A Clean Machine.


Due to the bathroom renovations which have now spread to the spare bedroom being decorated, why just do the bathroom when you can do two rooms and have complete chaos?, I have been unable to do any sewing this week. I decided to use this as a good opportunity to clean my sewing machine.

Don’t you just love the table Mr C made?


I have a brother LS14 (purchased from Hobbycraft) which I’ve had for about 2 years, maybe 18 months. I can’t remember exactly when I got it. It wasn’t that long ago but I’ve had it since i started making clothes and have been using it a lot.
The machine previous to this was also a brother and I’ve got to say they are great. Touch wood (tapping head) I’ve never had any problems with them. Their helpline was brilliant when I needed to ask a question, I had trouble with the tension but it was the cheap thread I was using not the machine causing the problem. I’ve only had the basic machines but it’s all I’ve needed, however I am considering upgrading. Any recommendations on a new machine?

Always read the manual.


Before attempting to clean out all the lint I checked the manual and online to see what brother suggested.
It seemed simple and easy to do. So here’s what I did:
Take a before photo, because you always need photographs of everything you do.



Turn off power, remove foot and needle.

Give the foot a clean and put it somewhere safe.

Unscrew needle plate and remove.

Don’t loose the screws.

Remove bobbin case.

Oh my god I wasn’t expecting it to be that bad!

Brush out all the lint and take an after photo.

That’s better.

Replace bobbin case, needle plate, needle, I put in a brand new one, and foot.

Sparkly clean.

Ta dah super shiny lint free machine. Oh and check it works!
When reading the manual, brother state that cleaning is essential. This only took about 15 minutes, including taking all the photographs. I’m definitely going to try and get into the habit of doing this at the beginning of every month.
If this has inspired you to clean your sewing machine please don’t just follow my instructions and check the manual for your machine. It’s definitely worth doing and very satisfying seeing all the lint that comes out!

Before and After.

When was the last time you cleaned your sewing machine? Do you a have any cleaning tips?

Tag me in your sparkly sewing machine pictures on Instagram @sewinthegarden.

Coco Love


This week I have definitely fallen in love with the Coco.
I made my first Coco back in October and it was the most amazingly comfortable dress I have made. It’s the type of dress you can wear everyday with sparkly pumps or dress up for a meal out.


My first Coco.


This week I went Coco crazy on my sewing machine. Monday started off with some birthday sewing and I made a grey and navy version. The front panel is grey with the back and sleeves being navy and finished off with grey top stitching.


Navy and grey.


Work then got in the way and I had no time for sewing until Friday night. Go me and my exciting Friday night plans! First up was another colour blocked version with a black back and the front and sleeves in a mini black and white dog tooth print.


Black and white.


The third Coco of the week was a grey version with pink top stitching. I’m hoping to add pink some pockets to the front. I thinking of trying the pink heart pockets following The Crafty Pinups tutorial. What do you think?


Grey and pink.


Another brilliant pattern by Tilly and the Buttons with the best instructions.

I did make a few small alterations to the pattern. I cut the pattern in a size 8 (massive boobs!) and then graded to a size 6 under the bust. I also had to take in the sleeves by 4cm and the hem up by 6cm. I really need to learn how to do a FBA, another of my sewing resolutions!

I can’t tell you much about the fabric other than it is a type of knit, is so so soft and very special. I was given the fabricwhen we were sorting Mr C’s mums craft room. Ros very sadly didn’t get a chance to do all the crafting she had planned in her craft room which was filled to bursting. I’m sure she would love my Cocos.


This weeks Coco’s.


Another one of my #2017makenine complete and January isn’t even over yet! As we are currently revamping the bathroom my craft space has been taken over so no sewing machine activity, hence the massive Coco sewathon. I do have a crocheting project on the go which I’m hoping to get finished in the next few weeks and I also want to get the fabric sorted for the Fancy Forest quilt.


Click on the # for all the details.


What have you been making in January?

1350 hexies


Yay it’s finally finished! 1350 hexagons hand sewn to make this amazing, if I do say so myself, double sided quilt.
Yes it’s taken forever, about 2 years, it was a winter evening project and wasn’t even looked at during the summer months. My hand sewing skills are now brilliant!

Through the stages.

I couldn’t decide between making two quilts or a double sided one and having a selfish sewing moment I decided to make it double sided as I didn’t want to part with one of them!

The rainbow side.


The pink side.


The millions of needle pricks and hundreds of hours of hand sewing were definitely worth it as I will treasure it forever.
I decided I didn’t want to add an edging so just used the sewing machine to sew together the front and back right sides together (remembering to leave a gap to turn inside out!), I then overlocked the edges together to make the join sturdier, turned it inside out and hand stitched (yes more hand sewing) the opening together and there you have a simple quilt finish for a quilt that needs no fancy finish!


Even the back was pretty.


I wrote all about my inspiration to make a patchwork quilt in my first ever blog post which you can read here. My nan is very impressed with the finished quilt and was the first person I showed it to.
I won’t say I’ll never hand sew a patchwork quilt again but it’s definitely not on my current sewing to do list! However I do have a patchwork quilt on my #2017makenine list (make nine was started by @rochelle_new on Instagram). I’m hoping the amazing Fancy Forest quilt by Elizabeth Hartman will use up my stash of fat quarters.


How amazing is this quilt?


I purchased my copy of the pattern from Sew Hot. I’m looking forward to making a quilt on the sewing machine.

Have you ever made a hand sewn patchwork quilt? Do you have any tips for making a patchwork quilt using the sewing machine?

My Second Cleo


Sew… With all the love I have been getting on Instagram for my second Cleo I thought it would make the perfect first blog post of 2017, along with sharing some of my sewing resolutions.
I made my first Cleo at the beginning of December and have been wearing it so much that I knew I had to make another one! With one of my sewing resolutions being to use my stash before buying fabric, probably the most common resolution in the sewing community!, I knew I had the perfect Liberty chambray waiting.



I’m not going to use this post as a tutorial as Tillys instructions are so amazing that an extra input from me would not help in anyway! I did make one adjustment due to my massive out of proportion boobs! For the top part of the dress I use the largest measurement and at the side seams I cut two sizes smaller. I then adjusted the facings.

Check out Tillys top tips for sewing Cleo. The ‘stitch starter’ is amazing.


I will admit that the Cleo is definitely not the most flattering dress on me due to my gigantic boobs but I love it anyway. It’s fun and comfortable and I will definitely be making more, I’m thinking yellow denim for the next one. I would possibly lower the underarm opening on my next one to see if it sits better with the boobs. Does anyone have any fitting suggestions for the Cleo?



Pattern: Cleo by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric: Liberty chambray from Fabworks Mill

Buckles: Fabricworld
This has been my first make of 2017 and I am hoping for many many more makes this year. I took part in @rochelle_new #2017makenine and definitely want to complete these before the end of the year. My choices fit in perfectly with my stash resolution as I have 6 of the patterns already and suitable fabric to go with them. Another resolution is to complete #memademay so I need to get in lots of sewing in the next few months.

My 3 creative loves; dress making, patchworking and crocheting.


I’m hoping to make a Coco this week if I have time. Can you tell I’m a massive Tilly fan?! What are your sewing plans for 2017?