Lottie Duster Coat low resLottie Duster, a coat or dress depending on what fabric you use. Pop it on as an extra layer in Autumn or Spring, its a useful addition to your wardrobe. Easy to make, suitable for adventurous beginners. If you are fazed by the buttonholes just leave them out, personally, I wear Lottie open most of the time anyway.

Make in lovely linen, delightful denim or for a dress version a medium weight viscose fabric.

Lottie Duster has a four button closure, raglan sleeves, revere collar, optional tie belt and flap detail pockets…….Its a classic!

Lottie is available as a hard copy pattern and also as a digital download here…IMG_2009BUY LOTTIE PATTERN 

Here are some essential size and fabric requirements information…..


You can watch my demonstration on The Sewing Quarter (Wednesday 18th Sept 2019) at 9am and 11am.


Getting started

Working with linen is a joy but it does crease rather, so I usually have my bottle of spray starch at the ready.


Firstly iron your fabric, I like to pop a blanket on my work surface and iron my fabric in situ, I find it a lot easier. I use paper weights to keep the larger pieces stable and pin just the smaller pieces. Once you have cut out the all pieces you just need to interface the back neck facing. I don’t interface any other piece because I think the facing needs to be kept soft and fluid.

Here are pictures of the step by step stages of making Lottie coat with edited text from the pattern with a few extra tips, so you can see if its something you might like to make before you buy.


If you are the smaller end of your size i.e. a size 8/12/16/20 then you could sew a 1.5cm seam allowance to compensate.

Use an overlocker to finish the raw edges or sew a zig zag stitch or pink with pinking shears.


COLLARIMG_2062IMG_2069The collar is made by sewing the outer curved edge without the notches then after nicking and trimming the seam allowance its turned inside out, pressed then top stitched. Then tack stitch along the raw edge to hold together. Place to one side.

FACINGSIMG_2063IMG_2064After interfacing the back facing, pin to the front facing at the shoulders. Stitch. Press the seam allowances open.

IMG_2070Turn under the outer edge 1cm and press. Then stitch. Turn under the lower edge of the facing 1cm and stitch.

JOINING THE SLEEVES IMG_2067Sew the front sleeve to the front at the slanted edge. Join to the back sleeve. Join the back sleeve to the back. Finish the raw edges. Press. Repeat for the other side.

IMG_2073Join the front to back at the side seams, leave the lower section open for the side slits. Finish the raw edges above the slit section. Press.

SIDE SLITSIMG_2077IMG_2078Nick the seam allowance just above the slit section to open the seam at the lower section.  Fold over the side slits at the raw edge 1cm then again 2cm. Press. Sew.

IMG_2075Press under the hem at the lower front edge 1cm then again 2cm. Sew.

COLLAR & FACINGSIMG_2079Starting at the centre of the back neck, pin the collar at the centre point to the neck edge matching up the notches to the sleeve seams.IMG_2083Starting at the back neck, pin the facing piece at the centre of the back facing with the RS together to the collar.IMG_2084

Pin the facing all the way down the front edge at each side.IMG_2085With the lower edge of the facing turned under and stitched 1cm, align at the lower edge.IMG_2086IMG_2087Hand Tack!IMG_2092You might like to mark the curved stitch line with an invisible pen to help you as it is important that both sides are the same.


IMG_2094Nick the curved seam allowances. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm.IMG_2096Pin to the reverse side and press so that the seam line is aligned with the fold. Push out the collar with a poking tool to get the curves.

IMG_2097Pin the facing all around.

IMG_2100Top stitch all around 1cm from the edge.

IMG_2099Make a hem at the sleeve raw edge. Fold over 1cm then again 3cm. Press. Pin. Stitch.

POCKETS IMG_2103Pin the pockets RS together. Stitch all around leaving a small opening at one side for turning. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm. Nick the curved corners.IMG_2111Turn inside out, push out the corners with a poking tool. Press well, aligning the seam line to the fold. Top stitch all around. Press over the flap section as shown on the template. IMG_2114Pin to the coat in position as shown on the pattern. Tack stitch to hold. Sew all around a second line of stitching close to the outer edge and parallel to the top stitching. Reinforce the corners at the top just below the flap fold. Sew on a button at each pocket or leave without.

TIE BELT (optional)IMG_2104Pin the tie belt pieces RS together. Sew all around, leave a small opening at the centre for turning. Trim the seam allowance and nick the curved corners. IMG_2105Turn the tie inside out and push out the curved ends with a poking tool. Press well so that the seam line is in line with the fold all around.

IMG_2110Topstitch all around the outer edge.


Fold the loop piece in half then fold in 1cm each long side. Press. Fold again in half. Press.IMG_2113

Top stitch down each long side. Cut into two equal pieces. Press over 1cm at each end. IMG_2116Attach to the coat at each side in position as shown on the template with a box stitch.IMG_2118Sew your buttonholes. Use the template as a guide to the position.IMG_2120One last thing, you may like to insert small pieces of wondaweb under the facing to secure the facing in place. You could also stitch a few stitches at the shoulder seam to secure the neck facing.


For more Sewgirl news follow me on instagram or sign up to my newsletter via my website. All the very best to you X Fiona







SQ tunic sampleEdith – An artists smock style loose fitting tunic for everyday wear. Straightforward to make with easy sew long sleeves, a deep round neck, lots of cross seams and topstitching (oh yes I do love topstitching!) and two inset pockets. Edith has an open loop and button back neck detail so its easy to get on and off. Theres lots of room in this tunic to move, eat and do what you will!

The finished length is on the knee or just above. See below for the finished garment measurements.

Please note that the horizontal pocket seam is designed to sit approx 5cm (2″) below the waistline. EDITH BACK NEW-1You can sew a single or double line of topstitching as you prefer.IMG_7976Heres a close up of those nifty inset pockets which are hidden within the seam line. Before you start, its a good idea to measure where the pocket seam line will be on you. If you need to make any adjustments to the length of the upper and lower body sections, you can do this before you cut out. by tracing off the pattern and making alterations. Just extend or shorten the lower edge of the upper front and back by sliding the pattern down or up, then match up at the sides. Repeat for the lower section.

The Back neck opening with a rouleau loop, shown below, is such a good technique to get under your sewing belt.IMG_7983

Or you could also make a sleeveless smock top version like this one:

Edith topI made it 12cm shorter on the lower front and back section only. I didn’t attach the sleeves, just turned under a small 1cm hem and stitched a double row of topstitching.

To shorten the pattern just mark out the length up from the lower edge, then slide the pattern down and redraw the lower curved edge.

I also tried topstitched above the pocket seam which is an alternative method which also looks good.

Please note: For a shorter Smock Top version you will need 50cm less fabric than the pattern states for your size. 

A Note about Topstitching. If  you prefer to have contrast colour top stitching, use a different coloured thread in the needle and the background colour in the bobbin. You don’t have to use a special topstitch thread, which gives a more defined line of stitching like you get on jeans. I used a quilting thread which worked well, but an upholstery thread could also be good. 

If using a thread that is the same colour as the background for the topstitching, select one that is slightly darker in colour, you will find that your stitching looks so much better.

The pattern states to topstitch as you go, but if you are using a contrast thread, try to group several stages of topstitching together to avoid having to constantly change your needle thread colour. Better still, you could thread up another sewing machine (if you have one) with the contrast thread.

Extend your stitch length to 2.6 – 2.8mm and sew approx 5mm from the seamline. Sew one or two lines of stitching if you prefer. I like to pop my machine settings on needle position to the far left (there is a setting for this on most machines) and line up the seamline to the centre line on the presser foot which really helps to keep straight and even. When topstitching the front pocket edge, move your needle position to the far left, align the side of the foot to the seamline and sew 5mm approx from the pocket seamline.

Why not try inserting a ‘Stitch in the ditch’ foot attachment (or otherwise known as a. ‘Edge stitch foot’ ) if you have one to help as a guide for topstitching. It looks like this…… download


There is information about the cutting guide and layplans in the pattern which you can purchase here:


I love making Edith in floppy linen mix fabrics or denim. Here is a link to a fab supplier of linen and in particular the linen/cotton mix fabric in masses of great colours and not expensive.


This is what you do….

First sew your upper back pieces together. Finish off the seams. Press.2Then repeat with the upper front pieces and the lower back pieces.3Finish the outer 3 sides of the pockets.4Pin the pockets to the upper front and lower front in position as shown on the template.5Press downwards on the upper front and upwards on the lower front. Topstitch along the top edge of the 4 pockets in non contrast thread.6Pin the upper front to the lower front with the RST (right sides together). Sew across all around the pockets. Press.78Join the front to back at the shoulder seams. Press the seam allowance towards the back. Topstitch.

Staystitch around the neck edge all around. This is a line of stitching within the seam allowance all around to prevent stretching.9


10Interface the reverse side of the neck facing pieces. Join together at the short sides. Press the seam allowances open. Finish the outer raw edge all around.11Pin to the neck edge. Hand tack stitch all around .12Snip!  Clip the curved seam allowances to allow it to sit flat when its turned to the right side. Don’t forget to trim across the corners too.13Press to the reverse side. Align the seam line to the fold all around.

MAKE THE ROULEAU15aFold the loop piece in half lengthways, press. Stitch down one long side at the raw edges leaving a long thread end. Use a loop turner to turn it inside out or if you don’t have one, use a blunt ended needle tied with the thread end, pass through the tube, pulling gently through and out the other end. Press. Et voila!15cInsert the loop between the neck facing and upper back. Pin, adjust the length according to your button. Sew down the short edge. Trim off any excess loop ends.15dTurn to the RS. Oop la! one rouleau loop! Snazzy!14Hand tack stitch the facing all around to secure it.14aMachine stitch 4cm from the neck edge all around.15Pin the sleeve to the body. Sew. Finish the raw edge. Press away from the body. Topstitch. Easy peasy!16Pin then sew the front to back at the side edges with the RST.17Clip the curved seam allowances at the underarm section.

18Hem the sleeve edge with a contrast thread. Hem the lower edge with the background colour thread. 19

Of course finish off with a lovely button.

Ta dah!Fiona in Edith tunic


12Invisible zips are nice to look at, they give a professional finish to your garment and with a bit of practise are actually not difficult to insert when you know how.

This is what a concealed zip looks like…..



You will need to insert on your machine a concealed zip foot or just a standard zip foot will do (actually I prefer it!)

A  concealed zip foot looks like the first image but make sure its one thats compatible with your machine. The second one is a standard zip foot.


This is what it looks like when its been inserted.12You can see that also the cross seams are matched up perfectly, which is what you are aiming for when making any garment.2Before you start, take a look at the back of your invisible zipper. See how the coils of the zipper curl toward the back? This is what makes the zipper less visible than a normal zipper. You will need to uncurl those coils by gently ironing the zipper flat first with the tip of a warm iron. This lets you stitch much closer to the coils.

Lay your zipper wrong side up, with the zipper open. Set your iron on warm (or the synthetic setting). Use your fingers to uncurl the teeth of the zipper while pressing it flat with the tip of your iron. Do this on both sides.6

3Lay your garment right side up, facing you. Place one side of the open zipper face down on the fabric and lined up one zip outside edge with one side of the fabric raw edge. NB there is a 1cm seam allowance with Cecily dress, however, if you have a 1.5cm seam allowance, then place with a 5mm space between the zip and the outside edge. Pin in position, with Cecily dress start just below the dart. If you have a cross seam (at the waistline for example) then mark the back of your zip each side so that you ensure your cross seams match up after sewing in your zipper. Hand tack.4

Now instead of hand tacking, you could use quilters 1/4″ tape to temporarily adhere the zip to the fabric side edge before you sew it in.135Stick a piece either side of the back of the zip.

8Having inserted the invisible zipper foot into your machine, lower the foot down onto the zipper. Make sure that the zipper coil is in the left groove of the foot. If you don’t have an invisible zip foot, use a standard zip foot and nudge the needle over so it lines up with the coil underneath or as near to the teeth as possible.


Make sure your cross seams are aligned.9Sew slowly as far as you can and (if you are using a standard foot, as close to the teeth as you can without sewing over the teeth). Stop when you reach the end of the zipper. Backstitch. Repeat for the other side of the zip.

Close the zipper up. Pin together the fabric below the zip and sew a 1cm seam sewing from the previous line of stitching to the end of the fabric. Do the same at the section above the zip.

10Press the seams open on the back and press the zip on the right and wrong sides so that the coils spring back into action.

11There you have now mastered the art of the concealed zip!





Baggy trousers are surprisingly flattering and I’m a total convert. I don’t wear tight jeans…..ever! I actually hate them. Dont get me wrong, I like a pair of jeggings under a tunic but jeans yuk…. I find them way too uncomfortable. These beauties however, are my go to trews for lounging about it or when I want to feel like a Hoxton Hipster !  : ) They also look great with sandals or flatties. Wear with short or long tees.  You don’t have to tuck in your tee either, cover any lumps and bumps (we all have them!) with a tee or a tie belt (I love a tie belt).

Remember Elsie can be made in linen, heres a link to a fab linen supplier at reasonable prices…..

Fabric inspirations linen

These trousers can also be made in a floppy viscose or polyester fabric for a ‘Palazzo Pants’ style which are perfect for holidays. Imagine lounging around the pool on a hot evening, sipping cocktails in your palazzos …… (well a girl can dream cant she!).

Elsie has front pleats on to the waistband and an elasticated back waistband (yippee!) so no zips just pull em on! There are also two rather lovely inset side pockets and an optional tie belt…..did I mention that already?

Heres a picture of Matilda wearing a longer version of Elsie made in a polyester print.

Tilly in elsie jpg

Actually Ive also made them from African Dutch Wax and I think they look oh so cool, perfect for holidays.

IMG_1529 sq 2The pattern comes in two lengths – cropped or full length so if you can check the size chart for more details about the finished measurements and fabric quantities.

My cropped Elsie trousers (pattern cover picture) measured 22cm from the bottom of the hem to the ground, you may like to use this measurement as a guide as to how long your cropped trousers should be on you. Some of us have longer legs than others, so you can adapt the length to suit your body if needed.

Here is a chart showing the measurements:

Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 20.56.10

You will need to allow at least 10-15cm at the waist/hips for ‘ease’ this allows you to pull them on and off without struggle. Here are the finished waist/hip measurements:Screen Shot 2019-08-23 at 15.47.53What are the fabrics suitable to make Elsie trousers in:  linen, linen mixes or 6 oz denim (make sure its really nice and soft and has some drape to it).  Then viscose, polyester drapey fabrics. Try to avoid anything too lightweight and nothing see through (no VPL s please!).

For Cutting instructions and Layplans see the paper pattern. You also need a half metre of 4cm elastic (soft variety) and 20cm of fusible light/med weight interfacing.

Here is an edited down version of the pattern instructions to give you an idea about whats involved.

Seam allowance is 1cm.



Sew the fronts together RST at the centre front edge.  Do the same with the back pieces at the centre back edges. Finish the seam allowances together.



Pin the pleats as shown on the template on the front only. pleat LHS

Two on the left hand side of the centre seam.pleat RHSTwo on the right hand side of the centre seam.3So it looks like this. Machine tack stitch the pleats to hold in position along the top edge so you can remove the pins and the pleats are held in position.


9Pin a pocket lining to the outer curved edge with the RST. (right sides together). Sew along curved edge. Fold over and press to the reverse side. Pin then top stitch close to the curved edge.

Repeat for the other side and other pocket lining piece.



Add the pocket piece to the outer curved edge of the pocket lining with the RST.


Finish the raw edges and pin then machine tack to the trouser top and side edges. Machine tack. Repeat for the other pocket.

17Sew the front to the back at the side edges with the RST. Finish the raw edges.18

Sew the trousers together at the inner leg edges again with the RST. Finish the raw edges.

Now to the……drum roll please!


First make your tabs for the belt, or omit this if you are not having a belt.


Fold over the tab long sides 1cm to the wrong side. Press. Fold again in half. Pin, topstitch close to each long side.

Press over 1cm at one short side. Place to one side. Repeat for the other three tab pieces.


If you have an over locker you could insert the waistband this quick way…for an alternative way see the following section -Method 2.

19Interface the front waistband only. Pin and sew RST at the short sides. Press the seam allowances open. 20Fold in half so the WST (wrong sides are together), match the raw edges.Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 15.31.00Pin the elastic at the side seams and extend across at the Back section.22Machine tack close to the raw edges, making sure you don’t sew in any elastic. Finish the raw edge, also on the trousers front and back top edge.


25Pin the waistband piece to the trousers top edge, align front and back, match up the side seams. Insert the tab piece short end under the waistband before you stitch, align with the outer pleats and insert two tabs in the same way under the back waistband. Hand tack stitch. Sew all around pushing the elastic beyond the (dropped down) needle as you go, careful not to sew the elastic so push it away from the seam edge or pin it in position.

Press the waistband upwards, seam allowance downwards on the reverse side.


Pin the folded tab end at the top secure with a small stitched rectangle end encasing the raw tab edge.

WAISTBAND – Method 2 (alternative method) where you encase the raw edges in the waistband.

So just like the previous method you sew the waistband together at the short sides with the RST.19

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 15.31.00

Sew the elastic to the side seams, extend over the the back section.28Fold over and press 1cm to the wrong side all around one long raw edge of the waistband.

29Pin the waistband unfolded edge to the trousers top edge., match up the side seams and align the back and front. Sew all around. Insert the tabs as in Method 1.30Fold the waistband up. Press at the seamline.

31Fold over to the reverse side of the waistband encasing all the raw edges, keep passing the fabric along the elastic so you are always working with a flat piece of waistband.

Pin all around then either ‘stitch in the ditch’ or hand sew all around with a small slip stitch to secure the waistband edge. Press.

TIE BELT (optional)1Join the tie pieces with the RST. Press the seam allowances open.2

Fold the tie in half lengthways align the raw edges. Pin. Sew along one long edge and down each slanted edge leaving a 4cm approx opening at the centre join section. Leave a long end for turning. Trim the seam allowances to 5mm.3

Tie the thread end on to a blunt ended chunky needle and pass in between the tie folds and out through the opening. Pull gently to turn inside out. Push out the pointed ends with a poking tool or tease out with a strong needle. Press so the fold is in line with the seam.


Top stitch all around which will close up the opening at the same time. Job done!IMG_1286

Insert through your little tabs and tie in a lovely bow. Esme would be proud. (this won’t make much sense if you don’t watch The Great British Sewing Bee!).

Lastly make a 2cm hem on the lower edge of your trousers.


Ta dah!





Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 15.45.55



SIZES 8-20

Suitable for beginners.

This is a loose fitting hip length kimono which looks great in all seasons, either for a special occasion or as a loose fitting cardigan. With a wide front band, two optional patch pockets, and french seams on the inside, its an easy, fun and quick to make.

I made this kimono in this beautiful Liberty pure silk satin, shown above,  other suitable fabrics include viscose fabric, cotton, linen or any fabric that has a fluid drape quality.

It can also be made in thicker fabrics for colder days as a kind of jacket, which gives a completely different look.

Suki was demonstrated on The Sewing Quarter TV channel on 23rd April 2019 so if you fancy watching me make it here is a You tube link. Just scroll up to 3:00 to watch the one hour show.


Suki Kimono is sized from 8-20 (scroll down to see the finished measurements chart)

You can adjust the size and length.


For a guide to how to size up the pattern, I have uploaded a link to a Youtube tutorial below to show you how to do this.  Please note that you may need extra fabric when sizing up and layout may have to be adjusted, so check first before buying your fabric that you have enough fabric to fit all your adjusted pieces.



You can make the kimono longer by using the larger sizes length lines and still be within 1.5m fabric. (Of course you can make as long as you like but you will need to buy extra fabric in this case.)  Make sure if you do lengthen to another size that you also cut the band pieces in the same size too, so for example, if you make a size 12 kimono but a size 20 in length, then cut out two size 20 band pieces….simple!

One other thing is that you can also lengthen a further 2cm by making a smaller hem on the lower edge, instead of 4cm as specified on the pattern. Important! remember to add on an extra 2cm to the band length to accommodate the extra length in the body in this case.

So the maximum length for 1.5m fabric, using the size 20 length line and a 2cm lower edge hem is 69cm approx. 

The pattern is available to buy on the website, click on the link below for details.


Scroll down for a photo step-by-step tutorial showing how to make up Suki Kimono.


Tips for sewing silk/satin/ viscose:
When sewing silk use a finer thread and insert a ballpoint needle in your machine.
Use sharp pins and pin in the seam allowance to avoid leaving holes in the fabric. 
Make sure scissors are also sharp and nick free. 
Try not to handle the material unnecessarily which can cause it to fray. 
Adjust your iron to a ‘silk’ setting and take care with steaming, it can cause water marks. 
Lay a sheet, old blanket or duvet underneath your fabric when cutting out to prevent it moving about.

How to sew a FRENCH SEAM *Sew seams using a french seam. This is a technique used to conceal seams which are visible by stitching twice, once with the wrong sides of the fabric facing, then again with the right sides of the fabric facing. Its an ideal technique for fabrics that are light and prone to fraying and garments where the inside seam  is exposed. To make a french seam, firstly pin, then sew a 5mm seam with the WRONG SIDES  together.  Next, fold your fabric pieces so the RIGHT SIDES are together and press and pin so that the seam is aligned to the fold. Stitch again, this time with a 1cm seam allowance, encasing the raw edges inside. Finally, press your french seam to one side.

FABRIC REQUIREMENTS: See the chart below for fabric requirements.

Screen Shot 2019-08-23 at 16.26.57

You will also need: a reel of thread, an iron, pins, a hand sewing needle, a poker (a chunky knitting needle is good or a chopstick).


Pattern pieces for FRONT (1), BACK (2), SLEEVE (3), FRONT BAND (4), POCKET (5)

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 22.12.43

Here we go!


Using the Layplans above as a guide, cut out the following pieces:

FRONT (1)– Cut two.

BACK (2) – Cut one on the fold.

FRONT BAND (4) –  Cut cut two pieces.

POCKET (5)– Cut two pieces.

SLEEVE (3)– Cut two pieces on the fold of the fabric.




Pin the front pieces to the back at the shoulder seams with the right sides together. Sew. Finish the raw edges with a zig zag or overlock to prevent fraying. Press the seam allowances flat towards the back piece. Topstitch on the right side. 7Now pin your sleeve piece to the body at the armhole edge, sew.

Press the seam allowance towards the sleeve. Top stitch. Repeat for the other sleeve.


Pin the front to back at the side edges with the WRONG sides together. Sew a 5mm seam.

Turn inside out so the RIGHT sides are together, press with the seam aligned with the fold.  Pin. Sew another 1cm seam encasing all the raw edges. Press.




On the lower edge all around, fold over and press to the wrong side 1cm then again 3cm. Pin. Sew

Make the same hem on the sleeve raw edge.




Join the front band pieces at one short side to make one long strip with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam allowances open. Topstitch either side of the seamline.


Fold over and press 1cm all along one long side of band.


Starting at the centre of the back neck and with the right sides facing together, pin the unfolded long side of the band to the back neck and front at each side, pin all around to the front sides either side, aligning the raw edges as you go and make sure to leave 1cm of band fabric extending beyond the body front lower edge on each side. 


Stitch a 1cm seam allowance all around from front left side to front right.

Press the band away from the body with the seam allowance pressed towards the band on the reverse side. Top stitch on the band right side.

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 22.53.26

At the far ends of the front band at each side, fold the strip ends in half widthways with the right sides together and the raw edges matching, opening out the 1cm fold a little at each end. Pin, then stitch across in line with the body front lower edge up to the fold line.

Trim the seam allowance to 5mm, cut across the corners of the seam allowance then turn inside out to right side, pushing out the corners gently with a poker.201.jpg


Press the band over to the wrong side all around so that all raw edges are encased inside. Pin, then hand stitch the band at the folded edge all around with small slip stitches. Its a good idea to line up the fold of the band to the line of stitching previously made. Make sure your stitching is as neat as possible. If  you would like to have front ties** on your kimono scroll to the bottom of this page for instructions to make and insert before sewing the band.


Finally press your kimono.


POCKETS (optional)

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 23.12.38

Finish the raw edges of two longer sides and one short side of the pocket pieces.

On the unfinished side, fold over to the wrong side 1cm, press then again 2cm. Press. Stitch.

Fold over and press 1cm on the 3 un-hemmed sides to the wrong side.

Place in position on to the kimono. Pin. Top stitch all around, reinforcing the top corners.

**FRONT TIES (optional)

Cut two pieces 60cm x 4cm.

Fold over 1cm to the wrong side each long side and press. Fold the piece over again in half so you have a piece 60cm x 1cm. Tuck under one raw end. Tip: secure the folded short end with a small piece of quilting tape or wondaweb. Stitch close to the folded edge. Press.

Insert your ties raw edge under the band approx 1cm s cure with a few hand stitches before hand stitching your front band.



What a nice quick project to make out of the leftover fabric and a perfect accessory to match your kimono. IMG_1291IMG_1292This easy to make quilted clutch purse makes a lovely addition to any outfit for a special event. With its optional loop handle, useful for carrying lipstick, powder compact, money and keys.

Finished size: 23cm x 16cm approx

You will need:

Outer fabric

One piece  41cm x 25cm (bag) and one piece 5cm x 30cm (handle).

Lining fabric

One piece 41cm x 25cm.


One piece 41cm x 25cm in fusible H640 fleece Visilene wadding or wadding with fabric spray glue.

A magnetic clasp.

One gorgeous button

An invisible marker pen.

This is what you do…..

1. First spray glue your wadding to your outer bag piece or fuse with an iron if using the H640 Visilene.

2. Mark out lines at a 45 degree angle and 5cm or 2″ apart with a fabric invisible marker pen.

3. Stitch along the lines to make a criss cross quilting trellis pattern with a stitch length of 2.6.

4. Place your quilted piece on top of the lining piece with the right sides together. Pin together. Round off the two top  corners using a saucer or small plate to mark out the curves, then trim.

5. Sew all around the edge of the piece with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving an opening of approx 4cm at the lower un curved edge at the side for turning. Nick across the corners and curved seam allowance with small V’s.

6. Turn your piece inside out and push out the corners. Press.

7. Make your loop handle. Fold in each long side 1cm and press. Fold in half lengthways. Press. Top stitch down each long side.

8. Insert your magnetic clasp (masculine side) at the rounded flap side, positioned at the centre,  2.5cm (1″) down from the top edge of the lining.

9. Fold your bag piece straight side up 13cm, with the wrong sides facing. Pin at the sides. Insert the handle loop raw ends, sandwiching them in between the folds, so the loop section is extended beyond the bag. Top stitch down each side 4mm (1/4″) from the edge.

10. Insert your magnetic clasp (female side) at the straight side, positioned at the centre,  7cm (2 3/4″”) down from the top edge of the outer fabric to match.

11. Stitch on a button at the flap outer side in the same position as the magnetic clasp.

There you have it!IMG_1291





Here are some pattern weights that I made myself and I find really useful when using a more sturdy paper pattern. I use them instead of pins which not only saves time but also keeps the pattern flat as you cut.


I make them out of scraps of fabric but actually this fabric was printed with squares in exactly the right size, but you could use anything you like. Its fun to use all one type of fabric, like Liberty fabric if you are a fan or just mix up your favourites from your stash.

i like to put something like corduroy on the bottom because I think it makes them a bit sturdier underneath but its not essential.

The weights measure approx 5cm x 5cm but you could make bigger ones if you prefer.

I also put a bit of good old poly stuffing in mine so I can stick my pins in them as I work which is pretty good.w4

What you need:

Square metal washers 5cm x 5cm which you can get at any good hardware store or online here . Screwfix also do packs of 10 for a fiver which are slightly bigger.

Cut out two pieces of fabric 6cm x 6cm for each weight. (or add 1cm to the widths each side if you are making ones in a different size).

Polyester stuffing or scraps of wadding are good.



This is what the metal washers look like.W3

Sew your pieces with the right sides together with a 5mm seam allowance. Clip the corners and turn inside out. Poke the corners out or tease out with a needle.


Insert your metal washer. Add some wadding under the top section only.


Turn under the raw edges of the opening and hand stitch. i sometimes do a fancy bit of blanket stitch here with some embroidery thread to make a feature of it.


There you have it. Also good for needles , don’t want them to feel left out!


Ta dah!

I also like to make a simple little zip bag to put them all in. But thats another post for another day.


IMG_1446This is one of my favourite dresses….Cecily! About and about in Brighton near where I live. IMG_150330At the end of this pattern blogpost (at the bottom of this page)  there is also a tutorial about how to use the skirt section of Cecily Pattern and make into a glorious gathered skirt like this one.IMG_1464You can buy Cecily Dress pattern from my Etsy shop here is a link……


CECILY PATTERNWhen I wear Cecily dress, I feel amazing, like I’m making a real statement about who I am, so I tend to make it in bold prints but it also looks great in more subtle fabrics such as the Kaufman railroad denim (shown above).

So this is a time to show yourself off….. you are amazing….. as we all are!

You can make this frock with or without the tie belt, but I prefer it with one (I just love a tie belt). This pattern has cap sleeves but on the latest addition of Cecily I have added a short sleeve template for those of you wanting a slightly longer sleeve.

Cecily is designed to be loose fitting on the waist so its more comfortable to wear, it has a side concealed zip too, but I can pop mine on without undoing the zip, so if you feel that inserting a concealed zip is beyond your skill level, try making it without. Of course, having a side zipper does make it easier to get on and off, and inserting a concealed zip is for some people easier than a standard zip. I have popped a concealed zip tutorial link below, so have a peek to see what you think or why not have a go, you will never look back if you conquer this technique.


Its a good idea to check your measurements against that on the pattern. If you are like me, a bit top heavy, go for the larger size that fits your bust measurements, you can always adjust to fit afterwards. The pattern is suited to a bust cup size B. If you need further bust adjustments see this useful video tutorial:


You may also need to lengthen the shoulder to waist length so measure your body from these points and adjust accordingly. Its a good idea (especially if you are using expensive fabric) to make up the bodice section in cheap fabric or calico first to see how it fits and to determine whether the pattern needs adjusting. It doesn’t take long to do and like that you can feel more confident, secure in the knowledge that the fit will be right. I want you to make lots of Cecilys (like I have), so tweaking it at the outset will give better results in the long run.Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 21.08.54

You will also need a 30cm concealed zip and 20cm of lightweight fusible interfacing

Seam allowance is 1cm.

Finish all raw edges with an overlocker or zigzag stitch.

Here is an over view of the pattern instructions included in the pack with a few extra tips, it will give you a taster of how to make this charming frock:

Start by inserting the darts.



Sew the upper back pieces together.1b

Join to the upper front at the shoulders. Press seam allowances towards the back. 2a


Neck facings

Block press your facing pieces on to fusible interfacing3

Join at the sides. Press. Finish the outer edge.

Pin to the neck edge of the upper front and back.5

4Hand tack.6

Nick the curved seam allowance. Tip: reduce the bulk of the side cross seam allowances.7

Press over to the wrong side. Pin.8

Hand tack.9

Stitch evenly all around. careful as this stitch line will be seen on the right side so it’d better be good!10


Mark out your pleat position with pins on the front and back skirt section at the top edge.11

Fold the box pleats.12

Hers a diagram to help you.

diag 1 copy

Machine tack stitch1314

Sew to the upper front bodice with the right sides together.

diag 3b

Press. Tip: why not top stitch on the right side close to the seam on the bodice side.15


Pin to the left side of the skirt (see template for the position). NB if you are left- handed you may prefer to insert the pocket on the opposite side.16a

Press away from the skirt. Top stitch.16b

Insert the side concealed zipper here. Here is a link to my tutorial about how to insert a concealed zip with either a standard zip foot or a concealed zip foot.



After sewing in the zip, pin then sew the seam together below and above the zipper.

Join the front to back at the side edges from underarm to lower hem all around pocket.18


Sew the sleeves together at the sides. Press. 19

Hem the lower edge.20

Pin to the armhole, align the back section of the sleeve to the back body. Hand tack.21

Sew, make sure you have no puckers!22


Fold over and press 1cm to the wrong side of each long side.23

Stitch along each long side close to the edge. Press over 1cm each short side.24

Pin to the body 2cm in from each side. Stitch down with a small rectangle at each far end.25


Join the tie pieces at the short sides with the right sides together. Press seam allowances open.26

Fold the tie piece in half with the right sides together. Stitch down the long side and at a 45 degree angle at each far end to make a point, leave an opening of 4cm approx at the centre point. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm and Nick the corner point. Turn inside out through the opening.


Press. Topstitch all around which should close up the opening at the same time.28

Tie a big Esme tie at the front on your lovely dress.29

There you are! You can also wear without a belt like I have here…..

fiona in cecily worthing beach

Now time to pose!

So now what about making a skirt using Cecily pattern? IMG_1464This skirt is has a length of 75cm from the top of the waistband but of course you can make shorter (or longer) if you require. Just make sure you have some extra fabric if making longer!

Cecily skirt has two side pockets this time and the tie belt with loops that you had before on the dress. It has an elasticated waistband at the back and the same pleats on the front as the dress. Whats not to love! You can have a nice Sunday lunch and not feel tight around the tummy afterwards ….bliss!

I used this african cotton fabric which is fab and I’m going to upload some exclusive skirt kits on to my Etsy shop soon which will include fabric, interfacing, elastic and thread all packed up in a lovely craft bag so its all there for you.

So this is what you need:

2m of fabric (112cm wide) or 1.7m (150cm wide), 1m elastic and 10cm of fusible medium weight interfacing.IMG_1416Cutting out:

Front & Back (Piece 3) – Cut two.

Indicate the pleats on one piece only (i.e the front) with small notches within the seam allowance or mark with an invisible marker pen.  

Waistband Front – Cut one piece 10cm wide by the length:

size 8= 40cm, size 10= 43cm, size 12= 46cm, size 14= 49cm, size 16= 52cm, size 18= 55cm, size 20= 58cm.

Fuse the reverse side of the front waistband piece only with interfacing. 

Back waistband – Cut one piece 10cm wide by length:

size 8= 98cm, size 10= 101cm, size 12= 104cm, size 14= 107cm, size 16= 110cm, size 18= 113cm, size 20= 116cm.

Tie Belt (piece 9)- cut two on the fold.

Tabs (piece 8) – Cut four.

Seam allowance is 1cm. Finish the raw edges with an overlocker or zigzag stitch.

RST= Right Sides Together. WST= Wrong Sides Together.

This is what you do:IMG_1417

Make your box pleats on the skirt piece that you have notched with the pleat markings just as you do on the Cecily dress. Pin to hold. Tack stitch across the top edge of the skirt piece to hold the pleats in position.IMG_1420IMG_1422Pin the pocket at each side of the front and back in position as shown on the template. Sew down the straight edge. Press away from the skirt. Top stitch on the pocket side.IMG_1424IMG_1423Pin the front to the back with the RST at the side edges and all around the pocket. Sew.IMG_1419IMG_1425IMG_1427So with the front waistband piece interfaced, join to the back waistband piece with the RST at the short sides to make a ring. Press the seam allowances open. Then fold the waistband ring in half with the WST so the raw edges are aligned all around.IMG_1429Unfold the band and pin the elastic at one side at the seam allowance at each side extending the elastic across the back waistband. Of course its not as long as the waistband piece but of course its not stretched out yet.

IMG_1430 So you can pin your waistband together aligning the raw edges thus encasing the elastic. Now its back to the machine to tack stitch it along the raw edge within the seam allowance so approx 5mm from the raw edge all around. Tip: keep moving the fabric beyond the elastic as you go.IMG_1436Make your four tabs the same as you would with Cecily dress pattern.

Pin and tack stitch in position to the waistband or skirt top edge align with the side pleats and 30cm in from the side seam at each side on the back. Tack stitch to hold.

IMG_1438Pin the waistband to the skirt with the RST aligning the side seams and matching the waistband back to the skirt back section. Sew. Finish the raw edge together.IMG_1439


Fold under 1cm the tab piece at the raw edge and pin to the top edge of the  skirt waistband. Stitch to hold.IMG_1446

Press the waistband seam allowance upwards on the reverse side then topstitch all around the waistband securing the seam allowance in position. IMG_1447

Insert your tie through the tabs and tie in a lovely bow. Then strike a pose!C skirt 1 copy