First Come, First Served…


So I’ve sailed through the first week of my RTW fast. It wasn’t especially taxing given the business of going back to school and my son’s birthday which have both easily kept me out of temptation’s way. It’s a small step, and no doubt by the end of the month I’ll be finding things a lot more difficult, but it’s a step in the right direction…

However just fasting alone is not helping to shift the excess amount of clothes already in my wardrobe and other accumulated stuff around the house. I realised that I needed to rid myself of some unwanted patterns back at the start of the Summer, when I cleared myself a new, sewing space. So here’s the first batch, up for grabs, free of charge, to anyone who wants them 🙂 I’m happy to post out anywhere (again free of charge) as a thank you for all the enjoyment I get from interacting with you all. So shout up if you fancy a particular pattern and I’ll allocate them to the first person to indicate an interest in the comments below. I’ll allocate them one per person, unless of course there’s no other takers for said pattern and then I’ll be happy to send two, so if you like you could mention a second just in case. I’ll leave it open until Wednesday…


First up is Simple Sew’s Two-in-one Skirt Collection. Designed for ‘adventurous beginners’, it comes in UK sizes 8-16. This is a lovely pattern and if I didn’t already have my trusty BHL Charlotte then I would have had a go at this. But the latter fits so perfectly that I have no need of another.


Secondly there is Simplicity’s K1620 in U.S. Sizes 10-18. A lack of any definition around the waist area means that this is never going to get made by me, despite its multiple options.


Ditto this third pattern: NewLook’s K6145. It also strikes me as being pretty similar to a dress version of Tilly’s Coco top which I already have. This one comes in U.S. Sizes 8-18 and is labelled as ‘easy’.


I love this fourth pattern up for grabs, but despite the lovely illustrations on the cover, the photos of it made up in the accompanying magazine confirmed my suspicions that its high neckline would be totally unflattering on my short torso and slightly larger bust. It’s Simple Sew’s 2-in-1 Halter-Neck Dress & Blouse and comes in UK sizes 8-20. It’s labelled as a ‘beginner level’.


And last but not least is NewLook’s K6181 Workroom from Project Runway. The long length of the maxi version would drown me and the shorter version doesn’t appeal either, far better for it to find a new home. It comes in U.S. Sizes 8-18 and although it doesn’t have a difficulty label that I can see, I suspect it’s pretty easy.

All patterns came free with various magazines and are unopened. I’m aiming to post this around 9pm tonight as this is, according to my insights page, my most popular viewing time. So if you can see anything that takes your fancy then shout up and help me clear some space 🙂


Pause for Thought…


One of the best insights I gleaned from participating in MeMadeMay earlier this year was that I can (without too many problems) wear Memades every day if I force myself to. So why don’t I? Good question…

I probably actually wear MeMades two or three times a week in reality. Clearly sometimes this is about context: I haven’t ventured into making sportswear, I’m not quite skilled enough to contemplate underwear (although I’m sorely tempted) or outerwear such as waterproofs… It’s also about choice. I actually like buying RTW still and I have no plans to stop entirely. Until my skills catch up, I still plan on buying the things I can’t make (or source suitable fabric for).

But while I was away on holiday and forced into contemplating an enforced capsule wardrobe every morning, it struck me that I was never going to wear more MeMades unless my choices were reduced further. And I actually enjoyed having (a little) less choice. Sometimes that very choice is overwhelming. Simpler is sometimes a relief!

So I’m placing myself on a self-imposed RTW diet for the next three months. Yikes! And I’m adding a clause that if I do succumb I have to post about my shameful fall from grace here. I need some sort of public penance to curb my weaknesses! I rarely spend a lot at a time, but I do love a bargain, so sales are my real downfall. I’m going to allow myself footwear (because a girl’s got to have some fun), although even there I need to consider any purchases carefully and right now I don’t actually need any kind of footwear…

And as a reward? I get to treat myself to a fabric shopping spree (within reason, enough for a couple of projects at a time maybe?) at the end of each month. Surely I can manage this? What do you think? My habit is a pretty bad one, but my wallet (still suffering from the fallout from our Florida trip) will thank me 🙂 Wish me luck!


Learning Restraint: Part III

Or in other words: the fun projects…

To work along my sensible, ‘wardrobe gaps’ list, I’ve also compiled a ‘treats’ list for myself. I wanted to instil a more thoughtful process into my projects this year,  to avoid falling for a whole host of random projects that in my real life I never actually wear! Sound familiar anyone? So after much research, these are the patterns that I narrowed it down to:


Now that I’ve conquered my knits phobia, I can’t get enough of them! I know that I need to make knits the backbone of my everyday wardrobe, so I wasn’t surprised when I totally fell for Colette’s new ‘Designed for Knits’ range a while back. I’ve been itching to give these a go. First up is the Mabel skirt, which is already fast becoming my favourite, Winter skirt of choice, see here, here and here. Next up is their Moneta dress, much inspired by Sew South London’s lovely version. And lastly dreaming of warmer, Spring days ahead, their Myrtle dress.

It was love at first sight with Papercut’s Coppelia Cardigan, which I first spotted over at I can’t wait to have a go at this pattern. This is the first Papercut pattern I’ve purchased, and it really is a beautiful sight to behold. Their packaging is divine, although I’m consciously ignoring the styling of this top with the silky, hot pants on their cover, so not a look I’ll be rocking any time soon 😉

Lastly I’ve chosen Christine Haynes’ Emery Dress, seen just about everywhere. I’m seriously late to this particular party, but I’m looking forward to giving it a go: there’s certainly lots of inspiration around 🙂

And that’s where I had to draw the line for now. Patiently waiting in the wings for my next pattern splurge are both Jennifer Lauren’s Bronte Top and Enid Sweater. I’ve seen some beautiful versions of both of these tops, but I’m forcing myself to focus on just a few patterns at a time, so next time…

I’m not totally banning myself from all unplanned makes however: where would the fun be in that? I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s succumbed to subscribing to Colette’s monthly Seamworks online magazine. They’ve promised a range of everyday, easy projects and so far I’ve been impressed with the patterns they’ve featured. I also like the idea of improving my skills through their related features articles, which seem pitched at just the right level. I figure the odd, unplanned make isn’t going to harm, but I am going to seriously consider how much wear I’ll actually get out of them before I purchase any new fabric.

I’m determined to make this year: the year I learn a little restraint…