All Sewn Up : Jan-Feb … a bit of a ‘Life Lately’

Hello sewing friends, thanks for dropping by. I could do with a chat!

Although fully intending to, I haven’t written one of these ‘All Sewn Up’ diary style blog posts in a while. My life has been subject to some…flux…lately and I found myself unable to find the words with which to contextualise my sewing, so I dropped them for a while whilst I tried to process what was going on…

In the midst of family dramas, the last few months have necessitated a strive to find Balance. Balancing my sewing (closeted away doing it and publicly posting about it) with the current demands of my life; being active in our amazing sewing community whilst allowing myself time to take the necessary breaks from it all to deal with other stuff. Because there’s always other stuff isn’t there. And of course, balancing the needs of family life with my own need to find refuge in my sewing. Inevitably, the feelings of guilt which arise from spreading myself so thin upsets the scales so I can’t say I’ve found that perfect Balance yet. I am now, thankfully, feeling a bit more positive about the terms of its negotiation though!

I’m lucky that I have such good people around me in these trying times and my ‘sewing friends’ have also proved their weight in gold! Whilst I’ve not been able to get to my machines as much as I’ve wanted to recently, sewing has still occupied a healthy chunk of my mental space; in the early hours of the morning when I can’t sleep the blog got something of wee makeover with a new banner and I’ve tidied up a few issues; I’ve organised my PDF stash and I’ve planned and sourced the supplies for some upcoming sewing projects and

…together with Suzy and Monika, I’ve been beavering away in the background planning this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer Instagram challenge! The artwork’s done and together we’ve scored some amazing sponsorship, blowing last years’ pot out of the water. We’re hoping this translates into every participant standing a really good chance of receiving a sponsored gift. As for the garment of choice itself, it is – I hope you’ll agree once we launch – an interesting one. Once again, we’re focusing on a classic garment that, whilst well-loved, still gives many of us sewists pause, for various reasons! But, by ‘sewing together’ we can do it, right!? We have a tentative launch date of 28th March so watch this space!

Through the planning, both Suzy and Monika so thoughtfully shared wise words and kindly sent sewing happiness my way…arriving home to this lovely surprise package from Monika, for example, definitely put a, chocolate smeared, smile on my face. I love my @pink.coat.club ‘Seamstress’ button and pinned it to my coat like a talisman to ward off the development of any further ‘cosmic life jokes’.

As for actual physical sewing, as I mentioned in my last post, I feel like I’ve reached something of a Pass lately. After a few years of obsessive sewing I’ve reached a really exciting phase. I really know what I want to sew; I’m gaining confidence in my skill set; I’ve got much better at selecting the right fabrics for the projects I have in mind and a more considered idea about what I actually want to wear. I’m almost giddy with the possibilities! I’ve sewn up more than I’ve shown – I’ve got something of a blogging backlog – and I’m thrilled with everything I’ve made. There’s no frippery…each one of them fills a gaping hole in my wardrobe, all instant TNTs; workhorse garments I want to sew multiples of. And so far, touch wood, nothing’s yet made it’s way into the bin!

I’ve just got to stop comfort eating so I can fit into the things I’m making!! *putsdownchocolate* *picksitupagain*

So what have I made?

I started the year in my new sewing space by making some mats for my machines. This was such a brilliant project with which to kick start 2018. A hugely practical stash busting and fun make. And it was sooo cool subsequently seeing other people being inspired to make their own and posting them across Instagram! If you haven’t sewn yourself some machine mats yet I strongly recommend you show your machines some love. Honestly, they’ll thank you for it. (See mine here).

Garment wise, you’ll potentially have seen I made a couple of Halifax Hoodies, which are in heavy wear at the moment; the Avery leggings have finally motivated me to factor yoga back into my life (there’s nothing like neon coral to cheer me up!) I’ve sewn, but as yet been unable to share, two garments – the Monsal Lounge Pants and the Kinder Cardigan – from a review copy of the new Wendy Ward book ‘Beginners Guide to Sewing Knits’ – which are ideal for days when you have to get dressed but really don’t want to! I whizzed up a couple more Blackwood Cardigans – can never have enough of those – and finished my second Melilot shirt (note to self: post that thing already!) and another unblogged make, one of my #2018MakeNine promises to myself, the Appleton dress by Cashmerette, which I need to photograph! I’ve just checked, this means I’ve sewn ?? Of my #2018MakeNine already…I’m quite happy about that!

In my immediate ‘Never Sewn Before’ sewing queue, I’ve got, potentially, the Paro Cardigan and the —- jacket from Itch to Stitch, the Cheyenne Tunic from Hey June, the Jalie Eleanore pull on jeans, the Piccadilly PJs by Nina Lee and the Deer & Doe ’Givre’ dress…

…and I can now pronounce ‘Givre’ properly since quaffing more than my fair share of vino over a long leisurely lunch with the ever lovely (and bilingual) Helen from Valentine & Stitch. As much as she’s a great designer, she’s also a Great Human Being and with much laughter cheered me up no end. We’d never live it down if I shared the blurry best of the selfies we took after *all the wine* was consumed (“…for goodness sake Waiter stop trying to get us to order food yet, just bring us the Wine List!”) but here’s the more respectable of that bunch:

In terms of further … escapism … I’ve voraciously read the entire 11 books of Jo Nesbo’s ‘Hole’ series back to back – I love Norwegian crime thrillers; great for when you want easy escapism without running a risk that the book you’re reading will further bruise your already battered emotions.

And I’ve got to say the melancholy beauty of rural Devon in Winter provided the perfect antidote to such gritty realism.

And, of course, there’s something really life affirming about wrapping up and bracing the cold before returning home to a real fire and a glass of warming red.

But enough…I better shut up now as I’m starting to wax lyrical!

Until next time sewing friends, I hope all is well with you x


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28 thoughts on “All Sewn Up : Jan-Feb … a bit of a ‘Life Lately’

  1. Ah, life. It certainly isn’t for sissies, is it. Sending you good wishes and hugs and hope that normalcy and balance are yours again very soon. And thank you for such an honest and interesting post!

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  2. I like these newsy updates Sarah. Thanks for sharing.

    If that’s your own pink house in the last photo….I can’t even. ADORABLE!

    Can’t wait for #STFS…you’ve really piqued my interest.

    And…eep…I signed up for Vero. I wasn’t able to actually do anything with it though. Now I’m wondering if I should run….I guess I’ll have to look into it a bit more.

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  3. Aw, my lovely friend! It was wonderful to see you, and I love those pics. I think there’s a really simple equation that if we add something new (social media, for example!) into an already busy life, we don’t magically get more hours, so something else has to give. And ultimately, the other things are more important, so at some point the new thing has to give instead. I’m so glad you’ve been sewing away anyway, as that’s the thing you really love and that “soothes your soul”, and social media will still be here when things are a bit less frantic. Your 2018 makes are just gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see a pic of you wearing the Melilot shirt! Sending you big hugs and lots of love xxx

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  4. Your really talented Sarah & I think social media can put a lot of pressure on people. Everything can look so perfect, and as we know nothing is perfect all the time in anyone’s life….. not even mine 😂😂😂😈. You take care and happy none stressful sewing with a few sneaky wines 🍷 purely for medical reasons😉
    Love Paula xx 💋

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  5. Oh Sarah I completely understand where you are coming from. Last year I felt like this and family had to come first meaning sewing and Instagram had to take a natural back seat. It was hard and I missed it so much but at the end of the day you have to be realistic and be kind to yourself. Life pressures come and go and although you feel overwhelmed this won’t last forever. Take time and space where you can and sew when you have the energy. I wish I could give you a big hug 🤗 but virtual one is always here. Keep drinking the wine it always helps!! Anything you need let me know xxx I couldn’t agree more with the Vero statement! You won’t see me on there EVER!!

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  6. Aw thank you Paula. Sewing has always been my relief, I guess most of my stress comes from not being able to do it but I do give myself a hard time when I know I’m not in the right headset to sew either. You’re right, it’s important to just let ourselves flow naturally. But hey, I miss your jokes when I haven’t the time to check my phone/Insta haha! Speak soon xxx

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  7. Thanks you Wis! That’s so kind of you to say!!! Totally agree, Nesbo really is gifted. I feel a bit lost that I’ve finished the series, so I’m reading everything else he’s written! (Just finished The Son) Do you have any similar authors you can recommend?! Xxx

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  8. Yes! Good enough should be good enough really; I need reminding of that as I tend to veer towards aiming for perfectionism all the time which is ridiculously unrealistic and draining! Thank you so much Lynsey and I hope you enjoy the Challenge too!! Xx

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  9. Thank you Debby. You know, you’re absolutely right…we generally don’t give ourselves enough credit for all we do, do we! It sounds like you have a fantastic job though I imagine being that pillar of support for others means your often depleted yourself? Hope you find that Balance too soon xxx

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  10. Cheers Sarah!! Ah, exactly! I’d quite like to slam on the brakes and let someone else do the driving for a bit. I don’t even want to be a passenger, I just want to get out and be left to read or sew in peace, haha!! Ah it will all sort itself out in the end. How did you get on with the snow; did London grind to a halt? We were pretty much housebound and running low on vital supplies (wine!) when the thaws came in!! Xxx

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  11. I can relate to all you say in that brilliant post (maybe except the joy of living in Devon!) and I’m so looking forward to the next edition of sew together for summer!

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  12. Hi Sarah,
    I am sorry to see that you are struggling to find a balance. Instagram and our sewing should be a light relief for us and not pressurised. I don’t deal with pressure well so I just make what I want, when I want & If I don’t fancy sewing, then I don’t. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself as your sewing will become a chore. Our sewing should add to our life and not take away. Hopfully family “stuff” will soon feel much lighter for you and I really hope you can find a balance that is right for you.
    Love Paula
    @paulalovestosew

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  13. Lovely post, Sarah.You are a kind and warm person! I agree, taking care of yourself and your loved ones is necessary. I also adored the Harry Hole series. Jo Nesbø is a gifted writer. xxx

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  14. Finding a balance when everything is crazy is nearly impossible so settle for good enough, make sure you look after yourself 🤗 you have some great sewing plans and I can’t wait for your sewing challenge!!!

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  15. I really enjoyed your post Sarah. I’m constantly having that pull on my time and trying to find a balance that fits is really difficult for me. I also feel we don’t part ourselves on the back enough either for jobs well done be it sewing or otherwise. I work in mental and physical health work and its one of the the major barriers I have to try and help people overcome to find their balance in life which can drain your own energy sometimes. Take care.

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  16. I love these posts of yours!
    I hope you’re managing to if not find, at least head towards the right balance. Life just feels like it’s moving at 100mph ALL THE TIME these days doesn’t it? I feel like we all just need to hit the brakes and take care of ourselves more. At least us sewists have something to concentrate on to hopefully help clear our minds a bit (but not when projects end up in the bin 🤣)
    Love your sewing plans – can’t wait to see how they turn out! At least the snow is finally going (here in London, anyway) so I can turn down the heating and stop wearing my dressing gown indoors 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 And maybe even start thinking about warmer-weather sewing! 😱😱😱

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  17. Loved reading this Sarah, I am so in touch with your emotions atm, life and all it’s trial and tribulations….but on a positive note, 28th March, can’t wait for the big reveal, it’s on my sewcial calendar! X

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