Hi everyone and welcome to my first blog post. To start things off, I thought I’d give a run down of some of my favourite sewing-related things of the summer (and when I say summer, I mean the summer school holidays – being a teacher, I do enjoy those 6 weeks of freedom every year). I hope you enjoy this little round up of what I’ve been loving recently.
This is an easy decision – it has to be my Tilly & the Buttons Marigold jumpsuit. I decided to make this pattern after seeing the very lovely Harriet from The Little Dressmaker talk about it often on her You Tube channel (Go and check it out if you haven’t already The Little Dressmaker ) The idea of making my first pair of trousers but not really haven’t to do much fitting was VERY appealing! I bought the fabric (a lovely floral Rayon Challis) from my local, and very amazing, fabric shop – 1st for Fabrics. I started making the jumpsuit at a 3-day sewing retreat at Guthrie & Ghani , receiving some very useful advice from Lauren & Layla to help me on my way. The only change I made to the pattern was to grade from a size 4 on the bodice and waist to a size 5 on the hips. It was such a straight forward make and it is unbelievably comfortable (Definite secret pyjamas!) I’ve worn it so often now, receiving compliments every time, and I have the fabric ready to make a second one. The only thing I’d do differently next time is omit the invisible side zip. I don’t use it as I can pull the jumpsuit on and off without it, so it would save me time and effort to just miss this step out. If you haven’t tried the Marigold yet, I’d highly recommend it!
Favourite fabric store
As much as I love fabric shopping online and the excitement of receiving parcels of beautifully wrapped fabric in the post, there’s so much joy to be had in visiting a shop filled with fabrics to gaze at and stroke. I was lucky enough to visit two incredible fabric shops over the summer, so I’m going to have to mention them both.
Firstly, Guthrie & Ghani in Mosely, Birmingham. I have followed Lauren (who is super lovely!) since watching her on The Great British Sewing Bee a few years ago and she owns the most gorgeous shop and studio. I’ve admired it online in photos and videos for so long but FINALLY got to experience the real thing a couple of months ago. There is not only a beautiful range of fabrics but also an incredible selection of indie patterns and haberdashery items. Lauren and her staff were all so lovely and helpful. The only difficulty I had was trying to rein myself in! I did treat myself to a few pieces though, it would have been a shame not to.
Secondly, celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary in Amsterdam meant that I had the chance to visit the incredible A. Boeken fabric store & haberdashery. In fact, I shopped there not once, not twice, but THREE times over the course of a weekend! They literally have floor to ceiling shelves of every fabric you could imagine, so again it would have been a shame not to treat myself to a few bits…
Favourite ‘Happy Post’
I don’t know about you, but I love receiving things through the post. Well, not all things – I’m not so keen on bills. But lovely letters, postcards and parcels just make my day! I’ve admired the gorgeous products from Joy (Pink Coat Club) for a while and decided it was finally time to treat myself to some lovely things. Everything was so beautifully packaged and high-quality. The ‘it has pockets’ pin has been particularly well received and I wear it on my Marigold jumpsuit with pride. I also have my eye on a couple of other things (a ‘Me Made’ necklace and a ‘Sewing Wife’ pin – hint hint). Head to Joy’s Etsy store to treat yourself (or someone else) to something gorgeous.
Favourite sewing tool
Less a tool, more of a machine, but after using the Brother Innovis F420 at the Guthrie & Ghani sewing retreat and falling in love with it, I just HAD to treat myself to it. It was just an absolute pleasure to use. So smooth, so straight-forward, and with a vast range of features that my standard machine couldn’t offer (My favourite being the self-threading needle!) Don’t get me wrong, it served me very well for a few years, but it was definitely time for an upgrade and I am so happy with this purchase. You can see that Ziggy is pretty approving of it too!
And a few other favourites…
Rachel & Nikki from The Stitch Sisters. I love watching these ladies and spent the summer going back and watching pretty much all of the videos on their channel. I love their video ideas, especially their recent ‘Battle of the Culottes’ series. I want a Stitch Sister!
The lovely Jay from The Camden Stitch. Not only does she have awesome style and a gorgeous cat (Betsey), but she’s the person I’ve had the most chats with in the sewing community and she’s just lovely. Go check her out on Instagram, you tube and her blog if you haven’t already.
Sewing refreshment & snack
Definitely a Camden Hells lager and dark chocolate covered pretzels. Yum yum!
And on that note, I think I’ll leave it there. Thank you for taking the time to read my first post. I’d love to hear from you about your recent sewing favourites. Also, head over to my Instagram for a little giveaway linked to this post.
Happy sewing, Tamlyn x