My first 10k race

On Sunday 4th November I set off on my very first 10K race along with approximately 11000 people. It was a fine day for running – not too warm and not too cold.

My main goal was to run the whole way. I didn’t want to walk. I ran all the way non-stop. My pace was slower due to the sheer numbers of people on the road.  I did a lot of fancy dodging and weaving to keep my pace up.

I was more than happy with my time. Bearing in mind that I sprained my ankle badly in July and wasn’t able to train for 8 weeks, I had adjusted my original goal of a sub 60min race to 75  mins.

I did it in 61 minutes and 35 seconds.

Oddly enough the most daunting thing was running with men. My run group is all women run group for which I am eternally grateful. When I did the triathlon I opted to start with the Leeds This Girl Can wave which meant I was surrounded by women for the most part. So this was a new experience for me.

I crossed the finish line to my twins cheering me on. Unfortunately, they only spotted me just as I crossed so my beloved managed this picture of my waving arm at the bottom of the picture:-).

Can you spot me?

I could hardly walk by the time I got home though. Road running is not quite my forte yet. All that pounding made my left knee upset. I only got back to normal on Thursday. Either I need new trainers or my technique needs work.

There was a great atmosphere. I will be going for it again.

Kids enjoying the free chocolates I got for them after the finish line. They now all want to do the race next year if it means you get free chocolate 🙂

 

 

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate that.

Peace and love,

Hila

Advertisements

MCBN November: Mens Smart Trousers Burda 6873

The thing I was most scared of sewing was smart work trousers for my husband. I have sewn him T shirts, jeans, hoodie tops, shorts, shirts, a coat; but trousers for work? That felt like out of my league. As the year has progressed I have been trying to push myself out of my comfort zones. I had to try it before the year was out. And here I am – feeling like I can finally call myself an advanced seamstress because not only have a made him trousers for work – they are the best fitting pair of trousers he has owned. Ever! Thats my November Minerva project. I am calling it my levelling up project (any World of Warcraft players here?) :-).

Here is the link that will take you to the post on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

A Q&A with Diane of Dream.Cut.Sew.com

I am thrilled to have Diane on the blog to talk about starting a blog, BurdaStyle advice, favourite quote and so much more. I have been following Diane on her blog DreamCutSew.com and Instagram for over a year and it’s easy to fall in love with her blog – she is a woman who radiates ease in her being and fabulous style. I had the pleasure of meeting her in real life at The STitchRoom Sewcial earlier this year. What struck me the most about Diane is how she exudes an inner radiance that makes the world shine just that little bit brighter. So I reached out and asked her if she’d like to do a Q&A guest blog post and here we are. Grab a cuppa and settle in.

You will love this guys. Enjoy! Enjoy!

What was your lightbulb moment for starting your blog Dream Cut Sew?

Hmm, I wouldn’t say it was a lightbulb moment as such, but I had been on Instagram for just over a year in Sept ‘16 and whilst on holiday in Greece, I started to get a thought that I couldn’t get rid of. At the back of my mind I kept thinking…why not start a blog?… I think I have a point of view that I could share…

At the time I hadn’t a clue how to do it and wasn’t a bit technical. A lot of Googling of how to start a blog ensued! I started my blog in January 2017

What has been your proudest moment so far on this journey?

Well, I was thrilled to be chosen to be one of the BurdaStyle Influencer team, so I guess that would be it. But also learning a whole load of technical behind-the-scenes blogging stuff that I didn’t know I was capable of doing.

You recently became a BurdaStyle Influencer, can you advise anyone who wants to sew with Burdastyle?

Always add seam allowances! And read all of the instructions through thoroughly before you even start. And then read again as you sew. I would suggest sewing one of the simpler silhouettes up as a starter project and get a feel for how things are described by Burda within instructions. Oh, and if you don’t want to trace from a magazine all of the patterns can be downloaded as PDF’s on The BurdaStyle.com website.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to anyone wanting to start a blog?

Well, this could vary depending on what you’re aiming to achieve. If you’re happy with just starting on a free blogging platform then you couldn’t go wrong with using Blogger or WordPress free sites. However, I wanted full control and my own domain name right from the start. I would say find a good hosting platform and be self-hosted as you have total control over your website. I would also suggest taking time choosing your blog name as it could be a right faff to change it down the line.  Also, take time to connect with comments that people leave on your blog.

How do you balance sewing with your life pursuits?

Hah! Sewing IS my life! I’m not very good at balance and get into ruts easily.

How do you switch off and relax?

I really struggle with switching off or relaxing, but I guess I like to go for a walk, or out to dinner, or maybe watch a good movie.

What does the future hold for Dream Cut Sew?

Ooh, well I want to keep sharing my love of unique designs and my sewing projects. I would also like to build my readership maybe to work with more brands.

What are your other interests/hobbies?

Photography is something that interests me a lot and since earlier this year I’ve been getting to grips with using Lightroom and shooting RAW photos.

I’m also really interested in Fashion and style generally, which goes hand in hand with my sewing.

I also dabble in a bit of gardening occasionally (I’m a bit of a fair-weather gardener though!)

What is your most used swear word when sewing?

I’m not one that swears that much but if I  accidentally chopped a hole in something when I’m sewing then I’m likely to shout  ‘shit’ or’ bugger’ 🙂 I have a strong dislike of  the ‘F’ word so I never use it

Dogs or Cats?……….

Easy to answer this one. It’s cats! I have a gorgeous dark tabby and white cat called Bilbo and we have cat conversations. I even know the word he uses for food 🙂 It sounds like “nang”

Scary movie or happy endings?

This one is a bit tricky because I do like both, but I tend to watch an awful lot of sci-fi and thrillers. I love ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Walking Dead’ for instance, but I adore the film ‘Meet Joe Black’

Can you share your favourite quote with us?

This one is easy. It’s a quote by Coco Chanel

 “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”

Thank you Diane, for sharing your answers. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better.

Meanwhile, you can check out Diane’s blog DreamCutSew and her Instagram @Dream.Cut.Sew for fabulous inspiration.

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

SWAP2017 Pt 6: By Hand London Anna Dress in Frida Kahlo

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>.

This is the fifth garment that I made for the SWAP2017 capsule – an endeavour which started in 2016! I did finish this in time for the April 2017 deadline but for some reason its taken its time to get to the blog.

The capsule plan was to have one statement-y dress.

My SWAP2017 “Vision Board”

There was a limit on how many patterns you could use – the max was 8 patterns for 11 garments. I used the Anna dress because it could be easily modified.

The trick was to find a fabric that I loved but that could go with all the other pieces. After much searching, I eventually landed on the Frida y Catarina fabric in a blue background on EBay. To say I fell for this fabric is an understatement. I freaking love this fabric and consequently the dress.

I have made the Anna dress three times before. I have not made it using a medium weight quilting cotton like this Alexander Henry fabric. Ruth’s Core Couture tutorial was a godsend. She shows with well-detailed instruction and rationale how to prevent neckline gaping that can be an issue with wide V necklines. You can check out the tutorial here – a must-read for anyone who has ever been exasperated with a neckline that won’t lay flat.

Stay tape in the neckline of the BHL Anna Dress

The results more than speak for themselves. I have since used that same approach on many more projects with great results.

 

When we went to the US last year for my FIL’s 70th birthday celebrations I took it along. Its one of what I like to call “The Magnificent 3” dresses. Whenever I wear any of those 3, I get a lot of compliments. I will probably write up a post about them and why I think they get so many compliments – advance spoiler – it is not about the dress per se. Anyway, I digress pictures.

BHL Anna Dress on location in Central Park, New York – hence the walking sandals 🙂
BHL Anna Dress

The fabric is a border print and I was not keen to cut into the print. I cut the bodice on the cross grain so that the Frida print was only at the hem. The skirt pieces are rectangles with darts added. The darts matched up with the bodice darts. That created the A line shape of the skirt. I contemplated adding pockets but decided that the design lines were more important. My problem is that I do actually use my pockets heavily and there are some styles that look and feel odd to me when the pocket is in use.

The hem is exactly at the selvedge edge. I wanted the maximum length I could get. It used 3 meters of fabric with very little scraps. The benefit of quilting cottons like the Alexander Henry ones is that they do wash and keep the colours well. I imagine that in time, with more washes, the fabric will get softer. The thought brings a smile to my face as I hope to be wearing this dress for decades.

Picture was taken in May this year – with my frohawk and post SticthRoom Sewcial so my eyebrows were neat 🙂
I love the vibrant orange flowers on the fabric.  BHL Anna Dress
Power pose….LIKE A BOSS!!! BHL Anna Dress
BHL Anna Dress

Last week on Saturday I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit in London – I believe that’s what prompted me to finally write about this dress on the blog. I am still processing my thoughts on the experience and will be writing a post about it soon.

Back to the SWAP2017 – I still have more of the garments to write about and those posts should be ready…..soonish :-).

In the meantime, I do have a video on my YouTube channel if you’d like to see this dress in motion.

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

Kids Sewing – Ottobre Kids Design Magazine

Rocking bunnies! I loved this sweatshirt jersey the moment I laid eyes on it in B&M Fabrics, Leeds Market.

Obviously, it was going to be an Ottobre design make. If are familiar with the magazine, you’ll know that they use really quirky print fabrics and this fit the bill.

The pattern is a simple hooded vest top from the Summer 2015 issue.  I bought a half meter at £14/m which was enough for this top.

Ottobre 3/2015 #20 Sleeveless Hooded Top

It’s a unisex design that has quickly passed from my son in the picture to his younger sister (the perils of sewing for kids is that they grow so fast!)

Unfortunately, the sweater fabric doesn’t have a lot of stretch hence its short residence with the original owner. For fabric like this next time, I will make an oversized jumper like this one here which is still being worn by said son even though it was made in December 2016.

Ottobre 3/2015 
Those cheeky bunnies!

Ottobre Kids Design 3/2015 Hooded Top
Even tried coverstitching the hem.

The cover for your head known as a hood or hoody lining is a cotton jersey that had fortuitously been hanging around waiting for a project. Glad to see it used up!

A quick easy project that gets my thumbs up. Could be easily turned into a dress by simply lengthening it. Ottobre Kids design sizes are always spot on and the instructions excellent. It is my first port of call when I am making sewing plans for the kids.

Thanks for stopping by this little corner of the interwebs.

Until next time – Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Cheering each other on and magnifying strentghs

A post I wrote on the 2nd of Jan this year….

2 Jan 2018

Today I had my swimming lesson. Something profound happened to me and I want to share.

After 3 weeks break from swimming lessons and the Christmas holidays wherein we had family stay with us, who were keen to jump in and help with chores, it meant I was not as active as usual. First off, stepping into the pool was hard as it felt very cold to my skin used to being under at least 3 layers. It took me 3 times as long to warm up from moving about in the water. Then when I set off for my front crawl (which I have been learning) I was quite cheeses off to realise that I had only made it half-length through and yet I was gulping like a fish out of water.

Needless to say, the whole lesson followed the same trend – much as I tried I just didn’t have the stamina to swim a full lap – 3/4 was the longest I managed. Towards the end of the lesson I was bobbing about in the water at the shallow end when my fellow classmate came up from her lap she had just finished (she is more advanced than me, she could already swim but is taking lessons to improve her stroke and stamina). We chatted about the lesson, making fun of the teachers’ insistence that our toes should be breaking water when all we are trying to do is make sure we just have enough breath. I got round to expressing my frustration at not being able to swim a lap in one go when 3 weeks ago I was doing laps for the whole lesson.

She then asked me to swim with her one last lap before we finish (there was about 5 minutes left by then) I wasn’t keen but she gently cajoled me and I relented and we set off. She has a very graceful way of swimming – and I tried to emulate her. As I was thinking about how nice it was to be swimming with someone else in sync (I could just see her on the peripheral of my vision) My hand touched the end of the pool. I had made it.

I had swum one lap in a go. It was embarrassing when I splashed water on her as I slapped the surface in a victory jig (I dance when I feel good – even in water). I couldn’t stop thanking her and she graciously insisted it was me.

But I am certain it wasn’t just me – I had spent 50 mins trying to do it but I couldn’t. Yet by having a pacemaker I did it the first time.

It made me think of sewing challenges and any challenge really – whether it is yoga, running or dieting – when in a group it is more likely to be reached. Its not competitive either – for me when I was swimming alongside her – I wasn’t thinking about being faster or better than her – though I can’t remember exactly what I was thinking a strong part was that I wasn’t focusing on what I wasn’t capable of but on that she could do it and she believed I could do it too.

I also had a nice feeling of not wanting to let her belief in me down. When I finished the lap – it became a self-evident truth to me that I can swim the lap. So I turned and swam another lap following behind her this time.

So my thinking is that when you join a group embarking on a similar goal to yours then its a case of the sum of the individual parts is great together and you get better. Anyway, this felt like an epiphany for me.

 

Randoms: Coping with depression

Random writing led me to think about all the little cumulative things I do to manage my mental health.

Here are things I do daily as part of my routine:

Night time

I do some form of exercise every single day. I finally joined the gym in June and am developing a habit. Monday, Wednesday and Friday is resistance training. Tuesday and Thursday is running. Saturday is yoga. Sunday is supposed to be a rest day but I find I need to do something so I end up doing a short 15min HIIT session.

I read a lot of self-help books. Recently read Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***k” and it has given me ideas of new ways of looking at things that have been life-affirming.

I now make the effort to maintain friendships.

I am constantly relearning the importance of communication.

Being open with my family about mental health.

By far the most significant thing was acceptance. Accepting that this is something I have that likely won’t be cured but can be managed.

All these little things and routines have helped towards maintaining a healthy mind even during trying times.