*Giveaway* Pattern de-stash 

As the summer holidays draw to a close I’m trying to tidy the house and prepare for the new school year. Today I’ve been sorting out my sewing space, and finally got around to sorting through my patterns. All of the patterns below are unused. Some were freebies, some came with magazines, and some I purchased. I am happy to mail them out free of charge, so if you see one you would like please DM me via @makingnmarking on Twitter, and as long as it’s still available I will ask for your address. Any problems re accessing Twitter please leave a comment below. I’ll do my best to keep updating this blog post so you can see what’s still available. I’m not looking to make any money from this, and it feels nice to do a little something for some of the lovely sewists out there. However, if you were inclined to make a small donation (50p, £1?) to a charity of your choice that would be brilliant. If you’d rather not please don’t worry, I have come across so much generosity within the sewing community in the past couple of years. I’m thinking initially of keeping it to a maximum of 2 patterns per person, but if you would like several please list them in order of preference and if no one else expresses interest I will happily forward them on to you. I like the thought of helping out as many sewists as possible 😊 Lastly, I’m keeping this giveaway open to UK residents only. Enjoy! 

Photo 1 –

Pattern 1321 is now taken. Pattern 1613, 2446 and 7812 are all also now taken. 


Photo 2 

Th Amazing Fit Trousers are now taken. 


Photo 3 

6323 (top right) is now taken. K1699 is also now taken. 

Photo 4 

Butterick Bag is now taken. 

Photo 5 

Thread count 5-in-1 is now taken (top right). Thread count 1502 (top left) is also now taken. 

The Walkley is also taken, as is The Lizzy. 


Photo 6 

The kimono dress is now taken. The culottes are now taken. The colour block tunic is also now taken. 


Photo 7 

The keyhole blouse is now taken. 


Photo 8 

Please feel free to reblog/share this post. Thanks for reading. 

The H Dress 

Next in my alphabet of makes was the H Dress ~ the Hot Pink Dress. I’ll be keeping this post fairly short as it’s not a particularly successful make, or one I’ve worn more than once or twice. 

I was very kindly gifted the pattern at the Yorkshire Spoolettes meet up at the start of the year. I particularly loved view B – the idea of that nipped in waist and the beautiful red on the pattern envelope probably had a lot to do with it. 

I sewed it up in some Makower cotton that I had got for about £6pm from the Textile Centre. It’s a vintage type of print, although not the same era as the 50s dress. 

I think one of the main issues with this make is that I should have chosen a fabric with a lot more drape, to really show off the neckline. Even once laundered, the pink rose cotton was still far too stiff, even though it behaved very well during the sewing process. 

The pattern called for a side zip, which I included and was fairly happy with, but once made I realised it wasn’t needed as there was plenty of ease. 

There are several things about this make I like; the waist darts are nice and there’s a really pretty detail on the shoulder where it becomes the neckline (apologies for the lack of detailed photos). I like the fabric much more than I expected – pink isn’t a colour I typically go for. The length is decent and the kimono type sleeves are nice. 

But, because the fabric is wrong, the front neckline doesn’t sit right at all. This combined with the fact that the already loose style of my make (probably more me than the pattern) is now around a size too big for me, means that the future for this dress is uncertain. I’m not even sure there would be ways of altering it to make it wearable – it’s not lined so seams could be brought in but, after the size, it’s mainly the neckline/fabric combo that’s the issue. 

Perhaps the Hey-Ho, put it down to experience and learn from it dress (slightly long winded I know) is a more appropriate name. Did it cost me much to make? No. Take hours and hours? No. Did I learn from it to better consider my fabric choices? Yes. So in a sense, it wasn’t a waste of time, effort or money. Plus, I could always use it to sleep in…

The G Dress

I’m almost embarrassed by how long it is since I sewed up this dress ~ put it this way, more than a term has passed in the mean time. I named it the G Dress, because it’s a gradual dress ~ I cut it out and faffed around for a while before it was finally completed. The pattern is Simplicity 8014, and is the second shirt dress I’ve attempted. I’ve worn it quite a lot, although thanks to my aversion to pre-washing, it has now become a little shorter than I would like. I used some fairly lightweight denim, from Minerva I think, plus some buttons with trees engraved to add a bit of interest. This dress has a couple of features I like; the cuffs on the sleeves and the dipped hem are both nice details. I also like the pleat in the yoke on the back. 

Worn here with a cute scissor brooch on the breast pocket, from the Ernest Wright factory shop. 
The belt isn’t fixed; neither did I make belt loops but I definitely like the definition that the belt adds. Once completed, I immediately cut out another 8014, in a thinner, darker cotton, but I forgot to add length so I already know it will come up fairly short again. For this reason, it’s patiently been sitting in my WIP pile for a few months. 

This was the dress I wore to the Big Simplicity Bloggers Meet, (already three months ago, wow!) and in a room full of lovely ladies wearing home~sewn clothes, I didn’t feel too out of place. 

There’s now a gap in my blog photos, where the H, I, J, K AND L dresses should be. I finished and photographed my M dress yesterday, and N is on the table today so I have some real back tracking to do. Fingers crossed I’ll have another post with you soon. 

Making the Most of the Summer

The summer break is here, and it’s that lovely time when anything seems possible, and I have endless possibilities of things that I could/should/hope to do during the holidays. It’s a time to get organised with practical but necessary stuff; medical/dental appointments, banking and other bits of chores and housekeeping. It’s a chance to reflect on the past year at work and to plan, prepare and refocus ready for the new school year. Aside from these things are all the other things that I enjoy and now have proper time for. I love spending time walking the dogs, and yesterday incorporated a trip to North Yorkshire with walking a few miles across the moors with Wilf. I will be walking both dogs each day, and at this time of year I like to get in the car to take them to different fields and forests. As well as daily walks, I mentioned briefly in my last post that I have recently started running, and as my legs and feet are now feeling stronger, I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my technique and timing over the next few weeks. I’m currently working on running 35 minutes, and will probably do another one before I up it to 40 minutes (I’ve learnt from leaping from 5k to 10k and am now trying out increasing in smaller increments).

It’s a good few weeks since I sewed anything; I’m completely out of the swing of it and need to pick a project to ease my way back in. Running and watching what I eat has meant I’m a little slimmer so I know the first thing to do is to take new measurements, so I can evaluate the sizing of any patterns I choose. I have tonnes of fabric, plenty of patterns, and now time is on my side there really should be no stopping me. The other things I enjoy but often neglect during term time are reading, cooking and blogging, and of course catching up with some of my favourite people. So here’s my plan: to try and fit at least one of the things I love into every day, to make sure no day is wasted – though I’m all for unstructured time and binge watching TV box sets, obviously. If each day I can include at least one – ideally two – of my favourite activities, then I believe it will help me feel both productive and relaxed. So whether it’s walking, running, sewing, reading, blogging or baking, or any combination of those, I’ll be happier, fitter and ultimately will feel like I’m making the most of the holidays.

Catching my Eye

Although I haven’t been sewing as much as I would like, and blogging even less, I have continued to spend some of my free time reading sewing blogs and trying to keep track of new fabrics, patterns and general sewing news. I thought it could be good to write a post now and again with bits and pieces that have caught my eye. I would love to hear whether you like them, have purchased anything similar, or can recommend something you’ve come across. 

To be clear, these are just things I have seen and liked, this post is in no way sponsored or affiliated to a particular company or website. 


Of all of these beauties, I think my favourite could be the Dear Stella collection at the bottom. I haven’t yet purchased any of these (my stash is still very well stocked!) but took screen shots as I saw them, just in case. 

I’m also currently lusting over two new jump suit patterns, (which I never thought I would say) the Marigold and the Poppy. The Poppy could well be my favourite, actually. Can you recommend? 

Instagram ccmercer

This charity shop in Lincoln has the best window displays ~ new for the onset of Autumn is this steampunk display. Lots of macabre and gothic items that combine for interest and intrigue. 
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#charity #charityshop #shop #shopwindow #window #reflection #shopfront #storefront #steampunk #dolls #gothic #vintage #victorian #clock #lincoln #thriftstore Lovely late lunch with mum @littletownpantry this afternoon 
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#doilies #flowers #floral #pansies #vintage #china #cupandsaucer #cafe #tearoom Getting organised for the new school year. Love personalised gifts. I also have a soft spot for Blue Ribands. When I was little my grandad used to take me for walks and hide bunches of grapes or Blue Ribands for me to find like treasure in the woods. They will forever remind me of him. 
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#notebook #backtoschool #teaching #stationery #personalised #gift #blueriband #chocolate #chocolatewafer #classic #retro #childhood #memories #flatlay Dusk falling on the last bank holiday of the summer 
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#dogwalk #dailydogwalk #sunset #dusk #tree #silhouette #sky #rainbow #bankholiday #bankholidaymonday #august #nightfall #evening Inquisitive Oliver
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#closeup #face #dogface #wetnose #walkway #dog #instadog #dogstagram #rescuedog #baddog #mixedbreed #terrier Sleeping Wilfie
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#patterdale #patterdalex #patterdalecross #sleeping #rescue #rescuedog #dogstagram #instadog

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