The Challenge · Upcyling

Slipped Discs, Crochet, and finding my sewjo…

2016 hasn’t been overly kind to me so far. January brought a mighty chest infection, February served up a slipped disc, and I started March with shingles on my face. So sewing, BrawHem, and the blog have all taken a back seat while I recover. It’s only when you injure yourself that you realise how physical sewing actually is; lugging heavy vintage curtains about, ironing huge bedsheets, cutting out fabric, even just sitting upright at the machine.

Still, there has been some learning going on. A lovely friend of mine sent something in the post to cheer me up and keep me occupied – a couple of sets of crochet hooks and some yarn. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but with her advice and a few YouTube tutorials I was soon crocheting away, like my Grandma, under a tartan blanket. My days have followed a regular pattern since; crochet, stretch, drink tea, repeat. And remember how I said when I first started this blog I’d make an exception to the ‘no-buying’ rule when it came to needing knitwear, in particular socks? Well, it looks like I now have no excuse! Especially as I’m learning how to upcycle old jumpers into useable yarn.

Being unwell has led to a distinct loss of sewing mojo – or sewjo, if you will. All of that time away from the machine, the wonderful materials I have all tucked away in boxes, a sewing table piled with unopened post and whatever else I can’t find a place for…none of this is conducive to getting back into that creative mindset. So I’ve decided that before I get BrawHem back in full swing I’m going to concentrate on a few personal projects. I have an ever increasing ‘to-sew’ list that often gets ignored in favour of keeping the Etsy shop stocked up. Here are the things on my list for the next couple of months:

  •  Pajamas – I made some for my partner last year and I have a beautiful vintage duvet set ready and waiting to make myself a pair.


  • Dotty Angel Tunic for my partner – Last year I made a Dotty Angel dress for myself using various vintage bedsheets, and have promised to make the tunic version for Kirsty using a fabric off-cut and some pillowcases.
  • Sewing Machine Cover – I have absolutely no excuse for letting my machine gather dust when I could whip up one of these in no time, probably from an interesting tea-towel or pillowcase.
  • Yoga Leggings – Having injured my back so badly last month I realised it was time to get back to yoga. I only have one pair of comfy leggings though so I could do with another pair at least. I also have some gold spandex that arrived in a parcel of fabric and clothes from my Auntie, so expect that to make an appearance.
  • Repairs – I just darned the life back into a pair of jeans this morning. I always get that pesky thinning of fabric on the inner thigh and these had gone waaay too far. At least they’ll do for walking the pooches now.


  • Four Formal Dresses – Yes. Four. Kirsty graduates in June so there are two daytime dresses to make, and two evening dresses for the ball. I’m not exactly sure what Kirsty wants yet (neither is she), but I have an idea or two for mine – a vintage bedsheet and a massive pair of tartan curtains are lined up ready.
  • A Suit Jacket Bag – Kinda like this one (currently available on Etsy). I’m so fed up with my 10-year-old, falling apart, high-street, pleather bag. Time more something more ‘me’, and I have a lovely mustard check jacket that would be perfect.


I will of course keep the blog updated with all of my upcyling projects, and BrawHem should be back in full swing soon. I’ll just be making sure to allocate time to personal projects and not burn myself out.


Thanks for reading,





14 thoughts on “Slipped Discs, Crochet, and finding my sewjo…

  1. Crocheting’s addictive, isn’t it?! I started last September and I’ve turned my hook to many a project now! 🙂


      1. I’ve got a gaggle of nieces to make for and a friend’s wedding (making crocheted flower garlands) to keep me busy, and home furnishing stuff on top of that! 🙂


    1. So far I have the jumpers…that’s about as far as I’ve got!! I don’t have room for a large table so everything has to be done on the floor and I’m only just now able to bend enough (thank you yoga!) to get on the floor and unravel them. No idea what I’ll make from them yet, I’d planned a scarf/snood but we’ve had sun today and it’s made me all optimistic about the weather 🙂


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