09 10

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Sew Over It cowls meet Kelly

Yesterday, I had The Mother of All Clear Outs. A lot more housework than ever normally happens was done, cupboards were emptied and organised, and lots of things were ruthlessly culled whilst no one else was watching to object. I am telling you this, because this kind of behaviour doesn't happen that often. Don't go sharing this with anyone, but, once I got over the `oh, my goodness - the entire house looks a complete mess now, why did I ever start this process?' tidying hump, I found myself quite satisfied in the end.

Don't go worrying about me turning into a Proper Housewife (as opposed to the Slummy Housewife who flies by the seat of her pants that I really am). Sewing will still win over my affections when faced with a choice between it and housework. Having six people to keep in clean pants and provided with meals (to be complained about by at least one family member at any given time!) and everything else that goes with it takes an undeniable amount of effort. There are times when I have to admit that life would run a lot more smoothly if I devoted more effort to going beyond the basics of running the house as I do sewing. But. There has to be balance, doesn't there? And, I have long recognised in myself that sewing for pleasure is part of what makes me tick. Making time for this, over doing more regular clear outs etc, keeps me a lot more happier than if my house were perfectly organised and tidy.

In the spirit of balance, after The Mother of All Clear Outs yesterday, I felt that today deserved to contain a bit more, well, fun and frivolity. Mary Poppins I am not.

Today, the sun was out bright and early, so I decided my bare legs would be too. Time for a first proper outing of my newly made spring clothes - my Sew Over It cowl(s) and chambray Kelly Skirt with vintage buttons. Hurrah!

My friend Lucy took these pictures for me whilst we were at the park with another friend. Charlotte loves playing with my sunglasses, but helpfully trotted over and handed them to me - a blatant little photo bomber, huh?!

 I've made two versions of the Sew Over It cowl now - and love the pattern. As already mentioned, it spurred me on to get my overlocker out, clean out all the fluff that had built up, and spend time learning to thread it up properly.

When making the tops, I enjoyed taking my time to finish all the edges nicely on the overlocker, before switching back to my regular machine to twin stitch the hems. The pattern is so simple, that even with slowing down to aim for a really professional finish inside and out, I can still whip one up from start to finish in a short evening of sewing. After the mamouth effort of making a coat during the first part of the year, some quick projects are very gratifying.

I'd deliberately planned for these two tops to go with the Kelly skirt I had made as a sample for my current beginners' course. I'm pretty pleased with how it's all come together - the buttons being my favourite element, and, the discovery of just how iron dependent the skirt will insist on being being the only slight fly in the ointment. Still, you can't have everything. Maybe I'll turn over a new leaf and iron this as it comes out of the wash, and not leave it to get buried under the other clean washing awaiting attention in the airing cupboard...

The final photo is in the other version - I did a cheeky change in the loos of the Pavilion. If you are wondering why I am smiling, it is because I have just indulged in my favourite guilty secret relating to Bedford Park - a BLT in the cafe.

It occurred to me as I was thinking about writing this post, and also the fact I have fabric ready for another three cowls (!), that spring seems to be the time of year for me to make several of something. Last year, it was the Tilly and the Buttons Coco. I wonder what it will be next year, to pop along at just the right moment to inspire me into some sewing to refresh my wardrobe in time for the warmer months...?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Matching mummy and daughter strikes again!

At the end of the summer, I made myself a Skater Dress. I'd got a couple of metres of lovely campan jersey for the dress, and still had some to spare once it was made. I spotted that Kitschycoo (who designed the pattern) had a free baby version on her blog. I printed it out and the cheap skate in me felt delighted that I had enough fabric to make a mini me version. Hurrah!

I cut it out. And then... well, decided it wasn't such an exciting prospect to make after all, and got distracted by other makes. And so the pieces of this little dress have sat, scrunched up in a ball in my sewing box, waiting to be made. 

My inspiration to finally make the thing came last week whilst watching the GBSB final.

There was a lovely piece to camera of the family of the contestant who went on to win, with his wife proudly telling the nation about the brilliant dresses her husband makes her, and, the occasional matching versions that get requested by their daughter. Ha. Not going to care about the possibility of it being twee any more, time to get sewing that little dress before she grows too big to wear it, I thought to myself.

So there. Not only has Matt flown the flag for blokes and sewing, made women up and down the country jealous of his wife and the clothes he lovingly sews her - he has also given us all his verdict that matching outfits are in fact magic and not tragic. Well done, that man!

So, I give you my latest mini me piece of sewing. The gorgeous little Charlotte - who is becoming cheekier by the day, and completely lights up my mornings by greeting me with "Cuggle, Mummy!" as she throws her arms around my body in a snotty embrace (I could do without the snot, to be perfectly honest, but she has a cold at the moment...).

Last weekend I got a couple of Sew Over It cowl tops made and got the vintage buttons onto my Kelly Skirt - I failed to get any pictures of them in action before they ended up in the washing basket. Let me just say that the vintage buttons are pretty special (am just hoping they don't require special hand washing attention on account of their elderly status).

The girls and me have been carrying out a spring clean of their drawers, working out what fits and what doesn't - negotiations over what can and cannot be handed down to siblings have begun, but aren't over yet. One incentive for the biggest girl has been the promise of a couple of new short sleeved t shirts, using - yes, you guessed it! - leftovers from my cowls. Lucky girl. Ha, ha. Aged eight, she still thinks it is magic and not tragic to have your mum sew your clothes, and, to occasionally have something that matches. I will make sure I get at least one photo of the pair of us together to stash away and bring out when her first boyfriend comes round (which, if her dad has any say in matter won't be until she is 21 - but that dear readers, is another story).

As there's no more Sewing Bee, I'm consoling myself by going to my local for Get Your Stitch On tonight. Think I'll probably take some crochet squares to work on while I gossip away with friends.

Here are the details, in case you happen to be local to Bedford and fancy coming:

Get Your Stitch On!
The Burnaby Arms, Stanley Street, Bedford
7.30 pm onwards

Friday, 13 March 2015

Oh hello, Spring - it's lovely to see you again

The arrival of Spring hits me like bumping into an old friend I haven't seen in ages and am delighted to see again. I don't know why I feel so taken aback and happy when it happens - it is not like it is a new thing on me - but I do. This last week, I have taken delight in lots of little things, like being able to hang washing out on the line, and enjoying spending time outside without wishing I was back inside, clutching a large mug of tea. Even the fact I only really had a couple of weeks of wearing my newly finished coat before the weather warmed up enough to leave the house without it cannot stop me loving this time of year when it shows up.

I was lucky enough to greet two groups of beginners to my classes this week.We're going to be moving on to making a beginner friendly skirt. I thought we'd spend a bit of time making a little something from my scraps before cutting into their actual skirt fabric - here are the little phone sleeping bags they'd made by the end of their first lesson. We had no pattern, just traced round their phones, leaving 1.5cm wriggle room, and sandwiched some contrasting outer and lining fabrics with some bamboo batting. This was an ideal little project that buoyed everyone up and enabled them to leave thinking that sewing is something they can do. Yay!

 We're going to start making our Kelly Skirts next week - I've made myself a new one to have on my dummy as a sample. I've had to be patient over finishing it - it took me a bit of trawling to find the right buttons. Who'd have guessed finding something to go on light blue chambray would be so tricky? In the end, after trawling my local shops and finding nothing pleasing - having no specific idea in mind is sometimes an impossible task - I tried searching `vintage buttons' on Ebay, and quickly found just the thing. I hope I still think the buttons are just the thing when they arrive...

This is my latest fabric to sew with. I've bought jersey from Dragonfly Fabrics before and liked it, so I felt confident ordering more from there for making the new SewOverIt cowl top.

Buying this pattern and fabric gave me just the motivation I needed to stop being a baby about my overlocker. Mum bought it for me as a surprise birthday present a couple of years ago - I've used it on and off, but have been known to sulkily put it back in its box for long periods of time whenever it has come unthreaded and Mum is not on hand to help. Last weekend, I finally got the instructions out and took the time to calmly rethread the whole thing. I think it helped that I set myself that as my goal, and nothing else - no sewing, just to conquer (well, sort of) The Beast, as I call it.

Hurrah. Yes, that is a threaded machine you see before you.

Hello, Gertie - we meet again. Ready for a spruce up?
So, here's my five happy things I am going to do for me this weekend:

1. Sew another top - and maybe the buttons on my skirt if they arrive in time

2. Spend time outside - hopefully a run (feeling well and winter lurgy free for first time in months - yippee!); head out somewhere with the girls, and, plant my five seed potatoes

3. Bake and eat bread - the white variety you can slice into great thick slices, in case you're wondering

4. Call a friend that I haven't spoken to in ages

5. Step away from social media

Have a lovely weekend, whatever you get up to!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Notebook winner

Hey friends.

The Middle Girl was up early today, so I got her on the case of organising the draw for the notebook competition.

All your choices of favourite cakes got me wishing I had some in front of me.

And the winner is...

Rachael's favourite cake was Lemon Meringue Pie (yes, technically a pie not a cake, but it's one of my favs too...) and she wanted to give the book to her pal Rebekah, who bakes legendary cakes.

Rachael, if you get in touch and let me know details about where to post your prize, I'll get it to you/your friend as soon as possible.

Happy Friday, everyone - hope you have a nice weekend!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

#NotJustAnotherNotebook - FEBRUARY ROUND-UP

Hey there, fellow Stationery Fans. 

February is behind us now, spring is in the air (I hope!), and so it's time for another round-up on the #NotJustAnotherNotebook project.

Ready for the notebooks? Here goes...

Number 25 was a present for Sarah's niece. She choose the wording - I'll admit now that it was a little tight fitting it all in - and said that Cath Kidston prints would be a hit.

Numbers 26 and 27 were a repeat order, from a lady who had liked her own notebook and decided to order a couple for her friends. She gave me the wording, and a sense of colours for Kerry and a hint at a love of woodland thing for April.

My good friend Imogen ordered the next two. One for her mate, and one for herself.

As with other orders where I have known the person well, and they happen to sew, the pressure was on for Imogen's book, as she gave me an open brief for a recipe book. Eek. She's a girl who loves chocolate cake (don't we all?) and is a brilliant baker. I enjoyed embellising this book with vintage lace and little pearls.

The next four orders (#30-33) came from Shelley - she'd seen Imogen's books, and wanted some stationery of her own.

As Shelley was in no rush, and clearly had specific styles in mind to suit the people the notebooks were going to, I asked her if she'd like to browse FabricRehab and let me know if she spotted any prints she'd like me to buy and use on her notebooks. Er, yes! 

I love the prints she came up with, don't you?

This is something I am happy to do with any multiple orders, or, if you have no mad rush for your notebook and can wait for me to put my regular order in (about every fortnight or so).

Also, if you have other online fabric suppliers you love and want me to consider, then I am all ears to that! The Village Haberdashery is another favourite I will be making an order from soon, should you happen to see anything you'd like a notebook in...

Number 34 was made for my friend Kris to give to her friend Karen. She wanted a swan on a blue background, with the words you see on her notebook. This was perhaps one of the trickiest makes of the month to get going on. How on earth do I produce something so specific without it looking like my five year old had made it, I wondered. Google images was my friend - I traced a photo of a swan and then freehanded the machine stitching to match the tracing I had at the side of my machine, before using Bondaweb to attach it to the background and adding a bit more stitching.

Number 35 was another very specific request - for a little girl called Lucy who loves looking at the stars, and has recently been given a telescope. Her Mum wanted the notebook for her, because she kept on finding little bits of paper where Lucy had sketched what she'd seen in the sky that night. How lovely is that?! (And, wouldn't you love to see what Lucy draws in her book?)

The next couple of books were ones I bought on a day when my Middle Girl was invited to a birthday party at short notice. I'd initially thought I would just pop into town and get each of the twins a book token. Then the day didn't quite work out as planned, and with Charlotte in bed at lunchtime, it seemed just as easy to come up with two very simple and quick to make designs. Luckily, my `young children like seeing their name on stuff' gamble was spot on this time. Hurrah.

 If #39 looks familiar, it is - my step dad spotted the one I had made for my friend Anwyn Rowberry, and wanted one of his own. Naturally, I changed the colours a bit, along with the name...

The final two are both gifts. One for someone's sporty husband, and another for a Mother's Day present, for a mum who loves bright colours and knitting. Do you recognise the fabric in #40? Yes, a certain coat had a remnant just about big enough to lavish on one notebook. Not to be left out, I raided my current crochet blanket project for a little wool to applique on to #41 for the balls of wool (in case you were wondering what the blobs were!).

That makes a total 17 notebooks made for charity in February. After a crazy first half, the second half of February was really quiet on the orders front - not sure why that was. The total to date is at £447.50 (£548.75 including Gift Aid), and this will be split between WaterAid and The Salvation Army's projects with the homeless.

With the numbers of orders tailing a bit, I found myself having a few doubts. Maybe the interest in the project is tailing off already. My ego started to feel slightly wounded, if I am brutally honest! Whilst the quiet couple of weeks coincided with half term (helpful), and, gave me time in the evenings to focus my sewing energy on finishing my coat (hurrah!), I had to kick myself and give myself a reminder of why I decided to make notebooks in the first place. 

A perfectly timed WaterAid advert on TV, while watching episodes of Mr. Bean with the girls, one grey day in half term - with footage I think we'd seen before, with a six year old boy carting a big container on his head. As the camera panned down to some murky looking water, and the little boy taking a drink from it, the front room fell silent. `He's the same age as me,' said the Middle Girl. `Oh, it's WaterAid. That's why you're making the notebooks, isn't it, Mummy,' said the Biggest Girl.

There are lots of charities I could have chosen to support. WaterAid struck a particular chord because it tries to address a need that is so obviously basic to us all. And yes, if I am honest, of course those adverts tug at my heart strings. I would hate to watch my children drinking polluted water, not to mention the amount of freedom they would have to sacrifice to spend all that time walking to get water each day (how would the Middle Girl fit in time for all the many faffing around time wasting things she considers important and likes to play at doing each day..?). Not being an expert in world politics, or really understanding how to solve most of the problems that I see on the news, I am grateful that truly heroic individuals exist who have chosen to set up charities and to devote themselves to actually getting on and trying to change things on the ground for other human beings in the world. 

When I spoke to one of the bods at WaterAid, they were unable to tell me exactly how much a well costs - it varies according to the geography of a place, and other factors, too, I guess. That's a bit annoying, as, selfishly, it would be nice to reach a point of - aha! and now I have sewn my way to providing a little community with fresh water. Cue warm glow, etc. But, still. In my head, I am visualising another bunch of people somewhere in the world who will at some point this year or next get nice cold fresh water supplied to where they live, thanks to WaterAid and your willingness to hand over cash for a notebook with my wonky stitching all over it. 

So, thank you if you've already become part of the #NotJustAnotherNotebook gang. If you've liked your notebook enough to Tweet about it or mention it on Facebook, or, recommend to an actual real friend to contact me to make them one (you know who you are - thanks for sending people my way), then double thanks go to you. 

Right. Enough waffle. I have a little competition for you.

This month, I made two of my favourite notebook - the chocolate cake design. I left the top blank, ready to have a purple spotty label sewn on with another name.

As it's Mother's Day in two weeks, I thought it would be nice to say `hurrah' for all mums. Be it our own mums, the mummy mates who prop us up on the school runs, the grannies, the aunties...

To enter, simply comment below and give the name of the person you'd like the notebook to be for - either yourself or someone else AND your favourite kind of cake (this is just because I am nosy like that).

This competition closes on Thursday 5th March. Good luck!

Last orders for Mother's Day are the same date as the competition deadline. Follow the links on the right hand side (when viewing full web version of the blog) to order. Ta!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

I made a coat!

Don't tell anyone I told you this, but I applied for the current series of The Great British Sewing Bee.

The mustard coat that Tamara made (Series 2) had totally inspired me - I craved the opportunity to sew something really challenging like that, and, that I would have loved to own and wear. And so, with a bit of egging on from Mark, I sent in an application. 

Surprisingly, I got called for an audition in London. Cue a couple of days of me fantasising about being let loose on the haberdashery section they have on the programme, before heading to meet the producers. Unluckily for me, I wasn't what they were looking for that day.

When I got turned down, I resolved to make myself a coat, by way of compensation to myself at missing out being on the Bee. As well as the fabrics, I was also drawn to the post make cake eating sessions they always show the contestants enjoying together. (Readers who know me in real life know that I never let myself go short on the cake front. In fact, a mild panic breaks out in our house if we ever look like we might run out.)

A coat isn't something to be made overnight and there were many times during the making of this one that I felt genuinely grateful to be sewing this thing at home where I could take my time, and not in front of TV cameras like the contestants on the Bee. It has taken me until now to come good on the promise I made myself.


I am so glad I did. 

This has been my best ever sewing project. It has taken me ages to make, there are flaws throughout, but, I don't care. I made a coat. And I love it. 

Want to know how the sewing went? Then grab yourselves a cuppa, and read on. This is gonna be a looooonng post. 

The pattern and gathering supplies

With a catch up and fabric shopping trip to Berwick Street planned with a handful of other sewing blogger friends, I decided it was time to crack on and make that coat I'd been dreaming of. I scoured the web for patterns, and plumped for Burda 7020. I liked the style as soon as I saw it, and could picture myself wearing the coat a lot. Out of character, I arrived half an hour early, and so I popped into the first outlet of Misan Fabrics I came across (unbeknown to me until later that day, they have about three other shops on that street). I saw an end of roll piece of green cashmere wool blend in the basement that was £74 for the 2.4 metre piece. About thirty seconds later, I saw some beautiful Liberty silk that gave me another love at first sight fabric moment. I held it up against the wool, and knew that they both needed to come home with me and be turned into a coat. There was only a metre of the silk left, but the lady in the shop (wanting to assist me in parting with £27 for it) helpfully pointed out that when it comes to coats, the sleeves are often lined with a plain (cheaper) fabric compared to the main body. I held it up against my body and decided it would probably be enough. 

These fabrics will sound expensive. They are. But, my philosophy in making this coat has been that it will take me ages to make, and so, if I am going to do it, I want to make it something that I will love, and couldn't have afforded or found in the shops.

Having bought the fabrics, and met the girls for some shopping, there was an awkward moment when we popped into a boutique selling vintage clothing, and spotted a gorgeous handmade green coat in a decidedly similar style to the one I was planning to make. The lining was plain, but even so, the relief on my face when it didn't remotely fit me made everyone else laugh.

About the same time, I read a great post, on the very same coat, that provided me with helpful information about using sleeve head rolls and where to buy them. Don't you just love the sewing blogging community? I also ordered my shoulder pads and coat interfacing from here, too, and was really pleased with them.

I used cotton bamboo batting (ordered from evil Amazon, due to the fact nowhere near me sells the stuff - Bedford sewing shops, please take note!) for quilting the lining. 

The other thing I went ahead and got ready specifically for my coat making adventures was my very own homemade sausage and ham. I did this using a tutorial on Tilly and the Buttons. Easy to do, and they both turned out to be really useful (and not to mention make me feel like a proper tailor!).

I had a piece of luck when it came to this dummy - my school mum friend Helen happened to mention on Facebook one day that her mum was having a loft clearout, and would anyone like a tailor's dummy. Er, yes please, and thank you!

Preparing to sew the coat

I bought myself a copy of Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer. This was a mixed read of being really insightful on the one hand, and so full of references to design gods that it almost intimidated me too much and put me off starting, for fear that my own handmade coat would turn out to be laughable by comparison.

The internet was my best friend, in learning about how to pre treat my fabric. I decided to opt for the easiest technique, which was to bung the expensive wool into the tumble dryer with some damp towels and hope for the best. Phew. All went well. 

The coat interfacing from The English Couture Company was a nice combination of being thick and soft - conscious of wanting the coat to be warm throughout, and testing a patch to check the wool would remain drapey with the interfacing on it, I decided to interface the entire piece, prior to doing any cutting. This took me a couple of hours!

Still unsure of whether the coat would be warm enough for my liking, I read up on quilting the lining, and decided this was going to be what I would attempt to do for the main body of the coat. Having read that this is normally done with straight vertical lines a couple of inches apart, I decided to ignore that information, and go with a wiggly quilting pattern, that followed the shapes of the flowers and leaves on the silk. 

The bits that went wrong and were a drag to sew

I've already mentioned in a previous post that quilting the lining took me about 6 hours or so (over several sessions). It seemed like the half finished lining spent most of January hanging over the dining room door, and, because charity notebook orders were going crazy at the same time, I wondered whether I'd ever finish the coat. On top of that, it was a gamble, as I wasn't sure until the coat was finished whether the quilted lining idea would work and look good. The tension randomly started playing up on some bits of the quilting, but being lazy, I didn't bother unpicking it. You'd have to look closely to spot it! Besides, the silk is so delicate, I thought I would do more harm than good with unpicking.

My Mum was up one Sunday, conveniently just after I had cut out my fabric. In a shameless manouvre on my part, with everyone feeling contented after enormous amounts of roast lamb followed by double helpings of lemon meringue pie, I suggested the girls might like to play puzzles with Grandad, whilst me and Mum did some sewing. Afterall, it would have been silly not to make use of the opportunity for a one to one tailoring lesson, wouldn't it?! In that time, we worked together on the somewhat laborious task of applying tailor tacks all over the place; I got a great refresher on how to make bound button holes; and, we attached the sleeves onto the main body of the coat. Had the Sewing Bee cameras been there to notice it took us about half an hour to work out which way round the sleeves were meant to go, I think we'd have both been laughing at ourselves on TV. 

Annoyingly, it wasn't until after Mum had gone, and I returned to complete the task of applying the sleeve/shoulder padding that I noticed the sleeves weren't matching. Grr. I think it happened because we each did a sleeve, and must have gathered them and hand tacked them slightly differently. Both were fine on their own, but the mismatch stood out too badly to ignore, and so out came the unpicker.

My other bit of significant unpicking was over a howling error I made on the pockets. I opted to stray from the pattern and make welt pockets. This coat was going to be all about producing the best sewing I could, and trying new techniques, and so in seam pockets just weren't going to do it for me. Mum's words in my head, I did a practise version. I had both of the pockets lined up on the actual coat, sewed the first one, cut the slit, and... realised it was upside down. Either I'd invented a new fashion statement in the form of this less convenient to use pocket, or, I needed to attempt to unpick the tiny welt hold stitching without damaging the fabric. It is just as well this bit of the sewing happened last week, during my day of coat sewing that happened, thanks to Mark being on half term and taking the girlies out for the day. At least I was feeling calm enough to respond by just rolling my eyes and getting out the unpicker. 

A few of my favourite things

Okay, so now for my favourite bits about the process and the finished coat.

The afternoon Mum and me sewed was wonderful. With our busy lives, we don't often get time to ourselves. It was brilliant to be able to share our love of sewing together (even if, as Mum readily points out, when recalling my unimpressed face upon receiving a sewing machne for my 21st, this hasn't always been the case) and it is a memory I will treasure forever.

I am chuffed with the buttonholes. Incidentally, if you'd like to learn how to do them without the help of your mum, Karen's little ebook is excellent. I'd recommend buying it and having a go at bound buttonholes even if you have no coat plans in the pipeline, as (without sounding like too much of a geek) it was quite thrilling to realise the secret behind those beauties. The contrast on mine was inspired by the Tamara coat. It took me a whole morning to practise them, but I am delighted with the results. In fact, when Mark and the girls returned home that day, he said in disbelief `Is that (4 buttonholes and 2 welt pockets) really all you've done?!'. Ha, ha. He was pretty surprised at the amount of time it takes to make a coat, even if I think he is secretly impressed with it now it's finished.

The collar was a satisfying learning process, too. Even if I did initially sew both pieces of collar stand together as one piece onto the main collar before realising my error, resulting in needing to cut a third so the wrong side wasn't left showing on the finished coat. Still, we don't need to point out every mistake, do we - and, once I'd understood how the construction was meant to work, it ended up giving me the idea for the Liberty silk as a hidden contrast, which I like a lot and hadn't planned. 

Finally, the lining. I love love love it. It is decadent to hide such expensive fabric inside a garment, but I think the finished coat is glorious for it. It gives me a little burst of joy each time I get a flash of it, and that is what this coat is all about. 

Now, feel free to have a laugh at my expense over the photos of me looking daft in the playground at pick up this afternoon. My friend Lisa is nifty with a camera, and a great sport in agreeing to snap these pictures for me. Even her skills at making me laugh and relax didn't manage to cover the fact I make a decidedly awkward model.

Look up at the sky, she said.

Hmm, did you get my best side, I wondered.

 I have my hands in my pockets a lot. Now look down at the ground, she said.

Ready for some flashing?

And walk towards me, Janet. That'll look natural. Ahem.

Well, you can't accuse me of taking myself too seriously, now, can you?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I absolutely loved making myself a coat. I don't think it takes a talented person to do it to the standard I managed - it was just a case of me wanting to do it enough to persevere through all the mishaps. If you've been dreaming of making a coat... go for it!