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.

Crafting ideas, DIYs, Dressmaking & sewing, Featured

Let’s talk about the new McCalls pattern collection

March 17, 2018
McCalls spring 2018 sewing patterns

With a huge selection of indie pattern companies out there nowadays, offering so much in the way of sewing, it’s easy to forget the big four. Yesterday, while scrolling Instagram, I noticed that McCalls had released their new pattern collection – and it’s as excellent as you might think.

McCalls have really upped their game with this collection. The lookbook is full of inspirational summer makes and I can imagine it’ll be popular in the sewing world.

From sweet summer tops to a pair of jeans you’ll want to make straightaway, here are my top picks from the collection:

The summer dress:

McCalls spring 2018 sewing patterns

This one has all that you’ll need for a summer dress. A simple, yet flattering shape, the M7740 has hidden details and flowing sleeves. Plus, who doesn’t love a cut-out back? With two options to choose from, this would be perfect in a lilac or periwinkle blue. Or perhaps all the colours of the rainbow?

McCalls spring 2018 sewing patterns

And this version’s back details are so on-trend for the summer. Making the bows in contrasting colours could be fun too, don’t you think?

The babydoll top:

McCalls spring 2018 sewing patterns

What a summery babydoll-esque feel this top (the M7752) has? A sweet floral print cotton lawn would really make this pattern stand out and I can imagine this paired with jeans for those days where you just want to go casual.

The hidden detail playsuit:

McCalls spring 2018 sewing patterns

This playsuit combines everything I love about summer – a floral print, culotte trousers and cut-out detail perfect for balmy days.

The M7756 is flowy and the perfect vibe for a festival, plus one option even comes with bell sleeves if you want more detailing. I’m imagining this in a large print floral viscose fabric.

The Mom jeans:

McCalls spring 2018 sewing patterns

When I first saw these pop up on my feed, I knew that this pattern (the M7754) was my jeans pattern. I love the shape of these (it’s the perfect Mom jeans shape) and they’re cropped too. And I am definitely loving that scallop waist detail! I’d love to make a classic pair in indigo denim but I’m thinking a lilac or pale pink cotton would make an ideal second pair.

What do you think of the new McCalls patterns? See more of the collection here.


Crafting ideas, DIYs, Featured

A cosy blanket

March 9, 2018

I’m amazed to say that I actually finished knitting something that isn’t just a scarf. Can you believe it? Alright, technically, this knitted blanket is made up of three long pieces sewn together, much like a scarf, but it’s absolutely not a scarf!

This all started with a trip to John Lewis Oxford Street. About a year and a half ago, I went to the haberdashery section as I often do in a lunch hour and thought, I could make a blanket. I’m not the best knitter in the world and I’m certainly not the fastest but I wanted to challenge myself with something bigger and a blanket seemed challenging enough but not overwhelming.

Continue Reading…

Crafting ideas, Dressmaking & sewing, Featured

Sewing plans for spring

March 3, 2018
And She Made spring sewing plans

I know it doesn’t quite feel like it’ll soon be spring when there is still snow on the ground and it’s been a bit of a trek getting into work each day, but the new season is coming and I’m so excited for it.

I just love this time of year. There’s still a freshness in the air and the daffodils are beginning to bloom (albeit later with all the snow). So what better way to celebrate the changing seasons than by planning my spring makes?

Continue Reading…

Featured, Lifestyle

Some exciting And She Made news

February 24, 2018
And she made

Exciting news at And She Made headquarters today. We’ve been named as one of the ‘ones to watch 2018’ in William Gee’s guide to the best sewing blogs to follow in 2018.

Featuring other sewing bloggers and Youtubers such as By Hand London and Sewn, we’re in great company.

Here’s the full article with details of other sewists to keep an eye on (and while you’re at it, feel free to read this round-up of the best indie sewing companies I wrote for the site too)

And not only that, but we’ve also made the cut as one of the top 60 sewing blogs on Feedspot, coming in at number 49. Not too bad, eh?

And She Made William Gee Feedspot sewing blogger

And She Made William Gee Feedspot sewing blogger


I really appreciate those of you who read my blog, even if it sometimes feels as though it’s just my Mum reading. It’s a bit of a labour of love and I just love having a place where I can look back and see what I’ve made over the years.

As ever, you can follow me on the below links. I’d love it if you gave each one a click:

You can follow And She Made on Bloglovin here

Follow my recent makes on Instagram here

Keep up with my personal antics on Instagram here

Like my (somewhat neglected) Facebook page here

And, finally, my personal Twitter feed is here

Thanks for reading!

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