Sewing: McCall’s M7948

Pattern: McCall’s 7948, View D
Fabric: 100% Linen
Size Made: 14, with modifications

This is the second time I’ve made this dress, with a few modifications based on the first. It’s a really straightforward project to sew, with the only fiddly bits being setting in the sleeves, and the back keyhole in the neckline (which I eliminated this time!).

I made several changes to the front and back bodice. I lowered the neckline so it would fit over my head without the need for the keyhole opening, and finished it all around with bias binding made from my main fabric. I used the neckline from my all-time favourite dress: View P from Formal & Little Black Dress by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I also narrowed the bodice pieces to match this dress, as the upper body in the McCall’s pattern was a little wide for me.

According to the pattern, view D does not have pockets, but pockets are included for views A and B. I used these the first time I made the dress, but found the openings were longer than the side seams of the skirt’s top tier, making them a bit awkward-looking. This time I used smaller, self-drafted inseam pockets that I add to any dress or skirt that doesn’t have them. They worked a treat!

Overall, a very happy sewing project that I’ve barely taken off since finishing. Extremely comfortable, practical and easy to make.


Sewing: Dino Pyjamas


Pattern: Simplicity 8376, View 1
Fabric: 95% Cotton 5% Spandex jersey with Triceratops print, and 100% cotton jersey for neckband
Size Made: M

Pattern: Burda 6659, View A
Fabric: 95% Cotton 5% Spandex jersey with Triceratops print, and 100% cotton jersey for waistband and cuffs
Size Made: 44

This project was an unexpected success! I’d had this dinosaur jersey sitting around for some time, intending to get to grips with my overlocker which I still haven’t done. Instead, I sewed these pyjamas entirely using the zig zag stitch on my normal sewing machine. They were a surprisingly quick and easy make, with very satisfying results.


I made the bottoms first, with very few modifications from the pattern. The only change I planned to make was to not include a drawstring at the waist. However, when it came to fitting the waistband I didn’t have any narrow elastic handy, so instead of two bands of narrow elastic I opted for a single band of wide. Otherwise I made no changes and I’m frankly astounded by how well these fit!


With the top, I changed the shape of the front and back pieces, which tapered in at the waist and out again at the hip. I simplified the shape by drawing a straight line from underarm to hem, more like a standard t shirt. I’m really happy with the finished shape and I’d make it exactly the same again.


The Burda pattern (trousers) was labelled ‘easy’, and it certainly was, but the instructions were very brief and so I don’t think the pattern would be suitable for a beginner without any support. The Simplicity pattern, however, was quite detailed and more accessible, and I think would make quite a good first jersey sewing project.


I’ve pretty much not taken these pyjamas off since finishing them. They’re incredibly comfortable, I’m pleased with the fit and I definitely plan to make more. They feel like the right clothes for 2020.


Sewing: The Paule Jumpsuit


Pattern: Paule by Republique du Chiffon
Fabric: Pistachio 100% Linen
Size Made: 38 on top graded to 44 on the bottom

My search continues for the perfect jumpsuit. I picked this pattern to try because I love the tie details on the shoulders, and the interesting seam construction that joins the top and bottom of the jumpsuit on the diagonal rather than a traditional waistband. I enjoyed making it; the instructions were clear and I found it quite simple to sew given that there are no fastenings to handle. Just a lot of bias binding!


Drafting between sizes was relatively straightforward, though I will say the size range available for this project is not extensive. I drew a curve from size 38 at the top out to size 44 at the bottom of the front and back top pieces. For the trousers, I made size 44 without alteration.

Even though I chose the correct size for my bust, the fit was very wide in the shoulders and kept falling off. You’ll see that I’ve added a small box pleat to the front and back neckline: this brings the straps closer together and makes a better fit, but I also like how it looks and I’ll definitely include this detail if I make another version of this jumpsuit.


Because I was feeling annoyed about this being yet another pattern where my the standardised sizes didn’t represent my body (do they ever represent anyone?!), I added a F*CK SIZES label in the waist seam. These are made by Stitch Collective and I purchased mine from Craft & Thrift Shop.


Overall, I wasn’t thrilled with this garment when I finished it, BUT it has been incredibly comfortable to move about in during the recent spell of hot weather. I think it might be a win after all!


Comics, Drawing, Zines

What is The Green Bean?

What is The Green Bean?

I’ve been publishing The Green Bean for four years now, and I still get just as excited about bringing out a new issue as I did the first time around. It’s become such an integral part of my life, my work, everything! And I love it.

If you’d like to give The Green Bean a try, or you’re a long-time collector with some gaps in your collection now is the perfect time. I’ve made all the back issues available individually at a special price of just £4, for this weekend only. Complete volumes and year-long subscriptions are also available, all here in my shop.

I’m just putting the final touches to a new issue, about my recent birthday and challenging the ’30 before 30′ lists you see. It will be out and on its way to subscribers next week.

Crafting, Knitting, Rubber Stamps

A Stamp for Knitters

Handmade by Knitters' stamp tag

I’ve been rediscovering my love of knitting lately, and in doing so I found the inspiration for adding a new custom rubber stamp to my range (it’s definitely a range, now there are two designs, right?). I recently completed a scarf for my friend Howard, and wanted to add a little something when I wrapped it up. I decided a “Handmade by…” label would be perfect, so I set about designing one.

The basic idea was straightforward: a knitter’s stamp should definitely include needles and yarn, and if there’s swirling yarn then why not make the yarn spell out the text? Figuring out just the right placement of the ball of yarn, needles and words took a little playing around until I hit on the right fit.


Handmade by Knitters' Stamp

I’m chuffed to bits with the finished design, and I love receiving a package of a drawing I’ve made turned into a beautiful hardwood backed stamp by the English Stamp Company. I spent a little while mulling over which colour to make the first impression with, then settled on trusty Green Bean recycled brown, and black ink to complement the greys in the scarf. The result was  a very crisp, smart-looking tag to accompany Howard’s scarf on its journey to him, and a new product I’m very proud of that I hope other knitters will enjoy playing with too.

Handmade by Knitter's Stamp Label

You can order your own customised “Handmade by…” stamp, or buy one for the avid knitter in your life, here.