Remember me…?

Well, it has been an awfully long time since I said hello from Peggy’s Pickles – 16 months to be precise!

Although the lack of blogging suggests I have been completely consumed with nappies, sleepless nights and games of peek-a-boo (all of which have happened in abundance), I have in fact been quite productive on the sewing front as well. I don’t have that many photos but this is a list of all the things I have made since my little boy was born:

Baby quilt, done a local sewing course, embroidered cushion cover, scout woven tee x 2, sorbetto top x 1, drafted my own pattern from an existing jumper and made the jumper, made the jumper again for my sister, learnt to knit, knitted a scarf (which will never ever ever ever be done again, my word – the stress), two thirds of a granny square crochet blanket, t-shirts x 2, renfrews x 2, Clover trousers x 2 (although one pair may not count as they have stretched beyond all recognition), done a Craftsy course and…

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                      made a hoodie with a very big hoodie, self drafted trousers

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             Lucy Tunic for my niece (not the cardigan!), an owl pin cushion

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Wedding present pillows, lots of Flashback Skinny Tees

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Minikrea elephant trousersOliver + S Sailboat jumper and self drafted trousers

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Baby sling, and tee-pee (my fave!)


And lots and lots and lots of baby trousers!!

This leads me on to make another announcement (no not more babies) – I have started my own business!

You can find my shop on Folksy here:

In a nutshell, I am designing and making baby clothes from up-cycled fabric. The shop opened today and I will share the story of how it came about in my next blog post. In the meantime, do go and have a look and pass it on to all your friends!


Adjusting trouser patterns

Today I’m going to explain how I altered the pattern pieces of the pair of trousers I’m making in my Clothes Making class.

First, I took (or remembered from pre-pregnancy days!) the following measurements:

– Waist: Smallest part around body (Diagram A)
– Hip: Widest part of lower body (Diagram A)
– Inside Leg. Top of inside of leg to floor (Diagram A)
– Outside Leg. Waist to floor
– Crotch Depth. Waist to flat surface while sitting (Diagram B)

Women Size Guide

Diagram A

Diagram B

With these measurements I was then able to determine which size of trouser pattern was the nearest match (remembering to allow for any ease included in the pattern), and make any fitting adjustments that were needed.

This is the front trouser pattern piece, after I have adjusted the crotch depth and length of trouser.

Rather than doing it how I did it, length of trouser then crotch depth, you should adjust the crotch depth first. This should be done of the back pattern piece.

On the pattern the crotch line is marked with a horizontal line (pink line). From this line, up to the top of the waistband is the crotch depth.

On this pattern, the waistband is a seperate pattern piece (not shown), and the top of the finished waistband sits 2.5cm below the waist.

This meant that I had to add 2.5cm, and the width of the waistband (minus seam allowance), to the crotch depth on the main pattern piece. After doing all of this, the crotch depth came to 1cm less than my actual measurement, which would mean a very snug fit and the possibility of not being able to sit down!

You should also add 1 – 2cm ease to the crotch depth. In order to make this adjustment, I cut a straight line through the pattern piece, between the top of the pattern piece and the crotch line.

I then spread the pattern open by 2cm (the additional 1cm needed for crotch depth to equal my own, and 1cm ease), and filled it with extra paper. This is the white line you can see in the photo above.

You should ensure that all lines on the pattern (e.g. grain line) still line up now the pattern pieces have been separated.

This alteration should then be done to the front pattern piece as well.

The next step was to alter the length. To do this I used my inside leg measurement, and compared it to the inside leg measurement on the front pattern piece. This is taken from the crotch line downwards, but stopping before the 2.5cm hem allowance.

It seems I am a little bit short, so I had to remove 2cm from the pattern. Most patterns have a horizontal black line indicating where adjustments should be made without altering the overall cut of the garment. Here I folded away 2cm of the pattern to make the trousers the correct length.

This was then repeated for the back pattern piece.

And those were the alterations I made! There are obviously many more that need to be made for a perfect fit, but that’s plenty for a beginners class I think!

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Pyjama Party!

After yesterday’s post of being frustrated about not really making much at the moment, I decided a simple project might be better than nothing at all.

A week or so ago Karen over at Did You Make That launched her Pyjama Party sewalong, which gives me the perfect opportunity to make some PJ bottoms that actually fit my belly, join the other 100+ party goers, and make a project that hopefully won’t require me to spend hours kneeling on the floor cutting out pattern pieces. All in all a good idea I reckon!

I’ve just ordered the pattern below (couldn’t find the one Karen recommends), mainly because of the dashing young couple on the front 🙂

Next I need to find some suitable fabric…

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Trousers – aaahhhhhh!!!

I feel like I should start this post by apologising for not blogging very much these days.

Back at the start I was finding things to write about everyday, and was definitely making a lot more things. But as I said in my Mum’s Maternity Top post I am finding it increasingly difficult to do too much at home as much of the cutting out would have to be done on the floor, and I have a rather large bump getting in my way!

I’m sure you’re lives are all continuing much the same despite my lack of productivity and blogging, but I am finding it quite frustrating! After a two week break for Easter though, I am now back at college so will hopefully be able to share a bit more with you again.

Having made a simple skirt and two tops in my Clothes Making class, this term we are making trousers. Now, trousers seem to be notorious for being a bit tricky. I think this is more from a fitting perspective rather than a construction point of view. At least that’s what I found when making my one and only pair last year.

My tutor has kindly let me try a slightly more difficult pair so that I can learn as much as possible before the baby comes, so I went for the ones below (New Look 6873).


Line Drawing

While I’m not sure they fit with my usual taste, I chose them because they have a zip, buttons, pleats, belt loops and pockets. That should all keep me busy!! Apart from pockets and pleats I haven’t been shown how to do any of those things properly and am keen to learn.

Fitting the trousers is obviously a bit problematic right now – I measured yesterday and my waist is currently over 30cms bigger than normal! The best solution is to use my old measurements to alter the pattern, and then hope that I will return to that size asap. I won’t actually be able to check they fit properly until that happens, so am focusing more on the construction. A bit annoying, but not a lot I can do about it really!

I have chosen a navy wool / polyester mix fabric as it will have a nicer drape than cotton, and went for the poly mix rather than the wool crepe I could have chosen because the former doesn’t need hand washing. I don’t imagine I will be wanting to do much hand washing in the near future!

If you go on the amount of pattern pieces required, these will probably be the most complicated thing I have attempted so far!

Ten pieces – the most I have worked with so far has been five I reckon!

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Finished Project: Mum’s maternity top

I think I may be nearing the end of being able to make clothes at home for a while :-(. I have to cut the fabric out on the floor and it’s getting a little tricky to bend down without squashing the baby!

I will hopefully be able to enlist some (Dave) help to make at least one more thing I’d been planning, but for now I have just finished the 1980s maternity top using my mum’s pattern from when she was pregnant with me.

I made the middle top, with elements of each of the other dresses.

I was really pleased with everything I’d learnt and how well I’d been able to do it – from rouleau loops (see the tutorial I did here), to my first collar, to making the front buttony bit (not sure what that’s called!) neat on the outside and inside – you can’t see any seams or anything from inside!

Then I went to shorten the sleeves and realised I’d been a bit over zealous with the overlocker and got a bit of the left (right in the top photo) sleeve itself trapped in the seam, hence the horrible crease you can see in the photo! Thankfully it’s not as noticeable when on I don’t think, especially if I turn that arm away from the camera…!

The style is obviously not meant to be figure hugging, but even so I took quite a bit of fabric out at the back seam to make it slightly more flattering – it is part baby and part fabric making it stick out that far!

While it’s not a top I would necessarily choose if I wasn’t pregnant, I learnt lots in its construction, and it’s nice to have used one of my mum’s patterns!

My 1930s dress toile

You may or may not remember long long ago in January when I told you about the 20s and 30s inspired pattern making course I have been doing this term.

I started by gathering inspiration, and then came up with the one on the left as my final dress design.

With the sleeves to be beaded something like this.

Rather than design and make a dress that would rarely get worn, my intention was to make a slightly more practical dress. However, a practical dress meant that I wouldn’t learn as much, so practicality went out the window! I lengthened the skirt to floor length, cut it on the bias (at a 45 degree angle to the normal grainline), and added a more shaped dropped waistline. A whole new dress really!

I made the pattern to my pre-bump size so am not actually able to fit it at the moment. This means I have only made it to the toile (rough) stage. And this was it before my lesson this morning…

It is very rough, and the cheap and nasty polyester that I got to do the toile either doesn’t press or melts under the iron, so it was a tough job getting all the seams looking anywhere near good!

By making this toile I was able to see what needed altering on my pattern to make it work better. For example, I had sewn the bust darts too long, so altered my paper pattern by shortening them by 2cm.

You can also see from the photo that the sleeve is a bit flat and isn’t scalloped yet like my initial design.

To remedy this I first marked three points on the sleeve and slashed up towards the shoulder.

I then added more fabric under the existing sleeve to add extra width.

The next step was to measure how much fabric I had added, and transfer this to the paper pattern. In the case of the middle slash, I needed to add 4cm.

By doing this for all three slashes, and then taping pattern paper into the gaps, I had created a fuller sleeve.

I then added the scalloped shaping and toiled the new sleeve. Much better!

I found this bracelet that I made, and am wondering if something like this would be nice on the sleeve edging (you need to use your imagination a bit for this – I only pinned it on!).

In a similar way to altering the sleeve, I also dropped the neck a bit but will have to make my final decision when I can get in to the toile to see exactly where I would like it to sit.

I also learnt about cutting and sewing on the bias, ways of finishing vintage dresses rather than lining them, and some other stuff, but I think I might save all that for other blog posts so that I don’t bombard / bore you with them all today!

Have a good weekend everyone!

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Lustgården footstool

Whenever I go to a different country I always like to try and buy some fabric to remind me of the trip. This is what I did when I went to Stockholm a while ago, and found this fabric.

Art Collection fabric red - red - Design House Stockholm

It was about a squillion pounds to buy a metre, so I spent half a squillion on half a metre as I liked it so much! This did however means I had a silly small amount of fabric and couldn’t think what to do with it.

The fabric was designed by Stig Lindberg’s in the 1950s, and is called Lustgården (Garden of Eden). Lindberg was a leading Swedish postwar designer, also producing ceramics, tableware, industrial design and working as a painter and illustrator. I saw an original version of this fabric in the National Museum, and then was able to buy some as Design House Stockholm now reproduces it to the same original standards.

The fabric itself is really thick and heavy, more suitable for upholstery than clothing which is why I had my predicament of not knowing what to make with it. However, as we start to get the nursery ready a need became clear!

We already have two nursing chairs, handed down from my parents, which we had been using as normal seats but they can soon be put to their proper use! However, I imagine it would be nice to be able to put your feet up once in a while so I found instructions for a footstool in the Liberty Book of Home Sewing.

And this is what I made!

Not a very tricky make, apart from getting the blimming polystyrene balls into the lining, and then getting that into the cover. It looked like it had snowed indoors and I have a feeling we will be finding little white balls for years to come!

The only other niggly thing that happened was that I marked the fabric with tailors chalk to cut it out, then changed the cutting line and now can’t get the tailors chalk out. You can just see a white line all round the top in some of the photos. Does anyone have any tips on how I could get rid of this – rubbing it vigorously with a stiff brush hasn’t worked!

Because of the fabric design, and the shape of the footstool it is like a little story is being played out as you turn the stool around.

‘Oh what a lovely spot for a picnic!’

‘Just chillin’, listening to my own private flute player…’

Some shenanigans going on around that tree on the right if you ask me…

‘Look at me! I’m juggling white doves!’
(I had to chop most of the doves off, but that is actually what it looks like he is doing!)

And after all that excitement, me and the baby took the footstool for a little test run. It works perfectly!

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