Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Me Made May 2018 Week Three

Me-Made-May week three was a rather hectic affair after a phone call from Ofsted (UK school inspectors). On Monday I didn't leave work until after 9pm hence a rather blurry dark photo at the bus stop. Needless to say, I felt exhausted for the rest of the week but my me-made clothing game was still strong!

Day 14
Top: Old Navy hot-dog print shirt (from the boy's section)
Skirt: Simplicity 2154 Fabric: poly-cotton twill, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2013.
Jacket: Levis denim 
Necklace: Tatty Devine hot dog
Watch: Red G Shock 
Trainers: Nike

Five years later and my red Simplicity 2154 pencil skirt is working hard. It is an easy skirt to make and has a spilt at the back to make it very comfy too. Welcome to my slightly deranged face after working for 16 hours straight in preparation for the Ofsted visit.

Day 15
Top: Simplicity 1634 Fabric: Liberty Tana Lawn. Made: 2015
Trousers: Gap 
Necklace: Tatty Devine me-designed 'Untitled'
Watch: Black G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith blue suede Miller brogues

The Simplicity 1634 pattern has a vintage vibe with the slash neckline and 3/4 length sleeves and I think it works really well with the colouring of the Liberty Tana Lawn print. The facings have a tendency to flip about so I have sewn some very tiny stitches at the shoulder seams to hold it in position.

Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top. Fabric: John Lewis Viscose. Made: 2016 
Trousers: Gap
Watch: Black G Shock
Necklace: Tatty Devine sewing machine A/W 2017
Socks: Gap
Shoes: Paul Smith red Miller brogues

I wore pretty much the exact same outfit last May. On the left, we have 2018 and on the right 2017. The viscose top has slightly shrunk and my trusty Gap chinos have faded a little, but if it ain't broke.....

Day 17
Top: Sew Over It Ultimate shirt. Fabric: Liberty Plastic Fantastic. Made: 2015
Trousers: Gap
Watch: Black G Shock
Necklace: Tatty Devine stars A/W 2017
Shoes: Paul Smith purple Miller brogues

This was the first shirt I ever made and it is still going strong. I really should make another version in a plain viscose or cotton because the fit is good and it has classic styling.

Day 18
Top: Tilly and the Buttons hacked Bettine top. Fabric: Gingham, Samuel Taylors. Hacked: 2017  
Skirt: Sew Over It Tulip Skirt. Made: 2014
Necklace: Tatty Devine scissors
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

My tiredness and general mental state at the end of the week can be summed up by the twisted skirt and fixed grin in this photo. As a post-Ofsted treat, I called into Ray Stitch in Islington to pick up a zip and some bias binding for a work in progress item which I will hopefully be blogging about soon! The blue Sew Over It Tulip skirt gets lots of wear and my hacked Bettine top is also much more wearable since chopping it into a top.

Day 19 & Day 20
The weekend was spent doing some DIY, hence the fetching attire above. The t-shirts are about 15 years old and are now customised with a variety of household paints. As for the green trousers, I inherited them from my Dad. They used to be his gardening pants and they fit me amazingly well. I keep thinking I should trace the pattern. They are a high-waisted original 1970's trousers with deep pockets and a pin-tucked crease down the front. They would make the perfect work trousers in a smart suiting fabric. 

Are you stuck in a me-made rut with your outfit selections?
Have you noticed any repeat combinations you like to wear again and again?

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Me Made May 2018 Week Two

The second week of May brought with it typical unpredictable weather with sunshine and showers.

An uncharacteristically co-ordinated collection of garments this week. You could almost say I am curating a capsule hand-made wardrobe where I am able to select my own patterns, fabric and fit!

Day Two
Top: Colette Laurel Top. Fabric: cotton, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2015
Trousers: Gap
Necklace: Tatty Devine stars
Socks: Marimekko
Watch: White G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent loafers

A simple variation of the Laurel top with slightly extended sleeves. Maybe the darts are a little high but it doesn't stop me from wearing it in the spring and summer months.

Day Nine
Top: Grainline Scout Tee. Fabric: cotton, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2013 
Trousers: Gap 
Scarf: Marimekko
Socks: Gap 
Watch: Black G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent loafers

This was my first ever Grainline Scout tee in a classic black dotty cotton. It is an easy wear for warm days.

Day Ten
Dress: So Over It Alex Shirt Dress. Fabric: Stoff and Stil. Made: 2017 
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

I am super happy with this shirt dress. I added a fabric belt last week (which I should have made ages ago) which makes such a difference to wearing it. This simple belt addition seems to somehow make it more polished! In the background, you can see a beautiful version of the River Quilt by Jenny Haynes at the Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead. I attended one of their Thursday night Sewing Social events were I pretty much finished off the top of my Marimekko River Quilt and met a whole bunch of lovely ladies too. (A big hello to Clea and Kara!).

Day Eleven
Dress: So Over It Zoe Dress. Fabric: Cotton Sateen, Samuel Taylors Made: 2018
Jacket: Levis
Trainers: Nike
My more recent Sew Over It dress. I have worn the Zoe dress quite a few times and the hidden pockets are soooo fab! I am certain to make more of these.

Day Twelve
Sweatshirt: Grainline Linden. Fabric: Cotton knit, Girl Charlee UK. Made: 2016
Top: Top Shop vest
Trousers: Lululemon
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

Super comfy and a little crumpled as I threw it in my bag to wear if the weather cooled down. This was my first ever Linden and I have worn it lots. The grey striped ribbing is from Ray Stitch and is really good quality.

Have you been taking part in Me-Made-May this year?
Re-discovered any hand-made garments or enjoying recent makes more?

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Me Made May 2018 Week One

I can't believe that Me-Made-May, the month-long challenge for crafty folks who make their own clothes has come around again so fast! It was the fab brain-child of Zoe of 'So Zo' blog who started it in 2009. This year there are over 1,177 people taking part!

This will be my fifth year participating and I am trying to up the challenge with a focus on assessing the wearability of my me-made wardrobe.

Here is my pledge:

Let's get to the outfits......

Day One
Top: Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt. Fabric: H&M tablecloth. Made: 2018 
Trousers: Gap
Watch: Olive green G Shock
Socks: Paul Smith
Shoes: Paul Smith Green Loafers

I really like this shirt. The only niggle is the twisted collar and off centre button band which I must avoid if I make a second version.

Day Two
Top: Marilla Walker Ilsley Skirt. Fabric: Robert Kauffman Essex linen. Made 2015 
Shirt: Gap
Watch: White G Shock
Necklace: Tatty Devine scissors
Shoes: Paul Smith purple Miller Brogues

A simple and easy to wear skirt. I may change the front elastic section to a flat panel for a more flattering shape.

Day Three
Top: Merino wool turtleneck Uniqlo
Necklace: Dad-made wooden pendant!
Skirt: Ready Ruthie Dolores Pocket Skirt. Fabric: Vintage. Made: 2016
Watch: Olive green G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith Green Loafers

I love this skirt. The colours in the vintage fabric are gorgeous and give you the opportunity to pair it with so many tops. I also lined it in a beautiful olive green silk! The wooden pendant necklace is very special to me as it was hand-made by my dad as a present for my mum in the 1970's.

Day Four
Top: Top shop shirt with a re-fashioned collar. Mended: 2018
Skirt: Dolores Pocket Skirt. Fabric: Cotton. Made 2014.
Brooch: Tatty Devine Typewriter necklace A/W 2017
Watch: White G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith blue suede Miller brogues 

You may know about my recent re-fashion of my favourite shirt (changed the collar) which has extended the life of the garment, always a bonus! The skirt is another Dolores Pocket Skirt which is made of cotton and stuck to my tights all day!

Day Five
Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top. Fabric: Viscose, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2016 
Trousers: Abercrombie and Fitch
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

This Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top has been such a hard-working garment in my spring and summer wardrobe. It coordinates with lots of my coloured trousers and skirts. This awesome backdrop was outside the Fashion and Textiles musuem in Bermondsey.

Day Six
Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top. Fabric: Cotton seersucker. Made: 2017 
Trousers: Lululemon
Necklace: Marimekko
Watch: White G Shock
Trainers: Nike

Another Camber Set top in a more structured white cotton seersucker that my lovely friend Sophie sent me from Hong Kong. The stiffer cotton compared to the viscose version from day five creates a more dramatic silhouette. I am almost blending into the background of an art installation at the Tate Britain here. It was a very happy coincidence that I appear to co-ordinate into the exhibit!

Week one in collage form below already highlights my love for the versatility of separates!
Maybe the warmer weather may encourage some dress-wearing next week?

Are you participating in Me-Made-May this year? How are you getting on?

Sunday, 22 April 2018

April Work in Progress

I haven't got anything finished to share with you this week, but I have got two works in progress.
The first project is my Jenny Haynes river quilt in Marimekko fabric which I started in April 2017 (I can't believe I started it a year ago!).

I attended a class at the Village Haberdashery on Friday called 'Finish that quilt' with Jenny and a lovely bunch of ladies. We all had quilts at various stages of completion (mine was the least finished!) and Jenny skillfully helped us all with what we needed to do for the next stage be it sandwiching the wadding, binding or hand-quilting. 

Here is where I got to on the quilt top on Friday (only the top four rows are sewn together).

I spent a few hours on the quilt this morning and got to this stage by lunchtime. I have changed the layout of the 'river' to a more asymmetrical set of curves compared to the original design which meant a little more thinking time to work out which seams to sew first.

The only section I need to sew now is the grey Essex linen on the left-hand side of the quilt top. I will then have to figure out how I would like to quilt the whole thing. There a few options; hand-quilting, machine quilting or pay to have it quilted for me.
I haven't decided yet. Have you any suggestions?

The second item I'm working on is the New Look 6446 jumpsuit and dress. I saw this via the Foldline's new patterns feature and it so happened to be on 50% sale at WeaverDee.com  so for £3.00 I thought I would try it out as I'm not even sure if this will suit me. I am half-way through a (hopefully) wearable toile in one of my remaining tropical H&M tablecloths to check the fit.

 I fear that by the time I finish the jumpsuit the gorgeous weather in the UK will have passed!

I did some internet searching and found some lovely versions of the New Look 6446 by other sewing bloggers so you can get an idea of what it will look like when I eventually finish it.

I love the feature piping on this version by Evolution of a Sewing Goddess
Erica has made this gorgeous striped version with a lightweight cotton lawn
Jane has sewn a summery dress version of the 6446

Abi from a Crafty Pin-up has made a striking black floral version
Have you got any unfinished projects you are working on at the moment?

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Liberty Moneta Dress

The Colette Moneta dress is a sewing blogger / insta classic. I have only made one version before with a scant one metre of grey stretch knit here. For my second version, I bust out some good stuff that has been in my stash for over 18 months (purchased in the Liberty 50% off sale). The Liberty jersey print is very pretty with a navy background and soft coral, dark coral, white and blue abstract paint 'splats'.

There isn't much to say about the construction other than this time I decided to line the bodice (as instructed) and add sleeves. The feel of the Liberty jersey is so soft and it has a fabulous drape. The only niggle was I noticed that when stretching the Liberty jersey when attaching the elastic for the skirt there are some 'strain' marks where the colour of the print is a little faded. It is a fault that is very minor so I am not going to worry about it!

Another garment made from my stash fabric #makeyourstash. I am on a roll at the moment!
I wore my new dress to see the Picasso exhibition at the Tate Modern with my friend Charlotte. I would highly recommend a visit if you get a chance to go.

Modelling my Moneta with my new Monroe Turtleneck!

The artwork I am standing in front of is by the feminist artist Jenny Holzer, entitled the Inflammatory Essays, 1979 - 82. They are a series of political, social, moral, feminist, radical and powerful short essays each 100 words long.

Have you seen any thought provoking art / music / theatre / dance recently?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Monroe Turtleneck & Marimekko magic!

The free PDF Tessuti Fabrics Monroe Turtleneck is a quick make. I used a piece of £3 knit fabric that has been in my stash since October 2017 which I bought from a little fabric store in Fitzrovia. Norman Lyons & Co are a wholesale fabric company who also sell to the public on Cleveland Street. It is a quirky place full of polyester prints, wild dress fabrics and lots of other vintage treasures and bargains. The black cotton knit fabric I bought is a lovely quality and is a good weight too. When I spotted the free PDF Monroe Turtleneck pattern I knew it would make a perfect partnership!

The treasure trove of Norman Lyons & Co fabric shop on Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia

Below are photos of the Monroe turtleneck in progress (I will get some photos of me wearing it on Tuesday). I cut out the size One based on my bust size but overall is is a VERY generous and loose fit. I normally have to lengthen any sleeve but this pattern was the perfect length, although I ended up creating a simple cuff for the sleeve by folding over a length of the fabric and re-attaching.

I also modified the hem by adding two bands of folded fabric to create a split high-low hem. I used my regular machine to sew it up using a 2.5 wide zig-zag with a 2.5 stitch length. The turtle neck on my version sits quite high because the fabric has quite a bit of body, I suspect I will wear it folded over. Something to consider if you have a short neck (and I would say I have a longer than average neck). Overall, the fabric behaved beautifully and it was genuinely fun to sew a whole garment in an afternoon and for only £3.00. I am also linking this to the #makeyourstash hashtag too!

How much do you love this free Monroe Turtleneck? Thiiiiiis muuuucccchh.....

Onto the second part of my post. For any long-time followers of my blog you will know I have BIG LOVE for the Finnish design company Marimekko.  I have made MANY, MANY cushions for my house with their iconic prints (examples here and here). Earlier in the year I attended my first Craft Swish and scored this small piece of black and white Unikko print for free! It would have been rude not to sew another cushion!

And here it is in all it's cushion-ary glory snuggling alongside previously me-made Marimekko cushions.

The Marimekko story does not end there. Fabulous Finnish fortune came my way again on Friday when I dropped off a few items of clothing to Oxfam in Fitzrovia and just as I was leaving I spotted a pretty black and white scarf. The print Gods were looking down on me when I discovered it was a Marimekko scarf for only £5 (usual retail price is between £80 - £120). Yes! I snapped it up and I am looking forward to wearing it this Spring.

Have you had any good sewing / fashion fortune come your way recently?