• Trousers and skirts

    Simplicity hack-along 8929

    Have you joined the Simplicity Hack-along? This great initiative raises money for charity while letting your creativity shine! With every pattern bought in the UK you’ll be helping support a wonderful cause as Simplicity will be donating a portion of the sales to their chosen charity. The Eve Appeal is the only UK national charity funding research and raising awareness into the five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal.

    To inspire you to take part in the challenge I’m joining lots of other bloggers to show you how you can hack a pattern with amazing results. Read on to see my make and learn more about how you can win great prizes by entering the competition!!

    Almondrock Jade crepe Simplicity 8929 hackalong skirt, charity blog for eve appeal

    I love vintage styles and as you know I mostly stick to 50s and 60s designs. BUT something about the 70s tiered skirt trend has been calling out to me!! I decided to turn Simplicity 8929 into a flowy gathered skirt in a bold colour.

    I’m not the greatest at maths but I worked out if I raised the frill to hip height and then added an even larger rectangle for the final tier I’d get a pretty good amount of swish. The basic pattern is pretty rectangular so I cut the size extra large but graded to the medium at the waist to accommodate my pear shaped figure.

    I used the extra tissue that you get inside every hacking pattern to sketch out the extra piece as it’s printed with helpful guidelines! The second tier ended up measuring 120 x 39cm (one piece per front and back, seamed at the side) and the lower tier was 152 x 35cm (again one per front and back, seamed at the side). The bottom layer is the full width of my fabric.

    The fabric really helps create a dramatic effect and although I had to use 3m to make this skirt, the price could not be beaten. It’s a bold polyester in the colour Jade from Minerva Crafts which you can get here. The rich colour is even lovelier in person!! The drape and weight is perfect for gathering and swishing. Plus its totally opaque so I didn’t need a lining.

    Want to join the fun?? Use any of the nine patterns in the curated list from the Simplicity Pattern Hacking range and join the WORLD-WIDE SIMPLICITY PATTERN HACK-ALONG!

    Choose your pattern(s), decide which category is right for your finished garment and then share your hack on social media using the category hashtag:




    You can email your entries (don’t forget to include pattern number and category) to simplicityhackalong@icloud.com There’s the chance to WIN Sewing or Coverstitch Machines from Janome and Goody Bags from Simplicity and their sister brands. Find more info on the rules and the pattern list on the SewDirect website.

  • Jackets and coats

    Orange is the new red Vogue 1537

    Not quite a tangerine dream but close to the perfect pumpkin, it’s all fruity over in my house with this newly finished orange coat. It’s the kind of orange that is easy to mistake for red… until you try and wear it with real red.

    It’s of course the pattern of the moment Vogue 1537. This Kay Unger design was a firm favourite from the Vogue Cocktail Hour which raised money for The Eve Appeal. Check out my previous posts here and search the hashtag #sipandsew to see everyone’s makes.

    I wanted a pass at this coat after seeing someone make a wool version on pattern review. You know I like to break the rules and was happy to find a like-minded rebel. It’s of course designed for lighter weight fabrics but who cares about that.

    I lengthened the sleeves and skipped the tabs. You might notice extra buttons down the front though I prefer wearing it open. I actually hate wearing single breasted coats but like the way they look. This one is especially bad as there’s no hem vent. Shame on me for not adding one. It’s also lines up at the bottom, I’m just standing funny.

    The wool was actually bought with a voucher won at Sew Up North. It was for my fave Leeds market shop BM stores too, how amazing. Thank you so much Sally and Beccs for bringing this coat to life with your awesome raffle. My lining is a stretch satin from Leeds market too. I’ve had terrible luck with coat linings lately where they rip at the seams after about a year’s wear. Maybe I get more aggressive in my coat wearing style after the 1 year mark. This is my fourth or fifth outerwear piece but first full length coat.

    I’ve actually been singing the old nursery rhyme oranges and lemons for weeks as I have a mustard coat project lined up but keep changing my mind about what pattern. Maybe the new By Hand London release will be the winner?

    BONUS OUT TAKE TIME!! Sexy right?

  • Dresses,  Events and day trips

    Sip and sew Vogue 1434

    It’s Friday!! Lets raise a glass of something delicious to celebrate.almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    I’m sure you’ve heard about the Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour? I mentioned a while ago here! This is the latest charity sewalong from The McCall Pattern Company in partnership with The Eve Appeal. almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    A portion of the sales from 20 selected patterns go to this kick-ass charity who are raising awareness and funding research into the FIVE female cancers. Yes there are five…. It’s like the seven dwarfs, you can never think of them all in one go.

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    My garment for this year’s blogger tour is a designer Vogue pattern by Isaac Mizrahi who I love from his appearances on Project Runway. The envelope styling is a little bit bridesmaid-like but I could see gorgeous potential and Pattern Review showed me some stunning versions.

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    It’s a classic little dress and probably doesn’t surprise you that I chose it. There are lovely knife pleats at the waist that come with a separate guide pattern piece so you can mark more easily (very handy), the dress is fully lined which is a nice touch and there’s an interesting shape to the upper bodice where it’s sort of cutaway at the shoulders in an athletic style. I tried my best not to decapitate any people in my bodice seam placement.

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    I cut the longer length skirt of view B with a size 12 bodice. My only adjustments after the toile were to reposition the princess seams inwards a little and do a hollow chest adjustment above the bust. I skipped the tie for the waist as you can see. And I added my favourite… a lapped zipper! It’s a great little dress which I’ll definitely make again.

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    My fabric is a beautiful sateen featuring illustrated ladies and gents at an event (possibly a day at the races if you take in the hats). The sateen was crisp enough for the pleats and soft enough to shape around the body. I’d looked into brocade but was worried about bulk at the waist. This lovely print was bought in March from Ditto Fabrics and I think it was called “gathering”. Sadly it’s now out of stock and to be honest I never saw this sateen on sale anywhere else….

    TIME FOR A MASSIVE BUT… there is the same print available on a crepe base with either a blue or oyster coloured background. I’m very tempted by the blue I have to say.

    PLUS this if you live in Germany I’m told this shop has a couple of metres left in the cotton/elastane on blue. The size of a lady is about 5cm. And two remnants of about 2m from the Crêpe. Size of the print seems to be smaller than this and MacCulloch’s version though.

    I’m very proud to support the campaign as someone who has lost several family members to cancer. Cancer in any form needs a good old fashioned kick in the pants so let’s raise some money for Eve Appeal and look fab doing it!

    And why not put on a fancy frock and come to our cocktail party??

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434