The Dressmakers Ball

I had an absolutely amazing time at The Dressmakers Ball. For those of you who don’t know, The Dressmakers Ball is a fantastic event in which we can don our finery and dance the night away with fellow sewists.

This year, having a lot more experience with dressmaking I decided to go all out on my outfit. There were times when I regretted this. Particularly when I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out what strange maths I’d done in order to fit the waistband. However the final result was well worth it. I could not have been happier with my outfit. I was a little nervous because the plunging neckline was more than a little revealing but with the help of some body tape and many friends keeping an eye out there were no embarrassing moments.

My outfit consisted of 3 patterns the Magnolia from Deer & Doe, the Posy Pants from Rebecca Page and I added splits to the trousers from named’s Breaking the Pattern.

The night was such an ego-boost I got so many compliments, my Instagram and Facebook account were blowing up with likes and comments. It was truly affirming getting such positive feedback from something I worked so hard on. In fact it’s part of the reason I’ve come back to this blog.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ll know I struggle with mental health issues. The original motivation of this blog was to help me recognise those positive things in my life and celebrate my achievements. I have recently gone back into therapy for my eating disorder and things have been very very difficult, changing behaviours is exceptionally hard and brings back all sorts of negative feelings and low self-esteem. There are times when I feel utterly useless and find it impossible to change my behaviours. The sewing community is such a positive welcoming and friendly environment that only good can come from sharing my makes alonside my doubts and fears.

Thanks for reading, I hope you’ll be writing again soon watch this space….

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Pride!

I had the most fun at my first ever pride festival! It was the perfect excuse to finally finish my rainbow skirt. I picked up this fabric from the market for the grand total of £1 a metre.  I believe it’s a crepe de chine, there’s a little bit of texture to it and it flows beautifully. However, it’s practically transparent so I improvised an underskirt which I finally completed this morning!

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We got our faces glittered by the fabulous ladies at Glitter Dolls UK, made smoothies by riding an exercise bike, went on terrifying rides, met a charming assistance dog from Recovery and generally had a grand ol’ time.

My Lungs just about made it to mid-afternoon before demanding I give them a break. Asthma’s been a little tricky recently.

It’s been a selfie heavy day. Here I am with my face back to normal and my sink a graveyard of sparkles. I swear I’m going to be finding glitter in all sorts of places for days or even weeks to come.

In other news…I hurt my foot this morning as I was hurriedly finishing the skirt I neglected to put away pins correctly. a thick pin went directly into the sole of my foot!



















 

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My Makes…

Things are not perfect. However, I am now able to gather enough focus and energy to write this post. Last time I wrote about obsessively making things in order to avoid negative thoughts. I’m not quite comfortable having photos taken, that will have to wait for later posts.

This is the first time I ever worked with viscose. My advice. Start simple. Although this top is not complex there are a few fiddly bits, such as the collar and pocket, which were a nightmare with the slippery fabric.  It didn’t help that I decided to add cotton to the collar. although it added stability, it was difficult to piece the cotton and viscose together.

I made sleep shorts next, using a pattern from one of the Crafty Sew & So Workshops. I managed to complete the shorts in less than four hours. Essentially, I copied a pair of Pj bottoms I brought from gap a few  years ago. The little tab and button create a nice cuff.

I was on a roll. Having a bit of viscose left over I made the shorts from Tilly and the Buttons Fifi set. they came together in no time, so I added a tiny pompom trim.The band was so thin, apply the trim probably took more time than making the shorts.

My next project is the Alder Dress from Grainline. I’m really looking forward to using the ditsy flower print. Just to add a bit of interest, and because I’m falling in love with viscose, I will make the yoke out of a dark navy viscose.

 

 

I’m exhausted now. Time to crawl under a blanket and ignore the world.

 

 

An Illusion Of Control

I’m shutting myself off again. Pushing through days, focusing on minutia and ignoring my emotions. There are many ways in which I isolate myself.  Over the past couple day’s my method has been sewing. I finished a tricky viscose top and made two pairs of sleep shorts. These projects have filled my mind, taken focus and concentration. I regain the illusion of control.

Issues arise when the project is complete. All those negative thoughts and feelings crash down on me. I grasp out for something else. Anything to stop the sick twisting of my gut. I pick up another project. All is well until fatigue takes me. I fall, crumpled in a corner, alone, crying.

It’s my friends birthday coming up at the end of the month. I’m too scared to say I’m not well enough to go. I know if I wait I will feel worse.I’m scared she’ll think me callous or uncaring.

My old work colleagues are trying to arrange a reunion. I cannot reply to any messages. I was at my lowest point when I worked with them. An unexplainable fear overwhelms me each time the memories leak into the present.

My husband suggested I should write a list of things I did today as that can often help put things into perspective.

  • Pilates
  • Cup of tea with ladies after pilates
  • Tidied back bedroom
  • Made Tilly and the Buttons Fifi bottoms in viscose

It doesn’t look particularly impressive, though the shorts took me about four and a half hours and I added cute little pompom trim to the hem. I don’t have the energy to share pictures right now. I don’t even feel particularly happy with having completed them, just desperate to do something else to regain that numbness.

I hope soon that I will feel in moderation. Then I can post about all the wonderful things I’ve created. I can explain how it was all just a blip and my life is a bunch of fucking roses (sorry mum).

Wish me luck, or health, or whatever you think will help.

Featured Image by one of my favourite artists, Chiara Bautista

Mollie Makes And Experimenting With Patterns​

Yesterday I ran a charity day for Wrap Pyjama Fairies. Together with managed to make eight pairs of pyjamas for kids who are having treatment in hospital. It was fantastic but absolutely manic!  The heat did not help!

Here we all are after a very busy, fun, day! If you want to find out more check out Crafty Sew & So’s blog.

Today I made the free gift from Mollie Makes and paired it with a white cotton tank top I made a couple of days ago.

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I only had a metre of fabric and using the tiny pocket tank pattern from Grainline needs a bit over a metre. I decided to experiment. I couldn’t fit the back piece on the fold so cut two individual pieces. To add the inch or so to the back, I used one of my husband’s old shirts. I cut a straight strip and attached the raw edges before doing anything else.

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Mountain Walks and Handmade Clothes

The Dolomites were exceptional.  We stayed in a beautiful town called Selva Val Gardena, or Wolkenstein if you’re a German speaker.  Writing every day, I’ve managed to collect snapshots of the holiday. I’m hoping to get that all written up  by the end of the week on my other blog, but for now, I thought I’d share some of my homemade outfits.

One of the great things about this holiday, besides the mountain walks,  was the routine. Even though I was away from the comfort and safety of home I still felt as though I was in control of my own environment. there were definitely times when I wobbled, mostly when trying to explain what vegetarian meant, whilst only remembering the german word for meat (Fleisch, by the way). For any vegetarians out there it’s Ich esse kein Fleisch.

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Anyway back to the point. The hotel we stayed in was fantastic. At around eight I meandered down for a breakfast buffet and cup of tea. After that, it was time to change into walking clothes and off for a walk around the mountains.  Then it was back to the hotel in time for tea and cake at three o’clock. The Spa was open from four til seven. Dinner was then served at quarter past seven. This routine gave  the delightful experience of being able  to dress for breakfast and dinner.

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This was the very first day, I changed out of my yucky travelling clothes and into my handmade circle skirt. The was a thunderstorm which was a blessing after the long journey.

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My circle skirt to the rescue again. Walking, the day before, left me with sunburn. I borrowed my husbands cotton shirt to keep my tomato red arms protected.   Despite the bulky shoulders I actually really like the style.

 

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Sorry for the bad lighting here, it was so bright!

 

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These were really useful dresses to slip on of an evening, particularly on the hotter nights, It’s lovely being able to throw on a loose fitting dress after an afternoon in the spa. You can see in the second photo I am somewhat floppy from the spa.

 

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My final piece of home made clothing is the Coco jumper. I only wore it on the final day of the holiday, it was great when the air-conditioning on the couch and aeroplane kicked in.

If I were to pack again (and there’s already talk of going back) I would make another skirt and bring another dress with long sleeves to protect my delicate delicate skin.  I have this gorgeous dress which I wore a couple of evenings. However, it’s too nice for an everyday wear.

 

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This is an old photo, I think  it was taken about  two years ago. It’s uncomfortable to look at. The smile is strained. I fill the dress very differently now I’m at a healthy weight.

 

I love the sleeves on the Sewaholic pattern, but I think the overall pattern on the grainline (left) will suit me most. Also, the collar would be useful to protect my neck from the sun. I’ll have to figure out how to make those long sleeves.

Thanks for reading

x

Here you go, a post about things I made

This week has been more writing than making, I am trying desperately hard to try and get the first 15,000 words of my novel to the Yeovil Literacy prize at the end of this month. today I managed to revise 2000 words which I’m pretty happy with. However, there are still 13,000 to go.

However whilst procrastinating earlier in the week I finished off my Dottie Angel Frock from simplicity. I’ve been itching to make this for ages and am really happy  with it. although I did loose half of the instructions so the arm holes are a little frayed.

 

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I wore it today and should have posted a photo onto Instagram for me made may.  I;ve been a lax in posting photos of my makes. I was really excited when I had a new item every day to show off, now I’m feeling a little restricted.

I have, however, enjoyed making little crafts.  I made a really cute fish mobile inspired by this month’s Mollie Makes. You can read more on the Crafty Sew & So blog.

 

My motivation seems to be fading somewhat.  It’s been over a month now since I last saw my therapist and I’m beginning to miss the stability she brought me. Maybe I’m just tired. It’s pilates tomorrow, that always makes me feel better.

Tomorrow I will have a day of looking after myself.

 

Very much enjoying wearing clothes I made

I was a little sceptical about Me Made May, I’m fairly new to making my own clothes. I worried about putting too much pressure on myself.  In reality it’s been really fun. I’ve enjoyed thinking about my outfits instead of throwing on whatever’s handy.

 I do not have nearly enough clothes to wear something new everyday but I have managed it so far.

Here’s the first week of Me Made Clothes:

I have never before taken so many photos of me. I missed the first day due to a terribly stomach bug. Looking forward to the rest of the month.

Small Stitches

Recently I discovered this wonderful charity called Wrap Pyjama Fairies. They supplies cute pyjama’s for children and babies who have to stay in hospital. I tried my hand at a new born gown, thinking as it was my first try I’d use less material. What I didn’t think about was how fiddly a new born gown garment would be to make. I ended up hand sewing a lot of it. I’m not sure I’m that pleased with the result. it looks adorable but I think the popper tape I used might be a bit itchy on a new born babies skin.

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I’m thinking this one might just be a dress for a doll and I’ll make another one with individual snaps. I’m planning on hosting a workshop and fundraising day at Crafty Sew & So in the summer holidays. I’m going to make one of each item before the event so there are samples and getting my head around the garments to help others.

For sometime now I have been working on a gorgeous set of cushions for the bedroom. I had no idea that I was embarking upon a perilous expedition when I chose some mini pom pom trim. The band is so tiny, even with a zip foot it’s tricky to catch it. I thought I’d have been fine considering I hand tacked the trim, alas, it was not so.  I do not regret it, because it looks just perfect with the Dashwood cotton. However I am now considering doing two with pom pom trim and two with piping or lace.

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I worked on both these pieces on the same day and ended up with a pounding headache. my next project will be using massive pieces of fabric with big old seam allowances.

x

Little Crafty Things

I’ve got lots of lovely things to share this week. Most excitingly, My Dottie Angel Frock  is finished!

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I’m really happy with how it has turned out. There was a lot of superfluous bias binding but it ended up being useful for backing my embroidered top stitching. It’s really comfy to wear. I added interior pockets which complicated things a little as the pattern called for French seams. I’ve never added pockets before but, besides on being slightly smaller, they turned out just fine. I want to make another dress from the same pattern with some lovely light denim we have at Crafty Sew & So.

I’ve received my first ever Buddy Box from The Blurt Foundation. It’s full of lovely goodies including this kit from The Make Arcade.

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It was a perfect little activity, not too complicated just enough to keep my mind, and hands, busy.

Last week I went for a lovely Blogger’s meet up at Sew Essential, Crafternoon tea brought in some lovely fabrics and embroidery thread. I found this pretty Bicycle print in their stash.

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I finished embroidering the bikes at home, I’m enjoying my little crafts at the moment.  I took my mum to a workshop at Crafty Sew & So, in late March, to make a pretty fabric doll. I’ve finished mine the other day. Here she is in the garden.

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Finally, yesterday I went to another workshop at Crafty Sew in So with my friend. We got to  grips with an over-locker and both left with gorgeous cowl scarves.

here’s mine.
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Thanks for reading x