My Cost Freya Top From Tilly And The Buttons

Wednesday 6 December 2023


It's cold out there at the moment and I am typing away as I can hear snow and ice being scraped from cars.

This is my latest make for Minerva Crafts. It's the Freya top from Tilly And The Buttons STRETCH book and you can read all about it here . 

I hacked the Freya dress by cropping it and making the bottom slightly bigger than the top version so that I could layer up on cold days.

I also made the sleeves longer than my wrists for a really snuggly cosy length.

After testing on the coldest day of this Winter, I am so super happy I made this make.

Here's a few photos of my Freya top, I love the STETCH book this top was from btw...

I have also made a dress for my 5 year old daughter and I'll pop a separate post up when that goes live.

Happy Sewing,

Samantha x

My Eco Christmas Candy Cane Simplicity 8014

Wednesday 15 November 2023


The day after bonfire night (5th Nov) I was on it with Christmas sewing! This is my latest sew for and you can read all about it here .

I wanted to make a eco/non sparkly dress for the festive season and I thought that the candy cane idea would work after seeing this stripe fabric on the Minerva website. Sequins I read are really bad for the planet and as my daughters love a sequin, this year I thought I would opt out.

Another reason for the cotton dress is I also get so hot running around in the house when we have guests and a cool fitting, easy to wear dress with a nod to the 1940s looks a solution. Nothing slinky for me, especially when you have to pick up kids and running about. If you know, you know. Watch my video  on my sewing plans, as you can tell from my voice I was excited about this project.

I have to say, I am so pleased with this make, the fit and the style. The fabric was lovely to stitch and so soft and not at all scratchy. Just bliss to sew, I love to sew a cotton and this one is lovely.

If I was so sew this again, the only thing I would change is the hem and make it slightly longer. I used 3.2m of fabric and it was perfect. I have just a little bit left for a Christmas bag or something.

I love the belt (from New Look ages ago) I think the statement belt adds to the look. The buttons are vintage from Bianca. Go and check out her insta she is fabulous and so talented.

The link to this beautiful fabric is here  if you fancy making a Simplicity 8014 yourself. The fabric was gifted by Minerva in exchange for a review in my own words.

What other eco friendly dresses can I make for Christmas? Do let me know...

Best Wishes,

Samantha xx

Butterick B6175 Simple Sleeve Hack

Tuesday 17 October 2023

 With the change of seasons, I get the need to make my dressmaking patterns fit the weather. This means shortening the sleeves, changing a necklines and making tops into dresses and vice versa. Anyone with me?

 I bought Butterick B6175 this summer as a basic pattern block for a woven blouse style top. I have so many knitted top patterns and a stash of beautiful cotton prints needing a sewing pattern. I was also looking for a quick make out of a metre of fabric (as I can't help myself buying a metre of a pretty fabric).

I loved this pattern as it has five..five! variations and even though they are all short sleeved, it is so easy to extend the short sleeve to a long. Winner!

For this top, I spied this Art Gallery remanent at Sewing B in Stapleford nr Nottingham. I loved the sunflower print and they didn't have it on the roll, they sold me three pieces for £3 and I was determined to make my sunflower top out of them! And I did...

The fabric is Art Gallery fabrics which are so beautifully soft like a Tana lawn with a gorgeous soft brush. I would guess I needed a metre if it was sold off the metre and you know what I use all the fabric. 

I made view B with the sleeve of view C and added on a hack to the sleeve. I love the fit of this blouse top, I cut a size 12 and it fit great. I like that it has two darts at the front and cute fastening at the back.

The back fastening was just a button with embroidery thread loop on an open placket. 

My sleeve hack was the favourite part of this make, and this is how I did it. 
I took two pieces of fabric 45cm square and hemmed on edge and added a double long running stitch on the other so they could ruche up and make floaty mid length sleeves.

And the dress matches the sunflowers I've been growing this Autumn in the garden. 

I'm looking at making this style now in heavier weight fabrics for the winter months and adding a double button at the back so it's not as open.

Have you made this pattern and have the added a little hack?

Happy Crafting,

Samantha x

Favourite Summer Sewing Hack From McCalls 7381 and 8036

Saturday 20 August 2022

 Hi There,

I hope this crazy warm Summer is being kind to you? I wanted to share a dress hack I have been wearing on repeat ever since I made it in June this year. It's my last make for Minerva Crafts and the link is here.

Its McCalls 7381 and McCalls 8036 hacked as my sketch from a dress to a two piece. If you are thinking of getting more wears from your dresses this! I'm using the bodice and skirt of  McCalls 7381 aka #sashamccalls and the sleeves of 8036.

Here are some photos and thank you to Minerva for selecting me to make this gorgeous fabric up in exchange for a review...

I hope this has inspired you to take your dress patterns and make them into skirts and tops, its been a great experiment and I've worn both as a skirt with a tshirt and blouse with jeans loads!!

Happy Crafting,


My Sureau Dress Hack

Wednesday 15 December 2021


It's time for Christmas makes and I really love this hack I have done for Minerva as a Brand Ambassador. 

I have taken the Deer and Doe Sureau dress and made it into a tunic with wider sleeves. You can read how I made the sleeves on trend and wider here.

I will be wearing it to nativity and playgroup Santa meets this week with my girls. Here are a few photos...

What are you making for Christmas?  I would love to hear! 

Season's Greetings, 



My Bloomsbury Blouse Hack For Minerva

Tuesday 6 April 2021


My latest make is live on Minerva. Read how just three simple hacks turn the Bloomsbury Blouse into a retro dress.

This georgette fabric is beautiful. I can't wait to wear this dress more. I made it for Easter weekend and I'm sure it will great for drinks and meet ups this Summer.

Thank-you Minerva for sending me the fabric with no agreement to share on my blog, but it's so special I had to!

Here are some more photos...

Sam x

My SOI Zoe Dress For Christmas

Saturday 28 November 2020

Happy Saturday, 

I've just finishing the beautiful Zoe dress for the new Minerva site   in brocade fabric.  Read my review on this pattern and how I used brocade fabric (shh! it isn't very tricky ). I love way it drapes and beautiful Christmassy pattern. 

My review is here and whilst you are there do have a look at the shiny new site. Minerva have created  a creative platform, it's easy to shop and interact with other crafters. A great way to meet new new friends to support your creating.

The fabric and pattern were kindly gifted by Minerva for their site. 

Here are a few photos if you are inspired to make this dress -

Happy Sewing,


Samantha x

Why I Love Simplicity 8292

Monday 19 October 2020



My latest Minerva Blogger Network post is live and |I'm thrilled to share this gorgeous baby cord dress. 

Read how I made Simplicity 8292 in a few evenings, it has a brilliant fit and the baby cord it so soft. Why stop wearing your favourite colours just because the season has changed?

I'm thinking of wearing this dress with leggings and flats this Autumn and with a long sleeve top under the dress so it's like a pinafore. I love the sleeves and they feel so feminine and floaty.

Happy Crafting,

Samantha x