The Mystery Blogger Award : Your Questions Answered!

You may have seen posts on this ‘Mystery Blogger Award’ popping up in your feed; it’s basically an awesome shout out and works like this – a blogger nominates a number of their favourite bloggers and asks them to answer some questions they pose. In doing so, the recipient must then nominate some fellow bloggers and pay the Award forward. I was nominated by some pretty awesome sewing bloggers who asked some really interesting questions! An opportunity to thank them and pay the award forward, as well as answering their questions, meant no way could I pass this one by!

So, what is the award exactly?

“The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates, it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” Created by : Dkoto Enigma

What a lovely gesture!

Colourful canvas sueFirstly, I was nominated by the titian haired goddess that is Sue (A Colourful Canvas). I adore her blog, she’s an engaging writer and always has something interesting to say, and show, with her fabulous creations.

The questions Sue posed are: Read More

My Deer & Doe ‘Luzerne’ Trench Coat Makers’ Diary – Part 3; Bound Buttonholes and Bias Binding the Seamsp

Hi Sewing Peeps!

Apologies for the interruption in blogging, diary style, the making of my Deer & Doe ‘Luzerne’ Trench Coat…the trouble with blogging a make in ‘real time’ is that sometimes real life stuff unexpectedly intervenes! Long story short…my daughter spent a worrying few days in hospital. All is now well, thank goodness (and thank you to everyone who sent well wishes our way over on Instagram; that was very kind and really appreciated). I’m breathing easy again (just with more grey hair than before!), so it’s back to documenting sewing this thing!

Having previously cut the coat out and interfaced the relevant pieces, I salvaged a decent sized scrap to practice doing a bound buttonhole following the method given in Deer & Doe’s accompanying blog tutorial. I had some very good advice given on my last post when it came to the bound buttonholes from two of my favourite fellow bloggers – Firstly, Lynne (of Ozzy Blackbeard) highly recommended checking out Karen of ‘Did You Make That’ Bound Buttonhole e-Book (which is currently unavailable whilst being reformatted. Karen has very kindly offered to send me a copy of the original … but I ploughed on before having the benefit of her skill and tips!) And both Lynne and KS Sews (Dressmaking Debacles) recommended simply doing a machine buttonhole in the facings, which is definitely worth considering next time. But as a starter, I wanted to crack on and give them a go as drafted.

I found the ‘letterbox’ shaped welt pieces worked fine, except for the fact that … Read More

Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat : A Makers Diary – Days 2 and 3

Hello there!

Thank you for joining me again in my quest to sew the Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat (if you want to catch up on Day 1, you can read it here). Today I’m covering pattern alterations, cutting out and clueing up on bound buttonholes!

Whilst waiting impatiently for the fabric and supplies I’ve ordered from Minerva Crafts to arrive, I use the time to consider what, if any, alterations I want to make to my traced out pattern pieces. I feel pretty sure that the basic Deer & Doe block fits me well; they design for a fuller bust (C/D cup) so I wasn’t concerned that I’d need to do an FBA. However, I was a bit unsure as to the sleeve length on this pattern. I consider myself petite in height (I’m 5.3″) but sewing their Melilot shirt revealed that, surprisingly, I didn’t need to take anything out of the length of that sleeve. Looking at the Luzerne sleeve pattern piece though, it looks way too long for me. Mmmm. What to do … Read More

A Makers’ Diary – The Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat : Day 1


I’m starting something a little bit different today…a short series of blog posts covering the one, more involved, make. I’ve come back to my sewing table really craving a longer-term project. I’ve reached the point, I think, whereas to curb getting jaded, I need to push myself out of my safety zone and learn some new techniques. I want to invest the time to sew a garment that I should be able to wear for years; a project to breathe new life into my sewing bones, if you will.

So what did I decide upon? Never mind that the sun has been beating down and ‘cracking the slabs’ these past few weeks, what I want to sew … is a coat. One of my 2018 Make Nine, to be exact, the Deer & Doe Luzerne Trench Coat.

This short series then is about sharing the whole process of making this coat in, more or less, ‘real time’… Read More

The winners of #sewtogetherforsummer 2018!

Hi All!

A massive thank you to all who took part in this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer challenge; an astonishing 450+ dresses were completed and submitted by the deadline date. Once again, myself @SewSarahSmith, Suzy @Sewing_in_Spain and Monika @rocco.sienna were absolutely delighted with your boundless enthusiasm and creativity!

Whilst checking the entries to put in the Prize Hat for drawing the winners, it became clear that particular pattern companies and certain wrap dress patterns were extremely popular for this years’ Challenge. So, before we jump into revealing the winning entries later on in this post, I thought it might be interesting to analyse what those favourites are…

The Most Popular Pattern Companies :

Sew Over It came out on top with 17% of all challenge dresses being made from their pattern catalogue. They were closely followed at 16% by Named with their singular wrap dress pattern; 8% of a wide range of McCalls patterns were sewn up.. with three in particular being popular; M7119, (see my own versions here and here), M6959 and M7745. Simplicity took 7% with two specific patterns being clear favourites; S8137 and S8608. Vogue took fifth place with a broader range of patterns from their collection.

But which were the most popular wrap dress patterns overall? You can probably guess the clear leaders…

In first place, by a long chalk, was theKielo’ Wrap Dress by Named constituting a whopping 16% of all Wrap dresses made! 11% of the dresses were the Sew Over It ‘Eve’ dress, and 5% of you made the By Hand London ‘Orsoladress. Cashmerettes’ ‘Appletontook fourth place (see my version here) with 4%. Sew Over It had another Top 5 favourite with their Ultimate Wrap Dresstaking 3% of the overall total.

Interesting huh!?

Alright, enough nerding over graphs and stats, let’s get on with the real business in hand…the lucky winners!

Monika’s delightful kids were drafted in to pick the winners this year whilst out playing in their sunny garden…if you’re quick you can check out the super cute videos of them getting involved posted to our Stories across our three Instagram accounts!

All verified entries went into the hat and here’s the list of names randomly picked. Cross your fingers and hope one of them is you!!

If your name does appear please contact any of the Hosts by DM on Instagram with your contact details ASAP. And, where relevant, your choices x

  • Minerva Crafts will be sending £100 worth of fabric from their extensive stock to…drum roll, please... @lynsey_makes Congratulations Lynsey! As well as your contact details, you need to let me know your preferred colour palette so Minerva can curate your prize for you!

  • Sew Essential will be sending an 18 pack of Mettler threads to @sew_dainty. Well done Kathy!

  • Cashmerette will send you the PDF of your choice @sewagainstthegrain

  • Helen’s Closet will be sending any 2 of her fab PDF patterns to @lady_herndon

  • Blackbird Fabrics will be sending $100CAD curated fabrics from her quality stock to @rimmazolo

  • Wendy Ward will send your pick of 3 of her PDF dress Patterns @craftysue103

  • Sew Over It will send a pattern bundle to each of @kbradley81 @frockingloulou, and @anita_froehlich...congratulations ladies!

  • Sewhouse 7 will send 2 pattens to both @gurly239 and @byluciagrace

  • Sewisfaction will send you a £30 voucher to spend instore / online @emmaleg4

  • Cotton Reel Studio will send you a £30 voucher to spend across their gorgeous stock @sewmarylou

  • By Hand London will send any 3 PDF patterns from their collection of your choosing

  • Muse Patterns will send 2 PDF patterns of your choosing @hannah_is_sewing

  • Beyond Measure will send you a £30 voucher to spend however you like across their store @sewdalriada

  • Lara Sanner will be sending 4 PDF patterns to

  • Named are sending you any 2 of their PDF Patterns @vladivos

  • Fabric Godmother will send you one of whichever paper pattern you like from their extensive stock @lisalooby1234

  • Wardrobe By Me are gifting one PDF pattern of your choice to 16 lucky winners…who are : @clariesews, @xtina_sews, @coles_worth, @hekkowyellowclub, @hansewerina, @morrisseews, @joz_sews, @sew_prettykitty, @3s_engineer, @girlswear, @leannec79, @jillypopsews, @ailz_, @katilulemakes, @kelseylaurn, @sewedith…let us know which one you’d like!

  • Pier & Palace are sending a PDF Pattern bundle to these three lucky Sewists: @ganymedea, @naturaldane and @whendy7

  • Pink Coat Club are sending you any 3 pins of your choosing @sew_sleep_deprived

  • Sew Hayley Jane is gifting one of her sumptuous subscription boxes to @sew.ready

  • Sew Me Something are sending you two of their patterns, PDF (or paper if you’re based in the UK @belle_citadel

  • Love Sewing magazine, the hugely popular monthly mag will be sending you this pile of paper patterns @foxhollies

  • Smyly Magazine, the ladies behind the new electronic magazine will send 5 free issues of the Autumn edition of their mag to @trena1030, @laurelcj, @theyillingcrafts, @soisewedthis, @vladenkamitt – they will also send 3 vouchers for their independently released PDF patterns to @anne.makes.things, @hofficoffi_gwnio and @fleurdelisedesign

  • Cocowawacrafts will gift a paper copy of the Marshmallow pattern and all the PDFs you want from her collection @sewfilled

  • Pattern Review will send two patterns from their PR Exclusive range, one for each of @ handmadebyshelby and @vicky_carrie

  • Arco Iris are offering this gorgeous length of fabric to one lucky winner too..with Suzy announcing the winner on her Instagram feed shortly.

If you weren’t lucky enough this time, you can click on any of the links or images above to treat yourself for being brilliant anyway…and of course, there’s always next year…

..talking of which….

We’ve already got a good idea what the garment for next years’ #sewtogetherforsummer will be; sponsors, ideas, feedback and input very much welcome!

But for now, importantly, we thank once again our fab 2018 sponsors and each and every one of you that championed the wrap dress this year! You are what make this sewing community of ours so vibrant and inclusive, and it wouldn’t be what it is without you, so heartfelt thank yous from us!

* Sarah@sewsarahsmith. * Suzy@sewing_in_spain. * Monika @rocco.sienna

Until next time, like you I’ll be busy sewing! With all this talk of summer, my mind naturally turns to making … coats!

You can also find me on Instagram here x