Jersey sewing

I told you about the Make Me A Wardrobe challenge in this post. I didn’t join in the challenge until very late in January but I did manage to get an item made. I signed up to a t shirt making day at The Midnight Atelier in Bristol. I have made t shirts before but the neck never sits right so I thought if I signed up to a course I could finally learn how to sew the neckline properly. 

I took my own fabric along on the day, some plain white jersey that I had left over from all the snowflake dresses I made last year. I hit a lot of traffic driving into Bristol and by the time I got to the Atelier I was very stressed. Although I tend to act confident especially in my job, where I can stand up and talk in front of a packed church or school assembly hall, I actually have very low confidence levels. New people and places put me out of my comfort zone. Add that to the Bristol traffic and the fact I was the last one to arrive at the course, I was very tempted to turn around and go home! 

Thankfully Laura is lovely and helped me calm down a bit. I didn’t feel rushed to start even though everyone else had pretty much chosen their pattern by the time I had arrived! I eventually chose mine and set about tracing and cutting it out. It has been a while since I have been on a sewing course and it was great talking to other people about their latest and past projects. I love hearing what other people are making. 

After cutting out and then sewing the shoulder seams together, Laura suggested making a sample of the neckline to practice on before attempting it on the real thing. She showed me how to pin and then sew the neckline and it was surprisingly easy!! I was rewarded with a cup of tea and a biscuit 😀 then got on with setting in the sleeves before sewing up the sides.



I should have taken more photos really but I didn’t really think. It was so nice to just be able to sew without the kids needing me or having to move things out of their way. Just pure uninterrupted selfish sewing. Bliss!!

The t shirt came together very quickly and although I was a bit gutted to start with that I only had plain white jersey while every one else had a lovely patterned Jersey fabric, it actually turned out pretty nice. I have worn it since and it feels so comfortable on. I already have fabric lined up for the next one.

So here it is – the finished article, hot off the sewing machine as Laura has a huge mirror on one wall of her studio!



Yes there she is pointing at my bottom!! Lol!! She’s not actually pointing at my bottom. If you look at the bottom of my make, I didn’t hem it. Jersey naturally curls at a raw edge and I left it unhemmed purposely to create that effect. 

There you are, two months late, my mmaw2015 January make. :/

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Make Me A Wardrobe 2015

Jen over at Make Do And Mend Year set herself the challenge to make one piece of clothing a month, meaning she would expand her wardrobe by 12 handmade items in a year. Although I thought it was a great idea I didn’t actually get on board with it until the end of January. I didn’t think I would have time to commit to this along with all the other things I want to get done this year. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. If I handmade items that I would definitely wear then it would be a big boost to my wardrobe that has been bursting at the seams with “nothing to wear”

Last week I set to work decluttering my wardrobe. I bagged up all the clothes that I haven’t wore for a while, those I have no intention of wearing again and those that don’t really suit me. I filled a bag and my wardrobe looks a lot less cluttered. I can kactually see what clothes I have now.

As I work mostly from home, I live in jeans, casual tops and cardigans. I have a few handmade dresses which I wear but only one handmade skirt.

Over the course of the year I would like to add the following handmade items to my wardrobe

*casual tops
*skirts that can be worn with tights/leggings and boots
*A couple of new cardigans
*3/4 length trousers for the summer
*and possibly some jeans

As we are already half way through February I need to get cracking. Anyone else taking part in mmaw2015? Why not follow #mmaw2015 on Twitter to see what everyone else is up to?

2015

I have put off and put off writing this post as I look for the “perfect” thing to write about! I wanted to publish my goals for 2015 on New Year’s Day but I kept changing my mind over and over again about what to actually put on the list. I am going through a pretty tough time personally at the moment which has really affected my self confidence. Comments have been made which has made me question everything I do. I won’t bore you with details but the whole situation has saddened me more than I would have thought it would.

My main aim in 2015 is to simplify my life. I am guilty of trying to do too much and then stressing when things are getting too much. I really want to do my part to reduce my impact on this world but I am afraid of failing. Everytime I decide how I will do this, my self doubt tells me I will fail 😦

So what I have decided to do is set out smaller aims and update them as and when I claw back a bit of self confidence. In keeping with the “reducing my impact” theme I am “reusing and recycling” a lot of last year’s goals 😀

1.Curtains for D’s bedroom I have bought the fabric so I have no excuse really. Just procrastination!

2.Decluttering I really need to get on top of this. I am fed up of the house being so full of clutter. I still don’t have my craft room in the attic properly due to all the stuff in there. I will concentrate on sorting and getting rid of items that I no longer use, ethically of course, not just throwing them away. I will also aim to use a lot of the fabric I have in boxes in the attic. What a waste that they just sit there!! I’m so embarrassed! 😮

3. Running I want to imporve my running again this year. I am looking for a sub 30min 5k and a sub 1hr 10k. The 5k is definitely doable but I will have to work harder at the 10k. I am also planning on running another 2 Half Marathons and would like to get 2:30hr for at least one of those.

4. Be more adventurous in the kitchen I want to bake more. I want to know more about what foods and snacks my kiddies are eating and what goes into them. I would like to buy more from local independant shops rather than big supermarkets but I can’t commit to going supermarket free like westywrites

5. Sewing Jen has posted about her aim to make one item a month in order to produce a handmade wardrobe. I don’t think I will achieve this as I want to make dresses for Little Lady and I would also like to start dabbling more in boy’s clothes so that I can make something for D. I will however, commit to weighing up whether or not I can make something before I buy anything new. If it can be made (out of fabric – I’m not that good!!) I will make it instead of buying it. Which leads me onto….

6. Handmade presents I was embarrassed by how little presents were handmad this year. In fact the best handmade present all year was the one made by hubby for his parents. Good for him!! I’m not committing to ALL presents being handmade as I don’t think, at this moment, that I would cope with the stress, but I would like as many presents as is possible to be handmade.

So there you go. My goals for 2015.They are not earth-shattering but they are good enough and I need to be content with that!

Succeeding to fail??

Well this year I have been rubbish at achieving the goals I set at the beginning of the year. It’s not that we didn’t achieve anything, it’s just that I didn’t achieve these specific goals. Let’s look at an extract taken from the first post of 2014 (extract in bold)

1.Sew a lot more. I am hoping to get the attic sorted out soon enough for my craft space to become a reality. I would like to make more of my own clothes and also clothes for Little Lady and baby D. Hubby has a lot of clothes and wears either a uniformed polo shirt and shorts or wet/dry suit for work so I’m not planning to involve him yet.

I did sew a lot more in 2014. I made 3dresses for myself and another 3 for Little Lady. I also made what felt like a million snowflake dresses, a fairy godmother outfit, some fairy wings and various other craft items. I am taking this as ACHIEVED

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2.During 2014 I am planning to not buy any new clothes for myself and only a small amount for the kiddies. Exceptions include; underwear and shoes. I will not skimp on shoes for the little ones and the thought of second hand underwear……well let’s not go there!!

Major fail here. I bought a bit of running kit for me, school uniform for Little Lady and other bits and pieces. This one is definitely NOT ACHIEVED ✖️

3.Running. I want to improve my running and I have my eye on a few races I would like to sign up for over the coming year. Starting off I have a 5k Virtual Race in January. (More to come on that later on in the month) I have also set myself a target of 500km total over the year. This is to try to get me to go running more often. I have set up my runkeeper app to count every run I do from today to the 31st December.

I didn’t quite make the 500km target I set myself but I definitely improved my running. Both my 5k and 10k PB’s have come down by quite a bit and I ran a Half Marathon too. Along the way I also ran 8 races (although one didn’t give out medals 😥) which is 5 more than last year so a definite ACHIEVED

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4.Curtains for baby D’s room. I have seen fabric that I like and plan to order it asap. We have taken D’s cot away and he’s sleeping in a big boy’s bed now so it’ll be nice for him to have a big boy’s room too.

😳 Bad mammy alert. Major fail here too. D’s bedroom has hardy been touched as the kids now have a playroom. This will be rolled over for the 2nd year running. I think it’s best if we move on quickly NOT ACHIEVED✖️

5.Continue in the garden. We acquired 5 blackcurrant bushes to add to the fruit trees we already have. I want to plant more and use the harvest to make a lot of our food from scratch.

We did pretty well at the growing this year. Unfortunately the birds are most of our harvest. We had a tree full of cherries which they ate, they also ate our blackcurrants and a few other bits too. This was a kind of achieved

6.Decluttering and sorting. Ruthlessly. I really really want my craft/office space in the attic so I really need to get my bum in gear with this one. It will be a long slog as not only do we have a lot of stuff in the attic, but the spare room soon to be play room, has a lot of stuff in it, as does the space under the stairs. Our house is almost bursting with stuff, and we need to continue the work we started, and abandoned, pretty much this time last year!

This is another “kind of” one. We have been decluttering but not ruthlessly. I still don’t have a proper craft space in the attic and the house is still bursting with clutter. This will also be rolled over to next year! So kind of achieved

So 2 achieved ✅
2 not achieved ✖️
And 2 “kind ofs”➖
“Room for improvement” I think is the phrase here. Tomorrow I will try to post a round up of 2014 and then I will post my new goals for 2015. Hopefully I will do better this time.

Happy new year everybody 🎉🎉

Made it Monday #10

We have had a very busy two weeks here. First hubby and I ran a very successful holiday club then we ran away to Scotland to recuperate 😉 We haven’t long got back but I am planning a holiday post as we had such a lovely time and I’d love to tell you all about it.

This isn’t actually the post I was planing to write. I actually made a lovely dress to wear to church for the holiday club presentation service last week, but I didn’t get any photos of me wearing it and now I am covered in midgy bites so don’t want to subject you can’t re do photos at the moment.

Instead I will show you a present recently made for a friend. I do hope they don’t mind me showing you. Fay and her lovely husband Dave recently moved into a new home and I wanted to give them something that reflected both of them. Took me a bit of thinking but I eventually decided on these.

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Cushion covers with guitars on one side for when the man of the house is home

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And flowers on the other side for when the lady of the house is home

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The recipients seemed happy with them. I do hope they were.

What do you think? Are multi tasking cushion covers the way forward?

Made it Monday #6

I’m not keeping up with these very well. I seem to realise it’s Monday too late. I’m not going to put myself on the blogging naughty step however as there are no rules on my blog. We’ll just overlook my tardiness and have a look at what I’ve made this week.

This time I’ve got another bag to show you. I used the same pattern as Little Lady’s ballet bag.

It is a lovely pattern to work with and gives a spacious bag as a finished product.

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This bag was given as a birthday present and it was very well received. Which is always nice to hear 😀

Made it Monday #5

So it’s Monday. The first Monday of our Easter holidays and made it Monday number 5.

What am I going to show you today? Well today I would like to show you a bag I made for little lady to carry her dancing things to class.

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I love this ballerina fabric and I bought it specifically with some kind of dance bag in mind.

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The lining is a pink check fabric I already had in my stash. There are butterfly’s embroidered every so often and this fabric is leftovers from the amount that was originally bought to make little lady’s christening outfit. 🙂 Which makes it extra special in my eyes.