Return to Writing

I'd like to start by saying thank-you. Thank-you for visiting my blog, for reading this post (or any other), and giving me a reason to continue writing. I'd also like to say a warm thank-you to those of you who have contacted me since my Nan's passing to express condolences. I feel blessed to have so many supportive friends, family members, and acquaintances, all able to talk with heart, and listen with patience. Thank-you, you know who you are.

I think, when you write a blog, there are certain decisions you make at the start, about how much of yourself you'll give away in your writing. I've never been nervous about being open, either in person or online, but that comes with a price. It means that, having written a post about my Nan's illness, the day before she passed away, I was left with the prospect of having to address her passing. Have I not been an open book up to this point? But writing about her is hard, and feels too personal to share. My feeling is that she would like to be mentioned often, and she'd feel proud of the fact that she was worthy of being written about. And maybe at some point I'll write something fitting about her, but at this point that feels like a tall order.

So, I decided, in the meantime, I'd write this; an update post, to bridge the gap, to make myself write again, to address the fact, honestly, that it doesn't feel easy to do. And whilst I'm at it, set myself some goals to strive for, that will make it all feel less frivolous.

Firstly, to the goals I have not met... I prepared myself for the BlueGingerDoll Sewalong Competition, bought the pattern and fabric for the Violet dress, and laid out my stall to enter, in my most recent blog post. 

Suffice to say, I have still not made the dress; but I made a point of checking back on the entrants and their outfits - what a beautiful assortment! I invite you to guess who won... then find out here! Rest assured, that is one project I will definitely be taking on, using the same plan of attack I had previously; the only difference being I won't be judged, but that's no big thing. If I wear it out, at least once, I'm a winner :)

Nearly two years ago (!) I set myself a refashioning challenge, and although I managed to tackle half of the stash, there are still a couple of garments to get to AND I also have a LARGE bag of clothing under the bed, begging to be refashioned. In fact, I went through my wardrobe only yesterday and was ruthless with clothing I haven't worn in over a year. I mean, why is it still in there? I took most of it to a charity shop today... If you need any help with that kind of thing, let me recommend a great palate cleanser, from a clothing point of view: the Wardrobe Architect series by Coletterie. If you've never read it, you're in for a treat; especially if you like logic, reasoning, and tables to fill in... it's both constructive, and comforting!

More recently, I've signed up for a blogger dressmaking competition by Simplicity patterns; there are three categories, I've chosen the New Look 6145 pattern (shown below), the remit being 'bloggers have the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild, through their choice of fabric, trimmings or styling..,'.

The prize is the opportunity to write a post for the Simplicity blog, and a year of free patterns too!!
*Disclaimer* I've already hit a bit of a speed bump with making this... I went to my favourite fabric shop, bought three metres of lovely rose-print fabric, brought it home, washed it, ironed it, then realised it was badly faded and a bit stripey, for about a metre and a half! Talk about waste of time! Suffice to say, when I went back to tell the shop, they were lovely & cut off a fresh 3 metres... which I've just laundered. Again. Let's hope it's worth all the effort!
In fact... I've also bought some neoprene (you know, the stuff they make scuba diving suits from?!). I'm still in two minds as to whether or not I'll be making this dress out of it, let's just see how I get on with the rose-cotton version first! At least the deadline's not til the end of May ;)

On another note, we have a LOT to catch up on (and when I say 'we', I mean 'I') in terms of reviewing a number of sewing courses and events I've attended over the past year; including a Pattern Drafting Course at Morley College, and Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Fair last year (photo proof below)..! I think I might just combine a few of those into one blog post...

So... you're now up to speed with just a few of my making & writing ambitions, what do the coming months hold for you? What goals are you looking to achieve, and how will you make yourself stick to them? Why not share them with me, and everyone else, here? Hey, even a small Comment at the bottom of a blog post *might* just make you stick to it... ;)

Best of luck, and speak soon!
Gema x


  1. Hi Gema - I am sorry for the delay in offering my sincere condolences.
    I'm sure that I am not alone in trusting your good judgement in all your activities & thanks for keeping us interested, informed and entertained in your own unique way!
    Best as always - Andrew (Pickle2884) : )

  2. Hi Gems, Guess I have to be good as the World can read this haha. Listen. I know how much your Nan meant to you and it made me think of something a well know celebrity said a few years ago after losing his Mother and something I did after losing both of my parents a few years ago. We all hear about keeping photos or jewellery as keepsakes of loved ones but I kept a few pieces of their clothing ( Dad`s blazer, Mum`s dress ) which I always remembered them wearing and which brings back so many memories to me when I look in the wardrobe.Now you may think me mad but we all have our personal ways of dealing with things. So knowing about your dresssmaking skills I wondered if you had thought about maybe trying to "refashion" something of your Nans which you could wear and which could make you feel close to her and remember her all the more.....maybe even alter it over the years to come? Just a thought. Couldn`t get all this on twitter could I :) Take care sweetheart. Brian.JS x

    1. Thank-you Brian, no - I don't think you're mad at all, the wardrobe tip sounds like a very fitting thing to do... everywhere I look there are things that remind me of her (and not just the things she once owned, to gave to me). And yes, I may well refashion something of hers, in time :) x

  3. So sorry for your Nan's passing. Take your time to grieve...we'll be here! Excited to see what's to come and hoping to get back at sewing myself.

    1. Thank-you for your lovely comment Andrea x

      Can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve either! :)


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