Tag Archives: Stash busting

A review of 2020

I’ve done review posts (and then planning posts for the forthcoming year) for quite a few years on this blog and I wasn’t going to do one this year (I won’t be doing a planning post) but then I realised it’s been my most productive sewing year so far so it would be a shame not to celebrate all the things I’ve made.

I do want to acknowledge my privilege before I dive into my makes because I know a lot of people have lost friends and family members this year and have lost jobs and had their lives as they knew them fall apart. I myself work in a bookshop and was furloughed when the UK went into lockdown in March and was about to go back to work when we entered the second lockdown in November, but this was delayed until December. I was back at work for 4 weeks and a day when Gloucestershire was moved to tier 4 (today) meaning that I am furloughed again. I have been paid at least 80% of my wages that whole time and my partner and I have relatively low outgoings (and he went back to work in June) so we have been okay financially. I also have a flat to live in and hobbies to occupy me so I was able to enjoy most of my time not working. There were weeks when I was fed up of being in my house, but I did manage to visit family in the Summer when it was permitted and we have my partner’s family close by where we live. I have no children so I didn’t have to suddenly become a teacher over night and this means my time has been my own to do with as I please. I have also had regular online chats with my close group of friends from uni and I feel we have deepened out friendships – usually we try to meet up once per year and have a whatsapp chat but it has been nice to feel like we are close together even when we are (literally in some cases) thousands of miles apart.

With all that said for the first 3 or so months of the lockdown I sewed ALL THE THINGS that I had in my mind to make for probably years. I had bought fabric with specific projects in mind and then never quite got around to them, even with moving to working part-time last June (2019). In 2019 I made 16 garments and in 2020 I made 35 garments (2 of which I haven’t yet shared here) and refashioned one. That’s quite a difference!

I’ll start with jackets and coats – I didn’t realise I made 4!

Sequined Bomber jacket

Houndstooth Richmond jacket


Gold Rumana Coat

Victoria Blazer Coat hack

And of course, no sewing year for me would be complete without a bunch of shirts!

Blue and Pink Popover Kalle

Yellow Geometric Kalle

Faces Kalle


White and Black Checked Blaire

Classic White Melilot

I also did some epic scrap-busting and made a load of Inari Tees from larger scraps I had in my stash.

Silver Knit Inari

Electric Blue Inari

Jungle Print Inari


Crowd Inari


Cotton Lawn Inari


Pink Striped Inari


Yellow Geometric Inari


Black Striped Inari

2020 was also the year of making jeans for me – I made 5 pairs in total!

Ginger Jeans

First Pair of Dawn Jeans


Pale Denim Dawn Jeans


Black Skinny Dawn Jeans


Navy Skinny Dawn Jeans

I also made some other trousers that weren’t jeans!

Black Crepe Evelyn Trousers

Grey Hudson Sweatpants

Navy Blue Hudson Sweatpants

Navy Blue Double Gauze Arden Pants

Mustard Double Gauze Arden Pants

I finally made 2 pairs of Carolyn Pyjamas, the fabrics for which I had had for years and years!

Liberty Cotton Carolyn Pyjamas

Boaty Carolyn Pyjamas

I refashioned my Sew Over It Anderson blouse into a Marilla Walker Mercury top and I very much prefer the new iteration of this gorgeous fabric!

I made another Cleo dungaree dress mostly just to use up some leftover denim. I’m not sure how much wear it will get to be honest!

I also made another Sew Over It Nancy Dress – again not sure how much wear it will get, though it will certainly have to wait for warmer weather either way.

Another makeĀ  I’m not sure will get much (if any) wear is this Sallie Jumpsuit. The fabric is a little too thin and clingy for me to feel completely comfortable.


On the opposite end of the scale is my denim Roberts dungarees which have already had sooo much wear! They’re so comfortable and a good choice for days when I’m mostly sitting at home but don’t want to wear sweatpants!

It’s no wonder after all the sewing – and all the new items for my wardrobe – that I slightly ran out of steam after the first few months! Though a few things were made after the first main batch, the vast majority were made in April, May and June.

I want to try my hand at underwear in 2021 – I bought some supplies to make period pants, to find another way to be more sustainable and reduce my impact on the environment. I did made reusable make-up wipes this year and they have been a triumph!

I also stopped wearing bras really at all last Winter (under so many layers of clothes when it’s freezing at work, who can tell anyway!) but in the Summer with only one layer on I do kind of want at least something else to protect and slightly support my boobs so I’m going to have a go at making some bralettes. I’m lucky that I don’t need the support of underwiring or more supportive bras – when I was younger (like a teenager) I wished I had bigger boobs but now I’m so glad they’re not!

I’ve also got a (rescheduled) wedding to attend in the Summer so I’ll definitely be making a new outfit – I don’t feel like I went out that much before the pandemic but I like having bigger events to go to as an excuse to make something fancier than I would wear in my every day life.

But these are my only plans – I used to plan yearly and monthly my makes but I almost never followed through with the plans so I’m just have ideas for now. And now my wardrobe if necessary items is pretty much complete I might have a go at some more frivolous makes just for fun – and to expand my sewing skills!

Happy New Year! And thank you for following my making journey this year – I’m so thankful I have had sewing to keep me occupied for the vast majority of 2020!

FREE Halloween Cat Pattern

A couple of years ago I made a couple of this pattern for a work secret santa and since then I’ve been meaning to make it into a pattern/tutorial in time for Halloween and I’ve never yet got around to it. Until now!

You can download the printable pattern here and there is a printable version of the instructions here. There is also a text-only version of the instructions if you want to save ink if printing.

You will need:

  • approx 24 x 42cm knit fabric
  • toy stuffing
  • small amount of rice

Here is the cutting layout I used (though if your scrap of fabric is a different shape feel free to play pattern tetris. You also need to cut a third gusset on a single layer.

The pieces you need to cut out are:

  • 2 body pieces
  • 2 tail pieces
  • 3 gussets

  1. With right sides together stitch the 2 body pieces together, leaving the bottom between the notches unsewn. Use a 1cm seam allowance.

Leave the body inside out.

2. Sew 2 gusset pieces together with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a gap in the stitching (for stuffing).

3. Stuff some rice into the gusset pieces. This will act as a weight in the bottom of the cat. This is quite fiddly – if you have a little funnel, it would be very helpful here!

4. Being careful to make sure no rice goes under your needle, sew the gap shut.

5. Baste the third gusset to the pouch of rice, stitching 0.5cm away from the edge.

6. With right sides together, stitch the 2 tails together with a 1cm seam allowance. Leave the straight edge open (for stuffing).

7. Turn the tail the right way around (this is very fiddly, sorry!). If you have a loop turner, this will be very useful. Stuff the tail with toy stuffing. Leave 1cm at the open end un-stuffed – this is the seam allowance to attach the tail.

8. Place the tail inside the body of the cat, with the tip of the tail going into the head and the open end being lined up to the notch on the back of the cat. You may have to slightly curl the tail up to get it to fit.

9. Pin the gusset/bottom to the bottom of the cat, with the plain side (the third piece you attached) on the inside. Sew with a 0.5cm seam allowance, leaving one side open for stuffing.

10. Turn the cat the right way around, stuff and hand sew the gap closed.

11. Admire your new familiar!

Note that I used the same pattern for both cats but due to the different amount of stretch in the jerseys, they ended up a slightly different size.

I think you could stuff the whole cat with rice (it would need quite a lot) to make it into a door stop. If you were to do that I obviously wouldn’t bother with the little weight made from 2 gussets – so you would only need to cut out one. You may want to reinforce the bottom seam by sewing it twice too.

Halloween 2020 isn’t going to be the same as in any other year but you can still decorate your home for spooky season!

 

 

Colour Blocked Linden Sweatshirt

I made this Linden a month or two ago, so it seemed more weather appropriate then than it does now – today has been the warmest day of the year so far by miles! Autumn/Winter feels like it’s been going on for at least 3 years now so it was nice to finally not need 4 layers of clothing!

This make actually fits into the series Shauni is running on her blog, The Magnificent Thread, called sewing leftovers, which is pretty self-explanatory. I’m sure we all have those projects where we have half a metre or a metre of fabric left – I have a whole box full of such leftovers and I do go through phases of getting enthusiastic about using them up but this might be one of the first times I actually followed through and made the thing!

The fabric of the body is from my first Linden and my first Mabel skirt (neither of which I really wear). I think it was a really long ‘remnant’ from my old London haunt, Rolls and Rems on Seven Sisters Road. The sleeves are some black ponte I had left over from my Moneta party dress. This didn’t have enough stretch for the cuffs and hem band so they are made from some other mystery black jersey I had in my stash, which I used to make a not-very-successful Hemlock tee. So this was definitely a good buster of my left overs! Though I probably could have done without the cuffs as the sleeves are a little long!

Although I didn’t have a huge amount of the patterned fabric left, I did manage to match the pattern on the side seams. #winning.

I find with these kinds of basics I don’t have a huge amount to say about them. I sewed it completely on my overlocker, which was a first for me – usually I sew on my machine first and then neaten the seam allowances on the overlocker afterwards, but I thought I was pretty safe with this as I’d made it before and the construction is pretty straightforward.

This might actually be a good transitional garment for cooler Spring days as the fabrics aren’t that thick, so it’s not really warm enough for Winter, and it’ll be too hot on really hot days but those in-betweeny ones might make this perfect!

Are you struggling to dress as much as I am now it’s finally warmed up?