I'm IN!

A little bit about everyone who's signed up to take part in The 'Love What You Wear' Project!

Say *hello* and welcome to:

Name: Eleanor Thomas   aka  KnitNell

Location: Farnham Surrey

A bit about me: Recently 'retired/resting' and working towards arts & crafts for a livelihood.  Great lover of culture and locally grown food.

I’m IN because:  I think that making anything oneself is a good thing and it is easy in today's world to buy loads of items (not just clothes) that don't get loved enough.  I still like William Morris's quote 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.'

Sewing experience:  Have sewn and knitted since childhood - I am a product of a make do and mend family.  I now crochet.  

My first project is:  Hmmm not sure - does the crocheted poppy I made this week count?

Things I want to make/learn:  I would like to have a look at sewing with slightly different fabrics to make things such as protective clothing for when I am working at the food co-op.  Gardening gloves perhaps?

By the end of the project I want to:  ....  be sewing more clothes - I just need a lot of pushing to get me started, to keep going and to finish....!  I think it is a matter of getting into a habit.

The song that gets me moving is:  Ooh most songs by Slade - and that reminds me - I wouldn't mind making a pair of 70's flares some time!

Blog:  www.knitnell.com  yep I hope to be showing my items with pride ...


Name: Fiona Cullen

Location: North Dorset

A bit about me: I am a forty something stay at home mother of two teens (how did that happen?!) one of whom has Asperger's Syndrome. They certainly keep me on my toes and make life interesting, if challenging at times. 

I have recently started teaching paper craft classes at my local Arts Centre. I'm an avid crafter, soup maker, baker, photographer, reader and film watcher, when I get the chance. I also love the sea and still miss it 16 years after moving from the Devon coast. Hence the name of my blog.

I’m IN because: I love clothes, but never seem to find exactly what I'm looking for in the shops and when I do, it's usually beyond my budget! 

Sewing experience: I'm entirely self taught and I've made quite a few items of clothing for myself over the years.

My first project is: An A line skirt.

Things I want to make/learn: A skirt, a Washi dress, PJ bottoms and quite a few other things.

By the end of the project I want to: Be able to make a good fitting garment and only have things in my wardrobe that really suit me.

The song that gets me moving is: Put the Message in the Box by World Party among many others!

Blog: http://fiona-staringatthesea.blogspot.co.uk/


Name: Ginny Farquhar

Location: Hampshire

A bit about me: I love all things creative and am lucky to work as sewing and arts tutor supporting others on their creative journeys. I have two daughters and one husband. We grow food to eat, make do and mend and my secret ambition has always been to be Barbara from the Good Life. I also like to call my husband Tom. We have two black cats (no pigs yet!)

I’m IN because: I enjoy being resourceful and want to live as sustainable as possible.  I also love a challenge! I am excited about sharing ideas within a like minded community and am hoping to use and improve old skills and learn some new ones.

Sewing experience: I have sewn all my life and studied costume at college. I worked as a costume maker for theatre and dance for many years before having my family. I am actually more confident sewing garments for others than myself, so a large part of this project for me is about identifying what I like and what suits me

My first project is: I would initially like to make myself some long sleeve t- shirts.

Things I want to make/learn: I would like to make some accessories (jewellery and scarves) to jazz up old outfits and upcycle and refashion some tired garments.
I also would like to make a wrap dress and maybe a dressing gown.
Improving my knitting skills and experimenting with natural dyeing would be good too.

By the end of the project I want to: have discovered what clothes I actually need and what suits me... and have a few lovely new items of clothing to wear!
The song that gets me moving is: My Moon my Man by Feist

I blog at www.sweetmyrtle.typepad.com


Name: Hilary Causer

Location: Leominster, Herefordshire

A bit about me: I work part time for a Children's Charity ~ I am in the process of setting up a small business 'lemon loves ...' selling handsewn goods ~ I love to walk, be in the countryside, or by the sea and capture the beauty with my camera ~ I am married and we live with Tillie the cat who is 18 ~ I enjoy music, British films & comedy, sitting in the garden, eating with friends and online connections ~ I am slowly adjusting to the idea of being 45 ~ I love the whole mid-century/retro/vintage vibe that is prevalent at the moment ~ I try to notice the good stuff in life, to see the beauty and to appreciate that there are blessings in everything.

I’m IN because: I have no money!! My work hours have been greatly reduced over the past two years - I love my job and my organisation and want to ride out the 'spending cut' storm so that I can stay with them to welcome the brighter times ahead. I had already accepted that one of the changes I need to make is to stop spending on clothes - but I love clothes - so this is the perfect way to turn this into a positive! I have for years tried to buy ethically sourced clothes - which means fewer but more expensive items - but now they are out of my economic reach. And I can learn new sewing skills ~ and continue to source ethically. 

Sewing experience: I have been using my sewing machine weekly for the past 18 months, but mainly for cushions/bags/quilts etc which I make from a mixture of vintage, reclaimed and new fabrics ... I made a few shabby attempts at re-working clothes in my teen years ... I can hem and take in a seam, but zips, button holes and collars are all unknown to me!

My first project is: I need an outfit for the 'Christmas do' at work ... eek!

Things I want to make/learn: I have a wedding to go to in April - I am already worried that I will cave in and sneak into Monsoon when no-one is looking!! No! I can do this ... I want to make an outfit for a wedding; some summer skirts and tops; and maybe even attempt some trousers for next Autumn!

By the end of the project I want to: Be free of the sense of loss I am currently feeling at not being able to afford new clothes.

The song that gets me moving is: Blame it on the Boogie by the Jackson 5 ... or Florence singing You Got the Love!


Name: Jaimie MacDonald

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

A bit about me: Helping others see and think about things differently....so my beloved mix of tricks include creating and selling jewellery from reused/upcycled materials, and helping people shine through life coaching and running educationy things, such as creative reuse with kids and other educators. I love baking, dancing around the flat, sushi, travelling and walking in the hills.

I’m IN because: I've been talking about making my own clothes for aggggeeees and this was the perfect chance to have support and inspiration from others like me. I've had my new sewing machine for around 3 years and have never learnt to use it...it's about time! I love buying second hand and going to clothes swaps but it would be great to make those items even more ME!

Sewing experience: not very much other than straight lines! have made cushion covers and small craft things in the past, and i also started a waistcoat once but never got past cutting out the fabric...maybe i'll dig it out.

My first project is: refashion a big baggy hoodie cardi and make some slippers from an old wooly jumper. :)

Things I want to make/learn: skirts- pencil, a-line and maxi, cosy things- slippers, a hat,long gloves, a maxi-dress or 2, tops, pj's, simple but stylish trousers, knee length dress- simple clean, applique, how do a range of  hand stiches neatly!

By the end of the project I want to: 
-have a habit of revamping my clothes and confidence in making from scratch,
-know how to use my sewing machine properly, and no longer need to swear at it!
-have shared my new found skills with friends

The song that gets me moving is: Get a move on by Mr Scruff or The Happy song by The Aliens

Blog: my blog is http://theinsp.blogspot.co.uk/ I may post here about 'love what you wear' but more likely will do the occasional guest post on this site.


Name: Jen Gale

Location: Warminster, Wilts

A bit about meMummy to 2 gorgeous boys, wife to one lovely hubby, part-time vet, 

I’m IN because: I started My Make Do and Mend Year on the 1st September 2012, buying nothing new (not just clothes!) for a year, so I'm kind of doing it anyway, and it looks like fun! It will be great to meet some like-minded people, and we can support each other and hopefully inspire others as we go!

Sewing experience: Learned to sew 4 years ago having never touched a sewing machine in my life! Have made a skirt, trousers and a dress, but all under close supervision from a sewing teacher. Still a bit scared of patterns! Not that great at straight lines...

My first project is: Pants for the Smalls?

Things I want to make/learn: Have been wanting to learn to crochet for ages, and starting on a course this week, so watch this space!

By the end of the project I want to:
  • Have made some things that won't fall apart
  • Have crocheted a cardi-is that a bit ambitious?
  • Have learnt some mending tips
The song that gets me moving is: hmmm, Mr Blue Sky, ELO


Name: Joelle Harris

Location: Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.

A bit about me: I run a small business, Jewellery Making and Textile Workshops.  I love to get out walking in the countryside and love the sea too. 

I’m IN because: I’ve been trying to do this for a while and being part of a group will be fun!

Sewing experience: I have been sewing all my life, now I teach other people too, and love altering jackets from Charity shops :0)

My first project is: a cosy purple jacket, it’s too big for me, I’m going to take it apart…

Things I want to make/learn: a cardigan/jacket upcycled from a jumper, and add a crochet back (I saw one by Odd Molly)

By the end of the project I want: My wardrobe to have very few items, all of which work well together.
The song that gets me moving is: Sweet Caroline


Name: Karen Nolan (aka Mizz Winkens)

Location: Wexford, Ireland

A bit about me: illustrator/ designer with a green conscience and a yen for all things crafty and creative. Share life and studio with architect hubby

I’m IN because: I love creating, recycling, upcycling and a challenge!

Sewing experience: Well, when I was (much) younger I made some of my own clothes- usually from curtains or upholstery material and was forever "frankenstein-ing" various items from secondhand shops. Being in art college made it easier to carry off...... Now....I'm hoping I won't look like something the cat dragged in!

My first project is: to alter an oversized top that I bought about 15 years ago but kept because I love the material.

Things I want to make/learn: I'd love to learn all the proper techniques for altering and tailoring clothes so when I wear them I don't look like something the cat dragged in..... I'd also like to dabble in felting, applique and fabric printing.

By the end of the project I want to: have a number of stunning, unique items in my wardrobe that I made all by myself! 

The song that gets me moving is: Cattle and Cane by the Go-Betweens

Blog: I will definitely be featuring a few of my projects on my blog www.greenjamjar.com - doodles and tips for a greener life


Name: Katy-Marie Mottershead but you can call me Katy.

Location: Bristol

A bit about me: By day I’m an Office Manager for an Independent retailer in Bristol and studying for a diploma in HR management – which finishes this December – phew! I have many hobbies and an insatiable hunger to learn new things. I've always loved making things and as I've got older I've realised the importance of being creative at every given opportunity. I particularly love sewing, interior design, cooking, vegetable gardening, rubber stamping and making cards. I have an (almost) unhealthy obsession with buttons and vintage fabric – especially French.

I’m IN because: I think it’s a brilliant idea for so many reasons. On a personal level, I've wanted to do more sewing for a long time and practice my skills but always had the excuse I’m too busy and I can always go and buy what I need. Now, I will have to be more inventive and use what I have or source things and alter them and I think it’s a skill that needs to be kept alive. I really enjoy rummaging in charity shops and buy a lot of clothes second hand anyway but this will still be a challenge – and I love a challenge! Also, I love the fact that this is becoming a community of like-minded people and hopefully we’ll all support each other through the journey, learn new things together and make some new lovely friends. On a more ethical level, I think it’s important to challenge the throw-away fashion culture that we have, I've bought cheap clothes only to wash them a couple of times to find that they’re too bobbly and faded to wear. It’s such a waste of money and resources.

Sewing experience: I've done two 10 week sewing and garment construction courses a couple of years ago but I've not practiced much which I need to do!! I've never made any clothing on my own.

My first project isI've just bought a gorgeous winter jacket from a charity shop but it’s a bit too big and could do with being more fitted around the waist to be more flattering – so I’m going to take it in and make it even more gorgeous!

Things I want to make/learn: Alteration techniques, Apron – full size and half size with zip pockets, Skirt, Shirt, Tea dress, Party dress, Fabric printing techniques, How to knit properly, Knit a scarf and hat, Knit fingerless gloves, How to crochet Accessories for clothes like fabric flowers, Frilly knickers

By the end of the project I want to: Have cleared the pile of clothes that I’ve collected to alter
Made a skirt, shirt, tea dress, party dress,  Feel really confident in my sewing skills,  Knitted scarf, hat and fingerless gloves,  Made a bunch of new friends and have an beautifully unique feminine wardrobe
The song that gets me moving is: In your light by Gotye – totally feel good, turn it up loud and dance like no-one is watching.


Name: Rosalind Blight (please call me Roz)

Location: Cornwall

A bit about me: I'm 27, mum to 2 beautiful girls and wife to Steve  I am a nursery assistant and can safely say I am probably as crazy as all of the children. I am a bit of a competition addict, Oh and I seem to be quite lucky with clothes patterns, picked up a bag full in charity shop for a fiver, 42 various patterns in and also had a friend said to me the other day she had a couple of patterns for me if I want them, a couple being 19 patterns and didn't want anything for them!

I’m IN because: Its an amazing project and a good challenge. 

Sewing experience: I got my first sewing machine 14 months ago, having never even been able to thread a machine before. I am completely self taught and really enjoy the excitement of the end result. Also taught myself to knit when I was 6 months pregnant/

My first project is: I am in the process of making a retro style dress :D

Things I want to make/learn: I want to make all sorts of clothes for me and my girls be it making from scratch or upcylcing, especially want to upcycle a army style shirt into a dress for me :S I would also like to learn to make a variety of hair accessories and handbags etc

By the end of the project I want to: Realise how much I have saved and introduce a few friends into the world of making also

The song that gets me moving is: Queen - Don't stop me now


Name: Sarah Davy

Location: North Shields, Tyne & Wear

A bit about me: Married to my lovely hubby Andy, and getting to know our retired greyhound Ash, who is keeping us busy!! Mostly spend my time playing with buttons and writing scripts for theatre.

I’m IN because: I recently started selling my button jewellery at local markets and craft fairs, and am slowly but surely on the path (winding!) to self-employment. I use second-hand and upcycled materials in my work, and all over my home! My sewing machine is gathering dust, so this project will be an opportunity not only to save money, but to improve my skills and try new things!

Sewing experience: Not vast, mainly cross stitch and basic home repairs, I have branched out and used lots of settings on my sewing machine, with varying degrees of success!

My first project is: A knitted snood, starting easy!

Things I want to make/learn: I want to learn how to hem and finish items neatly, and would love to make a pretty dress for the summer! I might also try some knickers!

By the end of the project I want to: Never want to buy new clothes again!

The song that gets me moving is: Mr Brightside by The Killers


Name: Sarah Harper

Location: Clovelly, North Devon

A bit about me: I recently moved back to North Devon after living in London for years to open my own craft studio.  I love to grow my own, watch my chickens, check out my view, teach my daughter crafty things, create in my studio.  I have a real passion for teaching crafts and get a real kick out of seeing people learn to sew.  I adore all things vintage in particular sewing machines and have a collection of 35+ vintage machines which I sew on regularly.

I’m IN because:  I already shop in charity shops but really want to stretch myself with my dress making and learn more about revamping.

Sewing experience:  Sewing teacher for 4 years and sewing since childhood.

My first project is: Knickers!

Things I want to make/learn:  Underwear, socks, dresses

By the end of the project I want to: Have a 50’s style dress and underwear made entirely from recycled fabric

The song that gets me moving is: Any Cheesy 80’s pop


Name: Sharon Ansley

Location: Surbiton, Surrey

A bit about me: Married to My lovely husband Steve, we are owned by two half Siamese Cats Suky and Simba, 
I'm a retail Manager.

I’m IN because: I have far too many clothes being unworn in my wardrobe, some fit some don't, I also love buying preloved and occasional vintage clothes but I would like to improve my skills at altering and embellishing them. Joining this group looks like a fun way to air and share ideas and useful information and learn from each other.

Sewing experience: Have sewn on and off for several years, some clothes making, crafts  - but not always very well. I love patchwork & Quilting and still trying to finish a quilt i started a rather long time ago!

My first project is: Knitting a hat for when I'm at my allotment!

Things I want to make/learn: To learn to use my new sewing machine properly - My Christmas pressie from my husband this year :-) Take a course in clothes making/embellishing?

By the end of the project I want to: Make more clothes and adapt preloved clothes then buying new ones!

The song that gets me moving is: American Pie - Don Mclean.

Blog: Not yet - but will try soon (Once I learn how to set it up lol!)


Name: Stephanie Hardaway

Location: Roseville, California

A bit about me: I'm a stay at home mother of one and a DIY junkie.  I love crafting and pretending that I know what I'm doing in my garden.

I’m IN because: Recycling and upcycling are already a part of my daily life and I really want to teach my son to live ethically and sustainability.  There is so much waste and excess in the world and I'm hoping to minimize my family's contribution to it. 

Sewing experience: I'm a total beginner, but I love a challenge and I figure I won't get better if I don't try.

My first project is: My favorite pair of jeans ripped in an…um…rather unfortunate location and I'd like to mend them with some creative patchwork.

Things I want to make/learn: I want to improve both my crochet and sewing skills.  I'm hoping this project will force me to challenge myself.

By the end of the project I want to: have a wardrobe full of unique items and possibly open up an etsy shop.

The song that gets me moving is: Rumour Has It by Adele

Blog: http://loveandlocomotives.blogspot.com/


Name: Su Senior 

Location: Rotherham South Yorkshire

A bit about me: I am a 58 year old wife, mother and grandmother who recently graduated from uni with a respectable 2.1 in English Literature with Creative Writing. I now want to direct my time into writing, crafting and thrifting.

I’m in because: I believe passionately in up-cycling, re-cycling and re-styling.

Sewing experience: I have sewn and knitted for years but had little practice of late.

My first project is: to make pillowcase dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World

Things I want to make/learn: I would love to crochet but so far this skill has eluded me.

By the end of the project I want to: Have both saved and started to earn money from my experience.

The song that gets me moving is: Anything I can wiggle to
Blog: My Sew Much Hope Sew Little Time http://sesenior.wordpress.com

My Sew Much Hope Sew Little Time Facebook Page: 


Name: Vanessa Rutter

Location: Farnborough

A bit about me: Mum to Zack & Amber, Staff nurse at my local hospital. Lover of papercrafts, baking, and most things crafty ….

I’m IN because: I want to be able to sew my own basic clothes. Become more mindful about what I spend and be a bit more Eco friendly!!

Sewing experience: first used a sewing machine that I got for my birthday in March!! Small sewing projects, cushion covers, table runners, duvet covers etc…. (so a big leap!!!)

My first project is: undecided yet a few ideas on the go!!

Things I want to make/learn: A simple A line skirt, revamp a Jumper into a cardigan, a little girls Pinafore dress and many more …..

By the end of the project I want to: be able to read and understand a dress making pattern properly.
The song that gets me moving is: Dancing Queen
 Blog: www.nesscrafts.blogspot.com


one of my boys took this pic, not sure why 
it's so green, but think it's a symbolic :-)!
Name: Viv

Location: Norfolk

A bit about me: homeschooling mama to two boys, I enjoy learning new stuff :-)

I’m IN because: I started sewing in 2009 (having never so much as threaded a needle before) because I wanted to be able to make and mend things.  I got distracted by quilting & patchwork along the way, but now would like to go back to my sewing roots and start being a bit more "green" with my skills

Sewing experience: mostly patchwork/quilting/embroidery, but I have just sewn my first garment - a pair of pyjama bottoms for my youngest son :-)

My first project is: probably an A-line skirt

Things I want to make/learn: a skirt, a dress, a dressing gown

By the end of the project I want to: be more confident in my sewing skills & more self-reliant in my clothing habits
The song that gets me moving is: (this week!)Get Up Stand Up by Public Enemy


I've put together a few questions. Please try and keep your answers short and sweet!  

Email your answers to bagsofloveforbristol[at]gmail [.]com and do send me a pic of yourself too – if you’re happy to have that on the blog. ;-)


Location: e.g Bristol

A bit about me: (what you do, fav things – anything you want to tell us)

I’m IN because:

Sewing experience:

My first project is:

Things I want to make/learn:

By the end of the project I want to:

The song that gets me moving is:

Blog: (let me know your blog address so I can share it) and if you’ll be blogging about your progress!

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