Who’s already missing the Sewing Bee? Who’s missing clever clever Chinelo and lovely Sheila? Oh and Claudia, I can never get enough Claudia. Fret not as there are two lovely Sewing Bee related books out this Spring to help fill the Patrcik shaped hole. Already on bookshelves is The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own Wardrobe (surely a contender for the longest book title of the year award, lets call it GBSBSYOW from now on) and out next week is Season 1 contender Tilly Walnes’ Love at First Stitch.

great british sewing bee

When I first saw the GBSBSYOW book I was excited that you got a free pack of patterns but slightly confused as I thought it meant that you got only patterns for 5 of the garments in the book; What if I didn’t want to make any of the 5 garments chosen? I don’t necessarily need a teddy bear onsie or a prom dress but I would like to imagine one day I will make the beautiful 1950’s coat. Fortunately it doesn’t mean this at all (which you lot probably gathered), fortunately you get all the pattern pieces for all the garments. Granted on first look they do seem a touch confusing but once you zone in on what you’re making then all is cool.

dress pattern 1

simple t shirt

As I only had a couple of hours spare I chose one of the easier projects, the Simple T, literally a front and a back and some bias binding. The book suggests using a polyester crepe but I thought this a good opportunity to use one of my many many hoarded offcuts of fabric. I used a beautiful bird print silky chiffony thing (which was a bit of a pig to cut but falls well AND folds up to nothing so perfect for summer holiday packing!).

dress attern 2

I traced the relevent pattern pieces onto some newsprint and set to work. The instructions were clear and the book is full of helpful tips and tricks. I’ve never finished a top using bias binding for every raw edge and I love it, it’s such an easy way to make a neat edge, I will definitely use this method again. The blue of the binding was so pretty that I wanted to leave it on show (the book gives instructions for doing it like this and hiding it completely).

finished top sewing bee

I think this will now be my new summer top shape of choice and I am planning on making many more. I reckon that by just extending the length of the top and making a belt I can create a cute summer dress … I’ll let you know how I get on.

The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own Wardrobe (£25) is published by Quadrille Craft. For more information click here

Tilly Walnes Love at First Stich (£20) is also published by Quadrille and is out on the 8th of May. For more information click here

Felt Sew Good release

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Here is a book. A book called Felt Sew Good. A book I spent many hours last summer creating; dreaming up, making, writing and illustrating the 30 or so projects and it’s finally here and though I do say it myself it’s really rather nice. It looks, feels and smells good too. Above is a little taster of what’s inside and if you head over to Amazon now you can use their nifty ‘look inside’ feature to find out more!

Oh and you know that thing about buses and how you can wait for ages and two come at once? Well, apparently it’s the same for books as here is Felt Sew Goods sister title Little Sew and Sew. Also by me, also rather nice and also available to buy now!

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Over the following weeks there’ll be some free project downloads, some interviews and other exciting things. Cool.


I bought these delightfully cute/scary/pretty/weird* doll faces from Craftability in Ipswich last week when I was up there watching the new issue of Marie Claire Runway being printed (looking good, out 26th July). I don’t know what I’m going to do with my faces and can’t even work out how they attach to the doll… Glue? Stitching?

Craftability is one of those lovely craft shops full of random bits and bobs that you just have to buy because They Might Come In Useful One Day. The staff were really helpful and gave me lots of help on my embroidery issues … Top Tip: When embroidering with metallic floss use two strands of metallic and four of a normal floss in a matching colour. You still get a metallic shimmer but the floss goes through the fabric much easier.

You can visit Craftability online here or in St Lawrence Street, Ipswich.

*delete where appropriate

My wonderful friend Lady E has a blog over here at Modernmummusthave.com. She’s having a baby soon and is always on the look out for stylish, beautiful things for the new baba’s room. Her post about cushions in the shape of clouds caught my eye recently and got my creative juices flowing. ‘I can totally do that’ is what I thought and then I thought ‘I can totally do that using an old jumper’. So I did and using these instructions so can you.

The jumper cost me £4 from a charity shop but I made some others using a cashmere jumper I (oops) shrunk in the wash. If you’ve got an old sheet or pillow case lying around you could use that for the lining fabric instead of buying some and if you use the stuffing from a cushion that’s seen better days you could do the whole project for actual free.