Feeling fruity and a review of New Look 6962

Oooh yeah feeling fruity again…

I’m obviously referring to my berry sewing fest from last week. I was making New Look 6962 view D without the tie.

I used my raspberry chiffon and am extremely happy with how  it turned out.

Sadly I didn’t get to wear it anywhere but my hallway as Sewing Sarah, my sewing class buddy, was poorly and so we couldn’t go out for her birthday drinks.

Hope we can rearrange soon, not only to let this little number out on the town but also so Sarah doesn’t miss out on a celebratory pint of ale! Yep that’s right, we’re the new breed of seamstresses that drink ale and cider and we look right foxy doing it.

I think it’s much smarter without the tie. And I didn’t line the sleeves so you get that lovely sheerness in them.

Crazily the lining cost more than the chiffon thanks to the wonderful world of Jack’s Fabrics. £1 /m for the chiffon, with £2.40/m for the lining.

Want to hear a secret? The lining is actually red. Like strawberry red! See…

Wild eh?

It took about 3 days, a few hours here and there so it wasn’t stressful to make.

And because I’d made the pattern before there was no surprises.

I altered the front panels to be a cm wider so it was more modest. Don’t want to be flashing people now do I!


Jeez the girl on the envelope has a weird expression. It’s like constipation meets terror. Or something like that anyway. But I still wanted to make it! (maybe I shouldn’t criticise on photo poses, ahem see above!)

Given the variations and the sweet top in the photo I knew this would be quite versatile and straightforward. I’ve made views C and D and neither disappoint.


Working with chiffon is always a nightmare so think my negatives are all tied up in that (I’ve made it twice in chiffon/georgette). Really, I bet it would be a dream in a simple cotton!

Also I hate flapping ties at the front of a top when you know there is elastic in there as well. Either use a tie or use elastic, why both?!

My only other comment is that without the front panel adjustment I need to wear a tank top underneath. That’s not necessarily a negative as sometimes layering is a good luck, but if I wanted that sheer style I could have saved myself the time lining my first version.


The elastic waist is easy to fit and flattering. The design and instructions are nice and simple too. I omitted the facings since I was lining the fabric but they seem rather simple to add in.

Would I make it again? And what would you do differently?

I’d use a cotton! Man, just a nice simple cotton where I only need to add a few facings and bias tape and be done even quicker than normal!

I definitely want to try the variation on the neckline with a contrasting colour. I see that as my way into some colour blocking fun.

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Surrounded by sewing

It’s nice to be surrounded by your hobby with good happy little reminders that make you smile and your eyes widen as you get a bit giddy. It’s kind of how I feel reading lovely people’s sewing blogs but other things trigger this too.

Why the focus on this (probably obvious to everyone) obsession? Well Project Runway Season 10 starts TONIGHT in the US and I can’t wait until I can see a clip of Tim Gunn’s little face as he spies something truly horrendous being made.

I have a pinterest board called “Things that make me smile”. It does exactly what it says on the tin people. And I don’t always put sewing related things in there but a few have made me smile lately:

Decorated sewing machine! No credit I’m afraid as I repinned it from someone who repinned it and so on. Creative though, right? Done with Sharpie pens!
Queenie — (c) Karen Nicol. Monkey with pearl button embellishment.
Words cannot properly explain what she does given the variety of techniques used. You must check her out here
The fabulous Lionheart Project is too far away for me to go see but if you’re near London go check it out. Details here
Cross stitch cookies — a super cute idea cooked up by Megan DeKok. See details on how they made these here!

Other things making me smile is my new sewing compendium bought by my mum for me.

Such cute funny pictures (unintentionally of course)… got to love 80s photography.

This one is just generally awesome.


I also want to go to the Yorkshire Fashion Archive at Leeds University soon but with the silly opening hours I need a day off work. Hope it’s good! I want to wander round in a jealous glazed stupor at the beautiful garments on display.

Hope these little bits made you smile too!

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Berry good!

After a super busy week (and a bit) I’m back in business with some sewing!! Firstly I’ll say Portugal was lovely and hot and relaxing.

When I got back I went to my Little Fro’s second graduation!

Super proud of him. He got a distinction don’tcha know. Look at him in his cap and gown, so dashing.

Then on Friday I got whisked off to A BALL! Yep you heard me. I’m kind of gutted that I couldn’t make a ball gown but as I was only given 3 days notice I couldn’t really have whipped one up. Really it was amazing to be invited at all!

The ball was part of a charity golf day and dinner with Bedfords that Jimi and his work colleagues were attending (as they manage the marketing for the company). We had a slap up dinner, then there was a raffle and auction before the dancing started.


Jimi and I tore up the floor. His work colleagues were in awe as they’ve never seen his unbelievable dancing before. I am well aware how good his is and use it to my advantage, dragging him up every two mins. At one point it was just the two of us, spinning and quick-stepping around. Legendary night.

And then the weekend arrived and I raced back to my sewing table!! Hence the name of the post.

It’s all gone a bit pink and fruity here in the flat.

First off I got a new sewing pattern off eBay. Now isn’t this a cute little number?!

Look at that grapefruit pink! It totally works on the blonde fox on the envelope. She’s so chic… I’m jealous.

But what the heckers fabric should I use?

No, seriously!

It doesn’t tell me anywhere on the envelope  or pattern sheets what fabric to use.

I’m kind of guessing some kind of  opaque polyester?! (As there’s no lining instructions.)  Possibly thinking red and white polka dot…..

Raspberry ripple

Secondly, I’m working on a top for next weekend’s night out. It’s Sewing Sarah’s birthday drinks in Saltaire.

I have some lovely raspberry chiffon and I’m making New Look 6962 view D without the tie.

I hate chiffon. Well I hate sewing it. I love wearing it. Quite the dilemma.

I’ve made good progress already. I altered the front bodice so I don’t have to wear a top underneath like my star-print top.

Then finally I’m starting on a secret strawberry project. All I’ll say is that if it goes to plan it’ll be a treat for someone nice and I might put a tutorial up as well.

Time to log off and watch more Wilfred season 2 (omg that show is hilarious, watch it) while tidying up the sewing corner! Turrah for now!

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a UFO!!

“Oh… hey, remember this dress?”

Little Green UFO

“Yeah! Wasn’t that the dress you finished month’s ago Amy?

“Kind of. It was the one I rushed through like a demon just to get done only to see it start fraying before I’d even hemmed it.”


“Yeah but all is well now…. cos I unpicked it all and used Sergei the serger to redo all the seams and stop the fraying.”

“Woooohoooo! Bitchin.”

“You knows it.”*

*Disclaimer…. this is only how I talk to myself in my head. Not in the office. Well not often.

Ta Daaaaaaaa!!!! (*smug*)

I LOVE this dress. Thank goodness I repaired it and didn’t cast it forever into the scrap pile.

One teeny downside is the fact it blew up round my ears when a big gust of wind struck up and I flashed an older male colleague who was walking behind me up the hill to work.

Ahem. I gotta ask…

Is it worse to flash your rear or your front?

I’m thinking my rear as at least I didn’t see his face as I flashed him. Basically I didn’t dare turn around hehehe.

Oh well it has a lovely swishy skirt and is such a bright colour. Still a thumbs up from me!

Other things to blog / brag about is how pleased I am that I figured out sewing zip-up pouches.  Please don’t roll your eyes and say “they’re sooo easy”. I was really struggling for a while.

I used Sew Kate Sew’s fab post. She spells it out so simply! I made myself a new make up bag.

Dotty goodness
Everything neatly fits inside

Totally recommend you try this too! I’m going to make plenty more.

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Cheers Dad. And a review of V8723

Little Fro graduates for the first time. Second time soon to follow

I’ve been a bad daughter. I’ve failed to say thank you to my Dad! Given what his Sunday mornings now entail he’s holding up admirably.

Here he is at my Brother’s graduation looking dapper in a suit. I won’t bother pointing out which one is Mum.

It SHOULD be obvious. She’s also looking glam.

Dad does like car booting  a lot. He wouldn’t call it “thrifting”. He’s not after “vintage” items. To him it’s bargain hunting and a good morning walk. And now he’s a man with a mission to find sewing bargains!

He doesn’t really know what everything is used for, not like Mum who knows her way around a sewing machine, but he’s been paying attention and it’s paid off.

Dad assisted with the biggest and best haul of sewing gear from the car boot yet!

This pic reminds me a little of Dita von Teese

I won’t detail all the items I got as I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it but one highlight was 2 x 20m reels of boning. One black, one white. Both marked up with price stickers reading £13.50….. negotiated down to under a fiver! Awesome.

I’ve got my eye on this little beauty — Vogue 1174. Have I gone crazy? Is this a big jump in my skills?

Probably but hell, I’ve got to learn right!? Unless someone can suggest something a bit more in my skill zone?

mmm cake

Now onto dress news!

I wore my Ikea scribbly print dress to work and then to the supermarket today. I felt a little  overdressed but think that was just me being silly. Here I am larking about in the baking aisle.

I added blue ribbon piping on the top front panel to create more contrast with my pasty skin and added a mustard-coloured zipper for fun in the back. I finished off the hem with blue top stitching in the same shade as the ribbon and dark blue scribbles!

I love the full twirly skirt. For those you don’t know, this is Vogue 8723 which I’ve been banging on about here and here.

I wore it with silver ballet flats, a purple cardigan and my awesome turquoise ring that I got in Spain a few years ago for  €2!

“Very easy”…. what a floozy


The envelope boldly bragged “I’m soooo very easy”.... cheap hussy.

I guess it would have been if I hadn’t made such a pigs ear of it. I cut a cup size A bust but let out the waist a little from my standard 12 size. I seem to have been eating plenty of cake lately.


I picked a super slippy lining fabric and didn’t really think about making the adjustment to the top front until quite late. As previously mentioned the top front came up to my larynx! Eeek!


But I do like the general dress shape and the full skirt. And every girl loves a dress with pockets. I like how these are hidden between the lining and the shell fabric. So few patterns encourage you to line the skirt and this really helped with the full bell shape of the skirt.

Would I make it again? And what would you do differently?

I’d use a darker colour. I knew when I started light colours don’t suit me best but ignored the little voice because I loved the fabric. Don’t think I’d risk using a polyester as you need something quite sturdy to stop the top front sagging but a nice cotton sateen or maaaaaybe a lightweight wool?

I’d also lower my waist a smidge as it’s just a touch too high. Only like a cm or two though. And I’d try and perfect the zipper as it passes the waist by not gathering as closely at the centre back. I don’t mind too much if the mustard pops through a little to show off the zip but it’s not properly out of sight. I might even use a concealed/invisible zipper next time!

All in all a success. Now I’m trying to redo the little green UFO dress I also mentioned in the post here so I can wear it to work Thursday. We’re off out for a work do straight after and it would be nice to wear this one. See, I’m creating motivation for myself!!

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