One of the questions people often ask me is, now that I run a sewing business, do I still sew for fun – or is it too much like work?
While I dabble in other hobbies like knitting and drawing, for me it’s still all about making clothes. I try to carve out time when I’m not working to make things just for me, both with Tilly and the Buttons sewing patterns (as the designer, I love them all!) and other brand’s patterns that catch my eye. Of course, I do inevitably end up thinking about work when I’m sewing, which isn’t ideal when I’m trying to have a Sunday off. But on the other hand, sewing is still my greatest passion – our photographer always laughs as, even during a stressful photo shoot when I’ve been frantically stitching for nine hours, I’ll often let out a love-struck sigh of, “Ooh, I love sewing!”
This year I’ve been making a balance of our both speedy, satisfying sews when I needed a quick sewing fix, and more intricate and involved projects for when I needed to get my teeth stuck into something.
One of my favourite makes of the year was my Grainline Cascade anorak, sewn in a lovely blue twill with a striped jersey lining. I took my time over the details on this project, including hand-stitching on the toggles, lining up every stripe and adding a little anchor motif. The hard work was worth it, as I lurrrrve this jacket!
One of my favourite patterns of all time is our Fifi boudoir set. I’ve made a million of them, including this pair in a lovely floral lawn with navy binding, which I made at a sew-in we did at John Lewis in the Summer. The delicate details, such as the pleated cups and narrow French seams, make it a complete joy to sew.
This is the Yoyo dress pattern from Papercut Patterns. I made it in a soft-ish denim, adding a sparkly gold binding to the facing (until I ran out of it, hehe!). I’ve worn it loads over stripey tops and turtlenecks this year – I love the modern exposed zip and angular lines.
I’ve actually made loads of Rosa shirts and shirt dresses this year – it’s such a versatile pattern and can be made in different fabrics for each season. This is the only one I got around to photographing for the blog, made in a kitty print lawn from Japan with black topstitching and piping to highlight the style lines. I’ve loved wearing this with black skinny jeans and of course under Cleo dresses!
The Marigold pattern saw me through a lot of the Summer. I wore this jumpsuit a lot on holiday, and practically lived in these polka dot viscose trousers and another pair of plain black trousers for lounging around.
Another Papercut pattern I made in 2016 was the Watson jacket. This was my second version – I made it once before, and decided to omit the capelet this time. It’s made in a beautiful mint wool from Goldhawk Road, with an amazing creepy disembodied hand print lining from Paris. (I know!!) I’m looking forward to the London weather getting slightly milder so I can bust this baby out again.
Another of my all-time favourite patterns is the Martha dress. I’ve made three for myself – one exactly like the lovely blue one worn by our model (I wore it to a wedding on new year’s eve 2015), one in red ponte, and one in the same floral viscose that our model also wore. It’s one of those “wow” dresses that always gets lots of compliments when I wear it. Love!!!
These two pairs of Closet Case Files Carolyn PJs have seen me through many nights this year. The first pair I made were the long version in a snuggly double gauze I bought from Japan. I loved them so much I made another pair for the Summer in a kitty print soft cotton lawn, also from Japan (the same print as my Rosa shirt above). I added piping to these ones and LOVE the way it defines the style lines. I definitely plan on making more of these.
This gorgeous lemon print lawn that’s been sitting in my stash for years finally got made into something – a Clemence skirt from my book, with added lining and exposed zip. Here I am wearing it on the Amalfi coast, on the day I got engaged 🙂
Last but by no means least, I made about a million Cleo dungaree dresses! Okay so I actually made five for myself, and have worn them at least three times a week ever since 🙂
I did also made lots of stuff I haven’t gotten around to photographing – including a Pauline Alice skirt that you might have seen me making on Instagram stories, and squillions of samples for future patterns. Watch this space!