Playing With MakeUp And Dresses

double gauze dress

Let’s play with makeup and dresses, shall we?

This outfit was sewn from wine-coloured double gauze bought from eBay, with a metallic gold dot. It’s super cute, wears and launders well – what’s not to like? Of course, because of those gold dots, I pressed the fabric on the wrong side, and not at top heat. If I pressed from the right side, I’d use my silk organza press cloth.

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Dealing With Anxiety

Today, an extract from The Little Book of Sewing. It feels appropriate.

Did You Make That Small

You can’t sew if you’re anxious; you can’t be anxious if you sew.

In 2013 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK, but being mindful is proven to reduce anxiety. What does being mindful mean? It means devoting time to your thoughts and feelings, often by engaging in a deliberate activity that you pay attention to without judging. Sound like sewing?

From personal experience, I know that sewing can be a brilliant way of dealing with anxiety.

handstitching silk hem

When world or life events beyond my control agitate me, I take out a piece of sewing. Often, I turn to a smaller task that forces me to work slowly and concentrate but isn’t as mentally taxing as, say, trying to ease in a sleeve head or neatly insert a zip.

Some examples of mindful sewing tasks might be:

• Hand stitching a hem

• Cutting out pattern pieces

• Tacking temporary stitches

• Embroidering a motif

If you want your sewing space to be your sanctuary, build slow sewing into your acts of self-love. Your serotonin levels will thank you!

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‘I am always aware that I am continuing a tradition that human beings have learned all over the world for centuries. What we are doing is both important and inconsequential.’ Blog reader, Rachel Begley

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Giveaway Winner & Double Gauze

Ten Years Did You Make That

Thank you to all the people who entered my giveaway to celebrate 10 years of blogging!

The winner is Pat K – I’ll be in touch for an address, Pat.

double gauze

I hope you’re all having great weekends. I’m sewing with some gold dot double gauze and it’s lovely!

My behind-the-scenes newsletter will be going out later today, so don’t forget to sign up. It’s so much fun!

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10 Years Of Blogging – Giveaway!

Ten Years Did You Make That

What were you doing 10 years ago? What the heck was I doing?!

Well, I guess in some corner of my house, I sat down with a laptop and opened a WordPress account. I remember being very inspired by sewing and wanting to be part of the online conversation.

Back then, it was all about leaving long, enthusiastic comments on other people’s blogs. If you want to hear how it really worked, you should definitely listen to this podcast I took part in. The online sewing community was US-focussed, fledgling, and vibrant.

Much has changed – other than the vibrant part. And I am sooooo happy to see how many people have filled this world of ours with thousands of Instagram posts and comments. It really is staggering to see how some of my peers have grown from isolated individuals (“You sew?!”) to being successful authors, business people, Youtubers and community hosts. What else is to be achieved, and by whom?

So, let’s celebrate with a giveaway!

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Reasons To Sew A Toile

sewing a toile

andy powell

Did you witness the rather magnificent costume designer, Sandy Powell, wear a toile to the BAFTA awards? She’s raising money for Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage, the home of his creativity. The plan was to persuade famous attendees to sign her toile, and auction it off.

Her plan worked! The Instagram photos were amazing.

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Two Sewing Patterns In One Handmade Dress

viscose animal print

When I was a teenager, I had a white cotton drop-waist dress. God, I loved that dress. And now I love this one almost as much.

It’s a hack, inspired by Lisa Comfort’s recent vlog where she shared a hack of the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress to make a maxi dress. Mind. Blown! So simple, so inspiring. And I had exactly the right fabric waiting to be pressed.

It’s an animal print viscose from – you guessed it – TMOS. It’s super cheap and so lovely to work with. There’s still some on a roll, so canter down to Walthamstow market, like the eager sewing unicorns I know you are!

I didn’t exactly copy Lisa’s version. Mine isn’t quite a maxi dress. I paired the Shift Dress bodice and the Myosotis Dress skirt, thereby combining two of my favourite patterns. Done!

Myosotis Shift Dress

I’ll be wearing this dress to death, I can tell. Have you done any hacking lately?

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Sewing With A Polka Dot

nora top tilly and the buttons

Have you guys seen polka dots EVERYWHERE this season? I have! The great thing about sewing is that we all likely have a polka dot somewhere in our stash, so we can crown ourselves officially ahead of the trend.

Winning at life.

On which basis, I sewed a Tilly And The Buttons Nora Top!

tilly and the buttons nora top

I don’t entirely buy the received wisdom that knits are easier to sew with than wovens. Sure, the fitting is more straightforward, but with each knit you spend some time (at least!) understanding the fabric’s structure and behaviour. Patterns for knit makes forewarn you to explore the personality of your fabric with swatch tests. Interesting.

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A New Outfit Made From Sewing AND Knitting

how to knit a shawl

I can’t decide if I like the lopsided wall or the fungal concrete more. Keeping it real, folks!

Now, didn’t I tell you I’d been making stuff? Here is one of my new outfits, composed of both sewing AND knitting.

Let’s start with the shawl, shall we? Long-time readers of Did You Make That already know that it takes me about one gazillion years to knit any single item. Glaciers move at a quicker pace. So, I’m keen to celebrate a finished make!

This is the Waiting For Rain shawl by Sylvia McFadden. It’s a lovely combination of calming garter stitch and head-scratchy lace sections.

waiting for rain shawl

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2019 – Inspired And Inspiring

It’s fun AND mindful to look back, look forwards – to remember the best (to not mind the worst) and hope for more to come. How was your 2019? I have to admit, I needed to scratch my head to remember all of mine – the past 12 months flew by in a whirlwind.

2019 was my year of the Myosotis dress – dang, I love this pattern. It struck a chord as the high street has been full of gathered, tiered dresses and it’s always fun to put your own spin on things. All of my successful Myosotis makes have been worn in HEAVY rotation and I have others planned.

Myosotis Collage

red myosotis dress

myosotis dress in silk

myositis with marie

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Happy Holidays 2019!

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The traditional Did You Make That festive vlog is up and available to watch on Youtube. Find out my suggestions for Christmas reading and see Ella leap after a cat!

I am wearing my Tilly and the Buttons Nora top in mermaid sequins. Swoon!

Have a great break, my friends! Put your feet up and relax.

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