Planner Tote – totally not clothes! IPM Week 2

Hi internet!

For week two of Indie Pattern Month I decided to sew up the Oslo Craft Bag from Sew Sweetness – I’ve loved her patterns for a while, and the Oslo is exactly what I was have been looking for in a planner tote. An added bonus is that it is free when you subscribe to her newsletter. I wanted something big enough that would carry my planner, my sticker books of two different sizes, scissors, pens, and also have space for A4 sheets of print-and-cut stickers. A big ask! But this tote delivers everything I wanted.

I used stashed fabrics, which I can’t 100% remember what they were intended to be when I purchased them, but they work great together for this tote.

Construction took a bit out of me, as I have never worked with foam interfacing before! This is actually a great project to learn to use it with, as there are just five pieces that need it – the long sides, short sides, and the base of the outer bag. I used Pellon Flex foam, and you can bet that next time I get a coupon for Spotlight I’ll be stocking up – this stuff is great! The inner lining and pocket pieces are all made with medium weight fusible interfacing – I used Birch.

I ended up using buttons for the side pockets, rather than snaps as I don’t own a snap setter – yet!

I opted not to use the rectangle rings on the straps because a) I like the look without them and b) because Spotlight didn’t have any when I went!

The big back pocket is perfect for A4 print outs, just as I had hoped.

The inside of the bag has two pockets, as well as a divider – this thing is huge on the inside too! If you omitted the divider you could fit things up to 14″ or so long, which is a really great size.

And here it is all full of my planner supplies – and it still has acres of room for more!

You can see that in the pocket with my actual planner I could easily fit at least another whole planner in that side, perfect.

Overall, this pattern is fantastic. Because it is mainly constructed from rectangles of various sizes there is only one piece of paper needed to print the pattern, and the rest are listed as dimensions to cut out. I drew out the other pieces out on some A3 paper I had handy, as I know I will be making this again! I think my mother might be quite hopeful of one, as she was cooing over it rather a lot when she came to visit – it would make a fantastic project bag for knitting. I’m also thinking about making one for a friend who is expecting, it would be a good nappy bag too!

An extra that this pattern has which I think is just fantastic is that there is a sew along video which was brilliant. That is alongside picture based instructions – it made all the steps so easy!

If you’re in the market for a tote for any reason at all that I can think of, this pattern should definitely be on your radar!

Indie Pattern Month Week One: Dresses

Hey internet!

You all know (or should know!) that I adore Indie Pattern Month held over on The Monthly Stitch. It is one of my favourite times of year (alongside the annual OAL on the Untangling Knots Ravelry group, and TOKmas over at Tiny Owl Knits Ravelry group), and I have great fun coming up with my response to the challenges.

Week one is an old favourite of IPM and of mine – dresses. I tend to wear a lot of dresses as I find them fun to sew, and also easy to wear. All I have to do is chuck the dress on, stick on some leggings/bike shorts to stop the dreaded chub-rub, and I am good to go.


The dress I decided to sew for IPM Dresses is the Itch to Stitch Chai Shirtdress. I’ve wanted to make this for a while, as it is a style I think looks fantastic, and the gathered bust makes it an easy fit for my H-cups.


I made a size 20, but increased the waist and hips by about an inch and a half as I wasn’t quite in the measurements – and I am glad I did as it is a little slim fitting right at the moment through the hips! The waist feels great now though.


I made it up in a truly lovely rayon from Spotlight with a watercolour cactus print. I decided not to interface any of the pieces as I loved the drape of the rayon and I didn’t want to hinder it at all – I am glad I didn’t as it feels exactly like I wanted it to, a very soft and drapey but structured at the same time. Perfect.


I will admit – this doesn’t fit quite the way I would want it to. Though, to be fair, part of that comes from the fact that I have eaten a LOT of bread and salt over the weekend, and I am rather bloated at the moment! I also, despite checking measurements, find that the bodice is a little too long on me – will definitely be shortening when I make my next one. I have plans for at least another dress or two, and several shirt versions. It is just a gorgeous pattern and I love how it looks. Next time I will also widen the hips and waist again, adding another two inches or so, just to give it a more flowing look. I spaced the buttons an inch and a half apart, as I need rather a lot to prevent boob-gaping!


Overall, this is one of my favourite makes of late. Even with the billion button holes, and buttons, I can’t wait to make another.

Happy Birthday, TMS!

So September is birthday month over at The Monthly Stitch, and I was super excited about sewing something inspired by our most excellent mods. One thing I noticed was common between all the team was a vested interest in prints! So many fantastic prints, so many makes! I had to make something inspired with a funky print.


In comes some fabric I’ve had in stash for an absolute age – my bright neon glasses print on navy. I knew what I wanted to make with it too, a Seamwork Arden. So off I went! (And those of you with eagle eyes will see that this combo was going to be on my table for the miss bossy challenge, but I never actually got to sewing it…)


I didn’t make any changes to the pattern, as I know Seamwork patterns and I are pretty good friends. I decided not to make any contrast panels, as I wanted as much of this gorgeous print as possible!


I did have a bit of a hard time sewing through all the layers to attach the bow to the bodice piece, but the work (and broken needle!) were worth it in the end – it is one of my favourite details.


The sleeve length is ideal for me, as I am rather short in the arms, and I didn’t need to shorten these ones – if you’re more long-armed than I, you might want to add an inch or so for it to hit right. I am most pleased with my cuffs as well, I think I put a lot of work into them and they actually turned out okay!


I also tacked down the collar at the shoulder seams, and I may yet tack it down a few more times around the back, as mine just does not want to behave.

You can see the slight sticky-uppy nature of the collar in the next shot:


And one bonus shot of what like 80% of the photos my fiance took look like – turns out I am not a good subject!!


Happy Birthday, TMS – can’t wait to spend more years with you!

“I did the only thing I could in the circumstance…I stabbed him in the shoulder!” Challenge Four – Indie Royalty

Hello again, fine people of the internet!

My Indie Royalty look is a lazy homage to my favourite lady detective, Ms Phryne Fisher. She wears a lot of fantastic oversize coats throughout the series, and that was the beginning of my outfit. Then a top, and pants to go – because how is a lady detective expected to chase down dastardly criminals wearing a dress?!


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The Monthly Stitch – June 2017 – Put a Bird on It

Hello internet!

The June challenge for The Monthly Stitch was exactly what I had hoped it would be – I’ve had this bird fabric sitting in my stash for AGES (and I have it in another colour too!) and I was rather hoping I would get a chance to use it! I picked it up at Spotlight, probably on clearance – of course – and is a lovely fleece backed heavy knit.

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The Monthly Stitch November challenge – Capsulate!

So, it’s been an age. Let’s move on…

I haven’t done a Monthly Stitch challenge in a while. Half for lack of inspiration, and half for lack of time. But! This month, I have a) a week off of work! and b) butt-tonnes of inspiration. I’ve been meaning to make up some new work-appropriate but also awesome clothing items, and a capsule wardrobe works well for me. I don’t have a uniform at work, but I also almost always end up wearing slim cut pants with patterned tees. They’re easy, comfortable, and still look professional.

So here we go – I know it looks like a LOT, but I am still hopeful of achieving it!

Starting from my original inspiration for this whole thing, I am going to make a Colette Lady Grey summer coat. I’ve had the Lady Grey pattern since I snapped it up from Dresses & Me when they still had a paper copy left. I don’t have anything against PDF patterns, I love them, but sometimes I like having physical patterns. Having seen these two fabrics I realised I needed a summer weight jacket that will work equally well for spring and autumn.

Summer Lady Grey

I love the pattern of the outer, and the gumdrop blue lining seemed like a great pop of colour.

Next up I wanted some new pants. I’ve had the same pair for the last age, and they are being worn to death. I have settled on a pattern from one of my BurdaStyle magazines, but I can’t find a picture of it online so I’ve gone with a RTW pair that looked similar.

Summer Pants

I’ve wanted polkadot pants for an AGE, and the soft olive looks like a good neutral-but-not addition to my wardrobe. The place I am buying from also lists a blush pink and a pale green of this fabric, but sadly is sold out. I may have to ask when they will be getting it back in stock!

I’ve decided two tops will be good to go with these, one more dressy and one less so. First up, the dressy one.

Summer top + fabric

I’ll be making the cross back version, and possibly altering it so that there isn’t a cut-out in the back – just not 100% sure about that at work. But otherwise I adore this pattern, and will be using a dusky rose ponte as the fabric.

The less dressy top will be yet another Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark – I swear, I own like 10 of these now. I adore the pattern, I’ve done edits to give some banded hems and some fold over sleeve ends. This time around, I’ll be doing something new…

Summer tee + fabric

I’m going to cut the front in a floral soft feel polyester, and the back in the same dusty rose ponte as the other top. I’ve seen a whole bunch of half woven/half knit tees around that I’ve loved, but haven’t brought myself to buy one. Makes sense I try and make one myself instead!

It looks like a lot, but I do at least stand in the knowledge that a Kirsten Kimono Tee takes me one and a half hours from start to finish, so that one won’t take me long. Pants also aren’t majorly long endevours for me, now that I know how to make them. The coat could be interesting, but I am still determined to attempt it!!

Indie Fangirl: Level Ultimate – plans

So, having decided I was going to participate in The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month, the first three weeks I was either a) too busy, b) too sore, or c) too busy recovering from sore to actually sew. The first week my partner was sick so I had to look after him, the second week I was sick and had to stay in bed (back injuries are AWFUL), and the third week was recovering from both those weeks!
But, with one week to spare, and nothing blocking my way, I am going to go all out, for the Indie Fangirl: Level Ultimate challenge
When looking for a company which I would call myself a fangirl of, there was only one company that sprang to mind. Lekala.
I adore their patterns. Their designs are a real mix of modern and traditional – I know I could find a fantastic structured blazer and a really traditional one from the same store, which is a big pull for me. I’ve got a multitude of different styles, and for me Lekala is a one stop pattern shop.
The fact they do custom sizes is also a big, big draw for me. Not just because you can customise the sizes of the big three, but also because you can say you have a narrower back and wider chest/bust, long arms, short torso, everything. Which benefits everyone, not just us plus-size gals! I have friends of all kinds of shapes, and I always recommend Lekala to them because there is, in no uncertain terms, something for everyone.
And finally, the price. $2.49 per pattern. And 10% off if you are a registered member. Or buy a bundle deal – 5 patterns for $9.99? That’s a free pattern! Heck, that’s not even ONE pattern from any of the big companies, and would normally only cover one or two patterns from an indie designer.
I also get special glee from some of the art used to show the patterns – I’d swear it’s a picture show for BtVS!
Anyway, Lekala has a strong place in my sewing world, and I can’t wait to sew up an Indie Fangirl: Level Ultimate dedicated to them. At this point, I’m aiming for a skirt, a top (a KNIT TOP! We’re going all out!), and a blazer. I’m in the applying for jobs part of life, and having a good three piece ‘suit’ that I can wear to an interview seems a good start. ‘Cause those things are expensive to buy RTW! I also have two dresses I want to make up, so we’ll see what happens over the week!
I’ll be back with updates of my progress, and a link to The Monthly Stitch post once I’ve made it!