Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Sewing is my happy place

January is a pretty tough month for most of us for one reason or another, and my heart goes out to friends who are currently having the toughest of times. For me, this year so far has been a fog of illness. Well, actually, since October last year I've been suffering with pain. Mind numbing, exhausting, debilitating pain. I've been under the care of a consultant gynaecologist investigating possible endometriosis, but as yet a diagnosis is proving elusive. I have been fobbed off, patronised, ignored and made to feel like I'm wasting doctors' time. I am currently recovering from diagnostic keyhole surgery that caused so much bruising I still can't wear my normal clothes 11 days later. I can't work and am struggling not to worry all the time.

But sewing is keeping me sane. Sewing, and a wonderful family looking out for me. Sewing is keeping me calm and giving me something to focus on. It is keeping me occupied. It gives me something to absorb myself in and helps me switch off the mental chatter. It gives me something productive to do, and a small sense of achievement with each project completed. I can share my makes with people out there in the sewing community who care as much about sewing as I do. It has been a lifesaver.

I haven't felt up to sewing every day. Some days all I can do is plan projects, but even that is wonderful haberdashery escapism. And I'm thinking more about design. The joy of designing patterns and making them come to life is something I get more excited by every day. Even the geeky maths bits.

So, sewing is most definitely my happy place. It's a place I want to spend as much time in as I can just now. I'm hopeful there's a light at the end of the tunnel, my health will improve and I'll be back to myself again before too long. But in the meantime I will just keep sewing, and breathing, and sewing...

January makes

Liberty Kindle case

Sew Over It cowl neck top
Tilly and the Buttons cropped Margot PJs in Liberty tana lawn

Taken from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Breton stripe coco top

My new make for the Minverva Crafts blogger network is live today - Breton Stripe Coco Top. A nice easy make for January :-)

Happy sewing,
Alice x


After a rather hectic sewing marathon in the run-up to Christmas, I’ve taken a little breather and am thinking about the year ahead. I’m taking part in the Instagram #2017MakeNine challenge, started by Rochelle New of Lucky Lucille. Some of these patterns I know I’ll make, some are rather more aspirational. There are a couple of old favourites; I’d like to try my hand at trousers and shirts this year; continue my current obsession with Sew Over It patterns; sew for a new niece or nephew due in July, and maybe, just maybe give a coat a go before the year is out. So, in no particular order…

Sew Over It ultimate trousers

I won two PDF Sew Over It patterns in a competition before Christmas, and the ultimate trousers were one of those. I'm not 100% sure this photo is of the right pattern now, but either way, I am going to give trousers a go this year. I never seem to be able to find trousers that fit me properly, so seems as good a reason as any to learn to make my own.

Sew Over It vintage shirt dress

This is a pattern I was given in printed format for Christmas. It would make a lovely spring dress. Just need to hunt for the perfect fabric (and quite a lot of it for this one!).

Tilly and the Buttons Margot pyjamas

This pattern is in Tilly's book Love at First Stitch. I've made them many times before and now most of my PJs are handmade. I have some lovely Liberty tana lawn waiting to become a cropped pair. Also daydreaming of a drawer of handmade Liberty PJs...

Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt

I've had this pattern, the fabric and the buttons for a while now, but haven't quite got round to making it. I think there will be a few shirts attempted this year. I love the shape of this one. Just need to go for it I think.

McCall’s M7478 Misses'/Miss Petite Fit and Flare, Shawl Collar Coat

This is certainly the most aspirational make, and possibly a bit too ambitious. I've been on the lookout for a new coat for a while now, and just can't find the one I have in my head. This may well be it, in navy with a beautiful floral lining. It's quite a commitment, so we'll see. Perhaps I'll look at it again in late summer.

Sewaholic Granville shirt

I'm going to be taking a short course with Kitchen Table Sewing starting at the end of Jan to make this, so I can be pretty confident I will actually make this one! I picked up some lovely fabric in the Liberty sale and am now on the hunt for the perfect buttons.

Sew Over It ultimate pencil skirt

This my next Minerva Crafts blogger network make, so it's on the cards to make in the next couple of weeks. I've got my navy suiting fabric all ready to go. Just hope my bum doesn't look too big in it!

Tilly and the Buttons Coco top

An old favourite and my current Minerva blogger network make, out tomorrow. So that's one in the bag for 2017 already ;-)

 Oliver + S lullaby layette

And finally, a very exciting make for my new niece or nephew due in July. I need to track down the perfect unisex softest fabric to make this lovely set. All wrapped up in tissue paper.

Okay, so I've written them all down. Hopefully that makes it more likely I'll get to them all this year (still not sure about the coat though). Expect an end of the year reflection piece on how I got on.

Happy sewing,
Alice x