In January...

I'm not going to start this post by asking how the hell it is February already... oh wait, I just did! Seriously though?!

By the time you read this post I will most likely be knee deep in fabric and cardboard boxes getting them ready to post out next week, it's the most exciting yet tiring and nerve-wracking part of my job! But I love it... as I said, knee deep in fabric and pretties so what's not to love?!

I thought I would do a little round up of what I got up to in January, thanks to the lovely platform that is Instagram it's easy to look back over the month and pick out any highlights.

If you don't already follow me on Instagram then do pop over and say hi and follow me for daily pics.

So probably the biggest thing that I started this month was my Vlog over on YouTube. It took months of thinking about doing it before I actually did it on the first of January. I won't lie to you, it was really hard. I got everything set up, I had written down what I wanted to talk about and then I just sat there for about five minutes just trying to get started. I've never been a confident speaker, I still have flashbacks to when we had to stand up in front of class at school and speak.

It seems the hardest part was the very beginning, saying hello without sounding too over the top but still excited about being there. Andy reminded me that it can all be edited so I should just do it and then film the greeting at the end. I didn't actually have to do that as it turned out, but I think just the reminder that I can edit was enough to make me feel more confident about it.

So far I have filmed five vlogs and have managed to keep up with it being a weekly thing, so you can expect a new video every Sunday. Talking of... if you haven't seen my lasted video you can follow me as I sew The Buchanan Dressing Gown.


Also in January I treated myself to a lot of fabric. I don't often buy that much in one go, I try to keep my stash to a minimum and only buy when I have a particular project planned. But the January sales were too enticing and having received a couple of patterns for Christmas and after thinking about my Make Nine plans I went for it. I did also have a voucher to spend at Sew Over It so I was in fabric heaven! I went on a bit of a jersey binge, my first few makes of the year are going to be a Coco dress from Tilly and the Buttons and a couple of Molly tops from Sew Over It.

I also bought a viscose for the skirt that I am making in my weekly dressmaking class, but it wasn't until I started filming my fabric haul vlog that I realised it was a bit too see-through and floaty for a skirt. I could just see myself walking along feeling all glamorous and smug in my new handmade skirt when one gust of wind would bring me firmly back down to earth with a very red face!

Luckily, upon an impromptu stop at C&H fabrics in Winchester I spotted a particular fabric that has been incredibly popular amongst the sewing community. A green crepe with a white and black pattern that was featured in the Sew Over It vlog. It's an ex Stella McCartney print and was in the sale!! It was half price at just £4.50 a meter... seriously?! So yes, I grabbed a meter and a half of that and am feeling very impatient to get it finished. I've only got two more classes left so not long now. As for the viscose I think I'm going to make a silk cami out of it after signing up to the PDF Club I chose it as my free pattern.

Netflix and Sew was the theme for this months boxes, possibly my favourite yet. You can read more about the contents here. I loved getting these boxes together, especially after the slight stresses I had in December due to my fabric choice being way too thick to fit inside, these went together like a dream. I've already seen a couple of garments made from this box but I'm really excited to see what everyone makes out of the main fabric. So make sure you post pictures on my Facebook page or on Instagram with #sewhayleyjane makes.

I only managed to sew myself two things this month. I am quite a slow sewer, I find it really hard to sit down for a whole day and do a project in one go so I think two project is pretty good for me. Both of them were made using fabric in the last two SewHayleyJane Luxury boxes. The Fraser Sweatshirt is seriously snuggly and was great to help me in my New Years resolution to up the exercise as I wore it to go for a walk in freezing fog. Second was the Buchanan Dressing Gown which is my current favourite thing and is going to get so much wear over the warmer months as it's lightweight and very floaty.

Sewing the dressing gown also gave me the chance to finally get out my new overlocker that I was lucky to receive for Christmas. It took a few attempts to get it right as the loops were over-hanging the edge of the fabric, so I needed to reduce the cutting width... I think. Whatever it was I had to do it looks right now so I'm very pleased with it. The next challenge will be to use it to sew a jersey garment, but I think I'll probably use my regular machine as a way of basting it all together first, baby steps. Once I've used the overlocker more I'll write up a review for the blog, in case it's something you're looking into buying one day.

In terms of the business, touch wood, things are going very well at the moment. I'm totally overwhelmed by, and thankful to, my lovely customers. I've even been in a few magazines over the last few months which has been very exciting. If you haven't gotten hold of a copy of Love Sewing magazine I am currently running a competition in it to win a three month Classic Box subscription, so if you're not already signed up make sure you enter.

Finally I have also started sending out an email newsletter every other week so if you haven't signed up to that you can click on the link at the end of this blog post to keep up to date with all the goings-on, be the first to be notified of any new products, competitions and even receive some freebies that I am currently working on.

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