Happy New Year wonderful people!

Wahey it's 2015!

Wahey it’s 2015!

Hello!

It’s a whole new year! I wish you all the very tippety toppity best for a marvellous 2015. I am not going to do a year in review post as I have only really been sewing for 6 months of that, and quite frankly, I couldn’t choose which of my ‘creations’ I like the best, and I couldn’t describe any of them as ‘misses’. They are all misses in one way or another because I am a beginner with a lot to learn, and I am already looking at my earlier makes and laughing with horror at the seam finishes and bodges I made. But on the flip side they are all total hits to, because well, I MADE THEM! And that’s so fucking awesome! I have learnt sooooooo much in 2014 and my sewing has come on in leaps and bounds. And I am well and truly hooked. That’s a real hit! I haven’t ever had a hobby that has appealed to me as much as sewing does: I usually pick up a new fad, get really enthusiastic, and drop it again in a couple of months. Sewing looks like it is here to stay. I certainly hope it is: I have a looooooot of fabric now……

The heaving box

The heaving box

Which leads me on to resolutions. Half of me wants to call this ‘resewlutions’ but the other half of me hates myself for being so naff. Anyway, here they are…..

1) DO NOT BUY ANY MORE FABRIC UNTIL I HAVE USED UP AT LEAST HALF MY STASH

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LOOK AT IT! And that’s not nearly all of it. I can say that I stuck to my aim of not buying any more clothes until 2015. I’m proud of this. What I’m not so proud of is that I have just replaced my clothes buying addiction with an even more extreme fabric buying one. It’s got out of control. A new parcel arrives with a shiny new fabric every few days. It’s embarrassing. I’m a complete magpie. I decided a few months ago that I wasn’t going to buy any new fabrics in 2015 until I had used up a lot of my stash. Very good you might think, but what this led to was even more frantic hoarding over the last couple of months. “But what if I need to learn to sew with denim in 2015?” KERCHING! Bought. “Will I be able to cope going all year without knowing what double gauze is like to sew?” KERCHING! Bought. “I’ve got so many woven fabrics, but not nearly as many stretch knits and they are the comfiest. Are you really going to spend all year in starchy wovens?!” KERCHING! Bought. And so on and so on. So I am now NOT BUYING any more fabric until I have SIGNIFICANTLY reduced my stash. There is too much to even count, so I will judge that I can buy more fabric when I have wmptied out that big trunk and a couple of shelves. Exceptions to the fabric stash fast: I can buy lining fabrics etc if, and only if they will be used to create an item using stash fabric that can’t be made without them.

This will be emptied

This will be emptied

2: If and when I do buy more fabric in the future, I will try to only buy good quality, preferably ethically made fabric, or even better buy fabric second hand from charity shops.  In my crazy fabric buying sprees, particularly in the early days, I bought loads of cheap polycottons and things that were cute, and a bargain, but not very nice to wear. So My new motto will be quality, not quantity. I don’t won’t to build up another stash like this and I want to sew with nice fabrics.

My first quilt square in progress

My first quilt square in progress

3: I will use up my scraps. I took a quilting course at Beyond Fabrics the other day for this very purpose. It was very pleasing and I have a metre of wadding to play with. I’ll either make a throw, or some more padded quilt squares to use for serving food etc. I’ll also make lots of clothes for small people, and pants, and other small things. I can’t bear to throw my scraps away, so they will be put to good use. I’ve got a lot of them…..

Two big boxes of these scrappy beauties

Two big boxes of these scrappy beauties

4: I will improve my hand sewing. I have booked myself onto an embroidery course at Hampton Court Palace (swish!) to try and find a love of this. And now is the time to say A HUGE THANK YOU to a mystery person who gave me my Secret Sewing Santa present. I don’t know who you are, but you are SOOOO thoughtful! I got an embroidery hoop, gorgeous coloured embroidery threads and muslin and this cryptic card…..

So thoughtful, so mysterious!

So thoughtful, so mysterious!

Thank you SO MUCH secret santa! And thanks also to Lisa from Stitched up from the Start for organising such a nice thing 🙂

5: I will perfect the art of grading up patterns. As a plus sized sewer, this is still unfortunately a necessary skill as most patterns don’t come in my size. I have a pattern cutting course starting in a couple of weeks which I am hoping will give me some real insight into how patterns work, and how they can be amended. Wish me luck!

6: And finally, I will sew: trousers with a zip, a coat, and a proper shirt with buttons. Also, I will sew some nice things for my very patient husband who takes all my blog photos and allows me to commandeer the dining room table with all my sewing things. Robin you are awesome, and I will make you those jazzy shorts xxx

And that’s me! What are your resewlutions (I did it!) for 2015?? Tell me all!

P.S, this is me, in front of my stash, showing how I really feel about not being able to buy more fabric. BUT I WILL BE STRONG!!

Poor me. No new shiny things.

Poor me. No new shiny things.

HAPPY 2015!!!

Now I know what I don’t know now

Dunno

Dunno

Hello everyone,

I had dinner last night with my wonderful mum who is an avid blog reader and avid sewist (rediscovering her skillz) herself. She was saying that I should start doing tutorial posts advising on various techniques, like other esteemed bloggers. I replied that I would definitely like to do that in future, but I had to, y’know, learn the techniques first. Cart before horse and all that. Then she said, why don’t you write a post about all the techniques you don’t know? As weird as this sounds, I thought it was a jolly good plan. Because as a beginner, there is a LOT that I don’t know. But I do know what I don’t know, which is a large step forward from when I started. Then I knew nothing at all. Now I know at least some of the things I need to know.

This blog post is beginning to sound like a weird version of 2 Unlimited.

“Know know, know know know know, there’s know limits….”

 No no limits, we'll reach for the sky! No valley too deep, no mountain too high No no limits, won't give up the fight We do what we want and we do it with pride

No no limits, we’ll reach for the sky!
No valley too deep, no mountain too high
No no limits, won’t give up the fight
We do what we want and we do it with pride

Aaaanyway.

I thought I would write a list of the things I need to learn to become DEAD PROFESH and then I could revisit this every now and then and tick things off with a smug flourish.

So here is The List (in a kind of stream of consciousness order fresh from my brain)

  • Blind hems
  • Lapped zips
  • Trouser flies (you know for jeans)
  • A full lining for a dress
  • Pin tucks
  • Sewing with silk
  • Hand embroidery
  • A proper bag
  • A coat
  • Adjusting/upcycling ready to wear
  • Using a clapper
  • A shirt with a proper collar
  • Welt pockets
  • Puffy sleeves
  • Making my own bias binding
  • Using piping
  • Slash and spread grading
  • Narrow shoulder adjustment (that works)
  • Shirring
  • Making a cuddly toy
  • Using a French pattern (!)
  • Drafting my own pattern
  • A men’s tie
  • Knickers
  • A bra
  • Scuba/swimsuit fabric
  • Lace

Are there any other skillz I have forgotten that I need to know to become DEAD PROFESH? Which of these do you think is the hardest for a beginner? Which is the most fun or useful?