contact me at

my etsy shop


  • Would you like to award someone special a knitted rosette? See the pattern to knit one here!

  • Little Squares Scarf, (quick pattern).

  • Little Squares Scarf, (step-by-step pattern, with lots of step-by-step photos).

  • How to sew up crochet or knitting with an invisible stitch, step-by-step tutorial

  • Sisterhood Crochet Blanket pattern for square.

  • step-by-step pattern for Sisterhood Crochet Blanket square. Makes crocheting this pattern a doddle for beginners!

  • step-by-step tutorial for some basic crochet stitches

  • Tara's failsafe cup cake sponge recipe

  • knitted slipper pattern

blogs I read

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Hello Vanessa, and what a lovely dress you've made. It is just right for you, and I think Hugo must be a wonder that doesn't come around that often, haha. What a guy!

As for the iron-on interfacing for something that has to bend or twist, as in the yoke...I have a little trick that has always helped me. Try using interfacing meant for 'knits'. It stretches and corresponds to the bending or twisting needed for yokes and collars. Another thing, you probably already know this: Never use heavier interfacing than the fabric you're using it on. That's all my advice, I'll shut up now.

Keep up the great work. Love it!


Vanessa, I think the dress is lovelya nd Hugo is a dream to help the way he does. I can't offer sewing advice so I will live my sewing dreams through you.
Good luck,

kate is greedy

Thank you so much for all of inspiration. I have got a wonderful pattern waiting patiently for me to go... but first, I have to sew a kilt for Archie as he is learning a highland sword dance at school!!! A great way to get boys into dancing - add a dangerous weapon. Better get these boys to school, love Kate xxooxx

Liz W in Missouri, USA (With Lucy)

"Oh, did you see her new dress?" asked the little brown bear.
"I thnk it's just lovely," answered Evangeline with a twinkle in her eye. "I hope she will wear it when she comes to tea tomorrow."
"It's a perfect dress," added the wee birdie, "because it would look so pretty with a sweater, or a vest, or purple shoes, or my Grandma's favorite brooch - and it looks so comfy with the orange shoes."
And with that, all the friends went to have their lunch and smile and look at Miss Vanessa's new dress, because it was the highlight of the party.


Smashing dress - well done! x

I would love to learn to sew - I've been dropping hints for a sewing machine for my birthday next month. Fingers crossed and I'm away .... I'm just itching to make some dresses for my little Miss Ells.

I've also brought some sample pieces of material in kids patterns to make a letter E so Miss Ells can learn her letters. Keep putting it off though.... One day ....

Enjoy the rest of your week !

Leah :)

Bobo Bun

My first thoughts when I saw you were how you looked so Amelie (ish) in style. Hope you know what I mean, definately have a touch of that French do dah about you today in your gorgeous dress and zingy pumps. Amazing Vanessa. Your hair really suits you short you know.

I too wear shoes that hurt in a bid to wear what I want over comfort (I think I told you how huge they are). Needs must if the colour demands. Oh and thanks for tempting us with more links.


amanda makes

Audrey and I don't know what we love more....the dress or Hugo. xxxx


this website might suit your crafty syle and the sewing obsession
you can design and print your own fabric!

Alice and Raymond!!!

this dress is fabulous!!!! I love the colour, and the pockets, yes they are wonderful.
I think Hugo is the most legendary husband in the world, I love his hemming device, you two are such a fun couple!
That a big long list for you to make, and it's exciting watching your new adventures into crafty goodness... I'm wondering about the link rachel left above, you could get Ellie and Douglas printed on fabric and make a cool dress he he... Or Vanessa Cabban watercolour fabrics!
Have a lovely rest of your week!

A lovely dress, especially the scoopy pockets. Will we be seeing Hugo on Dragon's Den anytime soon?!

harmony and rosie

Hi Vanessa, thank you for your lovely comments about my dresses both on my blog and here on yours, for the links too. Sorry to hear the Built by Wendy dress is discontinued now, that must be very recent because it was still available when I posted about it earlier this year. How annoying.

This pattern is wonderful and your dress has turned out beautifully. Did you know there is a flickr group devoted to Lisette (, you really should post your lovely dress up on there.

Bravo to Hugo!

Kate xx


Vanessa, congratulations on your dress. I am in awe of any seamstress who makes adult sized garments and yours is so well cut and finished. When I saw that list of patterns you wanted to set your hand to I smiled as you seem to have the same runaway passion list tendency as I do: what a pity we need to waste hours sleeping, ey? I am so looking forward to seeing your next creation.

Thank you so much for leaving your very helpful advice about publishers on my blog. I will let you know how my quest goes. I have just found out that the author of Hyacinthe et Rose is THE Fran├žois Morel (in other words a very well-known French radio and theatre comedian) so I may be setting my sights high to ask for translations rights on his book. Aiming high is good, right? ;-)

Sweet sewing dreams.


Beautiful dress and a wonderful husband too!
Vivienne x

Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

I'm sorry I couldn't get past your scrummy Orange shoes :-)

No really dress = A1

I love all your stash in the background too.

Hugo is a star for making that 'hem helper', brilliant idea!!

Jenni at Baa-me Kniits

I'm sorry I couldn't get past your scrummy Orange shoes :-)

No really dress = A1

I love all your stash in the background too.

Hugo is a star for making that 'hem helper', brilliant idea!!


May I just say I love the word "palaver" and I love your dress!
Go Andy, Go our Bernie, Go Rafael ...
Happy sewing and happy tennis!
Love from Barbara xxx


Oh my, how gorgeous is that dress, you've done a wonderful job! I know what you mean about iron on interfacing, Ive just recommended sew-in for an article Ive just written because I too had the exact problems!
I need to get back to making clothes, I had a little go last year but Im not sure my OH will be as willing as Hugo!


Hi Vanessa,
Your new dress is gorgeous and it really suits you. You are so clever. That pattern will make a nice winter dress too, in a thicker fabric.
I have a couple of knitting patterns to send you.
Take Care
Love Carole from you know where lol! xxxx


love your outfits, such great makes ;0)x
I've just after 2 years of trying mastered the art of crochet and making a blanket! day i might even make a dress! small steps at the mo, small steps...hehe ;0)x love your blog, fills me up with creativity, inspiration, colour and warmth- like a ray of sunshine x

Jennifer Edwards

Hi Vanessa!
I may have already left this note, but I don't think it went through. I love visiting your site here for all the wonderful color inspiration in your art and knitting. I'm also an artist, knitter, crocheter, sewer...all things maker! I was actually wanting to recommend a book to you I saw at our local Borders yesterday: Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt. It has wonderful blouse, skirt, and jacket patterns (full size patterns are in the back of the book) that I think you would really enjoy! Anyway, I look forward to visiting often! --Jennifer


There I was saying you'll be getting the dressmaking bug REALLY badly and purchasing a ALREADY have one! No hope for you,you are a lost woman....most impressive stitching,most impressive stash cupboard,most impressive hem measurer.
Iron-on interlining can be useful,but can also be the work of the devil.I prefer the non-iron stuff.


silly me Vanessa, i put on the end of my blog...its

x kazzy x

kazzy such a rodders, this is the right link,


if you press kazzy it should link now ;0)x


I like things with yokes, dresses, jumpers, cardies even skirts! Sometimes things can get a bit tricky in sewing but once you have worked it out I find that it really does help for next time. I love that dress, especially the detailing - the gathers at the front of the yoke, the back fastening and the ever useful pockets. I love to have pockets. You look great in your new dress; can't wait to see the next one!

You have a lovely cupboard full of stuff, the thing is you know you will use it. I can't know that about myself anymore so I don't buy now without knowing what I am going to be doing with it first.

Hugo is a star as ever. Your hems will be lovely and straight now. I saw a skirt the other day in a shop and when it was tried on it was far shorter at the back (the person who was trying it shall be nameless, but it was for obvious reasons!). Your stick device will stop any of that. Well done to Hugo for having just the skills to complement yours when required.

You pack such a lot of 'makes' into your busy life. Do you sleep? Enjoyed looking at all your links. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for stopping by my blog to comment on one of my versions of the Chich and Simple Sewing dress. I ADORE your Lisette one!! I have the pattern but have been hesitant, although now seeing how fantastic it looks on you, I may have to just jump in and make it! Thanks for the inspiration :)

Crafted by Carly

Wow! I love the Lisette dress - it's sooooo pretty on you! I want one!!! I'm going to make that my next dress project. I'm just working on my 2nd, and it's not going too well (disappointingly, as my first went was okay). I just LOVE your website - the colours and style are gorgeous! I also love your cute orange shoes and your beautiful stash cupboard!!! I'll definately be calling again!!! x


It looks great on you, and I'm sorry the yoke was so challenging. You might be interested to know that there is also a Lisette website with a blog and discussion forum:

Best wishes!


Oh no!!! I wrote you a lovely long message here, and it never came through.. :(
I can't quite remember what I said as it was a couple of days ago, but I know I said that I loved your dress and that you're so clever and that I love it that you're getting passionate about sewing. I'm getting very much into it too, but on a mini level. As in for my little girl! :)
I also said that Hugo is just wonderful for helping you with bits! Please tell him I said so. Not that he knows me or anything, but maybe he'd like a compliment from a stranger! :)

Uggh, I'm still so annoyed that my original message has disappeared. It was a long one too! :)

Thank you very much for coming by and saying hello the other day. Yes, the studio is coming along, especially now that the table (the one with the legs) is painted along with the walls. I'll put piccies up soon.

Hugs for now


The dress looks so pretty on you. Did you make a muslin/toile?
I just made my first muslin of the top version which ended up being a little of this size and little of that size.
Thanks for sharing.

Max 90

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Hello and welcome!

  • Hello, my name is Vanessa Cabban, and I'm so pleased you've dropped by! I'm an artist and illustrator, working from home. I have two Miniature wire-haired Dachshunds, Ellie and Douglas. I love being part of the blogosphere, reading your comments, and feeling like I'm part of a community. I hope you enjoy reading about my small world.

Books I have illustrated!

  • The Best Gift of All

  • Book and dvd,(narrated by Kevin Whateley), of Bringing Down the Moon

  • There's a House Inside My Mummy

  • The Magic Donkey Ride

  • Down in the Woods at Sleepytime

  • Dear Tooth Fairy

  • Dear Mermaid

  • No Place Like Home

  • Diamond in the Snow

  • Bringing Down the Moon