Monday, 30 December 2013

Top 5 of 2013: reflections, inspirations and goals

I've decided to bundle my last top 5s together instead of stretching them over three posts. I've really enjoyed sitting down and thinking through everything I've done this year.


1. Imperfection is ok, laziness is not

2. This year has made me realise that I can sew. And I'm pretty good at it too, when I'm not being too hard on myself

3. "It'll do" isn't enough anymore - I want to know why that bit doesn't fit properly and I want to know how to fix it.

4. Sewing is more than just my hobby, it's my therapy. The longer I go without sewing the more stressed and irritable I get.

5. I'm finding my style and sewing to fit in with it


1. Sewing blogs and bloggers

2. Twitter

3. Me Made May

4. Sewcialists

5. Finding new indie pattern companies



1. Complete the bombshell dress class on Craftsy

2. Make a pair of trousers that fit well and look good

3. Quality over quantity - make fewer things but do them well

4. Complete Goodbye Valentino's RTW fast

5. Put more thought into what I'm making - pattern first, then fabric, and make sure it fits in with my wardrobe


Roll on 2014!


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Top 5 of 2013: Hits

Today I'm moving onto my Top 5 Hits of the year. It's been quite difficult to pick these because a lot of my makes have been hits this year but here they are.

I haven't worn this properly yet, but I did do some sewing in it the other week. Is that weird?!
#4 Gran's skirt
This is one I didn't blog. Gran's friend gave her some fabric and she asked if I would make a skirt and waistcoat with it for her. I still haven't done the waistcoat but she has worn the skirt for every special occasion since I made it.
This is the cardigan I made for Mum's birthday. She wears it a lot and says that she gets compliments every time she does.

Despite only making it half way through the year and it endi up on the mosses as well, this is the most worn item of the year and one of my most loved.
Self explanatory.



Friday, 27 December 2013

Top 5 of 2013: the misses

When Gillian posted about this year's Top 5 I knew I had to join in. I was going to start posting before Christmas but present making stress followed by the relief of not having to do anything meant that I have hardly been on anything at all; I've had an unintentional technology free Christmas.

I don't want to go into the new year on a downer, so I'm getting the misses out of the way first, then positivity can reign.


#5 The elephant Alma blouse

I made this during Me Made May and while its wearable, I think it has to be one of the misses - I have hardly worn (maybe twice) because it washes me out.

#4 The Thurlows

These were a nightmare during sewing and I think it shows - there are things I should have fixed or noticed about them but because I just wanted them done I didn't. They fall down over my hips when I move, the crotch is too long, the back waistband is a bit off. I rally wanted to love these but I've got some work to do if I make another pair.

#3 Minoru II

I adore my second Minoru, it has some vey happy memories attached to it and it was the most worn item of the year, but it died on me and I haven't forgiven it or myself for that yet.

#2 The Clovers

These were taken in loads and they are still too baggy in weird places. I would't say they were a complete disaster - the more I look at the photos of them the more I like them, I just have to sort out the fitting issues.

#1 Jacqui's coat

It was my step-mum's birthday in September and I had intended to make her a coat. It is still waiting to be done. I think I have got some fabric that will look good now (this is the third fabric I've bought for the coat) but now I need new lining fabric, a matching zip and the time to do it.

As misses go, I don't think mine are too bad; I struggled to pick 5 things I could add to this list because although things haven't turned out s I'd hoped they would, I feel like I've learned from them.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Resolution recap

  1. This month I want to paint the living room and set up my sewing corner - check. Well, I didn't manage it in January, but Stuart painted in August and my desk was set up some time around March or April.
  2. I will do 3 modules for my degree with the Open University - I did 2, Human Nutrition and Death and Dying, and passed both of them. I've decided not to carry on my studies with the OU but who knows, I might go back to it one day.
  3. I will sew at least one item a month - check. I have sewn at least one thing a month all year, although some things haven't been blogged in the month I made them and some haven't been blogged at all.
  4. I will get the house organised and decluttered (a perpetual resolution!) - erm... moving on...
  5. I will take Faith somewhere new at least once a month - not managed this every month, we've been to some new and lots of her favourite places but time, money and travel arrangements have made this one difficult to do
  6. I will make sure Faith and I do something messy at least once a week (baking, painting, glueing, etc) - managed this most weeks
  7. I will take one photo a day and in the process will finally learn how to use my camera properly! - fail and fail.

So I managed to do half my list which is much better than I thought I would do. In fact, I thought that I would fail miserably at sewing one thing a month because of the courses and eveything else, but it turns out that I have blogged about 23 things I have made and I know there are at least four or five things I haven't blogged so I'm really happy about achieving that one in particular.

I'm going to carry on watching Harry Potter and hope my sewjo reappears tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Hollywood glamour Georgia

This is my second By Hand London Georgia dress. I made it the same week that I made my first one but was saving it for going out. This, to me anyway, is a dress deserving of more interesting photos than in front of a brick wall before Stuart goes to work. I did get him to promise to take me for a cocktail drinking photo session in town one night then his work Christmas dinner was arranged for this weekend so I thought I'd wait for then. Stuart's insisting that wear the other one though, so this morning I sent him outside to get in position then I ran out, let him take a few photos then ran back in. Yeah, it was pretty cold.

I didn't do anything different to this one and the fabric was from my Gran's stash, she bought it to make a ballgown with but never got round to it. It is this fabric that I had in mind when the pattern was first released but then other fabric grabbed my attention.

It isn't normally this wrinkly but I was wearing the wrong bra and had to hitch the dress up to cover it.

Since finishing this one I have made another with the wide straps but I've been ill and for some reason decided that while I couldn't sit at the sewing machine I would finish the skirt seams by hand and it's taking forever.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Matchy matchy

Back in October I bought a metre of Father Christmas fabric without knowing what I wanted it soon as Faith saw it though, she was adament that it was going to be a top for her. I dug out the pattern for the O tunic I made last year, but it is too small for her now so I had a look through the rest of my pattern stash and on Burda but couldn't find anything I liked.

Next port of call was Cali Faye Collection - I made the Coco Topcoat for her birthday but it ended up being too small for her even after making it a size bigger than the measurement guide suggests, so Mum gave it to a work friend with a slightly younger daughter. Anyway, I downloaded the Voila top which is a similar style to the O tunic and made it two sizes bigger (a size 6) and it fits alright size-wise. Faith is a bit taller than a lot of the kids in her nursery group but she's about the same widthwise, just something to bear in mind with these patterns. Result is she loves it, and it does look cute on her. I think with a few tweaks to the neckline and shoulders it will be fine. I might also take a bit of the fullness out of it too.

The fabric was quite wide so with some of the leftovers I made a coat for Nacho using this pattern. I used the pattern as is with a half inch seam allowance and it fits perfectly. He seems to like it too - he was very cooperative when I was putting it on him and pulled it over to his bed and snuggled with it afterwards!

I used to despise all those people who dressed their dogs up, but I'm now slightly concerned that I may be one if them. You see, I made the coat with good intentions - Nacho doesn't like the walking in the wind and I don't like walking in the rain with him because it ends up looking like I'm walking a rat, so I used some waterproof fleece I had leftover from making Caitlin's coat last year as the bottom layer of his coat to keep him warm and dry. But now I want to make loads of little coats for him - well its one way to use up all the scraps that are too good to throw away!

Unfortunately while I was searching for patterns for the coat I came upon a dog tacksuit and jokingly showed it to Stuart who immediately decided I had to make one. Yes people, my dog is going to be a chav!