Tilly and the Buttons – Marigold Trousers

I’ve never made a Tilly pattern despite them being all over the internet and liked the look of a loose-ish pair of trousers, but was sold by the pockets and pleat detail. I bought the pattern and was slightly put off by the requirement for ‘drapey’ fabric as originally I had in mind a light cotton lawn.

However I was persuaded by an offer on didyoumakethat‘s Dogs in Space posting to order this viscose from Stoff and Stil. I actually bought two different lots of viscose but one was MUCH more expensive than the other so this pair is my practice pair in the more reasonable fabric.


I found Tilly’s style of photo illustrated instructions very helpful and easy to follow although I needed to concentrate to focus on the trouser instructions rather than the jumpsuit instructions as they are mixed up together.

I also remember why I don’t like sewing with viscose, it frays horribly ! But now I have an overlocker it was soon brought under control.

I cut a straight size 4 and am very pleased with the fit of the trousers without having to make any adjustments. I am quite tall and often find I have to adjust the rise on trousers but these have a deep rise which worked well for me.

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I really like the pocket and pleat detail of this trouser design.


Waistband finishing.


So now I need to break out the ‘real’ fabric….

I’d definitely give another Tilly and the Buttons pattern a go.

P.S. Just seen Tilly’s pair of Marigolds at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2017 and am now going to stitch through the elastic along the length of the waistband as she has to get the waistband sitting flatter…..



Tilly and the Buttons – Marigold Trousers

The Bee Cushion

Daughter No1 Martha-Anne has designed a ‘Bumble Bee’ pattern for her sister’s 21st birthday and wanted me to make her a cushion with the pattern on. One single metre was printed by Lacuna Press on half panama cotton and delivered to me. 

Coincidentally, the day the fabric arrived I received an email from The Sewing Directory with instructions for making a piped scatter cushion, how fortuitous !

Following the instructions I made some piping which I’ve never done before and made the cushion as instructed. It was easier than I expected.

The piping turned out really well.

I hope they are both pleased with the result. This is a very unique item as nearly all the metre of this one off fabric has been used up.(Bonus, I’ve got permission to use the offcuts for an eye pillow…..)

The Bee Cushion

A Barrie fest

When your daughter’s Christmas present list says ‘Pants. (Made by mum)’. You need to start a production line. I bought some 4 way stretch jersey from Raysitch in a marled cream colour plus some bluey grey with little mushrooms on.

I made six pairs of Barries using these two fabrics in various combinations.

‘Pants.(Made  by mum)’sorted….

A Barrie fest

Thread Theory Comox Trunks

I wanted to make something for OH and as he thinks its hilarious that I wear homemade pants I decided to make him some of his own.

I bought The Comox Trunks kit from Thread Theory and made a pair of trunks.


The bamboo fabric supplied with the kit is lovely and soft and quite stretchy. I made a size 36 according to OH’s measurements but the finished garment was a bit too big so I had to take off the waistband, reduce it and reapply. I was moderately happy with the result but the gapping at the cup is annoying (it isn’t evident once they are on but I know it’s there !)

There is 60 cm of fabric supplied with the kit and there was enough fabric left over to make myself a lovely pair of Barries so now we have matching his n hers underwear.


Then OH said that if I made another pair not to worry with the cup opening as he’s an ‘over the topper’. I knew I could improve on the first effort so set off to source some similar fabric to the Thread Theory kit. I found this lovely heathered 7% spandex t-shirt fabric at ray stitch  and bought 3 different colours. I also got some soft grey coloured elastic which I will use for all three colours of fabric.

The first fabric I have used is the ‘lime’ which is more of a soft yellow. I have done all the stitching in grey to match the elastic which I think works well.



I much prefer the look of the closed cup option which was clearly explained in the Thread Theory sew along although it doesn’t appear in the written instructions.


This time I made a size smaller and they fit really well although my model is too shy to appear in public !


I bought 50cm of each colour of fabric which is not QUITE enough to squeeze out a pair of Barries as well so these have a waistband made of a previous project…


Whilst these might not be the world’s sexiest undergarments they ARE extremely comfortable. Comfort over style all the way !




Thread Theory Comox Trunks

Vogue 8689 take 3

I am the organiser for our local horticultural society’s autumn show this year. I have fulfilled this role before and like to wear a garment appropriate to the occasion.

Previously I have worn my Liberty sweatshirt and floral Colette Clover trousers

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But as I’ve worn them before I decided to make a new floral garment. I found this orange, very flowery, lightweight cotton on the remnant table at C+H in Winchester which would be perfect for another go at V8689. Having made two of the short sleeved long length versions already I thought I’d go for the shorter length long sleeved version this time.

It too me quite a long time just to decide which thread to use for the project


but in the end I decided to go for the raspberry colour. When I’ve made this pattern in the past the panels have never really been visible so I hoped the darker thread would make them stand out more and I think I’ve succeeded with that. I didn’t flat fell the seams as per the instructions but sewed the seams and then did two rows of topstitching quite close together on each seam, again to try and emphasise the panels.



I know the pattern works and fits me so I didn’t need to make any adjustments but the cuff construction was completely new to me. I’m not 100% certain I got it right but it looks ok.


This time I got the sleeve placement correct first time. I definitely learnt my lesson from the first time I made this pattern and got it spectacularly wrong !


I had purchased some lovely orange buttons to finish off the project, but on Sunday, when I was at the button stage I realised that I only had seven and I actually needed ten. I couldn’t possibly have waited until Monday to go back to the shop where I bought them so ended up going to a local garden centre which has a small haberdashery department. Of course they didn’t have any matching orange buttons so I have ended up with these cherry coloured ones. I think they look fine and actually the contrast looks better than my original plan.


All in all I’m happy with that…..




Vogue 8689 take 3

Morgan Boyfriend Jeans

The last week I’ve been mainly making ‘security pockets’ for 7 pairs of my daughters shorts so that she can go partying in Europe without carrying a bag. Apparently these shorts are in very high demand and she had to lend them to all her friends,

who knew ?IMG_4908

Anyway, once she had gone to her ‘party island’ I had a bit of ‘me sew’ time. I’ve always been very intimidated by the thought of making jeans, but I feel I’ve progressed a huge deal ability wise this year and thought that now was the time to make a first attempt.

I did quite a bit of research before settling on the Morgan Boyfriend Jeans  from Backstitch which seemed to be more the style of jeans that I usually wear.

As I had no idea at all how this was going to turn out I bought the cheapest denim I could find which I eventually got from eBay, it was heavier than I had anticipated and I foolishly ignored the pattern instructions and washed the denim first in the hopes that that would soften it up a bit ,it didn’t, but the washing has left paler lines on the fabric which I slightly regret.

I decided to cut a straight 14 as my size is between the 12 and 14 and I thought better too big than too small.

I bought some proper topstitching thread and the buttons and rivets also from eBay.

The first instruction involves topstitching the pockets which seemed to go well until I looked at the wrong side.

I could have left it like this as the right side looked fine but I couldn’t bear the thought of the messy underside even though it would be hidden. After quite a lot of fiddling about the solution seemed to be massively increasing the top thread tension to give a much better wrong side result.


As I only have the one sewing machine is was a bit tedious to keep changing the threads AND remembering to adjust the machine tension as what was right for the topstitching thread was very wrong for my normal thread, but I got the hang of it after a while.

The instructions were pretty clear, although I did have a ‘moment’ in the pocket construction as I was a bit bewildered by the facing wrong side being inside the pocket but that’s what the instructions said so that’s what I did.


The fly front was remarkably unscary and went together well.


I then had to try on the jeans. They had a good fit in the leg but there was a lot of gapping on the waist at the back which I rectified by inserting two darts in the back yoke. I also took them in a bit down the outsides to allow for give during wear.

After the main construction came the excitement of attaching the rivets. Having purloined my rivet insertion kit from OH’s sanctum I was ready to begin.



I discovered that the rivets needed to be hit from the wrong side otherwise they got a bit dented.

I didn’t have and couldn’t source a small leather patch for the waistband so I made a patch of my own from the facing fabric I had used.


Even the inside seams are neat.


And then I was finished. I have actually ended up with wearable pair of jeans !

I’d like to try this again with a better quality, softer denim but for now I’m more than happy with what were intended to be my practice jeans.

Morgan Boyfriend Jeans

The Merchant and Mills Factory dress hack

Just going through my scrap basket and I found this, a bodice I had made for an amended Merchant and Mills factory dress top for my daughter. She liked the dress pattern but not the collar so I amended the original to this collarless v-necked version which I made from an upholstery fabric she had selected from Scandinavian Design Centre. Unfortunately she hated this version too so I ended up making a boat necked bodice, taking it up to Bristol, removing this bodice and dropping in the boat necked one. Fortunately she loved the amended version and she has, quite literally, worn it to bits. I am still impressed by the pattern matching effort I went to, especially on the pocket !


Anyway I have just made her a new one to the boat necked design that has been such a success. This time in a plain double gauze from Miss Matatabai

It’s not quite as wrinkly in real life. Let’s hope she likes it….

The Merchant and Mills Factory dress hack