Sunday, 28 June 2015

One Melissa, Two Melissa, soon to Three and Four

You know when you find a pattern that just fits.  I have quite broad shoulders and a long back, so usually have to tweek patterns to get them to fit, but not with Melissa, if fits straight off the printer.  I made a blouse and skirt with this patterm for Separates week over at The Monthly Stitch and decided to make another blouse for One Pattern Two Takes.  I previously blogged about my adventures with Melissa here.


The only fit issue I had the first time round, was it was a little loose around my waist and hips.  I remedied this by grading the seam allowance for 1cm to 1.5cm for the bottom 15cm of each seam and now it fits beautifully.  I had ironed this really, it just I'd been wearing it all day at work, hence the wrinkles.


The fabric I used was a man's shirt I bought from a charity shop and some white cotton from my stash.  It was a bright sunny evening when we took these photos and the colour has washed out somewhat, the stripe is actually very close to my skirt colour.  I decided not to include the back contrast chevon as I thought it might look a little busy, but did include the chevron trim on the pockets.


I utilised the original buttons and buttonholes from the men's shirt, which has lead to me being confused no end as the shirt buttons the wrong way.  When I do this again I will try and remember to cut the front upside down (provided it's not a directional print), to get the buttons to do up the Ladies way.


Making this for a second time, did make the process a whole lot faster.  The only fiddly bit was of my own making, as I had to bind the collar with a bias strip as I wasn't utilising the facings.

I already have plans to make this blouse again with some not so subtle red gingham for Check it Out Month

It's been really fun to participate in IMP2015, now I just have to keep up with the posting.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Is this too formal for walking the dogs?

So it's still Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch and this week is dedicated to "New to Me".  Sew an Indie pattern from a designer you have never sew before, it's not hard for to find an Indie designer I have not sewn before.  I've only sewn from a handful of Indie designers, although I own patterns from several more just waiting to be sewn.  So did I pick one of those patterns to sew? No.  Did I sew my "Secret Santa Swap" pattern? No (technically I couldn't, as I have bought and sewn the Onyx top from Paprika Patterns since being given the Jade skirt in the swap).  No I bought a new pattern after reading Diary of a Chainstitcher, there is a regular update of new Indie pattern releases and news on this blog.  The pattern in questions is the Fatale Sister Skirt by Vanessa Pouzet.


It's a simple pencil skirt, with an open ended zip at the back.  So you can make the split as high at you dare.


The pattern consists of only two pieces and prints in only 12 pages.  Some patterns on this site are in English, but this one was only available in French (I haven't studied French in over 30 years).  Fortunately the picture instructions were good and with the dubious help of Google translate I was able to work out what I needed to do.


The pattern is meant to be fully lined, but I didn't have any suitable lining, so I finished the hem and waistband with bias binding.  Of course I couldn't leave it as a simple two piece skirt and I doubled the number if pattern pieces by adding pockets.  The fabric is a funishing fabric I picked up at Standfast and Barracks (the Liberty Factory Shop) on our way home from holiday on the Isle of Arran in February.  I only bought 50cm so that is the length of my skirt.  The turquoise open ended zip I picked up at the Yorkshire Spoolettes meet up in Dewsbury.


So it it too formal to walk the dogs?  I don't think so.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Today I will mostly be making seperates


If Me Made May showed me anything, it's that I wear mostly separates.  Out of the 31 days, I only wore dresses on 4 days, the other 27 days I wore separates.  I just find them much more versatile, I can happily wear the same skirt 3 days out of a week, pairing it with different tops, but would feel self conscious if I wore the same dress twice in a week.

So when The Monthly Stitch announced a Separates Week during Indie Pattern Month, I knew it was the challenge for me.  But what pattern to choose...  I eventually opted for the Melissa Dress/Blouse/Skirt by Muse Patterns.  I bought the pattern not long after release (unusual for me, I don't tend to be an early adopter), because the 40s/50s aesthetic appeals to me.



I keep trying to use fabric from stash, rather than going our and buying new and found a remnant of red denim that I have had for at least four years begging to be used.  The only problem was, the pattern calls for 1.8m of fabric either 114 or 150 wide and I had 1m of 1.2 wide.  A couple of modifications were required.  I decided to omit the button front and insert a side zip instead, I also omitted the centre back seam.  As you can see from the picture above, my Tetris skills came to the fore when positioning the pattern pieces.  I didn't think my fabric had any sort of a nap, but just to be on the safe side put all the front pieces in one direction and all the back pieces in the other direction.  I also didn't have enough fabric for a waistband, but as I'm not a huge fan of straight waistbands anyway, I opted to finish the waist off with petersham ribbon and a large hook and eye.







The fabric for the blouse is also from my stash, it's a dress weight cotton from Ikea, with a copyright date on the selvedge of 2007, so I've had it a while.  I love the pockets on this pattern, they may not hold a lot, bit I think the chevron details is lovely.  I replaced the button and buttonholes with poppers, partly because I liked the look, but mostly because my sewing machine has recently been having a strop whenever I try to do buttonholes.  My sewing machine has now had a service after 5 years of abuse and I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear is feeling much better.  There will be buttonholes in my future.


And just to finish a not great picture of my outfit but a lovely picture of the lovely Hagrid

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Me Made May - Days 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31

I am not going to miss the daily photo session, but it is nice to wear some things I haven't worn in a while.  Below is a Coco that I actually had to make twice.  Originally it was not colour-blocked, but the fabric shrunk quote dramatically, so I took it apart and added a black yoke.  The skirt was made a couple of years ago from a charity shop find and I must have lost weight since I made it as it now site on my hips.


I do love this fabric, walking dogs, it is one of the few items my boss asked me if I made.


Wewent up to Scarborough on the 20th to see Fluffrick's Mum.  I'm wearing my jeans, my navy stripe Coco and my new colour blocked (from remnants) Jenna cardigan.  I need to tweek the fit of the cardigan, as it is too big at my hips and I would be happier if the sholder was a little higher, but a very wearable muslin.


Here is Fluffrick with his lovely Mum, wearing his new Finlayson Jumper and his Jedediah Jeans.  I love me a good Thread Theory pattern.


One of my many Amy Butler Lotus tops, this was the first one I made from a refashioned shirt and a refashioned Boden Skirt.  Another charity shop find, that was several sizes too small, but also too long, which resulted in me separating the front and back, using the top two thirds of the front, the bottom two thirds of the back and re-attaching the two together.  Although it has my sewing fingerprints over the whole skirt, it doesn't quite feel me made.


My 70's denim skirt with my Gray All Day Sandpoint top.  This is the first time I have worn this top since I pattern tested, but I really don't think it's my style, so I don't know how much longer it will be taking up space in my wardrobe.


My Simmons dress again, it is a really comfortable dress, if it wasn't so black I would wear it more.  I have no idea what we're all looking at! 

My raspberry chambray New Look skirt, with my stripe Bronte t-shirt and a shrug I made about 20 years ago.  It was really cold today.


It finally go warn enough to wear my Tour de France skirt, paired with a new Amy Butler Lotus top.  I think I could maybe do with shortening the top just a little, but it is nice to have a plain top to pair with things.


My jeans again, this time with a Mimi blouse.  I made this last September and this is the first time I have worn it and I just don't like it as much as I feel I should.  It's a lovely fabric, a good fit, but It just doesn't feel me.  Maybe it will grow on me?


My new Onyx top with my other denim skirt.  The onyx top does not come with a button band, not raglan sleeves, these as just quirks of this iteration as I was using a mans shirt as my fabric.  More versions of theis top are in my future, made in a fabri though that doesn't make it look like scrubs.


You may not see why, but this is one of my favourite dresses and one I have actually blogged about, maybe it could have used an iron. 


And finally the 31st.  My jeans again (this month has just been too damn cold) here with a top I copied from a favourite White Stuff top.  I had a hell of a job finding a light enough material, this is actually the lining from a Per Una skirt that is awaiting refashioning.

And why do I have this face... 


... because I am about to get a Hagrid Hug.


A couple of days as missing here.  I worn the same outfit on the 19th and 29th.  And there is no photo for the 25th and I can't remember what I wore.

So another me made may done and dusted, I can't help but think this would have been easier if I had already blogged about the things I had made. 


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Me Made May - Days 8, 9, 10, 11,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18

I'm going to be brief and to the point today, as I have over a week's clothes to catch up on.
Here is my purple plantain t-shirt again, teamed with one of the 11 versions of Newlook 6106. 
This iteration didn't get an outing last September in One Week One Pattern, as it was too warm (not so much this day).  I refashioned it from a charity shop find that said dry clean only, which I have very much ignored, to no ill effects.


This is a t-shirt I made a couple of years ago, by refashioning 2 t-shirts.  I think the pattern is now out of print.  Originally it had more of a cowl neck, but just recently I reduced the cowl and I like it a whole lot more now.  I'm wearing it with my lovely jeans.


My first Bronte t-shirt, which is nice in person but looks rather blah in these pictures.  I made it by refashioning an large striped grey man's t-shirt.  This is such a quick t-shirt to make, I made it as a last minute sew to take on holiday last year and sewed it together in one evening.  It's teamed with a Raspberry Chambray Newlook 6106.


 Here is my entry for the Simplicity Star Sewist, which I detailed here, teamed with my denim skirt and a lovely puppy.


My lucky dress, I wore it went I went for the interview for my current job last year.  It's New Look 6069,now out of print.  I am insanely proud of my pattern matching on this dress.  
Note to self - stand up straight when you are having your photo taken.

One of my many Amy Butler "Lotus" tops, this one refashioned from a man's shirt (that way you can cheat and use the buttons and buttonholes that are already there).  The colour hasn't come out well in these photos, it is a little more subtle in person.  It is paired with Simplicity 2061 trousers, that I made last week using some linen/cotton fabric that has been in my stash for years.  They are so comfortable it is like wearing PJs.

Another "Bronte", again refashioned from a charity shop find (it always helps to look in the plus size section, more fabric for your money) and teamed with a remnant skirt, squeezed out of fabric I had left over from making the trousers that appear on day 18. Yes, I am shivering in this picture, it was bloody cold!!!


My first Coco (subsequently altered as it was far to loose) and my first attempt at jeans, now wearable since I replaced the recycled zip.  This is not the best photo of the outfit, but it does show that we do in fact have two dogs.  Bonnie rarely stays still long enough to have her picture taken.


Repeats today, my Turquoise plantain and my 70's demin skirt, it's madness to still have to be wearing my winter tights in the middle of May.


My stripey brown Coco, the only one that isn't colour blocked in some way.  But I didn't completely stay true to the pattern, as the sleeves are only elbow length with a little cuff with the stripe going on the oposite direction.  Teamed with my hoody and the Simplicity 2061 trousers of comfort.


And finally, another refashioned Coco, this time navy and white and my grey linen/cotton trousers, made using the same pattern as I used for my jeans.  They did look much better when I put them on a 7am, but they are linen after all.  The denim jacket is RTW, bought at least ten years ago.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Simplicity Star Sewist - A Boden Inspired 1364



The best laid plans...the garment I have made, is not the one I had planned.  My plans were to use some lovely stretch purple cotton I have had in my stash for ages and use the pattern (Simplicity 1364) to make a shift dress, rather than a top, with funky pockets and a 60's vibe.  But that isn't what we have here.

Just after this lovely complimentary pattern landed on my doormat, so did a Boden catalogue and the Ursula Top jumped out a me.  
 Then a lucky find of some beautiful vintage fabric at the British Heart Foundation shop in Chesterfield, turned my plans on their head.The simple lines of the vintage pattern and the easy style of the Ursula Top, just seem the perfect combination to me.

The construction was relatively stress-free.  I simplified the construction slightly by setting the sleeve on the flat, before sewing the side seams.  I did my usual pattern adjustment, by adding an inch to the length and droping the bust drats a little.  I ended up adding side vents, as it was a little snug around my hips, which I found surprising as I am decidedly not pear-shaped.

So the top was all finished and the facing slip stiched at the shoulders and tried it on...and oh no.  The neck line was just too high.  It looked nice, but was not going to be comfortable to wear.  So the slip stitches we unpicked and the understitching of the front half of the facing undone  and I droped the front neckline by an inch at the front, tapering up to the shoulders.  The result of this, was a very narrow facing (about half the normal width) at the front, so to make sure the facing didn't pop out I did a row of topstitching about 1cm from the edge.


And it met the ultimate test of wearability, it's good for walking the dogs.  

The purple dress it still on my list of plans and I'm sure some other tops from this pattern.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Me Made May - Days 5, 6 and 7

The weather is still reeking havoc with my Me Made May plans.  It can be sunny in the morning, raining by lunchtime and perrising in the afternoon.  This is an everyday problem, but it has been excentuated by a lack of me made layers, this is certainly something that needs rectifying.  Anyway, that's enough complaining, on to the outfits and the doggy photo-bombing.

I made this dress on holiday in February (doesn't everyone take their sewing machine on holiday with them?).  Again it was for a challenge from The Monthly Stitch, but never posted.  This is the same Coco - Plantain pattern mash up that I used for my Simmons dress, but this the collar omitted and contrast neck and cuffs applied.  The green body of the dress is a heavy polyester jersey, I don't have very many man made fibers in my wardrobe, I do prefer natural fibers, but I had been wearing this dress all day and no wrinkles.  I'm wearing this with my favourite boots, something of an inpulse buy when on holiday in Scotland.  These are the most expensive shoes I have ever bought (and they were in the sale), but as I have worn then more days then not, since I bought them, they are going to end up really good value for money.  It's a pity I can't make my own shoes, as I pretty much spent my annual shoe budget on these.


Here is the first appearance of my Bronte tops (I now have 3 and I'm sure I will make more).  This is such a quick pattern to sew and the binding at the neckline gives it a very prefessional looking finish.  It's hard to see the jersey fabric here, but it's a marl cream with two tone blue flowers, so I accented it with navy bindings.  I seldon pre-wash my fabric (I like to live dangerously) and I do think this has got a little shorter and a tad wider, but it's still very wearable.  I'm wearing my jeans again, I've now done a little research and the pattern I used was Knipmode May '07 10b, so it won't be that long now before that pattern is vintage.


I have made quite a few t-shirts this past year.  The outfit below is a refashioned Coco and another skirt made using Simplicity 9825, this time the A-line rather than straight version.  The pocket is from NewLook 6345 and definately gives the skirt a 70's look.  The pockets were cut on different grains, which probably only I notice, but I was using left over fabric from making Fluffrick a pair of jeans and didn't have a lot to work with.  The t-shirt was refashioned from a mans large purple t-shirt and a too small striped purple womens t-shirt.  


Using repurposed material does require some creative thinking at times.  None of the striped t-shirt I used was wide enough to cut the top bodice piece.  So I matched the stripes, made a faux placket and added some buttons to make it look like an intentional design feature, not a mattern of necessity.  If I'm using repurposed material, I do like to try and re-use the hems (especially with jersey)  so the sleeve of this t-shirt were cut from the original t-shirt bodice, reusing the original bottom hem.


I seem to be going on a bit, as you maybe can tell I haven't previously posted about these clothes and as I now have to go and pick Fluffrick up from work I'll leave it there for today.




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