Archive for the ‘Textiles’ Category

Welcome Back

Long time no post, health not in a great place. Today sharing some soothing, gentle, You Tube channels, for you to explore. There is so much stress and distress inthe world right now. I thought I would share places that are kind and gentle and soothing. A diverse mix of channels, see what you fancy.

For those missing creative content check out


The Unexpected Gypsy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzk20sJQ2gq_XB9oCgOWrQA/featured Art studio vlogs. Art by Wendy Robinson


Sea Lemon for bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/SeaLemonDIY

Bitter Melon Bindery ASMR bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/bittermelonbindery/featured

DAS Bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/DASBookbinding/featured


Din Life sewing fabrics and also books https://www.youtube.com/c/DinLife

Furoshiki, seriously research this, on You Tube! Its amazing. Practice with a bandana if thats all u have. I’m bundling book and kind things together for when things are tough. Self care september soon, so its good to gather stuff u love togther. Its the Japanese art of wrapping with cloth. So sustainable, you can also make a bag in many variations, ditch the plastic and try this

How to turn Linens and shawls into bags https://youtu.be/pnLZOj5V-f8

Kakefuda Kyoto – Famous Furoshiki Store https://youtu.be/NC7MH3EzBWM

If its tempting u to shop there is a store in the UK called Kindly Yarn. Here is their website and they have videos on the basics https://www.kindlyyarn.co.uk

How about getting some fabric and stop with the excessive paper and selotape? There are so many nice fabrics around. You can practice with a table cloth or bandana etc to play along as u watch.

Simplistic living

The Cottage Fairy https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCottageFairy/featured


The Lune INNATE https://www.youtube.com/c/LuneINNATEASMRenergy ‚̧ūüôŹ Gillian and her Reiki ASMR, sooo soothing. Reiki Master and energy worker. Thanks for helping me groumd and sleep Gillian.

Holistic Mystic Ysania https://www.youtube.com/c/HolisticMysticYsaniaASMR Galactic Reiki. Helping u soothe and settle.

Guided Vibrations https://www.youtube.com/c/GuidedVibrations Sound baths etc if u prefer without the narration their other channel Healing vibrations has no talking https://www.youtube.com/c/HealingVibrationsMedia


These are the books that are holding safe space for me at the moment. Yey for the kindle reading them out to me. Im crashing now, so can’t link them all, copy n paste them into searches in ur fave store.

Depression Recovery Letters James Withey is brilliant from this project I found his other books;

How to Anxiety to sod off

How to tell depression to f off

Thanks for sticking with me, when I post so rarely. I think about the blog, just don’t have the health to allow me to write or create as much as I’d like too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading



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Welcome Back

There seem to be a lot of tutorials around at the moment about how to sew masks for Covid 19 protection, for yourself but also to donate to those in need in hsopitals etc. I have done some research, please have a read through n watch a bit, before you sew. We want to help ppl, not give false hope.

How to sew a face mask

First video I watched was by Homemadeonourhomestead

Then their follow up videowith Q&A and lots of helpful links

This article on the materials used on homemade masks and their pros/cons limitations is IMPORTANT to read

Suay Mask pattern,

pdf pattern and instructions https://suayla.com/pages/suay-community-mask-coalition

Please consider adding a donation to his go fund me page, he is working to get testing for the material options for home sew masks but its $40 thousand. https://www.gofundme.com/f/mask-response-at-suay

Allergies and cleanliness

I applaud the thinking behind making masks at home, to help others, but my concern for this is also about the spaces they are being created in, have you sanitised your washing machine before washing these fabrics? Ditto other areas in your house.

Also allergies do you have pets? If your pet has had access to areas where you are creating these masks, that would need to be stated on the final piece. Sewing for yourself is fine, but if others have allergies that could be life threatening for them, then sewing in an area your pet has had access too, even if its not there today, if you have touched your pet then your sewing supplies, again, my heart says everything needs special cleaning down. The same is true of food allergies.

  • Please know I applaud all those wanting to create to help fill a gap, to ‘do their bit’ to help. But medical grade masks are made in sterile surroundings, with people wearing ppe while they create.
  • Please be aware of the limitations of the materials you are using, so you and those you are sharing these masks with can make their own informed decisions.
  • Please be aware that some people have allergies that can also be life threatening if triggered. This can be food related as well as pet related. Even in the smallest amounts allergens can be life threatening. So any food you or your area has been in contact with can be an issue.
  • Please wash your hands, wear gloves and a mask throughout your creation process.
  • This isn’t me being down on anyone trying to help, just that I knew someone who had life threatening allergy reaction, when they were in contact with someone who had been in contact with their trigger substance days ago! THIS STUFF MATTERS.

Sending love light and hope to all those struggling right now.

Thanks for reading, please share this post

Billie x

Update 22 April 2020

I stand by what I have written, and the allergy thing is still very important. As long as everyone keeps that in mind and is also aware of the limitations of such masks its fine. I have since done further research and discovered its possible to get liners for the masks which will improve their safety value to the general public, just for out and about.

Given the news is starting to lean towards possibly asking people to wear masks out and about, in the coming weeks n months, it would be WAY better to make your own, with one of the many many tutorials on You Tube than to deplete the already, dangerously low stocks, that are around and needed for front line staff.

Thanks for reading x

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Welcome Back


The other day when I woke up and decided I’d like to make a rag doll. After a search on the internet I found SourDoughDumpling on Ebay. She has some wonderful patterns similar to Tilda designs and I chose her pattern Matilda to create my rag doll, isn’t she beautiful.

Sourdoughdumpling pattern: Matilda

Sour Dough Dumpling pattern for Matilda rag doll pattern available on her Ebay shop, see link below.

I remember some tips from Create and Craft demos of Tilda dolls so for my project I traced round the pattern pieces and sewed them BEFORE I cut them out. I used pinking shears so that the fabric wouldn’t fray. Stuffed with polyester toy filling and discovered a plastic thick ended chop stick is your best friend when stuffing narrow limbs.

I made my doll out of curtain lining fabric, here’s a top tip if you use the draw around technique. I used a water erasable sewing marker. I used a damp cloth and the colour came off nicely BUT when I ironed one of the pieces the blue lines came back! for the limbs I ran the fabric under a cold tap and this has got rid of the marker and even after ironing it hasn’t come back. So don’t skimp on the warning that comes with these pens and TEST your fabric first to see if it will indeed erase again! I hope I’ll get away with the lines as they are on the edges of the body so those on the head should be covered by hair as will those at the shoulders, the rest will be covered by clothes.

Having fiddled with sewing some of the clothes dress I highly recommend using the draw around and sew limbs together before you cut them out, much easier for little 0.5cm seams. I’ll add pics in the next post about this.

Matilda has a dress cut out, the bodice is made up (well shoulders and neck sewn up) but I have only hemmed the skirt and sleeve sections as RSI has kicked off and fine motor skills are not happening without too much pain. Having to rest up.

Summer Trousers

I also made a start on my second pair of summer trousers before I lost the use of my hands. I am using the New Look pattern 6292 and after a bit of a tweek coz I was in between sizes they are a dream! I can never get trousers to fit and these are wonderful, best fit ever! I made the first pair out of poly cotton and this second pair which are still in construction, are in chambray.


Here are the links to the suppliers on the projects or patterns I am talking about in this post.

If you would like to make a rag doll too but don’t have spare fabric to hand Kath Kidson has a book which includes a printed doll, you just sew round and fill with stuffing. The book also contains a pattern you can trace if you wish to make the doll again in alternative fabric. This is a good one as it also includes several outfits for the doll. I love the PJs.

Hopefully I’ll share some pictures soon, when hands allow.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share pictures of my finished top, the pattern is from New Look that I shared last Monday.

Finished sleeveless top

Finished sleeveless top

Here is the back

Back of my finished top from New Look 6483 sewing pattern

Back of my finished top from New Look 6483 sewing pattern

Of course I can see all the errors and it took me a week not the 1 hour that the cover suggested but that’s a mixture of dyslexia, new to sewing so had to look up every term and also poor dexterity so I had to do it all in small amounts. Got there in the end though and quite pleased with the results. I think I need to get a ham to help me press darts as they look a bit weird. DH says it will look better once washed a few times.


Here is the New Look 6483 pattern on the Simplicity website .

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie ūüôā


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Hi All

I bought this pattern last year and found the fabric in the cupboard recently so decided to give it a go.

New Look Sleeveless top pattern

New Look Sleeveless top Pattern 6483

I’m going to make view B without the sleeves for this first attempt at a top, wish me luck.

Best wishes


PS Twitter followers will know I’ve finished it, so a bit of a tease post. Will show you the finished results next week.

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Hi All

Just wanted to share a pic of my new sewing book

Pattern Making book

Pattern Making book

Its Patternmaking for a perfect fit by Steffani Lincecum. I took her Patter Drafting from Ready to Wear class on Craftsy (once I worked out how to turn the HD off) and loved the class. She mentioned her book during the first episode and as our connection to the internet is flakey I decided to order the book. The class online covered using your favourite item of clothing and creating a paper pattern from it.

I have a shirt which I love and wear lots but fashions change so fast that there isn’t anything quite like it around and getting something to fit is so tricky I would love to make a copy of this shirt. Its got to be almost 20 years old so no chance of getting a replacement. In the book Steff covers making patterns from; a skirt, a dress, a blouse and a handbag. I’d like to copy some trousers but the online class assured me that once you have your head around the technique the same principles apply to any garment.

I attempted to copy a t-shirt which, I thought would be a simple place to start but I’ve managed to get the shoulder pieces different widths for front and back so I’ll have a good read of the book to see where I’ve gone wrong. I used the jigsaw together type of play mat that I bought for blocking knitting stuff on to pin the shirt too and pin through to the paper,¬†found¬†a spiky tracing wheel in my late Mother’s sewing box. The concept went well, just need more practice.

The book also makes mention of how to approximate how much fabric your pattern will need and some assembly tips too. I’ll do a full review once I’ve had chance to have a proper read. In the mean time if you want a copy for yourself the ISBN number is; 978-0-8230-2666-1

Still trying to work out how to pad the dressform I bagged on Ebay last winter. She’s got as far as a bra on her padded to size but I’m struggling how to get the rest of her to size no wonder I can’t buy clothes that fit eh! I’d love to drape on her but being an adjustable one the gaps are a problem. Being 5′ 3″ the top section is going to be ok with the form closed, some padding in the bra sorts out the bust. There is quite a gap in the lower section so I’m considering closing the¬†form and mummifying her to the lower proportions. It would be nice if Crafsty did a class on how to transfer your body measurements to a dress form and how to pad one, it sure explains why there are so many forms on the auction sites, sounds like others get overwhelmed and just sell them on too.

What are you sewing at the moment? If you have a well loved item that you would love to recreate check out

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Welcome Back

Chinelo Bally, who is one of the lovely¬†lady’s in The Great British Sewing Bee has kindly given this interview to become this months Featured Artist. Read on to find out more about her and her work.

Chinelo Bally

Chinelo Bally

I discovered her work thanks to¬†The Sewing¬†Bee on BBC 2. ¬†I loved how she was making her own patterns to her own designs. For those of you who haven’t yet found Chinelo, here is a little more about her an her work.

Who you are:

Chinelo: I am a passionate lady who believes in going for her dream and making it reality.

Where you are (which country you are based in)?

Chinelo: I live in Essex in the UK

What you do:

Chinelo:¬†I am currently setting up my bespoke fashion label “Olivia Kabani” I am currently taking orders for bespoke garment and also working on my website.

What got you started in your creative journey?

Chinelo: I have always Loved fashion and I have always been interested in putting my own signature on clothes. Like you I was never fully satisfied with shop bought clothes so I decided to get a sewing machine and started learning.

What inspires you:

Chinelo:¬†I draw inspiration from any and everything, I love colours, texture, shapes, so I’m constantly being drawn to the unique beauty of something.¬†I have designed a dress that was inspired by red velvet cake; the rich red against the cream and the velvet name given to the cake just made me imagine this dress.

If money, time and obligations were no object, what you would most like to do?

Chinelo: I would love to have a boutique where people come to buy my ready made lines and also have bespoke garments made, but not solely for major occasions.

What do you enjoy most about your creative work/life?

Chinelo: What I love most about my creative work is the fact that I can see a fabric and transform the 2d cloth into an amazing garment. When I were, or when I see someone wear something I have made, it just fills me with so much fulfilment. I have a strong support network in my family and friends, they all know and support my future plans, emotionally mentally and physically.


To find out more about Chinelo and her work, please visit her blog and website, details below.


Thanks to Chinelo Bally for being our Featured Artist of the Month for April 2014

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie ūüôā

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