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.

OVERSIZED SLOUCHY CARDIGAN WITH TIES | Simplicity 8217 Review

Having a plan B is always my way of dealing with difficult situations. What’s the worse that can happen and how can I deal with it? Sure helps to take care of anxiety. And I have to say I was getting a bit anxious about making this Simplicity 8217 pattern already. This is part of a collaboration with Simplicity, who kindly sent me a few patterns to review. No pressure, Alex! When I chose the patterns, I thought I’d be clever and choose a coat, to give me the impetus I needed to stop procrastinating and make a darn coat…

WINTER BASE LAYER | Sew Your Own Activewear Book

Readers, last week I started running! And I made my own activewear. Now there are two things you would not have caught me dead saying – or attempting, for that matter. In both cases, it was easier than I thought. It was just a question of finding the right person to hold my hand while doing it. And in both cases, I found just that. For running, it’s this lady called Laura (not even sure it’s her real name), who is the voice behind NHS’s Couch to 5k programme. No idea who she is, but she must be some sort…

COWL-NECK OPEN-BACK COCKTAIL DRESS | Vogue 1531

I almost called this the killer dress, but I realised I have said this before very recently! What is it with me choosing maddening projects when I really don’t have the time to faff around, when I have about one hundred other deadlines and I honestly rather be sewing something else? Because I’m a sewing masochist, that’s why!! I have read the reviews on Pattern Review about this one, so I knew people said it was hard. It’s Vogue Designer, right, so what else can it be, it comes with the territory, of course it does. But we all get…

Think #Smyly thoughts | Sewing Makes You Love Yourself Challenge 2018

January is such a navel-gazing month, isn’t it? All that goal setting, planning, resolution-ing just makes us analyse our feelings, habits, relationships, you name it. Well, this January, three brave ladies (Athina, Lisa and Hattie) have decided to put their stories out there and challenged the rest of us in the sewing community to do the same. Together they created the #smyly2018 challenge, which stands for Sewing Makes You Love Yourself. I think the clue is in the name, but in a nutshell, they are asking the sewing community to share their sewing stories, especially around how it helped us…

VINTAGE INSPIRED WIGGLE DRESS| Burda Vintage Special Sofia Dress

This does sound a bit overdramatic, doesn’t it? Well, maybe a tad. But no other dress I ever sewed, except my wedding dress, put me through the wringer quite as much as this Sofia dress from Burda Style Magazine Vintage Special. It took a long time, a lot of head scratching and a lot of swearing to turn from pattern+fabric into a dress I can slip into. And all for just one wear… Was it worth it? Well, read on and tell me what do you think…

Simple make for when everything else is chaos | Seamwork Astoria

My living room floor is currently covered with the ENTIRE content of my sewing room! It’s complete CHAOS! (Psst, don’t tell my husband, he’s away for a few days and I hope to have it all back to perfection before he gets back). And it all started with getting my eyes checked and having pupil dilation drops put it. Wait, what? Lately, I have been thinking about overhauling my sewing room more than I do about new sewing projects. I am really grateful to have a sewing room – our spare bedroom – but that leaves us with the issue…

Red Knit Jumpsuit | McCalls M7444

I feel that I definitely did not make enough jumpsuits this year! And as you guys know, I absolutely LOVE them. I had planned this one for ‘Jumping into June’ challenge, but I didn’t even get close to finishing this one in by then. So here I am showing this red knit jumpsuit in mid-August, but with my track record and the backlog of unblogged projects, this is really not too bad. So, as I was saying, I’m a sucker for a new jumpsuit pattern. And I was looking for a new summer TNT pattern for a while, as an…

Raglan tunic dress in lilac crepe | Burda Style 10-2014 #127

As I wrote in my previous post, August is #TributeMonth in the #sewcialists world. I wrote on the Sewcialist blog about 5 inspirational bloggers and instagrammers, 5 ladies whose style and attitudes I love. But there are so many more sewists I get inspiration from. So I want to dedicate my first post in August to some more of my favourite sewists. As you already know, I love Burda Style Magazine, in spite of the copying sheets bonanza and dodgy instructions, so I take a lot of inspiration from sewists like Mokosha and Chris from Said and Done, who bring…

La Maison Victor UK issue #1 | Sewing Magazine Review

I’m not one for the regular sewing magazines, as I never actually have the patience to actually read the content. The only ones that do attract me are the pattern magazines. I do love Burda, with all its limitations, and I feel I get so much for my money because of the tons of free patterns, but they also have such great styling and photography. To be honest, I had seen other pattern magazines, like Ottobre, but I was never convinced, they just did not catch my imagination in the same way. Though I keep an open mind and I…