Tag Archives: liberty

Liberty and Mustard – version 2

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the HedgerowI told you l liked this fabric combination!  A couple of weeks ago I shared this outfit which combined this muted yet elegant Liberty of London called Mitsi in nougat (which was a generous gift from the online fabric shop Cousette) with some organic mustard jersey from Nosh.

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

But I didn’t stop at just one outfit.  Here is the second instalment – a top made from this Japanese sewing book.

In fact, it’s this top here on the left.

And leggings from the Go To Leggings pattern by Go To Patterns.


Pin-Tucked Blouse

I’ve made a few things from Japanese patterns before and, even though they can sometimes be a labour of love, I have always liked the end result.  I’ve got three new Japanese sewing books in my collection so thought it was time to crack on and get something sewn up.  These are the other two books I picked up in Japantown in San Francisco – I think I’ll make something for ME next!

… Finally decided on these two. #japanesesewingpatterns

A post shared by Laura Fisher (@behindhedgerow) on

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

This book was gift from Tuttle publishing as part of the Blogger’s Paris Meet Up #parissewsocial, back in April.  I chose to sew this pattern because I wanted something light and floaty that would work well with the Tana Lawn and I also needed to be careful with fabric quantity.  I only had a total of one metre of this Liberty and after making this skirt I didn’t have too much to work with.  I just about managed to cut out the pattern pieces (and that was after cutting one of the sleeves incorrectly!).

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

As is customary with Japanese sewing patterns, the written instructions were minimal with only illustrations to help you along.  With a simple blouse like this I didn’t think this would be a problem, however, this project was not without its complications.

  • The biggest issue I had was with the sizing.  I made the size 6 for my 7-year-old.  Of course the fit is meant to be loose and easy but the neckline ended up being way too big and sloppy.  Here it is before alteration.

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

  • The whole blouse (including the neckline facing) was finished by the time I made this realisation so I wasn’t sure what to do.  I ended up unpicking part of the back neckline facing and making a big inverted pleat in the back to bring the whole neckline in.  It’s not the perfect solution because if effects the fit around the arms but for something this loose it will work.

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

  • Another issue was the order of construction.  It instructs you to attach the sleeves before finishing the neckline in the back.  This would leave you with an exposed raw edge where the front sleeve seam meets the neckline so I had to juggle the order of things.
  • I omitted the elastic sleeve cuff and just did a quick rolled hem on the sleeves.

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the Hedgerow

I do love the look of all the clothes in this book and I will definitely not be put off by these minor issues.  If you’re interested in reading and seeing more about this book then there are some really stunning garments out there.  I love this dress from Alida Makes.  And I’m pretty sure this dress by Gioia (Dotta) will be the next one I make.

Go To Leggings

There’s not a great deal to say about these leggings.  This is the pattern that I always use for leggings and it’s never let me down.  You can whip these up in no time and I’ve always found the fit spot on.  I made the capri length this time.  In this picture you can really appreciate the knobbly, textured nature of the fabric.  It’s wonderful stuff!

Japanese LIberty top and mustard leggings // Behind the HedgerowSo, that’s two summer outfits to add to the wardrobe.  Not bad for just one metre of each of these fabrics!  I only wish I had more to make the same outfits for myself!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x


A new summer outfit – it couldn’t be easier!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the HedgerowThese days I am still mainly existing under a pile of fabric and patterns from our blogger’s #parissewsocial trip to Paris.  This combination of fabrics immediately jumped out of the pile at me so I knew it had to be my first make.  In fact, I was able to make TWO outfits from these two fabrics – more on that later.

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

For the first ensemble I wanted something quick and simple for two reasons (and one of them is NOT just because I’m lazy! 😉 ).

  • First, I was so anxious to see these fabrics on Margot that I couldn’t be spending days making something elaborate.
  • Second, the fabrics are so gorgeous as they are that I didn’t think they needed too much messing around with.

…or maybe I’m just lazy!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

OK, where shall we start.  Everyone loves a Liberty print…

The Skirt

This Liberty of London fabric is one of my all-time favourites.  It’s called Mitsi in nougat and was a generous gift from the online fabric shop Cousette.  It’s beautiful and understated yet still has a bit of pazazz in the form of the sparkly gold dots in the centre of the flowers.  This same fabric was given to all the #parissewsocial bloggers so keep your eyes open and I’m sure you’ll see some beautiful creations popping up.

Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Cousette not only stocks Liberty of London (new season as well as vintage) but also a large selection of Petit Pan, Atelier Brunette, Nani Iro, and Kokka, amongst others.  If you’re looking for fabric inspiration then look no further!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

The skirt itself is as simple as can be – basically one large rectangle sewed into a circle with french seams and then gathered and attached to the neon elastic waistband (bought years ago at Purl Soho).  I loosely followed this tutorial on Purl Bee.

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

For the hem I finally got around to doing a rolled hem on my serger.  Well, that was easy – not sure why I put that off for so long.

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the HedgerowI’m pretty sure Margot will live in this skirt this summer – so light and breezy and easy to throw on!

The (Un)Twisted Tank

This mustard jersey was also a gift – this time from the Finnish online shop, Nosh.  Nosh is new to me but I can’t tell you how excited I am to order some more of their amazing organic jerseys.  They sell ready-to-wear clothes as well – for those times when sewing something yourself just isn’t going to happen!  As you’d expect from anything Scandinavian, the aesthetic is minimal, oh-so chic with a splash of playfulness.  Seriously, who could resist these tigers?!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

The pattern for this tank is the Twisted Tank by Laura of Titchy Threads.  I have always loved Laura’s patterns, both for their design and instructions.  I will be sharing more about the Twisted Tank (and Laura’s new Twisted Trousers pattern) next week as part of the Twisted Tuesdays Tour so will save all the details until then.  For now, just know that this little tank is the perfect summer garment for boys and girls!  It’s a quick sew but, even with something so simple, Laura manages to teach a few tricks along the way – and I just love the fit!  Love the fit!!

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow

Like I’ve already said, I love this combination of fabrics.  Check back in the coming days to see another creation…

Thanks for reading – hope you’re all enjoying sunshine, sewing, and…climbing trees!

Laura x

Liberty skirt and mustard Twisted Tank // Behind the Hedgerow


Winter into spring linen dress

mara dress linen - title imageMargot needed a new dress.  As a home sewist with a little girl, this is not something that’s said very often; dresses are the most tempting item to sew and consequently Margot usually has plenty to choose from.  But, due to my lack of sewing (discussed in my last post) and the fact that my kids now wear school uniforms, the dresses are suddenly in short supply!

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

Planning the dress

I knew exactly the kind of dress I wanted – something that could be worn now (with layers as it’s still quite cold here), but was equally suitable for hot summer days.

I knew exactly the overall feel I wanted – dusty pink, muted Liberty fabric…a nod to springtime without turning Margot into a pastel easter egg!

All I had to do now was figure out how to sew what was in my head!

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

One of my goals for 2015 is to be more deliberate and thoughtful about the clothes I make in order to achieve my own vision for a garment – rather than just following a pattern, unthinking.  To help me with this I’ve started to be more disciplined about using two tools:

  • An online mood board.  By putting all my inspiration into one collage-like view I was able to get a clearer idea of what I wanted for the dress.
  • [Question: This mood board was thrown together quickly in Photoshop – does anyone know of a good mood board app?  Pinterest is the obvious one but I want something that allows you present it all collage-style.]

  • A fashionary sketchbook.  This is a great place to write down all the planning stages of a garment.  The book has very faint outlines of people on the pages so you can sketch the clothes – or feel free to just write over them if necessary.  The first few pages are an excellent reference tool for everything from pattern and garment shapes, to body measurements and sizes, to typography, to online colour generators!

And, although not quite as detailed (or outlandish!!) as the drawings above, I used my book to map out what I wanted for this project.

linen Mara dress notes // Behind the Hedgerow

Making the dress


Now, with all this inspiration floating around it was time to actually make the dress.  Not wanting to buy any new books or patterns, I limited myself to what I had on hand.

linen Mara dress // Behind the HedgerowThe top part of the dress is a sleeveless version of the Mara blouse by Compagnie M.  I wanted the yoke to be more of a square shape (similar to the Tova top) but, due to time limitations, I decided to leave it as it was.

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The skirt shape and length, as well as the pockets are from the Oliver+s Jump Rope Dress (view B).

The main fabric is a gorgeous shade of dusty pink that my husband bought for me from Purl Soho when he was in NYC in 2012!  If you ever want to know if your husband/partner truly loves you then send him/her to NYC (while on a business trip if you want to add even more pressure!) with a list of fabric shops and tell him to “just pick out some things I’d like”!  He chose really well!!

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The pockets and piping are Liberty print – from my stash.

mara dress linen - pocket detail 2

Once all these details were decided upon, the actual sewing was quite straightforward.  As I’ve made both patterns before I was comfortable with all the processes and it came together pretty quickly!  The only time-consuming part was making the bias binding as well as the piping.


So, we’re almost into April and Margot has one new dress.  It’s a start but I need to get a move on before the really warm weather comes!

What is your planning/sewing process for a new project?  What are your go-to patterns for customising?  And finally, what dress should I make next?  I feel I’m on a bit of a roll now!

Hope you’re all sewing up something lovely on this sunny spring day!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

linen Mara dress // Behind the Hedgerow

The Pixie Dust Pea Coat (full post)

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

In case you missed it on Monday, I’m bringing home my Flip This Pattern for the DMK Pea Coat.  It’s a busy time of year and I’m sure you’re all stitching your hearts out for the upcoming festivities but, if you have a spare moment I’d love it if you could support Frances Suzanne’s Flip This Pattern series by heading over and voting for your favourite flip.  It is truly amazing to see one pattern taken in so many directions – princess seams, lots of zips, faux leather, a Christmas dress – if you haven’t been following along go immediately and check out what you’ve missed!


Well, hello there flipped pattern enthusiasts!  I’m Laura from Behind the Hedgerow and I’m here to confess that I have spent far too much time, energy and all-consuming thought on this flipped version of the Dear My Kids Trendy Unisex Pea Coat.  My kids are unwashed and hungry, there is not a single pair of clean underpants in the house, and my own family members have given up having a meaningful conversation with me and, the worst part of all, I don’t regret a single moment!  This coat has truly been stitched with love and I’m thrilled to share all the details with you like-minded creative sewists.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

I had two main inspirations for this coat.  The first was the 1940s – 1960s children’s book series Pookie by Ivy Wallace.  The story focuses on Pookie, a little white rabbit with wings and his adventures in the world.  They were read to me as a child and the whimsical illustrations have always stayed with me.  I can imagine Margot playing with Pookie in the forest while wearing this coat.

The second starting point for this project was function!  Margot needed a versatile, stylish and warm coat for the winter (her coat from last year is one of the many things that mysteriously disappeared during our house move in the summer).  So this project had to work out and it had to be something that could be worn for longer than a single photo shoot!

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow


Margot and I sat down over a mug of marshmallow-laden hot chocolate and chatted about her coat needs.  We decided that the Ultimate Winter Coat needed:

  • a good fit but with still enough room for layering underneath.
  • a generous hood so a snug hat could be worn with the hood still up.
  • a hood that is NOT detachable – that’s just asking for it to be taken off and discarded somewhere never to be seen again.
  • to be able to get on and off easily and independently.
  • at least one secret pocket.
  • generously sized side pockets.
  • wrist cuffs with thumb holes (the thumb holes were the biggest selling point for Margot!) to stop the wind blowing straight up the sleeves.
  • a cosy lining for extra warmth.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

Whew – that’s a lot of elements!  The Dear My Kids pea coat is a fantastic starting point for all of these things.  It’s a solid pattern that leaves lots of room for personalisation.  As is evident from the photos, I kept this coat a coat with the following changes in order to fill the above brief for the Ultimate Winter Coat.

  • I extended and accentuated the a-line of the shape of the coat.  This made it more like a swing coat and meant it would be warmer.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I cut the back section as one piece (instead of 2 as stated in the pattern) and added 4cm to the width so I could add a 2cm inverted pleat.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I added a hood (with handmade piping!  Can’t believe that I haven’t made my own piping until now.  It’s really quick and easy and I used this brief tutorial if you’re interested).  Sadly, this meant I had to get rid of the collar.  I wanted to have both but in my muslin I couldn’t get them both to work together.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I modified the neckline slightly so it was a bit lower.
  • I added side welt pockets.  I love these pockets!  I think they really give a professional look to a garment.  The best tutorial for doing these is Kristin’s (Skirt as Top) tutorial on the Oliver+s blog.  Seriously, it is fail-proof!

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

  • To fulfil Margot’s desire for a secret pocket I added another welt pocket to the inside.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I shortened the sleeve length slightly and added wrist cuffs with thumb holes.  I love this feature most of all!  They make the coat unique while serving a really important function.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I omitted with wrist bands from the pattern.
  • I added a facing to the lining which, again, gives it a more polished, professional finish.
  • This facing was the perfect place to add the hand-embroidered name tag (no doubts about who this coat belongs to!) and hanging hook.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

The fabric choices for this coat came together beautifully.  I originally wanted the outer coat to be made from Harris Tweed wool but when I saw this aqua wool blend from The Sewing Shop in Canterbury I was in love.  Stumbling upon this Liberty jersey remnant for the hood and cuffs quickly brought the whole look together.  The yellow fabric for the piping was leftover from this dress and matches the buttons perfectly.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

I always knew I’d use the faux sheepskin for the lining and I had plenty in my stash from Minerva Crafts.  Although I didn’t get a decent picture of it, the arms are lined with a quilted jersey which gives added warmth but without being as bulky as they would have been with the sheepskin.

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

I won’t lie.  The entire process of making this coat took forever!  Each changed element required additional thought and consideration (how wide should the thumb hole in the cuff be?, where exactly should the welt pockets be placed?, will a stretchy jersey work for the hood lining?, etc) but I have loved every step…and it fits!…and Margot loves it!  And, most miraculously, there were no catastrophic disasters along the way…almost as if the entire project were sprinkled with pixie dust!

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

The Pixie Dust Pea Coat – I flipped the Dear My Kids Pea Coat pattern!

Pea Coat Flip // Behind the Hedgerow

Oh boy am I excited to share today’s post!  Months ago I got involved with Emily and Ashley’s (from Frances Suzanne blog) Flip This Pattern series and today’s I’m sharing my interpretation of the Dear My Kids Trendy Unisex Pea Coat.  You can read the full post HERE.

The idea behind the series is pretty straightforward – you’re given a pattern and you have to flip, alter, change, or re-work it in any way you see fit.  You can make minor or major changes just as long as you use the original pattern as your starting point.  If you haven’t been following along it’s worth having a trawl back through some of the entries for different patterns – they’re full of inspiration.

This month the patterns was the Dear My Kids Trendy Unisex Pea Coat.  This is what the original pattern looks like.  I had such a great time changing and adapting this pattern to exactly what I wanted.  It reminded me of why I sew – to see something that has existed only in my mind turn into an actual, physical, touchable garment in front of my eyes!  It’s so immensely satisfying!

I would love for you to have a look at all the fun changes I made and details I added!  They’ll be four different versions of this pattern presented by four different bloggers this week so keep checking back on the Frances Suzanne site to see them all – there is some series talent in this group and I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!  On Friday you can vote for your favourite.

Thanks for reading!

Laura x

The Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow A new dress is always something to get excited about.  When said dress actually lives up to the expectations in your mind’s eye then the satisfaction is even greater.  This month’s Minerva Craft Blogger Network project did just that – I love the style, colour, and fabric of this dress.  It appears I have quite a thing for blue at the moment – my last three projects have been in a very similar palette.  Discovering my own personal style or just getting boring and stuck in a rut?!

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

Slightly apron-like?  Maybe.  But it’s made from slouchy, supple linen with a few glimpses of Liberty to give it a refined and slightly sophisticated look.  And the pockets!  A dress is only as good as its pockets and these are easily accessible (mostly for puppy treats these days!) and don’t interrupt the lines of the dress (like I thought they might do if I added them to the side seams).

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

The details


This is another stellar pattern from Merchant and Mills.  The pattern is oh-so-simple which really is its beauty.  It’s well-drafted and leaves lots of room for personalisation.  I already have at least three other versions in my head.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow


Petrol blue linen from Minerva Crafts.  Fantastic drape with the perfect weight – I’d happily wear this layered up for winter.  I love the crumpled look and make no apologies for the worn-in look of these photos.  I love it this way!


Bust size seemed to be the most important factor in determining size.  I was between a size 10 and 12 for this.  I went for size 10 as this is the same size I made my Factory Dress from Merchant and Mills so was pretty confident of a decent fit.  It’s on the snug side but overall I’m happy with the fit.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

Construction notes

  • Overall, a very straight-forward sew.  If in doubt with any of the instructions just focus your attention on the illustrations as opposed to the words.
  • I added pockets.  Ever since making the Oliver+s Book Report Dress for Margot the usefulness of these pockets has stayed with me.  I followed the basic guidelines from this pattern and added them to the Camber Dress.  I’m so happy with how they turned out!book-report-dress-action1

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I shortened the length by 15cm.
  • I haven’t been present in the world of social media much these days.  Each day I endeavour to get on top of my sewing projects and re-engage with this supportive and always-inspiring community.  I have however recently found a new and fresh love for Pinterest.  It was here I found this post on different hemming methods so decided to try something new for this dress.  I added some sparkly bias tape for a touch of bling.  I was enjoying making this dress so much that I even decided to hand-stitch the hem.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

 Final thoughts

My sewing and blogging has slowed down immensely over the past few months.  Our house move, summer holidays and settling into a new life in a new country and, most recently, the addition of a puppy to our lives, have conspired against me to force sewing to the back burner.  I have so many thoughts and ideas for the future of this blog and I can’t wait to have some time to get them all underway.  I miss sewing, I miss posting, and I miss being in touch with so many others from this community.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

But let’s talk about the dress.  Well, in short, I love it.  It’s simple and definitely a staple wardrobe item for me.  Although a simple style, the pattern is well-drafted and there’s a meticulous attention to detail to give a professional finish to your handmade garment.  There are so many possibilities for personalisation – my head is already spinning with ideas for pockets and different necklines.

This dress is sewn as part of the Minerva Craft Blogger Network and you can find all the fabric and notions here.

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

So, tell me, what have you all been sewing?!  Thanks for sticking with me and continuing to read.

Laura x

Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills // Behind the Hedgerow

I’m baaaaaack – with a Retro Rucksack

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio // Behind the Hedgerow

Make this pattern if: you want a truly versatile bag with some chunky hardware – making it feel professional and substantial.

Don’t make this pattern if: you are new to sewing and/or are looking for a quick sew.

Hello hello everyone.  I can’t tell you how good it feels to be sitting down typing this.  I didn’t intend to take such an extended break from blogging but I underestimated how much time and energy is involved in moving house, moving country, saying goodbye to old friends, trying to make new friends, ending schools, starting schools, unpacking boxes (who knew just HOW much paper is involved in packing?!), and discovering a new community. We’ve also had the additional adventure of adapting from city-living to country life.

So far we’ve had to deal with stampeding juvenile cows in the garden (and very nearly in the house), mice, a baby bird in the dishwasher, wasp’s nests, nesting birds and our fair share of bramble scratches and nettle stings. It’s all good stuff – great, in fact (well maybe not the nettle stings and wasps) – but it has meant much time away from my beloved machine and all that fabric!

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio // Behind the Hedgerow

I have so many fun sewing-related things to share but today I am focusing on a new bag – THE RETRO RUCKSACK by Sara of RADIANT HOME STUDIO. Sara kindly invited me to join her tour and I gladly accepted – there’s nothing like a nice new bag to try to detract from the fact that I’ve been wearing the same clothes for the last three days! I wanted a bag that’s solid and chunky – a workhorse of a bag that could be dragged through all those brambles and nettles yet still look great when venturing in to Canterbury or Faversham.  To achieve this balance of utilitarian and chic I knew just where to turn – Merchant and Mills for some divine British Oilskin.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  First let’s look at the pattern.

Sara’s pattern has been designed for the multi-tasking woman.  With a variety of pockets (zippered inside pocket as well as large, interfaced patched pocket large enough for an iPad or other such device), recessed zip, exterior pockets, and choice of shoulder or backpack-style carrying she really has covered all your needs.  (She is a mother of SIX after all so it’d venture to say she knows a thing or two about multi-tasking!).

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio // Behind the Hedgerow

In terms of construction, there were a few hiccups along the way.  I must stress that this is the first project I’ve sewn since our move last month so I’m pretty rusty and am by no means a bag sewing expert.  The written instructions were clear but a few extra photos wouldn’t have gone amiss.  I thought I’d struggle with adding the bits of hardware (first time doing this) or with the zip (which turned out to be the easiest part!) but instead I got tripped up over attaching the exterior side panels to the bag.  I ended up doing it incorrectly but then the next day I looked at the bag and the penny dropped – I knew exactly what I should have done!  TIP: if you get stuck and things still aren’t making sense after reading the instructions for the 73rd time, take a break, go to bed, and try again in the morning.

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio // Behind the Hedgerow

Even with this mistake, I love the bag.  The hardware and heavy oilskin give it a substantial weight which makes it feel solid and professional.  The size is perfect for my needs.  The choice of carrying methods (on back or over shoulder) is handy. The way the pattern pieces are divided up means that there’s lots of scope for personalising this bag with contrasting fabric (I chose to sew mine entirely in oilskin).

Some other details

  • In addition to the oilskin, I also used a touch of Liberty fabric along the exterior pocket edges.

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio // Behind the Hedgerow

  • For the straps I used 2-in wide woven tape.  It’s actually made to be used in upholstering chairs – you know, that woven bit on the bottom of the chair?  I think it works great here.
  • I upcycled all my hardware from old bags (which is why it doesn’t all match!).
  • I did a little decorative zig-zag stitch to secure the buckles.  Subtle? Yes, but I love it.

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio // Behind the Hedgerow

  • I top-stitched along the outside of the zip.  I like the way it looks but, more importantly, it helps to hide the exposed edges on the inside.

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio // Behind the Hedgerow

I loved sewing with the oilskin.  It’s different from laminate cotton (which is great for this bag too – see the post over at Casa Crafty) and surprisingly easy and liberating to sew with.

Here are the reasons why you should make your next project – whatever it is – with oilskin

  • The fabric isn’t washable (but can be re-oiled) which means you don’t have to pre-wash it.
  • You can’t iron it but it creases really well with your fingers.
  • I didn’t want to pin it (for fear of ruining the water-proof quality) so instead used clips to keep everything in place – worked perfectly.
  • I used a size 90 needle which handled everything well – even when sewing through 6 layers!
  • At the end of your project your hands will feel insanely moisturised!

After making this bag and using it for a few days I’ve realised that I prefer carrying it as a shoulder bag; so much so that I’ve now fixed the strap in place which makes it easier to throw over my shoulder and go.  And if, like me, you tend to always leave the house in a rush, I think it still looks great if you don’t have time to fasten the buckles.  Just grab and go!

Retro Rucksack by Radiant Home Studio // Behind the Hedgerow

In short, this pattern and fabric are a match made in heaven! A huge thank you to Sara for inviting me on this tour.  It has forced me to pause the unpacking and get back to sewing and I feel all the better for doing it!  And of course I have a new bag to boot! If you want to give this pattern a go you can find it here.  The oilskin I used can be purchased from Merchant and Mills here.

Thanks for reading – there will be more sewing goodness coming up soon.

Laura x

Another Simplicity 1652…in Liberty of London (*swoon*)


Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Make this pattern if: you want to spend the time to get a nicely fitted bodice.

Don’t make this pattern if: you’re larger than a D cup (the pattern only goes this high).

My youngest brother got married last month and I had a very short window of time to sew something to wear.  The call went out on Instagram and some helpful blogging buddies helped me decide what to make.

I’ve never duplicated dress patterns before but, since I cracked the “amazing fit” aspect of this pattern (well, almost), I decided to take it out for another spin. (Plus, since all the pattern pieces were cut and ready to go I was already ahead of the game).

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Simplicity 1652 is part of the Amazing Fit collection.  The idea behind these patterns is that you choose your dress size and your bust size and then mix and match the pieces to make a dress that’s perfectly fitted to you.  I must say, it’s a pretty good system (as long as you fall within the A – D cup range).  I made a size 12 with a C cup.

My first version of this dress was made from a linen-cotton blend and can be seen here.  (You can also read the full pattern review is this post so I won’t repeat everything here).  I love this dress.  I wear it often as it strikes that perfect balance between easy-to-wear yet still smart and stylish.  This version, with the Liberty of London fabric, takes it up a notch in the ‘fancy’ stakes.  I’ve worn it once since the wedding but it’s not something I’d throw on for a wander down the shops for a pint of milk.

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Like the first time, I made view A.  For the back I made view A (closed back with invisible zip) as opposed to view B (cut out back) that I did the first time.


Of course I forgot to photograph the back – it’s just like the one above but with the cut out bit filled in. 😉

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

The whole sewing process of this dress went really smoothly – it’s amazing how much repetition improves our skills!  I was a little nervous cutting into that lush Liberty (which was destined for Margot’s Ash Jumpsuit) but once the first snip was made I settled into it nicely.

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

So there you have it – another summer dress.  Makes a nice change from all those skirts, right?  I have Simplicity 1882, another one in the Amazing Fit collection, in my stash so really must give that a go next.

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

What are you making now that summer’s hotting up (or things are cooling down if you’re Down Under)?  We are T-minus 13 days to our house move so please forgive me if you don’t hear from me for a short while.  I plan to document the move over on Instagram so if you’re at all interested in the transition from city-living to country-bumpkin then please follow along!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x


My Favourite Things GIVEAWAY

My Favourite Things Giveaway // Behind the Hedgerow

You can call it a Thank You to all you truly wonderful readers who have been part of this blogging adventure with me for the past 15 months; you can call it a celebration of a change in life and an update of blog; or you could simply call it AN AWESOME GIVEAWAY!

A natural love of the English countryside has always drawn me to the classic designs of English tailoring, epitomised by the patterns of Merchant and Mills and even better when sewn with Liberty of London fabric.

My time in Brussels has allowed me the chance to get to know some of the innovative pattern designers who incorporate their sense of Belgian flair in their work.

I feel that my own sewing is now lodged somewhere in between these two realms – and that’s a lovely place to be!

So, is this post just about me, me, me?!  Mais, non!  There’s something in for you as well!  If you’re a reader here and like what you see and what I do then I assume you too have impeccable taste 😉 and deserve to win some of these delights!

The Giveaway

There are 12 prizes to be won (by three winners) which pretty much some up my favourite things about sewing.  These have been generously donated and I can’t thank those individuals and businesses enough.  Let’s have a little wander down Prize-Winning Alley…

Straightgrain Patterns

An, the creative force behind Straightgrain, designs patterns for babies and girls that are modern and elegant.  Her natural style and flair for matching patterns and fabrics comes out in all her creations.

To be won: three digital sewing patterns of your choice.  You can get drooling over all her patterns here.

Straightgrain's Hanami Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

Zonen 09 Patterns

Sharon has been one of my sewing inspirations ever since I met her at Maakdag, Gent’s sewing extravaganza, that she organised.  I’ve waxed lyrical about the Jacob Trousers enough times for you all to be sick of hearing it!  Her newest pattern, The Lars Jacket (only available in Dutch at the moment) just blows my mind!

Jacob Trousers // Behind the Hedgerow

To be won: three digital sewing patterns of your choice.  At the moment she has three patterns in English.  Should you win you can choose one of these or, if you’re patient, wait until the others are released in English.  Check out all the patterns here.

Compagnie M. Patterns


CompagnieM logo

I’ve worked closely with Marte on some of her patterns.  She’s exacting and prolific (which is even more admirable considering she’s the mother of twin toddlers) and her patterns just keep  geting better and better!  The Mara blouse and Lotta dress are both wardrobe staples in this house.



To be won: three digital sewing patterns of your choice.  Even if you don’t win, you’ll enjoy perusing these beauties.

Merchant and Mills

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Merchant and Mills embodies everything I love and aspire to be as a home sewist.  I even wrote an entire post on this shop.  If you have a moment (and even if you think you don’t) please read this – it might change your life (or at least your life as a sewist) like it did mine!

The Merchant and Mills Factory Dress // Behind the Hedgerow

To be won: one digital sewing pattern of your choice.  I can personally recommend the Factory Dress (in fact, I’m wearing it as I type!) but the others are equally irresistible!  I have the Camber Dress pattern just waiting for the perfect fabric.  Have a look at all the patterns available.



A trip to London is never complete without a visit to Ray-Stitch.  They stock all the usual on-trend quilting cottons as well as a wide yet artfully curated range of home deco weight, Liberty lawn, jersey and corduroy, buttons, patterns and tools.  Oh, and there’s a gorgeous little café too!  A little slice of heaven if you ask me!

Green Bee Pattern's Mug Rug // Behind the Hedgerow

TUTORIAL - Liberty Baby Comfort Blanket // Behind the Hedgerow

To be won:  One bundle of worn and washed Liberty fabrics.  Talk about heaven, these little bundles offer 35 pieces of Liberty fabric.  Yes they are small but they are perfect for adding just a touch Liberty to a project – and with Liberty, a little goes a long way!

de Stoffenkamer

A gem of a fabric shop alongside a picturesque canal in Gent.  When I visit this shop I head straight for the jersey, ribbing and the most gorgeous display of piping!  They stock a huge range of delicious colours including some fabulous metallic silver and gold, polka dots and jersey!  Adding piping to projects can really transform them and make them your own.

Oliver+s bucket hats // Behind the Hedgerow

You can see more of this piping in action here, here and here.

Piping - de Stoffenkamer, Gent, Belgium

To be won: 10 meters of assorted piping (including some metallic).


So what are you waiting for?!  Are you ready to enter?  The giveaway is open to ALL readers – everything can be sent internationally!!  I wish you all luck.  The giveaway will close next Thursday 12th June and 13.00 CET and I’ll announce the winners on Friday 13th (which won’t be unlucky for three of you!!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement over the past 15 months.  Long live home sewing…and photographing…and writing…and sharing!

Laura x

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 – Figgy’s Celestial Tee


Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

Have you heard about the new and innovative way of selling modern sewing patterns?  It’s called Perfect Pattern Parcel and, in short, it’s a bundle of sewing patterns from independent designers that are available for a limited time on a semi-regular basis.  What makes it unique is the way they are sold – you choose the price you want to pay and how that money is divided between the organisers, the designers and a charity supporting children’s education.  You can read all about the initiative and purchase your parcel (available until 18th April) here.

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

This is the second bundle of patterns that’s been released and it’s centred around staples for a girl’s wardrobe.  It includes five patterns and really is a stylish and versatile collection – I can’t wait to sew them all.

Celestial Tee by Figgy’s

September Tunic and Dress by Too Sweets Patterns

The Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations

Hanami Top and Dress by Straightgrain

Hosh Pants by LouBee Clothing

For this post I sewed a version of Figgy’s celestial tee.  I had a small amount of Liberty jersey leftover from this dress and I was determined to turn this into a tee.  I had to get a little creative with the pattern pieces to make it all work but, in the end, I’m happy with the look.

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

This pattern is a great staple and very easy to whip up (the sleeves are integrated so you don’t even have to fuss with setting them in).  I made a size 4/5 for my 6 year-old and you can see that it is a bit on the small side (but there is always something irresistible about little tummies poking out under shirts!).

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

My only other comment about this pattern is the method or attaching the neckline.  I’m used to dividing out the stretch of the neckline piece evenly around the whole tee before sewing.  Here Shelly instructs you to attach it without pinning and just stretch is gently as you sew.  This is by far the quickest method but you need to be careful about how much you stretch that neckline piece – too much and you’ll end up with a tiny, distorted neckline; too little and you’ll have a big gaping neck.  I did mine slightly too loose and actually pulled it all out and started again.

Figgy's Celestial Tee  Behind the Hedgerow

So there you have a quick, easy tee for the coming warmer months.  Everyone needs t-shirts, right?  You can even cut up some old adult sized t-shirts to make something new and wonderful for your little girl.  And let’s not forget that is it Kid’s Clothes Week so you really have no excuse to not get sewing!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x