A post from the Past

If I’d been more active on here, I would have noticed before today, that this draft post from August (AUGUST!!!!) had not actually gone live.

In the interests of keeping everyone up to date with what I made, and remembering happy summer holiday days, here it is:

 

Well I got some of my prep done for all the holiday crafting, before I left for France. It wasn’t exactly what I had planned but I had enough to be getting on with, so it was all good!

First up, before leaving, I created a skirt and top set in the dark violet jersey I had used for the flower decoration on the chartreuse dress. I used my trusty Simple Sew Shannon pattern for a t-shirt style top. As I’ve done in the past, I skipped the neck and arm bands for a cleaner line, and to make it look less t-shirty.

For the skirt I used my self drafted straight pull-on skirt pattern, and it’s pretty much a direct copy of my royal blue one. The only difference is that this purple one was going to be hemmed by hand, rather than adding an overlocked band.

All I needed to do was get on with the hand hemming… There were a few distractions at the start of the holiday (all 3 of my sisters being there, along with nieces and nephews, and a mahoosive cousins party) but it got done eventually.

Yes, it’s another Shannon!

I also got some work done on my 100 Day Dress so now I’m on Day 75.

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The progress report is that I’ve got about a third of the front still to embellish, and then I need to sew it all together. I’m still debating with myself what my options are for sewing together, but I reckon it’s all feasible within the 25 days I’ve got remaining. If it looks like it may need more time, then I’ll just have to be picky about using days where I’ve got nothing else to do!
For the full gen on this dress, it has its own Instagram account.

Sadly the knitting remains unknitted. But the Granny Squares blanket that I started last summer continues apace, with over 2/3 of the squares done. I even started putting them together. I learned a new technique for that, so yay for youtube:

I also visited the fabric shop in Les Sables again, and came away with a couple of jerseys, and some super-cute sunflower buttons.

I’m very happy with that little haul.

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Still here!

I admit it, there’s been precious little making going on around here for the last four months. But I got a burst of inspiration last night, as a result of having signed up for One Week One Pattern 2018, which starts today. Big thanks to Sheona of Sewisfaction for hosting this again.

I’m saying “inspiration”. What I mean is, I’ve only got two of the pattern I’ve picked, so I need to get something sorted out for the other five days left of the week – it’s more desperation than inspiration!

My pattern of choice was the Simple Sew Batwing Dress, of which I have two versions, both of them dotty, but which I always knew would be good for another couple of dresses and possibly two or three tops. This is my opportunity to get around to some of these. Last night I dug out two bits of jersey, and cut out a dress and a top. I can sew them up tonight, which should take me through to Thursday, and I’m pretty sure I can get another couple done by then. The dress is an easy make. I just want to get a bit creative on some of the necklines, so it doesn’t look quite so blatantly obvious that I’m basically wearing the same thing all week. So, one’s a roll neck, one’s a plain round neckline, and I’m going to try a slash neckline for later in the week. I’ll see how the fancy takes me…

Thankfully, I’ve acquired plenty of ponte/jersey in the last few months, so I’ve got an excellent range of fabrics to play with.

I’ll be posting the daily selfies on instagram, so you can see the results first there.

 

Another Simple Sew Stylish Shell Top, plus a skirt

My post has gone live on the Simple Sew Blog now, so I can share these two makes:

Way too hot for these!

The top is another iteration of the Simple Sew Stylish Shell Top, made with a beautiful minty green chambray from Doughty’s Online (supplied by them specifically for the blog – Thank you so much!). I hacked a stand-up collar onto it. Go to the blog to see how.

The skirt is another of my self drafted straight skirts, which I narrowed to pencil proportions! I used a scuba fabric from Fabricland UK, which doesn’t seem to be available on their website now. I’ve still got a load of it left, which I don’t really know what to do with, to be honest. I love the print, and I wondered if I could make a matchy matchy  jacket with what’s left. But the fabric is really hot to wear, so I’m not convinced it would be a good idea!

Both these makes were conceived before the heatwave, and I have to say, I don’t have a lot of use for either of them right now – I think they’ll be much more welcome in the autumn.

Sewing Plans for France

It’s that time of year again. I’m due to go on holiday to France in ten days, and I’m thinking ahead to what I should pack and what projects I should take to work on.

Projects first…

  • I’ve got a dress in the pipeline for the Simple Sew blog, so I’m hoping that I’ll have a wearable toile and a good version to hem by hand, and if I have been as productive as I hope (insert your own hollow laughter here), then there might also be a third dress to finish off.
  • I’m taking the 100 Day Dress, in the hope that I can get it kick started back into action. It would be nice to get it finished before its anniversary!
  • I’m also taking a longstanding UFO/fixer-upper to see what I can salvage from it.
  • Knitting. There’s a cardigan I’m in the middle of, hopefully I can get it moving along.
  • Crochet. I’m about 2/3 of the way through making the squares for my Granny Squares blanket. But I might take this opportunity to start attaching them together.

As I’ve said before, I’m feeling more love for dresses this year, so I’m not too worried about having an overall colour palette, which I usually do when I’m all about the separates. This time it’s dresses all the way! I’ll be taking a few of the Shannons – the new chartreuse version, the royal blue one with the minty lace, the Instagram Takeover dress, and the Jardin Fleuri sleeveless version. I’ll have the project dresses mentioned previously, once I’ve finished them off. And finally there’s a dress that I’ve just finished. Again it is a Simple Sew Blog make, so I’m waiting for it to be posted there, but here’s a teaser pic:

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My bookshelf isn’t really that shonky! It’s the weird perspective of the selfie…

That should probably be enough to rotate as necessary.

 

 

Very late MMM thoughts and goals arising

I think I must be the very last person commenting on their Me Made May! It went well – I wore Me Made outfits every day, including for my dance teaching. I posted every day’s outfit (except one). I was pleased that I had a lot of choice in my clothing, throughout the month. I didn’t have any “Oh lordy, I haven’t got a thing to wear today!” moments, so I feel confident that my me-made wardrobe is adequate to my needs and wants. I didn’t observe any glaring gaps. That is possibly a strong contributory factor to the lack of sewing that has been happening this year. My personal challenge had been to dress with a bit more care than usual, which was my way of telling myself to think about wearing jewellery or accessories, but I didn’t brilliantly on that. But I’m not going to beat myself up about this, because I did ok.

Having said that, May was quite a warm month, so I didn’t feel much need for long-sleeved tops, or coats and jackets, or jumpers, which are the gaps that I do know need to be filled at some point, so: Goal #1 – make a couple of jumpers ready for the cooler weather. This is actually the most hard-to-achieve of all these goals, just because I’m such a slow knitter. I’m half way through a turquoise cardigan, so maybe over the summer hols I should be able to finish it.

Looking back at MM17, I relied quite heavily on refashioned or embellished RTW t-shirt tops, and I found I didn’t need to this year, as I have a better selection of actual me-made tops to wear now. Again, since most of them are sleeveless, or short-sleeved, I think I need Goal #2 – make a couple more sleeved tops. I’m already working on this one, with my next Simple Sew Blog make, so watch this space.

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Coming soon…

With the dance teaching, I found I was lacking in me-made hip scarves, but I don’t really feel I need to make any, because I’ve got plenty of hip scarves already and I don’t need any more. To be fair, all my hip scarves are hand-made, because you just can’t mechanise that sort of crafting, and even if you could, Cairo tends to prefer human labour to mechanisation! It’s helping women to work, when it can sometimes be hard for them to do so, because of family/societal pressures to stay home. So no goals needed for my dance kit.

The one clothing item I am reproaching myself for is a RTW swimsuit. I went swimming a few times and I have no me-made swimmers – what’s a girl to do?! Skinnydipping was not an option. So that is leading me to Goal #3 – make my own swimsuit. I see no reason why I can’t – it’s perfectly possible. I have plenty of lycra fabric left over from my costume making days, so I’ve got the basics already. The question is – can I make one in time for my hols, which start 11th August? It would be great if I could…

So overall, it all went ok.

I can’t help thinking, though, that next year, I need to give myself a proper challenge, or take time out from MMM. It was all too easy this time around. I wear me-made almost every day anyway, so unless I change the nature of the challenge, to focus on mending/fixing *which is a chore* or something else that focusses me on making, I can’t think of how to make it more ambitious or stretching. Any ideas out there?

 

 

Summer Sew-jo

It’s taken a while, but the sew-jo seems to be back in force. This summer I’m really feeling the love for dresses, rather than separates.

It started with the Heliotrope Silk Instagram Takeover Dress, that I made for the Simple Sew Blog. Well, I made it because I wanted to make it, for me, but I was blogging it there. It has been an utter delight to wear, because it’s such a gorgeous fabric. It’s a silk jersey (from the world famous Man Outside Sainsburys, Walthamstow) and it’s almost like wearing nothing at all! It feels so light on. Which is perfect for hot weather.

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I finished this on holiday in France

It was another Shannon Collection dress. They sew up in a jiffy and if I hadn’t decided to pretty it up with a sort of couched embroidery/appliqué edging, it would have been done in a day.

I should have learned that lesson with my next Shannon dress.

I’d just splurged on fabric, twice over – a couple of weeks ago with the FC Fabric Studio sale and again last weekend, at the Sewisfaction Big Summer Stitch Up. So I decided I had to get on with some actual sewing in order to justify having bought so much (total 9 new pieces added to the stash!). There was a smallish piece of chartreuse jersey from FC that whispered “I’d make a lovely Shannon dress” at me. “That’ll be quick and easy!” I thought. I got the dress cut out and stitched together on the Sunday morning after the Stitch Up.

Pattern alterations – I made it quite a bit longer than usual, 7½” longer, as I had enough fabric to do so, and you don’t want to be seeing my knees all the time. I also ditched the neck and sleeve bands because I didn’t want this dress to look too t-shirty.

I was meeting a friend to see the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, that afternoon, so I took the dress with me to hem on the train, and because my friend’s journey was rather more fraught than mine, I got quite a lot done, while I was waiting for her. I wholeheartedly recommend the exhibition, by the way. It personalises Kahlo in such an immediate way. And it’s a delight for sewists, to see her outfits. And there are instructions on the V&A website on making your own Huipil (Mexican sleeveless tunic), should you be inspired to do so.

So I had that dress made up and ready to wear in just one day – Boom! But I am such an idiot, I couldn’t just let it be. Part of the massive FC Fabric haul had been a deep violet jersey that was just begging to be put with the chartreuse. I knew I had to bring some of that violet into the dress, somehow. I didn’t know how, exactly, and it took the Monday to think about it and work out what I was going to do. My friend and I had been discussing the forthcoming Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A and I’m fairly sure that’s how I ended up opting for gigantic MQ style flowers.

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They’re about 8 inches across

On further reflection, this design idea goes back to 2013 in my consciousness. Fortunately, there were only six of them, and they didn’t take too long to sew on by hand.

And here’s the finished dress…

This one is going to be a bit eye-catching, I suspect

I’ve got two more Simple Sew makes in the offing, and I’ve got some more plans that I feel excited about making, so hopefully, there I won’t need to feel so guilty about boosting the stash, and there will be a few more posts coming up this summer.