La La top – free tutorial sew-along part 1

This top was born out of the desire to make something freehand (no sticky tape pdf jigsaws), quickly and well fitted, fuelled by the nervous energy that comes the evening before A-level results day (yup it only takes an evening!).

It features peep/key-hole sleeves which are fastened with wide ties. And they are built in so no fiddly sleeve insertion! It is patternless and created around the shape of a pre-owned fitted t-shirt.

Scroll down for an annotated illustration, more pics and instructions…

I’ve just got back from Soul Survivor Camp. It was super encouraging to be worshipping God with so many other young people (there were 10,000 in total with youth leaders!) and has motivated me to be more open about my faith.

Here I share a tutorial on making a jersey tie-sleeve top. Introducing the ‘La La top’….

As with any freehand pattern, it requires a little bit of adjustment (that’s how the keyhole part of the sleeves emerged above the tie, it was far too tight, ahem) but the satisfaction of the speed final item is well worth it.

Here’s a collection of pictures so you can see how mine turned out:

Ok, so here is how you can make one too!


  • 1-2m jersey fabric (mine used 1m since I could fit both top pieces on side by side, this depends on your fabric width and final top width)
  • Matching thread

Step 1- Cutting out the pieces freehand.

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Part two – ‘Sewing La La’ will be released in a couple of days. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss it (and to make me happy 🙂 )

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Shauna Coatigan – Free Pattern Review + Picture Instructions

This is a project I have been wanting to make for ages!

A coatigan is a coat/cardigan hybrid. In my view it is a garment which is comfy and cosy like a cardigan but smart enough that it can be worn outside too.

I know August is not when you would usually be inspired to make a coat-like garment but this one had been in the pipeline too long (since Jan/Feb).

I came across the pattern when searching through Sew Magazine’s free patterns list (this is a pretty amazing resource – Sew Magazine Free Patterns).

Curious to see if this ‘one size fits all’ would turn out as pictured I checked out what other bloggers had been up to. I stumbled across Rumana from The Little Pomegranate’s take Shauna Coatigan by Rumana. I love her’s even more than the original! I definitely need to try it in a cosy grey knit next.

From my research I was pre-warned with the lack of clarity in the instructions for attaching the facing. Lo behold when I reached this step I got in a bit of a muddled mess that involved some unpicking and many attempts to lay out and re-pin on the floor/mannequin.

However, with some perseverance it worked out. In order to minimise confusion/avoid frustration for any other makers out there, I thought I would take some pictures of the process (scroll down).

First a quick summary of the pattern:


It’s free! (Sew Magazine does require you create a free account)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pattern Details

  • Shawl collar
  • Big pockets
  • Loose fitting shape

Fit and Fabric

This one size will apparently fit sizes 8-16. I made mine in a boiled wool rather than a bouclé. I had to curve the shoulder seams in slightly to avoid the excess bulging up above the shoulders. This may be avoided with a more stretchy knitted fabric/ different body shape!

The teal fabric was from online shop Pound Fabrics. It was advertised as a wool blend. It was £3pm so £9 for 3m plus postage. A good bargain! I don’t think it is still in stock but they are definitely worth checking out for good value fabric. I found the wool component of this fabric a bit itchy but over jumpers etc I think it will be fine.


There is nothing too difficult here in terms of construction, once you have got your head around it (other than that dreaded facing)! For some the pockets may be a first.


A high rating! One of those items that will be off the hanger many times especially in autumn.

Pictures to accompany instructions from Sew Magazine

Plus Bonus step!

Please note – step no. refers to step in Sew Magazine’s instruction booklet, which can be downloaded from their website (see above link).

3. Constructing pockets

4. Sewing sleeves on

5. Sewing front to back along sleeve

6. Attaching the under collar. Key point – the edges of the under collar align to the edges of the front coatigan pieces. It is the curved edge that matches to the raw edge of the coatigan.

This is where I went wrong the first time. If you look closely you can see the edges of the under collar don’t reach the centre front opening seams, although they should.
This is what it should look like!
Note: it is the curved edge of the under collar that joins to the raw edge of the coatigan pieces.
The edges of the under collar meet the front coatigan opening edges

7. Attaching the facing – note it is the curved part of the facings that align with the raw edge of neckline and front coatigan pieces. The “notch” shapes are not involved in this seam.

8. Sewing down the neck edge

Those “notches” mean you can fold under the middle bit to match the neckline seam and then sew in place (see bit between pins).

8. BONUS step! – add a hanging loop and personalised label!

What could be more useful than a hanging loop (for those of us who don’t always use coat hangers…)? Plus add a fun touch with your own personalised label. Want a tutorial for these? Let me know in the comments.

The pictures show you how! It involves enclosing the raw edges by a line of top-stitching and then a couple of rows sewing to secure it in.

Sew the label on, enveloping the edges of the loop in. For more label info scroll to the bottom!

Upgrading your coatigan, ideas:

  • create contrast fabric cuffs
  • Use a double sided fabric with fleece on one side
  • Try it in a different length
  • Add some oversized buttons

Oh and yes, I should have hand-stitched the hems…

I hope this tutorial will have inspired you to make your own coatigan!

If you found this helpful you may like to subscribe… it would make my day 🙂 and there is a free hoodie tutorial coming too soon

Who doesn’t love a free sewing tutorial?

When you’ve got an itch to stitch, there is no need to wait! Here are some other tutorials, that I’ve made from scratch.

Also if you fancy taking your me made garments a notch up, why not add a personalised label?!

Sewing a Tulip Skirt – Pattern Review

Hey guys, so this ones just a little post about one of my makes – the Tulip Skirt from Sew Over It.

As you can see I went for quite a bold colour. Its probably the first thing I’ve sewn in yellow!


Good features

  • Nice shaping – pleats at front and darts at back
  • Curved waistband and invisible zip
  • Pockets

Problem – Too tight

The pdf pattern is fine although I always seem to struggle to fit projects made from pre-made patterns even when I go through all the measurements. This one was way too tight when I had sewn on the first waistband piece and so I unpicked it and hacked into the other waistband piece to create a ‘gusset’. I had to add about 6cm of fabric in! I released some fabric from the body of the skirt by decreasing the seam allowance on the side seams and letting a bit out from the pleats. Overall it worked out ok!

Has anyone else tried out this pattern? Did it fit well? I’d love to make it also in a comfy Ponte di Roma or in black suiting for a more formal but easy to wear item

Infinity Jersey Dress – Free Tutorial Review

The infinity dress is a quick sew that gives a versatile dress that can be wrapped in multiple ways to create many looks.

Mine cost £3 to make (new fabric)!! Find out where I bought the fabric online below.

The basic construction consists of a jersey circle skirt with two long overlapping strips of fabric sewn in the waistband at the front, that can twisted, folded and wound around to change the neckline and shape of the bodice of the dress.

For added modesty, you can additionally create a tube ‘bandeau’ which is worn underneath (seen above).

Try experimenting with wrapping and folding to create many styles – one shoulder, halter neck, sleeves, etc

How to make an infinity dress:

To create this dress we used the tutorial from Simply Sewing

The tutorial is well written and clear to follow. Plus it is super quick (an evening and quick finish in the morning as no hemming – wahoo!). It looked much better than I was expecting!

I made the dress with my sister who has minimal sewing experience and she found it quite simple with supervision. If you have never sewn with jersey please give this quick project a go!


My jersey fabric had a slight sheen and flowed beautifully partly due to it being lightweight. I purchased it through Pound Fabrics as part of the plain jersey mystery bundle. You receive 9m of fabric for £9. So technically 3m of the fabric only cost £3!! However, postage is quite expensive and in the bundle were two other colours of this same fabric in a sunshine yellow and dark green which I will find a bit harder to use. I have no idea if the bundles change with each purchase so it is definitely not guaranteed that you will get similar fabric to mine and also I have no affiliations with the company.

Further ideas/musings:

I considered using the design to create a prom dress/evening gown (by adding a gathered rectangular tube skirt in place of the circle skirt).

Many people use the infinity dress style for bridesmaids dresses as the sizing is not too difficult (due to the stretchy fabric) and the bridesmaids can style the dresses individually.

Please let me know what you make!

Hey there

I’m Sasha and I want to share my sewing journey with you to help you create a handmade wardrobe

I hope this blog will be fun to read and a source of inspiration and ideas. I will write about my projects but also create tutorials and review books and patterns with you.

I aim to enable people to make up-to-date clothes which become a wardrobe favourites. The ultimate goal being a handmade wardrobe.

Eventually I’d love to be able share free pdf patterns. People say dream big!

The good old basic presser foot has to be my top!

A little about myself….

Where the thread began:

I got my first sewing machine aged 10. It was a mini turquoise one from John Lewis. I was delighted and awed but equally put off by the complex threading and baffled by the bobbin. I mean there were two threads?!

After rereading the manual multiple times and enlisting a little help, I made my first dress. It was a shift in turquoise poplin (I imagine you are getting a colour theme) with bias bound neckline. And frankly it was not great. My brother even had the grace to call it a ‘maternity gown’.

Many reels of thread and a whole heap of fabric later I have now made a multitude of garments. One thing is noticeable – most of them I don’t wear. Among those that have actually made it off the hanger more than once include a fluffy onesie, navy fitted hoodie and jersey dress. I want to create a wearable handmade wardrobe.

And the thread’s still going strong:

Along my journey I’ve made countless mistakes, and will continue to. But I’ve had fun and I hope the journey has only really just begun. Join me for the next leg as we explore creation of clothes you and I will hopefully give pride of place in our everyday wardrobe.

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