December 2020 Sew Diary

This month, as we counted down the days to Christmas, the momentum picked up at work as well as with voluntary commitments so I didn’t have a lot of time to sew. Work related travel (in wintery conditions) left me too tired to be productive in the evenings. More often than not I’ve been sitting by the fire with a glass of wine, watching Christmas movies. With a few days off either side of Christmas, I managed to get a few garments made. Ordinarily, this time off would have been spent on leisurely activities, celebrating with family and friends; shopping and partying our way through the countdown to Christmas. However, this year being the year it has been, there was very little social mingling. We have also been put into a 6 week lockdown in Northern Ireland, effective since Boxing Day; so, with even less opportunity to get out and about, I’m sure I’ll have some sewing time in the New Year. It’s hard to believe this time last year, I was still figuring out the basics of my sewing machine which I had received for Christmas.

Another SOI Betty Dress

It started off well in the first weekend of the month when I made this gathered skirt V-neck variation of the Sew Over It Betty. I had been saving this fabric from Felicity Fabrics to try out a new pattern but, in the end, I decided to make my favourite pattern as I am guaranteed to wear it over and over again.

Simple Sew Grace Dress

I was excited by this pattern – I made up a toile, full of enthusiasm, expecting a couple of small modifications; it’s a pretty simple bodice pattern. However, I discovered that it was quite possibly the worst fit of any bodice I’ve tried yet. The bust was uncomfortable; I thought a FBA would do the trick and while it solved the bust problem, it opened up a whole array of other gaping issues at the neck (front and back), armholes and midriff. At this point, I just decided life is too short and went back to my trusty Betty bodice, omitted the mid-piece and blended the Grace skirt to it. I do love box pleats; however, I think I prefer them in heavier weight fabrics (they’re just more impactful). I’m also not a fan of synthetic fabrics but I loved the print on this old Lindy Bop crepe. I think it would be so much nicer in a medium weight cotton… I doubt I’ll ever use crepe again.

Jennifer Lauren Gable Dress

After the disappointment of the Grace dress, I was hoping for something a little more effortless. I’ve blogged about the Gable Dress in a previous post so I won’t repeat myself here. This turned out to be so much work and wasn’t as straightforward as I expected; nevertheless, I’ve ended up with a really cosy dress which is perfect for those work from home days as well as a lazy Sunday. I’m going to work on getting the fit perfect as I imagine this will become a staple in my wardrobe. I very rarely wear light colours, least of all in pink but I think this rosy shade is super cute.

Charm Patterns Peter Pan Bolero

This was just what I needed. Sewing this was an absolute joy and just what I needed after the last couple of fitting nightmares. This was an exclusive Charm Pattern for Gertie’s Patreon and, to be honest, this pattern was the last temptation I needed to subscribe. I need more of these in my wardrobe!

By Hand London Kim Dress

Everything about this Little Johnny Nutcracker fabric screamed Christmas nostalgia for me. I originally considered making little home and kids projects with it but I caved and made a dress… I may not get to the ballet this year but I can mark it in my own way. I love the Kim dress: the princess seams and the sweetheart neckline: also perfect for layering. 😊

Christmas red velvet dress

I opted for a 3/4 length sleeve Gable dress. Sadly, I didn’t account for the lack of stretch lengthwise so the weight of the skirt didn’t cause it to sit where I’m used to it (brain fog omission) sitting on my waistline so it’s not my finest moment… Still, a perfect little Christmas morning outfit.

By Hand London Flora dress in scuba fabric

This was one of my Minerva makes – you can check out the blog post on my profile on the Minerva profile (just search She Sews Happiness). After the success of the stretch version of the So Over It Betty, I decided to give it another go. I don’t have a lot of stretch patterns in my stash as my style preferences are more suited to woven fabrics but I’m making it a mission to adapt theses styles for the comfort demanded by 2020 pandemic life! You can read about this make on Minerva.

Boatneck dress from Gertie Sews Jiffy Dress

This fabric was gifted in exchange for a blog post on Minerva which you can read here. Needless to say, I am going to want to make every dress in the book if this style is anything to go by. It’s definitely a high note for ending my first year in sewing.

I’m looking forward to accomplishing more in 2021 – my first sewing project is, incidentally, another Gertie pattern; the latest Patreon Charm Patterns project; the swing coat.

Isn’t it dreamy? I’m making a coral colour-way with tiffany blue lining. Fingers crossed it works out – more so that my starter machine can handle the coating fabric layers. I guess you’ll find out next month.


Mary-Ellen x

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