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!