New Beginnings…

I’ve felt afraid to restart my blog (and like a fraud for saying I have one when I haven’t written it for months). Truth be told, everything in my life just ebbs and flows in cycles of importance and interest, and recently, sewing hasn’t been at the top. Moving house was rather chaotic and resulted in a good few months of work in terms of finding new homes for all of our belongings and general sorting and tidying.

I didn’t even think about sewing, as I had a to-do list as long as my arm. It was my husband who prompted me to get back to my sewing machine. When I did, it reminded me of the importance of it! I felt a new found sense of calm that helped with that dreaded to-do list! There is something wonderful about a few hours in solitude, with nothing but a whirring machine! Oh, and a little kitty, who patiently sat behind me on the back of the chair the entire time!

So, now for the updates, which consist of cat news, house news and sewing activities!

I’m completely and utterly obsessed with dogs and, while my parents have the most gorgeous spaniel that I love to pieces, I do just want my own. I’ve been scheming for years as to how I can make this work and I think 2020 is the year it will happen! In the meantime, I knew that when we moved to a house with a garden, the one thing I could get was a cat! It’s quite hilarious how opinionated people are about being dog people and disliking cats…most just cannot understand people like my husband and me, who love both!

We had a succession of cats growing up and they are generally fairly sweet and easy to look after. My husband feels the same way as me, but was on the cautious side (being a bore) about all the house renovations we have to do…anyway, I eventually persuaded him, and we settled on going to see this tiny little girl cat. I was desperate for a girl as our family cats of late had been large boys, and I wanted the tiniest, littlest baby girl. Obviously the likelihood of going to see a baby animal and not returning with it in your arms is fairly slim, so a few days later we were armed with baby Suri. She turned out to be the most inquisitive, loving little baby. We took her for her first injections and were told to keep her inside to stop her getting pregnant etc. Fine. Then, a month after getting her, we took her for her second injections, and the vet was a different lady.

“This cat is a BOY”, she said. I was heart broken! All I could think was that we could have 18 more years with this boy cat when all I wanted was a girl! I spent a week mourning my baby girl, and was told countless stories of this happening to other people (and actually a human baby as well!) before our boy cat was reborn as Mouse the baby boy! It was quite a surreal experience, but I think it reminded me really how similar boys and girls are in so many ways and that having a boy or a girl doesn’t change who they are. Maybe any sexist seniors in corporate firms should have this experience to make them realise that you can’t just assume a girl would want to give up work when she has a baby because of her sex?! More on that later…

Anyway, Mouse is the most wonderful cat I’ve ever known- he’s like a dog in cat’s pyjamas, so that suits me wonderfully! Every morning he waits by the kitchen door for me to come in and puts his little paws up for my to pick him up. He clambers into my arms and I carry him while I make my tea! It’s love!

Mouse
Mousey as a baby

Anyway, for all you cat-haters, I’ll move on to house news! I have to spend every morning reminding myself how lucky I am to own this fab house in London and how so many people are unable to do so. Unfortunately, this is not because I’m a selfless individual but more because there is no heating or hot water upstairs (and downstairs is pretty chilly, too), so I’m basically I spent all winter freezing to death for the majority of the time! I’m beginning to think that there may be a correlation between the amount I’ve been ill this year (the most ever) and living here! At least as I write this, summer is on its way and our planning application has been submitted so hopefully we will be able to begin works this year- it should be a super exciting project.

We spent the latter half of last year working on the garden, and built a raised bed out the back (my husband did the majority of the work and was complimented by a builder for his skills!) and then we had a patio laid. We are both very eager with the planting and have turned into gardening nerds…the dream is staying in on a Friday night to watch Gardeners World…I am not joking…and then spend the weekend gardening.

So in sewing news! I managed two clothing projects in recent months and a few interiors projects as well (more on them another day). I decided the tackle the Sew Over It Phoebe dress, primarily because I had the fabric in my stash and it is a pattern described as easy, with no zips or clasps. It was exactly that. I whipped this up in an afternoon out of a ponte di Roma for the skirt and a cotton jersey for the top. It makes a lovely work dress and I am extremely pleased with that. It would obviously be neater being overlocked, and maybe that is something I will look to invest in this year.

Phoebe
SOI Phoebe Dress

Back phoebe

The second project came in the form of a self drafted velvet skirt. I took a day off work before Christmas to go shopping and went to Jigsaw, which is one of my favourite shops. I tried on this most gorgeous teal velvet midi skirt in a size 10 and so wanted to buy it, but the 10 was too big and they didn’t have the 8. I also looked at the construction and it was quite simply an elastic waistband around a piece of velvet. Therefore, I went via the John Lewis fabric department on my way back, bought a piece of velvet and drafted my own basic pattern. This is the beauty of having (even very basic) sewing skills! I made a channel for the elastic, rather than attaching it to the velvet, which in retrospect has proved rather annoying, as there are times it gets all twisted. I also think that if I was to make it again I would use more fabric and not worry about any bulking. In addition, I also cut it marginally too short- it’s fine, but not as ‘on trend’ as I had planned!!

Otherwise, I love it and it was a fraction of the £100+ that the Jigsaw one would have set me back! I’m sorry but the photo I took of this is so dark that you can’t see it…there is a boomerang of it on my instagram accounts: @sewingwithsweet and @laurasweet.

The last few weekends have been a whirlwind of hen dos and weddings, which has been fabulous, but I am completely exhausted! I am hopeful that this weekend will contain gardening, sewing, running and maybe even some cycling…what a dream!

Enjoy yourselves…LSx

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