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.

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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.

 

 

MMM Sign Up is live!

The lovely Zoe of So Zo, What Do You Know  has posted the sign up page for Me Made May 2018, and of course I’ll be joining in again – I couldn’t imagine not doing it! Click on the image to get to the sign up page:

I am pledging pretty much the same as in previous years, as I already wear quite a lot of me made on a routine basis:

I, Béa of http://www.BéasSewingAdventures.wordpress.com and @missbeacurtis on instagram, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I will endeavour to wear Me Made (undies, tights and shoes excepted) throughout May 2018.

This time my personal challenge will be to wear me-made accessories and jewellery a lot more thoughtfully. I often don’t bother, and this is a good opportunity to get back into that habit!

I’m hoping that I’ll have a couple more sleeved tops made in time for May, because it can sometimes be a bit chilly. This will in no way constitute panic-sewing!

Now I have to go off and remind myself how to add the widget thingie in the right hand column over there…

Return of the Sewjo!

There’s nothing like a blogging deadline to motivate a person! After promising to get this sewn up for AGES, I got given a deadline, so I just had to get on with it. And what do you know, after the doldrums of the Winter, I’m feeling all enthused again…

The Simple Sew Blog has been featuring the delights of the Stylish Shell Top, and different bloggers have been showing how versatile it is. This is my contribution.

A Shell Top, with Sleeves!

It’s been great to be sewing again!