Tag Archives: sewing

Challenge: Learn to sew and make something wearable


Okay, it’s Thursday… those of you who read my previous post will know I should have posted this on Monday, but hey, no one’s perfect!

I’ve made a list of 25 challenges, and here’s the first one I’ve managed to do:

Learn to sew, and make something wearable! Drum roll please……

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Ta dah! (excuse dodgy photo – was having a bad face day, but just wanted to prove that it is in fact wearable.)

In half term, I descended upon my mum, demanded sewing lessons and said “right! I’m gonna make a top today, a skirt tomorrow, and a dress on saturday!” Three days later, I realised I’d been a little ambitious and spent around 15 hours making just the one the dress in the end. Ho ho ho.

I learnt quite a few new things. Having my mum there (aka sewing guru) was a massive help when things started going a bit dodgy, or if I reached a point where I didn’t understand what I was doing.

Weirdly, I also found myself being a lot more careful and patient under her watchful eye. When I sew alone, it usually goes wrong because I get frustrated, go really fast and wreck everything!

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Above is our sewing station. My mum was also making a dress, which she did in quadruple speed compared to me. I’ve got a lot of practise to do!

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Here’s the moment when Mishka came to help 🙂

And here’s the end result:

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I’m quite chuffed with my dress, and I wore it to the lovely Polly’s christening, which made it extra special.

Things I’ve learnt whilst making my first dress:

  1. It takes a LOT longer than I’d expected
  2. But it’s a lot quicker than knitting a jumper
  3. Sometimes you need to take a breather and go outside to stop yourself destroying your garment.
  4. You need to use an iron a lot in sewing (eye roll)
  5. Bias binding is a pain in the arse.

Onto the next challenge!


Tackle nagging tasks

Having recently read Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project” one of the parts of the book that really stuck with me was to ‘tackle a nagging task.’

I know what you’re thinking – I’m entering a blogpost for the most boring thing ever awards. You may be right!

There were a few things that were bugging me that I needed to tackle:

  • Get the windows cleaned (I could barely see out of the house for the filth and it annoyed me every time I looked out of the window. I could have kissed the cleaner when he left.
  • Ditto with my car. Filthy and irritated me every time I looked at it. Felt so much better once I’d cleaned it.
  • Wardrobes full of clothes that I never wear that need flogging on Ebay to boost my travel funds.


(Can you see my wardrobe assistant? He’s very beautiful!)

I emptied my wardrobe and only put back clothes that I actually like and wear. In doing so, I stumbled across this:


An amazing vintage Mexican hand embroidered dress that I got from Ebay years ago. I wore it once and when paying in my local Sainsbury’s the cashier asked me “where are you from?” I replied “erm… the North-West, why?” to which he responded “Oh, no reason I just thought you were wearing some kind of national dress.”


Anyway. To summarise, this dress is a very weird length, almost like a kaftan and I’d been meaning to shorten it for years. Also the sleeves are poofy, which has the undesirable effect of making me look like an over-grown infant.


(These kind of sleeves really aren’t a good look on an almost six foot tall woman.)

So I brushed the dust off my sewing machine, snipped the bottom off, gave it a hem, pulled out the sleeve elastic and sewed up a hole in the armpit region and ta daaahh.


Should have done this years ago! Above knee length is much better, much less weird and national dressy. Also I sorted the sleeves:


I’m delighted to have made a weird dress wearable, added to my travel wardrobe and ticked off a nagging task off my to-do list all in one.

Interestingly though, if you have more than five items on your to-do list it can be overwhelming and less satisfying than not having one in the first place. You can’t win can you?!