Sewing Bee

sew.jpgI don’t know if you have heard the news — sewing is back in style. Sales of sewing machines have gone up between 50%-500% over the last year, especially the cheaper models, as more people are getting into the ‘credit crunch’ mentality.

I have always had a sewing machine. My mother landed in the middle of Germany in the early ’70s. Being a petite French Madame, she was roughly half the size of all of the locals, so she quickly had to learn how to make and mend. I learned the basics of sewing from her and, though I am definitely no Coco Chanel, I love whipping up the odd skirt and cushion cover on my trusted little machine.

Especially since having kids, I’ve had such grandiose ideas of creating their whole wardrobe. Surprisingly though, I have never gotten round to it…. So when my friend Purvika, who helped me make the Babyccino Birthday Bunting, invited four of us round for a sewing bee, I jumped at the chance! We used a pattern for a little summer dress I had downloaded off Etsy and away we went. The pattern is really straightforward and you can make a whole dress in less than 2 hours.  Because it is so simple, you can use it as a starting point and go crazy from there. One of us made a little tunic, fashioned out of one of her grandmother’s aprons, the other made a nightie with long sleeves, the third an A-line dress out of bold patterned fabric, and I decided on a little summer dress out of Liberty fabric, finished off with a sash. The sash, by the way, was modeled on a hair band I happened to be wearing in my hair that night….  it works surprisingly really well! making.jpg

The result of the evening was a couple of empty bottles of wine, a huge amount of gossip and 4 sweet little summer outfits. It definitely has consolidated my status as a real old-fashioned mom, but we had such a great time and my little girl loves her new dress.

I tell you, I am really loving the credit crunch — it’s encouraging me to be so much more creative….

– Emilie


Comments (7)

May 10, 2009

A friend of a friend started this website for sewing and it has lots of cute prints (modern, fun, Liberty), a few patterns, and some great ideas at a reasonable price: The pattern for a doudou is particularly easy and helps even those who pretend they are not creative.

May 10, 2009

So good to hear. Loving the handmade revolution!

May 10, 2009

An old fashioned yet fashionable mum! Such a great idea!!
The dresses look darling!

May 10, 2009

SO cute! Inspiring me to get my sewing machine out of storage…..

May 11, 2009

Emilie, I couldn’t open the link to the pattern and I really would love to have a look to it since I am looking for simple dresses to sew (I am a beginner). Could you give me the name of the seller or the link again? THANKS

I understand what you mean: today, while my daughter was at kindergarten, I finally could sew a little summer dress… and it was great to have the time!… I had a lot of fun. It’s a very easy dress that came with the last issue of Sew Hip ( and this is the link to the dress:

May 11, 2009

Here is the direct link to the sellers, The Handmade Dress, site in case the Etsy link does not work: The pattern we used is the Little Miss Madeline one except that I made it without the sash and the apron. I like it simple….

May 11, 2009

Thanks a lot!!!

Leave a Comment