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The Salme Kimono top – a nice, easy first sewing project of the year

January 19, 2015
salme kimono top

Happy new year!

I have to say i’m glad that we’re half way through January…it’s not my favourite month, but hey, is it anyone’s?!

I’ve started the year how I mean to go on: sewing clothes for myself (punctuated by a couple of & Other Stories and Zara sprees…well it was the sales!). This is probably the easiest and quickest sewing project i’ve ever done, and therefore very satisfying. The pattern is the Kimono top by Salme Sewing Patterns, and if you ask me, it’s the perfect top not just for every day wear, but I reckon you could dress it up beautifully as well.

I got the pattern of one of the girls in the Folk House sewing course last term. She sewed it in class and it is so my kind of top – flowy, kind of loose, but pretty and can be made with all sorts of lovely fabrics. I’m literally going thorugh my fabric stash in my head as I type this, imagining just how many kimono tops I could have in my wardrobe…at least one for every day of the week!

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I made it out of a fairly cheap viscose I bought from Abhakan in Chester (if you’re ever visiting Chester, pay this shop a visit!). I am quite into monochrome at the moment, and plus the pattern is quite forgiving if you make a mistake…

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The only thing I would say is that I had some real issues with the sleeves. After a less than successful Google, I found Secret Like of Seams had also had some issues deciphering the pattern instructions, so I pretty much copied what she did. It’s still not quite right, so I’ll have to either try something else with the next one I make, or I was thinking of just bias binding the edges instead, as I found with the method I used they are a bit bulkier than i’d like. I think the neckline would like nice with bias binding too, so the next time I make it (which will be in the next couple of weeks, i’m sure!) i’ll give that a go.

Also I usually HATE doing sleeves – they are the bane of my life when it comes to sewing. So much easing, so little time…but with this pattern the sleeves are sewn as part of the body/back so literally NO EASING at all! Love it.

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Can’t resist a silly photo…

salme kimono top

Watch this space for loads more Kimono tops!!

<3 Sofia x

Out and about, Something different

GF Smith – a retrospective in paper

November 26, 2014

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an exhibition by the paper merchant GF Smith. We use their papers in some of the clients I work with, and they always send the designer lots of lovely paper sample books which are almost like works of art in themselves! The exhibition was held at the Bower Ashton campus of UWE, and although a small selection of some of the paper samples and books were on show, it was still a really lovely exhibition.

Please excuse the less-than-ideal photos – the papers were displayed under glass so it was really hard to take a decent photo!

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The exhibits took you from the humble beginnings in the early 1900s (although the company was formed in 1885), all the way through to modern day print. I have to say my favourite era was probably the 1920s/30s – the print was just so eccentric, pretty and stylish. They were all out extravagant and I can just imagine the ladies at the time, sitting down to write their letters on some gorgeous, flocked coloured paper…



Some of the fashion students at UWE were also comissioned to create ‘outfits’ out of GF Smith paper. I particularly liked this child’s skirt. Like an art deco tulip!


I particularly love this cover by the American paper mill, Strathmore Paper Company. It says ” Which cover shall you use? The answer to that question is in another question…”What is the task the cover must perform?”

I think that is so relevant, still today! Paper choice is really important in print projects, whether they’re big or small, and it’s always right to bear in mind the purpose that the cover of something should have. Love it!

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Thanks to GF Smith for having us!

Sofia <3


Sewing, What I wore

What I made: The Camber Set by Merchant and Mills

October 27, 2014
camber set

OK, so first off, the door frame has knotting all over it to prepare it to be painted…haven’t quite got round to that frame just yet! And secondly, my curtains aren’t wonky, I just haven’t sewn them together yet (making clothes is way more fun!).

This was another of the projects I did in my sewing class at the Folk House. The pattern is the Camber Set by Merchant & Mills – there are two options for the pattern, either the t-shirt of the dress which is a longer version of the shirt. I began with the t-shirt as reading online (although there wasn’t much information on the pattern at the time of making it) apparently some people had trouble with the yoke. I was glad I was doing the t-shirt in the class, as I also had a bit of trouble figuring it out!

The fabric I used was a freebie given to me from a friend at work, a simple and easy to sew with poly-cotton.

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As usual I had to alter it to fit my wide shoulders – so I cut a 10, and made it a 12 on the shoulders. I’m glad I did, because the 10 would have been far too snug on them otherwise. I also made the neck a bit wider, as I prefer that shape on me.

The front of the collar is finished with a strip of bias tape, and I really like the contrast between the front and the back of the top. Here are some close up images:

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Ops, should have ironed the back a bit more carefully!

I’ll be trying the dress out next, it’s a really versatile yet simple shape, and i’m looking forward to making it in a more ‘substantial’ fabric. The only issue I have with this one is that it’s a bit light, so doesn’t hang as well as i’d like, but it’s still pretty with jeans and a cute cardigan!

<3 Sofia


Sewing, Things i've made

The By Hand London ‘Victoria’ blazer – now in my wardrobe!

October 9, 2014


I’m quite behind on showing some of my sewing projects, so this will be the first of hopefully quite a few outfit posts that include something handmade by me!

This is the Victoria Blazer by By Hand London. They are one of, if not my favourite pattern making company – i’ve made two of their dresses and now this blazer. As soon as I saw the blazer I knew I had to make it – it’s the perfect shape and just my style. Because it was summer at the time, I made it using a beigey-cream linen that I bought from Fabricland Bristol for about £3 per metre, and lined it with a beautiful peacock feather pattern Liberty Tana Lawn. Because I had spent so little on the main fabric I thought it only right to splash out a little on the lining!



I had what you might call a bit of a mare with the sleeves. The pattern doesn’t actually call for lining in the sleeves, but I decided to put it in anyway as the lining pattern was just so lovely. However, I should have set my sleeve linings in before I attached them to the lining bodice, as I then had to do some fiddly sewing to actually get them in, and I also had to unpick them from the cuffs about 4 times before I got it right as the lining and sleeve were different lengths…

Anyway, after a lot of swearing I got it done, and ended up quite happy with the result!

The linen is obviously quite hard to keep looking nice and ironed, but that’s just how linen is.


It’s a lovely, light summery blazer that i’ve already used loads, and the colours match pretty much everything I wear!

Sofia <3

Tuesday Link Treasury

Tuesday link treasury: small but perfectly formed

March 5, 2013


From EightHourDay

  • I love coffee, and I love cheesecake, so this recipe is a must-try! 
  • And I really like this skirt…although it looks really plain in the picture I think it might just be the perfect summer skirt.
  • It’s getting closer and closer to when Tony and I buy a house, and I can’t stop looking at decorating/home tips. These wallpapers are pretty awesome, but I think I would only use them in a small, very specific place. 
  • I know we’re heading to Spring now, but Naiiv has the most beautiful knitwear. My friend bought me a pair of gloves and a bag back from Latvia when she visited their store, and I want to collect all their pieces!

Big love on this sunny Tuesday! <3

Crafts, Sewing, Things i've made

New dress project: Colette patterns ‘Peony’

November 12, 2012

I’ve started on a new dress project, as I want to make myself a long-sleeve dress for this Winter. I’ve decided on Colette pattern’s ‘Peony’ dress as it says it’s for a novice, plus last time I used their patterns I found them really easy to follow.

I’m using a medium weight wool-blend for the main fabric, a minty green for the pocket lining (both bought from Fabric land for the grand total of £8!) and this cute flowery fabric I bought at Paper Village in Bedminster as a fat quarter.



It’s not very good light in here so sorry for the crap photos…

It’s already gone slightly wrong, as you’ll be able to see from the following photos. I think I either need to cut a smaller size, or make some adjustments to the darts. I cut a size 4 though (so, in English, a size 8) but it seems big?! I’m sure i’m not a size 6…I think i’ll try and adjust the darts first and if that doesn’t work then just cut the pattern again to a 2 (size 6)…



If anyone else has any other tips, i’d be massively grateful! Other than the front, it was all going so well…I even marked out all the notches and things, and cut the pattern so accurately (very unusual for me)!


Crafts, Sewing

Autumn sewing inspiration

September 21, 2012

With the weather getting so much colder so quickly it’s really made me think about what on earth i’m going to try and sew next…having only started sewing going in to Spring and Summer, I was thinking it was going to be really difficult finding simple, great-looking patterns to sew that would be suitable for the Autumn/Winter.

How wrong I was! Colette patterns have brought out this beautiful jacket, and Burda Style have also got this great new sixties collection that’s just in. These patterns are what’s inspiring me to sew for the coming Winter months:

I do love a long sleeve dress…this Burdastyle sheath dress looks simple enough for me to attempt.

The Anise jacket by Colette pattens is probably my favourite – as soon as I saw it in my inbox I knew I had to try and make it! I think they’re starting a sew-along tomorrow, but I still need to get the pattern and the Anise companion which I think will massively help me!

I love this Burdastyle Dress Coat

The Kelly skirt is also going to be on my list this Winter. I think this would be great in a corduroy fabric, or a wool/tweed mix. I love button-down a-line skirts!

I don’t know why there’s such a pink theme going on here, I don’t think I was drawn to them because they’re pink! I’ve got some decisions to make as to what’s coming first, I guess that will depend on my fabric stash and whether I want to buy some more (of course I always want to go and buy more…)


Crafts, Sewing, Things i've made

My first ever home sewn shirt

September 3, 2012

So i’ve recently started sewing, pretty much ever since I got a new sewing machine for my birthday back in February. So far i’ve made various iphone/ipad pouches and cushions, but what I really wanted to get in to was sewing clothes for myself.

There is such a wealth of information online for the beginner seamstress, that it was kind hard to know where to start! Colette patterns were my first port of call, and I downloaded their free Sorbetto top pattern. I highly recommend it as a beginner pattern, however, more on that one another time.

I was also introduced to Burdastyle by my friend, and this site has a huge number of patterns you can buy, download and then print out at home to use. I’d been after a simple shirt pattern to try out (I can imagine the more difficult shirt patterns would be a bit of a minefield for a novice like myself!) and found this one.So it looks a bit plain, but I was inspired by the pictures posted by people who had tried this out, and it looked great as a versatile little shirt that you could tuck in to skirts and trousers.

I bought a spotty cotton from my local Fabric Land for just £3.30/metre. It didn’t need much, and I thought if I went wrong I could just buy the same fabric again. I’m not very good patient at making toiles that I won’t even wear, so at least if this was good enough to wear it would be worth all the time spent making it!

So here it is! Apologies for the crap photo, but taking photos of yourself with the self timer is not that easy, and I also felt so stupid doing it! (I bet I looked it too, ha!)

It took me most of an afternoon and evening to make, and that’s from cutting the pattern to the last button hole. It also went a little bit wrong on the collar, but you can hardly tell, especially when i’ve got my hair down. I think next time i’ll make it in a lighter weight fabric, and also make it less long as it is quite a long pattern, and I wouldn’t wear this not tucked in to a skirt or trousers.

What a ridiculous pose and face!!

Burda style sleeveless blouse

I enjoyed making this shirt, and think it could become a good Spring/Summer wardrobe staple in the future. I’ve had loads of compliments on it and so far no one has noticed the slightly wonky collar work. Pity i’ve only just made it and it’s basically Autumn here in the UK and won’t get much more chance to wear it here in the UK!

I’m planning to make a couple more shirts from Burdastyle so i’ll keep posting my progress on here, hopefully the next few will be more successful!