Thursday, 7 January 2016

Goodbye 2015 - Hello 2016!!

Well, that went quickly!  Two house moves definitely helped the time to pass, along with all the usual life things that get in the way of sewing.  I am pleased to say though that now we are settled in our house and have been there for 7 months life is feeling pretty good.  I had such a good Christmas and New Year that I really do feel invigorated!

First Vintage Pledge of last year
I did a lot of sewing in the past year, the last bits of which are still undocumented because we lost internet for most of November and December and as soon as we got it back my computer broke!  So I will be relying on phone photos or previously blogged ones in this post as I am writing from work (ssshhh!).  As a quick summary, I sewed lots of clothes for me, a few for the child, knitted one jumper (two ongoing!), refashioned quite a bit and took part in Portia's refashioners challenge, sewed from 5 vintage patterns, knitted from 1 and forgot to put any of them on the pinterest board, made a lot of underwear and a jumpsuit.  Phew!

Portia's Refasionhers Challenge
My best make of 2015 is one of the last: the coat I made for the Child.  It took about three weeks in total and I learnt so much making it but it also gave me some confidence; I CAN do this!

I had wanted to make a smart coat for the Child for a while, but it was a trip to London to see the Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House that really nudged me into finally doing it.  I just decided that she couldn't possibly wear her anorak to London (country bumpkins!) despite the fact that no one would be looking at her or her coat anyway!!

I used Vogue 9043 for the pattern and made a straight size 5 for my nearly 6 year old (sob!) with the only change being less height on the sleeve cap. The coat fits well now, however if she has a big growth spurt I don't think it will last next year, which is a bit of a shame so I'm planning on making her wear it a lot!

I bought the fabrics, lining and interfacing from Stone Fabrics and they couldn't have been more helpful in helping me choose.  I ordered 4 wool swatches and 2 velvets and did a quick Instagram and family poll and the results were fairly unanimous.  For once I went with the majority vote! Unfortunately this wool is now sold out (I bought the last bit, sorry!) but it was a gorgeous British herringbone tweed at £17.95/m - I bought 1.35m which I think makes this a fairly cost effective coat. I chose a quilted lining for warmth but this does take up some room inside the coat, hence it fitting perfectly now with no room for growth.

As an added touch, I embroidered her name on a label along with a couple of flowers, mounted it on a scrap of Liberty corduroy then attached it to the back lining along with a matching coat hook.  I think this finishes off the coat well, and makes it so personal.  At around the time I was stitching this I read this article in The Guardian which really touched me.  Of course a personalised label now makes this harder to hand down to someone else but I really felt I was sewing with love when I made this coat.

Also towards the end of last year I made a couple of bags for Love Sewing Magazine!  I cannot describe my excitement about this, and about seeing the published article this week. It was pretty amazing to be Star Maker a few months ago, but to actually make something for the magazine was just brilliant!

So, 2016 has started with a bit of a bang and I am really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year will bring.  We have lots of exciting stuff planned already for the year, including a wedding in Italy at which I will be Matron of Honour and Child will be a flower girl - we are both giddy with excitement!  I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year will bring!  I hope you all had a lovely festive period too and are feeling relaxed and refreshed for the New Year!


  1. What a fantastic yeast sewing and knitting when you round it all up like that! The bags and coat look so good and that jumper is something else! Can't wait to see what you are going to make this year xxx

  2. That coat is utterly gorgeous. Tweed and velvet - how fabulous.

  3. Ah you've had a great year Jenna, I've so enjoyed seeing what you've made. Your daughter's coat is absolutely beautiful (as is your daughter), hope you feel proud of yourself! x

  4. Amazing coat, lovely bag! And can you tell me, where did you get the quilted lining? (Be warned, this could be the first of many questions as I embark on my own sew-a-coat project...) x

  5. E's coat would certainly catch my eye, it is beautiful. What were you worrying about?!
    How fabulous to be in the magazine as a maker, well done!
    Hope you have a great year, looking forward to seeing what you make xx

  6. Happy 2016! :)

    Oh my, that coat is utterly gorgeous!! Great work!

    Congrats on being in the magazine - so exciting!! :)

    Best wishes for 2016 - I'm looking forward to seeing what you make!

  7. Elodie looks like a princess in her new coat. Happy new year to you.

  8. Happy New Year Jenna! What a great year you've had! That coat you made your daughter is so beautiful. I bought 'Love sewing' for the first time this month & your bag looks brilliant, congratulations!

  9. LOVE the coat. So beautiful. Xx

  10. That coat is swoonworthy, well done.
    xx N

  11. The coat looks fit for a Royal - its totally amazing. Well done!