Tag Archives: Banksia Top

A Belated Me Made May Round Up

How did you find Me Made May this year, if you took part?

This was my second time taking part and I definitely felt the difference in the amount of garments I had to choose from! I didn’t even get a chance to wear everything I have made. I decided to wear me-mades on 5 days of each week, basically at work as I am still working towards having a good casual wardrobe for weekends and I am still yet to try sewing with jersey! Maybe I should sign up to Tilly’s new online class?

Sorry if you follow me on instagram – you’ll have seen these all before, but in case you haven’t…..(sorry for the crappy, blurry selfies – I hate taking selfies!)

Day 1: Tilly and the Buttons Mimi Blouse + Black By Hand London Victoria Blazer.

Day 4: Refashioned High-Necked top and Refashioned Coat to BHL Victoria Blazer

Day 5: Grainline Scout Tee with self-drafted collar.

Day 6: Blue and White Striped Colette Laurel Dress.

Day 7: Colette Violet Blouse.

Day 8: Pink Stripey Banksia + Blue Simplicity 2451 Skirt.

Day 11: Refashioned Shirt Dress.

Day 12: Refashioned Peter Pan Collar Dress.

Day 13: Refashioned High-Necked top + Black Simplicity 2451 Skirt.

Day 14: Refashioned Parrot Shirt.

Day 15: Flowery Grainline Scout Tee.                             MMM15-Day-15
Day 16: Refashioned Ugly Skirt into Grainline Scout Tee.

Day 19: GBSB Boyfriend Shirt.

Day 20: Tilly and the Buttons Francoise Dress.

Day 22: Pink Spotty Grainline Scout Tee + Black Victoria Blazer

Day 26: Emery Dress by Christine Haynes.

Day 27: Refashioned Mustard Corduroy Shorts.

Day 29: Refashioned Ugly Skirt into Grainline Scout Tee + Bright Yellow Butterick Skirt (worn to a ceilidh!)

I think I must have forgotten to take pictures on some days because I’m sure I wore my other Banksia top and there don’t seem to be enough pictures, but I definitely wore me-mades on 5 days of each week! I definitely forgot to take a picture on the last day, when I wore my Orla Kiely-esque Laurel and my black Victoria Blazer (again).

The things I learnt from Me Made May were:

1. I hate taking selfies – I took about 20 each time, just to get one I liked! Documenting the month is definitely the least fun part for me!

2. There are still some me-mades that I have never worn/ don’t like wearing, but wear because I made them (my 2 Elisalex Dresses [1 + 2], my Miette cardigan, Gertie Bow Tied Blouse and my first dress, New Look 6000). These tend to be the things I made earlier on in my sewing, so hopefully this means I’m getting more of a handle on my style and what I like wearing and not being seduced by patterns which look great on other people but aren’t really me.

3. I definitely need to make some skinny jeans/ trousers, probably from the Ginger Jeans pattern.

4. I definitely need to conquer knits, so I have more comfortable, casual clothes for weekends and days when I don’t fancy dressing up.

5. It felt like a lot of effort to wear a dress as I cycle to work now. But when I actually put on the dresses, it was fine, so I think I can afford to wear them more often, especially as the weather warms up!

I did enjoy taking part in Me Made May as it does force me to look at what I have in my wardrobe and to not just put on shop-bought skinny trousers and tee shirts. Did you enjoy taking part? What did you learn?

Me Made May 2014 Week Four

It’s now June, so here is my last chunk of Me Made May photos. Out of the last 10 days, there were only 2 on which I didn’t wear anything me-made. So one main thing I’ve learned is that I have more me-made clothes that I thought, as I’ve managed to out-do my target every week – I’ve worn 5 things instead of 4 as I thought. There were some things I didn’t wear – I knew I wouldn’t wear either of my Elisalex dresses (1 and 2). I’ve got some time off work coming up and I might try to alter them in a way that would mean I would wear them. I’m thinking adding some pockets, letting out the bodices, maybe removing the sleeves and possibly taking up the hems. I’ll see if I get around to it! I also didn’t wear my bright yellow Butterick skirt. It was kind of warm for a weekend, but over all in May it wasn’t super warm here and I don’t like the way this skirt looks with tights, so I can only wear it when it’s warm enough to get out my pasty legs. I have also worn my yellow and pink cardigans A LOT! I do have other clothes, but they’re bright so I’m more drawn to them than my black/ navy/ beige ones! My main feeling is excitement that I don’t have to take any more outfit photos – I think if I do it again next year, I’ll take pictures of the clothes before I put them on, as some people do.

Day 22: Parrot Shirt refashion and Black Simplicity 2451
with pink H & M cardigan.

Day 23: Black Banksia
with black skinny trousers from New Look and yellow cardigan from H & M


Day 24: Grainline Scout tee with Collar
with navy New Look skinnies, yellow cardigan H & M

Day 25: Pink Banksia
with black New Look skinnies and pink H & M cardigan (again!)


Day 27: Navy Simplicity 2451
with grey striped Primark vest and navy loose top and grey peplum cardigan, both from M & S for Christmas. (Quite a frumpy, shapeless outfit looking at it!)


Day 28: GBSB Boyfriend Shirt
with skinny Primark jeans and pink H & M cardigan (again!)


Day 29: Blue Spotty Grainline Scout Tee
with navy skinny New Look trousers and beige H & M cardigan


Day 30: Refashioned (and free) H & M dress
with old black H & M cardigan


Me Made May 2014 Week Two

My round-up is a day late because I managed to take all my photos and then my camera battery died so I couldn’t get the pictures off the camera to blog them. Wow, first world problems much! Again this week I managed 5 outfits, and I still have quite a few things I’ve not worn yet. I feel, though, that my outfits are still getting a little boring because I’ve realised I wear pretty much the same thing most of the time – skinny trousers/ jeans with a blouse/ loose t-shirt. This will hopefully lead my sewing in the future in terms of making things I will definitely wear.

Day 8: Refashioned shirt dress into a shirt.
with black skinny trousers from New Look and (another) H & M cardigan.


Day 9: My first, pink Banksia and blue Simplicity 2451.
with another H & M cardigan and navy tights.


Day 10: Refashioned mustard corduroy skirt, from shorts.
with black Primark jumper, collar/necklace was a Christmas present so I don’t know where it’s from, and a goofy expression!


Day 12: Red Miette cardigan
with navy knit dress from H & M and bright red tights!

Day 14: Green refashioned high-necked top
with navy skinny trousers from New Look and H & M cardigan.

I’m not sure what I’ve learned after the second week of Me Made May, except that it really is a pain to take a photo of myself every day!

Banksia no 2

Yesterday I went to Goldhawk Road to meet up with lots of lovely sewists, some of whom I’ve been stalking online since I discovered sewing blogs! (too creepy?) It was like meeting celebrities! I had a lovely day and wore my second version of Megan Nielsen’s Banksia, with my refashioned yellow skirt from shorts. I only bought one 3-metre length of some liberty fabric, in a William Morris-esque print. I’ve been to Goldhawk Road a couple of times before and I find the choice of fabric and the number of shops a bit overwhelming! Especially since I didn’t have anything in mind to buy – the most successful trip I’ve had there was when I had a list of things I needed. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, though, to not have added too much to my stash as I don’t have room to store any more fabric, and I have only sewn for about an hour since Christmas, so it will take me a while to get through my existing stash!

I actually finished this about 2 months ago, but I’m pretty behind with posting makes and bakes! I have about 15 posts queued up and waiting. I’ve worn it quite a lot and love it as much as my first one. I made the placket the same as the first one, but it puckered slightly on this second version. I think it’s because the fabric was a bit slippery so I didn’t cut it out as accurately as I should have, and it was shifting  a bit in the machine. And speaking of the fabric, this was a tiny remnant from Rolls and Rems on Holloway Road, and it cost me £1.50. The buttons were from my friend’s stash which she lent me. So all in all, a pretty cheap make!


The buttons match the green colour perfectly 🙂

This is a slightly crappy photo, but it shows the puckering of the placket. I don’t think when I’m wearing it, anyone would spot the slight mistake, so I don’t really care. And I’ve worn it quite a few times, and no-one said anything.

The back is a little gapey, just like with the first one. As I mentioned, it is my new year’s resolution to fix my fitting issues with my narrow back. But this was made in 2013, so it doesn’t count!

As with the first Banksia, I used all french seams to make it all neat on the inside. Which was good for this top, because the fabric frayed like a bitch! This is also the first thing I’d made in ages where the fabric had a definite right side and a wrong side – which was a pleasure after several makes of ‘wait, is this the right side or the wrong side?’


My First Banksia

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet this last week – I was away last weekend, hanging out with my best friends, then last week at work was too busy for me to have the energy to write any posts – I organise events for a bookshop and last week there were 9 events! Also I’d finished my Banksia a little while ago but hadn’t had a chance to take any photos. Any way, enough with apologies and onto my new favourite top!

As I mentioned a while ago, I bought Megan Nielsen’s Banksia Top a little while ago and I almost immediately got to work on it. I cut out the xs as it was still a bit big for my bust measurement – but since it’s not meant to be fitted, I figured it wouldn’t matter. And I love it!


The fabric is some lovely, soft pink stripey cotton I got from one of the shops in Goldhawk Road – I forget which one. It’s the same one where I bought the cake fabric for my friend’s apron and the price was meant to be £7.99 per metre but he did it at £5.99 per metre because I had bought some other things – lovely man!

I tried my hardest to match the stripes on the side seams and it almost worked:


I also french seamed all of the seams, including the sleeve seams. I’d never done that before so used the French All Your Seams tutorial on Grainline Studio’s blog. It looks so pretty on the inside, it makes me stupidly happy!


I like the look of the bias binding that neatens the collar too – clever pattern drafting:

P1010747-mediumAs you can see in that photo, I cheated and used poppers instead of buttons. I hate, hate, hate, sewing button holes and wanted the top finished and didn’t want to mess it up with the fabric getting chewed up with the button holes going wrong. I sewed some buttons on the top to make it look like it was fastened with buttons – cheater!

P1010749-mediumP1010750-PS-mediumI love the over-sized collar but boy did it take ages to clip all the notches before turning it the right way round!

P1010583-PS-mediumThe pattern was pretty easy to assemble – the collar was easy to sew in. The only complicated bit is the placket – I used method 2 for putting it in and there was one point where I got a bit confused,  but Megan Nielsen has a sew-along on her website and with some more photos, it became clear how to do it.


I’m just going to put this last picture in because what am I doing with my face?!

P1010718-PS-mediumSo to sum up, I love this top! I also love pink, which is a new development!