Autumn 2018 Plans

I can’t believe it’s already October!

But with the weather definitely getting colder (I’m currently cuddling a hot water bottle, something I will do for probably the next 6 months!) I’m starting to think about my Autumn sewing plans, so I thought I would share them with you.

As usual, I’m probably being overly ambitious, but hopefully I’ll make most of these things:

I’ve got these 2 lovely sweater knits, which were really difficult to photograph so the colour came out correctly. The one on the left is a lovely mustard yellow and was from Tilly’s pop up shop for her new book, Stretch. The burgundy one on the right was from the Bull Ring market in Birmingham at last year’s Sew Brum meet up, which means it’s been in my stash almost a whole year! I think they will both become cardigans, but I don’t have a pattern in mind – let me know your favourite cardigan pattern if you have one.

Next on my list is another Kalle Shirt – I still really love my first one, though it’s a bit cold to wear it now as the fabric is a bit thin. With this one I think I’ll make the tunic length, and I’ve bought the sleeves expansion pack so it will be more cool-weather-appropriate. I love this fabric, so I think this will become one of my favourite makes!

Not content with making one shirt, I’m planning a second! I have already made one white shirt using the Archer pattern, but I could really do with another one as a white shirt forms part of the uniforms for both bands I now play with, and you can never have too many white shirts! This time I thought I would make a Melilot, but maybe with a pointed collar instead of the rounded one. I haven’t decided whether I do a hidden placket or not. The fabric is from Clothspot and was bought with a voucher I won in the Sew Brum raffle.

And talking of Clothspot, the stripey fabric here, which I’m planning to use to make the Papercut Guise trousers, was bought with the other half of my voucher. The fabric is quite shiny, but I’m hoping it will be a bit toned down by using a fairly casual pattern.

The rest of my plans consist of jeans, jeans and more jeans – I just need to bite the bullet and make my first pair, it can’t be that scary! First up will be the Morgans as I’ve already cut them out, from this fabric I bought from a Birmingham shopping trip probably 18 months ago!

I also got this denim for my Ginger wearable muslin in Birmingham, so they will hopefully be next.

And then, assuming the first pair of Gingers works okay, I’ll make a black and a navy pair (probably without the contrasting topstitching or hardware) from these stretch denims from Fabric Godmother.

This month, however, my main focus will be 2 outfits not mentioned above – I want to join in with The Refashioners this year and I already have my inspiration and all the garments I’m going to refashion – now I just need to do the sewing…..

I was also lucky enough to get a ticket to the Sewcialite Soirée on November 10th, so I need to make an outfit for that too. I’ve got an idea of what I want to make, but I need to buy fabric and possibly a pattern so I’m not totally sorted yet! Are you going? Have you decided what to wear yet?

Are you getting excited for Autumn? What are you excited to make now the weather is cooling down?

Me Made May 2018 Round-Up

Now that May is well and truly over, I thought I’d do a recap of Me Made May. You can see my pledge here.

My main take-away is that I failed to make jeans. What a surprise. I’ve been saying I’m going to make jeans for 2 months (plus about a year before that!). I have a free weekend in a couple of weeks and it is my plan to make some jeans then – I wasn’t in the mood to make them on either of the bank holiday weekends in May as it was so bloody hot! The last thing I wanted to be doing was wrestling denim through my sewing machine.

I also found it pretty hard to decide what to wear as the weather was all over the place. I know it’s very british and boring to talk about the weather, but on the first bank holiday Monday when I was playing out with the brass band, it was 28 C and then there were other days that were 14 C.

I documented my outfits daily on Instagram and after a couple of days I decided to add another dimension to my challenge and try to have my photos look different from each other. This was kind of fun for the first week and then I just got even more fed up with documenting my outfits than in previous years because I then felt I had to think of somewhere new or a new pose for the photo. It was supposed to be a fun thing to try to break me out of my rut of the same few poses, but it didn’t really work out that way. I did, however, post as many outtakes as I could. It makes me laugh to see the stupid photos that The Boyfriend (who was a very patient Instagram Husband through the month) accidentally took. This might be the last year I take daily photos as it’s the least fun part for me, so I might try a different way of documenting my outfits so I can continue to scrutinise my wardrobe and plan my makes accordingly.

Here is a recap of all my outfits:

 

Day 1: silver toaster sweater
and navy simplicity trousers

 

Day 2: refashioned suit trousers
and gifted cashmere jumper

 

Day 3: mustard corduroy skirt
and thrifted navy spotty shirt

Day 4: flowery archer shirt and
black corduroy simplicity skirt

Day 5: electric blue coco top
and navy simplicity trousers

Day 6: yellow flowery plantain
tee and refashioned trousers

Day 7 part 1: white archer shirt
and black simplicity trousers

Day 7 part 2: yellow and navy
flowery sallie maxi dress

Day 8: refashioned raglan top
and black simplicity trousers

Day 9: spotty rushcutter
and freemantle coat

Day 10: refashioned coral, navy
and mustard dress into shirt

Day 11 & 12: spotty melilot shirt
and black simplicity trousers

Day 13: silver toaster sweater
and black simplicity trousers

Day 14: greyish melilot shirt and
navy simplicity trousers

Day 15: breton plantain tee and
navy simplicity trousers

Day 17: electric blue jersey
dress

Day 18: tester honeycomb
shirt

Day 19: refashioned coral, navy
and mustard dress into shirt

Day 20: white archer shirt
and black simplicity trousers

Day 21: navy and white
marianne dress

Day 22: stripey cropped inari tee
and refashioned trousers

Day 23: greyish melilot shirt
and navy simplicity trousers

Day 24: mustard astoria top and
refashioned suit trousers

Day 25: black simplicity skirt
and thrifted jumper

Day 26 & 27: navy simplicity
trousers and gifted top

Day 28: navy simplicity trousers
and spotty thrifted shirt

Day 29: spotty meilot and
mustard denim cleo

Day 30: mustard refashioned
skirt and thrifted shirt

Day 31: mustard astoria and
navy corduroy cleo

What I’ve learned about my handmade wardrobe:

  1. I need more trousers! I wore the same 2 pairs most of the month in rotation, and the suit trousers a couple of times.
  2. All of my knitwear is still ready to wear and I’m okay with that. I don’t have time to knit myself new things and most of the cardigans are still wearable so it seems not very eco-friendly to replace them all for the sake of having a 100% handmade wardrobe. I will make replacements as and when they wear out, but it’s not desperate.
  3. One of my favourite things in my wardrobe is my navy with white spots shirt (as you can see in Day 30) and it was from a charity shop. I think this is a good way to add to my wardrobe with things I wouldn’t necessarily make or things that I just like.
  4. I re-wore a few things that I had forgotten about, like the mustard corduroy skirt refashion.
  5. I didn’t get to wear a few things I really like because it wasn’t warm enough on enough days. I’m particularly sad my 2 In The Folds Collins Tops didn’t make it, but apparently the UK is going to have a 3-month heatwave so I’m sure they’ll get some wear this year.
  6. Most of my outfits fitted into the colour palette I decided I wanted to wear when I did the Wardrobe Architect last year, which is pretty cool. It is definitely easier to put together outfits when you like all the colours and they go with each other. The 2 cleos I made are definitely going to be a great addition to my wardrobe and fit into my palette. I’ve tried to be more focussed when buying fabric, and I guess it’s working!

What did you learn from Me Made May?

Cropped Kalle Shirt

I’m finally blogging my Kalle shirt, which I think I made mostly in March and then finished in April (i.e. took about 3 weeks to get around to adding the buttons!). I love this shirt! If you’ve read my blog for a while (or looked at my handmade wardrobe archive page) you will see that I like making shirts and have made a few different patterns. This was my first Kalle but I predict it won’t be my last. I wish I lived somewhere that was warmer more of the year so I could justify a couple of the shirt dress version, but I already have lots of dresses I  never wear, so maybe more cropped versions and some tunic versions are in my future.

I made the straight size 6 based on my measurements and made no adjustments, and I’m pretty happy with the fit. I think I have a long body, so maybe next time I would add a couple of inches to the front hem (and maybe the back hem to keep them in the same proportion) to make it just a little less cropped, but I do love it. I just need to make more high-waisted trousers to wear it with!

I bought this fabric from the Sewing Bee Live from Higgs and Higgs. I can’t find it on their website, and Sew Over It have sold out.  It was kind of a last minute purchase – I’ve got a certain amount of money out to spend on fabric and hadn’t spent it all by the end of the day, so I bought it for my last £20 (it was £10 per metre) and I’m so glad I did! It has a really nice drape and although monochrome might be a bit boring, I’m sure I’ll get a  lot of wear out of this once the weather is warm enough – though I could wear it with a vest underneath.

I made the version with the hidden button placket, and I’m so glad it actually worked this time, unlike when I tried it on my first Deer and Doe Melilot shirt. The instructions were great, very clear. And it’s great that she gets you to sew the button holes as soon as you’ve made the placket so you’re not wrestling a finished shirt through your machine to make the buttonholes.

I really love the giant pleat on the back – it gives the back a really nice, swingy shape. I’m glad I picked a drapey fabric for this, though I’d be curious to make it with a more structured cotton or something.

I really do love the shape of the hem – and sewing the hem facing was super easy. I was worried it would all go wrong and not sit nicely, but the drafting and the instructions are spot on.

Sadly I don’t have any outtakes today, boo! I took these photos myself using my tripod and timer and it tends to be when The Boyfriend takes the photos that I end up with some great photos!

I may be pretty late to the Kalle party, but I really do love it. I also love shirt making in general – I like all the topstitching, as it makes me feel like a boss when it goes well and the stitching is all straight. And I like that shirts are more involved than some projects (not that I don’t love a quick win sometimes) and handily I love wearing shirts, so it’s lucky that I don’t mind making them. I have the Style Arc Briar next on my list of shirt patterns to try, but I’m looking for the perfect fabric.

Do you make shirts? Is there a particular type of garment you love making?

 

 

Black and Cream Spotty Melilot

I’ve made another Melilot – I’ve made a long-sleeved and a short-sleeved version before – and I still love this pattern. And shirts in general – hence my plan this month to make a Closet Case Patterns Kalle.

I made the size 38, as I have both times before and the fabric is this lovely cream cotton with black spots on from Sew Over It. Sadly they don’t have it in stock any more. I ordered it online a few months ago – I tend to order a bunch of fabrics at once and then it takes me probably 6 months to sew through it all!

I decided to make another long-sleeved version because this Winter seems to be going on forever! And I figured I could wear it with a jumper or cardigan in the Winter and then without in the Spring – here in the UK we don’t get very much Summer where I want sleeveless/short-sleeved tops so I hope this will be a good addition to my wardrobe which will get a lot of wear.

Probably my favourite thing about this pattern is the shape of the hem and how it goes up at the sides and is lower at the back than the front. I just think it’s really flattering.

I think I messed up the collar a bit. Well I know that I did. I stitched the collar stand to the collar too early and had already trimmed the seam allowance, then had to unpick it and stitch it again so I think something got a bit pulled out of shape. So the 2 sides of the collar are closer together in the middle than on my other versions and while it doesn’t look really terrible, I notice it. #SewingPerfectionist

Looking at these photos, the buttons are maybe a little big compared to the size of the spots but I quite like them anyway. I sneakily stole them from the Dressmaker’s Ball last year as they were sprinkled on the table as cute sewing-themed decorations. Luckily I nabbed enough for a whole shirt!

One of my favourite things about making shirts is all the top-stitching. It’s so satisfying when you do it neatly in the first go – and it forces me to slow down, which is always a good thing I think. There’s no point rushing for the sake of it and then having to re-do things multiple times – less haste, more speed as they say.

As well as messing up the collar slightly, I totally messed up the cuffs. I remember finding the instructions for the plackets a little confusing and I found them equally confusing this time – in fact you might argue I found them more confusing given that they ended up fastening the wrong way – from back to front instead of front to back. It’s not a massive problem that renders the shirt unwearable, and I’m sure no-one will really notice, but it’s a shame I didn’t realise my mistake until I’d already sewn (and cut) the buttonholes. Oh well.

I think my next version of the Melilot will be another short-sleeved version, so I avoid the issues with the placket!

 

 

December & January Makes and February Plans

I haven’t done one of these planning posts for a couple of months, but I want to get back into the routine so I’ll be more mindful and thoughtful in my sewing. December wasn’t super productive for me, what with Christmas and everything. I think I technically finished my New Craft House Party dress in December, though made most of it in November.

I did make the only 2 presents I successfully made in December – I also made another moss skirt for my sister, but it didn’t fit her because I forgot that the last time I made it, I reduced the seam allowances. I did make 2 Mini Chestnuts for my friend’s daughter and this Harry Potter tote bag for a secret santa present. The tote bag might have actually sneaked into January – I’m sure I’m not the only one who loses track of time over Christmas and New Year!

My first make of 2018 was my Chestnut sweater, which I blogged earlier this week. I really do love it! You can read about how much and the gorgeous snuggly sweatshirting I used in the post.

I also made 2 Ebony dresses from 2 different scubas and I love them both! And they’re really quick to run up.

I made half of a linden sweatshirt, but I was using a not very stretchy ponte for the sleeves, the neckband, cuffs and hem band but it wasn’t anywhere near stretchy enough to work for the neckband so I put it to one side and started on another project. I’ll probably finish it off this weekend.

And finally last month I made most of this spotty melilot shirt, which I’ve been planning to make for a few months I think. I’ve just got the collar stand to stitch down and topstitch, and then the buttons and button holes. I really do like shirt making, it’s so satisfying when all the pieces come together and you get to do some lovely topstitching!

So onto my plans for February. I’m going to finish the melilot and linden, hopefully in a single morning. Then my main plan is to make a coat – my first proper coat. I refashioned a coat a couple of years ago but there was none of the structure you actually need in a coat, the lining is just cotton and rolls to the outside of the coat because there is no facing.

As per my #2018MakeNine the pattern I’m going to use is Marilla Walker’s Honetone Coat.

The fabric I’ve got is some lovely electric blue and black wool I bought from Barry’s fabrics at Sew Brum. I don’t have any lining fabric yet – I want it to be the electric blue colour but I haven’t found anything I like so far. I also don’t really know what kind of fabric would work well as a coat lining – I don’t want to use that cheap acetate lining fabric. Any ideas of a good coat lining, I would be greatly appreciative!

I think this is the least I’ve ever planned for one month, but I want to take my time with the coat so it’s something I can wear for a long time and in cold weather – I might try to underline it with thinsulate or fleece or something. Again any tips gratefully received!