A super quick sparkly cowl top

Happy new year everyone, and a big welcome to everyone who’s visiting for the first time after reading my “Personal Best” article in this month’s SewNow magazine (issue 3)! I realised when I was putting together my end of year roundup that I had a fairly ridiculous amount of unblogged projects from the final few weeks of the year, so I’ll be sharing these with you throughout January.

The Knot-Maste Yoga Set – out now!

Please welcome our latest sewing pattern and our first designed specifically for yoga and pilates – the Knot-Maste Yoga Set!

Make your own perfect yoga wardrobe with our Knot-Maste Yoga Set sewing pattern. Start with a loose fitting teeshirt with knot-detail sleeves, upper back yoke, and semi- open back, worn knotted in the back for a tighter fit during exercise or left loose for cooling down. Alternatively, a shorter option features a hem band with knotted side detail. Pair it with comfy bottoms featuring slouchy pockets, crotch gusset, waistband with hidden elastic and optional tie, and a banded or tied hem in capri or full length and you’re ready to hit the mats in style!

A monochrome turtleneck

I’ve been absolutely swamped with work recently (and when you’re self-employed this is no bad thing!) but I still managed to squeeze in a little Me Sewing on the side. I’m a big believer in sewing up a “quick knit top” when you need a mojo boost, and this top probably took an hour in total, from tracing to cutting to sewing to wearing, split into several ten minute segments snatched here and there – the busy woman’s way to getting stuff sewn!

A neon cropped tee

As you heard earlier this week, I bought this eye-wateringly n-e-o-n peach, 100% polyester pique jersey at Abakhan in Liverpool to pair with some grey scuba to make the Triple Triangle Dress from the new No Patterns Needed book.

But I really only used the pique jersey in strips to bind the armholes, neckline, and waist, so there was quite a bit leftover. Now, I must point out that this pique jersey is craaaaaaazy bright in real life. Like, “it hurts your eyes to look at it for too long” bright. So most women would probably shy away from both wearing it near their face and wearing it in big blocks of colour.

I am not most women.

The Donna Karan x Liberty shirt

This shirt is a bit of a departure for me, both in terms of what I normally wear, but also in terms of what I normally sew. I don’t tend to wear many button-down shirts, because, if I’m because brutally honest, I really can’t be bothered to pick up an iron outside of when I’m sewing! And I don’t usually wear prints outside of activewear, and certainly not Liberty ones (way too twee for me!).

But a few weeks ago, I knew I had the Sewing Weekender coming up and I wanted a project to take along for the open sew session that didn’t involve an overlocker (since there’d be only two for 50 sewists) and that wasn’t anything close to the Work Sewing I’d been doing so much of recently.

A Quick Ombré Teeshirt

I only bought this fabric from Abakhan Liverpool only two weekends ago but I’ve already sewn it up and worn it already!

As you’ll recall, I was pretty restrained upstairs at my first Abakhan experience, but then I went down into the bargain basement, and saw this ombré teeshirting! Even then, I could see it was quite thin with very little stretch but I loved it too much to let it go! I paid about a fiver for the length (about 1.5-2m?), and there’s probably enough left for a second tee, too, to be honest. So this is quite the bargain make!

A teal french terry Tessellate hoodie

I know some of you are melting in summer temperatures right now, but spare a thought for those of us shivering in July – no, not just the Aussies and Kiwis, but also those of us with “unpredictable” summers (for real – I had goosebumps here in London yesterday and it certainly wasn’t from air conditioning!). Even if you are enjoying “classic” summer temperatures right now, cast your minds forward to the days when you can exercise in cooler temps in a hoodie like the Steeplechase Tee pattern

The version I’d like to show you today was made in “terry backed wickaway lycra” from Imagine Gnats in the teal colourway (but it also comes in chile red, green, lilac, vapor blue, and jade!). This stuff is absolutely brilliant for activewear – it’s got a smooth (but not shiny) face with a loop backing, but it has a decent amount of stretch for something so nicely heavyweight. If you’re not familiar with Imagine Gnats, they’ve got lots of other athletic fabrics, too – the owner, Rachael, is an active sewist herself!

Two casual Tessellate Tees

By the time I was able to release my Tessellate Tee pattern, I had made so many samples of all the different uses and features that the photoshoot required something like 8 wardrobe changes in the restrooms at our local park! You’ve already seen a few of the exercise-specific versions, but I know some of you may be more tempted to sew up a casual tee than an activewear one. So today I wanted to show that you can use it to make a long-sleeved (or short sleeved) teeshirt to just wear with jeans rather than leggings, too.

The full digital release of the Tessellate Tee pattern comes with all the included extras, but these versions were sewn as samples for Love Sewing magazine, so these are just the straight teeshirt with no hood, pocket, or thumb cuffs.

A fuss-free red shirt for James

While my own wardrobe may be 99% own-sewn, I’m only one woman and I like to concentrate my sewing for James into items he can’t regularly find in shops. Often this means loud and garish shirts in unusual prints (just wait til 4th of July…), but occasionally it’s for practical reasons. In this case, he has two Dakine shirts that are made from some sort of thin, technical woven that dries really quickly and resists wrinkling. So he got just a wee bit excited when he saw was stocking something that looked really similar. They called it “workwear fabric” (it’s no longer available) – a thin, 100% polyester woven that resists wrinkling and dries quickly – perfect for him to wear to cycle into work without looking like a sweaty mess all day.