About Joanne

I'm a web editor by day and a sewing enthusiast at beginner level by night. This is my first and only blog.

Um it’s another Coco… but it’s got polka dots on it!

Yeeees so I seem to only be making Cocos at the moment but shizzly can you blame me? It’s amazeballs!

Coco Polka

So after my Bedtime Coco and my Animal Print Coco I decided that whilst terribly comfy they weren’t giving me the more fitted look that I’ve been admiring on other Cocos around the blogosphere. So I decided on a whim to come two whole sizes down on the pattern and take about an inch from the length. Yikes. Bit of a spur of the moment decision there and I also just chopped straight into my pattern pieces. Oops. Oh well. I think the overall effect is definitely better from the front.

Coco Polka

However this rather fabulous knit from Walthamstow Market (where else?) is extremely stable and doesn’t have a lot of give, which effectively means that my boobs feel like I’ve strapped them down a bit. And I have a bit of tightness across the back of the dress – you can see it here.

Coco Polka back view
























So whilst it doesn’t bother me with this dress I’d much rather perfect the fit so I can go on making Cocos, and I will DIE if I can’t make more, ya know what I’m sayin’? Literally DIE.

So I’ve fiddled with my pattern and with the help of printer paper and sellotape I’ve effectively added a half inch to the underarm and bust area, smoothing out the line to just above the waist. I’ve also added the same amount to the sleeve sides. I hope I’ve gone the right way about it – we shall see with my next Coco I guess!

Oh and here is a new addition which I haven’t done before – the cuff. Very easy to do I have to say – and such a lovely detail with a knit dress.

Coco Polka cuff

That’s my latest installment for you. Have you ever had a pattern you just keep making? I think the last pattern I got so into was the Colette Violet which I made four times, including one for my mum.

Bedtime Coco anyone?

Well I think we all know by now that I love Coco. I so enjoyed twirling about in my first animal print version – it was simply so comfortable – I thought ‘why leave Coco for daytime? Why not bring the little madam to bed too?’ And so I give you… Bedtime Coco.

Bedtime Coco

Shh. Don’t tell anyone – but Bedtime Coco is a bit of a slut. She didn’t care that I was so excited to get started I didn’t prewash my fabric. Or that I didn’t smooth it out properly before laying and cutting. She just lay back and said whatever. She didn’t mind when I double folded the fabric to squeeze her out of just under two metres. She barely murmured when I couldn’t be bothered pinning and just weighed her down with a biscuit tin and a candle. IT WAS ALL OVER IN LESS THAN TWO HOURS.

Bedtime Coco
























The fabric is a warm soft, practically fleecy knit from Walthamstow Market – I think it was just under £5 a metre which actually made it the most expensive fabric I bought that day. It’s perfect for snuggling up in .

Bedtime Coco
























I think I’m in love with Bedtime Coco. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing each other again soon. In fact, I’ve just hooked up with her polka dot sister – more on that another time.

Bedtime Coco


A bit of a meh Airelle

Hello campers how are you all on this sunny but quixotic Sunday? We’ve had hailstones and chilly winds in between the sunshine so it was a case of grab yer camera phone and run outside while it’s dry (if not exactly warm) to take pictures of a top I finished last week but didn’t have time to photograph. And to be honest with you, I wasn’t that bothered about taking pics either as this is one of those makes that I know I won’t wear again. But let’s talk this through…       Airelle by StitchandWitter

Airelle by Deer and Doe is one of those patterns that I’ve lusted after for a while. Just look at these by Rachel and Made by 6 if you want to see how gorgeous it can be. I thought it would be the perfect blouse for me – bit preppy, bit sweet etc. Plus it has the cutest collar. After my sewing funk ended thanks to Coco I thought it would be the perfect next project. And it was, after a fashion. No fastenings or tricksy bits which was great. I graded from a 38 at the bust to a 40 at the waist and then back to a 38 at the hip and the sizing worked out pretty good. I used some stash fabric for both collar and blouse and bought some black satin piping in Walthamstow market for 60p a metre. So far so cheap!

Airelle by StitchandWitter

Yet this blouse isn’t right for me. It’s just… I don’t know… maybe draining me of colour or something? Or perhaps it’s the blousey nature of the sleeves. I’m not a huge fan of blousey sleeves and these feel pretty voluminous. On the whole it just feels a bit too billowy for my liking.

Airelle by StitchandWitter

Any suggestions as to what changes I could make, to make it worth another shot? I was wondering if maybe I could do a matching instead of contrast collar, perhaps reduce the sleeves a bit, even make a short-sleeved version perhaps. Maybe just a brighter colour will pep it right up?

Have you ever made something and known right as you finish the last stitch that you’ll probably never wear it in real life?

Coco: A sewing funk solver

Halle-bloody-lujah. My sewing hiatus has come to an abrupt but extremely welcome end, thanks to the power, nay, the glory, of Coco, the latest pattern by Tilly and the Buttons.

Coco dress pattern

Do you like the crazy fabric? I loves me an animal print I do. This is some kind of bonkers snakeskin effect double knit from Tissu Fabrics at £6.99 a metre. As soon as I saw it I had to have it, bonkers or no.

Coco dress pattern

Coco is fantastic – a dream of a pattern for a sewing slattern like myself, or indeed a newbie looking for something simple but flattering. Psst – although I actually have an overlocker I have yet to read the instruction manual so I did this on my regular sewing machine using a stretch needle and a zigzag stitch.

I cut a size 3 straight from the pattern. Now I NEVER do that – I pretty much always trace off my size. But armed with the knowledge that a knit can be forgiving and that it was a simple front and back bodice with no closures or darts, I took a deep breath and cut straight in. The fit was dang near perfect thank goodness. All I did was take up the hem by an inch or so more than the recommended 2 cms.

In all, this dress took me about three hours from start to finish. That’s including cutting the pattern and the fabric. What a win! The only tricksy bit was sewing through four layers of knit around the funnel neck. My needle bent, then snapped and whizzed past my eye. Intense sewing, dudes.

I can’t recommend this pattern enough if you’re looking for a tasty nutritious sewing snack. I’ll be making more Cocos soon. Cheers Tilly, for pulling me out of this sewing stupor I’ve been rolling around in!

Coco dress pattern

Tilly’s done a big ol’ sewalong on her site for the Coco so if you’ve not made it yet there’s plenty of information and detail to help you along. Oh and there’s a Coco party happening on Friday 21st March. I may even make another one for that!

Ripple me this

No, there’s been no sewing going on in these parts. And precious little knitting too. It’s all about crochet my dears!

Ripple blanket

I’ve revisited my first woolly hooky love in recent days by starting a lovely ripple blanket using up scraps of wool left over from this project and these projects and whatever else I can find. It’s for general purposes (in other words – it’s MINE, gerroff baby, gerroff husband and gerroff cats). It’s the width of a double bed so it’ll take a while…

It’s so relaxing sitting of an evening with this on my lap, hooking away. Terribly easy but terribly yarn-hungry. Oof – it gobbles up £5 balls of wool quicker than you can say ‘another Hob Nob dearie?’

To those who were wondering if I ever finished the Baby Sophisticate cardigan – yes I did and it’s been worn countless times now. Wish I had a pic of it in action but this will have to do.

Baby Sophisticate

It was fairly straightforward. Used vintage buttons I think I picked up in a second hand shop in Norwich – I love that metrosexual shot of pink in a boy’s cardigan (let’s ignore that they’re a bit leany to the left – dunno what happened there but it’s not obvious when on!). My boy can rock colour you know. He’s got yellow trousers and everything. He gets it from his dad who wore pink shoes on our first date. Make of that what you will.

In sewing news… eurgh. I just can’t get round the lack of time and space thing. I’m trying, really.. I’m often to be found sadly pawing through my patterns and fabrics but I don’t take it further. It’s just getting over that hurdle… any tips on making a return to the needle? I’m just about to watch the Great British Sewing Bee on iPlayer so maybe that will galvanise me into action! I tell you what else has got me excited – Tilly’s brand new pattern! Check out Coco – she’s a proper little madam.

A suitable cardigan?

So I think I’ve found my next project, knitting wise. Isn’t this adorable?


It’s another Andi Satterlund pattern which suits me just fine as I so enjoyed making the Miette. Andi writes of her new design, “After binge watching Island at War followed by a bunch of Joan Hickson Miss Marple episodes, I decided that I needed a long, cozy, casual, retro sweater. Big pockets and a collar were mandatory, and what I came up with, Armande, is a delightful 40s- and 50s-inspired mishmash of a cardigan.”

And just like the Miette, it’s free! I’m thinking a rich red or a moss green. Though I love this mustard too. I’ll get to it after I finish knitting up a baby cardigan for number one son. It’s the Baby Sophisticate Cardigan by Linden Down. Here’s what it should look like (if I do it right).

Baby Sophisticate Cardigan Linden Down

Cute, huh? What’s on your needles? Or your sewing table for that matter!

Oh and can I just give a shout out to Jennifer who won the giveaway for the Georgia dress a couple of weeks ago. Jennifer – get in touch!

Completed: A winter Miette


Knitting. Incredibly calming, hypnotic and fulfilling. Simply check out Karen’s post and the wonderful comments on the pleasures of knitting for more lovely thoughts on its benefits.

Knitting. Scary, frustrating, a lot of WTF and ‘awh jaysus I’ve done this bit wrong but I don’t know what I did wrong and now I’ve got to rip out hours of work and start again waaaah’.

Welcome to my first ever knitted garment! It’s the Miette by Andi Satterlund, a free pattern no less. As a new knitter (let’s disregard the knitted ‘ribbons’ I used to make and wear in my hair until EB from primary school scoffed at me one day while we were sitting up a tree. I was GUTTED I tell you) I had plenty of both reactions to this project. I’ve already described having to rip back about 40 or so rows which was pretty annoying but not heartbreaking but from there on in it was pretty much plain sailing.


There are mistakes I know. I think using a K2, P2 ribbing technique for the neckline instead of the recommended ktbl2, ptbl2 let it down a bit but I found the latter completely impossible to do. The neckline also seems a little wide to me but maybe just because I’m not used to this deep neckline in a cardigan. I like my knits up round my lugs if ya know what I’m saying. There’s a slight bagginess at the front where the sleeves meet the chest but hey, there’s room to flail.

The wool also isn’t great. I think it was some cut price shit from Hobbycraft or something. I’ve still got two huuuuge balls of it left. It’s really thick and itchy so I’m wearing a thermal vest under it. Yes. A thermal vest. What? Don’t you? You’re missing out mate. Because the yarn is so fluffy I think you also lose some definition on the lace work around the edges. But this is all ok. BECAUSE I KNITTED THIS! Oh and in case you were wondering, yes I can do all the buttons up, but I prefer it half open for some reason.


Half of me wants to do another Miette straight away in a less fluffy bright coloured yarn. The other half wants to try another style of cardigan. I’m thinking sweet and preppy, ideally with a higher neckline and suitable for a beginner. Is that a tall order? If you have any recommendations do shout!