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 whilst I processed 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 online 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 upset the scales, so I can’t say I’ve found that perfect Balance yet. However, I am, thankfully, feeling more positive about the terms of its negotiation!
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 couldn’t sleep the blog got something of wee makeover with a new banner, adding some more fab sewists to my Blogroll/Vlogroll List as well as tidying up a few issues; I’ve organised my PDF stash; 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!
(And, yes, this is an Instagram challenge…not a Vero one; there’s some very disturbing rumours out there concerning the company behind this glitchy App including its apparently highly dodgy human rights / employment record. And the fact that once you sign up to the App, a bit like once you’ve checked into the Hotel California, you can never leave… Unless I hear differently, I’m giving it wide berth).
Through the planning, both Suzy and Monika so thoughtfully shared wise supportive 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 @pinkcoatclub ‘Seamstress’ button and immediately 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 so far this year?
I started the new year in my new sewing space by making some mats for my machines; 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!
Garment wise, you’ll potentially have seen I made a couple of Halifax Hoodies, which are in heavy wear at the moment; I pattern tested the Avery leggings which finally motivated me to factor yoga back into my life (there’s nothing like neon coral to cheer me up!) I’ve sewn two garments – the Monsal Lounge Pants and the Kinder Cardigan – from a review copy of the new Wendy Ward book ‘A Beginners Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabric’ which are ideal for days when you have to get dressed but really don’t want to! (I’ve been unable to share these yet as the Blogger Tour had to be postponed when the first print run sold out within 24 hours!) I also 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 a dress; another unblogged make and another 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 5 of my #2018MakeNine makes already…I’m quite happy about that!
In my immediate ‘Never Sewn Before‘ sewing queue, I’ve got, potentially, the Paro Cardigan and the La Paz 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 leisurely (day long) lunch with the ever lovely (and bilingual) Helen from Valentine & Stitch. As much as she’s a great designer (I’ve sewn her ‘Dune’ dress) 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 the risk the book you’re reading will further batter your already bruised emotions…
…and I’ve been outdoors as much as possible, with the beauty of rural Devon in Winter providing the perfect antidote to such gritty realism!
… because there’s something so life affirming about wrapping up to brace the cold before returning home to a real fire and a glass of warming red isn’t there!
But enough…I’d better shut up now as I’m starting to wax lyrical!
Until next time sewing friends, I hope all is well with you x
Sewcialise with me on Instagram (not Vero, haha!) HERE