Ages ago I decided to recover my chair I sit in to sew (for sometimes hours at a time, obvs). I filmed the process so you can now head over to youtube to watch it!
I know it’s February and maybe a little late to be sharing some homemade Christmas presents, but I actually sent these off in January so it’s not that late really!
My uni friends and I usually get together for a second Christmas (Christmas 2) in January or February of each year – though sadly for obviously plague-related reasons we haven’t been able to this year. I think it’s over 10 years we’ve been doing Christmas 2 but hopefully we’ll be able to get together next year.
Anyway to start with we all bought little presents for each other – there are 8 adults and 2 children usually in attendance so the presents got a bit much and we switched to secret santa. We thought about still doing that this year and did a secret santa charity donation instead of actual presents (where you donate to the charity the person you picked has chosen) but we girls in the group decided to exchange little things anyway to cheer each other up – but with the budget of free!
So enter trying to thing of things to make from stuff already in my stash – which is vastly depleted because of sewing all the things last year!
I decided to make them each some reusable make-up pads as I love mine so much! I used 2 different jerseys for the back to make them specific to the person.
I then crocheted a bag to keep them in – which doubles up as a bag you can wash them in so they don’t clog up your washing machine!
And then I made us each (I made one for myself too while I was making them) a sleep mask as I find it much easier to get to sleep, if I’m having trouble drifting off, if I’m wearing a sleep mask.
I also included some books from my collection for each of my friends to make the gift a bit more substantial – I’ve felt a desire to get rid of lots of stuff since being in lockdown for so much of the year. Maybe you just look around your house more when you’re in it for so much?! I found myself looking at my bookcases going ‘why do I still have that’ so I had a massive clear out and passed things I thought they would like to my friends – win win!
I used Megan from Pigeon Wishes’ Pink and Red party as an excuse to make a new outfit – because why not when I’ve been sitting in my house for 11 months and have slightly lost my sewjo (because I sewed all the things I needed for my wardrobe last year!). So I made a sort of a suit!
I talked about my inspiration for making a colour-blocked suit in this YouTube video (I’ve resurrected my YouTube channel after making one video 2 years ago! Lol!)
I used the Joe Jacket pattern from Ready to Sew for the jacket – which is also the pattern I used for the jacket of my corduroy suit. I used a suit with a more smoking jacket-type jacket worn by Claire Foy for my inspiration and so this involved a little pattern hacking.
I sat for way longer than I would care to admit trying ti figure out how to hack the pattern to get it to overlap at the bottom – and then it turned out to be relatively simple! I just slashed up the pattern front, from the hem to almost the neck line, and pivoted the whole front edge outwards – simple! But lots of head scratching to figure out if this was correct!
I added patch pockets instead of the welt pockets – which is actually way easier than welt pockets! I used the pocket pattern piece from the Honetone Coat as a guide.
I also, of course, added the tie to keep the jacket closed, as in the inspiration one. I thought about adding a couple of belt loops on the back to hold it in place, but figures this was an unnecessary step as I don’t think I’ll really wear it open, so the belt doesn’t need anything to keep it in while it’s untied, if that makes sense?
I talked about the construction and fabric etc in this YouTube video:
The fabric was all from Fabric Godmother and the pink and blue fabrics are Tencel twills and the lining was a cotton (with a little stretch). The Tencel is very drapey so possibly wasn’t the best choice for something as structured as a jacket, but it is a pretty relaxed style of jacket – and I made sure I interfaced absolutely everything that would get any wear or that needed structure. There is quite a lot of interfacing in a jacket anyway, so that certainly helped.
I do love a spotty lining! Stupidly, though, when I pre-washed all the fabrics, I put them all in together and the blue Tencel really ran so I ended up with blue spotty fabric instead of white. Sigh – that wasn’t the look I was going for. But after washing it a couple of times with some colour catchers the colour mostly came out. You would think after sewing for so many years, I would have learnt better!
The trouser pattern I used was the Dawn Jeans as I’ve made them a bunch of times and after spending so much time hacking the jacket, I kind of wanted something I knew how to sew for the trousers.
I made the size 4, as I’ve done before, but took it in only 1.5cm on the back seam (as opposed to the I think 2cm I did on my other pairs) and sewed the side seams with a 1cm seam allowance (instead of 1.5cm) as they seemed a bit snug somehow! The waistband miraculously still fit!
I sewed the wide-legged version and I actually can’t believe I haven’t before! There was a while where everyone was making the Persephone Pants – and I made them as the trousers for my suit – but the fit was never great on me and I don’t really wear them much as a result. But I get the same look from the wide-legged Dawns so I kind of want some more wide-legged jeans/trousers in my wardrobe for days when I don’t want skinny jeans!
These are definitely going to become a Spring/Summer wardrobe staple once the weather stops being below zero – anyone else in the UK fed up of being so cold?! I know we’re known for talking about the weather ALL THE TIME but I’m a naturally cold person so when the weather is so cold I get really fed up really quickly! Roll on Summer….
I really hope I get to wear this outfit to an irl sewing party one day! Though I’ll probably use an irl party as an excuse to make another outfit, because why not, eh?!
Did you join in with the Pink and Red Party? Are you like me and you only wear pink (or only red?). I tried to force myself to wear red by knitting a cardigan years and years and years ago but I wore it, I think, twice because you can’t make yourself feel nice in a colour you don’t actually feel good in! Though speaking of knitting, I’ve rediscovered my enjoyment of knitting in front of the TV so maybe there’ll be some knitting projects coming soon(ish)….
I spent some of the very end of December, after Christmas, running up some more masks as wearing them at work made me realise that while I had quite a few, it was stressing me out to do washing in time to get them cleaned so I thought I’d make some more (and use up some fabric scraps at the same time) so I’d have plenty to choose from……..and then I was furloughed again. But I think masks will be with us to stay so I’m not mad that I’ve got a bigger collection now.
Some of these are made from more crafty cottons I had lying around and some are leftovers from garments I’ve made. They’re all the Good Neighbour Mask by Bayron Handmade.
I made a kind of flick book of all the masks! Lol! Also they’re all below in photo form!
I’m looking forward to matching them to my outfit, once I start going outside again!
I hope all of you out there – and especially in the UK – are coping okay with the ongoing lockdowns and everyone is well xx
I knitted a thing!
I needed a new Winter hat for quite a while as I have one I was bought which a) isn’t very warm and b) I don’t especially love. I also have ear muffs for when it’s super cold – which is has been recently!
IMHO you can’t go wrong with a massive bobble on a knitted hat! It’s maybe a little big – I even already trimmed it down as it was really really massive!
This is the hat pattern from Learn To Knit, Love To Knit, which is also the book I used for my only complete jumper I’ve ever made! It’s in only one size and it turned out fine for me – and I guess you can fold it up more or less if your head is smaller or bigger than mine!
The fact that the hat is entirely ribbed also means there’s room for expansion/shrinking if required.
I used yarn from Lauren Aston design and I did kind of want coral yarn, to pick up that colour in my scarf, but I couldn’t find anything in that colour in the right weight so I went with my standard favourite mustard.
If you’re interested in knitting at the moment (which I weirdly am even though I notoriously get enthusiastic and then lose that enthusiasm approximately 10% into any project) you may know that it is very hard to buy supplies at the moment – I kind of love that people are turning to these kinds of hobbies in the lockdowns. It meant I couldn’t get a circular knitting needle which the pattern suggested, though, so I knitted it flat and sewed up the back seam – and you can’t really see it!
The last couple of weeks have been so cold I’m glad I can basically have only my eyes showing so the rest of me can be warm!
I definitely feel like I want to do more knitting and maybe super chunky wool and needles (meaning fast progress) is the way for my interest not to wane? I think I’ve been spoiled by how fact you can make something if you sew it that I maybe don’t have the patience for knitting any more? I really want to knit a huge blanket – especially a simple one as I wouldn’t necessarily have to concentrate on the pattern (which hurts my brain after a while). Are you knitting all the things during lockdown?