Thursday, 17 May 2018

Me Made May 18 days 9-16

This is the week where inevitably the standard of my photos start to slip!  Also as I was on holiday, doing some hiking, the limited glamour becomes even more limited!  On that upbeat note!  What have I worn this week?

Day 9: hacked lady skater maxi dress.  This was a fairly early make after I got into making my own clothes and there are so many flaws but yet it gets pulled out on a regular basis every summer, I love it!  It also never achieved it's own post, poor dress but just got entered into my round up of hacks to be made with the lady skater dress pattern.  The very unglamourous backdrop to this photo was Malaga airport because I was off on holiday!!!! Yay!!! 
Day 10:  We went hiking in the AndalucĂ­an mountains and I wore my Megan Neilsen flint shorts and the first true bias Sutton blouse that I made.  I made this a bit big so it's a bit oversized for my tastes normally but sometimes its good to have a t-shirt like this to pull out.  I really need to make some more Sutton blouses as I had another couple that I made in some lovely viscose but they frayed all the way through the French seams and are now unwearable-boo!

Day 11: All set for another days hiking in my very jazzy ultimate trousers and my mustard SoZo Dolores top.   At least they couldn't lose me up in the mountains.
Day 12: I wore the same as yesterday for the hiking part of the day and then had a much needed shower and change into a new Nettie dress for a night in Malaga.  This is my latest Sew crafty project so I will do a proper blog post about it soon. 
Day 13: I somehow managed to come down with a stinking cold, maybe it was all the exercise!  I wore my lady skater maxi again to wander around in the sun feeling sorry for myself.
Day 14: I wore my Sallie jumpsuit to brace the flight home with a cold!  It was so miserable to leave the sunshine and beach behind!
Day 15

I made it this far before forgetting to take a photo!  However, it was my first day back at work and I was ill so I think the rush to get into pyjamas at the end of the day (also me made) was understandable. I was wearing my ultimate trousers and an ultimate shift top. I’m not convinced by this top but since I was so miserable and full of the cold, I’m not sure that this is a fair judgement.

Day 16: Slipping standards!  I forgot until bedtime to take this photo so this was my best attempt with my selfie stick.  I was wearing a pair of flint trousers (I made these in an unidentified fabric from my stash which I'm not sure was meant for garments and I'm really concerned that they are not going to hold out all that much longer!), my liberty Mathilde and a new coppelia top (also a Sew Crafty project so see future blog post). 

What's lovely is I haven't struggled at all this May to find things that I've made that I wanted to wear and were appropriate for the occasion. This is really allowing me to consider style and shape preferences a lot more. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Me made may 2018, days 1-8

I realised over the last few months that my me made May posts are the posts that I refer to the most on my blog. I think as I post fewer of my makes, it’s nice to have some document of what I’ve made and how I wear them. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll have seen the photos but even in the first week I’ve had lots of thoughts about my wardrobe that I don’t have the space to air on instagram.

Day 1

Starting with my love for Sew Over It patterns and a very arty picture courtesy of my sister, I wore my ultimate trousers and new (as yet unblogged, I really will get round to this) Clara blouse.  I wear these trousers a lot and each time I have recently I've been struck by how scruffy they're getting and think it's time for an upgrade.  When I was looking for the link I realised that this is because I made them 3 years ago!

Day 2

This is one of my favourite combos.  My newest Megan Neilsen Flint culottes with a Sew Over It Alex shirt, both made back in January or February.  I have three or four versions of both of these patterns now but I think only one has made it to the blog.  This is why I love the documentation of my Me Made May photos

Day 3

My Sozo Dolores dress.  This is a great pattern and I have a few tops and dresses made from it.  While I never think the dress is actually my style, I end up wearing this one all the time!

Day 4

London had suddenly become very sunny and I cracked out the tester version of my Mayberry dress to start off the bank holiday.  I want to make another version of this as shirt dresses are basically my work wardrobe!

Day 5
Another pair of Megan Neilsen flints and a recently made New Look 6217 top in a liberty lawn to do some DIY and hang out with friends in Greenwich.
Day 6

One of my Sew over it vintage shirt dresses in an African wax print for exploring London in the sunshine.  I love this dress but something happened with the hem line and its a lot shorter than my other versions so not really work appropriate, I'd like to make another in a wax print for work.
Day 7

More London exploring (we had visitors staying) in my flint shorts (get ready to see a lot of these as they're the only shorts I own and the weather in London has been incredible and I'm off on holiday on Wednesday!), plantain t-shirt and pants made from the plantain scraps.  I'm very excited by my first forays into knicker making and geekily happy when I can match them to my outwear like I did today!
Day 8
I wore my psychedelic 70s dress. I love this fabric but I was too fidgety in the dress all day, it made me feel uncomfortable as it pulled across the hips and stomach when I sat down. This has always been an issue but now I have decided that this is one for the refashioning pile (got to reuse that great fabric). 

I also decided to make a start on my coordinating wardrobe and pulled out all my summer separates and worked out what went together and what needs a match. All in all a pretty good start to me-made-may. 

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Me Made May 2018

Hi Guys, this post is all about my Me-Made-May pledge, apologies if you’re here for the photos of my makes as todays post is pretty word heavy!  I love Me-Made-May, it is one of the few challenges in the sewing world that really makes me stop and consider my wardrobe and connect sewing with some of my other values.  I've participated in Me Made May for the last few years and generally my aim is the same, to identify gaps in my wardrobe and think about what I'm making.  However, while this still holds this May, I want to be a bit more mindful about it this year.  The last few years have been pretty hard for me and while I’ve participated in Me-Made-May, my reflection on the experience was limited and that translated into a lack of change in the way I was sewing. 

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my personal style and the way I want to dress.  I think I have a good sense of what I like to wear and what looks good but I don’t always (ever!) consider whether separate items that I’m making will go with other items that I have in my wardrobe.  When I came back from Japan, I was living out of a suitcase for 6 weeks and actually getting dressed and wearing outfits that I liked everyday was really easy because I was selecting from a small curated pool.  However, I did get really bored of my outfits in this time which told me that although I want a coordinated wardrobe, I don’t want one that’s quite that small. 

There are also some conclusions that I’ve come to which feel a bit out of sync with the ‘maker’ idea of Me-Made-May.  There are certain things that I have never been able to create such as work appropriate knitwear and jackets (although this one is mainly laziness on my part).  So I want to take this May to consider my wardrobe and identify which gaps I want to fill myself and which I want to buy some select pieces for. 

As my stress levels were high over the last few years and my sewing time was limited, I attempted to compensate by buying fabric and patterns.  This means that my stash is now huge but also as my buying was so mindless, a lot of it does not work together or with what I want to sew!  I’m hoping that having some clearer ideas of my wardrobe can direct my usage of what I have and also buy more thoughtfully when I need to. 

I wear me made clothes most days anyway but I love the photo documentation of this challenge, I find it so helpful to have a record of what I wore and what worked.  I find myself referring to my Me-Made-May photos so much over the rest of the year.  Therefore part of my pledge is to try taking a decent photo every day, this is something I have never managed and some years have been worse than others!

This year my Me-Made-May pledge is to:

Mindfully wear me-made everyday and document what I am wearing.  By the end of the month I want to have an idea of what items I want to keep, what I want to get rid of and what I want to make or buy to fill any gaps.  I want to consider colours/patterns/styles that will work in these gaps and create a list of makes that will work as a coherent wardrobe. 


Monday, 16 April 2018

Transitional sewing

I’m back with my second blog post in as many weeks, I might almost be getting back into the swing of this making and blogging lark.  Today’s make is yet another Sew Over It pattern, my fan girl status hasn’t diminished in my months away from sewing.  This is the Alex shirt from the city breaks e-book, I’ve made this as both a dress and shirt before although the only sightings of them on the blog are in last years me-made-may photos.

The first time I made this, as a shirt, I made a size 14 and it swamped me and eventually I donated it to charity as I never felt comfortable wearing it.  The dress that I made in a size 12 gets worn a fair amount though. So having got the sizing nailed, I decided to make this version in a gorgeous cotton voile I bought from Sea Salt Cornwall.  I didn’t even know they did fabric until Marie from a stitching odyssey posted on Instagram about her purchases during their last big sale.   Thanks Marie, my stash is 15m up thanks to that piece of knowledge!

The fabric felt beautiful to work with and the pattern came together more easily than the previous viscose versions that I had made.  This feels like a real seasonal transition piece, both because of the item but also the fabric, the coloured leaves are quite autumnal but the colours are so bright it’s like spring (which is going to show up in these parts some time soon right?)  I started this shirt shortly after receiving the fabric back in January/February and got about two thirds of completed and then reached the button stage and realized that I had no idea which box my buttons were living in (I think the house will be in moving chaos forever).  However, luckily by the time I had unearthed my buttons and finished the shirt, it’s still seasonally appropriate which is not what usually happens with my UFOs!

 I’m spending a lot of time considering my style and wardrobe at the moment and I’m happy to say that this shirt and outfit feels like a ‘me’ look!  The only thing I’m pondering is if I maybe need to slim down the sleeves a little as they feel quite baggy at the top-maybe an alteration to put on the list for my Me-Made-May challenge (more on this coming soon). 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Getting my sewjo back

Hi anyone who is still reading these pages, its been a long time since I had anything to say here.  I’ve had a fairly insane 6 months or so, I finished my doctorate, went travelling (to Japan, I may blog about this later because I bought a lot of fabric), started a new job and moved house!!! It was all pretty intense and all my sewing stuff was in boxes for all of these months.  When I was away, this bothered me a lot less but when I got back I realised how much sewing had been part of my everyday life and there was a big hole there! It's felt so great these last few weeks to be able to do some actual sewing rather than just imagining I'm sewing which is all I've been doing for the last few months.  I found that really stressful as I was creating all these projects in my head and couldn't achieve any of them!

However, some stuff has come out of boxes and I have been able to put together some bits and pieces over the last month and I thought I’d relaunch my blogging with my latest Sewcrafty design team project.  When the lovely Sewcrafty ladies reached out at the beginning of the year to see if I still wanted to be part of the team this year, I obviously said yes, despite the fact that at this point my sewing machine was still in a box!  Clearly the practical part of my brain shuts down around any sewing related decisions-obviously this is what happens any time I see a new pattern or go fabric shopping as well!

Anyway as Sewcrafty had this gorgeous poly-viscose mustard crepe in stock I decided this was what I was going to use for my first project.  This is a bit of a departure from my usual fabric choice, I usually pick natural fibres and lean towards ALL THE PATTERNS.  However, I really liked the colour and I think my wardrobe would benefit from a few items in a solid colour.  I did not regret my fabric choice, this fabric was such a dream to work with, quite stable but lovely and spongy so stitches, even my awful hand stitches, just sunk in.
I used Butterick 5478 top pattern, from the 1970s, as my base because I had made it before and thought it would work well lengthened into a dress.  I also keep seeing dresses with big belt details around and have been wanting to make one for a while.  A lot of dresses in Japan were like this, I guess inspired by the Obis worn with Kimonos which were really beautiful.  I made mine by doubling the width and length of the pattern belt and I interfaced the whole thing as I wanted it to have quite a bit of body and dramatic folds. 

The construction of the dress was all fine except for the collar/neckline which I somehow managed to completely fluff, twice!  I think I may be a bit jinxed with this pattern as last time I made it (in a cotton and silk blend) I managed to melt it by getting bleach on it, literally seconds after I had finished making it! Anyway after I had failed to make a functional collar twice and had a series of major swearing sessions, I decided to make a change and make some bias binding to finish the neckline and create some tie closures.
In the end, I'm really pleased with this dress and I love the fact that I feel like I'm returning to sewing and blogging with such a 'me' dress.  Even if there are no patterns in sight, the 1970s style means I'm at least sticking true to form!  Also having worn this dress a few times, I don't find it's as sweaty as other poly fabrics so maybe there's just the right amount of viscose in there to allow it to breathe.  Perhaps I shouldn't be quite so prejudiced against all poly fabrics!  Actually Sew Crafty also have this fabric in a wine red as well and I'm quite tempted to get some of that too!
A big thanks to my lovely friend Dominika for taking the photos!  I'd forgotten how annoying I find getting blog photos and she was so good at ensuring she had taken some decent shots, in good lighting and that I didn't have my eyes shut in all of them!
Thanks for reading.

*The fabric was supplied to me free of charge by Sew Crafty, all opinions are my own.

Friday, 29 September 2017

And it's a wrap!

And with that incredibly unoriginal title, today I have a Sew Over It ultimate wrap dress to show you.  I was given this pattern, along with the vintage shirt dress for Christmas 2015 and I really don't know why it took me so long to get round to making it!
This is actually my second version of this dress. I made my first version back in May. Any of you who follow me on Instagram may have spotted it in my me-made-may photos. However I just didn't love this version, the neckline was too wide, leaving my bra straps on show and making it seriously boob-y. I also felt the fabric made me look a bit like Minnie Mouse! In my recent moving house clear out, it got donated to the charity shop. I always kind of hope that I'll spot someone in my local area wearing one of my me-mades that I've donated. Anyone had this experience? 

On my previous version I'd lengthened the bodice but on this one I brought the neckline in by about an inch and a half on each side and then gradually tapered it down to the waist. I also obviously added a lot of length as I've been dreaming of creating a wrap maxi dress all summer. 

I used a light weight cotton jersey from Girl Charlee. Although it's quite thin, it didn't do that irritating curling at the edges thing that some thin jerseys do. I also love this print. Construction was pretty straightforward. I used my overlocker for a lot of it and the rest on my sewing machine. This is one of the first garments I've made since getting my new walking foot for my sewing machine and it's made such a difference. I'm really pleased with how all the stitching has turned out. 

I've got the boob coverage sorted but I think if I was going to make another maxi version, I'd probably widen the skirt pieces at the bottom as I flash my legs all the time.  Flashing my calves to the world is not exactly a problem but I think it would sit a bit better with slightly wider skirt panels. Ideally I would have made it a little longer too, however, I did not have enough fabric to make any of these changes on this version , there were only minuscule pieces left once I had cut it out.  Anyway, while it's far from perfect but I'm really pleased with it. 

I wore it on a super geeky trip to Friends-Fest recently and it turns out its perfect for jumping in and there were no flashing issues-perfect!

Friday, 1 September 2017

The year of the sleeve

I love the funky sleeves that are everywhere this year and finally hopped on the bandwagon.  I used the Sew over it Ultimate shift dress pattern as a base.  This pattern is a great base for hacking and adding flares to as its such a simple design.

I used a cotton/viscose crepe that I'd picked up in Misen fabrics on Goldhawk road.  I love the colours and drape of this but it is a total bastard to work with.  Because there's a serious crinkled texture to the fabric it has a lot of excess built in and as a result this top has ended up fairly large on me.  I have about 5m of this fabric left and think it would make a really gorgeous robe but I'm not sure I can face working with it again for a while.

I cut the top version of this pattern out as normal except that I cut the sleeves off at the elbow and made it up instructed.  To create the flared sleeves I simply cut panels the width of the fabric and eased them in to the sleeves.  This has created a lovely swishy sleeve that I am enjoying flapping around in.

Having finally made some jeans that fit, I am enjoying the whole 'jeans and a fancy top' look for a night out.  Get prepared to see some more tops in these parts!