Sometimes It’s Fine To Give Up

So the Moneta party is coming up! If you’ve not heard about it, It’s an Instagram in which we make the Moneta dress by Colette.

As happens with anything with any form of deadline or pressure (even if it’s imagined) I panicked and messed up.

And then gave up.

Previously I made a small version, it fit fine but I thought I could use a little more give around the waist.

moneta

This time I tried the size up in a Cotton and Viscose Jersey blend. The fabric is gorgeous but unfortunately, I managed to stretch it out beyond any recognizable shape. After yelling at my sewing machine a few times and snapping several pieces of clear elastic, it was time to give up.

Next time I’m going to just stick with the smaller size and use more stable fabric. Any further rescue attempts are not worth my sanity.

20170123_192051.jpg

This fetching fabric caught my eye at Crafty Sew & So, I’m somewhat smitten with it. Normally I go for more of muted tone but who can resist the allure of peacock feathers? It’s a Viscose Jersey, and shouldn’t stretch too easily. If I use the Sewing Cafe at Crafty Sew & So  I can make my next Moneta on an overlocker should make things a lot simpler and quicker.

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.

necklace

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.

top2

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.

P1030558.JPG

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.

 selva1

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.

selva2

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.

 

dress1 (1)
Sorry for the bad lighting here, it was so bright!

 

20160701_155954

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.

 

20160702_111120

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.

 

20140623_102739
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

When things go wrong

It’s been  a tough couple of weeks. I’ve coped with it by closing in on myself. Isolation is my go-to defense mechanism. As such blogging has been on the light side.  Writing posts ensures I look outside my own shrinking world and gain a little perspective.  Things have settled down a little now and I’m ready to rejoin the world again, or at least my own little, safe corner of the world.

Recently I haven’t made much. I started making a blanket from a gorgeous robot cotton and mint dimple fleece. I laid it all out flat and pinned together. I then embarked upon the quest of free hand quilting.

Suffice to say, it didn’t work, the stitches looked great on the top layer but terribly puckered on the dimple fleece side. Unfortunately, I didn’t see this until I was about half way through.

I’ve been un-picking ever since. I’m still planning on making the blanket but it will be with a simple stitching around the edge. I think it’s best I have another go at freehand quilting on a much smaller project with cotton backing.

 

 

 

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

IMG_20160504_204620

 

 

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

 

unicorn top.jpg

 

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

IMG_20160505_100921

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

dress 2.jpg

 

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

geometric tank

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

img_20160515_184023.jpg

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

Screenshot 2016-05-22 at 19.35.43.png

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

 

20160520_170634.jpg

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.

 

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.

 

img_20160515_184023.jpg

 

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.

Physical Illness and Mental Recovery

TRIGGER WARNING

I will be discussing my recovery, weight loss and disordered eating.

TRIGGER WARNING

It was my plan to post a picture of me wearing a home-made item each day of the month. I’ve been avoiding taking said picture all day. It’s only within the past half hour I’ve realised  the reason for this.

I’ve lost weight.

That will happen if you can’t keep food down for a couple of days. this is not a good thing. I’d never really considered the impact of physical illness on my recovery from an eating disorder. I will not go into detail as I don’t think it will do any good. Suffice to say this stomach virus has brought back unwanted memories.

I do not want a picture of me in this top whilst I am not at my healthy weight. So here’s a Photo of me from a little while ago wearing the jersey top I am wearing today.

20160228_172551