Orla on show

Hello! How’s your week going? Things have been hectic round here but sewing and also shopping has been happening too!

A little while ago, the lovely Clarinda Kaleidoscope put an open invitation on Instagram for people to join her at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia.  I had a quick look at the cost of train tickets, was pleasantly surprised for once, and decided that I would treat myself to a trip to London.  Butterflies and Lemondrops and Jane Makes were also going along.

This was rather scary for me: as you can clearly tell from this blog, I’m not usually short of words, but new people, even lovely sewists who I’ve chatted to online, are scary! Also, please never tell my children I set off on my own to meet some people I’d met online…..


Anyway, a sewing outing obviously called for a new garment; only natural, right? 😉  I decided to go with the Tilly & The Buttons Orla, which I’ve made once before.  Sadly, the very cheap fabric of that disintegrated the second time I wore it so there was an Orla shaped hole in my wardrobe.

I decided to ensure that didn’t happen again by using a Liberty tana lawn (from the sublime to the ridiculous, right?). The only other changes I made from my original version were to include the collar and to use the short sleeves.

Once again, this was a lovely, straightforward sew.  I even had the perfect zip, bought from Tilly when the pattern first launched; total chance that it matched the fabric, perfect!


The fabric was an absolute delight to sew with and the stitches just seemed to disappear.  If you’ve never sewn with this stuff, I can highly recommend it!


The collar was very slightly fiddly: I really took my time with it but it still ended up ever so slightly wonky! I’m fairly sure that’s probably something only I would notice; next time it’ll be perfect!


I finished this on Friday evening; when I hung it up, I thought the facing on the bottom hem was pulling slightly but decided it was just me being tired and paranoid.  However, you can see it quite clearly on this photo.


(thank you Clarinda!)  What you can also see is Tilly herself having a really good look at the hem to try and work out what I’ve done wrong! I felt awful; the poor woman was just showing some other ladies her sample of Orla when I appear wanting advice on how to stop it turning out like that!! I did say that this wasn’t my first version and it hadn’t done this last time: I really hope they heard me!

Tilly suggested re-sewing the hem, turning more to the inside this time; Lauren Guthrie (manning a sewing machine on Tilly’s stand and also utterly charming to talk to) recommended snipping notches into the curved hem to encourage it to lie flat. I haven’t tried either yet: the offending facing is in the washing machine after a long day travelling back and forth and doing lots of shopping!


Slightly off facing not withstanding, I love this top! And there will definitely be more.  Here, have some more pictures!

The show itself was an absolute (expensive!) delight.  And I needn’t have worried about meeting new people, everyone was really lovely from the get go.

As well as the lovely bloggers I met up with, I also met Lisa Comfort on her Sew Over It stand.  She was accosted for a picture: I felt less guilty about that given how much fabric I bought from her!


As far as purchases go, well it’s safe to say I went over my expected spend.  In my defence, there had been an unexpected bonus at work last week; I think it’s fair to treat oneself in that situation!

Everything I bought is destined for a summer make of one sort or another so there may be a delay in seeing them here. But, for info, I picked up;

Datura blouse pattern (which is entirely Elle’s fault, obviously!)

3m each of a star print rayon and a lobster print cotton from Sew Over It.  I’m thinking Betty dress with the lobsters, less sure on the stars?


1m of Liberty Tana Lawn from Fabrics Galore – summer top of some kind, should be perfect for my holidays.


1.5m of rayon from Sew Over It for a summer top – probably New Look 6808, which I love for warm weather: nice and cool but little risk of sun burn.


2m of sugar skull print cotton from Fabrics Galore which is destined for a Kim dress. I think…..

A metre each of the most glorious kids’ fabrics I have ever clapped eyes on – I just need to decide whether to make dresses or cushions…..


And finally, a show special kit for the Sew Over It silk cami, complete with fox print silk. I’m slightly scared of the silk fabric, so there will definitely be a toile first!

Post show I had a lovely couple of hours wandering round the V&A and Science Museum on my own, a very rare treat! I always end up wandering back that way: when I was a student in London the museums weren’t free (yes I am that old) so it still feels a treat to wander in and out of the museums on college’s doorstep.  There was time for a quick meal in Chinatown before jumping on the train home again; 2 hours of total peace with my book. Bliss!

All in all, I had a fabulous day and I’m pretty much set for my summer sewing now.  Which I will need to remind myself of on a very regular basis!

Thank you so much to everyone I met, I had the best day! (also, thank you for the photos, as I totally failed to take any of my own!)

Becca x

21 thoughts on “Orla on show

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  1. I don’t think I realised you’d bought the children’s fabric – such fun! No wonder your bag was so full! I’m hoping to finish my first make from the fabric I bought on Saturday over the weekend, maybe even tonight. Happy weekend. x


      1. It would help if in my efforts to make sure the sleeves would match pattern wise I forgot to flip the pattern piece over so I have two the same! Thankfully I have spare fabric!


  2. Beautiful blouse, I love the curvy collar and that fabric is just fabulous. How great that you were able to get advice from Tilly herself on the pattern, I’m sure it will turn out to be a simple fix 🙂 Looks like you got some great purchases to finish the day too!


  3. Have only just seen this as I’m catching up on my massive backlog blog feed – yes it was a lovely day! I am going to cut out my first purchase today – the ‘Vinyl Vacation’ fabric. Bought enough for a Kim but it will get far more wear as a blouse so going to have another go with my Susie adjusting the fit.


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