2017: Sewing, chronic pain and more sewing

2017: Sewing, chronic pain and more sewing

Last January I wrote a blog post just after I'd had diagnostic surgery, where my local hospital failed to find the endometriosis that has been the suspected cause of the pain I'd been experiencing. That was a pretty bleak time. 2017 was an ongoing battle for me, not only dealing with the horrendous symptoms, but convincing doctors to believe me and do something about it. Nearly a year on from that surgery, and I'm still waiting for excision surgery, but thankfully now under the care of a specialist centre who have diagnosed endometriosis and I have a proper treatment plan to deal with it. It's just a matter of waiting for my turn, but surgery should be in the next few months.

So, for me, 2018 is the year of getting better. Getting back to feeling more like my normal self again, being better at work, at being a parent, at being a wife, at being a friend. Oh, and all those usual good intentions about losing weight, exercising more, being more organised, blogging more. 2018 is also the year of fighting back at the way I've been treated by my local hospital and trying to make the process easier for the next women going through it.

2017 also featured a lot of sewing, and sewing-related design work. It continues to be the thing that keeps me going, feeds my need to be creative and inspires me to keep trying new things. Here are a few of my highlights:

In late Jan/early Feb I took a short shirt-making course with Janet from Kitchen Table Sewing. Over a 4 week period I made a Granville Shirt and finally got my head around plackets! I love and wear that shirt a lot, and still have plans to make more (eventually).

PVC raincoat
In April I made a raincoat for my daughter in soft PVC. That was the trickiest fabric I've ever worked with - it sticks, stretches and melts if you try to iron it. It very nearly got thrown out the window. But I persevered and finished it. That, in itself, was a big achievement.

Vintage shirt dress
In June I made a Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress. I loved all the details of making that and enjoyed wearing it to a special anniversary lunch with my hubby. It wasn't the best fitting garment I've ever made though and will definitely need to make a few adjustments before making another.

Baby clothes
In July I made a set of baby clothes for my newborn nephew using the lullaby layette set of patterns from Oliver+S in beautiful Liberty tana lawn and organic cotton jersey from Stoff & Stil. A very satisfying project and lovely to see him wearing his little outfit over Christmas.

Sew Me Wear Me
Alongside all the sewing projects, throughout 2017 I also took an online digital pattern design course and learnt how to digitise the children's sewing patterns I'd been designing. It was a steep learning curve, but I got my head around Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop to create graded PDFs of my patterns and step-by-step instructions. I also took a free course in Adobe Muse to design and build a responsive website. It was a a bit of a detour from sewing, but I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process and with a bit of help on the logo and photos, have the beginnings of a small creative business to grow and nurture in 2018 - Sew Me Wear Me.

So, what next?

First up, I'll be prepping for a series of beginner's sewing workshops I'll be running at the gorgeous Workshop & Play in Ampthill in Jan/Feb. I'm really looking forward to those and hope it will be the start of many more. I'm also involved in the promotion of Wendy Ward's new book with a heap of other bloggers, so have a jersey project up next on my sewing table.

On the business side of things, I'm hoping to develop the teaching (both face-to-face and online), release some new patterns I've been working on and venture into the world of kits.

On the personal side, I have a special little baby outfit to finish first off. Then I'm back to a bit of sewing for myself and a real effort to use my fabric/pattern stash. The Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt is definitely one to finally make this year. Oh, and that half finished Liberty Betty Dress in time for spring...

Happy creative 2018 everyone xxx