Thursday, 31 May 2018

New Look 6446 or My Frida Jumpsuit

I have finally finished the New Look 6446 tropical jumpsuit which I fashioned out of a H&M tablecloth I bought in the sale last summer.

I wasn't too worried about making any mistakes on this due to the copious amounts of tablecloth fabric still left and saw it as a learning curve in terms of construction and if I felt comfortable wearing a jumpsuit style garment.

Spoiler alert! It is fab. I wore it this afternoon and it is so comfy and breezy.
I thought it would be a fun outfit to wear on the last day of Me-Made-May and in a rather strange circle of fate, I started MMM with my Melilot shirt in the exact same fabric.

I wore it during a creative adventure in Belgravia at a portraiture workshop with artist Dan Whiteson to celebrate the V&A Frida Kahlo exhibition.

Back to the jumpsuit. The bodice has deep V cut darts in the front for shaping and is fully lined. I used the same fabric for the lining. I used the over-locker at the Village Haberdashery a few Social Sewing Thursday's ago to finish the insides of the trousers neatly.

I had made my usual bodice adjustments to the paper pattern (grading from one size bust to the next size up at the waist) but when I tried it on after fixing the lining inside it gaped quite a bit either side under my arms. I had to slightly unpick a section and remove an extra 1cm from under the arm each side grading out to nothing at the waist. This did the trick and the bodice fits really nicely.

The zip is neatly finished with hand-sewn bias binding that I bought from Ray Stitch

The straps still need about 1cm removing from the length as they had a tendency to slip off my shoulders at points during the afternoon. Overall, I am really happy with my new jumpsuit and I am looking forward to making some more in a more conservative palette.

Here are some gorgeous photos of Belgravia in Bloom where all the floral displays were inspired by Frida Kahlo.

Here are the drawings I produced during the one-hour portraiture workshop.

10 minutes into the 25-minute self-portrait using chalk pastels focusing on tone only to start with

Frida Kahlo's self-portraits were available for reference 

25-minute sketch using chalk pastels and charcoal - I look like a unicorn zombie!
The rest of the class' self-portraits - I love the one to the left of mine. Such powerful and striking lines!

Have you made anything outside your comfort zone recently?
Workshop information for the Frida's Belgravia celebration can be found here.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Me-Made-May 2018 Week Four

Wow, Me-Made-May week four already. I have been busy with work and had quite a few adventures after work to the Village Haberdashery again for the Social Sewing on Thursday and a meal out in Notting Hill with a friend on Friday. 

Day 21
Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Dress.  Fabric: Viscose, Guthrie & Ghani. Made: 2017
Watch: Black G Shock
Necklace: Tatty Devine stars A/W 2017
Belt: Top Shop
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent loafers

I really like this dress and seem to always wear it with a belt. The viscose has a wonderful drape but is very delicate. Some of the seams are beginning to fray at the sides near the in-seam pockets and I had to do a little repair at work in the morning with some hand-stitching. I may need to reinforce the side seams to ensure its longevity.

Day 22
Top: Grainline Scout Tee. Fabric: 100% cotton, Hong Kong. Made: 2016
Trousers: Gap
Watch: Black G Shock
Brooch: Tatty Devine anchor
Shoes: Paul Smith red Miller brogues

The Grainline Scout Tee is a simple and easy to wear top. Any long-term readers of CJ Made will attest to my LOVE for the Scout Tee! It is a perfect silhouette to showcase a pretty print or to use up a metre or less of left-over fabric.

Day 23
Top: Grainline Scout Tee. Fabric: 100% cotton, Hong Kong. Made: 2016
Trousers: Gap
Jacket: Levi's denim
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

Another Scout Tee. Well, I did say I loved them!

Day 24
Top: Oliver Bonas sale
Skirt: By Hand London Charlotte Skirt. Fabric: Plaid twill, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2017
Watch: Black G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith purple Miller brogues

As the day progressed my very form-fitting Charlotte Skirt seemed to get tighter. Maybe I tweaked my fitting a little too much on this version because after lunch it feels a bit restrictive. I am still super proud of my plaid matching skills though and I love the black and white twill fabric.  

Day 25
Dress: Christine Haynes Emery Dress. Fabric: Viscose, Chapel Street Market. Made: 2017
Watch: White G Shock
Necklace: Tatty Devine brushstrokes
Shoes: Paul Smith red Miller brogues

A relaxed vibe with my Emery dress on Friday. I suspect the looser fit of this dress is mainly down to me cutting out a larger size when I have seen other versions via blogs and IG it looks like a more fitted dress. It also sits higher than my natural waist which makes is so comfy. I would like to make another version and perhaps will experiment with dropping the waist down 3cm and consider nipping in the waist slightly.

Days 26 & 27
Another weekend of house renovations wearing my stylish DIY clothes!

How is your Me-Made-May?
Did you do anything fun over the Bank Holiday if you are in the UK?

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Me Made May 2018 Week Three

Me-Made-May week three was a rather hectic affair after a phone call from Ofsted (UK school inspectors). On Monday I didn't leave work until after 9pm hence a rather blurry dark photo at the bus stop. Needless to say, I felt exhausted for the rest of the week but my me-made clothing game was still strong!

Day 14
Top: Old Navy hot-dog print shirt (from the boy's section)
Skirt: Simplicity 2154 Fabric: poly-cotton twill, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2013.
Jacket: Levis denim 
Necklace: Tatty Devine hot dog
Watch: Red G Shock 
Trainers: Nike

Five years later and my red Simplicity 2154 pencil skirt is working hard. It is an easy skirt to make and has a spilt at the back to make it very comfy too. Welcome to my slightly deranged face after working for 16 hours straight in preparation for the Ofsted visit.

Day 15
Top: Simplicity 1634 Fabric: Liberty Tana Lawn. Made: 2015
Trousers: Gap 
Necklace: Tatty Devine me-designed 'Untitled'
Watch: Black G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith blue suede Miller brogues

The Simplicity 1634 pattern has a vintage vibe with the slash neckline and 3/4 length sleeves and I think it works really well with the colouring of the Liberty Tana Lawn print. The facings have a tendency to flip about so I have sewn some very tiny stitches at the shoulder seams to hold it in position.

Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top. Fabric: John Lewis Viscose. Made: 2016 
Trousers: Gap
Watch: Black G Shock
Necklace: Tatty Devine sewing machine A/W 2017
Socks: Gap
Shoes: Paul Smith red Miller brogues

I wore pretty much the exact same outfit last May. On the left, we have 2018 and on the right 2017. The viscose top has slightly shrunk and my trusty Gap chinos have faded a little, but if it ain't broke.....

Day 17
Top: Sew Over It Ultimate shirt. Fabric: Liberty Plastic Fantastic. Made: 2015
Trousers: Gap
Watch: Black G Shock
Necklace: Tatty Devine stars A/W 2017
Shoes: Paul Smith purple Miller brogues

This was the first shirt I ever made and it is still going strong. I really should make another version in a plain viscose or cotton because the fit is good and it has classic styling.

Day 18
Top: Tilly and the Buttons hacked Bettine top. Fabric: Gingham, Samuel Taylors. Hacked: 2017  
Skirt: Sew Over It Tulip Skirt. Made: 2014
Necklace: Tatty Devine scissors
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

My tiredness and general mental state at the end of the week can be summed up by the twisted skirt and fixed grin in this photo. As a post-Ofsted treat, I called into Ray Stitch in Islington to pick up a zip and some bias binding for a work in progress item which I will hopefully be blogging about soon! The blue Sew Over It Tulip skirt gets lots of wear and my hacked Bettine top is also much more wearable since chopping it into a top.

Day 19 & Day 20
The weekend was spent doing some DIY, hence the fetching attire above. The t-shirts are about 15 years old and are now customised with a variety of household paints. As for the green trousers, I inherited them from my Dad. They used to be his gardening pants and they fit me amazingly well. I keep thinking I should trace the pattern. They are a high-waisted original 1970's trousers with deep pockets and a pin-tucked crease down the front. They would make the perfect work trousers in a smart suiting fabric. 

Are you stuck in a me-made rut with your outfit selections?
Have you noticed any repeat combinations you like to wear again and again?

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Me Made May 2018 Week Two

The second week of May brought with it typical unpredictable weather with sunshine and showers.

An uncharacteristically co-ordinated collection of garments this week. You could almost say I am curating a capsule hand-made wardrobe where I am able to select my own patterns, fabric and fit!

Day Two
Top: Colette Laurel Top. Fabric: cotton, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2015
Trousers: Gap
Necklace: Tatty Devine stars
Socks: Marimekko
Watch: White G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent loafers

A simple variation of the Laurel top with slightly extended sleeves. Maybe the darts are a little high but it doesn't stop me from wearing it in the spring and summer months.

Day Nine
Top: Grainline Scout Tee. Fabric: cotton, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2013 
Trousers: Gap 
Scarf: Marimekko
Socks: Gap 
Watch: Black G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith black patent loafers

This was my first ever Grainline Scout tee in a classic black dotty cotton. It is an easy wear for warm days.

Day Ten
Dress: So Over It Alex Shirt Dress. Fabric: Stoff and Stil. Made: 2017 
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

I am super happy with this shirt dress. I added a fabric belt last week (which I should have made ages ago) which makes such a difference to wearing it. This simple belt addition seems to somehow make it more polished! In the background, you can see a beautiful version of the River Quilt by Jenny Haynes at the Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead. I attended one of their Thursday night Sewing Social events were I pretty much finished off the top of my Marimekko River Quilt and met a whole bunch of lovely ladies too. (A big hello to Clea and Kara!).

Day Eleven
Dress: So Over It Zoe Dress. Fabric: Cotton Sateen, Samuel Taylors Made: 2018
Jacket: Levis
Trainers: Nike
My more recent Sew Over It dress. I have worn the Zoe dress quite a few times and the hidden pockets are soooo fab! I am certain to make more of these.

Day Twelve
Sweatshirt: Grainline Linden. Fabric: Cotton knit, Girl Charlee UK. Made: 2016
Top: Top Shop vest
Trousers: Lululemon
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

Super comfy and a little crumpled as I threw it in my bag to wear if the weather cooled down. This was my first ever Linden and I have worn it lots. The grey striped ribbing is from Ray Stitch and is really good quality.

Have you been taking part in Me-Made-May this year?
Re-discovered any hand-made garments or enjoying recent makes more?

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Me Made May 2018 Week One

I can't believe that Me-Made-May, the month-long challenge for crafty folks who make their own clothes has come around again so fast! It was the fab brain-child of Zoe of 'So Zo' blog who started it in 2009. This year there are over 1,177 people taking part!

This will be my fifth year participating and I am trying to up the challenge with a focus on assessing the wearability of my me-made wardrobe.

Here is my pledge:

Let's get to the outfits......

Day One
Top: Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt. Fabric: H&M tablecloth. Made: 2018 
Trousers: Gap
Watch: Olive green G Shock
Socks: Paul Smith
Shoes: Paul Smith Green Loafers

I really like this shirt. The only niggle is the twisted collar and off centre button band which I must avoid if I make a second version.

Day Two
Top: Marilla Walker Ilsley Skirt. Fabric: Robert Kauffman Essex linen. Made 2015 
Shirt: Gap
Watch: White G Shock
Necklace: Tatty Devine scissors
Shoes: Paul Smith purple Miller Brogues

A simple and easy to wear skirt. I may change the front elastic section to a flat panel for a more flattering shape.

Day Three
Top: Merino wool turtleneck Uniqlo
Necklace: Dad-made wooden pendant!
Skirt: Ready Ruthie Dolores Pocket Skirt. Fabric: Vintage. Made: 2016
Watch: Olive green G Shock
Shoes: Paul Smith Green Loafers

I love this skirt. The colours in the vintage fabric are gorgeous and give you the opportunity to pair it with so many tops. I also lined it in a beautiful olive green silk! The wooden pendant necklace is very special to me as it was hand-made by my dad as a present for my mum in the 1970's.

Day Four
Top: Top shop shirt with a re-fashioned collar. Mended: 2018
Skirt: Dolores Pocket Skirt. Fabric: Cotton. Made 2014.
Brooch: Tatty Devine Typewriter necklace A/W 2017
Watch: White G Shock 
Shoes: Paul Smith blue suede Miller brogues 

You may know about my recent re-fashion of my favourite shirt (changed the collar) which has extended the life of the garment, always a bonus! The skirt is another Dolores Pocket Skirt which is made of cotton and stuck to my tights all day!

Day Five
Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top. Fabric: Viscose, Samuel Taylors. Made: 2016 
Trousers: Abercrombie and Fitch
Watch: Black G Shock
Trainers: Nike

This Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top has been such a hard-working garment in my spring and summer wardrobe. It coordinates with lots of my coloured trousers and skirts. This awesome backdrop was outside the Fashion and Textiles musuem in Bermondsey.

Day Six
Top: Merchant and Mills Camber Set Top. Fabric: Cotton seersucker. Made: 2017 
Trousers: Lululemon
Necklace: Marimekko
Watch: White G Shock
Trainers: Nike

Another Camber Set top in a more structured white cotton seersucker that my lovely friend Sophie sent me from Hong Kong. The stiffer cotton compared to the viscose version from day five creates a more dramatic silhouette. I am almost blending into the background of an art installation at the Tate Britain here. It was a very happy coincidence that I appear to co-ordinate into the exhibit!

Week one in collage form below already highlights my love for the versatility of separates!
Maybe the warmer weather may encourage some dress-wearing next week?

Are you participating in Me-Made-May this year? How are you getting on?