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.
Hi 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…”
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:
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.
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?
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!
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…
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!