We have a new team member!

Hi! It’s been a while!

In case you’ve been wondering why This Blog has been dormant for quite a while now: We’ve been prepring our cutest DIY project ever!

We welcomed our little wonder earlier this year and are completely overwhelmed with joy and love.

I thought I’d quickly pop in from maternity leave to let you guys know we still exist, but are currently pretty busy doing other things! Don’t worry, I will be back blogging and sharing projects in the near future.

See you soon & happy sewing!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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Tips on sewing your wedding dress

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Making my own wedding dress

This time two years ago I was frantically working on my wedding dress. It was such a joyful but equally stressful process. As much as I am proud of the dress that came out of it, I’m glad I won’t have to do it again.

As spring/summer weddings are coming up and some of you lucky soon-to-be brides are making their own dresses, I thought I’d share some (hopefully) helpful advice.

As helpful as some couture sewing books might proof to be, they do not give much insight into the whole shebang of planning and scheduling and of course, the emotional stress that interferes with every single step on the way.

I had just under a year to prepare our wedding and create the dress. I spend the first half planning and organising before getting down to the nitty-gritty of actually making things. All romance aside, it’s quite a tedious, sometimes boring, sometimes frustrating process.

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Here’s a quick overview of my rough “schedule” to illustrate this:

10 months left.
Deciding on making my own dress.
Getting inspired (Pinterest helps!)
Narrowing down the designs I liked.

9 months left.
Deciding on silhouette & colour.
Deciding on a pattern to base the dress on & sketching a rough draft.

8 month left.
Going fabric-shopping (probably the hardest part, constant panic).
Actually deciding on making my own dress as I had spend so much money on fabric already.

***Long panicky break of procrastinating with wedding decor projects ***

5 months left.
Drafting, draping, making a pattern. Spending a couple of weeks on making a corset I swapped for a cheap stick-on bra in the end.

4 months left.
Fitting to perfection.

3 months left.
The actual construction of a dress starts.

8 weeks left.
Adding embroidery details.
(Dress finished 3 weeks before the wedding. Phew.)

As you can see, the actual “fun” of sewing together the dress was not happening until 3 months before the big day. My nerves! Imagine not having seen yourself in a dress and it’s already 8 weeks before the wedding. I probably could’ve finished much earlier had I not procrastinated all these months, but don’t forget there’s life that gets in between.

So should you find yourself in a similar position, here’s some advice you might find helpful.

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comWedding dress embroidery by thisblogisnotforyou.comWedding Dress design by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Advice on sewing your own wedding dress:

  1.  Give yourself enough time. Plan for unexpected breaks or getting stuck somewhere in the process or extra trips to the fabric shop, just to name a few!
  2. Decide on a design early on and try not to change your mind (unless you have huge amounts of extra time, fabric, money and motivation). There will be times of doubt, but they go away again, too.
  3. Really think about and be reasonable about shapes and textures. Certain silhouettes require certain types of fabrics. Find out as much as you can before you start spending money.
  4. Stop comparing your dress to others once you start on your project. This is unhelpful, believe me.
  5. Buy plenty of fabric and then get some extra. This not only helps if things go wrong, but keeps the suspension of cutting into the fabric low.
  6. Muslin till you drop. Get the fit perfect before cutting into expensive fabric. This saves a lot of time and money.
  7. Don’t ask others for their opinion (unless you are willing to change your design constantly or you’re able to live with someone saying they don’t like it even before it’s finished). This is important. Trust your style and gut-feeling. You will wear this dress, so first and foremost you are the person that needs to like it.
  8. Take the time to practice sewing techniques. You will feel much more confident once you start constructing!
  9. Before you start constructing the dress, make a rough step-by-step plan – especially if you’re not following a pattern with instructions. Structure prevents panic.
  10. Sew as much by hand as possible. It just looks so much better and gives yourself more control (especially when working with difficult fabrics!)
  11. Keep your hands and floor clean at all times. No chocolate, no coffee nor red wine anywhere near your fabrics or working surfaces. RULE.
  12. You can skip pre-washing if you’re working with delicate fabrics you do not feel too confident about (and if you’re planning on wearing your dress only once).
  13. Find the perfect iron setting using small fabric scraps and mark the setting with a sharpie. Don’t use water/steam when working with silk (= water stains) and make sure the iron is clean (=limestone stains etc).
  14. Put some fabric scraps in your bag or wallet so you have them with you when shopping for matching shoes, accessories, ties, make-up etc. Take scraps of the lining, too an layer the pieces on top of each other, just as they will be when your dress is done. Adding lining and layers might change the appearance of the colour.
  15. Do not put pressure on yourself by telling everyone that you’re making your own dress. Do not eliminate the option of buying a dress, should you start to feel uncomfortable with making one. That’s fine, too. But you have to allow yourself to keep that option in mind. Just because you like to sew, doesn’t mean you have to make your dress yourself!

DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I hope you find this helpful!¬†Is there some really important advice that I missed? Let me know in the comments. Also, I’d love to hear about your process of making a wedding dress.

If you want to read more about my dress and all the work that went into our DIY wedding, check out the DIY Wedding category on the right sidebar. There you’ll find a blog series about my wedding dress process.

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
‚ô•

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We need to stop making our hobbies stressful

Stop Making Your Hobby Stressful by thisblogisnotforyou.comWhen I’m not sitting behind the sewing machine, I work full-time as a psychologist. This is why I every once in a while share a mental health-related post on this blog.
Have you read “6 Reasons why sewing benefits your mental health”? – I think you might enjoy it!

***

Lately I’ve noticed the sewing blogs quieten down a little. All life seems to take place on Instagram nowadays, which also seems to apply to sewing blogs.

I admit it wholeheartedly – I love Instagram. And there’s nothing wrong about loving Instagram,¬†spending time on Instagram and sharing posts with others.

But the new habit of swipe, swipe, double-tap for a heart and then quickly continuing to swipe really changes the way we absorb information. In just a few minutes we can look at hundreds of projects, ideas, inspiration and quickly tap to show appreciation. Sitting down with a coffee, reading a handful of detailed project posts on your favourite blogs and then taking the time to type up a comment in the end – almost sounds like an inconvenience compared to scrolling through a conveniently condensed feed of pretty photographs.

Stop Making Your Hobby Stressful by thisblogisnotforyou.com

The result-oriented, ever so efficient way of the world with its clean, neatly arranged flat-lay look has reached Handmade Land.

As I said, I’m not trying to throw shade on Instagram – I love it myself. It’s just a reflection of a far greater process. But I do mourn the slow-pace of the pre-micro-blog era. Not just as a blogger myself, but also as a reader. The result-oriented, ever so efficient way of the world with its clean, neatly arranged flat-lay look has reached Handmade Land. Not a big surprise, but it¬†seems to defeat the purpose in a way, don’t you think?

Stop Making Your Hobby Stressful by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Last year I’ve written a long article about how sewing can really benefit our mental health. Because, essentially, it’s about being mindful. Being mindful is very important in today’s ever-accelerating world in order to keep your balance and peace of mind. It gives a sense of achievement and helps increase self-esteem.

But what happens when we cut out the process and only focus on the final product? When handmade things must look store-bought (because you can buy things that look handmade, vintage and shabby chic in stores)?

Stop Making Your Hobby Stressful by thisblogisnotforyou.com

A lot is lost when we squeeze a major project into a micro blog.

Hobbies are super important. Hobbies are there to balance out our stressful working lives. It’s where we find peace and quiet and sense of self. When we start to set the same standards on our hobbies as we are required to do at work, it becomes work. And your work-life-balance tips towards more of a work-work-balance. Once that happens, the stability of our mental health is at risk. Exhaustion, discontent, high stress levels etc. can quickly lead to more severe problems if we do not have something to balance these out.

And not just for mental health reasons  Рas a psychologist I keep going on about them Рbut also for the love of the slow-paced manual work that gets completely lost behind a shiny picture of the finished product. A lot is lost when we squeeze a major project into a micro blog, sadly.

We do not see the work involved any more. The hours and hours spent on the smallest little project. The nerves and sweat it sometimes takes. Or even the big-time fails. I have a big heart for big-time fails. We most often do not see those on Instagram. All we get is the shiny end product. It can make us feel pressured and sometimes sets unachievable expectations on ourselves.

Stop Making Your Hobby Stressful by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I sometimes get overwhelmed by all that content and then lose my sewing mojo completely for a few weeks. What helps me get it back is shutting out the outside (or rather social media) world completely. I sit down in my sewing corner and as slow as can be start sorting out my table, tidying things, looking through boxes, touching and moving about fabrics. I take my time with my projects now. If there’s a couple of weeks (and sometimes months) without a blog post, then so be it. When I feel like it, we go and shoot some pictures of finished garments. Only then it’s fun and I enjoy looking at the images when I edit them for the post.

Do you sometimes get the feeling you “have to sew because you haven’t in such a long time”? You have a sense of fear of losing your productivity or even getting¬† increasingly estranged from your hobby? I get that all the time and then feel really pressured. It’s quite silly, I know, but it happens often.

I now have a rule: hobbies are fun and you only do it when you enjoy doing it. If you don’t feel like it and don’t enjoy it, stop! It’s not work and this is why you are in control and allowed to do whatever pleases you. Don’t worry about losing your sewing mojo permanently. You just need a break, so take it and enjoy it doing other things you love.

Stop Making Your Hobby Stressful by thisblogisnotforyou.com

A few years ago, sewing and knitting was more or less reserved for the elderly and it seemed an extraordinary thing when someone walked around in their own handmade clothes. With technology taking up more and more of your lives, there’s been a trend of finding a way back to our roots. Of filling the gap of manual skills and manual labour technology left us with. It only seems natural that we found our way back to sewing and knitting and making things, creating things with our own bare hands. We just need to learn to block out all the other things technology left us, too, from time to time. We need to ignore social media looking over our shoulders while we sew or blog or do whatever we love. Sewing is such a big resource of calm, quietness, sense of self and mindfulness. It’s a great way of connecting with others in a meaningful way. It’s our happy place. Let’s not get something in the way of that.

So for the love of blogs (and sewing), take some time to slow down again every once in a while. Don’t let yourself get rushed, pressured to keep up or overwhelmed by content.

Stop Making Your Hobby Stressful by thisblogisnotforyou.com

What do you think? I would love to know your thoughts and views on the matter! Please share them and leave a comment below.

Now grab a coffee and enjoy your very own Handmade Land.

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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A Very Happy New Year!

Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Happy New Year! I hope your start into 2017 was as fantastic as mine. I’m looking forward to a new year of sewing and blogging and creating my own handmade wardrobe. January will hopefully¬†bring some tidiness into the present chaos that is my sewing space. I’m making it sound really passive, but most likely¬†it will be some very active, serious cleaning, sorting and decluttering. It won’t be as annoying as it sounds, as going through my sewing supplies and fabric always inspires new projects.

I’ve kept my sewing New Year’s resolutions really simple this year: SEW MORE and DE-STASH.

What are yours?

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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New Pattern: Hello, Keira Cardigan!

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

  HELLO KEIRA!

Have you been looking for the perfect chic little cardigan to go with most of your outfits? Well, look no further!¬†Say ‘hello’ to KEIRA, everyone! This lovely lady is the newest addition to my little pattern family!¬†

She is a true allrounder.

KEIRA is incredibly comfy with a wide cut around the bodice and snug sleeves for an elegant, feminine silhouette. The minimalist design will allow you to go wild with adding your own touches. Add a binding for a sleek finish or play around with decorative trim to add fun details.

Made in a warm wool or knit fabric it will be the perfect companion for cold winter days. Use a lightweight jersey and it will be perfect for layering in the warmer seasons. And if you don’t want to go without it in summer, whip one up in a breezy chiffon!

After two years, Audrey & Me Patterns (which is me!) is finally releasing a new pattern and I am so excited to share this one with you! Have a look:

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

This KEIRA is made with a lovely warm double-sided wool knit, which is the perfect fabric for this pattern! It’s super cosy and has enough stretch for the snug fit of the sleeves. As the armhole seam hits the upper arm just above the elbow, it is perfect for layering over t-shirts and thick jumpers without feeling restricted in your movements.¬†Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

This pattern is a really quick sew and suitable for beginners. It offers different ways to add own touches and variations, so advanced sewers will have fun with it, as well! Included are sizes 6-22 (UK), all nested together so it is easy for you to grade between sizes. (Edit:¬†Don’t be confused by Size 22 missing in the sizing chart. It IS included, I’ll update the chart asap!)

The pattern includes instruction for two different styles of finishes. You can add a wide binding for a clean, minimalist finish or leave the edges raw, decorated with fun trims and ribbons!

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Oh, the best part? As my first pattern, The Fairy Tale Cape, this pattern is a Pay-As-You-Wish pattern! This means you can download it for free or donate whatever amount you feel is appropriate. So feel free to try out the pattern to see whether you like it. And if you do, you can show your appreciation by making a small donation if you want.

I’ll share some more variations and simple hacks of this pattern on the blog in the next couple of weeks – so keep you eyes peeled for more!

You can DOWNLOAD the pattern HERE.

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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