Tag Archives: sewjo

Yesterday, I sewed

27 Feb

Yesterday, I spent the day sewing. Today I have spent the day thinking about sewing, and wanting to be getting on with more.

Now, that shouldn’t really be an unusual occurrence, for someone who writes a sewing blog, but as the astute among you will notice, it’s coming up to two years since I last wrote a blog post. It’s been over two years since my sewjo went AWOL, to have only been fleetingly glimpsed since. In fact, some of my closest friends have probably never read a blog post that I’ve written, or maybe don’t even know that I have a blog. That’s how long it’s been – that (hopefully) lifelong friendships have been formed in the time since I last wrote a blog post!

November 2014 was the last time that I was completely and utterly in love with sewing. The last time when I’d be dreaming of having more spare time, so that I could shut myself away sewing for hours on end. The time that I went on an amazing trip to Paris with 50 odd other sewists from all over the world, and came back buzzing (I never even wrote a blog post about that trip!).

But since then, the desire to sew just hasn’t been there. I’ve wanted to want to sew, but I just haven’t wanted to, if that makes sense.

In 2015 I sewed a sum total of 4 things – a pair of leggings for myself (which have since sadly seen their demise, a story I will tell another time), a pair of leggings and a dribble bib for a baby, and one dress for myself. In 2016 I don’t think I really touched my sewing machine at all until the person I’m dating asked me if, if she got some flags, I’d be able to make her a dress for a work Christmas party, resembling this:

Flag Dress Brazil Costume - One Size - Dress Size 6-10

It would consist of about 4 lines of stitching, and I reckoned I could manage that, plus y’know, I wanted to endear myself to a relatively new partner (to whose friends I am known as ‘sewing girl’, ahh the joys of online dating profiles, and I thought I’d better at least try to live up to it), so I said yes. And so I made a dress. And it turned out much better than I anticipated. And it kinda, *almost* made me want to sew again. So I did. I made myself another Coco dress. I thought I’d start with something quick and easy, so there was less chance of giving up and not finishing it. It took me a total of about 4 hours, and I love it. So I decided to make another. Same fabric, different colour, but this time with the funnel neck. It didn’t really work. I don’t know why, but the neck just doesn’t sit right. Maybe they’ll appear on here at some point, but we’ll take things one step at a time…

But still, despite some little glowing embers, the burning desire to sew has been absent. To be fair to myself, a lot has been going on in my life in the couple of years since I last really sewed. In that time, I have:

  • Ended a 4 year relationship. My only ever serious, long term relationship, and it was not an easy decision, or an easy process.
  • Changed jobs, twice. Once because I wanted to, second time because my first contract came to an end. Soon to be a third time, as the job I’m currently in is only temporary. I have written so many job applications in the last couple of years that I have lost track.
  • Had three different lodgers living with me.
  • Questioned everything I thought I knew about myself, and my identity, and had a few existential crises along the way. I have come to some conclusions, others I’m still working on.
  • Become an auntie (and nothing gives you a minor life crisis like your younger sister calling you to tell you she is pregnant when you are relatively newly single, and wondering what the hell you’re doing with your life). And no, my (now not-so-) new nephew has never had anything sewn for him, that’s the extent of my lost sewjo! I did start knitting him a jumper, but I have a feeling he may be too big for it before I’ve finished it…
  • Broken my ankle, had surgery on it twice (once to put metal in, once to have metalwork taken out, 5 months later), and am still working through a long recovery process.
  • Suffered from an (ongoing) bout of depression and anxiety, which at times has sucked all feeling out of me, and at other times has left me in a sobbing heap on the sofa for hours on end. The one thing that I feel like the depression has taken from me the most is my enjoyment of things – the buzz that I used to get out of sewing, the energy I used to get from going to roller derby. Gone. And along with it, my desire to do these things.

Have a nice juicy ankle x-ray photo :D I managed to do a good job of it – broke it in three places and dislocated it. Well, if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it properly!

So, y’know, it’s been a busy time. And not just busy-busy, but kinda life-changing, re-evaluating everything busy. Although don’t get me wrong, although bits of it have been tough, there have been many many very good things in there as well. The last year or so in particular has seen a lot of positive changes.

But I miss sewing. I miss the satisfaction I got out of it, the pleasure I got every time I wore something I’d made. I miss the community. And man, what a community! For a while after I stopped sewing, I kept up with reading blogs, then it dropped to just keeping up with my favourite few blogs. For the last year or so, I don’t think I’ve really looked at any at all. I wanted to stay involved, hoped that reading about other people’s adventures might spark me off to want to sew again. But it kind of felt like I was on the outside looking in. Involved, but not really part of it. Watching everyone else enjoying it while I’m just sitting on the sidelines, without that buzz.

I’ve had the same issues with roller derby, since I broke my ankle. I have wanted to still be involved with the league, still be part of the team, but it’s been a lot harder than I ever anticipated. Going along to training, and watching all your team mates on track, watching people progress without you, just makes me feel sad. As it became evident that I was not going to be back on skates within 3-4 months (currently 6 months and counting), it became harder and harder to be there, but not really be there. As with the sewing, it got to a point where reading other people’s blogs just made me feel sad, and a little guilty (I know that I really have no reason to) that I wasn’t doing any. Every time someone comes to my house and sees my sewing room, and my amazing collection of fabric, I feel incredibly bad for having to say ‘yeah, I don’t really do much sewing any more’.

But throughout this time, I’ve held onto the hope that, one day, my sewjo will come back. I seem to have been saying it for a while now, but I haven’t lost hope. I really do think that life has just got in the way a bit. Every time I see a glimmer or sewjo returning, every time I get enjoyment out of sewing something, it makes me so happy, and gives me hope :)

So, yesterday I sewed. And that makes me happier than you will ever know.


It’s time for an intervention…

20 Feb

…and I need your help!

It has been…a long time (I can’t even work it out, sometime last year, November maybe…) since I have sewn a garment. And I want to sew! But having had all that time off, and with my sewing room not yet decorated (although we’re starting this weekend, yippee!), I’m finding it very hard to get started again. And then when I decide I’m going to sew something, I’m so overwhelmed by all my pattern choices that I spend ages deliberating and STILL don’t start!


But The Monthly Stitch has come along and saved the day with their March challenge: Miss Bossy Patterns. The idea behind this challenge is that you select 3 patterns from your stash that you have not yet sewn up, and your readers vote on which one you should sew during March. I’m someone who operates well being told what to do – give me too many options and I just flounder – and I like a challenge, so this should be the perfect thing to get me started sewing again.

So, without further ado, here are the three patterns I need you to help me choose between. I’ve gone for some of the more basic patterns in my stash – I want to break myself back in gently.

First up, Simplicity 2451


I won this pattern in a giveaway on Katy’s blog, and I was especially excited to win this particular pattern. Last year I went to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexander Palace, and one of the fabric stalls had a lovely skirt made up, with a sign saying the pattern was available. I loved the look of the skirt, and so asked if they had the pattern. Not only did they not have any copies of the pattern left, but they couldn’t remember what pattern it was, other than that it was a Simplicity one. I did have a look through the Simplicity website when I got home, but to no avail. And then I saw Katy’s giveaway and there it was, the pattern I’d been looking for!

I’m not sure exactly what fabric I’d sew this up in, but I know I have some that would be suitable, it’s just a case of digging the right box out…

EDIT: I should add, I’m planning on making this up in view D, although I’ll also give the flared skirt a go at some point!

Next up is the Pavlova wrap top by Cake patterns


I’ve had this pattern a while, and I also have some lovely white jersey from Minerva crafts to sew it up in, I just haven’t got round to it yet…

And finally, Tilly’s Mathilde blouse


Again, I’m not entirely sure what fabric I’d use for this, but I know I have some that will be suitable. I have some chiffon that could work, but I’m also considering using that for a La Sylphide blouse, so I might just go for some cotton lawn for this.

All three are perfectly achievable patterns, and none of them need to be particularly fitted , which is a good thing – I currently have three projects on time out due to fitting issues! The latter two are PDFs, so I’m going to start cutting and sticking so that I’m prepared!

So, those are the choices, please go ahead and vote and help me out of my sewing lull! The poll will be open for a week from today.

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter


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