Friday, 17 November 2017

Homemade Christmas magic

For the last few weeks I've been busy sewing up some very festive makes for the small people in my life. Working with some beautiful fabrics and notions from Minerva Crafts, I'm so pleased with how they've turned out. All the details of the patterns and fabrics below.

There is currently a 20% discount code on all Sew Me Wear Me patterns. Just use the code XMAS20 at the pattern shop checkout. Valid until 8th Dec.

Happy Christmas sewing x

Dreamland Pyjamas

The Dreamland Pyjamas pattern blends the classic style of poplin pyjamas trousers with the comfort of jersey. If you’re new to stretch fabrics this pattern will teach you how to work with jersey and add a simple neckband for a professional looking finish. The pattern comes with a choice of appliqué motifs, or you can let their imaginations go wild.

Made with...

Flo Dress

The Flo Dress is a classic little girl’s dress. It has a lined bodice, invisible zip and gathered skirt. You can play around with fabrics, ribbon colour and the amount of gather on the skirt to achieve a gorgeous party dress. Perfect for twirling.

Made with...

Concealed Invisible Closed End Zip (light grey, 9 inches)

Pat-a-Cake Apron

The Pat-a-Cake Apron is an easy kid’s apron pattern. Perfect for using up scraps, it can be made over again as an ever-popular gift. The bias binding edges gives it structure and the personalised detail is a hit with every little baker.

Made with...

Twinkle Twinkle Skirt

The Twinkle Twinkle Skirt is a great beginner’s project. The simple construction of the elasticated waist is not only easy to make, but comfy to wear too. You’ll also learn how to sew concealed pockets (perfect for sweeties) and embellish with appliqué star motifs.

Made with...

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Win patterns + fabric

To mark the launch of the Sew Me Wear Me website and Etsy shop, we are running a fantastic competition sponsored by the lovely folk at Minerva Crafts. There are 4 prizes up for grabs: one of each of the Sew Me Wear Me digital sewing patterns, plus all the fabric and notions you'll need to make it. All the patterns can be found on the website, including the Dreamland Pyjamas pattern due to be released in a couple of weeks.

To be in with chance of winning one of these bundles, head over to the Sew Me Wear Me Instagram page. You'll need to follow @sewmewearme and repost with the hashtag #SewMeWearMe. The competition closes at midnight on Friday 20th October. The winners will be selected at random and contacted by DM.

Good luck! x

Saturday, 23 September 2017

A business adventure

I haven't blogged for a while, but it’s been a busy summer for me on the sewing front. At the beginning of the year I had this idea to digitise the children's wear sewing patterns I've designed and open a little Etsy shop selling the digital patterns, just to see what would happen. Well, the idea has spiralled into a much bigger thing than it ever started off as.

The first challenge was working out how to go about digitising the patterns I had already created in hard copy. After quite a lot of research I enrolled on Lauren Dahl’s online Pattern Workshop course to learn how to make Adobe Illustrator and InDesign do what I needed it to for sewing pattern design. I’m pretty geeky, so I quite like learning to use new software. Even though I wasn’t completely new to them, it just takes so long when you’re learning and have to look things up all the time. The process of scanning, tracing, grading and testing just took so much longer than I thought it was going to. But printing out the tiled PDFs that actually fit together and worked was just the best feeling ever!

I really wanted to make sure the instructions I created were clear enough for people to follow at home without someone there to show them. I know what it’s like when you’re struggling to get your head around unclear sewing pattern instructions. I love the way the modern indie pattern labels like Tilly and Buttons and Sew Over It approach instructions, and wanted to make sure I got that right. I’ve been testing and refining the instructions, and hope to complement them with some video tutorials before too long.

Coming up with a name was tricky. After lots of playing around with children’s literature themes, my hubby came up with Sew Me Wear Me (a take on the ‘Eat Me’, ‘Drink Me’ labels from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). I’d like my patterns to take the sewer and the wearer on new adventures. I really liked the name and it stuck.

Designing a logo was definitely beyond my skill set, so I got in touch with the very lovely Georgina Westley for her help with the graphic design. She not only came up with the logo, but also branding, business advice, technical support, general encouragement, cups of tea and general loveliness. I am so grateful for all her help with growing and shaping the idea.

Although I wanted to sell the patterns through Etsy, I knew I’d need my own website too. As I had access to the Adobe Creative Cloud software I thought I’d give Adobe Muse a go for that. Another new software package to learn. I’m always overly optimistic about timescales, so I thought I could pull that together quite quickly. Turns out getting it right takes quite a lot of time. Using tutorials has been great for this, and their 30-day free trial has come in very handy. I’ve also had loads of useful feedback from brilliant friends and family who have given up their time to help me out. Thank you!

Making sure the patterns worked before putting them up for sale was very important, so I recruited a gang of willing and very helpful pattern testers to help me test out all the sizes and instructions. I got loads of useful feedback and am still working through it all. Hopefully the patterns will be so much better for going through the testing process.

I wanted to get some good photos of the made-up patterns, but again I knew professional photography was beyond my skill set. I had help from the very lovely Sheree B, who took all these gorgeous photos for me in her home studio. Getting the samples made up in one weekend before the photoshoot was an almost Sewing Bee-esque feat of sewing endurance. A few late nights and lots of coffee required!

So, I’m aiming to open my Etsy shop and make the website live next weekend. I have a busy week of final amends ahead of me! There’ll be an exciting competition as part of the launch too. I’m bursting with ideas for new patterns, other products, video resources, workshops. It’ll be a busy year ahead to make some of these ideas come to life. I’ll be keeping my social media channels up-to-date with the latest developments, so follow me if you’d like to know more. I’d love to know what you think.


Happy sewing x

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Thank you

Thank you so much to everyone that signed up to be a pattern tester. I have been overwhelmed with volunteers! Unfortunately I won't be able to take everyone up this time, but there will be more opportunities later in the year. I'll be contacting everyone who signed up later today.

Thanks again. Sewing people are the best.

Alice x

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Pattern testers wanted

Hello lovely sewing peeps. I'm looking for a number of sewists to test some new children's wear sewing patterns. Have a read of all the details, and if you'd like to apply please complete the sign-up form by 31st July. Everyone who completes a test will receive a free pattern and be entered into a prize draw to win some sewing goodies.

This is how is works:
  1. Choose a pattern and size that you'd like to test (full list below).
  2. Complete the sign-up form by 31st July
  3. If selected, you will receive 2 PDFs by email on 5th August - one will be the pattern and the other will be the instructions.
  4. You will need to print the pattern pieces and join them together. The instructions can either be printed or read from a computer or tablet.
  5. You will need to supply the materials to make the pattern. Most of the patterns only require a small quantity of fabric, so can usually be made from leftover remnants. You will receive the materials list in advance of the pattern.
  6. You will have up to 3 weeks to make the pattern (less then this is fine too!). Please take photos, notes or scribble feedback on the pattern pieces/instructions as you go.
  7. You will be sent a short questionnaire by email. Please fill this in by 26th August to be entered into the prize draw. You can also email photos and/or scans of any handwritten notes.
  8. All questionnaires received by 26th August will be put into a draw to WIN a tote bag filled with dressmaking goodies (see prize details below).
  9. All pattern testers will be contacted when the patterns are released for sale to choose ONE FREE PATTERN. This can either be to the final version of the pattern you tested, or one of the others.
  10. I will be eternally grateful for your time and feedback.

Girls skirt (beginner friendly)
12-18 months
18-24 months
2-3 yrs
3-4 yrs
4-5 yrs
6 yrs
7 yrs
8 yrs

Personalised apron (beginner friendly)
XS (2-3 yrs)
S (4-5 yrs)
M (6-7 yrs)
L (8-10 yrs)

Girls dress (intermediate)
12 months
2 yrs
3 yrs
4 yrs
5 yrs
6 yrs

Girls/boys pyjamas (intermediate)
2 yrs
3 yrs
4 yrs
5 yrs
6 yrs


Tote bag
Copy of Simply Sewing magazine (latest issue)
5 sewing patterns
3m fabric
Bundle fat quarters
2 bobbins of ribbon
Pin wheel
Cath Kidston button factory kit

Looking forward to hearing from you! Good luck.

Alice x  

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Lullaby layette baby clothes


For the last few weeks I've been working on this gorgeous Lullaby Layette from Oliver+S for my soon-to-be-born niece or nephew. I've loved making this pattern and can't wait to wrap it all up in tissue paper and a beautiful gift bag for the new parents.


This is the Lullaby Layette from Oliver+S. It includes trousers, bodysuit, shirt and reversible jacket in sizes from 0-3 months up to 18-24 months. I downloaded the PDF pattern, which is definitely less sticking than an adult pattern! As it's a US pattern all the measurements are imperial, which takes a bit of translating. On the whole it's a great pattern. The shirt placket instructions made my brain hurt a little, but I got there in the end! I made the 3-6 months size, thinking ahead to an outfit suitable for the autumn.



The jacket is so simple and comes together brilliantly. Pay close attention to the instructions, and don't be tempted to shortcut any of the bias binding steps. I love the fact that it's reversible and the poppers make it really practical too. I combined stretch and non-stretch fabrics, which worked really well. I was originally going to go for a navy bias binding, but I'm glad I went for grey in the end. I think it gives a nice balance.


Again, this is a super simple pattern. I love the way they're constructed, and there's plenty of room for a nappy bum! I changed the pockets from the pattern and lined them with the Liberty tana lawn. To do that I cut two pocket pieces and joined them right sides together. I traced the final pocket placement shape from the pattern onto the fabric to guide where to sew. I sewed round leaving a gap to turn them through. Then I trimmed using pinking shears to reduce the bulk. I turned them through, pressed, and topstitched along the top of the pocket. I then attached them to the trousers as the pattern instructions. I really like the detail of lined pockets.


This is probably the trickier pattern, but so lovely to make. You create a pleat in the back and then underneath the placket at the front, which makes it nice and loose fitting. The placket takes time and brain power, but just read the instructions carefully and it works. Make sure you press at every stage to keep it all accurate and neat. I really love this pattern and will be making more for baby gifts I'm sure. Perfect for using small pieces of leftover Liberty fabric.


This is basically the same pattern as the shirt, but with an extension for the poppers. I had originally intended to make a jersey bodysuit with tana lawn contrast placket, but when I started making it I realised the placket fabric went on the inside, so it was all back-to-front! I have thought about swapping it all round to get the contrast placket on the outside, but then I ran out of time and patience. But I reckon this is a complete outfit without the bodysuit, right?! I do have all the materials, so may well tackle it again before too long.

So, baby layette present all finished and waiting to be gifted. Just waiting for baby news now :-)

Happy sewing,
Alice x

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Special discount on Dower & Hall jewellery

If you liked the necklace I wore for my latest Minerva Crafts Blogger Network project, it's from the gorgeous Dower & Hall. The necklace is the classic sterling silver large white freshwater pearl necklace. They have a beautiful new range, Luna Pearls, which has given classic pearls a modern twist. Perfect for styling your vintage makes. Oh, and they have gorgeous packaging too!

I have a special 10% discount code available. Just use the code alicessewingadventures10*

Happy styling,
Alice x

*Ts &Cs
  • Code applies to full price jewellery and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or interest free credit
  • Code is only valid online and cannot be used in stores
  • Code does not apply to Gift vouchers, Dosh coins and bespoke jewellery
  • Code needs to be inserted in the Have a promo code? box then Apply button needs to be clicked in order for the discount to work

Vintage shirt dress


My latest project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is now live over on their blog. Read all about how I got on making the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress in this lovely Vintage Style Floral Poplin - only £7.99 per metre from Minerva Crafts.

Happy sewing,
Alice x

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Falling down a rabbit hole of geekiness

My latest sewing adventure is less a sewing one, and more digital design skills one. I've been designing patterns for kids clothes for about 18 months now. A couple have been published in Love Sewing Magazine and the rest have just been for my kids, family and friends. So far I've been teaching myself. I've been looking at how garments are constructed, applying my knowledge of sewing techniques and patterns, looking online when I run into knowledge gaps and a good bit of trial and error. When putting together the instructions I've been able to draw on my professional skills in distance learning and publishing. There has been a lot of trial and error.

As much as I've enjoyed the technical drawing, maths and general geekiness of hand drawing pattens, I'll have to admit it's not very efficient or flexible. A few months ago I decided to up my skills and learn how to properly digitise my patterns. I was originally going to try to teach myself how to use Adobe Illustrator using freely available info online. Then I stumbled across this online module from Lauren Dahl from Pattern Workshop. I was aware of her work through Instagram and decided that the price to learn specific Illustrator skills relevant to pattern design was definitely going to be worth it. Plus the lifetime access to the content, and all the other bonus material about getting up and running as a pattern designer. I've also found a great book on designing patterns for kids' clothes, including downloadable slopers and blocks. I'm learning so much.

Pattern Making for Kids' Clothes by Carla Hegeman

Now, with my Technology-Enhanced Learning professional hat on I could make a few suggestions on the learning design. It's mostly videos of how to do specific things in Illustrator. If you were just using this on its own it would be very assimilate and quite tedious. But Lauren is great and I'm overlaying the course with my own activities: specifically trying to get my five patterns digitised, graded, tested, modified and tiled. So far I'm loving it.

As always I don't really have enough time, but I'm squeezing it in where I can and now have five patterns in prototype digital form. I'm busy testing the patterns myself, before grading and writing all the instructions. I'm hoping to find some lovely sewists to help me test them soon, so watch out for that.

The really exciting part is working out where to take all this. This seed of an idea is starting to germinate and with the help of some great people around me it's starting to grow. I'm hoping to Share morE With you over the next few Months with the aim of launching something very Exciting in September.

Watch this space,
Alice x

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Rosie skirt

My new Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post is now up on their site. I made the skirt variation of the So Over It Rosie Dress in a lovely navy linen and cotton blend dress fabric. Read more about seam choices and blind hemming over on the Minerva Blog (if you're into that sort of thing 😉).

Happy sewing,
Alice x

Sunday, 9 April 2017

April showers

Posing with an umbrella on a sunny day!

I made a coat! Well, the Kwik Sew children's raincoat (pattern 3941) anyway. After making a few things for the kids recently I fancied a new challenge. The pattern itself was quite straightforward (once I'd got my head around the construction of the lining). The fabric was more challenging - glossy soft PVC in royal blue combined with mini daisy flower print polycotton in royal blue. I also had fun getting to grips with some new tools (Prym Love pliers) :-)

Read all about how I got on with this one, and the tips and tricks I've learnt along the way over on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.

If anyone else fancies giving this one a try I'd love to know how you got on!

Happy sewing,
Alice x

"Mum, stop taking pictures of me now!"