This project has been a long time coming. An embarrassingly long time. But it’s here now and looking fabulous, so let’s celebrate the completion of my self-drafted faux fur vest/gilet. I’m so pleased that the finished garment lives up to the vision I had in my head!
The main fabric for my faux fur vest was sent to me by Minerva in exchange for a 500+ word review post with 6+ photos over on their site. There is no obligation to post here, but I wanted to. You can find the main review of the gilet/vest (it’s a gilet to me, but I know to most of the English speaking world it’s probably a vest!) here, and a separate post about sewing with long pile faux fur here (both affiliate links). I have to say a big thank you to Minerva here for trusting me with such a fabulously expensive and luxurious fabric (affiliate link). At £83.99 a metre this is definitely the most expensive fabric I’ve ever sewn with (although the sequin fabric I used here wasn’t far behind), and not something I’d ever have paid for myself. That said, I reckon it’s worth every penny as it’s so soft, plush and beautiful. It definitely feels top quality.
Yes, it’s Tuesday so that must mean it’s time for another set of kids nightwear! This time it’s little Lauren’s turn (I blogged some for Gabriel here and Daisy here), and she got a set of PJs made out this awesome campervan jersey. I used patterns from Ottobre Winter 2019 and Winter 2011 issues. Isn’t she just adorable in them?!
This is one of my Minerva makes, made with fabric supplied by them in return for a 500+ word fabric review with 6+ photos on their site. There is no obligation to post here. You can find the main Minerva write up here: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1059889
The top was actually billed as a PJ top in Ottobre Winter 2011 (the Toy Dog PJ top, apparently), and the bottoms were just leggings in a larger size with a cuff added. I used the Basic Look Leggings from Ottobre Winter 2019, which are a really good fit on Lauren in the 98 size (a whole size larger than her measurements dictate).
Lauren absolutely loves her PJs and wants to wear them all the time. She’s even worn them on the school run a couple of times as I’ve been unable to persuade her out of them in time! I think part of the reason she loves them so much is the cuteness of the print (who doesn’t love a classic campervan?!) but also it’s down to how soft the fabric is. Honestly, I’m not saying it because I was sent it free: it really is one of the snuggliest, softest jerseys I’ve ever felt. It’s super quality and I would love to have jersey like this in solids or stripes for my own clothes. Minerva sell it in two more gender neutral colourways too, if you’re interested.
On the Sewing Table
I’m currently about to start working on my Heather Dress, and hope to have it finished by the weekend. It probably would already be finished if I hadn’t made myself tidy my sewing area and deal with some of my mending/alterations pile this weekend just gone. Is it just me or does the mending pile grow when you’re not looking?! Anyway, I figured if I can get into a routine of doing one or two mending or alteration projects between every new sewing project then I should be able to power through it all and have a weight off my mind. Some stuff has been in there for YEARS. A lot of it could probably be thrown in the fabric recycling pile, to be honest.
This weekend I returned to use a pair of leggings and a sweatshirt for Daisy, a skirt and a dress for Lauren, and finally a pair of knickers for me. No, seriously. I darned a rip in some knickers. I really am thrifty!
I’ll be back on Friday with the grand reveal of my amazing faux fur gilet. This project has been a year in the making, and I’m so thrilled to finally have it finished with some great photos to share!
Okay, I said I’d be posting a summer make if I didn’t have my Faux fur gilet pics yet (I don’t), but then I remembered that January is an ideal time to think about plans for the year. So let’s have a think about MakeNine 2021!
I’ve been doing MakeNine for a few years now with varying degrees of success (see 2019, 2018, 2017), but even if I don’t make much from the list (life/pandemics happen, after all) it still focuses my mind. Here’s the final grid for 2020’s plans:
As you might notice, four of these are repeats from 2020. I still really want to make the Butterick B5526 shirt, the McCalls raincoat (I have the patterns for both in my stash) and an underwired bra (possibly the Cloth Habit Harriet). The Sew Over It Heather Dress is already cut out and ready to sew, so I’m confident that one will be made this year. You can find out more about my plans for each in this post: http://annajosews.com/my-make-nine-plans-2019-results-and-ideas-for-2020/
This is another recent PJ make for one of my kids (they’ve had a set each this winter). This was Daisy’s turn, and as she’s now adult sized she got to choose patterns from Tilly Walnes’ Stretch book: the Frankie tee and Stella joggers. With a few little adaptations they make excellent pyjamas!
This was a make using fabric provided by Minerva in return for a 500+ word post on their site with 6+ photos. There was no obligation to post here, but I like keeping my own record of my makes on my site too 🙂 You can find the Minerva post here which gives more sewing details and fabric info: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1060723
While I was initially a bit disappointed to discover Daisy has now grown out of the Ottobre kids size range (they have such cute patterns!) I’ve realised this means I can make her any of my patterns now. And I have lots of patterns! Daisy does need some adjustments making to pretty much all patterns as she has the typical Downs’ Syndrome proportions of wide neck, narrow shoulders, short arms and legs and a tendency to be round in the middle. However, I’m now pretty used to what’s required, just like with the standard adaptations I make for myself, and that makes life easier.
I’m back sharing a very recent make (hooray for catching up a bit!) which I finished at the end of November: my first pair of Closet Core Jenny Overalls. Or dungarees as I prefer to call them. Not sure if there’s a difference, but it sounds less like something you’d don to fix a car. Here’s a pic of me modelling them with wellies on in some local woods:
These were made using a fabulous digitally printed canvas supplied by Minerva in return for a post on their site (500+ words) with 6+ photos. You can find that post here, and it goes into some detail about sewing up this pattern. Minerva only supplied the fabric. All thread, notions and the pattern were purchased by me.
Happy New Year! I’ve still got a fair few makes to share from 2020 so I should be posting pretty regularly over the next few months–and hopefully all year if I get into a good habit with it. Here today is a make from August: the Jalie Éléonore Pull-On Jeans in a pretty bold dark floral cotton. Ah, summer!
Oh yeah, I love these! They were made with a linen look cotton supplied by Minerva in return for a 500+ word blog post with 6+ photos on their site. You can find that post here. There’s no obligation for me to post on this blog but I wanted to anyway. I love having this as a diary of everything I’ve made. I keep a sewing journal too, but it’s great to have this as well.
Nobody needs me to tell them that 2020 didn’t turn out the way I imagined it would this time last year. I’m guessing we’re all in the same boat in that respect. Like many sewists, I found it tough to get motivated to sew for a while and I’ve been really missing the chance to get an occasional break from the kids to get stuck into a project without interruptions. My parents have been unable to do any childcare for us as Mum has a serious lung condition and none of us want to risk it. Sewing in my house with everyone home can be challenging as my sewing space is in the main living area.
I don’t want to dwell on the bad stuff, though. There have been some unexpected pleasures to be found in 2020, and I’ve mostly been pretty happy with life (having a wonderful family really helps–even if I can’t get away from them!). Anyway, to “celebrate” the year here’s my take on the SewingTop5 meme that’s doing the rounds. (I haven’t managed to blog it every year but I’ve certainly made lists and managed to post some years)
And some quick stats: I finished 19 garments in 2020. 9 were for me (1 dress, 1 apron, 3 tops, 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of dungarees and 2 pairs of trousers) and 10 were for others (1 for Mum, 1 for my sister, Bek, 2 for Daisy, 2 for Lauren and 4 for Gabriel). These were mostly cardigans and PJs.
I’ve also, like many, made a fair few face masks for the family and some scrubs for our local NHS trust. Here I am modelling some scrubs that are clearly too small for me!
Hey, I’m back sharing a make from this autumn, this time for Gabriel (who’s now 6–doesn’t time fly?!). I used a free pdf pj pattern by new to me pattern company Life Sew Savory. Umm, what’s with that awful name? Makes me think of gravy, not sewing. Anyway, the PJ bottoms are cute:
I ended up making these twice, both times using free fabric from Minerva which was supplied in return for a 500+ word post with 6+ photos over on their site. You can find the navy and red post here, and the yellow and black pair posted here. I’ve written all the details of sewing them up in those posts, but honestly, it was pretty straightforward! I’ve also gushed a bit about the fabric and I wouldn’t blame anyone for being suspicious as I was provided it in return for a review. However, Minerva don’t give any requirements for reviews to be positive, and this is absolutely beautiful quality fabric! I will definitely spend money on it again in the future when I have a suitable project in mind.
I’m less sure about promoting the free pdf pj pattern. There are obviously some great points: it’s free, there are customisation options, and it’s sized for the whole family. But I’m not convinced the drafting is the best as my inseams didn’t match in length. That could be user error, however! I’d recommend them to anyone wanting really baggy basic PJ bottoms who doesn’t want to spend anything and doesn’t mind having to true that inseam.
On the sewing table
I’m currently wrestling with some seriously hairy faux fur fabric which I received from Minerva for review some time ago. An embarrassingly long time ago, in fact. I did start making a gilet using a self drafted pattern back at the beginning of 2020, but it just looked wrong and I didn’t know how to sort it out. I’ve now come back to it with a can-do attitude (I’m trying to develop more of this as I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to getting things done) and have trimmed it down to give a narrower silhouette. With any luck I might get it finished by the end of the year as it’s actually a super simple make.
I’ll be back in a couple of days with a Top Five review of the year post. 2020 has been a year like no other, but I’m sure I can find some positive non-sewing stuff if I really wrack my brains! I’ll be sharing another make for me (some more Jalie Eleanores) on Friday too, hopefully. I have a feeling I won’t be particularly hungover this New Year’s Day!
Hope you’ve all had a lovely (if small) Christmas,
I’ve been meaning to share these cute little Sloppy Overalls I made for Lauren for a couple of weeks now. Finally here they are, and still seasonal if you’re lucky enough to live in the southern hemisphere 🙂 They’re from Ottobre Summer 2018 edition if you’re interested in making some yourself.
Hi everyone, just popping by to share an apron I made back in the summer (hence the sunny pictures!). It’s the Tessuti cross-back Apron Pattern and it’s completely free, as well as being pretty stylish in a minimalist kinda way.
This is one of the Minerva Makes I’ve been busy uploading on their new site, meaning I was given the fabric in return for a 500+ word post with 6+ pictures on their site. You can find the full write up over there: https://www.minerva.com/posts/1053214
As promised, here I am back with another make from earlier this year. Yep, 2020 has definitely been the year of loungewear, and fittingly I’ve made the Monsal Lounge Pants from Wendy Ward’s Sewing with Knitted Fabrics book.
Hey everyone! I’m back to blogging regularly by the looks of it. Here’s to keeping up with good habits once the lockdown ends and Christmas preparation goes mental…
Today I’m sharing something I made for Lauren almost a year ago, but which is now up on Minerva’s brand new site here. It’s a super cute dress and trousers made from some awesome llama panel print jersey. They definitely shouldn’t be worn at the same time, though!
The patterns are both from Ottobre magazine: the dress is the Sunray Jersey Dress from 3/2018 and the trousers are the First Steps Pants from 6/2019, both in a size 80 although I lengthened the dress to a 98.
Amazingly enough Lauren does still wear both of these, although the dress is getting too tight for easy dressing and the trousers are starting to look a bit short. I’m seriously considering getting the most out of my makes by finding some co-ordinating stretchy jersey (pretty sure I have some nice grey stuff somewhere) and recutting and binding the neck and armholes to get a few more months use out of the dress. Continue reading “The Lovely Llama Print Toddler Dress and Trousers”
Phew, that title was a bit of a mouthful! Yes, I’m back and sharing another project made with free fabric from Minerva (in return for a blog post with pics on their site–no obligation to post here). This is one from early in the year–February to be exact–which is now coming back into regular wardrobe rotation. I present to you, the Stella Hoodie dress:
You can find the full post with details of the fabric and sewing process over on Minerva here. I’m not 100% sure that sweatshirting with so little stretch was ideal for this project–it’s fine for the oversized look where stretch isn’t necessary, but I prefer something more fitted which means this isn’t as easy as I’d like to take on and off. Still, it’s really comfortable and practical, and makes a lovely snuggly winter dress. Continue reading “The Stella Hoodie Dress from Tilly Walnes’ Stretch book for Minerva Makers”
And there’s a cheeky chimp wearing it too! Here’s Gabriel modelling his new Ottobre raglan tee and shorts. Back when they were new…
Wow, Gabriel looks so young here! These pics were actually taken last summer, but the post has only recently made its way onto Minerva (I was gifted the fabric in return for a blog post with pictures there-no obligation to post here). You can find all the sewing details on the post here.