Which features do you avoid when looking for a garment to sew? For me, collars, gathers and buttonholes are three of them! Why, then, did I choose to make two blouses this week that feature all three?! The first – … Continue reading
Sometimes it takes a while to find just the right combination of pattern and fabric. This time it has taken a couple of months but I’m glad I waited. The fabric – Kirstine from the Outback Wife range by Gertrude … Continue reading
It’s the wrong time of year for a sleeveless blouse but the need to sew something beautiful and simple was more important on a grey Friday and having not made any progress with my #2018makenine it seemed a good way … Continue reading
My sewing story is a long one so I won’t tell it all at once. I’ll share the more recent phase with you, which followed a number of ups and downs in my creative journey since childhood. If you want … Continue reading
Since we stepped into the New Year, I’ve enjoyed watching a selection of #NewYearsResewlutions videos on YouTube. The challenge has been set by Boz and Candy and seems a good way to continue reflecting on the past and coming years. I have no plans for videos so thought I’d answer the questions here instead.
1. What’s your favourite make of 2017? Why?
I sewed Vogue 1208 in red wool crepe, which was my first bias cut garment for some time. The first one I remember making was in 1998 when I was a student and I’d just got to grips with garment sewing. It was a delight to sew and to wear this dress for a family meal just before Christmas.
2. What did you attempt in 2017 that you won’t be doing next year? Why not?
I made far too many impractical – but beautiful – dresses and had few occasions to wear them. This year, dresses will have to be practical ones, unless a special occasion arises!
3. What are you going to continue doing?
One of the best things about last year was building friendships with other sewing-minded folk and feeling less isolated in my making. That’s definitely where I want to invest time and energy, in listening, learning and creating together.
Day twenty of #miymarch17 with @thatwendyward and @dressmakerssocial : Community After sewing alone for a very long time it's indescribably lovely to have sewing friends and envouragers (and yarn-loving friends too!). Finding the sewing community online and locally enables us to support and encourage each other and sometimes to reconnect with folk we knew years before in a different context. #sewupnorth and #sewdowndewsbury helped so much, as did the pre- #monetaparty, in meeting online friends in real life
4. What are you going to try next year?
I intend to keep learning and refining sewing, fitting and finishing techniques, especially in making the most of my cover stitch machine. In February I’ll be making (another!) coat as part of #sewmystyle and would like to make it slowly and thoughtfully.
I’d also like to plan my sewing better so that my wardrobe is more coherent and that getting dressed in a morning is less stressful! I’ve bought the By Hand London sewing planner and have downloaded the Seamwork planner so will use a combination of the two.
5. Where do you see your handmade wardrobe by the end of next year? What about in five years?
I would like to have a handmade wardrobe that is practical, suited to my needs, sustainable and stylish. Im getting there steadily and wear self-sewn clothing most of the time. This week I stocked up on versatile basics in the sale at The Shuttle to help me fill some gaps, including the Melody trousers from my ##2018makenine plans.
Budget-friendly fabrics from the sale at The Shuttle: washable cotton velvet, striped jersey (turned out to be two layers, grey on the reverse!) black French terry and double knit, stretch poly cotton denim and dark denim. Planning @seamworkmag Melody trousers & Tessa jeans, @thatwendyward Monsal pants, Peak t-shirt and Winnats tank and @burda_style 1/2018-107 leggings. 10m of fabric for just over £21 to fill some wardrobe gaps.
Self-sewn underwear is part of my longer term plan, both this year and beyond, as that’s the area that I have worked on the least so far. It’s not something I want to rush. My experience of sewing for my husband has been mixed so I’ll be looking to sew more menswear and work alongside my daughters to help them develop their sense of style and perhaps learn to sew their own clothes too!
2017 was a busy year in my creative life, especially for sewing. I joined two year-long challenges – more on those below – and took part in Me Made May, #sewphotohop and #bpsewvember. Most wonderfully, I have been blessed with … Continue reading
I bought this beautiful fabric almost a year ago and had originally planned to make a second Clare Coat from it. I changed my mind this weekend when watching the new Sew the Trends video from The Fold Line.
The Cocoon Jacket by Sew Different has been a wardrobe staple since last winter, but I tend to wear the two I have as cardigans or on mild days as a lightweight coat. The increasingly cool Autumn weather prompted a warmer make – at some speed – and this is the result.
I made a few small changes to the original pattern:
Grading up two sizes from my original choice to give more ease and adding 5cm /2″ to the length.
Drafting a separate collar for the front panels.
Cutting the back panel on the fold to give a little more room and reduce the cocoon shape in the lower back, to make it wearable over layers.
Merging the sleeve and cuff pieces to create one piece sleeves and adding 18cm/ 7″ to the overall sleeve length.
Creating a full lining in taffeta to add weight and warmth. This was cut 2cm shorter on the sleeves and body so that is less visible at the hems.
I can’t wait to wear it!
We’re just coming to the end of the Autumn half-term holiday and have had a short family break at LEGOLAND Windsor and nearby. I decided to pack a handmade capsule wardrobe (excluding tights and underwear! ) and thought I’d share … Continue reading
September always seems to be a very busy month! Three years ago I attended both the Handmade Fair and Yarndale; this year the Great British Sewing Bee Live and Yarndale were even closer together, so last week flew by in … Continue reading
I’m very fortunate to have a space to sew and to store my craft materials. It’s part of a ground floor extension that was built by the folk we bought this house from and is a long, fairly narrow room … Continue reading