Splashings of Fabric’s Squish

There’s a new base on the block over at my favourite online fabric store Splashings of Fabric and I was so excited to test it out!


All about that base

Squish is super plush. It has a softness similar to minky (though a smaller pile) but, unlike minky, the softness is on both sides and it has 4 way stretch which makes it a fantastic option for super snuggly clothing.


I found it to have 75% horizontal stretch and 25% vertical stretch which makes it perfect for a wide range of sewing patterns including a range of slim fit patterns like leggings.


In terms of weight and feel it is 300/gsm so cosy  but not bulky.  It does have great drape and is slinkier than cotton lycra but it was not slippery under the machine which made it great to sew with.  I did find it necessary to use stretch needles in my machine but that was the only adjustment I made to my machine and my machine settings (which is set for regular 95% cotton 5% lycra knit).

In terms of caring for the fabric there really was no special treatment required.  I prewashed it at 40 (my regular wash), tumble dried low (which is the setting I use for all synthetic bases like this one) and ironed on a medium setting (again like I do for all synthetic fabrics).  Shrinkage was minimal (a couple of centimetres at most) and there was no colour loss.

What can you make?

Before I go into details about what I made I cannot help but first discuss the amazing print I was sent.  ‘Peter Pan’ is exclusive to Splashings of Fabric and is one of the prints available in their Fairytale round which opens for preorder 20th March and runs until 9pm (GMT) 3rd April.  All the prints are designed by the incredibly talented Annie Swift who is renowned for telling stories through her designs, ‘Peter Pan’ is no exception.  The main print features a silhouette of the main characters flying over London following the second star to the right heading to Netherland and Captain Hook’s ship.  The colours are truly hypnotising, shades of indigo mixed with the silvers, whites and blacks of the landscape and characters.  It is a perfectly enchanting unisex print.


The main print is accompanied with a coordinating print which features silhouettes of the main characters on a complementary blue background.  The coordinating print is beautiful by itself but when paired with the main print really completes an outfit.  Should you wish to preorder this print you can do so here (and receive a 10% discount if you are a new customer too!)IMG_8024-01

When I first got my hands on this base I knew instantly that I wanted to put it’s stretch to the test and make leggings.  I opted to make the Brindille and Twig Footie Leggings for my youngest son specifically because it has a very slim fit.  I don’t think I’ve ever been as jealous of my youngest’s clothing before but I am incredibly jealous of these!  The softness inside is matched by the softness on the outside – my son is literally wearing a teddy bear!  I shall most definitely be purchasing more of this to make larger footy legs (using the Stitch Upon a Time Footie Sprites pattern which covers child sizes up to 12 and adult sizes) and lounge pants like the New Horizons Portlanders.  There was no issue with fit and I made no adjustments to the pattern at all.


I chose to accompany my footie leggings with a traditional hoody.  A hoody is a very obvious choice with this base because hoodies are standard cold weather clothing and this base is ideal for cooler weather.  I chose to use the Brindille and Twig Hooded Raglan Sweatshirt which is a free pattern.  I made the size I usually make in this pattern (which is actual a size larger than my son’s normal size because I feel this pattern has a slimmer fit especially in the neck and head area), again I had no fit issues.  I did modify this pattern but only  in the shape of the hood – you can’t sew a ‘Peter Pan’ hoody without adding a pixie hood right!?  The modification was simple – I just extended a straight line from the tallest (on the top seam of the hood) and widest (on the back seam of the hood) points until they met at a point.


I also chose to make a cowl neck sweater.  The fabulous drape makes this base a great choice for a cowl neck because it creates the perfect slouch.  The Your Choice Sweater by MW Patterns was also a great option for showing off the main and coordinate prints together and really showcases the main print which was the perfect scale for the age 5 front panel piece.  My son really loved the base though, at first, was reluctant to let his new blanket go to be made into a sweater (a blanket or homeware would be another great option for squish too 😉 ) The Your Choice sweater comes in adult sizes as well as children’s sizes.IMG_8045-01.jpeg

IMG_7858The options with squish are endless because of the excellent stretch and recovery and it really is an easy base to sew with and take care.  If the Fairytale Round is not for you, you can also choose to have your own seamless designs and any of Splashings previous exclusive prints (those over 6 months old) printed on squish too through the Splashings of Fabric Print Your Own (PYO) service which gives you endless squishy options.

The only question that remains is what will you be making with squish?


Sizes, for reference, Raglan Hoody, 18-24 months, footie legs, 12-18 months,  ‘Your choice’ sweatshirt, 110 cm (age 5-6).    This fabric was gifted to me by Splashings of Fabric to provide an unbiased review.

Baby on Board; Testing the TAMI

There is still no let up in the freezing temperatures and snowy forecasts in the UK and bump is getting bigger by the day which meant I was super pleased when New Horizons Designs mentioned a maternity add on for the ladies TAMI revolution Hoodie; I just had to test it out.Photo 12-02-2018, 16 42 31

The TAMI Revolution Hoodie was released in early 2017 and immediately became hugely popular. With lots of design features and options, like double hoods, thumb-hole cuffs and full front zip modification it’s certainly never been an ordinary hoodie; it truly is a revolution!  It was also revolutionary for nursing mums with the option of adding a zip accent to the arm seam(s), included in the instructions, and thus making it super easy (and super discrete) to breastfeed nursing tots whilst wearing the hoodie.   It seems natural, therefore, for it to have a maternity (and early postpartum) modification.Photo 12-02-2018, 16 43 25

The maternity modification sees extra width and length added to the bodice pattern pieces to allow for bump, there are also slight modifications to the in-seam pockets to allow the pocket to lay flat and closed whilst lying against the bump.   All other options remain the same making it a very versatile maternity pattern and perfect for cold and changeable weather.Photo 12-02-2018, 16 41 40

I made my maternity TAMI in Organic French Terry (or looped-back sweatshirting) and petrol coloured fleece-backed sweatshirting both from Dots n’ Stripes .  For my cuffs and bands I used a petrol coloured cotton lycra.  The TAMI can be made in any fabric with at least 25% stretch which gives you a huge range of fabric possibilities.  Photo 12-02-2018, 16 40 22 (1)

I choose to do a double hood and thumb-hole cuffs for extra warmth.

I also opted to try out the zipper accent – I felt this would be really complicated and thought it would be a great test of the instructions as well as a mini challenge for myself.  I’m also keen on breastfeeding my newborn and the zipper would be something I needed to perfect in order to do that.  The instructions for the zipper accent were BRILLIANT!  It wasn’t complicated at all and the written instructions and pictures were very clear and easy to understand.  It took me maybe 15 minutes at most to get the zipper in and the results were highly professional (I really loved the zipper guard addition) and very pleasing.  Experience has taught me that interfacing stretch fabric for flawless zips is essential, and this is noted in the pattern; I would definitely not recommend skipping that step.

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Photo 12-02-2018, 16 38 46I have always been a big fan of New Horizons Designs patterns and this was no different.  Living in the UK I have to print on A4 paper, an A4 trimless option is always provided by New Horizon’s and it really makes a huge difference – I’ve never had any issue printing their patterns and putting the pattern together is so fast and so easy with the trimless design.  Patterns are always well thought out and designed to fit lots of body types; the TAMI hoodie has both a standard and a longer length option and lengthening and shortening lines are included on the pieces to accommodate people of varying heights, the pattern also has an enormous size range, from xx-small (0) right the way up to 26 (US sizing).   The patterns in general also have very clearly written tutorials and clear pictures making them very straightforward sews even though they often have pretty unique and interesting design features.  I would say that the TAMI revolution would be suitable for all skill levels.

The TAMI revolution and maternity add on are both on sale now until 22nd February.

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Sewing for baby; Peekaboo Patterns Lullaby Line Baby Nest

I’m really loving my pregnancy and am reveling in getting to sew all the things for my newest little man. I’ve probably already sewn more newborn clothes than he’ll ever need right now so recently I’ve started to turn my attention to other baby accessories and nursery furnishings, which is why I was so very excited when I saw the preview posts of Peekaboo Patterns latest PDF sewing pattern; the Lullaby Line Baby Nest.cover

The nest is the perfect accessory for babies and toddlers (and preschoolers!).  It allows you to create a safe, clean and enclosed play space for your infant at home and away;  I plan on taking mine with me when we go to visit family and on our vacations to give me somewhere to place my newborn in places not necessarily ‘baby friendly’.  For older children, it provides a floor cushion for rest and relaxation.  I feel I should mention here the nest is not designed to be used unsupervised or for babies to sleep in – should the baby roll against the raised bumper whilst he or she is sleeping they could suffocate.  Below is the safety guidance offered in the pattern.safety guidance nest

Even if you are not expecting a baby, or have young children, the pattern is an excellent investment for gifts.  It would make an excellent baby shower gift or birthday gift for a toddler or preschooler as there’s no need to worry about sizing.  Alternatively, it would make an excellent gift for an older child as included in the pattern is a doll (or bear, or stuffy) sized nest.  It could also be made as a pet bed.  The pattern includes sizes doll to preschool (aged 4-5).  The fact that the nest goes to preschool size was another reason I was attracted to the pattern; I knew my own preschooler would love a nest for resting and reading  – he’s always lying on the floor- so the first nest I made was for my preschooler.

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The pattern is a straightforward sew and I completed all of it on the sewing machine.  I found a zipper foot useful for creating the cord casing in the trim.  With it’s standard seam allowance you could use a regular foot, but I find, as I do when creating piping, the zipper foot offers a better guide for your stitching.


Another tip for dealing with the cord and trim is to use crocodile clips or wonder clips.  The preschool size used over 3 metres of cording and trim, because of this I felt it necessary to periodically clip the cord to the trim in order to stop them twisting whilst sewing.


The pattern includes an optional padded liner which can be used in the nest.  I choose to make the liner to add additional padding but the nest could be used without.  I can see the liner being particularly useful for babies – made out of a waterproof/splashproof material like PUL it will enable the nest to be used, and work well, for nappy changes or nappy free times.  The liner piece being removable would also be easier to wash/put in the washing machine than the nest as a whole.

Photo 29-01-2018, 12 33 34My son was thrilled with his nest.   It was a good length for him (he measures 105cm) and he could lie flat if he wanted too – he actually preferred to curl up and the nest provided him with the perfect cocoon for that.

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Photo 29-01-2018, 13 28 30Photo 29-01-2018, 13 28 06.jpgI made my nest using a quilting cotton, ‘Space Explorers’  by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, available from You, Me and Mabel.  I think the nest would be great for outdoor play or on the beach if you used PUL, ripstop or softshell.  A brushed cotton or flannel would be great for a nest that would be used indoors and provide an additional soft and warm surface, particularly good in the winter months or for children who are more sensitive to textures.   I’m also contemplating a patchwork effect for my newborn’s nest – combining a range of textures and colours to provide him with a more sensory experience.

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Photo 29-01-2018, 17 43 14I used the scraps left over from cutting out the nests ‘legs’ to create a coordinating pillow which my preschooler loved as an additional prop/bolster cushion and which would be great for babies to use as a prop or support during tummy time.

Photo 29-01-2018, 13 20 04All I did was the sew the two scrap pieces right side together leaving a 2 inch turning and stuffing gap.

Clip the corners and curves before turning out.


Stuff and sew the opening closed using a ladder stitch.

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(As with the nest, tummy time supports or tummy time pillows should never be used unsupervised as pillows provide a risk of suffocation).

I really enjoyed sewing the nest and was very pleased with the finished product, as was my son.  The pattern is available from Peekaboo Pattern shop, it has an introductory discount of 15% automatically applied to it through to the end of Thursday 1st February.  Photo 29-01-2018, 17 43 37


Rebecca Page Mummy and Me Comfy Cowl

If you’re on the look out for matching adult and children sewing patterns you really need to check out Rebecca Page’s PDF sewing patterns.  So many of her patterns offer both adult (including plus sizes) and children, and even doll, sizes making it possible to create a full ‘Mummy and Me’ wardrobe.  One of my most favourite everyday ‘Mummy and Me’ patterns is the Comfy Cowl.  Photo 21-01-2018, 19 22 53

The Comfy Cowl is a semi-fitted sweater with an oversized cowl which doubles as a hood.  I always think a cowl is so much more practical than a hood – not least because it fits better with a coat or jacket for extra cold or rainy days.  It also adds an interesting design feature and an opportunity to combine interesting contrasting fabrics in one design.

The Comfy Cowl comes with an optional kangaroo pocket too.

The Comfy Cowl is designed to finish at the low hip.  For my ladies version I choose to make my Comfy Cowl more tunic length (I also made modifications to it to make it suitable for all of my pregnancy – you can read about those modifications here), which effectively meant adding 6.5 inches to the bottom of the bodice pieces.  I extended directly from the hip without any tapering or altering of the shape or width as I felt tapering would restrict movement.

I made both my mummy and me Comfy Cowls in french terry from Mibs fabrics with a coordinating plain petrol cotton lycra (also from Mibs).  The pattern calls for fabric with at least 30% stretch which allows you to use some less stretchy sweatshirt fabrics.

My daughter and I both loved our cowls and they were very quick and straightforward sews, taking less than an hour for each one.  I really enjoy Rebecca Page patterns as they are extremely well written with a very clear picture tutorial.  I would happily recommend this pattern to any level of seamstress, including those new to sewing clothes.  Photo 21-01-2018, 19 15 32

The ladies Comfy Cowl is available in sizes xxs – 5xl.  The children’s Comfy Cowl is available in sizes newborn – 12 years.  The children’s Comfy Cowl works equally well for boys as well as girls and allows the somewhat rare opportunity for Mummy and son as well as Mummy and daughter matching.  The pattern is available as separate adult and children’s patterns or a bundle of both – purchasing the bundle includes an automatic discount and offers the best value for money if you want both sets of sizes.