The best of ’14! #sewingtop5

This has been a good sewing year for me, I’m glad to say that I’ve learned a lot about this amazing craft. I’ve also set up and continued to write this blog and had the pleasure meeting some really nice people along the way, bring on #NYLon 2015!

As it’s that time of year I thought i’d do a little round up of my fave makes so far but then I also came accross Gillian’s Top 5 of 2014 so thought I may as well jump on board! Only thing is that I think adding in my worst makes will suck the fun out of me writing this, you know how it is when a sewing project goes wrong! So I’m gonna keep it positive for your sake as well as mine!

Here we go with my top 5 hits…

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Highlights of 2015…

(1) I love going to the theatre but hardly ever go so earlier this year I made an effort to actually go. Admittedly my theatre-going has tailed off during the second half of the year but I still got to see some great productions most notably Les Mis (AWESOME), but also The Commitments, Kingston 14, Wicked and Spamalot.

(2) Hubby and I visited Bath twice this year, once for our 4th wedding anniversary and once as a half term getaway. Its a beaufiful city and we really enjoyed both visits. We went to the roman baths, cinema, did some shopping (including fabric shopping of course) ate great food and I even got a tour around a farm!

(3) My hubby graduated with a Masters in Education. I was so proud as I watched him walk accross the stage in his cap and gown ♥♥♥

(4) Live football, as in 2 trips to West Ham football ground once to see a friendly between Argentina and Croatia and once to see West Ham Vs Swansea. Usually with football on the TV I can take it or leave it but I do really enjoy a live match, the atmosphere is brilliant.

(5) I’m finally making dresses from a pattern – I’m in love with By Hand London patterns and, as you can see from above and in other posts, I have made quite a few skirts and dresses from their range. And the Kim dress was ordered yesterday and should be on its way to me as I type!

Reflections – what have I learned this year?

(1) Well staying on dresses, I fitted my first dress. Hello Elisalex. This was actually the 2nd one that I made but the first one that fitted properly, almost…

(2) New recipes – I’ve made an effort to try out new recipes and have added spicy shrimp, veggie stew, roasted broccoli with parmesan, and stuffed trout to my cooking knowledge. I once read somewhere that most people know how to cook about 10 different dishes and pretty much have those things on rotation most of the time. I think that’s pretty much true for me so i’ve been trying to break out of that rut!

(3) I learned (am learning) the art of embroidery.

(4) I learned that it’s very important to make time to rest – although it can be quite difficult!

(5) Not so much learned but I remembered how good it can be when you make the effort to be social. NYLon 2014 and the social activities and friendships that have come of of that have definitely been a highlight of 2014.

 

Goals for 2015

(1) Buy a house

(2) Start a Counselling Psychology course part-time

(3) Try out new sewing techniques – i.e. shirt and trouser making – the Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt and BHL Holly Jumpsuit are calling my name…

(4) Become more active

(5) Still thinking about the last one…

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2015!

Cx

 

Top 5 of 2014

 

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My Christmas Party By Hand London Flora Dress

I’ve kept my love of By Hand London’s patterns no secret. I’ve made a couple of Elisalex dresses, a few Flora skirts and I have the Sabrina dress pattern cut and ready to go. I also have my eye on the Holly and the Victoria. But even though I’ve had this pattern for about 6 months now this is the first time that I’ve made the Flora dress, I can’t believe that I left it so long! To be honest I was put off by the thought of having to fit the bodice – I made a fair few adjustments to the Elisalex bodice and wasn’t really too enthusiastic about going through that process again but hey, sewing the same bodice over and over again would get a bit boring if I never fitted another design so I went head first into making it and had another great reason to get started – the work Christmas party!

The bodice was super quick and easy to put together and thankfully I didn’t need to make many adjustments. I shorted the bodice by half an inch took in the side seams by a quarter inch and the centre back seam by a quarter inch. I shortened the skirt pieces previously when I made my navy flora skirt and I can’t remember how much I took off but it was a fair bit as I’m not that tall and like an above the knee skirt. I’ve become a fan of a side zip instead of at centre back but as I was making the bodice for the first time I wanted to follow the instructions to the T so I went with the intended centre back zip. Although it’s possible, I find it hard to zip the dress all the way up plus I’ve added a hook an eye to the top so I think I’ll need hubby around to get me in and out of it!

Onto the fabrics, this dress was certainly a stash buster as I didn’t have to buy a thing. I had about a metre of this gold fabric which I bought ages and ages ago but didn’t really have a plan for (see, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with impulse buying fabric!). I think it’s some kind of poly. The skirt fabric is a black cotton sateen that I bought in the summer. I fell in love with it because it’s just so soft and was the perfect weight and drape for a swishy skirt like this one. The lining is a mix of fabric scraps, red polycotton for the front bodice lining and some polka dot cotton for the back. One of the things I like about By Hand London is that they include a label in with each pattern – I’ve always forgotten to sew it in to my other BHL makes but this time I remembered and I think it makes my dress extra special …

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The Christmas party isn’t for another week yet so sadly for me there’s no pics of me having a twirl, or playing about outside with hubby as the photographer which happens to be my favourite part of putting together a blog post! Despite this I hope you like the finished article (which includes my new party necklace)…

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