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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Royal Blue Coco Top

After the success of my first coco top with the funnel collar, I thought I’d make another!

Royal-Blue-Coco-1

The fabric was a massive ‘remnant’ from Rolls and Rems – there must be at least 3 metres of it, so I think I’ve got enough left for a dress – maybe a Marianne? It might be a bit thick for that though. Maybe I’ll make a matching coco dress!

Royal-Blue-Coco-3

I was fairly lazy with this make to be honest! After mentioning the fact that my last one sat oddly across my upper chest, I was having a day (or two) or cutting out ALL THE THINGS and totally forgot that I needed to make any fitting changes. It’s not enough to super bother me, so maybe I’ll change it next time!

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This time I remembered to do the side splits! Little tip (which I learned from trial and error, trust me!) – don’t use a twin needle to stitch the split. I used my twin needle for the hems and neckline, but it stretched out the little splits. Definitely a normal ballpoint needle is fine, with a straight stitch – it doesn’t need to stretch so you don’t need a zig-zag.

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I added the cuffs this time. I wonder, though, if the finished length of the sleeves is a little off? Should be either longer or shorter maybe?!

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I don’t really have much else to say except I love this top almost as much as the other one – I’ve realised I really love wearing bright turquoise, it makes me feel happy and like I look nice. I like all shades of blue, but maybe turquoise is particularly good on me 🙂

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Goofy face!

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I can definitely see coco becoming a wardrobe staple for me – I have a t shirt version cut out ready to be sewn together too, along with a hemlock (and I’ve already made the plantain tee twice – 1, 2) so hopefully I’ll have a lovely wardrobe of tops I love.

Then onto trousers and jeans…….

 
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Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress (Made Up Initiative) thumbnail Turquoise Coco Top with Funnel neck thumbnail Pink-Francoise-thumb 2

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Turquoise Coco Top

I made another Coco! This time it’s a top. I haven’t ended up getting too much wear out of my dress version yet as the fabric is quite thin and it feels like it’s been Winter for about 3 years! Interestingly, there is a link between the dress and the top besides the fact that they’re the same pattern (duh!). As you may remember, I made the dress for Karen from Did You Make That’s Made Up Initiative. I went to the meet up that included the prize drawer, wearing my dress (obvs) and some people had brought some patterns and fabric to give away/ trade. I picked up this amazing turquoise jersey as a remnant that someone didn’t want. And it made the perfect Coco top!

Turqoise-Coco-Top-2

This is an accidental copy of the top on the pattern cover. I love 60s style fashion so I love, love, love the funnel neck on this top version! I had cut out the small pocket,  but decided not to put it on as I thought it would look a bit too busy.

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As with the dress, I made the size 2 with no changes. It does sit a little strangely on my upper chest – anyone have any ideas why and how I can fix it?

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I didn’t bother with the side splits – mostly because I forgot to mark it on the pattern and the fabric, so I just sewed the whole side seam to the hem.

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The back looks okay – it’s snug across my bum so looks a bit pool-y in my lower back, where it’s not so tight! I know I keep saying it, but I really, really need to start altering patterns to fit my narrow back. Should this be a sway back adjustment or a narrow back adjustment do you think?

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I don’t really have too much else to say – this is a really quick make. I cut it out one day and sewed it in pretty much an afternoon. I think I definitely see more 60s-style Cocos in my future!

Turqoise-Coco-Top-6  Turqoise-Coco-Top-8