Looking back on 2018

I literally cannot believe that another year has passed. I also can’t quite get my head around the fact that it will be 2020 soon – to me, that feels like some futuristic, Blade-Runner-esque time with flying cars, intense biometric tracking-type-stuff and human robots that live among us. Way in the future. Not in a couple of years time 😱

2018 was a real mixed bag for me, both as a sewist and personally. At the start of the year I suffered a head injury which pretty much marred the whole of 2018, but on the flip side I got a new job closer to home (more time for sewing!) and the Etsy store grew considerably.

So, settle yourself in on this last Sunday of the year, and prepare yourself for a journey through my 2018…

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK 🗽

In October, I went back to NYC for the first time in five years – and the first time as a sewist. The fabric shopping was EPIC (if you missed my posts on it, you can read them here, here, and here – yep, there’s three posts – I had a lot to say about the trip!). Going to Mood fabrics was an experience like no other – I’ve literally never been in any fabric shop that could even begin to come close to the sheer range of quality fabrics they have in there. Needless to say, I bought enough to keep me going for a very long time. We also visited Washington DC, Philadelphia and Virginia while we were there, but there’s just something about New York City that draws me in – the buzz, the vibe, the energy.  It’s my most favourite place on the planet.

Christmas Markets

We did two Christmas markets this year with our Etsy goods – one at my office in London Bridge and another at Aaron’s office in Kings Cross. It’s the first time we’ve ever sold things in person, rather than online, and we were scared. Of what, I’m not sure lol… but we’d never done anything like this before (does a car boot sale count?!) so we weren’t sure what to expect.

The one at my offices was first, at the end of November, and after the initial excitement of YAY LET’S DO A MARKET STALL the panic set in as we realised we didn’t have quite enough stock to take with us, or even any of the stall equipment we needed. We then bought a sign holder, price labels, paper bags, a card reader to take payments, a tablecloth and some stall furniture – everything that we could think of that we might need. I was worried that we would turn up, set up our stall and it would look completely crap compared to the other, more experienced sellers – but IT DIDN’T. It actually looked pretty damn good. I was so pleased with it, that even looking around at all the other stalls I didn’t want to change anything about ours for the next one. We nailed it. BOOYAH.

Sales-wise, we sold ten items at the first market. I was happy with that.  The market was in a U-shape, and the other stalls sold mostly handmade items such as soap, bookmarks, dog treats, and jewellery.

The second market we did – which was on the 12th December and therefore closer to Christmas – went worse. We were expecting to sell more things at this market because more people would be in proper panic-buying-mode, with less than three weeks to go until Christmas Day… but it didn’t work out like that. We only sold two items, and one of them was to Aaron’s manager 🤷🏻‍♀️ There was a different mix of stalls at this one, with much less handmades – one lady was selling dairy free chocolates (that she hadn’t made herself), there were also art prints, tarot readings, and a whole lot of what appeared to be vintage clothing. They hadn’t laid it out very well either – two clothes rails were blocking off what should have been a main thoroughfare through the whole market, but instead it was kind of split into two disjointed parts. Our stall was in the ‘second’ part, that you had to walk allllll the way around the other side in order to get to, which I think might have impacted our sales. The stalls in the ‘first’ part (as in, the part that was closer to the entrance to the floor) seemed to get a lot more traffic.  On the positive side though, a LOT of people took our business cards so perhaps they will convert to future online sales… fingers crossed.

Either way, a lot of people commented on how cool our stuff was and how well made it was, and we’re now a lot more comfortable with running a stall. We will definitely look to do more of these next year!

THE BEE

Yes, I applied for the Great British Sewing Bee.

No, I’m not going to be gracing your TV screens any time soon.

So I filled out their very lengthy application form, and thought nothing of it until I got a phone call a LOT later on – like months afterwards. That call was basically just to check me out and make sure I was normal (which I passed – lol) and I then got put through to the second round. The second round was another phone call, this one talking more about me and my sewing (how I got into it, who I sew for, what I like to sew etc etc) and also there was a mini quiz at the end. The questions I remember are what is a French seam, name three sheer fabrics, and what would you use an overlocker for. Standard sewing stuff, really, and I was more scared than I should have been because I managed to answer all the questions without drama!

After this, I then got an email inviting me to the next stage of auditions – this one was an actual face to face meeting at a location in London, but they only gave me a couple of days notice and the time/date weren’t flexible. Either you could attend what they offered, or you didn’t go. Simples. The date they gave me was in the last couple of weeks at my job, when I was handing over to the newbie, and I needed a whole morning off – unpaid – to attend. It was at this point that I really started to think about whether to proceed – I was starting a new job in a couple of weeks, and could I really go bowling in asking for erratic time off – unpaid time off at that, because I’d already used up all my paid leave on the NYC trip – as soon as I’d got through the door? Probably not.

I tried to do some research into filming schedules etc, but found very little other than they take two days to film one episode. And you know they ain’t all gonna be filmed on a weekend, so I would defo need to be asking for unpaid leave for this. If there’s eight episodes, that could be sixteen days of unpaid leave – over three weeks’ worth. That’s a big ask. And there’s likely zero flexibility on the days too, which would be a further problem – in finance, we have hard deadlines every month to report the results, and there’s no negotiation on these. Zero. Nip. Nada. So if a filming day fell over a reporting day, there would be problems.

In the end, I declined to participate any further through the audition process, because I couldn’t see how this could work for me and my current circumstances.

Next year, maybe.

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DISCOVERY

2018 was the first year that I really discovered my passion for sewing and colour. I mean, sure – I’d always loved colourful (and slightly crazy) clothing, and it seemed I had a flair for pairing up colours and patterns, but it wasn’t until I started applying this to the things I made that I realised I might be on to something.

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I’ve worked in finance literally all my life – my Mum always told me when I was younger to get a good job and don’t end up like me (she married young and didn’t have any formal qualifications) so that’s what I did. I originally wanted to be a lawyer, and got a job as a trainee legal secretary when I was 18, but it fell through at the last minute and instead I got a job at a firm of accountants. I was good at maths, so I figured that accountancy was a good shout 🤷🏻 I worked at that firm for eleven years, and I’ve made lifelong friendships from it which I treasure. But when it comes down to it, I chose finance because I was good at it and it allowed me to get a qualification and a good wage – not because I lived and breathed numbers and taxes (I’m pretty sure that nobody actually does). But like everyone else, you work a job and live for the weekends because that’s what life is about, right? You try to climb the corporate ladder because that’s what you’re told you are meant to do, and how far you get is how other people measure your success. People assumed that one day I would want to be CFO of some massive global corporation, but in truth my heart was never fully in it. I could never truly, honestly say ‘it’s my dream to be CFO one day’ and I couldn’t figure out why. This was the goal, right? To get to the top? It took me many, MANY years to figure out the reason that I didn’t want it – because it was someone else’s arbitrary measurement of success. It doesn’t consider how happy and fulfilled it makes you as a person, it’s all about other people’s perceptions of how well you’re doing. And worrying about what other people think is way, way down on my priorities list.

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I realise now that the corporate ladder isn’t for me, and never was – I’ve jumped ship and found my own ladder.

I’m excited to say that as of February 1st next year, I will – for the first time in my life – not be working full-time. I am going to reduce my days from five days a week, to four. Fridays are going to be dedicated to growing the Etsy store. Because in my heart, I feel like creating things is what I was born to do. Sure, it seems like putting all those years of study in and then swapping one fifth of the salary I worked hard to get to sew bags with skulls on them is a bit lolz, but I wouldn’t be at this point without everything that came before it. Literally everything that’s happened in my life has led to this point, from my 16th birthday when my Mum bought me my first sewing machine for no apparent reason (thanks, Mum), to taking that job where I met a colleague who sewed her own clothes and encouraged me to give it a go myself, to taking that other job where a colleague nagged me to start a blog. I made her a wash bag as a thank you for forcing me to start this blog, and that in turn sparked the birth of the Etsy shop. And now I have this job which has allowed me to reduce my hours and focus on growing that shop. And I even think that if I asked them for erratic time off next year to apply for the Great British Sewing Bee… they might just be okay with that too. But let’s see 🤪

I’ve got an absolute boat load of new fabrics and products to launch on the shop, so I’m really excited – watch this space 👀

UK CRAFT SHOW SCENE

Shows-wise, I didn’t attend any this year. For about the last twenty years or so – maybe more – I’d always attended the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (with my mum, until she passed away, and then with Aaron after that) but I gave up on the annual trip a couple of years back because I just wasn’t very impressed with the stalls on offer there. As a trade-off though, this year I did get to go shopping in New York City, Philadelphia and Paris – which is DEFINITELY winning in my book (although a LOT more expensive than attending a couple of shows in London!)

I’m not planning on attending any shows next year, either – partly because I really DO NOT NEED ANY MORE FABRIC. Repeat – I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE FABRIC.

RUN FORREST, RUN

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After my injury at the start of the year, it was a long time before I was allowed to start running (or indeed, do any form of exercising), and it drove me crazy. A short while after I got back into running, I injured my hip, and then my thigh a bit later. I literally wanted to just curl up and eat Ben and Jerry’s and feel sorry for myself. I’ve now realised – and accepted – that my body has been through a lot this year, and although we used to run double-digit miles at the weekend I can’t just ‘pick up where I left off’. Strength has to be rebuilt. Our bodies are amazing things, and I need to just give it time to do its thing and not push it too hard. So I’m starting back at the bottom and working my way back up – gentle runs over shorter distances. If I’m feeling frustrated, I just think back to the start of the year when I couldn’t run at all, and I’m instantly grateful that I *can* run. Even if just for short distances. Because there was a time when I couldn’t – at all. Sure, I’m not particularly fast, and I never will be (I’m not built for running, really) but I run because I enjoy it – not because I want to break land speed records. I’ve put running leggings into my 2019 Make Nine so that I can run in some amazeballs tights!

I’ve also come to realise that health and wellbeing – both physical and mental – are so SO important.

We only get one life, and one body, and we need to look after it. Too many people are neglecting themselves, whether directly or indirectly. Stress, especially workplace stress, has effects on us that I’m sure are way more far-reaching than we understand. Longer commutes, longer working hours, convenience food – all these things take their toll, and we have to sit down and think about the reason that we’re putting ourself through it – is it worth it? If it’s your lifelong dream to be CEO of a huge global corporation, then yes maybe it’s worth it, to reach your dream. Likewise if you’re studying for a qualification, a year or two of hard work might pay off in the future. At the moment, me and Aaron are basically working two jobs, but the aim of that is to build a business that can one day support us both, so that we don’t have long commutes to jobs where we work for someone else. So that we can have more enjoyable days, together, and do work that makes us happy.

You could say that 2018 has been our mid-life crisis year 🤣 Things happened that brought a few harsh realisations to light, and made us question what we were doing rather than just cruising on autopilot. But that’s a good thing. I’m also making the pledge to sew more considerately – patterns and fabrics will be chosen carefully, and matched to wardrobe needs. Yes, I’m still gonna make some Alexander Henry stuff just because, but you’ve got to have a little fun, right?

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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#WORTHOFSEWING

Julia of Charczerka created the #worthofsewing hashtag in December, the launch of which she very kindly invited me to participate in (and I totes wanted to) but the Christmas Etsy orders basically took over my life and I wasn’t able to take part in the end 🤦🏻‍♀️

The idea was to post up a finished make and ask people to guess the amount of time it took you – in total, including every single minute you spent on it, whether that was choosing fabric, tracing the pattern, or daydreaming about modifications.

Sewists will probably be able to make an educated guess at a garment, but the general public will probably be waaaay out. After all, if a basic vest costs less than £2 in a high street shop, then it’s obviously super quick to make and can be done in about thirty seconds right? 😡

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I thought it was a great idea though, to really highlight the time spent on each make – not just the actual sewing, but all the time spent choosing the patterns, the fabric, prewashing the fabric, and cutting the fabric. All those things that have to happen before you can even start sewing. Too often, people seem to be under the impression that sewing your own clothes should be cheaper than buying them in them shops (erm, no, not necessarily) and that if they pay you to make them something then they in turn expect to pay less than they’d spend in the stores, because you’re a ‘hobbyist’.

(Don’t even get me started on all of the above points. Fast fashion has a LOT to answer for).

There’s a fabulously analytical breakdown of the time spent on her dress in her blog post.

Most Read Posts in 2018

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So my top five most-read posts in 2018 were:

Fabric shopping at Goldhawk Road (this was second place last year!)

Fabric shopping in Paris

My ‘meh’ Hinterland dress

Aaron’s brown wool jacket

Octopus Kielo Dress

Seems like you guys love a bit of fabric shopping porn! Plus that hideous maternity dress Hinterland Dress that I made recently as well. (Which, by the way, has been donated to find itself a new home). Also high on the list are pictures of the Handsome Husbeast in his posh wool coat that I made him… seems like a bit of eye candy helps things along 👀🍬 Maybe I’ll make him some more underwear… 😜

Instagram Top Nine

My top nine on Instagram were these beauties:

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Clockwise from top left:

Octopus Print Kielo dress

Deer and Doe Bruyere Shirt

Marvel Comics halterneck dress

The insides of my vintage Simplicity coat

Deer and Doe Opium Coat

In-progress République Du Chiffon Jolaine shirt

Another Kielo Dress!

The Opium coat… again

And finally, the Handsome Husbeast in that vintage Kwik Sew coat 😍

Etsy Sales Map

Look at this fun little map of where all my Etsy orders have shipped to! 🙌🏻

THE WORLD OF WANDERSTITCH

There’s currently 414 of you receiving my weekly emails – WOW! I never imagined that anyone would read my ramblings, let alone that many of you! It genuinely, wholeheartedly makes me so happy to know that you guys enjoy reading the blog. I’ve never, ever considered myself a writer, so when people say they enjoy my writing style it makes me go yaaaaaaaaay 🙌🏻

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At the start of Wanderstitch, I never really thought about whether I could write a blog post or not – the actual writing was bottom of the very long list of things I had to figure out, including how to use WordPress and how to get my words and pictures onto an actual web page 🤷🏻🤣 I just took the approach of hearing in my head how I would say things and then that’s what gets typed 😂 So I’m really happy that people enjoy it! I love it when people tell me that reading the weekly Wanderstitch post is part of their Sunday routine 💜

So THANK YOU – all of you – for every minute you’ve spent reading the blog, for every comment, and for every like!

Bye Christmas, oh hai new year

I hope you all had a restful Christmas. We stayed at home, which suited us down to the ground because we were both hit with colds. I’ve lost count of how many honey/lemon/ginger/turmeric drinks I’ve made recently, but let’s just say I’m on the fifth jar of honey and the poor bees are working overtime. Don’t worry, I’ll plant some bee-flowers to say thanks 🐝🌺

We’re spending our evenings curled up on the sofa with the doggos snoring away. Christmas for us isn’t a big deal – we’re not religious, and we don’t do cards or presents for each other. The cards just go in the bin, so what’s the point? We can say merry Christmas face to face 🎅🏼

For me, I’m grateful to have the company of my favourite human being, our health, a warm bed, and the smell of a stew cooking in the oven. Call me boring, but there isn’t a massive tree with presents underneath (there’s literally no room for that anyway), or any considerable excess of eating (why do people buy SO MUCH FOOD?!).

It’s also that time of year when it makes me sad to see that Christmas, for some people, can be gauged on the level of gifts they receive (or don’t), rather than the gifts that they already have. Knowing where your next meal is coming from is a gift that some people would give everything to have. Knowing that you have a safe and warm place to sleep is another. Having your health is never something to be taken for granted – it was at Christmas time many years ago that my Mum was told she had ovarian cancer (and it went downhill from there, sadly). It might be because I’m getting older… I dunno. Maybe it’s the way the world is going.

The seemingly little things you take for granted can be taken away from you like THAT, so take a moment to focus on all the wonderful things that you have. Go hug your favourite humans and animals.

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SUGGESTION BOX

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When I started this blog, I’ll admit that I didn’t really have any clear idea of what it was going to focus on (I know – sewing, obvs, but bear with me here). I had been reading sewing blogs before launching mine, to see what kind of thing was already out there and what people talked about… and to be honest I only found a few that I really liked – that ticked all of my boxes.

I found some sewing blogs that didn’t actually appear to be about the actual sewing – more like ‘look at this thing I made – isn’t it pretty – okay BYE!’. This left me feeling… cheated. Like I’d come there to see the process, the fabric, the techniques used, and all I’d got were a few full length finished photos. Which would be great for more of a fashion blog, where the focus is the actual garment and how you can style it etc etc, but what about the creation of it? The hours you’ve just put in to making it?

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Plus, where’s all the details? I especially like to read blog posts from others on projects that I’m about to start, to give me a heads up on possible traps and alternative methods that might work out better. I want to learn from others that have walked the path before me – so I like the nerdy details, the close up pictures, the photos of a particular bit of the instructions that maybe isn’t explained so well with words. That’s why I try to document all of this in my posts – I want people to get an idea of the whole process, from start to finish. If I chose the wrong fabric, I tell people about it, so that others can avoid making the same mistake. If there’s something misleading in the instructions, I highlight it so that others are forewarned and forearmed.

I also found that many others have MUCH shorter blog posts than I tend to have. Sometimes I feel like they are over before I’ve actually started getting in to it. This could be personal preference though… a lot of websites that give ‘advice on blogging’ tend to say that the sweet spot of a blog post length is 500 words. That’s really not a lot – all of my posts are over a thousand words, and some are more than two thousand. If you’ve read everything in this post all the way down to here, you’ve already hit four thousand. Five hundred is nothing, especially when you’re talking about an uber-complex full length coat that you’ve just spent six weeks making. Surely it deserves more than five hundred words?

Perhaps it’s just me. Maybe there are people out there that don’t like my blog because I talk so much, and they prefer the shorter posts. People are busy, after all – they might not have time to read three thousand words. I totally get that. I mean – I could probably cut down my blog writing time considerably if I kept all my posts to five hundred words a pop, but I JUST. COULDN’T. DO. IT. Nope. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl. You either get an essay from me, or you get nothing at all. I’m not one to half-ass stuff. And if you don’t have the time to read my ramblings? That’s cool, too. You can still get your sewing fix from the other, shorter blog posts that are out there. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kinda gig – you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

So now it’s your turn – I’d like your thoughts please… what do you particularly enjoy about the blog? What would you like to see more of? Is there something missing from the blog that you’d enjoy? Is there something you’d like to see approached differently? Don’t be shy! Good or bad, I want your feedback 👍🏻

Out With The Old, In With The New

I hope you guys have a wonderful New Year, however you’re spending it – with these rubbish colds that we’ve got, I think that an uber-boring quiet night in with a reasonable bedtime is going to be on the cards, espesh as we’ve got to go back to work on the Wednesday. Going in to central London on new year’s eve, in the cold, and then fighting with the crowds to get on public transport to come back home is my idea of hell 🤣 Plus, I hate leaving the doggos home alone when I know that there’s going to be fireworks let off – Fry, bless him, gets proper scared. Over bonfire night, he tore apart a whole 10kg bag of cat litter, and we came home to a sea of clay lumps on the carpet. But it suits me fine to stay home on NYE and give him a cuddle, so everyone wins.

(Dog cuddles are a big thing in my house – this was me earlier in the week, all sniffly and full of cold, with Leela keeping me warm 💕)

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If you started reading this post after 7pm, there’s a legit chance that the clock has struck midnight and it’s 2019 already. I think this might be my longest post ever. If you made it to the end – woooop! You’re a trooper!

Now, go and get your new year’s party started – in whatever form it’s gonna take. I’ve got a blanket to fetch and a cup of tea to make, and then I’ll be settling down for the day. I wish you all lots of love, luck and happiness for 2019 – see you on the other side! 😎

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Next week on the Wanderstitch blog… my first post of 2019! Starting off the year with the Wonderland Skirt ✂️ Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out! 👇🏻

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34 Comments

  1. Barbarags
    December 30, 2018 / 8:41 am

    Please do not write short blogs that I can read in 5 minutes. I love reading about your thought process, the construction details, everything! It seems as though you are really taking the trouble to speak honestly to your readers rather than just show a few pretty photos- your photographs are great. I am so glad that I found your blog and look forward to reading many more. I hope you get better soon and have a wonderful 2019.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 6, 2019 / 8:55 am

      Ahhh yay! I’m so glad that you enjoy the blog! I like reading longer blog posts myself, so I’m glad that all my readers do too! 🙂
      The cold I had *almost* disappeared before new year, it’s still lingering a bit now but I’m much better than I was thank you. I hope you had a wonderful new year! 🙂

  2. December 30, 2018 / 9:42 am

    I love reading your blog. I’ve been a sewer and a knitter for most of my life, I got into midwifery on the basis of two o levels, one of those was needlework and dressmaking. I’m still learning and have never made anything big (like a coat) but I love your no fear approach to it all. I’m looking forward to seeing your knits (knitting is my evening hobby), midwives of old are known for their knitting skills! I also like the personal touches you bring to your blog, it makes me feel like I’m getting to know you a bit better. Here’s to a sewing/knitastic new year to us all x

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 6, 2019 / 9:01 am

      Hi Chris! Ahh, yay I’m so glad that you enjoy the blog 🙂 I didn’t know midwives were known for their knitting! But then I guess that makes sense… a lot of hanging around waiting for babies to come, and then an almost endless supply of tiny humans to wear tiny hats and cardigans!!
      I’m now starting to properly get back into the knitting… I’m working on a scarf for the husbeast with some of the yarn that he chose in New York.
      Definitely give coat-making a try – we’re all still learning no matter how long we’ve been sewing for!
      I hope you had a fabulous new year 🙂 x

  3. Helen Jackson
    December 30, 2018 / 9:50 am

    Thanks Sarah just love your blog its down to earth easy reading with lots of info and fine detail its a delight to read on a Sunday morning

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 6, 2019 / 9:04 am

      Ahh thanks Helen! I’m so glad you enjoy the blog!
      Yep, straight up / honest / down to earth pretty much sums me up… there’s no sugar coating or beating around the bush where I’m concerned!! 🤣🤣

  4. December 30, 2018 / 9:54 am

    Sorry not sewing related, I just laughed out loud when I read about your dog as we’ve just got a dog and called her Leela too!

    Sewing related, I like the long blog posts too, something I can really get my teeth around. Keep up the in depth reviews and tips! And of course who doesn’t love a bit of fabric shopping porn!

  5. Bren Holmes
    December 30, 2018 / 10:00 am

    I love your blog, it’s become an integral part of my Sunday mornings, and I do read every single word. I’m not a big fan of the gif; I find them rather irritating and distracting, but this week I adore the one with the cat putting on the glasses. I’m a crazy cat lady, sorry :-). I agree with you about many blogs being short and having few details, this is the reason that your blog is the only one I read on a regular basis. My Sundays wouldn’t be complete without it.
    We feel the same as you regarding Christmas. I try to make an effort for our daughter, but prefer a quiet time over the holidays, including New Year. I did fit in some sewing on Boxing day, despite having a cold, like you. New Year’s day will be a sewing day with a friend this time and a good time will be had by us both. Until next year …

  6. Cindy
    December 30, 2018 / 10:19 am

    You are the only blog, first time I’ve every typed such a hip word xxx you start my Sunday with a cuppa and a bowl of porridge and I’m very happy doing this for how ever many thousands of words you write , I read them all. I’m getting older and I adore your young life world full of love andid kindness and lots of hope and plans together, just you and your dog’s. Sadly at my daughter animal abuse farm where I am till January end we had 6 different dogs just dumped on Xmas day , he chewed, he did a pooh , the worst one ” I put them in a box and wrapped and tied a big now then at 5 am I got up to find carnaget pooh every where chewed presents and a chewed sofa ” he sadly was a 6 week old lab cross who should of been with her mummy still , especially not wrapped in a box. The others were kids cried I wanted a yellow dog, I wanted a pony etc so my poor girl is up to 69 animals at her home 34 sick and abused others very old or not wanted. And to boot she has a 3000.00 euro vets bill to find by end of January. …no chance . So enjoy life . Love each other and most of all be kind to 2 and 4 legs alike.
    All my love and happy new year xxx Cindy xx

  7. The Wise Sprowl
    December 30, 2018 / 10:51 am

    I am not really one for reading many blogs – takes up too much time. But Having discovered your blog recently I can say it’s one of the most interesting and informative blogs I’ve read. And the details of your day to day life in this one makes you more of a real person than something anonymous. More power to your elbow, and hopes and dreams!
    As someone else mentioned I am not fond of too many gifs, some are funny but too many are distracting – prefer a still picture but that’s just me. Happy New Year!

  8. December 30, 2018 / 11:10 am

    I so look forward to your long blogs every Sunday and they are a visual treat too. You are a lovely warm person and that comes across so well, so I’d say don’t change anything. I’ve moved to Devon from London this year (finally) after retiring early and partner going 3 dpw and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. More crafting time and inspiration. So go with your dream, it’s worth it to have a better life. And I’ve just done 2 craft fairs too! Devon is a more receptive place for home made stuff. Mine went ok but I’ve clearly underpriced my work, that’s something to work on. People do appreciate handmade work but you just need to find the right audience. You will do fabulously well – follow your dream. Xx

  9. December 30, 2018 / 11:13 am

    Oh, and I actually like the gifs. They add a bit of life and personality.

  10. Jill
    December 30, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    Your blogs may be longer than most but that’s no problem for me because you discuss issues in depth and I can relate to much of what you say. Keep going with your stalls, I have done quite a few over the years and intend to start again around Easter time. As has been said above, you need to find your audience and then I’m sure you will be very successful.

  11. Nancy May
    December 30, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    I Enjoy reading your blogs. My sewing journey has progressed because of your blog and my mum’s knowledge which she gave to me over 40years ago. I’ve only now have the time and inclenation to sew. Each project I try something different. So far I have made two hats, shorts, dresses (Jersey and woven), tops, a waistcoat and several bags. Oh and frogs… Keep doing what you are doing, enjoy, as you only have one life. And your blogs are compulsive reading… I love it….

  12. December 30, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    You have a wonderful writing style and I really enjoy reading your blog. It’s my favorite because it’s about a maker’s lifestyle, not a ‘just the facts, ma’am,’ blog. The gifs are a little tough on my eyes, so I usually try to scroll past those to get to the good stuff. Any chance you could increase the size of the font a bit? Yeah, I’m an over sixty reader. Hope and Aaron have another very successful stitching year!

  13. Sharon
    December 30, 2018 / 3:20 pm

    I love reading your honest and often funny blog posts. You address issues that most of us girlies have and that is – we don’t have industry standard bods. And they can change shape! (you know bloating , menopause sagging, weight gain and of course age sagging). AND please don’t get me started on the bingo wings! ( who the hell thought of that one??? BINGO! really!)
    Your approach is fresh and interesting and the language you use is the language most of us speak. I also enjoyed your Husbeast’s guest blogs.
    Thank you. Feel better soon. X

  14. December 30, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    You are my favourite blogger – hands down Sarah! I cannot imagine what you could do more or less of that would elevate your blog posts. You are the only one I know when she releases (Sundays) and never miss reading (if I can’t get to it on Sunday AM – it’s starred in my inbox until I can get to it) What is it that you do that’s so special? The writing, the pics, descriptions but at the top of the list is your delicious humour. Writing humour is a gift and an art form. I don’t think anyone can teach writing humour (maybe you can? I’m all eyes!) – I suspect it’s there on the same lofty plane as drawing human figures and being an astronaut. I look forward to more of the same in 2019! I wish you and your Handsome Husbeast (so cheeky and tantalizing offering to entice him to show off the undies you make him!) a VERY happy 2019 – better than ever and that you both are feeling better soon.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 6, 2019 / 9:10 am

      Ahh thank you Kathleen! That means so much to me, to wear your crown of favourite blogger is an absolute honour! 😘
      Haha I never would have considered myself a writer – or indeed a writer of humour – so to discover that I actually might be okay at it is a revelation to me!!
      The first pair of boxer shorts for the husbeast has now been made… but it’s Winter here in London now so I’m not sure I’ll be successful in convincing him to stand outside in his smalls until the summer… 🤣🤣🤣

  15. December 30, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    I too love the length of your blog and totally agree that most end just as you’re getting into them. I look forward to Sunday when I sit down with my random tea (today is a fishfinger sandwich :)) and my cuppa and have a good read. I only found your blog recently but I am defo hooked, and I love your style of writing…a real person is typing the words! Please don’t change anything! I also love your hair and wish I had the balls to have your style! Wishing you and your hubby a lovely and successful 2019 xx

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 9, 2019 / 6:08 pm

      I haven’t had a fish finger sandwich in AGES! They are they best! 😋 I’m really glad you enjoy the blog, and that you like the longer length posts! I promise that I won’t change anything ☺️ Ahh thank you, I’ve tried many hair colours over the years and I’ve definitely settled on the purple-pink ombré. I say if you want to dye your hair or wear something crazy, GO FOR IT 🙌🏻 Hope you had a fab Christmas and new year!

  16. Linda Jamieson
    December 30, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    Your blog is the only one I read and I look forward to it. It is real and not self promoting. Your writing style makes me feel that I know you both. Fun and informative- what more can you ask for !
    I wish you both health and happiness for 2019 x

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 9, 2019 / 6:09 pm

      Ahh thank you Linda! I am very honored to be the only blog you read 😘 It makes me happy to know that you enjoy it and look forward to it each week. I hope you had a fabulous new year! x

  17. December 31, 2018 / 3:05 am

    like everyone above, i, too, look forward to your blog. being old enough to be your mother, it’s a pleasure to see your humor and personality shine through and see you grow through experience. but don’t sell yourself short: you have many more readers than you think. there are countless followers on RSS feeds. i used to follow on WordPress, and now i follow you on Feedly. keep the blog as it is. imo, you’re doing just fine. happiest new year to you and aaron and furries.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 9, 2019 / 6:12 pm

      Ahh thank you Barbara! I’m so glad that you enjoy the blog ☺️ Can you tell from my writing that I have a big fat in-your-face personality 🤔😆 I *totally* forgot about Feedly… you’re right. There’s probably many more readers dotted around than I realise! There’s a fair few on Bloglovin’ as well… okay so maybe I can add a few hundred to my original estimate! Yay! I hope you had a wonderful new year, however you spent it ☺️

  18. Sue
    January 1, 2019 / 12:49 pm

    Love the in-depth nature of your blog. Like another commenter, I’m probably old enough to be your mother, but enjoy everything you write. I find gifs a bit distracting, but appreciate that is probably my age speaking, so just ignore them. Thanks so much for the pleasure you bring to my weekend; wishing you a very happy and successful 2019!

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 9, 2019 / 6:15 pm

      Thanks Sue! So glad that you enjoy the blog ☺️ and age is totally just a number, I’ll still be dying my hair when I’m 70 I expect. In my head, I’m still 18 😂 Hope you had a wonderful new year, and I hope the blog continues to bring joy to your weekends!

  19. January 2, 2019 / 3:32 pm

    I’m not gonna lie, I follow some blogs where I skim through a lot of the writing. However, I always find myself reading all the way through yours. I think the difference is just GOOD WRITING and GOOD STORYTELLING. (And I think your gifs are hilarious, you have a talent for finding just the right ones!) It seems like you’ve got a formula that works for you, and it works for me too!

    One thing that I also like to see is when makers revisit their past makes, how things have worked out since the initial triumph of finishing, different ways of styling those pieces, things like that. You’ve touched on that a bit with your year-end review, and it was really fun to read! I agree, I like to read about all the gory innards and details of the making process, even if it’s not something I ever intend to make for myself… there’s always new insight and inspiration to be found. I think there are plenty of things that are enjoyable to read about even when its not a brand new garment. And yes, I’m totally guilty of living vicariously through your fabric shopping hauls. 🙂

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 9, 2019 / 6:23 pm

      Ahh, thank you so much! And I’m totally honoured that you enjoy reading my posts, I never really considered myself a writer (probably because I’ve not actually written anything, ever), so it always makes me happy to hear that people enjoy reading my ramblings! And the gifs… I’m not gonna pretend that I don’t sometimes get sidetracked and just spend a half hour browsing them 😂 I save the best ones to show the husbeast and he has to endure five minutes of me going ‘watch this one! Now watch this one!’ 😂😂😂
      I think revisiting makes is something that I will do more often, and also blogging about new makes only after I’ve worn them for a while and got an idea of how they have fared both practically and as part of a collective wardrobe (rather than a fresh-off-the-machine post).
      And YES! I love to see all the details of other people’s work, how they do things, how they’ve tackled certain parts of the construction. Sewing can be a solitary hobby, so it’s nice to have somewhere to see how others have interpreted things. Yay for learning! ☺️
      I haven’t actually sewn anything from my NYC fabric hauls (and that Parisian cashmere is STILL calling to me… I think it will pair nicely with a NYC lining – a very international coat!!) but every now and then I open the bags to look at all the pieces and touch them 😂

  20. January 3, 2019 / 6:43 pm

    you are amazing and i LOVE your style of writing <3

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 9, 2019 / 6:24 pm

      Ahh, thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoy the blog! Hope you had a wonderful New Years ☺️

  21. Sally Davis
    January 5, 2019 / 8:15 am

    Hello, I really enjoy your blog and appreciate all the sewing details. I also like to read about patterns that I am considering so I can better judge whether to buy it. I do find those moving pictures irritating though. I am prone to headaches and I have to position the text to hide the pictures. I don’t stop reading though!
    Good luck with your Etsy shop.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 9, 2019 / 6:27 pm

      Hi Sally! So glad to hear that you enjoy the blog! (And happy to hear that you like all the sewing details 🙌🏻) The husbeast says that he finds some of the gifs too much too – he’s shared with me his criteria for which ones are easier on the eye, so I’m going to bear that in mind. I certainly don’t want to be giving anyone headaches!
      I hope you had a lovely Christmas and new year! ☺️

  22. January 13, 2019 / 10:25 am

    I’m epically late commenting on this (I’m behind with my online reading!), but there were two responses I wanted to share:
    1) I’m glad everyone else loved your Hinterland dress as much as I did 😬 it’s on my list to make this year!
    2) I like longer blog posts too. Like, I already made a decision to be here and read, why are some bloggers so quick to get rid of their audience?!

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 6:30 pm

      Better late to the party than never! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and new year ☺️
      I hope you have better luck with the Hinterland – the versions I saw on Instagram looked lovely, it just sadly wasn’t for me ☹️
      And yaaaaay that you like the long blog posts too! I’m glad that everyone seems to be in agreement about this 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

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