Simple Sew Shannon Shorts (part 2)!

Hi everyone! It’s well and truly autumn now, so what better time to show you the shorts that I made that have almost zero chance of being worn again this year!

For July’s (I know) Simple Sew blogger make we just had a run of hot weather so I wanted more shorts. I’m going through a bit of a pink phase at the moment and I had some stretch pink denim left over from another project that I thought would make perfect Shannon Collection shorts.

I’ve used this pattern before and you can read that here. They were a success too!

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Pattern Review’s 7th Sewing Bee round 1

Hi everyone. I’m back after a very large blogging break. As Pattern Review’s Sewing Bee is back on, now is a very good time for me to get back into the swing of things as I’ve entered it again this year 🙂. I entered last year and got a lot further than I expected to and I produced some of my most loved and worn garments to date! This year, Round 1 was to sew pyjamas that are uniquely me. There were a fair few rules surrounding this challenge, and I think a number of people were caught out by them. If you don’t abide by the rules then you’ll be disqualified, although you won’t know that you’ve been disqualified and you won’t know what for! One of the rules was that your pyjamas had to be two pieces. Obviously pyjamas are two pieces but there were a number of people who struggled with this! Another rule was that you had to explain why they were uniquely ‘you’. My unique feature was to use my newish Cricut machine to cut out a Spotify code from iron-on vinyl. When scanned in the Spotify app, it’ll give you access to my current favourite playlist – well the code on the front does anyway! I’ve put the codes at the bottom of this post if you’re curious! If you don’t know what Spotify is or what Spotify codes are, you’re going to have to read my review – sorry! 😜

The patterns I went for was the Winnats tank from the book, the Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabric by Wendy Ward and the Juno pyjamas from the book Make it Simple from Tilly and the Buttons. My pyjamas weren’t exactly the most complicated things ever to be made (and far simpler than most of the offerings which were amazing) but I stuck to the rules and it was enough to get me through!

So, I’m through to round 2 which is very exciting and a little bit terrifying! For this round I have to repurpose denim garments into a new denim garment plus an accessory. I’ve found a load of old jeans and an old dress to recycle so I’m good to go. I have a plan. If it works I’ll see you next week! Wish me luck!

Bass Guitar

Once again it has been years since I have written anything on here and Corrine has taken it over with all her sewing posts. So I thought I better balance things up with my latest make – mostly because I am very pleased with it.

I need to start by saying that I am not a musician. I often wish that I am but I haven’t played any instrument apart from the recorder and a bit of guitar in primary school (34 years ago!). However, since our daughter started playing electric guitar and bass I have been a bit jealous and thought the best way I could get into it was by making my own. I started off down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos of Crimson Guitars which are brilliant to watch but I realised that making my own guitar from scratch was a bit optimistic. However, there are kits available where some of the tricky parts are done for you.

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Style Arc Monty Shirts

Hello! It’s been a while. I’ve developed quite a back log of sewing projects to blog about, but my new Monty shirts are as good a place as any to start. These were both made during lockdown, but I’ve not done as much sewing as I thought I would during this time. Both my husband and I are teachers at the same sixth form college and we’ve been working from home. As we’ve been delivering lessons online we have had to work in different rooms of the house, and Paul has been working (full time) from the dining room, AKA my sewing room. I didn’t think it would go down so well if his students could hear a sewing machine whirring away in the background, so very little has been done!

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Simple Sew Hayley Ballet Top


I hope you are keeping safe and healthy in these bizarre circumstances. Hopefully this post will provide you with some light relief, and a little distraction, if you are stuck indoors.

I’m here to show you my latest make, the Hayley Ballet Top. This has been on my list for things to make for some time and it feels good to finally get this done. The Hayley Ballet Top is a versatile pattern that can be made from a few different fabrics, including knits or wovens.

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Pattern Review’s Sewing Bee round 3 – activewear

Well that was a massive surprise! I was absolutely convinced that round 2 would be as far as I could get. I really was not expecting to see my name on the list of people getting through to round 3, but here I am – well, was. I won’t draw it out but I’m not through to round 4. I’m 100% ok with that. It was getting hard work! I am still delighted with how far I’ve come though so I’ll tell you all about my round 3 project…

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Pattern Review’s Sewing Bee round 2 – the Jordan jacket by Serendipity Studios

This is my entry to the second round of the Pattern Review’s Sewing Bee contest and, although the results won’t be published for a few days, I can safely say that this is where I get off! I’ll not be going any further with this project. That may sound a little defeatest but it’s not. In fact, compared with the other 46 or so entries, it would be a travesty if I went through at the expense of someone else! I shall try to explain…

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Pattern Review Sewing Bee round 1

Last week (late at night on Tuesday 28th January to be precise) I made a last minute and spontaneous decision to join Pattern Review‘s Sewing Bee contest. For years I’ve been lurking around that website watching the entries come in from previous contests and I was always in awe of the garments that were produced in such a short space of time.

The challenge for round one was to sew a t-shirt inspired by childhood. If it was any other garment then I wouldn’t have entered, but I know it’s quick and easy sewing a t-shirt, so after a brainstorming session with my husband about what to come up with, I decided to go for it.

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Simple Sew Olive Blouse

I’ve been very naughty and I’ve been putting off writing this blog post because this make has been a disaster and turned into a bit of a weight around my neck. This blouse (you can get the Olive blouse here) started off really promisingly. It had all the makings of a nicely fitted blouse/shirt. However, I really managed to make a pig’s ear of it and it had me seriously questioning my sewing skills. Continue reading