Sew Now magazine

I love finding new magazines to read, especially sewing ones, but lately I’v20161023_194241e been feeling like my skills, interests or even just my personal tastes (I know I know,  can’t please everyone!) aren’t really being catered for in the current mags available. However, I’d seen a few sneak peeks of a brand new British sewing magazine on social media over the last few weeks, and when Fiona from The Sewing Directory put a plea out on instagram for bloggers to review the very first issue, I immediately volunteered!

Sew Now is the latest title from Practical Publishing, who also publish Love Sewing, Quilt Now, Knit Now and several other crafting titles, and is aimed at fashion-hungry stitchers who want to learn the skills to recreate current high street looks. If anyone is interested to see how Sew Now and Love Sewing differ, here is a 20161023_205922.jpghandy link to a comparison chart!

Sew Now is similar in terms of layout to current sewing mags, but it definitely feels much more trend-led that other titles. I especially liked that there is an article dedicated to men’s sewing – not something you ever really see in the UK but lots of us have a dad/grandpa/brother/boyfriend/husband/friend etc that we would like to sew for so I hope this is a per
manent feature! I was also pleased to see that writers and projects were created by different, lesser known sewers, pattern makers and bloggers – it’s refreshing to see and great for discovering new bloggers and projects.
The feature I particularly like in the first issue of Sew Now is the ‘Shop it or sew it’ section – this gives you key seasonal looks with recommendations for wear to buy it or what pattern wold best replicate the garment. Finding something in a shop you really love is fab, but knowing you can make it to fit you perfectly? Even better!

The magazine 20161023_194222has a decent balance of adult clothing, children;s clothing and useful home ware projects – home ware can often be a bit cutesy or not really practical, but the projects included are easy to create as well as useful pieces. This first edition has 12 different projects, many of which have free downloadable patterns to use, from a ruffled party dress to knickers! I also like that in the editor’s section, they state they are actively seeking to cover all sizes including plus sizes; it feels like they are keen to be inclusive which is unusual in a fashion-based magazine!20161023_194808.jpg

This edition came with an additional accessories booklet, and this is also well thought out – again it gives you possible high street purchases of the pattern or fabric to create the look yourself. I particularly liked this page for bags, as it looks like some perfect pattern suggestions.

Sew Now also comes with a free pattern every month and this months pattern is the Simple Sew Zoe dress/top. I haven’t yet made a Simple Sew pattern so can’t vouch for how good they20161023_194204.jpg are although I read good things online, but they have some good classic shapes and I think this particular pattern could a great addition to anyone’s sewing
pattern stash. Alternatively, you can buy the pattern here.

Now at this point, I really should admit that I don’t often buy sewing mags unless there’s a good freebie (or any mags for that matter – with decent fashion mags costing upwards of a fiver they’re a treat and I like to get my monies worth!) but I was provided this copy for free in exchange for a review. That being said, I am looking forward to next months edition!

My first Cali Fabrics post is now LIVE!

My first post for the Cali Fabrics blog went live a few weeks ago and I wanted to share it all with you guys!Photo 28-08-2016, 15 44 31 (1)

I made a trenchcoat from Knipmode magazine in a beautiful navy blue cotton twill and its basically the best autumn coat ever.

If you check out the Cali Fabrics blog, you can read more about it there! I want to do a follow-up post about my experience with Knipmode patterns so keep your eyes peeled for that here, but for now, click over to to the site and check it out!



Let’s talk about Adelaide

Time to clear a few makes out of my queue! I have a few unblogged makes for probably the first time ever!

As you all know, or at least read during this year’s #sewphotohop, I am most definitely a separates girl. Now I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I made a dress! I’m not sure what came over me back in July but I decided I really wanted to make the Adelaide dress from Seamwork. I was worried it wouldn’t suit me as I am a bit chunkier round the middle than I’d like as well as being quite pear-shaped but I figured I could knock it up in some cheap fabric and decide when it was

I got the pattern back in July and made my usual adjustments (FBA, grading out a couple of sizes at the hip, sloping shoulders and a sway back) and cut straight into my fabric instead of muslinning (not a word) it. I’d picked up some cheap viscose from my local market – an irregular polka dot for just £3 p/m (this is probably a slightly nicer alternative!). The pattern actually suggests more stable wovens like chambray or linen, but I wanted something that was a bit swishier to help avoid bulk in the waist and lower body.

I accidentally cut the back piece as 2 pieces instead of on the fold so it’s slightly narrower across the back to accommodate the seam allowance but the extra seam is barely noticeable in the dotty print. Construction was easy peasy though – the pattern had good clear instructions and diagrams to follow but it did take me a bit longer to put together than Seamwork’s 3 hour proposed assembly time. I’ve seen lots of other sewists who’ve stated 3 hours for a Seamwork make isn’t really realistic, but I would still consider this a quick sew as it can be put together in an afternoon with enough time left over for tea and biscuit breaks!

The only time I deviated from the pattern when doing the button holes. The pattern calls for snaps but I didn’t really fancy having a Superman moment and popping out of my frock so I opted for slightly more secure buttons instead. I pinned the button stands together just to get an idea of how it would look when worn and the fit was loose enough to pull on over my head without having to undo any pins, so instead of sewing and cutting lots of buttonholes I took a shortcut. I sewed all of the buttonholes, but I left them uncut and

Unclear if the weird bit at the waist is excess fabric, a badly fitting bra or just back flab LOL *cries*

sewed the buttons onto the wrong side of the dress, over the uncut buttonholes to make it look like they had been done up normally. The buttonholes are still there so if I change my mind and want to have a proper button front dress, I can just take the buttons off, slice the button holes and stitch the buttons back onto the right side (which is on the left… confusing…). A lazy sewists shortcut, but it does not change the look of the dress at all so I’ll be doing it again!!


I made this as a wearable muslin – I don’t normally do that as I normally have so many fitting issues and keep making complicated projects like coats but as the fabric was cheap and cheerful I dived straight in and hoped for the best. As it turns out, I feel great in it and even though it’s just a test version, I wear it to work weekly! It’s comfortable, flattering over my curves and also easy to dress up or down. I see a few more Adelaides in my future!


#sewphotohop Day 29: storage 

​#sewphotohop Day 29: storage. I have a lot of fabric which is stored in tubs in my sewing room but because there’s so much I don’t really know what I’ve got. I bought these trading card files so I can store swatches of my fabrics in a folder. That way I don’t have to empty 8 massive tubs on the floor trying to find things! 

#sewphotohop Day 27: other interests 

​#sewphotohop Day 27: other interests. I have lots of other interests – I enjoy cooking, running, reading, music, theatre, history and taking photos but I especially love travelling!!  I currently have a few trips booked/planned over the next 12 months and I can’t wait! I’ve started buying something sewing related on my travels so whenever I use it I can be reminded of my adventure!

#sewphotohop Day 23: Inspiration

​Today’s activities and also #sewphotohop Day 23: inspiration. The people I have met through social media are all massive inspirations to me, whether it be because of your style, your prolific sewing or your positive outlook on life! Today I was at #sewbrum and got to speak to old and new friends and I’m already washing and plotting my makes with today’s purchases! Big hugs to everyone I spoke to today, apologies to everyone I didn’t get a chance to speak to (I might not have spoken to you because I was bit nervous because I like your blogs/instagrams haha!!)

I’ll write a short post about Sew Brum so keep your eyes peeled!