Me Made Holiday- The Fabric Squirrel Q&A
Written by Jess Unsworth with Katie Done AKA The Fabric Squirrel
Katie AKA The Fabric Squirrel recently went on holiday to Majorca, and if like us you were enviously watching her Insta stories from home, you will have seen that she did an entirely ‘Me Made’ holiday.
Now, I don’t know about you but we are itching to know how she found the whole process. We imagine an even mix of incredibly stressful and exciting. We have decided the only way to get the answers we all want is by sitting her down and doing a Q&A, so here we are.
Your holiday looked FANTASTIC. Watching your Insta stories from our office in rainy Manchester was quite the contrast. How was the holiday?
Thanks! We had a fabulous time thank you. It was so nice to be on holiday again and take the boys on some adventures.
(Us watching Katie's Insta stories)
So an entirely ‘Me Made’ holiday, what made you want to do this?
I do a lot of sewing for other people, but I am not very good at making time for myself. I have a list of quilts that I need to make and blogs to write. Clothes for myself end up at the bottom of a very long list. Having a reason and a deadline is one of the only ways I can make time for myself, so a holiday was a great excuse.
Did you manage to make all of the outfits you wanted to make? And more importantly did you manage to wear all the ones you did make?
I didn’t make everything that I wanted to. There are still a few fabrics that I would have liked to have played with and it would have been nice to have made my husband a shirt. Although, saying that, I did wear everything I packed. I would have had to have a few costume changes and a few more kilos of luggage allowance to make anything else.
I would have also loved to have made myself a bag, although I had my Snoopy beach bag, I wanted to attempt a rucksack in a fun print. It remains on the to do list.
There were a couple of items that I didn’t take in the end. I made a couple of versions of McCalls M8104 in a William Morris print and some Craft Cotton denim chambray. I love them so much that I have been wearing them for months and they didn’t feel like holiday clothes anymore, if that makes any sense!
Here's Katie in her William Morris dress, stood next to her denim chambray dress!
What was your favourite outfit of the holiday?
It has to be my Soller outfit with the lemon skirt and black jersey top. I don’t usually wear skirts but the lemon fabric from Figo felt like it had to be a skirt. It needed to be paired with something plain so I used Craft Cotton plain black jersey to make a Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top. Although it was plain, I don’t think the outfit would have had the same impact without the top. The ruffled sleeves and gather at the front all help create the perfect silhouette. I was also particularly proud of the skirt because it was a self-drafted pattern. I already plan on making it again.
How long did you spend making sure everything was ready for the holiday?
I dread to think! I made my first holiday dress in February and I finished my last project three days before we flew on the 11th April. My last project wasn’t clothes. I wanted as many aspects of the holiday to be me made, or mummy made. So, I made Alfie a little carry case for his cars to play with in the room and on the plane. The idea of playing on the plane wasn’t as well thought out in reality. I ended up trying to find cars that had rolled under my seat.
We loved the matching Bethany Salt outfits you made for you and your boys! You served von Trapp chic in the best way possible. Is this something you have done before?
Yes, and hopefully it won’t be the last. I love matching with the boys and while they still like matching with me, or have no opinion, I am going to milk it! It is a good job I didn’t have girls really because I would be making matching outfits all the time.
I made matching outfits for us in Craft Cotton black and white cloud Jersey in 2020. I was really sad when Alfie grew out of this outfit. The Romper pattern is still on the blog.
When making clothes, what comes first, the fabric or the pattern?
Both. I subscribe to a sewing magazine where I get two patterns a month. I have the hugest box of patterns, some I want to make straight away and know just the fabric to use. Others just get filed away until I am looking for inspiration on what to make with a certain fabric.
When I first saw The Crafty Lass’s Wild Dreams collection, I knew I needed a pair of shorts in one of the prints. In this case the pattern and fabric decision was simultaneous. The shorts I have made before using Simplicity 1887. There are only so many ways you can make a pair of shorts so I tend to stick to this same pattern.
I own my fabric shop The Fabric Squirrel so, more often than not, the fabric comes first. I see it, I want it, I need to work out what to make with it.
Is a ‘Me Made’ holiday something you would recommend others to try?
Yes definitely although not necessarily to the same extent. It has taken me 15 years of sewing clothes for myself to be confident enough to wear everyday me made clothes. Although I used it as an excuse to make new things, I also made sure I took some old favourites too. Just one day of wearing me made clothes on holiday is enough to make you feel really proud of yourself.
Do you have any tips for anyone thinking of doing a ‘Me Made’ holiday?
Set yourself one project at a time, that way you won’t be disappointed if you don’t finish everything you wanted to. Not everything has to be a brand-new project, try upcycling some of your summer wardrobe to give it another lease of life. This is something I intend on doing more of this year. Most importantly, enjoy the process.
Final question. Would you do a ‘Me Made’ holiday again?
For sure! I did a me made holiday in 2019 but I kept it much simpler and I didn’t wear 100% me made. It will be easier for the next holiday because I will have lots of items I can take again and just add a few new treat outfits.
Alfie repping an adorable hat made from Craft Cotton Fabric.
Katie has written a blog over on her page about her experience of having an entirely me made holiday, click on the link below and give it a read!
Written by Jess Unsworth feat. Katie Done for The Craft Cotton Co 2022.