I’ve finally Sewn the McCalls M7513 lined Peplum Jacket!

I’ve had this project on the back burner for ever. Initially it formed part of my 2018MakeNine plans but never quite made it to the top of my sewing queue. I had the pattern, fabric and notions and, not to be undeterred, I duly put it into my 2019MakeNine plans too. And finally, finally, I’ve sewn it up!

I’d go as far to say, I’d started to have something of a mental block when it came to this pattern for reasons I couldn’t quite put my finger on…and now that I’ve sewn it, what do I think?

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Craft Project – Sewing the Grainline ‘Stowe Bag’ & Matching ‘Petal Pouch’

Hello sewing friends! I’m back with a quick craft project today; I’m really starting to love throwing these into the sewing queue to mix things up a little bit; for those times I need a chance to sew without having to worry about fit issues, tracing out masses of pattern pieces or sticking huge PDFs together. When I feel myself reluctant to do any of those things, I reach for a craft project instead and this one, the ‘Stowe Bag’ from Grainline Studio and the ‘Petal Pouch’ from Noodlehead, I thought went really well together. My sisters’ birthday was coming up – she’s a keen knitter / crocheter so I figured these would make a good present; creating something for her to make her own craft projects portable.

I have both patterns in PDF format; they were ridiculously quick to stick together and very quick to sew. However, the Stowe Bag instructions did make me blink insensibly in a slack-jawed kind of way on a couple of occassions. It was easy enough to work out in the end, just that in a couple of places the instructions and accompanying illustrations didn’t … well, illustrate … in a way my brain could immediately comprehend! I figured it would be worthwhile then to write a lil’ post sharing my process in making both these!

Ok, so bag first…

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Sewing a Woven Tank Top – aka the one where I make ALL the fit adjustments!

Welcome sewing friends – I’ve got a post full of sewing geekiness today detailing the many fit adjustments I made to the Gemma Tank Top by Made by Rae. Let me say from the off; this isn’t to imply there’s anything wrong with the drafting of Rae’s pattern, not at all. It’s simply that the Gemma Tank Top is a semi-fitted woven pull-on top. The operative words here being ‘woven’ and ‘semi-fitted’; i.e. there’s nowhere to hide in terms of fit. So off I went on my merry way to the drawing board.

The plan was to make it in a silk-blend Lady McElroy voile, that had been gifted to me by Minerva Crafts, so I wanted to make sure I got the fit right before I cut into the precious fabric!

I’m puzzled as to why I always look so … puzzled … in photos, haha!!

One adjustment I didn’t have to do was a Full Bust Adjustment as Rae has thoughtfully drafted the pattern with two cup options – an A/B and a C/D. However, the list of the other adjustments I made is fairly extensive …

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My #2019MakeNine Plans … it’s about more than just sewing!

My revamped sewing space – ready for a clean start!

Writing my #2018MakeNine sewing review post highlighted how I’d put sewing for comfort and practicality above anything else last year. One of the reasons I’d placed comfort so highly though, was simply that I was actually very uncomfortable in my own skin. Reaching what my Doctor refers to as my ‘mature years’ and dealing with the subsequent hormonal changes, hit me unexpectedly and hard. Some days I really struggled to get dressed – I need to wear breathable fabrics and can’t abide anything compressing or overly fitted; even wearing underwear can drive me to distraction. Always an insomniac, it got out of hand; my joints started to seize up and I was wracked with pain most days. I honestly felt like a woman in her 70s, not her 40s.

My weight fluctuated quite dramatically over the course of the last year too and, if I’m honest, I had this unhealthy internal dialogue that would assert that, given the way I felt, it was pointless to sew anything too ‘nice’.

So what’s different this year? Well…

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My #2018MakeNine Sewing Review…err, it’s not quite as good as I thought!

Hello! I thought it timely to do an end of year review of my #2018MakeNine makes, since I’m planning my #2019MakeNine Sewing! In short, this year my plans seem to have started with a flourish, gained some solid middle ground and then, surprisingly, dwindled to absolutely nothing, as we shall see! Unlike the previous year, I still stand by #2018MakeNine plans; what I haven’t sewn yet, I’m absolutely sure I’ll sew at some point soon. Gah! I was absolutely convinced I’d nail these projects but, in fairness, I think I’ve good reasons for not doing so yet. Reasons? Or Excuses? You decide!

Anyhoo, in no particular order, let’s start with the projects I did complete…

The Melilot Shirt by Deer & Doe

I’ve made two, quite different, versions of this top – the one in this picture is in a cotton lawn and I’d class it as a shirt; the other I made in some soft viscose which is more ‘blouse’ like – is the only difference between the definition of a women’s shirt and blouse; the fabric it’s made in? Does anyone know or shall I ask Alexa?!

Of the two, I prefer the look of the lawn one but much prefer the feel and wear of the viscose one. I think what I’m saying is, my ideal version would be this print in a viscose! You can read my full post and review of the pattern HERE.

Next up, we’ve got…

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