Sunday, 21 November 2021


Steady progress continues on the holly dress, but on the basis that there's only so many felt holly leaves that anyone wants to see, I needed something else to write about. Fortunately, inspiration came from @bimbleandpimble, who has been hosting #bpSewvember on Instagram this week, including this sewing bingo card.

I got the full set!

Thrifted sewing materials
Because people know that I sew, from time to time I get offered other people's destashes. And when it comes to fabric, I am just a girl who can't say no! On top of that, I've acquired several lengths of vintage fabric as part of mixed auction lots which I bought for something else. Sometimes I even make some of this extra fabric up! My 'going for my jab' outfit is made entirely from fabric cast-offs, while my super-toasty pink Viyella dress is made from an auction acquisition.

Thrifted fabric makes for summer and winter

Sewn at night
I'm a real night owl, and will quite happily work away until about two in the morning if I don't have to get up early the next day.

Someone asked you to make them something
Mostly, I sew for myself these days. In the past, though, I was wardrobe mistress of a Middle Eastern dance troupe, and made a lot of the costumes when we were first setting up.

Apart from Meroe's costume (second left), I made most of this

I also made a 'medieval' (using the word very loosely) costume for a friend's stage performance.

The 'medieval-lite' dress

But the scariest thing I've ever done for someone else was altering a wedding dress. It worked perfectly, and she was really happy with it, but never again. I always maintain that you haven't known terror until you've taken a pair of shears to someone else's dream bridal gown just weeks before the wedding!

Chopping off part of the train to make the sleeves - not scary at all!

Sewn for a full day
I’m lucky enough to be in the position where I can do this if I want to, and quite often I do. Not that this stops a later item on the list from happening, though.

Have a dedicated pair of fabric scissors
Of course! And one of the big advantages of being left-handed is that, so long as you don't have any other lefties in the house, they are safe from abuse.

I never have to worry about this!

Won thread chicken
Is there anything more satisfying to a sewist? The last time I did it, with the blue of the two-tone Vogue dress, I was so thrilled that I nearly took a photo of the tiny length of thread left on the bobbin (and yes, thank you, I do know this is very sad).

Met an online sewing friend in person
OK, this one was accidental. But going round the Jazz Age exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum was greatly enhanced by unexpectedly meeting Cate of Vintage Gal on the way in.

Currently have a work in progress
It's rare when I don't have a work in progress, the current one being the holly dress. I know I said I wouldn't post any more leaf pictures this week, but here's a sneak peek of the second leaf design.

The leaves with rust and light green accents, and spangles

Cut out on the floor
I'm very fortunate to not only have a dedicated sewing space, but for it to be big enough to take a large cutting out table. But some things are just too big, even for that. Circle skirts for dancing are a case in point - a full length circular skirt, cut as two semi-circular parts, has massive pattern pieces.

Circle skirts - a lot of fabric (and hemming)

There's also my habit of attempting to make things from far less fabric than the pattern calls for. Sometimes, you do have to lay out all the pattern pieces and check everything will fit before you can take scissors to cloth, and on the floor is the only way to do this.

Worked on an event outfit up to the day of the event
More often than I care to admit! Finishing 45 minutes before I needed to leave the house has been my record - so far.

The 'Vegas Night' dress is the current record holder

Mind you, Mum recently confessed that once she was still sewing buttons on a coat minutes before she had to go out in it to catch a train, so it appears to run in the family.

Declared "I could make this" in a store
Well, I only declared it to myself, as I was on my own at the time, but the pom-pom skirt definitely falls into this category.

The skirt in question

Injured self while sewing
Is there anyone who sews a lot who couldn't tick this particular box? Pins, needles, scissors, rotary cutters (and now, felting needles) - sewing is full of sharp and/or pointy things; and I have had mishaps with all of them. And irons.

This seems a good time to remind readers why you should never hold a pin between your teeth.

Which also brings me on to my most embarrassing injury ever. I can't remember what I was sewing, but I couldn't get the needle through the fabric. So I held the needle between my teeth and pulled - and a large chunk of one of my front teeth came out! Fortunately, my dentist was able to fill it seamlessly, but the look on her face as I answered the question, "How did it happen?" was enough to ensure that I never did it again.

Luckily for me, you can't see the join

I now keep a small pair of pliers in my workbox - just in case.

How many of these could other people tick? Enquiring minds need to know!


  1. Lol! Such a fun bingo card! Alas, I can only attest to half of them; nothing at night nor at the last minute for sure. Ummm, I have been known to hold a pin between the teeth though (slap the mouth). Love the medieval cartoon as I have a husband who will do that, and to steak knives occasionally!!

    1. It's great, isn't it. Especially as the man is so obviously tempted!

  2. Ouch! "Injured Self While Sewing" made me shudder. Long ago I accidentally (no one would purposely) sewed my right index finger. I was alone in the house, so the scary part was cranking the flywheel (with my left hand) to remove the needle. Ouch. "Thanks for the memories" as Bob Hope used to say!
    It's amazing how many of these things I could check off. Fun post!

    1. "Ouch" indeed. I haven't had any mishaps with a sewing machine - yet!

  3. Oh my goodness that is a fun list! I'll have to do one of those posts myself, I think. :) I can't tick all the boxes, but I can tick most of them! I haven't met an online sewing friend in person (at least, I don't think I have!), and I've not sewn something for an event up to the last minute, but I've definitely sewn on a button or altered something minor on a new make right before I'm supposed to get out the door in it. :)

    1. Ooh, please do a post - I'd love to read your take on it!