Category Archives: Products

Carabaloo and Manlybaloo have been launched!

After months of designing and testing, I’m thrilled to announce that Carabaloo (a-line dress in sizes 1-12) and Manlybaloo (Men’s boxer shorts in sizes XS – 4XL) have been launched!!

Woo! Yaay! *fireworks and celebratory fizzy drinks*


Carabaloo is a completely lovely a-line summer dress.  Because it’s such a simple style (with just 2 main pattern pieces) I had to work really hard to get the shape right, and the balance between being loose-but-not-baggy and fitted-but-not-tight.  Finally we got there!

Carabaloo was inspired by a Mary Quant dress at the V&A museum, so you need to think of shorter, vintage-length dresses for your girls, just above the knee is perfect, any longer and it could swamp your little girl.

Patterns that grow with your children is a key principle at Sewabaloo, and this applies to Carabaloo too – the loose fir allows growth in the chest, and as your child lengthens you can pair with leggings or shorts and wear it as a tunic top.  Completely gorgeous!

All the seams are enclosed and finished – the method for turning the bodice can seem confusing if you haven’t seen it before, but just trust the instructions and it will all work out, I promise.  And it will turn out like magic – you will love it and want to run around showing everybody, but if they don’t sew they won’t care or understand.  But we do, so come and show us in the Facebook Group, we’ll “Oooh” with you and applaud your cleverness.  Other professional techniques used and explained in the pattern include understitching around the collar and a faced hem, which gives weight and structure to the bottom of the dress.

It’s a very quick and easy sew once you’re familiar with the techniques, so it’s perfect for makers and sellers – you can, of course, sew Sewabaloo patterns to sell.  If you do I’d love it if you attributed the design to Sewabaloo.

Carabaloo A Line Dress pattern, cover


Manlybaloo is most likely the only non-child pattern Sewabaloo will produce.  I had been making boxershorts for Mr Sewabaloo for Christmasses, birthdays, Valentines etc. for a few years, and took the step to grade it to different sizes, write and illustrated the instructions, and offer it our for sale.

It’s a  loose fit boxer short pattern for woven fabrics, with a very nice button fly and leg vents.  It’s a simple pattern with just three pattern pieces – Leg Front, Leg Back and Fly.  It’s fairly straightforward to put together although you might need to concentrate a little bit on the fly construction.

It makes a great gift for the man in your life (we’re just in time for Father’s Day!) and requires just 1m of fabric to make any of the sizes, from XS to 4XL.  It’s also great for making sleeping shorts for ladies, and advice is included to help select the correct size for a lady.

Sewing pattern cover
Introductory Offer

For one week only, until Monday 13th June, both Carabaloo and Manlybaloo will enjoy a massive 25% discount!  Sewabaloo isn’t in the habit of offering discounts, to grab them at this price while you’re able.

Sewabaloo Affiliates

Become a Sewabaloo Affiliate and earn 20% commission on any patterns sold through your affiliate link!

Sewabaloo Classes

The first series of classes is coming to an end and it has been a triumph!  My wonderful ladies have got to grips with their sewing machines, learnt to sew, made boxer shorts, made lampshades and, those who are still in the 6 week course, are making lovely a-lined skirts for themselves.

A new schedule of classes has just been published in the shop, for classes and workshops starting in June.  If you are in the South Wales area and would like to join us in the Model House, Llantrisant, please book a space!  Places are very limited so you can be sure of lots of attention and guidance from me!  An excellent selection of biscuits is offered, too.

A Gift list for sewers sewists seamstresses

Dear Santa – A Christmas gift list for a hopeful sewer

Dear Santa,

Thank you for all my lovely presents last year.  I have been very, very good this year as well, and If you think I deserve them, I would be very, very grateful if you would gift me any of the following for Christmas this year.

Gingher shears

Gingher dressmaking shears

Some dressmakers scissors are just so beautiful that you ache at the thought of them. These are those shears for me. *sigh* Want.

This lovely Tailors Board

Oak Tailor's board, pressing tools

Just look at this – absolutely stunning, isn’t it. And you just know it would give you the crispest pressed seams and edges. Made of oak in the UK, it’s just £31 + shipping on Etsy. I always prefer to support independent makers, especially when they make such beautiful and practical objects.

This lovely Point Turner

Made by the same maker that made the tailor’s board above, this point turner is also made of oak, is made in the UK, and would make an amazing stocking filler for the sewer / sewist / seamstress in your life. (Or for me, for that matter.) Just £3.25 plus postage – frankly it would be rude not to.

This lovely Ham Holder

OK, I promise this is the last one – from the same maker again, an oak ham holder. (If you aren’t familiar with them, a ham is a sawdust-filled fabric form used for pressing curved seams and French darts, so called because it looks like a joint of ham. If you sew you should consider investing in one. The ham holder holds the ham on its end to access the smaller curves when pressing). I’m not going to tell you the price this time – you’ll have to take a look. *I promise I’m not sponsored or in any way affiliated to this maker – I just love their stuff!

A coverstitch machine

Janome Coverstitch Pro

WANT!!!! Yes, I know they’re expensive and I probably don’t sew with knits enough to justify the expense – but that really doesn’t stop my yearning.

This chalk marking set

Chalk marking set

It’s a mechanical pencil with coloured chalk. Again, I WANT!

I had no idea this existed until this very moment, but now I want one

It’s a sewing multi tool. No, I don’t know either – but it looks great and would certainly help fill a stocking.

Merchant & Mills Seamstress Mug

Seamstress Mug gift sewing

The ‘Seamstress’ mug from Merchant & Mills is £9.00 + postage. It’s bone china, people – what’re we waiting for? We NEED this in our lives!

Sewing Alphabet Mug

Sewing Alphabet Mug

It’s another mug! Don’t try to tell me you don’t have a load of chipped mugs in the cupboard that need replacing. I know you do. Everybody does. Now we can replace them with gorgeous sewing mugs.

Silver button rings

Silver button rings

I don’t actually ever wear jewellery, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t own it. I would probably never wear these – but look how cute they are! Lush!


Thank you very much, I hope you had a lovely summer and that the reindeer and Mrs Claus are keeping well.

With love and Gratitude,




PS – Yes, I know it’s still only mid November, but I always feel it’s better not to trust last minute delivery times, don’t you?


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My favourite snips

I’ve had all sorts of scissors and snips for trimming thread over the years – I’ve used nail scissors, embroidery scissors, small Ikea scissors, crafting snips and fancy branded snips.  They’ve all done the job (well, most of them – one pair of snips had to be immediately returned to Hobbycraft in disgust for failing to cut sewing thread), some better than others, and until a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have expressed any real preference in my thread cutting tools.

But then I discovered these beauties.  I first discovered them when I attended a dressmaking class locally and fell immediately in love with them.

Thread snips, thread cutters

They’re basic, cheap, unbranded (really, I have no idea who makes them) and I bought mine for something like a pound.  They are a pure joy to use and I have several pairs dotted throughout my sewing areas.

Light, robust and very sharp, they have a very satisfying, definite snipping action, finishing their snip with purpose, a little ‘full stop’ at the end of the motion.  I use them to cut notches and clips out of my fabric, too, and they fit snugly in my sewing machine accessories drawer with my seam ripper, another essential tool.

The final reason that these are my favourite snips is because they look ‘proper’ – I love that they’re made  completely of metal and painted blue with bits of the paint flaking off, it makes them look industrial and hard-core.  Which in turn makes me feel like a tough, no-nonsense kind of a sewer. Which I love.

Do you have favourite sewing tools?

Tell me about your favourites in the comments