Sewing Plans For Lockdown 2.0

Hello everyone, I’m writing to you having just woken up from a nap after a fantastic Sunday roast courtesy of Adam and we are back in lockdown. Now I don’t mind lockdown especially, it’s a strange time but not much will change for me personally however mentally and emotionally its still very tiring. So! To combat this emotional time I have started thinking about the projects I want to accomplish in lockdown alongside the very significant amount of Christmas present sewing I’ve got to do. I’m sewing something for my mum, dad and eldest sister this year along with some other potential sewing presents so lots to do and therefore even more important that I continue some selfish projects to challenge myself as a sewist and make sure I’m still getting time to relax.

My current work in progress is my Tilly And The Buttons Eden Coat. I’ve been working on it for ten days so far and its incredibly tiring but I’m proud of my work and I’m super excited that I will have actually made myself a coat. It feels like such an incredible step forward and advancement in my sewing. I’m hoping to finish it by next weekend as I’ve got to make a whole second version for my sisters Christmas/Birthday present so I will write a blog post reflecting on the making process and any lessons I learnt along the way.

However there are a few other garments I’m looking to make in the next month or so which I have listed below:

Lotta Dress, Tilly And The Buttons

I’ve got these two stunning fabrics from The Sewist Fabric Shop and from Felicity Fabrics, both of which are destined to become Lotta’s however I’m not sure if I’ve got enough of the green one but I’m super excited to work with these fabrics and this pattern! I’m saving the first one up for this week, I think it will be a palette cleanser when my Eden Coat gets too much.

Nora Top, Tilly And The Buttons

As the weather gets colder the Nora top is really starting to call to me and luckily I’ve quite a few snuggly fabrics in my stash. I’ve got a grey rib knit, a coral rib knit as well as a cosy navy textured jersey/scuba and some other jerseys and I’ve got a feeling that the Nora will be making making appearances in my wardrobe. I’ll be writing a blog about my first Nora so stay tuned!

Wrap Dress, GBSB

Above is a picture of the first GBSB wrap dress I made in October. I want to make another of these now I understand the sizing better and make the adjustments I discussed last time. I have some gorgeous slightly heavier viscose jersey that is a black base with an abstract print from Rainbow Fabric Kilburn that would look stunning as a wrap so I just want to have another go at this pattern knowing what I know now.

Something with my waffle

I’ve not got a pattern in mind for this one but I have the most gorgeous ochre waffling from Felicity Fabrics and I really want to make something cosy and comfy for the winter. I was considering a cute yellow dressing gown but then maybe a Freya or similar would work for it? I’m not sure. Please let me know below if you’ve worked with a non-stretch waffle and if there any patterns you could recommend!

Florence Blouse, SizeMe Sewing

This is a new pattern purchase from SizeMe Sewing, a raglan blouse with shirred sleeves(never done shirring before so very exciting!) and I’m going to make it in my purple viscose marrocain from Rainbow Fabric Kilburn. I’ve been holding on to this fabric for ages now because I just couldn’t quite find the right pattern for it but as soon as I saw the blouse online and I knew this would be the one! Can’t wait to make this but definitely need to get some shirring elastic in.

Christmas Sweatshirt

Finally project on my wishlist. As we are stuck at home for the foreseeable I wanted to get into the christmas spirit buy some plain sweatshirting/loop back jersey and some christmas patterned sweatshirting to make two tone Christmas sweatshirt! It will be my first christmas video so I’m just looking at fabrics at the moment and then I will buy the fabrics themselves once I’m paid at the end of November!

So these are some of my sewing plans. Not a definitive list by any means but the projects that I have in my mind at the moment to complete before Christmas. Above all I don’t want to lose my sewing motivation because I’m sewing complex things for other people, I want a list I can turn to when my inspiration is low to just make something fun for me. I will learn loads from the presents I’m making but sewing for others can get a little dull so I’m excited to work through my personal sewing list. Now I’m going to finish uploading my first Eden Coat Vlog and tidy the house before another very busy week!

5 Top Tips For Using PDF Patterns

Happy Thursday everybody! Today is the last day of my annual leave so I’m sat on the sofa doing some life admin and watching the Bourne Supremacy and I’m about to assemble my Helen’s Closet Luna Tank pattern. If anything that last few days have made me realise that I really need some proper annual leave to just do nothing! However it has given me the chance to start on a very big project as well as film a few YouTube bits and reflect on a part of sewing I had never engaged with prior to this year which is PDF patterns.

Initially I thought that PDF patterns were irritating because you have to print and assemble them at home however as I’ve started sewing more often and more complex garments I’ve realised that if there is one thing I hate more than assembling PDF patterns its tracing from pattern sheets. Now tracing from pattern sheets with multiple patterns is fine, its one of those necessary evils but tracing from a tissue paper pattern is a step too far and honestly I’m starting to prefer if not outright love PDFs. I know there are lots of people out there who have never used a PDF pattern so today I’ve going to take five minutes to explain why they are awesome and give you five quick tips on using them to make your PDF pattern life simple.

1. Cut Off The Corners

This is a trick I picked up on instagram and I honestly cannot remember for the life of me where I saw it first but whoever first thought of it, you are a stone cold genius. One of the most frustrating aspects of PDF pattern assembly is cutting off the margin edges of each page and trying to line them up perfectly. However 99% of the time there is a rectangle around the pattern itself to indicate what is pattern and what is just page. So if you just neatly clip the corners of each page you can then overlap the pages and line up the external rectangle et voila! One pattern constructed in half the time and its a lot easier to tape because you aren’t trying to tape two raw edges together. Haven’t tried it before? Try it now and thank me later.

2. Use Pattern Weights

There are few things more frustrating in the world that carefully lining up you pattern pieces, extending your seletope only to find one of the pieces has somehow moved out of line. Now apologies if this sounds obvious but I genuinely didn’t think about it until the other day, use pattern weights to the fixe the pages in place then tape and move on. It makes everything so much simpler and while its more effort to get your pattern weights out it cuts down the frustration that seems to be so synonymous with PDF patterns.

3. Have A Printing Day

If like me you don’t have a dedicated sewing room or office space with all your equipment laid out then chances are you are getting out your printer just to print your PDF patterns. In this case it can be hard to work up the motivation when just buying the pattern means you have it physically. My top tip in this case is to have a printing day, if you can save up a few PDF patterns then put on a movie, get your printer out and print them all in one go. If you want to you can even assemble them at the same time but if you’re anything like me one of the biggest hurdles is just getting them printed out.

4. Check If There Are Layers

These days pattern designers are putting more and more effort into their PDF versions and many patterns now have a layers function. This means that you can isolate down just your size and print that, making cutting out a pattern with over ten sizes on the sheet a lot easier from the get go. Just a note, if you are a MAC user then you will need to use Adobe as preview doesn’t work.

5. Get It Printed Professionally!

Sometimes you may not feel like assembling a PDF pattern when its over 50 pages which is completely fair. This is why there are wonderful people out there who will do it all for you! If it’s a big or complex pattern I just pay for it to be copy shop printed. I use Natasha from Pattern Printing Girl who can be found on instagram and facebook who is cheap and speedy! There are also businesses such as The Foldline or NetPrinter who will print and send to you just be aware that some printers may have a minimum order of A0 sheets.

Three A0 Pages for my TATB Eden Coat!

One of the fantastic aspects of PDF patterns to me is that you always have the original meaning you can print it and cut it out as many times as you want without ruining the original. Plus you can grade between sizes so easily, you can even draw all over it if you need to, it gives you the freedom to make as many mistakes, edits or adjustments as you need. While there absolutely is a place for paper patterns and I do love the pattern envelopes sometimes its nice to have the pure freedom of cutting into a pattern and not having to worry.

Do you have other tips for working with PDF patterns? Let me know in the comments below!