True Bias – Ogden Cami. The perfect Beginners pattern?

I felt compelled to write a short blog about the Ogden Cami pattern created by True Bias. I had heard various people talking about this one and has seen a number made up on Instagram but nothing compared with the reality. This is such an amazing pattern, its very quick to make, you can get away with around a metre of fabric on 150cm wide and the final garment is perfect for dressing up or down. What’s not to love! The worst part of the make is turning the straps and that is probably down to the fact that I don’t have the proper turning tool required for these more fiddly bits! I am sure if I invested in one that would be a breeze too.

I made my first Ogden out of a ditsy print viscose. It was an absolute nightmare to work with as with most viscose it was more keen to slide off the table than do as it’s told. It also seemed to think I had invited it to a fraying party as it needed no encouragement on that front either….!!!! I persisted though and the end result is beautiful – the top has amazing drape and it just feels lovely to wear. It almost has a peachskin feel to it.

Another great point about the Ogden is that it has been designed with an internal modesty panel. Now, if you’re like me and have been blessed with beestings for boobs this means that you can confidently wear the top braless in the summer (not that I would but…if you want to, you could!)

The second Ogden I made was from a beautiful cotton lawn that I bought from Guthrie & Ghani online. It is called Golden paradise which seems very apt as I think it looks a complete dream! My idea of heaven is fabric overpowered with florals and birds!!!! This is such a beautiful print and I will be trying my absolute best not to drop the jam from my doughnut all down the front of it – something that happens to me when I’m wearing something I love!!!! Maybe I should give up doughnuts….hmmmmm, no. Anyway, getting back on track the drape is obviously less with this version but it was a DREAM to work with and the V neck is so sharp you could cut your finger on it…! This fabric behaved well and I think it looks just as nice. The whole make was just a pleasure from beginning to end.

So, my advice, if you haven’t treated yourself to the Ogden Cami pattern yet….do it!!! It’s perfect for summer and will look great layered up in the cooler months. The measurements are true to size, I didn’t make up a muslin here I just used a really reasonable viscose and it’s probably now one of my favourite tops! There is nothing particularly technical to fear either, there are no darts, pleats, zips or buttons…just plain old straight stitching and a little under stitching making it the perfect pattern for a beginner sewer and a very quick sew for an experienced sewer!

What are you waiting for….! Go make one!! Ha!

Until next time…

The Zipper Foot

Two months in…!

Today marks my two month relationship with sewing and what a little journey it’s been so far.

Let me tell you how it all started. I was bored, really bored!  Post 7pm when my son had gone to bed I pretty much either sat and read or sat and watched TV. I live alone with my son so there’s not really an option to pop out so to speak. I had a good sit down and think about what I’d like to do and having always enjoyed craft I thought I’d give sewing a bash.

I bought a pretty basic singer sewing machine, a few essential supplies to get started and started a search for what would be my first project. I stumbled upon a you tube tutorial made by ‘The Textile Tutor’ and it was basically how to sew a little make up bag with a zip. I followed the tutorial religiously and actually ended up with a half decent little bag! I was so happy with myself! Haha! From there I made a few different little bags and Totes to get used to my machine and to try out different fabrics. I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get home from work each day, have time with Jenson (my son) and then once he was settled in bed asleep get my machine out and sew away. The nights drifted by one after the other, I was sewing like years worth of lost time was pouring out of me – I still am really, the only difference being the projects tend to take a couple of days now as opposed to a couple of hours.

I decided upon my first pattern, Tilly and The Buttons – Bettine, by way of a recommendation from a friend. This is the point where I became truly hooked and realised I had stumbled upon a hobby that would last a lifetime and probably ruin my bank balance in the process! I was buying fabrics because I loved them, I had no idea what I was going to make – I just knew I wanted them in my collection. Then came the patterns, Tilly and the Buttons, Deer and Doe, The Grainline Studio, Burda, Simplicity…just to name a few. My Instagram feed was filling my mind with inspiration on a daily basis, inspiration that to a degree, I didn’t need as my mind was already bursting with ideas….!!!! However, it is the inspiration of others that helps you to develop, it helps to continue your journey, it helps you to share ideas and make new friends. I have been amazed with how supportive and friendly the Instagram sewing community is. My world is truly forever changed.

And so here we are, month two. It is beyond comprehension to me that two months ago I hadn’t sewn a thing, not because I’m amazed that I can sew but because I’m amazed at this fire that’s burning away inside of me. I’m excited, I’m happier, I feel productive…sewing has given me so many more gifts than clothes and that’s the point here, for me. I still look forward to getting home each night and considering my next project, browsing the beautiful websites with the most gorgeous fabrics – Make at 140 Vauxhall Street, Sew Me Sunshine, Thimble and Notch, The Fabric Godmother, Fabric Magpie to name a few. All of these internet shops and their owners inspire me daily! Sewing is still so new to me but I can’t imagine a time where it won’t be part of my life, I am certain I will slow down but I’ll never stop – it brings me too much joy.

What’s next? Well, for me, I want to slow down and focus on the detail. I want to tidy my work up. I’m after basic sewing perfection!! Once I’ve mastered the basics and by this I mean sewing an item so it looks good inside and out  (I have recently achieved this and the satisfaction was great, Ha) I’ll move on, move on to more complex patterns and challenge myself further.

So, there it is – my journey so far! The best couple of months I’ve had in a long time (aside of time spent with friends and family of course) I recommend it to anyone – not necessarily sewing but doing something for you. Something that is selfish and demands your time and focus – It’s not a bad thing, it’s allowed. Spend time with yourself, challenge yourself, create, exercise…just do something for you. I promise you, it’s worth it.

Until next time –

The Zipper Foot.

The realities of my ‘sewing room’

I love Instagram, it is a truly inspirational site but it also makes me green with envy at times! As I scroll through my feed, at least on a daily basis, a fellow sewer will post a picture of their beautiful sewing room with all the cotton reels on little pegs attached to the wall, baskets of beautiful stash fabrics in nice gloss units, patterns all filed away in stand tall desk folders, scissors and other items all hanging from magnetic strips attached to the wall and then the pinnacle…. the sewing table…! A perfect table with a machine and sometimes a serger sat side by side, nothing else…just the two beautiful machines sitting on a table especially allocated for them! I have even seen a room with an ironing board and a cutting table in it….jealous, jealous JEALOUS!!!!!!

I simply cannot be the only person whose reality is somewhat different to this absolute dream! I use my kitchen table to sew, my bananas, apples and grapes keep me company whilst I sew! My ‘cutting table’ is the rug in the lounge…now so engrained with scraps of cotton I’m not sure it’ll ever be the same again! Whilst on that subject, how do scraps of cotton find their way all around the house?!!! They are everywhere…I hoover ALL….THE….TIME!!! Anyway, let’s get back on track. My cutting table poses various issues from the cat wanting to use it at the same time as me, to my son wanting to use it to get a snack from the fridge. I must book my time with my sewing table carefully as it is always a major walkway through the house!!! The same applies to my sewing table as we are a family who eat dinner at the table so I have to move my beloved machine around to be in keeping with meal times.

The top of my fridge brings me the biggest smile and giggle. No longer is it the top of a fridge but a storage space for fabric scraps, my tool box and my patterns. My favourite happening being reaching for my tool box and the piles of patterns falling to the floor…breathe Emma, breathe. Don’t swear. Just pick them all up and put them back on top of the fridge. FOR F**************k sake!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Sorry – I do only ever say that in my head! I promise!)

My fabric stash doesn’t live in pretty baskets either. It lives in my airing cupboard with my towels and other various items!! The same happens here, as I reach for the piece I’d like to use more often than not the whole lot comes down and I find myself biting my lip again. Heaven forbid the two things happen on the same day…worse again if they occur at the wrong time of the month!!!!! Arghhh!

Seriously though, I’m sure I’m with the majority here. Please tell me that you don’t all have beautiful sewing rooms or I might have to go and do some seriously ugly crying somewhere!!!! (I am, of course, only jealous!) I think the point I’m trying to make is that I do it anyway. Would I stop sewing so I could have the top of my fridge back? No. Would I stop sewing to have a tidy kitchen table again…No. I love it. I love the chaos that sewing has brought to my life, it’s a beautiful creative chaos where fabrics are waiting to be made into garments, it’s chaos that brings me calm, helps me to relax and makes me smile. It’s a way of life now. I have only been sewing for a very short time so there is also hope, I guess, that I may tidy my workspace over time as I realise that this is a more permanent hobby.

There is always a way though. If you have a dream you just have to make it happen, you have to work with what you have. I never look at the negatives – what’s the point and where will it get you. If you want to do something, do it…find a way because there’s always a way. It might be a little inconvenient, it might not be ideal but it might also light a fire inside of you that you didn’t know existed and if that happens, well, it’s worth everything.

Until next time…

The Zipper Foot.

McCalls Bodycon Dress M7531

A week or so ago I bought the most gorgeous jersey fabric from As soon as it arrived, I knew that it would lend itself well to a bodycon dress and so the pattern hunt began. I decided on the MCCalls M7531 pattern as I liked the different neck/sleeve variations and the lengths of the dress. On the approach to 40 years old I feel that I need to try and keep things as sophisticated and classy as possible whilst still wanting to feel good about myself!

The fabric I purchased was a high quality jersey covered in Flamingos, called ‘flock party’. I absolutely love this kind of fabric, it’s fun, bright, vibrant and happy….all of the things I feel closely match my personality!eb3eb77c-4e3d-4868-bbae-1163e7fe630b.jpeg

So, last night I spent time cutting the pattern and fabric and figured I’d get around to the make at some point over the weekend – at least it was ready to go! However, I ended up waking at 06.15 this morning and so I thought well I may as well make a start! I have pictured the various stages of this make as I honestly don’t think I have ever made such a simple dress…you could potentially whip this up a couple hours before going out if you’re an experienced seamstress! It only took me two hours and i’m still at the beginning of my sewing journey.

This is what the make entails:

First of all you sew the back seam, you are advised to do this at 1.5cm and then again at 6mm. I think this may be because the fit is snug and you don’t want any of those embarrassing stitch rip moments! Well worth taking the time to do this.

You then go straight into sewing the shoulder and side seams, in the same manner as you did the back. I like to try my garment on for size at this point as if it’s too small/big, there is no point in continuing until this is rectified. Once this is done and you are happy you can hem the neckline with a 1.5cm seam. I thought this was going to be quite a challenge but actually, it was fine and posed no issues.

Next you turn your attention to the sleeves, sewing them up at the side seam and finishing the cuff hem. This was quite challenging as the cuff is so small. You really have to be mindful so as not to pucker the fabric.


Then comes my favourite part, sewing the sleeves into the dress. Many people seem to dislike this but I find it strangely satisfying. You really need to spend time over this ensuring that the seams and notches match. With this pattern, as with many others, you are left with much too much sleeve to fit into the hole and so you must stretch it to fit. It is wise to pin this all into place and baste the sleeve first to check that you have a good finish. I tend to change my tension setting to a 4 and baste that way as opposed to by hand! I always make sure I keep a good tension when sewing the sleeve in too as if you don’t then more often than not you end up with a pucker in the sleeve…that is just annoying! The photographs below show the sleeves ready to be sewn in…its those ripples you see that you you to pull straight when sewing the sleeve, if this was to be sewn without tension you’d have a million little puckers. I know as obviously learnt the hard way!!

Once the sleeves are successfully sewn in it’s just a case of hemming the dress. Again, I try on the dress at this point and decide where I’d like it to finish. I then pin, press and sew! Job done!!

Here is the finished article…..

And this is how it looks once on…..

I was so happy with this dress, it’s just a little bit different and a lot of fun! I hope my fellow beginner sewers find this blog helpful. As we all know patterns come with instructions but I always find that you can’t beat a little additional help! Maybe it’ll even inspire you to make one of these. The pattern only required 1.2m of fabric for my size (UK 8-10) so it’s a reasonable make. You can splurge on some of your favourite jersey and whip up a party dress all in a couple of hours! On top of that I don’t think I’ve made a more simple dress, it really is an easy one!

I hope you all have a wonderful bank holiday weekend, enjoy the sunshine! I know I will!

Until next time –

The Zipper Foot

Welcome to The Zipper Foot!


Welcome to The Zipper Foot!

Six weeks ago I decided to start upon a little journey, a journey that I had no idea I’d enjoy so much. I started to sew. I bought an entry level machine, some basic supplies and some fabric. I had no idea what I was doing but I figured I’d watch some YouTube tutorials and see how I got on. I started with a simple tote bag and found that I really enjoyed the process of piecing everything together and seeing this bundle of fabric turn into an item! I watched carefully at all the different techniques, skills that were new to me but that I couldn’t get enough of, I just wanted to learn more and more….! It was as if my mind was in overdrive making up for lost time not spent sewing!

Quickly I decided that I wanted to try my hand at a pattern and so I bought a Tilly and The Buttons beginner pattern from my local fabric shop, Make at 140 Vauxhall Street. I also bought all the fabric, buttons and elastic that was required for the make. I came home full of confidence and excitement, I measured myself, cut the pattern and fabric accordingly and got stuck in! I soon realised that I had no idea what I was doing and that my confidence had been misplaced, help was needed! I called my Mum, a keen and skilled seamstress, she lives locally and so popped over to lend a hand. I was soon back on track and sewing away to my hearts content! I completed the Bettine dress over two days and I can honestly say I’ve never felt so proud of myself (aside of giving birth to my 10lb 3oz son!) The picture below was taken by my son and I think you can tell from the smile how chuffed I was. It was a great moment and the beginning of an innocent addiction that I feel and fear may last a lifetime and wreck my bank balance in the process!


Since this picture was taken I have spent time learning new skills and sewing every day, even if it’s just something small. My most recent self taught lesson has been darts. I love the way they look in tops and dresses and so embarked upon a pattern that required they were sewn in. I had many difficulties, mainly transferring the dart from the pattern to the fabric – who knew carbon paper and tracing wheels existed! After a google and a quick Amazon purchase I was back on track, albeit the following day! The carbon paper made this particular process so much easier and so I was able to sew my first darted top just recently, the tops aren’t perfect but each one is better than the last and that’s all I think is important at this stage…that I learn.

So, that pretty much brings me up to date. I’ve still so much to learn and I can’t wait to learn it. I’ve joined Instagram as @thezipperfoot and made some new friends already. It seems to me sewing not only brings much pleasure to the individual but also that you get to join a unique little club, a club of likeminded people who also have secret cupboards stashed with fabric, people who love individuality and people who aren’t afraid to support each other and help out with advice. It’s lovely, it’s refreshing and it’s mine. I love it, I get to be Emma for a few hours after Jenson has gone to bed, I can use my time productively and I can relax and sew a whole lotta love and excitement into pieces of fabric!

I intend to continue on my little journey to see where it takes me, it makes me smile in almost disbelief when I consider that this time two months ago I had no idea about sewing. It’s crazy. Pop along to Instagram and look me up, my whole sewing diary is there along with a bunch of wonderful other likeminded people.

Until next time….

The Zipper Foot.