A Pair of Pennies 

A couple of months ago I joined the Sew Over It PDF club, even though I typically prefer buying printed patterns. When the Penny Dress was released I knew I wanted to make one. Once I’d printed and assembled the pattern I realised I needed wide fabric, which restricted what I could use from my stash, but I found some summery pink checked cotton that I’d had a while with no particular project in mind. I can’t remember where I got it but I know it would have been inexpensive. As the Penny only calls for three buttons I had plenty to choose from, and settled on some which came free with an issue of Molly Makes. 

I cut the size 12 as the fit looked fairly relaxed. As I was making it I came across a couple of people online who were having difficulties with the collar, both of whom I consider to be much more adept and experienced. My collar went ok until it came to joining it to the interfaced button placket, as when I turned the bit under the collar (the lapel?) the right way out, the corner curled in. I trimmed my seams and wasn’t otherwise sure how to resolve it, so left it. It isn’t too noticeable but did mean I wasn’t able to topstitch the two front sections. I left the dress to hang for a couple of days before hemming, although I think it’s just a single fold hem, and as this fabric is quite prone to fraying may need a second fold at some point. 

This dress is comfortable to wear, and although I initially considered shortening it to knee length, I think the midi length is right for the vintage style. I just borrowed this beautiful front door for a quick photo mid dog walk. 

I didn’t make any fitting adjustments to the second of my pair of Pennies, and this time used some crepe/viscose type fabric bought online from The Textile Centre. I love all things bird related so at £4pm this fabric was an obvious choice. I had some dark wooden buttons which seemed to match nicely.Although I didn’t do anything differently, for some reason I didn’t have the collar curling on this dress and so was able to topstitch as directed. Again I left the dress to hang before hemming – for a couple of w weeks for no particular reason. The only thing with this fabric is that because it’s a directional print, I have birds facing every direction at some point in the skirt. I think I could have reduced this by adding an extra seam – the skirt only has one – but I just tried to make sure that the birds right at the front were upright.These photos were taken at a pretty little National Trust property called Acorn Bank. Believe it or not we managed to fit them in between two heavy downpours, even though the sun shone so beautifully for just long enough for the dogs and I to pose. 

I like both of my Pennies, though the bird one is my favourite. I think they will both get some autumn wear, with the colours of the bird fabric making that one particularly appropriate for the new season. 

Both of these dresses were complimented by complete strangers on their first time of wearing. The checked dress was commented on by a lady cycling past, who called out “Beautiful dress!” and, as I held open a door whilst wearing the bird dress, another lady thanked me and then said my dress was stunning. I told her I had made it and she said she loved birds, and she was a vet who cared for them, how interesting does that sound? 


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. 

The B Dress


There’s little point in beating around the bush: my B dress – my Bows and Arrows Dress – is my favourite garment made to date. I’ve hinted about this make for the past couple of months, as it was made (soon) after the Yorkshire Spoolettes meet, using fabric purchased from Fabworks in Dewsbury. It was love at first glimpse, I liked the print, the colour way, the price (£6pm I believe) and I liked it all even more so when I saw the arrows were stitched and not printed.

IMG_6656 An aim for this year is to improve my technique and skill base, so I chose a Newlook shirt dress pattern (6180), which I had cut out on paper away in Northumberland LAST Easter, eek. Collars, breast pockets, buttons and button holes…there was lots to get my head around with this make, and it certainly wouldn’t be a quick fix. I took a deep breath and resolved to being in it for the long haul. IMG_6659

I chose some buttons from my stash with little owls – not relevant to the print or style of dress but a good colour match for the arrows, I felt. I made the optional tie belt but didn’t alter the pattern at all (that’s still pretty much beyond me).

IMG_6653 Thinking back, the collar and neckband came together fairly well, considering. I think I had to add a few stitches to secure the edges but it looks pretty ok. It was a more time consuming make than I usually go for, but I think the detail and style of the end product justify this investment. IMG_6655

In short, I love it! The length, the style, the fabric, the buttons, everything! And where better to go for my Bows and Arrows Dress than Sherwood Forest? Of course, I interwove photos with a dog walk.




I’ve already worn this dress quite a lot, to work, at weekends. It seems such a flexible outfit that I actually enjoy wearing. In fact, I went straight on to make a C Dress using the same pattern…

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Yesterday I spent most of the day at this beautiful old hotel. It even had a doorman. •
#manchester #hotel #conference #christmas #christmastree #traditional Today I travelled to a conference in Manchester, and whilst exploring the local area came across an extremely festive German Christmas market. •
#manchester #manchesterchristmasmarkets #christmasinmanchester #festive #market #christmasmarket #garlands #wreaths #decoration #trimmings #santa #fatherchristmas Festive fun at today’s #PercyPud
10k road race ~ plenty of Christmas costumes, dogs wearing Christmas jumpers + even Christmas music 🎶 Lovely route & love the Christmas pud + tshirt. •
#10k #race #roadrace #christmas #christmasrace #festive #christmaspud #christmaspudding Second day of #ru2c ~ definitely motivating me to get there + start counting the miles 🎄 Today’s run was just a steady jog with dogs off their leads.
#run #running #rungry #runuptoChristmas #weekend #dogjog #runningwithdogs #runnersofinstagram Up and out early this morning, transporting players to a football match in the middle of the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside. The sun shone so brightly it was hard to see, but that’s not something to complain about this far into November. The team played well and they won 🙌🏼
#football #localfooty #matchday #footballmatch #footballboots #mud #muddy #win #victory #goretford #retfordstripes #sunday Ending a busy week with a bit of quilting ~ trying to plan my Christmas gifts as I know time will run away with me! Watching Children in Need and indulging in a @masonsyorkshiregin Yorkshire tea gin 🍸
#quilting #christmas #christmasgift #friday #fridaynight #homemade #memade #weekend

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