My Vintage Sewing Pledge 2016

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that for my birthday I received a sewing machine! I decided to get a Janome CXL301, which is a computerised one – part of me still hankers after an old fashioned basic one, in fact a treadle one would be brilliant but let’s be realistic something that helps me sew button holes is always going to be helpful. It is also the machine I used at my dressmaking class I took B.C. (you know, before Chop 🙂 ), I loved the fact that it has an adjustable speed for the foot pedal and the set up of it was a breeze. Of course the fact I had the lovely Rachel to advise probably helped there. Continue reading “My Vintage Sewing Pledge 2016”


It’s New Challenge Time!


At the start of September I committed to ‘No New Clothes for a Year’. This challenge initially came on my radar because of Katie Roberts’ lovely blog Sustainability in Style. I followed her year long challenge with interest, of course it helps that she takes lovely photos and writes about everything with passion and clarity. A wee thought took hold for me ‘could I do this?’. I pushed it aside while saying to myself ‘maybe after I get that work top…or that coat…or those new jodhpurs’. I had reduced my consumption hugely, I know the ethics of everything I buy and try to buy #secondhandfirst when I can. However, I have enough clothing but I still buy more – I want to save more money and pay off my debts. I want to have a wardrobe that exists for me and fits into my life. I also hope to focus more on learning how to implement more eco principles in other areas of my life. Continue reading “It’s New Challenge Time!”

Sewing – Striking Out on My Own

Red drawstring bag
Hmm I suddenly realise this isn’t really sewed straight is it?

A week or so ago I decided to head along to a sewing meetup. The website meetup is how the cycle group Belles on Bikes organise their rides and I had decided to see if there were any sewing or craft groups that could help me try to get making part of my normal routine. I have joined two and one group constantly puts up classes held in the organisers flat designed to get people making things and actually complete a project in a few hours. Now all the sewing I have done so far has been with my mum, which I love but unfortunately I only catch up with my folks every few weeks and not every occasion is a sewing one. My thoughts are to do a dressmaking course but I thought a couple of these meetup sessions could be a good way to dip my toes in the water.

It was a fun and relaxed evening. I made a simple drawstring bag. I found the different sewing machine a little tricky and I have a tendency to hold the fabric really tight – which oddly enough isn’t a problem, or at least something I had noticed when sewing previously. I enjoyed using the zigzag stitching as decoration on the patch on the front, something simple but different for me.
patterned cat patch on drawstring bag

The stitching isn’t perfect by a long shot but it is the first thing I have made by my own hand plus it has confirmed to me I would like to sew more regularly – I’m going to sign up for an autumn dressmaking course in the evenings.

I am also currently attempting to make a sewing bloggers favourite – the Scout tshirt. It is a pretty basic pattern and I have so far traced the pattern, cut out the pattern pieces and cut out everything in the cute sailing themed cotton I have. It is going okay although my cutting out of the fabric leaves a bit to be desired and my mum has suggested it is because I didn’t use a hard surface to cut out. I think I might prefer a more fitted tshirt in the end (do other sewers look at the pattern pieces they have cut out and think they are huugggeee?) but I am really waiting to sew it up and then work out if I want to put in darts or something. And to be fair since I managed to get paint all over my favourite boxy tshirt when painting the living room I could really do with a new version 🙂
pattern pieces for scout tshirt waiting to be cut out

On that – hmm will I like this item note I have also started working my way through the Colette Wardrobe Architect worksheets – this is with a view to making or indeed buying clothes that fit my personal style and to hopefully not end up with more skirts like the Delphine one I made. That skirt was very pretty but definitely not for me. My mate liked it though and that was a great feeling to give someone something I had made.

Cheers Mum!

Happy mothers’ day! I thought today I might post a wee blog post kind of about my mother (she would hate me if I did a full post actually about her). I have three items of clothing that I essentially stole from her wardrobe, all are denim and all are from the 70s. I love them and they are brilliant in the way they fit and of course are unique and have their own story behind them. The denim shirt I actually wore as a teenager so as well as reminding me of my mum it also brings back memories of the odd layering choices I went through at school – I wore it with purple chenille (anyone else remember chenille) jumper and thought it looked awesome – luckily no photographic proof remains of most of my bizarre fashion choices, that has to be a rite of passage hasn’t it? Some bizzare clothing choices you put together and will remember for the rest of your days, I remember in my school it seemed to be a challenge of how long you could go in Autumn before finally sucumbing and wearing a jacket to school – I live in Scotland, you should always wear a jacket in Autumn in Scotland!! Okay I have drifted off course there.

My mum dug out some great pictures of her wearing the jacket and shirt for me to share with you guys. I’m not sure anything I own will last as well as these have, perhaps my Totty Rocks mac, but I hope these denim pieces last me even longer.

Doing double denim on a motorbike
Doing double denim on a motorbike

Continue reading “Cheers Mum!”

The Journey Sew Far…

Well that’s a good pun right there, isn’t it? 🙂 Last weekend I met my mum for another wee sewing lesson. It is a really nice way for me to learn this skill – I get my tea, a cup of tea, a catch up with my parents and get some sewing skills too!

We had cut out the pattern the last time along with the interfacing now time for some stitching. Of course first thing I did was manage to sew the back panels together instead of the front meaning we had to unpick the stitching to allow space for the zip.

The pining and tacking all seemed straightforward to me although I’m slow and methodical at the moment. The sewing machine is the machine I remember from years ago, in fact I don’t remember my mum using a different one although she did have an old treadle sewing machine which I was fascinated by when I was younger.

In school I used to hate the sewing machines, being the impatient type I would stamp on the pedal then freak out as the machine gobbled up my material. But now I am older and wiser (?) now so I took it much slower and what do you know? It didn’t go too badly. They aren’t the straightest seams in the world but they aren’t the worst.

We are using iron on interfacing which meant while I sewed the front panels together my mum could quickly iron the interfacing on. Then I pinned and tacked the waist band onto the front panels and marvelled at the idea that this item will ever fit me (seriously it is looking tiny) then I packed up to head back to mine.

Next step for my skirt is starting to fit it…eep! I am already starting to look at the next pattern, I think I need to slow down and get this one out of the way!

It was also my birthday last week and my parents bought me this amazing fabric and my initial thought was some bunting for the house. Mr IHR is confused as to why but he has requested a pair of shorts from the fabric – loving his confidence in my sewing skills.

Swedish Horse Fabric

Oh and a final thing to mention, as a family we decided that 2015 was going to be a handmade Christmas (ideas on a postcard please). Well my sister has started early, arm knitting me this blanket for my birthday – pretty cool huh? Now to work out what I can make her before April…I know how about bunting??

Planning and Possible Ponies

Image from Wikipedia
Icelandic Ponies – Image from Wikipedia

I like January! I might be biased as my birthday is towards the end of it but I still like it. Everyone seems to start the new year positively, or as positively as they can and I find my inbox and phone beep with people wanting to make plans.

This year my January has felt very much about planning. I had my first lovely invite on the 4th when some friends invited me to go to Iceland with them, we are only going for a couple of nights in February but I can’t wait. I decided to seize the initiative and pinned my mum down to a couple of dates to start our first sewing project, a dark green skirt. You will probably see the photos first on my Instagram but I do plan to blog about learning this skill, or starting to learn this skill.We had our first session a week past Sunday and while we were only pattern cutting I have already learnt a fair bit and had a laugh doing it. I have started poring over the sewing books I was given to look for the next project – I might be being over ambitious! 🙂 Continue reading “Planning and Possible Ponies”