Time marches on…

Watch and case © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

My word. How time has marched on since I last put up a blog post! Quite a bit has happened over the last month and a half, not least the passing of 2015 into 2016. I’ll be putting up some more blog posts over the next few days / weeks to rectify my silence, but in the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to since last we met:

  • I went sewing crazy through most of December, making a circle skirt, a cropped jumper, a jersey dress and the best part of a shirt dress
  • Father Christmas / My awesome mum bought me an overlocker (which, coincidentally, was used to make the jersey dress, but more of that soon)
  • During the Christmas break I rediscovered my love of knitting, not least because it was a very useful way to pass the time on the drive down to Dartmoor for New Year’s Eve (I wasn’t driving…). I’ve now got the bulk of a jumper back on the needles, with plans to redesign the jumper front when I get there. When I share the original and the redesign, the redesign won’t be a surprise!
  • I made a couple of resolutions for 2016. Unsurprisingly, two of them are sewing related. They are:
    • By the end of 2016 have a week’s worth of every day me-made clothes that I actually wear
    • Make a pair of jeans (argh!)

The week’s worth of clothes is an interesting one; I’ve already made quite a few pieces, but, like most new sewists, I’ve got the combined bugs of only-makes-dresses-and-skirts and overwhelmed-by-choice-so-buys-bold-patterns. I love wearing dresses and I also love patterned clothes. However, if I actually sit and think about what I wear most days, particularly in the winter, I should really add more plains/simple prints into the mix, and not just plain dresses, but a good, solid, jersey top pattern that I can remake and wear with skirts and trousers. That’s not to say I will stop making patterned clothing (I already have 3m of unicorn print fabric washed and waiting to be turned into a Sewaholic Cambie dress…) but I’ll be trying to offset my sewing of dresses that fall into the “super special” category with at least the odd “wear it everyday” item.

So there we have it; 48 days in a nutshell. How about you, what have you been up to in that time? Have you made any resolutions for the year ahead?


Plotting and planning

This weekend has been one of plotting and planning for my next couple of projects. So, in a cryptic, not so cryptic way, here’s what I’ve been up to…

1) Green thread

3-threadMANY moons ago I measured up my sofa to make a new sofa cover and bought a load of fabric to make the sofa cover. This is what I looked like when I’d just bought all the fabric. To give you an idea of how long ago it was, this wasn’t taken in our old flat, it was taken in my old flat (i.e. over two years ago….).
sofa whoopsAnd since then it’s just sat in a bag. However, yesterday I finally bought some thread that matches the fabric. So maybe, just maybe there’ll be a sofa cover somewhere in the future

2) Orla

1-orlaI fell in love with Orla pretty much as soon as Tilly published it, and I’m pretty convinced it’s going to be perfect for some gorgeous Nani Iro double guaze I picked up in Japan over the summer. In a strange move for me, I’m going to make a muslin this time around.as I’m terrified about cutting into the fabric and want to make sure I have it absolutely right before I make the first scary cut.

3) Super secret secretness

blurryI had a planning brunch about this today. All I can say about this is it’s very secret, I’m excited about making it, and think it will be pretty darned amazing if I manage to pull it off!

4) Toiletry bags

2-filled toiletry bagsSo these are a bit different. A local group has been collecting a whole heap of items to send to those needing aid in Calais, Kos, Lesbos and Syria. Rather than just send the toiletries in huge boxes, they decided to make them into individual packs, each in a reusable drawstring bag containing a message of hope and peace. I volunteered to help make some of the bags, so this afternoon went along to take those I’d made so far and sew up another batch of 14 over the course of a couple of hours. Whilst we were sewing, other people were filling those bags already made and it was amazing at the end of the session to see just how generous people had been with their time and their resources (253 are being sent off this week!).

If you’re in the Birmingham area and would like to help, this is the group I’m helping with: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Kingsheathcollects/
Rosie (who is co-ordinating the work) may be able to help you find a collection nearer to you if you aren’t able to make it to the Kings Heath area

If you’re in the wider world and would like to help, I’d recommend using facebook as a way to find a grassroots collection near you, or alternatively take a look at the website of any of the many charities and organisations working in these areas, including the UN Refugee Agency, Save the Children and Oxfam