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?

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.

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You-may-also-like-coral

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

Sallie Maxi Dress or my first time sewing knits!

Hey you guys, I sewed something out of knit fabric! This is an excellent development as I have a growing stash of knits which I love but I was too scared to sew them for the longest time! It turns out it isn’t that scary! Ta da!

Sallie-Maxi-Dress-8

You may wonder why I started with a relatively complex pattern? Because I really wanted a maxi dress, basically. I had pinned a couple of pictures of maxi dresses on my pinterest:

Maxi inspiration 1

Maxi inspiration 2I particularly like the top picture, and will definitely try to make one more of that style one day. I’d been looking out for a good pattern for ages, and then Heather Lou at Closet Case Files released the Sallie Maxi dress and Jumpsuit pattern. I definitely want to make a black jumpsuit, pretty much exactly the same as the one in the pattern photos! I don’t know how much wear I’d get out of it, though, as London hasn’t really had a Summer this year, and I’m not sure how it would look with a sweater on the top!

The same could really be said of the maxi, though. I started making it when it was hot, then it wasn’t hot anymore and I couldn’t be bothered to finish it as I didn’t envisage being able to wear it at all this year. Then it warmed up just enough, so I finished it!

Sallie-Maxi-Dress-4

The fabric is one of my many ‘remnants’ from Rolls and Rems at Holloway Road. There must have been 2 1/2 – 3m of this stuff. Not what I’d call a remnant! I can’t remember how much it was, but I fell in love with it instantly. It’s got a nice drape and is quite heavy, but a little see-through.

I made the size 4 and added 4 inches to the hem, which I knew would be more than enough, but I wanted it to skim the floor and by holding up the pattern I could see it would be kind of ankle length. I also only left the slit on one side – I wonder if I should have unpicked the side seam a bit more to make more of a split? It’s enough to walk in, so that’s what’s important.

Sallie-Maxi-Dress-7

 

You can almost see the fact that I underlined the skirt in some of the pictures. The fabric was really too thin to not line as I didn’t fancy everyone being able to see my pants! I thought about trying to line the skirt, but with the pockets and not having made the pattern before, I thought it would hurt my brain too much to work out a lining so I went with underlining instead. This does make it quite heavy, so I felt like I had to keep hoiking it up when I wore it (only once, to the Fashion on the Ration exhibition).

Sallie-Maxi-Dress-2

I ended up cutting off 6cm from the bottom, as it did end up too long for me. I then turned up a 1cm hem – I turned it up once instead of twice, mostly out of laziness and a desire to finish it!

The only other major change I made was how the waist seam was done – in the original pattern you top stitch the bodice and then sew the bodice to the skirt lower down that the topstitching to make the channel for the elastic. I was using white thread, though, so it looked a bit weird when you could see a line of stitching. So I unpicked it and sewed the bodice to the skirt in 2 places, at 3cm and 1.5cm, leaving a gap in the 1.5cm line for threading the elastic. You can just about see the 2 lines of stitching in the below photo.

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I found I did have to re-tie the straps a couple of times when I was wearing it – I guess this is the perils of having a stretch fabric making up the ties, and with having what is now quite a heavy dress.

Sallie-Maxi-Dress-1

I found it went well with my refashioned Victoria Blazer – it picks out the right shades of blue. I feel like that’s my equivalent of a denim jacket, and that this dress would also look good with a denim jacket!

My favourite thing is POCKETS!

 

 

Sallie-Maxi-Dress-5

I found the pattern was easy to follow – which was good as this was my first make with knitted fabric. I chose this because it didn’t require much fitting – I definitely don’t have the skill to make something skin-tight yet! I definitely want to have a go at Closet Case Files’s other patterns, particularly her amazing Ginger Jeans, which have been made by basically the whole blogosphere! I love the Carolyn pajamas too!

As I’m about to publish this post, it has started pouring with rain AGAIN! I think this may have to wait for next Summer at this rate!