• By Hand London Jenna Dress in the Prettiest Double Gauze

  • Well, I’ve been up to a little bit of sewing! It’s been so tough to find time to myself to sew lately – a combination of the admin of about to move house, and a toddler who has been fighting sleep. Not ideal!

    Anyway, I’ve managed to steal lots of snippets of time here and there to sew this. And I’m so pleased to A) Finally finish it, and; B) Show it to you all!

    This is a By Hand London Jenna Dress. As soon as this pattern dropped, I immediately added to the sewing list. It was one of those which I fell in love with, and attached to instantly. But it’s taken a while for me to get round to finding the perfect fabric, and actually having some much needed time to myself to sew!

    And then…. I came across this stunning double gauze fabric at my local haberdashery, Backstitch. And WOW. Just WOW. I love the splashes of colour… the arty Jackson Pollock-ness of this… and the neon pink is just stunning.

    I married this fabric up with the Jenna pattern because I felt as though it was a little bit of a clash of girly cutesy dress with the sort of girly grungey/graffiti kind of look. Anyway, that’s where my brain went in case you’re interested 😉

    The Jenna pattern was just as you would expect from By Hand London. Beautifully straightforward – literally no issues with this at all. It was an absolute joy to sew.

    I tweaked the back neckline to bring it in a little, as it was quite gapey on me. And I think if/when I make another Jenna I will try to just take a little out of the front neckline too. It’s not a big deal, but I think I could tweak that a tiny bit and have the perfect fit. I didn’t bother toile’ing this – time was scarce and excitement was high (sure you’ve been there and bought the t-shirt!).

    The double gauze fabric was a little on the sheer side so I decided to fully line the whole dress with a white cotton lawn – which adds to the lovely soft feel when wearing this. I picked up the lawn at Cotton Reel Studio‘s closing down sale, and have to say it is so lovely. Buttery softness at its best.

    Oh and how did I get this far without mentioning the ties on the sleeves?! They’re so cute. And very easy to sew. These were maybe the main feature which sold the dress to me. I love the girly style they give the dress. The only thing I found was that I wasn’t sure whether or not to double knot them. A single knot looked better, but it didn’t last long before it fell apart. Or maybe I should just stitch them together…. I don’t know…!

    One other small thing I decided to do to this dress – I used a lightweight interfacing and fused it to all of the bodice pattern pieces. I decided this would help with holding the structure, as otherwise the double gauze being a nice loose weave, would have potential for sagging out of shape.

    I also dug out my hand sewing skills for finishing the little details – like the lining along the zipper, and the hem. I feel like when I spend the time to hand stitch a hem, I appreciate the dress so much more! I don’t always do this… in fact I mostly whizz my hems through the overlocker, and then topstitch on the machine… but now and then I feel like a dress is truly worthy of having that time spent on this final detail 🙂

    Anyway, hope you’re into this dress! I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to drop me a comment – or head on over to my Instagram to give me your thoughts!

    Jen x

    Pattern: By Hand London Jenna Dress

    Fabric (shell): Double gauze from Backstitch 

    Fabric (lining): Plain white cotton lawn from Cotton Reel Studio closing down sale

    Size made: 10

    Alterations made: Adjusted back neckline to remove gape (narrow shoulders adjustment)

  • Celebrating Summer with a Vogue V9311 Maxi Dress

  • Well here I am again, swishing my way around summer in a me-made maxi dress! And this one has been a long time coming… I actually made this last summer but it’s taken a whole year for me to get around to blogging it. This is a true reflection of the amount of free time I get as a full-time working mum LOL!

    Rarely do I ever really make many of ‘the big 4’ patterns. I guess I’m just an indie patterns kinda gal at heart. I just couldn’t resist the style of this one though – with its 70s hippy vibes. And the pattern? A Vogue V9311.

    It was a pretty easy/straightforward pattern to sew – not too many tricky areas. I decided part-way through that I would leave the sleeves off. I think at the time it was a bit of a heatwave going on, so the thought of sleeves made me feel a bit sweaty! I was just trying the dress on before the sleeves part of the instructions and just thought it looked great without. Also there was a little bit of me that felt like it may have been too much pattern if I’d have added them.

    The fabric I used was a polyester – not 100% sure on the type, but at a guess, it was maybe like a georgette. It was a little sheer, with this gorgeous floral print on a lilac background. So pretty! I bought this from Sew Essential and it was a total bargain. I think it was around £5 per metre!

    I used a lining fabric to fully line the whole dress, just because the outer shell fabric was just that little bit too sheer to get away with. Unfortunately though, the combination of the slippery lining and shell fabric means that they sort of shift around as their own entities… so I feel as though I need to wiggle and shift it around as I’m wearing it. Which is a little annoying.

    Although, I am super pleased with the hem and slit finishes as I spent hours blind slip stitching all of this by hand. It did take a long time, but it was a really therapeutic process. Sometimes I lack the patience for hand stitching, but more and more I’m finding a real sense of ‘zen’ from doing this… so I intend on biting the bullet and doing this more. After all, the finished look is so much nicer than a rushed machined topstitch – especially on a lightweight fabric like this.

    Another part of this make which I gave my all to was French seaming the entire dress. Again, such a rewarding process! As a result of this, I wrote a tutorial blog post especially for the lovely people at Brother Sewing UK – so head on over to their blog to see all of the steps and photos in detail – http://brothersewinguk.blogspot.com/2019/07/getting-to-grips-with-french-seams-with.html.

    Anyway, it sure does feel good to have this dress up on the blog! It’s been a long time coming 🙂

    Pattern: Vogue V9311

    Fabric: Sew Essential

    Size made: 12

    Alterations made: Finished without sleeves

  • SewCam is Back!

  • SewCam is back! Fresh from the success of last year’s sellout event, we will be following the same magical format of getting a whole bunch of sewing-loving folks together to work on projects and have a good old natter 🙂


    THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT! If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email hello@gingerthreadgirl.co.uk


    You will need to be able to bring your own sewing machine to this event – so please note that there is no option to hire a machine. There will be an overlocker station with a couple of machines, and an ironing board station too (so no need for you to bring these things with you).

    This year’s event is kindly supported by the lovely team at Brother Sewing UK, which is allowing us to increase numbers, and also, excitingly, we will have a Brother expert on site giving demos with a coverstitch machine. So this will be a great opportunity to have a play with a coverstitch!

    We will have tables set-up around the main hall for everyone to work at, with power sockets for machines.

    So you will just have to pick a project, bring your machine and supplies, and we’ll have a fun day doing what we love best.

    I will arrange for some sewing sweets & snacks, and there will, of course, be free flowing tea and coffee! For lunch, feel free to bring a packed lunch – or across the road there is a Sainsbury’s for you to buy something on the day.

    And I will also set-up a pattern & fabric swap table, so we can bring along bits to swap with others 🙂


    The event will be held at the same venue as last year – Storey’s Field Centre. It is a lovely building on the newly developed area on the outskirts of Cambridge called Eddington. It is an incredible building, and recently won and was shortlisted for a number of architectural awards (including the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize 2018). So it will be the perfect backdrop for much sewing magic to happen (and of course, those all important Instagram snaps!).


    This year we are very lucky to be having a wonderful professional photographer, Lucinda Price, come and take some snaps of us in the afternoon. Photos will be available for attendees from a gallery after the event.

    In addition, I will be organising a funky photo backdrop for us to take photos in front of – possibly wearing our me-mades / generally goofing around!


    We are very lucky to have the incredible Sue Young on hand on the day to offer help and advice with sewing projects. I’m very excited about this as I’ve always found Sue such an inspiration and all-round sewing guru!

    Here is a little bit from Sue, about her sewing background and sewing meet-up words of wisdom!

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m Sue and I’ve been fascinated with dressmaking and sewing since I was very young. Eventually I studied at the London College of Fashion and since then I’ve worked variously as a sample cutter, pattern cutter and sample maker mostly in bridal and evening wear. I also worked in a Secondary school as the textiles technician which was quite an eye-opener! These days I’m very involved in #sewover50 because I wrote the original blog post that eventually became the springboard for my friend Judith to start the @SewOver50 account on Instagram. With 15k followers (of all ages) it’s an inclusive group which offers inspiration, help, support and encouragement to everyone. I love that it’s global in its reach too. 

    I do occasional bridal alterations (they can be quite specialist) and I’ve written a few articles for Love Sewing magazine, plus writing my own blog which is mostly reviewing patterns I’ve used (I’m always truthful!) patterns I’ve hacked, fabrics I’ve used or exhibitions I’ve enjoyed visiting. I test patterns for designers too, which is both interesting and frustrating at times. Believe me, if you’re quite new to sewing there are no mistakes you can make that I haven’t already made too! That’s how we learn after all. 

    I’m really looking forward to helping Jen at this year’s SewCam event, it was loads of fun last year. I love a good sewing meet-up and the chance to chat about our makes, if you’ve never been to one yet this will be a great introduction to them, don’t be shy, we all have a love of sewing in common so what could be better?

    I look forward to meeting you in November and you can find my blog at Susanyoungsewing.wordpress.com, and on Insta as @susanyoungsewing.  

    Sue x 

    I am thrilled to give you a peek at the line-up of incredible brands supporting our goody bags this year! More brands to come – so keep your eyes peeled!


    We will again be supporting breast cancer awareness charity, CoppaFeel, with a charity raffle with some *incredible* prizes up for grabs! Below is a peek at the amazing brands who have kindly offered to support with sewing-related goodies. And keep an eye on this page, as more brands are added!


    I can't wait to see you all there on Sunday 3rd November!

    Jen x