Thanks for the memories

WOW.

I know I’m so not alone in thinking this, but HOW HAS ANOTHER YEAR GONE PAST?!

I feel like I blink and it’s Christmas again. Life passes me by and I’m another year older, and the husbeast has more grey hairs. And it’s another year where I still haven’t figured out how I get to be one of those influencers who don’t seem to work but instead, get paid to travel to exotic places all the time and post about it on Instagram for us cold miserable commuters to scroll past on our cramped train that will take us to our desk jobs 😂

Ah, ain’t life grand lol.

But in all seriousness, it hasn’t been a bad year. We’re all relatively healthy (apart from the cat who at the grand old age of fifteen went in for dental surgery last week, but he’s alright), we’ve both changed jobs this year, and I’ve tried out a few new things crafting-wise. Plus we’ve got a trip to NYC booked for early 2020, which I’m really excited about (because FABRIC SHOPPINGGGG 🙌🏻)

I like to do a little round-up of the year when it comes to a close because it can be easy to forget about how far we’ve come – it’s only when you look back that you realise that actually, you have defined your style a bit better, or you’ve improved with your choice in patterns and fails happen less often, or – in my case – you wear basically none of the skirts you made so how about you stop sewing them and get better at sewing jeans 🤦🏻‍♀️

So without further ado – here’s my 2019!

What did I make? Let’s start with the skirts…

Skirts

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Clockwise from top left:

Victory Patterns Madeline skirt (blog post)

Wedding outfit – Deer and Doe Datura and Simplicity 1099 (blog post)

Jupe Charlotte from Republique Du Chiffon (blog post)

Wonderland Skirt by Lily Sage (blog post)

Deer and Doe Agave skirt (blog post)

Skirts were mostly a fail for me this year. It’s taken me longer than it should have done to realise that I’m just not really a skirt person. The Madeline Skirt made me look like a milkmaid (and those straps are not compatible with boobs, FYI 😂). I didn’t like the asymmetry of the Deer and Doe Agave skirt. Plus, it’s a wrap-around skirt and it turns out I don’t like wraps either (bodices or skirts). The Jupe Charlotte from Republique Du Chiffon was okay, I would wear it more often but I was a bit optimistic with the sizing and in all honesty, it’s a tad on the small side. I wore it in New York while we were there and all the burgers and fries put a little strain on the zip 😨 and I can’t bring myself to unpick it and replace it. Plus the denim has got those annoying white wash-lines on it 😑 I really liked the Indian-inspired silk skirt I made for my friend’s wedding, but consider this to be a ‘going out’ style of skirt (rather than everyday wear), and I have very few occasions to wear something like this so it’s really not worth making more.

The Wonderland Skirt is the only winner here – despite me not really loving the wool fabric that I made this one from, or the rectangular waistband, I do actually like the style. I see a black one in my future, with a lace overlay on the skirt – basically, a gothic-style one that’s going to be worn with my massive boots. I just haven’t got round to it yet, and it takes some extra motivation to make something that’s plain black 😂

But it will happen.

IT WILL.

Bags

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Clockwise from top left:

Noodlehead Makers Tote (blog post)

Noodlehead Range Backpack (blog post)

Bionic Gear Bag (Not pictured, but blog post)

Sassafras Lane Daily Duffle gym bags (blog post)

Stoff and Stil washbag (blog post)

By Annie Round Trip Duffle Bag (blog post)

I feel like I made good progress with my bag making this year! The Makers Tote I made was really a ‘trial run’ – I’d never made anything like this before and wanted to see how well it went (spoiler – quite well. I’ve made another one since then). I’m not a handbag fan, instead preferring backpacks (I like to go hands-free!) so it made sense that I tried making one of those. The Range Backpack from Noodlehead was the chosen pattern, and I was pleased with the result and have plans for more (with some small adjustments). The gym bags I made for myself and the husband are possibly one of my most favourite makes EVER – they turned out SO well, and since so many people asked me where they could buy one, I’m going to make a batch of similar ones to go into the Etsy store next year 🙌🏻 The mandala bag looks so pretty and was one of the first projects I made on my Cricut machines. I love the way the purple looks with the gold, and the pouch is the perfect size to store some hanks of yarn 🧶

It turns out that I really enjoy bag making, and sometimes it’s nice to make something other than clothes, just for a bit of a cleanser. The Fennel Fanny pack is going to be made soon (like, maybe over the xmas break 🤔) which I’m really looking forward to!

Coats

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Main picture:

DP Studio Le 809 coat with gilet (blog post)

Top to bottom:

By Hand London Victoria blazer (blog post)

Deer and Doe Opium coat (blog post)

Republique Du Chiffon Gerard coat (blog post)

Just four coats this year – but a whole lot of leopard print going on! The By Hand London blazer was a complete fail and got donated, and the Republic du Chiffon Gerard was also a bit meh on the fit and a poor fabric choice. It gets worn though. The Deer and Doe Opium coat was a good success – the leopard print version is my second one, but the wool fabric was maybe slightly too thick for such a skirt. The DP Studio Le 809 takes the award for the coolest coat I’ve ever made – it has a matching gilet on the inside! Definitely want to make another one of these, just because they are SO unique, but they take up a heck of a lot of wardrobe space!

Menswear

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Top row, left to right:

Burda fur jacket (blog post)

Folkwear Patterns/Alexander Henry Frontier Shirt (blog post)

Thread Theory Comox Trunks (blog post)

Versace print Folkwear Patterns Frontier Shirt (blog post)

Bottom row:

Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat (blog post)

Western-style Folkwear Patterns Frontier shirt (blog post)

I’d been saying for a while that I wanted to get out of the habit of sewing shirt after shirt after shirt for the husbeast. Okay, so he happens to wear shirts for work, and so you could argue that multiples are therefore warranted, but it just gets a bit boring. I feel he’s not done too badly this year – yes, there’s still the obligatory shirts (three of ’em, and they are all the same pattern lolllz 🤷🏻‍♀️😂), but you’ve also got some boxers and a couple of coats thrown into the mix. Whilst that fur jacket looks cool, it’s wildly impractical – if it’s cold enough for a fur coat, a jacket isn’t gonna cut it amirite? Also, something weird happened with the folds on the facings and there’s no actual closure to the coat. So… yeah not really wearable. The boxers and the peacoat though are totes wearable and do get worn on the reg, so we’ll consider those a win. Coming up I’ve got a vintage vogue coat pattern to make for him, another shirt (yes that same pattern 😂🤦🏻‍♀️) and a couple of t-shirt patterns to try… so hopefully next year’s haul will have a bit more variety!

No promises, tho 🤪

Knitting

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Patterns used:

Kindred Hats (blog post)

Kindred mittens (blog post)

I was a knitter WAY before I could sew, and I was a bit sad to realise that my needles had been somewhat neglected over the last couple of years while I really got into sewing. I was determined to fix that this year, and while there have only been two small projects hit the blog in 2019, there’s been a LOT going on in the background. I’ve got two jumpers that haven’t yet hit the blog, along with a shawl for the husband and a couple of hats. I’m determined to really get back into my knitting – I’ve started my first pair of socks (which I think might be addictive), and have more things in my Ravelry queue than I have time to knit in my lifetime.

Other stuff

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Napkitten bi-fold wallet (blog post)

Kwik Sew 3247 apron (blog post)

Evie La Luve Effie crop top and Maxine panties (blog post)

The wallet looks pretty, but it’s a bit unwieldy and floppy (ooh-errrrr 😂). I’m currently making a zip-around wallet as a potential replacement, but given that I wanted something a bit smaller than this one (and the one I’m making is actually bigger), I’m not sure that it’s the best contender for a new one 🤔 The apron gets worn far less than I thought it would, probably because I’ve got nowhere to hang it in the kitchen and it sort of lives out of sight and out of mind. I still complain that the frying pan spits at me, and then remember the apron when it’s too late. The underwear served as a good starting block  – the Effie crop top was a good effort, and I’d only make minimal changes for the next one. The high waisted pants were TOO high waisted, even after I reduced the rise by about an inch 😨 The fold-over elastic is uncomfortable around the leg, and I’d look to swap this for lingerie elastic on the next pair I made.

Guest Blogger – the Handsome Husbeast

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This year, we were graced with just one guest post from the Handsome Husbeast (blog post here). Next year I’m gonna nag him to do more!

Dresses

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From left to right:

Named Patterns long-sleeved Kielo dress (blog post)

Trend Patterns 70s Dress (blog post)

Named Patterns sleeveless Kielo dress (blog post)

Two-thirds of these dresses are Kielos. Are you surprised? I’m not 😂 I’ve since tried to get around the terrible neckline of the Kielo by grafting on a turtleneck (the Trudy Turtleneck by Wardrobe By Me, to be precise), and I’m pleased to report it’s been pretty damn successful. I’m already planning the second one of those mashups in my head. There may even be a third. And a fourth. The Kielo is pretty much the only dress I will wear, in case you hadn’t figured that out 👀 You might have seen on my Instagram recently that I made the Vogue/Tracy Reese 1314 dress out of a leopard print jersey  – I can report that I wore the dress once (to work) and it just fit SO badly around the shoulders, armpit and waist that it got chucked on the floor after it went through the wash and there it’s stayed. I will salvage the fabric (because it’s awesome and I can’t bear to see it go to waste), and depending on the size of the pieces I will either make some leggings or a long-sleeved t-shirt. The t-shirt will be my first choice because that will get worn the most for work, but I have a feeling I might not have enough 🙁

We’ll see.

Tees, shirts and sweaters

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Clockwise from top left:

Grainline Studios Linden sweatshirt (blog post)

Deer and Doe long sleeve Melilot shirt (blog post)

Grainline Studios knit Scout Tee (blog post)

Deer and Doe short sleeve Melilot shirt (blog post)

Megan Nielsen Rowan Tee (blog post)

Despite my resounding hatred of the Archer shirt from Grainline Studios (the fit was bloody awful on me), they have totally redeemed themselves with the Scout Tee and the Linden. I have MANY Scout Tees in my wardrobe, and although there’s just the one Linden at the moment, there fo sho will be many more. It’s so comfy, so easy to wear. I love it. I’ve got both long and short sleeve versions of the Deer and Doe Melilot shirt here on the blog – it’s a good style but I’m not a fan of the Liberty fabric that I used for the short-sleeved one (bottom centre). It’s just not ‘me’. I loved the fabric I used for the Megan Nielsen Rowan tee, but the first was AWFUL. The neckline was tight enough to choke you, and I made the size XL. Yep, really. Totally not a fan of it. I’ll stick to the Scout, thanks. Thankfully I bought more of that fabric so that I can make a Scout with it – the t-shirt will be repurposed into boxer shorts for the husbeast.

Next year I’m going to try the Trudy Turtleneck from Wardrobe By Me, in the long sleeve version that I can wear in the winter, and I am tempted to try more sweatshirt patterns as well 🤔

Bottoms

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Left to right:

Avery Leggings by Helen’s Closet (blog post)

Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans (blog post)

Deer and Doe Safran trousers (blog post)

At the start of the year, I was terrified of sewing bottoms. I really really wanted to start making my own jeans (because I was fed up of making skirts that were easier but never got worn 🤦🏻‍♀️) but thought that they were this really complicated thing that only pros could make. Turns out they are nowhere near as difficult to make as I thought – but they are difficult to fit.

So, none of these three makes got a regular spot in the wardrobe, although they did serve as a starting block. The Avery’s are a super comfortable style, I just happened to make them a size too small 🤦🏻‍♀️ The seams were under too much strain for my liking. I made mine intending to use them in the gym, but I actually think I would rather make these in a cotton jersey to wear around the house (under my dressing gown / house coat 😂). The cord Dawn jeans were a good first attempt too – I realised that I needed more room in the thigh and leg, which I adjusted for on the following pair that haven’t hit the blog yet (🤦🏻‍♀️) I definitely see more Dawn’s in my future. The Safrans… well, they would be good as trousers, rather than jeans, because skinny jeans aren’t really my thing. They have a good high waist, but oddly, no yoke on the back – which means the pockets just look a bit weird 👀The Dawns are definitely the favourite pattern out of these three, and the one I will be pursuing to get a good fit. And then of course I’ll make twenty pairs 😆

Instagram Top Nine 2019

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You can’t finish the year without doing the top nine off the ‘gram, can ya 😎

It’s awesome to see quite a variation in the top nine posts of this year – there’s bags, knitting, and even a Kielo!

Clockwise from top left:

  1. My Volt sweater, which is actually now finished. It’s a smidge on the large side, and when I put it on I remembered why I always size down on the recommended needles – because stuff always turns out big. Never mind, it just means it’s more of a ‘relaxed fit’!
  2. The Kielo dress that I made from a non-stretch viscose print that I scored an £8 remnant of from eBay. It remains one of my most worn items in the summer.
  3. One of the very first dresses I made when I started sewing – a Marvel Comics print halterneck dress.
  4. The Thread Theory Quadra jeans that I recently made for the husbeast (will be on the blog SOON!). I really felt I excelled myself with those back pockets, having drawn out the pattern by hand and then actually getting it stitched without it looking like a drunk did it. Winning!
  5. The Malabrigo Caracol yarn I picked up in Philadelphia last year which has now been made into a sweater! I always struggle with variegated yarns in that they never quite look how you think they will when they’re knitted up, and this is no exception. But, it’s the exact comfy, soft and warm sweater I imagined it would be.
  6. My long sleeve Deer and Doe Melilot blouse (again, on the blog sooooon!)
  7. THE GYM BAGS TO BEAT ALL GYM BAGS. YAS.
  8. The gloves I knitted to get back into my knitting – they’re looking a bit worse for wear now, but they live on!
  9. Annnnd in the centre is my very first Range Backpack from the Noodlehead pattern. I made a couple of changes from the pattern, and for the next one I’ll make a couple more, but it’s a fab pattern! I’d also like to try out their similar pattern, the Making Backpack.

New job!

Regular readers will know that in ‘real-life’, I work in finance. I’ve worked in finance since I was eighteen years old – so, like, forever. I’m not one of those people that want to climb all the way to the top of the corporate ladder though – life success to me isn’t defined by my job title or my salary, or the number of hours I put in every week. When you work in finance, people always assume that one day you want to be the CFO of some multinational corporation – because they can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want that.

Now I work in data protection and information security, which I realise sounds exceedingly dull, but it’s actually very interesting. When I left sixth form, I wanted to be a lawyer. I got myself a job as a trainee legal secretary, which I was hoping was the first step on my journey. It wasn’t to be though, as shortly before I was due to start they told me that the department wasn’t expanding as planned and that there was no longer a position. So I looked for another job and got one as a trainee accountant. The rest is history.

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I never forgot my desire to get involved in law though, and the law paper I had to take for my accountancy exams was the highest mark of all my papers. Now, I seem to have come full circle because data protection revolves very closely around the GDPR legislation here in the EU – so, in a way, I got my law job, it just took me seventeen years 😂

It allows me a bit more flexibility around where I work and will continue to be a part-time role so that we can manage our side hustle a bit more comfortably. I’ve got to take a couple of exams next year, so it’ll be back to the books for a bit – eek!

Sewing in the UK (but if you didn’t buy your own fabric, your sewing doesn’t count)

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A few of you lovely readers might have found me through the Facebook group ‘Sewing In The UK’. If you rely on my weekly posts there to prompt you to come to the blog for your next dose of my ramblings, you’re not gonna be seeing them anymore. Not because I can’t be bothered to post on other social media channels, but because I’ve been banned from the group. Yep – banned lol. I’ve never been banned from anything in my life – I feel like such a rebel 😂

The group is called ‘Sewing in the UK’ but it transpires that the point of the group isn’t so much the sewing, but where you get your fabric from. If you were gifted or sponsored your fabric, it seems they don’t want to hear about your sewing 🤷🏻‍♀️ The last project I posted to the group (before I was banned 😂) was the husbeast’s peacoat from two weeks ago – the wool fabric was provided to me free of charge by Minerva, but I bought all the buttons, lining, pattern and whatnot myself. I mean, I think their reason for banning me is that my post classed as ‘advertising’ – but I think there’s a discussion to be had here, and me and the husbeast had it without coming to a real agreement. He thought that where fabric was provided by a brand, it counted as ‘advertising’, I kind of disagreed and said that there’s a difference between spammy advertising like ‘RAY BANS HALF PRICE THROUGH THIS LINK!’ (who else hates posts like that?!) and saying that a brand provided you fabric for free. Yes, I realise that you’re name-dropping a brand, but I would ALWAYS say where I got my fabric from on every single post, regardless of whether I paid for the fabric or it was provided for free. And I buy a lot of materials from Minerva, in addition to what I use for my Blogger Network projects. Receiving materials for projects is increasingly common across a lot of crafts nowadays, and for sure we don’t all have an endless pot of money to buy all the fabrics we desire. Sometimes we accept the free fabrics so that we can keep on creating and paying the bills.

I know that it’s a fine line though between someone being totally honest about what the product was really like, and just bigging it up because they want more free stuff from that brand in the future. For me personally, if a fabric was horrible then I’d say so – because who does it benefit if I lie? No one. The shop that sells it might want to stop selling it if it will tarnish people’s opinion of the quality of their products, and they will only know it’s rubbish if someone tells them. I always think that honesty is the best policy. I for one don’t care one bit if someone was given fabric to use for their project, so long as the post isn’t a thousand words of OMG THIS FABRIC IS AWESOME IT’S REALLY THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD YOU MUST GO BUY IT NOW THROUGH THIS LINK! FORGET WHAT I’VE MADE WITH IT, THIS BRAND IS AWESOME GO BUY FROM THEM’. If it’s a simple ‘I was given the fabric from whatever brand, now let’s move on and talk about what I made, how the fabric performed and how the project turned out’, then I am 100% cool 🤷🏻‍♀️

One thing that I had a little chuckle about while reading the ‘rules of the group’ (to see what it was I’d done wrong exactly) was that they said you had to be polite (a very reasonable request) but that also ‘if you couldn’t say what you wanted to say in front of your Gran, then you shouldn’t say it there either’. I’m sorry, what?!  Not only is that a totally vague rule – some people’s Gran’s could totes be down with the word ‘fuck’ and some people’s would be horrified, so which is it 🤷🏻‍♀️ – but isn’t that also being a bit dismissive of the way communication has changed throughout the years?! I mean, I’m not gonna be rude, because I’m a decent human being, but I’m also not going to censor my words like it’s the 1930’s. Because time has moved on, guys.

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Meh, I’m not gonna lose any sleep over getting banned, but if you’re wondering where my posts have gone from that group – now you know why!

I am also very interested to hear your views on the whole sponsored-fabric situation – so talk to me in the comments (and total honesty is, of course, encouraged) 💜

Wanderstitch Studio

We’ve run our Etsy store for two and a half years now and learned a heck of a lot. It’s been way more of a journey than we ever expected. We’ve done a few weekend markets this year in the run-up to Christmas (some successful, some not) and have done a lot of thinking about where we want to go with it in the future.

I’m happy that by sort-of pure accident, I’ve discovered what it is I want the brand to become. I’ve found my vibe. I just need to bring it to life. I have a gazillion ideas floating around my head of how I do that, but they all require time – which I’ve hopefully just clawed back a bit more of with my new job as I get to use the time I would have spent commuting on sewing instead. Yay!

Hair dramas

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I had a little wobble a while back and considered cutting my hair – like proper short. I was fed up with it getting stuck under my armpit, or waking up in the morning with the plait I’d tied it in (so it didn’t turn into a birds nest while I slept) wrapped around my throat. Cutting it short seemed to be the perfect solution to these problems, but I sat and thought about it for a bit because it’s literally taken me YEARS to get my hair to this length. Then I started to see the error of my ways – it would mean much more frequent haircuts from an actual hairdresser (currently, the husbeast goes around the ends with our scissors about twice a year) much more frequent dyeing (because it’s gonna grow out super-quick), and if I hated it short, there was no quick fix to get it back to how it is now. There’s not even a slow fix – I’d literally be growing it till I was forty. So I decided not to cut it short. Then, a couple of weeks back, I thought about growing out my fringe. I’ve only had a fringe for about five years (ish), and sometimes I wonder about growing it out again… but then I don’t want to be too forehead-y 😂 (which is how I felt when I didn’t have a fringe, and that’s why I cut the fringe in the first place). But instead of growing it out, I’ve settled on just having it a bit longer, and not so blunt. I liked my fringe when it was super short and blunt, but the husbeast didn’t and used to slap my forehead when he got the chance 😑 So I’ll be keeping the fringe.

The calm before the storm

After the hair dramas came and went, I started thinking about getting my septum pierced – it’s something that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a verrrry long time, and I kept seeing really pretty jewellery that made me want to have it done. Like this ring:

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IT’S SO PRETTY 😍

But the thing that was putting me off was the actual piercing. Yes, I have my nose pierced, but back in the day when I got that done as a teenager, all piercings were done with a gun. It was super fast and there were no needles involved. Nowadays, pretty much everything is done with a needle, and the thought of having a needle shoved through my nose is enough to make me vomit and pass out. The husbeast has had piercings with a needle (some of which I think I passed out at 😂) but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m a wuss.

But then that pretty jewellery kept hounding me. And for whatever reason, I got a little braver.

And a little braver.

And then started scouting out places that did septum piercings, and reading the reviews to see if they were nice people that would be patient with a nervous wreck like me.

And then it was the weekend, and all of a sudden we were on a train to Shoreditch, and then I was sitting in a chair getting all nervous-sweaty and trying to remember to breathe and then there was a guy marking my nose and the husbeast holding my hand and watching for signs I might pass out and then it felt like someone had shoved a needle through my nose and it was done.

At thirty-five years old, I’d got my first (needle) piercing, and survived, and got a lollipop for my bravery 😂

This is the worst picture (taken in the tube station after I’d just had to walk there from the piercing studio in the rain), but GUYS I GOT MY SEPTUM RING 🤘🏻 (Yes, it’s a bit of an ugly ring but this is what they have to pierce it with initially. In six to eight weeks I can remove it and put the pretty one in yaaaaaay ☺️)

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I feel like now I’ve survived that, I can take on the world 💪🏻

In case anyone’s interested, I got it done at Prick (loooolz yes really that’s their name) in east London and can totally recommend 👌🏻

What else?

This year was the first year I participated in Make Nine, and it was kinda useful. It highlighted to me the things that I wear on the regular for work (jeans, t-shirts and jumpers) and the things that just sit in my wardrobe (dresses, shirts that are made of crease-y fabrics), which should help direct my future makes towards things I will actually wear.

Best films I watched this year: Green Book, The Dead Don’t Die, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Joker

Worst films I sat through: Ad Astra, Aladdin (don’t mess with my childhood movies plz Disney)

Best book I read this year: A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara (I finally finished it after three failed attempts because life got in the way)

Sneak Peek at 2020

I’ll leave you with a little sneak peek of a handful of things that will be hitting the blog in early 2020 👀 Which one are you most excited to see?!

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How was your 2019? Did you conquer any sewing challenges? What was your favourite make?

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break, and may however you choose to spend it bring you joy 💜

Happy Sunday ✌🏻

 

Next week on the blog – it’s my final post of the year 👀 I’ll be evaluating my 2019 Make Nine, and announcing my the patterns I’ve chosen for my 2020 nine! Subscribe below to have the post drop straight into your inbox! 🙌🏻

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28 Comments

  1. December 22, 2019 / 9:24 am

    I’m looking forward to the jumper, selfishly because I think I might be able to hack the pattern to a Harry Potter flash! (For the grandson obv) very pleased that house coat has made it into your vocabulary!
    Merry Christmas x

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 6:38 pm

      OMG YES that would look fab as a Harry Potter flash! And you could do it in the colours of their house too! That’s a brilliant idea 🤩 And yes, ‘housecoat’ is well and truly in use now 😂 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! 💕

  2. December 22, 2019 / 10:24 am

    Love reading all your posts, sorry you got banned (all the eye rolls), I’m subscribed so I don’t care 🙂 Hope you have a fab Christmas and can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year!

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 6:39 pm

      Ahh thank you Debra! 💕 Haha I just don’t understand the banning 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 Oh well. I hope you had a lovely holiday break and continue to enjoy the blog next year! 💜

  3. Tania
    December 22, 2019 / 11:56 am

    Pink leopard jeans!?!?! OMFG, now that is a blog post I can’t wait to read. I’d wear them with the Volt sweater for double fabulousness (yes, that’s a real word).😆
    Keep on doing you – reading this blog is the highlight of my Sunday morning 💜

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 6:41 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comments Tania 💕😘 so glad that you enjoy the blog each week! Great minds think alike – I do indeed wear the leopard jeans with the Volt sweater 😁 And I’m *totally* on board with fabulousness being a real word 💪🏻 I hope you had a lovely Christmas and new year 💜

  4. December 22, 2019 / 1:36 pm

    Love your style and your blogs. I keep putting of starting my projects as I always get cold feet before cutting. I hope to get over that hurdle next year. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your projects next year

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 6:44 pm

      Thank you Julia! 💜 I’m so glad that you enjoy the blog! 💕 That’s an interesting one – what is it that puts you off cutting your projects?

  5. Bren Holmes
    December 22, 2019 / 2:06 pm

    A great round-up and I’m most looking forward to seeing those pink, leopard print jeans – wow!
    I am totally with you on the honesty policy and mentioning where fabric was obtained. If they banned you from the group, it’s their loss. I belonged to that group, but left as I found it a bit dictatorial and not terribly interesting. I still belong to the Sewing in the UK Norfolk, sister group.
    I agree with your hubby on the fringe length; I like a bit longer and softer looking. At the end of the day, it’s your fringe and your choice. I’m currently growing my hair after a very short cut and am totally fed up with the process. It looks such a mess until it gets to a certain stage and that takes months and months.
    You were very brave, but I’m not a fan of nose rings, sorry, not even on bulls. I’m showing my age here, I guess.
    Congratulations on your new job, I hope you’ll be very happy in your role.
    Merry Christmas to you both.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 6:51 pm

      Thank you Bren – happy new year to you! 💜
      I wouldn’t think to be anything other than honest when stores have provided me with fabric – I mean, I guess I could have lied on my facebook post rather than marking it as sponsored, but then that’s just dishonest. So, if they want to ban for doing the right thing then there’s nothing on my conscience 🤷🏻‍♀️
      You’ll be pleased to know that the fringe is now at eyebrow length and will probably remain there 🙂 And the hair is in no danger of being cut – we redyed it over the Christmas break and now it looks all pretty again! I just can’t risk cutting it short and then regretting it – it would take way too long to get back to how it is now and that’s longer than I’m willing to wait! And like you say, there’s always that ‘awkward in between’ stage where it looks a bit weird 👀 How long was your hair before you cut it?
      Haha I did worry that the ring my nose was pierced with makes me look like a bull… but that’s what they have to use as the fancier/prettier rings attract dirt and are harder to keep clean, so ideal when you’re trying to initially heal it. On Feb 1st I can take out this ugly ring and get the pretty one in 🤩 I’m literally counting down the days!
      I hope you had a wonderful Christmas 💜

  6. Zak
    December 22, 2019 / 3:07 pm

    I came for the funky sewing. I stayed for the forehead-slapping anecdotes. 😂

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 6:53 pm

      Loooool 😂 Don’t worry it’s okay, I’ll just let the dog lick the inside of his ear while he’s asleep as payback 🤔😜

  7. PoundCake
    December 22, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    OMG what’s NOT to look forward to? It’s gotta be the coats at the top of my list though. Also, I cut my hair ‘short’ a few years ago (a bob, as opposed to the past-the-elbow length I had for the first 30 years of my life) and even though I technically love it I still feel like this about once a week: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b4/b1/b1/b4b1b16f13008ea03278c091c4fc2308.jpg

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 6:54 pm

      Ahhhh SEE – now that’s what I’m afraid of 😨😨😨 I just can’t risk cutting the hair and regretting it because it will take SO long to correct if I don’t like it. Usually I’m not that risk averse but for some reason I am with my hair! I bet the bob is SO quick to wash/brush/blowdry though 😍

  8. Gill
    December 22, 2019 / 5:56 pm

    My vote goes to the pink leopardskin jeans too.
    Wow, fancy being banned from a sewing website – you total rebel! I always say where I bought my fabric (if I remember!) in case anyone is interested, and I’m not sure how honest I’d be if it was given to me – but thats because I’m a wimp and never want to offend anyone – but your approach is far preferable and more helpful. I guess if I buy fabric which turns out to be shite I just don’t post it!

    You’ve mentioned before that you do markets but you don’t tend to say where – is this intentional? Or maybe I’ve just missed it.
    Anyway, I love the things you make and your fabric choices and also the way that you write about them, so I’m looking forward to more in 2020.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 7:02 pm

      Thanks Gill 💕 I’m so glad that you enjoy the blog! (And hope that you continue to enjoy the blog in 2020!💜)
      See that’s the thing, I believe that honesty is the best policy, so I can’t quite get my head round the fact that if I’d just ‘casually not mentioned’ that the fabric was given to me, they’d have been okay with my post 🤷🏻‍♀️ But annnnyway. I would always rather that anyone was totally honest with me rather than sugar-coating anything, and I guess I just automatically assume that everyone else wants the same treatment and if their fabric was rubbish they’d want to know 🤔😂
      Nope not intentional about the market locations – though they’re in small places local to us in SE London so I just assume that nobody knows where they are unless they happen to live in the area 😂 We’ve done markets in and around Plumstead and Eltham, and occasionally at our workplaces in central London. I’ve got my eye on Greenwich market – it’s a massive makers market which gets a lot of footfall – but the stalls are quite pricey. I guess you only know whether it’s worth it if you try though, right? 🤷🏻‍♀️
      I hope you had a lovely Christmas and new year! 💜

  9. Sarah
    December 22, 2019 / 6:37 pm

    I don’t mind posts using sponsored fabric, since it means more posts for me to read! I think it would be expensive to create as many things as I would like to read about. Also I think it helps choose more experimental fabrics and prints! (although I don’t think you have that issue). I also really appreciate the fabric reviews (especially for brands I might be able to purchase on this side of the pond) as that’s the most difficult part about finding the right fabric- jersey that is the proper weight for a dress, or warnings that this fabric shrinks or pills or gets white washing lines… so helpful!
    Honestly if a place has a good (or bad) quality fabric I want to know about it- especially for the more $$$ things like wool coatings.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 7:11 pm

      Thanks for your comment Sarah 💜 These are my thoughts exactly! I sometimes choose things that I wouldn’t be able to buy myself, just to see what they’re like. For example, I’m currently making a fur coat from fabric that retails at £90 per metre – would I have spent that myself, no, because my budget doesn’t allow it, so I chose it because I want to see if it’s any different to the fabric I used for the husbeast’s fur coat that was about £25 per metre 👀
      Oh and I’ve totally been there with jersey bought for a dress that you discover is see through when it arrives 😑 Very annoying!!
      I’ll always say when fabric has been given to me, and I’ll always be honest about how well it’s worked for the garment I’ve made for it – but then I’m known for being perhaps a bit too brutally honest (the husbeast will confirm this 😂)…

  10. December 22, 2019 / 10:27 pm

    Happy end-of-year and holidays and all that! I have also done the “look back at my makes for the year and see what worked and what didn’t, and figure out WHY,” and I reached a key realization. Several years ago, I told myself that even though I do look good in fitted dresses and tops, I don’t have to wear them just because they suit my figure. This year’s realization was that it doesn’t matter if I like the loose woven styles that are currently everywhere, if they look like a potato sack, I WILL NOT WEAR THEM. Once I realized that, I went looking on the Big 4 websites to check for patterns that are semi-fitted tops or fit-and-flare dresses…and found next to nothing. All of the fitted patterns are for knits and are bodycon style, and all of the woven patterns are “roomy” and at least somewhat oversized, if not a true boxy top. It’s like nobody wants to sew darts or princess seams now. But that’s what I like to wear because it looks good on me AND is easy to fit and fun to make, so that’s what I’ll make, dammit!

    Your observation about “not being a skirt person” resonated with me because that’s a lot like me realizing I don’t like wearing shorts or skirts that are above ankle-length (after making about a dozen of them). I just don’t feel comfortable showing skin on my legs. So if I can’t make a skirt or dress ankle-length without compromising the design, it’s off the table. As for pants, I have the Dawn pattern literally sitting on my cutting table right this minute, so I have appreciated seeing your makes from that pattern for inspiration and vicarious learning. =)

    As far as the sewing Facebook group ban is concerned, fuck ’em. I frequently curse in front of my own grandma, and she curses around me (I’m such a bad influence), as well as cursing around my parents. As an English teacher, I despise people imposing arbitrary rules on language with regards to things being offensive by default, and then expecting everyone around them to follow along. I have yet to hear someone explain to me why “shit” is not ok, but “poop” is acceptable. I honestly HATE the word poop, but I’m not going to go around telling everyone to respect MY preferences and not say it around me. And with regards to where you get your fabric – as you point out, everyone is saying where they got their fabric from anyway, regardless of whether it was paid for or not. It’s all advertising via word-of-mouth, it’s just those who do it without receiving compensation are….doing it without receiving compensation. As you said – if the stuff is crap, you’ll say so. Sycophantic advertising is a no-go, but talking about projects made with “gifted” fabric should be perfectly acceptable.

    Last thing – I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 26, and even then, it was something of a dare from my best friend. I haven’t worn earrings for years so they’ve closed back up, but I plan to get them re-pierced via the needle method because the gun caused my piercings to get an “impaction infection” (my skin reacts to just about everything). But I dunno how you can get so many tattoos AND be a seamstress and be scared of a needle! 😉 That ring is going to look smashing once you can finally wear it.

    Julia

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 7:37 pm

      Happy holllliddddayys! Hope you had a good one! 💜
      I do feel a bit as if though nobody can be bothered to ‘fit’ anything anymore. I’m with you on the potato sacks, too. I absolutely LOVE the bohemian, flowy look of the Wilder Gown, but there ain’t a chance in hell that it’s gonna look any good on me so I’m not going anywhere near it. I’m slowly but surely learning to draw the line between things I like on other people, and things that I like which will also suit my style and body shape.
      It’s like you’re me, with the skirt thing. I can’t explain it – I’ve got nothing against my legs especially, like as far as legs go they’re okay, y’know, but skirts just look so weirrrrd on me. I don’t like it. But it’s helped my sewing – because skirts are easy, trousers not so much! I can’t wait for you to start your Dawns – I literally love mine. They are my dream pair of jeans and I want to make them in every colour and pattern 😍 I think I need to make a little adjustment to the front crotch curve (I seemed to have a little extra fabric going on across the front) and a bit more room in the front thigh, and we should be golden 👌🏻
      I’m not gonna lose any sleep over the Facebook group – I still don’t really fully understand their rules, but there you go. If ever anyone says to me that my review of the fabric *has* to be positive, then I’ll be declining the fabric and telling all my lovely readers the name of the brand and their underhand tactics for getting good reviews! 😒
      I really dunno what the needle thing is… I’ve always been terrified of injections and blood tests, but when I accidentally put pins or a needle into/through my finger it doesn’t bother me at all 😂 tattoos is a different kind of needle… more of a pinprick than a piercing 🤔 I am like 99.99% sure if I’d have looked at my piercing needle, I’d have passed out and ended up on the floor 😨 Feb 1st I can change the ring… and I’ve since bought about five more equally-as-fancy rings in the January sales so that I can have a choice when the time comes 💁🏻‍♀️
      Just as an aside – I’ve tried to subscribe to your blog but I can’t find a way to do it on the site?
      Happy new year! 💜

  11. Romy
    December 22, 2019 / 10:28 pm

    I can’t believe another year has gone by since I read your 2018 round up post! I also want to make the Dawns so your post is really useful and hopefully I’ll get round to it next year.
    I think kicking you out of the group was stupid. Your posts are so informative and thorough, and surely the whole point of a sewing group is to talk about the process, the materials, the finished garments… not how much it cost you. I don’t really care if you had to pay for the fabric or not as long as I can learn something from your post and that you’d not just taking the free stuff for the sake of it. Anyway, their loss!

    Happy Christmas and I look forward to reading more in the new year 😊

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 7:44 pm

      The year has gone SO quickly hasn’t it!! 😱
      Yay I’m so glad to hear that you’re going to make the Dawns! Use the Gutermann Extra Strong for your topstitching, not the Gutermann Topstitching Thread (if Gutermann is indeed your brand of choice). I’ve heard that the Mara 70 is *even better* than the Extra Strong but I’ve not been able to get my hands on any of that yet to try it! I’ve just cut a pair out of chunky corduroy to make, I was hoping to start them over the Christmas break but as yet they remain untouched 😂
      Well, that’s what I thought about the Facebook group too, but apparently that doesn’t seem to be the case 🤷🏻‍♀️ I always say if a store gave me the fabric for free, for full disclosure, but they’re gonna get an honest review. If their fabric isn’t great, I’ll be saying that. If the Facebook group would rather I lied about receiving the fabric for free, then I don’t think I want to be a part of it anyway!
      Anyway 🤷🏻‍♀️ I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and happy new year! 💜

  12. December 23, 2019 / 9:01 am

    Personally I have no problem with people accepting fabric etc from brands so long as they are open about the fact they were given it. As you said, I would always say where I bought fabric from anyway, so there is very little difference so long as people are willing to be honest in their opinions on it!
    Looking forward to the blog in the new year.

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 7:48 pm

      Thanks Naomi! 💜 So glad to hear that you enjoy the blog 💕
      Yeah, I don’t really understand their rules, so 🤷🏻‍♀️ It’s their loss 😂 I’ll always say where the fabric came from, and whether I bought it or was given it – and for sure it’s gonna get a brutally honest review 💪🏻
      I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and new year!

  13. December 24, 2019 / 4:36 pm

    I like your round up, and well done on your piercing! My sister has millions of ear piercings and did them all herself 😱

    Re: the FB group banning, it’s been almost a decade since I last blogged but Facebook’s rules and the Advertising Standards Agency rules used to be really explicit about sponsored posts so I assume that’s why the group were so strict? FB used to penalise pages that didn’t follow their rules, and the ASA fined a few bloggers (to make examples out of them I guess). Still, loads of people probably don’t follow the rules ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Merry Christmas 😊

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 1, 2020 / 7:51 pm

      Merry Christmas! Hope you had a fabulous new year 💜
      Seeee but this is the thing – I *DID* abide by the rules! It was marked as a sponsored post, with all the #ad #sponsored and whatever else hashtags we have to use. I marked my post as sponsored/advertising, and that’s why they banned me 😂 So I was literally booted out for following the rules 🤷🏻‍♀️ Ah well. I’m over it now, it’s their loss 😆
      Ooooh I don’t think I could do a piercing myself (actually, I’m pretty certain of that) – just the thought of it makes me want to pass out 😨😂😂😂

  14. January 3, 2020 / 12:57 am

    I will concede that a needle is not a needle, is not a needle – I hate getting shots, too. I almost cried when I was going through Navy officer training because the guy next to me in the vaccine line figured out that I hate injections and proceeded to describe the needle they were using in terms that made it sound like an elephant tranquilizer. But hey, if you’d passed out, they could’ve done the piercing without you feeling a thing! 😉

    I’m not sure what’s up with the subscribe thingy on my blog; when I’m signed into my wordpress account, it gives the “follow” option button on the bottom right of the page, but I use Feedly to keep all of my blog feeds in one place so it could be that I’m just not seeing everything from the reader view (rather than the page author view). I emailed you a follow invite, though, so hopefully that will work. And I plan to post more of my projects in 2020…we’ll see how well I stick with that plan =D

    • Sarah
      Author
      January 6, 2020 / 12:59 pm

      Ah, that’s mean! Injections are the WORST. I passed out during a (small) tattoo when I was younger, and I was so disappointed they waited till I came round to carry on with it 😂
      Thanks for the subscribe link – all signed up! Not sure why I couldn’t see it on the actual page 🤔 I look forward to your posts… no pressure! 😁

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