Self-drafted Coat


So, two things:

  1. I became a member of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network! and
  2. My first project for them is a self-drafted black cashmere wool blend coat.

Read all about it on Minerva’s website here!:



Sorell Trousers

So, a couple of weeks ago I was happily and innocently flicking through my Instagram feed when I saw a really lovely pair of trousers posted by @rocco.sienna. Monika had made them from a gorgeous pink linen-look crepe and the pattern was the Sorell Trousers by Pauline Alice patterns. I think I had downloaded the pdf within about thirty seconds of seeing Monika’s pink trousers – and I knew just what fabric to use.

Before long, I had a great pair of work trousers to show for my efforts!


Pattern Review

Fabric: a medium weight wool from Sew Over It. It has a lovely herringbone weave and I had been eyeing it up for weeks, trying to decide whether it was ‘me’ or not and whether it would look good in person. By the time I decided to go for it, they were down to the last 1.5 meters. I ordered it, planning to make a pair of ‘cigarette pant’ trousers, and when it came I was kicking myself for not having ordered it sooner so I could have bought enough for a matching jacket. It is lovely. Lesson learned.

Sizing/Alterations: My measurements came up between a 38 and a 40 for the waist, and between a 36 and a 38 for the hips. Somehow I decided, based on the finished measurements, to make my initial toile a size 36.

As you can see, it was a touch on the tight side:

I decided that I needed to go with a size 38 waist, size 36 hip, and I also decided to grade down to a size 34 for the body of the leg, because although I like the idea of a wide leg trouser, I’m also wary of getting lost in too much fabric if they’re really really wide. Plus I somehow feel that for the office, less is more – and I was definitely thinking of work trousers with this pattern.

I also concluded, from the ‘smiley’ wrinkles at the crotch point that I needed a bit more length to it. I adjusted my pattern pieces with a slash and spread technique, inserting about half an inch to the front. On the back pattern piece I raised the centre back point and seam by about half an inch because it dipped somewhat the toile.

Instructions: The instructions were nice and clear, with the possible exception of the fly front construction. It’s more likely to be because it was my first time sewing one, but I found it quite tricky and got it completely wrong at first. Luckily Pauline Alice have a sew along on their site (gotta love a sew along!) which broke it down into greater detail, with lots of pictures.

Difficulty: On the whole I think trousers are usually a quick and simple project. These ones are slightly more complex because you also have lots of pockets, and the fly front. But these are more time consuming than difficult. If you haven’t sewn welt pockets before, it’s worth taking your time over that part, but the instructions made them nice and simple.

Would I recommend, or sew it again?: I don’t even know why I still have this question on my template as the answer is always yes! This one will be in the next few weeks though, as I can’t wait for a black pair. My sister’s also requested a pair so we’ll see if that gets done soon too!

Spring skirt

Well! Boy, I have been remiss! Has it been THAT long since I posted?! Eek.

It has been a whirlwind few months and I’ve missed posting my makes here! If you’re with me on Instagram though, hopefully you’ll have seen some of what I’ve been up to. I have been practising the art of self-drafting. It’s kind of addictive 🙂

One of my favourite recent makes is this pastel pink pencil skirt – not at all a colour I would usually wear – especially as a skirt – but something about the fabric caught my eye and made me try it. And, of course, I love it. Love it!

It’s fully lined, with the lining attached to the skirt vent but otherwise hanging free at the base. In the picture below I still had a little bit of hand stitching to do at the bottom of the vent, but you get the gist!


My favourite part was, after much research, and some practice attempts on miniature pieces, drafting the vent and lining and finding that everything came together perfectly first time! The trick is to have separate lining pieces for the left and right of the skirt, so that one piece is lined all the way down the vent edge, and the other piece sort of has a cutaway for the vent, as in the picture below. And be as accurate as possible with your stitching lines! I drew mine on before assembling the skirt:


You’ll end up with the vent looking something like this from the inside:


Another nice feature is the zip shield – no more catching my blouses in the zip teeth when zipping up the skirt! This is another feature that’s surprisingly easy to draft and sew, once you’ve done it once.


Lastly, I threw caution to the wind and put some side slant pockets on this baby. I know, I know – pockets?! On a fitted pencil skirt?! But it’ll ruin the lines of the skirt! Well, whaddya know? Turned out to be just fine. And they’re nice, comfy pockets – win!


The fabric is a really lovely stretch cotton from Sew Over It. It’s got an embossed pattern you can hopefully see in these pictures, and a really nice weight. With an acetate lining, this skirt feels really luxurious, and has been a big hit at work!

– Michelle –