Gathered skirts, with pockets, for my girls

gathered pockets skirt little girl gathered skirt pocket amy butler sirt purl bee little girl skirt

In my newly refreshed enthusiasm for sewing clothes I thought I had better not neglect my girls, so they both have lovely new Purl Bee gathered skirts with pockets.  I would dearly like to say that they were an easy make but I spent quite some time one evening unable to get my head around the pocket construction…….it is not at all difficult, I was clearly just having one of those moments where things don’t fall into place.  Once I had the ta-dah flash of understanding the rest fell into place very smoothly.  I had to eke out the seam allowances on the waistband as the elastic I had to hand was wider than it should have been and I really didn’t want to buy online and wait several days before I could go-ahead with making the skirts*.

Both girls are very happy (especially Katie because it is ‘very twirly, look at me mummy’) and so far they haven’t worn them at the same time…..which I think is probably a good thing!


Pattern:: Purl Bee Gathered Skirt for All Ages


Floral = Amy Butler, I think…..but I forgot to check the selvedge before cutting it up…..bought on impulse a few years ago with the intention of making a top for myself…..much better as little girl skirts

Polka Dot = Ikea, again several years old and used in so many projects, I love the combination of pink and red

Size:: Size 4-5 for Katie and 10-11 for Islay….too big but I want them to have a lot of wear!

* I’m finding this is the main inconvenience to living up here…….no access to a sewing shop.  The one in our old town was stocked to the brim with pretty much everything I could ever want haberdashery-wise, although unfortunately I tended not to like the fabric.  I also miss having a hardware shop close by.  I don’t miss clothes shops, bars, restaurants etc as I have never frequented them anyway!

Scout Tee with long sleeves


ellen luckett baker scout tee scout tee with sleeves collage

double gauze charms scout tee collage

I haven’t done any clothes making for myself in maybe a couple of years – but I’m definitely back in the swing again, having started with this Scout Tee with long sleeves.

I was very inspired by the fantastic Me Made May photos I saw on instagram – which, I guess, is exactly what Me Made May* is all about! A lot of my previous dressmaking has been exactly that…….dresses.  Lovely dresses, but made for specific events and not things I would wear on a daily basis.  I began to realise how much I love wearing the few, more everyday, items that I have made and that I could very easily rectify my handmade wardrobe by gradually building up some simple, comfortable and wearable clothes.

I had previously dismissed the Scout Tee (by Grainline Studio) as being a little shapeless.  But I have seen so many happy reviews and people looking very good in it that I thought there must be more to it than first meets the eye.  And there definitely is.  Although the top is loose, there is built-in shape and some lovely finishing touches too.  The hem has a lovely curve (scoop?) and the neck binding finishes beautifully.  Grainline Studio has a tutorial for adding long sleeves which I added to mine as I will get much more wear that way.  I imagine I’ll wear it with a fitted  jersey top underneath in cooler weather.

I had no difficulty choosing the fabric.   I have had my eye on Ellen Luckett Baker’s Charms collection for quite a while (this is Plus Dots in Charcoal) and was delighted to finally have a reason to buy some!  As you probably know I have a particular love for double gauze and I think it works well with this top…….it is hard to describe how lovely it is to wear double gauze – you have to try!

There will be more Scout Tees.  Another is already finished and there’s another waiting for some sewing time, with the fabric washed and waiting to be cut into.  The only thing I have changed for future projects, from the original pattern, is to lengthen it slightly……while I am fairly tall I have a long body (and correspondingly short legs, unfortunately!) so I don’t think this would be needed for most people, but I’d prefer this one to be ever so slightly longer.

I am tempted to aim to take part in Me Made May next year but will have to improve my selfie taking, or work on one of the children to help me – Angus took the two in the last photo but I guess he didn’t hold the phone very still as they’re a bit wobbly! The opportunities to attempt to modelled clothing photography with John taking pictures on the ‘proper’ camera are so rare that there’s really no point trying!

My pine cone necklace was a birthday present from John.  It is made by Emma of Silverpebble whose work I love.  I wear the necklace most of the time, it is so easy to wear and the adjustable length works with lots of different necklines.  It is best if I don’t look at any more of Emma’s designs since this is my second and I really shouldn’t be tempted by any more!

We have had a fantastic few days weather-wise.  Warm and sunny.  It has been such a joy to feel some heat on bare skin but tonight I can feel a nip in the air so it looks like the weekend will be a little chillier.  But, still, it is the weekend and we have no commitments or activities planned which is such a happy prospect!  I hope yours is equally good to anticipate!


Pattern:: Grainline Scout Tee, modified to add elbow length sleeves

Fabric:: Double Gauze Plus Dots in Charcoal by Ellen Luckett Baker – ‘Charms’ fabric collection – bought from M is for Make, now out of stock but Kate still has a gorgeous white and gold version and the charcoal version is still available elsewhere

Size:: Size 4 – but will lengthen slightly in the future – with 1 1/2m fabric

* Me Made May was started by Zoe of So Zo… What Do You Know? in 2010 as a personal challenge to see how well her homemade wardrobe could function. In 2011 the challenge was opened up to the online sewing community……and now there’s over 700 participants, each with their own personal challenge for the month.  Have a look at the hastags #memademay and #mmmay15 on instagram for lots of inspiration.  As an aside – I am really enjoying instagram – I know some people aren’t keen but I like that I can easily connect with a much wider group of people than I do with my blog and my blog reading.  But I still think there is a lot of value in blogs and will certainly not be abandoning this one!


My Settler Shawl

northbound knitting sullen shawl


sullen settler shawl

northbound knittingtruly myrtle sullen settler shawltruly myrtle settler shawlsettler shawl crescent

I finished my Settler Shawl a couple of weeks ago and it has been worn regularly since then.  I am loving wearing it, but a little disappointed too as I had imagined it would get it’s first outings in the autumn – I’m pretty sure that June weather shouldn’t require regular wearing of woollen shawls*.  I really enjoyed the knitting – it was simple but fun and the stitches that were new to me were easy to master.  The Settler Shawl pattern is by Libby of Truly Myrtle Designs and she has written very clear instructions, including a step-by-step tutorial for a stretchy bind-off.

I used Northbound Knitting’s Merino/Nylon Fingering yarn.  The wool is very soft and perfect for wearing round my neck and the colour, Sullen, is a really pretty semi-solid.  Now I want to knit a few more in different colours!

Just in case I had ever wondered about a career as a ‘selfie-taker’ I’m now very certain that it isn’t for me!  How do people do it on a regular basis?  Taking these photos was quite a struggle!

I have cast-on for a shawl for Islay with Madelinetosh Sock in the gorgeous Kelp colour-way.  I think I was right in my suspicion that the Tosh Sock will be a little easier (for me, at least) to knit with.  I narrowed down the many colour options to around 4 or 5 and asked Islay to pick her favourite – she chose the one I had secretly hoped-for………..what good taste she has!

* On Saturday we ventured west to the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup  and it was so wet and windy that some of the races were postponed for the day – and we were only just warm enough even when kitted out in thermals, head-to-foot waterproofs, hats and gloves – crazy cold weather!