October Makes and November Plans

I can’t believe how quickly October has disappeared! Now we’re into November I thought I’d review how I did with my October makes and let you know by plans for the coming month.

I did pretty well with my October makes – I made 3 of the 4 things I planned. I’ll write full posts on each make soonish (hopefully).

My Deer and Doe Melilot shirt is pretty much finished, it just needs buttons and button holes – my machine hates doing button holes so I have to psych myself up for them.

This…….

october-planning-melilot….has become this:

melilot-shirt(it looks a bit wibbley because the fabric just does not iron!)

I also made my Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt:

october-planning-delphine-skirtI really like this and definitely think I’ll make more! It sits in a nice place on my waist. Also the fabric is slightly sparkley, which is always a good thing!

delphine-skirtI mentioned in my October post that I was planning to join in with the #SewDots challenge set by Rosie Martin using one of 2 fabrics in my stash:

october-planning-sew-dotsI actually used both of them! The pink one became a secret dotty lining in my Delphine skirt:

delphine-skirt-lining(I should really have ironed the skirt before I took this photo!)

I also made a dress from my grey spotty fabric – I did choose the Drapey Knit Dress from the 3rd Great British Sewing Bee book. I’ve worn it all day today and it’s really comfy – shame the pleats were sitting funny in this picture!

sewdots-dressSo these were my successful makes – you may have noticed there was one I didn’t get around to. The trousers. These will become one of my plans for November instead.

october-planning-simplicity-trousersMy next make will be the free Jersey Dress pattern from Peppermint magazine, designed by In The Folds. The fabric is the rest of a large length of jersey which I used some of for one of my Coco tops. It looks like it will be a secret blanket for the cold weather 🙂

peppermint-jersey-dressMy big make for the month – aside from my first pair of trousers – will be a By Hand London Alix Dress. There’s something about this pattern which I unexpectedly love! I’m going to a birthday party on the 19th November and I can wear it to my work Christmas party.

alix-dress-patternI don’t have any fabric for this yet. They recommend cotton lawn, voile, chambray, annel, double gauze, cotton silk, sandwashed silk, silk noil, wool crêpe, viscose crêpe, rayon and cupro. I’m thinking a lovely jewel-tone pink. If anyone knows where I can buy such a fabric, please let me know.

If I have time at the end of all this, I want to start making toiles for jeans. I haven’t decided which to do first – the Gingers or Morgans.

october-planning-jeansI have a couple of house-y projects to make too, so I doubt I’ll complete all of this including the jeans! I’m going to try to make some curtains for our bedroom – if I can figure out how!

 

 

 

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Summer Lakeside Pajamas in the Winter

It’s starting to get quite cold now in the UK (which I quite like, being British I’m not a huge fan of Summer) so today I’ve got some Grainline Lakeside Pajamas to share with you! Slightly in my defense I did make these when it was hot back in July. The fabric was some lovely hand dyed cotton khadi (which is a handspun and hand-woven cloth from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) in lion and teal from Ray Stitch. The teal one is still in stock, but the lion is sold out.

(lol, identical poses! Different hair though, which is weird because I took the pictures on the same day!)

teal-lakeside-pajamas-1mustard-lakeside-pajamas-1

I got a voucher for Raystitch from my old job when I left and the Lakeside pattern and these 2 pieces of fabric were some of the things I bought. I had already bought some things and didn’t have that much money left so bought only one meter of each cotton. I really really only just managed to squeeze the pattern pieces out of 1 meter of fabric. I would definitely not recommend it!

mustard-lakeside-pajamas-3

 

I made the size 4 in the top and the bottoms. In hindsight I don’t know why I made the same size in both – I think I just thought ‘well I’ve picked my closest size so that’s that.’ I’ve actually just checked the pattern sizing again and the shorts were apparently the right size according to my measurements, but I should have made a size 2 according to my bust measurement (I have a 32″ bust, 27″ waist and 37″ hips for reference). If I made them again, though, I would definitely size up in the shorts as they are a little snug – which isn’t what you want from pajamas! You can see here they are pulling a little.

teal-lakeside-pajamas-3

I think it would be worth sizing down in the top too, as it is quite loose. You do need some ease to be able to get the top on and off, but it does gape quite a bit at the back. I literally say this about every single one of my makes, so I really should stop being lazy and start adjusting patterns for being so narrow across the back. Anyone have any idea how I would do that?

mustard-lakeside-pajamas-2

I love the petal shapes on the back – above, though, it doesn’t sit right because it’s so gapey and because of my terrible posture! I actually try to stand up straight when I take blog photos but I usually stand with a rather arched back, hunched shoulders and my pelvis tilted back towards my bum. I keep meaning to start doing yoga to try to improve my posture but I’m lazy in exercise as well as in making fitting adjustments!

Gratuitous bum shot!

teal-lakeside-pajamas-2

I really enjoyed (!) sewing all the bias binding, it was satisfying to see all the raw edges disappearing! The construction is clever and simple at the same time. The Boyfriend helped me pick the bias binding colours – he has a better eye for design than me! We took both pieces of fabric to my little local sewing shop (which sadly has a not very good selection of fabric but it carries a great range of notions and things) and took aaaages laying all the possible colours on each fabric to see which looked the best. I’m really, really pleased with both choices – I like the contract on the lion colour and the tonal match on the teal.

mustard-lakeside-pajamas-6teal-lakeside-pajamas-5

I found the shorts construction less easy to understand and I’m not 100% sure I did the binding on the side seams correctly, but the raw edges all disappeared and the shorts came together so whatever I did it sort of worked – it just maybe wasn’t quite as neat as it could have been!

teal-lakeside-pajamas-4mustard-lakeside-pajamas-5

I did manage to wear the lion coloured pajamas before the weather turned cold and they are really nice to sleep in. And the fabric is so buttery and soft, they’re definitely the nicest sleepwear I own. Unfortunately our flat is really cold, even when it was still warm in August when we moved so these may need to go into storage until I move somewhere newer and with central heating! It was literally like walking into an air-conditioned building coming home when it was hot outside.

Have you made your own pajamas? I think in the not too distant future I need to make myself some Carolyn Pajamas for the Winter – maybe in some lovely, snuggly brushed cotton? Also I’ve never sewn with piping and I really want to!

If not pajamas, then what are you making?

 

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Book - Love At First Stitch Make It - Tote Bag Refashioners Beige Shirt

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5 Things I Learned from Me Made May 2016

mmmay16Did you take part in Me Made May this year? How did you find it? I think this was the year I enjoyed least – the first 2 years I took part I was so excited to have enough me made clothes to be able to take part that I really enjoyed making an effort to wear my me mades and find ways to make them work in my wardrobe. I wonder if it was because for the first 3/4 of May I wasn’t working so it felt odd to get slightly dressed up – I feel like most of my me mades are smart/casual. But then conversely when I did get some temping work I found it hard to dress for a smarter office than I’ve worked in before.

My pledge was “I, Amelia of www.sewingmachinations.wordpress.com, pledge to wear at least one me-made garment 5 days per week. I will also try to finish off 3 garments I have cut out and make a completely me-made outfit for a wedding I’m going to at the end of May.”

I definitely completed the days of the week part – there were only 4 days when I didn’t make something me-made (sometimes I wore the same outfit 2 days in a row, in case you think there aren’t enough photos below :)). I did finish the outfit for the wedding – you can see the full post on it here. And I did technically finish 3 garments I already had cut out, though only 2 of them made it to the blog and only those 2 got worn, so I would call that a partial success.

Here are 5 things I realised while taking part in #mmmay16.

1  I freakin’ suck at taking selfies/ photos of myself in my clothes – like really really suck. In my defense I don’t currently have a full-length mirror and I felt bad asking The Boyfriend to take a picture every day. Also I kept forgetting until I’d got ready for bed!

Day 1 insta Day 2 insta Day 3 insta
Day-4-insta-square Day-5-&-6-insta-square Day 8 insta

(clockwise from top left: royal blue coco top, navy blue rushcutter, flowery plantain +
mustard yellow victoria blazer + taken in trousers, blue spotty archer,
breton plantain + refashioned victoria blazer, francoise dress)

2  It was much harder to dress for office work. I’ve been doing some temping since moving and it’s the first time I’ve had to wear office-type clothes – I’ve always been in quite casual jobs where I could wear jeans and trainers.

Day 9 insta Day 10 insta Day 11 insta
Day 12 insta Day 13 insta Day 14 insta

(clockwise from top left: flowery banksia, refashioned parrot shirt,
refashioned shirt dress, pink stripey banksia + black simplicity 2451 skirt,
refashioners refashioned shirt, turquoise coco top)

3  Conversely I don’t have much casual me-made things – for weekends and the weeks before I started temping.

Day 16 Day 17 insta Day 18 insta
Day 19 insta Day 20 insta Day 22 insta

(clockwise from top left: navy blue rushcutter, aztec print linden,
gingham violet blouse,
flowery plantain + mustard yellow victoria blazer +
taken in trousers, 
blue spotty archer, blue stripey laurel

4  I don’t have much warm me-made clothing and this year was unseasonably bloody cold through most of the month.

Day-21-square Day-21-b-square Day 24 insta
Day 25 insta Day 27 insta Day 28 & 29 insta
Day 30 insta Day 31 insta

(clockwise from top left – ending in the middle: lace dress for wedding,
mustard yellow victoria blazer, coco dress, green tartan gbsb
boyfriend shirt
, orla kiely-esque laurel + black victoria blazer,
breton plantain, black victoria blazer + refashioned freemantle
coat
, blue flowery scout tee)

5 I need to make some bottoms, especially trousers. All my photos are of tops or dresses – and mostly where there aren’t bottoms shown, it was a pair of rtw jeans from Primark about 10 years ago or a part of rtw skinny trousers from New Look about 8 years ago!

melilot-shirt-patternSo my plans are to sew some more smarter things for office working, including the Deer and Doe Melilot shirt which I just ordered – I have some perfect floaty fabric already in my stash. I also am going to order the Guise Pants pattern I think and maybe (once I’ve finally made some Ginger Jeans) use the Ginger pattern to make some smarter looking skinny trousers, by not doing the top stitching or adding the hardware – I think this will work, watch this space! I also bought some stuff in the sale Colette had recently – the Aster, Astoria and Zinnia which I think will all work well for office wear.

Roberts Collection 2

I think the 3 Colette patterns could, depending on fabric choice, also fill the other gap I have – relaxing weekend clothes. Apart from jeans I don’t have many items that I would wear just for slobbing around the house – and certainly not any I’ve made. And sometimes I don’t want to wear jeans, especially if I’m feeling bloated and am sitting down a lot – say at my sewing machine – I usually end up undoing the buttons just to feel comfortable. I have Marilla Walker’s Roberts Collection and I think this could really help me out with this hole. If you have any suggestions of patterns to sew (I’m too slow at knitting to knit any) warm clothes, I would be thrilled to take them off your hands. Also what fabrics are warm? I feel like I usually don’t take that into account and then end up too cold or too hot a lot of the time – usually too cold as a) I like in Britain and b) I’m cold-blooded I think.

I’m wondering if I should make a pledge for what I will have achieved by next Me Made May, to keep myself accountable!? Nah. I don’t want a whole year’s worth of sewing mapped out for me – what about all the pretty new patterns yet to come out!

 
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Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-thumb 2 Fix It: Taking in the Waistband of Trousers thumbnail Black-Victoria-Blazer-thumb 2

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Flowery Plantain Tee

I’ve made another plantain tee, hurrah! This is definitely a thrifty make as the pattern is free from Deer and Doe and the fabric was left over from my Sallie Maxi dress. I’ve made the plantain before and again made the size 36 and again raised the neckline a bit. I failed to realise this would mean the neckband would need to change lengths, but luckily it needed shortening, which was easier than if it needed lengthening! I should have shortened it a bit more because it does gape a little bit, but not enough to stop me wearing it!

Flowery-Plantain-Tee-1I might make this a size or two bigger to get a baggier fit, which is what I prefer with t-shirts.

As with my previous plantain, I had juuuust enough fabric to cut it out. I also had a little bit of the cream jersey which I used to underline the sallie maxi left, which I used to underline the front of this top – there wasn’t enough to line the back, which was actually fine as the fabric isn’t really as see-through as I feared. Probably it would be see-through enough to see my bra, so I think it’s good that I lined the front!

Flowery-Plantain-Tee-2

I just want to mention how much I love, love, love this fabric! I definitely need more yellow in my wardrobe. I have a beloved yellow cardigan and have lots of navy blue things, so this is definitely going to be a versatile edition to my wardrobe. And just in time for Me Made May! Hurrah!

Flowery-Plantain-Tee-3

And now a blurry photo where my right hand is doing something weird! Seriously, what’s going on there? I think I was grabbing my hem, but didn’t quite make it before the timer went off! C’est la vie.

Flowery-Plantain-Tee-4

 
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Breton-Plaintain-Tee-thumb 2 Sallie-Maxi-Dress-thumb 2 Gingham-Violet-Thumb 2

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Best Makes of 2015

So since it’s New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d do the obvious thing of looking back over the last year and seeing what I’ve made and done. This was inspired in part by the Instragram #2015BestNine hashtag.

Instagram Best 9

I’ve made myself 14 garments, which isn’t really that many – I have felt like I haven’t had as much time for sewing as I would have liked.

I particularly like my BHL Victoria Blazer, and definitely feel smarter when I wear it instead of a cardigan.  I like my Merchant and Mills denim Dress Shirt, too.

Black-Victoria-Blazer-1
Demin-Dress-Shirt-6

I made a few things with knits, for the first time this year: a Closet Case Files Sallie Maxi Dress; a Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress; and a Breton-style Deer and Doe Plantain Tee.

Sallie-Maxi-Dress-8

Coco-Dress-6a

Breton-Plaintain-Tee-5

I have also refashioned 7 things, so I’ve been a bit more productive than a first glance might imply!

My 3 favourite refashions were my ugly skirt to Grainline Scout tee (which I unfortunately shrank in the wash, boo!), my Refashioners Dear Creatures rip-off and, probably the one I’m most proud of, my ugly coat which I remade into a Freemantle Coat.

Fara-blue-and-gold-skirt-9
Beige-Refashioners-Shirt-9
Fara-coat-19

I’ve made 6 non-clothes things, including my first (pusheen) and second amigurumi (a Minion), and my first scrapbook, for my Dad’s 65th Birthday.

Pusheen-1

Minion-2

Scrapbook-3

But my very favourite non-clothes thing (and probably favourite out of everything I’ve made) was the felt allotment I made for my friend’s daughter for Christmas 2 (which happens in January so this was made this year). This was one of those things that I saw on A Beautiful Mess and knew I had to make it, and then was super excited to see my friend’s daughter open it! I was almost too excited to wait until the present exchange, and wanted to open it as soon as I arrived for Christmas 2!

Planting-Game-36

This is the anniversary of this blog, too – I had an old one but transferred the content over and focused just on sewing and crafty things (I had previously written about food and books too), and I’ve introduced a couple of new regular posts – style inspiration and fashion history. I’ll continue with these I think, as they help me to cement my personal style and guide me what to make next! I’ve also reviewed some books, events and shops. You can see the archive of all these posts here.

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog this year and I hope you’ll come back in 2016. xx