I’ve used up almost all the left over triangles I had left over from when I put out a call for fabric on instagram and made the Picobee’s first chain. I intended for the longer length to be a present, but I stuffed up keeping the stitching straight to the point where I actually had to cut a triangle out (boring colour, thankfully), plus the length is awkward, so have decided to keep it. I made a shorter replacement chain with red binding as a replacement, which isn’t shown here. The blue shorter length was a present for my sister. I do have some blue and red triangles left, and some purpley shades of quilting fabric, so I may yet make another one. They’re handy to have as presents!
Hi, I’m Helen and I normally blog over at Grosgrain Green. My focus there is pretty much exclusively sewing, and it’s what I am most passionate about writing about, which is why this post has a sewing angle. I promise not to get technical on you, though.
I recently took part in Me Made May, which if you are unfamiliar, is a month long initiative to challenge the individual to wear their handmade clothes. Now, if you are not a sewer, that may appear to be a bit redundant. I mean, if you choose to spend hours stitching up garments, then the point is that you wear them, right? Well, not always. Zoe, the creator of the challenge, explains it much better than I, but essentially people don’t always wear what they sew. This is quite often because people like to sew (for example) pretty vintage style dresses in novelty prints, which look beautiful, but are not practical for their day to day life. Or it could be because the fit of the finished garment isn’t great. Or because it doesn’t go with anything else in their wardrobe – a wardrobe orphan, if you will. So, Me Made May was invented to encourage the sewer to wear their “me-mades”, and thus discover new outfits, new ways of wearing things, rediscover old favourites and identify “wardrobe holes” to provide more of a focus for a sewing plan for future (i.e. sew things you are going to wear!).
I don’t strive to have a complete handmade wardrobe, and I don’t sew for ethical reasons like avoiding fast fashion. I sew because I love the process of sewing. However I enjoy Me Made May (MMM) nonetheless. It has thrown up some gaps – stripey tees, trousers, jeans – but I have these in RTW (ready to wear, i.e. bought from a shop) form, so I’m not truly lacking them.
What I found interesting this year about MMM, though, was how I feel I’ve had a style shift. To give some background to those who don’t know me, I had my second son just over a year ago, and I am currently still on Maternity leave. I guess this in itself partly explains why my style has changed: I have spent the past year off work, and therefore in jeans, with not much occasion for pencil skirts or heels. But it’s more than that. And strangely, I remember something similar after my first son was born.
My aesthetic varies, but generally I fall into the “vintage inspired” camp but with a side order of modern and practical thrown in. So, full skirts, pretty dresses in floral prints, coloured tights and ballet pumps, but also skinny jeans with breton tops and peter pan collar blouses, and Converse.
I’m not saying that I would’t wear any of the above again – actually not true; I’ve binned some of these already – but I definitely feel a shift away from this type of look. Whereas I used to think that lace collar was a cute 60’s inspired detail, it now literally does nothing for me. Instead I’m wearing (and wanting to sew) looser fitting tops, peg shaped trousers and no dresses. Instead of the florals which feature quite heavily above, I’ve been preferring geometric shapes. I’m sticking with my beloved breton stripes though:
Maybe it’s better explained by the type of sewing patterns I am coveting. Whereas previously these were the patterns I was lusting over:
I’m now all about:
Maybe this is just a shift in line with fashion, although I don’t really read fashion magazines and don’t shop that much. Maybe the move is informed by the huge volume of sewing blogs that I read, which covers a wide range of asthetics, styling preferences, personalities and body sizes and shapes. Maybe it’s because I turned 40 last year. Maybe once I return to work and I have little need to spend my days chasing after a crawler, or sitting on the floor building Lego, I will be straight back into my fit and flare dresses, and my pencil skirts. I know after I had my first son I felt very similar. Full skirts felt stupid and childish since I had become a “Proper Woman With A Child”, however as you can tell from the first set of photos (all made after I had my first son), I soon switched back, albeit the hemlines had dropped.
Who knows? I don’t really mind too much. I’m happy to see where the journey takes me, and to sew accordingly.
These two are basically the same theme. Milo has completely taken to Ellis, we really needn’t have worried. He’s fascinated by everything that happens to him, like feeding and nappy changes and baths, and loves to stroke his head and give him cuddles.
Ellis is joining in the project 52 fun, but he’s only got 27 weeks of the year left obviously. They’re pretty much all going to be of him sleeping in different positions for the time being.
A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2015.
Aren’t these just the prettiest – combining two things I love – fruit and veg and bright coulours. Via here.
Ellis Josef, born last week, weighing a whopping 9.14 lbs/4.5kg. It was all quite dramatic as we only found out the day before that he was breech, so I will try to do a little post about his birth story at some point.
Plenty more pics on instagram.
When we were in Lisbon we didn’t really go out of our way to find shopping places cos Milo is/was at the age where he can’t be trusted not to try to touch EVERYTHING, but on our last day we had a wander near the Time Out fancy food court to get Milo to sleep and came across this little independent design shop, where I got a drawing and a card by this artist. The drawing is similar to the bottom one, but with bigger hair, and the card is a baby one, which I got preemptively for any baby girls being born.
Today’s post is a guest post by Steph of The Inelegant Horserider – enjoy!
I wouldn’t class myself as creative. Outdoors-y – yes but creative – no. At one point many years ago I thought about going to Art College but after that idea faltered I haven’t drawn or painted for years.
Over the past couple of years I have been getting more inspiration from blogs and of course the Great British Sewing Bee. So I decided to try something creative for a change, a different kind of pace from my usual riding/running/cycling kind of hobbies. At the minute I am sewing with my mum, which is really nice and it definitely helps to have someone to ask when I get confused (and I get confused easily when it comes to this). So far I have made two skirts.
The first is a green mid-length lined skirt. I love this one. It took a good few sessions to make. I tried my hand at every element of it – cutting, sewing, finishing. There seemed to be a lot of pieces once we had cut everything out and initially I *may* have sewed the wrong pieces together but hey, to be fair learning to unpick then restitch is an integral part of learning to sew – right? I never realised how much hand sewing was involved in these kinds of projects and I love learning such a basic skill. I am incredibly chuffed with the result and while I didn’t sew all bits myself it still feels like such an achievement. The lack of a zipper foot means that currently zips are being sewn in place by my maw.
The second skirt was a Delphine skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes of Tilly & the Buttons and the Great British Sewing Bee fame. Now I don’t know if it was because I have already overcome my fear of the sewing machine but this was put together much quicker. The fitting process didn’t really seem to exist in this pattern unlike the other skirt where I tried it on a couple of times and we did adjustments. This means the fit on the Delphine isn’t as good as on the first skirt, it probably also doesn’t help that we didn’t take actual measurements first! I know, I know – we both learnt our lesson on that front! I really like the print on this skirt although I didn’t even attempt to ‘pattern match’ – that’s me trying out the language I have heard used on the Great British Sewing Bee. I have to be 100% honest and say that I don’t like this skirt as much as the green one. I still enjoyed making it but I think I had the naïve idea I would love every item I created.
In other creative pursuits so far this year I have tried knitting and crochet with the goal of making gifts. I made my sister some crocheted wrist warmers which are pretty cool and I have knitted myself a neck warmer for cycling and horse riding. I also want to attempt a cardigan – why the heck not? But I do need to remind myself to take the time to practice the skills I am learning to improve. I have a tendency to want to jump in with both feet rather than being realistic. I have already had to stop myself from buying a sewing machine and from buying up most of the supplies from the wool shop I was in!
So that’s the start of my sewing and knitting plans, thanks to Franca for letting me share this with you. It is nice that now I do keep looking at sewing and knitting blogs but now as well as feeling inspired I actually start to make plans to make things! Next up is a Julia cardigan after seeing Franca’s version – I reckon I will need it in a lot of different colours ☺