The Coco Club

imageSometimes I wonder if sewists have a hive mind. Judging by how many black funnel-necked versions of Tilly’s fabulous Coco pattern there have been – evidence is stacked in favour.

imageIt’s a trend I’m happy to follow although to be fair, this version was made back in January as a pattern tester. I needed fabric quick and a week day visit up to Walthamstow yeilded this sturdy black double-knit. The stretch however was minimal so I made a full bust adjustment, creating a side seam dart.


At first I was hesitant to go with the this version, big busts and high necks are a challenging look to pull off. However, I was quickly won over by the width of the collar and it’s had more than it’s fair share of wear.

It’s a lovely quick and rewarding sew and I’m another happy member of the Coco Club.

Vogue 1250: Floral Jersey Faithful

imageI love this dress to the point it’s been hard to photograph because I wear it so much. It’s Vogue 1250, seen previously here and here.


I’m aftraid I don’t have anything new to add to the previous times I’ve made it – same size, same FBA albeit in a drapier viscose jersey.

imageThe gorgeous print and the softness of the fabric drew me in but unfortunately it has some quality issues – you can see the pilling and fabing in the waist area. So dissapointing!

imageStill I’ll keep wearing it as long as I can – you’ll have to pry it away.


#LoveAtFirstStitch: Wire-lined Brigitte Scarf Tutorial

Tilly-Brigitte-TitleJoin the party with Tilly’s Brigitte Scarf tutorial to celebrate the release of Love At First Stitch.

I love a pretty head scarf but they never stay on so I had to get a bit creative. A quick google bought up the suggestion of adding wire to one of the edges so it would hold shape and what do you know? It totally worked!

To start with I made a pattern piece 5cm wide x 85cm long and added a 1cm seam allowance to all the edges as seen in step 1.

Tilly-Brigitte-PatternOnce I was happy with the shape I cut 2 copies of it from quilting cotton, joining them right sides together.

Tilly-Brigitte-1-4Inserting the wire was quite fidly and I freely admit to getting frustrated although I got there in the end. If you have better suggestions please do share them in the comments!

Tilly-Brigitte-5-8And that’s all there is to it!


Love At First Stitch: A curvy perspective of Tilly’s New Book


Let’s start with a disclaimer – that sounds fun doesn’t it.

Tilly is someone I consider a dear friend. Like many, I first got to know her through her gorgeous blog and then in London sewing meet-ups. She is one of the most generous, helpful, energetic and enthusiastic ambassadors for sewing there is and so I was delighted to recieve her new book Love At First Stitch courtesy of Love Sewing to participate in a blog tour.

But I also think it’s important to be honest, and honestly, I was a little nervous.

See Tilly and I are not exactly the same size:

Mail-boxes probably not to scale... also this is SUCH an old photo
Mail-boxes probably not to scale… also this is SUCH an old photo

Could a pint-sized pattern maker really design something to fit such a different body shape?

First things first – the book itself is gorgeous. It is graphic and modern and a mix a straightforward, easily explained info combined with the best of Tilly’s blog and pattern line.


Each chapter is shaped around a project so right from the start you are focussed on making. The sizes range from a Bust-Waist-Hip of 30-24-33in through to 44-38-47in.

LoveAtFirstStitch-2You are taken through the project step-by-step with very clear photo illlustrated instructions. The key steps are displayed on a solid yellow background so if you already sew you can just focus on the bits you need. As a new technique is introduced it is shown in detail against a grided background. The best part here is that unlike many sewing books, techniques are introduced as they are needed so as not to overwhelm the learner.

LoveAtFirstStitch-3For each pattern, Tilly provides two variations so you can try different looks. For the Lilou dress, there are even instructions on how to add a scallopped neckline which you might remember from one of Tilly’s GBSB projects.

Lastly each chapter has a section on making sewing into a lifestyle – including what to do in a fabric shop – quite intimidating if you’re a begginer!

It’s a book that balances the written with the visual extremely well and there are loads of pictures along the way but I wanted a better idea of what the designs would look like on me and other curvier sewing peeps. In the interests of any plus size folks on the fence, here’s how they look.


Clemence gives us a gathered waist skirt. Coco isn’t in the book but how cute do they look together?

Tilly-Lilou-Plus-SizeLilou is the most complex project in the book with a fitted bodice and pleated skirt and is one of two dresses. You can see Megan at the top of the page.

Tilly-Mimi-Delphine-Plus-SizeAnd here is Delphine and my favourite of all the Mimi blouse – especially after catching sight of Katie’s version at the book launch.

So there you have it – have I tempted any of my fellow curvy sewers? Want to see more – there’ll be a Brigitte tutorial and a Megan dress coming up – I’m putting my Me Made May pledge to work. Watch this space.

Thanks again to Love Sewing Magazine for including me on the tour. You can see the other tour posts below:

House of Pinheiro

Did You Make That

What Katie Sews

A Stitching Oddysey

Handmade Jane

Love At First Stitch is available from Tilly’s shop (signed copy!), Book Depository (free international shipping!!), and Amazon. Or you can get it free for a limited time by subscribing to Love Sewing Magazine.

Me Made May: A different challenge

imageMay is a month of celebrating who we are as a community and what we do. Zoe’s Me Made May challenge is arguably the biggest event on the sewing blogger’s calendar and for years we have proudly paraded our self stitchery and dutifully documented our daily outfits. I have learned so much from participating (May 2013 // September 2011). Wearing handmade is no longer an Event with a capital E, waiting for someone to point out that wonky hem or mismatched seam. This confidence came from challenging my comfort zone. Now a days, you could ask me if I made what I was wearing on any given day and I’d probably have to look down and check because there are no longer two parts to my wardrobe.

And so with this in mind, I went back and forth on whether to participate this year – do I need to be taking selfies every day this month?

imageBut here’s the thing – Zoe is always the first person to point out that taking photos is the least important, least interesting, least manadatory part of the month.

The point is to celebrate and challenge yourself into living a more me-made life and for many people wearing what they make is the biggest part of that. For me it’s not.

My biggest challenge in the last couple of years has been the actual me-making bit. I haven’t figured out a smooth schedule, an easy managable way to incorporate this hobby into a habit when the rest of life gets in the way. Instead I’ll sew nothing for a few months, then crank out three garments in a week. Hi my name is Alana, and I am a binge sew-er.

So I am embracing Me-Made-May a little differently but with open arms. Here is my pledge:

“I, Alana of Lazy Stitching, pledge to sit at my damn sewing table and sew for 20 minutes every day in May.”

But sure I’ll snap a few photos along the way.