July Makes and August Plans

I had a week off work in July, so I’ve had quite a productive month – though some of the makes haven’t made it to the blog yet. But my main project for my week off was to rebrand my blog (and all social media), which took longer than I thought! But it was good I had a week off so I could spend a few days blitzing it – I probably wouldn’t have got around to it if I’d been trying to do it during weekday evenings!

I seem to have recently mostly made tops! First I made this pink striped In The Folds Collins Top, and I love it! I’ll go into more detail in my post about it, but I’ve already got fabric in mind to make another version!

I also made this cropped Named Inari Tee out of leftover fabric from my Marianne Dress. This was sort of a wearable muslin, but I think it turned out okay!

My last make for my week off (I seem to have not made much outside of my holiday from work!) was this Colette Aster blouse. Again I’ll go into more detail when I write it up into its own post, but I’m not totally in love with this and I’m not sure why!

Now onto my plans for August – I don’t think I’ll get much made this month because I’m home visiting family next weekend and in the middle of the month I’m going to the New Craft House Summer Party so I won’t have a huge amount of sewing time this month.

My first job for the month is to make something to wear to the New Craft House party, which will almost certainly include this shiny silver fabric I was given for Christmas:

I’m thinking another Inari Tee, though probably lengthened by an inch or two so there isn’t so much of a risk of exposing my midriff, which I don’t really like. I’ll need to also make something to wear with the top, or I may cause a sensation! I’m thinking some culottes from the Butterick pattern which was free with (I think) Love Sewing magazine. Any other ideas?

If I have any spare time in the rest of the month, I really do need to make a start on  jeans. It’s been sooooo many month of me planning to make them that it’s getting a bit ridiculous now!

I know it may not seem seasonally appropriate to make jeans in August, but with the British Summer, it will probably be the perfect time!

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Wardrobe Architect Week 12: Adding Accessories

This week for Wardrobe Architect we’re talking about accessories. I’ve put this post off for a week because I think I’ going to get a bit stuck because I don’t know how much I use accessories. In the original post they talk about functional accessories and decorative accessories.

“Functional accessories can be decorative too of course, but there is some element of usefulness to them. They might include shoes, bags, hats, belts, warm scarves, gloves, sunglasses, and legwear. These are all things you need to work for you in one way or another. You might not need all of these things, depending on your climate, and some might become purely decorative for you.” Functional accessories might be shoes, bags, hats, scarves and gloves.

“Decorative accessories, like jewelry or pretty scarves, don’t really need to have all of these functional requirements. You can also include some things from the functional list that you wear purely for the sake of style. For example, if you don’t really need to wear a hat in the summer but like the way hats look on you, you can add them to this list.” Decorative accessories might be jewelery and more floaty (less warmth-focussed) scarves.

There is an exercise for this week:

1 Make a list of requirements for your accessories. List what you consider to be functional accessories and decorative accessories, and what your requirements are for each.

Shoes are probably the kind of accessory I have the most of. I have 2 pairs of trainers (one of vans and one rocket dogs), one pair of brogues, 2 pairs of ankle boots, 2 pairs of work flats and a new pair of Clarks lace ups. I wear a lot of pashminas in the Winter because I get cold really easily. I have one pair of sunglasses and a sun hat. When it’s cold I wear earmuffs or wooly hats, gloves and my favourite warm scarf. To be honest I think I’m pretty set for necessary accessories. I could probably always do with more shoes, but couldn’t we all?!

In terms of decorative accessories, I think the only ones I really wear are earrings and I only wear those a couple of days a week maximum. I never wear rings and very occasionally I remember to wear a necklace. I almost certainly have too many decorative accessories compared with how often I wear them, so I definitely don’t need to have any more on a to buy list.

2 Decide how many of each to include for the coming season. How many of each do you need for your current capsule wardrobe?

I haven’t been really working towards a specific season with my foray into the Wardrobe Architect so I don’t know how relevant this is. I could probably do with another pair of sandals, but given in the UK this year so far we’ve had probably 2 warm weeks, it doesn’t seem especially urgent at the moment!

3 Add accessories to your capsule wardrobe. Be sure to look towards what you already own before window shopping!

I think going forwards (urgh, sorry for the management speak!) I will try to be more mindful of the kinds of accessories I feel would nicely finish off an outfit of handmades and work towards a more curated selection. Especially of decorative accessories, so that I have a small stash of ones I actually wear!

Phew, that wasn’t so hard! It’s a brief one this week.
 

Refashion: Taking in a Raglan Tee

Wow, it seems I went a bit overboard with making sure the ‘before’ pictures looked as bad as possible! What is going on with my hair?!

This top, made from lovely flowery corally fabric – I think it’s viscose, it has a really nice drape – was kindly given to me by The Boyfriend’s mum. It was a little big for me, so I decided to make it smaller, which was really quite easy because it’s got raglan sleeves.

But first I cut off these annoying hanging ribbon things. Why do they exist?! They just like to work their way out of the neckline to hang out and look crap!

The sleeves also had these little button tabs, so I unpicked them from the hem of the sleeve and took off the button – which I put into my stash for use on another project in the future.

The next thing was to take in the top at the raglan sleeve seams – this would also reshape the neckline so it wasn’t so wide. I took 1.5cm off each seam – 4 in total (2 sleeves, front and back). I made sure the neckline was lined up, so there wouldn’t be steps or a weirdness on the outside.

I tried the top on after taking out the 4 lots of 1.5cm and it was still a bit loose on the back, so I sewed a 1cm seam – which I copied off a fairly old top I’ve got from New Look which I really like.

I then top-stitched the seam down on one side, sewing from the right side, so it looked straight with the seam I’d just sewn.

The last thing I did was to topstitch the cuffs down – there was a cuff already there, so that when it was pulled up by the button tab you wouldn’t see the wrong side of the fabric. I folded this old cuff in half and stitched it down. Simple!

And this is what it looks like – it just fits better and although it’s still a little loose (which I like), it no longer looks like it’s just too big.

The final change I made was to take 6cm off the hem at the front of the top, tapering to the existing hem at the side seams, making a slight high-low hem, which I think it more flattering on a looser top.

I really like the new cuffs! As I mentioned in my post about my second Melilot Shirt, I really like cuffs on short sleeves at the moment.

I do like a fairly simple refashion! There’s no point reinventing the wheel – if you have a nice top but want to alter the fit, there’s no need to try to make it into not-a-top!

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Greyish-Blueish Melilot Shirt

This shirt is sort of one of my makes for June, but I finished it in July as I was scared to sew the button holes because my machine does not like them! But they’re never as bad as I think they’re going to be, they’re just not totally straight sometimes.

Anyway, here is the shirt:

The fabric is some blueish-greyish cotton I bought from Barry’s fabrics in Birmingham when I went shopping with some Bristol lovelies. As with my other Melilot, I made the size 38 with no changes, though this is the other view, with sort sleeves.

This version was definitely easier to make because the fabric is much more stable – and I cut it out much more accurately! One of the main things I really like about this pattern is the shape of the hem, and especially how it dips down lower at the back. BTW it’s really hard to take a photo of a hem from the side without your arm getting in the way, or looking weird and folding your arms or something!

I don’t really have a huge amount to say about this make, except to say I really like it. I like how it’s sort of between 2 colours, and I like the 2 pockets. The only slight problem is when I wore it with my Simplicity trousers, it did look a bit like a crappy uniform. It was especially bad when I tucked it in for some reason!

The only thing I did ‘wrong’ was  to not use any interfacing…….because I didn’t have any and I’m impatient and wanted to just sew it already! I thought it was a thick enough cotton (though not as thick as quilting cotton) to cope without, and I think it will hold up.

I really like my long-sleeved version, but for these warm-ish months, I’m really liking kimono-style sleeves, especially if they have little cuffs, like these. I think this would be a great version to make (again) with a drapier fabric, so the sleeves sit better.

It’s funny how sometimes you make something you really like and you know you will wear it a lot, but you don’t really have anything to say about it! Do you ever feel that? Or is it just me?!

I’ll leave you with this week’s outtake! The Boyfriend was helping me take pictures and I couldn’t tell when he was pressing go so I kept talking!

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I’ve Rebranded!

I’ve had this last week off work, which is brilliant but I haven’t yet done any sewing because I’ve been working on rebranding my little corner of the internet!

The biggest change is the name (obviously!). I hadn’t been super happy with the name of my blog for a while because the ‘Thrift’ part (of ‘Thrift, Make, Sew’) didn’t really make sense. I thought it sort of represented the refashions I sometimes do, but then I’ve done only 1 (or possibly 2) this whole year so far and since I don’t really analyse the costs of my makes, it bothered me that it didn’t seem to fit with what I wrote about. Ironically I do now have a few refashions in the works, but I still fancied a change.

I hope you like the new name. I like the sort of play on ‘sewing machine’ but it also fits with the other things I now write about – like the posts I do monthly planning what I’m making and the Wardrobe Architect series I’ve been doing. I also have ideas for adding another large set of projects…..when I eventually get around to it!

I swear I took some screenshots to show what my blog looked like before but now I can’t find them, wah!

My old header was this:

I’ve changed it for a photo, with more bright colours in. I haven’t really changed my colour palette (turquoise, yellow, coral, grey, light turquoise) but I wanted more colours in the header photo.

I’ve also changed my profile picture, from one of my garment shots to one I took specifically as a profile picture and I think that was a good move.

The biggest job, which has taken me a massive chunk of the last 3 days was to update the thumbnails on my archive pages. I decided to use a different font – Calibri instead of Tahoma and to make all the writing black. Previously I did them in different colours depending on the category, but the yellow, grey and turquoise weren’t super easy to read!

Internet Meme cushion thumbnail
     

The new ones are at the bottom. I definitely prefer the look of them – they look cleaner and there’s a bit more white space I think. I have replaced all of the thumbnails on the archive pages, which took a while, I can tell you!

There are still some things to update – I manually add recommendations to the bottom of each post and I haven’t changed them all yet, so the old thumbnails will appear there. With 12 pages of posts in my dashboard, it might take a while to change them all. And on some of them, I’d forgotten to add them in the first place so it’s been good to check so far.

The other change I’ve made is to streamline my sidebar as I felt it looked a bit messy. It still might need some work, though! I’ve also changed themes, and this theme removes the sidebar when you’re on a page, which I like. I also like that the menu stays at the top all the time. I’m still getting to grips with customizing the CSS so I expect there will be some other tweaks to come, but overall I’m pretty happy with my new look and new name – and .com instead of .wordpress.com domain! I’ve paid to redirect all the links from the old site, so hopefully everything should be seamless, but let me know if you spot anything that doesn’t work and I’ll see if I can figure out how to fix it!

I hope you continue to read my little blog, despite all the changes! If you follow me on bloglovin, you may have to follow my new site name, sorry! I thought it would update automatically but I think I did all the changes a bit wrong for that to happen!

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