Miaow made these space print cotton jersey pyjamas with a little help from Granny (Jane). Hardly any help really, Mia pinned out the pattern onto the fabric, cut them out, overlocked them together and even made ‘Arfur’ the rabbit a matching nightshirt and nightcap. The only thing Jane did was hem them (which she did because they needed to be done TONIGHT and Miaow didn’t have time).
Miaow is 8. When she grows up she wants to be an astronaut.
The pattern is McCall’s M7499 (discontinued but similar things are available).
Miaow very pleased indeed with the viscose piqué playsuit granny made her (Jane). The print is huge and you barely get a toucan across that waif-like chest but it looks fabulous, don’t you think? Mia thinks so!
The pattern came out of the Burda magazine (06/2018)
Jane made up this old Karl Lagerfield pattern FINALLY after it lurking in the pattern drawer for nearly 20 years. The Linen is the Japanese designer nani IRO for Kokka. Jane had a bit of tweaking to get it right – too small on the bust but massive everywhere else – such as life goes with a pattern for the first time, but having been altered it is now PERFECT 😊
It’s got pockets!
It is lined in Venezia faced with extra light interfacing and there is a concealed zip up the back. The pattern is Vogue 1412 (long since discontinued but possibly available second hand).
Rudi the Siamese cat has to be in the photo too. Even if he didn’t get his ‘best side’.
Miaow on the beach wearing the the big beachy hoody Jane made for her. The pattern is McCall’s 7044 (Jane extended the length). A twin needle was used for the hems, all the seams were done in a jiffy on the overlocker.
Jane made this lovely pineapple print yellow seersucker sundress for Mioaw, she chose the fabric herself which has proved a good move as she has lived in it all summer (YAYYYY!). The pattern is Burda 9417.
White Broderie Anglaise embroidered cotton dress made by Jane for Lulu using Vogue pattern 1942 (discontinued). IT is trimmed with turquoise blue satin bias, soft cotton bias and piping around the neck, and lined in cotton voile.
Jane busy sampling wearing her digital print viscose jersey mock wrap t-shirt made by Bess. The Pattern is Kay Unger for Vogue V1519 which has a cap sleeve, Bess used the sleeve off another top (that just so conveniently fitted) so as to have a longer one.
As it was quite a complicated design and tricky to see the sizing so Bess made a toile first in cheaper jersey. The wrap part is lined in viscose jersey and Bess used turquoise stretch piping on the neck to keep the tension and shape. There were lots of pleats and tucks that were carefully marked, and whilst Bess truly did intend to follow the instructions she forgot after a while, but it came out okay. Hoorah!
Kitcat in the shop for the holidays wearing her elasticated waist viscose dress made by Jane using Burda pattern 9367 (age 9). Jersey bias was used for the elastic casing and was set lower so the fabric blouses up. a drawstring was added to the front and the same jersey bias was used to case the armholes and neck.
Miaow wearing the proofed linen raincoat made for her by Jane using #32 Ottobre pattern from the winter 6/12 catalogue. It is lined in pixel daisy print quilting weight organic cotton (which adds a reasonable amount of weight). It has been top stitched with pink thread (two standard threads through the same eye of the needle), Also used: light blue buttons, a pink open end zip, and lightweight knit iron on interfacing was used in the collars and facings.
Bess on top of the South Devon Cliffs wearing her fabulous pink tweed jacket that was made by Jane a couple of Birthday’s ago and still going strong.
The lining is chartreuse satin lining on the sleeves and multicolour chevron printed cotton (quilting weight) for the body. The collar and facings are red jumbo corduroy because Bess didn’t want the tweed against her skin.
The design is an old burda fur jacket pattern -somewhat altered! Fur coat patterns are dead easy because they tend to have very boxy simple cuts.
This is basically a remake of a pink denim jacket Bess made earlier – but suitable for the winter. Even the buttons are the same.
Jane made this “Channel” inspired dress using a LG tufted bouclé mixed fibre tweed for her daughter Lulu. The pattern is a discontinued Mizrahi vogue pattern that has been altered by adding a sleeve.
The whole dress was quilted to purple silk habotai lining – Jane cut all the pieces bigger and recut after the quilting was done (because the quilting tends to draw the pieces smaller), then a few more lines of quilting were added near the seams once it was sewn. Jane trimmed the neckline and pockets with velvet gimp braid.
Jane made these fabulous porcupine faux fur gilets for Kitcat and Miaow (grandchildren). Lined in Leopard/Jaguar Print Liberty Tana Lawn. Because they are such squinges Jane managed to cut all pieces out of the width of the fabric (just 40cm). Hoorah for squinges!
School shirts don’t have to be made out of polyester to be easy care, why are all the school shirts in the shops either horrid stiff cotton or polyester? Jane makes Kitcat and Miaow’s school shirts in supersoft cotton dobby lawn which hardlyneeds ironing at all, just flatten the collar and they are good to go! Made using Burda 9744 with such a tiny bit of fabric the under collar has been seamed in the middle.
Miaow told Jane that she didn’t want her to make her school jumper because she was too slow, she wanted Bess to make it…. which was a cunning plan of a 7 year old to get granny proving otherwise. The jumper was made the very same day as the request, and in the post for her to parade around the school and stand corrected. Made with supersoft Modal, Cotton and Elastane jersey (lightweight sweatshirting) with stay tape on the shoulders.
Pattern: converted from jacket on McCall’s 7044 which is out of print but there are others similar.
Jane made this sequinned tulle dress for her grandchildren Kitcat and Miaow (they share). The armholes are bound in lightweight satin bias binding, the hem is taken up with turquoise lycra binding and the neck has a plain mandarin collar made from cotton jersey so the scratchy sequin factor is minimised. This dress makes all the grown-ups exclaim “I WANT ONE!”.
Kitcat wearing her terribly kitsch cat digital print cotton and elastane jersey long sleeved dress (made by Jane). The pattern is Burda 8455 but Jane pieced together the yoke and hem so as not to cut up the print. Kitcat is such a squinge it is cut to age 6 but lengthened in sleeve and body (Kitcat is 9!). The neck was lowered so as to go over her head and negate the need for a zip but next time the neck will be altered so it doesn’t gape.
Now all the grown-ups want one too.
She then said that she needed pink leopard print ponte jersey cardigan to complete the outfit -personally we are not so sure this is a good fashion move but what do we know in the world of 9 year old fashion? We shall leave it to you to decide. The pattern is McCall’s 6542 (age 6 with lengthened sleeves), it is bound down the front and around the neck with jersey binding.
Kitcat wearing her whale embroidered babydoll nightie and cropped jimjams made by Jane (the granny). The babydoll is Butterick pattern 6659 cut out in a size 6 despite Kitcat being 9 (she is tiny).
A few different shorts were made but only one pair had the wales the right way up due to the new kitten ‘helping’ Jane cut out the pattern (the only way to do it was to cover up the paper so he couldn’t dive in on attack, which also meant Jane couldn’t see what she was doing. Doh!
Kitcat singing us all Christmas carols in her sequinned dress made by Jane. It is lined in heavy tricot and the armholes and neck are bound with jersey binding.
You get fabulous movement with this sequinned fabric as each sequin is black on one side and silver on the other, so every move is exaggerated with the movement of the sequin. They are surprisingly easy to sew -just snip them out of the seam allowance so you don’t need to sew through them.
Lulu wearing her cloqué brocade bodice made by Jane. It is lined in cotton poplin as we needed something a bit beefier than normal lining to protect her sensitive skin from the lurex. The neck and armholes are bound with jersey bias. Because the zip needs to be open end and colours are limited the zip was put in the side seam so as not to draw attention to the dubious colour match.
Kitcat and Miaow all ready for school wearing their blouses made by Jane and Elwen in dobby weave cotton voile. The pattern is Burda 9417, there was an awful lot of ‘awwwwww! soooo sweeeeeeet!’ coming from the sewing room when they were making these, especially those cute little puff sleeves.
Kitcat has little black and white layered buttons and Miaow has hearts. The shorts are made with green and white gingham cotton and trimmed with daisy trim.
Jane at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition flaunting her floral stretch cotton sateen dress. The pattern comes from her block -which if you look at flat on the table looks absolutely barmy but fits her fabulously so don’t argue- Symmetrical, she is not!
The dress is lined in Venezia and there is a concealed zip up the back.
Jane’s daughter Jessie wearing her LG polka dot printed cotton short sleeve shirt and her Rococo printed stretch indigo denim skirt. Jane wasn’t sure her 40+ year old daughter would want daisy buttons but she did. The skirt had to be taken in a bit because that denim is quite stretchy.
The pattern for the shirt is taken from an old M&S shirt and the skirt pattern is a long discontinued Burda pattern (3198), the closest available now is McCall’s 3341.
Jane’s shirt made up once again in an embroidered and hand painted Linen from Italy. Jane was pleased with how economical this shirt was, getting all of it out of a metre (the facings were cut from the unpainted selvedges) -handy when the fabric is £85.00mt!
Jane wearing her floral digitally printed cotton dress. This cotton is a light canvas type with a soft brushed finish. The pattern is Jane’s block which just has bust and waist darts so the pattern is minimally cut. The dress is unlined and has an invisible zip.
Jane’s amazing embroidered Italian Linen dress. This fabric is hand painted on top of the embroidery and doesn’t come cheap –it’s enlightening to discover what things cost when they are made properly and the artisans are paid a fair wage.
With such an amazing fabric you only need a very simple shift pattern, Jane used her block which just has bust darts, front darts and back darts so there was minimal chopping up of the pattern.
Lulu wearing her Tom and Linda Platt (Vogue 1348) yellow and turquoise poly/lurex brocade dress, made by Jane. The pattern has box pleats with bizarre instructions (Jane followed them once then did the rest her way). It has a concealed zip, silk underlining and velvet ready made piping around the armholes and neck. There is a petticoat in turquoise cotton poplin which is trimmed in lace. There are a million pieces to this pattern and so whilst it was not particularly difficult make (especially when ignoring the box pleat construction) it took a long time to cut out all the pieces.
This dress needs a fabric with a certain amount of bounce to it and this brocade worked a treat. The petticoat has ruffles and lace trim galore but the skirt hoops out all by itself.
Lulu wearing her Desigual inspired coat made by Jane using an assortment of brocade suitings, odd buttons and various trims. She used an old Vogue pattern (V2005) which has been made up a number of times for Lulu in various fabrics and always works. It is lined in vivid chartreuse green satin lining with a fine line of turquoise satin piping.
I suppose if you were a hoarder you could make this coat out of your stash, but we were playing with all the fabulous brocades that had just arrived at the shop (If you can’t pick one pick them all). She did manage to use up an assortment of trims that were appliquéd in various designs over the coat. Jane used a mismatch of various Vintage buttons, doubling them up when we couldn’t get exactly the right thing.
Jane made this silver grey Silk Moroccain crepe cowl neck wedding dress for her eldest daughter, Jessie. It is beaded with thousands of moonstone chips (Jane has the patience of a saint).
To ensure the fabric had enough strength the silk was blocked onto Venezia lining (those chips are very heavy). All in all the dress took about 3 months; a lot of evenings and weekends, and never more than a few hours on the trot due to a broken elbow- and concern for her own sanity. Jessie helped with the beading and Bess was responsible for constructing the tail (Jessie insisted on a tail, Jane was appalled at the idea but the Bride gets what the Bride wants).
Silk Moroccain is a double crepe that drapes well and has a subtle lustre to it. We try, but don’t always have it in stock, but can order it (next day delivery) in around 40 colours.
The tail hooks on to the back with corset hooks and was stuffed with Polyfil.
Well you wouldn’t have a normal dress for getting married in Vegas by Johnny Cash, would you?
Amazing Liberty blossom printed Tana Lawn cotton dress made using the Vintage Vogue Pattern V2960 (the dress has been altered from the pattern), made by Jane for Lulu.
If you can’t face the fiddle of making the belt yourself (we couldn’t) send the fabric off to Harlequin—they will do it for you along with covering buttons and various other fiddly jobs. It’s worth it as it looks so professional.
The dress petticoat is made up in a plain cotton lawn which has been bound with the Liberty lawn using a 19mm Bias Maker.
Jane wearing her neat little check skirt with kick pleat split in the back. You can’t tell by this photo but those checks match PERFECTLY (as if Jane would not match her checks). Turned on the Venezia lining with velvet piping on the waist
Fabrics and Notions:
Magenta and camel check wool worsted #3489 Shot magenta Venezia lining
Magenta velvet piping
Dolly wearing Alpaca and wool mix bouclé cardigan jacket with bluebell blue wool crepe A-Line skirt. To stabilise the loose weave of the jacket Jane mounted it on to cotton muslin before sewing. Made by Jane for Kath.
Fabrics and Notions:
Alpaca wool and acrylic cardigan jacket type tweed/knit #3197
Cotton Muslin (interlining)
Ivory silk double crepe (lining)
Blue satin bias binding (piping)
Blue lacquered coconut buttons
This amazing shirt made by Jane (for Lulu) was made with white cotton Guipure lace that was dyed turquoise (along with the cotton lawn lining and button-hole trim) with a Dylon machine dye. The front and back darts were appliqué seamed rather than sewn normally so are almost invisible.
Fabrics and Notions:
White cotton Guipure lace #2900
White ‘Riviera’ cotton lawn
Off white button-hole trim
Dylon turquoise dye
Turquoise shell buttons
Pattern: Altered from a Vintage Vogue Dress pattern V2960 (made up before here)
Jane (the boss lady) wearing her laminated cotton pink spotty raincoat with stripe yoke and contrasting spotty lining with detachable hood, and pink linen fly-front trousers.
Fabrics and Notions:
Pink and turquoise spotty laminated cotton #3021
Pink and turquoise stripe laminated cotton #3022
Anbo spotty American printed cotton.
Separating turquoise chunky zip.
Dyed turquoise shell buttons.
Clear plastic back buttons.
Pink heavy linen
7″ Dress and skirt zip
2 x buttons
Viscose iron-on Interfacing
Jacket: (discontinued) Anna Sui for Vogue #2424
Trousers: Burda 2938
There is no interfacing or stabilising in this jacket as the laminated cotton is very stable. Jane rarely makes things for herself, or in this kind of fabric and has been frequently saying, “I’m really pleased with that jacket!”. It makes all this rain ALMOST bearable.
A rare photo of Jane taken in London wearing her mixed fibre tweed jacket quilted in the traditional cardigan jacket manner with added chain weight and fringe trimmings. Turquoise and chartreuse wool tweed skirt with kick pleat and pink lining (made by Bess).
Fabrics and Notions: Jacket:
Mixed fibre cardigan jacket type tweed
Printed silk satin lining
Silk organza (just the selvedge, used for staying the edges and hem)
Acrylic fringe trim
Double cover buttons
Turquoise and chartreuse big check wool tweed
Pink Venezia lining
Pink velvet piping
KitCat posing in her silk dupion party dress for her God-monster’s wedding (Made by Clair)
Fabrics and Notions:
Shot pink silk dupion
Cotton lawn (lining)
Lightweight knitted iron-on interlining
Jane wearing fine black wool worsted skirt with spotty satin lining.
Fabric and notions:
Black Worsted wool
Spotty Polyester Satin (Frill lining) and Black Venezia (lining)
Medium weight knitted Iron on interfacing
Piping and piping cord
Pattern: Simplicity 3881
Lulu wearing her lovely silk and linen shift wedding dress, holding her daughter, Kitcat, in her printed cotton seersucker ruffled dress and matching headband. Gemma to her right wears an embroidered cotton bridesmaid dress.
Fabrics and Notions (Lulu):
Turquoise silk and linen
Silk habotai lining
Silk organza feather trim
Iron-on lightweight interfacing
Fabrics and Notions (Gemma):
Embroidered lightweight cotton
Lightweight iron-on interfacing
Fabrics and Notions (KitCat)
Printed cotton seersucker
Cotton lawn (lining and collar))
Extra-Lightweight knitted iron-on interfacing
The silk organza trim gave Lulu’s dress just the touch of something special she wanted for her wedding dress without making it too impractical or unsuitable to wear at subsequent posh do’s. A shift is the most flattering of dress, and easy to make fit really well.
Jane wearing Purple cotton needlecord frill skirt.
Fabric and Notions:
Venezia and cotton lawn (for frill) Lining
Medium weight iron-on knitted interfacing
Piping and bias binding
Pattern: Simplicity 3881
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Allow 10% shrinkage for all your washable natural fibres (including viscose). Wash before making up in the same manner as you would with subsequent washes (including drying methods).
Jerseys and fabrics liable to mis-shape should be dried flat, or in a cool tumble dryer.
Most fabrics should be pressed before cutting.
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