Hello Sewing Friends, despite the best of intentions my posting here – whilst never routinely scheduled – does seem to have spluttered along like a car with a backed-up exhaust over the last 12 months or so; all fits and starts! Life has had its ups and downs – a pandemic certainly creates a unique backdrop to life, doesn’t it. Now that I find myself in a more stable and happier place, I thought I’d share a little of my personal experience with you (interspersed with the sewing projects I did manage to complete during this time).

Whilst not wanting to veer into self-indulgence, it’s fair to say the last year has been life-changing. The publishing of this post is a commitment I’m making to myself in journeying onwards; in a period where wearing masks is commonplace, I find myself – psychologically speaking – unmasked for the very first time. And it’s something I want to hold on to. I also hope these words possibly offer some insight or comfort to others.

That said…

…the experiences I discuss here – the pandemic, bereavement and the road to acccepting my own ‘disabilities’ – might be triggering for some; this post might not be for you, right now.

So, here’s my story …

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Hello, lovely sewing people … I’m back with a perennially favourite topic of mine : a roundup of my latest sewing tools and gadget loves! Although a somewhat eclectic mix of stuff, they’ve all passed the Indispensable Test – not only have I really enjoyed using them, they’ve all achieved ‘How Did I Ever Manage Without Them?!’ status to become absolute essentials in my sewing kit.

In no particular order :

Clover Loop Pressing Bars

This is one of those gadgets I’ve often thought I needed without knowing it actually existed : a heat-resistant resin bar for pressing straps and ties etc. How many times have you made fabric straps, button loops, ties and the like for a garment, successfully turned them the right way out and then fiddled like crazy when pressing them to get the seam to lay straight and uniformly?

This simple tool slips inside your just sewn fabric ‘tube’, allowing you to press the seam allowance open in the middle – or to the side if you prefer. Then when you turn the strap right side out, slip the bar back inside and re-press, again aligning the seam to the middle or side as you prefer. Everything lays nice and flat with no twisting. So simple, so effective; it comes as a multi-pack containing several different widths (6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 mm). The design at the end of the bars also allows you to thread elastic or ribbon, so you can use them like extra length bodkins! I bought mine HERE.

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Hello my lovely Sewing Friends,

I admit I’ve found it a bit hard to put metaphorical pen to paper recently but I really wanted to show you my two versions of the Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Co. I’ve seen so many stunning versions of this whilst scrolling through my Instagram feed that I eventually succumbed! I also knew it would be an easy, quick sew and it seems that’s pretty much all I’m capable of engaging with at present. Plus, I really wanted to try sewing up a knit garment on my new sewing machine as I’d only road-tested it with wovens thus far. It was a no-brainer really.

Lady McElroy ‘Feather Haven’ print in Cotton Jersey – see HERE

The top, as I say, is incredibly simple. The pattern is one bodice piece – it’s the same for both front and back – sleeve and the neckband pieces. The Adrienne is designed to have billowy statement sleeves that are gathered at the shoulder and hemmed with elastic. The length is apparently drafted to be slightly cropped – the instructions say the hem should just hit below your bellybutton. I’m 5.3″ and found that I didn’t need to lengthen the pattern to do away with the cropped look. The bodice is designed with negative ease so it fits bodycon style emphasing the contrast to the sleeve.

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