Thursday, 29 January 2015

Life Lately #6

Celebrating 


It feels really odd to be writing about New Years Eve, it feels like it was absolutely ages ago, not three weeks ago! Dave and I opted for a quiet night in with a feast, board games and telly watching. It may not have been an glitzy affare, ( though I did wear a sequinned dress!) but it was the perfect way to welcome in the new year.

Travelling

On New Years Day we flew up to Edenburgh for a lon weekend. We did all the touristy fun things, enjoyed a tour bus trip, visited the castle and met up with or fried who took us to some very cool bars. I drank lots of lovely gin based cocktails and we ate in all sorts of yummy restaurants.  

Reading

Reading more is on my personal goals list this year- Reading is a habit I fell out of somewhere midteens and with all the studying and then getting into work routines, I've struggled to pick up many books in recent years.  So far so good though! I've finished two books already and am half way through two more��. Check out my Good Reads profile to keep up with my reviews.

Watching

I'm really exited to have a half season ticket for the Leicester Tigers this year! I love going to games with Dave and his family.  My Dad has taken me to matches since I was a tot so it's really special for me to go and remember those good times.

Knitting

While in Edenburgh I started to knit myself a hat with some lowly wool from the sale at work. I ended upr frogging it and starting again though, so this is what it looks like at the moment. I'm still on the deep ribbing, and haven't decided what I want to do with the main body of the hat- more ribbing? A cable? Leave it plain?

Sewing

I finished my first project of the new year last week, keep an eye out for the coming blog post all about it!

Eating

One of the girls in our youth group turned 18 and had this seriously amazing cake! It was a lovely night of fun and dancing.


More Sewing

On my day off this week I made a quick make, but I did it carefully and properly, so it's still something in really proud of and and let me practice my skills. I have even succumbed to accepting hat a hand stitched hem is so much better looking, though it does take longer to do.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Share Your Sewing Space- Lauren From Lladybird

 Being the Nosy Parker that I am, I'm doing a series taking a peek at other sewists sewing spaces. Each month I'll be chatting with other bloggers about what makes there space special to them and how they went about putting it all together.  In part, this is going to help inspire me as I create my own creative space in my new home.  I hope you all find this as interesting as me, I do love looking around other peoples homes.


Today I'm chatting with Lauren from Lladybird.  Lauren is super lucky and has a beautiful, large, sewing room in the house that she shares with her Mr.  Not only does she have a big space, but she uses it so well!  By her own admission, it's a room that is always changing and evolving, which is just how I feel about my sewing room too.  Lets take a look around!


I've had quite a few sewing spaces over the years (seriously, I'm really lucky to live in an area with a relatively low cost of living, because a dedicated sewing room is a must-have/dealbreaker when I'm house-hunting!), and thus had lots of time to figure out what works best for me and what's a wash. Personally, I love having lots of SPACE - I know some people are super happy in a tiny area where they can reach the iron and sewing machine at the same time, but I really like to spread out. A big cutting table is a must for me - and it needs to be situated so that I can walk all the way around it (I told you - I really like having lots of space!). Another big factor is keeping everything out in the open where I can see it, as I tend to be the sort of person who forgets things if I'm not looking at them! I love looking at sewing spaces where everything is neatly filed away in boxes with lots of labels, but that's not a realistic set-up for me. The compromise is, of course, that everything has to be kept pretty neat - since it's out in the open, you can't just throw it in a box and pretend like there's not a mess. I tend to be a relatively neat person (I'm the annoying person who cleans up as she's cooking haha), so this isn't much of a problem for me. Finally, the biggest factor I consider when setting up my sewing room is using lots and lots of color. Again - I love those all-white and birch rooms that are super trendy right now, but it's just not me. I love bright walls (most of my sewing rooms have been some shade of blue - especially turquoise!), colorful artwork, and letting my fabric and notions be part of the decor. It might be a bit too loud and colorful for some people, but just sitting in this room makes me really really happy :)



I definitely find my space very inspiring - not just the decor and colors themselves (although those help!), but even just seeing my fabric and notions all out and organized can lead to rediscovering old favorites and coming up with new combinations. I have a couple of pin boards by my cutting table, where I keep my inspiration - swatches of the fabrics I want to use next, a pretty piece of lace or a fancy zipper, magazine clippings, old photos, that sort of thing. While I don't keep my patterns out in the open anymore - I currently own over 300, and in order to keep the chaos under control, I needed to adopt a filing system - I do occasionally dig through them and pull out anything that I find particularly inspiring. I keep those in a box on top of the shelf where I store the rest of my patterns, so they are easy to access.



My favorite element of this space? All the light that it gets! I have two large windows, and while they're don't look out to the *prettiest* view (just the neighborhood... which isn't very pretty. Well, my neighbor's yards aren't, anyway! haha!), they do look out to lots of green in the summer :) And, again - all that light! In the daytime, I don't even need my overhead lights, because the room is so bright. I also really love the hardwood floors - I mean, I love hardwoods regardless (especially in a sewing room, where you can sweep up your mess!), but I think the hardwoods in this house are especially beautiful. Everything about this space just makes me so, so, so happy.



I think the biggest thing to keep in mind when setting up your creative space is how you want the space to work for YOU - if you need a lot of room, if you need a hardcore organizational system to keep things in check, and how you want to decorate the space to be the most inviting/inspiring for your eyes. Also - I know this can be hard, especially in a creative space... but try to keep the area neat! Even if you can't keep it show-room nice (which will forever be a losing battle), it's worth it just to maintain some level of organization just so you're not spending all your time looking for scissors or whatever. I clean up at the end of every sewing session, every night - 5 minutes of cleaning works much better for me than an hour at the end of the week. And as for those scissors - I hang them on the wall, so they as less likely to disappear under a mountain of WIPs :)



Thank you so much, Lauren! I love, love, love your space, and I've taken some great ideas to use in my own sewing room.  

If you'd like to Share Your Sewing Space with us, send me an email at freyamaymakes(a)gmail(.)com- I've love to hear from you!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Blog Love #4

Hey y'all.  How's 2015 treating you so far? For me it's not too different from the last year so far, but I've got great hopes for things this year.  We'll see how it all goes!  

So, here are some awesome bloggers who I've been reading recently.  I've felt like I'm in a bit of a funk, sewing wise at the moment, and these guys have are just a few of the bloggers providing me with the inspiration I need to keep persevering until I get my mojo back. 



Katie is inspiring me to stay strong and sew slowly- she too is aiming to make less, but make stuff with more care and therefore better garments.  I just know that I'd like to get some quick fixes when projects take a while to finish.  Katie has already finished a pair of Ginger Jeans this year- how's that for inspiring!


Ginger Makes



Speaking of the Ginger Jeans, Sonja, of Ginger Makes, is the namesake of those very jeans! She makes a very wearable everyday wardrobe, which is something I really need to focus on this year- I'll be trawling her blog a lot this year, keeping my eye on making clothes that earn their place in my wardrobe.




Marie is planning on having fun with knits this year, and I fully intend to join her! I've worked with knits a little bit in the past, but with disappointing results.  So, not one to give up when faced with a challenge I'm going to do my best to conquer knits and have fun with it at the same time. Marie is also hosting the Vintage Pledge for the second time this year, and I'll be signing up again, but with a less ambitious challenge this time round. 

All photos belong to the original bloggers





Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Christmas In Plaid



This dress almost didn't get made in time for Christmas- I was finishing it off by hand after work on the 23rd, and spent the 24th at work too.  That's retail for you though!  I'm just glad it got finished, as I hadn't got a back up outfit so Christmas morning would have been spend going through my entire wardrobe hunting down something to wear.

As it was, Christmas was really lovely.  I was worried about it a little because it is the first Christmas since my Dad died last spring.  I still miss him everyday, but Christmas is such a family orientated time, you know.  

As it was, we spent the whole day with family; my mum, her partner and my little sister came to ours for breakfast and the first round of presents.  Then we headed to church and then back to my in-laws, with my family, for lunch.  Lunch was for 9, so my MIL did an amazing job feeding us all until bursting.  The day was spend chilling, playing games and relaxing.  It was just what I needed.


So, the details of the dress- I used New Look 6095 and intended to make some small alterations I knew would be needed after using this pattern for my Notebook Dress earlier in the year.  Except, after tracing off the pattern, I cut straight into my fabric- doh! 

Seeing as I had less than a meter of fabric left I had to roll with it.  There was a lot of gaping at the neck line, so I added this pleat detail, which I'm really pleased with!  If I hadn't said anything, I don't think you'd notice that it was an afterthought.  And I'm only telling you because I like to maintain full (or almost full) disclosure on this blog.

So, shift dresses are probably my shape of the year, so you can expect to see a few more in the coming months.





I just want to leave you with a picture of my wonderful (mad) family from Christmas day.  I hope you all have a lovely day too.



Monday, 5 January 2015

What's on My Sewing Table


For once, I'm actually properly working though my 'to do' sewing list that I set out earlier in the year (or last year, whatever) and am making the things I intended on making with out getting too distracted by seductive  winks from new and exciting projects.  

To date, I have made two out of five projects from my original A/W sewing list, and have cut out and started sewing two others, with a muslin of the final one slowly getting there.

I've not blogged my Christmas Dress or the finished Hawthorn dress for different reasons- Just haven't gotten around to photographing my Christmas Dress, and I hate the Hawthorn. Arh! I finished it back in October and was all ready to take photos to share with you, but it fit horribly and so, I never shared it.  I'm going to use that finished garment to figure out the adjustments needed and will share with you when I made something I like.

So today! I'm giving you a sneaky look at my Archer Shirt, which is currently in progress- I've been researching flat felled seams to have a go to make thing project one I'm really proud of.  Now, it's just a sneak peak, so stay tuned for the details when I post the finished garment later this month!

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year and New Goals for 2015

For the last two years I have set myself a list of goals I wanted to achieve in the year ahead, I find it a useful way to keep on track of my achievements and keep focused too.  You can read about my goals for 2014 here and my goals for 2013 here.  Technically, you could say I haven't completed many of my goals for last year, but I would argue that I have still made leaps and bounds in my sewing skills- so whatever!


Lets have a look at this years goals, ok.

1. Knit More; Read More; Watch Less TV!
I am always annoyed with myself when I waste time on sites like Pinterest when I could have been productive.  This year I aim to put my phone away and pick up my knitting or my book more! (See my widget on the sidebar for my reading goals and progress.)

2. Sew Less, Sew Better.
I'm aiming to improve my sewing this year by taking more time over each project and really working hard to produce items that I'm proud of!  This will include a goal of one project per month, but with leeway to add more as I go as whims take me.  With the slow approach I know I'm going to get the urge for quick and easy projects from time to time, which I can't ignore!  But the focus will be on fit and finish of my projects.

3. Take Better Photos.
I asked my mother for photography help for Christmas- she's giving me lessons on taking self portraits for the blog and is going to help me set up a space to take photos in my house and other stuff, like still life and tutorials.  Keep an eye out for my developing skills this year! (But forgive any crappy photos which will still feature from time to time, probably).

4.  Shop Less.
This goes mainly for RTW clothes- I want to dramatically reduce my spending, especially cheap rtw, but also keep a cap on it for fabric and pattern shopping.  I now have a lovely, and quite big, stash of fabrics to work through, along side a full to busting wardrobe.  This year I want to really think about the items I'm adding to that and add smart.  

Here are the rules- 

  • £60 max spend per month on fabric and RTW clothing, total. Lets not lie to ourselves, thats still plenty.
  • Acceptable ready to wear items include- underwear, jumpers, shoes and work clothes.
  • Any ready to wear clothes must be of good quality (goodbye H&M) and preferably not something I could easily make myself.
  • If I fall of the wagon, all transgressions will be documented on this here blog for the world to see.

So, Let's see where this year take us!  Do you set yourself sewing goals?  What kind of thing are you aiming for this year?
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