Colour Blocked Linden Sweatshirt

I made this Linden a month or two ago, so it seemed more weather appropriate then than it does now – today has been the warmest day of the year so far by miles! Autumn/Winter feels like it’s been going on for at least 3 years now so it was nice to finally not need 4 layers of clothing!

This make actually fits into the series Shauni is running on her blog, The Magnificent Thread, called sewing leftovers, which is pretty self-explanatory. I’m sure we all have those projects where we have half a metre or a metre of fabric left – I have a whole box full of such leftovers and I do go through phases of getting enthusiastic about using them up but this might be one of the first times I actually followed through and made the thing!

The fabric of the body is from my first Linden and my first Mabel skirt (neither of which I really wear). I think it was a really long ‘remnant’ from my old London haunt, Rolls and Rems on Seven Sisters Road. The sleeves are some black ponte I had left over from my Moneta party dress. This didn’t have enough stretch for the cuffs and hem band so they are made from some other mystery black jersey I had in my stash, which I used to make a not-very-successful Hemlock tee. So this was definitely a good buster of my left overs! Though I probably could have done without the cuffs as the sleeves are a little long!

Although I didn’t have a huge amount of the patterned fabric left, I did manage to match the pattern on the side seams. #winning.

I find with these kinds of basics I don’t have a huge amount to say about them. I sewed it completely on my overlocker, which was a first for me – usually I sew on my machine first and then neaten the seam allowances on the overlocker afterwards, but I thought I was pretty safe with this as I’d made it before and the construction is pretty straightforward.

This might actually be a good transitional garment for cooler Spring days as the fabrics aren’t that thick, so it’s not really warm enough for Winter, and it’ll be too hot on really hot days but those in-betweeny ones might make this perfect!

Are you struggling to dress as much as I am now it’s finally warmed up?

 

 

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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Aztec Print Linden

I made my first Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt! I say ‘my first’ because I’m definitely going to be making more! I feel like this could be a smart enough pattern to wear for work, depending on the fabric you use. And obviously it’s a great casual, slobbing around the house, kind of pattern.

Aztec-Linden-1

I made the straight size 2, view A, which has the cuffs and hem band – and long sleeves, obvs. This was a really easy pattern to put together and only took a couple of hours, really, once I’d figured out how to attach the neck band, cuffs and hem band. And especially when I realised I was meant to cut 2 hem bands, on the fold and not just one – I did have a few minutes of ‘well how is this going to fit around my hips’ before I realised my mistake!

Aztec-Linden-2

I didn’t make any fitting changes and, as you can see above. there is quite a bit of excess fabric on the back, especially in my lower back. I pretty much always find this and since it’s a loose pattern, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. I do really need to learn how to fix this, though, for future, more fitted patterns.

Aztec-Linden-3

There also seems to be something weird going on around the armpit area – does anyone know why this is? I’ve found on previous patterns that I need extra room there sometimes, but I’m not sure if that’s the case here, as it’s such a slouchy pattern.

Aztec-Linden-4

The fabric was another ‘remnant’ from my beloved Rolls and Rems at Holloway Road. Their remnant bin has long lengths of one-offs and not just the end of rolls of stuff they sell by the metre, so you can often pick up some interesting stuff for not much money. This must have been about 3 metres and it was only £9.99. I love the aztec-y print, and check out my pattern matching at the side seam:

Aztec-Linden-5

You can barely see the seam, I’m super proud. You can’t really see where the cuffs are either, though it messes up the pattern slightly, but you can’t tell. I also like how the neck band is one row of the zig zags.

Aztec-Linden-6

The only downside of this sweatshirt is that the fabric isn’t quite as warm as I thought it would be. I definitely want to try this in a proper, thick, sweatshirt fabric and also to experiment with colour blocking – I’m always a bit afraid that colour-blocking will go horribly wrong and I’ll choose 2 things that definitely do not go together! I think I’ll try stealing from a ready to wear top like I did for my Refashioners Dear Creatures rip off!

Aztec-Linden-7

Have you made the Linden Sweatshirt? Has it become one you’ve made over and over again?