# Sewlutions – Final Wardrobe Maths

Right at the start of the year I boldly entered into  the sewlutions jar with the statement “I aim to have 75% of my wardrobe made by me by the end of 2013” so with a matter of hours to spare…how have I done?

Being a behaviour analyst as my day job I love using graphs so I thought I would demonstrate my progress graphically to show progress throughout the year because I realised soon on that this sewlution relied on steady progress.

Here is my graph:

So what does all this mean? Firstly and probably most importantly I did not achieve my goal. I started the year with a wardrobe that was 15% made by me and I am finishing with 71% made by me…this is still an increase of 56%! I made steady progress throughout the year with two big jumps in february and july, this is because I had wardrobe sort outs at this point and cleared out a lot for charity shops or refashions.

I had a massive shock at the start of the year when I found out I had 135 items of clothing in my wardrobe…who really needs that many clothes (there were certainly items in there that i did not wear). At the end of the year I have 77 items in total, 54 of which are made by me.

Doing this challenge has taught me quite a lot about myself:

1) I have a tendency to over commit myself!

2) I love making dresses (I have made six throughout the year) but focusing on getting a balanced wardrobe made me focus on other things

3) I have finally sewn knit fabrics, making five (yes five!!!) skater dresses and four renfrews. I have no idea why I found this so terrifying now but it is a great fabric for wardrobe staples.

4) I still haven’t managed to make a pair of trousers, they truly terrify me especially after the sewing disaster with trousers for Si.

5) I love colour and choosing the colour palette helped focus my fabric selections and also meant that everything sort of co-ordinates in my wardrobe meaning I could seriously cut down on the number of clothes I have.

6) Getting dressed from a smaller selection of clothes is so much easier!!! Choice can sometimes be overwhelming.

Finally here is my favourite make of the year:

The skater dress has been my big favourite this year and the tiger fabric on this makes it a winner.

# Blanket for Little One

Every time I got out my crochet blanket Little One would make a beeline for it and make herself nice and comfy whilst I worked on it. I therefore decided that I would make one for her bed in the living room. I ordered the wool from Minerva and it arrived last weekend so it set to work on the blanket.

This is how the blanket is currently looking, I think it is probably about half done:

The colours go with the living room but I also feel that they also go beautifully with Little One:

She is already showing an interest by resting her head on my lap as I crochet, hopefully this means she’ll enjoy it when it is finished.

# V is for Vision

I have been somewhat quiet on the blog recently, you know how things go I’ve been very busy and although the crafting continues my blogging has taken a bit of a hit. I’m on annual leave this week though so hopefully I can get my trusting photographer on side to help me catch up.

My alphabet sampler is really coming along now, I finished V last week (see how behind on the blogging front I am):

I have actually nearly finished W, it is going to be close but it still feels possible to get it completed by the end of the year.

# Courgette Cake – Using up the Veg Box

A few weeks ago Si and I decided to sign up for a local veg and fruit box scheme. I have been enjoying the locally grow produce and not knowing what we are getting week to week actually helps me stay interested in what I’m cooking.

This week in the box we got a couple of courgettes, this is veg that Si will not eat…some veg he is not overly keen on but we still eat, courgettes however are where he draws the line. I was trying to think how best to use them up so I suggested I make a courgette cake.

I used this recipe and then toped with the cream cheese recipe from my hummingbird cookbook.

The cake took quite a bit longer in the oven that stated in the recipe but I think this is probably my fault for using a small loaf tin. As can be seen I had a fair bit of mixture left and made up some muffins (we had already eating a couple before the photo).

The cake is really tasty, the courgettes add a nice bit of moisture. Si is enjoying the cakes too so definitely worked out as a good way to use up the veg.

# Skater Renfrew mash-up

It is no secret that I love the Skater dress pattern by Kitschy-coo, I have already made three versions (the grey one, tiger one and flamingo one) I have now made another version but this time I mixed things up a bit by adding a cowl to the neckline.

This was made in a fairly heavy fabric which I felt would be perfect for a winter dress. I have had the fabric in my stash for about a year and I had about three meters so perfect for giving the cowl a go. To make the cowl I borrowed the cowl from the Renfrew Sewaholic top. I basically added the shape of the neckline from the Renfrew onto the skater dress and then used the cowl as it was from the Renfrew:

As with my grey version I added three inches to the bottom of the skirt so that it is the perfect length to wear with boots (although it is worn here with my yellow shoes). The bodice as with all the others has one inch taken from the length.

I have already worn the dress to work, it is very comfy and warm. The pattern of the skater dress is so easy to wear…I love it!

# Crochet blanket – All done

Back in May I started a crochet blanket, I started it the day before my exam as a self calming strategy; by giving myself something to concentrate on I didn’t get myself all wound up about the exam.

Today I finally completed the blanket:

It consists of 26 stripes of purple and grey hues and then a border to finish it all off:

The blanket goes perfectly on our bed, we have actually been using it during the recent cold nights. I have simply placed a safety pin in the last stitch before putting it on the bed. The blanket is wonderfully warm.

Little One has taken quite a shine to the blanket, every time I have been crocheting it recently she has come and curled up on it (honest working on the blanket with a dog laying on it is not the easiest of things). I have therefore decided that the next blanket I make will be a mini on for her…I know she is very spoilt!

# Macaroons 2.0

Back in August I had a first attempt at making some macaroons today I had a second attempt and am pleased to report that these macaroons are tasty and a bit prettier!

I used the exact same recipe as previously so how did they turn out so differently? Firstly as commented by the very lovely monster yarns on my post about my first go, I added more colour…and by more I mean a lot more!

I was going for a dusky pink, I still haven’t got that colour however this current colour is much better that the pinky orange of my first attempt. The second thing I did was I made them much smaller, this has the advantage that I made a lot more but I thought making them smaller would mean the top would be less likely to crack. It appears to have worked.

Here is the macaroon from the side to show off their icing:

I feel very happy with this second attempt, and pleased to report that the flavour hasn’t been affected by the improvement in looks.

Shortly after finishing the macaroons I headed off to my swimming lesson so I placed them safely in the cupboard, away from little one. She is a menace about food and helps herself to anything on the kitchen side, as much as I love her there is no way she is laying a paw on them.

# Pay It Forward – Crafty Sharing

I’ve signed up for a Pay it Forward at Dottie Doodle.  As soon as I saw the idea I thought it would be something that I would like to give a try. Would you like to join in too?

Here are the “rules” (taken from Dottie Doodle):

1. I will create a crafty gift for each of the first three people who comment to this post. This is a surprise, and will arrive to you anytime within the next year.

2. In signing up for PIF, you are committing yourself to the project…someone pays it forward to you, so you pay it forward to others! Just post this, or something similar so others can get involved. Basically you will create your own post where you create gifts for 3 people as well.

3. You need to have an active blog of your own… (or some way to post up your PIF info like a flickr, pinterest, or Facebook account. You’ll need a place to announce your own PIF and to post some pics of the process.)

Do let me know your favourite colours to help me decide what to make.  I like making  gifts for children, so if you’d prefer me to make something for a child, please say so in your comment.

Looking forward to seeing who joins me.

# New Look 6674 – The Parisian Wrap Dress

Way back in October last year I had the pleasure of fabric shopping in Monmarte, Paris and selected a whole range of fabric as part of my capsule wardrobe challenge. Last Thursday I managed to get around to actually making up one of the item and today I wore it to work.

Please forgive the photos, it is so wet and dull in the UK at the minute and regardless of what we did Little One insisted on photo bombing me. Here is the dress on:

Firstly with the actual making, I made up view C, although I did not have a contrast band I wanted the band because when I have worn wrap dresses previously I prefer the way the band makes the dress sit. I also wanted the longer length so that it would go perfectly over my winter boots. Clearly the pattern included only options for short sleeve or no sleeves, I know that I would never wear a dress without sleeves and I kind of dislike short sleeves so I nicked the 3/4 sleeves from the Skater Dress pattern.

Overall I am mainly happy with this make, my main issues were the instructions, I felt that they weren’t the clearest (maybe I have been spoiled with indie pattern instructions which are incredibly clear) and the band took me about three attempts to put on, that seamripper is not my friend!

I am very happy with the way the pattern matches across the wrap, this took a fair bit of working out but I am so pleased that I did:

However the pattern on the skirt is ever slightly wonky, massive unhappy face, having clearly defined stripes on the pattern of the material makes this very unforgiving. I also would have liked the ties, which I have no pictures of to be a bit longer, I can fashion a knot that will not come undone, however they are no where near long enough to tie into a nice bow.

Wearing this dress today has however indicated one major issue, the wrap shows far to much breast curve for my liking and I spent the whole day fiddling with the fold trying to feel comfy with the amount of exposure…not a good look, especially when trying to chair meetings.  The next time I wear this it’ll be teamed with a vest of some description.