Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

All for Free


One Pirate pencil skirt

One Sorbetto top

One pair Barb pants

A few metres of Jacobean Floral Fantasy – a pique waffle type ponte double jersey in stylised Jacobean floral print. Fairy tale tree of life branches with deepest green foliage, and exotic blooms in coral, turquoise, aqua, gold and chartreuse intertwine across the dark cream base colour – from Fabworks (not for free!)

Put these elements together and you too can get the astronaut’s wife look.

If you are not already aware, then I’ll tell you –  it’s Indie Pattern Month at The Monthly Stitch. Four weeks in July of competitions, challenges, inspiration and sewing fun.

Week 1 – Dresses

Week 2 – New to Me

Week 3 – Hack it

Week 4 – Indie Royalty (Two garments that work as an outfit)

There’s some amazing prizes too, so get those machines threaded up and the Indie patterns out…..

I’m not planning on entering any of the competitions but I have discovered some amazing Indie patterns and some lovely sewing already, so the site is definitely worth a visit.

The real benefit of sewing very basic pieces is the little personal touches that you can add to them. Some extras that I added include – front welt pockets to the Barb pants.


And that deep elastic waist is so comfortable and stable on the Barb pants that I used it on the pencil skirt too.


Suck it in girl…

The Sorbetto top when tucked in and worn with a belt could create the impression of a dress or in combination with the Barbs – a jumpsuit: the most impracticable and useless garment ever designed for women (am I alone?).


With so many colours in the three main pieces, adding a solid coloured top/skirt/trousers triples the wearing combinations.

With absolutely no intention of matching patterns nor concern for pattern placement, all the pieces are easy sews – quick to cut out (each piece has two pattern pieces apart from the waistbands), quick to sew, easy to wear. Use stretch fabric, that’s the only condition.

I folded the front pleat to one side of the Sorbetto and sewed a few buttons for a mock closure.


Those Barb pants are the best! Much more flattering than leggings and just as comfortable and an added bonus is that you can nip down to K-Mart or Tesco’s without looking like you’re still in your jammies. I reckon these would work for yoga/exercise pants as well as PJs.

Sorbetto top is the most versatile and adaptable sleeveless top ever – whenever I have 1/2 metre leftover, I always reach for this pattern. Easily worn on its own but just as perfect as a camisole or a layering piece in colder seasons.

The Pirate pencil skirt is fast becoming another staple and elevates a simple knit skirt to sophisticated yet comfortable work-wear if sewn in a solid colour for conservative boardroom-wear.

Hello to all new followers and readers of this little amateur sewing blog. I hope you find something worthwhile.




18 thoughts on “All for Free

  1. Nice! Jin-jams for the win! I’ve found all the stretch Style Arc trousers [no pants here lol] to be really, really good. Those waistbands are the best, and still look smart. Try their stretch skirts- I LOVE the Ursula, and the Taylor is pretty good too…just a bit of style to each that lifts them from just a tube.

  2. Really like these combinations. Great that they are free patterns too.

  3. I love the print but it is large and I would feel as though I am screaming at the world! However,
    I see on you, you’re speaking in a normal tone of voice! That may be my favorite outfit of all I’ve
    seen since I joined maybe a year+ago.

  4. I have the Barb pant downloaded, but haven’t yet made it. With all the rave reviews, it should be next in the queue.

  5. My go to pants pattern is the Elle pants which are slimmer than the Barb. I do have the Barb pattern but never made it up. And I haven’t made a Sorbetto. Perhaps I should. Love the fabric you have used. Great pieces for a mix and match wardrobe. And agree about the jumpsuit – totally impractical. Like you I have a matching pants and top set that looks like a jumpsuit but with toilet capabilities 🙂

  6. Adorable! I am with you on jumpsuits – I made mine with a matching top and culottes. No bathroom accidents, semi naked urination, and also bonus is ending up with 3 pieces. Pants pattern definitely going on my “to make” list.

  7. You just look so cute!! and happy. Love all 3 pieces – so summer! and charmingly unique.

    ummm – that fabric is so calling my name…

  8. Such an enjoyable post. Your just-do-it attitude is refreshing and appealing. Your choice of fabrics is always terrific.; I’ve never seen such a pretty ponte… Totally agree with your thoughts on jumpsuits and your solution is perfect. Using the Barb pant waistband is a super idea. You bring a fresh and freeing attitude to sewing. Your neckline/armhole binding looks great. What technique do you use?

  9. I really do look forward to your posts. Cheers me up no end. I have to stop making up every pattern in navy blue, going to get myself some wildly floral fabric this weekend. Maybe…..with a navy background?

  10. These are great pieces! I’d never thought of using the barb waistband on a skirt! Great idea! I am with you on jumpsuits! I did see one to purchase that was only connected in the front. The back of the top was longer and flowy and covered your backside. Brilliant!

  11. What lovely pieces! The fabric is gorgeous.

  12. Your creativity amazes me! You look fantastic! note to self: download Elle trouser pattern.

  13. Yes, Barb pants work for trackies too. I have made trackies for pilates class
    and because I had some sweatshirting left, I made a pair of exercise shorts too. I left the ends raw to curl around at the bottom

  14. Love that fabric and what you did with it. A perfect summer combination. You look so beautiful and fresh. Really lovely. Fabworks is the best.

  15. V is for versatile…you make clothes that are effortless to wear and sew. Love the fabric!

  16. Brilliant! I love the fabric, and the fact that all the patterns are free is a bonus. I have had the Barb trouser pattern for ages and not used it yet. I’m trying to work out why now 😃

  17. You look wonderful in your new outfit and I am always totally in awe of your beautiful makes and always look forward to reading your blog. I wonder if I could impose upon you for some advice. I have just purchased some very expensive silk chiffon in a moment of madness from Joel and Sons and am now very nervous of sewing it. Not being a very proficient or confident sewer I thought I would just make a plain shift dress. Could you please advise me whether I should sew the lining and fabric as one or treat them separately? Any help would be massively appreciated. Many, many thanks.
    Carole Porteous

  18. Thanks for the link, Ruth. It alerted me to the latest By Hand London dress pattern (Orsalo). One of the contestants entered it and I thought she looked wonderful in it. Slightly wary about buying it as I loathed the problems I had with the Anna dress, though I do concede that it was universally loved by everyone else. Fancy giving it a go? Would look great on you.

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