Posted in Sewing

Me Made May Round Up: Part 2

Hello! 

Can you believe we are now two thirds of the way through Me Made May?! Hope it is going well if you are participating. 

I’ve been wearing hand made every day  – with varying success – and posting my outfits over on Instagram Here is my round up of  days 11-20.

May 11: Ogden Cami

Day 11 and I wore my new pineapple print Ogden Cami by True Bias Patterns. I love this fabric. It’s quite a sturdy cotton/linen blend from Fabric Godmother. This particular pattern would probably look better with a more drapey fabric but I love it anyway.  It took a lot of tweaking and FBA wizardry to get the fit right on this top. Now that I have got it fitting exactly how I want it, I intend to make lots of them. In fact I have 4 more cut out and waiting to get sewn up. I’ll do a full blog post on the Ogden Cami soon, including a tutorial on how to do an FBA without darts.

May 12: Bronte Top

Day 12 and also the cats’ first birthday. I celebrated their day in my Jennifer Lauren Bronte Top. This top is three years old now and still in regular rotation. I really like the variation of stripes – very flattering on my larger than average bust, I think.

May 13: Margot Pyjamas

Day 13 and I wore my Tilly and the Buttons Margot Pyjamas. It was the first Saturday I’d had off work in a while and I spent the whole morning just lounging in this outfit. The fabric is a wonderfully soft jersey from Girl Charlee UK.
May 14: Rose Jumper

Day 14 and I wore my first hand knit of the month. This is the Rose Jumper from A Stitch in Time vol 1 by Susan Crawford. This is a reworked 1940s knitting pattern and has crocheted roses on the neckline. It’s starting to look a bit raggedy now but it was the first jumper I made and it is one of my favourite things.

May 15: Ultimate Shift Dress

Day 15 and I wore my Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress with a black cardigan from French Connection. I really like this dress but I think it might be a bit short for me. Also, it only looks good when I belt it up like this. Otherwise it is far too shapeless for my body shape. The fabric is a cheap quilting cotton from Minerva Crafts. A lovely print but it rides up a lot when I walk. 

May 16: New Look 6341

Day 16 and I wore my rose print New Look 6341 dress. I ended up wearing it with tights and a cardigan, as the weather took a turn for the worst, and I felt wrong all day. This dress fits me really well but it just didn’t feel right on – possibly because of the tights/cardigan combo. It’s a very bright print in real life too and not really me. I felt a bit like I was in someone else’s clothes. But all is not lost, I’m saving this dress for hot sunny days and holidays.

May 17: Bronte Top

Day 17 and I wore another Jennifer Lauren Bronte Top. This top is not very exciting – made from a black wool jersey from Fabric Godmother – but it is so wearable and I really like it. I wore it with a stripey skirt from Joy and got positive comments all day about this outfit.

May 18: Coronis jumper

Day 18 and I wore another hand knit jumper – the Coronis Jumper made from a pattern in Pom Pom Magazine a couple of years ago.  Much as I really like this jumper, I can’t believe I was wearing it in May. This is not what I thought Me Made May would look like!

May 19: Cleo Dungaree Dress

Day 19 and I wore my second Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dress. This one is made from a soft needlecord in a lovely aubergine colour. This one is slightly longer than my denim version and I can get away with wearing it for work. Result!

May 20: Hudson Pants

Day 20 and I had my yoga class today so I wore my Hudson Pants by True Bias Patterns together with a T shirt from H&M. This outfit wins no prizes for style but it is super comfy and perfect for yoga. 

Hope you enjoyed my round up of Me Made May. I’m super busy with exams and revision classes this month but I have lots of new makes to share with you soon and will be back next week with my third and final Me Made May round up.

Posted in Sewing

Me Made May Round Up: Part 1

Hello!

Are you taking part in Me Made May this year? How’s it going? 

We are a good couple of weeks into Me Made May now and I have been posting daily photos of my outfits over on Instagram. I’m enjoying it. Getting a bit freaked out by all these selfies that I am taking but enjoying participating none the less. I thought I would share my progress so far with you.

May 1: Coco top

The month started with a Bank Holiday and my stripey Tilly and the Buttons Coco top worn with RTW jeans and cardigan. I kind of regret the lack of effort I made here. I rarely wear this top because it is so shapeless and ugly. I barely left the house this day but still… no excuse for ugly clothes.

May 2: Anna Dress

Back to work on day 2 and I wore my By Hand London Anna dress with a cropped black RTW cardigan. I tend to make more of an effort for work than I do when I am just at home. I wear a lot of dresses and have adopted this ‘fitted dress and cardigan’ as a sort of self-imposed work uniform. I feel comfortable with this look.

May 3: Annabelle Dress

Day 3 and I wore my plum coloured Annabelle Dress by Simple Sew Patterns and paired it with a stripey cardigan from Collectif. I love the colour combinations of this outfit.

May 4: Vintage Shirt Dress

Day 4 and I wore my newly completed Vintage Shirt Dress by Sew Over It. I love this dress so much. I’m hoping to get some more photos of it and do a full blog post later this week. 

Day 5: Rusholme Skirt

Day 5 and I went for separates, with my denim Rusholme Skirt (from Wendy Ward’s book ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts’) paired with a vintage reproduction jumper from Collectif. This is such a great skirt. So flattering and goes with pretty much everything. I love the jumper too, even if I didn’t make it! Collectif is probably my favourite RTW brand. You will see a few things from there throughout this month.

Day 6: Ultimate Shift Top

Day 6 was a Saturday but I was in work for a sixth form revision session. I kept it casual in RTW jeans and a Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Top. The top is made from the softest French Terry from Girl Charlee UK and it is a dream to wear. It is so soft  it makes me feel like I am being hugged.

Day 7: Cleo Dungaree Dress

Day 7 and I wore my Tilly and the Buttons. Cleo Dress with a stripey t-shirt. This is a great weekend dress. Casual but not so casual that I feel like a slob.

Day 8 – Gertie Princess Seam Bodice Dress

Day 8 and I wore my Gertie Dress – princesss seam bodice and a-line skirt- together with a red bolero from Woolovers. This dress is made from a lovely ponte and so it is super comfy to wear. Secret Pyjmas.

May 9: Ultimate Pencil Skirt

Day 9 and a different kind of silhouette for me, but one that I love. This is my Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt worn with a vintage style polo shirt from Collectif.

Day 10: Afternoon Blouse

Day 10 and I wore my Jennifer Lauren Afternoon Blouse with a black box pleated RTW skirt. I really like this look, but now I am properly looking at this photo I am thinking maybe it was a bit too drab. What do you think? 

Anyway… that’s it for part one. I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my Me Made wardrobe, I know I have!

Posted in Sewing

Finding the time to sew

I occasionally get asked how I find the time to sew and if I am on my sewing machine every single day.

Well, no, I don’t sew every day. But I sew most days and always have at least two projects that I am working on at any given time.

One of the many projects I am currently working on

But I also have a boyfriend and friends that I spend time with and a life beyond sitting at my sewing machine.

It is still a question I get asked though, so I thought I would dedicate this blog post to sharing how I find the time to sew. 

1. I have a sewing related job

As regular readers will know, I am a textiles teacher in a secondary school. This means I spend my days in a classroom full of sewing  machines, a huge cutting table and sewing equipment. Obviously I can’t ignore my class to work on a private project when I am teaching but I do utilise my breaks and time after school to get on with my hobby. I like to get all my PDF patterns stuck together and my fabric cut out while at school – the big cutting table just makes it so much easier and quicker (as well as being a lot less painful on my back). I get a little sewing done in lesson time too. For example I might make something in my GCSE class as part of a demo. Or I will sometimes work on a project alongside my A level class. They love this and seem to find it inspiring, so I do it whenever the circumstances allow me to.

Sewing a Fifi set at school on an old Bernina

2. I don’t have children or family members to take care of

It’s just me and my partner at home and I am lucky that he is not at all needy. In an average evening when we are both at home, we’ll spend some time together and also some time doing our own thing. So if I want to do some sewing, I can, without anyone feeling neglected. (The cats sometimes feel a bit neglected but I am fast become a pro at sewing with a needy cat on my lap).

Sewing with Daphne on my lap
 

3. My sewing machine is always out 
This makes such a difference in terms of how much I can get done.  I would love to have my own sewing room but we live in a small(ish)  flat in central(ish) London so there is not that much space.  I don’t have the luxury of a sewing room but I do have a table in the corner of the living room that is just for my sewing machines. I keep my current projects in a box under the table so I can quickly get on whenever I want to. Sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for a few hours. Which brings me nicely to point 4…

4. I make the most of short sewing sessions

Five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes. It’s amazing what you can get done in short sewing bursts. I literally set an alarm on my phone for however much time I have. For example, yesterday I was cooking and had 8 minutes to go before I had to get a pizza out of the oven.  That became 8 minutes in which I got all of the stay stitching completed on my new Ogden Cami. Again, this is helped by the fact that my machine is always out and I have no dependants – I know not everyone is in this position. But if you can sew in short bursts you get an awful lot done.

A production line of Juniper Cardigans
5. I really love my machine
I love sewing and making things no matter what sewing machine I am using, but I really love my new sewing machine. I got a Brother Innov-is 350 Special Edition earlier this year and it is just amazing. I get so much pleasure from using it that I just always want to be on it. This has definitely made me more productive than I ever have been before. 

So much joy from one little machine

I appreciate that my life and circumstances are probably very different from yours but this is how I find the time to sew. I would love to hear how you do it.

Posted in Sewing

Completed – Rusholme Skirt #2

Remember when I made this skirt from Wendy Wards book, ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”? At the time I said that it would not be long before I made a second one.

Well that time is now. Here’s my second version of the Rusholme Skirt.

IMG_5862.JPGAs I said in my original post, I am a big fan of this pattern. It’s very straight forward to make and I think it is such a flattering and versatile shape. Much as I hate the term, it is a real ‘wardrobe staple’.

I never actually set out to make this skirt. I was just sorting through my stash one Saturday morning and noticed that I had a bit (maybe a meter at the most) of denim left over from my first Cleo dress. With a bit of unorthodox pattern piece arrangement (let’s not worry too much about grain lines on this one) I just managed to cut out the skirt. The fab floral fabric I used for the facing was a tiny scrap left over from when I used to make and sell cushions several years ago. I loved this fabric too much to throw the scraps away.

IMG_5863.JPG

The skirt was quick and easy to sew up, and I followed the exact same construction method as I did in my first version. I decided to do the top stitching (ahhh lovely top stitching) in red and also used a red centred zip. I really like the contrast of the red on the dark blue denim.

IMG_5884.JPG

Yet again, I am really pleased with this skirt. Wendy Ward is releasing a new book on sewing with knits later this year, I can’t wait to see what she does next.

In other sewing related news, Me Made May 2017 is now in full swing. I am really enjoying seeing the photos of everyone’s outfits over on Instagram. If you would like to follow my own Me Made May journey, you can do so here. I’ll also do a round up on here at the end of the month.

Good luck to everyone taking part.