Shere.

I thought a Molly top paired with a cosy sweatshirting was a match made in heaven… boy was I wrong. The fabric was horrendous to sew. My gut reaction was to overlock the whole thing, but because the fabric had some sort of wadding to make the quilted effect, it got caught in the overlocker blade. Very messy, very stressful – so not what I was after for a ‘quick’ make!

In the end I took the blade off and it worked a bit better. However, I wouldn’t sew with this fabric again – it was a nightmare I don’t want to relive!

The Make.

I’ve alluded to my troubles with this fabric. Let’s not dwell on it, but let’s just say it resulted in an eventful Saturday full of lots of strong words aimed at my overlocker.

The Molly is a great pattern because it’s so quick to make with very few seams. However this one was tricky because the fabric was thicker and ended up with bulky seams. When I make another Molly top or dress, I’ll go for a lighter fabric with a bit more drape.

I finished the cuffs and hem with a three step zigzag which I like paired with the quilted diamonds. I also secured the neckband with a lengthened straight stitch.

The Verdict.

All that being said, I’m pleased with the final result. It was quite a journey to get there but I’m trying to remember that all of these ‘mistakes’ are useful practice.

Restyling Exchange 2018

The Restyling Exchange is a sewing challenge run by Amy (of @amynicolestudio) and Pilar (of @pilar_bear).  It involves refashioning someone else’s garment, and another sewist will refashion an item you send them.

So what did I make? 

Kate sent me a beautiful turquoise skirt with a pink tulip print.  She mentioned she liked the skirt but didn’t get much wear out of it, because it was a touch too formal for everyday wear.  She also said her style icons included Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn so I knew I had a vintage style to aim for.

The genius of this skirt was the amount of material I had to play with.  Not only is there the main fabric, but also a lining.  I decided a shirt would be ideal, and ended up using the Vintage Shirt Dress pattern from Sew Over It which I already had in my stash. I hacked the pattern to make it into a shirt length, rather than the intended dress.  In this way, I thought it would tick both boxes – wearable everyday, but also vintage inspired!  Fortunately Kate and I were a similar size, so I was able to make it to fit me during the sewing process.

A few notes on the construction…

  • I kept the main button band from the skirt; some would say this was clever refashioning, I’d say it was me being lazy and not wanting to redo button holes..!

  • I finished the arm holes with bias binding, which worked pretty well.

  • I used the hem of the skirt for the shirt hem… again, lazy not clever if I’m honest 🙂

  • I decided very early on that pattern matching wasn’t going to happen.  Although I had a lot of material, it just wasn’t enough to match the tulips.  That being said, I tried to match the central tulip on the centre back seam as I thought that would be pretty obvious.

  • The lining was pretty useful for the front facing, where I didn’t have quite enough of the main fabric to use.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with this make and was a bit sad to see it go – I really enjoyed sewing with such beautiful, bright fabric!

And what did I receive in return? 

Excuse the background mess…

I sent (to be refashioned) a navy patterned dress that was just a tad too short (read: indecent), and a green Ogden cami that didn’t have enough drape so I just didn’t wear it (both me-mades).  I received back two items (completely didn’t expect two!).

They were a lovely refashioned top (from the dress) and a bag to store sewing projects (from the Ogden cami).  Both much more usable than the items I sent off!


This is such a great, environmentally friendly initiative.  Plus it’s a great challenge to sew for someone else, trying to fit to their measurements and their style.  I’ll definitely take part again next year 🙂

Casual Kielo

I’ve had about six weeks away from sewing, and frankly I lost my sew-jo.  I knew I wanted to sew something, I just didn’t know what.. I’ve also set myself a task to only buy ethically sourced fabric (more of that in a future blog post), so I knew I needed to use something from my fabric stash. Inspired by Rumana’s (@thelittlepomegranate) plethora of beautiful Kielo Wrap Dresses, I decided to give the pattern another go…

The Pattern.

The Kielo is a wrap dress pattern from the amazing ladies at Named Patterns.  It’s designed for fabrics with a bit of stretch, and I love how versatile it is – you can tie it in the front or the back, loose or tight, creating multiple different looks.

I’ve made the Kielo before, but in a woven, non-stretch fabric which didn’t work brilliantly (I eventually donated it to a charity shop).  The main reason wasn’t necessarily the woven fabric, it was more than I cropped the length to above the knee; I found, with this pattern, it’s really difficult to get a straight hem if you chop it at a shorter length because of the wrap nature of the dress.

So, for my second try, I went for a midi length and added on sleeves, using the the free add-on pattern.  The dress is designed to be maxi, with a vent in the pattern; that being said, I’m really into midi lengths at the moment, and thought I’d get more wear out of it that way, so I decided to chop off a few inches and omit the vent.

The Fabric.

As I said, I’m trying to think about my sewing in a more sustainable way, and my first step is to shop my stash.  I had a grey bamboo jersey that I bought from What Katie Sews’ Instagram destash, which I thought would work perfectly for the sleeved version – Named Patterns suggest you to use “a knit fabric with approximately 50% stretch”.  It has great drape and it ended up working really well for the Kielo.

The Make.

All in all, this is a pretty quick make.  The Kielo (with sleeves) only has 4 pattern pieces:

  • Front (cut on the fold)
  • Back (cut 2)
  • Ties (cut 2)
  • Sleeves (cut 2)

I made the UK size 10, without any adjustments and it fits perfectly (I guess aided by the wrap/jersey nature of the dress). I think the most fiddly bit about the Kielo is the pattern adjustments you have to make when you add the sleeves.  The Kielo wasn’t originally planned to have sleeves, so you have to make some adjustments to the armholes.  That being said, Named have some pretty clear instructions for how to adjust the main Kielo dress.

I serged the whole dress, apart from the darts and the hems.  For the darts, I used a straight stitch (after a bit of trial and error); despite being a stretch fabric, a slightly lengthened straight stitch seemed to have the best results. Given that there won’t be much strain or stretch on those darts, I thought it was worth the risk.

For the hem, I used a small zigzag stitch; I realised I lost my beloved Heat-n-Bond soft stretch tape in my many recent flat moves (sob!) so in a ploy to get the dress finished, I tried out using strips of stretch interfacing instead and surprisingly it worked really well (no wavy hem!).  That’s not to say I won’t be buying another lot of Heat-n-Bond, but it’s a good alternative if you’re in a bind!


Overall, I’m SO pleased with how this turned out.  I like it so much more than my previous woven Kielo – the midi length works so much better and it’s much more my style.  Plus, the multiple ways you can style the Kielo is genius – the fact you can tie it a bit looser if you have a bit lunch is a big bonus 🙂 I can’t wait to make another version.

Quirky Culottes

The recent heatwave we’ve had in London has left me with quite the conundrum.. it’s been boiling on the tube, but ice cold in my air conditioned office. As such, I want the best of both worlds in my wardrobe – something that’ll keep me warm in the air con but cool in the stifling heat. Impossible surely? Well I thought I’d try out a couple of recent fashion trends to see if I could sew my way out of this conundrum.

I’ve already tried midi skirts, which have been pretty successful – you can read about my self drafted stripy midi skirt here. Now, I’m trying out culottes, with mixed success..!

The Pattern.

I considered various culottes patterns that have popped up in the indie sewing space in the past few months.

The Megan Nielsen Flint pants look great; I really like the waistband/pleat detail, but ultimately decided they were too wide legged.

Also, the Winslow culottes from Helen’s closet; I enjoyed Helen’s instructions for the Suki kimono, which bodes well, but not sure about how wide the legs are.

I also thought about the Ninni culottes from Named Patterns, but not 100% sold on the elastic waist.

I ultimately (see what I did there? I’m hilarious) decided on the Ultimate Culottes from Sew Over It. I like their pattern instructions, they looked high waisted, they had a zip (no elastic) and not too wide in the leg.

The Fabric.

I opted for some light blue cupro I had in my stash (from Rainbow Fabrics Kilburn), for a couple of reasons. Practically, it was the only suitable fabric I had in my stash where I had enough for the pattern (at least 2.5 metres). Also, it had enough weight for a trouser and I didn’t want something sheer. Plus, I’d never sewn with cupro and wanted to see what it was like; I will say, it was great to sew with and I’d definitely look to use it again in the future.

However, I’m not 100% convinced by the colour. I like that it emulates washed denim, but I prefer darker colours on my bottom half where I’m slightly bigger… then again, it does me good to sew and wear something other than black or navy..!

The Make.

It’s been about 15 years since I sewed trousers, and back then I was pretty new to sewing clothes, and didn’t have any curves whatsoever. The latter made the process somewhat easier!

I think the reason why I’ve shied away from sewing trousers for so long is because I feared the challenge of fit. I’m pretty lucky in that I generally don’t have to make many fit adjustments to patterns to get them to work for me – my bust and waist usually fit into the same size. However the hip is usually at least one or two sizes bigger. I’ve made my peace with that – it’s been that way for years, I might as well get used to it! It’s why we sew, right? But it also means that fitting close-fitting trousers or skirts is a bit of a pain – you don’t want to grade out too much, lest it’s suddenly way too bulbous around the hips. But you also don’t want to go too small and risk not fitting into it. Decisions, decisions!

The Ultimate culottes were a good way of dipping my toe back into the world of sewing trousers. Realistically you just have to get the waistband and darts right and you’re home and dry. I will say, I’m pretty pleased with the waist fitting, although it sits a little high on me. If I were to make these again, I’d choose the other view and omit the waistband altogether.

However, a few things I didn’t quite get right with this make…

The invisible zip on the side seams doesn’t quite sit flat at the bottom, which bothers me… but not enough to undo it.

Culottes before their surgery..!

Also, I hacked off a load of the width from the bottom of the trousers in the end. I tried them on once they were all sewn up and just thought, ‘Nah, this isn’t for me’. The legs were too wide and made me look a bit clown like. I’m not saying that’s true of all culottes – I love the look on other people, but on me I just felt they made me look wider than I am. Not ideal.

However, after effectively turning them into a wide legged cropped trousers (hence ‘Quirky Culottes’ since I’m not sure they count as culottes anymore..!), I’m much happier with them and I’ve worn them to the office a few times.

The pattern itself is really lovely, and as with other Sew Over It patterns, the instructions are great.


Do these keep me warm in the air con and cool in the heat? Yes, for sure!

Would I make them again? Maybe… but I’d remove the waistband and hack the width again. I feel like if I’m doing that, I should just find a wide legged trouser pattern instead..!

Am I convinced by the culotte trend? Totally, but just not on me! Oh well, at least I tried. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while!

Epic Embroidery

What do you do when your film loving flatmate has a birthday and you sew?  Of course you embroider their fave film quotes onto a hoop – what else?  So how did I go about it?

Step 1.

Create a list of their fave films.  From that identify a list of hilarious film quotes aided by other flatmate.  Note – you want quotes with a range of lengths, in order to fill the round hoop (longest goes in the centre, shortest at top and bottom – you get the idea).

I ended up with:

  • Good Holiday?  Wild Child 
  • It started with a chair.  Juno 
  • Is that your given name?  Ladybird 
  • Drippy’s in the freezer.  Wild Child
  • Have bottom the size of… Brazil.  Bridget Jones’ Diary  
  • Are you saying it’s a ‘no go’, or ‘no, go’?  Why him?  
  • We found them in the penny saver next to the exotic birds.  Juno 
  • No caviar for me thanks, never did like much.  Titanic
  • Now I’m not gonna do that because we’ve already paid the DJ.  Mean Girls
  • I didn’t think he had it in him.  Juno 
  • She has more marshmallows than I do.  The Holiday
  • You smell like a baby prostitute.  Mean Girls
  • Just stir it Una.  Bridget Jones’ Diary
  • Say crack again.  Mean Girls
  • A wee bob.  Wild Child

Step 2.

Arrange your quotes in length order.

Step 3. 

Put some fabric in your hoop – I chose some blue cotton I had in my stash.  Make sure the hoop is tightened as much as possible.

Step 4.  

Find the centre of the hoop.  Draw a line a bit above and a bit below (I used pencil).  Then pick one of your longest quotes, draw it on your fabric in between the lines and start embroidering!

For my first quote, I went for ‘No caviar for me thanks, never did like it much’ (Leo di Caprio in Titanic – but I didn’t have to tell you that..).

For the quotes, I used a simple running stitch.

In between the quotes I used different lines of embroidery to add a bit of intrigue.

Step 5. 

Add quotes above and below the middle quote.  Keep adding quotes until you’ve covered the whole hoop.

Step 6.

Cover the back of the hoop.  I’m lazy so usually just superglue a circle of felt onto the hoop at the back.

And there you have it… a completed embroidery hoop 🙂

Ogden Omnibus

This summer has been sweltering in London – but us Brits haven’t mentioned it all, have we..?  I suddenly found myself with very little summer appropriate clothing and turned to the trusty Ogden cami pattern to solve my dilemma.  In one weekend alone, I made 5 Ogdens. Can you believe?  Here’s a quick round-up, showing how versatile the Ogden can be:

1. Ogden/Ida Swap 

Jen (@jenlegg4) and Laura (@cottonreelstudio) ran a great sewing exchange challenge this year in the Ogden/Ida swap.  You’re paired up with another sewist somewhere in the world and you have to make them an Ogden cami or an Ida clutch or both.  I opted for both, and my person to sew for was Laura herself.  Noting her love for patterned fabric, I decided to sew up an Ogden in some navy blue fabric with white birds all over it.

Photo courtesy of @cottonreelstudio (because I stupidly forgot to take a picture before sending!)

Now one of my least favourite parts of an Ogden is under-stitching the facing – it’s just so fiddly.  To over come this, sometimes I just stitch the main fabric and the facing together, about 1 cm from the neckline.  For Laura’s version, I decided to use a fancy embroidery stitch on my Bernina and I really like how it turned out.

Photo courtesy of @cottonreelstudio (because I stupidly forgot to take a picture before sending!)

The Ida I also sent Laura was made out of suede my aunt gave me, and the lining (also patterned birds) was a remnant from one of my favourite fabric shops (Madjaks in Shere).  The zip was inherited from my grandmother (a master seamstress in her day), so it cost me next to nothing to put this together.

In return I received from Merri a beautiful Ogden in a tie dye like print (so very me!).

She also sent a beautiful Ida with a cute bee on the zip, and some handmade earrings – cannot get over how lovely these are.

2. Ogden dress hack 1.0

I had some fabric left over from the Ogden I made Laura as part of the Ogden swap, so decided to make myself a dress version.  Now, listen, this is a lesson in a) pre-washing fabric, and b) allowing for a bit more length lest your make become indecent in retrospect.

I now wear this dress as a nightie, and honestly, I needed more nightwear suitable for the hot weather, so it’s a welcome addition to my wardrobe.  I also had a tiny bit of the fabric left after that and made a cropped version of the Ogden to go with high waisted jeans/skirts.

3. Ogden dress hack 2.0 

I love an Instagram destash; (fellow millennials ignore this section, but for the sake of my dear mum eventually reading this..) this typically involves a sewist selling their spare fabric on Instagram to others who might get better use of it.  To me, it’s a great, sustainable way of sourcing fabric – you’re not creating additional demand for fabric, and you’re taking it off another sewist’s hands.

The fabric for this Ogden dress fabric came from @timetosew ‘s destash account (@makeyourstashdestash) on Instagram, and cost just £5 plus postage (the fiver went to charity too!).

I got a metre of Lady McElroy cotton, and I decided to see if I could squeeze out an Ogden dress.  Honestly – a cotton dress was all I wanted to be wearing this summer!  I really like how this turned out – I kept it midi length, and always wear a belt with it to cinch it in.

4. Ogden dress hack 3.0 

My final ogden dress hack used an elasticated waist (to eradicate the need for a belt).  I used a remnant I found at the aforementioned Madjaks, which ended up being just a metre of cotton printed with daisies.

I cut a bodice, finishing on the lengthen/shorten line.  I then cut two rectangles out of the remaining fabric I had, sewed the two together and created a channel to thread the elastic through.

I love how this turned out, but I did have to be pretty careful about the placement of the daisies…!

5. Silk Cami + Old Zara Top = A+ Ogden 

A sewing fail of mine that hasn’t been documented on the blog was a white Sew Over It Silk Cami I made earlier this year.  Its problem was that the fabric was quite sheer so you could see the facing underneath – not ideal.

Failed Silk Cami

I also had a RTW top from Zara that I bought online in the sale a few years ago and have never worn, for a couple of reasons: 1) it’s sheer, and 2) it’s too big.

RTW Zara top

I decided to see if I could combine these two fails into something usable.  Given the little fabric I had to play with, I settled on the trusty Ogden – surprise, surprise!

The Silk Cami ended up being the underlayer (omitting facings) and the lace from the Zara top went over the top.  I added ribbons for ties, because I didn’t have enough of the fabric to make my own.

I really love how this turned out, and I’ve had so much more wear out of it than the other two garments combined!

6. 2 x Refashioned Ogdens

My flatmate had a clear out of her wardrobe before we moved into our current place (last September!) and I’ve only just got round to refashioning a couple of skirts she decided weren’t for her anymore.

Both were short skirts with multiple rows of elasticated gathers.  I unpicked the rows of gathers during a viewing of Iron Man, and used the Ogden pattern to refashion them into more wearable tops.  I didn’t quite have enough of the main fabric for the facings, so I used a contrasting fabric I had in my stash.

The main lesson I’ve learnt with the Ogden over the past few months – if you don’t think you have enough fabric, you probably do if you make the facing or straps from a different, complementary material.  I kept the original hem from the skirts for ease (read: laziness).  I also used some ribbon for the straps because a) it was easier, and b) I didn’t quite have enough of the main fabric to make my own straps.


Overall that makes 8  Ogden camis made by me (and one made for me).  Wow, I definitely love this pattern.  It’s so versatile and quick to sew, I’d definitely recommend it.  My next challenge is to try and widen the straps to make it work appropriate!

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