Its that time of year where we traditionally make resolutions and have a good think about our hopes for the coming year. I don't generally make resolutions but I do like to sit down with my notebook and a nice pen and write down my making goals for the year.
For 2017 I have two main making goals and a couple of smaller ones, which are a bit more flexible and I'll play those ones by ear a little bit. As making is a collective sport, I thought I'd share some of plans with you. Let us know in the comments what your plans for 2017 are.
First up is Project Wardrobe. I've grown increasingly annoyed at fast fashion and ill fitting clothes that last a few washes and then end up on the scrap heap. To ease my conscious a little and to make sure I have clothes I like which actually fit me, I am planning to have at least half of my wardrobe be me made by the end of 2017. I started this process in 2016 and, while I didn't get to make quite as much as I would have liked, I do now have two Sew Over It Cowl Neck Dresses, which I practically live in as they are like a pair of pyjamas you can wear to work without getting fired. The cowl neck dress is ridiculously easy to make and a great introduction to working with jersey. I also made a Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt in denim, another brilliant wardrobe staple. This one gets lots of compliments and I do love to swish in it, hands in pockets. For the Christmas party season I made myself a Sew Over It Betty Dress with sleeves. That's it in the picture above. It looks rather shapeless and huge in that photo, but its a perfectly graceful fit on! The neckline is almost off the shoulder, which took a bit of getting used to when wearing but the pockets I added made up for it.
For 2017 I have started saving wardrobe inspirations on our Pinterest channel. Pop over here to have a look. My immediate 2017 wardrobe plans are a Cashmerette Appleton, because every wardrobe should have at least one wrap dress in it, to rejig a Vintage Shirt Dress I made in 2015, I've never been happy with the top so I'm going to turn the bottom part into a skirt, and a style B version of the Lottie. After that I'll have an assessment and see how my wardrobe is working for me. I should probably think about some trousers and tops but making them scares me a little so I'll see how brave I am when the time comes.
My second Big Important Project has no practical use at all, apart from my own enjoyment, which is a good enough reason to do it. This year I intend to start an ongoing cross stitch project in which I stitch the posters from films I like. I love to have a cross stitch project I can pick up and put down whenever I feel like, and usually have something sitting on the arm of the sofa. The list of films is growing but I'll be starting with Moon, Duncan Jones' beautiful piece of science fiction from 2009. If you follow us on Instagram you'll see my progress. I haven't quite decided on my approach. Will I put the text in? If I do, should I just put just the movies name or should the piece have all the text on the original poster on it? What size will they be? What will I do with them when I finish?! Sure, I'll figure that out as I go along.
I've been wanting a good denim skirt since before I started sewing. So when I first saw the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern I decided that a denim one would make an appearance in my wardrobe. Of course, it took me 2 years to get round to making it, but I finished it in May and its been a staple part of my wardrobe ever since. In fact, it's probably the most worn item in wardrobe at the moment.
Cutting out, sewing and trimming the pocket
Last year I made a view B Hollyburn skirt in Cotton & Steel's I Heart Bees fabric so I'd a fair idea what I was doing this time round. I cut out view A for a longer skirt this time round and used some lovely, soft dark washed denim from the shop. While I always pre-wash my material before cutting, it was especially important to wash the denim as its particularly susceptible to shrinking a bit. The Hollyburn has 2 panels at the front which are sewn together to form a front seam. I didn't want a seam so cut the fabric on the fold to form one piece, making the skirt even easier to sew together!
Sewing the seams and adding the invisible zip
The only slightly tricky part of the Hollyburn is folding the pocket bags. When I made my first Hollyburn I got rightly confused. This time round I found it easy. Probably because I read the instructions properly. Always handy, right? Other than that the Hollyburn is an easy sew and a fantastic skirt to have in your wardrobe. Give it a go!
The finished skirt
I'm a sucker for learning how to do something from a book. Yes, the internet is very handy when I need to know something too- I mean, a well made YouTube tutorial is usually just what's needed. But sometimes I don't want have to boot up the computer to learn something (mainly because I'll get sucked into reading ALL the articles ever written on a subject that's massively unrelated to why I booted the computer up in the first place). And that's where books come in!
You know when you start a new dicipline and you're so busy learning the trade that you don't have time for anything else? I'm like that with cross stitch at the moment. Me being me I can't use anyone elses patterns so everything I am stitching is something I've designed myself using graph paper. Well. That TAKES AGES when you're a novice like me! And then theres the stitching itself, it too takes a while, so I feel like I've made very little in the past few months. Also, everything I am making is presents and very little is finished, so I can't share much here yet either. But here are two pieces that I can share.
Those of you who follow us on Facebook or Instagram will have seen our lovely new mini cross stitch kits on our pages over the last few weeks. Even though we stock DMC embroidery thread and Aida I had never tried my hand at cross stitch before. Like many of us crafter types I can be slightly wary of trying something new sometimes. I have my comfort zone, besides, what if I like it? Where will I put a new crafting stash? Can I afford to invest in something new? So many obstacles to overcome! Not to mention the slight fear of being useless at it. But try it I did and I loved it. You can see some of my beginners creations above.
Cross stitch is ridiculously addictive. You make all these tiny stitches and suddenly a picture appears out of nowhere. Needles to say I've been having a search around for cross stitch tips, tricks, tools and patterns. There is a ton of information out there. The Cross Stitch Guild is a good place to start. They have easy to follow videos on the cross stitching basics. I also found this handy text tool when I was on my travels. Choose your font, write your text and hit the button to generate a cross stitch chart of what you want to say. The possibilities are endless. For modern cross stitch patterns pop over to Etsy. And for a ton of inspiration and tips follow Mr X Stitch on Instagram. He knows his stuff.