A lovely pair of comfortable pyjamas In organic stretch jersey with contrast bands

What a fab beginners bedtime project and such to fun make!, with its matching drawstring bag to keep them in. Actually, this pattern is SO much more than just pyjamas! you could make the top as an everyday garment and the bottoms as sweat or jogging pants, so its pretty versatile practical pattern that you will make again and again.

Using stretch jersey is very forgiving, making it a great beginners fabric choice, just pop a ‘stretch’ or ‘ballpoint’ needle on your machine and off you go. And by the way, don’t worry if you don’t own an overlocker, most cotton stretch jersey fabrics don’t tend to fray anyway, so why not just leave your edges raw.

This blogpost gives you an overview of how the Pyjamas are made, to give you an idea about whats involved before you buy.
Sleep mask download below

Also If you fancy making a Sleep Mask why not download this free pattern and template. Just make sure to print off the template at 100%.


All images and text are subject to copyright. Please ask prior permission if you would like to use any of the contents of this blogpost


Sewgirl welcomes wholesale enquiries. Please email your interest to:


stating your type of business and whereabouts and you will be forwarded our terms and conditions.

I look forward to hearing from you!


On Worthing beach in Maisie dress (with hood and side pockets).
In fleece back sweat fabric with side pockets and hood
Maisie top (with side pockets and neckband).
Maisie dress in sweat shirting fabric (with neckband and patch pockets).

So, at last! a Sewgirl beginners stretch jersey project- its been a long time coming. A nice and snuggly garment inspired by my trips to the beach and wanting to feel cosy when I go for my sea swims (yes you heard right!) I’m planning on swimming through the winter….hmm! We will see if that happens.

So what can I say about Maisie? Its comfy, cosy, oversized so lots of room for lumps and bumps (and I have my fair share of those!). Its got easy peasy raglan sleeves -yay! This pattern gives you options to make it in a choice of two lengths -a dress or top, with either side or patch pockets and a hood or high neckband, lots of choices on offer with this one. I popped a choice of pockets because I LOVE POCKETS! There- I said it.

Fabrics suitable for this garment: Stretch! So think sweatshirt fabric, terry or loop back jersey is perfect too. Medium weight stripy jersey is also fab, but make sure its not too lightweight, you need something with a bit of structure to it. Try sourcing one from The Cornish Haberdashery -they have some nice coloured jersey knit stripes. Any knit fabric is good too, for the orange jumper top I used a cable knit fabric by Minerva.com and its great!

So here is a chart with all the info you need about sizing, finished garment measurements and fabric requirements.

This is how to make Maisie Top or Dress.

Tips: I find it really helpful when sewing bulky fabrics to use a Walking Foot. This is not a ramble whilst you sew – ha ha! Its an attachment for your machine which has a rolling mechanism under the foot to help move the fabric along and it looks like this one, but don’t worry, if you haven’t got one.

A walking foot attachment

Also its a good idea to pop a jersey or ballpoint needle on your machine. It prevents snagging the elastane fibres in the fabric. You can get these from Minerva.com or your local sewing store.

Ballpoint needle

First prepare the PATCH POCKETS, if you are doing side pockets go to the next step.

Pin one pocket piece straight edge at each side edge of the Front and Back. Press away from the body. Topstitch on the pocket side.
Pin one sleeve (front edge) to the Front each side.
Press the sleeves away from the body
Join the sleeves (back edges) to the Back. Press.
With the RST, join the Front to Back at the side edges. Finish the raw edges together.

NECKBAND (for Hood version go to ‘HOOD’ section)

Pin the short edges together with the RST (right sides together). By the way, if you prefer to make a narrower neckband, just cut a neckband piece half the width and with a straight short edge and follow the same instructions.
Fold the neckband in half with the wrong sides together, then pin to the neck edge all around, aligning the notches to the shoulder seams. Hand tack.
Sew. Finish the raw edge. Press the neckband upwards and the seam allowance downwards. Topstitch around the neckline on the right side of the garment.
Pin the cuff hem. Single fold if you have an overlocker, double fold (1cm then 2cm) if you dont. Alternatively you may prefer to add a cuff. If so here is a how to printed tutorial about how to do so.
Sew the cuff hem.
Pin then sew the lower hem.
Topstitch the pocket all around. Sew on the wrong side, following the previous line of stitching around the pocket.


Pic 1. Pin the two Hood pieces at the outer curved edge with the right sides of the fabric facing together. Sew. Finish the raw edge. Pic 2. Fold back the straight edge 1cm then again 2cm. Press, pin then stitch.
Pin to the neck edge all around with the RST. Finish the raw edges together.
Press the Hood upwards and the seam allowance downwards on the reverse side. Press. Pin, then top stitch all around.
Lovely hooded top with side pockets ready to go!

All content is copyrighted by Fiona Hesford please ask prior permission if you would like to use any of the text or images.


Midi Dress
Maxi Dress
Sleeveless top version. Fabric by Slubbedprints.co.uk
For a tutorial about how to adjust the armhole for a sleeveless version scroll to the bottom of the page

There are two neckline fastenings to choose from…..

Frida dress named after the one and only Frida Khalo of course. A woman known for her fashion style as well as her work as a remarkable artist.

Frida can be made into a top, dress or maxi dress as shown in the pictures above. It has one (top version) or two frill tiers (dress version), with a keyhole neckline with either ties or a loop and button fastening at the neckline. There are two side pockets and sleeves which are three quarter length elasticated for the dress or short fold back cuffs for the top. Please see the chart below for the finished garment measurements.

This is an easy pattern for beginners with some previous sewing experience. Techniques involved are gathering up the frills, inserting ties, a facing, I think theres nothing too difficult involved – its a really fun project to sew. If you feel a bit daunted by the tie/loop insertion, take a peek at the video tutorial that I have linked to this blogpost.

Fabrics suitable for making Frida are cotton (African fabrics are great), denim chambray, ramie, viscose and lightweight linen. Please see the chart below for fabric requirements.

Please note that you will also need 30cm of med fusible interfacing, 50cm of elastic (10mm wide) and for the top one button (10-20mm).
This is a calf length dress however you can make a shorter dress by using two (A) tiers which will make it on the knee length (shown on a 5ft 7″ height person).

The pattern instruction booklet will show you the pieces to cut out according to your fabric width, using the layplans as a guide.


Here are some of the stages of making up Frida to show you how its done.




On the pattern you can see lots of lines for each Dart size. Each size has two lines: one (outer line) is the ‘cutting’ line and one (inner line) which is the ‘stitch’ line. See the diagram below, Ive marked size 8 Dart lines in yellow (cutting line) and pink (stitch line), to show you more clearly. Its a good idea to mark the required two lines as I have done on your pattern to make them easier to see.






Top (Sleeveless Version A) Leave the sleeves off and edge with bias binding.
Fabric by Slubbed Prints


To reduce the armhole, making it less gapey, I recommend pinning in approx 1cm at each side seam, from the top of the armhole to the dart. Also make a small dart at the back section of the armhole about a third of the way up. I made mine approx 1cm (ie 2cm when folded) but you may need more or less.

Try the top on and see how it looks and feels, remember theres going to be a further 1cm taken off by the seam allowance of the binding. If you are happy with the fit, sew the dart and side seam adjustment. Press.
Now make your bias binding. Cut two strips of fabric approx 5cm wide and length to accommodate each armhole.
Fold each strip in half so that the raw edges are matching and the wrong sides facing together. Press.
Starting from the underarm side seam, aligning the raw edges of the binding and armhole, stitch the binding to the armhole, overlapping a little where they meet. I find you don’t need to pin it first, but you do need to ease or stretch it slightly as you sew.
Press the binding away from the armhole with the seam allowance pressed towards the top.
Fold the binding to the reverse side. Press. Pin then hand tack all around. This makes it so much easier when sewing on the machine.
Stitch all around on the machine, then remove all tacking stitches. Press.
There you have it!
Dress (Version B)
Maxi Dress (Version C)

All photos and text are subject to copyright by Fiona Hesford T/A Sewgirl .

Please ask permission before copying any imagery prior to use. Thank you.


Orla with simple neck facing (option B) and long sleeves

Orla dress is a style that I designed quite a while ago and it proved such a classic style, I decided it just had to join the Sewgirl collection.

So let me describe this dress, so as well as being insanely stylish, it is also a very easy relaxed dress to wear. Its trapeze shape allows you lots of movement, so you can eat what you like without feeling constricted. With two side pockets (who doesnt love a sidey) and a choice of two dress lengths and two sleeve lengths, the Option A has a buttoned placket detail at the neckline, edged with bias binding to give it a retro feel or Option B has an alternative simple neck facing.

Both options have a back neck opening.

Option B back neck opening

This is an easy pattern to make up, however, the placket detail is probably a little more tricky, so if you have had some experience attaching bias binding you should be ok.

I would say this dress really suits bold prints but it also looks great in plain linens or viscose/linen mixes or the blue and white one (with red trim below) is a voile that I bought from slubbedprints.co.uk who have a wonderful collection of hand block print cotton fabrics from India. You can really play around with matching up one of the colours in your print or using a complete contrast colour binding as I have done here.

Some other versions of Orla that Ive made in bold prints.

Here are details about fabric requirements, size info and finished garment details.

So you will also need some equipment like a loop turner or a large eye blunt ended needle, tacking thread and needle, an iron, a good pair of dressmaking scissors and a stitch ripper for any back tracking you may need to make!


Here are some pictures and text to give you an idea about how this dress is made before you buy.


Just one tip before you start cutting out your fabric pieces on a narrower width fabric, if you are cutting out sizes 20+ you may not have the width at the lower edge, my advise would be to add a square of fabric extension on the lower selvedge edge to compensate.

So the back pieces are joined together and seams pressed open, the top section is left unstitched for the back neck opening.

The Front and Back are joined at the shoulder seams and topstitched.

Side pockets are added each side and topstitched.
Small darts, which are marked on the pattern, are stitched each side and pressed downwards. These give the upper armscye more shape. Then its on to the bias binding bit for Option A only. For Option B see below.


The pattern gives you lots more details about how to do the binding.

Bias Binding
Pin then stitch one side of the bias binding to the outer edge of the Placket.
First, trim off 1.5cm from around the neck edge. Pin the placket to the dress at the centre top neck edge. Stitch all around close to the binding outer edge.
Then pin the seam binding and stitch to the neck raw edge all around.
Sew three buttons on to the placket and attach a hook and eye at the back neck.
Pin the front to back at the side edges, align the pockets. Now sew all around from the underarm, all around the pockets to the lower edge. Finish the raw edge with a zig zag stitch or use your trusty overlocker if you have one.
Pin the sleeve together at the side edges with the right sides matching.
Pin the sleeve head to the armhole, be careful to match the back section of the sleeve head (as marked on the pattern) to the Back section of the armhole.
Hand tack stitching really helps to ease your sleeve head in nicely to the armhole, it may need a little coaxing so be firm and show it whose the boss!
Stitch all around then finish the raw edges. Don’t forget to remove the tacking stitches and sometimes I like to nick at the cross seam allowance to allow a bit more movement. Press the sleeve head. I like to use a Tailors ham like this one, they are SO helpful when pressing sleeve heads (and hats for that matter). I have them available to buy in my Haberdashery listing on my Etsy shop.
A Tailors Ham
You can topstitch the sleeve head or leave it without, its up to you. Hem your sleeve edge.
Bold prints certainly give the wow factor. This one is by Echino its a linen and cotton mix and a super duper print design that I love!
I have made myself many Orla dresses as you can see because I just love bold prints.

ORLA DRESS VERSION B (with a simple neck facing)

So with Option B you don’t insert a placket or use bias binding around the neckline like you do with Version A. I thought that some people would like to try it without the binding, so here are a few illustrations to give you an idea about how its done.

Sew the (interfaced) Front Facing to the Back Facing (with the right sides together), at the shoulder edges. Press the seam allowances open. You can make a small hem around the outer edge or just finish it all around with an overlocked or zig zag edge.
Nick the seam allowance all around. Before you stitch down the short edges, insert the loop.
Pop the loop under the back neck facing at the top edge, then sandwich it between the facing short edges and the back. and stitch down.
Trim off excess loop, seam allowance corners then turn it inside out and poke out the corners. Press. Pin the facing all around and stitch down.
Sew on a button to match the loop and voila!
The finished article. Stylish, modern and practical and a great addition to your wardrobe for all seasons.

All images and text are subject to copyright. Please do not use any images without prior permission.
Not for commercial use.


Dark Denim

Woohoo! Here it is! A fab pair of loose fitting dungarees, inspired by one of my all time heros… Doris Day! Here she is, what a woman!

These dungarees are designed to feel comfortable as well as stylish. Make them in denim will give them a practical utility look or linen for being a little more on the classy side. Wear them with pumps, sandals, flip flops, clogs or boots and a crisp plain or stripy tee underneath or maybe even a pretty floral top (Peggy) underneath also looks fab.

I have a growing collection of suitable fabrics on my Etsy shop such as 8oz denim and linen in lots of gorgeous colours, so take a peek, you might be tempted.

There is also a kit available, containing the pattern, choice of linen or denim fabric, interfacing, buttons and thread all packed up in a lovely kraft bag.


please note that this is a guide only, the pattern instructions are in a slightly different order

Firstly, finish the centre back edges. With the right sides together, pin the back Bib pieces together at the centre back edge. Sew. Press the seam allowances open.
STRAPS. Prepare the straps. Sew down one long raw edge and one short edge. Trim the seam allowance and across the corners.
Turn inside out and press. Push out the corners with a pokey tool. A knitting needle is good for this or a chopstick.
TROUSERS. With the RST, pin the trousers at the Front centre edges. Sew.
Finish the raw edges. Nick the curved section every 2cm approx. Press. Topstitch on the right side.
Repeat for the Back centre edges.
POCKETS: Finish the side edges except for the top edge. Fold over 1cm to the wrong side, press, then fold back to the right side 1.5cm. Pin at the sides. Sew.
Turn the hem inside out Press. Sew close to the hem fold. Press over 1cm all around the finished edges.
Hand tack to the garment pieces in position as shown on the templates.
With the RST (Right Sides Together), pin the legs together at the side edges. Then pin the inner leg edges. Sew. Finish the raw edges. Press.
FACINGS: Fold over 1cm at the lower edge of the two facing piece (Front & Back).
With the RST, pin one facing piece to the Bib Front.
BIB: On the Front Bib, sew across the top edge and down each Facing side edge.
Pin the straps each side of the Bib back right side 1cm in from each far edge. Machine tack within the seam allowance along the top edge to secure the straps. Remove the pins.
With the RST, pin the remaining Facing piece to the Bib Back top edge, covering the straps.
Sew across the top edge. Pin at the sides.
Sew down each Facing side edge. Trim across the seam allowance corner.
Fold the Facing to the wrong side, pushing out the corners with a poking tool on the inside. The straps will pop out. Pin.
Sew the Facing down at the lower edge. Sew the Bib Front to Back at the side edges.
Press the seam allowances open. Make a hem at the side curved underarm edges.
Pin the Bib to the Trousers with the RST. Sew. Press the Bib upwards, with the seam allowance towards the Bib.
Topstitch on the right side.
FINISHING UP: Make a buttonhole at the Bib Front. Sew the button on to the strap, adjusting to fit to your requirements.
Hem the lower edge of the Trousers.
Yippee! I made some lovely Dungies!
Follow me on social media.

All images are protected by copyright by Fiona Hesford (Sewgirl).

Please do not copy or use any images on this blog without prior permission. Thank you!


Martha Skirt – long with contrast fabric
Long skirt with the band and pockets in the same fabric
Short skirt
A cheeky back view showing slit opening and back pockets

So this skirt was inspired by a one I made for myself that I literally wore out, I loved wearing it so much. It’s my go to skirt for knocking about everyday, working in, going out on my bike, walks, you name it.

And those pockets are just SO practical!

Martha Skirt is a great denim project or, as you can see from the pictures, perfect when using a dynamic printed cotton teamed up with a plain fabric for the band and pockets. This print is an african Wax print which (for those that know me) I’m a big fan of.

I find such pleasure choosing the colour to match the print. In my books, this is one of the things that makes sewing such fun. You are going to have a unique garment that you have created for yourself! What’s not to love!

So, if you have chosen to use two different fabrics, make sure to use similar weights, but if you. like me, want to use something a bit heavier for the band (i.e. 8oz denim) then just balance out the main fabric with some lightweight lining fabric like a cotton voile or maybe even some woven fusible interfacing. I just cut out another upper Front & Back skirt piece only, pin to the reverse side of the three pieces, stitch together all around at the sides, then continue as if its one piece of fabric.

Martha Skirt pattern

Here is the info you need about sizing, finished garment measurements and fabric requirements….

You also need an 18cm (7″) zip and 20cm of medium/lightweight interfacing and a reel of thread.

Equipment: A zip foot machine attachment, poking tool. I like to use a tailors ham too but its not essential.

Zip foot


So, kicking off, Martha Skirt has two darts on the Back piece top edge.


inserting the back darts
Insert a zip.


Martha has a zip inserted into the back seam, so you will need to pop your zip foot on your machine. If you don’t have a zip foot you can always hand sew a zip into the back seam.

a typical zip foot attachment

The pattern gives instructions about how to insert a ‘centred’ zip into the back seam, which I think is the simplest zip insertion of all, but you might prefer to use a ‘lapped’ zip technique or better still a concealed zip.

I have a separate blogpost called ‘How to insert a concealed zip’ which will show you how to do one, using just a standard zip foot attachment.

Inserting zips is not difficult when you know how. Once mastered your (sewing) life will be transformed and hopefully (like me) it will be the bit you look forward to the most (not kidding honest!).

So, if you have chosen to add a lower band for the longer length version, either in contrast fabric or main fabric, you will need to first hem the Lower back band pieces at the side edges.

For the Short Skirt version continue to the Pocket section.

Hem the two lower back Band pieces at the side edges.
Pin to the Skirt lower edge. Sew.
Finish the raw edge, press the band downwards with the seam allowance upwards on the reverse side.
Attach the Band to the lower edge of the Front Skirt piece.
Topstitch the seams on the band side. Tip: use a contrast colour thread to enhance the stitching detail.


Hem the slanted edge of the Front pocket and the top edge of the Back Pocket
Fold over 1cm and press the remaining edges.
Pin to the Front and hand tack. Topstitch.
Pin the Back Pocket to the Back in position as shown on the template. Hand tack. Topstitch.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_4324.jpg
Join the (interfaced) Front and Back facings at the short edges.
With the right sides facing together, pin the facing piece to the skirt, matching up the side seams and allow
1.5cm overhanging at each far end.
Sew all around. Nick the seam allowance every 2cm approx.
Trim the bulky cross seam allowances.
Press the facing upwards, with the seam allowance pressed towards the facing. Understitch on the Facing side.
Stitch the facing to the side of the zip at each side. Trim the seam allowance and across the corners.

Fold the facing to the reverse side, pushing out the corners at the top of the zip.

Pin the facing to secure it on the reverse side. Stitch the facing all around, close to the outer edge. Press.

Finally a bit of hemming on the lower edge of the skirt and bobs your uncle! There you have it!

What a fab skirt!
Short length too is SO cute!

All images are copyrighted by Fiona Hesford – Sewgirl.

Please do not copy or use any images without prior permission.


Happy sewing!

I’m afraid, due to the current pandemic, the Sewgirl workshop programme has been suspended until further notice. However, I am a regular presenter on the Sewing street TV channel where I show demonstrations of my patterns. If you follow me on social media, you will be updated about upcoming show dates.

Hope to see you there!

Stay safe!

Facebook or Instagram


If you are making an Ursula from Sewing Street boiled wool, you might like to hack the pattern by adding a collar on to your coat or jacket.
Some boiled wool fabrics don’t fray and look the same on both sides, perfect for adding on a back collar on to the back neck, instead of the facings.
You can still do the lovely pockets as instructed on the pattern. I left the sleeve cuff un-hemmed. And…. I didn’t finish ANY of the raw edges on the reverse side- I just left them to look after their well behaved selves! No fraying- no fuss!
I also left the lower edge raw!!! Radical!
So, instead of sewing on the front and back facing piece, I just added one rectangle of fabric, cut to the specifications shown below and stitched it to the wrong side of the back and front neck. The seam is apparent on the right side, however, as the collar is turned over, it covers it. I did trim the seam allowance down to 5mm though.
This diagram shows you what I did. Easy peasy!

So the one rectangle you need to cut depends on the size you are making as follows:

Size 8= 9cm x 49cm

Size 10= 9.5cm x 50cm

Size 12= 10cm x 51.5cm

Size 14= 10.5cm x 53cm

Size 16= 11cm x 54cm

Size 18= 11.5 x 55cm

Size 20= 12cm x 56.5cm

By the way, if you are getting pilling with your boiled wool, Ive read that it helps to spray the fabric with hairspray- I haven’t tried it myself but Im going to give it a go.

I love my Ursula Hack! Happy Sewing!