The Stella Hoodie Dress from Tilly Walnes’ Stretch book for Minerva Makers

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:

Stella Hoodie Dress from Stretch by Tilly Walnes in grey sweatshirting

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”

The Cheeky Chimp tee and shorts set – an Ottobre boys set 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…

Chimp panel print tee using Ottobre boys pattern

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.

This make really marked a turning point for me, as it showed me I could make absolutely awesome kids clothes that they’ll love. The fabric was a huge help as it gave me interesting different parts of the print to play with (panel prints FTW!). Continue reading “The Cheeky Chimp tee and shorts set – an Ottobre boys set for Minerva Makers”

Hello, blog! I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go…

Sequin Cocktail DressHi everyone, I’m still here, and I’m still sewing!

Yes, 2020 has been quite a year and I don’t think anyone’s going to judge me too harshly for neglecting this little blog. Basically, I have no childcare now (my mum has a serious respitory condition and can’t risk having the kids) and instead am now doing lots of childminding for other people. It’s really nice to not be broke any more (why hello, all you beautiful fabrics I can now afford to buy!) but the flip side is I have hardly any spare time for blogging.

Anyway, I’ve made lots of things and have a backlog to share here. I’m getting them up on the shiny new Minerva site–seriously, it’s awesome!–as there are lots made with fabric I was either gifted by or bought from there. I’ll be blogging all the ins and outs of making them there, but also be doing link posts here where I might say a bit more about how the items are fitting into my wardrobe. I’m still really interested in refining my style and think it’s one of the best ways of creating a sustainable wardrobe. Continue reading “Hello, blog! I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go…”

Me Made May 2020: dressing during lockdown

Hey all, long time no blog post. Yes, we are indeed living through “interesting times”. I’m mostly enjoying life in lockdown, although there are a lot of things I’m missing, including hugging my parents, coffee with friends and days out with the family. My mum has a serious respiratory condition and is currently in hospital having IV antibiotics for an infection, which is worrying but they’re keeping her safe there. Apart from that the rest of my tribe is safe and well, and I hope everyone you care about is safe too.

Anyway, I’ve done a bit of sewing this last month, including making a set of scrubs for the RUH in Bath. It’s quite hard to find time and motivation to sew much at the moment, and the sewing machine is having to compete with the garden for attention too, not to mention the three kids all at a loose end at home! However, I’m making slow progress on a couple of projects which I’ll hopefully be able to share here soon, and I’ve decided I want to take part in Me Made May again, as I always really enjoy it. Here, then, is my pledge:

Me Made May 2020

I, Anna of Anna-Jo Sews, pledge to wear at least two me-made garments in a unique combination every day throughout May 2020. I’m planning to keep things casual, comfy and in my style, and will hopefully be uploading an outfit pic to Instagram every day (@anna_jo_sews) as well as doing at least one round up post here on the blog. Ideally I’d like to do them every Friday, but we’ll see about that.

I’m hoping I’ll discover a few new ideas for outfit combinations using my existing clothes, as well as coming up with a few ideas for items to sew that will go with lots of my existing garments to make new outfits.

Watermelon fabric

Righto, it’s back to sewing up this yellow watermelon fabric into a fabulous Hawaiian shirt for Gabriel. We might not get a beach trip this summer, but at least we can have some beachy vibes in our own back garden!

Are you doing Me Made May? How are you coping with the lockdown/social distancing where you live?

Big hugs, Anna xxx

 

The Mother’s Day Hug Cardie – a Seamwork Oslo Cardigan

Thanks to the current coronavirus lockdown in the UK I can’t hug my mum right now. This last Sunday was Mother’s Day over here, and I was feeling really sad about the prospect of missing that hug.

Then I realised that the fabric I had earmarked for a wearable toile of the Seamwork Oslo Cardigan would be absolutely my Mum’s style. And what better substitute for a warm hug than a warm, snuggly cardigan? It’s like wearing a hug!

Seamwork Oslo cardigan in textured sweater knit

You’ll have to put up with some poorly lit pics of me modelling said cardigan, as obviously there are real difficulties taking pics of my Mum in it. She’s roundabout the same size as me so it looks about the same on her. But it suits her better, I reckon! Continue reading “The Mother’s Day Hug Cardie – a Seamwork Oslo Cardigan”

The Ride-Sallie-Ride Dress – a monochrome Sallie Maxi Dress

Oh wow, what a week….

When I wrote my blog post last week I was in a state of extreme agitation and worry about my mum, who has a chronic lung condition and seemed to be in a state of denial over how serious the COVID-19 threat was. I tried to distract myself by writing a post that didn’t acknowledge the situation in any way, and I hope it didn’t seem too frivolous to be posting sewing projects at this time.

The thing is, I think we need some distraction and things to lift our spirits right now (and for the forseeable future). So I’m going to continue blogging my sewing projects. There probably won’t be many party dresses because I don’t think there are going to be many parties this year. There might be more in the way of practical sewing–I can’t buy toilet roll so who knows, I might have to make washable wipes out of fabric scraps!

I’m less emotionally shaken now that I know my parents are self-isolating reasonably strictly, although I’m somewhat apprehensive about having everyone (including my teacher partner Andy, who also has a lung condition) at home ALL THE TIME. For who knows how long?

I think I’ll be going out for lots of runs and get myself fit again. Also sorting out my garden. Silver linings…

Closet Case Sallie Maxi Dress in Lady McElroy crepe jersey

So without further ado, here’s a share of a Minerva post I wrote some time ago, about my joint favourite dress of last summer: Continue reading “The Ride-Sallie-Ride Dress – a monochrome Sallie Maxi Dress”

The Wedding Guest Dress: Charm Patterns Rita dress hack

I’d been meaning to make the Charm Patterns Rita Blouse ever since it first came out, and finally I got around to it. Only as a dress!

I’ve got to admit, it had been years since I’d been to a wedding. Maybe it’s my age: most of my friends got their weddings out of the way in their early thirties (if they got married at all, that is), and there’s been a bit of a dry spell since then. So imagine my delight when Andy and I were invited to a friend’s daughter’s wedding last September, and I got to put my fancy-pants sewing skills to the test!

Charm Patterns Rita dress hack

Continue reading “The Wedding Guest Dress: Charm Patterns Rita dress hack”

#OneYearSewn: winter 2018-19 – a wardrobe analysis

This is a bit of a hodgepodge of a post, but I’m starting out with a quick run through and wardrobe analysis of the four items I sewed last winter. Here goes!

#OneYearSewn wardrobe analysis

#OneYearSewn winter 18-19

Jalie 2919 Pleated Cardigan in plum sweater knitFirst up is my Plum Pudding Cardigan (Jalie 2919) which definitely scores the highest in wear count, clocking up an impressive 57 wears so far. It’s no surprise to me really, as I tend to wear a cardigan layer pretty much every day of the year. Our weather out here in Somerset is highly variable, so layers are key to being able to keep a comfy temperature. Continue reading “#OneYearSewn: winter 2018-19 – a wardrobe analysis”

The Sweetheart Dress: sewing the Ottobre Bubu Dungaree dress

So, this is me sharing a make from last May, and the photographs are from back then too. Lauren definitely doesn’t fit this one anymore! It’s the Bubu Dungaree Dress from Ottobre 1/2019. I meant to share this last week, but I completely forgot! Never mind. Here it is:

Ottobre Bubu Dress in upcycled chambray shirt

Doesn’t she look a little cutie? I love dungaree dresses, which I’m sure won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following this blog a while. I’ve made three Cleo dungaree dresses for myself, so it was about time I made something similar for my baby girl. Continue reading “The Sweetheart Dress: sewing the Ottobre Bubu Dungaree dress”

The Silver Stripe Boat Neck Top

Today I’m sharing a make from last March, which is late but at least I can give you an idea of how much I’ve been wearing it. Silver linings for a silver-ish top 🙂 This is the Boat Neck Top variation of the Knit Sweetheart Top from my favourite sewing book, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual (affiliate link) by Gretchen Hirsch.

Boatneck Gertie top in silver stripe jersey

This was a bit of an experiment for me as it’s the first time I’ve ever even worn, let alone sewed, a boat neck top. I don’t know why I’ve avoided them. Perhaps it was just down to not being sure which colours looked good close to my face, so I’ve tended to go for lower cut necklines in the past. Continue reading “The Silver Stripe Boat Neck Top”

The Quilted Pencil Skirt – sewing Seamwork Margo

I made the Seamwork Margo skirt again (previous version in navy scuba crepe here), this time in a rather lovely quilted jersey. I actually made it last March, but at least after a year I can give a true picture of how useful it’s been in my wardrobe.

Seamwork Margo skirt in black quilted ponte

The answer is: sadly, not as useful as I thought it would be, although depending on the weather that could change this next year. Let me elaborate… Continue reading “The Quilted Pencil Skirt – sewing Seamwork Margo”

The Leopard print Nursing Bra – sewing Jalie 3131

So, I finally went and made a bra. And actually, I made this one back in September 2018 when Lauren was a tiny baby. I’ll catch up on all the unblogged stuff eventually! This is Jalie 3131 which contains both regular and nursing versions of a cami and simple bra (more of a bralette really). I made the nursing version of the bra, and here’s me wearing it back in May of last year when I still had need for breastfeeding access.

Jalie 3131 Nursing Bra

I’ve just realised that I’m blogging a leopard print bra on Valentine’s Day, which really wasn’t planned! Honestly, I wouldn’t class this particular bra as sexy, and I’d honestly forgotten it was Valentine’s Day. I am planning a lovely meal for Andy this evening so all romance is not lost, but we’re not big Valentine’s people. It’s a bit of a Hallmark holiday in my mind, and I don’t like being told I need to buy tacky crap covered in hearts to let someone know how much I love them. Continue reading “The Leopard print Nursing Bra – sewing Jalie 3131”

The Whatever-the-Weather Cardigan – a Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan for Daisy

I made one of my TNT patterns, the Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan for Daisy. And this post actually went live on the Minerva blog back in July, but hey, I’m sharing it here now. Better late than never!

Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan in Cloud print French Terry

Ah, the Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan. My love for this pattern knows no bounds! Seriously, I wear one of my two versions (blogged here and here) nearly every day, even if that’s just around the house in the evening. And quite often that’s not the case: I’ll be wearing it as part of my outfit for the day.

Why do I love it so much? Continue reading “The Whatever-the-Weather Cardigan – a Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan for Daisy”

The Velvet Citrus Leggings

Oh yes, I made leggings! And in stretch velvet! Read on to find out the complicated route my Velvet Citrus Leggings took from a maternity version pattern test to the final (non-maternity) version pictured below…

Velvet Citrus Leggings

I’ve never been particularly drawn to pattern testing. Perhaps it’s my background in self-publishing, but I’d only ever expect friends or superfans to want to read and comment on my unfinished writing for nothing. I’ve always paid to get proper edits and proofreads. Seriously, this is valuable work and people deserve remuneration. Continue reading “The Velvet Citrus Leggings”

The Bits and Bobs Pocket Top – Ottobre

I thought it was about time I shared one of my favourite kids’ makes from last year: the Longline Loop-back Sweater from Ottobre Magazine.

French Terry Ottobre Design Boys Sweatshirt with pocket

This make hit the Minerva blog back in August, but in case you missed it then I thought I’d better link it here. Also, I like to have a record of everything I’ve made on my own blog. The full write up is over there, but I’ve got some more thoughts to add here.

Gabriel loves this top and pleasingly he’s wearing it right now, with no prompting from me. In fact, I’d only just put it back in his drawer clean yesterday, so this is definitely an item of clothing in regular circulation. That’s definitely what you want with kids makes as they grow so fast, it seems a total waste to make something they only get to wear a few times before they grow out of it. Continue reading “The Bits and Bobs Pocket Top – Ottobre”

My Make Nine plans: 2019 results and ideas for 2020

It must be the time of year for MakeNine plans! Oh wait, I’m a bit late? Not as late as last year, when I shared my plans in… [runs off to check] yeah, April. That was late!

Anyway, this is how I did in the end with my 2019 goals:

MakeNine 2019 results

Four out of nine. Never mind. I’m really pleased with the four things I did sew. I still want to make all the remaining things from the 2019 grid, but only two of them have been copied over to this year. I will try to make the others anyway, if I get a chance.

Here are the links to the projects I made: Black linen Shirtdress, Green Burda Jacket, Jalie Eleonore “jeans”, Zebra swimsuit.

And here’s the grid for this year’s plans:

MakeNine 2020 plans

L-R, top to bottom as follows: Continue reading “My Make Nine plans: 2019 results and ideas for 2020”