2016 in review! 

So, blogging hasn’t exactly been top of my priorities in the last half of 2016 it would seem! This isn’t a bad thing as it’s just because I’ve been really busy with lots of other things! In my defence (if I need one- haha!) I have posted a few blog posts on our Crafty Sew&So blog

So I guess it’s time for a quick catch up! 2016- it’s been a rollercoaster of year hasn’t it?! I’m not feeling quite as down about all the political goings-on now. Although it has affected our business to some extent it’s also encouraged us to really think about our strategy and find positive outcomes, adjusting our range to include more UK produced products and UK-based suppliers. We also found that as a result of the dreaded “Brexit” that the suppliers we do work with in Europe and other countries for the most part I have been very open and honest with us about changes and price rises and also implemented a few strategies themselves which have actually made it easier to work with them. So although I’m not overly happy about the reasons behind the shakeups, the outcomes could actually work out for us in the long run, I hope! 

So anyway, that’s quite enough of that, and to the interesting bit, what did I make in the last half of 2016? 

I’ve been working on developing our own blocks so that we can start to make our own patterns from them to use them in workshops and eventually bring out our own range of Crafty Sew&So patterns. The dress above combines the basic bodice block and the basic A-line skirt block. 

I added tabs at the top to give it a pinafore dress styling and made up the facings in a Scottie dog print polycotton. I wouldn’t usually use a polycotton especially seen as this one was very light weight and a bit on the crispy side! But the print was so cute I couldn’t resist! 

 

This dress was also developed from our own blocks. This time incorporating a sleeve and a box pleated skirt. 

This isn’t quite so “me” but looked good in our Autumn shop window and I have worn it once, layered up with a cosy cardi. 

 

In September Freya and I flew out to Monaco for the Brother sewing machines launch. There was a fantastic gala dinner with a Bond theme as part of the trip and I made this gorgeous deep purple crêpe full-length dress with a gold satin waistband which I embroidered using our brother sewing machine – Of course! 

This dress which I made in May was fantastic for travelling as the elastane content in the woven jacquard fabric meant that it hardly creased. The bright print was just perfect for the gorgeous sunny weather in Monico too! 

In the summer I enjoyed hosting the arts tent at Barefoot festival for the third year running. We had a Bollywood themed Sunday and enjoy body art with henna and glitter, a holi powder party and Indian themed crafts including embroidery and jewellery making. 

 

I got crafty in the garden with some wooden pallets which I picked up from a garden centre for a pound! So I wasn’t afraid to have a play and I’m really happy with the results especially the bench which used one and a half pallets. This summer I plan to paint it with lots of bright colours. I’m looking forward to doing lots of work to our garden in 2017. 


Tilly and the buttons patterns played a big part in my wardrobe in 2016. I made 4 cocos, and Arielle skirt, 3 Agnes tees (and I have 2 cut out and ready to sew!) I love the easy to wear everyday styles. 

In 2017 I plan to make a Bettine-for me this time instead of my mum, and the Cleo pinafore dress having seen some fantastic versions of it made up. 

 

After my initial apprehension, I really enjoyed doing me made May in 2016. May is going to be a massive month this year! We are hosting the dressmakers ball and my business partner Freya will be having a baby – but I’m still hoping I can get involved with me made May again in 2017!

I also enjoyed using Clothkits patterns- including the kimono jacket and the tea dress. 

I found a bit of time in the last week before Christmas to make a fun pompom embellished T-shirt 

My final big make of 2016 my Christmas dress also made using the blocks – you can read more about this on the Crafty Sew&So blog.

 

I did make a few garments from the big five patterns but as I often find, I was disappointed with the fit. I made this shift dress pattern in the geo viscose above and it looks fine belted but the neckline is very wide and I had to take in about 8 cm on the sleeves as they were very baggy. 

The neckline pulls down at the back so is a little uncomfortable around the neck at the front! 

Love how “flat cat” our pre-Ollie substitute cat is peeking in here- unimpressed as always! 

Enjoyed a bit of patching up on my old jeans, but I have to be honest with myself they are not going to last much longer! I really need to make myself a new pair of jeans in 2017!

 Ollie has continued to be a fantastic model showing off my home makes in action! Lots more from him to come in 2017!

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