Progress Report

A progress report and some photographs are in order.

First up:

Clockwise from Top Left:
1. The Garment formerly known as The Sack
2. First Renfrew (pattern by Sewaholic)
3. Second Renfrew
4. Bus Stop Bag (green) and Toiletry Bag (orange, with polka dots!), pattern by Nicole Mallilieu, made by ME!

I am trying to get better at doing little bits of sewing, so that I can get more done. I am trying not to mind doing only an hour here or there and setting everything up and putting everything away again.

The Sewing Station. Also known as The Dinner Table. Plus, a bonus muffin! Woo hoo!  Blur due to crap, out of practise photographer.

I am trying not to dream of a spacious room, with lots of shelves.
I am trying not to dream of even a wee tiny room (but it has to have lots of shelves).

I am also trying not to dream of owning an overlocker (a serger to some of you). Because it would be fairly easy for me to achieve that dream. Then I would be faced with the reality of where to keep it and when to bring it out. I have a love-hate relationship with the overlocking stitch on my sewing machine. It is very troublesome getting the tension right, but it is so good for finishing seams. And the other trouble is that I know the ease of an overlocker. I know it well.

Recently, I sort of almost but not quite completed my Thurlow shorts. I realised, after sewing it in, that I had cut one of the waistband pieces inside out and managed to insert it upside down. I have no more of the fabric (either lining or outer), and I have no patience for unpicking. So, I have put it aside and may return to it in future. (Both lining and outer fabric should be easy to source) And I did such a good job on the fly front zipper, too! Oh, the shame. (In case you follow these things, I skipped the welt pockets at the back because I’ve always found back pockets completely useless.)

I have, in any event, learned enough to feel confident tackling Thurlow trousers.

And I still love the Renfrew, having completed another V-neck tee. However, I don’t quite have the technique for the V.

To wit:

Renfrew V Neck Fail.

Still, I completed it. And to anyone who says, like my Partner* did, “Is it meant to bunch up like that?” The answer is, “Yes. Of course it is. That’s part of the Design.”

I am actually looking unimpressed at a bug that landed on my chest, but this is perfectly illustrative of my troubles with that darn V-neck.

I am not deterred! I will make more and I will master that V-neck if it’s the last thing I do! ->insert triumphant music, or the music from that bit of Gone with the Wind when you see Scarlett’s dark silhouette framed by the setting sun as she stares at the ruin of Tara and says, “If I have to lie, cheat, steal. As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again.” The moment is exactly like that.

You know the scene.  Of course you do.



* I was going to write an apologia for my Partner.  But I don’t think I will.  Take that, Partner.



  1. I can totally hear the Voice of Oanh through this post. Such good fun! Brilliant to see the results of the new hobby. We only ever ended up making clothes that were worn at home… 😉

    And, yes, I KNOW THE SCENE.


  2. So far, I have worn The Garment formerly known as The Sack and Second Renfrew out, except both times it was so cold they were worn under a jumper, so no one saw them to comment on my awesome tailoring skills. The bus stop bag is currently my everyday handbag and my workmates have been most complimentary. Hurrah! Validation!

    Of course you know the scene!


  3. Hi Oanh, I think you have come ahead in leaps and bounds!!!! I would never never have tackled a V-neck in my early sewing days. But having said that practice makes perfect – so don’t ever ever give up. I just love the orange polkadot bathroom bag. Am impressed if you also put a zipper in it (can’t quite see in the photo) – I hate sewing zippers!
    Keep up the good work and ignore Nic’s comments 🙂


    1. There’s a zipper in both bags. And I have plans to make Nic a bag called “Two zip Hipster Bag”, which (you guessed it) has not one, but two zips! But maybe if he keeps being mean, I might not. Take that! (We both know he’s not really mean.)


    1. Ah yes, well I’ve not done anything with a placket yet. Actually didn’t even know what that was until I started looking at sewing patterns!


  4. V-necks are tricky (says she, who attempted one a meeellieeon years ago)! With practice, tho, you can get there, and all other shown items are quite impressive!
    I really do love the bags, they look fab – and such a good use for smaller amounts of fabric and time.


    1. Thanks, K! It has occurred to me that The Garment formerly known as The Sack really needed to be ironed before photographing! (and perhaps needs a shorter name) I’m rather chuffed with the bags!


  5. Ah, another secret overlocker-wisher…I too worry about where I’d put it! Your post made me laugh! Loved the red bag by the way…Only the other day I made a pile of favourtie clothes that need to be altered & favourtie pieces of fabric that need to be made into something…all I need to do now is get round to doing it!
    Off to make a large coffee & ponder now (opposite end of the house to the pile of stuff to be made into something!)
    P.S. ‘Hello’ to you too!


    1. My favourite part of sewing is the pondering time. Perhaps, too, the fabric shopping time. And, yes, I am a regular failer at the actual doing it time! Still, plans and pondering are fun!


  6. The Renfrew is such a great pattern… I have to make a couple for the summer. And I totally get the whole finding an hour here and there to sew… that is me during the day and in the evenings. But thankfully my table is now set up and all organised which helps a ton. I hope to get a post up one of these days with pics of my sewing nook! 🙂


    1. The Renfrew is pretty much exactly the style of tees I like (though I’ve not yet made the cowl neck version). I have a heap more planned, but my Partner suggested I move on to trying woven fabric to see if I struggle with that less and *then* return to the Renfrew v-neck for another go. He makes such good suggestions. Very aggravating!


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