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Summertime Sewing – A Tilly and the Buttons Bertha Cardigan

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I’m sure everyone can agree, but lately, all I have been dreaming about is the start of Summer. I think we could all do with a bit of sunshine right now! This is why I have been thinking about focusing my sewing on some more seasonally appropriate pieces of clothing, for both indoors and outdoors, and that are maternity friendly.

When I think of Spring and Summer, I get excited by all the vibrant colours. I love seeing pastel colour palettes emerging from the dreary wintertime. However, it still gets a bit chilly out there, so layering your clothing is key. This is the thought process lead me to my most recent make.


I decided to make a warm, casual cardigan, perfect for throwing on over favourite summer outfit. The pattern is the Tilly and the Buttons Bertha, from the new book Make It Simple. And the fabric is a lilac coloured marl sweatshirting, which I happened to stumble across in my local haberdashery, Backstitch (an amazing shop!). It was in the remnants pile, and I fell head-ov…

Coverstitching a Friday Pattern Company Adrienne Top - Jen Walker

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Hello Brother fans!
I’ve been up to my old sewing tricks again, and really wanted to share this latest make with you. I have been  playing with the Coverstitch machine (model used is CV3550) again!

On a complete whim (before lockdown), I decided to swing by my local haberdashery, Backstitch, after I’d met with some local sewing buddies. One of the patterns one of my friends mentioned to me was the Friday Pattern Company Adrienne Top. Once we’d been chatting about it, I knew I just had to make one! So I picked up the pattern at Backstitch, and as luck would have it, they had this super gorgeous jersey in their remnants – and it was the exact amount required for the pattern! Lucky me!


I had to be very careful cutting this fabric out though, as the pattern is made up of tiny stripes. So I had to ensure it was nice and level. The cutting out did take a fair amount of time and patience. After this though, I was surprised at what a quick make it turned out to be. I saw the gathers and elastic…

Trying out the CV3550 Coverstitch on a Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top

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Hello Brother fans! I’m excited to be back to show you this make - it's one of my favourites! This has been quite an exciting one, because it’s been my first proper go with the coverstitch machine (the model I am using is a CV3550).


I wanted to keep everything as simple as possible for my first efforts at coverstitching. So, I decided to make a simple jersey top which would mean I could use the hemming attachment to get a beautiful, professional looking hem. The pattern I chose was a Tilly and the Buttons Nora top. I have made one of these before, which was great as I had familiarity with it already. It’s a lovely oversized, easy-to-wear top – and I chose to make a short-sleeved version.


The fabric I’d had in my stash for a while, and it’s been one that I’ve been excited to use. It’s a lovely jersey from The New Craft House. And it has these tiny little naked ladies printed all over it! Quite a statement fabric, which I adore!




I used my Brother Innovis NV1300 sewing machine and Bro…

Updating my Maternity Wardrobe with a Tilly and the Buttons Indigo Dress, by Jen Walker

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My maternity wardrobe has been screaming out for a bit of an update. Last pregnancy, I only managed to sew a few garments – but this time round I’ve been adamant that I will make more clothes for my bump!

I have struggled to find many maternity patterns which I really love, so I figured I should just tweak a normal pattern to work for me! The pattern I chose was a Tilly and the Buttons Indigo – a relatively new pattern from Tilly which has been on my sewing pile since it was released. It’s a really gorgeous smock dress (or top) with lovely gathering details.


I made a couple of really simple adjustments to make sure this dress would suit my pregnancy shape, and also allow room for growth so I can have wear this throughout the entirety of my pregnancy.

Firstly, I raised the waistline by 2 inches. To do this, I shortened the bodice (front and back pieces). Then I added that same amount of length to the skirt, to make up for the length lost in the bodice. As it turned out, I didn’t need t…

Making your own fabric with the Needle Felting Attachment on the Brother XV with Angie Lawrence

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There are many ways you can make your own fabric on the Brother XV/Dream Machine and this is just one of them – using the Needlefelting attachment to embellish and even create your own fabric.

Before I get into the detail of how you use this attachment, let me just put two common fears to rest!
1. Will it clog up my lovely machine with dust and lint? Absolutely not! As you can hopefully see in these pictures, all lint and dust produced during needlefelting is caught in the little box attached to the needlefelting plate, sitting snugly in the bobbin race (the bobbin case having been removed).


The second picture shows the bobbin area after a couple of projects. Not a scrap of dust or lint to be seen! In fact, I would venture to suggest there is even LESS debris and dust than after a good session or two of machine embroidery. All you need to do is to clean out the bobbin area in the usual way – just as you would if you were doing machine embroidery.




2. Those needles look sharp! What …

Countdown to Christmas with Joy Margot’s handmade advent calendar!

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Hello again! I’m notoriously terrible at leaving seasonal makes to the last minute so I thought that arranging to write a blog post about this advent calendar would help me finish it on time. Full disclosure: I still need to do a little hand-stitching, but it will definitely be ready to fill with tasty treats come December…
I had admired these advent calendar panels last Christmas, but I wasn’t sure that my sewing skills were up to the task. This year, with another 12 months of sewing experience and a fancy new machine under my belt, I fancied tackling something new! I’d love to have a go at quilting, and I thought that this would be a great introduction to some quilting techniques.
I couldn’t resist this thoroughly charming panel by Makower, which I got from Escape and Create.
This project is quite preparation-heavy. I started by cutting out the pockets with a rotary cutter, ruler and self-healing mat. The instructions didn’t say to finish the edges of the pockets, but I chose to do so…

Sewing a wine red Maxi Mayfair Dress with Fiona Parker

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I was incredibly excited about the Mayfair Dress when it was released by Nina Lee over a year ago and I snapped up a paper copy soon after release. For years I had this favourite style of French Connection dress that saw me through many summers; flattering, comfortable and seemingly suited for any occasion.

I owned versions in various prints, colours and lengths but may favourite by far was a maxi length version. The previous summer I'd been wearing it with too many holes to repair, hoping that the little purple, black and dusky pink print disguised them. It had been on its last legs for a while and sadly French Connection stopped making them a while before. I couldn't bear to throw it out so I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted the Mayfair and realised it was almost an exact match – I could make my own replacement!

Why, you may ask, has it taken me so long to make one? I had a really hard time finding fabric that was going to live up to my expectations of this dress. …