I'm currently excited about…

My turquoise and silver motif dress is nearly done (check out the fantastic lace hem tape I found in my stash to pretty-fy my hem, too!), but it doesn’t stop me thinking ahead…

  • Lekala 4020 – My brain needs a quick knit top, and I looooove the cowl neck and shoulder yokes on this. I’ve created echoing sleeve bands on the back to decrease the “coffin back” look (the only reason I haven’t made their “S dress” yet is that I’m contemplating how to jazz up the back on it. Any ideas?). I’ve got some small lengths of silver silk jersey left in my stash that I think will find a good home in this top.

    Even better is that they’ve got every pattern available in a free size 44 pdf this month if you want to try them free before you do the custom-size thing!

  • A foam cup braOMG I am amazingly excited to learn there’s a pattern out now for making the type of bras I buy in RTW with the moulded, foam cups! It’s the Pin Up Girls “Amanda” bra pattern. I’ve made bras before, but I’ve never been happy with the fit, and I think that half my problem is that I’m trying to sew the kind of bras I never actually buy…

    I had an email chat with the lovely Kellie, owner of The Sewing Chest shop (the best UK source of elastic and boning and lingerie fabrics, hands down!), and I’m now totally excited about sewing bras again. She’s advised me to put some of her foam cups onto the non-cup parts of the KwikSew 3300 bra I’ve made before, and see how that goes. She’s also advised me to use a different underwire size, too. Fingers crossed for bra success!

  • Pattern grading – My upcoming vintage dress pattern (Style Print 1545 from the late 1950s/early 1960s – the button-tab view in blue) is for a B42 bust, so my plan is to trace off the vintage tissue (preserving it for someone else!), then cut and overlap my paper pieces to make it approximately B38 before making my first muslin from that…

    Big thanks to Claire Seemane and i could make that for letting me know about this Threads article about pattern grading. It shows you exactly where to expand vertically and horizontally on your pattern pieces, and even tells you how much to add for the various size differences!

  • My future sewing room – Did I mention we’ve started another wave of demolitions on Hendrik? Now that it’s warm, we’re clearing out everything in the space which will become our new bedroom, wardrobe, and my permanent sewing room. In ripping out everything down to the bare hull, we’ve discovered a small air gap on both sides, meaning my future sewing room (and our wardrobe on the other side) just became an arm’s length wider than we thought!! When the total room space is as small as mine (about the floorspace of a double bed, so a little bit bigger than my current, temporary sewing room), every inch counts!
  • Open gardens weekend – Twice a year our moorings are open to the public, and I’m very busy getting my (rather substantial) container garden looking its best for the crowds, in addition to planning what all I’m going to bake for our tea & cakes fundraiser for the RNLI. Londoners, if you’re around 11-12 June or 10 July and would like details of coming for a visit, please leave a comment. Though note that I’m often too crazy busy and frazzled during the open events to do much chatting! But my Chocolate & Baileys cupcakes and Mojito cupcakes shall speak volumes on my behalf…
  • Pattern magazines – I’m actually in danger of being overstimulated right now, between Manequim and KnipMode having awesome issues this month, then getting three other Brazilian pattern magazines from our holidaying friends! Shame for you that I’m being slow at scanning these since I’m so excited about all of the rest above… I also got my KnipMode renewal notice this week, and I can hardly believe I’ve been subscribed for a year. Now there’s €107 I’m very happy to spend!
  • My race – Monday morning I’ll be running my annual 10k race to raise funds and awareness for the Anthony Nolan Trust, the UK’s bone marrow registry charity. Even though it’s a month early, I’m running to mark the 2nd anniversary of my bone marrow transplant, which was only made possible by an anonymous donor found by Anthony Nolan and its worldwide database linking. I realise that some of you may have only started reading this site recently and may not ever know that I’d been sick, but if you’d like to know more, my story’s here. But believe me when I tell you that I would be dead without the help of my donor, who donated his marrow to me and saved the life of a total stranger. It’s NOT the painful procedure it was a few years ago, and here in the UK, you can get on the registry with a spit sample by post! Please consider joining your country’s database if you’re eligible.

    I’ll have more on my race next week, when I can show you my customised race vest, but until then, if you’re awake at 11am BST (6am EDT) on Monday, please drop me a comment on my Dailymile race and it’ll speak your comments to me while I’m out there running! Come on, make me laugh!

    And as for raising awareness, well, I’ve got a profile feature coming up in a national UK weekly magazine, which I’ll share closer to its streetdate!

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