Tag Archives: simply sewing magazine

Not a girly girl…(or am I?)

Most of you are likely aware that I have worked with Simply Sewing Mag since their launch a couple of years ago. I produce a little something for them every month. (Usually a refashion or a patternless project).  It’s a funny thing producing work for a magazine.  In a way, you could say I’m restricted by the magazine’s vision for that particular issue. But that’s never really been the case in truth. (apart from I get pushed on colour and pattern which SS love and I don’t naturally migrate towards, lol!) The Ed, Charlie and I collaborate on the garments I produce for them. And while our personal aesthetics are somewhat different, we pretty much always find common ground and an idea that makes us both go “yessssss!” in unison.

Far from being restricted, I feel more like I’m being challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone. Which is pretty much always a good idea creatively in my view. (I think you know from The Refashioners what my view on pushing and challenging is, ha!) In fact, producing work for the mag is kinda the opposite of restricting. It’s kinda freeing not to have to meet my own personal fit and style criteria so precisely.  I get to experiment with styles and shapes that I would absolutely never wear myself. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like them or have fun playing with them. Or, more importantly, that ther aren’t things i can learn from that experimentation. Always.

It tickled me this morning when I looked back at the last few issues of the mag.  As you guys know, I am probably the least “girly” person in terms of style you are likely to meet. And yet my last 3 contributions have turned out unashamedly feminine and girly. I blame Charlie. (Ed) But maybe there is a girly girl in me somewhere and I only let her out when I’m sewing for someone else, lol!

Issue 31 – July

This is such a super quick and easy make even for an absolute beginner.  Literally just rectangles and straight lines. Optional straps and belt tie included in the tute. Fabric was REALLY lovely to work with and comes from Stoff & Stil here. (Girly Rating 9/10)Press - Simply Sewing - Issue 31 - Patternless Ruffle Maxi Tutorial

Issue 30 – June

This is a self drafting tutorial for a wrap dress. Fabric is GAWgeous with surprising stretch . Requires care in the handling of it. Found this a tricky fabric to cut accurately because it crinkles after washing and misbehaves somewhat. But really lovely and glad I perservered with it.  From Dragonfly Fabrics . (Girly rating 9/10)Simply Sewing - Issue 30 - Wrap Dress - Patternless Project


Issue 29 – May

Believe it or not this Tulle “esque” skirt is made from a pair of voile curtains i found in my local charity shop. I then starched the hell out of them and pleated and gathered and layered to produce this! (Girly Rating…off the charts!) 😉ISSUE 29 - SIMPLY SEWING MAG - REFASHION



Issue 27 – March

Another refashion. Thrifted M&S cotton skirt made more fitted and a full length zipper added at the back. Not so much girly as feminine and oh so sexy! Size of the split adjustable by that chunky gold metal zipper inserted upside down! Raaaar!

So perhaps there is a bit of girly in me after all, lol.  Just highly unlikely in will be reflected in anything I wear, lol!

Back issues of the mag can be purchased here if you like the look of any of these and are not already a subscriber.

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Simply Sewing Magazine – Issue 14

Just a quickie today to share my contribution to this month’s issue of Simply Sewing magazine. A quick and easy sweater update…press - issue 14 - simply sewing


Despite popular belief I don’t dislike colour! I just don’t like it on me, lol 😉 So sometimes it’s nice to have an excuse to bust out the colour for someone else.  And SS being the colourful publication that it is often means that they will ask me for something “punchier” than my usual palette of greys and neutrals, lol! Don’t think you can go wrong with this colour combo. So striking. The use of guipure lace (how DO you pronounce that?) was designed to add a touch of luxe and the cropped proportions designed to lend an edgier feel to the silhouette.  The original jumper came from Tesco of all places! This was my inspiration…

mustard and black


I also did a sweater revamp for the last issue (issue 13) of the magazine….first time I have done cross stitch since childhood!!press - issue 13 - simply sewing

I’m done with sweater revamps for now.  But the NEXT project I’ve done for Simply Sewing? I’m really excited for you to see that one! Think you guys are gonna freak!!! But that’s next month 😉

Issue 14 is on sale now. Back issues also available. Click on the link in the sidebar for deets or take a peek at a sampler of this month’s issue here.

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Simply Sewing – Issue 11 – I made the cover again!

Can’t believe a month has whizzed by already since the last issue of Simply Sewing came out. I’ve been quietly excited about the big reveal of this one. I’m always a little nervous when I parcel up my contribution and post it off to the magazine for photographing. Will they like it? Will they think it’s up to standard? Will it fit the model right?  Worse still….will it fall apart in the middle of the shoot!! Ok, maybe that last one is major irrational, ha ha! That’s sewist self doubt for ya! In any case, when I sent THIS dress off I had a rare moment of bullishness. “This” I thought “is gonna look awesome!” and sure enough…PRESS - SIMPLY SEWING - ISSUE 11 - INFINITY DRESS

When we were discussing the make for this issue, Charlie and I were clear it had to be a party frock. Then we thought, sod it! Let’s give you several party dresses in one and make an infinity dress! There are oodles of ways to tie these and the magazine features a few examples but there are many many more ways…an infinite number of ways you could say 😉PRESS - SIMPLY SEWING - ISSUE 11 - INFINITY DRESS - INTRO

In my opinion it’s WELL worth going for a more luxury jersey for this make. One because it’s a party frock for heavens sake! Two, because it needs to have not only decent stretch and drape….but decent recovery too. Three, you’re making multiple dresses out of one bolt of fabric making the cost to wear ratio pretty darn awesome! This one is from Fabric Godmother and available in a range of colours here.(If you’re thinking of buying some… Don’t forget to use PORTIAXMAS at checkout for 10% off AND have you entered the giveaway yet?? Closes this Sunday )

These dresses have soooo much potential. This one features a midi circle skirt (hanging then hemming that puppy was fun!) but you could do a more simple gathered skirt in midi or maxi length. Getting married? What better way to coordinate your bridesmaids but still allow them individuality in the way they tie them! We went bold for the magazine. That’s what Simply Sewing like. Me? Well you know I like to wear more muted tones (some might call me a colour phobe, lol!) and I can’t help but think this would make the perfect LBD in some black jersey or some gorgeous muted tones like gunmetal, slate and charcoal grey…or a deep indigo blue! Hey, blue is a colour!! Here’s a little more inspo 😉

infinity dress inspo

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Issue 11 of Simply Sewing is on sale now. (See link in sidebar)

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Refashion: Colour Block Tee

I’m not sure refashions can get much simpler than this! This one first appeared in Issue 2 of Simply Sewing Magazine way back at the start of the year (hence the older pic!)…The licence for the content I create for Simply Sewing reverts back to me after 6 months. So I am reproducing it here for my records and your reference 🙂 Enjoy!!Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

It’s a super quick and easy way to lengthen a jersey tee or just combine two plain tees for a bit of colour blocking interest.

One of the things I find with T Shirts is that, over time and many machine cycles, they shrink. Now I’m quite particular about the length of my tee as I hate flashing my midriff when I raise my arms, sit down lean over etc. So once a top sits a little too short on me, it ends up languishing unworn in my wardrobe. This quick and simple refashion solves the problem of a too short top AND nails the colour blocking trend, all in one fell swoop. What’s more, because we’re using the top of one tee and the bottom of the other, all the neck, sleeve and hemline finishing is already done! Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

Cut your main tee (the light grey one in my case because I like the shape and fit of it) straight across from side seam to side seam, at the point you want the colour blocking to start, plus a little seam allowance. Retain the top portion.Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

Cut the bottom half off your “donor” tee. (The dark grey one in my case. Ideally you want this one to be the same width or slightly wider than your main tee. I call it the “donor tee because it’s very kindly donating fabric to it’s  cousin, the light grey tee ;)) Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

How much you cut off will depend on how deep you want your colour block band to be. For example, if you want a 12″ band, then measure 12″ up from the hem, plus a little seam allowance, and cut straight across at that point.Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

Then, mark with a pin, how much you need to trim off to have your colour block band, be the same width as the top portion of your main tee…Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

Sew, and trim the excess off the colour band to resize it. You need the side seams of the colour band to line up perfectly with the side seams of the main tee.Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

Lay the two portions like so. The tee part right way out and the band part inside out, with the neckline of the tee facing the raw edge of the band…Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

: Slide the tee all the way inside the band so that the two pieces are right sides together, and the raw edges of the tee line up with the raw edges of the band…Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery.uk

Lining up the side seams first, and keeping raw edges even, pin and then sew all the way around.

Flip right side out, press the seam, and you’re done!Colour Block Tee Refashion - makery (9)



T Shirt fabric can be a little tricky to work with. The raw edges can curl over and stretch out on jersey fabrics even if handled with care. To help with this, use a little spray starch on your fabric during construction, (especially along the cut edges) then launder it out afterwards

I used an overlocker for this project. But I happily sewed jersey fabric on my standard sewing machine before I was lucky enough to get an overlocker. They are fantastic for sewing with jersey but by no means essential, particularly on looser styles. A lot of modern sewing machines have a stretch stitch for exactly that reason. Failing that, use a straight stitch and hold the fabric under very slight tension/stretch as you feed it through the machine

Consider colour blocking skirts, jumpers and non jersey tops. Combine different textures and patterns. Combining different garments is a great way to rejuvenate and get more use out of old clothes as well as putting your own individual stamp on what you wear.



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