Me Made May ’15 week three

I can’t believe it’s the end of week three already, it’s flying by. Unfortunately the opportunity to get the summer dresses out this week was non-existent as the weather seemed to think we were back in February. Anyway on to the roundup:

 

Day fifteen

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Stripey Grainline Hemlock with my Peggy Sue Cardigan

I should wear this cardigan more often, the cable ribbing is lovely!

Day sixteen

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My old reliable navy By Hand London Anna dress with green Miette cardigan.

I love this dress, it’s perfect for throwing on when I really can’t decide what to wear. It looks like white polka dots but they are actually little daisies. I have a bit of a thing about navy and green, I’ve been searching for some navy and green stripy knit fabric for ages without success. I know it must exist somewhere!

Day seventeen

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Deer and Doe Bruyere

I really need to make another one of these, it’s a lovely pattern and fits my frame really well. I actually have some Chambray to make a dress version but it keeps getting bumped down the list.

Day eighteen

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Grainline Moss ‘mini’, purple Deer and Doe Plantain and Purple Miette cardigan

A horrible cold and wet Monday morning necessitated woolly tights and layers. I love my purple Miette, it’s a quite expensive silk and merino blend yarn but it holds the lace detail well and doesn’t ‘bobble’ like my wool ones.

Day nineteen

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Denim Colette Laurel

I finally got around to making this denim shift a couple of weeks ago and I love it!

Day twenty

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Grey Deer and Doe Plantain, Grainline Archer and By Hand London Victoria Blazer

At work so lot’s of layers as I really had no idea what the weather was going to do!

Day twenty one

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Christine Haynes Broderie Anglaise Emery dress with Navy Miette Cardigan

Another old faithful dress. I put my boots on again but the weather really warmed up at lunchtime!

Some thoughts:

The blue thing is getting really silly, I actually wore it every day this week and that was after promising I would try to be more colourful!

I wore my boots for four days and it’s the latter part of May! The boots are now boxed up and ready to go into the loft, if it turns chilly again I’ll just have to put up with chilly goose pimpled legs!

I seem to be obsessed with the weather, all my Instagram posts seem to include a brief weather report. I think it comes from working outside!

Even though I said I wouldn’t, I might actually try and end the month with no repeats. I haven’t really worn any of my summer clothes so if the weather warms up I should be able to get through to the end of the month without any duplicity.

How is everybody else getting along now we are into the final week?

 

 

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A Denim Colette Laurel

I have been meaning to make a simple denim shift dress for ages. I keep coming back to the pictures on my Pinterest sewing inspiration board but never quite getting around to doing it.

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I think the main reason is not having the denim available at my local fabric store. If I’m relying on the internet it’s very difficult to gauge the weight and colour, and there was a specific weight and colour I was after.

So when I went to the Leeds meet up, denim was at the top of my shopping list. It was actually the first fabric I came to and bought, I thought the quest might be a bit more difficult but it was just sitting there on the bolt waiting for me.

I used the Colette Laurel pattern which is quite a good basic shift dress. I’ve made it three times before, this was the most recent.

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I cut a size 12 as before, added pockets and made them a little bigger. I also shortened the sleeves. The pattern calls for a full zip down the back but with the ones I’ve made before I’ve been able to wriggle in and out without the zip. For this one though I wanted to add an exposed lace zip, I’ve had these in my stash for a while (from one of my late night Ebay trawls) but haven’t really encountered the right project for them. I figured the lace would be a good contrast to the utilitarian denim.  I’ve been a bit unsure about exposed zips before but I’m beginning to come around to the idea.

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I’m glad I finally got around to making this and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out. It’s a very practical everyday dress, kind of like the dress equivalent of jeans yet without any encumbrance around the waist! The fit is not far off, I’ve put on weight since I last made it, this is most noticeable on the bust so maybe a full bust adjustment would have helped. My bust does goes up a cup with each dress size though, as I’m losing a little bit with all the increased activity at work they may shrink back down or maybe I should stop making excuses for my laziness and just do the FBA!

It’s nice to have ticked a long standing sewing wish off the never ending list. I’m in a bit of a summer blouse mood at the moment but there’s a shirt dress nagging me which is desperate to be brought to life, so I might have to put that plan into action next!

 

 

2014: a year in sewing (and a bit of knitting)

2014 has been a very productive year for me, I managed to make a grand total of 38 items: 13 dresses, 4 skirts, 3 shirts, 8 tops, 1 jacket, 1 swimsuit, a bag and 7 pairs of knickers (I’m counting the knickers as one!)  I’ve also knitted 4 cardigans, a hat and a pair of arm warmers.

Me made May was a catalyst in being able to see what suits me, what I feel comfortable in and what, in essence, is ‘me’.  You can have a quick look in the mirror before going out the door but there’s nothing like photographic evidence for getting a true picture of how an outfit works (or doesn’t) on you.  There were a few items that went in the Charity shop pile after seeing the pictures but there were also a few pleasant surprises.  My main realisation was that I prefer to wear dresses and this is reflected in the thirteen I’ve made this year.   I think in part this is because they are easy to wear, you can just throw them on without having to figure out what goes with what.  Another reason is that being on the short and curvy side they help to ‘elongated’ me, whereas separates tend to break me up a bit too much.

I know it’s traditional to do a top 5 hits and misses but I struggled to pick these,  so I have decided to do favourites, most worn and things left languishing in the wardrobe.

Favourites

My Swishy Anna Dress

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I really love this dress, it fits perfectly, the fabric is lovely and it’s very ‘me’.

My Flock Simplicity 2444 and the accompanying tartan frankenpattern

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I think the tweaks to this pattern have resulted in not far off the perfect fit.  I also have happy memories linked to them as I wore the grey flocked one for the Sew Brum meet up and the tartan was, of course, my Christmas dress!

My Purple and leafy Chardons

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This has proved to be the perfect flarey skirt pattern for me, I love the inverted pleats, it gives a bit of body without having the bulk around the waistline.

My Bombshell Swimsuit

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I enjoyed making this so much and I’m really glad I went for the bottle green.  I am also rather amazed proud that I not only blogged it but posted photos of me wearing it!

 

Most worn

My Ladyskaters

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These have been like wearing pyjamas, so comfortable yet respectable enough to be seen in public.  I actually prefer the blue one, the purple one is starting to bobble a bit but they are both everyday workhorses.

My Maya dress  

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I’ve worn this loads over a long sleeved tee and leggings, it’s so easy to wear, doesn’t need ironing and it’s got flowers around the bottom!

My Archers

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Perfect for wearing with jeans and have therefore been worn a lot at work.

My Miette Cardigans

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I think the Green Miette is my most worn knitted cardigan, I really love the colour and I’ve managed to combine it with a lot of things in my wardrobe.  Another Miette is on the cards once I’ve finished my owl sweater.

My Trixie Lixie Knickers 

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Without a doubt my most worn by far.  I made seven pairs back in April and have worn them daily since.  They are a really good fit, exceptionally comfortable and they have gingham ruffle elastic!  I really need to make a few more pairs as some are starting to look a little too well worn

Languishing in the wardrobe

My Liberty Cambie

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I’m a little sad that my most expensive dress has ended up being barely worn.  The only reason is the fabric, I really liked the dark green and kinda expected the dress to turn out a darker colour but the reality is a very wishy washy yellow colour.  I still can’t figure out how it happened, it’s like some kind of optical illusion!  It just doesn’t work with my skin tone and it’s probably my biggest disappointment.

My Spotty scout tee

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The one time I didn’t pre-wash the fabric, it shrank, ended up in the bin, lesson learned!

My navy eyelet Laurel

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Great when I’m standing up, rides up far too much when I am sitting down and flashes a bit too much leg for my liking!

My outfit a long outfit

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I do like this but I think I’ve only worn the dress twice.  I was never happy with the fit around the shoulders and it didn’t feel very ‘secure’.  I haven’t really worn the cardigan much either, there’s too much fullness in the sleeves and although the colour is a perfect match for the dress it doesn’t really go with anything else in my wardrobe.  Another disappointment as I had been hanging onto the fabric for a couple of years, I do have another two metres left of it though so not a total loss!

Some thoughts for 2015

  • I really need to consider if something will suit my body type before jumping on each new shiny pattern that get’s released!
  • I think I need to slow down a bit and  concentrate on quality rather than quantity.  I’ve made a considerable amount of garments this year but the one’s I’ve most enjoyed the most have been those I’ve taken the time to achieve a good finish.
  • I’m going to try and rid myself of my list making obsession.  Lists and plans have helped me focus but they’ve also taken out the spontaneity and added a bit of pressure.  This year I want to try and go with the flow and just sew whatever I feel like at the time.
  • I really need to get the stash under control.  I’ve got enough fabric to last next year and beyond.  Now I’m not committing  to a total fabric fast, a year without fabric shopping is a far too depressing prospect!  I just need to have a really good sort out of what I’ve got and ‘maybe’ set up some kind of system so I know what I’ve got and how much yardage without having to rummage and measure every time I want to sew something.
  • I am going to commit to a ‘ready to wear’ fast though.  I don’t think this will be difficult as I’ve only bought a handful of rtw garments this year.  I honestly don’t miss going clothes shopping, being liberated from size labels and shop changing rooms is one of the best things about sewing my own.

So that’s another year of sewing.  It has been a brilliant year, I have met some wonderful people through sewing, both online and in real life.  I’ve loved reading comments, blogs and particularly developing my instagram addiction!  Seeing everyone’s creativity has been inspiring and I feel very fortunate to be part of such a fabulous community.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Navy Peekaboo eyelet Laurel

After the Chambray I bought for my planned Colette Laurel turned out to have a fault (and subsequently turned into a Hollyburn Skirt) I had to come up with a plan B. I had three metres of this Navy Cotton Eyelet in my stash (I also bought some Teal and Purple at the same time, couldn’t decide which I liked best so had to get them all!) It’s not embroidered like normal Eyelet but seems to have been laser cut with flowers printed around the cutouts.

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I’ve had a cotton Laurel on my list for a while now but it kept getting bumped down. The Summer Stashbust is really making me look at what I’ve got and finally getting around to putting past plans into action. I’ve made two Laurels previously, the first was a Royal Blue and Black Polka dot knit version which has become a ‘pottering around the house dress’. The second was in some Green Polyester which felt horrible but I really loved the colour! Both of these didn’t do the pattern the justice it deserved, it really needed to be Cotton.

I cut a size 12 and managed to get out of putting a zip in by cutting the back piece on the fold, I had done this with my previous ones and it worked well. The first step was to put on the patch pockets, I’ve got a cardboard template I use which is about 1cm smaller than the pocket, I just fold the fabric over the template and iron it into shape. I shortened the sleeves by around 4 inches and squared off the last 2 inches so I could hem them rather than using bias tape. Once I had sewn the side seam I tried it on to check how much I could realistically take off and still be able to get the dress over my head, I repeated this, stitching a centimetre further in each time, until I got to the point where I could comfortably wriggle into it! It was only then that I finished the seams with my overlocker, I have been so careful not to get carried away with it after my last brush with danger!

I finished the neckline with readymade bias tape which I had in my stash, I was trying to conserve fabric and managed to squeeze it out of a metre and a half, so I still have a metre and a half left for something else! I gave it a two inch hem to take my short stature into account and it falls just above my knees. It does however ride up a bit when I am sitting down and bending over is a complete no go! I wore a Navy slip underneath to preserve my modesty as I didn’t want any peekaboo moments through the eyelets. It is however a perfect summer dress as it has built in ventilation and the breeze just flows through those cutouts!

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Overall I’m really pleased with how this turned out and I know it will get a lot of wear, it’ll be perfect on a breezy day, especially as there won’t be any chance of my skirt blowing up (this just happened with my Cambie, must remember: windy days not good for flarey skirts!) The pattern is the perfect shift dress and very quick and easy to make, only taking about 3 hours. I know there will be more on the way (possibly in Teal or Purple Eyelet?!)

And so that’s another metre and a half out of my stash, which makes my Summer Stashbust tally at 7 metres so far! (I keep dreaming about how much fabric I’ll be able to replace it with when it ends in September!)

 

How are you doing with your Summer Sewing? Have you had any me made wardrobe malfunctions?