Saturday, 10 November 2012

Freehand machine embroidery & knitting

I'm back from a semi-sunny holiday in Spain, and the clocks went back while I was away.  Now the dark nights have set in I am finding it hard to find a time to take pictures of my finished makes, except for weekends!

So last weekend I went to Bath to meet the super lovely Scruffy Badger for a Freehand Machine Embroidery workshp at the Makery.

It was amazing fun, but I did struggle to control the speed of my machine.  It kept going a bit haywire until Susi, the teacher, put me on a different machine.  It seemed the one I was on was misbehaving and the foot pedal was not sensitive enough to recognise when I wanted to GO SLOW.

I made the little piece below. 

Am thinking I might frame it using an embroidery hoop.  You can see ScruffyBadger's amazing creation here.  Check out the lace on the knickers, awesome!!!

Now freehand machine embroidery has so many possibilities creatively.  I want to try more.  The drawback is my machine doesn't have the capacity to drop the feed dogs (the little spiky teeth that push the fabric forwards).  So it seems I am starting to reach a point that my lovely machine is just too basic for what I want to do.  Perhaps it's time to look in to upgrading my machine......

On Monday I started a 6 week beginners knitting and crochet class at the Folk House.  So far I have learnt to knit and purl.  We haven't learnt to cast on yet so I can't start making anything.  But I know what I want to make once we have covered the basics.  hand warmers!

Now lovely blog readers as Christmas is coming up and I want to start writing my Christmas list, can you recommend any good books for beginner knitters?  I want to start with a few simple projects, with a variety of stitches and I like the look of chunky yarns.  I know Karen has recommended The gentle art of knitting, and I do like the look of it.

Also recommendations for pieces of kit I may want to get, and good yarn suppliers would be ace.

Oh also last weekend I made a new Kelly skirt (you can see a sneak preview on Scruffy Badger's blog).  But it's in the wash at the moment, so that blog post will probably have to wait till next weekend, so I can show you pictures of it in daylight.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Kelly skirt = love

I’ve wanted to make a nice simple A-line button-down skirt for a fair while and was mulling over purchasing the Wiksten Tulip skirt as I loved Shivani’s version. However because this pattern is a download I didn’t buy it. Partly due to the lack of a printer at home and also because I couldn’t be arsed with sticking the pattern pieces together and then cutting them out. So it was a real blessing when Megan Nielsen released her Kelly skirt. I snapped that up after seeing Roobeedoo’s awesome versions, (also here and here), and it is still a homage Shivani's skirt because I loved the colour of hers.
I use a cotton chambray for the main skirt and a cute flowery scrap for the pocket lining.
I have to say I love this skirt.  It's so simple and quick to sew up but is really cute and easy to wear.

The only thing is it is a little loose at the waist, and I sewed the top two buttons quite close together so after a days wear, the skirt starts going into a V shape at the front waistband and sags between the buttons on the waistband and the button on the skirt.  Any ideas how to fix this?  I am thinking either adding a third button or a hook and eye  in the bit that gets saggy, to hold it together.
I have already decided to make another one with some wine coloured corduroy I bought ages ago.
Seriously, I love this skirt!  This is the first item of clothing I have made that I am truly happy with.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Well in truth there was nothing pants about my day on Saturday.  Loads of lovely sewing bloggers, beautiful Bath, yummy food and a great knicker-making workshop, all organised by the lovely Scruffy Badger!

photo courtesy of Scruffy Badger
Winnie and several more of the other lovely ladies have already posted about the day, but in case you're interested here are my knickers:

I'm really glad to have (kinda) mastered sewing elastic onto cotton, it is fairly easy but needs to be done with care.  My stitching was pretty wonky but I don't really mind.

The day was awesome, and it was really nice to meet some more Bloggers.  Thanks Winnie for inviting me!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

I'm back, and I've made stuff


After a few months not blogging, I have now finally settled in a bit into my new life in Bristol.  Although  have been sewing, I just haven't had the mindset to get blogging again, but now I'm energised and ready to go!

I have managed to make two skirts since moving to Bristol.

I had planned back in February to make a few skirts of different styles (a-line, gathered, pleated) to see which suited me best.  However I have realised by doing some "research" in a few shops (basically just trying a lot of things on in changing rooms) that gathered skirts and my posterior are not friends, so should never go together!  Instead I'm having a go at a few pleated skirts.  Firstly a Simplicity Cynthia Rowley pattern 2215.

I made it from a nice cotton drill so it's more of an autumn-winter skirt, but can work for summer.  I've never used a Simplicity pattern before, and despite checking my sizing on the envelope and measuring the waistband pattern piece before cutting out, it came out way too big, so I had to take the waist in by at least an inch.  I love the a-symmetrical pleats on this, which is handy if you aren't the neatest sewer in the world (I'm not).

 I also added some secret fabric to the pockets, it's some cute animal print that I used for friend's baby blanket way back when I first started this blog.

Although I like this skirt, it is still quite big and flouncy, and doesn't exactly slim down my lower half, so I am not certain that I would make it again.

So next up was a Simplicity Project Runway skirt 2698, which I think is now out of print.  I made View J with yoke B.

This skirt is more a wearable muslin than an actual finished piece, and I haven't hemmed it yet.  Mainly because I'm not sure the back pleats work.

I went down a size with Simplicity this time, and that seemed to work a lot better.  However I am definitely not sure about the back pleats.  I want to make this skirt again from some olive cotton sateen I have, as I love the look of the front pleats, but I'm not sure what to do about the back.  Can I get the pleats to lie flatter, if so how?  Should I move them closer to the centre back?  Could I eliminate them somehow by adjusting the pattern (slash and spread or something??).

What do you think?

My next make is going to be a chambray Kelly skirt, by Megan Nielsen.  I have been lusting after a button-down skirt for a while, and now after several versions of this have been popping up in Blogland I want one even more.  But again the back pleats are causing me concern.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Overlocking action and big changes

Sorry for the long absence, and lack of comments on your blogs, but big changes are afoot in casa de Laura and I have literally not had time to stop this past few weeks.

Due to my boyfriend getting a shiny new job, we are going to be relocating to Bristol in the next month or so!  I’m very excited about moving to the west country, but at the moment I don’t have a new job lined up, or a place to live, or any friends in Bristol, so things are very much crazy hectic.
I’m looking forward to exploring my new local area, and if anyone has any recommendations for good sewing shops, craft cafes or sewing teachers / schools in Bristol or Bath (or anywhere nearby) please let me know!
I’ll admit, because of this, sewing has not been top of my list of priorities recently. A couple of months ago I did buy a overlocker, with big plans to make zillions of jersey garments, which sadly did not happen.  The poor thing has been stuck on my desk literally gathering dust!  Lucikly, I had also signed up to a a 2 day overlocker course, and the first class was yesterday.  Initially we just got to grips with the basics; the first thing we had to do was cut the threads off and learn how to re-thread our machines from scratch!!  That was a bit scary, and actually quite tricky (even though the teacher told me my model was actually one of the easier machines to thread), but once I’d done it a couple of times I had it figured out.  Definitely need to get some good tweezers for the fiddly bits though!
My new baby
We then re-threaded using different coloured threads, so we clearly saw what each thread was doing in the stitching it created. 
Next we made little samples increasing and decreasing tension on the loopers and needle thread, moving the blade plate further away and closer to the needle plate and changing the stitch length.

We also had a practice at sewing curves and swerving the fabric on and off the overlocker.
We each got given a customised vest pattern, which we are cutting out at home and then sewing up next week.  We are also going to learn an easy way to rethread, and how to attach elastic to fabric via the overlocker, and hopefully how to use the rolled hem feature.
I have to say I am not scared of my overlocker now, nor of a thread breaking and having to re-thread the machine.

It's not as scary as it looks!
I'll let you know how the second class goes.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

It's in the bag! First "The Plan 2012" project complete

Yes indeedy I've made myself a bag.  I've been planning this bag for a while, but due to sheer laziness have not got round to making it.  Feeling a bit despondent that my Da Blues dress was a big fat fail, I decided that rather than get into a sewing slump again, I should make something I know wouldn't be issuey.

The main fabric is upholstery fabric I picked up at an Artist open house a while back. The lining is a red mini polka-dot cotton from Ditto (bought on the recent meet-up).

Scuse the markings, I forgot to rub them off before taking the pics
 I love making bags and purses, and really should make more.  The pattern is a freebie by Lisa Lam.  If you like the look of this pattern, check out Stitch and Witter as she has made a fab version of this bag too.

I bought the handles at U-Handbag, Lisa's online shop.  You just hand stitch them on with embroidery floss, as they have holes punched in them already.  Handy!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

I got da blues dress

I started making up a Colette Peony over Christmas, after getting the bodice fitted in a private class blogged about here.

All went well with the sewing, the fit was good and the invisible zip went in without a hitch, happy days.  Now I’ve even finally managed to hem it, which took a while as the rayon seam binding was a bit of a pain to sew on.  It’s slippery and really narrow, so I kept just missing the edge of the fabric.

Anyway I finished the hem, tried it on and, well the neckline is weird!  It sticks out loads!

 Here’s a close up.

It’s even worse wearing a cardigan (a requirement for 80% of the times I’d be wearing this dress).

Can any master adjustment peeps give me any suggestions on how to correct this?  I haven’t tacked down the facing, so could unpick that and fiddle around.  I’m thinking maybe I could alter the neckline to make it deeper and less boat-necked, then just use bias binding to finish the neckline.  Also the shoulders look a little long and actually end on the top of my arms, could I take those in, thus pulling the neckline in towards me a bit?

What do people suggest, as in its current state its not really wearable which is a shame as I quite like the fit and the style of the dress itself.  I especially love the little gathers at the front of the skirt.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Argh inspiration overload

It’s happened again, I have too many ideas going on in my head, have too many things I want to do, I spend every lunch-hour window shopping on the internet, filling baskets but never actually pressing the “continue to checkout” button.  I can’t focus, I can’t think straight.  I need help! 

Ok ok ok, Laura, stop, breathe, re-group.  I have issues.  I have a very distractible flighty brain, my thoughts whizz from one thing to another very quickly.  In fact I’m like a squirrel who’s drunk too many coffees.  You should see me when I’m on a computer, my boyfriend gets a bit motion sick watching the screen when I’m on my laptop, I’m that fast.

The problem I now face is, I have a plan, and want to stick to it.  I’m ready to start drafting my wool half circle skirt and to cut a toile for my darling ranges dress.  The fabrics are washed and ready to go.  Buuuut I’ve just discovered the joys of overlockers and sewing with knits, so want to make this pattern

And this pattern 
and that pattern
and a million more of this pattern
Oh and the ballet dress by DIY Dixie too!

I need to pull up the reigns, and re-stock before I get too over excited and (like I usually do) end up doing nothing.

Maybe I can come up with a compromise.  I have decided to buy an overlocker, and have signed up for a workshop in April that runs through everything you need to know to use one.  I know I’ve already been playing with Zoe’s but she did give me a crash course on how to use hers, and I am a bit nervous a different machine might scare me off.  So I thought if I bought one of my own I could get familiar with it in a structured environment. 

So I am thinking that I should maybe make one more Renfrew whilst I have Zoe’s machine and then put knits aside until April.  So spend March making my wool skirt and at least starting on my darling ranges dress, as that’d be a great springtime dress to have.

Then I have summer to whip up tees and summer dresses in jersey fabrics (my eye is on you simplicity 2443).  I know myself and when there’s sunshine outside I will want to be out in it with my hula hoops.  Sewing indoors will not be a priority for me, so trying to make a few vesty dresses for summer hooping is reasonable I think, as knits are quick and easy clothes to make, and are practical to wear.

Finally come autumn I can crack on with the rest of my plan and make the pleated and gathered skirt, and maybe try my hand at the trousers.

Ok now I’ve put that in words I feel better.  Thanks guys, talking it through has really helped :o)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

I love overlockers!!!!

When Zoe brought round her overlocker last week she said "this will change your world".  Well she wasn't kidding.

I now love overlockers.  I made myself this Renfrew T-shirt in about 3-4 hours. 

It was my first time handling knit fabric, and using an overlocker, but once the dreaded cutting process was over (thank heavens I have a a rotary cutter), it was so quick and easy to put together. 

Almost matching stripes
The jersey I used was pretty cheapy and thin, so I'm not mad about the T-shirt itself.  Also I think I need to tweak the pattern a bit, I cut a size 10 in the end, but reckon I could go smaller in the waist.  However I am dead chuffed with this first attempt. 
Stretchy jersey!
Also the overlocker's abilities impressed John so much that, when I asked him what he thought of the finished T, he actually looked up and passed comment, rather than glancing my way and murmuring in a usual vaguely positive way!  I think realising I could make him customised T-shirts has sparked an interest in the overlocker.  This means I could actually buy one, without having to justify the practical necessity of the purchase, which is something I struggle to achieve when it comes to my other hobby, hula-hooping. 

Any more entry level overlocker recommendations greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

T-shirts and a question for overlocker owners

So I’ve bought a shed-load of t-shirting from Fabricland.  It’s not a stable knit as its quite stretchy, but it was very cheap, so is good for me to ruin practice on in my first attempts at using knits and an overlocker. Looking at the measurements on the Renfrew pattern it seems quite loose for a fitted top.  I think I’d be a 12 as my waist is around 31 ½ inches, but the finished measurements make the waist 35 ½ inches, so I may go down a size or two.  Also, although I’ve ordered some double knit online (planning to make a cowl version), for normal t-shirts I want thinner jersey, so I want to see what size I’d need to use for a stretchier material.

Once I’ve mastered the art of t-shirt making (because I have full confidence I will), I also want to have a go at customising my creations.  Mad Mim as a whole series of posts on this (and on how to make your own –shirt pattern as well!).  I like the idea of yoyos on one shoulder, and the reverse appliqué bow.

Now although Zoe has lent me her overlocker for a little while (which I am super super grateful for), she is going to want it back at some point.  And blatantly by then, I will not want to let it go, so I need to start thinking about getting my hands on an overlocker of my own.

I’ve seen that many peeps in blogland (including Tilly, Karen and Jane) have the Brother 1034D, which looks like a fab one to go for.  However at around £200-£250 it’s a bit out of my price range, so I may end up going down the secondhand route.

However if I buy secondhand I won’t really have that much choice in terms of make and model, or have any online reviews to help guide me.  What are other peoples experiences of buying and using secondhand overlockers?  Are some brands better than others?  Are there any brands I should completely avoid?  What about age, is it better to go for a sturdy 70’s-80’s overlocker than get a newer model secondhand?  Should I just save my pennies and go for new?  I was thinking about going to my local dealers to see if they have any reconditioned ones, or display models I could buy at a cheaper price.  What do people think?

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Brighton swapping and borrowing someone's baby

So a few bloggers have posted about the Brighton de stash meet-up, but me being me, I've taken a wee while to write up my post.

It was a really fab day, and I met some lovely bloggers and soon-to-be bloggers. But I won't go into mega details as it has been so well covered elsewhere.  So instead I'll just get straight to the important bit, the items I received in the swap:

From left to right, a red muslin fabric (great for lining), awesome retro vintage cotton (cushion cover methinks), green and white heavy weight cotton (definitely going to become a bag) and tonnes of lush grey silk (Colette Truffle dress maybe).  Oh and an ace vintage dress pattern too!

The idea of a stash swap was a really great one, as we all went home with new-to-us fabric and patterns, and had given away things that we no longer needed or wanted but that others were really keen to have.  Karma was topped up and we didn't spend any money!!

I also ended up with something else as a result of the meet-up.  The generous loan of someones precious baby.......well not their actual baby, but their overlocker!!!

At the meet-up I mentioned how I'd like to try sewing with knits, and am keen to buy an overlocker, to sew knits, and to finish seams.  Anyway Zoe, kindly offered to end me her overlocker for a few weeks, so I could get to grips with one, and hopefully make a few things.  So earlier today she popped round to mine, overlocker in hand and gave me a crash course on how to use it.

Isn't she pretty.  Don't worry Zo, I will treat her well I promise.

Isn't the sewing community generous! 

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Plan 2012: The list

Right so here's the list of things I'd like to make in 2012. Some of these are fully formed ideas, with pattern and fabric already chosen, others are vaguer ideas, and I may need some suggestions on fabric or pattern choice.

Note: I was going to have loads of pics of all my planned patterns and fabrics but haven't had time to get it all together, and as this post is about a month overdue, it'll just have to look a bit bland I'm afraid!

1. Red dress

Fabric choice:  Red cotton lawn
Pattern choice: Darling Ranges Dress by Megan Nielsen

I loved this dress the moment i saw it and am desperate to make one for myself.  Instead of playing it safe and going for a black or navy fabric which is my first intstinct, I have decided to take a risk and make a red version.  I’d love to have a red dress, and this’ll be a nice everyday wear kinda dress, that hopefully will be super comfy.  The cotton lawn was bought online from Truro fabrics, they threw in a spool of matching thread too, which was nice.

The next three items all belong together really.  In deciding that I needed some separates I was unsure what type of skirt to make.  I don’t really wear skirts much and am not sure what suits me.  So I have decided to make 3 different types of skirt.  One gathered, one pleated and one half-circle.  I already have an a-line skirt, my black Ginger, which is ok, but I’m not a massive fan of.  I would like to try a pencil skirt, but that’s for another time I think.

2. Slouchy gathered skirt

Fabric choice: not sure, maybe black I want something drapey though
Pattern choice: Simplicity 2226

3. Pleated skirt

Fabric choice:  maybe an olive green or navy
Pattern choice: Simplicity 2215

4. Half circle skirt

Fabric choice: A charcol grey wool from Ditto Fabrics

Pattern choice:  For Christmas my mum gave me the book Make your own clothes.  In it is a pattern for a half circle skirt.  I just need to input my measurements into the program provided on a CD-rom, then print out a paper pattern supposedly custom drafted to my body.  Will it work, we shall see, but it’ll certainly be handy if it does, as that eliminates fitting issues.

Also, I'm a bit nervous about using wool fabric, so any hints or tips would be greatly appreciated!

 5. Wide legged trousers

Fabric choice:  Not sure at this stage, will be a dark colour like navy, dark brown or black, probably cotton.

Pattern choice:  Also unknown.  Any suggestions (high waisted is a plus)

6. Tops
I've just received two patterns from Sewaholic, the Pendrell and the Renfrew.

I am keen to get a good fit with princess seams, as I think it's be a very flattering look for me, and I am keen to give knits a go.  No decisions have been made on fabrics though!

Plus a few non clothing items:

1. New bag using the free pdf pattern from U-Handbag, with a blue floral cotton and red leather handles I think.

2. Purse or wallet.  I'm still searcching for a pattern for this as I am quite particular about what I want from a purse, but havn't quite got the skill to draft my own or adapt an existing pattern.

3. Oh and finally finish the quilt I started months ago, and blogged about here

I'm not sure if I will achieve everything on this list, but I have a clear plan now.  Other project ideas may disrtcat me during the year, but I will try to hold off from veering too far from my plan and do my very best to make at least 2 or 3 of these things listed above!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Crochet attempts

Well the personalised croquis is on hold at the moment. I wanted to do one on the computer like Lauren at LLadybird, but alas the photoshop expert that is my boyfriend has abandoned me this week to go sliding down snowy mountains on a bit of wood (also referred to as snowboarding).  I’m not much good with complex computer software programs, and I know it’s the kind of thing he could do in minutes but that it would leave me tearing my hair out and take at least a day.  Therefore I am waiting until his return so he can do it for me!  On the plus side I have pretty much finished my plan for 2012, so I’ll probably do a croquis post as a follow-up after I’ve posted about all my plans.

In the meantime I have been trying my hand at another craft as I had my mum to stay over the weekend, and persuaded her to teach me how to crochet.  She's a master at embroidery, cross stitch, knitting and crochet and she can sew too!  She got me doing a basic chain stitch and showed me how to double crochet, slip stitch and treble crochet.  She left behind some perfect examples to look at that she whipped up whilst drinking a cup of tea and chatting (it's like her brain is on auto pilot the muscle memory is that good).  Oh and she bashed these out in a few minutes as well.

Bad photos are due to the boyfriend taking the good camera with him on his snowboarding holiday. Bitter, me?...Never!
Needless to say I didn't get that far, however I am very keen to get cracking on some granny squares, then maybe I can make this lovely crochet tie for my currently absent boyfriend

or these charming pieces of headgear for myself:


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Rayon seam binding

 I first heard of this stuff whilst reading Lauren's blog Lladybird.  She seems to use it a lot, and even has a tutorial on how to use it.  This stuff really appeals to me.  I like the look of bias bound seams, but double fold tape can be a bit bulky.  Also I hate hemming with a passion and a narrow hem practically kills me, I go nuts pressing the hem over twice, it’s such a pain in the posterior.  So using seam binding on the edge and only folding the seam once will give my hems a nice finish that is less bulky than bias binding, and will avoid some of the painful and painstaking hem pressing.

Look how thin this is!
It doesn't seem to be something widely available in the UK though.  So after scouring the Internet for a little while I found a UK based shop called Crafty Ribbons which sells hundreds of colours of the stuff at £1 for 5 meters.  They have an offer on as well, if buy 5 lots of 5 meters and get a 6th lot free.  So I stocked up with a nice selection of colours.

 The colours of the binding will give you some clue about the projects I am deciding on for The Plan 2012.

So what about other UK sewers, do you use this stuff, how do you get hold of it and what are your experiences with it?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

My 5 favourite wardrobe items

A few other peeps in blogland have followed one of the exercises recommended in the Colette Sewing Handbook, of picking 5 things in your wardrobe that you love to wear and analysing them to try and get a better understanding of your own personal style, and what you value in your clothes.  I've had a go at this now, and my top 5 are below:

1. Chunky necklace
I love this necklace!!  Every time I wear this necklace I get a compliment on it, it's just fab.  Pretty, chunky, unusual and funky (also it's from Accessorize if you can believe it).

2. Brown and yellow blazer jacket

This wool blazer is so warm, but is smart and cool too.  I love the mustard lining, and the pinstripe.  It's a really nicely tailored piece, but isn't "too" smart so I tend to wear it with jeans.

3. Purple blue dress

I love the bright block colour of this dress.  It's empire line so is very flettering to wear, but not too restrctive either.  I like the simple style, fitted bodice but floaty skirt.  I also like the embroidery detail near the hem

Wearing this dress makes me feel really feminine and pretty.

4. Flowery jersey dress

This dress is so soft, comfy and easy to wear.  I can just throw it on and go.  It's basically just a rectangle with a waist tie and a cowly style neckline.  It doesn't exactly make me feel professional or pretty but it does make me feel happy!

5. Chunky biker-style boots

I adore chunky boots.  I own a fair few pairs. Although I'm occasionally tempted to be grown up and actually buy proper shoes, I really am only drawn to converse sneakers and chunky boots!  Boots are practical in wet and muddy weather, and are comfortable for my feet.  Also my favourite thing to do is pair chunky boots with a girly dress, I'm not sure why, I just love that look.

Looking at my chosen items, I'd say I like to mix soft with hard, feminine with a rocky edge I guess.  I like soft comfortable clothes, but also things that make me feel pretty.
Browsing through my wardrobe, whilst selecting these 5 items, made me realise that I really really like blue!  Almost to the point that it’s the only colour I wear.  I am attracted to other colours but don’t tend to wear them, I’m not sure why.  I don’t even know what other colours may suit me!  So that’s challenge #1, make something not blue.

Besides blue, I tend I veer towards earthy tones and darker shades. But one of the reasons I love my purple/blue dress so much is that it’s quite bright and I would not regularly wear a colour that bright.  That’s something I want to change too, so challenge #2 is make something in a bright block colour.

I have also realised I don’t wear trousers much these days.  I tend to buy a bootcut pair of jeans and wear them till they wear out, then buy another and so on.  But other than jeans I don’t really wear any other trousers.  This is partly because of current fashions, I mean skinny jeans, harem pants or high waisted shorts on my body, um I don’t think so!  I also hate jeans / trouser shopping because they never fit me because of my sway back!  They always always gape at the back of the waist, and wearing a belt gives me this unattractive tugging look, nasty!  So that’s challenge # 3 make a pair of trousers that fit me!

Lastly I have spotted that I don’t own a lot of separates.  I own a lot of dresses, and a few long tops that I wear over my denim skirt or jeans, but I don’t own many nice tops or blouses, and the only skirts I wear are my denim mini and my beignet, which to be honest gets pretty limited wear because I have no tuck-in-able tops to go with it.  So finally that’s challenge #4 make more separates (a mix and match selection of tops and skirts/trousers is the ideal).

Right so the next step is too make a croquis, have a play with a few pattern ideas, and try to incorporate my 4 challenges to come up with a list of items to make this year.
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