Tag Archives: sewing


As mentioned in previous blogs, I decided to make curtains for the conservatory. I ordered curtain lining  off the internet, and it arrived last week.

Knowing that this wasn’t going to be the most difficult make ever, I wanted to give one full day to it, when I could make the most of natural daylight.  Today was that day.  I got the first curtain made okay, then tried to start with the second and the machine wouldn’t sew properly.

The machine made a grinding sounds, the material wouldn’t pull through and it simply didn’t work. I tried to lift the material away and couldn’t because there were too many loops of thread holding it down.  Of course I cut them cleaned it out and tried again. 

Same thing.

Cleared the threads, checked it all over, all looked fine.  Tried again.

Same thing.

After the fourth attempt, I decided to do a fuller sweep. I cleared al the threads, but then one wouldn’t come out. So, I had to unscrew the footplate, get a brush to clear out the accumulated dust and try and figure out what was causing the jam. It seems it was that last thread that was causing the problem. I got it got, finished the clean-up, reinstated the footplate, and tried again – Success!

After an hour of the most basic machine maintenance, I actually got it running again.  More importantly I finished the curtains.

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Not today

Some days writing this blog is dead easy. In over 80 days, I’ve only missed blogging on 3 of them. I’ve proud of that. It ensures that I write something everyday. All so often the words just flow.

But not today.

Today I’m struggling to write anything.  Not just the blog, but my WIP too, I’m just not seeing it to write it.  Things aren’t pulling together or sitting right. This does happen now and then, everyone has slow days and this is one for me. I don’t like being unproductive, but putting too much pressure on myself is a route to breakdown, so I’m not going to beat myself up about not writing much tonight.

I am tired, my eyes ache, I had a hell of a day in work, so the brain got stretched, I’ve done a little bit sewing, a little exercise. So, it’s not like I’ve slacked off.

So that’s it from me today. Not much, but that’s today.  I’m okay with that. Speak to you again tomorrow.

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Joe Lycett’s not at my back

I love The Great British Sewing Bee, it’s one of the few crafting competitions where I have sufficient knowledge of the craft to recognise the skill it takes to produce what’s on screen.

The Wedding Outfits I mentioned

That knowledge has been gathered by years of making my own clothes (occasionally).  Notable forays into this area are our wedding outfits, and my, and my daughter’s steampunk outfits.

A few months ago, my daughter saw some dungaree shorts that she loved, but just couldn’t afford. The steampunk outfit I’d made has a shorts variant and I said if we found a similar fabric, I’d make some for her. Recently I found that fabric online.

I cut the fabric last week and today I’ve been making it up. I’ve done the majority, after much unpicking! Being an idiot, I made two classic mistakes. 

  1. I joined the two legs by sewing up the whole seam from the front waist to the back waist – forgetting that I had to stop part way to fit the zip in.
  2. I sewed the fronts of the legs to each other, instead of the backs.

I sewed the bodice and shorts, stitched them together, and pinned the zip in, got my daughter to try it on throughout, so it’s fitted to her not the pattern – proper made to measure (sort of). 

As I was getting tired I said I was thinking I might stop for the day.  To which my husband said, “Well, Jo Lycett isn’t about to come around and say ‘Five minutes, sewers’!”

Which is just as well.  Patrick Grant might praise the fact that I’ve aligned all my seams, darts and pleats, but he wouldn’t be impressed by the pattern alignment – it’s a print of small dinosaurs there is no pattern alignment.

Finishing is next week’s job.

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Whatever you might have thought from my blog last night, yesterday was a difficult one.

I had a tough workday, one that I had to extend into today because I remembered things I needed to do for Monday, but forgot to do yesterday.  Still it is done.

Although I didn’t sleep well last night, the heat keeping me awake, today has been a much better day. I got up at midday, went out and did the shopping, spending an obscene amount of money for one week of food.  Mind, because I do a food list for the week, there’s nothing there that will go to waste. 

To be honest, there was a lot of meat and alcohol in the trolley. We’re having a barbeque in the backgarden tomorrow, and none of us are working, so it should be a good day and I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve also done some sewing today. A creative outlet other than writing has been of use. One of the difficulties of writing is the sheer length of time that it takes to see a finished product.  We’re talking months at least, sometimes years. But with sewing, although I didn’t finish the garment, I took a length of fabric and I turned it into something that will soon be wearable – hopefully I’ll finish it tomorrow.

It’s good to see something achieved. Word count usually helps me, but not always. Over two thousand words yesterday didn’t feel like the achievement that sewing part of a dungaree pattern did today.  Which I suppose goes to show that variety is the spice of life.

Guess we all need to mix it up now and then.

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