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Winners and Losers – Quarantine Edition

So, it’s that time again to take a look back at what I’ve made during the first quarter of the year, and see how it’s faring 👀

Except, this one’s a bit of an odd one, because there’s not been a lot of variation in my wardrobe – what with the world being in lockdown and not being allowed to leave the house and all that 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ll be honest, I’ve worn nothing but sweatpants for a couple of weeks now… which seems to be the common theme among the conference calls that I’ve been on each day, that is if people are even daring to show their faces. I’ve had some people say that their camera is off because they have a face mask on, or have a cold and look rough, or they have a high-maintenance haircut which hasn’t been maintained because all the hairdressers are closed… 🧐 My hair is turning some interesting shades of ‘faded’ with every wash though 😂

I’ve felt a bit miserable recently too, with this bloody head cold – I even risked my life to walk through the wasteland that is the streets to the Co-op to get some Sudafed, which I’ve been chugging every four hours religiously. Hot baths and mugs of green tea have also been taken in copious amounts and seem to have done precisely naff all, and in true British-weather-style, we had a weekend of blazing hot sunshine one day and snow the next. No wonder I’ve got a cold 😑

I’ve also noticed that the outside world now feels like the apocalypse. Our next-door-but-one neighbour has a garden swing that’s creaking as it blows in the wind. We got a Silent Hill vibe goin’ on here, I tell ya.

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Continuing on the end-of-the-world movie theme, we’ve been out for a couple of cycle rides into the city and it’s so empty it’s that close to being 28-days-later-London. However, it’s nice to have space on the roads and not have to weave your way through rush hour traffic 🚗🚙🚴🏻‍♀️🚕

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We’re using our ‘daily exercise quota’ to take the doggos for their walk, but I have an overwhelming urge to go for a run. To be free. I haven’t run in a very long time, and my knees will be pretty quick to remind me of why I stopped running, I’m sure, if I was so foolish as to try it. I need to do something though to keep up the exercise, as I’ve already scoffed an Easter Egg (purchased from the co-op on my ‘essential shopping trip’ when I bought the Sudafed) and there’s a Lindt bunny in the cupboard just waiting to be demolished. Once this cold has done one, I might think more seriously about an exercise regime.



Quarantine craft projects are going fairly well so far – although there’s not much actual sewing happening. I’m spending way more time on my knitting. My Sorrel sweater is in full swing (though it’s defo gonna be too warm to wear it by the time I finish it), I’m on the heel of the first sock of the very first pair of socks for the husbeast, and extra yarn has arrived for my first stranded colourwork hat (I didn’t check the yardage, assumed one skein of each colour would be enough, and it wasn’t. Thankfully I got my order in about oooooh one day before the shop announced it was closing for two weeks).

Sewing wise, I’ve finished off my adult blanket (seriously, it’s freakin’ awesome, and I can now stop wearing my dressing gown around the house 😂) and I’m midway through my second Kielo/Trudi turtleneck mashup. I really want to get the second-round bomber jackets cut out for me and the husbeast (separate patterns – his needs a few adjustments and mine needs a bigger size) as they are going to be amaaaaaazzzzzzing when they’re completed! But, those are more of a commitment than I’m ready for just yet. I want to be back at full energy before I start those. I have now gathered most of the supplies required though, including buying some wadding to quilt my own satin lining… madness? Perhaps. We’ll see 😂

Of course, I also have that epic quilt kit that I bought in NYC last month, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy, when the motivation appears.

So, what hit the blog over the last few months? A variety of things actually, and they’ve been pretty successful on the whole – let’s take a little looksie 👀

Cushion covers, and *that* Ironing board cover

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YES! These bad boys are things I’d wish I’d have done a lonnnnnng time ago. They made *such* a difference, and were quick easy makes. My ironing board looks WAY cooler now, fo sho, and I’m no longer ashamed to take pictures of my in-progress makes on my ironing board 👀

Miraculously, the dog has managed not to put her claw through my pretty cushion covers and they are still going strong – she was the source of the destruction of the last set of covers so I’m super happs that she hasn’t yet destroyed these ones 😂

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WIN. 💪🏻

Black fur coat

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I’ll be honest, I have a LOT of coats. And given that I only wear them at weekends – because during the week I cycle to work and obvs I don’t wear a coat for that – the amount of wears each of them is likely to get each winter is pretty low. So, although this coat hasn’t been worn much over the past few months, there’s actually no reason for that other than I just didn’t get round to it. The coat itself fits well, it’s comfy, and the fur fabric is super nice and soft. It was made from a vintage pattern, which I would use again, except I probably don’t need ANOTHER coat 😂

High voltage sweater

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Volt Sweater 7635

This was the first project that I picked up after a massive knitting hiatus. It’s the first sweater that I’ve knitted in a very long time, and it sparked a few after it, too. It does get worn, but more around the house than for everyday wear because it’s quite heavy and bulky to take with me in my cycle backpack to work (not that that’s a problem right now, though 😂). Also, it reminded me to not knit things with a big wide collar, because I hate that you can see the neckline of the t-shirt that I’m wearing poking out at the sides of the neck. But it’s okay, sometimes you have to learn these things the hard way in order to really have them stick – the same way I had to make that awful v-neck dress a couple of years back to remind me to NOT MAKE THINGS WITH A V NECK.

I like that the shoulder seams are finished with a three-needle bind-off – I’ve never done shoulders this way before, and not only does the seam look super neat from the front (and indeed the back, too), but it doesn’t give a bulky finish on the inside. If there’s one thing I HATE it’s a chunky old shoulder seam pressing down on your collarbone. Eugh. From now on I vow to only knit things in as few pieces as possible – seams are SO last year 😂

Toadstool shirt

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I like the fabric ✅

I like the buttons ✅

It fits okay ✅

Butttt… I just don’t wear it that often. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe because it requires ironing, and it’s a funny shaped shirt that can’t really be ironed flat. I don’t know… perhaps I’m just lazy 😂 For a while, I thought this might have been my go-to shirt pattern – the one – but then I found the Itch To Stitch Montana shirt. And that blew this one out of the park. It hasn’t hit the blog yet (because, y’know, we’re not allowed outside anymore to take pictures) but I promise that when it does, I’ll have a LOT to say about it!

But this one – I dunno. It goes really well with my purple jeans, and it has pretty cool sparkly buttons on it, but it’s just not getting the wears. Maybe I’ll venture upstairs and see how creased it is, and treat it to a little ironing sesh next time I’m doing some sewing. That way, when I do actually venture into the outside world to go to the office again, it’ll be ready to go.

Quadra jeans

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Thread Theory Quadra Jeans 6923


My first pair of men’s jeans, and they came out really well 🙌🏻 The husbeast lost a few pounds in the weeks after I finished these though, so they ended up being a little big – these are the size 30, I think next time I’ll make the 28. I do have some burnt orange cord stashed that we’ve earmarked for a second pair (that I picked up from the Great British Sewing Bee Live show allllll those years ago), and I’ll likely be on the lookout for more interesting denim -plain denim is just SO boring!.

But yes, a success, and another great pattern from Thread Theory 👌🏻

Leopard Bomber Jacket

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Another success!

I really can see a lot of these jackets in my life – they’re easy to wear, not so formal-looking as a full-on wool coat, and they fit over sweaters too. I’m really excited to make the second version, but I gotta rein myself in before I end up with too many of these 😂 The separating zipper and the cuff fabric were new experiences for me – yay for developing sewing skills and broadening experience 💪🏻

I’ll be sizing up for the next one, because this one was a smidge on the small side – somewhat compensated for (thankfully) by the knit scuba fabric and stretch lining that I made it with, though.

Dog Mat

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Yes yes YES! 🙌🏻

This one is still in everyday use, and (amazingly) hasn’t yet been stained to oblivion with flyaway food and dribble. It’s a winner. I really enjoyed making it, but I just don’t think I have use for more than one of them sadly. I could perhaps make a mini one for the cat’s bowl in the kitchen, because he does love to chuck food around 👀


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Field Guide Hat 8906

Vanns Tavern Hat 8937

These are super warm, super comfy, and get worn a LOT. The yarn is absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve even bought more of the orange colour to knit a sweater for myself. Yay! The husbeast is a bit sensitive to itchy yarns, and I’m happy to confirm that this is absolutely not itchy at all. And the stitch definition is 👌🏻🤤

Knitted hats is another thing I’m in danger of having too many of, though… 🤔

Vintage Vogue x Dior Coat

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Vintage Vogue Christian Dior 2498 coat 8179

I mean, this was always meant to be a trial run of this pattern, so I’m not too cut up that it’s not *quite* a roaring success. It definitely fulfilled its purpose as a test-the-waters attempt, so in a sense, maybe it was a success 🤷🏻‍♀️ There are things about this coat that I am totally in love with – those buttons, the bound buttonholes, and the style of the coat – but there are also things that are mehhhh: the fabric is a little scratchy, it’s also not as sturdy/thick as I hoped it would be, and the front hem/facing area is a little puckered and could do with improvement (likely to do with the way I’ve fastened the facing down, I’m sure).

I really had my heart set on using up some cashmere for the second run, but I’m not entirely convinced that I have enough of it – what I really *should* do is dig out the cashmere from its storage depths, lay it out flat and pin all the pieces to it… but somehow that seems like more effort than I have right now 😂 I’ll get there, though.

The Salt shawl

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I’m pretty happy with the shawl, but the husbeast moans that it’s not symmetrical. He’s very particular about these things, y’know. But, it’s a pretty shawl none the less, if ever so slightly itchy. And I enjoyed knitting it. I’m calling it a success even if the husbeast doesn’t agree (and even if it’s destined to become a blanket for the dog 😂)

And that’s your lot, lovely people!

All in all, it’s been a pretty successful three months if I’m honest. I’ve done these reviews before where about 80% of the things I’ve made haven’t been right for whatever reason, so to have that many successes is definitely an improvement 🙌🏻 Perhaps it’s because I’m sewing to fill needs, rather than wants? I’m not sure. I sat down this afternoon and pulled out a couple of the ‘summer’ fabrics in the stash, and some of the patterns I already have that could be good options, in the hope of getting something going. I realised, very quickly, that I have very few pattern options. I’ve (almost) totally written off skirts, and there are maybe only one or two dresses that I think *might* suit me. I have a gorgeous piece of tie-dye rayon which I want to make something summery with, but not quite sure what yet – my first thought would be a dress, but that’s dangerous territory with such a precious piece of fabric. Then I thought, it would be PERFECT for a loose fit pair of trousers – but I don’t quite think I have enough for that. I’ll set that fabric aside for a bit until I get a more solid plan. I did however cut out my pieces for the La Brea Tee by Half Moon Atelier – and a woven piece of cotton is currently drying from its pre-wash to be the first go at the pattern. I’m hoping there’s enough leftover from the fabric to also squeeze a Gemma Tank (from Made by Rae), which could be given Wardrobe Staple status if it turns out well.

Are you guys full steam ahead with your sewing, or are you also struggling to find your mojo in these mad times?

Stay safe guys, and keep well 💜

Peace out ✌🏻


On the blog next week – remember that pink leopard print fur that I bought in NYC a while back? Well, it’s now a coat 😱 And it’s Pretty Damn Awesome. Subscribe below to have the post drop straight into your inbox 🙌🏻

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21 thoughts on “Winners and Losers – Quarantine Edition

  1. Great round up Sarah. It is indeed strange times, my first thought was great I can stay at home all day & sew but soon realised that I lacked the focus for dressmaking plus my husband is also at home. He’s taken up gardening, so we will have some veg in a couple of months & I’m finding solace in sock knitting & have been doing a bit of Improv Quilting, which has been absorbing & has got the creative juices flowing again. I wrote a blogpost about sewing in these strange times & recommended your blogs to anyone who might read mine, (very few I fear), but also finding writing & reading quite useful too. Stay safe, hope the head cold shifts. x


    1. Thank you Sam 💜 The cold has just about gone now, though I think I’ve passed it to the husbeast and it even seems like every now and then it comes back to me… I think we are just cycling germs between us 🤦🏻‍♀️
      Your blog post was excellent – I really enjoyed it and there were some absolutely great ideas in there. It’s strange how this has affected our creativity – I think the effects of all this on mental health are far greater than anyone has anticipated. It’s really interesting to hear the things that sewists have turned to instead, it seems to be mostly smaller or more free-flowing things like sock knitting, cross stitch, or improv quilting like you mention. Things that can be done in small bursts, quick wins. I too have turned to reading, I don’t usually get the time but it’s great to pick up a book again!
      Hope you are keeping well 💜


  2. Great successes there! It’s good to hear you’re managing to adhere to the lockdown. Hope the cold goes away soon. We’ve had so many people in the house working & studying from home (6) there is no space for sewing, but much knitting & crochet is getting done, by my offspring mostly! They are also cooking & even gardening… anything to keep busy. My knitting projects are all in a state of incompletion and I wish I had more chunky yarn as sock wool just doesn’t knit up very quickly. Wishing you a productive week!
    Fiona in Aberdeen.


    1. Hi Fiona! Hope you’re keeping well all the way up North 💜
      Sounds like you’ve got a house full, but a very productive one! That’s fab that there’s a lot of knitting and crocheting going on, perhaps you could persuade someone else to knit the socks while you knit with the chunky yarn?! 🤔
      Gardening is something that gives me zero joy… though it has been really nice weather to be outside!
      I hope your crafts are coming along well ☺️


    1. Ah, yes I saw that you raised money for more material – that’s awesome! I hope all your masks have found good homes 💜


  3. I”m still working so no so different for me but husband is helping me with some projects like putting together a quilt that I started about 5 years ago. Discovered he is a really slow sewer


    1. Haha! A slow sewist is better than none at all… perhaps with more practice he will speed up 🤔
      Funnily enough I was thinking about starting my quilt that I bought, and getting the husband to help with cutting that out!
      Hope the quilt is going well 💜


  4. your fur coat is so much like one I wore back in the 60s ….I thought I was the bees knees in it .Along with my purple wool mini skirt and purple patent bag and shoes Happy days lol


    1. Ahhh Sheila the 60’s are my fave decade for fashions… even though I didn’t live through it. My mum was a teenager in the 60’s (born 1953), so that was her era – I feel like some of the love for it trickled down into me! I still listen to 60’s music 💜🎼


  5. Sara,
    I always love your posts! I really enjoyed seeing your quarterly recap. Your knitting items are quite divine! The golden knitted hat is my favorite.! I’m a sewist, not a knitter, so I admire your makes all the more!

    I’m currently making masks, attempting to learn how to crank things out in an assembly line fashion, which is totally foreign to me. I am a lovingly slow sewer, savoring each moment I caress the fabric into a creation, relishing the journey like sipping a fine wine. However, I’m learning to think assembly line methods while making masks for family and friends, and actually some complete strangers who are frightened cashiers still hard at work at Costco and local pharmacies and grocers. I made a dozen headbands with buttons for nurses, as wearing the masks all day is causing injury to their ears. ( Adding a button to a headband allows them to connect the ear loop up to the button instead.) I must say, going through my huge stash of fabric for such a need is an honor. For the first time ever in my life, my thread stash is growing perilously low.

    When all of this is over I want you to come back to the east side of the USA, not to the big city of NY, but head to the SE, to enjoy a leisurely visit the beautiful rolling mountains in north Georgia, and snuggle into a log cabin for the evenings, while you hit up the numerous wineries and yarn shops that are just amazing! Yes, you’ll have to drive (on the wrong side of the road, no less!) as it is the mountains, you know, and things are spread out among the hills and towns.
    But one day, it will be over. And one day, when the world’s working madness and mayhem returns, and you decide you NEED a slower pace again, plan a visit here. Our little log cabin awaits your arrival.



    1. Sara, your comment absolutely warmed my heart 💜 Thank you. We will visit your log cabin, for sure. It sounds divine… I could really use mountains, scenery and yarn shops. And a slower pace. Cities are great, but sometimes you need to retreat and recharge. A log cabin sounds perfect for that. I’ve never been to Georgia, but I searched images of it and it’s beautiful!
      I’m so glad to hear that you enjoy the blog, maybe the hats will inspire you to take up knitting?! 🧶 I tell you what, when I come to the log cabin I will teach you 😌
      It’s a total change of mindset sewing things in batches, isn’t it. I see some people run seams and overlocked edges together, bumping pieces through the machine as soon as the edge of the one before has been reached, so that you have one seam but many different pieces joined together one after the other along that seam, and you just go through and snip the connecting bits to separate them all. Wow, I hope that makes sense 😂 It saves the time of starting and finishing the seams. Not that I have any experience *at all* of batch sewing, but I thought it might help!
      I too love to take my time, and I enjoy a bit of handsewing too. I used to do cross stitch, so I’m very used to projects taking ages!
      That’s so great to hear that you’re supporting the locals – I bet your masks have been very well received. What an excellent idea about the button to ease the long-term wearing 💜
      I hope you’re remembering to look after yourself, as well 💕 Stay safe 😘


  6. Congrats, a solid round of making! I find a lot of stuff I make at the beginning of the year ends up being duds and giveaways – it’s like an annual learning curve – so I’m extra impressed at your first quarter success rate. 😀 I’m actually using this time-out-of-time to practice biking on the empty streets! Maybe when I have somewhere to commute to I could be a bike commuter, too!


    1. Thanks! Ooh, I haven’t actually analysed whether there’s a ‘success trend’ throughout the quarters of the year… but you can be sure I’m gonna do that now 😂🤓
      Isn’t it wonderful to cycle on empty streets?! I wish it was like that all the time 😆 I honestly recommend bike commuting so much… I love it. Even in the winter when it’s freezing cold, I’m still in my own free world rather than stuck on the train and subject to delays, cancellations etc… and I’m getting exercise at the same time! I would say it’s cheaper, but if you buy yourself a new bike or new gear it might offset the cost savings 😂
      What type of terrain do you have where you are? I have mostly city and urban streets, I have to go maybe 10-15 miles before I hit the fields and open spaces ☹️ Cycle safe! 🚴🏻‍♀️


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