Looking back at 2021

Oh wow! What a Year. I’m super grateful for all the unforgettable and amazing experiences that I’ve collaborated on, whether it’s been testing for designers, blogging in return for fabric or being part of an amazing community on Instagram.

It’s been a rather busy one regarding testers as there has been 15 so far … I’ve had to turn away a few because let’s face it, I was burning the candle at both ends and running on empty. But it’s good I know my limits, well sort of – it’s been a steep learning curve!

I’ve been counting up the makes that I’ve made this year and there are over 60 – yes, I’m not sure how I’ve done that but somehow I’ve sewn over 60 garments this year and yes it’s still adding up as the year is not over yet – It’s only mid-December, we’ve still got over a fortnight to go.

I’m always taken aback about how many likes, comments and engagements I receive, I’m still absolutely humbled by the kindness of strangers, some of which, now really good friends that I’ve met IRL, some that I’d love to share a day with and meet. I keep looking at my stats on Instagram and still shake my head in utter disbelief that I’m over 4.1K. It’s been a lot of hard work on my part, but I’ve enjoyed it. Interacting with you, whether it’s been on IG, email, youtube has been one of the best parts of 2021 – it’s kept me going.

My YouTube channel has been organically growing since I picked it back up over a year ago and I enjoy thinking of ways to bring you content on that media. I must admit, it’s hard work doing the editing – but I’ve learnt lots, and still continue to. I often have ideas bubbling over in my head for months before I get the momentum and confidence to actually do it. I was particularly slow at taking up VlogMas due to the commitment thing, but I’m enjoying showing some parts of my day to viewers and subscribers alike.

I’ve not thought about my favourite make of 2021 – yet! I better get thinking though, time is running out. One of my favourites is the Davenport in the pink spotted viscose as part of collab with felicity fabrics and the other is one of my Wildergowns.

Spotty Davenport over on Felicity Fabrics’ Blog
My FPC Wildergown in Fabric (that I bought from Sew Me Sunshine)

You may have noticed a shift with my makes. Earlier this year on my IG stories I shared a whole load of fabric pulled from my fabric stash which I put potential outfits together and asked on stories if it worked. I’ve kinda got a good eye for this and really do get a buzz out of it. This was the start of something huge for me – OH BOY … HUGE!

For me, dresses will always thrill me but I need to and I want to invest in separate pieces such as skirts, blouses, tops, cardigans and of course trousers. My make nine 2021 mirrored that as well, which must have been an underlying catalyst to start this shift from just sewing dresses.

Ok, I’ve not completed my 2021 Make Nine but it’s been my best year so far, In previous years I’ve only completed 1 of those! I’m on the fence about carrying over the makes I haven’t completed/sewn from my make nine 2021 to next year. I still want to make them but feel if there’s a fresh board for nine makes, it might spur me on. There’s still 5 makes on 2021 make nine but I’m taking four and a toile as a win!

My Make Nine 2021 – a win?

I still want to add separates, particularly trousers. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the fitting drama with the Megan Neilson Dawn Jeans. Like many others in the sewing community, the Dawn Curve hasn’t been straightforward. Before I even looked at the instructions I knew it wasn’t going to be straightforward as a pair of culottes (jeezo, I love culottes!) but I think that worked in my favour. I wasn’t overwhelmed – my brain was open to “ok, we can fix this in a rational state .. at some point in the future” (we still need to re-toile them with the adjustments – maybe 2022?!).

Looking at what I need in my me-made wardrobe, has maybe helped me with my fabric stash – ok I’ve been on a ban since the latter half of the year and am due to come off it in January but that hasn’t really made a huge dent in what I’ve got, perhaps this coming year it will, only time will tell. I am in a privileged position to have such a stash and I have to admit still feel overwhelmed with how many projects I have planned or with the actual stash. I have had very successful destahes in the past, most of which have allowed new fabrics into the stash, which beats the point of destashing, doesn’t it? But the ban has opened me to potential outfits from my already existing stash rather than shop, which is good. I’d like to keep pushing myself to use the stash and make new outfits. So I think that’s one pledge I can take into 2022. It’s quite a big pledge.

It’s been a good year for my confidence and sewing. I’ve learnt to really accept my body, whilst others might not – but that is their problem and not mine. I’ve just accepted what I have is me. Sure, I still have many moments in my head doubting if I can pull a certain outfit of but that’s half the battle.

I’ve put a slide show of some of the garments that I’ve made in 2021 for you to enjoy.

As Always – Thank you so much for taking the time to read.

Happy Sewing,

Dreamy Davenports and another fabulous Emma Project!

When Friday Pattern Company contacted me, asking if I like to test there most recent pattern there was no hesitation in saying “yes”.

I’m sure you’ve seen the features of this dress but if you haven’t, here’s a illustration below.

The ruffles and the sleeves were the small details that sold it to me in the first instance. But as I made the tester up, the elasticated neckline and the cinched in waist literally blew my mind (in a good way) !

When the Davenport Dress was released, last Friday (16.4.21) – it was a double celebration as Scotland lifted the travel restriction which of course couldn’t pass by without a photo opportunity at a different location without a beige wall! Now don’t get me wrong, I love my beige walls as they allow the details on my garments to speak for themselves but sometimes you just need a different location!

I’ve had this Dashwood Rayon “the Secret Garden” in my stash for a good while and when Emma said she had bought some of the same fabric another wee collab was in motion. I think I bought it from Lamazi Fabrics way back in the day!

Emma @CoffeeAndGlassSlippers made the By Hand London Anna Dress – and boy, she’s knocking it out the park! Absolutely adore this and I think it’s one of my faves thats she’s made so far, Emma never fails to surprise me with her amazing style and sewing talent. I seemingly remember Emma telling me she got her piece of Rayon from John Lewis in Glasgow and it was half price, I think it was just after the 1st Lockdown and shops were just opened. Half price – Utter bargain!!!

Emma looks absolutely in her Anna Dress in the same fabric.
Swoon!
That jacket is such a great make that Emma made a while ago (another one of my favs!)

I found that the Rayon was a fray magnet. Way worse than the Ravishing Rayon that I used on my Kew Dress.

The Kew Dress by Nina Lee London in Ravishing Rayon by Dashwood Studio

For some unknown reason, I didn’t finish the edges with the overlocker after I cut which is what I usually do. I did, however finish most of the open edges once I put it together.

Ok the pattern is absolutely fabulous, I can’t fault it, so much so I had a second Davenport Dress ready as part of a collaboration with Felicity Fabrics, before the pattern was released, which you can read all about it here.

Davenport Dress in collaboration with Felicity Fabrics!

Both the Rayon and the viscose serve the pattern well with regards to the the ruffles and gathering. It drapes beautifully.

Location location location!

However, both times I had to slow down at the outer waist piece and how to attach that. Also adding the bodice yoke had me for a moment. I somewhat remember that the first time I did the pattern I had to walk away twice because my head wasn’t picking up the instructions right. You know, that cotton wool fuzzy head … uh huh?!

Found a Boulder to sit on!

Im looking to do a third Davenport Dress soon but it will be in a cotton. This pattern in the fabric will be quite different for me but it has such summer like pastel colours I couldn’t say no to it! I also see a hack coming very soon – keep your eyes peeled for that too.

It’s such a comfortable dress to wear.
Catching the rays down at the Cove!

As always, thanks for reading. I’ll probably talk about both Davenport Dresses on my YouTube channel very soon.

Happy Sewing!

#theEmmaProject – Sweet things!

Ok, let me explain what #theEmmaProject is!

Emma and I met on Instagram when I had a destash and since then we’ve have lots of chats via DMs. We are still to meet IRL but that will come along with a serious splurge on fabric when we are allowed to meet!

Both Emma @CoffeeandGlassSlippers noticed we’ve got a few of the same fabrics and then we got chatting and came up with this collab!

The wonderful Emma @CoffeeandGlassSlippers on Instagram in one of her gorgeous makes!

So to start off we’ve decided to use our Liberty Candy/Sweet Cotton Lawn. Although they are different colour ways, mine is brown and Emma’s is purple, they still have the same sweetie print.

I’ve had this in stash for absolutely ages, actually it’s went into my destash a couple of times and didn’t sell. Because it’s Liberty I really couldn’t take too much money off it as it wasn’t cheap to buy and there was 3 metres of it.

I’m glad I’ve turned the fabric now into a dress. I’m contemplating on doing a matching mask and hairband, although I probably won’t wear them all at the same time together unless it for photos!

For this dress, I choose the myosotis dress by Deer & Doe Patterns. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern and the colours are quite similar!

Now I know this pattern isn’t fully size inclusive and the fact that Deer & Doe really have fucked up with regards to their plans and eh excuses, I won’t be praising them in that way anytime soon once the actually release something that’s surpasses a 60” hip (body measurements). I will review the patterns when they do eventually show the light of day.

When I did my first myosotis dress, the mandarin collar was quite tricky but this time it seemed to be more satisfying to sew it together. Perhaps it was the second time I did it and also I think I looked up a few YouTube videos just to make sure that I was getting it right.

Yes, it has pockets … and they are a good size – I love a dress with pockets.

I’ve got the pdf pattern and although it only goes up to size 52* – Bust 45 5/8” Waist 37 3/4 Hip 48, I don’t mind the fit. Perhaps maybe in the future I could add some ease by slightly grading it out but to be honest, I don’t think I need it.

I added two labels, one being “Room for Cake” by Pink Coat Club and the other “Be Yourself” by Kylie and the Machine.

Now I’ve started to use a fabric glue stick for my labels – it’s a game changer. Before I found my labels going slightly crooked even with a pin and taking it slowly. With the fabric glue stick, that I purchased from Little Rosy Cheeks, there’s no more crooked labels going forward!

The gorgeous pink buttons are from Textile Garden. Textile Garden is one of my go to online button shops!

I do love this version of myosotis dress without the frills and ruffles. I think with the busy print it would be far too much with the ruffle on the bottom skirt and on the sleeves, plus I can easily get a cardigan or jacket on!

Going forward, I think I will add some length onto to the bodice. There’s nothing wrong with this version and my first but I do feel I could get away with more length in the bodice. Also I’m going to try the wonderful Marie’s @stitchodyssey’s no-collar hack on my third one, whenever that may be!

So there you have it. A blog post and a new make in one. Yes it’s been a while (over a month!) but I’m back and I hope you are ready for more posts coming your way.

Here’s the lovely Emma in her sweet Liberty make. Emma hacked the Maisie Dress into a top and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous! I think if I ever see this purple colour-way, I’ll be snapping some up!

Annnnnd Emma and I will be returning with another collaboration. And we can’t wait to share!