• A Wildflower Sews

Life in Lockdown: My Furlough Sewing Roundup

Like much of the nation, I've spent the last three weeks on furlough. With everything going on, furlough can be a really challenging time for lots of people, and definitely isn't just like a paid holiday! The weeks running up to my furlough had been quite challenging - between managing living through a pandemic in a high-risk household and my partner being quite unwell with his Crohn's disease, the first few months of 2020 had certainly been challenging for us. So, when I found out I was going to be put on furlough for three weeks, it gave me a unique opportunity to try and get back on top of life and take care of both myself and my partner - and with a bit of hard (any easy!) work, that's exactly what I did.

Before I go any further, I want to say that I am incredibly lucky and in a very privileged position where I can use this time positively, but it's so important to remember that lockdown is incredibly difficult, more so for some than others. Not everyone is able to use this time positively or is doing okay, and that's okay!

Week 1

In my first week of furlough, I did basically nothing. The day after I started my furlough, my partner was admitted to hospital and due to the current coronavirus situation, I couldn't go with. In the four days he was admitted, I spent roughly three days glued to the sofa with my phone in one hand and a pot of Ben and Jerry's in the other. As the third day was coming to a close, I decided I would cut out my fabric ready to make my Tilly and the Buttons Juno Pyjamas, and I ended up managing to cut everything out and sew the top (Further proof that sewing makes for a wonderful therapy!). On the fourth day, I sewed the bottoms.

This was the perfect project for the time, both because it was easy to make and incredibly comfortable to wear! For the fabric, I opted to invest in two lovely quality cotton jerseys. I'm so glad I did this because they are both so soft and comforting against the skin. As a finishing touch, I added a Kylie and the Machine label to the top. The pattern was super easy to put together, as always the instructions were incredibly clear and easy to follow. I class myself a confident beginner and I found it really easy to put together.

Pattern: Juno Pyjamas from Make it Simple, by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric: Lilac Cotton Jersey, Like Sew Amazing (https://likesewamazing.com/product/lilac-cotton-jersey/)

Spotty Cotton Jersey, Sew Me Sunshine

Label: You Are Loved by Kylie and the Machine (I bought from here: https://sewmesunshine.co.uk/products/you-are-loved-pack-of-8-clothing-labels-kylie-and-the-machine)

Week 2

Week two was certainly a much better week! This week I did lots of different kinds of crafts, as well as some cleaning and I started my blog! By the end of this week, I had sewn two Tabitha tops. The Tabitha top is the pattern used to make the top in the Juno pyjamas, and I loved the pattern so much I made two more!

For the first top, I had enough of the lilac jersey leftover from my Juno pyjamas. This time, I used ribbing for the neck and cuffs, and I also hacked the cuffs to be the same width as the neck. This was the first time I had used ribbing, usually, I use the same fabric as the top. It was a bit challenging and the neck took two attempts, but I'm really happy with how it came out.

I also decided to be a bit more creative and use my Happy Fabric for the first time! I hand cut a very simple rainbow design from three pastel colours and used my iron to press them on. It was super easy and came out really well! To finish off the top, I added this adorable 'Cute as a Button' label from Crafty Pin Up shop.

Pattern: Tabitha Top with three-quarter length sleeves from Make it Simple, by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric: Lilac Cotton Jersey, Like Sew Amazing (https://likesewamazing.com/product/lilac-cotton-jersey/)

Label: Cute as a Button, Crafty Pin Up Shop (https://www.craftypinup.shop/product/cute-as-a-button-woven-label-pack-x-5)

For the second top, I attempted pattern matching for the first time! It took me longer to cut everything out than it did to sew it all together and I didn't do a perfect job, but I'm really pleased for a first attempt. Much like my previous top, I used the same ribbing for the neck, but this time I just hemmed the sleeves. To finish, I let Kai pick my label and he choose this lovely 'Made with love and swear words' one from Kylie and the Machine.

Pattern: Tabitha Top with three-quarter length sleeves from Make it Simple, by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric: Sage and White Striped Cotton Jersey, Like Sew Amazing

Label: Made with love and swear words, Kylie and the Machine

Week Three

Week three was by far my busiest week for sewing! As my furlough drew to an end, I wanted to have a couple of full sewing days so I managed to get quite a bit done.

The first project I completed was my Agave skirt. I'm only going to gloss over this one as I want to do a full pattern review but I am so proud of this skirt. It was one of those projects where I realised how much my sewing has improved since I started.

Parts of this project were a touch confusing, but I really enjoyed making this skirt and it was so satisfying to watch it come together. I wanted this one to be a wearable toile so I used two cheap fabrics I already had knocking around in my stash. Red isn't a prominent colour in my wardrobe, and I choose to use it on this pattern as it's reversible so I'll get much more use out of it. Both fabrics are quite stiff so it's got a wonderful structure to it, the only downside is it's quite thick so it could be too heavy for hot weather, but for the British climate I live in, it'll probably be perfect!

Pattern: Agave Skirt, Deer and Doe

Fabric: Floral Polycotton, Pound Fabrics (https://poundfabrics.co.uk/products/spring-daises-polycotton-fabric?_pos=1&_sid=0ed0f018c&_ss=r)

Heavy Red Fabric, Fabric Land (I can't remember exactly what it was, but it's a heavy, almost upholstery weight fabric)

With the rest of my floral cotton, I made a top using New Look 6511. I opted for view A, but without the sleeves. I did lower the neckline slightly as it was uncomfortably high, and as I didn't have enough bias binding I just hemmed the neckline. Usually, I would wait for more to arrive, but because of the current long delivery times and as it was just a toile, I decided it wasn't worthwhile ordering more.

To finish, I added a little pink button to the back and it was done! This is a really simple cropped shift top perfect for Summer, but you could also layer a long sleeve top underneath and a cosy cardigan on top for an Autumn/Winter look.

My last furlough sewing project was an Indigo top. When I first started sewing, my third ever project was an Indigo dress in a beautiful drapey viscose, long story short, I completely butchered it. Now I've had a little more practice, I decided it was time to try it again!

This time I made the top version without pockets. I opted for a very similar viscose, but this time I picked a much cheaper one so I didn't risk wasting a fortune. The fabric is very slinky and doesn't like to hold shape so it was really tricky to sew, but I did a much better job this time. The gathers aren't perfect, and annoyingly they are much better on the back of the top than they are on the front, but I'm still really proud of taking on a challenge and coming out with a really nice new top to wear! It's just about long enough to wear as a dress with tights in the winter or shorts underneath in the summer, so I think I'll get a lot of wear out of it.

I added a finishing touch by hemming the interfacing with a basic running stitch in red embroidery thread and using this super cute label from Crafty Pin Up. I've never tried this before but I love how it added a little handmade touch to the inside of my garment - I'll definitely try it again next time I'm working with facings.

Pattern: Indigo, Tilly and the buttons

Fabric: Dusky Pink Viscose, Minerva Crafts (https://www.minervacrafts.com/shop/fabric/dress-fabrics/pan-marina-1-m-marina-viscose-twill-dress-fabric?colour=Raspberry%2BPink)

Label: Sewing Addict, Crafty Pin Up Shop (https://www.craftypinup.shop/product/sewing-addict-woven-label-pack-x-5)

And that's everything! Now it's time to give my sewing machine a bit of TLC ready for my next fabric order to arrive. Let me know in the comments what you've been sewing recently✂️

Have a great week!

Alysha x


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