My first Colette Moneta and a @girlcharleeuk Giveaway

A few weeks back Girl Charlee UK got in touch to see if I would like to review some of their fabric.   Specialising in knit fabric, they already have a substantial market in the USA and have just opened an online shop in the UK.

As my online knit purchases have been a bit hit and miss I was interested to give them a try. The first difficulty was choosing which fabric, they have some really cute prints in their wildlife collection as well as their modern air collection. I finally decided to step out of my (floral) comfort zone and go for the navy quatrefoil which is a Moroccan inspired graphic print (I know, it’s blue again but baby steps!)


The next quandary was what to make. After much deliberation I decided it would be a good opportunity to finally try the Colette Moneta.

The fabric is a mid-weight poly/cotton mix jersey. It’s quite stable with a minimum amount of stretch. At some point most of my handmade garments get mixed into the main wash so in the interests of science I put it through its paces with a full 40 degree wash. It was only after looking up the link for this post that I noticed the website advises a cold wash with mild detergent! Thankfully it emerged perfectly, no colour run and it didn’t even need ironing.

Going by my measurements I cut a large and made no alterations to the pattern. It was quick and easy to put together, the fabric was lovely to sew with and pressed well.



I’m completely smitten with the finished dress, the neckline is perfect for me and the gathers are gentle enough not to add bulk around the middle and as an added bonus it has pockets!


(Another photobombing cat)




(Being a little teapot)

I don’t know why I didn’t make it sooner, especially considering all the love it’s had on the blogosphere since its release. I’ve now got a whole army of Monetas lined up to see me through the colder months (then possibly some short sleeved ones to take me through Spring!)

FontCandy (6)

Now for the good part –a giveaway!

Girl Charlie UK are offering one lucky winner two metres of their fabric. The giveaway is open throughout Europe (sorry to sewing peeps on distant continents)

They are also offering 10% off all purchases, just enter JUSTSEW at the checkout.

The giveaway and discount are open until midnight on Sunday 8th November.

To enter just leave a comment below, including your email if it’s not linked to your profile.

Good Luck!



I received this fabric for review but all views are my own.

Love Sewing Magazines Simple Sews Slouchy Gilet

This Slouchy Gilet was a free pattern with in last month’s love sewing magazine (issue 18).   I’m not sure if the pattern is available elsewhere as it’s not listed on the Simple Sews website but I’ll try and find out and update the post later.

Working on a Gardening Project means I spend half my week outside. Iit’s lovely through the Spring and Summer but can get awfully chilly in the colder months. I’m usually layered up with outdoorsy fleeces and waterproofs which, although very practical are not the most stylish options. The slouchy gilet seemed the ideal pattern to add a bit of ‘me’ to my working wardrobe.


There were a number of confusing things with the pattern. The envelope said it was designed for knit fabric only, however the feature in the magazine suggested both knits and wovens. Feeling very Autumnal I was drawn to the Tartan but was initially hesitant as I thought it may be too heavy. It draped beautifully though and I really liked the idea of a Tartan waistcoat (we’re off to Scotland next year so maybe there was some subliminal thought process involved) I decided to risk it.

The second issue was working out the sizing, going by the chart my measurements fitted a size 16. However, the instructions stated that there was no ease built into the pattern so the measurements given were actually the garments final measurements. I knew that the gilet would be worn on top of quite a few layers (vest, t-shirt and jumper) so would I need to add about 3-4 inches of ease, just to be on the safe side I decided to cut a size 20.

The gilet is fully lined, I used some pink tartan to give it a bit contrast. It went together pretty easily, just a matter of sewing the panels together. I actually sewed the zipper on the wrong side but luckily had only basted it in. The fabric didn’t take kindly to unpicking though and has stretched out a bit where the zip is.


I used my own method of construction. The instructions started out OK but then got really confusing and rather over complicated. I sewed the outer and inner shell separately including the collar (which stems from the side panel so no fiddly extra collar pieces) I used my regular machine throughout and relished the opportunity to leave my seams unfinished (it felt incredibly wicked after all the French and bound seams I have been doing recently) I then bagged the whole lot, stitching right sides together all the way around and leaving a gap in the hem to turn it through. I gave it a good press and topstitched all the way around the outside, in the process closing the gap in the hem. To finish the armholes I turned each layers seam allowance of the inside and topstitched around the outer edge.



Overall this was quite a cathartic project, it was very quick and easy to put together so really a bit of instant sewification. I think I could have sewn a smaller size as it has come up a bit big. The final measurement came out as 48-46-48 compared to the 45-38-48 on the pattern envelope. It would be really easy to fit properly though as there are four seams available for adjustment. In the pictures I’m only wearing a t-shirt underneath, a few more layers do fill it out a bit. There is a little bit of bagging around the front edge, this is purely down to my slapdash pinning and sewing, if I had taken my time to smooth out both layers this wouldn’t have happened but I was on merrily on a roll at the time.



(Bonus Cat Bum Bomb)



I like the pattern and would make it again. It’s worked well using a heavier fabric, both inside and out (this is particularly important to me as warmth is my number one priority!) Although it would work better in a medium weight fabric like the jersey or linen suggested in the magazine.  I’m not too sure about how it looks zipped up but I’ll only wear it this way if there is a particularly cold wind. I like how it falls when it’s left unzipped, it has a lovely waterfall effect and both sides are perfectly symmetrical. I’ve worn it every day I’m on the project and it’s definitely a lot more stylish than my old fleece waistcoat!

Grainline Morris Blazer Number Two

Most of my blog posts end with me saying I would like to make another, but then I get distracted by some shiny new pattern that comes along. This time I have actually followed through and made another Grainline Morris Blazer.


This is my second Morris, the first I made a couple of months ago in a Ponte knit (here). I wanted to try a stretch cotton and see how it looked in something with a bit of body.  I bought the stretch cotton sateen from Ebay a few months ago but can’t seem to find out the seller details.  I made a few changes based on my last one as there’s a little difference in the sizing of the Morris.  I’ve made the Archer, Hemlock and Scout, for each one cutting a size 12, shortening the bodice by 2 inches and the sleeves by 3 inches. When I applied these adjustments on my first Morris it came up short and a bit too small. This time I went up to a size 14, left the bodice length as drafted and just took 1 inch off the sleeves.


I’m still in a slow sewing mood so took the time to bind all the seams with 12mm spotty bias binding before construction. The only seam I bound on the crossgrain was the shoulder seams (they were very nearly on the bias) I should really have waited until the seam was sewn as I have a little bit of rippling on the shoulder seam but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.


It went together easily, I know a lot of people have had a problem with the front bagging. Again I used lightweight interfacing both on the front facing and the inside of the jacket.







I’m a lot happier with this version, I think the stability of using a stretch cotton really helps the blazer keep its structure.  The only improvement I could make would be to do a full bust adjustment but I doubt I’ll ever have the time or inclination to do so. I’m glad I went for the Navy, although a bit boring it is far more practical and versatile than the flowery prints I originally planned on using. I’m hoping it will see me through Autumn and keep the chill off until I find time to make my winter coat, I have decided on the Cascade Duffle!