Hand-sewn gifts | 5 reasons why you should and 5 reasons not to bother

As sewers, we have a skill that might seem a bit magical to other people –  turning a piece of flat fabric into a beautiful 3D garment that fits and flatters. Not to mention all the other situations when it helps with more mundane or practical issues like sorting out the kitchen curtains. But how other do you use your ability for hand-sewn gifts?
Sewing as a profession aside, home sewers sometimes categorise themselves as selfish or selfless sewers, depending on their inclination to use their skills for themselves or for others. I am a very selfish sewer and I usually flat refuse to make things for anyone other than myself. However, I have been on a sewing gifts spree lately which lead me to wonder what other sewers feel about hand-sewn gift giving. Are you for or against it and why? I’ve made a list of pros and cons to get the conversation started.

Summer kimono | Seamwork Almada review

I never imagined I would sew a kimono, I’m just not a kimono kind of girl. I never even had a RTW one in my wardrobe. And yet, I’ve now made two Seamwork Almada robes in less than a month as gifts. Maybe one day I will actually end up making one for myself…
All sewers have a go-to handmade present that they pull out of the bag for birthdays and Christmases and such. It used to be tote bags when I first started sewing, then infinity scarves, then asymmetric clutch bags. And now I have a new favourite, you guessed it, kimonos!

Sustainable, Ethical, Green, Bio, Responsible, Thoughtful | What do they mean and what’s the difference?

Like me, you are trying to lead a more sustainable life, or better put, a less impactful life. You are willing to make the right choices. But what are those right choices? Marketing and advertising people in brands and retailers are shouting from the rooftops that this product is sustainable, or that brand is ethical, or we should be conscious consumers or fight fast fashion with slow fashion, or choose FairTrade or organic and live clean lives… And what’s worse, they tend to use them interchangeably as well.

Arghhh, makes your head spin, right? And you haven’t even begun looking into said claims…

Let’s build a meaningful wardrobe together! | Sewrendipity blog relaunch

After 3 years and a bit of blogging, someone asked me one day why do I blog? The answer that came to mind was not actually to the intended question. What I answered instead was the question ‘why did I start blogging in the first place?’.  
In 2014, I had finished my stint on the Great British Sewing Bee Season 3 (although it was only shown in February 2015), and I was feeling totally useless. I got eliminated in episode 2 (of 8) and I was convinced I had made a fool of myself on national television. Although I had only been sewing for three years at the time, I felt I needed to prove myself to the world.

10 ideas to style a navy-based capsule wardrobe | Me-Made-May 2018

Me-Made-May seems such a long time away now, but I still owed you pictures of the second part of my DIY 10×10 challenge. Me-May-Made is an annual challenged in the maker community when we pledge to wear our hand-made wardrobe more than we usually do, be it one item each day or entirely hand-made throughout the month. My personal challenge this year was inspired by the Style Bee 10×10 Challenges, where you need to choose 10 items to be styled into 10 outfits over 10 days. So I decided to put together 3 capsules in May, which consisted of at least 70% hand-made, and style them into different outfits, each containing at least one handmade item each day. I was partially successful in my challenge, and I achieved two of the there capsules. I continued to wear all handmade for the remaining 10 days, I just could not figure out a theme to build a capsule around it with my remaining hand-made items.

Fabric Shopping in Chicago | A mini guide

What do you do when you are in an unfamiliar city where you don’t know anyone, hundreds of miles away from home?
Why, you find the nearest fabric shop, of course!
This is exactly what I did when I was travelling to a conference in Chicago in May 2018.  I have been dreaming of going to America for a very long time, but for various reasons, it took so long for me to get there for the very first time.

10 ways to style a Black/White/Red Capsule Wardrobe | Me Made May 2018

May has been the busiest month for me for a very long time. I was travelling to three different countries in the past three weeks, and doing Me-Made-May at the same time. Yup, halfway through it and I’m still in the handmade capsule wardrobe space. However, I am only just catching up on sharing the resulting outfits with you guys (some bits and pieces on Instagram, but I just could not make me take pictures every day).

So, remember how I was aiming to do three capsule wardrobes throughout May, the first of which was based on black/white/reds? Well, I am back with my nicely photographed and accessorised outfits.

PLEATED MIDI SKIRT | BUTTERICK B6556

I was starting to get a bit worried I might be losing my sewing friends over the abundance of capsuling and style related posts lately. But fear not, handmade lovers, this post will actually talk about a project I made with my own two hands, and well, my sewing machine.…

Me-Made-May 2018 | Navy Capsule Wardrobe (10×10 DIY Capsule No.2)

Today  I was listening to the Love to Sew podcast episode with Zoe Edwards, the creator of Me Made May. She was discussing about the philosophy of the movement and why it needs to be fun and useful, but also make you push yourself, it’s a challenge after all.
Well, after the first stint of my Me Made May 10×10 capsule wardrobe (read more here about the concept), documenting all the outfits on IG and choosing my second instalment, I am definitely feeling stretched. I am for sure struggling with the documenting part, it does take an inordinate amount of time if you want to get it right (I will be posting a nicely shot post with all my outfits very soon, but in the meantime, please check out my IG account). I was not too worried about capsule 2, as I had thought it out a while ago, but when push came to shove and I had to actually take the clothes out of the wardrobe and form a cohesive capsule, with a theme, well, it was easier said than done.
However, somehow it came together…

Me-Made-May 2018 | The pledge and a new challenge

I have definitely left this Me-Made-May 2018 pledge to the very last minute. I’m in Chicago at the moment with work, speaking at a sustainability conference (sorry, just had to brag a bit) and it’s 6 PM here, but in the UK is already midnight and therefore already May.

It’s been a super extra early start today, up since 5am and a 9 hours flight, so do pardon me if I am slightly incoherent. It’s been a bit mad lately so I did not have the time to prepare and shoot for this post in time at home, but I did pack the lot with me, so took the pics in my hotel room in Chicago just now. I do feel a bit chuffed with my jet-setting ways, I must confess.

So, to make things official, here is my pledge.