Happy New Blog!

I need a new blog in much the the same way I need a kitten. In other words, it’s yet another thing I have to try to find time for in my busy life, but it’s so terribly appealing!

So, this is my sewing/crafting blog, as I love making things and want to document and share more of what I get up to. Assuming I can manage to make anything now I have a 1 month old son to care for (Gabriel) along with Daisy, my nine-year-old. Yep, all crafting will either have to happen with Gabriel on my lap, or when he naps.

my familyA bit about me… I’m 37 and I live in Somerset with my partner, Andy, the two kids and two cats (pictured left, without the cats). I’ve had various different careers, including teaching English Lit, but I’ve been making a living as a writer of gay erotic romance for the last few years (yes, really!) and I publish under the pen name Josephine Myles. I love writing but I need to make things with my hands too. I’m one of those terminally creative people with more ideas than time and resources, and I’m always up for trying a new craft, especially textile crafts. I enjoy crochet and knitting (especially knitting lace), and have a yen to try feltmaking again sometime soon. And I want to give macrame a go. Oh, and I enjoy jewellery making too. It’s so tough to narrow things down and specialise!

Steampunk outfitBut sewing is my first love. I’ve been sewing by hand my whole life, although I only took up dressmaking on a sewing machine around five years ago. I took an evening class in pattern drafting (which annoyingly enough disqualifies me from entering the Great British Sewing Bee). So far I’ve mostly made glamorous, vintage-style dresses and costumes for generally looking fabulous in when sipping cocktails at cabaret shows. My all time most impressive make (to me, anyway) is my underbust corset (shown right with Simplicity 1819). Plain and simple, but it fits like a dream and is wonderfully comfortable.

Or at least, the corset used to fit. I’m currently in that awkward post-childbirth stage where I know my body is going to take a while to slim down to its old proportions, and since everything I’ve made so far has been pretty closely fitted, I need to make more new clothes. I’m particularly interested in mastering knit fabrics and making a selection of tops suitable for breastfeeding (there are so few patterns out there for nursing tops, I might have to draft my own). I also want to try my hand at making lingerie, and already have the kit to make a bra, using the fantastic Craftsy course.

So, my aims for this next year of my crafting life:

  • Make a selection of dresses and tops in knit fabrics, all with concealed nursing access.
  • Make at least a couple of bras and pairs of knickers to match.
  • Begin to build a foundation wardrobe of versatile, TNT patterns. I shall be following the Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge to give me some motivation. I want this to include patterns for a t-shirt, a dress, a skirt, trousers, a shrug and perhaps a jacket if there’s time.
  • Do at least two unselfish makes: a dress for Daisy and a waistcoat for Andy. No point in making much for Gabriel right now as he’ll be growing so fast!
  • Seek out more patterns from the indies and wean myself off my Vogue pattern addiction.
  • Finish off a few of the UFOs in my sewing room. I’m looking at you, quilts! And you, long brown coat!

native squares quilt UFO

hairpin lace dressI think that’s plenty! And since I’ll have opportunity for more crochet and knitting (I did loads when Daisy was a baby as it’s great for taking out with you to toddler groups and cafes and the like) I’d like to make more practical, everyday wearable projects too, as well as trying out more broomstick and hairpin lace (a not very practical hairpin lace dress I made shown left). And what the hell, maybe I’ll knit up a quick cardie or two for Gabriel 🙂

2 thoughts on “Happy New Blog!”

  1. Lovely pics etc so far, Jo! My first crafty-love is sewing & I’m making a concerted effort this year to improve my skills. I’m starting out with practicing embroidery and once I’ve got my projects table set up again I’ll start working through the ideas in ‘The Secrets of Sewing Lingerie’ which had a mention on The Lingerie Addict blog not long back 🙂


    1. Thanks, Esselci! I have some embroidery that needs finishing. My Mum started it back in the 70s. Think I’ll get it done and framed for her birthday in May. Would love to see your projects!

      And thanks for leading me to a new blog to follow and book to add to my collection 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s