Striped Ebony Top

Before I altered my 2 ebony dresses, I made this top version (and it’s what gave me the idea to cut the dresses into tops) and I really like it. I like the swingy shape!

I made this top 5″ longer than the cropped version of the top (and this is the measurement I based the dresses on) because I felt that the cropped version was just a bit too cropped for my long body – and I’m naturally freezing all the time so I don’t like bare skin, or a top that when I put my arms in the air almost exposes my bra! I also made it in the size 4, but with size 6 sleeves, as I did on the second dress version because the sleeves were a bit tight.

This fabric is much more stretchy than the scuba I used for the dresses, so the sleeves don’t feel as restrictive, thankfully. I think if I made this pattern again I might size up a size on the whole thing and maybe go to a size 8 on the sleeves as I’ve got some drag lines coming from my armpits – so I think it’s a bit too snug around my arms/shoulders. But it’s fine as it is – totally wearable.

The fabric is from Crafty Sew and Sew and I bought it the day after the Dressmaker’s Ball when a bunch of us went to the shop. To be honest I’ve sewn it up much quicker than I thought – sometimes I take years to use fabric I’ve bought! And it was actually their suggestion to make an ebony top – I posted on Instagram asking what I could make from it and I had totally forgotten about this pattern! Excellent suggestion!

I did match the stripes on the side seams, and I kind of like how, because of the round shape of the front and back pieces, it kind of makes the strips go into points.

I hope that this will get at least some wear during the cold months (maybe with a thermal top underneath!) as it would be a shame to not be able to wear it for, like, 6 months!

Have you ever completely forgotten about a pattern and then been reminded of why you bought it and how much you like it?

Hawaiian Style Kalle Shirt

I know I’ve probably said this countless times before, but this is for sure one of my favourite makes!

The fabric is from Sister Mintaka – she was talking on her stories about whether or not to stock this fabric and I said words to the effect of ‘OMG you have to so I can make a Hawaiian style shirt!’. And luckily she did decide to order it so I snapped up a couple of metres of it.

The pattern is the Kalle shirt from Closet Case Patterns. I made a cropped version last year and I absolutely love it but for some reason I hadn’t got around to making any others until this Summer (I do have 2 or 3 more cut out and ready to sew too).

I made the size 6, as I did last time and I used the cropped version as a starting point, but lengthened the front to be basically the same length as the back and I gave both the front and back a straight hem rather than the curved one on the original.

I still love the huge pleat in the back of this pattern!

I spent way longer than I would like to admit making sure that the pattern matched across the front and I messed it up a bit! I don’t know how, but my calculations were slightly off so the button band is twice as wide as it should be to make it match as I didn’t have enough fabric left to recut one of the fronts, which I think I would have had to do to get it to match properly. This is definitely the most complicated pattern matching I’ve every tried – stripes are usually my limit! But it was an interesting challenge.

The best part of pattern matching I did (IMHO 😂) is the invisible pocket – can you spot it in the photo above?

Ta da!

Because of the button band fuckery the collar doesn’t sit quite right, but I don’t think it’s really noticeable to anyone else as long as I don’t do it up right to the top.

I love the buttons too – they were from my local sewing shop and I think they work quite well. I thought about doing the hidden placket version, but I thought pattern matching across the front would have been impossible if I had tried!

I’m quite sad now that the weather has turned cold because I probably won’t get much wear out of this until next Summer. I did manage to wear it a few times over the Summer (I made it in August 😳) and I got quite a few compliments – and my favourite, someone asking where I got it from and me being able to say ‘I made it’ while feeling pretty smug that it means I have a one-of-a-kind garment!

I’ll leave you with some outtakes – even with a remote and taking the photos myself I still end up with some gems!

This is my resting face – I don’t know if I look really pissed off or really sad – probably a combination of both!

And…..just……wtf!

White Inari Tee

Back in July (I’m a little backed up with blogging projects!) I made this white Inari tee and I think I might have cracked the perfect t shirt pattern! I’ve made the tee and the dress versions of this pattern before but the tee was a little too cropped for me (I have a relatively long body) so I added a hem band to the previous version, but this time I added 6.5cm to the bottom of the pattern and I think it ended up a pretty perfect length – because of my long body I’ve realised long t shirts don’t look great on me.

The other change I made (if you can make it out in these photos, it’s really difficult to photograph white without everything getting blown out!) was to cut the front and back with seams down the centre. This was because I didn’t have enough fabric left to be able to cut them on the fold.

The fabric was the leftover white jersey (which is really nice quality) from Tilly and the Buttons, which I used for my 2 Frankie tops.  I actually originally did cut the pieces on the fold, 3cm away from the fold as that’s the closest I could get them while fitting in the frankie pattern pieces. But I realised this would have made the neckline really wide, which wasn’t really the look I was going for, so I took out the excess and added seams – and luckily I actually really like how it looks with the seams!

This is such a quick make to whip up and (in my case) doesn’t take a massive amount of fabric so I’ve got a billion more planned from all the bigger leftovers from other projects.

The other bonus from this pattern is that you can make it up in knits or wovens.

I made the size 6, as I’ve done before. Maybe the only other change I would make would be to slightly lengthen the sleeves. I don’t know if it’s specific to this fabric, but the sleeves seem to kind of bunch up and almost turn inside out in my armpit so I think adding even 1 or 2 more cm to the sleeve might solve this.

You can almost make out the seam down the centre back! These were the second set of photos I took as I tried outside and they were so blown out my limited photoshop skills couldn’t make them look even vaguely normal!

Do you have a favourite go-to tee pattern? Or are you still on the hunt for the perfect one? I’ve made a few different patterns and this is definitely my favourite at the moment!

Alter It August-ish

Back in August there was an Instagram challenge (I can’t remember who ran it, sorry!) to alter the homemade items languishing in our wardrobes so they all could get a new lease of life.

I thought I would do a little round-up of the things I altered – I didn’t realise it would take me this long to get around to it, but oh well.  I’ve also altered a couple of things since August so I’ll share them too!

The first change was a super easy one – these are my Mercury Trousers before:

You probably can’t really tell what was wrong with these, but basically the elastic in the waste band wasn’t tight enough so the trousers just didn’t feel secure, so I never wore them.

It was such a stupidly simple alteration, I should have done it ages ago, but at least it’s done now, and I did them in time to wear them during the Summer quite a bit.

Another easy alteration, and basically the same one as for the Mercury Trousers was to take in the waste of my Portobello Trousers:

You can kind of tell in the before photo, above, that the waist has a bit of ease, but this was made worse by my previous job working in an upholstery fabric shop, which involved lifting 20kg rolls of fabric all day every day, so I ended up losing an inch from my waist and hips (so most of my trousers are now too big).

Again, this took, like 10 minutes and meant that I had another great pair of trousers to wear in the warmer months.

A slightly more involved alteration was this coco top that I made a couple of years ago and basically never wore because the neckline ended up really stretched out and I think the fit looked funny in such a lightweight fabric – also I have a long torso and this top just emphasised that!

So I chopped 9cm off the bottom of the top, leaving a 1cm hem allowance. I used this offcut to make a neckband, which I made 6cm shorter than the unpicked neckline, which turned out to be a good guess! The neckband was 1.5cm wide (I wrote myself notes and I don’t know if this means it was 1.5cm once folded in half or not – I think when folded in half.)

This alteration took maybe half an hour and I ended up wearing the top loads in the warmer weather – and there are some blues in the pattern which perfectly match the portbello trousers, win win! A whole new outfit with very little effort!

And now onto the items I’ve refashioned/altered since the end of Alter It August. I was looking at my wardrobe, and realised I almost never wear any of my dresses – especially now I work in a bookshop, I would feel very overdressed compared with how most people dress. I love the 2 scuba ebony dresses I made (blue, gold) – well I loved the fabric – but I realised I would get much more wear out of them as tops, so I spent a couple of hours measuring them to the length of the top version of the ebony, cutting the skirt off and hemming them into tops.

I’ve already worn both of them twice, so I definitely made the right decision!


The last item I’ve recently refashioned/altered is my chestnut sweatshirt. I know the lovely main feature of this pattern is the tie detail in the back, but I made a bad choice of fabric for my ties – I used a cotton, and not a jersey. I also always felt a bit cold in it, even though the fabric is a really thick sweat shirting, because of the gap in the back.

So I unpicked the back facing, removing the ties and cut a semi-circle to fill the gap, stitching it in place and restitching the hem on the neckline.

The piece I cut maybe makes me look a little like I have a hump, but I much prefer the filled in back and I think I’ll get lots of wear from this sweatshirt now it’s pretty cold again in the UK.

So here is my little collection of refashioned me-mades and I’ve got several new items to add into regular rotation in my wardrobe.

Do you ever alter things once they’re finished? Or do you, like me, tend to move onto the next new pattern instead of making a tiny change to an already finished make?

I actually knitted a jumper!

This is definitely by far the longest I’ve every worked on a garment – over 4 years!!!!!!

The pattern is the raglan jumper pattern from Learn to Knit Love to Knit and the yarn was from a charity shop where I used to live in London (which I moved away from 3 1/2 years ago!).

I made the smallest size and according to my best estimate, I started knitting this in January 2015! I don’t generally make that much time for knitting – and you can tell from how long this took me! I go up to Scotland every January/February to have a second Christmas with my friends and we usually sit around drinking tea, chatting and knitting so I think most of this was done in tiny chunks each year until this year when I decided I actually had to finish it!

The fit is fine – which is lucky because I have no idea how to alter knitting patterns to fit! It is a loose fit, but I’m fine with that. It’s also one of my warmest jumpers because the yarn is acrylic, which is not what I would choose now if I was buying yarn for a jumper.

I like that the yarn has sparkly gold bits running through it, making it a bit more interesting than a plain black jumper.

One of the sleeves is longer than the other, but I think that’s not a total shock since I’m sure my tension changed throughout the 4 years it took to knit this! I also have to roll up the cuffs as the sleeves are a tad long.

The front, back and sleeves are all knitted separately then sewn together, then you knit the neckband (I think).

I’m so pleased I forced myself to finish this jumper as the weather has definitely taken a turn for the autumnal!

My next knitting project is a jumper for my partner – anyone want to take any bets on how long it will take me to finish it!?