• Trousers and skirts

    Ahoy there Sophia skirt

    Almond rock simple sew Sophia skirt and top cath kidston nautical

    March is finally over and I’ve survived, pretty much in tact! I’ve barely been at home with a day at a Birmingham trade show, two days at a Birmingham consumer show, a week at Woburn Centre Parcs with Jimi’s very poorly family, the Dressmaker’s ball in Leicester (more on that later) and then two days at a trade show in Cologne!

    Almond rock simple sew Sophia skirt and top cath kidston nautical dressmaker's ball

    Plus there was a three week turnaround on a bumper issue and Sewing Bee needing lots of my time. I made it through and took a celebratory day off to relax, see friends and sew… so obviously I then got sick.

    Almond rock simple sew Sophia skirt and top cath kidston nautical

    But now its April and all is well with the world (not politically of course). The weather is perking up and I’ve had time to write a blog post.

    This is the Sophia skirt from Simple Sew patterns hacked to just below knee length. I really love this pattern because the two front pleats are placed in a really flattering place to keep the centre front flat but they still add fullness to the skirt.

    Almond rock simple sew Sophia skirt and top cath kidston nautical

    Normally ankle length, you can easily crop the length to whatever you fancy. Just shorten the hem staying true to the grain line. Easy peasy. I also used a very stiff cotton duck (like a canvas basically) from Cath Kidston after working with it on the magazine. This is often how my money disappears, buying things I’ve seen in the office. Every time I wear it Jimi and I race to be first to say “boats boats boats” which is a quote from HIMYM. (If you know, you know.)

    Almond rock simple sew Sophia skirt and top cath kidston nautical love sewing magazine

    While it is a simple skirt, it does give the chance to play with extra details. I wanted to see if I could make a neat lapped zipper in such a thick fabric so swapped out the suggested concealed zipper. It went well thankfully. I didn’t have enough to exactly pattern match on the back but it’s really close so I’m happy. I didn’t have enough fabric for pockets either… less happy about that.

    Almond rock simple sew Sophia skirt and top cath kidston nautical

    I’ve previously made this skirt in crepe for a lovely swishy version. It’s so versatile! I’d recommend picking a size based on your waist and then grade the hips as needed. The skirt pattern doesn’t include lining but it’s easy to cut the skirt pieces from lining fabric, assemble and place WST with your skirt before attaching the waistband. Just remember to leave an opening around the zipper so the lining hangs free.

    Almond rock simple sew Sophia skirt and top cath kidston nautical

    I’m wearing my skirt with a ponte cropped version of M6886, my go to Jersey top pattern for skirts. This red version is the perfect shade and fabric weight so I regularly break it out for skirts. The pattern does come with a simple top to wear with the skirt. It’s very quick and doesn’t take much fabric! I made one here. Word of warning though it doesn’t have any darts so fuller chested ladies might want to add some for a better fit.

    Almond rock simple sew Sophia skirt and top cath kidston nautical So pleased I was able to lie in bed full of germs and get this post done! One upside to feeling gross I guess?? Silver linings. Now I think I’m going to listen to podcasts and cuddle the cat. Until next time everyone!

  • Other stuff

    Toot Toot! I’m blowing my little party horn!

    I bloody love the sewing community!! I’ve been nominated for another Liebster award and a Super Sweet Blogger Award.


    Jo from Sew Little Time is an awesome kickass sewist. Her blog is great fun to read, she’s a good twitter friend and, as I learned at the blogger meet up, an excellent dinner partner.

    Check out her Mad Men dress, Anise and all her lovely knitting for starters!

    Jo has thrown down the gauntlet with questions for her nominees. There wasn’t any of that last time around so I’m happy to play along.

    1. What is your favourite film of all time and why?

    I don’t see any shame in admitting this. I totally heart First Knight. I wish I could say a cool film but it’d be a fib. I can’t really say why but I love Richard Gere as an American Lancelot and Sean Connery as a Scottish King Arthur! Awesome fun. Maybe it’s the mystery of Camelot. Who knows. Have you seen it? Have I gone up or down in your estimation?

    2. What kind of holidays do you like – beach? city break? raving in Ibiza?  Do tell!

    I love the sun. It’s not about baking myself that much, more about being totally warmed through, getting vitamin D and feeling really healthy (doesn’t everyone feel more healthy in bright warm sunlight). My favourite place to visit is Melbourne. Let me sit in the sun with a good book at St Kilda and I’d be a very happy lady.

    3. I spend a lot of time commuting – if you had a spare hour on the train, what would you do?

    I do the same! I have an hour each way to waste on the way to my office. I read blogs, work on Almond Rock posts and play on my social media accounts. I really want to get back into reading books on the train so I need a bigger handbag me thinks!

    4. What is the best sewing book you have read?
    I think my current favourite is the Merchant and Mills sewing book. Its very cleverly written to be gender neutral, charming and inspiring. I learnt some great new tips and really responded to the design and layout used.

    5. Knits or wovens?

    Wovens all the way baby! It’s one of my New Year ReSewlutions to get better at knits… but hey crikey we’re nearly half way through the year already! I should probably mobilise on that.

    6. What is your favourite blog?

    Oh no you don’t. I’m not picking a favourite!! I love so many. There are blogs with amazing layouts, great clever features, beautiful clothes, diys and crafts, and most of all hilarious happy people who I enjoy reading about and chatting to.

    7. What other crafts do you do and which is your favourite?


    Honestly I’m afraid I don’t really do much else. I dabble with jewellery making but not enough to say it’s a secondary craft. I read a lot, watch epic movie marathons and wax lyrical about James Bond. I also like to think I’m a pretty decent baker and cake decorator. I’ve learned from the best though so is that really a craft or more of a handed down family secret?

    8. What is your karaoke song?

    For a big old extrovert I’m not really a fan of karaoke. I do have one ace up my sleeve. Think Nelly….

    9. Sweet or savoury?

    Sweeeeeeeet. I’d love to live off dessert without consequences… and bread! Give me a banoffee pie and I’ll call you my best friend!

    10. What is your favourite accessory?


    At the minute it’s my red leather satchel. I can’t stop using it! I got on my way home from the epic London meetup so it always reminds me of sewing adventures.

    11. If I gave you £50 ($78 US, $82 Aus) to spend on fabric, patterns or craft supplies, what would you make from it?  Links please!

    Eeeeek I’d want a spending spree! But to be more restrained… I’m currently cooking up a plan for a shirtdress so I’d buy 2 metres of pale pink carline rose tana lawn (£44) and Simplicity 1880 (£8). Then I’m out of budget. Oh.
    If I got the pale pink cabbage rose cath kidston print fabric (£25) instead of Liberty I could also squeeze in an order of a belladone from Deer and Doe perhaps?

    Phew that was harder than I thought. I wonder if you all feel like you’ve seen into my soul now…


    Next up the Super Sweet Blogger Award which was given to me by lovely Lara of Dreaming of Avonlea. Thanks very much Lara. I had the pleasure of her company in Birmingham this weekend. She is fun and talented and dreams of dresses!
    I mean after hearing that you’ve GOT TO check out her blog!

    She’d like me to answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
    And to nominate a baker’s dozen (13) of other deserving bloggers.


    Q: Cookies or Cake?

    A: Cake I think… just edges it out.

    Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?

    A: CHOCOLATE are you crazy?!

    Q:  Favorite sweet treat?

    A: Banoffee pie all the way. Or as close as you can get to it!

    Q: When do you crave sweets the most?

    A: As soon as I go on a diet. But mostly after dinner time.

    Q: Sweet nickname?

    A: Nothing to report here. It’s very hard to abbreviate a three letter name into something cuter!

    I’m very grateful to the sewing community but for these awards I’d like to nominate my favourite food bloggers for a bit of redirection! Maybe you’ll discover someone you like too?

    1. Stasty
    2. Little Red House
    3. Spoon Fork Bacon
    4. Ari’s menu
    5. Family Style Food
    6. Lolly’s Sweet and Savoury Treats
    7. Mandy’s Recipe Box
    8. Just My Delicious
    9. Angel Loves Cooking
    10. Sweet C’s Designs
    11. Domestic Rebel
    12. Bakerette
    13. Delicious Shots
    14. Cocktail Remedy (bonus one for all the cocktail lovers out there)