Happy April! Happy spring! We’re having a sweet, sunny stretch here in The Netherlands this week and I am eating it up! March seamed like an extra full month. Despite some setbacks, I managed to do some sewing, as well as organizing The Sewcialists’ Spotlight on Accessibility. It’s been so fun and I’m so happy about the work our community is doing. Here’s a little look at what I’ve been up to.
Sewing for Sweater Weather
As much as I’m loving these little sun bursts, most days are still pretty cold. I modified the Cashmerette Pembroke Tunic by cropping it above the hip, adding a waistband, and adding an elasticated bishop sleeve. It should have been my dream sweater, but the fabric just isn’t what I wanted it. I’ve had other French Terry fabrics from Driessen Stoffen that I’ve loved. The other ones I’ve used have been stretchy and squishy, but this one is stiff and I kind of hate it. Maybe, I’ll try to find some matching ribbing to replace the turtleneck with a regular neckband, replace the waistband and add ribbed cuffs to the sleeves. You can’t win them all, I guess.
I can’t bring myself to admit how many precious me-mades I’ve ruined in the kitchen. I’ve needed an apron for a long time, but kept putting off making one. When Hey June released the free Allspice Apron, I downloaded it right away, but then it took me a month to cut it out and another two months to actually sew it up. It’s an easy sew. Just attach the patch pocket (but watch the placement!), sew the straps together and bind the edges. I’m so glad I finally did it! I think it’s so cute. It made me wish it was a dress, so I went and bought the York Pinafore from Helen’s Closet.
Minerva Brand Ambassador Makes*
*Fabric was provided by Minerva in exchange for posts on their website. All links are non-affiliate.
The Wren Blouse is a new favorite of mine. I was unsure about the big lantern sleeves, but I’m so glad I tried them, because I love them so much! Since I was playing with volume, I decided to whip up a tired gathered skirt for ultimate poofiness. To bring it all together, I made a ruffled tie headband. You can read all about it here.
I’m so excited for the warmer weather so I can wear my new April dress! I had so much fun sewing this dress. The top is really simple, but the waist seam has a really fun element – it’s a waved seam! It was a really cool new technique. And I love the belt! It comes with the pattern, but also comes as a separate free download!
New Additions to the Collection
I’m trying hard to sew more of what I have, but I couldn’t resist adding these beauties to my fabric and pattern collection.
I’d been eyeing the Helen’s Closet York Pinafore for a long time now, but I wasn’t sure it would suit me. After I made the Allspice Apron, I knew it would be a great fit in my wardrobe. Plus it was Helen’s featured pattern for the month of March so I have loads of inspiration!
I’m so glad I snatched up this super 70’s viscose from Driessen Stoffen before it sold out. I’m trying not to buy much fabric these days, but I felt like this one was really special. It reminds me of my grandparents house. They had lamps and plates with these 70’s florals in almost these exact colors. Like everyone else, I’m really missing my family. It’s silly, but I think sewing with this fabric will make me feel a little closer to them.
Lastly, I bought the new release from Helen’s Closet. The March Dress and Top! I have the perfect fabric to make the top for my Minerva Brand Ambassor post next month. I love the dress and straight peplum versions. And how cool is it that they included a wheelchair view in the line drawings!
The Sewcialist’s Focus on Accessibility
While I’m really excited about what I was able to make this month, I’m most proud of my work with The Sewcialists on highlighting makers with disabilities, chronic illness, neurodivergence as well as overall accessibility in sewing. In addition to the behind the scenes coordinating, I got to do some writing myself. My introductory post is a basic overview of what constitutes disability (the definition is broader than many of us think!) and understanding accessibility verses accommodation. Then I had the joy of interviewing Sarah and Pippa. Both are makers with chronic illness. Coming up in early April will be a post about my sewing journey with fibromyalgia and ADHD. I’ve had such a great time writing about other people, but writing about myself has proven much harder!
My New Favorite Accessory
Between all the writing and sewing this month, I pushed myself too hard. I kept thinking the pain in my hand would go away, but it steadily got worse. After three weeks, I finally determined that my hand pain wasn’t a new fibromyalgia symptom, but its own thing entirely. So I ordered a brace and what a difference it’s made! I also upgraded to a mouse, as the trackpad definitely agitates my hand. It also means setting more limits on phone usage and of course sewing. Not that pain ever comes at a good time, but I’m sure grateful to have lots of tips coming in from The Sewcialists!
This weekend I finished my bodice toile of the Friday Pattern Company Hughes Dress for my next Minerva Brand Ambassador project. I’d really hoped it would fit me without adjustments since it comes with a full bust option. It’s just not quite enough. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to go ahead with a real FBA or do a quick-and-dirty fix at the side seam.
Thanks for reading about my sewing adventures this month! I’ll be back soon with more to share soon. Happy sewing!
Hi Bri: Just read your posts on Sewcialists. Good for you! You have been thru a great deal and have come thru to the other side. I can relate as I have 2 chronic diseases and am a perfectionist. My lack of energy and stamina make pefectionism elusive so reading your articles was indeed good for me. Thank you and keep up the great work! MC