February’s Instagram Round-Up

February on Instagram

1. One of the blogger clichés – cocktails served in jars. 2. My winnings from the Shoeaholics #Shoefie competition. 3. A delicious and easy-to-make chicken tagine using this recipe. 4. Modelling the jewellery I made at the Blackheart Creatives workshop. 5. Doing the typical blogger thing of taking photos of my breakfast. 6. Amazing pancakes at the Cosy Club. 7. Lovely colourful flowers (not for Valentine’s Day, though). 8. Lip-smacking scallops served in the shell with garlic butter at the Lido… 9. …followed by some of the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever eaten – the Lido’s homemade salted butter caramel ice cream. Drool.

Well that month went rather quickly, didn’t it? It feels like only yesterday I was doing my January Instagram round-up, and here I am again.

It seems February was a month for over-indulgence – food and drink has featured a lot on my Instagram over the past few weeks. I just can’t resist snapping a pretty plate of food. It started with cocktails served in jam jars at Las Iguanas – I know it’s such a cliché to serve cocktails in jars, but I still like it. My main day of indulgence was, of course, Pancake Day, when I had delicious pancakes for lunch at the Cosy Club with the Fed Up & Drunk team, then had them again for pudding in the evening (topped with Nutella, natch). Well, Pancake Day comes but once a year, after all.

One of my highlights this month was the Blackheart Creatives Valentine’s Day jewellery-making workshop – it was such good fun and I came away with two lovely pieces of jewellery. I highly recommend popping along to one of their workshops if you get a chance. Another high point was the fantastic meal I had at the Lido in Bristol (food again). I’ve been wanting to come back to this place since I visited for a spa day last summer, and I think it’s now one of my favourite spots in the city.

So that was February. Here’s hoping next month doesn’t fly by quite as fast – I have lots of sewing projects I want to get done.

Beauty Favourites

Everyone has their own criteria when it comes to buying beauty stuff, and mine is to try and keep things as natural as possible on a reasonable budget. Natural skin and haircare can be expensive, but there are a few brands out there offering some great products featuring organic ingredients at a price that won’t make your heart sink every time you have to re-buy them. These are a few favourites that I use on a regular basis (as you may be able to tell from the not-so-perfect packaging). The only exception to the natural rule is the Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect eye cream which I got in a Christmas gift set.

Neals Yard Hair Treatment Review

This Neal’s Yard hair treatment is the best I’ve ever used. Seriously, buy it. Now. Aside from smelling lovely, it’s really intensive and so is ideal for those who have abused their hair with too much heat styling or dyeing (haven’t we all?). At first look it seems strange as it has a waxy consistency, but it melts into an oil when you rub it between your palms so it’s easy to apply (watch out in the summer, though, as it’ll turn into oily liquid in the heat and can be messy). You can leave it in for half an hour, or overnight for deep conditioning, then shampoo thoroughly and rinse with warm water to wash it out. The best bit for me is the price – it’s only £6.50 a pot and a little goes a long way.

Dr Organics Haircare

For shampoo and conditioner, I always head to Holland & Barrett to pick up something from the Dr. Organic range. I mix and match depending on which one I fancy trying next – at the moment I’m using the cleansing Royal Jelly shampoo with the restoring Moroccan Argan Oil conditioner. Again, these are reasonably priced at just £5.99 a bottle and there’s often a buy-one-get-one-half-price offer on. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in the condition of my hair since using them.

good-things-face-mask

The Good Things skincare range was developed by beauty writer Alice Hart-Davis. It’s mainly designed for young skin, but I think any age group would benefit from using it as its products contain superfruits and other natural ingredients and are free from animal ingredients, parabens, mineral oils and sodium laureth sulphate.

I try to use the five-minute facial mask at least once a week and can really tell the difference when I do – my skin feels smoother and looks brighter. As you might guess from the name, you only need to leave it on for five minutes, but I sometimes leave it a little longer if my skin is in real need of a boost. The price is a rather purse-pleasing £5.99 too.

Protect and Perfect Eye Cream

A departure from my usual natural-only skincare rule, the Protect & Perfect eye cream is probably not something I would have picked off the shelves myself, but I must admit to being intrigued to try something from this range for a while as it’s had so many good reviews.

It supposedly smooths deep lines and wrinkles and sorts out under-eye bags, but I’m lucky enough not to have any of the first two (as yet – I’ve got lots of grey hairs, though, but that’s another story) so it’s hard to tell whether it’s really working. I do, however, have dark circles from too many late nights in front of Netflix and I can’t say it’s made much difference to them so far.

On the plus side, it feels really rich yet is light enough to suit the delicate eye area and I’ve noticed an improvement in the overall feel of the skin there. At £16, it’s pricier than the other products on my list, but I think it’s worth investing in a good eye cream. The jury’s still out on whether I’d buy it again, though – I think I might go for one from the Boots Botanics collection next.

Burt's Bees

The Burt’s Bees lip balms are the only ones I’d ever use. They’re 100-per-cent natural and leave lips feeling ultra soft for a long time unlike many other lip balms I’ve tried – I find some seem to make my lips feel drier once the balm has worn off, so you have to keep reapplying every five minutes, but that’s not the case with Burt’s Bees. Cost-wise, £3.69 is a small price to pay for a product that works so well in my opinion.

6 Problems Only People Who Sew Will Understand

Sewing Problems

1. You find little bits of fabric and thread EVERYWHERE. No matter how careful you are when you snip the threads and trim the seams and no matter how many times you hoover, pesky bits of thread and tiny pieces of fabric will stubbornly hang around and turn up in random places like your handbag, hair, or shoes, or even attach themselves to your favourite jumper and come along for the ride when you head to work.

2. You know all too well how it feels to repeatedly accidentally stab yourself with a pin/needle. How can something so tiny hurt so much? And there’s always one sneaky pin that embeds itself unseen into the carpet and lies in wait for a bare foot to come along and step on it.

3. You can’t shop like a normal person anymore. I used to love browsing high street stores and little boutiques, but now I usually just look for sewing inspiration. Ready-made clothing has to be truly can’t-live-without-it amazing if I’m to part with my cash for it – it does happen, but not that often. This rule does not, however, apply to shoes, handbags, scarves or jewellery. Those I can very much still shop for.

Fabric Stash

4. Your fabric stash is as big as your wardrobe (if not bigger)… When you find fabric you love, you’ve got to grab it while you can, which can result in a rather extensive fabric collection. But just imagine if you never found fabric as perfect ever, ever again and you missed your one and only chance to add it to your stash. Just. Imagine.

Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

5. …and within that stash will be gorgeous fabric you’re waiting for the ‘perfect project’ to use (but actually never will because you’re too scared to ruin it). Whether it’s some gorgeous but pricey Liberty print you splashed the cash on as a payday treat, or some unique, one-of-a-kind vintage fabric, every dressmaker has a piece of material they just can’t bear to cut into because you couldn’t live with yourself if you made a mistake.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably take it out once in a while, gaze at it while dreaming of all the amazing things you could make with it, then lovingly fold it back up and store it away again. One day, lovely fabric, one day.

6. There will never be enough time to realise all the ideas in your head. With a vast, ever-growing array of fabrics and patterns to choose from in the world, the odds are unfortunately stacked against us crafters when it comes to actually getting round to making every project we dream up.

Even if you had no responsibilities and could happily sew to your heart’s content at all hours of the day (if you can do this, then I hate you but also want to be your friend) you probably still wouldn’t be able to create everything you wanted to. That’s the nature of being creative. This is why it’s totally OK to buy the boring things like plain tees, vests and underwear in the shops and to instead spend your precious free time sewing the fun stuff.

Like this? Then you might like:

10 common sewing mistakes to avoid.

My guide to finding sewing inspiration.

Top three time-management tips for sewing bloggers.

 

Black Heart Creatives Valentine’s Jewellery Making Workshop

Black Heart Creatives’ colourful, fun, kitsch designs are about as far away from the delicate jewellery featured in my last post as you can get, but sometimes a gal just needs a big heart necklace in her life, you know? Especially on Valentine’s Day (although I’ll be wearing mine all year round – hearts are for life, not just for V-Day).

Black Heart Creatives not only make bespoke pieces, but also offer bling fans the chance to create their own unique jewellery at workshops in London and Bristol. I missed the boat on the Halloween-themed workshop, so speedily snapped up a ticket for their Valentine’s one, which was held at The Crazy Fox in Bristol - I had no idea this lovely little independent cafe existed, but will definitely be back. Broadmead was in dire need of a place like this!

Jewellery Making BristolJewellery Workshop BristolBlackheart Creatives Workshop BristolBlackHeartCreativesEarringsCrazy Fox Cafe BristolValentines Jewellery MakingGlitter Heart NecklaceBlack Heart Creatives Heart Necklace

After everyone had settled down with their beverage of choice in hand – tea for some, cider for others – our first task was to make cute heart and arrow earrings. After a tutorial on the correct way to open and close jump rings (which I’m still not sure I’ve mastered!) we were off. Although we all had the same tools to work with, everyone’s earrings were slightly different, and Black Heart Creatives’ Charlotte encouraged us to be as creative as we liked with it.

We then had a short break (for more tea and cider) and moved onto our next challenge: making a heart necklace. Charlotte brought a selection of hearts in different colours, including some amazing glittery ones, to the table for us to use, and obviously we all dived straight for the glitter. While many went for an ambitious design, I decided to keep it simple with a row of hearts, adding an extra length of chain for a layered effect.

I encourage everyone to give a Black Heart Creatives jewellery-making workshop a go – it was such a fun event and I’ve now got two lovely pieces of custom jewellery to add to my collection too. Follow them on Twitter for future workshop dates, or head over to the website to purchase something pretty made by Charlotte herself – I’ve got my eye on the custom name necklace and the heart stud earrings (in glitter, natch).

Jewellery fan? Then you might enjoy:

My Mink & Stone blogger challenge post.

A few of my favourite sewing-themed jewellery pieces.

Delicate Jewellery

Jewellery seems to have gotten bigger and brighter in the last year or so, but, while I do love a chunky statement necklace, delicate pieces in precious metals seem to be my thing at the moment. While costume jewellery is fun, it can have a limited lifespan and tarnish quickly, especially if it is worn frequently (and is of the cheaper variety!), whereas a sterling silver or gold ring can be kept forever if you look after it properly. Obviously bigger brands such as Pandora and Monica Vinader offer some beautiful things, but there are also plenty of great lesser-known designers out there waiting to be discovered. Here are three of my favourites.

Nikki Stark Jewellery

Nikki Stark Jewellery

Nikki Stark’s jewellery is understated and wonderfully delicate and her designs are made to last – she works only with sterling silver, 9ct gold or 18ct gold by special order. As every piece is made to order, each is individual and unique. There isn’t an item on her site that I wouldn’t wear – I particularly like her range of dainty wishbone rings and the Sally midi rings. I also love the Ria design featuring a random arrangement of tiny circles that remind me of little pebbles on a beach – in fact, I’ve just ordered myself one in sterling silver and can’t wait until it arrives. This will be the first of many orders I’m sure.

Minetta

Minetta

Minetta’s minimal jewellery can be worn every day and, as much of it can be personalised, would make a fabulous gift. Designer Sarah Holtom’s designs are pretty, contemporary and low-key, and would look equally stylish with a casual slouchy jumper as a smart work outfit. Channel Carrie Bradshaw with a personalised nameplate necklace, keep it simple with a sweet silver bracelet, or indulge your love for colour with a subtle gemstone necklace. The little heart studs and geometric ring are personal favourites too.

Bloody Mary Metal

Bloody Mary Metal

I promise I didn’t include Bloody Mary Metal in this list just because it has one of the best brand names ever (although it certainly helps) – its stand-out designs won me over instantly. Lucy Wilson started the company because she wanted to create jewellery she couldn’t find in the shops, and her collections reflect the move she made from hectic London to tranquil Cornwall at the beginning of her jewellery-making career; her first collections were edgy, reflecting her love of the London music scene, while her more recent ones are inspired by Cornwall, its history and the glittering treasures pirates once sought along the area’s coastline. My particularly like the arrow and droplet stacker rings and antler necklace.

January on Instagram

January on Instagram

1. My new DKNY bag. 2. Lovely new fabric from a great little fabric shop in Taunton. 3. Did a wardrobe tidy up and just had to have a peek at my gorgeous Rainbow Club shoes. 4. The amazing Kate Spade watch I won . 5. My winning Shoeaholics #shoefie. 6. I’m definitely living by this motto judging by the amount of fabric I’ve bought this month. 7. Delicious breakfast muffins made using a Rachel Khoo recipe for Breakfast Week. 8. Yet more new fabric from Regency Rags.

My January has been rather quiet – the post-Christmas, back-to-work blues combined with a rather sad-looking bank balance and rubbish weather mean January is a month for mainly sitting around and scoffing all the cake (as well as going to work, obvs). In fact, I’ve managed to combine going to work and scoffing cake which is definitely a win.

I’ve been rather naughty and added quite a few pieces of fabric to my stash this month. I also spent the Harvey Nichols voucher I won at the Rainbow Club #MixMatchMake blogger event a couple of months ago. Speaking of winning, I was also lucky enough to win a gorgeous Kate Spade watch last month, as well as £100 to spend at Shoeaholics thanks to my leopard-print #shoefie – share your own on Twitter or Instagram and tag Shoeaholics to be in with a chance of winning. So, all in all, it’s been a pretty lucky month for me! How was your January?

Common Sewing Mistakes

Common Sewing Mistakes

Some say there are no mistakes when it comes to sewing and that everyone has their own unique way of doing things, and while that is partly true there are a few errors that many – including myself – sometimes make when starting out that can really affect the outcome of a project. I’ve compiled a few key ones here, partly in the hope that a beginner will be saved a few hours of unpicking, and partly to remind myself not to make them.

1. Forgetting to pre-wash your fabric. Imagine spending hours and hours on a project and ending up with something you’re really happy with, only for it to shrink in the wash and no longer fit comfortably. This is what will probably happen if you don’t pre-wash your fabric – it’s the first thing you should do when you get your fabric purchase home. I use the same washing/spin setting I usually use for clothes (depending on the fabric, obviously), sometimes twice so I know what it’ll look like when it’s been washed a few times.

2. Choosing the wrong fabric. Fabric shopping can be overwhelming – SO MANY pretty prints and colours and textures – but before you make a purchase (in fact, before you even step into the shop), make sure you read the pattern sleeve closely for the fabric recommendations. That’s not to say these are gospel, but it will give you an idea of the types and weights of fabric that the pattern will suit. I also like to scope out the high street shops to see what types of fabrics they use, as it can be a really useful way to see how different fabrics hang and drape.

3. Slap-dash cutting, measuring and marking. It’s easy to be over-eager to get started on a project, quickly cutting out the pieces and using guesswork for the rest. I have to admit, I have had some success with this method, but that’s more down to luck than judgement and I wouldn’t recommend it – it’s just not worth the time it will take to put any mistakes right. Measure yourself, check your measurements against the ones on the pattern, and always transfer the markings properly.

4. Using cheap, it’ll-do sewing equipment. I recently made the error of buying a cheap zipper foot from eBay. One side of it worked fine, the other not so much (the groove wasn’t deep enough so I kept sewing over the zip – oh, the rage) resulting in many hours of sewing and unpicking, sewing and unpicking, then more sewing and unpicking before I eventually got the darn zip in. Never. Again.

5. Not ironing your fabric before you use it. Ironing your fabric before you get started seems like a really boring task and, I’m not going to lie to you, it is. Unless you’re a big fan of ironing, obviously. But, as with many boring tasks, it’s unfortunately necessary. Bumpy fabric can result in inaccurate cutting, pinning and sewing, and no one wants that.

6. Not pressing your seams. Again, another thing that seems dull, but it really does make a difference to the overall finish of a garment. Pressing seams reduces the chance of puckering where the seams meet and cross over, and helps the stitches sink into the fabric so it looks more professional. Don’t over-press, though, as that can distort your fabric.

7. Not having everything you need to hand. Realising you need more thread/bias binding/a zip when you’re midway through a project and in the sewing zone is just the worst, especially if you don’t live near a sewing shop and rely on online retailers for your sewing bits and bobs. It is also maddening not to have scissors, pins, a pin cushion and a seam-ripper nearby at all times when sewing, so do yourself a favour and grab them before you start.

8. Altering patterns and not testing them before you sew. If you’re going to make major alterations to a pattern, taking time to test it out by making a muslin is a must. End of. You don’t want to go wasting lovely fabric on a garment that doesn’t fit, now, do you?

9. Rushing to get a project finished. When the end of a sewing project is in sight and you can’t wait to get it finished so you can show it off, it can be tempting to rush through the finishing touches. Yet these finishing touches are often the most important, as they are usually the bits that people will see when you’re wearing your creation – the hem, the collar, the topstitching, and so on. You don’t want to end up with a top or dress that looks quickly or badly made (let’s face it, you might as well buy something from Primark instead if you’re going to do that) so take your time throughout the sewing process.

10. Sewing when you’re not in the mood to sew. While we’d all love to be super-productive all the time – and get loads of sewing done in the evening even if you’ve had a hard day at work – it’s sometimes better to admit defeat and chill out with a cup of tea and a film on Netflix. If I try and sew when I’m tired or just don’t fancy it, I find that I’m more likely to cut corners and not sew to my full ability. It’s much better to leave it until you have the time and inclination to get it just right.

 

Roses Are Red…

…and so is this top. Which has roses on it, funnily enough. Anyway, I bought this embossed scuba fabric (which you might recognise from my last post) from Fabricland a few weeks ago on a whim, with no idea what to make with it (typically completely contradicting my own advice). I toyed with the idea of making a skirt, before doing a quick scout of my wardrobe and realising I was instead in need of a loose-fit, comfy tee (my favourite has a hole in it, boo) that is smart enough to wear to the office and casual enough to wear with slouchy jeans on days off.

I searched for a while for a suitable pattern, before deciding to have a go at drafting my own using some existing patterns I already own as a base. I’m rather pleased with the result, although it’s not without its flaws – the neckline gapes a little at the back (a common occurrence for me as I have small shoulders) and I actually would’ve liked it to be an even wider fit than it is, as I love slouchy tops paired with skinny jeans – but, all in all, I think it’s something I’ll get lots of wear out of.

We had a little bit of sunshine this weekend and it’s making me long for the spring – I’m rather bored of getting bundled up in a coat and hat every day (although I do love my Primark bobble hat).

Leopard Print ShoesBristol Fashion BloggerTreesWinter StyleBobble HatWinter TreesCasual Outfit

Coat New Look Top Self-drafted tee Jeans Topshop Bag Vintage from Retro Rehab Shoes Jessica Simpson from Shoeaholics Hat Primark Necklace Objets de Desir

DIY Fabric Heart Brooch

DIY Fabric Brooch Tutorial

Fabric scraps are the sewing equivalent of last night’s leftover casserole (but far less easy to use up). I hate throwing these pesky little bits of material away, believing I might one day find some amazing use for them. You never know when you might need that tiny bit of lace, right? Well, folks, my fabric scraps’ day in the sun has come, at least for these pieces of rather lovely red-hued embossed scuba (currently using to make a top – blog post to follow soon) and leopard print chiffon. It doesn’t really make too much of a dent in my huge stash, but it’s a start.

You Will Need: two scraps of contrasting fabric; a cute button or any other decoration you fancy adding; matching thread; a brooch clasp.

As it’s Valentine’s Day soon-ish, I thought it would be apt to make a little super-simple fabric heart brooch. I started out by sketching two heart templates – one larger than the other – on tissue paper (to ensure both sides are even, fold the paper in half, draw half a heart, then cut around it) and using it to cut out two heart-shaped pieces of the scuba with pinking shears to form the front and back, and one of the leopard print for decoration.

I then hand-stitched the leopard print heart onto the centre of the front piece, followed by the heart button, before pinning the front and back pieces together (wrong sides together, of course) and sewing around the outside with my machine (although you could hand-stitch it if you wanted to). Stitch the brooch clasp onto the back, and you’re good to go! How do you put your fabric scraps to good use?

DIY Fabric Heart BroochHomemade Brooch Tutorial

 

 

A Guide to Finding Sewing Inspiration

Sewing Inspiration

Despite the creativity that sewing my own clothes affords, I still find myself stuck in a sewing rut sometimes, making similar things over and over again – or, on the other end of the scale, making things I wouldn’t usually wear and ending up, surprisingly enough, never wearing the finished garment I’ve spent so long putting together.

I like to think I’ve got better at this (I still wear and like everything I made last year, which I consider a win), partly because I’ve developed more of a sense of my preferences (by doing the things I’ve listed below) and partly because I’m more particular about the fabrics and patterns I use now than when I first started sewing. Here are a few of the ways I ensure that I sew what suits me whilst still keeping things varied. I’d love to hear your tips on this too.

1. Embrace all genres. Perusing sewing blogs is addictive – and, indeed, essential for those looking for handy sewing advice, tips and all-round handmade prettiness – but you’ll be missing out on a goldmine of ideas if you limit your reading to craft blogs only. In fact, I probably spend just as much time checking out fashion blogs as I do sewing ones as it ensures I don’t just stick to sewing the same old styles.

Interior design blogs also have plenty to offer the dressmaker – homeware trends often go hand in hand with fashion, but there can be a little more scope for creativity when it comes to designing a home, so you’re likely to spot unusual fabrics and unexpected prints that you wouldn’t see elsewhere on these kinds of blogs.

As a film and TV addict, I also love to look to what’s on screen for inspiration and can spend hours pouring over costume design blogs such as Sweet Sunday Mornings and Guise. This might have something to do with the fact that, had you asked me what me dream job would be aged 16, I would have said a costume designer for film and theatre, but I promise sites like these are not just for costume geeks.

Film is increasingly influencing designs on the high street (remember all those 1920s-inspired dresses when The Great Gatsby was released?) so it might just put you ahead of the curve if you’re up to date on the new releases, as well as the timeless classics. Also, costumes are often some of the most well-researched pieces of design you’re likely to find, with a high level of attention to detail, especially when it comes to period pieces, so are a great place to look for those who want to incorporate some vintage style into their sewing and get a particular classic design or shape just so.

2. Get out there. The internet is, of course, a huge (and occasionally overwhelming) source of ideas and inspiration, but it also pays dividends to log off, get outside and open your eyes to what’s going on in the big world outside as well as the world wide web.

Obviously, visiting exciting new cities and far-flung places is a fun way to do this, but, if your budget won’t stretch to a holiday, just going for a wander in your home town or city can feed your imagination. Street style isn’t just to be found outside Somerset House during Fashion Week, you know – take a look at the people on the streets where you live (not too close a look, mind) and you might just find some sartorial gems (and, even if not, you might find out what you definitely don’t want to wear).

I like to see as many exhibitions as I can too – especially at the Bath Fashion Museum. There’s nothing like seeing a historical garment, worn by a real-life person many years ago, up close – I love imagining where they might’ve worn it and the life they might have led.

Inspiration Pinboard

3. Start a collection. Online pinboards are a convenient and quick way to collect things that inspire you, but it does mean you have to fire up the computer every time you’re in need of ideas (and can lose hours and hours of your life to the internet. We’ve all been there). Having inspiring things around you in your home, always on hand, is a sure-fire way to kick-start your creativity. I don’t mean you need to rush out and invest in expensive art – small, inexpensive things are often the best. For example, every time I go to an exhibition, I buy a postcard or two featuring a few of my favourite pieces from the display, or a particularly stylish photograph, and I pop them onto the noticeboard propped up on my desk.

4. Go window shopping. As tempting as it may be to splash the cash on ALL THE FABRIC, try to stop yourself from making impulse purchases too often. Instead, I like to go window shopping, both in fabric shops and clothing stores, before making a fabric purchase, so I can get a full look at the styles on the high street and all the fabrics on offer before I part with my cash.

It also gives you a chance to think about whether what you’re planning on buying will fit well with your existing wardrobe. Not to say that impulse buys can’t be fun, but personally I’ve found that I don’t wear certain garments I’ve made because the impulse-bought fabric I’ve used isn’t really me. Boring, but true.

5. Look in the mirror. Knowing your shape is probably the most important factor when it comes to choosing what to sew. In fact, this probably should have been number one on the list. It’s surprising how little you can know about your own body shape and proportions, especially when buying clothes off the rack. Spend some time really looking at your body in front of the mirror (this should go hand in hand with measuring yourself properly – the Colette Sewing Handbook has a great guide for doing this).

This is definitely NOT an exercise in spotting flaws – on the contrary, this is about getting to know your shape, whatever that may be, and finding the styles that suit your body best. For example, as I’m very petite, it’s all about proportion for me – I generally choose quite fitted styles, as I don’t want to look like I’ve borrowed my mum’s dress. If I do opt for something slouchy or oversized, I make sure I wear something fitted as well to balance it out. The moral of this story is: get to know your body, and the sewing inspiration will follow.