MMM17 – Week 3 – Almost on time!

MMM is still feeling quite easy. That must mean that my handmade wardrobe is fitting seamlessly into my everyday life!

Week 3 went like this:

Day 15 – The #Sewdots no 2 batwing dress was nice and cosy for a not-so-warm day, and I wore it with the Dressmakers Ball pearl jewellery, which gained this outfit a couple of nice compliments – always appreciated!

Day 16 – I wore the Blue Roses dress, with my new Little Fishies jewellery set. I was also teaching, so I wore my grey/blue unblogged leggings and beaded Christmas T-shirt, with the shocking pink moustache skirt.

Day 17 – The first MMM outing for the Cairo Top, with the Counterintuitive Black Birds Skirt. The bird appliqués are getting a bit grungy now, the felt has pilled quite a lot over the years. They’re OK so long as you don’t look up close – fortunately there’s nobody hanging around at my knee level! I wore the baby pink jewellery, because I felt it matched the pink in the top.

Day 18 – The imperfect polka dot belcarra top, tucked in, so you didn’t get to see the imperfect polka dot border, with the Squares and Triangles Circle Skirt. I added my lime bracelet, to match the green in the skirt, and the jump ring earrings, which are fast becoming my earring “neutrals”.

Day 19 – The Two Becomes One t-shirt, with the aubergine ponte skirt, one of my wardrobe essentials. The top was TOTALLY chosen because I wanted to wear my newly made iridescent blue glass tube earrings.

Day 20 – I pulled out the chilli stripe jersey dress, because I love it and it feels summery. But I did end up feeling a bit chilly (ahahaha! see what I did there?), so I added my slouchy teal cardigan, and was surprised at how well they went together. I wore the same earrings, because I was feeling the love!

Day 21 – Another sunny day meant the Under the Sea dress, on which I still haven’t altered the neckline like I wanted to. Same earrings, because they are my new favourites, and they went with the outfit, and the lime bracelet which was also quite matchy.

You know you can keep tabs on all this day by day on Instagram, don’t you? See the daily me-made outfits in real time (hashtagged with the official #mmmay17), and also odd photos of whatever I happen to be doing that I remember to photograph.

MMM17 – Week 2 Catch-up

I’ve got my act together and I’m all ready with Week 2 of #MMM17. It continued to be quite easy, with a couple of skirt repeats, and lots of jewellery repeats.

Day 8 – Chartreuse Belcarra blouse with the aubergine ponte skirt. The jump ring earrings.

Day 9 – The black refashioned t-shirt with the stripy neckline, with the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! Skirt. Plus the pink pearl jewellery and a me-made hair flower clip around the back of my head. For dance teaching, I kept the t-shirt and added a pair of leggings I got from Hannan Mahmoud, a costume designer in Cairo, which I adapted because they were indecently low-rise, and a sequined hip scarf which actually belongs with a costume I made a few years ago.

Day 10 – At last! The Jif Lemon Dress came out! I think this remains my favourite ever make. Worn with my lemon bracelet.

Day 11 – The big floral half circle skirt and yet another embellished t-shirt – the one I call the midnight garden tee because of the black flower & bead appliqués. The jump ring earrings AGAIN!

Day 12 – First skirt repeat, the Black & White and Pink All Over skirt teamed with the beaded Christmas tee. I then had my first photo-documentation fail, because I went to the Dressmakers Ball on Friday night and completely forgot to take any pictures of my outfit! I’ve had to gank these from the Crafty Sew & So Facebook page. Go take a look there at all the amazing dresses people made and wore! For the record, I was wearing the Party Skater dress, all beaded up, together with matching hair ornaments, and matching pearl necklace, bracelet and earrings.

Day 13 – I was exhausted from the drive back from the ball, as I didn’t get home till 4.00am, so I didn’t actually get dressed until I had to go out. I was volunteering at the Guildford Wine Festival, where our charity, Oakleaf Enterprise, was running a blind wine tasting table. I had to wear the official Oakleaf t-shirt, but I paired it with my unremarkable black skirt, and the Dressmakers Ball earrings and bracelet.

Day 14 – Was a jimjams day!

So that’s us all caught up.

Oh, that Dressmakers Ball thing…? That was BRILLIANT!!! There were about 100 sewers there, all dressed up to the nines. And the really fun thing was that everyone *loved* it if you asked about their dress. It was so inspiring! I’m already planning next year’s ballgown…

MMM17 – Week 1 Roundup

It’s half way through May and no Me-Made May posts? I’m slacking!

It’s been going very well, and so far it’s been pretty easy. The main thing I’m noticing is that I’ve relied a lot on my refashioned Primark t-shirts, largely because most of the tops I’ve made so far are sleeveless or short-sleeved, and it’s not been the right weather. Hopefully the later half of May will be more summery (ever the optimist!)

I’ve been trying to make sure I wear jewellery every day, to accessorise whatever I’m wearing. I don’t have a great deal of me-made jewellery, but I’ve tried to use what I have got, and I’ve made a couple of extra bits and pieces. On Monday night I pulled out my big bag of beading supplies, and put these little babies together.
IMG_20170515_222002_782 IMG_20170515_222002_785

However, I haven’t done any fabric-based making or refashioning this month yet. I need to crack on with that.

Here is week 1 of #MMM17:

Day 1 –  Navy Juliette top with the pink polka dots skirt. Also baby pink pearl earrings and bracelet.

Day 2 – The Bonkers Zoë Dress. No jewellery, I forgot, my bad. I changed into dance teaching gear, leggings, refashioned tee, moustache skirt. And I remembered to put on some jewellery, same baby pink pearl earrings as Day 1.

Day 3 – Crystal embellished t-shirt, and my new unremarkable black jersey pull-on skirt. Also my jump ring earrings.

Day 4 – Black Juliette top and the Black & White and Pink All Over straight skirt. Seaside bracelet. Also my berry pink cardigan when it got chilly.

Day 5 – Refashioned lilac t-shirt with the new black & white neckline and black denim straight skirt. Baby pink pearl earrings again.

Day 6 – Saturday was a lounging about at home day, so self-drafted leggings and the stripy refashioned t-shirt.

Day 7 – The Under The Sea dress. With the seaside bracelet of course, but it was on the arm holding the selfie-stick!

That’s probably enough to be going on with, I’ll do week 2 in a separate post.

The unremarkable black pull-on skirt

As part of my preparations for Me Made May, I did an audit of what clothing I’ve got available to wear in May. I also did a check on my potential Separates wardrobe orphans. Nothing is an actual orphan, but it was clear that a plain black pull-on skirt was going to be a really useful addition to give me more flexibility on outfits.

I pulled out the black viscose jersey I’d bought on sale at FC Fabric Studio, and my trusty stretch skirt self-drafted pattern. The jersey was just a tiny smidge too thin to use as a skirt on its own, so I decided I would just make two skirts and sew them together at the top and effectively self line it.

No problem! I whizzed through it, nothing could have been easier. It was a nice little stash-buster make. All ready for May!

DSC_0013

Boom!

Finishing off the Massive Paisley cotton

When I cut the Bonkers Zoë Dress, I had about 60 cms left over, and I decided that would be enough for a skirt. On Monday night I reached for my self-drafted straight skirt pattern, and sewed it up. This time, there was definitely no option for pattern matching, I was just happy that there wouldn’t be any big shapes with anatomically unfortunate placement. I even had enough of the weirdly shaped scraps to cut the facing pieces.

I decided I wanted to use one of the lacy zips I’d picked up at the Knitting & Stitching Show. I’d got one in navy, and although the navy in the paisley and the navy of the zip aren’t a perfect match, I was on a “use what you’ve got” kick and went ahead. It was going to be an exposed zip, so I read/watched a few tutorials, because I haven’t done one of these, and I worked out a method that looked manageable for me and was pretty enough.

Pretty lacy zip

I knew I was going to have a train journey up to London on Wednesday, so I decided to leave all the hand finishing until then. I knew I wanted to add a bias binding for the hem, because it would allow me to make as much use of the fabric length as possible. Also I really like the feeling of a satin binding when I’m not wearing tights. I overlocked the hem, and sewed on the binding, with the tiniest turn up I could get away with, all ready for the hand sewing. So Wednesday saw me hemming the skirt on the train, and neatening up the waistband by the zip.

Hem with bias binding

And today I was wearing it to work.

A fab new summer skirt!

 

Lookin’ good!

I did have a moment of panic last night, as I decided to try it on before going to bed. The zip stuck and then with all my faffing about with it the teeth split apart below the puller. The thought that I might have to cut myself out of it flashed through my mind! But then I got a grip and managed to ease myself out of it, and I was able to calmly coax the teeth back into their proper order. Phew!

Zip all A-OK

What would I do differently next time? Use fabric I can pattern-match more readily!

What do I love about this skirt? It’s going to be a useful Spring/Summer skirt. I love the lace zip, and I really want to use the rest of the ones I got now.

Blogiversary thoughts

Sunday was the four year anniversary of this blog starting. I was just looking back on my first post and I realised that I’ve done quite well in learning the things I thought back then that I would need to learn:

“Things that I will have to learn for this adventure to start being successful:

  • zips
  • buttonholes
  • proper fitting
  • finishing
  • neatness
  • patience”

Zips – check! I can do a centred zip (was my default from my teenage sewing days), a lapped zip (with or without protective placket, machined or hand picked) and concealed zips (thanks to the wonderful concealed zip foot). I don’t know if there are other kinds of zips to try, but if there are, I will not fear them!

Buttonholes – check! Although I haven’t really used buttonholes in series (for example, down a shirt front), I know how to use my machine’s buttonhole foot, and I’m no longer scared of them!

Proper fitting – I’ve learned that this is going to be a life-long learning process! But I do not fear the FBA, nor the swayback adjustment, and I can grade a pattern (though I may grumble about doing so!). So I think that’s another check.

Finishing – check! I’m happy with the finishing of my me-mades. Sometimes, the finishing has been more functional than pretty, but none of them have frayed. And with my lovely new overlocker, it is only going to get better.

Neatness – check! Well more or less – again, sometimes my neatness is more a matter of functionality. But I do a lovely invisible hem, I reckon.

Patience – Ah well, that’s another life-long learning process… But I’ve definitely come to understand and accept that the pattern adjusting and the cutting and the marking, while not technically “sewing” are key to the process of “making”. And I’ve learned to be a bit more Zen about that.

So overall, that’s pretty good going.

That led to me wondering where I go from here, in terms of my sewing ambitions and goals. I’m not at all competitive about this, and I’m happy just to be making nice clothes that fit me and suit my style. But I’d like to think my future sewing would involve making more complex garments than I’ve tackled to date, and improving my fitting skills. So I’m hoping that in the next two or three years, I would have made:

  • some button up garments such as shirts and blouses
  • some lined garments, including skirts and dresses
  • some more complex garments, such as jackets and coats. Especially if they are lined!

As well as getting better at the fitting and the patience.

I’ve got plans brewing for learning more about shirts. I’ve booked myself onto another Sew Over It course, but that won’t be for a while yet, so I’m not getting over-excited right now. I found the Zoe dress course to be a really positive learning experience, so I have high hopes that I will learn a whole lot more again.