Yet Another Bucket Hat

 This is the muslin of a new bucket hat pattern I've been testing.

It's a FREE pattern from Merchant & Mills.

It's a true bucket with a rather narrow brim. The brim would be stiffer if I had used interfacing, but that stuff is expensive and when I make a muslin it's usually to check the size, and whether or not the style is right for me, so I don't bother with that step. 

In this case, I think I'll stick to my other patterns, the ones with wider brims. They just look better on me. More flattering, more feminine.

But if I were going to the beach, and wanting to pack a hat in my beach bag, this one would be perfect.

Every time I try a different pattern, I learn something, and this was no exception. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. I like the way it's assembled, and I appreciate the way the crown is slightly rounded at the top, which was created by having the sides a little big larger, requiring a tiny bit of gathering. That's something I will apply in the future, I'm sure.

Check out the photos in the link and if this is the kind of bucket you're looking for, I recommend this pattern without any hesitation. 


First 100% Linen Dress Ever

 I have used linen blends before, but now I want the real thing. So I placed an order with Club Tissus, a Canadian fabric store that carries a good assortment of linen types and weights, and another with, a firm that specialises in linen fabrics.

The fabric for this dress is a black and white Chambray from Club Tissus. It's a medium weight, completely opaque, and it feels rather heavy because the skirt uses a lot of fabric, and the giant pockets are double.

The pattern is Cora - Half Sleeve Linen Dress from and it was free.

 This was a PDF pattern and the download went very smoothly. I happen to find assembling patterns very relaxing! I'm retired so I don't care how long it takes.

I traced the 16/18 size but I ended up making several adjustments:

1. Created neck facings instead of finishing the neck with bias tape

2. Added the pockets

3. Reduced the shoulder width

4. Shortened the bust darts by a couple of inches.

5. Took the sleeves and the sides in by one inch. 

The latter three adjustments probably could have been taken care of by selecting the next size down, but I felt that was too small as the bust measurement on their finished size did not seem to allow for any ease in the bust. I will be more careful next time!

The shoulder and bust darts problems had shown up at the muslin stage, but the sleeve/sides didn't. Luckily, I had assembled the sleeves without assembling them or the bodice sides, so it was just a matter of sewing another seam inside the official one.

I also adjusted the width of the skirt by the same amount.

For the facings, I found all sorts of tutorials about that, but all I had to do was examine another dress to figure out how to make them.

The PDF patterns from come with a link to a well-illustrated tutorial, but there are details missing that can only be filled in by your own experience; for instance, no suggestions about finishing the seams, no mention of the width of the bias tape. I didn't use the tape, but for finishing the seams I used my own judgment, and zigzagged them all. Linen is a very expensive fabric (a dress like this costs almost $100 to make!) and you don't want to take a chance on its unravelling in the wash.

I posted this photo to a Facebook sewing group, and in one day I got over 1,500 likes, and so many nice compliments about how it looks on me that I almost blushed!

I hope you like it and that it may inspire you to make a dress, or to try linen, or both!

Embroidery To The Rescue!

 A few months ago I mentioned that I had taken some special embroidery classes from One of those classes was about repairing clothes with different embroidery stitches. Very exciting news for people who wear their clothes right though, which I never seem to do!

Stains are a different thing! How did I manage to get such a big grease stain on this old T-shirt? 

I tried a hot wash, I tried a cold wash, I rubbed and scrubbed with vinegar, dish detergent, laundry detergent - and all I managed to do was to wear the fabric so thin it was about to wear through.

So I applied a bit of embroidery thread:

Bye-bye stain!


A Fun Confinement Project

This needle book may be just a small thing but it took me a week!


Another New Hat

This is my latest hat. It's made with polar fleece. The flower was my idea and it took me a long time to find the one I wanted for that particular hat. You can see two other flowers in the picture.

I should point out that the crown is unusual, in that it consists of three pieces: one middle strip that goes from front to back and a semi-circle on each side. If you watch the series Vera on Britbox, you know what I mean!

This is the pattern I used:

I followed the pattern (Kwik Sew #K3543, View A, size Medium) except that the fleece I had was a bit thin, so I lined the hat with another layer of it. And of course I added my ubiquitous ties because this town is so windy!

I found the flowers by searching YouTube for days! Eventually, I will make a list of my favourite flower videos,  and I may write a post just to cover that.

This was a very easy pattern, and I recommend it for beginners. 


Making Muslins, the Correct Way

Let's get this out of the way: no, I don't get paid for promoting learning platforms like Craftsy, Creativebug, Domestika, or any other. I just like to know that if I can help one single person avoid all the fumbling that I had to go through before feeling confident enough to share my sewing journey here, well that's all the reward I need.

So here is my latest discovery: it's a 15-module course by first-class professional Susan Khalje and though it's called The Couture Dress, to me the value was learning the proper way to make a muslin (aka mock-up etc.). It turns out I had been doing it wrong all those years. Not 100% wrong, but with the professional secrets I learned in this course, I know my sewing will improve.

The course is included in my monthly Craftsy subscription, or I could buy it for $30, then it would be added to my Craftsy Library where it would remain forever. I already have over 30 courses there, which I had purchased before the platform turned to the subscription model.

Craftsy changed hands recently, and now both options are available, which is just perfect.

Trust me, the muslin I'm making this week will follow all the rules I learned in this course. I'll be back here to show it to you soon. Stay tuned!



A Doll As An Embroidery Sampler, Why Not?


Making this doll - her name is Josephine and I found her in Dollmaking for the First Time by Miriam Gourley - was just an excuse to practice some different hand sewing stitches, and some embroidery that relies on stitches more than on pretty pictures.

The stitches were inspired by these books. Not much of a collection, you may think, but there are enough stitches in there to last me several lifetimes!

But my main sources of inspiration were a course on the Domestika platform by Mexican designer Garbriela Martínez of the Ofelia y Antelmo studio, and another on Craftsy by Natalie Chanin, author of The Geometry of Hand Sewing, above. She also heads her own design firm, Alabama Chanin and the School of Making. 

I had already become familiar with Sashiko sewing from a couple of beginner tutorials on Creativebug and Craftsy.

I LOVE hand sewing and plan to decorate my future hats and garments with some decorative stitching. 

This small project taught me a lot! First of all, cotton twill is a lousy support for embroidery! I mean, the weave is so tight I had to use pliers to pull the needle through!

Secondly, the seed stitch I used on the border of the doll's skirt is easy all right but it takes forever! So in case you’re tempted to use it as an allover pattern like on this top... 

Copyright Ofelia y Antelmo

...remember that the designer lives in Mexico where she employs women to do the embroidery for her!