All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey

Soooo this is my last quarterly roundup before the end of the year 😨

I know I say this EVERY TIME we start a new month, but I just can’t believe where time is going. I really can’t. Soon it’s gonna be Christmas again. It’s my birthday this month and I’ll be thirty-five, which is *such* a joke because in my head I’m still like eighteen 😂 I’m not ready to be a proper grown-up and don’t think I ever will be… instead of mortgages and babies and all that grown-up shiz, I think about all the places that I’d like to travel, all the things I still want to see and do, and how I’d love to take a gap year and travel, and how I’d love to convert to van life and drive a camper around Europe, and how I’d love to live in Singapore, and have a day job that I actually really loved which gave me life satisfaction instead of one that I only have because it pays the bills (anyone want to open an Alpaca sanctuary with me?), and how I’d love to have more time to play my piano again, and finish off the cross stitch picture I started about eight years ago, and the millions of sewing and knitting projects that are floating around my head, annnnnnd… the list goes on. You get the idea. I’m not ready to get old yet. I need more time to do ALL THE THINGS.

So, my plea to the force that is time is – kill the motor, will ya? Just for a bit. A couple of years even, so I can catch up. I’d be happy with that. Thanks, dude ✌🏻

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Another three months have gone hurtling past quicker than the husbeast smashes in a tub of white Magnum ice cream, and we’re now on the home stretch to the end of the year. Things are getting a bit busy in the Wanderstitch household from varying angles, and I haven’t done as much sewing over the last month as I usually do. I’ve been a bit under the weather this week and have mooched about feeling sorry for myself, but I’m hoping normal service will resume next week. Honey, lemon, ginger and turmeric have been the order of the day and although it tastes rank (and is probably turning my insides a lairy shade of orange) I think it’s actually done some good.

So what else been happening?

Well, we had a couple of weeks off work and realllly enjoyed spending the majority of it at home, with the doggies and each other, doing whatever the hell we wanted. The first few days of the break were spent in Paris (you can see what I bought in this post) but after that, we cranked the Relax Meter to the max 👌🏻

We finally got round to watching the Chernobyl series on Sky (excellent), I started A Little Life (book by Hanya Yanagihara) for the third time and actually finished it (also excellent, have now moved on to Trainspotting but as yet it sits there unstarted), and I even tried acrylic pour painting (got to use a blowtorch, which was fun but it put the husbeast on Maximum Stress Alert that I was going to melt my skin off).

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Oh, and I also finished knitting my Volt Sweater, and started on another knit project straight away! Here’s the Volt before it was sewn together – proper pics to hit the blog soon I promise 😬

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I started on the Camaro sweater from Tanis Fiber Arts. It took me ages to choose my colours, but I’m happy with my choices! I just have the ribbing and the sleeves to go now.

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Here’s me in my uber-classy cat pyjamas trying to get the husbeast to take a photo so that I can gauge whether it was long enough to start the ribbing (it wasn’t).

**(The lighting is awful in this picture and the colours are much nicer in real life!)**

**(and I’m holding it back to front which is why my stripes don’t make a ‘V’ like they do in the proper picture 🤦🏻‍♀️)**

**(basically the photo is a shambles on every level 🤷🏻‍♀️)**

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And also we joined a local cycling club and went out for a casual fifty-mile ride into Kent – it was lovely weather and we saw rolling fields, and cows, and sheep. All the things you never really see in London. It makes the pollution-filled, taxi-and-bus-crammed cycle commute seem a little… crap in comparison. It was a fabulous two weeks, and as you can imagine I was super excited to go back to work on Monday afterwards. Plus it was my first week back in the gym after two weeks of not going, which meant everything hurt and every muscle in my body was sore 😒

I’m on a bit of a purge-mission in the house now – we have far too much stuff (you’d be seeing the husbeast on Hoarders if I didn’t keep him in check) and it’s all been dragged with us from house to house without ever really getting rid of the excess. Every now and then I have a good clearout (last weekends effort was that one drawer everyone has in their house that holds spare batteries, string, superglue, rubber bands… you know the one) but I’m REALLY all over this now. Top of the list is the ‘crap under the bed in the spare room’, then the garage and then the loft, but for a quick win, I went for my sewing patterns. They were stored in ugly plastic bins and stacked in the corner of the living room – and I knew there were way more than I realised or needed. Six plastic bins and one cardboard box full, to be precise 😳

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I culled. I emptied every one of those crates and considered every single pattern. If I hadn’t yet sewn it, would I? If I had sewn it, would I make it again? Anything that didn’t make the cut went into a bag to eventually be donated or rehomed.

I did have a little win though – on sorting through them I realised I had a suitable pattern for a jersey dress I wanted to make, and also a bra pattern in the exact style I’ve been thinking of, so I was happy.

I managed to empty three of the six plastic bins, which will be put into use somewhere else in the house 👍🏻

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I had a revelation the other week – I started a project for the husbeast that I’d had the pattern pieces printed for, but forgot to print the instructions. So I got them up on the iPad and read them on there, rather than leafing through pages of paper (and almost inevitably dropping them all on the floor at some point and have them scatter everywhere). And then it dawned on me – why aren’t I doing this all the time? Why am I printing the instructions every time, only to have to file and store them in these ugly plastic bins that take up space? I now had a new mission.

There were lots of patterns where I’d traced the pieces and just stuffed the paper into an A4 folder without really condensing it down so it actually fitted into the envelope. Those got attacked with the iron and pressed into submission. Then, I set aside all the pdf/digital patterns I’d bought, and made sure I had a copy of the file stored on my iPad, and threw away the printed paper instructions (into the recycling bin, don’t fear). It was actually kind of satisfying to dig through emails, downloads and the depths of the folders and find each and every digital file and bring them together. I now have one folder with all of the patterns in, so that I can access the instructions whenever I need to.

I hit up Amazon for some comic bags and spent time packing them with the original envelopes and tissue plus the traced pieces so that everything is kept nicely in one bag 👌🏻

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Now they are a uniform size they will be much easier to store and will take up a lot less space in a comic book box than in those plastic buckets. Yay.

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I also cleaned up the many screens of iPhone apps that I had going on – now they are all condensed to two screens, with the main things I use every day on the front screen and then everything else grouped neatly into folders on the second page. Not only does it look better, but I’ve found that I actually spend less time idly scrolling through Instagram and other social media sites because the icons aren’t right there staring me in the face. I have to go into the folder to get to it – it’s become much more of an intentional thing now. Which is good on one hand, but if I’m taking ages to respond to comments and the like, now you know why 🤣

So – what hit the Wanderstitch blog in the last three months? A fair bit, actually, it was quite a productive time. And there weren’t as many total failures as there has been in the past, so perhaps I’m getting better at choosing styles and fabrics. There was, however, that one catastrophic failure that was the western-slash-nightdress gathered monstrosity… I think that’s about five projects worth of failure right there 😂 I keep seeing the Wilder Gown all over t’internet and while it looks stunning on some people, I have to remind myself that I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. It *will* look awful on me, so just BACK AWAY SLOWLY.

Deer and Doe Melilot

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Liberty Melilot Final 7581

The pattern itself is a success – but this Liberty fabric isn’t really me so the shirt doesn’t get worn. I have this weird relationship with Liberty fabrics… I always get drawn to their funky prints and patterns, but then when they are actually on me as clothing, a lot of them turn into ‘meh’s’. This is one of those. The khaki green splodge on the front really bothers me, but I only had one metre of fabric so there was pretty much zero room for being choosy on pattern placement. The style of the shirt itself is okay (though I’m considering a pointy collar rather than a round one) and the long-sleeved version is my current top contender for using up the remainder of my Gucci panther silk.

Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans

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Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans 5423

This particular pair were donated because the fit wasn’t quite right and in the end, I wasn’t really feeling the poly corduroy fabric. If you’re gonna have corduroy, it’s got to be cotton. Plus, the dye washed off the leather patch I sewed on the back and it looked a bit crap 👀 I’ve made some adjustments to the pattern and have recently finished a pink leopard print pair (they’re a success) so I’m thinking that I might use up some purple cotton corduroy fabric I have in the stash to make a new pair… yes I realise that they will basically look exactly the same as these ones but 🤷🏻‍♀️

Folkwear Frontier shirt – Versace edition

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This one has made it into the husbeast’s workwear rotation, so we’ll call it a success! I use this pattern now as the basis for all of his workwear shirts – the Vogue one I was using previously has now been completely sacked off as this one gives a better fit and a WAY better sleeve placket too.

Sassafras Lane Daily Duffle Bags

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Sassafras Lane Daily Duffle Bag and Leah Drawstring bag 0057

Way up there on my list of favourite things I’ve ever made 🙌🏻

Now that we cycle to work, I don’t have the luxury of being able to carry my gym stuff in this awesome bag (it gets put into my cycling backpack instead, which is more practical to carry on the bike), but I still use it whenever I can because IT IS AWESOME.

‘Nuff said.

Trend Patterns 70s dress

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Trend Patterns 70s Dress 8120

NO. JUST NO.

Dress donated and pattern culled.

Let’s not mention this ever again 😂

Thread Theory Comox trunks

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Comox Trunks 5837

Success! These get worn on the regular by the husbeast, and (when I get round to it) he’s gonna get a new pair from the salvaged fabric of the Rowan Tee below. I think we’ve found our go-to boxer pattern, for life 🙌🏻 Interestingly though, these were a better fit with cutting a size larger for the back, and having just finished their Quadra Jeans it seems that once again, the cut in the back is too low rise. Whether they’re cutting for a funny shape, or if it’s just the husbeast’s (apparently) supersize booty, I’m not sure 🤷🏻‍♀️ Either way, they weren’t ready for his jelly.

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Megan Nielsen Rowan Tee

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Megan Nielsen Rowan Tee 5755

I don’t know what’s going on with this pattern, but it did NOT work with my body. The (symmetrical) sleeves were weird and the neckline choked me. The fabric got repurposed into boxers for the husbeast and the pattern got culled in the aforementioned clearout. I tried the Rowan because I eventually wanted to make the long-sleeved polo neck version for the winter, but based on the awful fit of this I won’t be doing that. Instead, I’ve bought the Wardrobe By Me Trudy Turtleneck Tshirt. Obvs I’ll report back on how that turns out!

pdf sewing pattern trudy turtleneck blouse sewing pattern 1 1512x

Evie La Luve Effie Crop top / Maxine panties

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The Effie gets worn quite a lot, but I wish I’d sewn a label into the back so that I knew which way around it went 🤔 The (slightly too large) Maxine panties only really get worn on the weekend when I’m slobbing about in my sweatpants. I don’t really have much experience of sewing underwear, but I learned a LOT from these two and will definitely make more in the future (but probably using different patterns, especially for the bottoms because they were HIGH RISE TO THE MAX lol)

Grainline Studio Scout Tee

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BIG FAT YES! This knitted Scout has transformed my wardrobe. I’m going to make one in ALL THE FABRICS. Such a good fit, and SO easy to make. This T-shirt has a permanent place in my wardrobe, and I’ve even made a couple more since this one which get worn on the regular.

Helen’s Closet Avery Leggings

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Helens Closet Avery Leggings 5980

The Avery pattern itself was a win – the activewear style wasn’t. I had trouble with the seams and in the end, they just didn’t live up to store-bought gym leggings. I will, however, use the pattern to make regular cotton leggings because they were really comfy to wear, and everyone needs more loungewear in their life amirite?

Deer and Doe Safran jeans

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NYC Safrans 1520

I realised, after making these, that I don’t really like skinny jeans 🤷🏻‍♀️ so these don’t actually get worn, and have been donated. I wouldn’t mind using the pattern in a non-stretch fabric, sizing up so that the pattern doesn’t have negative ease, and using them as trousers… but you know my project list is about three years long atm (and that’s being optimistic) so let’s see how long it takes me to get round to that!

This quarter’s roundup has a lot more positive outcomes than the last quarter, which I’m hoping is in part due to my nerdy wardrobe analysis during Me Made May 🤓 I’m trying to make more things that fit in with my lifestyle so that they actually get worn (because if they don’t, what’s the point?) and I’m learning to listen to my spidey sense when I’m having doubts about things. My gut feeling is usually correct, so if I’m deliberating over something I’ll now take that as my sign to move on. Unless it’s a resounding YES, it ain’t good enough.

Winter sewing is now in full swing – I’m trying to finish off the husband’s peacoat and my pink fur coat over the next couple of weeks, and that vintage Dior coat is all cut out and just dying to get underneath the needle.

I hope you enjoyed my little recap… lemme know which makes were your faves and tell me all about your upcoming sewing plans!

Peace out ✌🏻

 

Next week on the blog… my one and only Kielo dress that I’ve made this year! (I know, unbelievable 😨) All the deets and the full lowdown can be delivered straight to your inbox, via the box below👇🏻

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20 Comments

  1. October 6, 2019 / 7:29 am

    Apart from the 70s dress (😑), I love your fabric choices and fabric/pattern association. That is incredible how productive you were too, please tell us how you manage to squeeze in so much tracing/cutting/sewing in a 24h day!!
    September was jam packed and I won’t have much sewing time for the rest of the year (boohoo), so I haven’t made plans and decided I would buy a winter coat this year instead of making the Cascade dufflecoat that was in my Make Nine. I will try and make time for a couple of dresses and jersey (speedy) sewing. No pressure 😊
    Looking forward to reading more about your sewing adventures on the blog!

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 9:24 am

      Hi Lise!
      Ahh that 70s dress… such a mistake 😱🤣
      I don’t tend to do any sewing during the week, because by the time I’ve got home from the work the evening has pretty much gone. But I’ll happily take a whole Sunday, which usually allows for a good amount of progress! I’ll take some of Saturday too, if I can get it!
      That’s a shame you won’t get to make your Cascade, but at least you can take the time to source the perfect fabrics and notions so that when you *do* make it, it’ll be amazeballs! 💜

  2. Julie @stitchandink
    October 6, 2019 / 10:01 am

    I absolutely love the idea of a quarterly round up. A reflection and assessment of what you’ve made. I think I might steal this idea. I really enjoy your blog and you have directly affected/swayed my pattern and fabric purchases with your honest and funny posts. Never stop. You start my Sundays off the right way. 😁💕

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 9:28 am

      Ahh that you Julie! I’m so glad you enjoy the blog 💜 It makes me happy to know that it brings joy 💕 I like the quarterly roundup because it helps me analyse what was and wasn’t successful, and for what reason, so it can guide my future projects and hopefully give me more garments that I love! 💜
      Happy sewing!

  3. October 6, 2019 / 11:44 am

    Nice one! My sewing rate is WAY down at present, although there are still some wardrobe gaps I have to fill- I only realise them when I’m hunting and cursing horribly cos I can’t find the ONE plain black T shirt I need to go with a particular couple of skirts…it’s always in the wash! Such a simple fix, but y’know, boring.
    I also need some more ‘nice’ trousers for work. Most of my old faves have gone a bit pilled, and are for weekends only now. I’m trying SO HARD to be good with buying new patterns but get caught out with the occasional PDF splurge, and have maybe ten [eek] waiting to be used at all. Also Literary Sewing Circle is calling me, panto costume deadline is approaching and I’m only halfway through…and then it will be SWAP time again!
    Te NICE thing is I’m wearing almost 100% me-made, although I cannot be bothered with undies, and get loads of compliments from students and staff alike at my mad colours and prints. It’s nice to cheer people up!
    Glad you culled some patterns though, with all the tracing and such they must really bulk up!

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 8:17 pm

      I’m slowly coming to find those ‘wardrobe gaps’ – though I think I’d draw the line at sewing a black T-shirt 😂 Saying that, my printed T-shirt’s that I’ve made myself so far are getting regular wear, which is good.
      Trousers I really need to work on… I’ve got one good pair of high waisted jeans, but other than that all the trousers I’ve made got donated. It was a BIG learning curve! But my most recent pair were a keeper, so hopefully I’m on to something now. I’ve just bought some jumbo cord to make a second pair, which will take me to two pairs, but it’s better than nothing!
      I’ve been following your panto sewing!! I would never be brave enough to take on the task of making all those costumes, so hats off to you. I agree it’s so nice to cheer people up with bright colours and prints! Far too many people seem to wear black/grey/navy on repeat… it’s especially depressing when people get their winter coats out in London and all you see is boring neutrals 👀

  4. Pence
    October 6, 2019 / 4:56 pm

    I hate to say it, but at 70 I still think in the early 20’s time frame – at least until I start moving in the morning. Before I get up … I still want to climb mountains. Damn it! what happens to time?

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 8:19 pm

      I’m so glad it’s not just me!! I have NO idea what happens to time. I really don’t. I’m in SERIOUS disbelief about turning 35, not because I feel it’s old or whatever, but because I just can’t fathom where all that time has gone 🤷🏻‍♀️😳

  5. October 6, 2019 / 6:11 pm

    Always fun to see what you’ve been up,to. I’m with you about the Grainline Scout. Use it all the time! I generally find Grainline patterns really suit me.

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 8:20 pm

      Yay, another Scout fan! It’s the BEST, right? The only other Grainline pattern I’ve tried is the Archer, and that was an almighty fail on me… but I figured I’d go best out of three and have bought the Linden Sweatshirt to try… hopefully it will be a success but let’s see!

  6. Potimarron
    October 6, 2019 / 8:41 pm

    I’d never thought of using comic bags- good shout!

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 8:21 pm

      Aha! Yes, comics are about the same size as sewing patterns, and you can even (if it takes your fancy) use the comic backing boards in the envelopes as well for a bit of strength. I didn’t bother. The comic bags I got don’t seal themselves (I used sellotape, but you can apparently buy resealable ones) and they fit all patterns apart from the supersized vintage ones!

  7. October 6, 2019 / 10:55 pm

    Hey Lady! Great rundown, and damn are you being productive this year.

    I noticed that you [almost] always wear your tops tucked in when you are wearing jeans or trousers, so I wanted to ask you for your opinion on two important issues:
    1. How long do you think a shirt should be in order to stay tucked in through normal movements, but not cause “lumpy diaper ass”? I’m thinking in terms of inches below the waistband.
    2. How much ease should be used on jeans or trousers that are meant to be worn with tucked-in shirts? Do you factor in a bit of ease for shirt-tucking? Is that normally included in “wearing ease”?

    I feel like these questions are a bit derpy, but to be honest, I cannot remember the last time I tucked a non-uniform shirt into a non-uniform pair of pants. I was probably in junior high. So like two decades ago…

    Also – hurrah for us 1984 fall birthday girls! Woooooot!

    Julia

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 8:27 pm

      Hey Julia!
      1984 was clearly a good year 🙂 Got those DMs on your feet yet?!

      Yep, I pretty much always wear my T-shirt’s tucked in… not actually figured out why that is 🤔

      Ooh these are interesting questions – never really thought about that before! So number 1… I think about 3-4 inches below the waistband. I’ve got a couple of T-shirt’s that are maybe two inches lower than the waistband, and these come untucked A LOT. So I’d say three is good, four is better if you can get it. This is with high waisted jeans though mind you, so four inches down from the waistband still doesn’t really hit that far down your bum (‘lumpy diaper ass’ is the BEST, btw 😂). These measurements might need to be amended if you’re talking about low waisted jeans, because you might not have four inches below the waistband… in which case I’d recommend a bodysuit!

      And as for your second question – I don’t add in any ease for tucking in T-shirt’s. I figure that they’re quite thin anyway, and if there’s not enough room to tuck a T-shirt then I probably should have made the size bigger anyway 😳😂

      Have a fab birthday – if it’s already been I hope it was awesome! 💜

  8. October 7, 2019 / 3:42 am

    Me too. 61 and have just branched out into colours I have never worn before. And like you, in my head I’m still young. Try telling that to my knees though.

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 8:28 pm

      Ahh I’m *so* glad it’s not just me! I just can’t get my head around where the years go! I remember being at high school with the husbeast, now he’s got grey hairs and eye wrinkles and all of a sudden I’m 35 😨
      Young at heart though hey… it’s the best way to be!

  9. October 9, 2019 / 6:35 am

    Great round – up Sarah, I might have to ‘borrow’ that idea for my blog, I did a similar thing with my patterns earlier this year, though I rarely print off instructions. All the PDFs are in plastic wallets & then filed in ring binders according to garment type – woven dresses/knit dresses etc much easier to find. Just approaching my 52nd birthday and still feel I’m in my 20s, until I look in the mirror & see my mother – lol. You will get plenty of time to do all those things when you retire, don’t wish your life away!
    I think my favourite make this quarter has to be my Colette Penny dress that I made from a Liberty cotton for my sons wedding & plans going forward a couple of coats – like you & the DIYB Club Augusta Moto Jeans, to name a few.

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 11, 2019 / 8:40 pm

      Hey Sam! Glad you enjoyed the blog post 💜 And I think it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on the things that you’ve made, and decide whether they worked for you or not (and if not, why not). It’s a chance for me to identify styles or colours that I want to stay away from in future, or gaps in my wardrobe. Definitely incorporate this into your blog if you can!
      Age is a funny thing, isn’t it! I mean, me and the husbeast have known each other since we were about 13 and now he’s got grey hairs and soon we’ll be closer to 40 than 30. WHAT?! Lol. Ooh how did your Penny dress turn out? I’ve seen some lovely versions of that.
      I’d not heard of DIBY club patterns, so I went and had a look – wow! I’ve just downloaded the free mens T-shirt pattern, and those MOTO jeans are 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻

  10. Monica Anderson
    October 21, 2019 / 2:53 pm

    I LOVE reading your blog. I was so inspired by your SASSAFRAS LANE DAILY DUFFLE BAGS, that I ordered the pattern and even printed it out. This will be my first online pattern. I’ve pretty much just used the Big 4 printed patterns, YouTube tutorials, or made my own. I’m so excited to try this pattern. I’ve made a few bags, but I’m still looking for something. I’m thinking this is it.
    Looking great by the way! The gym is working. I love going to the gym, but I understand how you feel after a break. Hard to get back. I was on a 10 day trip (to Lisbon – highly recommend it) and actually lost weight due to walking 6-7 miles up and down hills for 9 days, came back sick :(. My trick to getting back to the gym after a forced hiatus is to pack my bag the night before and put said bag with the other things I take to work. Kind of takes the decsionung making out of it.

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 6:45 pm

      Hi Monica!
      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy the blog! 💜
      That duffle bag pattern is really cool, isn’t it! I’m going to make a few more, I think. Which other bag patterns have you tried, do you have any recommendations? I’d like to make a few more bags, they’re really enjoyable. Do you have fabric for your duffle bag already?
      I’m back in the gym… It’s hard, but I make the effort to drag myself there. While I readjust to the routine, I figure that going and giving 30% is better than not going and giving 0% 🤷🏻‍♀️ I think it must be something to do with holidays – we went to Paris for a couple of days, ate LOADS but also walked loads and I lost weight! Sorry to hear that you came back sick though… hope you are feeling better now! 💕

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