Tag Archive | blue roses dress

A long Me Made Weekend

Day 27 already and I can’t believe I’ve got all this way through Me Made May and have managed to wear something I’ve made or refashioned every single day. I’d been slightly dubious about it, hence I’d hedged my bets with a 5-days-a-week pledge, but I’ve surprised myself. A full Reflections and Lessons Learned post will be forthcoming once May is properly finished.

Onto the photos… As previously noted, we’re well onto repeats now, unless I surprise myself and manage to make something new in the next two evenings.

Day 23 – Friday

A bit grungy!

A bit grungy!

Friday I was at my volunteer job, and it’s generally very casual. I was wearing my pre-blog long tunic-y t-shirt dress. Styled with yoga pants and a hoodie. I thought it was all a bit grungy and down at heel, but my volunteer boss said I was glamorous because I was wearing animal print!

I was *this* close to saying “hang the photographing, I’m tired” on Friday evening.

Day 24 – Saturday

A new make! The Slouchy Teal Cardigan

A new make! The Slouchy Teal Cardigan

Aha! A new item! The previously mentioned Me Made Cardigan. I should have known better than to say it was too warm for using in May. That was just tempting Providence, wasn’t it? It turned cold over the weekend, so although I didn’t think I’d be wearing it much for a few months yet, I pulled it out of the cupboard. It’s a bit formless and unflattering, but it’s toasty and it’s the first jumper I’ve knitted for myself in a good 20 years, so I’m cutting myself some slack, and calling it “slouchy” rather than shapeless.

The leggings are also me-made, repeated from Day 9.

Day 25 – Features one of my lovely nieces

Saying goodbye to my eldest niece. Inadvertant colour co-ordination

Saying goodbye to my eldest niece. Inadvertent colour co-ordination.

My eldest niece*, Sophie, is off to the far end of the planet in the next couple of weeks, she’s flying to New Zealand for a year or two. Or maybe more. I can’t help fearing that some hunky rugby player will steal her heart and keep her there. Her leaving party was on Sunday. Although I didn’t realise it when deciding what to wear, I wore the perfect dress (repeated from Day 14), as the colour scheme for the party was lime green and blue (hence the pompoms).

Most of the guests were the nieces’ friends, it made me feel very old as they were all in their teens and early twenties! But they’re all such nice kids. Eldest niece already knew about MMM as she’d taken the Eurovision evening photo, and, bless her, she was telling her friends all about it.

Day 26 

Selfie Fail

Selfie Fail

Monday (being traditional British Bank Holiday Weather) ended up being a stay in and hunker down day. I wore jimjams for much of it! But I acknowledged that my pyjamas are not me-made. Lesson learned. Next MMM, I’m going to need a cosy onesie or something like, so that if I need to take a duvet day, I can do so within the terms of the challenge.

So I got dressed for the afternoon. Another repeat for the easy-peasy floral hi-lo circle skirt. This is turning into my go-to comfy weekend wear.

I totally failed to photograph myself in it.

Day 27 – Back to work

Total outfit repeat!

Total outfit repeat!

This is a complete repeat from Day 12. In the same outfit too, only the shoes are different. I feel like I’m letting the side down! I love this skirt but today has been a trifle windy, and the walk to my office is a passageway up a hill which acts like a wind tunnel, and I’ve had a fair few Marilyn Monroe moments- eeek!

I just spotted I have “orbs” in this photo. Indeed I have orbs on my orbs. How ghostly! Some say these offices are haunted- it’s an old school, and there’s rumours of a ghost of an especially fierce headmaster, but this particular office is apparently the old lavatory block, and I’ve never heard of a haunted lav!


Only four more days to go! Thursday, Friday and Saturday are going to need some planning, because I’m off to France for the weekend.


* I am very blessed in the Niece department. I’ve got eight of them, and two nephews. Eldest niece is 22, and Youngest Niece is 5.

It’s hard keeping track of what MMMs I’ve posted already

We were up to Saturday night and Eurovision, weren’t we? So the round up from there is as follows:


Day 11 – Sunday Chillin’

A lil bit girly!

A lil bit girly!

I made this circle skirt a couple of years ago, pre-blog, and it’s another easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy knit circle skirt with an elasticated waist. This is a very thin knit, and the hem doesn’t even qualify as a hem, because it isn’t actually hemmed! Over time the hem has dropped so far from hanging in my wardrobe that I took a pair of scissors to it, on Sunday to even it up so that I , and I decided I’d leave the back un-cut and see how the skirt looks with one of those hi-lo hems. I quite like it! I’ll have to try and do it deliberately some time. Also, can I fit the word “hem” in any more into this paragraph? Hem. Yes.

Day 12 – The fixed Squares & Triangles Circle Skirt

I do love this skirt!

I do love this skirt!

Today I was wearing my Squares & Triangles Circle Skirt. I love this skirt, but the waistband was too big and it had taken me a while to get my fixing head on and re-do it. I did it on the Saturday, so that I could wear it in Me Made May with honour (and with certainty that it wouldn’t fall down).

It is a full circle, and Monday was quite windy so I had a couple of Marilyn Monroe moments!


Day 13 – My first repeat

Another view of my office

Another view of my office

I was wearing the Red Square Skirt, with a different type of top. I think I prefer this outfit.

But Tuesday included a bonus Me-Made. I teach bellydance on Tuesday nights, and I decided to wear a pair of me-made cropped leggings.

Bellydance Leggings!

Bellydance Leggings!

These are a repeat of the leggings from Day 9, but shorter. The lycra is thicker and not as stretchy, so they feel completely different, but it’s still the same basic pattern.

I’m quite chuffed that I’ve made it this far without repeats, and I still have one item left* that I haven’t worn. And I’m full of optimism that I can finish my teal cardigan before May is out.


Day 14 – The Blue Roses Dress comes out for the sun!

Summer dress comes out for the sun

Summer dress comes out for the sun

I do love the Blue Roses dress, but it’s a bit, um, dressy. I wore it to work today and it raised a few comments along the lines of “You’re looking very summery”, as though I was slightly unhinged! But today has been lovely and sunny, and just the right sort of time to wear a nice summery dress. I only wish I had more of them right now. But, man, do my legs look pasty!


I can’t believe we’re very nearly half way through!


* I’ve got a couple of really badly made skirts in the wardrobe that I am not willing to own up to in public! I may be cannibalising them for parts soon.

The Blue Roses Dress In All Its Glory

I finished this dress on Friday, and wore it to visit my sister on Saturday. I love it! I’m raring to make another one, to make the most of the immediate knowledge I gained on this make, and because I need more summer dresses!

Blue Roses Dress front

Blue Roses Dress front

I know, it needs a couple of rows of pearls just to finish off the outfit.

The picture of the back isn’t so great, but dammit, I worked hard to sort the back out, so you get to see it. I’m going to have to learn about posing for blog photos. And working with my camera timer.

Blue Roses Dress back

Blue Roses Dress back

And as I’m most proud of this zip, here’s a picture of it:

That's one beautifully lapped zip, though I say so myself

That’s one beautifully lapped zip, though I say so myself

What I love about this dress? It’s got pretty blue roses on it, what’s not to love? I’m proud of the fit on this- although Emma did the front work, I learned from what she did, so I could do the back myself. And I’m proud of myself that I didn’t freak out when I realised I needed to re-do work, and I just went ahead and unpicked, without going off on one. I may yet learn patience.

Things I’m going to change on the next one? It can be a bit smaller, with Emma’s alterations I had a massive seam allowance, of 7/8″. And this dress has a LOT of ease. I’d be quite happy with a slightly closer fit, especially in the skirt element. I’ve already traced off the pattern pieces, adding the alterations that Emma made, and then adding my own alterations, which means the back will be smaller, and already incorporates the changes that I made. I might change the front neckline darts to make them more of a design feature, by turning them into pleats. I might even make the neckline a little lower, though I’d have to be sure of myself when it came to changing the facing.

In other news, progress has been made on the Niece’s summer dress, and it’s been considerably tidied up. I’ve got the hemming to do. It’s all pinned and ready to sew by hand, and I might get cracking on that tonight.


I thought to myself, I didn’t want the grass to grow under my feet on the Blue Roses Dress, seeing as we’d got so far with it on Sunday, so I took it out this evening, to move it on.

The first thing I did was the front darts, because they were the easiest thing, and I knew I could get them done without any problem. And indeed such was the case. They went in like a dream, and I’m very happy with them.

Next it was the zip. Zips are a thing I need to work on. It’s a lapped zip, and I felt like I knew what I was doing and  felt ok working on this. I was all set for a bit of sewing self-confidence boosting. I did the first side (the one that goes under the lap) and it was all fine. I took it off for a bit of a pressing, to make sure the lap part was well prepared for the trickier (more visible) side. I pinned it. And while it was pinned, I decided to try it on, because that’s the closest it had been to being an actual dress.

The front is excellent, it’s fitting beautifully, I couldn’t be happier with the front.

Beautiful Front

Beautiful Front

But the back- AAAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! There’s massive gaping going on there! It’s a bit tricky photographing the back of my own neck, but you can see here (do excuse the At Home Hair):

Woes!!! Gaping back

Woes!!! Gaping back

I need to take out a good two inches to make it fit. I’ve got two options:

a) I could add more darts. Though it would mean carefully matching darts on the back with darts on the back facing, which is certainly possible, though an extra faff.

Or b) I could undo the back seam, and resew it, and lose the excess width that way.

At the moment I’m favouring b), it would feel neater. The main drawback would be that the seam allowance would be so massive (it was a pretty generous 7/8″ to start off with), and I might regretfully have to cut away the beautifully overlocked edges. And finish the blasted things another way.

I’ll try it on again, to see whether one option leaps out ahead of the other, but really, either way- grrr!


Edited to Add:

I decided to do the unpicking tonight. I swear, the word “seam-ripper” is the cruellest misnomer in the whole of the sewing lexicon. There is no ripping involved at all. Reclaiming those stitches is long and hard and it’s never a nice experience… And seeing as I was still working on it, I figured I might as well keep going and redo the back seam and zip tonight.

I decided to go with option b), and it’s worked very well. The back neckline is sitting beautifully, and I’m happy with my zip insertion. I’d post photos but it’s far too bothersome at this time of night.

I’ve still got the edge neatening to do on the back seam and zip edges and the tidying up of the facing around the zip (I haven’t really worked those two out in detail yet) and the hemming to do.

MakeMe Workshop

Hooray, hooray! The workshop that was postponed has now happened, and it was fun times, and very productive. MakeMe is based in the Medecine Gardens near Cobham, and it’s a beautiful setting.

The Medecine Gardens, sat out at the Hothouse Café at lunchtime

The Medecine Gardens, sat out at the Hothouse Café in the glorious sunshine at lunchtime

The workshop was MakeMe a Shift Dress, and it all went ahead as planned. I was lucky enough that I was the only person there, so in practice it was a 6 hour one-to-one- selfish bliss!. In theory it was all about how to work with a commercial pattern, but the very lovely Emma who was teaching the workshop is more used to drafting her own, and although she was trying to stick to the pattern instructions, we were working on various alterations on the fly, so there have been adaptations. We were using New Look 6095 as the starting point:

New Look 6095

New Look 6095

I took two fabric options with me, the sentimental red & black Hong Kong silk/cotton blend, or the blue floral slightly stretchy cotton (which I used for the banner image above). We settled on the floral, because it’s a bit heftier and easier to work with. Emma did mention the possibility that the red & black would work if done with a gathered skirt rather than the straight skirt, making more of a day dress rather than a shift dress. Which is a great idea, and one I might well come back to at some point when I’m feeling clever enough to tinker that substantially with patterns.

Given that I’m bigger than the largest pattern size, there were some inevitable alterations, and since a substantial part of my larger size is bust, there are considerably more darts in this version of the dress than on the actual pattern. So one very big learning experience from this workshop was Darts, which was useful, especially as one of the darts was a slightly curved one, which was tricky, and I need to remember for the future about sewing from the point out to the edge of the fabric, with the longer curve underneath, to help with the easing (and therefore pinning on the basis that that’s what I’m going to be doing). Another learning experience was Overlocking- I had a go on one!!!!! I was a bit wary of it, I’ll be honest. But I gave it a shot and I can see how you could fall in love with those babies. Also Neatness, I was in awe of Emma’s methodical approach, and I’m going to try really hard to emulate that in my own sewing. And Patience- the actual sewing doesn’t take so long, it’s the preparation that takes all the time. I always tend to think of the prep as the boring stuff you need to do before you get down to the actual sewing, but really I need to start thinking of the prep as part of the whole process, and enjoy it in the same sort of way. Oh, and I love long pins, I am definitely going to have to find myself some good long dressmaking pins.

So here is the Blue Roses Dress so far. We got pretty far with it.

Blue Roses Dress: the Work In Progress

Blue Roses Dress: the Work In Progress

Spot three separate sets of darts

Spot three separate sets of darts

All I’ve got left to do all by myself is:

  • put in the front darts. They’re all drawn & ready to pin, so should be a piece of cake
  • insert the zip. This is my bugbear, but Emma gave me a really clear demonstration, and she gave me her sample zip as a reminder, and a spare zip to practise on, before I muck up with my actual dress zip.
  • hem it. The hem is overlocked in readiness. Emma has suggested using a fusible tape, to avoid any stitches showing through.

Hope I don’t mess it up at this last hurdle.