Craftee_Welsh_One’s Sewing Exploits – Darling Dress – Floral Chambray

Megan Neilson Darling Dress – Floral Chambray


The first time I visited TrixieLixie, I stroked this fabric [White Floral Printed Chambray] and knew I had to have it, though did not walk away with it that day – big mistake. All I could think about was how nice it would be once made into a dress. I knew exactly which dress pattern I wanted to use too. For weeks all I could think about was getting my hands on this fabric.
My birthday was around the corner and I knew that was the perfect excuse for another visit to get some. I had a plan…. a pattern in mind and the fabric – that’s not normally how it goes, I normally pick a fabric because it’s beautiful and worry about what I will make with it later!

I choose to make the Megan Neilson Darling Ranges dress. I just knew the pattern and fabric were meant to be together. The pattern is so lovely, it’s an easily adaptable modern shirt dress. It has a v-neck, button front, high waistline, multiple sleeve lengths, large pockets and ties at the back to allow it to be worn in a fitted or loose style. Suits me down to the ground.

While there, I spotted some gorgeous buttons that jumped out at me. They are absolutely stunning – I knew they would look amazing on my dress so added them to my pile of goodies. I also picked up the amazing Prym magnetic pin caddy, with it being my birthday, I had to treat myself!

The fabric was amazing to work with and behaved really well – making it a really enjoyable project. It’s nice and light which makes it awesome for the lovely Welsh summer that we have [occasionally!].

I already have my eye on some other fabrics to make different versions!
Until next time…



Craftee_Welsh_One’s Sewing Exploits – Liberty Dominique.

Hi guys! I’m new here, so let me introduce myself. My name is Tee and I live in a little Welsh Valley approximately 30 minutes away from Cardiff.

When I came across TrixieLixie – I was over the moon to find that there was a fabric shop that catered for my needs (and wants) so close to home! The fact that it stocked lots of independent patterns really excited me! The fabric selection goes without saying…. It is absolutely amazing. The colours, the variety, the amount, just absolutely glorious! I have visited the shop a few times now, and am always filled with the little excited butterflies in my tummy, that’s without stepping foot through the door, it’s just from seeing the shop front and window display! When I go inside, it’s a different feeling altogether, I get so excited I start squealing, literally, with delight. The shop is so quirky and colourful, it will make anyone smile just because everything is set out so beautifully. It’s the little sewing machines on display that totally got me. You really need to visit the shop to see what I mean about how it can make you feel.

I went with the plan of getting some fabric just to have a play with – I had no project in mind really, but took a look at some of the Tilly and the Buttons patterns there and fell in love with Dominique. That went on the table – I used the table as my little basket so I had my hands free the whole time to do plenty of stroking!

I absolutely love the colour pink and really thought I would go for something along those colours, but I went completely a different way and ended up purchasing some of the gorgeous Liberty fabric that I knew would be perfect. It has little speckles of orange and green in it, on a navy and white base with little birdcages as the main design. I fell in love with the print and that was that – it went on the table – along with some other bits and bobs – which I will leave to chat about another time – nothing like keeping you in suspense is there haha!

I thought the fabric would be amazing to work with as the quality is beautiful – I was right, it behaved so well and was so easy to work with. I love it when you get a nice fabric that behaves – it makes the process and end result that little bit more rewarding – it made me do the whole ‘swishing and twirling’ whilst wearing it!

Tilly’s patterns are so lovely to work with – she talks you through everything in lots of detail – the Dominique is a lovely pattern – especially for beginners and is really a nice add on to your wardrobe. It can be dressed up or down and is lovely and cool for the warmer weather. Each time you make it, it will look totally different, depending on what fabric you go for.

I will most definitely be sewing with some of the Liberty fabric from TrixieLixie in future!

Until next time….   Tee

You can follow Tee on instagram @The_Craftee_Welsh_One

30 days of dresses

Wearing dresses for 30 days is not that hard for me, I love dresses and although I haven’t got 30 yet I am well on my way! I think I have over 20 but some of them were too wintery to wear in July!

I didn’t manage to photograph myself everyday but these were the dresses that I was wearing throughout July. A combination of Made by Rae Washi dresses, By Hand London Anna dresses, a couple of Merchant & Mills Camber set shift dresses, a Deer & Doe Myosotis dress and Bleuet dress and Colette Wren and Moneta dress. All the fabric is from TrixieLixie.

This was my favourite day in July, I had worn this dress for 2 days in a row but it was all worth it when my daughter eventually gave birth to Bea Eliza! As you can see I am over the moon to be a grannie, expect lots of little girls outfits in my future posts!!!

Don’t forget that we are hosting the first ever Fancy Frocks sewing meet up in Cardiff in October, there are still tickets available here – Fancy Frocks Tickets – and you can find out more about the event on the Fancy Frocks Facebook page, hope to see you there!

Fancy frocks at the museum

If you are thinking of coming to Fancy frocks in October to meet up with lots of likeminded people here is some information for you.

Guide to Staying in Cardiff

Remember that Cardiff is a small city. You can easily walk from one side of the city centre to the other. It is also blessed with plenty of public transport options.

If you are coming by train to Cardiff Central Train Station, it really is a short walk or a quick Taxi to the Museum. From the main bus stops in Sophia Gardens it is a nice meander through Bute Park and Arboretum.

The main hotels in the centre may not be that cheap [where are they ever?], but there are plenty of other options a short distance away.

There are plenty of the budget hotels, slightly further out, but still an easy taxi journey.

There are three Ibis Hotels in or around Cardiff, which seem like good value.

Holiday Inns have lots of options including the Holiday Inn Express in Cardiff Bay

Premier Inns have plenty too, including the budget ZIP by Premier Inn Cardiff

Those on a tighter budget could opt for the backpacker hotels, several of which [NosDa and The River House] are very close to the city centre over the River Taff from the Principality Stadium.

There is a also a nice YHA close to the centre and the Urdd City Sleepover down in the Millennium Centre in the Bay

We found all these on Google Maps

Finally there are there are thousands of places to stay at

Almost forgot….. Our favourite and most secret accommodation place, is situated in the beautiful parkland close to the heart of the city; Cardiff Caravan Park for Caravans, Campers and Tents.

If you need a tourist map, we found these at [a very good website to look around]

Maps of Cardiff

Re-made May

During #MeMadeMay2019 I realised that almost all my lush Amy Butler pattern Barcelona skirts that I had made over the years no longer fit me! This is due to the weight gain that I have had during the perimenopause. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with my changing shape although I could do without the aches and pains that seem to have taken over my body and the hot sweats, the brain fog and the emotional roller coaster that I have been on for the past 5 years (when does it end?).

BUT these skirts are made from gorgeous fabrics that I am not ready to get rid of!!! What to do? Well join in with #RemadeMay of course! So I took 4 of the skirts and completely unpicked them to re-use the fabric! Barcelona skirts became Sew Serendipity panel skirts almost overnight! (well not quite overnight, it probably took me almost the whole of May to do 3)

These are the original skirts that I had to work with, so far I have re-made 3 of them.

This is my Grayson Perry skirt – the original skirt fabric is a Grayson Perry design for Liberty Fabrics that features images of his childhood teddy bear – Alan Measles. I had enough of the lovely fabric to do the main front and back panels and 2 patch pockets, the rest is some grey shirt fabric that I had in my stash.

This is another of the 3, this is a combination of 2 of the old skirts sewn together in panels to make one that fits me! you can see how the skirt is made up from panels in these pictures.

Finally I converted this one from a Barcelona skirt into a panel skirt but I was really lucky with this one as I still had enough of the original material left in my stash to completely re-make it in the same fabric!

I still have a couple of skirts that I have unpicked and have in a pile ready to be transformed so watch this space. I am also looking at ways to make my wardrobe full of By Hand London Anna dresses fit me again – that will be another blog post!

Me made May 2019 2nd post

It’s nearly the end of June & I realised that I still haven’t posted the second half of my #memademay2019 posts! So for the record here are the rest of the months me made outfits!

Looking back on these pictures makes me realise how lucky I was with the weather for my week off in Devon!

Well what a month! I have to admit that as I wear me made every day (95% of my wardrobe is handmade) it wasn’t that hard for me to wear Me made everyday during May. I think next year I will have to set myself more of a challenge! Any suggestions? Comment below!!


Me made May has been running for 10 years and I think that this year it is bigger than ever, I have taken part several times and each time I have had a bit of a theme running through my posts, you can see my previous posts on this blog. Here are my posts for 2019 so far!

I pretty much wear me- made all the time so I didn’t set myself a challenge, however I have found that with my changing body shape due to being 50+ and going through the menopause, I am struggling to get into a lot of my clothes! So I have been unpicking a pile of skirts and re-modelling them into new skirts that fit me. Keep watching my posts to see the results!If you want to find out more about Me made May and the sewing pledge take a look at for more details and inspiration.

Fancy Frocks at The Museum

We are delighted to announce that the first ever Fancy Frocks evening will take place on Saturday October 5th at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. It’s going to be a wonderful evening of dancing and socialising with food and drink – and the opportunity to catch up with old sewing friends and make new ones!

Tickets cost £55 per person, but there is a special early bird discount – £50 until June 1st 2019. Fancy Frocks will take place at the National Museum in central Cardiff, a beautiful building (perfect for Instagramming selfies in your me-made frock!) The evening starts at 7pm, and ends at midnight.

Your ticket entitles you to a welcome glass of Prosecco on arrival, a goodie bag full of sewing and crafting goodies, a finger buffet, great music and also entry into the raffle. We have some fab raffle prizes so far, and more are being added every day. We hope this will be the first of many Fancy Frocks evenings (or FfrogiauFfansi if you are Welsh-speaking!)

We will do a follow up blog post in a few weeks time with all the information you need for visiting Cardiff, where to stay, where to shop (Sewing shopping of course) and highlights of the City.

We can’t wait to see everyone!!!

A day out in Stockport

If, like me, you love scrolling through Instagram looking at pics of fabric and frocks and patterns etc, then you may have noticed the appearance of the hashtag #sewover50. It started last summer after a blog post by @susanyoungsewing talking about how older women are under-represented on pattern covers, magazine covers, advertisements etc. This lead to a lively debate from many who felt the same. @judithrosalind created the Instagram account @sewover50 and soon women and men, all around the world were using the hashtag to show that sewing is not just for the bright young things!Susan then contacted Love Sewing magazine and asked if they would be interested in a feature and photo shoot for the mag. Love Sewing said yes and so Judith and Susan put out the call for some like-minded sewists willing to take part,and after mentioning it to my husband, who said ‘go for it’  I put my hand up!

Which is how I came to travel to Stockport, on a very grey and damp November day, with some me-made items in a case, for a photoshoot for a national magazine! There were ten of us, from as far away as Edinburgh and Port Talbot. Some women had been sewing all their lives, some earned their living from sewing and teaching sewing, and some, like me, were home sewists who enjoyed making their own clothes. To be honest, I felt like a terrible imposter. Here I was in a room with people who had so much more experience than me, who had forgotten more than I would ever know. In the weeks before, we had set up an online group chat, so by the time we arrived, it felt like seeing old friends.

There had been much discussion about what to wear for the pics. In the end, I took my rose and spot patterned Joni dress, fabric from TrixieLixie, it’s a dress that makes me feel good when I am wearing it – and surely that’s the measure of a good dress!  Amy Thomas, editor of Love Sewing was there to greet us, with hair and make-up artists too! Amy was so friendly, making us feel at ease and putting us in groups for various photos. Have you ever seen that episode of Friends, where Monica and Chandler have their engagement photos taken, and Chandler can’t smile, and ends up gurning at the camera? Well that was me! Who knew it was so hard to look at the lens, stand up straight and smile all at the same time? It was such a fun day, and since then we have kept in touch, and are hoping to meet up again. I came away inspired to improve my sewing, and with lots of ideas for new makes, new designers to try but more importantly I felt good from spending time with a group of wonderful women. I felt that a conversation had been started, and there was no going back, it was time for designers and publishers to reflect the makers of all ages and sizes. 

If you would like to see these fabulous women and read their thoughts on sewing and life, then get yourself a copy of issue 64 of Love Sewing magazine, it’s in the shops now. And do keep an eye on the #sewover50 hashtag on Instagram, there’s more to come from all of us over50s, all over the world!

You can follow Sara on instagram @saraknitsandsews

Nothing Fancy – just a denim skirt!

Hello my lovelies, happy new year to you all. Yes, I know it’s a little late, but this is my first blog of the year, so I feel I can still say that to you.

I have a little hack to share with you today. It is a Miette wrap skirt, pattern by Tilly and the Buttons. You might remember I made and blogged one last summer, but this one has buttons instead of the ties. I really love my summery, purple Miette, and fancied making one in a denim for winter wearing – but I didn’t really fancy the ties. I also omitted the front pockets. The fabric is a lovely light weight, dark coloured denim from TrixieLixie. I pre-washed this fabric – dark denim like this can bleed dye, so be warned! Because I knew I would be wearing it with tights, I decided to line it (nobody likes a clingy skirt!). They have plenty of lining fabric in stock at TrixieLixie, in lots of colours. 

I have used two, a cream and a pale green, and by a happy coincidence they match the fabric I used to line the waistbands – a piece of rosebud print cotton I had left in my scraps basket.

If you follow the pattern instructions, you will cut out various lengths of waistband and attach the ties. Because I wasn’t using ties, I cut the waistband pieces to match the top of the skirt pieces – denim for the outside and cotton for the lining. But I cut the piece that would be on the outer wrap, (my right side) approx. one inch longer than the skirt piece. I omitted the buttonhole at this stage of making (the one where your tie would thread through, if you were using the ties) I did use an interfacing as well, but it wasn’t stiff enough, and my lovely waistband has a tendency to crumple (usually after lunch!) and roll down a bit. I made the lining in the same way as the skirt, and basted it, wrong sides together, to the skirt before attaching the waistband. I hand stitched the waistband lining inside. I do like to sit quietly with a mug of tea and some quiet hand sewing, there is something rather soothing about it, isn’t there?

I also hand sewed the hem of the skirt, but I overlocked the hem of the lining. Once the skirt was fully assembled, I was able to wrap it on me and work out where to put the buttons and the buttonholes. This was quite straight forward, with the help of some tailor’s chalk and pins.

I had two big navy buttons in my button box. Once I had worked that out, I made the buttonholes on my old Singer. This is always an anxious time, for both of us. She prefers to do her 4-stage button holes in the order 2,3,4,1 – which is fine by me, as long as she does them neatly.

So here it is, my new denim, Miette skirt. It’s nothing fancy really, but I do love the shape – it’s just the right A-line shape for me, and it’s just the right shade of denim and so far this winter it’s had lots of wear.  Sometimes nothing fancy is just what you need!

You can follow Sara on instagram @saraknitsandsews

The pattern and the fabric were bought at TrixieLixie. I pay for my fabric, but I do get a discount.