Well, I know I’m a bit (!) late in posting the 2014 review but I had such a busy Christmas!
My family came over from Canada and I don’t think I had a minute to myself. It was wonderful to be surrounded by my family though, I do miss them lots.

I didn’t make as much as I would’ve liked over the year but I really got into dressmaking.
I made a total of 10 dresses:

From left to right, a wool Lilou, blackwatch Eva dress, Merchant and Mills dress shirt, Stylish Dress book E, two basic dress from the Sewing Bee book, another M&M dress shirt, a Betty dress with a long skirt and the Cath Kidston basic dress from the GBSB.

I also made a Cambie dress from Cabbages and Roses fabric for my sister-in-law’s wedding.

Out of all the dresses I made the Lilou and the blue dress shirt get the most wear. The sewing fails have to be the CK birds dress due to the terrible fit (the fabric bunches at the back) and the Betty dress as I dislike how the skirt hangs.

I also made an English paper piecing blanket from Tilda fabric for my gran.

And a homespun blanket for my mum and dad which was very well received. Sorry for the mid-make photograph, both blankets got finished very late and I did not get chance to take any proper pictures.

I also made my mum a Maggie Rabbit for her birthday (shown here with no nose or any clothes on!).

A baby blanket for my friend’s baby

Above, I learned to knit!! But haven’t actually made any thing yet…
And below, a glasses case for my gran’s birthday:

Above a tea cosy for a friend’s birthday and below a kindle case for my Gt Auntie’s birthday

I haven’t been as busy as I thought last year but I certainly made more than I remembered!

After trying my hand at sewing, crochet and knitting, sewing is definitely more my bag.
I absolutely love dressmaking and have many ideas for future makes floating around.
I’m desperate to get hold of one of those fashion books that you can draw the dresses onto the models so my ideas look a little neater.

I’m currently in the middle of making a Marianne dress and next up is a Staple dress for a class I’m teaching in February! Exciting stuff.

I hope you all had a happy new year



Sunday afternoon

I’ve spent the last two Sunday afternoons sewing my Lilou dress.

I found the instructions quite confusing, especially considering the book is aimed at absolute beginners and I would not class myself as a beginner, more advanced beginner I think.

I had to ask for some help on IG from another lady who found them also equally confusing, she helped me out and I managed to construct the bodice in that magically lined way which if you’ve never tried it, is amazing. It’s really hard to explain but this blog does an excellent job (better than Tilly’s book – sorry!) of showing you how it works. Except that I then sewed the rest of the dress as if there was no lining at all?! All that time spent sewing the lining for the inside to be a mess – at least it looks better than facing though. I’m not going to subject you to a picture of the inside, trust me it’s a mess. Also buying cheap cotton lawn from eBay is not a good idea, when lining garments don’t choose a really flimsy see-through fabric like me, choose something pretty so it looks awesome inside.

I look at the last few dresses I’ve made (especially the ones that are only faced) and think I can do so much better. I used to read sewing blogs and think why?! All that time, energy spent making the inside look pretty and for what? And then I realised. We’re not sewing fast fashion, we’re spending time, effort and a lot of money making beautiful garments and it really pays off to be 100% happy with the way it looks (not that I’d know about that, I sort of imagine it’s really nice to be 100% happy with something you’ve made).

I wore my Tessuti Lily dress to work and got ALL the compliments. I was really blushing by the end of the day. Then I wore my Merchant and Mills Dress Shirt and felt like a rock star. I’m really addicted to sewing my own clothes. It’s such a satisfying feeling!

Up next is a plaid Emery dress with a white collar and a chambray Clemence skirt and then maybe even a white linen dress shirt. Although I do need to get started on my Cambie dress for the December wedding. Oh! So little time, what are you sewing up?