My Week In Sewing: Sickness, Cosy Cardigans, and my Sicily Slip Dress

Hello everyone, I’ve been saying this a lot recently but welcome back after a brief hiatus. I’m hoping to have to say that less but life is what life is. The challenge from starting a blog in lockdown is that returning to the office, commuting, and generally being out of the house limits the time to blog. Furthermore the stress of returning to a hectic pace of life often means that when I do have time physically, I don’t have space mentally to think about writing. In many ways I felt pressure for this blog to be a practical outlet but now that I have my youtube as a zone for practical sew-a-longs and pattern discussions I wanted to take time to evaulate what this space is for me. The original purpose was always to share my sewing journey, so thats what I’m going to do.

Those of you who follow me on youtube will recognise the name of this series. For a good portion of 2020 and 2021 I would vlog my whole week and share it with you and I loved doing it. It was fun to share what I was up to from home and to share the reality of my sewing journey at that time. However since returning to the office and to commuting, I don’t have the same type of sewing time anymore and it became a real challenge to film anything interesting. So a few weeks ago I had a bright idea! I am bringing the My Week In Sewing segment across to the blog. I’ll still be able to share my week with you plus its a no stress way for me to keep blogging while also taking much needed time to process my week. I hope you enjoy reading this series as much as I am going to enjoy writing it.

My Week In Sewing: 28th March – 3rd April

This week is an interesting one in which to start this series because the majority of my week did not include sewing. In fact I was extremely unwell this week and landed in hospital on Wednesday with a fever, low blood pressure, and a chest infection that was having a good go at becoming pneumonia. However I am definitely on the mend and in many ways the opportunity to stop doing absolutely everything and just rest and focus on my health was a blessing. While I didn’t have much sewing time at the start of the week, I was still thinking about sewing all the time and that is something that can be very hard to capture on a vlog so I’m excited to share those thoughts with you.

Last week was gorgeously hot, as the end of March often is, and I got a chance to debut my Me Made spring and early summer wardrobe. I also started my annual spring body reset where I start moisturising my legs again, sorting out my nails, and putting on face suncream everyday. So even though it turned colder this week and the jumpers went firmly back on, my brain was very much rooted in spring patterns and fabrics. This mood was further bolstered by an exciting package from the Rainbow Fabrics Kilburn sale (shown below) with a beautiful lilac crinkle satin and a rust colour polka dot viscose.

I’ve never really sewn with anything lilac because I used to find with my old hair that it washed me out but my new blonde hair definitely helps to warm up my skin tone so I’m hoping it will look good. I’m just trying to find a pattern for this fabric. I definitely want to make a dress, most likely sleeveless and long but not necssarily flowing, and categorically no buttons. I’m racking my brains for something with the right silhouette so if you have any ideas do let me know in the comments below!

While I was lying in a bed in A&E on Wednesday I looked down at my trousers and noticed that they were starting to go threadbare at the knees and thighs. I’m sorry to say that I have an emergency/inpatient hospital outfit and have done since around 2018. The key to dressing for hospital I always think is convenience and comfort so for years my go to has been a comfy lounge/yoga bra (no metal so you don’t have to take it off for scans), a short sleeved black t-shirt, so they can access your arm for blood tests, cannulars, and blood pressure monitoring, a zippy hoodie or cardigan (something that can go over your shoulders if you aren’t able to put your arms back in sleeves, and my favourite comfy black harem pants which I have had since around 2007. They are super soft, lightweight but warm, easy to take off/put on, and will double as pyjamas if you are admitted. It is these beloved trousers that are finally going the way of all flesh so I put a call out on instagram for pattern suggestions to make another pair and you all asked me to share the recommendations.

Harem Pants Pattern Suggestions:

  • The Tilly and the Buttons Juno PJs and altering the pattern https://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/2020/02/make-it-simple-juno-pyjamas-sewing-pattern.html – this i didn’t go for becuase the vast majority of Tilly’s patterns just don’t fit me in the slightest and I don’t fancy the effort when I know its unlikely to work.
  • The Margot Trousers from Made My Wardrobe https://mademywardrobe.com/shop-products/margot-trousers-printedversion – These were quite a good option but the waist line was wrong for what I wanted. My harem pants have a flat panel from waist to hip, then gathered flowing trousers, and an ankle cuff at the bottom.
  • True Bias Hudson Pants but in a much lighter fabric – I love this pattern but this wasn’t quite right either as the shape doesn’t have the looseness that I want.
  • SEW Magazing Free Harem Pants Pattern https://www.sewmag.co.uk/free-sewing-patterns/sheena-pants – This was the best recommendation by far as it almost exactly matches my current pair. All I will need to do is to lengthen the waist/hip panel a bit and we are sorted! I am going to make these in a super soft bamboo jersey a little later in the year

This weekend I started to feel better so I decided to do some very slow pattern cutting. I managed to cut out two projects I’ve wanted to make for a while. Both of them are repeats of patterns I’ve already made and wear constantly, I am of course talking about the True Bias Marlo Sweater and the Chalk & Notch Fringe Dress. My original versions of which can be seen on the right. The Fringe Dress has been a massive success particularly in the warmer weather. Its comfortable and airy but still modest enough for work and I think the hemline is really fun. And the Marlo Sweater? Honestly I don’t think there has been a day when I’ve not worn it since it came off the machine!

So I will be making a dark version of the fringe dress in a beautiful black viscose with little pebble spots (but this time I’ll include the pockets!) and I will be making a cosy cream version of the Marlo in stretch waffle knit from Higgs & Higgs which will be perfect for colder spring days. I cut both out yesterday and actually managed to make 90% of the Marlo! I’d forgotten what a quick pattern it is to sew. All thats left is to interface the button placket, attach the neck binding and then do buttons and buttonholes.

It took me a lot longer than usual to sew but thats fine. At the moment I’m trying to understand and define what rest means to me rather than what other people say is restful. One huge realisation I’ve had is that for me, someone who constantly has a to do list, I need time where there is no goal. Time to do an activity for the sake of doing it rather than to achieve something. Yesterday I tried to practice that and do you know what? It really helped.

I’ve noticed that in a week of stopping literally everything I do that my mind has become a little clearer as well. So I made a decision about my Sicily Slip Dress. Some of you may remember that I made it back in february and although I’ve not officially revealed it yet as its part of a collaboration i did post it on my story because I couldn’t decide about the length. It was mid-calf and although everyone on instagram said to keep it long, I just couldn’t like it. I hated the way it made me look like a 1920s ghost and I didn’t feel like me in it. But i kept it loong becaues other people liked it and I just couldn’t decide. Now I’ve had space to think and my brain feels quiet I can see that I hate it long and that, although other opinions are useful when trying to make an irreparable decision, at the end of the day I am the one wearing it and I need to like it.

So I took a deep breathe and one inch at a time I shortened it until I began to love it. I took 8 inches off in total so now its mid-thigh and I lengthened the straps so that the neckline was much more flattering. I suddenly feel light. There are lots of a little decisions that can pile up and start to feel like buzzing noise in your head but sometimes it helps to remember that they are individual decisions and each one is entirely achievable if you give yourself time to concentrate on it. I can’t show you the dress just yet as its still technically a secret but I had a really good time slowly altering it to make it fit. It reminded me why I love sewing the way I do, because my clothes are for me and only me.

Today’s other job is to start but not necessarily finish to the make the office/sewing room passable as currently its full of fabric and I can’t get to the desk. Also as Adam is still testing positive for covid, I am sleeping in the office so extra impetus to clear some more space.

I thought I would round off by highlighting a fabric and a pattern that I’ve spotted this week

Favourite Pattern Of The Week: True Bias Zoey Dress & Tank Top

This one would have passed me by but for a fellow instagrammer sharing it on their story! I love everything about this pattern and its swiftly climbed to the top of my wishlist. As someone with a curvier figure I love the chunkier straps and the neckline. I ideally want to try the pattern before Summer so that I can make lots of versions if it works well.

Fabric I’ve Spotted This Week: Hey Sew Sister Peach Waffle Knit

Soemthing I’ve discovered about myself over the last year is that normal jersey and knits are fine but my god do I love a waffle knit. Everything about this fabric just cries out to be made into lightweight jumpers and cardigans, long sleeve tops, and cute lounge shorts, and honestly I can feel my resolve beginning to break! In A/W I was lusting after the Khaki version but now this Peach colour is my favourite!

Thats all from me this week so thank you for joining me. I don’t normally do this style of blog so if you enjoyed it please do give it a like, leave me a comment, and maybe even consider subscribing to hear from me each week.

Until next Sunday, have a wonderful week everyone!

4 thoughts on “My Week In Sewing: Sickness, Cosy Cardigans, and my Sicily Slip Dress

  1. Elisabeth Apr 4, 2022 / 5:20 am

    I am trying to click the like button but for some reason it doesn’t work on my phone so I thought I leave you a comment instead. I have not read your blog before but really loving this concept of your week of sewing in the blog. Looking forward to next week already!💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess Apr 22, 2022 / 8:11 pm

      Thank you so much!!

      Like

  2. Zoey Dickson Apr 4, 2022 / 8:07 am

    Hi Jess, i hope you are on the mend. Thank you for this blog, i much prefer this type of blog (chatty, planning, what have i been up to) than one that ‘teaches’ as some of us are not beginners!

    Keep up the good work and the blogging
    Zoey

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess Apr 22, 2022 / 8:11 pm

      Thank you so much!

      Like

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