Saturday, 31 May 2014

MMM'14 Week 5 - final round-up!!!

Ah, the end of my first me-made-May! That is both sad and a relief! Sad, because I have really enjoyed looking at the Flickr group and seeing how everyone else is doing and what they are wearing. I feel I've been a part of something fun and supportive and it's been great interacting with fellow bloggers and exchanging comments on each others outfits. The relief part comes from no more selfies for now and I can also go back to wearing the same dress 3 days in a row! The constant outfit change has actually been the main challenge for me really, as I do wear handmade regularly, but don't rotate as often. Also finding enough breast feeding appropriate garments was a bit of a stretch, but I managed ok!

Here's the final week in outfits...

DAY 24 - I hate this photo!

 DAY 25 - I hate this photo too! Bodice looks a bit messy...
  • Me-made chambray dress from the 'Big Spring contest'. I had to change the bodice, as this was unwearable for breast feeding. I didn't want to wait another year to wear it, so cut a Flora tank bodice from my small amount of remaining offset warehouse fabric and attached it to the skirt. Much better!!!
  • Me-made hand knit

DAY 26
  • Me-made smock dress
  • Gap jeans
  • Toast coat - I can't imagine making a coat I love as much as this!
  • Me-made change bag - used daily!
  • Hobbs bag (orange one) - freebie won in a competition!
  • H&M shoes

DAY 27

DAY 28 - My darling children seem hell bent on keeping me from sleeping, so today I am having an EXTREMELY lazy day!
  • Me-made stripe dress
  • H&M leggings
  • Me-made socks - unblogged

DAY 29
  • Me-made self-drafted T-shirt - as yet unblogged!
  • Me made trousers - wearable muslin (these have now stretched beyond recognition)

DAY 30
  • Me-made dress (Flora tank bodice with pleated skirt) - as yet unblogged
  • Cos jumper
  • RTW tights

DAY 31
  • Me-made stripey dress
  • Me made baby jumper - unblogged
  • Me made baby Maria!

 So, what has this challenge done for me? 
  • Well, for one it has really made me look at my wardrobe in terms of handmade and RTW. Normally I don't distinguish between the two, as everything all merges together. As it turns out I do wear alot of handmade alot of the time, which is not something I was necessarily aware of until now.
  • From a personal style point of view I can see that I actually have quite alot of coherence in my wardrobe. Stripes and Navy blue seem to be the glue that holds it all together ;-)
  • As for my knitwear, I don't have a bad selection. There's a shortage of me-made jumpers (as in none), but I can definitely rectify that. I am a complete fibre snob though and no matter how good I get at knitting, nothing can quite compare to a good quality fine merino RTW jumper.
  • I can stick to a challenge if I put my mind to it! I have surprised myself I have to say. It is actually hard work thinking about an outfit every day, as I don't normally think too hard with the prospect of being puked on or smudged by a baby and toddler looming over me, but it has been encouraging to be doing it alongside so many others. I think my motivation may have dipped if I was on my own as I am a bit of a flake and can easily talk myself out of things.
  • I need to make some hand made clothes for my two little ones. I am a completely selfish sewer and only really make things for myself, so need to get into the habit of making little things for little people.
  • I have met some amazing and truly inspirational sewers and (hopefully) friends through the power of the interweb.
In true me-made style here's an overview of my month in handmade...

Monday, 26 May 2014

Mimi for me-me!

Is there anyone in the sew-blog world that does not own Tilly's book? I feel I can make such a casual reference confident that you will all know what I am talking about (Love at first stitch by Tilly Walnes for those not in the know!)

If you own this book then you have probably flicked through and stroked pages or imagined your own versions of the lovely patterns. Tilly is encouraging and inspiring throughout and is basically living the life that all us sewists would love right now. If you do sew then this will help you begin to build a beautiful and ultimately wearable handmade wardrobe. If you don't sew, then this book will make you wish you did!

Anyway, reviews are flying all over the inter web, so I shall speak no more about this wonderful book and I really want to show off my Mimi blouse!

This is my first make from the book (hopefully I will get to try out the other patterns, but currently I have a few more of these in the planning!!!). I used a very crunchy feeling light linen which creases like there's no tomorrow and is difficult to press completely flat, but is very pleasing and lovely to work with. It was leftover from a print project last year and I haven't cut exactly as per the suggestion as I only had limited fabric. The yoke has a centre back seam and the back neck facing was cut off grain. The under collar also has back seam and the top collar was cut on a bias fold, but other than that no real changes.

I decided to get creative on the fabric, so I cut it all out and spent an evening staring at the front pieces wondering how I could decorate them. I had in mind an all over stamped print in different colours, but got stuck on the idea of using just red. After much procrastination I just drew my hands to form a border print. The evening was going on and I just wanted to get sewing, so after glancing at an embroidery I started some time ago, I decided this would do!

I drew them with water soluble pen and then painted over the lines with some screen printing ink, iron fixed it in the morning, washed the pen away and started sewing once the pieces were dry.

I didn't make a toile and it turns out the sizing is spot on! I made a size 4 and I'm very happy with the fit. I've used vintage mother of pearl buttons to finish, which works well with the vintagey linen. The painting adds a nice contrast to the vintage feel. They may even be a little creepy, but I can already tell that I am going to wear this to death. Anyway, here are more pictures to look at!

Look at that nice crisp pleat!

Whilst I was in an inky mood I decided to get my act together and use my silk screen that's been waiting to be used for a while now! I made up a stencil from my Pablo doll that I made last year some time and split it into 3 colours. Registration was a nightmare and I've even double printed one of them, but I love it! More to come on this later when I actually make it into something.

 Strangely enough, the above 2 projects are linked in more ways than I first thought! I adore Picasso and he provides me with so much inspiration, but the hands are loosely based on African asafo flags, which incidently I saw on a school art/textiles trip MANY years ago in connection with Picasso. Anyone who admires Picasso knows he was greatly inspired by African artifacts dotted around his studio. So there you go!

I'm thinking of framing the screen stencil. Isn't it cute?

Another BIG inspiration is Elsa Schiaparelli and look, I own a pair of shoes! They are far too small, but aren't they scrumptious!

Talk about random post! Over and out for now!

Friday, 23 May 2014

MMM'14 - Week 4 round-up

 Only one week left to go of MMM. I am a bit sad about this, as I am enjoying dressing this month, but can't say I will miss the photo taking! This is obviously not obligatory, but I kind of started every day and now can't stop!

My RTW is now looking so BORING!!!

BTW - I was going to ramble on longer, but my computer completely wiped this post and I have had to re-do it before the kids wake up! I'll ramble on longer next week!!!

DAY 17

DAY 18
  • Me-made self-drafted dress, pre-blog
  • Me-made handknit, pre-blog

DAY 19
  • Me-made PJ bottoms, unblogged
  • Hand knit socks, unblogged
  • Cos jumper

Later that day...

DAY 20
  • Hemlock as above
  • Me-made self-drafted skirt

 DAY 21
  • Me-made self-drafted dress, pre-blog
  • Me-made handknit

DAY 22
  • Me-made trousers 
  • Red/White stripe Hemlock
  • Cos jumper

DAY 23
  • Me-made dress 
  • Gap jeans

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Jenna's new sewing blog!

If you were at the sewing meet-up on Saturday, then you probably remember Jenna in the amazing print dress!

Turns out she didn't have a blog at this point, but she does now! Go visit 'just sew Jenna' and look at all the amazing clothes she's made for her little girl.

I also can't wait to see what she makes with her Goldhawk road haul!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Sew stretchy - The Monthly stitch

So, this months 'Monthly Stitch' challenge is 'Sew Stretchy'. This is not a challenge that inspired great enthusiasm from me to start with, as I just don't get excited about sewing knits. I even considered not contributing this month, I dislike the idea of knits so much! Fast forward a couple of weeks and I have been on a bit of a stretchy bender! I don't know why I felt so indifferent, because knits are so quick and easy. I have used up parts of my stash that I thought would linger for much longer and in the space of a week and a half I have made 2 cardigans and 3 t-shirts! What exactlty did I make? (I hear you ask...)

First off is this cardigan. It's a free download from iconic Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. I have had this pattern on my radar for almost 10 years now and have made it up a couple of times (but both unwearable in very cheap jersey), but it's a great way of demonstrating the difference a knit can make.

This is it made up in a thick ponte jersey. I got this rather large remnant for £1 (amazing right?). The pattern, once made up, is a like a sculpture and the concept is quite avant garde. I would say that in this fabric it is more of a jacket than a cardi.

I am wearing it upside down, which is how I think this version looks best! The bottom of the collar turned upside down forms a lapel type flap and the back is alot longer and the shape cocoony.

But, here it is on the mannequin...Before we go any further, I must make it clear that I did press this constantly, but whenever I put it down it seemed to crease!

It has a shawl collar when worn the right way up and look how the sleeves hang from the side! It's as if it already has arms in them. I love that part of it! (although they look a bit funny from the front) The back is short and on the waist, which gives a blouson effect.

This is the same garment in the light pointelle knit I got at the sewing meet-up on Saturday. It's so light and drapey. This is more suited to wearing the intended way up, but maybe not with these trousers creating a bum frame!!!!


I love this knit! I kind of picked it out on a whim and when I got it home wasn't quite sure if it was my kind of thing, but I think it will make a great cover up for the summer.

Ark at me...I made a twinset! Yep, I had enough fabric left over to squeeze a cropped Hemlock Tee out. I haven't pressed the hem well in this picture, but it looks alot better now that I have!

Here's another cropped Hemlock, but without the neckband. I just folded over the overlocked edge and stitched down with a straight stitch for a plain finish. Well, there was that and the fact that I was running out of scraps! This was left over from my stripey dress and I intended to wear this to the Saturday meet-up, but when I tried it on in the morning realised that it was too warm as the weather was-a-scorching.

Here I am wearing it for MMM'14
I must confess that I liked it so much when I finished it that I immediately ordered the reverse colourway of Cream with Navy stripe. I have a metre of it, so may make 2 if I can make it go that far, or maybe order a bit more Navy with Cream stripe and mix them together a la 'Petit Bateau'.

This is my last streeeetch! This fabric is weird! It is a black and white stretch brocade with a 50's/retro scribble weave which seems to be woven entirely in Lycra or some very synthetic yarn. It feels good quality though and is really thick. This was another £1 piece and I have enough left to make a skirt. Twinset and skirt suit in one month? How mature of me! I made this using the same pattern as my Crimplene jacket, but obviously sans front opening!

There we have it, the fruits of my stretchy labour! I have surprised myself with this challenge and would urge people to try out the Hemlock tee. The Yohji Yamamoto jacket is not for everyone, but it's definitely worth a try. Personally I love them both and feel I have created some really useful basics for my wardrobe.

Phew, glad I got there in the end!!!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Pantalon Gilbert - from toile to trouser

Yesterday, I posted about my new denim trousers I made for the sewing meet-up. Well, today I thought I would post some pictures of the toile with only some minor changes to the original pattern to show how I've adjusted the fit.

The original toile is much more fitted and shorter in length. I have finished them off as a wearable toile now, as they fit ok! The only change I did make after sewing them up completely was to undo the waistband and flatten out the pleats, as these were pulling in a very unflattering manner. If you look at the original model shots for this pattern you can see that the trousers are not intended to be so close fitting, but I have fairly curvacious legs and hips. Even if I'd graded up on this area I don't think those tiny pleats would have been flattering!

The fabric is a cotton sateen remnant and only cost £1, so although the print is a bit cray cray I'm going to give them a whirl and wear them. Not convinced these are going to wash well, but I suppose it's not the end of the world for £1!

I must say these do fit quite well on my bum on my toiled version (the print is really emphasising the size of it though).

So, there you have it. If you're going to make these trousers definitely toile up first, as with all trousers really, to work out how you can make them work for you. Unless you are one of the lucky people with model like pins.