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Happy 2020! (My year in review)

Happy new year! I always like to take the opportunity on the start of a bright new year to look back on the year that was – what I made and loved, what I made and swore at, and other big life milestones that will make 2019 stand out in my mind. And because I love stats, I also like to take a step back and get an overview of what I’ve been making to get an eye for any trends that may have escaped me at the time…

Happy 2019! (My year in review)

Happy new year! It’s traditional for me to reflect on the year that’s just finished on the first of a new year, and this year’s a weird one because I’d love to just say “this year sucked”, but there were some fantastic things that happened this year amoungst all the sickness, disappointment, frustration, and hard work. So let’s try and focus on those.

Activewear Sewing Myths

After years of sewing my own activewear, producing 13 patterns, teaching multiple classes, and even writing my “Sew […]

The Sewing Weekender Number 3

No sooner were we back home from Iceland than I was on my way up to Cambridge for my third Sewing Weekender! The first year I was lucky enough to buy a ticket, then last year I gave my “Sewing for Movement” talk as a speaker, but this year I was determined to attend again and set my alarm in order to buy my ticket as soon as they went on sale.

No joke, these tickets were hotter than Glastonbury – we crashed The Fold Line’s site and tickets sold out in like ten minutes despite having doubled capacity this year to 100 places!

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! 😂

Happy 2018! (My Year in Review)

Happy fresh and new baby year, everyone! I always like to celebrate the first of the year with a look back at the year that’s just completed – this gives me a chance to reflect at the things I’ve accomplished, the garments I’ve made, and challenges conquered. As is traditional, I find myself starting 2018 with lots of great stuff on the horizon but unable to talk about it (this time last year my two big secrets were my Threads article and my book deal, so you’d better believe 2018’s secret project is a good’un!) so you’ll just have to trust me that the outlook for 2018 is rosy indeed!

Best Burda magazine patterns of 2017

We’ve reached the end of another year, and another year of my monthly Burda magazine roundups. I started writing these regular reviews back in 2012 as a way of reminding myself of patterns that I’d otherwise just forget after a few months. Back before I had my own pattern business, I even had time to sew some of them (*sobs quietly to self about lack of time*)!

As I know many of you have said how much you enjoy my monthly review posts (and the stats on my website prove as much), I thought I’d refresh all our memories with a completely biased rundown of my favourites from the past year. In some cases, ones I wasn’t so sure on have become much more attractive, and others that I liked at the time have faded. And in the case of a few months, none of them have really stood the test of time (or I was just choosing them because they were the best of a mediocre bunch), so I haven’t included them at all here.

The Sewing Weekender 2017

Sewing retreats are fairly common in America from what I can tell, but up until last year’s inaugural Sewing Weekender, there’d never really been a large scale sewing retreat here in the UK. I was lucky enough to snag a ticket for myself last year, and I had SUCH a great time as a punter that I knew I wanted to go again should Rachel, Kate, and Charlotte plan another one.

Luckily, out of the writing of my book I realised that a lot of the points I made about sewing activewear were also heavily applicable to anyone with a body who moves (so, err, everyone except possibly the comatose) so I approached the organisers months ago saying I’d love to talk about Sewing For Movement at the next event if they were planning one. I’m glad I got in touch early, because as it turns out, this year’s Weekender sold out in under 20 minutes!!

We made espadrilles!

Along with making my first pair of socks a few months ago, I got to tick off another First this weekend when my friend Sophie came over and we made shoes! These actually weren’t her first pair of shoes – last year she took an intensive shoe-making class where she got to use lasts and industrial shoe-specific sewing machines, but making espadrilles using home-friendly methods was new for us both.

I’ve been wanting to make shoes for a while, encouraged by other sewists like Jasika who make very professional-looking shoes that you’d actually want to wear! So when the opportunity arose to choose some Prym products (aka Dritz in the US) to try out, their espadrille-making supplies were high on my list, and they kindly provided the soles in my size (EU40) as well as in EU37 and EU45 for good measure. The other sizes, miraculously, correspond to Sophie’s shoe size and James’s, so they’ll all get put to good use!

I’m on the Crafty Planner podcast!

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with the lovely Sandi from the Crafty Planner podcast and we had SO. MUCH. FUN! It turned out that with her based in San Diego and me in London, the hardest part of the whole process was finding a time that worked in both our time zones – after that the conversation just flowed, and I think you’ll really enjoy listening!

In this episode, we chatted about sewing (activewear in particular!), my recent Threads article, my running and competing at the World Transplant Games, some of my top tips for first-time activewear sewings, and (of course!) my upcoming book, too. Since I cycle commute to my office job these days, I listen to the bulk of my podcasts while in my sewing room, and my last job was actually at a podcasting company, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m a big fan of them, and Sandi’s in particular!