I make no secret of the fact that I don’t buy into Christmas, so you could easily infer that I’m not a buyer or giver of presents. Quite the contrary, I love to both give and receive – just not at a pre-ordained time dictated by a marketer’s dream.
I’m a staunch advocate for treating yourself as you would have others do – if you don’t know how to make yourself happy, how do you expect someone else to. I buy myself flowers on a regular basis and cook a slap up meal for one without bemoaning the lack of company. But I also embrace avenues to share with like minded souls and the Internet affords opportunities a plenty. My adventures in stitch have had me dipping my toe into a whole world of social media I’d previously had no cause to explore – Instagram and Pinterest are my new playgrounds.
I’ve also re-discovered Etsy as a source of inspiration and a welcome alternative from high street trends. Inspired by these beauties I gifted myself from DangerousJane and RubyBijou, I got to thinking how Maude could be used to create handmade gifts for the niche market of #vintagedollface lovers. I knocked up this make up bag for my partner’s daughter and my mind is now awash with the possibilities – scarves, bags, card holders … any ideas most welcome.
Despite tentatively exploring Maude’s transferability, I remain firmly stuck in a Japanese dress loop and have just completed my current favourite – Box Dress D from Stylish Dress Book: Simple Smocks, Dresses and Tops. This pattern’s simplicity is its strength and whilst laid out it favours a tent, something miraculous happens when you try it on and the simple lines transform into a surprisingly flattering shift. It lends itself to a medium/heavy weight fabric and I opted for what is becoming my signature denim and a fitting backdrop for Maude. I cut on a medium and no adjustments were necessary as the shape fits my propensity for a loose fit.
So, Christmas is fast approaching and relieved of the burden of present shopping in bulk, I’m celebrating my birthday month as is my predeliction. Meeting up with friends one on one and eating my way through some of Sheffield’s finest – Maveli, The Grind, Marmadukes, The Street Food Chef – and still three weeks to go before I notch up another year of my forties. And there lies the rub – balancing my appetite for food with a handmade wardrobe based on static measurements. I can smell a New Year’s cliche a mile off – it’s time to dust off my running shoes.