#sewtogetherforsummer 2019 – The Sponsored Gifts!

Thank you all, yet again, for so enthusiastically and overwhelmingly embracing this years’ Challenge! (If you’ve missed what the Challenge is all about, you can read the Launch Post – which also contains discount codes on selected patterns and fabric – HERE). In essence, it’s about supporting and encouraging your fellow sewists whilst you all #sewtogether a Jumpsuit – or a Romper, Dungarees, Overalls – even a Catsuit if you fancy it! At the end of the Challenge, our fantastic Sponsors will send out a whole host of amazing gifts to randomly selected participants worldwide! Sound good? Read on to see exactly what our Sponsors are offering!

We’ve tried to include companies big and small that represent the diversity and vibrancy of our sewing community; they’ve all been fantastically generous and it’s quite an extensive list; there’s over 30 sponsored gifts! I present them in no particular order :

(if you want to find out more about any sponsor, you can click on their graphic to visit their site) :


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Closet case files Carolyn pyjamas

New PJ’s! Sewing the Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Files

Carolyn Pajamas pyjamas closet case files

Woohoo I have new PJ’s! Let me tell you these were long overdue because I was too busy sewing clothes I could actually leave the house in! But the time came when my very last pair developed holes in unmentionable places and I could overlook this pattern no longer. I think  Closet Case Files  released the Carolyn Pajamas in early 2015 and the pattern has been on my radar ever since, so it was an obvious choice. I guess you could say I was late to this PJ Party…but better late than never, right?!

I spent a long time trying to decide what fabric to use. Is anybody else also addicted to online fabric browsing?! I can lose myself for hours. Hours, I tell you. I initially fell in love with a gorgeously cute double gauze print but I didn’t want to pay out £16 a metre on a relatively fabric hungry pattern on my first attempt. So I opted instead for this lilac gingham cotton with daisy prints from Minerva Crafts (see here) I’m really glad I did; it was an absolute dream to work with, it’s lovely and soft and it barely creased/crumpled even after a nights sleep.

Carolyn pajamas

This was my first CCF pattern and I was, admittedly, a bit nervous regarding certain elements of the construction, namely the collar and lapels. (See below for construction photos). The pattern also features a faux fly and front facing pockets; none of which I’d come across before. I opted for View A; the most basic option. Given what I needed to learn, throwing piping into the mix felt like an additional skill too far at this stage. I decided against cutting straight into my fabric and instead proceeded to make a toile and practice the techniques involved using old bedsheets.

The pants are a straightforward sew. Turns out sewing a faux fly is a doddle. As were the front facing pockets. You can easily knock a pair of these pants out in one sitting. Which is good as I’ll probably make more pairs of the pants and shorts than I will tops so that I can wear them just with a tee in warmer weather. The recommended 1.5″ wide elastic makes for a very comfortable waistband and I like the way it’s stitched in to prevent it twisting/rolling.

Buoyed by this, I began on the toile for the top. Now, even the pattern instructions themselves state that the construction of the collar is fiddly. And it is, but only a bit! It’s no more fiddly than sewing a set-in sleeve for example; possibly less so. And, incidentally, this pattern calls for you to sew the sleeves in the flat and then sew up the sleeves and side seams in one, which couldn’t be simpler.  When putting in the collar and lapels it definitely helps to remind yourself that you’re sewing a 3D garment, therefore matching up concave and convex shapes. I’m probably making it sound more complex than it is, hopefully these pics help show the construction:-

Collar lapel construction sewing Carolyn Pajamas pyjamas closet case files

Collar lapel Carolyn Pajamas pyjamas how to closet case files

(If you would like to see a step-by-step photo demonstration then I’ve written a detailed separate post on sewing the collar and lapels hereor, in short, you will need to make sure you accurately transfer your pattern markings to your pieces; in terms of getting your lapels to accurately butt up against your collar those dots are your friend. Heather wrote a detailed blog tutorial on this element of the make too which is really useful.

The bedsheet toile confirmed that the only alterations I needed to make to the pattern pieces were to remove 2.5″ from the legs and shirt length (and therefore the lapels) and 1″ from the sleeve.  There’s no cut/lengthen lines on the sleeve pattern – I took the excess from the elbow point.

Once I’d ‘got my head around’ the techniques involved I proceeded to cut into my fabric and sewed everything up in three sittings. I spent more time than necessary on cutting out the fabric because I wanted to have a go at pattern matching. I know this is probably overkill on PJ’s but, heck, I was on a learning roll!

Closet case files Carolyn Pajamas pocket

I’m absolutely thrilled with my lovely new PJ’s! The pattern is wonderfully drafted; the fit is feminine and flattering and the instructions very considered. The resultant make is an incredibly comfortable, luxurious and quality wear. I’m delighted with what I learned; it’s been an real confidence booster.

Oh and remember the £16pm double-gauze? It WILL be mine 😂 This pattern deserves it! Twist my arm and I might even have a go at the piping!

Until next time,

Sarah x

Psst : I’m also active on 📸Instagram – either click here or scroll down to click/tap on one of the photo links at the very bottom of this page to join me there! X

Carolyn pajamas

Simplicity New Look 6205

A perfect girl’s dress! New Look 6205

Simplicity New Look 6205
New Look 6205

I’ve always found it hard buying dresses for my Little Miss; she’s a good height for her age but narrow/slender. If we buy the right length, invariably the bodice is too big with straps falling off her shoulders, necklines gaping, armholes bagging. Knowing we had a family gathering coming up in a couple of days, I decided to step up to the plate and start sewing for her!

I decided upon New Look 6205, having seen a gorgeous version of it made up by Thread Carefully. Minerva Crafts also showcased it as a Pattern of the Week recently highlighting some great fabric and notions. The pattern itself has a couple of sleeve variations and styling options. I love them all but decided to first go with View D, as the sleeve/straps really appealed to me; at last she’d have a dress where they wouldn’t be falling off her shoulders every two seconds! The pattern calls for only the bodice to be lined but I figure it would be simple enough to turn this into a full-on party frock by adding extra skirting layers and lining. My husband chose the fabric and I’m really glad he did; it’s a gorgeous poplin from Minerva Crafts (see here)

I cut a size 4 in terms of chest measurements/width and lengthened all the pieces to an age 6 based on her age/height. I made up a full muslin as I mainly wanted to check how the bodice lining went together. I’m glad I did as this had me befuddled for a wee while until the ol’ brain went ‘ping’ and I realised I was merely overthinking it. Basically, you pin and sew at the armhole ‘U’, with the already lined and attached straps sandwiched down inside between the two layers. You then turn the lining to the inside. But this still leaves the neckline with a raw edge which you then have to finish with bias binding. Which seems a bit odd. The instructions call for you to machine stitch the bias down on the inside. On the finalised version I decided to hand slip stitch it to the lining instead for a cleaner finish.

Simplicity New Look 6205

You then hem the skirt (I used my Clover Hot Hemmer for the first time and it was fab, I swear it’s the neatest hem I’ve sewn!) image  and then the skirt is attached to the bodice as normal. I overlocked the seam for a decent finish, however it would be cleaner to have had the bodice lining enclose this seam really. But again is this overthinking?! I swear ‘Sarah Smith, overthinking everything since the day she was born’ will be my epitaph.

The last thing to do then was a lapped zip. Another first for me having only recently conquered the invisible zip. I was literally dreading this bit as it was getting late in the evening and was worried I would mess up the whole project hours before we were due to pack and travel up country.

And then guess what. My sewing machine decided to throw a wobbly, chewing up fabric and nesting thread all over the place. I swore like a trooper. Which is putting it mildly. The husband popped his head around the door, saw me bent over the machine with a screwdriver in my hand and promptly turned on his heel and scarpered! Thankfully removing the throat plate and bobbin holder, cleaning and putting it back again, twice, replacing the needle and rethreading solved the problem. It was now ridiculously late; being 1 am.

Simplicity New Look 6205
New Look 6205

I gritted my teeth and ploughed on. Thankfully I’d taken notes from a blog post tutorial by Lauren of Lladybird earlier in the day which is brilliant and meant that the lapped zipper was finished in no time. They’re incredibly easy to put in actually, if you too haven’t done one before, and I really like the finish.

It was now 2 am. I cleared away and went to bed getting up just 4 hrs later with just the hook and eye to hand stitch in, which I did in the car en route. With a banging headache.


💕💕 But I absolutely love 💕💕 the resultant dress, as does the Little Miss.💕💕

Until next time

Sarah X