Monday, 29 December 2014

Looking Forward: 2015

Hey guys! 

I hope you have all had a very lovely and relaxing Christmas (or just a few lovely and relaxing days for those who don't celebrate). 

With just a couple more days of 2014 left to go, I want to set out a few sewing resolutions for the upcoming new year - it's been a year since I first learnt to sew and I feel I've improved so much. However, there is still a lot to learn and so I want to set myself a few targets so that I can keep on improving my sewing knowledge and ability in 2015. After all, if we all stayed in our comfort zone, we'd never get any better at the things we love, would we? 

So, without further ado...

My Five Sewing Resolutions for 2015

1) Create a garment from a type of fabric I have never used before. In my time as a sewer, I have embarassingly only used a very limited range of fabric - quilting cotton, knit, corduroy and velvet. So, in the new year I would like to set myself the challenge of sewing with something completely different - chiffon, wool, this space. 

2) Make two items of clothing which are not dresses. Readers, if you're in for the long haul I'm sure you will have noticed I almost always wear dresses. Jeans are just NOT my thing. However, if I had a handmade top to accompany my jeans I'm wondering if my feelings towards them may be a little more accomodating. So, because since beginning sewing I have only ever really made dresses and the odd skirt, I hereby challenge myself to sew two items of clothing in 2015 which are not dresses (for example, two tops, or a top and a cardigan). We'll see how it goes. 

3) Try at least three new sewing techniques. In the year I've been sewing, I'm pretty confident that I've managed to learn all the basic skills that are required to sew a garment. However, I've not pushed myself for a long time now to try anything new, simply perfecting the techniques I know already. Therefore, this year I would like to make some clothes which feature: buttonholes, tucks and princess seams. These are three things I would love to feature in my wardrobe but I've never attempted, so hopefully this upcoming year I can learn how to do them. 

4) Make at least three garments from vintage patterns. I've had very little experience with sewing vintage, having only made one dress from a 50s pattern which, I have to admit, I almost never wear. The lack of knowledge of sewing vintage meant it just didn't come out right, but I would love to be able to practice and create true vintage pieces that I can wear everyday. So, that's my fourth target for 2015 - three vintage garments. 

5) Sew with a pattern from an Indie Designer I have never used before. Just recently I've got stuck in a bit of a rut with my pattern choices. My signature style is coming on really well and I couldn't be more pleased with it, but having the exact form of sillohuette all the time as well as the same colour palette is getting a little dull. So, this year I want to branch out, look for Indie Pattern Designers I haven't bought from before and try something totally different. After all, what's the use of sewing our own clothes if we can't experiment? 

And that's it, my five sewing goals of 2015. Now, I also challenge YOU, my lovely readers, to set yourself some sewing goals for the new year. Comment what they are below, I'll keep a note of them and we can go through together at the end of the year and see what new things we've tried. It's good to try new things isn't it? 

For now, I wish you all a very happy, healthy and creative new year - I'll see you in 2015!

Beth x

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

2014: A Look Back

Merry Christmas everyone!

First up, I would like to start with a little announcement - I have been sewing for one whole year! My first self-sewn garment was made in the run up to Christmas 2013 and now, twelve months later, I have a whole handmade wardrobe. Learning to sew is one of the best things I've done with my life so far and so, with 2014 coming to an end, I just wanted to take a look back over my first full sewing year and all the things I've achieved. I hope that's ok :)

The Blog

I started Sewing Soothes the Soul on the 18th April this year, inspired by the likes of Tilly and the Buttons, Kitchen Table Sewing and So Zo. Back then I still had pretty much no clue what I was doing when it came to sewing and a lot of the clothes I made don't get worn anymore. However, I owe a lot to those first failures - they helped me get to the level I'm at today. My photography skills have also developed over the year! I started off with awful selfies taken in the mirror in my bedroom, but now I've mastered remote photography with my phone so thankfully my photos don't look too bad anymore.

Favourite Posts

Reasons for Sewing

Tilly's Book Launch Party @ Guthrie and Ghani

My Signature Style

Introducing...*drumroll please* new Etsy shop!

Favourite Makes

Stripy Sailor Dress (Sewaholic Renfrew) - my first knit project! Super stylish stripes, and soooo comfy.

By Hand London Anna - yes, all three! I love these all so much, I'm barely ever out of them. They all fit well and are totally me.

Lisette 1419 - I adore the Peter Pan collar on this and LOVE the fact it has sleeves. This is something I always feel really nice in.

Misses (because we can't get it right all the time, right?)

Christmas Anna Dress - a learning curve here, sparkles just aren't me, but at least I know for the future.

Most of these, to be the floral pinafore which came in sooooo handy during summer. These were early projects and full of mistakes, but I am ok with this though, they helped me to learn and allowed me to become a better sewer.

Finally, I would like to take the time to thank you, my readers, for all the support you have given me this year. Nine months, 64 posts and 6,129 page views in, my little blog is still going, which I would never have expected when I first set it up! I'm so glad that a few people out there find what I have to say interesting - this blog helps inspire me and I hope that it helps to inspire you too.

Have a fantastic Christmas everyone, and a wonderful new year.

All the best for 2015,

Beth x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bangor Craft and Sewing Society Market Stall

Hey guys!

The Bangor Christmas Market was on today and thankfully went really well! We made £129.50 for our society as well as £81 for the British Red Cross through selling our handmade items and a Guess the Name of the Bear competition, so I'm really pleased. 

From left to right: Medi Williams (Secretary), Fernanda Nereu (Treasurer) and Gabriela Olszewska who crocheted us some beautiful scarves. 

I sold six of the seven bags I made, which I was really happy with and meant I got to keep one to give as a Christmas present! 

I bought a LOT of things at the market as well! Everything was so beautiful, there were so many stalls selling a wide variety of items. I came away with two hair clips, a scarf, a bauble, a christmas pudding tree decoration, a headband, some natural soap, a bracelet, some earrings, a necklace and a bookmark! Welllllll....let's go with the excuse that I was trying to support independent craft businesses ;) 

I had a great day and would like to thank everyone who came and supported us. 

I hope you have a good week (8 sleeps until Christmas!) 

Beth x

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Bangor University Christmas Market

Happy December everyone! 

Today I'd like to take the opportunity to invite you all to the Bangor University Christmas Market, where the Craft and Sewing Society - which I am the Publicity Officer for - will be having a stall selling the handmade items we've been making!

I'm going to be on the stall from ten o clock onwards, so if you're in the area and fancy picking up a few Christmas presents or a lovely treat for yourself, do stop by and say hello! 

The market is being held in the Pritchard Jones Hall, in the Main University Building on College Road, Bangor (that's Bangor in Wales, not to be confused with the Irish Bangor!) from 12-5 on Wednesday 17th December. It should be a really great day; I'm so looking forward to it. Some of the crafts are really beautiful - my friend Gabriela has crocheted some gorgeous scarves. 

Here are just a few of the things which will be on sale: 

Christmas Baubles! 

Tree Decorations! 

Crocheted Headbands! 


and of course.....

Bags, made by me! 

If you are nearby then please do come along and help to support our society - the money raised will go both to charity and to help buy some society sewing machines so others can get into sewing! 

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you there! 

Beth x