Wednesday, 21 June 2017

200th Post Giveaway Winner!


Eleven lovely sewers signed up for my 200th post giveaway last week. I assigned each person a number and used a random number generator to find out the winner. It seemed fairer this way as you made so many lovely comments I couldn't choose by myself.

1 Ebecca
2 Rosemary
3 Fadanista
4 Kathy
5 Sonja
6 Kat
7 Pam
8 Julie
9 Louise
10 Jo
11 Katy M


The winner is Jo who had these creative ideas for the winnings:

Congratulations Jo, I look forward to see what you make with the fabric and patterns! I am sure the girls will love the beads and ribbons for some crafting too! Jo, please leave your email address in the comments below so I can send you your prize!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Me-Made-May 2017 Review

It's the second week of June and I have only just got around to my Me-Made-May 2017 review. I really enjoyed the whole process although I ran out of people I could pester for a photo towards the end of the month. Again, a huge thank you goes out to the lovely Zoe of SoZo blog who created this awesome event eight years ago.

It would not feel right to continue with a full review until I had documented the last remaining outfits of May.


Day Twenty Nine
Dressing Gown: Gather's The Buchanan. Made 2017
Top: Vest by Gap
PJ Bottoms: Paul Frank
Shoes: White Birkenstocks

May Day Bank Holiday was spent happily pottering around the house in my PJ's and newly finished Buchanan dressing gown. I love it and have worn it every day since making it! I think I need another one.


Day Thirty
Trousers: Abercrombie and Fitch
Jacket: Levi's denim
Watch: White G Shock
Trainers: Nike Blue Pegasus


Day Thirty One
Dress: Dixie DIY Bonnell Dress in viscose, Chapel Street Market. Made 2017
Watch: Red G Shock
Trainers: Nike Blue Pegasus

After 2016's Me-Made-May I created a list of plans / quests for the year ahead which were:

Re-fashion or donation to charity:
  • Bettine dress - Attach a bias section on the skirt to make it more wearable - NOT achieved
  • Simplicity 9620 dress - not worn this MMM because it's too short. As above NOT achieved
  • Mathilde blouse - Give to charity as I never choose to wear it - Achieved!
  • Grainine Scout in B&W - Give to charity as I never choose to wear it - Achieved!
Future Projects:
  • Finish Navy Simplicity 2154 pencil skirt  - Achieved!
  • Complete black and white By Hand London Flora  - Achieved!
  • Finish Liberty print Colette Laurel dress  - Achieved!
  • Re-work the By Hand London Charlie Dress NOT achieved
  • Make another pair of SOI Cigarette Pants - black and white print / Navy / Grey NOT achieved
  • Make a Grainline Moss skirt NOT achieved
  • Make a pair of Grainline Maritime shorts NOT achieved
  • Make more dresses - I have lots of BHL and Christine Haynes patterns in my stash - Half Achieved

So it looks like my sewing plans were half completed with still plenty more to keep me out of mischief, namely making another pair of trousers and perhaps some shorts?

For the coming year it would be great to replace my worn out RTW trousers with some hand-made versions. I have even carefully unpicked a favourite pair of chinos to compare the waistband, crotch rise and leg lengths to my existing trouser patterns (SOI Cigarette Pants and Named Alpi Chinos). Hopefully by May 2018 I might have managed to make another pair of trousers!

Conclusions:

As I have a lot more me-made garments to wear compared to previous Me-Made-May's I found the whole process much easier. I have been able to identify that I love wearing tops that are made in viscose as the drape is softer, more comfortable and forgiving.

I still enjoy bright colourful clothes combined with monochrome but have branched out this year into a few floral prints too. I am also very happy to supplement my me-made wardrobe with quality RTW clothes that I already have in my wardrobe.

One of the most enjoyable and inspirational aspects of MMM is connecting up with fellow sewists.
I have greatly appreciated the lovely comments from fellow bloggers in particular a big thank you to; 
Kat, Louise, Alex, Jo, Tamsin, Anna, Julie, Crafty Clyde, Paulina, Rosemary, Ginx Craft and Let's Get Sewing! Who have all been equal parts encouraging and inspirational with their own amazing makes. See you all for MMM 2018!


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Red Bonnell Dress


In May 2015 I pattern tested the Dixie DIY Bonnell Dress. It is a lovely dress pattern with cheeky cut-away sections in the bodice.
Dixie DIY Bonnell Dress
The first version I made the dress exactly as-per the instructions and enjoyed the process of making it but when it came to wearing it, I just didn't! The fabric I used was a cotton sateen which had a little bit of stretch, subsequently the waistband stretched and didn't look right because it drooped where the cut-away sections were. Long story short I gave that first version to the charity shop.

Onto version two. I bought two metres of cheap and cheerful red floral viscose from a stall on Chapel Street market in Islington last summer (£2 per metre) with the intention of making a Bonnell Dress v2. This time I omitted the cut-away sections and slightly lengthened the skirt section.


The construction was good and with a self-lined bodice it looks very pretty on the inside too. The fit is great but (why is there often a but?), the back bodice must have stretched out during construction as the back section which should lie in a beautiful V for the centre-back zip is all floppy and stretched. I should have sewn or ironed on some stay-tape to stablise it. Better luck on version 3!

You can see the slight rippling of the bodice either side above the zip - eek!
Overall it is a lovely light summer dress and as I can't see the back of the dress myself I am not that concerned about a little wobbly bodice edge.


Pattern: Dixie DIY Bonnell Dress = Free for pattern testing in 2015
Fabric: 2 metres of viscose from Chapel Street market, Islington = £4.00
Gutterman Thread: Red from stash = free
Invisible Zip: Red = £1.00
Bias Binding: Red bias binding around zip from stash = free

Total: £5.00

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

CJ Made 200th Post Giveaway!


Last week I realised that I had reached 200 blog posts on CJ Made!
Wow, 200 posts about sewing, art, craft and other adventures. To help me celebrate I have a collection of de-stashed fabric and crafty things to giveaway to my blog-reading friends.

To be in with a chance of winning the following goodies follow my blog and write a comment below about what you might make / do with the prize. Please include your e-mail address in the comments so I can contact you if you win. The competition is open world-wide.

Onto the spoils.....

Fabric:
  • 1/4 metre of black and pink spotty viscose from Guthrie & Ghani
  • 1/2 metre of Liberty Tana Lawn Plastic Fantastic
  • 1 metre of 100% cotton Tea Time Large Floral The Henley Studio, Makower UK
  • 1+ metre of 100% cotton in teal from Village Habderashery
  • 2+ metres of 100% cotton baby blue polka dot from Cath Kidston
  • Bag of assorted black and white printed small scraps of viscose, jersey, cotton & seersucker
 Ribbons & Beads:
  • Assorted lengths of red, burgundy and raspberry pink ribbon
  • 2 metres of black ribbon
  • Approx 100 wooden beads in assorted colours
Patterns:
  • Threadcount 5-in-1 Wardrobe Builder sizes 8-16 Intermediate pattern
  • New Look K6302 sizes 8 - 20 Shift dress and jacket
  • New Look K6230 sizes 8 -20 Raglan sleeve top, pencil skirt and midi skirt


Bag of black and white printed fabric perfect for scrappy quilting or craft projects
A lovely spotty viscose with a fantastic drape and lengths of ribbon
A pretty Navy floral called Tea Time Large Floral 
This Liberty print Plastic Fantastic is more lilac / purple coloured in real life
This teal coloured cotton is shot through with black to create a chambray effect
This baby blue cotton was purchased in a Cath Kidston sale a number of years ago
Here's what to do if want would like to win!

Follow my blog and comment below about what you would like to make with these fabrics / craft bits or patterns. Don't forget to include your e-mail address for contact details.

Deadline for commenting is Friday 16th June. I will randomly choose a winner on Saturday 17th June. Good Luck!

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

South London Adventures

I went on an adventure with my friend Charlotte to Brixton, Herne Hill and Dulwich. We went to the Kitchen Counter the newest Mae deli where we scoffed some nice food then we walked to Dulwich Picture Gallery and enjoyed the sculptures in the garden.

Talking of gardens, we walked past some amazing floral displays in the suburban streets of Herne Hill and Dulwich, in particular on Burbage Road.

Here is a selection of photos from the day:
An amazing mural outside a shop in Brixton en-route to Herne Hill


Pretty shops and cafes outside Herne Hill station
The Kitchen Counter at Herne Hill
A beautiful rose in a garden on Burbage Road in Herne Hill







A section of the Phlegm mural in the Dulwich Picture Gallery garden


Peter Randal-Page 2009 sculpture in the Dulwich Picture Gallery garden
Bartley's florist in Dulwich Village


Beautiful rugs and containers in Brixton Village indoor market

Monday, 29 May 2017

Paul Frank Buchanan Dressing Gown


The Buchanan dressing gown has been a long time in the making. I was gifted the Gather Buchanan pattern for Christmas 2015 by my sewing enabling friend, Sophie!
The Paul Frank fabric I bought in 2011 and it has been sat in my stash patiently waiting for me to get my act together to make PJ's and a dressing gown!

I cut the whole thing out last July and it has been in my UFO pile for almost a year. I got busy this weekend and enjoyed the process in three bursts of productivity.

This is an excellent pattern. Good quality paper and very clear illustrated instructions, it was a pleasure to make! The order of making has you sew all the fiddly bits like the pockets, belt, belt-loops and hanging-loop before the major construction.

Alterations I made to the instructions was to use French Seams throughout for a neater finish and add 6cm to the length. The only thing that boggled my mind a bit was the belt-loops - how could I add them with a French Seam?

I added the belt-loop with a 0.5cm seam allowance and then continued with the second seam on the inside using a 1cm seam. It worked out perfectly!






Hand-finishing the loose end on the hem-band.




Overall, I am really impressed with this pattern and I can see myself making some of these as presents for friends and family. Hopefully it won't take me as long to make another one!

Check out lots of other cool crafty blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.