Pattern Block

I’m on the train to Gatwick Airport and looking forward to a trip to Italy for a few days! It’s half term next week and John an I are meeting my Aunt and Uncle. We fly to Pisa and then go south. Should be a lovely time.

Before we go I thought I’d share a bit of what I did last weekend on my pattern cutting course at Raystitch. It was a lot of information to take in but fascinating. You could take full year courses on this subject so it was only a quick intro. We made a skirt block and an upper body bodice block to personally fit us. I find commercial patterns difficult for me because I have a wide upper back. The idea is that I can use these blocks to create patterns for skirts, tops and dresses. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to a trouser block but maybe one day…

We started with the skirt block. We took our hip, waist, waist to hip and waist to knee measurements. Then we actually drew these right on muslin. We quickly sewed it together, made adjustments to the pleats and created a paper block. I learned that a block isn’t a pattern but a starting point of measurements from which patterns are created. Here’s some pics of the skirt block process…

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Oh boo, sorry, thought I had a picture of me wearing the block. Never mind, I have ones of the bodice block. Don’t mind my midriff and pale skin, not the best lighting …

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After completing the blocks we took small paper versions and learned how to make pattern designs by simply adjusting where you put the darts. I really understand more about patterns now and hopefully can even adjust commercial patterns to fit a bit better before I start cutting out fabric…

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Maybe when we get back from Italy I will try to make up a pattern for a simple skirt! For now though all thoughts are on Italy…

Embroidery Girls

I’m on my way back to Raystitch this morning for another weekend sewing course. This time on pattern cutting. Click here to see about the course. This is my last course that I’ve booked here for awhile a whole weekend does take it out of you and the evening ones would be too hard for me to get to. Stay tuned for a pattern cutting update.

Week update though…if you follow gogolittlered on Instagram or if you’ve noticed my Instagram updates on my blog side bar, you will notice that I’ve gone nuts embroidering using pictures from Aneela Hoey’s book Little Stitches. Check out Little Red in all her playful poses…

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I’m thinking of putting them all together with other fabric to make a wall hanging or quilt.

Little Stitches

On Saturday I spent a lovely afternoon at Raystitch in London embroidering with Textile designer Aneela Hoey. I adore her fabric and whimsical pictures. She was very nice too! There were 6 of us taking the class and not a Brit amongst us which we found amusing. My friend Pamela came with me and she’s recently moved here from Ireland.

Aneela started by talking about her new book called “Little Stitches – 100+ Sweet Embroidery Designs.” Check out the book here. I think it’s a useful book of simple embroidery stitches that you could adapt to do many projects. It includes the sketches to copy on fabric or iron-on transfers. I got a copy with the class…


We all stitched a lovely little snow globe scene that I think I will incorporate into a winter wonderland pillow (stay-tuned for that)! We were all concentration…




Of course I was excited to meet Aneela and decided it wasn’t so geeky to bring along one of my earlier quilts done with her Sherbert Pips fabric. She was very gracious and appreciated seeing what I’d done with her designs…



Pam and I both finished our globes by the end of the class. It’s way too cute and I’m inspired to do many more…

Mine’s on the left.

The best thing about the class was that I got to see how simple and relaxing this kind of embroidery can be. I envision taking it as a good travel project. I can’t wait to enlarge her girl on a bike image and embroider a gogolittlered version! I can also see this as an easy project for children and would like to try at school with some girls…and boys soon!

Dress Making Class

I’m so excited to tell you about my weekend sewing course at Raystitch in London. They were very full days but who doesn’t love a weekend of sewing right! It was also really nice to meet other like minded people. There were six of us as well as a lovely instructor, who was very patient. Don’t we look a happy bunch!…



The pictures below are of the Deer and Doe patterns that we aimed to make in two days. Check out their website here



On Saturday we started with the Chardon Skirt. Moyna Hamilton, the instructor, made this example for us to check out…



It actually turned out to be more work for a skirt than we thought but I learned a few things. I was thrilled with my invisible zipper for example…


See, all smiles!

The belt loops were a bit tedious as well but in the end I’m glad I did them because I think it looks nice with a belt. I got to sport it today, yeah…


Sunday’s Sureau Dress didn’t turn out as well but I think it can be fixed. I learned I’m smaller on top than the bottom, typical right. I chose to cut the larger size than the model Moyna made but it looked a bit sloppy. I am going to adjust the darts at the back. Here is my semi-finished version…


It should look a little more fitted…



The bodice of the dress was fun to make with the gathers. Here of some of the others in the class…



I love the bird and moon fabric from Cloud 9 fabrics. Unfortunately, another sewer got the last of this fabric so I’ll have to order some online I think!

So many things I want to make now! I want to do another version of the skirt in a more summer weight fabric with a bottom contrast fabric like the sample and the dress in a funkier fabric with short sleeves for the summer. If I feel up to it I may fix the dress tonight so that I can wear it tomorrow.


John and I are spoiled to be able to go into London for dinner! I’m taking a weekend dressmaking sewing course at Raystitch in London (Islington area) on the weekend so we went in tonight to get fabric. I suddenly realised last night I needed to wash the fabric first so off we went after work tonight.

I know I’ve mentioned I love going into St. Pancras before but it really is such a nice vibe (probably because I don’t have to do it everyday for work)! It was a nice evening tonight and a few sights filled me with joy at being here…overflow pubs and flower stalls…

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Of course Raystitich is around the corner from my favourite restaurant, Ottolenghi! Did I plan it that way…hmmmmm. I can’t even explain how I love the flavours here. I adore the roasted eggplant salad with this yummy yogurty dressing sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. We had a gorgeous corn fritter with a side of pickled beet and yogurt. The courgette (zucchini) and broccoli salad was to die for as well. We also splurged for the rum chocolate fondant cake! I’m in food bliss right now writing this post.

I have a lovely chambray fabric to wash, a heavier blue twill and a lovely faded red Robert Kaufman cotton. I got all three because I couldn’t decide which I would use on the weekend…

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On this course I will be making 2 patterns by Deer and Doe, the Chardon Skirt and the Sureau dress. Not sure about how the skirt will look on me but am eager for the dress. I hope to just gain some extra confidence in making my own clothes. It’s 10-5:30 Saturday and Sunday so it better be worth it or a weekend lost!!!