Dotty bow blouse 

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe it’s February already! We’re only a week in, but I’ve made my item for February already – I will probably be really busy for the rest of the month with exams looming (again… I’ve only just finished the last lot!) and lots of fun social events happening, the next 6 weeks might not allow too much sewing. Fingers crossed I might manage to squeeze some in amongst everything else!

This blouse is one that has been a while in the works. In August, I met Lucy from Sew Essential at the Sewing Weekender. She very generously offered me some fabric and a pattern to review – so after a look at their website, I chose this gorgeous satin. There are some amazing prints to choose from, so if you’re looking for a special fabric I would definitely recommend it! 

The fabric is a polyester crepe de chine by John Kaldor. The colour is so vivid! The right side has a lovely subtle sheen. I would definitely recommend this for tops and blouses, or even a lovely nightwear set. It would probably would need lining if you wanted to use if for a dress, as it is borderline sheer. I’m not usually a huge fan of polyester, but this is really a cut above! It doesn’t seem to get static and has a lovely soft feel. It is rather shifty so might be tricky for a beginner, but just needs a bit of confidence to tackle it!

I originally planned to make a playsuit out of this fabric, but when it arrived I thought it might be too lightweight for covering my lower half. After a lot of deliberation I decided to make it into a blouse instead! The last 6 months have been rather hectic though so it’s taken a long time to get around to. I decided to use this free weekend to get some sewing done!

Eventually I settled on the Sew Simple Bow Blouse pattern, which I’ve made twice before here and here. It’s a fairly straightforward but satisfying pattern. I didn’t do anything fancy for the construction and just overlocked all the seams after sewing – this lovely fabric frays like nothing else! It only took an afternoon to make, very satisfying!

I do have plans for a playsuit, but I think that will have to wait for later in the year when the weather warms up! 

Thank you to Lucy and Sew Essential for generously giving me the fabric and a pattern. The views here are entirely my own.

2016 Top 5! 

Hi all! 

Hope you’ve all had a lovely, relaxing festive season so far!

The last 3 months have been crazy busy what with starting my course and moving to a new city. I’ve managed to make one item since then, and that’s it… no time for sewing means nothing to blog! 

But, overall I have sewn a lot this year. I’m joining in with Gillian’s Top 5 so here we go!

Top 5 hits:

I actually think that most of what I’ve made this year has been a hit – there’s nothing I’ve made but haven’t worn or don’t want to keep! I think I’ve finally worked out what I like to wear and I’m using my sewing time to make those. Here’s hoping I didn’t just jinx it…

  • Self-drafted jogging bottoms – I have worn these pretty much every day since I made them – I put them on as soon as I get home! They’re so comfy, and pretty.

  • Wren dress: made in January and worn loads for work!

  • Knit Laurel dresses – both worn a tonne but the stripy one wins overall 🙂 I love this dress, it’s one of my all time favourites!

  • Archer sleeveless shirt – still unblogged. I made this in August and wore it throughout late summer. It’s such a good staple wardrobe piece! Seen here with my also unblogged hollyburn skirt. 

  • My final make of 2016! This fabric was bought to make a moneta dress, which I’ve almost finished… but I needed a quick fix make so rather than finishing it (which I wanted to do properly), one evening I decided to use the remnants to make a skirt. I used the bottom of the Mesa dress pattern (made several times) to give a rough idea of size and managed to cut the front in one piece. The back is fudged together and pieced, but it works! It’s just a CB seam, 2 side seams coming in at the waist, and wide elastic for the waistband. It’s not my finest work, but I only had an hour and I *needed* to make something! I keep on meaning to get proper photos but it’s cold and dark out so flat has to suffice. I wear this all the time – it’s comfy and chic, my aim in life.
I’d also like an honourable mention for my lengthened archer shirt, which I’m so flipping proud of but isn’t worn quite as frequently as the others. I did a lot of work on this so will do a separate post with the details soon!

Misses of 2016!

There are no proper misses but I will be revisiting the armhole binding on this Laurel as it’s really annoying: 

Other things in 2016: 

Low points: losing my Grandma in the spring. In May, fracturing / spraining my ankle and spending 3 1/2 months on crutches. Obviously also the general state of the world… 

High points: 

  • Getting on to my Speech and language therapy course! It was a lot of hard work to get here (and hard work now I’m here!) but it’s worth it 🙂 
  • My trip to the USA in July! It was incredible. Check out my insta feed for all the fun I had.
  • OWOP was so great! It was lovely to meet more of the sewing community all over the world through this.
  • The Foldline sewing weekender – was such fun, can’t wait for details of the next one!
  • Getting back on my feet after being injured. I’m still not back to all the crazy sports I’m used to, but I will be. In the meantime, I’m so grateful for how well supported I’ve been by my brilliant friends and family, and able to really appreciate my health. 

I’m hoping to have a little more time for sewing in the new year (not lots but some). I’ve got some plans that I’m very excited about so will post details of those next week! 
Take care!

OWOP Day 7 and Roundup!

Hi all!

Thank you so so much for everyone who participated in OWOP, it was such a fun week! 

Thanks for being patient with the round up while I am still sans Internet at home. It feels like living in the dark ages! 

Firstly, the prizewinner for day 7 is Victoria @pocketsforsweets ! Well done 🙂 Contact me at htheoe (at) to arrange your prize!

There are so many gorgeous outfits that I saw using the hashtag last week – here are just a few:

Doesn’t Charlotte @ciditcharlotte look summery in her gorgeous lengthened Coco?

@janemarland is so chic in her many versions of New Look 6217

And I love this fab infinity dress from @tortilladesigns! 

This is a wanderlust-invoking version of New Look 6095 from @multi_threaded

And finally, this awesome glitzy version of the Colette Patterns Laurel dress by  @rebeccaw0w has inspired me to bump a party dress right up to the top of my sewing list! 

WELL DONE EVERYONE! It’s been an inspiring week. Sewing is now taking a little back burner for me while I get settled on my course, but I will be back with some blogging back logged items soon! 



OWOP recap days 2-6! 

Hi guys! 

Hope everyone who has been involved with OWOP has been enjoying it so far! I certainly am 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed my post on Monday:
I’ve just moved to  Reading!! Obviously this is very exciting but I have to say that trying to move and host a sewing challenge in the same week is… Challenging hah. Especially given that I don’t have working wifi in my new house yet! So apologies for the delayed posting of prize winners! 

Here’s what I’ve worn so far this week:

And here are some really great OWOP outfits that I’ve seen so far:

I love everything Hila @saturdaynightstitch makes, and this super chic outfit is no exception! 

Helen @helenmuir10 was the inspiration for my day 4 photo with her autumnal laurel. 

Amanda @artisamc has such a lovely selection of dresses (plus a gorgeous room!!) I’m jealous! 

And now for the prizes!! Again sorry I haven’t been able to announce this every day! 

Day 2: Emily of @manyvests won 2 X 1.5m jersey fabrics (also announced on IG)

Day 3: Katarina of Rollingeyeballs won a £25 village haberdashery voucher! (also announced on IG)

Day 4: the Sew over it pattern bundle goes to: Caroline At CJmade

Day 5: 2m of dressmaking fabric from M is for Make goes to: Helen @helenmuir10

Day 6: £50 fabric bundle from Minerva crafts goes to Emily @emigram

Contact me on htheoe(at) to arrange 🙂 if you haven’t contacted me by 22nd September the prize will be drawn again! 

Two more days to go!!! X

OWOP day 1 round up and Prizewinner! 

Hi guys! 

Here’s my OWOP dacy 1 outfit: 

thanks to my lovely friend Tom for taking the photo! The dress is my first knit laurel

Details of how I made my knit laurel here

I’ve had so much fun looking at all your fab OWOP entries on IG. So far there have been some gorgeous makes cropping up, here’s a selection:

I love this version of Tilly and the Buttons’ Bettine Dress by Victoria @pocketforsweets 

Look at the teeny killer whales on this knit top from Gertie sews Vintage Casual by @sewingforcatpeople – I love it!!

Here’s a lush Deer and Doe Plantain tee dress from Becca @flamingsilk. Looks like she  had a fun evening! 

And now (drumroll please!) the winner from day 1 is: Sharon from Petite and Sewing! Sharon please send me a message with your email address and I will put you in touch with Meg at Colette to arrange your prize! 

Finally here’s a photo that Tom took of me unawares while I was looking for a good photo spot: 

OWOP guest post: Claire

Hi guys! Today I’ve got another corking guest post: Claire from I Want to be a Turtle. I’m lucky enough to know Claire in person as well as in the blogosphere – she’s really been an inspiration for all my sewing plans and is always happy to bounce ideas around with me! Thanks Claire! 

All hail the tried ‘n’ true patterns!

I watched the previous OWOP’s take place without participating because I didn’t have a tried ‘n’ true pattern. At that point, it was rare for me to make a pattern more than once. Then you, Granville, entered my life. You came through the front door – sleek in your envelope. You came full of promise to end my battle with ready to wear fitting issues, the offer to teach me some new techniques and skills and, perhaps most importantly, fill a major gap in my wardrobe. 
The early signs were positive. A few alterations were need to get a better fit, some tutorials were watched and read for those tricky sleeve plackets and getting a neat finish on the collar. The collars are now a breeze but achieving nice sleeve plackets still eludes me. Despite this, we’ve become very good friends. You fit almost perfectly. Our first make together was fabulous and remains a much loved piece. So much so, it has been joined by others. 

some of Claire’s brilliant Granville shirts!

Each make is an improvement on the other. Small tweaks, added details, a change of fabric, the odd hack and you look so very different from the original. I’ve become a fan of sleeveless shirts and top stitching. I’m constantly buying buttons in multiple colours for when we get together again. The effect you’ve had on my wardrobe has been profound. You are stylish but practical, fun but formal when needed. You have the ability to constantly adapt and provide me with countless options for future versions. You’ve stopped the embarrassment of a gaping front button placket for which I am eternally grateful. All of this keeps me coming back.

Some of my other favourite repeat patterns: Sewaholic’s Gabriola; Sew Over It’s Vintage Shirt Dress and Betty Dress; Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pyjamas.

Our relationship spurred me on to see if this might be possible with other patterns. Suddenly making multiple versions became fun, time efficient, a way to get good fitting wardrobe staples as well a way to end wardrobe orphans. Not a single repeat has gathered dust since completion. Your inspiration has spread to other separates as well as pretty dresses. I now have options for all occasions without having to think too hard about the outfit and this is in a large part down to you. Such is the power of a practical pattern repeated until perfect, fun to stitch and offers some much versatility. All hail the tried ‘n’ true!

OWOP… Ideas and prizes!!!

Hi guys!

I’ve just come back from the most epic time at the sewing weekender, organised by the brilliant ladies at the Foldline. It was great to have a whole weekend to talk about sewing, fabric and garment construction!

Today I’ve got some more ideas about what you could use for your OWOP challenge, as well as a rundown of the awesome prizes that will be up for grabs EVERY DAY during OWOP.

Jane had some great suggestions for how to plan for OWOP here in her guest post here: do you still need convincing? Read on for some more ideas!

1) Using a dress pattern for separates:

In some patterns this is easy! You could just shorten a shift dress like the Colette Laurel or Sew Over It Ultimate Shift dress to be a cute woven t-shirt. Here’s my hacked Laurel top:


Last autumn, I used Butterick 6582 to make a top and pencil skirt set by cutting the pattern at the waist, adding length and then sewing them up separately. (Below is a picture of the toile for this – I failed to get good photos of the final outfit, and after my last move, I put it somewhere “very safe”. AKA I have no idea where it is to take more photos!)

(If anyone wants a tutorial for this, just let me know in the comments!)

2) Use the the different views for work and play

I use my navy stripe laurel for work, but my stripe & floral one is definitely for play!

3) Hack those patterns!  Lengthen a summery pattern into a maxi dress, use a knit to make yourself some really chic secret pjs or if you want to keep things simple, just use that favourite fabric in your stash to whip up another version of that top that is in constant use!

Now, the prizes!! There are some really great prizes available to OWOP participants! One prize will be randomly drawn per day from everyone who has signed up on the original post. Thank you to all the brilliant suppliers who have so generously offered up a prize.

Day 1: Colette Patterns pattern of winner’s choice (open worldwide)

Day 2: Maud’s fabric finds 2x 1.5m jersey fabric (open worldwide)

Day 3: The Village Haberdashery £25 voucher (UK and Europe only)

Day 4: Sew Over It Pattern bundle, the Vintage dress collection PDF patterns (open worldwide)

Day 5: M is for Make 2m dressmaking fabric (excluding Liberty fabrics. UK and Europe only)

Day 6: Minerva crafts: £50 fabric bundle (open worldwide)

Day 7: White Tree Fabrics Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress kit, including pattern, fabric and notions. (UK only)

Don’t forget to sign up for a chance to win!

OWOP Guest post – Jane from Handmade Jane!

Hi everyone! As I mentioned in my last post, there are some exciting guest posts to come for OWOP… I’ve really admired Jane’s amazing makes since I first found her blog, and here she tells us a bit about how she makes such great garments: 

Hello! I’m Jane from Handmade Jane and I’m delighted to be a guest blogger for this series of OWOP posts.

Choosing patterns to fit into a handmade wardrobe

We all have special patterns that seem to work for us, but what is it about them that make us want to sew them again and again? The patterns I tend to repeat sew are the ones that fill gaps in my handmade wardrobe. They’re not necessarily the most exciting patterns, but they’re definitely the ones that work the hardest! As we all know, sewing time is precious, so there are three key factors I take into consideration when deciding whether to sew a pattern again: fit, style and how easy it is to sew up.


Trying to achieve a better fit was one of the reasons I first started sewing my own clothes. If you’re lucky enough to find a pattern that fits perfectly straight from the envelope, great! Hang onto it! Generally though, patterns take a bit of tweaking to fit the way you want. It’s quite an investment of time and effort, but definitely worth it to perfect the fit. And once you’ve managed to nail the fit, the whole process is a lot quicker the next time round!


My Sewaholic Granville blouses – a pain to fit to my proportions but I couldn’t be happier with the results!


This is the main factor that draws me to a pattern and one or two unusual design features are often all it takes to lure me in. This could be something as simple as a cute collar, a bow at the neck or even a strategically placed dart. Or sometimes the way a pattern is drafted just happens to be a style that flatters my particular shape.

I think learning to choose patterns that suit you and your shape and style is key. For example I love wide legged trousers and have made several pairs over the years, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that they generally look better on somebody a foot taller than me! However well fitting they are, they just make me look even shorter than I already am, so it’s slim legged trousers from now on.



Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers – the slim fitting style is a good match for my shape.

How easy is it to sew?

If sewing a pattern makes you feel like you’ve endured 10 rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson, you’re unlikely to want to put yourself through it again. It isn’t always about the number of pattern pieces or complicated sewing techniques either. Some intermediate patterns are a pleasure to sew because they’re well drafted and come with clear instructions. There are also beginner patterns that put me right off sewing them again if the drafting and instructions are poor.

For the last OWOP challenge in 2014, I chose a pattern that made me happy on all three points. It was vintage Simplicity 4238 and I’ve sewn it up five times and counting! At first glance it seems like a standard button up sleeveless shirt, but when you look more closely you’ll see it includes a whopping 12 darts which gives it the fitted vintage look I love. Yes, the darts are a pain to mark up, but they’re not difficult to sew and provide awesome shaping around the waist. It’s also sleeveless, which means it’s not just confined to summer as it can be worn with a cardigan.


I’ve made it twice in polka dots, once in gingham, once in a Liberty floral and once in a solid white. This allows for every conceivable pairing of bottom halves! Will I make it again? Probably! I think a couple more solid coloured versions would come in mighty useful!


I think the biggest challenge for this year’s One Week, One Pattern will be finding a pattern that works as well as this one! Thanks so much Hannah for inviting me to contribute, I can’t wait to participate in September!

Thanks Jane!! I’m excited to see your OWOP garments!

I’ll be posting more about OWOP, including details of the fab prizes, next week 🙂






Welcome to… One Week, One Pattern 2016!


Anyone who has read my last few blog posts might have picked up on my teasers for an upcoming announcement – and here it is! One Week, One Pattern, or OWOP is a group sewing challenge, where the participants wear variations on one pattern every day for a week.

OWOP is about celebrating our Tried ‘n’ True patterns, the ones we’ve made lots of times in different variations, until we could practically make them in our sleep, tweaking the fit until it’s just right. It’s a good chance to think about your own style and what you like to wear! It was started up by Tilly and the Buttons in 2012, and then run by Handmade Jane in 2014. They have both kindly agreed to let me carry it on in 2016! Thanks ladies!

So here are the details:

What is OWOP?
One Week, One Pattern is a group challenge where participants wear garments from one pattern of their choice, every day for one week.

When will OWOP take place?
Saturday 10th – Friday 16th September 2016

Who can take part?
Anyone! You could be a beginner trying to wear more of that first skirt, or an advanced sewist with a full handmade wardrobe looking for a fun challenge.

Which pattern should I use?
You can use any pattern – Big 4, Indie, from a book, self-drafted or vintage. As long as you’ve sewn it yourself you can use it!

How many versions of a pattern do I need to take part? That’s entirely up to you! You could have one version that you style differently every day for a week – like some cute handmade trousers styled with different tops and accessories OR you could have 7 pairs and change them every day!

Do I need to sew any new garments especially for OWOP? Nope! You can wear the versions you’ve already made! But maybe this is the excuse you need to make it again, perhaps with a different neckline, or hemline, or in that scrummy fabric you’ve been hoarding? OWOP starts in 6 weeks, so you do still have time if you do want to make anything!

How do I sign up?
Leave a comment on this post with the following details:

Pattern company + pattern name + garment type

(e.g. Tilly and the Buttons, Bettine dress; OR Colette, Laurel dress; OR Sew Over It, Ultimate Trousers) If you’re undecided just sign up now and then you can decide later!

Then, from the 10th September, wear your chosen pattern for 7 consecutive days! Take a photo each day to show how you styled them. If you don’t like posing you can put them on a hanger, lay them out or crop yourself out. Then post your photos! You can do this any of the following ways:

  • On Instagram, using #OWOP16
  • On your blog. Please make sure there’s a link to this in your sign-up comment.
  • On Flickr. I’ll be posting details of the Flickr group later closer to the time.
  • Email me your photos. Please leave a note in your sign up comment if you’d like to do this.

I’ll then do a roundup of some of your outfits during the week. Please let me know if you’d rather I didn’t include your photos in my roundup! Otherwise I will assume you are happy for me to use them.

Is there a logo I can add to my blog?
If you’d like to add the logo to your blog, you can download it here.

Anything else?
There will be some exciting guest posts coming up in the next few weeks! I’ve also arranged some really exciting giveaways for each day – make sure you’re signed up here to win! I’ll be posting more details closer to the time!

Any questions? Let me know in the comments below.

MAXI – moneta

Hi guys!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, and I’ve got lots to share! I’ve just been in the USA, Canada and Iceland for the best part of a month – it was such an amazing trip, but sometimes it was fairly tough as I’m still on crutches after my ankle injury. Before my trip, I’d had grand plans of making myself a lovely holiday wardrobe, with lots of mix-and-match pieces, but with limited mobility sewing was not really that much fun. I can now carry bits and pieces as I’m mostly down to one crutch, and can actually stand at the ironing board for long enough to press things so I’ll be sewing again as soon as I’ve finished unpacking all the fabric I bought on my trip (but that’s for another post)… In the meantime, here’s the one dress I managed to make in time:

Continuing on from my two knit Laurels, I decided to go for another jersey project, one that I’ve had planned for a while! I bought this scrummy Liberty jersey in the sale (at Liberty) last year. It was still very pricey at £40 for the cut, but it was the end of the bolt so I got 2.25m for that price (and it’s at least 60” wide!). It’s the viscose jersey which I’ve used before, and it is fantastic quality so I don’t mind paying a little more for it.

I knew when I got it that I would make a maxi-dress, as it’s not often that I have enough fabric for that! I decided on the Colette Moneta, which I made a few years ago to limited success. Previously, I hadn’t had much experience with jersey, so made a few rookie errors in terms of fabric and finishing. Now I’ve had a fair number of jersey projects under my belt, I decided it was time to cut into this pretty fabric!

 I didn’t quite follow the order of the instructions, but instead went my own way:

  • I didn’t use the drafted skirt, but instead did some basic drafting to make it because the fabric is a wide stripe so the skirt as drafted would create “smile lines” in the skirt from the curved waistline.
  • To make the skirt, I worked out the approx. length to be full length on me. Due to the stretch of the fabric, I then reduced it by a few inches so that it wouldn’t extend below my feet. I decided to use the selvedge for the hem, as it wasn’t visibly distorted. I made sure that I had enough fabric left to cut the bodice after cutting the 40” length skirt, and then used the full length (i.e. the 2.25m) of the fabric for the width.
  • I then split this into two – one each for the front and back. I took the skirt pattern piece and used it to create some shaping up towards the waist. This reduces the amount of bulk.
  • I measured the right amount of elastic to fit the bodice, sewed it into a circle, then gathered the skirt to fit.
  • I used clear elastic to stabilise the shoulder seams, neckline and armholes. I wouldn’t normally stabilise the neckline when using a neckband but due to the weight of the maxi dress, I thought it would be a good idea to make it a bit stronger! I drafted the neckband to fit the neckline – I was rather worried about it being too tight, but in the end it is a little too big – as you can see it gapes slightly at the back neckline. I decided that the risk of stretching out the neckline when unpicking it outweighed how much it might annoy me!
  • I used my overlocker for the side seams, shoulder seams and attaching the bodice to the skirt. I then used my Bernina for attaching the elastic, attaching the neckline and finishing the armholes.

The photos are from my day out in Escondido, California with my friend Patience. We had so much fun catching up!

Keep an eye out later this week for an exciting announcement 🙂