Lipstick on your collar

Hello once again all you crazy people out there in blogland ??

I seriously did not expect the level of reaction or comments I received on my last post! ?

Thank you all so much for the advice and encouragement, and apologies for taking two weeks to reply to everyone ???‍♂️

Seeing as this one is going out to you all whilst we are in New York, and also because by the time you are reading this I will have hopefully completed (and survived) a half marathon, it may well be two weeks before I reply to all the comments this time too – apologies in advance! ?

Hot on the heals of the Liberty silk top *cough* a year later *cough* I decided I wanted to make something again. I needed something that grabbed my interest, something reasonably simple to make but that would still look good…

And be the meaning of life…

And also the holy grail…

With minimal input/maximum output (okay, well maybe not the last one as I am willing to put the effort in, if it is worth it!)

I hadn’t completed a project for almost a year – for various reasons – and hadn’t even looked at my machine for a good 6 months but now, I’m back baby!

So, what to make? And what to use?

Now, I do have my own mini-stash, but every time I look in there I feel empty inside, like something is missing. Oh, wait, that’s it, NICENESS! The niceness has vanished from my fabric stash and left me with hideous what-the-fuck-did-I-buy-that-lot-for-ness ?
Well, at least I have some practice fabric available should the need arise – but who wants to practice! ?‍♂️

So, onto that thing called ‘the web’ to see what I could find.

Now, unlike some people (the wife ?), I HATE online shopping. Any clothing bought online, the wife has to do it for me. She chooses and I look and try when it arrives. I would much rather go to the shop, browse the racks/shelves and try it on than sit there and scroll through hundreds and hundreds of pages waiting for something to catch my eye.

Now try to imagine that applied to fabric shopping! How the hell do I ever find anything I want? I go stupid and search for things like Gucci, or Versace, or Prada, you know, to pass the time until I am forced to look properly at stuff that does not interest me, for hours and hours and hours. And when I finally find something I like, it is either not appropriate for someone of my level, or £700 per meter …

At this point in time I am very much in the mindset of ‘find fabric, *then* decide if it will be possible to use and if so, for what‘. This is usually the point where the wife steps in and decides for me -“yes, you can use that” or “what the hell are you expecting to make from that” are the standard responses. If the answer is a yes, it is normally followed by “who’s it for” – if I’ve chosen it for her, then there is another round of approval – “no your not making anything for me out of that” or more rarely “yes, I like that” ??‍♂️??‍♂️

On this occasion, as I was browsing the ridiculous luxuries of designer fabrics, I found one I liked for the wife. It was a black Prada silk crepe with red lips all over it. And the price was reasonable too! At least in my eyes it was ?

It was reduced by £10 per meter (I know, if something can be reduced by £10 per meter, how the hell much did it cost in the first place… Let’s just leave it at I paid a grand total of £40 + shipping ?)

As it turns out, the wife had already spied this fabric at full price and had it in her cart – for the one day where she probably still wouldn’t buy it. So the decision was made – I would buy it. Once again I was heading for the nightmare that is silk! ?Go me! ?

I did also treat myself to some fabric with this purchase too – but more on that next time ? (Yes, I said next time! Looks like I may be coming back once again!)

Now we have the wife’s two-tier level of approvals sorted, it’s back over to her once again – this time to find a suitable pattern to go with the fabric we just took forever to decide on. So, another t-shirt it is, although a different one from the last.

The pattern that was decided on is the Grainline Studio Scout Tee.

Having learnt all the lessons from the first top I was fully prepared for round two, or I would have been if I hadn’t waited an entire year and forgotten everything! ??‍♂️

They say you always remember your first time, and it’s true – do you think I can remember much about this second make?! Like fuck I can!

Once again I traced, flipped and traced any pattern piece that said cut on fold to make life as easy as possible. (Okay, maybe I hadn’t forgotten everything.)

This fabric was definitely lighter and shiftier than the Liberty silk I used previously, and due to it being a very obvious repeating pattern it took me longer to make sure it was all lined up nicely prior to cutting. There were A LOT of micro adjustments going on here. OCD level: DEFCON 1.

The actual cutting of the fabric wasn’t too bad – I say that because I can’t remember any real dramas (note to self for future makes: write things down as I go). I still didn’t manage to cut it very straight so there must have been some movement somewhere ? Once again the sleeves ended up looking horribly misshapen after I had cut them, doing nothing to change my opinion of them – I still fucking hate sleeves!

The construction of this top was actually much simpler than the previous one. Despite this there were still plenty of dramas though… For instance, trying to find the end on a new spool of thread is not as simple as it seems. I mean, what the actual fuck??? I don’t even know how this happened! It literally just broke in my hands! ??‍♂️

I found the end though ??

Anyway, as I was saying, the construction of the top was actually quite simple. Once again I used French seams to keep everything neat and tidy on the inside (I’ll be a pro soon, at this rate. Maybe ??)

To make sure I had no issues with this one moving as I stitched, I pinned it to within an inch of it’s life. I don’t think any fabric anywhere has ever seen anything quite like it! Even the tattoo and piercing studios in Camden have never seen this many pins in one go ?

And so I began with the shoulders, wrong sides together, stitch half the seam allowance, flip, press, right sides together, stitch the remainder of seam allowance, open up and press, repeat on the other shoulder moving about a millimetre an hour as I have not yet mastered the art of removing pins while stitching.

Yep, it is very slow going. Stitch, stop, remove pin, stitch, stop, remove pin – rinse and repeat. I seemed to use an entire box of pins on one shoulder… Seriously, this guy has nothing on me!?

The arms, yes I’m going there – the damn ARMS – were actually constructed differently to the previous top, and this method made me much happier! I can’t remember if the construction was supposed to be different – or if the wife told me to do them differently – but whatever it was, it worked! I attached the arms flat (so before closing the side seam), stitching around the top curve and leaving the underarm seam open. This way was much easier, and I was able to do French seams too, making it look much tidier.

The seam on the underneath of the sleeve was done as a continuation of the side seam, so I literally started at the bottom of the shirt and went all the way up, finishing at the end of the sleeve! ?? What kind of wizardry is this?! It was SO much easier!! Minimal swearing required! ? And it allows a neater finish as I was able to French seam this lot too – there is not one seam inside that isn’t nicely Frenched. ??

Next up was the neckline. I used bias tape again, the same as for the last top I made. I attached it right sides together, stitched round, clipped the neck line, folded it over to the inside – then this time I pressed it before stitching and I think the result was better.

Still not *perfect*, but it was better.

Finally, I finished up with the hem. Always awkward, never level! It doesn’t seem to matter how much you measure, pin, measure, eyeball, measure, it seems like once you start stitching, that hem length has a life of its own!

Those monkey demons in the machine may not be chewing anything up anymore, but they are certainly pissing about with where my hem is being sewn! ??

Overall though, I would say this is actually quite a nice pattern to sew up, even for a beginner. Quick to make too, even with my stop start-y-ness!

I enjoyed making it, the wife enjoys wearing it and I could see a few more of these appearing in the future ?

Now, where did I see that Chanel silk online… ? (Just kidding! But seriously, someone hide my credit card ?)

Next up on my Table Of Disasters will be the worst REPEAT fuckup you have ever heard of, involving a coverstitch machine and some Versace jersey – so stay tuned!

Until then, you’ve got the wife back for a bit ??‍♀️


Next week on the Wanderstitch blog… I’ve taken a little detour from sewing clothing and have instead decided to make myself a gym bag! Turns out that finding the right bag pattern is more effort than finding clothing patterns ? Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out on the rocky start to the journey ???


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  1. October 14, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    Fabulous fabric! I say again though- get past the idea that all sewing must be machine-dominated, and life will become easier. If you’re having to sew absurdly slowly because of loads of pins, hand baste the thing in the first place….same with hems- it’s so quick and easy to do a tiny ‘dollmakers’ hem by hand on fine fabric..once you get the knack, which doesn’t take long. SO much quicker in the long run AND a softer, drapier finish on fine fabric.
    Neck binding- pressing to a curve is stage one, stage 2 is don’t use premade stiff cotton stuff on fine fabric, get out that ruler and cutter and make your own, and again, hand finish for a soft look.
    If you’re splashing out on fabulous designer fabric, get with the fabulous designer techniques lol
    Keep ’em coming, including the swearing I fucking love it!

    • Aaron
      October 27, 2018 / 9:53 am

      Haha, thank you, I will continue on with the language. No ? stopping me now ?
      I may actually need a warning label on my next post as parts of that really did not go well ?
      I will start to look at some of the finer details and hand stitching now that I am starting to understand what I am actually doing ?
      Catch you for the next instalment ?

  2. Becca G
    October 14, 2018 / 11:19 pm

    Damn fine job. Sewing a sleeve in flat is so much easier than after you’ve sewed up the sides. I so totally agree with DF make your own damn bias tape it really is simple to do & looks so much better than store bought cotton especially on slinky fabrics
    you can match your fabric type & the print.
    Sometimes hand stitching a hem or basting a seam is like the whip cream on the top of a banana split.

    • Aaron
      October 27, 2018 / 10:00 am

      Thanks Becca!
      Sewing a sleeve in flat really is so much easier isn’t it! I will continue with that method from now on ?
      I will have to give making my own bias tape a go at some point to see what difference it makes ☺️
      I will definitely start hand stitching things if it makes it look nicer and is easier (however, I’m not allowed whip cream and I don’t like bananas, so I would say it is like the icing on my gluten free cake ?) ?

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