Pineapple Grainline Scout tee

Morning lovelies! Hope you’re all having a splendid weekend. It’s mega sunny here in the UK, so I’ve been trying to eek out every second of outside time I can. I’m typing this on my decking while the Manfriend cooks us bacon on the barbecue and it’s already warm (10ish).

I’ve got another of my photographed on holiday makes to show you today. It’s a Grainline Scout tee, which I’ve made twice before so there’s not really much to say. Especially as it’s just a simple woven t-shirt.

I narrowed the shoulder by 1/2″ for this version and they’re still quite wide on me. The t’shirt has gone a bit lopsided in the photo below but you can see that the right (as you look at it) shoulder is still hanging way down from where my actual shoulder ends. The left side seams about right though so I think I only need a little adjustment. But then again I don’t want to overfit. This feels perfectly fine to wear.

I did the dart adjustment that I said I would do in my post about my last Scout (basically take a dart and rotate it out) and it has helped the lines from bust to hip a bit but hasn’t gotten ridden of them entirely. I’m happy enough though.

The fabric I used is a viscose voile, which I hadn’t come across before. It’s very light and drapey but wasn’t as hard to work with as I expected. It’s very cool to wear in warm weather. It was great for being a bit covered up but not sweltering.

There were orange and lemon trees growing just in front of our villa so I couldn’t resist a taking some photos pretending to pick one. I look very pleased with myself.

I used French seams throughout as it’s my preferred finishing method with viscose – just because I think they look nicest and I don’t really trust the overlocker on something so lightweight. Though I do use it on some of the beefier viscose fabrics. I need to watch how aggressively I trim my seams though as some of my French seamed tops seem to be fraying a bit now.

That’s about all I can think of to say about this tee and the sun is edging closer to the decking so I probably won’t be able to see the laptop soon. Here are the deets:

The details

Pattern: Grainline Scout tee

PDF or Printed: PDF

How many pages: 18

A0 file included? No, only US copyshop file

Measurements: Bust 38.5″ – Waist 31.5″ – High hip 40″ / Low hip 41″

Size made: The same as my last one, a US 8 at the shoulders and bust grading out to a 10 at the hips (current measurements could possibly do with a little more room at the bust) 

Alterations: 

1/2″ narrow shoulder adjustment and took a tiny bust dart and rotated it out.

Fabric used: Just a bit less than 1m of 139cm wide viscose voile from the Textile Centre (the navy is long sold out as I bought it last year but they still have some in peach)

Another version? Undoubtedly

Any changes next time? The shoulders are still too wide on me but instead of narrowing them again I might fiddle with narrowing the whole upper chest area. I think I might lengthen it slightly too.

Final Thoughts

I’m really happy with this t’shirt and it’ll make a great addition to my wardbrobe.

Have a lovely sunny day peeps.

Sew Over It Doris Dress

Ooh, what could this be? A finished garment post? Stay very still or we’ll scare it away. This is probably going to be quite a vague and photo heavy post as I made this Sew Over It Doris dress in August last year so some of the details are a little hazy. It’s actually the project that I took to the Sewing Weekender and I wore the finished dress out for dinner on my friend’s 30th birthday so it has lots of nice memories attached to it.

Sew over it doris dress
And holiday ones

I made Version 1, the longer version with the tie back, but I shortened the skirt pieces by 2″ – at the hem when I was tracing the pattern, not at the lengthen/shorten line. It hits just above/on my knee and that’s spot on for the length I wanted. I made a toile of the bodice and it had fit fairly well but I made a small forward shoulder/head adjustment* and took a wedge out of the neckline.

*I don’t know what the adjustment’s actually called but I remove some length from the front shoulder and add it onto the back. In a proper forward shoulder adjustment I think you pivot the shoulder side of the seam and leave the neck bit where it is but because my head sits forward, I move the whole seam. I hope that makes sense.

The length of the bodice was fine on my toile but is a little too short on my finished dress and I think it may be because I lined the bodice with cotton voile instead of using the facings – not a fan of facings. Cotton is so much more stable than viscose I think that the toile had probably stretched out but the lining stops the final dress doing the same. The lining didn’t really work anyway so next time I’ll just use the facings. Or maybe try a half lining/all in one facing kinda thing.

I’ve only actually worn the dress twice because I saw it as a dressy dress so had only worn it on my friend’s birthday night out and out to dinner on holiday – when I took these photos. Because I wore it with flat shoes on holiday and it didn’t look stupid (don’t tell me if you think it does look stupid) I’ve now decided that I can wear it to work. I may even lift my zip embargo and make more for wearing to work as well. Maybe a black and white polka dot one with red buttons.

I made a bit of a boo-boo by not leaving the dress to hang and levelling the hem. As you can probably see in these photos, it’s a little wonky as the panels have dropped a little bit at the edges. As is my usual way I’d left it until the last minute and was still finishing off the dress the day we were going out (handsewing the hem on the train and at my desk in my lunch break).

Check that flare

I love all the colours in this fabric (and it’s still available on Minerva Crafts if you do too) though I probably should have paid a little more attention to print placement as I’ve got a few clusters of mainly pink flowers and I was disappointed with the two blue flowers at the neckline. I thought it looked like I had tried and failed to pattern match but when I said that in the YouTube video where I showed the dress people commented that it looked like a deliberate little posy so I’m happy with that.

Mushy photo klaxon

The details

Pattern: Sew Over It Doris dress

PDF or Printed: I used the printed version but it does come in PDF too.

Measurements: They were quite a bit smaller when I made the dress but at the time of the photos they are: Bust 38.5″ – Waist 31.5″ – High hip 40″ / Low hip 41″ (*whisper* maybe even bigger, it’s been a while since I checked them…)

Size made: 12, though my current measurements are much closer to the 14 and it still just about fits.

Alterations: Forward head/shoulder adjustment and took a smidge out of the front neckline. Shortened the longer length by 2″ at the hem not the lengthen/shorten line.

Fabric used: 3m of 140cm wide floral viscose from Minerva Crafts

Another version? Yes

Any changes next time?

I think I need to make a hollow chest adjustment as there’s a little bit of gape between the dress and my chest. I’ll lengthen the front a bit too I think.

Non-clueless versions:

Final Thoughts

I love this dress. I’m a big fan of a kimono sleeve and I adore the shape of the skirt. I’m becoming more of a Sew Over It fangirl with every one of their patterns I sew to be honest. Anyone else a fangirl for certain pattern companies? It’s Sew Over It and Helen’s Closet for me and sort of Deer and Doe, though I haven’t sewn all of their patterns I’ve been compelled to buy.

Me Made May 17: Thoughts

So there’s this year’s Me Made May in all its glory. The first thing that strikes me is that I haven’t really moved away from the old blue, green and monochrome colour scheme that I had last year. There is definitely a bit more colour – a decent amount of red and a little bit of pink. I did a wee colour palette thingy, a la Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow, picking out colours from my photos.

The bigger ones are the neutrals, the greige (grey-beige) on the left came from my floral Scout and I think it’ll work better for me than a more yellow beige. I’ve put two different shades of navy in because that came up a lot as well as various other shades of blue. And well… It’s a bit bland isn’t it?

I feel and look better in the more colourful outfits. So I did another palette thingy with more colours. The colours are still picked out from my photos (except the second green, which I just made up because I know I like it) but they’re more supporting colours – they mostly came from the flowers on my Doris dress and the light, not quite coral pink was from the butterflies on my Nancy dress.

I think my Doris dress and my Sewaholic Cambie dress both encapsulate the colour palette I think looks best on me quite well. They both have a navy base, which I think is softer and better on me than black, and then between the two of them they’ve got all the other colours I’ve put in this palette.

Sew Over It Doris dress sewaholic cambie dress

So my plan is to try and incorporate more of those accent colours into my wardrobe. I will always be drawn most to blues and I don’t think you’ll ever catch me in head to toe pink but I think I look alright in a cool pink or dusky rose so maybe I should experiment a bit more with them.

What I wore

Moving on from colours to the graphs I promised/threatened. I kept a spreadsheet of the types of garments I wore and here are the results.

types of garment me made

I tracked the number of days I wore a particular type of garment as well as the number of different garments. So as you can see I wore a lot of dresses and only repeated a couple of them (Alex shirt dress and New Look 6096). Whereas with trousers and cardigans I repeated them a lot. The trousers were my Winslow culottes and I would definitely like another pair for the summer. I’m also planning a lengthened pair of Tania culottes.

I tracked the RTW I wore as well to help identify gaps and you can see straight away that I need more tops, cardigans and trousers, well specifically jeans as that’s the one pair of trousers that I repeated five times. I finally got round to washing some of the denim that was in my stash yesterday so I hope to get cracking on a pair of jeans soon. The tops were all knit so that’s very much an area of need. I need to work on some production line style t-shirt sewing I think.

Top 5 most worn items

  • Grey Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan – 5 times (including putting it on in the evenings on holiday)
  • Turquoise Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan – 4 times
  • Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes – 4 times
  • Sew Over It Alex shirtdress – 3 times
  • Floral Grainline Scout tee – 2 times

Most liked outfit

My shorter New Look 6096 and grey Blackwood cardigan got 170 likes on Instagram.

New Look 6096 & Helen's closet Blackwood cardigan

Most versatile garment

My Alex shirt dress definitely wins this one. I wore it three times, styled differently each time.

So I definitely want to sew some more of these. I think another solid version would probably be nice, as well as the purple version I put in my #2017MakeNine plans. Maybe a soft chambray if I can find one.

Things I learned

  • I really liked looking nice on the days I made a more of an effort and just because I’m anti-zip and pro-comfort doesn’t mean I can’t wear pretty dresses. There are lots of nice zipless dresses out there – Deer and Doe Aubépine and Réglisse dresses and Sew Over It Eve dress are some I have my eye on though I’m a bit unsure of how much I’ll like a wrap dress on me.
  • I would like some more knit skirts. Particularly pencil skirts as the outfit above with my Alex shirt dress and polka dot pencil skirt was one of my favourite of the month. I’m also thinking about making a knit Sewaholic Gabriola skirt a la the lovely Hila’s Moneta-Gabriola love child maxi dress.
  • A skinny belt can make a big difference to an outfit.
  • I am total Helen’s Closet fan girl and proud.
  • I have a lot more Me Made clothes than I thought I did. Though I think I was definitely helped out by the weather in May being so changeable – and going on holiday didn’t hurt. I would be buggered if it had been autumn or winter.
  • Me Made May has added like bajillion patterns to my wishlist. I desperately want a chambray Grainline Archer shirt now and I really fancy the Alder shirtdress as well.
  • I still have no real desire to make loungewear or PJs but some clothes to be dressed while bumming about the house might be nice. Just some knit tops really I think.
  • I’m sooo behind on blogging my finished makes.

What lessons have you learned from Me Made May? I love reading other people’s epiphanies so do let me know if you’ve written about your Me Made May.

Me Made May 17: Days 15-31

So that’s it. It’s over. We’re done. This is just going to be another round-up of the things I wore for the rest of the month and then I’ll do a separate post with my thoughts and things I’ve learned – I may even put a graph or two in.

Anyway, let’s crack on as this is going to be a slightly longer post because I went on holiday at the end of the month so a few days have multiple outfits.

Day 15 – Little Red Dress Project dress (Simple Sew Lottie – True Bias Southport lovechild)Red Simple Sew Lottie - True Bias Southport hybrid

The beautiful sunshine had disappeared, replaced by horrid, heavy rain so I thought went for sleeves today. We also had a man coming to the office to give a bit of training so I thought I’d make an effort to look presentable. I should probably make some more smart but comfortable dresses like this.

Day 16 – Dinosaur Ballet dress

Dinosaur ballet dress

This remains one of my favourite ever dresses and I think it always will be. I have some more of this dinosaur fabric in a different colourway that the lovely Victoria of Pockets for Sweets pointed me in the direction of. (Check out her Moneta made from it.)

Day 17 – Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress

Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress

My first Coco dress – which fits me much better now I’ve gained a little weight…

Day 18 – Floral Grainline Scout and Navy Deer and Doe Anemone skirt

And my first repeat (not including cardigans). I was quite impressed with myself to make it to day 18 before I had to repeat things. I dug my Anemone out of the depths of the wardrobe to be able to style my Scout differently.

Day 19 – PJs

No me made today as I had the day off to prep for my holiday – wax my legs, pack, finish sewing things to wear. As always I had overambitious plans for things to make but I did manage to make 2 dresses, 2 tops and a cardigan/cover-up so that’s something. In total that is, not all in that one day!

Day 20 – Jeans and Alex shirt dress worn as a shirt

We flew to Cyprus from Gatwick so we travelled up today and stayed in a hotel near the airport. I was struggling to find anything to wear and then I remembered that I’d seen people on Instagram tying shirt dresses to make them double as a top. So I gave it a go with my Alex and I was really pleased with how it looked.

Day 21

Morning – RTW dress and turquoise Blackwood

We left our hotel at 3:30am so I wasn’t really feeling a photo and as the majority of my outfit was RTW it didn’t seem worth it. I wanted to be comfortable when travelling so I wore a RTW black and white striped tent/sway dress I have that I really like. I want to make one myself but I’ve been torn over whether to buy a pattern (and if so, which one*) or to hack a t-shirt pattern.

*Closet Case Ebony, Made It Groove dress and Tessuti Frankie are my front runners but there are so many different patterns it’s hard to choose.

Afternoon – Denim shorts and a purple vest

I suppose this is technically my first fail as I left the house/villa and no part of it was Me Made but as it was one of three outfits this day and the other two had me made components I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Evening – True Bias Southport dress

First night dinner outfit was my Southport dress and first night dinner was sheftalia. I love sheftalia.

Day 22

Day – Alina Design & Sewing Co Chi-town chinos, RTW tank top and grey Blackwood cardigan

Chi-town chinos

I don’t have a good photo of this outfit as it was really windy when I tried to take some and they all looked awful. This is a photo I took while I was on a lounger reading despite the wind and occasional spots of rain. I am so very British. Aled thought I was out there hiding from my mum and nan but I just genuinely didn’t want to waste any outside time. I’ll happily sit in a beer garden in my coat if there’s even a little bit of brightness masquerading as warmth.

Evening – Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes palazzo pants and RTW white off the shoulder top

I seem to like to wear an off the shoulder top with my Winslows. I really like this H&M top, the shoulder is exactly where I want it and it doesn’t ride up. In other off the shoulder tops I’ve bought and made, the shoulder likes to pop up and I keep having to pull them back down. Dinner tonight was prawn saganaki, which was blummin’ lovely and I just realised I should have bought a small bottle of ouzo to try to make it at home.

Day 23

No photos today. We didn’t go out in the day and stayed in the villa for a barbecue for dinner too. I wore my Winslow culottes again and the black and grey striped tank top from the other day but I didn’t look presentable enough to bother taking a photo.

Day 24 – Southport ish maxi dress

Bright floral southport dress

It was another villa day so there’s no daytime photo. Dinner outfit was one of my True Bias Southport ish dresses. I’ve basically taken all of the interesting Southport bits off. I cut the front bodice and skirt on the fold, getting rid of the buttons and slit, I gave it an elasticated waist instead of a drawstring and I slashed and spread the skirt for a bit more floof. I love it and I suspect I’ll live in it this summer. Dinner was a meze so I was very grateful for the elasticated waist. (It was about 20 dishes)

I’m an army brat and we lived in Cyprus for two years when I was a child, which is one of the reasons I’ve been on holiday there so much – it’s a really lovely place, the people are so warm and friendly, it’s beautiful and the food is fabulous. One of the men that worked with my dad when we lived there also owned a restaurant (Andy’s Place) and we used to go there for a meze quite often. I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent, all to say I facking love a Greek-Cypriot meze. The one we had was lovely but because it’s in quite a touristy place the service is quick so the last few dishes are a struggle as you’re already quite full, whereas if you’re somewhere a bit more traditional it’ll take hours.

Day 25 – RTW denim shorts and pineapple scout

Pineapple grainline scout tee

Me and the Manfriend popped into Coral Bay for lunch and some shopping so I just popped my new pineapple Grainline Scout and RTW denim shorts on over my bikini. I had a lovely tuna salad for lunch and jumped in the pool as soon as we got back to the villa.

We had another barbecue in the evening to use up our charcoal and the rest of the food we bought so I just put on my Winslows yet again and a purple tank top.

Day 26 – Sew Over It Doris dress

Sew Over It Doris dress

Obnoxious couple photo alert! I don’t wear this dress enough. I think I saw it as evening wear but I’ve decided I like it too much for it to be worn so infrequently and I should start wearing it to work. We went into Paphos this night and had Chinese food, which feels a very wrong when there’s so much lovely Greek food to eat but it’s a really nice Chinese restaurant.

Day 27 – Sewaholic Gabriola skirt and RTW top

Sewaholic Gabriola skirt

The last night, sob! This is another thing that fits a bit better now I’ve gained some weight. My Gabriola sits on my natural waist now, which makes it a better length to wear with flats. Tonight I had spicy calamari, which was very nice, and a huuuge slab of baklava for dessert.

Day 28 – True Bias Southport (ish) dress

Blue floral southport dress

Travel home day. And it’s my other Southport ish dress. I had leggings and a blackwood cardigan in my hand luggage for if I got cold on the plane or when we landed. This was a mammoth day of travelling. My mum stayed at my nan’s an extra night and came home on the Monday but me and Aled drove home on the Sunday night to get a lie in and recuperation day on the Monday. I was so tired and spaced out by the time we got home that I nearly passed out. Luckily I wasn’t the one driving!

Day 29 – PJs

The aforementioned recuperation day meant I didn’t get dressed at all. I barely moved from the sofa in fact. It was lovely.

Day 30 – New Look 6096 maxi dress

New Look 6096 maxi dress

First day back in work, booo! It’s warm but overcast here at the moment so I didn’t really know what to wear. I grabbed this as it was clean and felt summery but okay if it got chilly. It’s my only outfit repeat so I kind of wish I’d found something else. But just one outfit repeat is way better than I’d expected.

Day 31 – Alex shirt dress and RTW knit pencil skirt

sew over it alex shirt dress

My Alex shirt dress has got to be one of my most versatile garments. I really like it all three ways I’ve worn it this month. This is a little bit smarter than I normally dress for work but I love this outfit so I think I need to start dressing a bit smarter. The skirt is knit so it’s still comfy but looks a bit more pulled together. I think I need to try to make a pattern from it. And I definitely need more Alex shirts and shirt dresses.

And that’s it. I’m going to miss seeing everyone’s outfits every day, I’ve been massively inspired and have a huge wishlist of new patterns. It’ll be nice not having to do a little photoshoot tomorrow morning though.

How was everyone else’s Me Made May? Did you learn things? Are you glad it’s over?

Me Made May 17: Days 1-14

So we’re two weeks in to Me Made May now, nearly half way through. How is everyone doing? Are you sick of the photos yet? So far I’ve added about a 32,000 patterns to my wishlist and 63,000 projects to my mental To Be Sewn list. Too much inspiration on Instagram! Anyway I’m going to do a quick run down of the things I’ve worn and some of the things I’ve learned over the first two weeks of my first “proper” Me Made May.

Day 1 – PJs

I was just bimbling about the house and sewing so I didn’t get dressed. Living my best life.

Day 2 – Sew Over It Nancy dress

Sew Over It Nancy dress

I wanted to start my Me Made May with a goodie and I really like this dress. It needs a bit of fitting work before I make it again but I definitely plan to make some more Nancy dresses. I’ve got some grey viscose with roses on that I’m planning to use but I’ll probably wait until the autumn now.

Day 3 – New Look 6096 and Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan

New Look 6096 & Helen's closet Blackwood cardigan

You’ll be seeing a lot of this Blackwood cardigan. I absolutely love this pattern. I’ve bought fabric to make two more and I don’t think I’ll stop there. In the spirit of trying to experiment more with style I put my belt on over the top of my cardigan, which is something I’ve seen other people do and I really like it. It pulls the outfit together. So I want more skinny belts.

Day 4 – Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes and a very old RTW shirt

Helen's Closet Winslow Culottes

I love these palazzo pants but I always wear the the same top with them – the off the shoulder Scout in my post about them. So I wanted to try to mix things up a bit. I prowled Pinterest for ages to see what people wear with culottes and palazzo pants and I didn’t have any of the things so I pulled this black shirt from the depths of my wardrobe instead. I experimented with tying the ends and I quite liked it but wasn’t brave enough to wear it outside as it flashed a bit of my tummy but I might give it a go before the month is out.

Day 5 – Floral viscose Grainline Scout tee with RTW jeans and cardigan

Grainline Scout tee in floral viscose

Friday! We’re only allowed to wear jeans on a Friday at work, which is a silly rule because we don’t have a smart dress code the rest of the time. Some people look smarter in their jeans than they do in the stuff they wear the rest of the week. A former colleague used to wear combats and trainers Mon-Thurs and really nice jeans on a Friday, almost to prove a point. Anyway, I digress. These RTW jeans very much need replacing – I need to get on with that Twenty SevenJean goal! The red cardi has definitely seen better days too so I’ve put colourful cardigans on my list of things to make. There was a tutorial for turning a top into a waterfall cardigan like this on the Grainline blog so I may give that a go at some point.

Day 6 – Jeans and raglan tee

No Me Made today as I was just bumming around the house. I did get sort of dressed though, if jeans and a PJ top but no bra counts as getting dressed. It was the top I’m wearing in this video, which I loved but got food on when I was cooking so it got relegated to sleep wear. I’ve bought the Hey June Lane raglan pattern to try to recreate this top or I may try making a pattern from it. I’m definitely noticing a gap where knit tops should be.

Day 7 – RTW jeans and tee with new Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan

Helen's Closet Blackwood cardigan

A brand new make. Another Blackwood cardigan that was hot off the sewing machine before I went out. I think it took me about 1.5-2 hours to make, which is pretty speedy for me. I was just popping to my mums house so I’ve got no make-up on and I’m trying to avoid showing too much of my face to the camera.

Day 8 – Monochrome ballet dress and Blackwood cardigan

  

Another outing for my new cardigan. It doesn’t really work with this dress, the length is a bit wrong but the colour brightens it up. I did put my belt over the top instead during the day and I think that looked better. My waist is just a bit lost otherwise. I think I’m going to play about with a cropped version of the Blackwood. Though I do have the Muse patterns Jenna cardigan so I could use that but I like how the Blackwood is designed to be open.

Day 9 – New look 6069 maxi dress

New Look 6096

It was really sunny and warm here for a few days so I busted out the maxi dresses. This is an oldie but a goodie. I think it’s only the 4th thing I made. It’s looking a bit tatty inside but I still love it.

Day 10 – Newport dress

New Look 6217 lovechild with True Bias Southport dress

And another maxi dress. I just love swishing about in viscose maxis when it’s warm, there’s just something about the cool fabric floating around your legs.

Day 11 – Sew Over It Alex shirt dress

Sew Over It Alex shirt dressThis is my second outing for my Alex shirt dress. I wore it with a tan belt the first time and I think I prefer it that way but I thought I should try the self fabric tie as I’d made it. I definitely see more of these in my future – I still want to make the purple viscose one I said I was going to make in my #2017MakeNine plans, this was a wearable toile really.

Day 12 – Jeans, blue New look 6217 and grey Blackwood cardigan

New Look 6217  Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan

Another Friday, woot! My old fail safe combination of jeans, woven tee and cardigan.

Day 13 – Jeans, black and white New Look 6217 and turquoise Blackwood cardigan

New Look 6217 and Blackwood cardigan

And again, with exactly the same patterns. I added a new necklace that came in the post after I took this photo, I need to work more on accessorising better.

Day 14 – That PJ lyfe

And we’re through to today and it’s another one where I don’t plan to get dressed. As soon as I finish this blog post I’m planning to shut myself in the sewing room and get some last minute holiday sewing done. I have four projects cut out, with two of them in progress.

So that’s the first two weeks of Me Made May done. I think I’m probably going to start doing more repeats soon – cardigans don’t count. I’ve mentioned some of the things I’ve learned in my little blurbs about each day but here are a couple more:

  • Navy is a better neutral than black for me.
  • There are other colours than blue and I should use them.
  • I’ve only made woven skirts and I never wear them, maybe make some knit ones?
  • I only like zipless dresses (and I’ve added the tag “zipless dress” to my blog posts about dresses that don’t have zips in case you feel the same).
  • If you don’t get up on time, taking photos *will* make you late for work.
  • This will make you leave the house at the same time as people are dropping their kids off at the school at the end of the road and you will want to kill some people. Especially the person who parks across your back lane.

That’s it from me. Hope you’re all enjoying Me Made May and learning lots about your handmade wardrobe. Have a great day peeps and I’ll see you again at the finish line.

Me Made May 17: The Pledge

April seems to be sneaking away rather rapidly, which means it’s time to think about a Me Made May and my pledge for this year. If you don’t know what Me Made May is, its inventor Zoe, of So Zo, What Do You Know explains it best over in her sign-up post. But basically it’s a challenge to wear your handmade clothes more but what you actually pledge is entirely up to you. Zoe has some great examples of pledges you could make in the sign up post.

I took part last year with the fairly modest pledge of wearing handmade three times a week and it was a good fit for where I was with my handmade wardrobe at the time. I have more handmade clothes now but not so many for an every day goal to be easy so it’s been quite a struggle to settle on my pledge. But here it is:

I, Leigh (aka @cluelessleigh) of Clueless Seamstress, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I will endeavour to wear at least 1 handmade item every day I leave the house for the duration of May 2017.

(That little leave the house caveat is important because most weekends I’m a lazy recluse and don’t go anywhere or do anything. I don’t tend to get dressed if I’m just bimbling around the house and as I have no intention of making lounge wear I’d fail without the caveat.)

I’m definitely not going to limit repeats but I would like to work on trying to style things to look different. Elena from Randomly Happy and Suzanna from Sea Salt and Stitches both recently took part in a 10×10 capsule wardrobe challenge thingamajig – you have 10 items to create 10 outfits for 10 days – and I really enjoyed seeing how they mixed and matched them to create different outfits. So I want to try to be a bit more inventive with my wardrobe. Even though I’m not usually very good at that.

I’ll be sharing my outfits on instagram and in round-up posts here. I haven’t decided on whether I’ll do weekly or fortnightly posts yet. Do you have a preference?

Another challenging aspect is that I’m going on holiday at the end of the month. I had grand plans to make an entirely handmade holiday wardrobe but I’m running out of time. I’m still hoping to sew a couple of maxi dresses and light cardigans though. Fingers crossed. I know panic-sewing isn’t the aim of Me Made May but I’d be doing the holiday panic-sewing anyway.

Anyway, that’s my pledge, I’m waffling a bit now so I’ll shut up. Are you taking part in Me Made May? Are you as nervous of your pledge as I am?

Lace Yoke Coco Dress

I think “take photos of blue coco” has been on my to do list every weekend since November and I finally got round to it. Ta dah!

Also, new hair!

I cut this out so long ago I can barely remember anything about it so this probably won’t be a very useful blog post I’m sorry. I fiddled with the pattern straight after making my first Coco dress. Eventually cut out the fabric in May and then didn’t get round to sewing it up until October. Nearly a year after the first one. So blinkin’ slow!

But it’s done now and it has been in heavy rotation ever since. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight recently so it’s a bit too snug now. But I’ve started eating mainly sadness foods and not stuffing my face with office treats so hopefully it’ll fit better again soon.

I shamelessly copied the lace yoke idea from Katie of What Katie Sews but I can’t find her blog post with her lace yoke Cocos anymore to link to. I’m really pleased with how it worked out. I just traced off the yoke part of the pattern, cut it out in lace and sewed it to the front piece around all the edges using a zigzag stitch. Actually I used the three step zigzag stitch because if fancied trying it.

Tilly pose

I made a swayback adjustment but I’ve got hell of a lot of bunching in the lower back area that I don’t think was as bad when I first made it so I think it’s the extra hip girth causing most of it. I’m not sure I can be bothered to make a bigger swayback adjustment anyway. I can’t see my back and I just don’t think I care. As long as I don’t look at these photos ever again and forget how bad the back looks.

I’ve started giving some quite serious thought to having a go at bra making as I have quite a fat back/large band size in bras but small boobs so I really struggle to find bras to fit. In this photo I’m wearing a 36AA and my fat is bulging over the band so I think I need a 38AAA, which doesn’t exist. Anyway, that’s not really relevant to this dress but these back and side view photos make me keener on the idea so I thought I’d share.

I bought a couple of knicker sewing patterns and a beautiful kit from Evie la luve so I’m going to have a go at making knickers to practice the whole elastic thang as I haven’t even really done much sewing directly onto elastic.

The lace overlay worked really well to elevate what could have been quite a boring dress and I’m really happy with it. I love the colour of the dress with my new hair colour too. I’ve got loads of this lace left if you have any suggestions of what to do with it. Lace yokes on everything!

Trying to be bloggery – looking more like I’d seen some dirt on the floor

The details

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress

Measurements: At the time of making they were Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″ but now they’re Bust: 38.5 – Waist: 31.5 – Hips 41″

Size made: Size 4

Alterations: 

  • Took 1/2″ out of neckline
  • 1/2″ swayback adjustment
  • Narrowed the sleeve
  • Forward shoulder adjustment

Fabric used: Blue ponte roma from Plush Addict. I can’t remember exactly how much sorry, more than a metre but less than 2. I cut out on a single layer.

Another version?

Probably.

Any changes next time?

I think I need a little more length above the armpit. That seam digs in a tiny bit and I don’t think that’s just because of the enplumpening.

Unrelated to Coco but have you been taking part in #MIYMarch17 on Instagram? I’ve actually managed to keep up with it for the first time and I’m going to miss the prompts so if you know of any daily photo challenges for April I could get involved with I’d love to hear them.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Another Seamwork Paxson jumper

What’s that? A finished garment post? Don’t all keel over in shock. I seem to be starting a tradition of making the manfriend a Paxson jumper/sweater/pullover/whatever it wants to be called for Christmas. Even though he would far rather I didn’t make him anything and just enjoy December rather than shutting myself in the sewing room making presents.

While I’m on that subject I should put my pledge to myself down on (digital) paper:

This year I am NOT making any Christmas presents in December. I can make Christmas presents by all means but they must be finished by December.

Last year I had the week before Christmas off work and I spent it stressed and miserable because of my stupid habit of taking on far too much. Instead of pottering about and watching Christmas films I was sewing and cake decorating and stressing. And I still haven’t actually finished all the Christmas presents yet… oops.

Anyway, this year’s Paxson. There’s not a lot to say really as it’s a simple make and something I’ve made before so this will be a fairly photo heavy post.

Nonchalant lean and a chat with Judy Hopps
Arty…

I made the same size as last time even though he’s a bit bigger this year because the last one still fits. Paxson is a super quick sew because you can do it all on the overlocker. I do love the neat finish of a cuff or hem band. Though as of tomorrow I will be the proud owner of a coverstitch machine, eeek! So I should be able to sew lovely neat knit hems. Ha, we’ll see…

I shortened the sleeves a little bit but a cutting mishap made them a little shorter than I intended. He tends to wear it pulled up slightly like this. I have offered to fix it (redo the cuffs a bit longer) but he’s said he likes it fine as it is.

The fabric is the snaggiest fabric in the world. It kept catching on the edges of my nails and I was really worried I was going to leave pulls in it. Which isn’t the best considering the Manfriend is a gympanzee and has callouses on his hands from weight lifting. So it snags on them too, which is a bit of a bugger.

The details

Pattern: Seamwork magazine Paxson sweater

Measurements: Chest 43.5″ – Waist 36″ – Hips/Boy waist 36″

Size made: L

Alterations: I shortened the sleeve slightly (a little too much)

Fabric used: About 1.5m Warm jersey from White Tree Fabrics

Another version?

I think it’s time to try other patterns if I do more unselfish sewing.

I am going to try to make myself something with the left fabric though. Which we’ll never wear at the same time don’t worry.

Final Thoughts

He claims to like it and has worn it in public so we’ll count it as a win, it’s just a shame about the catchy fabric.

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, with lots of sewing and/or relaxing. I still haven’t actually done any sewing so far this year. This week I cut out a Sew Over It Nancy dress and the mustard Deer and Doe Plantain I mentioned in my Make Nine post. Taking my total of cut out projects to seven. So I really should actually sew some of them soon. I’ve got tomorrow off work to bake cakes to sell at work to raise money for an old school friend’s crowdfunding appeal but if I finish quickly I might do some sewing.

Anyway, have a good week folks. I’ll leave you with the manfriend’s (moderately terrifying) “broken doll” pose to haunt your dreams.

broken doll manfriend

#2017MakeNine

If you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen quite a few of these little grids of nine popping up since the end of last year. #2017MakeNine is something Rochelle of Lucky Lucille came up with last year but this is my first time trying it. It’s exactly what it sounds like really, you just pick 9 patterns that you’re going to make this year and I thought I’d share my plans here too.

They’re not in any particularly meaningful order, just what I thought looked the most balanced – which I spent waaay too long faffing about with. They are all patterns I already have and I’m going to use fabric from my stash for all of them too.

1. Knit pencil skirt from McCalls 7331 – Black and white striped ponte

Jen from Gingerella mentioned this pattern to me when I asked for cardigan pattern recommendations and not long after I spotted it as the free pattern with Dressmaker magazine so I snapped it up. Spookily that’s happened to me twice now, I decide I want a pattern and then spot it as a magazine freebie (the second was Butterick 6285).

I’m going to use this striped black and white ponte that I bought on my one trip to the fabric shops of Goldhawk Road back in 2015 – trying to make good on that stashbusting goal. I can see myself either shortening or tapering the skirt in a bit as I want a slightly more fitted skirt than this looks on the pattern envelope but I’ll make the decision when I’m sewing it probably.

2. Deer and Doe Plantain tee – mustard jersey, maybe

This is a pattern that I’ve had for a couple of years but haven’t got round to making yet. It’s a free PDF pattern and it’s even been printed, assembled AND traced for probably 2 years. This is its year!

The fabric may change or there may just be multiple versions. I’ve got some green jersey that’s also on the table and some cream. I’ve sort of got it in my mind that I want these nine garments to work together so cream might be the better bet for that. But saying that, all of the bottoms are fairly neutral so mustard or green would still go with them.

3. Closet Case Files Ginger jeans – blue denim

The photo here isn’t my actual denim. I didn’t have a photo when I was making these collages so I just got one from the internet. I think it looks like this but I might be wrong. Anyway, it is time to revisit jeans making. I had planned to do it this month but I am distinctly plump after an incredibly overindulgent Christmas (and December… And January…) and don’t really want to stay this size. So it seems a bit foolish to battle fitting, just to need to do it again after I get my eating under control.

4. Seamwork Neenah poloneck top – black jersey

This one isn’t my actual fabric either. My fabric called itself crepe jersey (or it might have been jersey crepe) and is ever so slinky but not so slinky it’s hard to work with. It’s the same fabric I used for the off the shoulder Mesa dress top I’m wearing in the photo in this post.

I’ve seen a lot of people sewing polonecks lately and it reminded me how much I used to wear a black RTW that is languishing in the back of my wardrobe (too snug). So I thought I’d make a top version of the Neenah dress from Seamwork magazine to save buying a new pattern.

5. Sew Over It Alex shirt dress (from City Break eBook) – purple viscose

The Alex shirt and shirt dress is probably my favourite pattern from the City Break eBook. It seems like a nice pattern to start the introduction to shirt making as there’s no collar stand or cuff but I’ll still be learning something new with the yoke.

I’ve had this pretty plum coloured viscose in my stash for a long time. I originally bought it with the plan to make another maxi By Hand London Anna dress thinking I would wear it in autumn as it’s such pretty autumnal colours. But then I realised that I wouldn’t wear a maxi dress in autumn – what shoes do people wear with maxi dresses when it’s not sunny? – so it’s sat in the stash ever since. But soon it will fulfil its garmenty destiny.

6. Deer and Doe Pavot coat (discontinued) – royal blue gabardine

This has been planned for sooooo long. I’ve traced the pattern, bought calico for a toile and done a butt load of research on drafting a lining. It’s time to just crack on with it really.

7. Deer and Doe Safran jeans – black denim

Another one that’s not my actual fabric and I think my denim is blacker than that. We’re not technically allowed to wear jeans to work (except Fridays) but I’m hoping to wear these as stealth jeans.

8. Deer and Doe Mélilot shirt  – white crepe

Everyone needs a white shirt don’t they? The fabric is a white crepe that I bought on Goldhawk Road. I originally intended to make a Sewaholic Belcarra blouse out of it but I think it’ll make a lovely Mélilot.

9. Style Arc Simone cardigan – grey sweater knit

I am worried this one might end up looking a bit school cardigan like but I think the grey will make for a nice versatile layering piece.

So that’s my #2017MakeNine plans. Of course I haven’t actually been near my sewing machine since before Christmas and don’t seem to have any sew-jo whatsoever. I’ve even got three projects cut out that I can’t seem to get up the oomph to actually sew. (Muse Jenna cardigan, Seamwork Mesa fit-n-flare hack and Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes.) I think I need to give my sewing room a good tidy so it’s a more appealing room to be in. It’s so so messy at the moment.

Anyway, hope you’ve all had a nice weekend. Take care and I’ll speak to you again soon, hopefully with some finished projects to show you. I think I’m up to about 10 unblogged makes now. Ooops!

Top 5 of 2016: Goals for 2017

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a lovely New Year’s Eve. Me and Aled went to my mum’s and we had a good old fashioned fondue (an oil one, where you deep fry meat and vegetables, not a cheese one) and some drinks and silly games.

We had Guess Who crackers for Christmas and my mum is now slightly obsessed with Guess Who so mainly that and charades – which I hate. But my nan was hilarious. She wanted to play but then couldn’t do any of her goes so she just kept having hysterical laughing fits and my mum did hers as well as her own.

But anyway I’m waffling. Let’s talk goals.

1. Stashbust!

I seriously seriously need to reduce the stash this year. It is getting seriously out of control and I don’t have the space for it all. It’s taken over my whole sewing room and it’s now spreading throughout the house. I had to put it back into the sewing room because we were having guests over Christmas and there isn’t room for both me and it in there so I simply have to use it this year. I am a spreadsheet nerd so I’ve got a spreadsheet of my fabric (though I’m sure there’s some I’ve missed) and I have 133.8 metres of fabric over 67 different fabrics. That’s appalling isn’t it? That’s enough fabric to not need to buy any for 2 years.

2. Make a shirt

I’ve got a few shirt patterns now and I want to dig in and actually get some made. My most recent purchase is the Sewaholic Granville shirt because I love all of Hila from Saturday Night Stitch‘s versions and it has a proper tower sleeve placket thingy, which I want to have a go at.

So I’ve now got a little stash of shirt patterns* and I don’t know whether to work through them in order of complexity or just dive straight in to a hard one. I’ll probably start with the Alex shirtdress as I’ve got some lovely plum viscose earmarked for it and I put it on my #2017makenine on instagram.

*My collection:

3. Become a wrinkle whisperer

I want to be able to read fabric and diagnose fit problems. I got Fitting and Pattern Alteration for Christmas from my mum (by request, she’s not that good at guessing) and just from flicking through I think it is going to be oh so helpful. It goes through 88 body quirks, how to diagnose them and how to alter a pattern for them. My problems seem to boil down to my “slumped” posture.

4. Jeans!

This is next up on the list. I think with jeans and trousers in general you seen to benefit from making a load of them in a row, ironing out a different little fitting quirk each time. So that’s what I’m hoping to do in January. Or Jeanuary if you will? Who’s up for joining me? We can make it a hashtag.

5. Sew something with silk

I want to start challenging myself with trickier fabrics. I’ve been sewing slippery fabrics like viscose and poly crepe de chine for ages so I don’t know why I’m so scared of silk. Probably the price tag. Fiona from Diary of Chain Stitcher and Lauren of Lladybird sew with silk a lot and their makes always look amazing. Even if it’s just something as simple as scout tee, silk elevates it. So at some point this year I want to buy some silk. I’m thinking sandwashed silk but I don’t really know anything about silk so I’m open to suggestions. As well as recommendations of where to buy it.

So that’s my five but I did just think of a teeny supplementary one of learning how to maintain my sewing machine after seeing someone on instagram mention giving theirs a DIY service.

Here’s to a productive and fun year of sewing!