So, it’s that time again to take a look back at what I’ve made during the first quarter of the year, and see how it’s faring 👀
Except, this one’s a bit of an odd one, because there’s not been a lot of variation in my wardrobe – what with the world being in lockdown and not being allowed to leave the house and all that 🤷🏻♀️ I’ll be honest, I’ve worn nothing but sweatpants for a couple of weeks now… which seems to be the common theme among the conference calls that I’ve been on each day, that is if people are even daring to show their faces. I’ve had some people say that their camera is off because they have a face mask on, or have a cold and look rough, or they have a high-maintenance haircut which hasn’t been maintained because all the hairdressers are closed… 🧐 My hair is turning some interesting shades of ‘faded’ with every wash though 😂
I’ve felt a bit miserable recently too, with this bloody head cold – I even risked my life to walk through the wasteland that is the streets to the Co-op to get some Sudafed, which I’ve been chugging every four hours religiously. Hot baths and mugs of green tea have also been taken in copious amounts and seem to have done precisely naff all, and in true British-weather-style, we had a weekend of blazing hot sunshine one day and snow the next. No wonder I’ve got a cold 😑
I’ve also noticed that the outside world now feels like the apocalypse. Our next-door-but-one neighbour has a garden swing that’s creaking as it blows in the wind. We got a Silent Hill vibe goin’ on here, I tell ya.
Continuing on the end-of-the-world movie theme, we’ve been out for a couple of cycle rides into the city and it’s so empty it’s that close to being 28-days-later-London. However, it’s nice to have space on the roads and not have to weave your way through rush hour traffic 🚗🚙🚴🏻♀️🚕
We’re using our ‘daily exercise quota’ to take the doggos for their walk, but I have an overwhelming urge to go for a run. To be free. I haven’t run in a very long time, and my knees will be pretty quick to remind me of why I stopped running, I’m sure, if I was so foolish as to try it. I need to do something though to keep up the exercise, as I’ve already scoffed an Easter Egg (purchased from the co-op on my ‘essential shopping trip’ when I bought the Sudafed) and there’s a Lindt bunny in the cupboard just waiting to be demolished. Once this cold has done one, I might think more seriously about an exercise regime.
Quarantine craft projects are going fairly well so far – although there’s not much actual sewing happening. I’m spending way more time on my knitting. My Sorrel sweater is in full swing (though it’s defo gonna be too warm to wear it by the time I finish it), I’m on the heel of the first sock of the very first pair of socks for the husbeast, and extra yarn has arrived for my first stranded colourwork hat (I didn’t check the yardage, assumed one skein of each colour would be enough, and it wasn’t. Thankfully I got my order in about oooooh one day before the shop announced it was closing for two weeks).
Sewing wise, I’ve finished off my adult blanket (seriously, it’s freakin’ awesome, and I can now stop wearing my dressing gown around the house 😂) and I’m midway through my second Kielo/Trudi turtleneck mashup. I really want to get the second-round bomber jackets cut out for me and the husbeast (separate patterns – his needs a few adjustments and mine needs a bigger size) as they are going to be amaaaaaazzzzzzing when they’re completed! But, those are more of a commitment than I’m ready for just yet. I want to be back at full energy before I start those. I have now gathered most of the supplies required though, including buying some wadding to quilt my own satin lining… madness? Perhaps. We’ll see 😂
Of course, I also have that epic quilt kit that I bought in NYC last month, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy, when the motivation appears.
So, what hit the blog over the last few months? A variety of things actually, and they’ve been pretty successful on the whole – let’s take a little looksie 👀
Cushion covers, and *that* Ironing board cover[blog post]
YES! These bad boys are things I’d wish I’d have done a lonnnnnng time ago. They made *such* a difference, and were quick easy makes. My ironing board looks WAY cooler now, fo sho, and I’m no longer ashamed to take pictures of my in-progress makes on my ironing board 👀
Miraculously, the dog has managed not to put her claw through my pretty cushion covers and they are still going strong – she was the source of the destruction of the last set of covers so I’m super happs that she hasn’t yet destroyed these ones 😂
Black fur coat[blog post]
I’ll be honest, I have a LOT of coats. And given that I only wear them at weekends – because during the week I cycle to work and obvs I don’t wear a coat for that – the amount of wears each of them is likely to get each winter is pretty low. So, although this coat hasn’t been worn much over the past few months, there’s actually no reason for that other than I just didn’t get round to it. The coat itself fits well, it’s comfy, and the fur fabric is super nice and soft. It was made from a vintage pattern, which I would use again, except I probably don’t need ANOTHER coat 😂
High voltage sweater[blog post]
This was the first project that I picked up after a massive knitting hiatus. It’s the first sweater that I’ve knitted in a very long time, and it sparked a few after it, too. It does get worn, but more around the house than for everyday wear because it’s quite heavy and bulky to take with me in my cycle backpack to work (not that that’s a problem right now, though 😂). Also, it reminded me to not knit things with a big wide collar, because I hate that you can see the neckline of the t-shirt that I’m wearing poking out at the sides of the neck. But it’s okay, sometimes you have to learn these things the hard way in order to really have them stick – the same way I had to make that awful v-neck dress a couple of years back to remind me to NOT MAKE THINGS WITH A V NECK.
I like that the shoulder seams are finished with a three-needle bind-off – I’ve never done shoulders this way before, and not only does the seam look super neat from the front (and indeed the back, too), but it doesn’t give a bulky finish on the inside. If there’s one thing I HATE it’s a chunky old shoulder seam pressing down on your collarbone. Eugh. From now on I vow to only knit things in as few pieces as possible – seams are SO last year 😂
Toadstool shirt[blog post]
I like the fabric ✅
I like the buttons ✅
It fits okay ✅
Butttt… I just don’t wear it that often. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe because it requires ironing, and it’s a funny shaped shirt that can’t really be ironed flat. I don’t know… perhaps I’m just lazy 😂 For a while, I thought this might have been my go-to shirt pattern – the one – but then I found the Itch To Stitch Montana shirt. And that blew this one out of the park. It hasn’t hit the blog yet (because, y’know, we’re not allowed outside anymore to take pictures) but I promise that when it does, I’ll have a LOT to say about it!
But this one – I dunno. It goes really well with my purple jeans, and it has pretty cool sparkly buttons on it, but it’s just not getting the wears. Maybe I’ll venture upstairs and see how creased it is, and treat it to a little ironing sesh next time I’m doing some sewing. That way, when I do actually venture into the outside world to go to the office again, it’ll be ready to go.
Quadra jeans[blog post]
My first pair of men’s jeans, and they came out really well 🙌🏻 The husbeast lost a few pounds in the weeks after I finished these though, so they ended up being a little big – these are the size 30, I think next time I’ll make the 28. I do have some burnt orange cord stashed that we’ve earmarked for a second pair (that I picked up from the Great British Sewing Bee Live show allllll those years ago), and I’ll likely be on the lookout for more interesting denim -plain denim is just SO boring!.
But yes, a success, and another great pattern from Thread Theory 👌🏻
Leopard Bomber Jacket[blog post]
I really can see a lot of these jackets in my life – they’re easy to wear, not so formal-looking as a full-on wool coat, and they fit over sweaters too. I’m really excited to make the second version, but I gotta rein myself in before I end up with too many of these 😂 The separating zipper and the cuff fabric were new experiences for me – yay for developing sewing skills and broadening experience 💪🏻
I’ll be sizing up for the next one, because this one was a smidge on the small side – somewhat compensated for (thankfully) by the knit scuba fabric and stretch lining that I made it with, though.
Dog Mat[blog post]
Yes yes YES! 🙌🏻
This one is still in everyday use, and (amazingly) hasn’t yet been stained to oblivion with flyaway food and dribble. It’s a winner. I really enjoyed making it, but I just don’t think I have use for more than one of them sadly. I could perhaps make a mini one for the cat’s bowl in the kitchen, because he does love to chuck food around 👀
These are super warm, super comfy, and get worn a LOT. The yarn is absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve even bought more of the orange colour to knit a sweater for myself. Yay! The husbeast is a bit sensitive to itchy yarns, and I’m happy to confirm that this is absolutely not itchy at all. And the stitch definition is 👌🏻🤤
Knitted hats is another thing I’m in danger of having too many of, though… 🤔
Vintage Vogue x Dior Coat[blog post]
I mean, this was always meant to be a trial run of this pattern, so I’m not too cut up that it’s not *quite* a roaring success. It definitely fulfilled its purpose as a test-the-waters attempt, so in a sense, maybe it was a success 🤷🏻♀️ There are things about this coat that I am totally in love with – those buttons, the bound buttonholes, and the style of the coat – but there are also things that are mehhhh: the fabric is a little scratchy, it’s also not as sturdy/thick as I hoped it would be, and the front hem/facing area is a little puckered and could do with improvement (likely to do with the way I’ve fastened the facing down, I’m sure).
I really had my heart set on using up some cashmere for the second run, but I’m not entirely convinced that I have enough of it – what I really *should* do is dig out the cashmere from its storage depths, lay it out flat and pin all the pieces to it… but somehow that seems like more effort than I have right now 😂 I’ll get there, though.
The Salt shawl[blog post]
I’m pretty happy with the shawl, but the husbeast moans that it’s not symmetrical. He’s very particular about these things, y’know. But, it’s a pretty shawl none the less, if ever so slightly itchy. And I enjoyed knitting it. I’m calling it a success even if the husbeast doesn’t agree (and even if it’s destined to become a blanket for the dog 😂)
And that’s your lot, lovely people!
All in all, it’s been a pretty successful three months if I’m honest. I’ve done these reviews before where about 80% of the things I’ve made haven’t been right for whatever reason, so to have that many successes is definitely an improvement 🙌🏻 Perhaps it’s because I’m sewing to fill needs, rather than wants? I’m not sure. I sat down this afternoon and pulled out a couple of the ‘summer’ fabrics in the stash, and some of the patterns I already have that could be good options, in the hope of getting something going. I realised, very quickly, that I have very few pattern options. I’ve (almost) totally written off skirts, and there are maybe only one or two dresses that I think *might* suit me. I have a gorgeous piece of tie-dye rayon which I want to make something summery with, but not quite sure what yet – my first thought would be a dress, but that’s dangerous territory with such a precious piece of fabric. Then I thought, it would be PERFECT for a loose fit pair of trousers – but I don’t quite think I have enough for that. I’ll set that fabric aside for a bit until I get a more solid plan. I did however cut out my pieces for the La Brea Tee by Half Moon Atelier – and a woven piece of cotton is currently drying from its pre-wash to be the first go at the pattern. I’m hoping there’s enough leftover from the fabric to also squeeze a Gemma Tank (from Made by Rae), which could be given Wardrobe Staple status if it turns out well.
Are you guys full steam ahead with your sewing, or are you also struggling to find your mojo in these mad times?
Stay safe guys, and keep well 💜
Peace out ✌🏻
On the blog next week – remember that pink leopard print fur that I bought in NYC a while back? Well, it’s now a coat 😱 And it’s Pretty Damn Awesome. Subscribe below to have the post drop straight into your inbox 🙌🏻