Sunday, 29 May 2016

Going back in time

Today's post is about a pattern I'm very fond of, partly for the style and partly because this is the pattern I used to make my first ever item of clothing, about 5/6 years ago.  It's Style 1241, a 6 gored maxi skirt.  I originally made it with zero sewing knowledge so as you can imagine there were a lot of flaws.  The pattern, while detailed, does assume quite a bit of pre-existing sewing knowledge and I remember spending significant amounts of time on the phone to my mother asking what various things meant.  However, I loved it and wore it until it actually fell apart.  The original skirt was in colours very similar to these and when I spotted this stretch cotton on Goldhawk road I had to have it.

This pattern eats fabric, I used about 3.5m, although the fabric was fairly narrow.  However, I think it's worth it as I love gored skirts, they're so flattering.  I didn't make any adjustments when sewing it up except that the waist band piece is damaged and clearly at some point has had a chunk removed from the middle so I had to create a new waistband piece.  As I still had part of it, I was given the width of the piece an simply had to measure the skirt pieces and add a few cm for the overlap, not exactly rocket science.  I remember the waistband being an issue on my first version clearly this is why and my understanding of how to fix it was sketchy back in the day.  This time, I got it nailed first time!  It's amazing what a difference practice makes!

I may wear this skirt pretty much every day for the rest of the summer now.  Anyone following my me-made-may photos, prepare to be very bored!  Also at this rate there is a danger of my entire wardrobe becoming 1970s themed.

My lovely sister took these photos for me in my local park, thanks Nini. I love this park and the band stand. I saw a couple getting married there last summer and it was so pretty, like the perfect place (on a sunny day) to get married and to take blog photos.

It has just occurred to me that we are now not even at the end of May and I have almost achieved my vintage pattern pledge.  This makes me happy as I love my vintage patterns and being able to fit vintage makes into my wardrobe.  I'm sure I'll properly outstrip my pledge this year as I currently have plans for several more makes and they're not all from 70s patterns either!  How're you getting on with yours?

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Me made May Day 9-22

As I mentioned in my last post, the last few weeks have been a bit rough so I decided to be kind to myself and not worry about what's happening on the blog or about my Me Made May photos.  Therefore you're getting the photos that I remembered to take over the last few weeks.  I have been fully participating though and actually this is the first year I have not really struggled any morning to pick myself an outfit that is at least partially me made.  

Day 9: lace belcarra blouse and strawberry circle skirt (unblogged) 

Day 11: 70s tartan dress for my mummy's birthday dinner. I made a cake that almost matched my dress!

Day 12: floral pencil skirt and RTW top to see the Vogue exhibition! 

Day 13: Angelica top and ultimate trousers. I really need some more of these tops in my life-I got so many compliments on it and I wear it loads. I couldn't be bothered with a photo today. 

Day 14: jeans and a Dolores top. This was a terrible day so I again opted out of the photo taking.

Day 15: Pleather skirt and vintage top.  This outfit never fails to get me compliments and I love it, however again was not in the mood for photos.

My mend this week was a summer loose knit jumper which had developed a serious hole.

And its ready to wear again

Day 16: Going with the 'any photo is better than none' attitude!  Wearing my Sallie jumpsuit to go and watch the Great British Sewing Bee at the meet up hosted by Cocowawa and Sewitwithlove.

Day 17: New Orla top (that I will blog about shortly) and jumper refashion

Day 19: I was full of the cold and was working from home and all I really wanted to do was stay in my pyjamas but as I did have to leave the house I wore jeans, a black Dolores top (unblogged) and my owl jumper.  No photo though.

Day 20: Strawberry circle skirt and owl jumper

Day 21: This is where my me made wardrobe failed me.  I was on a friends hen do and I needed a night time party dress and I have not made any of these.  Thinking about it most of my handmade dresses are fairly casual day time ones like my lady skater dresses.

Day 22: Birdie Renfrew top (unblogged)

This weeks mend was sewing a button back on my winter coat.  I wore it to a wedding at the beginning of April and it got caught on my bag and the only way to detangle it was to snip off the button.  I'd say less than 2 months to sew it back on is pretty good going. However it really was too banal a mend to photograph so no picture.

Good luck with the final stretch of Me-made-May everyone.

Friday, 20 May 2016

What to make when the brain isn't working too well

The last few weeks have been difficult ones in my world and while I want to sew my brain is not engaging well enough to produce vaguely decent results.  After a very unsuccessful attempt at a BHL Zeena dress, I realised that I needed something a bit less demanding to fulfil my distraction attempts.  So I turned to pinterest which as ever provided the answer, in the shape of this pattern weight tutorial from Tea Rose Home.  

The is a free PDF which consists of a triangle which can be used alone as template to create the mini weights (and they are very mini, each side only measures 4cm) or 4 triangles can be cut out to create the larger weights.
The instructions are really easy to follow and they come together pretty quickly.  I made all of these in a couple of hours.  They're filled with brown basmati rice, because I had a bag in the cupboard and can never be bothered to cook it as it takes forever.

One thing I would say is that you should use a fairly stiff fabric for these, like a cotton.  I used a slightly drapier fabric to make one of the mini weights and it was a pain to sew and doesn't hold the shape as well.
The ones with the pencils on are my favourite, this is a gorgeous liberty poplin from their latest collection.  Most of this fabric has been cut out to make myself a birthday dress but I'm a bit nervous about sewing it at the moment in case I screw it up and at £32.50 a metre, it's the most expensive fabric I've ever bought and I would be really gutted to make a mistake.

Look there's a mummy and baby!  I can't wait to use these when cutting out my next pattern, rather than my phone/cans/television remote/whatever is lying around that I usually use.

I have a sense of satisfaction from making these, maybe I should check out some other things I've saved to my craft board.  What do you make when your brain can't cope with the big things? 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Me made May 16 days 1-8

Two posts in one week!  It must be May!  I'm going to start this week's round up with a refashion, partly to save those of you who follow me on Instagram from total boredom and partly because I love it. 

I started with this jumper; a men's Asos  lambswool jumper.  It had a couple of moth (or something) holes and was too big. 

I started by pinning to bring the arm holes up to what might approximate my shoulders and pinning in the sides. I also put in bust darts which for future reference is a mistake in a fabric like this. 

I wanted a copped jumper so removed the ribbing, took a chunk off the length and then reattached the ribbing.  I found that serging the ribbing back on resulted in a very wavy join so I then topstitched the seam.  It's not really visible as the fabric absorbs the stitches but makes the whole jumper sit more pleasingly.

 I also wanted to try out the hi-low thing which is everywhere and I've never been a big fan of but thought might work well for this jumper.

The next step was to darn and embellish. I knew I wanted a bit of excitement on my jumper. One of my friends has a great jumper with similar gems on the front and I shamelessly ripped it off. The gems were from simply sequins and at £10.95 for a bag, they added considerably to the cost of my refashion. However I still have loads left for other projects.

You can just about see the darning in the above photo.  I feel like it's seriously overshadowed by the bling and this was exactly what I wanted.

You're not getting to see this jumper on as obviously the second I finished adjusting a lambswool sweater, the weather upped its game and I didn't fancy wearing it in the 20+ degree weather we've been experiencing.  I'm totally not complaining, even if I do have to wait a while to wear my new jumper. 

So on to the daily round up:
Day 1: lady skater dress. I've not made one of these for a while and I think it may be time for another! 

Day 2: feather plantain t-shirt (unblogged)

Day 3: Ultimate trousers and thrifted top

Day 5: Sleeveless maxi lady skater (unblogged) This is the point at which I started to fail at the photos.  Seriously it took 5 days!  I'm sure this will pop up again this month though as wearing it made me remember how much I love maxi dresses.

Day 6: My Jade skirt and a Dolores top, complete with photo bombers who are apparently better at posing for photos than I am.

Day 7: Carolyn pyjamas
I was super hungover this day so did not fancy getting a photo but I enjoyed having my lovely pyjamas to feel sorry for myself in!

Day 8: ultimate shorts (unblogged) and vintage tie top

Right, thats my week-see you all again next week.  I'm loving seeing everyones round ups.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

I don't need a time machine, I'm recreating the 70s right here

I really have caught the 70s bug and despite, in my last 70s dress post, criticising original 70s garments for being made of synthetics I've now gone fabric authentic and created my own polyester 70s number.

That being said my polyester fabrics feel lovely. The black one is a yummy ponte from girl charlee and the tartan was donation from a friend of my mums. I've had the vision of a princess seamed dress using this tartan ever since I received it. I was tempted to buy the By hand London Sabrina dress after seeing this gorgeous version by Ooobop but in the end decided to use a pattern from my stash.

The pattern is Style 4588 which I used once before here. I made a few modifications; I added the same amount of length as last time, this pattern is really meant to be a tennis dress and apparently if you were playing tennis in the 1970s it was acceptable to flash your (matching) knickers! I didn't fancy the flutter sleeves which came with the pattern so used the sleeve pieces that came with a different vintage pattern in my stash, with a bit of rough and ready adjustment to for a slightly different sleeve head. I figured the ponte was going to be quite forgiving and it turns out I was right.  I didn't think the flutter sleeves would work with the slightly rock chick fabric combo. Although I'm not convinced that the puff sleeves work with that vibe either but this would probably bother me more if more rock chick credentials had ever been greater than zero!
 The first time I went out to get photos of this dress, it was so windy that the skirt blew around constantly and this was the best photo that we could get.  Instead we went to look at books on a barge with a band on top.  Add a coffee and that's a winning day out in my book.

What's your favourite style decade?  While I love styles from many different decades, the 70s are clearly winning in my wardrobe at the moment.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

I made pyjamas!

When Heather released the Carolyn pyjamas I thought it was super cute but felt that I was unlikely to wear a full set of formal pyjamas. However when all the pyjamas that I do wear started to fall apart, I thought I might dip my toe in the pyjama making world with some pyjama bottoms.
I wanted to use a strawberry print cotton that I've had in my stash for years. It was a part of a coupon that I bought in marché Sainte Pierre a few years ago. I have used some of it for smaller projects over time but I really wanted an item of clothing made from it.  However my slightly saner side, the one that tells me not to dress like a toddler dissuaded me. However, I figured I could get away with pyjamas.
My Dad had bought me the patten for Christmas, I was excited as it was my first closet case files paper pattern.  I traced off a 14, grading to 10 at the waist.  I was tracing off a bunch of other indie patterns at the same time and inevitably made some comparisons between them and I have to say I was disappointed in the quality of the tissue pattern, I found it very flimsy and easy to tear and thin which made tracing off more difficult.
I probably could have got away with a 12 overall and a 10 at the waist as I ended up taking the legs in a bit and you can see there's still quite a bit of fabric pooling under the bottom.  I added 2 darts in the back to adjust for some of the excess fabric I had there due to the difference between my waist and hips.  There's still quite a bit of excess but if I had taken any more out I wouldn't have been able to get them on over my hips.

The way I've 'styled' (I'm using this term loosely) these makes it look like an outfit to wear in public.  However, much as I like these, they're not going to be worn outside of the house, I just wanted to take advantage of the first glimmering of spring and take photos outside.  I need to find myself some good outdoor locations again now the weather is, sort of, improving.  However, since it started to snow about an hour after I took these, I may not be planning too much time outdoors in the near future.

I am now getting to a stage where I'm starting to have a largely handmade wardrobe and actually it's felt really nice to have such a pretty, handmade basic item.  I'm really tempted to make the full pyjama set now, I can totally be elegant and classy for bed!