The Hollyburn skirt

As promised earlier in the week I now have better photo’s of the skirt to show you. As highlighted in the close ups shots the skirt does have a certain ‘handmade charm’  but I’m still really impressed that I’ve managed to create and wear (at the office a day after it’s creation) a piece of clothing that I’VE MADE!!!!. Plus as its October I’ve got at least the next five months were I can wear a thick wooly jumper over the skirt to hid any errors.

Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

Hollyburn Skirt Pocket

Hollyburn zip

For my first project I used the  Hollyburn Sewaholic pattern from M is for Make whilst the fabric was sourced from Buttons and Bows Boutique

The things I have  learnt from this project:

1. If I’m going to regularly make my own clothes a dressmakers dummy is needed as I’m rubbish at measuring by eye

2.I am very impulsive when it comes to shopping as I purchased the dressmaking dummy above before I’d even finished the skirt

3.My sewing machine has a zipper foot and hates sewing in zips without it

4.If the sewing machine starts playing up I need to walk away and have a rest

5. Following patterns isn’t my thing. After the first few instruction I became confused and started to refer to the photos from a Hollyburn Sew-Along

6.Creativity and personalisation is my thing. Although you can’t tell from this skirt, as I was too impatient and wanted a finished garment like yesterday, but I had really strong urges to alter the pattern and customise the skirt to reflect style. I can’t ever see me following a sewing pattern step by step and I’ve already started to use pattern paper and my dressmakers module to create my own pattern for my next sewing adventure.


Look what I’ve made!! My first piece of dressmaking.

Ta, da, my first finished piece of dressmaking! Apologises for the poor quality photos but I wanted to show you the straight away. With straight away being as soon as I’d got back from dashing out to the pub to show the skirt off to one of my friends (that’s why it’s a bit creased).

There’s a few ‘home made marks’ around the hem and waist line but I’m rather impressed with my version of the Sewaholics Hollyburn Skirt. I was doubtful that dressmaking would be right for me as I’m not great at attention to detail  but I really enjoyed creating the skirt and it felt great earlier being out and about in an item that I’d made! I’ve got my eye on  a vintage t-shirt dress next and I will hopefully make it home one night this week before it is dark so that I can take some better photographs of the Hollyburn.

Hollyburn skirt front

hollyburn side skirt

What happened to September?

Hello, sewing friends. I’ve missed you so much. Over the past month I’ve been totally consumed by working full time and studying a masters full time, bad times. However in the past month I found an amazing vintage sewing machine in an antiques shop in Matlock and have started an adult education course in dressmaking so my favourite hobby hasn’t been completely abandoned.


Unfortunately I have decided to quite the dressmaking course as the tutor’s teaching style didn’t fit my needs. Think old school matron and lots of repression, not good if you like to learn by making mistakes. However I have caught the dress making bug and have decided to become a self-taught seamstress! Before I decided to quit the course I purchased the Sewaholics Hollyburn Skirt pattern and have brought some lovely 100% black cotton so the skirt will be this months project.


The end of Thursday sewing club

A week last Thursday saw the final session of Thursday night bag making club at The Craft Studio, Nottingham. Although the course was about making handbags I really wanted help with perfecting my gadget bag making technique so decided to utilise the last session by making a couple of iPad mini sleeves. I used the Liberty print fabric that I sourced at The Vintage Suitcase Fair in Buxton and am really happy with the results although the peacock case could do with squaring but I blame that on sewing late at night on a work day.

With the heatwave (I hate hot weather) and a few transport issues I ended up missing two of the five sessions which I’m actually quite gutted about.The handbag that I made during sessions one and two is hanging with pride above my sewing machine (I’m using it to store fabric scraps) and it would have been great if I could have made more than one. Maybe I should enrol on the next course and start from scratch again? I already have my eye on the free machine embroidery workshop and signed up to start a Sewing and Home Crafts course at Bolsover’s Adult Community Education (ACE) centre so will definitely be keeping up with my new hobby.

Liberty print iPad mini sleeve


Ipad mini liberty print sleeve



ipad mini liberty print cover

Indie month


A bit of a change from my usual sewing posts. Last month was #indiemonth so I want to share with you all of the beautiful things that I purchased plus this post has the added bonus of providing these retailers with some free publicity and it’s nice to be nice.

#indiemonth happens each year in July and is a month where consumers are urged to change their shopping habits and show their support for local independent retailers. Having moved to rural Derbyshire my shopping habits have naturally changed to more independent retailers rather than big brands as the nearest large shopping centre is over 20 miles away. When living in city centres I was a sucker for popping to places like hobby craft or WHSmiths whenever I needed something where as now the independent retailer is the more convenient option and I’m loving it. Corny as it sounds I felt as though I’d lost myself when living in the mass produced jungles that are today’s city centres and now i’m back to a simple country life I feel a lot better in general and have become a lot more creative. The added bonus of changing my shopping habits is that independent shopping is also turning out to be a lot cheaper. As mentioned in my previous post last weekend I bought 6 (larger than fat quarter) pieces of liberty fabric for £5. I have just started turning the fabric into gadget bags and have already managed to make two bags out of 1 piece of material, bargain!




So here’s a breakdown of what I purchased last month and where these items are from:

1.Beginners patchwork workshop – Quiltessential

2.Vintage chair – antique shop at Awkrights Mill, Cromford (sorry I can’t find the name of the shop)

3.5 week bag making course – The Craft Studio, Nottingham

4.Vintage mirror (bought for me by a friend) – The Vintage House

5.Fabric- unsure of stall name but was from The Vintage Suitcase fair

6.Hairband – Print Delight, Folksy


The Vintage Suitcase






Today I met up with one of my besties for a wander round the vintage fair in Buxton. As I’m currently saving for a deposit to buy a house it was Katie’s job to make sure that I stuck to  budget and she did a fantastic job. I could have come home with loads of goodies but instead I managed to be sensible and just bought a few pieces of fabric and then went for lunch at Pizza Express. Katie kindly bought me the mirror as an early birthday present and at £5 for 6 large off cuts of liberty fabric, £4 for a meter of the dog fabric and £10 for around two meters of the peacock fabric it would of been silly for me not to invest in my stash. I’m really pleased with my purchases and have already started to think about the bags that I’m going to make with the fabric. The liberty prints are going to be turned into pockets on a series of iPad cases and the dog print is going to be made into a laundry bag.

As you can see from my pictures there were loads of stall holders at the fair and plenty for me to buy, the home wears section was amazing! As the fair was run by The Vintage Suitcase who are based in Derbyshire I will definitely be keeping an eye on their websites for future events.

The Dome is part of Buxton College, which is an area that I look after for work, I am lucky enough to spend a few days a week working in this magnificent building. It really is an inspirational place and I feel lucky every day that I drive there. Myself and Katie are returning in two weeks time for a spa day and I can’t wait!


Thursday sewing club: I finished my first handbag!

Ideas Pouch

Ideas Pouch

On Thursday I made it back to the bag . I skipped last weeks session as I had been driving hundreds of miles that week for work and combined with the heat wave I was exhausted. Although I was shattered again this Thursday (I’m not sleeping well) I forced myself to go and was really glad I did.

During this weeks class not only did I finished the reversible bag from week 1, I started and completed the ideas pouch which was designed by


Although the course is geared towards sewing handbags being a techy I’ve asked if I can bring in a pattern for a laptop bag  next week to make and the tutor has agreed! Only problem is I’ve already been scouring the internet for patterns for over an hour and can’t make my mind up. Do you have any suggestions?