The elusive hunt for instant gratification

I’d like to start today with a story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Once upon a time, a young woman learnt to sew dresses and it was exciting. She was so happy to be able to weave together fabric and make wonderful clothes that no-one else had, and, day by day, before she even knew it, she reached a point where almost everything she wore had been made off of her dining room table.

But then disaster struck the young woman. She discovered that, as her wardrobe grew, and her skills, and her fabric stash, so to did her ability to critique. And, day by day, she watched as the exciting thing that she had learnt became an albatross around her neck.

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Turns out a year is really not that long in sewing land

Sometimes you make something and you wondered just what it was that took you so long. The Betty dress is one of those makes.

As a pattern I’d been aware of it for a while, and, back in May of last year I finally got round to buying it. I also hadn’t realised that it took me a full year from purchase to sewing it up, so that’s a bit embarrassing….

At any rate, towards the end of April I finally bit the bullet and got a version made, and boy am I glad I did!

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One day I’ll stand on the beach and look at the pier whilst I eat a stick of rock, a Graham Greene novel in my hand.

Perfecting my stick of rock look

For Christmas this year, I asked for a copy of the most recent book written by Wendy Ward, A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts. I follow Wendy on Instagram, and had seen a couple of the pictures and designs at the point of publication. They’d grabbed my attention and I was intrigued, particularly by a button-down skirt I’d seen.

I’ve been after a decent pattern for a button skirt for a while; I really like the versions of the Sew Over It Erin skirt that Gabby and Vicki have made, but wanted something with a bit more swoosh to it. Step in the Brighton skirt (all the skirts are, rather beautifully, named after places that have a special association for Wendy), which ended up being one of my Make Nine patterns for the year.

It took a while for me to sit down and actually sew, but boy, am I pleased that I did!

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Get on your bikes and ride!

Several years ago I bought a bike. I’d not ridden a bike in at least a decade, so I made a couple of crucial decisions when making my purchase, chief of which was that the bike had to be something that aesthetically I liked the look of so that, even if I didn’t ride it very often, I’d feel happy when I did ride it.

The result of this was that I bought a bike that is highly unpractical for someone who lives on the top of the hill, but a bike which, nonetheless I love. I try to cycle to and from the station whenever I’ve got a meeting (although not if it’s raining after a rather unfortunate experience), and I have a rule that whatever I’m wearing to the meeting is what I’ll be cycling in.

The upshot of this is that I regularly cycle in pretty much all of the things that have appeared on this blog, and I’ve got a bit of a reputation amongst my friends and family for having a bordering-on-ludicrous bike.

This dress is the next logical step.
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If I had a crystal ball I could see the future, but as it is I guess I’ll guess

I’m not sure what happened, but one minute it was the first of June and now it’s the middle of July. Some of this is because I went away on holiday (and it was marvellous) and some of this is because I’ve been taking the time to pause, think, and reconsider what I actually want out of More Blue Fabric.

The first thing to say is that I want to (and I will) continue posting my finished projects, and doing it under the same format as before. I really like being able to look back through the things I’ve made, and, it might be my day job kicking in, but evaluating what was and wasn’t good about each make helps me think about what to do next.

That’s not all though, and one of the things that came out of thinking about what I blog and why I blog is that, fundamentally, it’s the act of writing and having a focus to the writing that I enjoy. With that in mind, I’m going to start introducing posts that are related to my sewing but look at different aspects of creating. I’ve got a couple of ideas for blog posts already (at least two of which I’d planned to write in June, but, life) as well as a new series of posts that, in an irreverent way, focus on the fact not everything goes right every time.

Running through all of this is an attempt to be more structured and organised in my blogging; one of the reasons I have a backlog of posts to write about finished projects is that carving the time out to blog hasn’t always been as easy as I’d assumed it might be. I don’t plan on making blogging a chore, nor is it going to be something that’s an ironclad agreement that I will have new posts with the regularity I’d like all of the time, but I do have a content plan. Which is a weird sentence to type and feels a bit incongruous with what is, ultimately, a floaty blog about floaty dresses. And yet….

And yet, I’m currently at a milestone point in my life (hello big 3-0) and, call it a third life crisis if you will, but I’m thinking about the things I do, the ways that I spend my time, and the way that I want to spend my time, and making changes when things don’t look like they’re quite the right fit any more. Sewing is a big part of how I spend my time, and I want writing about sewing to be something that is considered as a part of that time, not something that’s incidental. It’s about shifting the priorities and the order of things, altering the focus and looking at writing here as a form of making that is as important as the stitches that hold the fabric together. In doing so, I’m hoping it will also make me value the act of sewing all the more and build richer stories to share.

Which is all a bit of a rambley way to say that you can expect to see a fair bit more blogging going on round here. I hope you’ll stick around.

x

Me Made May 2017 – week three roundup


We’ve passed the half way mark! There’s only a few days left to go until May is out. I won’t be doing a week four round up as I’ll be doing a whole month review, but in the meantime, this week we’ve had the following me-mades:

Monday : floral Anna dress

Tuesday : blue flowers wrap dress

Wednesday : bright green Clemence skirt

Thursday : gingham check Cambie dress

Friday : space dress vol.2

Saturday : my birthday dress

Sunday : Aztec print moneta

How’s your Me Made May pledge been going?

x

Me Made May 2017 – week two roundup 


Another week, another set of outfits. This week I’ve had days where I’ve come pretty close to not posting a photo for a variety of reasons as well as days where circumstances have meant I’ve actually posted two photos.

Outfits this week are:

Monday part one : Corduroy dungaree dress

Monday part two : lipstick Cambie dress (coming soon)

Tuesday : purple moneta dress

Wednesday : tiny hearts mortmain dress

Thursday : Turquoise Brighton skirt (coming soon)

Friday part one : African wax print shirt dress

Friday part two : velvet ball dress

Saturday : dinosaur moneta dress

Sunday : African wax print Anna dress