Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Finished Project: Gathered Skirt

One more make complete during MMM which gives me something new to wear finally! I’m starting to get bored of seeing the same items each day, although it has definitely made me think of new combinations of other RTW items to wear them with…

Anyway, on to the make. I really fancied a summer skirt in a really bold print – something that I wouldn’t necessarily otherwise buy. I found this fabric on the Frumble website (it’s called Love Birds Flowers in blue) and I thought it would be ideal for my summer skirt.

I decided to make a gathered skirt like in Gertie’s tutorial (Part one and two here) as that would allow the fabric to be really shown off. I used the measurements listed in the tutorial to give me an idea of how wide I’d need to make the skirt pieces and then just sewed it together.

I decided to sew the hem in contrasting bright pink thread using one of the stretch stitches on my machine which I quite like, although it used up a shed-load of thread to do it!

It only took an evening to make so it made a really quick and simple sewing project when I was desperate for something new to wear this month! So far it’s been worn once and it will no doubt make another appearance before the month is up!
Next up Simplicity 1201 version 3;

the Grainline pocket vest;

Photo from Grainline Studio website

and a 1950's mail order sun-dress from the Chicago Tribune;

Monday, 28 May 2012

Me Made May '12: Days 21 - 27

Yay - the sun has finally come out! I can finally put aay the black tights (for the time being at least)...

21st May - the sun finally came out!

What I wore: my 1960's first dress with mustard Zara cardigan

What I did: Sadly, back to work, but I got to have my first Summer in a Glass (AKA Pimms) after work

22nd May - still sunny!

What I wore: Re-fashioned skirt from an old Fat Face dress that I don't wear anymore

What I did: Still a week day, so work. No rest for the wicked. Then I made the most of the sunshine and sat out in the garden during the evening.

23rd May
What I wore: Self-drafted gathered skirt

What I did: work again (what an exciting life I lead)

24th May

What I wore: Just completed Pastille dress

What I did: Work then half day annual leave during the day and out for drinks with friends after work

25th May

What I wore: Red sorbetto (forgot to take a picture sorry)

What I did: Work during the day, then PUDDING CLUB (so good it deserves underlining) in the evening!!! So there was plent of room for my stomach to expand after eating all the puddings on offer.

6th May

What I wore: Re-made fruity dress with a yellow vest

What I did: Headed down to London for some fabric shopping on Goldhawke Road, then headed in to the west end to go bridesmaid dress shopping for my sister before heading for afternoon tea. Then, a quiet night at my Sister's flat in Billericay laughing at some of the terrible Eurovision entries (can't believe the Russian Grannies didn't win!)

27th May

What I wore: Pink Pendrell

What I did: Shopping at a craft village / farm shop in the Essex countryside, walking in the park and then travelling back to the Midlands

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Finished Project: Sweet Pastille

One more make under the belt.

This is my second project from the Colette Sewing Handbook after making myself two meringue skirts (which I wear loads it has to be said). I needed a dress for another wedding I'm going to in June and i thought this would be a great dress for just such an occasion!

I really like lines of this dress - it's very flattering when well fitted, although this version is maybe a little dressy to get a huge amount of wear, much like my Ceylon. I think the neckline is really pretty.

Anyway, on to the actual pattern. When tracing out the pattern, I graded from a size 6 across the bust, out to a size 8 at the waist on the bodice and then cut a straight size 8 for the skirt. Like Lauren, when I made the muslin, the back of the dress billowed out across the upper back. The bodice was also slightly too long for me and the skirt length definitely needed to be increased. Other than that though, the fit across the bust was fine, as was the fit across the waist and hips.

So, before cutting out my main fabric, I removed a total of 1 1/2 inches from the upper back, across the shoulders, tapering to nothing at the waist. I also removed an inch from the length of the bodice and added about 2 1/2 inches to the skirt length. That seemed to fix my fitting issues on the real thing.

It's not massively clear from these pictures, but the darts line up perfects at the front and the back! Basting the pleat lines as suggested in the instructions, definitely saved a huge headache when it came to lining up the pleats to sew, but boy were those stitches a nightmare to get out after the pleats were stitched in place - I have no idea how long it took me but I'd almost lost the will to live by the end of it! In fact you can still see some remnants of the basting in the picture of the hem below.

I lined the skirt, although to be honest I don't think my material really needed it. I also bound the neck facing with bias tape, catch-stitched the hem and catch-stitched the sleeve facings. The sleeve facings had a tendency to work themselves out from inside as you moved around so catch-stitching them has stopped that.

All in all, a pretty simple make. I'm generally pretty proud of how well I got it to fit and the finish isn't bad either, although I can't wait for my overlocker to arrive so I can finish things properly!

As Lauren's version proves, it looks great in a pretty print, but I also think it will make a great LBD, so maybe that's something to add to the Autumn sewing list.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Me Made May '12: Days 17 to 20

So, we're past that half way point of MMM '12 and things are generally still going ok. Because my me made wardrobe isn't that large just yet, I am starting to struggle to come up with outfits using that same MM items but worn in a different way.... so apologies in advance if these outfits are starting to look a little samey!

17th May

What I wore: Blue Meringue, with white stiped T-shirt and red Zara cardigan

What I did: Well, it's a week day so... work. Fun times...

18th May

What I wore: Self drafted vest (pre-blog), made from the lining of an old dress, Jeans and orange Zara cardigan, me-made necklace

What I did: Still a week day...

19th May

What I wore: Grey flowered Pendrell, Jeans and mustard Zara cardigan (anyone get the impression I like Zara cardigans?)

What I did: Family re-union (minus one sister) - I went back to Worcesershire to stay with my parents as my brother and his wife and daughter were visiting from London, so generally running around the house and garden with my niece and taking her so see the 'orse' (that's horses in adult speak).

20th May

What I wore: OK so, there's no photo proof of this as I managed to get carrot and corriander soup splashed all over the top as I was blending it before I'd got a photo for the day.... but I promise you I wore my white sorbetto with a white long sleeved t-shirt underneath and a pair of jeans.

What I did: More of the same (see 19th May) in the morning, then headed back home after lunch to prepare dinner for friends (hence the carrot and corriander incident mentioned above).

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Me Made May '12: Days 13 - 16

Without further ado...

13th May:

What I wore: Pyjamas

What I was doing: Lazing around the house in the morning working on my Pastille dress, though after lunch I did actually get changed to make the most of the sunshine and go for a walk in the Warwickshire countryside.

I love these pyjamas - they've been worn loads since I made them as they're just SO comfortable!

14th May

What I wore: Re-fashioned granny skirt (pre-blog) from a hideous thrifted 1980s dress with giant shoulder pads. The dress was awful, but I really liked the pleated skirt so I decided to unpick it from the bodice and add a new waistband.

What I was doing: Just work.... same old Monday to Friday! Then I did some sewing in the evening.

15th May

What I wore: Ceylon dress

What I was doing: I was at a training event - it's a little over dressed really, but I wanted to wear it at least once during MMM '12 but I just don't have to be that smart at work. I think a cardi and flats kind of dressed it down a little though!

16th May

What I wore: Re-made thrifted dress. I found this dress in the charity shop. think it's from the 80s and it looks like it was handmade. I shortened the hem by quite a lot as it sat mid-calf on me originally and also took in the side seams and re-did the shirring at the back waistline.

I really like this dress now it's knee length, plus it's got giant pockets at the front which is always an added bonus!

What I was doing: Work during the day, then out for a curry with friends in the evening.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Completed Projects: Pendrell Tops

Those of you who've  seen my blog posts for MMM '12 and the Flicker group uploads will already have seen both of these Pendrell tops but I figured I should post a blog entry about them anyway. I made these back in April ready for MMM '12 to begin because other than my two Sorbettos, I didn't have any other me made tops to wear.

This was my first attempt working with a Sewaholic Pattern and I have to say, it was super easy. Tasia definitely knows how to write a set of instructions clearly! I found this top extremely straightforward to put together and even managed my first attempt at french seams on both tops too.

The first one was made form the same cotton lawn as my first dress. I cut a straight size 10 for this top and although it fitted well enough, I felt that the princess seams were a little too wide and didn't sit over the bust where they should. I didn't quite have enough material to make the proper length of the top so I just made this version shorter than it should have been, but it's still long enough to tuck into trousers / skirts.

Because of the fit at the bust, for the second version (made in a pink flowered cotton lawn) I sewed 6/8" side seams and princess seams which was enough to bring them properly over the bust and make the top a little more fitted. I also decided to make a self-drafted v-neck for this top - I was going to follow Caseys scalloped collar tutorial as well, but I never quite got round to it! I cut the full length for this version , which is really long! Does anyone else who's made this top think it doesn't need to be quite as long as it is? I think i'll definitely shorten any future versions by a couple of inches as my first version was more than long enough for me.

Both of these tops have already been worn loads since I made them so I definitely think there will be a few more in the future - probably one with a scalloped collar too since I didn't get round to it this time. I've also got the Sewaholic Renfrew top and the Cambie dress is currently winging it's way to me in the post. If the Pendrell pattern is anything to go by both the Renfrew and the Cambie should be a complete dream to sew up too! Can't wait.

MMM '12 is making me realise that I still don't really have enough sell stitched tops so this is something I need to work on I think. I've got some really pretty 1950's / 1960's top patterns in my stash so I think one of those will be made shortly.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Postal Goodies

Those of you who took part in Karen's Pyjama Party may remember that she had a giveaway, since all good parties have presents right!

I was the lucky recipient of the main prize - I think I actually squeeled with delight when Karen posted the results on her blog (sad I know, but I've never won a giveaway before!). Just over a week ago my prize arrived in the post.

Needless to say, what with the rubbishy weather we've been having here in the UK, the socks have been worn loads and the lavender bag is currently making the stuff in my chest of drawers smell lovely! Amazingly (for me and the other half atleast) the chocolate wasn't actually opended till this weekend.... it's all gone now though!

The handkerchief is way to pretty to actually use so I've decided to treat myself to a couple of others next time I'm in London Town and I'm going to frame them to make a pretty wall decoration.

After all this waffle, all that's left to say is a big THANK YOU to Karen to hosting such a great sew-along and being generous enough to provide such a lovely present!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Me Made May '12: Days 9 - 12

I'm still taking part in MMM '12 and so far, so good. I'm loving looking at everyone's blog posts and pictures on the Flickr page although I've lost track of how many new patterns I want to try out after seeing other people's versions!

Simplicity 2452
As yet, unblogged about pink flowered Pendrell with self drafted v-neck
(from Casey's scalloped collar tutorial)

Red sorbetto layered over blue maxi dress

Re-fashioned striped top

Friday, 11 May 2012

Current Projects

On the sewing table…

Colette Sewing Handbook, Pastille dress in pink cotton.

This is destined for a dress for a wedding I’m going to at the start of June. I’ve just finished the muslin to test for fit and I’m hoping to get on to the main version over the weekend.

On the basis of the finished measurements, I cut out a size 6 round the bust, grading to a size 8 at the waist. The finished muslin is marginally too long at the waist and also gapes at the back so I'm planning on taking off about an inch from the back bodice piece at the top, grading to nothing at the waist and shortening the pattern pieces by about an inch too. Has anyone else have fitting issues with the back bodice piece? How did you sort it out?

Gertie’s gathered skirt from her tutorial (see part one and part two if you fancy making one yourself). I saw this fabric on the Frumble website and loved it instantly.

I thought it would make a quirky skirt so bought myself 2m of the stuff last week. I’ve cut the pieces out but haven't got round to sewing them up yet. It might be another weekend project depending on how the Pastille dress goes.

On the knitting needles…
Agatha sweater.  I bought this pattern and the wool back in January when Lauren over at Lladybird started the knit-along, and then never quite got round to starting it. Seeing how good Lauren’s finished version looks spurred me on to get started, but as you can see, I haven’t actually got very far yet!

Toddler cardigan.

I started this way back in October and I was intending to give it to my niece as a Christmas present. Unfortunately sewing always manages to take precedence over knitting so I still had the sleeves to finish by Christmas day. My mum also made a version for my niece for Christmas, but when we put it on her, it was too small. As a result, my version was left languishing unfinished whilst I decided what to do with it since mine obviously wouldn’t fit her either. Fortunately a friend has just had a baby girl so I’ve finally finished the sleeves and just need to sew the pieces up and add the button band and it’s done. It’ll be a bit big on my friend’s baby for a while but at least it’ll actually get worn!

Other projects…
Cath Kidston tapestry cushion from her book ‘Stitch’.

The tapestry canvas I need for this has just arrived so I'm planning on getting started on this tonight.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Me Made May '12: Days 5 - 8

Without further ado...

Saturday: Forgot to take a picture, sorry!

Black cord Ginger skirt; Red Sorbetto; black cardigan;
Tights; brogues
Sunday: Making the most of the sunshine on a muddy walk in Yorkshire

Self-drafted vest top (made from old dress lining);
blue chinos, next; mustard cardi, Zara; hand-knitted scalf
for when it got chilly
Monday: waiting to get in to our wedding venue to take measurements

Ginger skirt; striped t-shirt, Next; hand-knitted
Tuesday: Back to work we go... Apologies for the creased nature of the dress, I forgot to smooth it out before taking a photo and then the camera battery went dead!
First dress; red cardigan, Zara
There we have it - the first week and a day complete and so far, so good...

How is everyone elses MMM '12 going?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Me Made May '12: Days 1 - 4

Oh exciting, MMM '12 is here at last! (Apologies in advance for the poor quality pictures - I'm having camera issues at the moment!)

Rather than inundate the bloggospher with daily posts, I'm, going to post every 4 days or so with a round-up of my MMM outfits instead. So, let the fun begin....

MMM '12: Day 1
White sorbetto; Mustard cardi, Zara; blue chinos,
Next; Scalf, thrifted
This mustartd cardi is one of my favourites, so I generally love any outfit which includes it. But, having worn this white sorbetto a couple of times now, I've realised it doesn't fit as well as the red version. It's still wearable though, just not perfect.

MMM '12: Day 2
grey flowered Pendrell; red cardi, Zara;
 black work trousers

Mmm, this isn't the most exciting of outfits it has to be said, but I was in work meetings all day so needed to look smarter than usual. I haven't bloged about this make yet but you might recognise the material from my first dress - I figured I may as well make use of the left-overs for a Pendrell!

MMM '12: Day 3
Red Meringue; black verst and cardi;
 my new favourit shoes
I LOVE this skirt - it's been worn loads since I made it and will no doubt be worn plenty more. Not that you can see, but I wore it with a black vert and cardigan... and accessorized with a pair of 3D glasses, because, you know, that's just so cool! I watched the Avengers movie if you're interested - definitely worth a cinema trip!

MMM '12: Day 4
Re-fashioned striped top; green cardi, Next; jeans;
 animal print scalf, thrifted
Excuse the messy hair... Other than that, I quite like this outfit. Another item that hasn't been blogged about - a refashioned jersey top from a playsuit I found in the charity shop. Because it's jersey amd the edge of the top was serged already, I just cut the bottops off - simples! It has a really low back, which I love, although it does need to be worn with a vest underneath during cooler months:
Back view
I like the colour combo in this outfit, especially the fact that the scalf matches the colour choices so closely!

So how is everyone elses MMM going?