Feeling Better

Having been running along very happily with lots of sewing going on, the latter half of February saw my creative time and energy disappear. Firstly, a poorly girl. My daughter came down with a raging temperature, sickness, rashes and was very unhappy. An initial misdiagnosis, followed by a pharmacy error with medication has meant 5 weeks later she is still on antibiotics to clear any remaining nasties in her system but is almost back to being herself again.  This was followed by a painful ear infection for my son and having let myself get run down caring for the kids l wound up with the flu and a chest infection so all in all it’s not been a great few weeks.

Now we are almost fully fit again it’s time to get back to sewing. I have so many projects on the go and as always so many more I want to try. Whether making Christmas stockings for the GT Quilters stocking challenge or a few blocks to donate to The 70,273 Project, with my Make Nine plans I get to be a bit creative and I find it brings me calm, it’s something I do for myself, its something I do by myself and it gives me a great sense of achievement whenever I manage to complete a project.

Today it made me feel like a Superhero. My beautiful daughter is currently obsessed with jigsaw puzzles and does them over and over and over again. We have Disney Princesses, Toy Story, Thomas the Tank Engine, Nemo, Cars and even a few from my childhood which were brought over by my Mum at Christmas.  This morning she brought me her bag of jigsaws and told me the carrier bag was broken, she gave it a good shake and pointed at the pieces falling out the bottom of the bag. I asked her if we should make a new bag and she beamed at me “Yes please!”. So she got to choose a piece of fabric and 20 minutes later we have a very simple drawstring bag, and it made her so happy. She is now walking all round the house with it muttering to herself about her new bag. And I feel brilliant for making her so happy so quickly without a penny being spent (thanks to a good stash and supply of crafty bits!).

It’s a great boost and pushes me to get back to my sewing machines. I want to get in a little dress making while still trying out useful pouches and patterns and (with a recent splurge on fabric) there is another quilt coming not too far in the future as well. I have my supplies for almost all of these and now, thanks to a happy little girl I have my motivation back too.

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February Catch Up

So in the blink of an eye February is almost done. I’m been doing fairly well in keeping my creative spark going and have finished a few things this month despite loosing a week to half term and another week with a poorly toddler.

After finishing my Zip Tray pattern I carried on with Aneela Hoey patterns and tried the See It All Pouch from her book. Its the perfect pouch to show off a little paper piecing so I first tried it out with the coloured pencils pattern by Quiet Play which was on my #2018MakeNine grid. The pouch comes together quickly although I steered off from the pattern a couple of times. While I love bias binding its not always the easiest thing to sew so instead of attaching it to the back and machine sewing on the front, I machine stitched it on the front and hand finished it on the back and I am really pleased with the two I have finished.

The pencil one is currently sat on my sewing desk and might become an end of year teacher gift, although I may make it again and have the back panel embroidered with my son’s teacher initials or her name to make it a little more personal.  The second one I made was a rather last minute gift for a friend who was visiting on Valentines Day. Having not seen her since before Christmas I decided to make it into a Gal-entine’s Gift. Again I decided to use some paper pieced and the tulips pattern fit very well as she is a keen gardner. I added a little note book, a couple of pens and a bar of chocolate and soon had a really lovely gift! She seemed really surprised and happy to receive it.

I was also really pleased to have my second blog post published by UKQU. After writing the Grenfell Quilts story with my fellow project leaders I got to thinking about the many quilt appeals and charity sew alongs that I’d managed to involve myself in. Sewing can often bring groups together to respond in a positive and comforting way to some of the most tragic events that we have seen in recent years. They give us a way to help when things seem dark and with a shared sense of purpose we find a way to deal with the things that affect our communities and wider environment. You can read the full post here.

I’ll be continuing to write for UKQU and have another post coming tomorrow with a pattern giveaway so be sure to follow the UKQU Instagram account for details and a chance to win!

February has also seen me forced to get a grip on my fabric stash. There are so many new ranges coming out all the time and I have no problem admitting that I’m a complete #fabricaddict. In order to feed my addiction I pulled out some older pieces of my stash and put them up for sale in the UKQU Classifieds group on Facebook. I only pulled fabrics I was happy to give up and some had been in my stash longer than I can remember. I was really happy with the results. I sold a good few pieces and made a little cash at the same time.  It’s worth checking out if you need a little clear out.

UntitledAfter seeing the new Ombre Confetti Moda range I put a second batch up for sale as it’s such a gorgeous collection I must have it! With another pull of fabric, a few clicks, and with another batch of parcels dropped off at the Post Office I’m 75% there in finding the cash for a stunning FQ bundle. With the bundle on pre-order I can’t wait until it arrives.

I still have a few projects on the go, at the weekend I managed to quickly run up another couple of stockings for the GT Quilters #2018StockingChallenge – who wouldn’t love panda snowmen?? I have also started to make a few blocks for #the70273project after reading this piece on UKQU. I’m hoping to get a few more done and will then send them off to the US for Jeanne to use in her amazing project.

 

As usual, I’m probably trying to do too much but it always seems to work out in the end. I’m hoping to get a little dressmaking done in March as it feels like a long time since I made any clothes for me or the kids. I saw some adorable quilted jersey just last week that will make the most adorable sweater for my little lady and I have another amazing dinosaur jersey print that I picked up for my son back in January so might have to get the overlocker out and get to work.  IMG_0545.jpg

We had a few inches of snow yesterday and quite a bit more over night resulting in schools being closed today. The forecast isn’t good for the rest of the week so I have every reason to stay home and sew. Fingers crossed I get a few things done!

 

 

Pattern Review: Zip Up Tray Pouch

It’s a frosty and cold morning here in Essex so the perfect time to sit down with a hot cuppa and let you know how I got on with one of my latest pattern purchases.

I recently bought two of Aneela Hoey’s patterns to go with the Stitched Sewing Organisers book that I received for Christmas. I have picked up the book many times but have not been able to decide which project to try but I knew I wanted to try the zip up tray pouch so decided to go with that first. I have resisted buying these for quite a while as the requirements for interfacings and vinyl etc aren’t so easy to obtain but thankfully the lovely folks over at Olive and Flo Handcraft were able to put together a little bundle for me with the patterns and supplies (excluding fabrics & zips).

So with pattern and supplies ready, I pulled out some fabrics and got all the cutting done. The supplies include a thick fusible interfacing so I put a new sharp needle in my machine and got threaded up.  IMG_0300

I bought a bundle of these gorgeous Indigo Batik prints from Higgs and Higgs last summer and I knew this pattern would show them off well. I did plan the cutting carefully so as to get the pattern even across the tray.  Once the zip has been sewn in, the pattern comes together very quickly and the firm interfacing is perfect for holding the shape. While I often substitute interfacings, I really would stick with what the pattern suggests here, it needs to be very stiff so it is worth getting the Pellon Peltex if you can find it.

I was able to sew the tray ends on at the sides but did end up hand sewing the bottom as I couldn’t find the right angle to get it under my machine. Once the tray ends were on I folded the binding around and held it in place with binder clips ready to finish with a little hand sewing.

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Sewing down the binding was tricky and I did struggle a little in the corners but I am pleased with the result and it does look neat. The finished tray is a little larger than I expected, but folded up would easily pop in a bag to carry around. With the firm interfacing the tray is solid when open and would be perfect for a train or car journey.  I think this pattern would be great for anyone doing some English Paper Piecing as it’s a great size to hold a bunch of supplies. It would also be handy for holding some toddler toys or colouring pencils for young children to take out and about. I would even say it might even work well to hold a couple of jars of baby food with a bib and small cutlery for little ones.

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The pattern is easy to follow and very clearly written. With pictures throughout it would suit most levels of experience, the only tricky part being the final binding. If Aneela’s other patterns are as good I will very soon have a bunch of pouches and cases for just about every possible need! IMG_0309

2018 Make Nine

Ok, so I’m about a month late in posting but I really wanted to put something out into the world so I can keep myself on track this year. I do seem to jump between the different kinds of sewing, dress making to patchwork, cushions to accessories, and anything else I find interesting along the way.  I do think I need to allow myself to be flexible with what I’m doing as it helps me keep that creative buzz and stops me from losing interest. So here are the nine things I want to complete over the next eleven months!

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First up: Inside outside pouch by Aneela Hoey, Bjorn Bear by Elizabeth Hartman & Colour Block Scarf by Jenn Emerson.

I have been following Aneela on Instagram for ages. Her designs are so pretty to look at while being useful and functional at the same time so I’m looking forward to making the pouch. It might be a little challenge as I haven’t sewn with vinyl before but I’m excited to give it a try. Second the Bjorn bear pattern is one I’ve been wanting for a long time and I picked up a copy in January. I have given it a try and made two already but they are still sitting on my desk waiting to be finished. Third up is the scarf – I haven’t really done much knitting before but the colour block scarf looks so warm and cosy I’d really like to give it a try so that will definitely be something new for me in 2018.

The Range Backpack by Noodlehead, Toddler jacket by Small Dream Factory and the Lily dress by Green Bee patterns.

Next comes this backpack which looks great and would be so useful for trips out with the kids over the summer. I really love the style of it and it will be a lot of fun to customise it with some great fabrics. For my daughter comes this little jacket, I made a version of it without the sleeves for my son when he was 3 so I think Beth deserves one of her own.  Another one for her will be the The Lily dress. It’s a pattern I’ve had for a while and I think it would look great on her.

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Oversized jacket from Wiksten, Quiet Play’s paper pieced coloured pencils and Hot Air balloons from Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

On to the last three I’ve included, I’ve wanted to make a jacket for such a long time but haven’t seen the right pattern until now. This one fits the relaxed style I have been looking for and although it’s not out until May I think it will be worth waiting for. The coloured pencils will be part of an end of year gift for Jake to give to his class teacher. Finally, the hot air balloons which are adorable! I think they would be a great way to show off some really delicate fabrics so I’m on the look out for something special. I don’t know if they will become a full quilt but I like the idea of doing a few in different sizes and have them floating across a blue sky.

Time will tell how I get on with these nine projects and there are bound to be plenty of new patterns popping up through out the year to distract me. It does feel good to have a list put together and making it public gives me a push towards sticking to it and trying to work through as many as I can.

I’ve had a fabric clear out and treated myself to a few new pieces recently which gives me the drive to get on and get making. I do love to create, for myself and for others, especially the kids. They are my biggest distraction but I have a little free time each week now and I’m looking forward to spending it with my machine and a whole load of fabric!!

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#2018makenine

2017, Where did it go?

It’s another new year! I’m not sure how we got to 2018 but I know it seemed to come around awfully fast. I had got into quite a regular habit with my little blogs and then as the weather started to warm up my writing slowed down. I had every intention of getting going again but I ended up involved in a rather big project, and it occupied lots of my time for the rest of the year.

In June, many of you will have sat on your sofas in tears and shock like I did. The tragic fire at Grenfell Tower was heartbreaking to see. It dominated the media for days, even weeks, as people tried to understand how such an event could happen. Hearing the stories of the residents as they escaped the building was incredible and the public responded in the most uplifting way. Financial appeals were launched, tonnes of goods were donated, and people shouted for justice.

Being a mum, having a young family, it struck me hard and I wanted to help. I made a small donation, it wasn’t enough. I felt empty and knew I needed to do more. When I came across post on Instagram about a quilt appeal I knew I could make a few quilt blocks. I hoped that they would be matched with others and be a contribution from me and my family to be made into a gift of comfort for someone left with only the clothes on their back.

The appeal was being run via a Facebook group so I immediately joined. The call was for quilt blocks or tops so I pulled some fabrics from my stash and got to work. While nothing would replace all those people lost I wanted to show a sign of love and comfort and used the Heart quilt block from Cluck Cluck Sew that was used in the #quiltsforpulse appeal.

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The Facebook group reached over 1,000 members in almost no time at all so I offered to help with a bit of admin on the group. People wanted to know what they could donate and where to send things so there were lots of questions to answer. By early July there was a team of volunteers helping to organise things, each taking a role, as we worked together to co-ordinate the effort and work towards having a quilt to offer to each resident of the tower.

It took over all my spare time. In between managing the kids, school runs and meal times, I was online many times each day. I even managed to make a second quilt while on holiday in Ireland in August! We were offered supplies by some of the biggest manufacturers in the quilting industry and had thread, wadding and fabric donated by companies right across the country.  Even long arm quilting services were offered by a number of ladies which were invaluable.

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Quilt pieced while on holiday!

Eventually, with a wonderful group of people and a collective effort over 1,000 quilts were completed and gifted to the tower residents, the emergency services who attended the fire and some other charitable causes in the area.  The full story of The Quilts for Grenfell Tower has now been published by UK Quilters United and can be read here.

Now the appeal has come to a close I can get back to sewing for me and my two. I did get a new sewing book for Christmas, and have load of patterns and things I want to try if I can only find the time. If anyone here follows my Instagram, you’ll have seen I have started the year with a little Elizabeth Hartman obsession, and I have 3 pieces I need to get finished.

My son is in school and with my daughter now in nursery for a few hours each week I hope to be able to have a little creative time to be able to sew, write and maybe, just maybe, have a chocolate bar all to myself!

 

Starting to Sew for Summer

Although we had a fairly mild winter, it only took a few days of sunshine to get me thinking about what patterns I could pull together to start making some summer clothes for me and my two.  Lovely linens, crisp seersucker and double gauze, cotton lawn and light jersey knit are all fantastic fabrics for summery clothing and by mixing up fabrics and colours you can have a great handmade summer wardrobe before you know it.

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I pulled together these patterns back in early March and even had most of them cut out but I lost my motivation for a while so they sat next to the sewing machine until last week.  Two of the patterns I have made before, the Geranium dress and the Scout Tee so I  put those to the side and started with the new ones. First up was the Puffball shorts. Shorts on kids get a bit of a hammering outdoors over summer so I picked a bright purple polka needlecord from Fabrics Galore. The pattern is from a lovely book that I picked up after seeing on the instagram feed of Lauren Guthrie, former Sewing Bee finalist, now fabric shop owner. These shorts came together so quickly and I love that some of the seams are reinforced with extra stitching. The front pleats are a lovely feature and waistband and leg cuffs give a neat finish. They fit nicely but I will add an inch or so to the top of the leg pieces next time around to give a little extra nappy room. These are great for summer and could even make it into the Autumn with a pair of tights underneath.

Next up was the Oliver & S Roller skate top. I managed to grab the pattern on sale and had it tucked away for a while. It’s has a number of variations but I picked out the most simple for a little summer tunic for B using fabric from Gütermann Ring a Roses collection. Gütermann are most commonly known for thread but released their first fabric line in 2013. The collection is a lovely range of pastels and still reasonably easy to find and best of all they are 57″ wide so you get quite a bit more for your money (compared to standard 44″ wide quilting cotton). This came together quickly although I left out the elastic for a looser fit. It’s a smart tunic and great for cooler days as it’s fully lined and somehow I managed to have the perfect button to match just in my tin!. I think I’ll try to figure out making one without lining for when the weather really warms up, perhaps by adding a facing, or maybe using bias blinding on neck and arms.

Third on the list was the Scout Tee from Grainline Studios. I made a few of these last year so grabbed one from my wardrobe to check the fit. I pulled the pattern pieces from my file and got to work with a supersoft double gauze I picked up from Miss Matatabi fabrics over a year ago. This stuff is so light and comfortable to wear, just perfect for warmer weather. This woven t-shirt is a great staple pattern for any sewist, I definitely need a few more in my wardrobe.  Finally I moved on to the Geranium dress. I made a few of these last year for B and the pattern is just perfect. It comes with a couple of variations so I chose the cap sleeve and dress length. I picked up this lightweight printed denim from Empress Mills  and it sewed up great as it’s really soft and drapes beautifully. A certain someone will definitely enjoy twirling in this!

I now need to have a dig through my fabric stash and pile of patterns to see what else I can move on to next. The kids and I are really starting to build up our handmade wardrobes and it’s so great to get up in a morning and have them pick out something I made for them.

If you’re sewing over the Easter weekend let me know whats on your table and if you are looking for some fabric to start your summer wardrobe there are some good offers around for the Bank Holiday weekend including:

  • 15% of at Fabric HQ with the code ‘EASTERBUNNY’
  • 2 Free Gütermann thread at Plush Addict when you spend £20
  • Pay no postage at Simply Solids until midnight on Monday
  • Olive and Flo Handcraft are offering a free Fat Quarter with all orders over £15
  • 15% off yarn and fabric as well as patterns and accessories at Hulu Crafts
  • The Village Haberdashery have 10% of some of their woven collections with the code WOVENS10, details on their Facebook page
  • Sew Hot have a 20% discount over the holiday weekend with code ‘BUNNY20’
  • Girl Charlee have 20% off, no code needed
  • There will be a sale of fabrics at £8.75/m over at Celtic Fusion Fabrics Facebook page starting Saturday at 9am
  • The Crafty Mastermind have a sale on with up to 60% off until Tuesday 18th
  • Fabric Galore are having a special discount on seasonal Liberty fabrics on Friday 14th with code ‘EGGCELLENT’
  •  Sew Over It has 20% discount on patterns, kits and classes with code ‘EASTERSTITCHES’

Please check out each retailer for any special conditions or limitations before you place your orders!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend, whether it be spending time with family and friends or simply finding a bit of extra time to sew!

Half Term Haul

While on our half term trip up to West Yorkshire I managed to squeeze in visits to two fabric stores Simply Solids and Fab Works Mill Shop. I’ve been following the social media feeds of both for a while and was very much looking forward to exploring both.

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Half Term Haul!

Simply Solids is a great store, with a beautiful range of fabrics every shade of the rainbow. With collections from Dashwood Studios to Cotton & Steel, pre cuts and stash clubs they really do have something for everyone. I managed to pick up a little Elizabeth Hartman, some Carolyn Friedlander extra wide and a metre of Alison Glass Spheres in raspberry.   I am thinking the Paint box Basics will make a lovely summer shirt and shorts for B and the Raspberry Spheres could be a stunning Frida dress. The extra wide Architextures is just to add to my stash. I love buying extra wides as you get so much for you money and at 108″ wide even half a metre will go far.

Next was a quick stop in to Fab Works Mill Shop. This shop has a fab range but I was most interested in some of the jerseys and knit fabrics. I am often unsure of buying these online as you have no idea of the quality but having visited and bought I won’t hesitate in the future.  This lightweight purple marl is quite thin but doubled up will make a lovely layered skirt and at only £3/m doubling it up is quite affordable. The light teal/aqua sweatshirt knit was a steal at £7/m especially with it being 78″ wide. With the 2 metres I bought I can see sweatshirts for both kids as well as some comfy shorts and maybe joggers and quite possibly a little something for each of us. The final piece was the squishy grey bonded jersey, again very reasonably priced and while I haven’t settled on a pattern for this, it could easily become another Toaster sweater or some cosy super soft lounge pants!

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Since getting back you would think I had enough to be getting on with but I couldn’t resist this jersey print in my local fabric store Kayes Textiles. I have already made shirts for each of the kids and have enough left over to make some leggings and possibly even a summer dress. Its a great quality jersey and sews up very easily, even managed to get some nice twin needle stitching on the sleeves and bottom hem. fullsizerender-2

With all that to be getting on with I must put myself on a fabric buying ban for a while I think! It does feel great to be planning some more summery clothes for us all. Spring is only a few weeks away and that will mean a little less time sewing as we start work in the garden. We are hoping to grow a good range of fruit and veg again this year, we have lots of seeds left from last year and if we get some good weather we will be eating our own produce before we know it!

 

(Disclaimer: just in case anyone is wondering, these opinions are entirely my own, I have not been paid by any of the shops named for mentioning them here.)

 

School Holidays

Somehow J is half way through his first year at school. Time flies by so quickly and before I know it he’ll be asking to borrow my car. School holidays are a tricky one for me, I’d love to go out everyday and do all the local farms and attractions but this is hard to do on a budget and it can be tricky to make sure both kids are happy and enjoying themselves as they inevitably run off in opposite directions. With this in mind I decided that for half term we would take a trip to visit family in West Yorkshire. Having never travelled with both of them before this was a bit of an adventure. I booked 3 nights in a hotel for the 3 of us, packed a crate of food for breakfasts, snacks and drinks while out and filled a case with more clothes than we would have needed for a fortnight (but then you can never be over prepared with kids!!). img_4178

In the weeks before leaving I made a list of selfish sewing that I wanted to get done. I had a couple of patterns that had been sat on my table for a while and also a new one I wanted to buy. First up was the Rivage Raglan t-shirt from Blank Slate
Patterns. A quick and simple make, and my first attempt at a twin needle hem. The jersey from Sew Over It London sewed up like a dream and this shirt is wonderfully comfy, just perfect with jeans and boots.

 

Next was a little bag for me to carry my essentials. Generally I am not one for ity bity bags. I am usually the one with a shoulder bag the size of a shopping tote. At any one time I usually have nappies and wipes, change of vests/pants, first aid kit, snacks and drinks, and all of that comes before the essential purse, phone and lip balm (which I never go out without!). After finding a little backpack to carry the kids things I wanted something for me. A bit of searching and I happened on the Clematis Wristlet from Blue Calla Patterns and best of all it was a free download. I tinkered with the inside pockets a little but followed the rest of the instructions to the letter. I found some fabric in my stash for the upper but was unsure of what to use for the lower part of the outer fabric of the bag. Many of the ones I saw had used cork or vinyl but I didn’t have any on hand. What I did have was an old leather coat, something that had sat in the back of the wardrobe for years and even attempts to sell it had failed but as fabric it would instantly become useful again so hacking off an arm I cut out and got sewing. I’m really happy with how it came out. Just the right size, a handy strap, and a couple of inside pockets just right for cards etc!untitled-3

 

img_4189The last thing I wanted to make for myself was a Toaster Sweater. These have been showing up all over Instagram and I instantly new I wanted to make one but needed to find the right fabric. After seeing this post using a ponte roma from Fabric Godmother I was off. I ordered the same fabric but in navy and got to work piecing the pdf pattern together.  Its a great pattern and comes with a second style as well that I’m hoping to try out soon. I took this from the machine and wore it for three days straight (which is kind of a miracle when you have kids who always have sticky fingers!). I did end up taking a few inches off the arms and I think if I was making it again I might reduce the neck and cuff bands and thin out the arms a little but its a very easy sew, especially on the overlocker.

 

I had intended to make a few more bits for B to wear but time ran away from me and I didn’t quite get round to it. It was good to be able go to her wardrobe and pull out some handmade items for her, she does have more than I thought and with spring around the corner I’m sure I’ll be making some more to add to it very soon.

The other benefit of travelling it looking up fabric stores that you wouldn’t normally get to visit. I knew of a couple within range of where we were and managed to visit both. You can see my haul here! More details on that next time! If you don’t want to miss it please add your email on the right side of the page to be notified of all new posts!

 

Getting Organised

Most of you know by now that I love Instagram. I can get lost for hours scrolling through posts, be it fabric or patterns or basically anything sewing related. I had it in my head over the new year that if I want to get more sewing done then I need to plan it into my day or week.

There seems to be a big thing for planning at the moment. You only have to enter #bulletjournal or #bujo in to your search bar to see hundreds of images showing how people are planning almost every minute of their lives and some in the most beautiful ways as these images from My Blue Sky Design on Instagram show!

After a bit of searching around and decided I couldn’t find quite one single planner that suited what I was looking for so I created my own with lots of free printables found online. I have a weekly plan page, money pages for saving up and budgeting and some project pages. If you are looking to get a bit more organised with your sewing or life in general you may find some of these helpful.

  • Eliza Ellis has some printable sheets for fabric and pattern inventories and well as project sheets here
  • More project planning sheets here from Pixels to Patchwork
  • See Kate Sew has some fab sewing related colouring pages here and some brilliant printable for organising your sewing space here
  • Miss Tiina has lots of free resources for planning your projects, finances, recipes and cleaning schedules so is well worth a look

There are many other tools out there for planning or recording your sewing. I have only seen one up close and that is the Makers Workbook from Creative Industry available here. This is great for all your dressmaking notes and pattern adjustment details that you want to record for future use. If you are more of a quilter than a dressmaker then I have seen many people posting online photos of the Quilters Planner so this is certainly worth a look.

Do you plan your sewing? How do you make sure you factor your creative time in when busy with family and daily life? Please let me know if you have any planning tips or tricks to share!

 

Welcome 2017!

Happy New Year! Since my last post mid November time seems to have flown by. With J now at school there were so many events and things going on before school finished and then with my girl’s birthday just two days before Christmas we were putting out Santa’s plate before we knew it!

J enjoyed the lead up to Christmas, he did his first school play dressed as a snowman, enjoyed Christmas jumper day and had a Christmas party that lasted two afternoons due to the amount of sweets and treats sent in by all the class parents! We were invited into the classroom for a family fun morning where we made Christmas decorations, reindeer food and finger painted cards. By the time term finished he was shattered! We had a few days to settle things down before B’s second birthday which we celebrated with a birthday lunch at McDonalds and a trip to Hyde Hall RHS Garden which is one of our favourite places to visit.

Christmas Eve was fairly low key, but we laid our plate out for Santa with a few biscuits, milk and a carrot from the garden for Rudolph. The plate had to be refilled a few times when I realised B was sneaking over and nibbling away at the treats!  I did manage to get my Christmas sewing finished and was pleased with Christmas shirt for B and a large quilt (55″x60″) for us all to snuggle under!

But as is always the case, time files round and now we are back into our normal routine. I think B is enjoying a little playtime with out her brother and J is more than ready for the challenges school brings. While they are keeping busy I am hopeful I can get a little more sewing time in. I have been desperate to make some new cushions for our living room. The ones we have are tired and a bit flat, certainly well past their best. I’ve been toying with various patterns and fabrics and not really settled on anything until I found the patterns by Elizabeth Hartman (check out her Instagram here!). As soon as I saw the sloth I knew I had to have it and made it up within a few days, only delayed by waiting for the right fabric for the tree! I also love the pattern for Bjorn Bear which I believe will be coming out next month. The pattern for Fancy forest is amazing and so far I have tried out Hazel Hedgehog but I’m sure it won’t be long before I give another animal a go! All I need now is some new cushion pads and the sofa will be looking brighter and friendlier than ever!!

I have quite a few sewing goals for 2017, more clothes for myself, more for both J & B, and a few pieces to brighten up our home. Who knows what the year ahead will bring and how much I’ll get done but with a bit of careful planning maybe I’ll surprise myself! I hope you had a happy time with loved ones over the festive period and that 2017 will be a healthy and happy year for us all!