2020: The Year Of The Blog

As we approach Christmas, albeit a very 2020 Christmas, I have started reflecting on the year. While it’s been stressful in some ways, its been a great year for me, I started my blog/channel and instagram this summer to name one great thing!

Adam & Me in Zurich

I rang in the new year with Adam in Zurich while visiting his extended family. In January I had a great birthday and started playing badminton weekly with Adam for some time together from my busy work schedule. In February I left my stressful workplace and got a new job and I went on a bra making workshop at the New Crafthouse. I saw my family in London in March and my family and Adam’s family all had dinner together which was really special. Then the pandemic hit. After some extremely stressful moments considering whether or not I would be made redundant, my colleagues were put on furlough and I stayed full time helping clients reschedule their events across the next two years.

During this time I sewed a few things, did some pattern drafting and planning but my old red machine was getting to me a little, my motivation was slack and the living room was not configured in a way that let me have enough light to sew. Adam and I did some gardening and I taught and filmed a lot of yoga classes. But I wanted to sew more. I also had always wanted a blog. I have tried many times to keep a blog going but I always felt silly because I didn’t feel like I really had anything good to say. I could do the first few posts but then I just felt like I was forcing it. Its one of the great challenges of blogging to keep the authentic voice and purpose. However talking about sewing is something I can do and whats more I LOVE doing, much to the dismay of many of my friends.

Enter The Blog

My First Logo

I vividly remember the day I started this blog. 28th June, I was lying in bed watching treasure planet on Disney Plus and I’d been toying with the idea for a few days and then I decided to go for it that morning. I spent all morning trying to think of names, I enlisted my sisters to help but in the end I actually came up with So What If I Sew. Honestly ‘So What If I Sew’ is the crux of the response I give to people who make judgemental comments about my hobby and a response I’m sure we can all relate to. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t incredibly nervous about starting the blog because I am by no means an expert. In fact one of my first blog posts was put down by a woman who decided to tell me my scissors were rubbish and I clearly had no idea what I was talking about but I don’t care, I love sewing and dressmaking and it is for absolutely everybody.

So now here we are six months on and I’ve loved every minute of it. I love blogging and vlogging and instagramming. My YouTube Channel has been a great source of relaxation and fun, watching other sewing vlogs on YouTube has been very inspiring and the sewing community as a whole are wonderful and supportive. I am now starting to plan my landmark makes for next year and I can’t wait to show you all what I get up to. I am going to return to fabric Friday blogs in the new year but I am going to aim for fortnightly reviews instead. I will also do a monthly blog spotlight on a project and I’ll be asking on instagram what you guys want the blog to be on!

Now I’m off to relax with Adam before we go and pick up our Christmas Duck from the Farm Shop and start really getting ready for our first Christmas just the two of us.

Merry Christmas all and Happy New Year!

Tilly And The Buttons Eden Coat – Sewing Project

I’ve been a little bit absent on here recently due to my degree workload however if you head over to my youtube you can see what I’ve been up to for the last few weeks! In November, I finally, FINALLY, finished my Tilly And The Buttons Eden Coat. This project is by far the most complex make I’ve ever attempted and I am so proud that not only is the garment wearable but that it looks vaguely professional and its waterproof! I decided over the summer that I wanted to attempt this pattern as a present for my eldest sister so of course I had to try one for myself. I was nervous when I bought the fabric but it was also really exciting, it felt like such a big step forward in my sewing life. As I’ve always wanted a proper barbour jacket, I decided to make my coat in that style using black waxed cotton, a white floral cotton lining and brass zips and snaps. I tell you I was the most nervous I’ve ever been when I cut into the waxed cotton for the first time but it was worth it for the coat I’m now living in every time I go outside.

The pattern is labelled as ‘for improvers’ and is produced digitally as a PDF. While the pattern itself isn’t particularly complicated, there are a huge number of individual pattern pieces. The pattern and fabric cutting took a couple of hours and was mentally exhausting but after the cutting stage it wasn’t too bad. The instructions could be a lot clearer and I would like it if they were numbered and the pattern pieces were in bold when mentioned in the pattern to avoid some of the more confusing elements of the making process. Otherwise its a time consuming but not a particularly difficult sew and I had to work on it in the mornings only because the lighting in our house isn’t great and trying to sew black thread on black fabric in the evening sure does hurt your eyes! In this blog I’ve picked out a few elements that I liked, disliked and of which I feel other sewists should be aware. If you want to follow the whole making process check out my two part sew-a-long vlog linked below for more information.

Inserting my first jacket zip

Honestly I was most nervous about this step because I’d never done a jacket zip before, I’d never even sewn a zip using my new machine and new foot. So, true to form, I dived in head first and it went really well! I split the zip, placed the tape on each side and marked the top and bottom with chalk, made sure they were at the same height and went for it. I was surprised and delighted to find that jacket zips are actually quite simple and I am no longer scared of them – so thats a result!

Working with Waxed Cotton

Croft Mill have a wonderful selection of lightweight waxed cottons perfect for a ‘Barbour’ style waxed jacket. After great trepidation I was somewhat surprised to find I absolutely love sewing with waxed cotton. It’s a joy to work with, it stays where it’s put, you don’t need pins and it flows through the machine like a dream. My only advice would be to use a denim needle and if you want a 100% waterproof coat consider how you are going to seal your seams against the weather.

My First Snaps

At this point having made two Eden coats with two different snap applying methods I have a mixed opinion about snaps. My black Eden coat was my first attempt at applying snaps and it was incredibly frustrating. I used the Prym antique brass coloured snaps and the equipment that came with them to apply them and it was absolutely maddening. There is a small plastic tweezer type contraption that you fit a series of heads to and you use a hammer too apply the snaps. However using a hammer and the instructions, it took Adam and I over an hour to apply them all and it was not error free I can tell you! After this frustrating experience I bought the Prym Snap Pliers from The Makers Merchant to use on my sisters coat and they made a massive difference. I cannot recommend them enough the whole process took 15 minutes and I didn’t swear once!

Overall this coat has made me smile and its made me scream with frustration but I am proud of the result. Its surreal to look at it hung up next to my other coats for all the world as though I bought it somewhere. It’s a coat of firsts. My first snaps, my first jacket zip, my first lined garment, my first hood, my first patch pockets, my first piece of outerwear in fact! So of course there are little bits and pieces I would like to improve but its a win, a milestone and I am almost giddy with pride whenever I wear it. If you want to learn more about my making journey and process then have a watch of the vlogs below!

Follow my progress on YouTube!

Part 1:
Part 2: