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Listen to me on two new podcasts!

For the record – I freaking love listening to podcasts. I listen while I sew, walk around London, and before I go to sleep some nights. I mean, my last job was even at a podcast company!

So I was super excited when two new UK sewing podcasts launched recently and even MORE excited when I was asked to join them for a chat! And then out of sheer coincidence, both episodes ended up going live this week so you all have got no excuse for not hearing my funny trans-Atlantic accent all weekend long! 😂

Burda magazine August 2018

I can’t believe it’s the August issue already! Granted, I feel like I’ve lost five months of this year to being ill, but still, sitting here in London in a neverending heatwave, I’m not sure I’m ready to look at Fall fashions yet… and it looks like Burda feels the same, because while August issues are traditionally the start of the Fall fashions, this year it feels like a mishmash of Summer and pre-Fall. There’s not much I personally actually want to make in this issue, but there’s tons of great stuff nonetheless!

A doubly-recycled denim coffee sack jacket

This blog post title is quite a mouthful but the “fabric” I used has such a great origin story that I didn’t want it to get lost in view of the final jacket. It all started last summer, when I found out that a local coffee roasters here in London had partnered up with a Guatemalan company to reuse waste cotton fibres leftover from the denim industry. They mix the waste denim in with a small amount of virgin, undyed cotton, and produce fabric on giant looms which they turn into coffee sacks. These are then filled with local beans and shipped all over the world, and after the coffee beans are off-loaded, you can buy the recycled denim sacks to reuse however you’d like.

There’s a lot more about the super-interesting process over on Square Mile Coffee’s blog, but as soon as I heard about it, I instantly bought two sacks with the idea that I’d make myself a pair of jeans with it. But when they arrived, I realised that, while the original fibres were denim, the recycled sacks were more like a cotton bouclé, and far too loosely woven to be used in place of denim.

So I pre-washed the sacks, dutifully unpicked all the seams, and thought about making a jacket while the seasons rolled around to something more befitting an unlined jacket (since I knew I didn’t want to cover up the cool coffee sack printing!). A couple of candidate jacket patterns caught my attention, but then I saw New Look 6532 as a free covermount pattern on Sew Magazine and thought it was pretty much exactly what I had been imagining for my coffee sacks.

Burda magazine July 2018

I’ve had this issue for a few weeks now but I’ve finally started to feel better and now I want to do! all! the! things! and haven’t quite found the time to sit down and post about it. But I’ve been on a staycation from my office job this week, so you finally get to enjoy my picks from one of the best July issues I can remember (not that it’s saying that much – July issues are usually my least favourites of any given year!).

A tropical print Bettine dress

Like the best comic book superheroes, this dress has an almost unbelievable origin story.

As you know, I’ve been sick with multiple viral infections for months, and have been pretty down about it all. Well, I stepped out of the flat one day a few weeks ago and bam! right on the pavement outside the flat was a Tilly & the Buttons Bettine dress pattern, just lying there! I mean, seriously, what are the chances?

I could’ve just left it there for whomever dropped it to recover, but with rain forecast later in the day I didn’t want it to get ruined and besides, this was the Universe giving me A Sign, and I didn’t feel like I should overlook the only good luck I’d had in months! So I took it home and started fabric shopping immediately.

Burda magazine June 2018

The July issue isn’t yet on UK newsstands (that I can find, anyway…) so I’m technically not behind on my June review, even though the calendar may say otherwise! So let’s take a peek inside and see what jumped out for me…

An upcycled knitting bag and some newly-loomed socks

A few weekends ago I found myself in HEMA (a Dutch interiors, snacks, and household shop) picking up a few things and I spied a cushion cover for a fiver that I liked the look of. I’d been meaning to make myself a project bag for my sock loom and various supplies for a while now, and I saw the potential! I was also too excited to get a Before photo but it’s up online and now I see it’s only £2! Figures!

The cushion cover featured a loosely woven fabric on one side (which I used as the bag exterior) plus a plain canvas on the other (which became the bag lining) and a matching zip so it was excellent value considering the zipper alone would’ve cost me around £3.50!

A velvet slipcover for our sofa

We have loved our sofa since the moment we bought it about 5 years ago, and the bones of it are in great condition, but the fabric the manufacturers used was not fit for every day wear and tear. It faded, took on stains, and the final straw was when the cushion fabric actually wore through (it didn’t rip, the fabric disintegrated).

Two bamboo teeshirts

I had just about a meter leftover from the lovely Raystitch bamboo jerseys I used for the samples on my Craftsy class, and the fabric is too soft and wearable to leave marinading in my stash!

So I pulled out the Loose Fitting Top Block from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book and managed to squeeze a teeshirt (minus a bit of hem length) out of each with hardly anything leftover!

So I pulled out the Loose Fitting Top Block from my “Sew Your Own Activewear” book and managed to squeeze a teeshirt (minus a bit of hem length) out of each with hardly anything leftover!

A striped pattern-puzzle Atacac tee

I was browsing through my Instagram feed a few months ago when I saw a post by Ernie about some Swedish designers who made absolutely crazy-complicated 3D patterns and I was instantly hooked! I mean, cos you know me and pattern puzzles, right?? If I can’t work out how a pattern goes together by just looking at it, I’m immediately drawn to it!

Atacac are primarily RTW designers but they released a bunch of their RTW designs as downloadable “sharewear” patterns. They’re only in one size (size “3” on their size chart), but this happened to be my size anyway, and as it turns out, this particular tee is quite loose-fitting anyway.