Happy Birthday, Summer Sun Bear!

summer sun bear

Wow, I made it! A whole year since I started this blogging malarkey!

summer sun bearI started Summer Sun Bear initially as a form of escapism – some personal issues last spring meant that I really needed an outlet and a distraction. Sewing is a lot cheaper than a therapist after all! I’ve loved completing projects and writing posts, but I’ve also discovered an amazing community of creatives online – always kind and encouraging with helpful advice. Being a part of such a lovely community helped me feel less isolated and alone, so thank you to you, dear reader!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m really bad at finishing things. I have a tendency to get really excited about something and work on it obsessively for a little while and then get distracted by something newer and shinier and abandon it. I’m not proud of this – I try REALLY hard to finish stuff, but when I’ve lost the drive I just can’t keep it up. So I’m really proud that I’ve not only managed to finish so many sewing projects, but I’ve also managed to keep this blog going. I had a slump in the winter, which is my usual winter hibernation, but on the most part my posts have been getting better, my photos have been getting better and more of you have found my little sewing corner and come to say hello. If that’s not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is!

I’ve come a long way sewing-wise as well. I’ve tackled sleeves, collars, buttonholes, FBAs and many other pattern alterations. For most of my sewing career I had been sewing on a little Singer Featherweight, which I love, but it only does straight stitch and has a tendency to get birds nests, so the upgrade to my Pfaff last spring has opened many sewing doors.

To top the year off I thought I would pick five posts from the past year to share with you. I think they each represent an important step in my sewing journey and give you a taste of what I’m all about!

Spotty Mimi Blouse

mimi blouse

This blouse was a real achievement. I had never made a blouse or attached a collar, I don’t think I had even done any buttonholes with my buttonholer before (previous ones were shonkily hand stitched). I was also extremely lucky to have my mimi featured on Tilly’s blog, which was so flattering!

Circus Circle Skirt Pattern Tutorial

Circus Circle Skirt Pattern Tutorial

Glastonbury Circus Dress

This is the only pattern tutorial I’ve done so far (though I have others in mind for the future). This skirt is great for twirling in and I’d love to know if any of you have tried it out!

Red Roses Akita Blouse

akita blouse

This is the only Seamwork pattern I’ve made so far and it was super quick. I got a lot of amazing feedback on the photos for this blouse (thank you Ben!) – it was the first time I took any photos in public, which was totally cringe-worthy, but I’m getting better at controlling the embarrassment!

The Bodice Sloper Saga: Pattern Drafting

BodiceMuslin2.2

I drafted a bodice sloper! This was a massive step up in my sewing knowledge and the fitting knowledge I gained here has been shaping my sewing ever since (no pun intended, I wish I was that witty).

Coral Zig-Zag Moneta

moneta dress

This was a very early post and it shows – the photos are terrible! I may have tried to ‘warm’ the light by putting an orange Sainsbury’s bag over the flash… Errrr, yeah. Points for ingenuity maybe, but negative points for execution! However, this was the first time I had made anything from a knit fabric and I absolutely love it. I still wear this dress proudly. In fact, I really need to make another one of these. *hunts in stash hopefully for perfect fabric*.

So there we go, that’s been my year in sewing blog land. I’ve had a fantastic time doing it and I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about it. I look forward to having you along for the next part of the ride :)

I’m Being Sewciable!

img_0097

Hello everyone. A quick one here to tell you I’ve joined instagram! I’ve never been big on social media, but instagram seems like a fun way to share small snippets of my sewing without writing a fully fledged blog post, so I’m having a go 😊 I’m called summersunbear and I’ve also created a hashtag with the same name – there’s a link in the side menu  of you’d like to follow me –>

It would be lovely to see you on there. Here’s a taste of some of the pictures I’ve put up this week!

   
 

How Awesome is Autumn?

Cream Emperor Progress

My goodness, it has been a while since I posted something on here. My sewing machine went to sewing machine hospital for his buttonholer and I moved onto some other projects for a while, though I have a couple of projects under my belt to tell you about. All in good time!

Today I want to talk about autumn. I think autumn might be my favourite season. I love the cold, crisp mornings, the crunchy leaves, the golden colours, the warm cosy clothes, the fireworks, baked potatoes and warm nights in front of the fire with your family and friends. A few weeks ago I discovered the Danish word “hygge” (HOO-gah), which really encapsulates what I love about autumn – a feeling of cosiness, creating a warm atmosphere and spending quality time with loved ones.

In the autumn I definitely like to bring this feeling to my wardrobe, with jumpers and scarves and layers and soft, cosy fabrics. One of my projects this autumn has been to knit a scarf. I haven’t mentioned knitting on this blog before because, frankly, I haven’t done any since I started it in March. My crafting is so seasonal and I never fancy knitting until the feeling of hygge takes over me. I also seem to be incredibly slow at it, hardly ever finishing a project larger than a mitten. A few years ago I started a coat, which is still a work in progress, but I thought a scarf might be more likely to get done in front of the tv every night without requiring too much effort. Anyway, this is not a success story yet, it’s taking me forever as always, but I thought I’d give you a sneaky peak 😉 I’m determined to finish this project!

 

Cream Emperor Progress

The pattern is the Red Emperor on Ravelry, which is both free and gorgeous! I decided to make it in cream wool because I always buy scarves in bright colours and find it hard to match them with my clothes, so I wanted something a bit more neutral. The wool is lovely Drops Big Merino, which is incredibly cheap compared to other brands, for some reason, and also seems to often be on sale at Wool Warehouse. The wool is Aran weight rather than the recommended fingering weight, but I don’t think it matters too much with a scarf, so I’m following the pattern to the letter anyway. I like scarves to be wide and shawl-like, so any increase in width from changing the yarn weight can only be in my favour.

I’ll leave you there for now, but just to give you a taster, there is an Arielle and a refashion in the works!