Crafting, Sewing

I Am Making A Dress!

set-in sleeve

I don’t remember being taught to sew, as I remember being taught to knit so vividly. This is strange, because my Grandma was always more of a seamstress than a knitter (though she only knits these days, because she’s lost much of her sight and can do it by touch). I don’t remember anyone sitting down showing me the ropes on a sewing machine, but clearly I wasn’t born knowing how. I can only think I must have learned by osmosis.

Anyway, the thing about feeling like I’ve always known how to sew is that I can get a tad ambitious in choosing a projects. OK, OK, this isn’t a habit limited only to my sewing (500-page graphic novel, anyone?). But I’ve certainly done it this time.

button loops

I’ve never made a dress before. The closest I’ve come to making clothes is a very forgiving pair of loose-fit pyjamas. So I’ll pick a simple A-line skirt, or shift dress for my first project then? No no no no no. Of course not. I’ll pick a two-piece medieval costume gown with a zip, corseted bodice, fancy button loops and everything. Obviously.

sleeve facing

Thankfully we live in the age of YouTube, and my sewing knowledge is being helped along infinitely by Professor Pincushion, who has a two-part tutorial on how to make this exact pattern, Simplicity 1773.

And I am having so much fun. Fingers crossed it actually fits!


Crafting, Sketchbook

Bookbinding in the Sunshine

spring bookbinding

There’s something about the sunshine, the first flowers, the scent of spring in the air that makes me crave a new beginning. And what better way to begin than with a new sketchbook? So I sat amongst the daisies and bound 75 sheets of my favourite drawing paper. I picked this cow fabric for the cover – one from the pile of “I like this, I don’t know what I’ll use it for but I’ll buy it anyway” – and a sweet yellow gingham ribbon so my sketchbook matches the garden and also feels like spring.



Crafting, Embroidery

Sparkling Narwhals

narwhal badge

Over the last couple of years of intensive book work I haven’t found much time for crafting. It’s been such a delight recently to pick up a needle and thread, knitting needles, yarn or fabric – all sorts that I’ve been stashing forever, and get creative in a different way. I find all kinds of hand work so relaxing, including drawing of course, but the change feels especially good, as does trying something different. When I used to work in Creativity I ogled the delicious embroidery threads all the time, dreaming up colourways and projects. This is the first time I’ve used metallic threads; a little challenging to work with, but fun!

These sparkling narwhals appear in the latest Green Bean, and are a gift for a narwhal-loving friend: I hope when the recipient sees them on my blog she’ll know instantly they’re for her :)