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Where to start

March 7, 2021

If you don’t know where to start, start at the beginning. That’s what they always say anyway. Almost three years ago I wrote a post on this blog and then I stepped away from it.

I didn’t know then that I would be away for so long. This was my writing space, my place to come and be creative, away from work, away from the rules of writing and just write. I enjoyed it.

Three years ago, my grandmother had just been admitted to hospital again. I was sat, in my room, in my shared house in London, on a Saturday morning and I wrote. Coffee in hand, as I usually did on a Saturday morning.

I wrote about craft and about the latest sewing pattern releases and then I went about my week. My grandmother got worse. The next weekend, when I was at home for the weekend, my cousin called and told us she’d had to go in for an emergency operation. She got through that, but the next three weeks were fraught with worry, and then she died. I was grief-stricken and I stepped away from this blog because, quite frankly, it all seemed insignificant. Next to the grief.

My grandmother was a knitter and a sewist and I shared these things with her. I just couldn’t sew and I certainly couldn’t knit without her here. For quite a while afterwards.

I think I began to craft again around the summer. It was hard at first. She wouldn’t be around to look closely at every detail, to send me on an errand to get her medicine and sneakily carry on with a few rows of my knitting. It was extremely hard. But then it got easier. I inherited her sewing machine, her sewing box and her knitting needles. And I inherited her half knitted projects, including the most elaborate of floral cardigans.

I kept meaning to go back, but every time I wrote a post (and there have been a lot of drafts), I went into too much detail, my grief pouring out onto every paragraph, or I said barely anything and felt like I was cheating myself out of explaining the real reason I hadn’t posted. I’m incredibly wary of sharing a lot online now. Except for stories, I’ve only posted on Instagram once since her death. Because she always liked my photos.

This is incredibly hard to write, but late last year, my Dad died. It was too sudden, though we had some warning. He was in the same ICU as my grandmother had been in. He died in the same hospital.

It’s been the hardest thing I have ever had to face. I still miss him every day, multiple times a day. I described it at the time as ‘all the colour gone from the world’, as that is quite literally how I saw it. I looked up at the blue sky and it wasn’t as bright as it once was. Colours weren’t beautiful to me any more. I didn’t share my love of craft with him, although he was creative too. It doesn’t pain me to sew or knit like it did with my grandmother. Instead, I simply navigate a grief in the time of coronavirus, where I’ve had no comforting hugs from friends and barely seen any of them.

I am still in the midst of this grief. It is easier to live with than it once was, not so fresh, but it is still here. I haven’t ever been as raw as this online and I feel vulnerable and wary writing it.

I’ve kept this domain, this website, going. I’m not sure if I want to close it. It represents me at a certain time in my life. I check in every so often and I see that last post and I wanted to write something to explain. I don’t know who, if anyone, reads this blog anymore. But I wanted to explain.


A Megan Nielsen Sudley dress hack

December 9, 2017
Megan Nielsen Sudley dress hack And She Made

Just in time for Christmas, I have decided that I need a few slouchy dresses added to my wardrobe. At this time of year a smock dress hides a multitude of mince pies and mulled wine and is basically perfect for all the festive treats I’m planning to consume.

You may think that Megan Nielsen’s Sudley dress (blogged here and here) is a summer dress but I like to think it can be worn year round with just a few small additions. I decided to test this theory out and I’m pleased with the results.

This pattern offers loads of alternative ways of mixing the pattern up, including lowering the waistband and making a top version, so I didn’t feel too bad about changing it slightly.

Continue Reading…


On my sewing table: The toaster sweater by Sew House Seven

November 30, 2017
Sew House Seven Toaster sweater And She Made

As the winter months draw nearer, there’s one pattern I’m so excited about. It’s the Toaster sweater by Sew House Seven and, specifically, version two of the pattern.

It’s a lovely funnel neck thin jumper that is perfect for wearing under coats and with jeans. I love funnel neck jumpers anyway at this time of year and, with a pattern to make my own, I’ll definitely be making a few of these in the near future.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect funnel neck jumper pattern all autumn. I have two favourite high street ones from last year but they’re starting to get a bit bobbly and this is the perfect replacement pattern.

Here’s some inspiration from the high street for what I have in mind:





1, 2, 3

And here’s how other bloggers have done it:

And She Made Toaster sweater

And She Made Toaster sweater

And She Made Toaster sweater


1, 2, 3

As for the fabric, I actually had some fabric from Fabric Land in mind for this. However, a few days after buying it, I got a phone call to say they’d run out and wouldn’t be restocking. I’m so sad about this as it seemed to be the perfect fabric for this pattern.

Here’s a pic of the fabric in question – if anyone knows where I can buy the same fabric elsewhere, please let me know!

Toaster sweater And She Made

But, alas, I’ve also planned a few different versions. A navy blue fabric (I’m thinking a ponte de roma fabric), a mustard yellow and a raspberry red. I’ve also got my eye on this grey ribbed jersey and navy striped fabric from Guthrie and Ghani too, for some thinner Toaster sweaters.

Also, a couple of weeks ago, Seamwork’s newest pattern, the Sadie, was released. This is pretty similar to the Toaster sweater, but a little bit looser and longer if that’s more your thing!

Do you have any Toaster sweaters in mind? It seems as though it’s a staple make for sewists this year.

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Happy new year!

January 2, 2016

Happy new year to you all! I hope you have lots of sewing adventures and general life adventures to come this year.

I’m excited for the year to come and I’ve already got lots of plans of things I want to make.

Last year my resolution was to say yes to more things and it worked out well. I haven’t made any resolutions as such this year, but I’m planning on continuing that yes way of thinking, as well as trying not to be so hard on myself.

What are your resolutions?

Featured image from here