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A fuchsia mesh lingerie set

I’ve made a lot of lingerie over the years, but my bra preferences have changed over the course of the pandemic (like a lot of women) to favour soft bras over underwired styles, and I’m still trying out different patterns to find ones I like. So I was very interested to learn that New Craft House had not only bought up the un-used fabric and haberdashery from a lingerie brand that sadly went out of business, but bought their patterns, too! When the collection was finally ready to buy (two bra patterns, three panty patterns, and four kits), I literally set a timer and hit buy within the first minute (if you’re ready this right after I’ve posted, the kits are only temporarily sold out while they catch up on the avalanche of orders).

IWTV tribute crew shirt

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following me on social media for the past few months that one of my first makes of the new year should somehow involve the “Interview with the Vampire” tv show (aka “the show so good I think it altered my brain chemistry”). I also spoke more about it in my end of year roundup if you want more explanation of just how good this show is, and how to watch it (short version: AMC or Amazon in most territories).

Anyway, in the official Behind the Scenes documentary, Sam Reid (the actor who plays Lestat) wears a slate blue teeshirt with a coffin drawing on the front, which I really liked, so I did a bit of investigating. Sam’s a massive Anne Rice nerd (to an encyclopedic degree!) but it turned out that this was the “crew shirt” for the show – a promo item made and distributed to cast and crew only. Usually these are pretty tacky affairs with just the show logo on a tee or trucker cap, but I really liked the subtlety of this one – it looks like it does have the show name on the sleeve and a bit of text on the back that can’t be read (my guess is maybe “Memory is a Monster”?), but mostly, I was into the coffin drawing. I did some cursory searches on eBay but with NDAs these days, I didn’t really expect to find anyone selling theirs. So if I wanted one, I’d have to make one myself!

Happy 2023! (Year in Review)

For the past 15(!) years I’ve posted my year in review on 1 January, but not this year. I lost my sewjo around the end of September so I didn’t really have much to blog about. I waited for it to reappear (as I learned a long time ago there’s no point in trying to force it) and prepped a few projects, tidied a bit, planned a bit, and then fell into a massive “Interview with the Vampire” fandom hole (more on that later), and generally was happier in October and November than I’ve been in a long time (completely unrelated to the sewing) but that’s not the reason this post is late.

This post is late because, despite my best efforts (cycling to/from, FFP3 masking indoors with my CO2 monitor and otherwise staying outdoors) I caught a virus of some sort at the office christmas party which left me practically bed-bound with post viral fatigue for 4+ full weeks (no, not Covid, not flu, not RSV, not anything they swabbed for at haematology, but thankfully not EBV either). Like, 21+ hours a day in bed, and if I sat up for more than 15min to eat or drink, I’d have to lie flat for another hour. So sitting up to type was impossible, and I wrote this in pieces on my phone when I could, not being able to put it all together until I started improving a little bit in the past few days.

So apologies that it’s late, and for the blog silence for the past few months, but hey, 2023 can only get better from this dismal start, right?? Without further ado, let’s have a look back at 2022…

An all black pair of Duathlon Shorts

Ever since I made my pair of (nearly) all black Tenacity Leggings, I’ve wanted a similar pair of shorts. I’m not one to shy away from plain fabrics, but to me, entirely black leggings and shorts are just SO boring! But since making the leggings, I realised how incredibly useful they are for cycling around town, meeting people for pub garden drinks, running errands, getting to hospital appointments, etc when you want to be comfortable on the ride yet blend in when you get to your destination (and it’s too wet to wear cycling jeans).

And I needed something similar for the warmer months! So I took the same black supplex from Tia Knight out of my stash and decided to make a pair of Duathlon Shorts (biker length) so I could have easy access pockets, too. This particular supplex is currently out of stock but keep an eye on their socials because when they restock it, it sells out super quick because it’s such great quality and ridiculously cheap!

A Pastel Nautilus Bikini

I didn’t plan on sewing a swimsuit this summer. Frankly, the bikini I made in 2015 is still going strong. But then London ended up having an incredible heatwave summer, and we, err, impulse-bought a hot tub on deep discount which gave me a bunch of extra motivation!

I thought I’d have a look at my pattern files on my computer first to see if I already owned a great lounging swimsuit style (as opposed to the “sport swimsuit” I made before my short-lived swimming lessons in 2019!), and it turns out I did – the Nautilus Swimsuit & Bikini, originally released by Seamstress Erin but then bought up and re-released with an expanded size range and full set of tutorials by Paprika Patterns a few years ago. I had the original version of the pattern from an indie pattern bundle I contributed to a while back, so my comments here are on that original version.

Tutorial: Make your own tri-belt!

I’ve signed up to race my first official duathlon in September (that’s run-cycle-run if you’re not familiar) and one of the things I need for the race is a tri-belt, which, having never done a triathlon myself, is something I didn’t own. A tri-belt is essentially an adjustable loop of elastic with two smaller elastic cords sticking out that you can affix a race number to.

The purpose here is to be able to attach your number to it so you can easily display it on your front as you’re running, and on your back as you’re cycling, without having to re-pin it in place! But when I went to purchase one, I saw how simple they were and thought “I could make that!” And honestly, it was so easy, I’ll show you how to, too! Hint: these also make great gifts if you’ve got a multi-sports athlete in your life!

Another golden Saraste shirtdress

When I first made the Saraste pattern from Named’s “Breaking the Pattern” book back in 2019, I had no idea how much I’d enjoy wearing it. I don’t usually wear casual dresses, to be honest, let alone ones with such a long hemline or that button up so modestly. But it turns out that I really enjoy wearing it – so much so that I wanted another dress (remember that I also made the top version last summer)!

So when I saw this beautiful rayon at Like Sew Amazing with its shades of yellow, blue, green, and white abstract flowers, I knew it’d be perfect for another shirtdress (as an aside, this was marked as “deadstock” at LSA but it’s also for sale at Textile Express so I don’t know if their supplier is stretching the truth or what??).

Functional sewing – an invisible Axis and some porthole curtains

These two sewing makes don’t really “go together” except in the sense that they were both on my Summer Sewing list and they don’t seem terribly exciting to most people! The porthole curtains were on the list because the ones I’d made for the bedroom in 2014 were really looking ropey and mouldy, and the Axis Tank was in my plans because I really wanted a more comfortable, invisible option to wear underneath a few semi-sheer summer tops in my wardrobe now that I no longer wear “foam dome” bras.

You’d think that, like the Pietras, I’d have nothing more to say about the fantastic Sophie Hines Axis Tank pattern after the 5? 6? times I’ve already made it, but I surprised even myself here. I had some very thin biege silk-mix jersey in my stash for over a decade(!) that I thought would be perfect for creating a tank/softbra that matches my skin tone. One of the reasons I hadn’t used it much so far is because the fabric is so thin that it really needs a lining so couldn’t be used for a teeshirt, for example. But that wasn’t an issue here, as I could just double it up as its own lining!