Tag Archives: Sorbetto

All spots and no trousers …

No trousers today I’m afraid. No matter, there’s still time and I have a rather sweet dress to show off instead.

Yes, I’m very pleased with this (which is why you get the photo of the pattern again). It’s the Miz Mozelle pattern from Jamie Christina.


This is such an appealing pattern and there are some absolutely lovely versions out there to inspire. I bought my fabric from Goldhawk Road for (I think) £4.50 a metre and it drapes beautifully. It took me a few minutes (that is a blatant lie, it took me hours) to decide on the pale green binding. I would have liked to bind the collar edge too but I only had enough to finish the keyhole and collar attachment.


I was a little unsure of which size to cut as I was using a non stretch fabric and in the end I went up a size. The top fits me well but I think I could have stuck to my actual size for the skirt as I have quite a bit of fabric gathered at my waist.

This is the first pattern I’ve made from Jamie Christina and I found the instructions concise and clear. The front and back bodice pieces are sewn up at the shoulders and then the sleeves (to which you have already attached the binding) are inserted, then the side seams are sewn up. Next time, I think I’ll add the bias binding at the end to get a nice finish on the seams, but that’s just me, it was good to try this method anyway.

Once I realised that I could slip the dress over my head, I unpicked my rather lumpy loop and just added the button for show.


Is it just me who skips around the room in delight when I find the perfect button? And it’s not just buttons, I whoop with joy when I find I have vintage thread to match my vintage bias tape too!






I just need the weather to warm up now as this is a bare legs and ice cream in the sun sort of dress really.


Eek! Don’t look at the sock imprints on my legs! Long day in jeans and socks … That’s not all, I realised pretty fast that this is another static, shock your socks off (that’s where they went) type of fabric and it clings a bit. And, I must remember not to wear big navy and white striped pants … they show through. This is me on the phone to the pant police …


Oh and there was just enough fabric over (at a real squeeze) to make a …

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Sorbetto! Yes, I know I have quite a few of these now. And yes, I know I may be developing a polka dot/ contrast binding obsession. It’s a phase and no doubt it will pass … maybe.


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What to wear …

Well, this could be a very boring post about Me Made May as I haven’t taken any photos of my outfits! I know, it’s very naughty but to be honest, I’ve just been having a nice old time and not worrying about capturing the fashion of the day and I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it that I have fulfilled my pledge for week one. So, here’s a run down of days 1–7 …

May 1st: Panic! Is it May 1st already?! I didn’t plan the night before plus I am late for work, so out with the Violet blouse teamed with shop bought (sorry) trousers.
May 2nd: My bright little Laurel and jeans (yes I know, jeans. Damn).
May 3rd and 4th: Erm, I spent these two days clearing out the loft and wore my ancient Levis with my daughter’s t-shirt. It’s Ok though, in my pledge I said I would wear me made clothes for three days a week (phew!)
May 5th: Are you still with me? My purple Sorbetto, spotty, dotty number (the one with sleeves) … and jeans of course.
May 6th: OOh, exciting it’s hot enough for a dress for a friends BBQ! My newly altered London dress today!
May 7th: And its hot again so on with my Swishy Swashy dress. Two Simplicity 2444s one day after the other!

So, what has the challenge done for me this week? Well, I swear my London Dress would still be sadly hanging in the wardrobe with its saggy neckline had it not been for MMM’13. So, I’m very happy that I had the kick up the backside on that one! I’m also looking forward to ‘re-stitching’ some of my early makes and that may expand my choice a little.

And then there’s the question of making some trousers (I haven’t forgotten the pledge), I just need some courage and I’ll get going on that. In the meantime, I can’t stop looking at this … exciting!



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Home again, home again, jiggity jig …

We’ve been to Northumberland for a family gathering and to blow away (in gusty wind and rain) the Halloween cobwebs. It’s a beautiful place, I think I could live there. Yes, I could absolutely live there.

Anyway, before I left I mentioned my ‘going out top’. This is ironic because I actually never seem to go out these days, but I thought I’d make one just in case (you never know).

In the absence of a suitable pattern and with time being of the essence, I turned to the trusty Sorbetto to save the day. With a little neckline adjustment here and the addition of long sleeves there, I think it went quite well.

I  used french seams where I could and bias binding where I couldn’t …

The fabric was from my Walthamstow stash and I can safely say that the price (£1.50 metre!) reflected the quality (there was a little bit of swearing), but no worries I shan’t be wearing it that much I don’t suppose!

Hmm, I didn’t notice those wonky buttons before! Luckily I already have a mauve camisole to wear under it, so it’s not too revealing.

I made the back from two pieces and added a button and loop so I could get it on and off easily but apart from that I think it’s still a Sorbetto at heart. If there is ever a ‘one pattern, one month‘ event then I think I’m your girl!

Did I wear it in Northumberland? Not on your nellie. Far too cold for silly flimsies!


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Holidays and hauls …

Hello, I’m home!

With my boys safely home from their trip, we headed off to the furnace that is otherwise known as Turkey and spent a relaxing nine days lazing around, reading in tree houses, swimming, sleeping and drinking copious amounts of water. My Iris shorts were worn and admired by Jimmy (just to clarify, he didn’t wear them, just admired them on me, in case you were worried) and my sleeveless Sorbetto tops were the ideal hot weather must haves. Perfect.

Of course a holiday is actually quite exhausting what with all that travelling (this is how I justify my laziness) and so between loading the washing machine and popping to the shops for milk, I have been enjoying catching up with all the sewing blogs I love and some new ones too thanks to sewbusylizzy! It was good to be away from it all (we stayed off the beaten track) and to have a bit of a break from technology, but lovely to come home and be able to see what’s been going on in the sewing bloggists worlds.

Anyway, I thought you might like to see my latest haul …


This little bunch comes courtesy of my mother-in-law who admired this when I arrived in York the other week. She told me I could go through her sewing drawers and take what I wanted!! I know!! It’s a good job she mentioned this after I’d been reunited with my boys or I’m not sure who would have got my attention first, the drawer or them!? I tried not to seem too greedy, but she wasn’t holding me back and seemed very happy for me have anything that caught my eye!

Oh Lordy, just look at these buttons …


Zips, lace, bias binding and buttons, I’m in heaven!



And a bit of fabric too …


Some wool (I think that’s what it is) and a huge piece of striped jersey! I didn’t take a picture of the little pile of lining fabrics or the leather elbow patches but I’m sure you appreciate my excitement.

Oh, it’s good to be back!


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Time for a quick make?

I have been busy, busy with my machine this past week. Not only have I sorted out the annoyingly mis-placed darts in my Peony and made a little gingham Violet but I have also squeezed in another cheeky Sorbetto!



I used the little bit of gingham I had left over from the Violet, some vintage ribbon and contrasting bias binding. It’s perfect with my little green cardi and jeans and took no time at all to make.

Other news, the two most lovely boys men in my life (my 14 year old has definitely grown up in the last three weeks!) have completed 1145 miles on their bikes and raised lots of money for Action Duchenne in the process. I am driving up to York this evening to meet them and I am so excited! You can read about their adventure here if you’d like to.

Finally, after just over three weeks of stillness, I will have everyone back in the nest again by Sunday night and perhaps I’ll be able to sleep again!

Hope you are having a creative, sunny weekend too x



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Gingham Violet and a bit more Peony …

It is Wednesday, or ‘hump day’ as an old work colleague used to call it. Of course she meant that you make it to the middle of the week and once you’re over it, it’s plain sailing to the weekend, hooray! I get my girl home tomorrow. She has been away for 5 days, studying at Cambridge on a scheme to encourage teenagers to apply this coming Autumn. I think she’s enjoying it, it sounds very interesting, there’s not been a great deal of contact but that’s probably a good sign! Then, on Saturday, once my girl has finished work, we’ll drive up to York where we’ll be reunited with the boys and I can not wait! Finally we will all be back together and normality can resume.

I haven’t quite got round to starting my Sew Yourself a Summer project (though there’s still time) in Jimmy’s absence, but I have been busy …

Ignore the slightly wonky button hole (it doesn’t show, honest!) …


I’m quite pleased to have finished the Violet and it looks nice on, although I can’t show you that as I’m all alone (have I mentioned that?!) so there’s no fashion photographer on hand today.

I quite like it! I’ve enjoyed the process of fitting the pieces together and learning once again from some silly little mistakes. I think next time I would make the collar a little smaller, but I don’t mind the boxy shape that some people have mentioned. I love the gingham but I’d also like to make it in a plain fabric, maybe a crepe, nice and floppy and maybe add a smidgen to the length.

In this beautiful weather I’ve been wearing some older makes too, my Summer Skirt from last year and my  Liberty Dress. I made these up as I went along and it’s funny how in a relatively sort time I can look at them now and think ‘well I wouldn’t do it like that anymore’!

I also wore my Peony dress on Monday and did a spot of shopping in Oxford. All day I was a right fidget bottom, those blooming darts. I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed before but I was constantly pulling the dress back into place and swearing I would never wear it again! But, this morning I patiently unpicked myFrench seams (sigh) and shifted the darts down a bit and it’s worked! It’s now very comfortable, how satisfying is that?!

This photo was taken before the alteration and I know it doesn’t look like it but I do have eyes!

I do have quite an important secret sewing project to get on with, but I’m also getting ideas for a new Sorbetto … stop me someone!


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Ta Dah! My finished Hazel … and ok, another Sorbetto!

Phew! It is finished and not without a little bit of blood and sweat I might add. After a whole day of unpicking and re-sewing various parts of my Hazel, a mini tantrum and  some pathetic tears, I have completed The Dress. It’s not really my colour (I’m so silly to think green and white stripes would flatter my wintery complexion) but I’m hoping a little black cardi will transform it into a summer favourite.

In the end I took in the bodice by at least an inch and adjusted the position of the straps a tiny bit too. This wasn’t actually too difficult but I found it tricky to finish off the invisible zip and ended up unpicking it and re stitching it quite a few (grrrrrr!) times! I think if I were to make it again in a striped fabric, I’d make the stripes vertical on the straps as it was quite fiddly lining them up so they looked symmetrical. In fact I found the stripes a bit difficult to work with but that’s probably down to my lack of know how! I also added quite a bit to the length so that it sits just above my knobbly knees. Overall, I love this Colette pattern, the challenge really got my brain working and the satisfaction in working through the hiccups and making something fit me properly is brilliant.

Thank you to Sew Busy Lizzy for your wise words of encouragement, it’s lovely to have such comments! I’ve always been a bit of a recluse in the blog world and kept myself to myself using this as a sort of personal diary for the creative bit of me. I will try and make more of an effort to comment on other sewers blogs now I realise what a boost it can be to be the recipient!

But that’s not all … Whilst in the flow, I binned the floppy, worn out looking Sorbetto that I made as a gift for my friend Linda (it’s actually gone in the duster basket) and went crazy with the Hazel fabric by making a new improved version for her.

I think the fact that I would like to keep it for myself is a good sign. I even made some rather successful bias binding with my new Clover gadget! The sleeves and a couple of vintage buttons from my button tin finish it off a treat, she’s going to look lovely in this and being far more photogenic than myself, I will attempt to get a picture of her in it when I see her next week and post it (please let it fit)!


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Hiding from Hazel …

Let’s not talk about the Hazel dress … not just yet anyway.

On a brighter note,  I wore my Sorbetto in the sunshine today!

Goodness, what on earth am I doing with my hands? I’m obviously trying to look cool whilst hiding my face and it’s just not working! Oh well, it’s all about the top and I’m very pleased with it. I will definitely make another but maybe a size smaller next time as unlike Dotty Spotty, this one’s a tiny bit boxy. I still have to make one for eldest teen and a new improved version for Lovely Linda who I have decided will not be receiving this one after all!

Have a lovely weekend x

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A Hazel nut makes progress … part 1

Spurred on by my enjoyment in making the Sorbetto top, I have started to put together a toile for the Hazel dress. It is meant to be easy so why is it driving me nuts? This is day one and I’m struggling with the size of the bodice already …

After yesterdays post, I have changed my mind about tracing patterns, it is a good thing after all! I have made up a toile only to discover that it’s too big across the back (I think my back is quite narrow), the bust fits well but there’s too much fabric at the back and the side seams are in the wrong place. This is from a size 4 which I cut because although my bust is 34″ (which would mean I am a size 2), my waist is 27″ which is size 4. This isn’t as simple as it should be!

Back to the drawing board. I will cut out a toile for the bodice in size 2 and see if that’s better. I don’t think I’ll alter the skirt as I can just add some more gathers to make it fit. Thank goodness I didn’t just plough on ahead and cut out my fabric for this or I’d be in tears by now!

I have also realised that a proper dress form would be helpful. This poor thing has to lean against a wall and falls over at most unhelpful moments like she’s constantly plastered! Part two soon … hopefully.


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To give or not to give …

In the past week I have finished another (I can’t stop myself!) Sorbetto and received a parcel with fabric to start the next pattern in my pile, the Colette Hazel dress. The new Sorbetto is meant to be a birthday gift for my lovely friend Linda, only I’m slightly worried that a) it will be a bit too big for her and b) that it looks like a pyjama top with missing bottoms. This might be because I made the piping from an old duvet cover (many metres of fabric for a couple of pounds!), so I’m not sure whether to pass it on or not. If you’re thinking to yourself ‘That’s not a Sorbetto!’ you are wrong, it is, honest.

I made it from a men’s shirt that I found in a charity shop for £1.50. It was in perfect condition and I like to imaging some lovely lady buying it for her husband who (out of touch with his feminine side) decides he will NOT wear lilac and voila … it becomes mine! All I did was cut the pattern without the fold at the front, kept the button band and changed the buttons. The sleeves are the original but of course I cut them to the correct shape, inserted them into the new arm holes and added a few gathers. I will let you know if Linda likes it when I see her in June … if I give it to her!

As for my parcel, how sweet is this?

I’ve had such a job trying to find affordable fabrics, I could spend hours trawling the internet (and often do) when I should be being creative. Anyway, last week I finally made a purchase on Clothkits and two beautifully wrapped parcels arrived at the office on Thursday. The orange and pink paper bags made my day (I’m very easily pleased), one contained the stripy fabric I intend to use for the Hazel dress and the other is a (not so interesting) foot for my machine. Look at the sticker it’s so lovely!

So, today while my teens revise (I hate exam season almost as much as they do) and my husband shows youngest teen the beauty of  drawing mind maps, I have been tracing my Colette pattern and wondering why. I’ve done it now, but I don’t think I’ll do it again!

The fabric does feel very fine and so I think to avoid any embarrassing mishaps I will have to line it (something I’ve never done before). Anyway, I will make a start and keep posting my progress … or shall I just make another Sorbetto?

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