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?

#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!

Me Made May 16

So it’s over. My very first Me Made May! Despite my very modest pledge of just 3 items a week I’m still proud of myself as I managed it. I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s photos on Instagram and finding new sewing people to follow. I’m going to miss it a bit.

I’ll show you my round-up of photos and then I’ll talk a bit about what I think I’ve learned.

Week 1

Me Made May 16 - Week 1
Coco dress // New Look 6217 // Sea Siren Skirt

Week 2

Me Made May - Week 2
Dixe DIY Ballet dress // New Look 6217 again // Sewaholic Gabriola skirt

Week 3

Me Made May Week 3
New Look 6217 // Dinosaur Ballet dress // Green Grainline Scout

Week 4

Me Made May 16 Week 4
New Look 6217 again // Deer and Doe Datura blouse // Dixie DIY Ballet dress

Last few days

mmmay16-week5
Deer and Doe Datura blouse // Dixie DIY Ballet dress // Sea Sirens Skirt

This is cheating a bit as I wore all of these on the same day, because I was taking photos of them. I started off in the Datura, was only briefly in the Ballet dress and then ended up in the skirt. Although not for too long because my mum was making me climb around her shed so I pinched some of her shorts. Shorts I really like and plan to keep.

My Me Made May Thoughts

Well firstly I think you can very definitely see I have a colour palette. There’s nothing there that isn’t green, blue or monochrome. I don’t know whether that’s a problem or just something that’s me. I have got some slightly more colourful makes in the works but they’re not a huge step away. I like what I like.

I also learned that I need more tops. I ended up repeating both of my New Look 6217 tees so more of them or something similar would be good to have. I’ve got a couple of tops cut out and waiting to be sewn up already so I’m working on that and I’m planning a second Datura blouse.

I kept a list of all of the non me made things I wore during May as well to see what else I might need to make. The two things that jump out at me from my list are cardigans and trousers. I’ve been wearing the green skinny jean type things you can see in a couple of the photos above a lot lately. My Ginger jeans have sat in the corner since I had my fitting related strop and I will have to get back to them at some point. Once I’ve figured out the fit I’d love to make some colourful pairs.

All of my favourite cardigans are that lightweight knitted fabric that I think is called sweater knit but I’ve never seen it for sale. I do have knitting patterns for cardigans (and the yarn to knit a couple) but really that sort of cardigan isn’t the type of RTW one I choose. So I’m thinking I need to sew some cardigans. I was wondering about McCalls 6708 because it has different necklines and lengths (I like a v neck mainly). But I am open to suggestions if anyone knows of any great cardigan patterns.

So that’s tops, trousers, cardies and knit dresses (because I’d always like more) going on to the To Be Sewn list. How about you, what gaps did you identify? do you miss Me Made May or are you glad the selfies are over?

Me Made May 16: The Pledge

mmmay16final

I’m a bit late as May has already started but I’m signing up for Me Made May this year. If you don’t know what Me Made May is, its inventor Zoe, of So Zoe, 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 how often you pledge is up to you. A lot of people pledge to wear handmade every day but that’s just not doable for me as I don’t have enough handmade clothes. So my pledge is:

I, Leigh of Clueless Seamstress, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear 3 handmade items a week for the duration of May 2016.

I think it’s an achievable goal but will still challenge me and I know I need to finish some more garments so I don’t just end up wearing each of my ballet dresses once a week.

I’ll be posting my outifts on Instagram and a round-up or two here. Good luck fellow participants!

Me Making March: The finish line

memakingmarchI feel like a bit of a fraud even bothering to post about the second half of Me Making March as I was dismal at it but I thought I best had so here goes. I won’t bother listing the days I didn’t do anything because it’s most of them and that’d get really dull for you. I am rubbish.

Day 19

I started sewing my Mesa toile and then couldn’t find the neckband or second sleeve so spent at least nearly an hour hunting in the sewing room for where they’ve gone. I still haven’t found either bit so goodness knows what’s happened to them. I suspect there’s some sort of wormhole or portal beside my cutting table for them to have fallen into. (Edit: Found them! They had got folded up in some of the fabric I’d taken photos of for the prints day of #MIYMarch on Instagram)

I had hoped for a wearable toile but I don’t think I have enough fabric to cut out a second sleeve so I’m probably just going to finish sewing it with only one sleeve to roughly check the fit and then crack on with my proper version.

I’d been watching Parks and Rec while sewing and then while hunting but got fed up with my fruitless hunt and had ended up just sitting on the floor watching it so gave up sewing then and went downstairs to watch it on the telly.

My life is a constant disappointment that I'm not Ron Swanson
My life is now a constant disappointment that I’m not Ron Swanson

Day 20

I wasn’t particularly productive today either but I did get a teeny bit of sewing done on my Gingers. I cut out and applied the interfacing, prepped the back pockets and was going to start on the front ones but my overlocker had a bit of a strop and wouldn’t stitch right. So after rethreading it twice I had a strop right back at it and went downstairs to cook dinner and binge watch more Parks and Rec instead. I am more than a bit addicted. When the Manfriend went to bed he called it my crack. Totally is.

Or Lesley Knope
Or Lesley Knope

Day 21

I was tired after work so told myself that all I had to do was rethread the overlocker, which I did but it was still being really difficult about it and I have since resigned myself that I think it needs to go for a check-up.

Day 26

Today I jeaned. I sewed the entire front including my very first fly and pockets. *Mega proud face*

tom proud

Day 28

I basted the jeans together to check the fit and then stared at my crotch for ages trying to figure out what I needed to do to it. And I’ve pretty much ignored them since then. I have fiddled slightly with the crotch but I don’t know if I’ve made things better at all. I think it’s less bubbly than in this photo but I think I possibly need to change the shape of the front crotch, which I can’t do on this pair as I steamed on in and overlocked and topstitched it before I basted everything together. Jeans sewing expert Heather from The Pug and Needle was really helpful on Instagram and I think I know what I need to do. Or at least what to try first. I really enjoyed sewing these though and when I get the fit right I can see myself wanting to make a trillion pairs.

crotch

And then it was April. So I’ve been a bit rubbish at Me Making March and only got one thing actually finished (I will get photos soon) but I’m sort of hoping that all the Parks and Rec gifs will distract you from that. Has it worked?

april smart

Me Making March: The half way point

memakingmarchWe’re just over halfway through March so I thought I should probably report back on how my Me Making March is going. I had planned to post more frequently but I haven’t really had enough to say so just the two round-ups should be plenty.

Day 1

I hadn’t seen Meris’ post yet so I hadn’t started Me Making March and didn’t do anything.

Day 2

I didn’t do much but I did manage to hem the sleeves of my in progress ballet dress.

hemming sleeves

Day 3

I was tired and lazy.

Day 4

And again, oops.

Day 5

I didn’t do any sewing but I finally picked up the Andi Satterlund Miette cardigan that I’ve been knitting since March last year instead and knitted some of the first sleeve.

Day 6

No sewing today either but I did some more knitting and nearly finished the first sleeve.

Day 7

A more productive day today. I cut out the fabric for the toile of my Mesa dress hack, got the manfriend to measure my inside leg for me so I could shorten the leg pattern pieces for my Closet Case Files Gingers and cut out the traced pattern pieces. I also took in the waist of the ballet dress I’d sewn most of and straightened the skirt side seams because I’d been a bit of a dunderhead and used a sort of trapezoid shade for the skirt but with no curve to the waist or hem because my fabric had stripes but of course that meant the sides dipped down and looked silly.

sleeve

Day 8

I only got round to shortening the back leg piece yesterday so I altered the other one tonight. Then cut out my pocket lining pieces and one leg bit. Then I went to bed and cast off the first sleeve of my Miette cardi, once I figured out what stretchy bind off I should use.

Day 9

I cut out the rest of the leg pieces, the yoke, one pocket facing and one back pocket.

ginger front leg

Day 10

More cutting out today but not as much. I cut out the other pocket facing, the other back pocket and a waistband.

Day 11

Nothing today.

Day 12

I hemmed my ballet dress so I could wear it for a day trip to Cardiff with the Manfriend to bimble about and then go watch Mark Watson do stand up in the evening, which was very nice apart from the train home being full of awful drunk people and stopping in every tiny station on the way. I had an awful woman fall into my lap and have a mega domestic with her partner right next to me.

Day 13

I wasn’t feeling well all of Sunday and ended up sleeping for a lot of the day so no sewing was done.

Day 14

Nothing again.

Day 15

I wasn’t feeling well again and had to come home from work ill so there was no crafting done.

Day 16

Still not feeling right so nothing again.

So I’ve done something on about half of the days so far, which isn’t great but isn’t too bad either. I seem to have been full of bugs of late, since coming back from holiday really, which has let the Manfriend to blame the chipmunks we met on holiday. Their cute faces, hiding a fluffy menace.