Category Archives: goals

Me-Made-May 2015: Reflections and learnings

Howdy hi everyone, and happy June! Apparently the start of the summer months but you wouldn’t know it – the weather is miserable here in Derby. I have heard rumours of a heatwave though – a girl can dream!

Back at the end of April I snuck in with my Me-Made-May pledge of wearing at least one handmade item every day throughout May, and I am happy to say that I stuck to my pledge. I didn’t manage to document every day, but no matter, that wasn’t the name of the game for me this time. Here are a few of my favorite outfits:


Letitia jumper. Previously an unsung hero of my me-made wardrobe, this jumper became a wardrobe staple during me-made-May. Comfy and great to sling on over jeans, or with black trousers for a smarter look. I can see myself wearing this a lot more in future.


I have several Pendrell blouse’s in my wardrobe and they all got a lot of wear. In particular the black version with lace sleeves (which you can’t quite see above) since it goes with so many things (there is a lesson here – see later!). Oh – and new hair!


My Simplicity 1652 dress got a lot of wear, as it always does. Comfy and easy to wear, I love this dress.

This was the first year that I had attempted all 31 days and I’m not gonna lie, a part of me is happy that May is over so I can get back in some of my RTW favourites. But I’m taking this as a positive, because it means that I have identified some real gaps in my me-made wardrobe. So what have I learnt?

1. I need more dresses! I love dresses but have relatively few every-day dresses in my wardrobe. I have a few in the pipeline including the Sewaholic Yaletown dress which I hope will address this gap.

2. I need more basics! By this I mean more plain coloured tops and bottoms that I can mix and match together. Top of my list is a black pencil skirt – perhaps the one from Gertie’s book?

3. I have very little me-made going-out wear. It was my 30th birthday this month and I struggled to find something nice to wear out for dinner with the husband (eek, that is still weird to say!). Of course I planned to make something, but it didn’t quite happen.

I’m hoping to address some of these issues so that by the time next May rolls around, I have a lot more variety to play with.

Did you take part in me-made-May this year? What gaps in your me-may wardrobe did you identify? Also any pattern suggestions for the above would be most welcome!

K xx


Autumn sewing plans

Hello there!

The chilly weather we have been having around these parts recently has got me thinking about my autumn sewing plans. There is definitely a change in the air; when I got up at 6am this morning it was dark. I’m not going to lie to you, I love autumn. I feel a lot more comfortable dressing for autumn, in layers and cardigans and scarfs than I do for summer. Nothing beats cosying up inside with a cup of hot chocolate, a cat or two and a blanket. Oh and the boy, if he happens to be around.

My autumn sewing plans were already in development, in my head at least, when the lovely Liz from Liz Makes It drew my attention to the Fall Essentials Sew-Along (aka FESA14) being hosted by the ladies from Rhinestones and Telephones and What Would Nancy Drew Wear. Never one to pass up the challenge, this sounds like the perfect opportunity to kick-start my seasonal sewing. FESA14 runs from 1st September until 30th November, and the idea is that participants sew items from one or more of the following categories:

  • Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather
  • Chic Chemises for Cool Climates
  • Fabulous Frocks
  • Underneath it all
  • Tender Tootsies
  • Those Cozy Nights
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside

Details and inspiration for each category can be found here. Being the ambitious kind, I am aiming to complete one item from each category. Nothing wrong with setting ambitious goals, and I already have a few WIPs that fit nicely into some of the categories, so this will be an incentive for me to complete them. Here are a couple of patterns that are currently tickling my fancy:

Miette cardigan

Miette cardigan by Andi Sutterland

I currently have a Miette cardigan in progress, in fact I just have one sleeve and the button bands left to complete. This is the perfect cardigan to wear with dresses to transition them from summer to autumn/winter staples.

Sewaholic Robson coat

Sewaholic Robson coat

I was given the Robson coat pattern from Sewaholic Patterns for my birthday back in May, and I am planning to sew this up as an autumn jacket, probably in a plain colour such as grey so that it goes with everything.

Coco from Tilly and the Buttons

Coco from Tilly and the Buttons

I see more Coco’s on the horizon; I wear my red Coco dress to death and am planning a version with contrast roll neck and cuffs, as well as some top versions.

I am hankering after a basic black work skirt, something warm and with a bit of drape. I am thinking of using wool of a wool blend. I’m still looking for the perfect pattern though, suggestions would be most welcome.

I also want to sew more dresses. I love dresses and would wear them every day if I could. My starry-eyed Anna and simplicity dresses get a lot of wear, but I need more! I am contemplating the Yaletown dress as I really like the wrap-style bodice.

Sewwaholic Yaletown dress

Sewaholic Yaletown dress

Yep, Sewaholic again…and what of it?! I make no secret of a fact that I am a total Sewaholic fan girl, Tasia’s patterns are great. And no I am not being paid or receiving any incentive to say that!!

Phew, that should keep me busy! Anyone else joining in with FESA14 or just hatching their own autumn sewing plans? I’d love to know what’s on your list.

K xx



Jumping on the 2012 review bandwagon….

Yes I know I’m a little bit late to the party, but I’ve really enjoyed reading all the 2012 review posts and I couldn’t resist sneaking in with one of my own!

Looking back over my blog posts from the last year I was surprised to discover how many things I made in 2012. In April I started a new job which involves a moderately long commute and cuts down my sewing time considerably. I expected this to have a drastic effect on my stitching, and while it has meant that I have perhaps cut down the number of “big” projects I have completed, I seem to have balanced this out with a fair number of smaller projects. Below I have listed everything I have made this year split in to sewing and knitting:


2 Pendrell blouses (here and here)
1 Truffle dress
1 New Look dress
3 Renfrews (only one blogged here)
1 Minoru jacket
1 pyjama bottoms

Sewaholic Minoru jacket – probably my most worn make this year

iPad case
4 knitting needle rolls
Childs apron
Tote bag


1 snood
2 jumpers (1 currently unblogged)
2 bunnies
Owl cushion
3 meerkats

Knitted meerkats for my friends wedding

In terms of clothing, the vast majority of my makes were from Sewaholic Patterns. I have mentioned my love for Tasia’s designs many times on this blog. It is great to have found a series of patterns that I know fit me well with minimal alterations!

At the start of 2012 i set myself a number of goals for the year. So how did I do?

1. Sew more basics
This one I stuck to – sort of. I made a couple of Pendrell blouses and Renfrews which are routinely worn. However I could do with sewing even more basics, in particular for the bottom half!

2. Stashbust
Erm….yeah. Both my yarn and fabric stashes are bigger now than they were at the start of last year. Opps. What can I say, I just cannot resist beautiful things (or a good deal!)

3. Interact more with the blogging community
This one I definitely stuck to! I took part in 2 meet ups, one of which I co-organised, as well as two other sewing gatherings, including one where the fabulous Dibs taught us some milinary skills. I hope to attend more meet-ups this year – there is nothing better than a day of fabric shopping and nattering about stitching with people who understand! I am so grateful for the wonderful people I met last year and cannot wait to do it all again. Who knows, maybe a summer Birmingham meet-up is in order?

Birmingham bloggers meet-up

4. Be more patient
Sort of. My Minoru jacket was a slow burner and I did enjoy the leisurely process. However, I still do tend to set myself stupidly tight deadlines (I may have been finishing up the meerkats in a hotel room on the morning of my friends wedding, for example!) which is something I need to work on. Sewing should not be stressful!

5. Take part in a craft fair
This one did not happen unfortunately, due to starting my new job I just did not have time. However, 2013 is another year!

So I did so-so with my last years goals. But this will not deter me from making new aims for 2013 – no no it will not. However, I will restrict myself to 3:

1. Make more time for stitching
If i don’t have time to do the things I want to do, I get grumpy. However, most of the time it is my fault. Instead of waiting until I have hours to spare, I would like to make the most of the time available. 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there – it will soon add up!

2. Take better photos for my blog
Often I am lazy and snap a few shots on my iPhone rather than taking out my camera and doing things properly. This shows on my blog, and I feel guilty about not giving my makes the great presentation they deserve. There are many blogs I admire which have fantastic photography, and I think this really makes a difference. So this year I would like to stop being lazy and make an effort to do my handiwork justice!

3. Make progress on a hand-stitched work wardrobe
When I started my new job I purchased a small number of grown-up work clothes with the aim to add to this number with me-made garments. This never quite happened, aside from a few tops. This year I would like to work on more everyday garments that can become staples of my work wardrobe, in particular dresses which I love but lack!

What are your goals for the year? Does anyone else out there share any of my three? In particular, I am interested in anyone who plans to make more time for stitching this year – it would be great to share tips and follow how everyone gets on as the year progresses!

Happy New Year everyone – I hope 2013 is happy and healthy for you and your loved ones :)

K xx