Saturday, 30 January 2016

Not one, but two...

Hello all! How is everyone? 

I'm settling back into university following a long break for Christmas and exams. It's great to be back living independently again and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into my modules this semester (for anyone interested, I'm doing the English Civil War, Henry I and the Age of the Castle). 

Today I wanted to share with you two projects that I finished a while back, but have become real wardrobe staples. 

Both of these skirts are made using the Elisalex pattern from By Hand London - minus the bodice and with the addition of a waistband. I also added pockets to both versions (who doesn't love a good pocket?). 

I made up my usual size 6 and just cut the waistband to match my measurements, plus another two inches for the seam allowances and ease. It seemed to work pretty well as both skirts fit nicely. 

The fabric for both skirts is needlecord - both the navy and the burgundy colourways were sourced from John Lewis on a trip to London. I'm going through a bit of an obsession with corduroy at the moment, having also picked some up in purple, floral and a stunning Liberty print. It's just such lovely fabric to sew with! 

These two skirts are such versatile pieces, they have easily made their way into my regular wardrobe rotation. It won't be long before you see a couple more! 

I hope your sewing is going well - do share below! 

As always, thank you for reading, 

Beth x

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Christmas Day Dress

Hello everyone, how are you all? 

After yesterday's rather melancholy post, I finally got round to photographing my latest sewing projects, so today I thought I'd start by sharing my Christmas Day dress - better late than never! 

The lighting here is shocking - a combination of poor winter light and living in student halls! However, hopefully you can see that this is the Sewaholic Cambie, sewn up in fabric bought from Cath Kidston. I absolutely love the print, the big flowers are so pretty! I made up my usual size 0 with no adjustments, cutting out the pieces on December 23rd and sewing them up on Christmas Eve. 

I lived in this dress all over the Christmas period, wearing it on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve - it's such an awesome party dress! 

I made sure there was a whole flower in the centre of the bodice, but that's about as far as I went with pattern placement. The fit is really nice, the only complaint I have is that the sleeves are a teeny bit low, meaning the top of my bra occasionally peeks out, but overall I'm really pleased. This is definitely one of my favourite ever makes! 

I'll be back soon with some photos of my By Hand London Elisalex skirt hacks, so stay tuned :) 

Thank you for reading,

Beth x

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

It's just one of those days.

Hey everyone. It's still a little quiet around here on the sewing front, but I thought I'd check in anyway, especially as blogging helps me to think. Do you ever have one of those days where it just feels like everything is a little too much?

I've recently been reading Here We Stand, a book in which seventeen completely inspirational female campaigners tell their stories and discuss the nature of their work. Each woman has done something amazing; gone undercover to expose the cruelty animals in laboratories experience, trashed a nuclear weapons testing site, set up a charity to protect young girls from forced marriages, taken medical supplies to Iraq during the war to help innocent civilians. Many of them have spent time in jail for their actions.

I've stood on the left of the political spectrum for as long as I can remember. Worrying about issues like climate change, the meat industry, slave labour and nuclear weapons have become second nature to me as I've got older, but this book really opened my eyes to the lengths people are willing to go to in order to fight for their cause. The vast majority of the world is so wilfully blind to the problems we face; we're rushing headlong into our own destruction, but not enough people are willing to take a stand.

There are so many things wrong with the way our world works, so many dangers ahead. Climate change, animal testing, the meat and dairy industry, the destruction of the rainforests, burning fossil fuels, nuclear weapons, discrimination, poverty, slave labour, exploiting marine resources, war, racism, sexism, homophobia, terrorism, arms trading and the enormous, worldwide imbalance of wealth. I read an article last week which stated that 1% of the global population hold as much wealth between them as the other 99%. The whole shape of our economy is just so twisted, designed to make that 1% even richer.

Here We Stand has, of course, motivated me to try and make a difference. To add my voice to the shouts of campaigners all trying to change the way our world works. However, it was also a little disheartening. These women have achieved so much, yet in return they've been sacked, sued, abused, disowned by their families, jailed and shot at. If this is the punishment for standing up for what is right, what hope do we have of ever solving anything?

There are so many causes in need of support, one life just isn't enough to help them all. But in a world where I can see so much injustice, immorality, cruelty and hatred, how can I ever choose which battle to fight? I'd be proud to dedicate my life to campaigning for what I believe in, but until there is a mass, global shift towards changing things for the better, we're doomed to continue our downward spiral.

It's days like this that really get to me. Days when the realisation of everything that is wrong with our planet is just too much. I want to make a change, but no amount of effort could ever be enough to get the world to where it needs to be. Not until everyone is working towards the same thing.

The one comfort I can draw from the situation is that these women did make a change. They may not have saved the world, but they did their part to improve it. I can do the same; no matter how small the achievement, doing something is far, far greater than doing nothing. The actions of campaigners are not pointless, no matter how useless and futile their arguments can seem when compared against the bigger picture. Because if they don't fight for something, anything, how will anything ever get done? Every tiny step forward they take, we get another step closer to the idyllic world we seek. If enough of us work towards it, we will make it.

I just hope I live to see that day.