My handmade wardrobe year – March

End of month three of not buying any clothes and only making them! Feeling really happy that I have still not been remotely tempted to buy any. Actually I’m loving the fabric shopping and conjuring up in my head thoughts of making anything I want to, instead of being restricted by what the shops are telling me I have to buy!

Time has been more limited this month because I have been so busy with work. It has made me think about properly focusing my time on items for my wardrobe that I would really like or I need. The past three months I have really been customising and making things that I had around just because they were nice.  Having said that I am really happy with everything I’ve made so far and I wear all of the items.

I did dedicate this month to completing unfinished projects before they get put in a box somewhere for a few months and then totally forgotten about.

Remember this lovely pure wool vintage jacket with big 80’s shoulders …



I finally finished it…




I unpicked the sleeve head and reshaped the shoulder. I also relined it with kitsch bear fabric and normal silky lining for the sleeves. I replaced the gold anchor buttons with bashed silver metal ones. Not a dramatic transformation but I will definitely wear it now. I quite like having a secret lining, I always believe that garments should look as good on the inside as the out.





On the subject of kitsch remeber my charity shop curtains that cost £2.99….



They have turned into….


I love them! The curtains were actually quite short so I had to unpick the header tape to get the length I wanted.  It has left some pin marks, but I think that just adds character!

I took the pattern off my favourite Paul Smith trousers and it worked without need for even a tweak!

Then there was my unfinished tongue in cheek shirt that I started making for my launch party last year, and discovered that I had accidentally thrown away the collar and run out of fabric so I  missed the deadline and it remained unfinished…


I finished it….



And another one that had been cut out as part of a private sewing lesson, same pattern but a different variation….




This one has the full cuff and placket, I quite enjoyed the classic shirt making but forgot how time consuming it is.




I added a special little touch to make it unique, a couple of mismatched ladybird buttons.




I also finished my first ever piece of knitting …just in time for Spring. Oh well at least I will be ready for the first cold snap of winter.




I planned to give this vintage blouse a face lift by changing the buttons however I played around with lots of different buttons, but ended up with more white buttons,  just different ones…..




And finally the pleat front vest that I made and added contrast binding to, I decided to go back to simple and turned the binding inside…




Plans for the month ahead…

I have one and only single goal this month and that is to make a dress to wear to the first sew sociable evening in May.


Sewing evening (1) (1) (1)


I am not normally much of a dress person but I feel inspired since making all of my clothes to make a few dresses.

A few weeks ago there were some half prices sales on Vogue dress patterns on various websites, so I took advantage and ordered a few.




I also spend a lovely day with 2 friends at Sewing for pleasure at the NEC  and ended up with three new pieces of fabric with these dress patterns in mind. I haven’t worked out what to make in each fabric yet, but I think they will all become dresses.







Before my trip to the NEC, two new pieces of fabric found there way to my house. Both from The Eternal maker the first for a dress…




and the second I thought I would make a skirt, I would just quite like to pleat it and add waistband, just keeping it simple.


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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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