Category: Textiles

Fancy Tiger Crafts Sailor Top pattern review

I decided to do a little review of this pattern because I don’t often make things for myself so am still learning when it comes to making grown up clothing!

I bought the Sailor Top pattern from the wonderful Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead. They’ve just moved in to their beautiful new shop so I went to check it out! The pattern retails at £18 which is obviously quite a bit more than McCalls/Simplicity et al. However in my opinion it’s worth it if you’re going to make several versions of it. The information is great including advice on how to measure your body to figure out pattern size. I made the large for this first attempt because it’s a woven cotton with no stretch at all, so I didn’t want to risk it coming up way too small. 

I would say the fit is pretty great and accurate to the measurements given. 

This is what you get in your cute little folder: I love this style of instructions being in a booklet! I invariably lose bits of standard commercial patterns when instuctions are just printed on sheets of paper!

Also because if the way it is written it’s a doddle to follow, handy little diagrams and ‘hints and tips’ boxes make it very user friendly.

And so here it is finished!! I had to fit it in around nap times and school run but I reckon without interruptions I could do the whole thing in a couple of hours. 

Attaching the neck facing was a wee bit fiddly as you gather the neckline with basting stitches all the way round to fit the facing, but there’s plenty of help in the booklet. Other than that it was all pretty straight forward! 

Also I love the fact that you can type in #fancytigersailor to Instagram to get a load of inspiration for other makers! Fab! 

I’ve used this gorgeous Mori Girl fabric which I am seeking in my Etsy shop (link in bio) It’s by Dashwood Studio. 
I have already got the next version of this too ready to be cut out, this time I’m trying it in a jersey…… watch this space! 😍


All things Vintage

I am lucky enough to live in an area where we have several fabulous local Vintage Fairs and also the IACF Alexandra Palace Fair.  I absolutely love the thrill of finding something you’ve been on the look out for.  A totally different kind of retail therapy!

My two most recent jaunts have been to the IACF Antiques Fair at Alexandra Palace which is conveniently just down the road. I got there early and was lucky enough to find a lovely lady in the queue who had a ‘buy one get one free’ voucher on the entrance fee and was looking for someone to share it with. So I got in for the bargain price of £3! More cash for treasures!

I have a soft spot for beautiful Ally Pally as a venue, love the Palm Court entrance and am a regular visitor and supporter of the venue in general (this is where I also Ice Skate) It is also great because unlike a lot of the IACF venues it’s indoors! Necessity in this weather! It looks great filled with all the stalls too and I always deliberate over the best strategy to get round all the aisles! There is such a wide range available, from vintage posters, 1950s clothing and home ware, royal daily on figures, china, jewellery and so much more!

I always check out the vintage patterns, fabric and haberdashery

This time I bought this sweet selection of flower embroideries, I think they were from cigarette packets in the 50’s/60’s but am not sure. I’ve got a bit of a botanical theme going on at the mo so these were perfect! 


I also visited the North London Vintage Market which is a much smaller local fair held monthly in a local church hall.  It has a charming community feel to it with regular stall holders and the all important cake and tea served through the church hall hatch.  Lovely!

I was delighted to find a vintage Indian Quilt (at the back of the picture) and also these vintage pinking shears and an unusual coloured cotton hanky which I’m thinking would make a great cushion cover front! 

I love the ‘recycled’ element of vintage shopping and love the feel that vintage items bring into a home, much more interesting in terms of textures and colours. I feel like it brings a warmth and coziness in a way that brand new items don’t seem to do! 

That’s all for now, I’ll post the cushion cover upcycle when I get a chance to make it!! 



Ooooo Hello Block Craft!!

I first saw these gorgeous blocks and the prints they create at a Country Living Fair ages ago (like about 4 years ago) and had been meaning to try them ever since!  I finally got a set at the Knitting and Stitching show and I am in LOVE!  They are so easy to do and the colours are so vibrant its pretty impossible to go wrong!

I mean seriously – how stunning is this for a stall?  They are sold via The Arty Crafty Place who are a UK company based in Oxfordshire.


I started off with one of their starter kits which worked out at a very reasonable £30 for everything you need to get started, and then of course added in a few extra little blocks to play around with.  I had some tea towel blanks at home already from a little dabble in applique a while ago!

This is one end of a tea towel and the very first line of prints I tried.  It couldn’t be easier – this literally took me about 5 minutes.

They sell a lot of ‘blanks’ for you to practice on but the possibilities are endless – I am already eyeing up all my daughters plain t shirts!  I also think that you could make very pretty things from plain cotton fabric, calico or linen.

We have some wonderful friends that live in India, they are due to visit later in the summer and I can’t wait to show them and see what they think!

If you would like to have a go they website is here.   They sell everything you need online, including the starter kits and the blanks.

This is not a sponsored post and I am not affiliated with The Arty Crafty Place – I just genuinely love the blocks!!  If you give it a go or have any brilliant pieces you’ve printed I would love to see them!!