My sewing year so far…

This year I vowed to get my sewing mojo back for good, the anxiety surrounding sewing and my previous little business is immense. But sewing used to be my therapy, I was also pretty good at it and I refuse for that to be ruined any longer!

I thought I’d concentrate this year mainly on selfish sewing. Who doesn’t love sewing for themselves right?! Plus I feel there are loads of holes in my wardrobe and I have lots of left over fabric. A cheap way of updating my wardrobe…

First up; leopard print, I had this gorgeous teal fabric and the indigo dress is a perfect everyday dress. Unfortunately, it turns out the fabric wasn’t great quality and there was seam slippage at the seams and it was pulling and stretching in strange places where Jasper had sat on my lap for instance. It just wasn’t fit for purpose. But I got a few wears out of it and I discovered the indigo dress is my new favourite pattern and more recently I’ve made the dress twice again.

Here’s the next Indigo, it took me months to find the right fabric, I really wanted an animal print of some kind, and for some reason I was super fussy, I think because I’d fallen in love with the teal leopard of my first attempt!

I found this gorgeous tiger print crepe from Sewsewsewuk on Instagram, so pleased I came across them. The lady that runs it is lovely, it came with a personal note, which is always a great touch! The fabric is the perfect colours to wear with bare legs, then I’ll add tights when it gets cold enough (I hate tights, I’ll hold off for as long as poss) and it’ll look great layered with boots and a cardi too.

I went with the exposed frill seams on the skirt and sleeves again, and it has pockets! Perfect dress, I don’t see anything replacing this as my favourite for a while…

I found this fabric in my stash, I wasn’t sure about the florals and leopard print together on a dress, I didn’t know if it was going to be a bit too much. But I think it’s growing on me now it’s sewn up into another indigo dress. It’s so easy to throw on these dresses so it’s already had a lot of wear!

Next up I’d like to make an maxi or midi indigo with a few more tiers… for that I need to go fabric shopping again, I’ve used most of my larger woven peices of fabric up. Which is both sad and good!

On my list was this Freya, it was made early in the year, And is perfect for work, I love the khaki animal print, and that ruffle makes a simple dress a little special!

The Stella trousers and hoodie were such a fun make, I’m not sure I’d wear these out of the house as they are so bright! But they make me happy lounging around the house or garden. The floral fabric was one I’d had in my stash a while, the pink sweatshirt fabric I bought a remnant from a local shop. It’s the perfect match…

I had earmarked this floral fabric for a Jessica dress (by Mimi G) but I realised I hardly wore my last version and that I’d get more use out of something looser all year round. I decided to hack the peppermint peplum top into a dress. It was my favourite top through summer so it was an easy no brainer. I’m not sure how this dress will look with tights so it may be that it goes away til spring soon, but for now I’ve been wearing this with boots and a long snuggly cardi.

The bettine hasn’t happened and I’m not sure if it will, im not 100% sure if it’s ‘me’ now. I made a lovely dress last year, which gets lots of wear in summer on skinny days, but no wear the rest of the year. What I love about most things I’ve made this year is that I can layer with tights and boots when the weather gets cold, or just wear with flip flops in the summer. I’ve really been thinking about getting the most use out of things I make, not just making for the sake of it and then for it to sit in my wardrobe never to be worn! Maybe it’s the fabric I made it in last year, but I don’t feel inspired to make anything with the pattern just yet and given it’s the end of October I don’t think it’s right to make another summer dress until spring now!

I did however get the Make It Simple book (I think I’ve a bit of a Tilly obsession this year) and I’ve made a Tabitha dress from some stretch suede in my stash. I feel its my alternative to making the bettine as its a similar look, but easier to wear, and because I have so much jersey in my stash, its fulfilling one of my aims this year; to use as much of that up as possible! I love the dress and planning another but with shorter sleeves! It’s a perfect dress to throw on, my favourite kind of dress.

On of my goals was a well fitting bra and knickers, I’m so pleased I’ve succeeded! I made a few bras this year, but never quite got the right fit til the orange lingerie Berkeley bra. It’s so comfy! I wouldn’t say it is completely perfect sewing wise, I can see where I can do things a bit better, but it’s almost there!

The white lace with the baby pink is so pretty! I finished it off with a the jewels from an old pair of earrings. I’d make this centre not so wide next time and use wider elastic on the bottom band too. I love how neat and professional the insides look!

My first attempt of the devonshire bra was too big on the cups, they fit well but looked unflattering on. So I thought I’d make my first version of this bra with smaller cups. I failed to take into account that this fabric has almost no give, so it was way too small! After my success with the Berkley bra I decided to unpick the cups and redo them. I made Berkley cups for the Devonshire frame, somehow these are slightly smaller on me than my lace Berkley, but it’s wearable and super comfy again. I’m glad a rescued this bra, I love the green and pink together and was gutted when I messed up my first attempt!

This jungle fabric was on my list, I’ve had it for years and not had the guts to cut into it because it’s so beautiful! I also only had just over a metre of it and had no idea what to make with it. I decided on a slightly hacked version of the free peppermint peplum top. I took out some seams (the back seam and a seam in the straps) so I could show off the print more, the less interruptions the better, there’s so much going on! I used the burrito method (rather than bias binding) as I felt with this slippy fabric it would give a neater finish, and again you’d see more of the print. I also made it with an exposed frill, I really love the look of this top and lived in this top and either shorts or a skirt over summer. I’m still wearing this now with jeans and a cardi too.

After the success of my first peppermint peplum top, I ended up making loads more! This lemon fabric was bought from Truro fabrics for making a gift for my friend over lockdown. I decided to cheer up a couple of friends with some home-sewn presents. Laurann loves lemons and when I saw this fabric I knew I had to make her something. Because the fit of the peppermint peplum top is loose it made the perfect top to make without any fitting needed. And it made my day that I had enough fabric left over to make myself one too!

I made this pretty top (which I really wanted to keep) for my sister. This fabric was from my stash and sewed up perfectly for the top, the exposed frill sits and holds the shape so well!

I made these shorts using the free peppermint shorts pattern over lockdown too, using some linen from my stash. I lived in these shorts over summer. So I had bought more fabric to make another version, then the weather changed! So next year’s sewing list has already been started!

The sheer white jersey fabric is the only thing on my list I haven’t yet tackled, I’m unsure what to make from it yet, so any suggestions most welcome!

So all in all, I’ve done pretty well this year, with 2 months to go, I’ve one item on my make nine list to make, I’ve gotten through a chunk of my fabric stash. Though I’ve probably bought more fabric than I planned, but how could I resist?! And my confidence with sewing is returning! I’m unsure I could sew to order again just now, I attempted batch sewing some scrubs, I managed 10 but it took me forever and I felt quite panicked. At least I’m enjoying creating new bits for myself, my children and my friends for now…

Dolls House Progress…

We’ve got weather warnings for a severe storm, so we decided to stay in, relax and get a few bits done that we’ve been meaning to do for a while. This dolls house is one of them.

The bathroom furniture needed fixing and putting back in the right places. We’ve also added fluffy mats and a towel with a towel hook.

I love the pink, marble and gold in this room, we’ll need to add some more bits of furniture soon.

This living room needed it’s lighting fixing, a pretty pink light is gorgeous, I think we might invest in a couple of lamps too though, as it’s a tad dark in here. For Amber’s birthday she’ll be getting some furniture for this room, can’t wait to give it to her!

The flooring in this bedroom needed revamping slightly. We have plans for some wall art for this room, I need to find something to make frames with though…

The flooring in the nursery had to be replaced as it needed to come up in order to fix the living rooms lighting. This flooring matches the wallpaper and furniture better though so it’s all worked out! The flooring was from a wallpaper sample again.

Altogether the inside is starting to come together, Amber is super excited!

Next to concentrate on the outside, I’ve been putting it off as it feels like a big job, but once done it’ll look amazing again!

Using foam glitter sheets, cut into little squares and stuck on to form tiles for the roof.

We went for gold and charcoal grey glitter for a grown-up-ish look whilst still completing Amber’s dream of sparkle.

The completed roof tiles, I love!

Next up the paintwork could do with being touched up a little more than I did at the weekend.

I couldn’t resist giving Amber the furniture that I was saving for her birthday, the squeals of excitement! Now to find something else for her birthday present…

The little sofa, armchair, tv, tv unit, shelves and coffee tables were all from lidl. There were some bits in the set that I didn’t like much, but these bits are gorgeous. Sometime I’ll make some cushions to tie in the brown sofa and I reckon they need some more houseplants!

I also popped these shelves up, I found these in a charity shop, a little bit of extra storage for all those pots and pans.

The excitement on Amber’s face says it all, can’t wait to find more bits to add to the dolls house…

Vintage dolls pram upcycle…

Amber has been after a pram for her dolls, the buggy she has is flimsy and the cover keeps breaking, I also love the look of the vintage prams. I found this pram for £15 on Facebook marketplace.

It was a bit worse worse for wear and needs some tlc, the hood was faded and torn, the cover didn’t quite fit properly, the wheels dirty and battered, the paintwork also needed work.

First off I had to work out how to take it all apart, it wasn’t as simple as I thought! The rivets in the hood ended up needing drilling out with the help of a friend, as I just didn’t have the knack or the strength! The little pins which fixed the bassinet in were more simple, but as you can see, it was all showing it’s age and needed a good clean.

The cream rubber tires were taken off and given a good soak and scrub.

It was all given a good clean in preparation for spraying, you can see the rust on the bottom of the pram here, and my little helper.

I decided to use car spray paint for the pram, because of the rust, I’m also hoping this will be more durable, as I’m sure this pram will be knocked around.

I forgot to get a picture of spraying the body, but we went for white primer to help keep the rust at bay and then a fiat 500 colour so it’s a nice off-white/cream, I didn’t want it to be glaring white.

I used the old hood and cover to create the new coverings, picking it all apart and then laying out the peices. I went for a baby pink cordroy for the outside, and a gorgeous pink rose fabric for the linings. A gorgeous vintage lace I had in my stash finishes it all off beautifully. The panels were sewn together with a sewing machine and then the hood had to be sewn onto the frame by hand.

I used the chrome spray once again to paint the roses onto the side.

Instead of rivets on the hood I used nuts and bolts, and an eyelet to hook the covers over.

I think the only thing I’d do differently next time is to remember to spray the hood metal! I’m annoyed with myself that I completely forgot to do that, but it is too complicated to unstitch everything now.

I cannot wait to see Amber’s face when we give it to her for Christmas!