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

I Made Ten Items of Clothing

I survived the day, although it is not quite over with yet.  it’s been a bit of a challenging time for me recently so I thought I would engage in a little counting of my accomplishments. After all, that is what I started this blog. At the beginning of the year, I made a resolution to create one item of clothing a month. I have happily surpassed it. Me Made May has helped me realise how many clothes I’ve actually made.

I am very proud to say I have now completed more than ten items of clothing.

In chronological order

One: The 50’s Style Skirt

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I made this at a workshop, not long after Crafty Sew & So opened in September. There’s a zip along the side seam, I haven’t inserted a zip since! I’m planning on added a pocket to the other side seam.  I picked up the mid-weight cotton from Leicester Market.

Two: The Unicorn Top

 

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This is the first item of clothing I made on my own, it’s a really simple Victory Pattern called Roxette. I love the detail in the collar. I want to make it again in a floaty material, maybe viscose. I picked up  the material and pattern from Crafty Sew & So.

Three and Four: The Cat’s Pyjamas

 

Cat's Pyjamma's

Number three and four, my gorgeous set of Fifi Pj’s from Tilly and the buttons.I seriously messed up with this set, they look cute but I ended up stretching the seams as I put the panels the wrong way round about three times. I also need to replace the elastic on the shorts as they’re pretty loose. I very much want to make another set of these which I can actually make. Again the fabric and pattern were from Crafty Sew & So

Five: The First Foray into Jersey

 

 

Jersey Floral

 

This was my very first attempt at sewing with jersey, It worked out pretty well, the fabric is lovely and soft. I used Tiny Pocket Tank pattern from Grainline Studio, Sarah helped me add a bust adjustment so it fits perfectly. Once again material and pattern from Crafty Sew & So.

Six: The Second Take

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My second attempt at the Fifi Pj top went much better. The fit is so much better. Because I had to undo the french seams so many times last time I decided to use normal seams this time. It was a lot quicker and required very little unpicking.  I was brave and wore it as a day top. The swallow print cotton was is from Crafty Sew & So.

Seven: The Dottie Angel Frock

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I am very proud of this dress. I have worn it a lot, though can’t seem to find a picture of me wearing it. The delightfully named pattern is Dottie Angel Frock from Simplicity, New Look. I saw it in Mollie makes and grabbed it in the sale online. It was a bit of a shock to go from the nicely laid out and clear independent patterns to the convoluted and quite frankly confusing layout of New Look pattern.  After playing around a lot with masses of bias binding I created my first dress. I added some pretty embroidery around the neckline and the joining line. I decided to make it just that little bit harder for myself and add pockets. It was simple enough but one is slightly smaller than the other.   The polka-dot cotton is from Crafty and Pattern from Simplicity.

Eight:  The Geometric Tank Top

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I was very confident when I started making this top as the first Tiny Pocket Tank went very well. However, my impatience was my downfall.  This jersey was a lot lighter and slinkier than the first tank top, I attempted to use my normal needle and got into a bit of a mess. I also ran out of black thread and only had white. I attempted to continue nonetheless and had to unpick this very fiddly fabric. I brought jersey needles and black threads and forced myself to sit down and finish the top. It feels luxurious to wear. Though I did manage to stretch the neckline a little so normally wear it with a vest top.  Jersey needles, black thread, fabric and pattern all from Crafty.

Nine: The Denim Angel Frock

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I found my second attempt at this dress a lot easier, though I did manage to lose the second page of instructions so had to make it by memory. I’ve made the dress a lot shorter for the summer, just above the knee. I think the beautiful big pockets make a great focal point. I picked up the stage print from a gorgeous shop in Lutterworth called Sew Charming.   I made some envelope cushion covers with the cotton a little while back and had enough left over for the pockets. The denim was from Crafty.

Ten: The Coco Top

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This is me very very excited about having made my tenth item of clothing. It’s made from a lovely soft ponte roma jersey. It’s another pattern from Tilly and the Buttons called Coco and i absolutely love it. There are loads of variations, dress length, three-quarter legnth sleeves, cowl neck and sleeve cuffs.  I have so many plans. I made this in a workshop at crafty, it was almost exclusively done on the overlocker!

 

Whilst writing this I realised I made another top a little while ago. I liked the last photo so much I decided to make the next one a bonus.

Bonus: The Great British Sewing Bee Challenge

 

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This is my version of the GBSB bias top challenge. We received a copy of the latest book at Crafty and made our own little challange. I used the lace as a focal point as i didn’t have the chevron effect of the stripes.  If you want to see our review of the book, From Stitch to Style, check out the lastest Crafty Sew & So post.

 

Finishing Unmade Projects

Before Christmas I wrote a blog entitled Things I Have Yet to Make. I was feeling a bit down about having all these uncompleted things hanging over my head. In hindsight I was more than likely channelling my stresses into these things so I didn’t have to think about Christmas.

I’m starting to feel a bit better now that the pressures of this time of year are beginning to dissipate. When I sat down with a bag of unfinished bits I didn’t feel overwhelmed I simply took out the first thing. An unfinished make up bag which I had sewn the on the wrong side.

It was easy enough to unpick  and didn’t take long to finish off.

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If you want to make one yourself, there are little kits with an instruction booklet available at Crafty Sew & So. You will see some fabulous hand modelling by yours truly.

The next thing I finished off was a little fabric box for all those loose threads and bits of fabric. I was given a beautiful bundle of Cath Kidston fabrics last year and used the last bits to make this box.

 

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My husband is very happy my sewing will be a bit tidier now

The next thing I did was tackle the French seams of my Fifi pyjama top. If you’ve not run across French seams before they are a pain in the bum. I’d managed to attach the back three panels upside down. I sat in front of the TV and unpicked the seams and bias binding. I’m not going to attempt this again at home. I shall be going into Crafty Sew & So to get a bit of expert advice.

fifi

I shall be finishing off lots of other bits over the coming months and hopefully get on with a bit more writing too.