Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The One Metre Moneta

What can you do with one metre of knit fabric?
The obvious choice would be to make a t-shirt or long-sleeved tee.

I had one metre of lovely charcoal grey four-way stretch knit fabric in my stash - one of the lovely Girl Charlee UK knits I won in the raffle at Sew Brum in October 2015.

After completing the analysis of MMM2016 I realised I have a LOT of me-made tops which got me to thinking.... could I squeeze a Colette Moneta dress out of one metre of fabric?

The answer is yes!

Yes, if you don't line it or add pockets and forget the sleeves too!

It was a very satisfying quick make and I really wish I had made one last year when I bought the pattern. The softly gathered skirt looks really flattering and the bodice is a lovely fit.

I made a few amendments. I had to add a patchwork slither to the skirt side seams on the back due to fabric limitations. I cut a size small as my waist and hips fitted into this size but ended up adjusting the bodice to probably what is now a size x small. I also lengthened the skirt by about 4cm.

I used a Prym elastic rather than the suggested clear elastic (mostly because I had it in my stash) and sewed it together with a regular foot, a stretch needle, stitch length 2.5cm, width 1cm.

It is currently un-hemmed at the neckline, arms and skirt which I love. Part of me thinks I will totally wreck this when I try to twin-needle the hem or try to sew it with a small zig-zag so I am just going to rock the unfinished look in a fashionable de-constructed meant-to-be way.

I am definitely going to make more of these!

Here are some poor quality selfies of me wearing my new dress. I will get better photos when the weather improves.

Pattern: Colette Moneta = £13.50
Fabric: Girl Charlee UK Charcoal knit = free (won in the SewBrum raffle)
Gutterman Thread: Grey from stash
Elastic: Prym extra soft elastic from stash

Total = £13.50

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Me Made May 2016 Review

First of all, thanks to Zoe at So-Zo for organising this fabulous event. After taking part in Me-Made-May for the the third year in a row I wanted to do some analysis of the clothes I have enjoyed wearing, the patterns I am attracted to and the quality of the fabric. My pledge was to wear one or more me-made or me-mended garments during week days which I managed to achieve without too much of a stretch.

In completing this analysis I want to identify how I could streamline my wardrobe and identify what clothes should be my next challenge / project to make.

Me-Made Wardrobe Colour Palette:

Creating a visual representation of all the me-made garment fabrics I have worn this month really helped me identify my preferences.

This is what was revealed......
a) I am partial to an abstract print
b) I love monochrome
c) I also like bold blues, pinks, reds and greens!

Types of Clothing worn during May:

Further analysis highlighted I chose to wear more me-made tops than any other garment with skirts a close second during the month of May.

Pattern Companies worn in May:

I already knew I was a major Grainline Studio fan-girl when it comes to pattern companies. The results speak for themselves. I am definitely drawn to independent pattern companies much more than the big 4 (Simplicity / McCalls / Butterick / Vogue).

Year of Construction:

Another aspect I thought would be interesting to observe was the date I made the clothes I had worn during May. As suspected, I don't have many clothes before 2009 and a lot of garments made between 2010 - 2012 have been re-fashioned or given to charity as the quality of both the construction and fabric were not great.
My best year for making was 2015 and with half a year left of 2016 I think it will be my best year yet!

2009 4%
2013 8%
2014 21%
2015 42%
2016 25%

In conclusion to MMM in 2015, I highlighted a number of garments that were missing from my wardrobe that I wanted to make before MMM 2016. I am happy to report I managed to make a pair of trousers, a shirt (which incidentally I didn't wear this May) and a fully lined jacket (which I also didn't wear).

Plans for 2016 after analysing Me-Made-May.

Re-fashion or donation to charity:
  • Bettine dress - Attach a bias section on the skirt to make it longer and therefore more wearable
  • Simplicity 9620 dress - not worn this MMM because it's too short. As above.
  • Mathilde blouse - Give to charity as I never choose to wear it!
  • Grainine Scout in B&W (I didn't wear this version in May) - The cotton is too heavyweight for a top - should I cut up for patchwork?
Future Projects:
  • Finish Navy Simplicity 2154 pencil skirt (currently half made)
  • Complete black and white By Hand London Flora (currently half made)
  • Finish Liberty print Colette Laurel dress (currently 3/4 made)
  • Re-work the By Hand London Charlie Dress - the bodice is still not 100% right
  • Make another pair of SOI Cigarette Pants - black and white print / Navy / Grey
  • Make a Grainline Moss skirt - now I know how to do a fly zip
  • Make a pair of Grainline Maritime shorts
  • Make more dresses - I have lots of BHL and Christine Haynes patterns in my stash
Overall I have really enjoyed Me-Made-May this year and look forward to seeing how my me-made wardrobe will have evolved by May 2017. Maybe I need to pledge to wear me-made clothes for the full seven days of the week next year?

How did you get on?

Friday, 27 May 2016

Me Made May 2016 Week Four

The fourth week of Me-Made-May has been great. I started the week on a mono-chrome kick and ended on one of my favourite colours of bright emerald green.

A high point was wearing the new Camber top I made last week and after wearing my Bettine dress in black and white gingham on Saturday morning I came to the conclusion that it definitely needs a re-fashion as it's way too short. My idea would be to add an extra 10cm band along the base of the skirt using the bias of the fabric to create a feature!? I might get around to it over the half term. On to the outfits:

Day Twenty One
Top: Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress in gingham from Goldhawk Road, London. Made 2015
Leggings: Top Shop
Necklace: Tatty Devine (sample sale 2016) Red Gem Cut Statement necklace A/W 2013
Watch: Red G Shock 
Trainers: New Balance 

I met my friend Alex at John Lewis on Saturday morning for  catch up and also to see lovely sewing bloggers like Tilly (Tilly and the Buttons), Jane (Handmade Jane), Maria (A Stitching Odyssey) who were spending their day making Tilly's Bettine Dress in the haberdashery department. It happened to be a bit of a coincidence that I was wearing the exact dress the girls were making!

I took a quick photo although you can't really make out any of them as they are deeply involved in pattern cutting and sewing. Left to right: Tilly, Maria and Jane!

Day Twenty Three
Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set T-Shirt in ikat viscose from Samuel Taylors, Leeds. Made 2016
Trousers: Gap
Watch: Olive G Shock 
Trainers: New Balance

Day Twenty Four
Top: Colette Laurel Top in 100% cotton from Samuel Taylors, Leeds. Made 2015
Trousers: Gap
Necklace: Tatty Devine (sample sale 2016) Red Gem Cut Statement necklace A/W 2013
Cardigan: Gap
Watch: Red G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith red Miller brogues

Day Twenty Five
Top: 1960's hand-made vintage dress bought from a stall in Camden Passage, Islington. Mended 2015
Leggings: Top Shop
Necklace: Tatty Devine (Sample Sale 2016) Jewel Print Triple necklace A/W 2013
Cardigan: Gap
Watch: Olive G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith blue suede Miller brogues

Day Twenty Six
Top: Gap
Cardigan: Gap
Necklace: Wooden necklace by Materia CA bought from London Print Studios
Watch: Red G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent Marcello loafers

Day Twenty Seven
Top: Gap
Jacket: Levis
Skirt: Sew Over It Tulip skirt made in Medium weight cotton from Ray Stitch. Made 2014.
Necklace: Tatty Devine 'Untitled' necklace designed by me
Watch: Clear G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent Marcello loafers

Have you enjoyed Me-Made-May so far this year?
Have you noticed any me-made 'holes' in your wardrobe?

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Shock! I made a top and it's NOT a Scout Tee.

I moved out of my Scout Tee shaped comfort zone and made the T-shirt from the Merchant and Mills Camber Set today. I cut out this top a few weeks ago and spent the evening sewing it together.
Despite the outward appearances of this top looking VERY similar to the Grainline Scout Tee, the Camber Set has some lovely little features and new to me construction methods.

For example, this top has deep French darts, a neckline bias binding on the front of the top and an inner and outer yoke at the back. It's quite cool how the yoke it sewn together, although I won't even begin to explain it here - trust me it's genius. The instructions and illustrations are great and it has excellent quality paper pattern rather than the lightweight tissue provided by some pattern companies.

Overall, I am really happy with my new T-shirt. I used a metre of black and white ikat viscose I bought for £3.25 in the sale at Samuel Taylors in Leeds. Due to the meagre amount of fabric one sleeve did not pattern match very well, although I only think a sewist would notice. Luckily the print is so busy it is not 100% obvious.
What is slightly frustrating is the print is off grain, which means the darker ikat diamonds are slightly sloping to the left. You can spot the slope when you look at the hemline. Luckily the top is long enough to tuck into skirts and trousers and for £3.25 I am not really going to worry too much about a bit of wonky print!

I can see myself making another T-shirt and perhaps the dress version this summer.

Have you sewn anything out of your comfort zone recently?

Pattern: Merchant and Mills Camber Set = £13.00
Fabric: One metre of Ikat Viscose from Samuel Taylors = £3.25
Gutterman Thread: Black from stash

Total: £16.25

Friday, 20 May 2016

Me Made May 2016 Week Three

In May the spring weather always plays a big part in what you decide to wear in terms of practicality. On most mornings this week it was fairly cool, changing throughout the day to a sticky humid warmth. Hence my rather chaotic range of spring-like then autumn-inspired outfits.

I am looking forward to doing a geeky bit of stats analysis at the end of this Me-Made-May. It will be interesting to see what things I am naturally drawn to wearing again and again and those items that I am digging out of the pile having last been worn during MMM2015. A cursory observation at this mid-way point is my most recent makes are getting more wear because they are well constructed with better quality fabrics compared to those garments made a couple of years ago.  

Day Sixteen
Top: American Apparel
Skirt: Dolores Pocket Skirt in Lucienne Day reproduction print from John Lewis, London. Made 2015
Cardigan: Gap
Necklace: Tatty Devine Atomic necklace A/W 2015
Watch: Red G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith blue suede Miller brogues

Day Seventeen
Top: Grainline Scout Tee in knit from Girl Charlee UK. Made 2015
Trousers: Gap 
Necklace: Tatty Devine me-made at Brick Lane workshop March 2016
Watch: Olive G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent Marcello loafers

Day Eighteen - photo taken at the end of a long day, hence major creases!
Top: Gap
Trousers: Sew Over It Cigarette Pants in Herringbone Linen blend from SOI, Clapham. Made 2016
Necklace: Wooden pendant hand-made by my Dad for my Mum when they were dating in the late 1960's
Watch: White G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith tan Marcello loafers

Day Seventeen
Top: Grainline Scout Tee in David David silk. Made 2014
Trousers: Gap 
Watch: Red G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith blue suede Miller brogues

Day Nineteen - Evening - A quick change from work clothes for a mid-week theatre trip
Top: Grainline Linden in Liberty knit. Made 2016
Trousers: Diesel jeans
Jacket: Levis
Watch: Olive G Shock 
Trainers: New Balance

Day Twenty
Dress: Simplicity 9620, cotton sateen Samuel Taylors, Leeds. Made 2014.
Cardigan: Gap
Belt: Vintage 80's from Pop Boutique, Leeds
Watch: Clear G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith purple Dante

How has your Me-Made-May been this week?
Have you found it difficult to get the right outfit due to crazy weather?

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Me Made May 2016 Week Two

The second week of Me-Made-May has flown by. For those of you who live in the UK can attest it has been the weirdest week weather wise!
Monday was scorchio then on Tuesday the heavens opened to full on torrential rain for two days and back to hot and humid temperatures on Thursday and Friday. Luckily I managed to wear appropriate attire (making sure I had a cardigan and raincoat in my bag!).

Day Nine
Top: Colette Laurel Top in 100% cotton from Samuel Taylors, Leeds. Made 2015
Skirt: SOI Tulip skirt in blue medium weight cotton from Ray Stitch, Islington. Made 2014
Necklace: Tatty Devine Phone Call necklace S/S 2016
Watch: Red G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith red Miller brogues

Day Ten
Top: Grainline Scout Tee in 100% cotton from Samuel Taylors, Leeds. Made 2013 
Trousers: Gap 
Necklace: Tatty Devine (Sample Sale 2016) Spaceship Statement necklace S/S 2014 
Watch: Clear G Shock 
Trainers: New Balance

Day Eleven
Top: Simplicity 1634 in Liberty Tana Lawn, Sharkut, Kensington. Made 2015
Trousers: Gap 
Necklace: Tatty Devine (Sample Sale 2016) Jewel Print Triple necklace A/W 2013 
Watch: Clear G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith tan Marcello loafers 

Day Twelve
Top: Grainline Scout Tee in 100% cotton gifted by Sophie, Hong Kong. Made 2016
Trousers: Gap 
Necklace: Tatty Devine 
Watch: Clear G Shock 
Trainers: New Balance

Day Thirteen
Top: Grainline Scout Tee in viscose from John Lewis sale, London. Made 2014. 
Skirt: Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt in viscose from John Lewis sale, London. Made 2015.
Watch: Red G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith red Miller brogues

A surprise entry for Friday with a top & skirt combo that looks like a dress because they are made in the same lovely drapey viscose! It was the first time I have worn them together and I got lots of compliments from work colleagues today which is always a bonus when you have made the garments yourself.

How are you getting on with Me-Made-May this year?

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Liberty Linden

Of course I finished making a sweatshirt on the hottest day of the year!
Having tackled my first Linden a month ago I knew I wanted to make one in a Liberty sweatshirt fabric. As luck would have it last week Liberty's had a 30% off any fabric sale and I jumped at the chance to buy one metre of Liberty loopback fleece.

As you can see this fabric is a pricey affair even with 30% off it was £34 for one metre.  I have cut out the Linden and there is still enough for some Liberty sleeves on Linden number three?! - I will get my moneys worth. The black knit ribbing is from Ray Stitch and I used about 1/4 metre for the neckband, cuff and hem-band.

Read my post here about the construction / changes I made to the pattern.

Compared to the Girl Charlee UK terry knit fabric on my first Linden the Liberty fleece has very little width-ways stretch so the sleeves are a little snug around the cuff area - nothing that needs changing just an observation.

It is at this point in my journey of making my own clothes that I wonder about purchasing an overlocker.... the seams would look so much prettier.

Overall, I am really happy with my second Linden and can see a few more in my wardrobe.

Pattern: Grainline Linden (Initial purchase price £14 as it's been used for a second time = free)
Shell Fabric: One metre of Liberty Speckled Clouds Murray A = £34.00
Gutterman Thread: Black and white from stash

Total: £34.00

Friday, 6 May 2016

Me Made May 2016 Week One

This is my third year taking part in Me-Made-May the brainchild of the lovely Zoe of SoZo Blog.
I pledged to wear something me-made or me-mended / up-cycled every weekday.

I also mentioned I would blog a weekly progress report and share my outfits on Instagram (I have subsequently quit IG due to the overwhelming desire to update my own IG or check other peoples updates in an alarmingly addictive manner). I have scrapped the IG bit of my pledge and will stick to my blog!

My first foray into MMM in 2014 was a rather repetitive and sparse affair.  Since then I have been refining my makes and have taken quite a number of me-makes to the charity shop or am in the process of re-fashioning them. This leaves me with a much more usable wardrobe in 2016 but there is still work to be done....

Day Two
Top: Colette Laurel Top in 100% cotton from Samuel Taylors, Leeds. Made 2015
Jacket: Top Shop 2009
Trousers: Gap
Bangles: Marimekko
Watch: White G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith purple Dante Oxfords

Day Three
Shirt: Gap
Skirt: Simplicity 2154 in poly-cotton twill from Samuel Taylors, Leeds. Made 2013.
Cardigan: Gap
Necklace: Marimekko
Watch: Red G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent loafers

Day Four
Top: Grainline Scout Tee 100% cotton from Sophie, Hong Kong (underlined with cotton batiste). Made 2016
Trousers: Gap
Cardigan: Gap
Watch: Clear solar G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith brown loafers

Day Five
Top: Gap
Trousers: Sew Over It Cigarette Pants in linen / cotton blend from SOI Clapham. Made 2016
Cardigan: Gap
Watch: White G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith brown loafers

Day Six
Dress: Vintage hand-made 1960's dress purchased at Pop Boutique, Leeds. Mended 2015
Watch: Olive green G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent loafers