Leather and Gold Pouch

My lovely friend Kaitlyn recently took a trip home to the USA and when she came home I was lucky enough to be presented with a very cute gift. Kaitlyn had bought me a super cute fat quarter bundle of geometric gold and silver prints and it was love at first sight! The fabric is a reasonably heavy weight cotton and it’s been sort of screen printed with metallic paint.

I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use my fat quarters for until I unwrapped one from the bundle and had a brain wave. Why not combine the gold with some brown leather from my scrap leather collection? 

For me these two are a match made in heaven! I still can’t quite get over the fact I can buy a bag of scrap leather for 5 euros! You get some quite large pieces in there and I love the fact I find uses for them and they don’t end up thrown away! Also real leather really gives what you make an high quality touch! In my mind this pairing was crying out for a chunky gold and brown zipper – it just had to be done! I lined the bag with one of the silver geometric fat quarter prints, so it’s geometric metallics a-go-go! 

I basically made up making this as I went along. I cut the fabric pieces based on the zipper width and then just tried to work from my leather scrap in terms of good proportions. 

Check out my cute new scissors by the way in the above picture! Had to get them in there! For reference though – my cute new scissors only cut fabric. I find the best thing for cutting leather is a craft knife! 

I stitched the leather pieces to the fabric pieces to make the two sides of the bags. I top stitched the leather to give a professional finish. 

This project came together just fine with a few minor rushing related mishaps, including breaking one of my leather sewing needles by trying to sew over my metallic zipper teeth (idiot!) Apart from the growing pains though I love the finished product! I’m currently using it to house all my make up, and am slightly regretting not making it bigger and using it as a clutch handbag! I’ve still got some fat quarters left in silver … so maybe a combination with black leather … hmmm ….. I’m feeling another project coming on! 

Brooklyn Skirts

Bearing in mind just how much I love the Seamwork Brooklyn Skirt I can’t believe I seem to have omitted to blog about it the first time I made one. Having looked through all of my archives however, I can only conclude that this appears to be the case. I have now made 3 (yes count them, three) of these amazing skirts, and every time I make them, I fall in love with this pattern again.

True to it’s pattern description, the Brooklyn skirt only take a few hours to make. If you have an overlocker it whizzes up even quicker! The only brain boggling piece is the box pleat, but once you have it down first time around it’s a breeze. I would be practically confident to say now that I could make one of these without looking at the instructions, it’s that simple!

My first Brooklyn was made out of a grey wool mix, which is perfect for this skirt. You definitely need something a little heavier that holds the pleats and falls beautifully. My second Brooklyn was made out of some electric black and blue dogtooth wool that had initially been intended for a Tilly Arielle Skirt but I kept putting off using it because it was just too gorgeous. When I read more closely that a Tilly Arielle is best suited to something with a little extra stretch, I kept my beloved dogtooth for later. The perfect opportunity came when I was looking to do some stash-busting sewing due to lack of funds and I realised it would be perfect for a Brooklyn. Serendipity provided and I even had an electric blue 20cm zipper in my zipper jar (God knows what that was initially intended for?!) so I could sew this make entirely from my stash.

This has become one of my all time favourite Brooklyns – I wear it frequently to work paired with some patent brogues and a long sleeved black T-shirt. I love the fact that it is almost certainly one of a kind and completely individual, and yet not so crazy that I can’t get a tonne of wear out of it.

One of my other favourite things about the Brooklyn pattern is that this one fits me in a size 14 cut straight from the pattern, which is a miracle. It is like this skirt pattern was made for me!

You’re probably getting the picture now – I bloomin’ love a good Brooklyn! Based on the amount of wear the grey and dogtooth versions get, at Christmas I decided I should make a black version. I don’t often sew black items – I don’t know, there’s just something I find totally uninspiring about buying black fabric. However, with the amount of coloured shirts and long sleeve T shirts I have in my wardrobe, I knew this one would be investment. I treated myself to some beautiful wool/cashmere blend which is super soft (and also happened to be on sale – yippee!) Sewing with cashmere gave me the fear a little bit as I just really didn’t want to screw it up and waste it. As it happens I now have a nice little remnant which I am thinking of using to make a teeny cashmere coat or matching but teeny skirt for my niece. We shall see!

Making this Brooklyn was extra special for me as it was my first make in my new craft room (more on that to come!). I have to say, having my amazing cutting table (also known as the Ikea Stenstorp Kitchen Island) was every bit as awesome as I’d hoped.

The sewing gods were smiling when I made this skirt. I had the hands down best zipper placement I have ever done. Check it out:

I love the metallic zipper on this skirt. It’s my little nod to a fun feature while sewing something black!

So here it is, finished Brooklyn number 3.

As you can see, Maud loves to wear a Brooklyn as much as I do!

This skirt has been a really successful make – I wore it to our New Year’s Eve Party with a Denim shirt tucked in, and then today I wore it to work. It ticks a lot of boxes so I am pretty convinced it will become a long term wardrobe staple. I shall wear it until it falls apart! What about you, do you have any recommendations for other wardrobe staples? Or any patterns you return to again and again! Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Cleo Dungaree Dress


As soon as I saw Tilly’s Cleo Dungaree Dress, I was sold on it. It’s the sort of item of clothing I would love to buy in RTW stores, but would never fit me on account of my unusual *ahem* proportions. Sewing it myself was a great opportunity to make my little dungaree dress dreams come true!

Normally I’m not a big fan of kits, as I like to choose fabrics myself and I think it adds to the individuality of a make. In this instance though, Tilly has done such an amazing job of sourcing great fabrics, that I swooped and bought an aubergine needlecord kit as soon as it went on sale. It seems to be a good job that I did, as since the day I purchased the kit it seems to be constantly sold out – I believe at the moment there is a waiting list! So I feel extra special to have gotten my paws on a hallowed Tilly aubergine kit.

Anyway, on to the pattern. This pattern does 100% what it says on the tin – it’s a speedy and satisfying make with nothing too tricky. Or at least it wouldn’t have had anything too tricky about it had I remembered the special email Tilly sent out saying there had been a printing mistake with the front facing and to use the email supplementary piece she sent out. As I completely forgot about this until I came to try and get my damned facing to fit, I had no choice but to perform extensive facing surgery (especially as I was out of aubergine needlecord fabric). I was actually quite proud of myself in the end though – I found a creative solution which actually looks relatively normal from the inside. Could definitely have been worse! What is the lesson here? DO NOT FORGET to use Tilly’s supplementary facing when you cut this out the next time!

The other lesson I learnt on this make is to pay more attention to pocket placing markings. I accidentally placed my pockets wwwwaaayyy too far down the skirt and had to take them off and re-attach, which was kind of sad as they were so straight and perfectly top stitched the first time round. You live and learn though right?

I cut my usual size 7 grading to a 4/5 on the hips as I do with most Tilly patterns and this worked perfectly for me. My partner did make some helpful comments about me maybe widening the top part/doing an FBA on the top to give me more boob coverage, but you know what, I’m just going to be happy with what God gave me and leave it as it is. I like it and that’s the main thing!

What I loved most about the Tilly kit is that the dungaree buckles and interfacing and thread are all really high quality. The buckles attach super easily and hold really well. I feel like I’ve made something that will really last which is great! I liked the kit so much that have now purchased a second – the dark denim. I can’t wait to stitch it up and combine it with fun t-shirts – maybe even some of my more fun printed Agnes tops which I’ve made! I would definitely recommend this make – even for beginners absolute beginners! Give it a go! I’m glad I did!