Announcing the #SewEssentialMeet

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Who doesn’t love a good sewing blogger meet-up? There is nothing better than the opportunity to meet up with likeminded crafters and shop, chatter and eat copious amounts of cake!

With this in mind, I’m pleased to share with you today that the lovely Samantha of Crafternoon Tea Hostess and I have joined forces with the ladies from Sew Essential to host a blogger meet-up at Sew Essential HQ in South Derbyshire near Ashby de la Zouch on Sunday 10th April.

Here’s Lucy from Sew Essential to tell you more:

“The day will start at 11:30am with coffee, tea, pastries courtesy of Sew Essential and, if you wish, time for shopping in our Aladdin’s Cave (AKA warehouse) of goodies. We’ll then head upstairs to our showroom for some hand hoop embroidery (basic kit provided by Sew Essential), a demonstration of the new Husqvarna Epic embroidery machine for anyone who would like to see it in action (we’re not expecting anyone to buy one, but thought it may be of interest to see the Rolls Royce of embroidery machines!) and the opportunity to discuss Angela’s embroidery machine makes with the talented lady herself.

After much tea, chatter and craft we’ll head out for a vintage afternoon tea at the Lakeside bistro just around the corner at 3:30pm. Vintage table linen and china plus cakes, scones, sandwiches and endless tea and coffee in delightful surroundings with like minded crafty folk – what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?!

The fun doesn’t stop there though – we’re also putting together goody bags for our lovely attendees to take home and enjoy after the event!

Places are limited and we’ve had a lot of interest so please let me know if you would like to join us and secure your spot by  emailing me at Once I have a list of attendees I will contact you to arrange collection of a £10 deposit to confirm your place.

The afternoon tea is a total cost of £12.50 per person – £5 of your deposit will be paid towards your afternoon tea with the remaining £7.50 to be paid at the venue on the day. The other £5 of your deposit will be donated to charity and we will also have a raffle to raise further funds on the day.”

Thanks Lucy!

We’re really excited about what is shaping up to be a fabulous day. Places are very limited and are already filling up fast so if you are interested, please contact Lucy ASAP.

i look forward to seeing you there for a day packed with sewing fun!

Kat xx

Coco is a foxy lady!

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is treating you well so far. I have a bit of a backlog of sewing projects to share with you, starting with a foxy Coco T-shirt.


Way back at the end of the summer, Girl Charlee contacted me to ask if I would like to try some of their jersey fabric. Having browsed their fantastic selection of jersey prints, the answer was of course yes. I chose a lovely fox print with a fun T-shirt in mind.

You may have seen that in some of my previous makes I have dabbled with jersey (most successfully with the Coco dress), but I struggle a bit with quality. I have had some bad experiences with some very cheap, but ultimately dissapointing, jersey before and therefore I was a little bit dubious about ordering jersey online without first being able to assess the quality. However, I needn’t have worried. This jersey is beautifully soft, and a dream to work with an wear.


To show off this print, I wanted a simple T-shirt but I didn’t want to have to fiddle around with any fitting issues. So to the trusty Coco from Tilly and The Buttons I went. I have made two Coco dresses before, but this was my first time with the T-shirt.

I wanted a loose slouchy style so I cut a size up from usual and I also added two inches to the length, which is a standard adjustment for me. As usual with this pattern, construction was straightforward and this was a pretty quick make.

My only other alteration was the sleeves, instead of following the pattern, I sewed the cuffs using my favourite attachment style, originally taken from SImplicity 1652. This gives an attractive and neat finish with no visible seams inside or out, although I must confess that I forget how it is done every time and therefore it always involves a bit of head-scratching! Sorry, I realise this is not particularly helpful. If anyone is interested in a tutorial let me know – this might be beneficial to do anyway if only for me!!


I finished this top back in September (the sun shine is a giveaway!) but the pictures have sat on my camera until now. I love this top and have worn it on regular rotation ever since – I can testify the jersey washes well!

I forsee many more Coco T-shirts in my future, this is fast becoming my go-to jersey pattern. I could do with expanding my repotoire though – what’s your favourite jersey pattern?

Kat xx

Disclaimer: Girl Charlee provided me with this fabric for free in exchange for a review, but all views are my own.







Vintage baby knits: Audrey Hoodie


Over the summer i’ve been dabbling in quite a bit of knitting for small people, with several friends expecting this autumn. The first of these is the Audrey Cardigan, taken from a book called Vintage Baby Knits by Kristen Rengren.

I picked this book up some time ago in a bargain book shop for a few pounds, although you can also buy it on Amazon for slightly more pounds. It is full of a good number of patterns ranging from the 1920s to 1950s, some of which have aged better than others!

I chose the Audrey Cardigan as it was touted as “an example of the quick-to-knit patterns so popular in the late 1950s”.


Pretty it may be, but quick-to-knit it sure isn’t, as anyone in my monthly craft group can testify! The pattern is fairly simple, and the cardigan is knit in one piece with the only seams to sew up being the underarms and sides, however the whole thing is knit in moss stitch which is not the speediest stitch. I was well and truly fed up of this stitch by the time this cardigan was complete!


The yarn I used was Sidar Snuggly Baby Speckle, a 60% cotton and 40% acrylic blend, in colourway 128 “Billy Blue”. As the name suggests this yarn is super soft but yet feels quite robust, especially knit in moss stitch as it is here.

When I begun this hoodie I was unsure whether my friend was having a girl or a boy. As it turned out she had a little boy, but I personally would still have gifted this cardigan if she had had a little girl instead. Due to the flecks in the colour, I think this would have worked for either – although I am aware that some of you may disagree, and that’s ok.

An interesting feature of this cardigan is the shell edging, which is added in double crochet. My crochet is a bit rusty and so the edging is not quite as neat as shown in the photos in the book – however I think the desired effect still comes across.


One frustration I had was down to the fact that I am a perpetually loose knitter, and despite knitting a tension square and already going down a needle size, the finished cardigan still turned out bigger than expected. Given this is for a child it’s not such a big problem, as it will just fit the little one at a slightly older age, but I do find my tension an issue. If any knitters out there have any wise words of wisdom to manage tension, I would greatly welcome your tips.


Despite being a considerably less quick-knit than anticipated, I was pleased with the result, as was my friend to whom it has been gifted. So I wouldn’t completely discount knitting this again in the future – just perhaps with the knowledge than it might be a slow burner!

What’s on your knitting needles at the moment?

Kat x

Lady Grey Coco Dress

Howdy hi and Happy Wednesday! It’s all downhill to the weekend now and I have a new dress to show you!

This is the first garment I have sewn since my bridesmaids dresses way back before Easter. My hiatus wasn’t planned, but came about due to life happening and also the fact that my sewing room became a bit of a dumping ground, meaning that I physically couldn’t get to my sewing machine for a few weeks!

After the break I fancied a quick and easy made. Enter Coco from TIlly & The Buttons. My first Coco dress had almost weekly wear, and I had been thinking of a lighter boat neck version for some time. Last weekend I met up with Marie, Roisin, Amy, Helen and Lauren for some fabric shopping and gossiping and picked up a few bits…ok ok quite a lot of bits!…of new fabric. Top of the pile was some light grey jersey from the rag market which I straight away had pinned for a coco dress.

Despite having a long planned queue of projects, this one jumped right to the top. I’m a sucker for getting distracted!


This fabric is jersey but with minimal stretch, and substantial enough to hold a nice shape and still be warm in winter. I cut a straight size 6 and used a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to whip this up. I also trimmed and zigzaged the seams for added stability (one of these days I will stop being too lazy to rethread my overlocker…!). The only alteration I made was to add two inches to the length to make this dress more work-appropriate in the summer months without tights.



I’m really pleased with how this dress has turned out! The photos above look like there is something weird going on with the neck, but it’s just the way i’m standing. The only change I would make in future is maybe to add a little bit more room over the bust. Due to the lack of stretch in this jersey it’s a wee bit snug over the chest – but nothing I can’t put up with.

There is an interloper on my photoshoot demanding attention….


Ok she wins…spoilt cat!


What’s on your sewing table? Have you let any shiny new things leapfrog your sewing queue recently?

Kat xxx


#ccbloggers meet: craft, chatter and a LOT of cake

Last weekend Samantha and I co-hosted a crafternoon for creative and crafty bloggers (#ccbloggers) at Breadsall Priory near Derby. As well as a great opportunity to get together with other local crafters, this event had the duel purpose of raising money for charity as part of the Mollie Makes Crafternoon for Comic Relief and supporting the Etsy Craft Party.


Breadsall Priory is a gorgeous location and, fun fact, is the oldest Marriott hotel in the world! Despite being just around the corner from me I had never been there before, but it provided a stunning background to our day. If you need any more convincing, just look at the AMAZING afternoon tea! Almost too good to eat. Almost.


After welcome drinks and afternoon tea, we had a demo from Weleda, a company who produce organic beauty products and alternative therapies. We had the chance to try out some of their products, including the citrus bath milk which is apparently a favourite of Simon Cowell. Who knew! I must admit to having very soft hands afterwards so they must be doing something right. Below you can see me trying out the product and making one of the world’s most attractive faces…

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Once we all had silky soft hands, we got to the main event: crafting! Sam and I took inspiration from the Etsy global party brief of colour, kaleidoscope and paper to put together a variety of project suggestion including paper weaving, paper and fabric flowers, hoop art and decoupage. It was lovely to have some dedicated time to sit and craft and chatter to the other bloggers, it was all quite relaxing. You can see the fruits of my labour below…


We were lucky to have the support from a number of local businesses for this meet-up who provided some amazing goody bags for us to take away with us. I am always blown away by how generous people are! Sponsors included Readicut, who provided paper craft and knitting goodies, Korbond who supplied embroidery hoops for our crafting session and home DIY company Polyvine who got the group into scumble glazing and paint effect too. Thanks also to Breadsall Priory for being so accommodating and providing us with such a fabulous venue.

We had an amazing day and to top it all off we managed to raise over £100 for charity, which is just fantastic. It was lovely to meet up with familiar faces and meet some new ones too.  Bring on the next one!

To find out about future meets and keep up to date with crafty chatter you can follow our twitter chats on #ccbloggers, and of course keep an eye on this blog for details.

For now I am looking forward to #SewBrum in October. I am so please that Charlotte is organising this again. I wasn’t able to make it last time, but the date is in my diary now and I am planning to be there. Who’s in?

Kat xx

Me-Made-May 2015: Reflections and learnings

Howdy hi everyone, and happy June! Apparently the start of the summer months but you wouldn’t know it – the weather is miserable here in Derby. I have heard rumours of a heatwave though – a girl can dream!

Back at the end of April I snuck in with my Me-Made-May pledge of wearing at least one handmade item every day throughout May, and I am happy to say that I stuck to my pledge. I didn’t manage to document every day, but no matter, that wasn’t the name of the game for me this time. Here are a few of my favorite outfits:


Letitia jumper. Previously an unsung hero of my me-made wardrobe, this jumper became a wardrobe staple during me-made-May. Comfy and great to sling on over jeans, or with black trousers for a smarter look. I can see myself wearing this a lot more in future.


I have several Pendrell blouse’s in my wardrobe and they all got a lot of wear. In particular the black version with lace sleeves (which you can’t quite see above) since it goes with so many things (there is a lesson here – see later!). Oh – and new hair!


My Simplicity 1652 dress got a lot of wear, as it always does. Comfy and easy to wear, I love this dress.

This was the first year that I had attempted all 31 days and I’m not gonna lie, a part of me is happy that May is over so I can get back in some of my RTW favourites. But I’m taking this as a positive, because it means that I have identified some real gaps in my me-made wardrobe. So what have I learnt?

1. I need more dresses! I love dresses but have relatively few every-day dresses in my wardrobe. I have a few in the pipeline including the Sewaholic Yaletown dress which I hope will address this gap.

2. I need more basics! By this I mean more plain coloured tops and bottoms that I can mix and match together. Top of my list is a black pencil skirt – perhaps the one from Gertie’s book?

3. I have very little me-made going-out wear. It was my 30th birthday this month and I struggled to find something nice to wear out for dinner with the husband (eek, that is still weird to say!). Of course I planned to make something, but it didn’t quite happen.

I’m hoping to address some of these issues so that by the time next May rolls around, I have a lot more variety to play with.

Did you take part in me-made-May this year? What gaps in your me-may wardrobe did you identify? Also any pattern suggestions for the above would be most welcome!

K xx


Me-Made-May 2015: I’m in!


Well hello there! It’s been some time since I’m been around these parts. So long in fact, that I actually had some trouble signing in to my dashboard today. Oppsie. However, I’m back and on the other side of wedding and honeymoon craziness. Pictures and details of the crafting that took place will follow, for those who are interested, but for now I am getting myself back on the bandwagon with a bang by pledging to take part in Me-Made-May 2015. And I’m not giving myself an easy ride, oh no. In 2013 I pledged to wear me-made garments three times a week. Last year I upped my game and went for five days a week. This year I am going all hell-for-leather and jumping in with every day. Yep, I am pledging to wear at least one me-made item for all 31 days of May 2015. Phew! And this doesn’t count my Minoru jacket or PJs, which would arguably make life too easy as I wear these mostly every day as it is.

So here goes nothing:

‘I, Kat of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2015’

I am hoping that this challenge will get me back in the right mindset to expand my handmade wardrobe, after almost a year of wedding-related crafting. Also, I am hoping to identify gaps in my wardrobe that need to be filled, and identify any me-made items that I don’t enjoy wearing. Life is too short to keep unworn garments lying around, and I want to be ruthless.

Are you joining in with Me-Made-May ‘15? Are you uping your game this year? Let me know if you are taking part so I can follow your progress :)

K xx

Crafty Secret Santa 2014

Crafty Secret Snata 2014 logo

The days are getting shorter and colder, this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert is upon us (have you seen it yet? There are penguins) and it is almost time for my annual re-watching of Love Actually. Yep, Christmas is a-coming and I am pleased to announce that the crafty secret santa will be back for a third year!

Slight change of name this year as although “Sewists Secret Santa” did have a nice ring to it, I know that many of you who want to join in are not sewists, and I want everyone to feel welcome to take part. However, the general idea remains the same. Here is how it will work and how you can sign up:

1) Send me an email to kraftykatblog(at)gmail(dot)com by Sunday 16th November with the following information – your name, a link to your blog (if you have one), your postal address and also whether you are happy to post internationally. Please could you also provide a short snippet of information for me to send on to your Santa – for example, “I’m a sewist and a knitter, I love spots and lace and big prints”.

2) I will play Santa and pick everyone’s Secret Santa out of a (probably metaphorical) hat. I will split between people happy to post internationally and those who would prefer not to. This will not be a straightforward pairwise swap, otherwise everyone will know who their Santa is, and that just defeats the object!

3) I will send you an email telling you who you will be buying for, along with their address/blog link/information by Monday 24th November.

4) Present buying! This bit is completely up to you, however please try and keep within the limit which is £5 (or equivalent internationally). You can make/buy/thrift your presents or even shop your stash – it’s completely up to you.

5) Pop your gift in the post. Don’t forget this is supposed to be a Secret Santa, so it’s most fun if you don’t let on who the present is from. If you are posting internationally please keep an eye on the last dates for posting before Christmas and wherever you are posting please pop your parcel in the post by Monday 15th December to make sure it arrives in time for Christmas.

6) Receive your present and pop it under the tree, or open immediately if you must, however please wait until after Christmas to share on your blog. And feel free to speculate about who your Santa might be….!!

I had so much fun shopping for my secret santa last year and am looking forward to doing it all again. If you have any questions please feel free to drop me an email or write a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Ho ho ho…

Kat xx

Derby blogger meet-up 8th November

After the success of our first East Midlands meet up held in Nottingham in January, the lovely Samantha and I are joining forces again to host another creative and crafty bloggers meet-up, this time held in Derby.

The meet-up will take place on 8th November 2014, kicking off around 10.30am. It is open to anyone who considers themselves “creative or crafty”, not just sewists, and this is a great chance to learn about different things – for example last time I learnt about the world of mixed media, which was completely new to me. There will be chatter, tea, cake and crafting and this is a great opportunity to catch up with other creative blogger in the area and make new friends. We have a day packed full of activities including a chance to get crafty, a brilliant social media and web savvy clinic (I don’t know about you but I could certainly do with a few tips!) and a chance to visit some local creative businesses.

Places are filling up fast but if you would like to come along just drop me an email by clicking on the icon on the right hand tool bar, or leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

If you’re coming along, why not grab the button below for your blog? Just copy and paste the code below into your blog.


<a href="" target="_blank">
<img title="Derby blogger meet-up badge" 
alt="Derby blogger meet-up badge" height="175" width="175" /></a>

Looking forward to seeing some of you there, I do love a good meet-up. Unfortunately I can’t make the Sew Brum meet-up this weekend but it sounds like it will be a fabulous day and I look forward to reading all about it afterwards! It’s probably for the best though – I never can resist a splurge at Barry’s or the Fancy Silk Store, and I have plenty of fabric to be getting on with…

Kat xx


Blog hoppity hop

Hello everyone and happy Monday. I hope you had a good weekend, I mostly spent mine being full of the lurgy and wrestling with invisible zips so I can’t pretend it was the best, but hey, onwards and upwards!

Today it is my turn to jump on the blog hop wagon! Thank you very much to Freya from The Dressmaking Diaries, a fellow midlands sewist, who nominated me. I have lost track of where this all started but it seems to have been hopping around for a great long while and I have really enjoyed reading everyones answers to the four questions posed and learning a bit more about some of my favourite bloggers. So without further ado here are mine!

Why I write

Good question! I was inspired to start a blog after meeting Marie, one of my first real-life sewing friends, and being introduced to her blog and the whole world of sewing bloggers. I thought I’d like to try it for myself, and so this blog was born. That must be almost 4 years ago now – how time flies. I love the blogging community and the support and friendships that it provides. Also blogging allows me to document my progress and start a conversation with others who sew and who will be able to offer guidance and advice, in a way that non-sewists are not able too.

What I’m working on

I am terrible with UFOs and always have multiple projects on the go, as well as many others in the pipeline. I am currently in the process of tackling the enormous task of making bridesmaids dresses for my wedding next year (eek!). I have the fabric and mostly a plan of the pattern, which will be a modified Anna dress, and am almost finished making the first mock-up of the dress for myself before starting the daunting task of sewing for other people. Knitting-wise I am finishing a Miette cardigan and also have a number of other projects on the go including a pair of socks and some wedding-related knitting.

How my blog differs from others of it’s genre

I think that every blog is unique in the way that every person is unique and brings their own voice to what they write. However in terms of overall content, I am not sure that my blog differs greatly from others. What you get here is predominantly sewing and knitting, however I will try my hand at pretty much anything, which in the past has also included millinery, jewelery-making and embroidery. I suppose if I were a business I would be seriously lacking a USP – but I’m not a business and I write because I enjoy it, so it’s not something that I am going to lose any sleep over.


A little bit about my writing process

Hmmm my writing process. I think calling it a process may be stretching it a wee bit. Usually this involves me sitting down at my laptop after having just finishing sewing, playing with some pictures and pretty much writing whatever comes into my head. I am not so much one for planning, which is why I am writing this at 9.40pm on the day that it is supposed to be posted. A good process would definitely remove a little stress from my life and I would love to be more planned in general. I envy people who have a back up of drafts just in case, and who have a blogging calender. I dream of being this organised! Even at work, where I manage a couple of team blogs, I am really not as planned as i should be (shh!). Is it too early to be thinking of new years resolutions?!


So i think this is the bit where I nominate two people to go next! I am struggling to find people who have yet to take part, I think the following have yet to have a go but apologies if you have and I missed it:

Kerry from Kestrel Makes

Sabs from Tybalt:King of Cats

Happy hopping everyone!

Kat xx