The Lesser-Spotted Dressing Gown – Vogue V8888 pattern review

Vogue V8888 Dressing gown robe spotty viscose challis

Last week I had another make up on the Minerva Blogger Network: this gorgeous polka dot dressing gown from Vogue Patterns (V8888).  You can find out more about this make over on their blog–it was a complicated sew in some ways (blame the viscose challis!), but I had a lot of fun paying attention to giving it a fine finish with lots of French seams and couture touches.

I haven’t actually had any opportunity for wearing this just yet as the weather took an unwelcome turn for the cold again, but I’m sure it’s going to come in useful over the summer. Assuming we actually get a summer in England this year…

I’ll be posting again this week, I hope, with my final maternity make I keep promising: an Agnes top in a gorgeous dark floral jersey from Girl Charlee UK. Better get it done quick before I have this baby!

Ciao for now, peeps!

The Kinder Cardigan goes DISCO!

Kinder Sequinned Cardigan Wendy Ward Sewing with Knitted Fabrics

This week I’m finally able to share a make from January with you–the popular Kinder Cardigan–as my post for the new Wendy Ward book (A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics – affiliate link) has gone live over on the Minerva site. Go and check it out if you want to find out more about both the cardie and the book as a whole 🙂

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blog/product-reviews/the-kinder-sequinned-cardigan

I did try to wear my cardie today but the weather got too hot, too quickly. We seem to have gone straight from winter to summer–just last week everyone was wearing coats and scarves and today it was all shorts and flip flops! I’m sure the cardie will get some wear over the spring and summer, though, even if only in the evenings.

I’ll be blogging another Minerva make next week–a gorgeous summer dressing gown (Vogue V888) in polka dot viscose challis. Just got to finish off making it and work out how to insert inseam pockets in a French seam!

Here’s a sneak peek of it on my cutting table:

Adios, amigos x

Me Made May 18 – my pledge

#mmmay18

I wasn’t sure if I’d be taking part in Me Made May this year–after all, my due date is May 9th so I’d be spending part of the month heavily pregnant, then giving birth, then dealing with a newborn (plus a three-year-old and a twelve-year-old). Let’s face it, I probably don’t need any more pressure!

But then I remembered how much I’ve enjoyed the challenge the last couple of years, and that it’s a personal pledge with no obligations to up the ante each year. I’m keeping my pledge really simple, and hoping it will encourage me to spend just a little time on myself each day (easy to forget to do with a newborn around) and to help plan my summer sewing.

Here, then, is my pledge:

‘I, Anna of annajosews.com (@anna_jo_sews), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item (garment or accessory) each day during May 2018. I also want to spend the month assessing which of my clothes will work for life with a newborn, and to plan a breastfeeding-friendly capsule wardrobe to sew for the summer.’ 

I’ll be going through all my clothes and packing away clothes that I won’t be able to wear for the time being, sorting them into the following five categories:

  • Maternity clothes that can be altered for future non-maternity use.
  • Maternity clothes for donating to a charity shop.
  • Dresses with no nursing access (to be reviewed when no longer breastfeeding)
  • Out of season clothes (to be reviewed in the autumn)
  • Clothes that currently don’t fit (to be reviewed when I’m back to my pre-pregnancy size)

In previous years I’ve managed to get a photograph of my outfit each day, but that might not happen this year. However, I’m hoping I can at least get a quick selfie most days, even if it is with a sleeping baby on my lap! I’ll share those on Instagram, and do some kind of round-up post here at the end, although it probably won’t be as comprehensive as my posts in previous years have been (here’s the final posts for 2016 and 2017).

Right, that’s me. Are you taking part in Me Made May this year? If so, what are your goals?

March round-up and April’s sewing plans

Dandelions in a glass

After a pretty rubbish start to my sewing year, I feel I’ve managed to regain my sew-jo this last month–and just in time for the end of pregnancy when I really don’t want to be sewing myself any more clothes to fit the bump–doh! You can see last month’s plans here, and I didn’t do too badly with them, all things considered. Here’s where my crafting’s been at:

Blogged in March:

Blogged March 2018

L-R: Megan Nielsen Amber Maternity Dress, Megan Nielsen Erin Maternity Skirt.

Sewing done in March:

Persian Tiles Eastern Jewels crochet motifs

Okay, so the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that’s a picture of some crochet, not sewing, but hey, you’ve already seen the sewing in the form of that Amber dress. There was also a RTW dress refashion I finished off for Daisy, but I don’t have before and after pics of that one. I have a pile of dresses needing refashioning as my Mum keeps buying them in charity shops, deciding she doesn’t really like them, and passing them on to Daisy. Of course, they’re all much too big around the shoulders, but I guess I can sort them all out. Eventually…

As for the crochet, that was the state of play on my Persian Tiles blanket a week or so ago, and I’ve made more progress since then. I think I’m on track to get all the motifs made by the end of the month, then I can put them together and do the border in May. As well as having a baby. Heh. Totally doable, amiright? #overambitious

Money spent: £0.00

My cheapest month to date, methinks! I’m actually looking forward to treating myself to a pattern and fabric (and possibly haberdashery too) this next month. It’s been a while, and I have birthday and Christmas money saved for that purpose 🙂

April sewing plans:

April 2018 Vogue sewing plans

I’ve already got April off to a good start by repairing three items of clothing yesterday: a button fly on Andy’s jeans that had completely torn apart, topstitching down the zip tape on Daisy’s onesie (it kept getting caught in the zip), and giving Andy’s lounging shorts new elastic as the old had perished. I know repairs don’t make exciting blogging–or even exciting sewing, come to that–but I always feel really satisfied when I’ve managed to fix much-loved items of clothing and given them a new lease of life. Anyone else feel the same? Or would you rather stick needles in your arms than actually repair things?!

In terms of other sewing, I’ll be making two Vogue patterns: a black and white polka dot viscose challis dressing gown for my Minerva make, and I’m really looking forward to getting going on that as I’ve never made one or worked with challis before. I’ll also be having a go at traditional shirt making for the first time, as I’ve finally traced out Andy’s first shirt: Vogue 8759, and I have some old striped cotton shirting in the stash I can use for the trial run. This week I’ll be cutting the fabric for both those projects when the kids are at my mum’s. Cutting out with a good podcast on and no little fingers trying to steal my rotary cutters–bliss!

If I feel like a simpler project between those, I might make up a final Megan Nielsen Amber top, as it would be great for breastfeeding this summer and could also be worn in the last little bit of pregnancy. I have a few knit fabrics in the stash and might make it out of a mauve viscose knit. Alternatively I might make that Railfence Quilt I’ve been planning for Gabriel. I don’t want to put any pressure on myself in this last few weeks of pregnancy, though, as that’s no fun, so I won’t worry if I don’t get around to either of these.

And yes, there’ll be plenty of sofa time crocheting the rest of those Persian Tile motifs. I have another 13 Octagons (3 are half done), 6 squares and 10 triangles to go. Gulp. I can totally do that, and it does give me the excuse to do lots of chilling in front of the telly, which is probably good considering how much effort moving around is taking these days.

What are you planning to make this month? Anyone else thinking summer clothes already?