Tag Archives: sewing goals 2019

Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan – V3.0

My love for the Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan is well documented. This is my 3rd version and I love it as much as versions 1 and 2.

The fabric

This version is made in a surprisingly lovely coral jersey from the bins at Abakhan. I know I’ve got a fabric ban in place but I needed a little jersey to make leggings for Summer to go with a top I’d sewn (not yet blogged) and I loved this colour so much I bought the whole piece so I could make myself a Blackwood.

For £8 and change I got a gorgeous cardigan for myself and capri leggings for Miss Minx. I can’t grumble about that! And this fabric has great drape!

A word about colour

It’s been interesting to me to see how my taste in colour has refined and changed since I grew my hair out.

Prior to embracing my grey, I really didn’t have a set colour palette that I felt comfortable in. Now….it’s so very easy. Navy is my neutral and base colour. It’s a softer colour on me than black and whilst I do wear a bit of black now and again, I’m much happier in blue.

Coral/orange is my new red. I simply don’t feel good in red any more but love the oranges. When I was brunette, I never wore orange.

I adore the bright blues as an accent colour too. My last Blackwood embraced that. Pale blues such as my Galaxie really suit. I may have bought some more yarn in that colour at Yarndale (blog post to come).

Grey is good. And I’m tempted to try some chartreuse too. But that will have to wait until I’ve sewn up so more fabric.

Its a really interesting journey and it’s becoming so much easier to walk away from pretty fabric and yarn that will languish in the stash never to be sewn or knitted!

A schoolgirl error

As I’ve mentioned before, the Blackwood Cardigan is a super pattern and a simple sew. So the only explanation for the error in this one is stupidity on my part.

Whilst sewing the front band in place I couldn’t work out why it was so much longer than usual. So I blithely stitched it on and cut off the ends.

Then realised that you’re supposed to sew the bottom band on before stitching the front band! Sigh. Thankfully the bottom band had enough give in it to enable me to stretch it to fit. Phew!

And in other news….

These pictures clearly show the significant weight gain I’ve been battling with over the last few years. It’s something I want to address because over the past few weeks I’ve finally got some answers about it.

I recognise that the sewing community is very supportive of all body shapes and sizes, but this isn’t about that, this is about health and generally feeling pretty shitty on a daily basis for some considerable time.

Having had numerous conversations with my GP, I decided to invest in my health and had a private consultation. Their approach is very different to that of the NHS (a bloody marvellous institution that is much maligned). Whereas the NHS is about helping you overcome acute illness, I’m working with this private doctor to achieve a state of optimum health.

The blood tests were a revelation. My hormones, adrenals and thyroid are completely out of whack! Vitamins D and B are fully depleted. It’s no wonder I can’t lose the weight and am completely exhausted all the time.

The exhaustion has been debilitating and previously been put down to just age and a busy lifestyle.

The good news!

The good news is that this is all reversible. It may at least six months to see results but I’m hoping that by this time next year I’ll be back to full health and in better shape.

I realise that I’m immensely lucky to be able to invest in myself like this, but also glad that I kept pushing for answers.

I’m also thankful for you guys for not saying “oy! fatty! stop eating all the cakes“.

I’m excited to see how things progress over the next few months. And I have another Blackwood Cardigan hot off the machine to share with you the next time it stops raining and I can get photos!

Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan – V2.0

I don’t mind admitting that Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan is my favourite pattern of all time!


Made by Rae Geranium Dress – maxi sundress hack

I think the Made by Rae Geranium dress is one of my most used patterns.  I’ve made it for Summer several times over the years, and used it to make gifts for friend’s little girls.


Introductory Pattern Cutting with Alice Prier – RayStitch – Review

If you’ve been following my Insta feed over the weekend, you’ll know that I’ve been at Ray Stitch in London for the Introductory Pattern Cutting class with Alice Prier. And what fun I’ve had.


Burda 7368 review – DIY Blouse

Oh! Burda 7368 – how this blouse has tried and tested me.


A combination of drapey, shifty fabric and a less than stellar pattern, plus a couple of big schoolgirl errors really pushed me to the edge with this.


Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan

So my first finished garment of 2019 hits it right out of the park!

My perfect daytime ‘uniform’. Cute top, jeans, boots and a cardigan. I live in looks like this for everyday life!

Not only am I thrilled with the garment itself, but its made from stash fabric and a stash pattern, albeit the updated version.


DIY Dressform Cover – The Reveal

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for….Maud’s new custom cover is fitted and stuffed.

This has been such an adventure. Both because this was the sewing of something completely alien to me, which stretched (pun intended) my sewing skill set, but also in terms of body confidence and acceptance. I think I need to ponder on that a bit more and revisit it in a separate post.

But for today I’m going to talk about the final stage – stuffing Maud’s cover to look like me.


DIY Dressform Cover – Part Two

If you’re of a nervous disposition I suggest you go and find photos of kittens and cake on Instagram, and come back when I’ve finished this series. Closeup photos of my embonpoint* to follow!

Ok…I got to try on the Maud cover just before Dave and Summer headed out for karate last night, and my first thought was that the fit was really, really wrong. I know that I’m 52 and gravity it working its magic, but the bust line on this was way out!


DIY Dressform Cover – Part One

Hello! I do hope you’re all keeping warm. Unless you’re in Australia, then keeping cool! As I’m typing this there is snow drifting past the window and actually starting to stick. The small peeps will be beside themselves.


New Year sewing

We made it to Boxing Day before we started falling, like Christmas tree needles, with the flu.  Dave and I tag-teamed it, and, thankfully, Nana and Grandad whisked children away once they’d recovered.  We’re all on the mend now and trying to keep Dylan healthy before his biggest dance competition to date on Friday!

I haven’t knitted for over a week so it was lovely to do a few rows on Dave’s blue cardigan last night.  Mindless stockinette is perfect for when you’re off colour.  And a clear sign you’re on the mend!

But…lying in bed, scrolling blogs and instagram full of reviews and resolutions got me thinking about where I want to go with my sewing over the next year. (more…)