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Why I'm Not Scared of Sewing With Knits...

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who read and commented on my last post.  When I wrote it, it felt kind of self indulgent, so it was especially good to read that others feel / have felt the same, and know where I'm coming from.

Today I'm going to show you some old photos which might help to illustrate why I'm not scared of sewing with knit fabrics.  Or they might just give you a good laugh!

When I first started reading sewing blogs I saw post after post about how people were scared of sewing knit / stretch fabrics, and I really couldn't understand why.  I'd been sewing with knits for years and never knew you were supposed to be scared of them!

My first experiences of sewing with stretch fabrics came when my sister and I used to do artistic roller skating (think Torvill and Dean on wheels) in our teens.  We entered competitions all over the country and of course had to have fancy outfits to compete in.  I made most of them, on a standard, quite basic home sewing machine with a zigzag stitch.  I'd never even heard of an overlocker. Despite this and the fact that they were incredibly close fitting outfits that were subjected to a lot of movement and stress I never had a single popped seam or stitch.

I also sewed hundreds, and sometimes thousands of sequins on them. 

Enjoy!

(I apologise for the poor quality of the photos, they're scans of very old pictures.  I had some even better ones with fancier costumes but the quality was just too poor).

The first three are me (don't laugh too hard!) and the last couple are my sister and her skating partner. 





On Why I Haven't Been Blogging...

I'm unsure about this post.  It feels self indulgent, but I also feel like I need to write it down.  I might take it down in a few days.

If you've come here expecting to see a new post about something new I've made, then I'm really sorry to disappoint you.  Today's blog post is more about what I haven't been sewing... and why.

I have made a couple of things recently, some Named Clothing Jamie jeans that I was quite pleased with, a Simplicity 1366 top (am I the last person in the world to make this pattern?) and a dress I hacked from a top pattern (I can't remember what it's called and can't be bothered to go and look), but nothing that really floats my boat. 

To be honest, none of my clothes - me made or ready to wear - float my boat right now and that is purely because I don't float my own boat right now.  I don't want to make (or buy) clothes that fit me now, because I don't like how my body looks and feels at the moment. 

I've got lots of plans for things I want to make;

 
New Look 6459 Cropped Trousers

Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt - cropped version

Tessuti Fabrics Bella dress

It's no secret that I suffer with anxiety and depression and one of the ways I try to deal (almost always unsuccessfully) with this is to comfort eat.   I have never once eaten something to make myself feel better and then actually felt better... I don't know why I continue to feel it will work!

I also snack in the car when I'm bored, and I spend a lot of time in the car! I do a lot of driving for work and sometimes spend up to 7 hours a day behind the wheel (I was going to say driving, but often I'm sat in a queue of traffic, going nowhere).  Foods which should only be eaten occasionally as a treat become an everyday indulgence and healthy eating in the form of preparing fresh food with lots of fruit and veg goes out of the window.  I eat crap and I'm sure that ends up making me feel more crap than I did already.  Consequently, since the beginning of the year I've put on about a stone in weight. 

My clothes still fit but most don't feel good and I don't want to make/buy things that do feel more comfortable because I don't want to accept that this is me now.  I'm not massively overweight, if I lost the stone I've put on I'd be okay, and if I lost a stone and a half, then that would be wonderful.  I know I'm never going to get back the figure I had in my early twenties however much I'd love to.  At that stage of my life I was into artistic roller skating and trained 5 times a week... I could eat pretty much what I liked then. 

And I'm not of the mindset that if I was thin my life would be perfect.  I know that's not true, and I know that way lies madness of a different kind.   What I do know is that I don't particularly like myself at the moment and I think that eating more healthily and taking care of myself a bit better would benefit me physically and mentally.   

The stupid thing is I know exactly what I need to do, I've got books on healthy eating coming out of my ears, too many probably.  And I actually love cooking, I love planning weekly menus and trying new recipes .  I just need to click my brain into the right place to actually do something about it.

So starting this week I'm going to try.  I've got food in the fridge that needs using up rather than throwing away, but from Wednesday I'm going the healthy route again.  I'm not going to go mad (I could never give up chocolate completely) but I'm going to do my best to loose this unwanted extra bit of me. 

If you've read this far, thank you.  If you're now thinking I'm a complete crackpot then I don't blame you, I think that about myself on pretty much a daily basis.  And I haven't written this in the hope of people complimenting me and telling me I don't need to lose weight.  I don't particularly care what other people think, I know I need to do it for myself.  It's not the answer to all my issues, but it's one less thing to beat myself up about.

As I said, I might take this post down in a few days, but I just needed to get it off my chest.  Hopefully I'll be back with some actual sewing and less whinging before too long.  I have the perfect fabric for that Kalle shirt in my stash, and for the Bella dress come to think of it!  I guess the Bella dress might be a good place to start, it's shape means it should fit whatever happens. 

Meanwhile, if anyone has suggestions of things I can sew now that I might be happy with, I'm all ears. 

Made by Me: Embroidery and Statement Sleeves

Hello there.  Just a quick post from me today, to let you know that I have a project up on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.



As you probably know, I've been slightly obsessed with hand embroidery recently, so for my latest project I decided to combine some embroidery - which is currently right on trend - with another current trend, the statement sleeve.

You can find my project here.  Please pop over and take a look!

Made by Me: Heavenly Helmi

If you've been reading this blog a while you'll probably know that I've mentioned several times that I don't like shirt dresses.  On me, that is; I love them on other people.



Why then, was I compelled to make one recently?

I don't know, but I have to say I love it. 

This dress came about when I was randomly browsing the Minerva Crafts website as you do.  Some gorgeous black and white star print fabric came up in their new in section and before I knew it 2 metres had jumped into my basket.  When it arrived I wasn't sure what to do with it, I knew I wanted to make a dress - I always want to make a dress - but I wasn't sure what style.

Then all of a sudden I had the idea of a shirt dress in mind.  Not just any shirt dress though, it had to be the Named Clothing Helmi tunic dress.  I ordered the printed pattern and as soon as it arrived I started making a muslin, fully prepared to hate it. 

But I loved it!  Completely and utterly.  I've been trying to work out why, because I don't like things with collars normally, but the collar on this is small and curvy and neat.  It's not big and pointy and flappy like some collars are; I think big pointed flappy collars remind me of school uniform.  




I made a couple of changes to the pattern before I cut this out:
  • Shortened the bodice by about an inch and lengthened the skirt by the same amount.  The dress remains the same overall length, but the waist seam is now slightly higher.
  • Added darts to the back waist.  I realise that this is supposed to be a loose fitting design, but it was just that little bit too loose on me and sat weirdly at the back.  I think that's down to the fact that I have quite a pronounced swayback.


  • I omitted the concealed placket as I'd found some lovely glittery star shaped buttons and I didn't want them hidden.


  • Lengthened the sleeves by around 6 inches and made the additional length into turn back cuffs with buttoned loops to hold them in place.  Is there a proper name for the loops?  If so I can't think of it!



This dress feels so nice to wear, the fabric is lovely and soft and drapy, but not too lightweight so it hangs beautifully and I absolutely love the way the collar fits and sits.  I think I'm going to make a shirt version next to wear with jeans and possibly at least one more dress.