Hellooo , as you have probably guessed mmay16 did not go as planned. Yes I did manage to wear something handmade everyday, but it was pretty much the same thing every week. Which was dull! Anyway I have chalked it up to experience and decided I need to do a whole lot of sewing.
My first thing was a Sorbetto top by collette. A free down load that has been really popular all over the internet. I was looking for a free tank top pattern and then stumbled back onto this.The fabric has been in stash for years. I am not sure where I bought it but I think originally it was bought to be part of a quilt. It was just one of my those things that you just know is going to be a good thing before you even start.
I drafted a collar, and although it isn't quite right, as I was a bit impatient and didn't trim it down enough. Anyway it is ok and I am quite pleased with how it turned out.
I lengthened the pattern slightly, I didn't have enough fabric for it to be any longer but another couple of inches would of made a big difference! I can see lots more variations of this on the horizon as there are so many inspirational versions on Pinterest and Instagram which I would love to own and you can get a basic one out of less than a meter if fabric which is great for stash busting.
Well what a glorious week we have had here in Yorkshire.
The sun is shining , it is warm and if this was a video you would be able to hear the most exquisite bird song.
It is also the end of the first week of Mmmay16 and I have to say, I have really enjoyed myself. My promise was to wear something handmade each day during the week. I have surpassed myself and managed 6 days.
Day 1 Newlook 6301
I was planning on taking selfies but it turns out not only am I terrible at it, but actually have to stand in the bath in order to see anything. I think I need to put a full length mirror on my wish list.
Day 2 The Honeybee cardigan
Day 3 The Ultimate Pencil Skirt and Liberty fabric blouse,
Can you see how creased the fabric is? A bit off putting,but I am hoping a slip underneath will sort it out.
Day 4 The Kate Dress and Audrey in Unst Cardigan
I honestly love this dress it is so comfy and I got told it looked very Boden,high praise indeed!
Day 5 Audrey in Unst again
Day 6 Sarah Shirt
So the first week has taught me that I probably don't think about what I wear enough. I own a lot of blue greens. And I definitely don't have enough clothes for summer handmade or otherwise.
My machine went into the Menders yesterday and I have spent the whole weekend thinking I will just see this... Anyway today I cut out a couple of garments in anticipation of when I get it back.
And then I started planning something else. Here is a sneaky peek.
Well I am just signing in for my say something Sunday. I can't really show you very much as I haven't taken very many pictures. I have been too busy sewing and planning.
This is the reason why , I signed up to me made May 2016 and my pledge is this.
When I signed up on the second of April, I did think that it would be fairly straight forward. Not so much now, I might of bitten off more than I can chew! My sewing machine has been behaving like a prima Donna ever since I signed up and next weekend I plan on taking it for a service. This weekend, I am frantically sewing, with everything crossed that my machine doesn't chew too much of my fabric.
Yesterday I cut out and made the ultimate pencil skirt by Sew over it.
I bought both the pattern and the gorgeous cotton sateen from sew over it's online shop. So lovely and simple. It came wrapped in pretty turquoise paper and a hand written note- a present to myself 😀. It was a super easy sew, even if my poor old machine was groaning all the way through it. The only thing I would say is that the pattern is super generous with the amount of fabric it thinks you will need. It states 1.3m and they sell in half metres so I ended up with 70 cm left over.. So another skirt soon. This skirt though, there is only one word to describe it. Sexy with a capital S!
Today's endeavour was the Kate dress
I saw a gorgeous version of this earlier in the month ,somewhere on the internet, blue with tiny white spots and I just had to have it! I found my copy of the pattern in EBay. The fabric was a gift from my friend Sarah and it was instant love. Lucky me! Perfect fabric + pattern means I love this dress!!! Several of the other jersey dresses I have made recently were a bit roomy in the sleeves and arm holes, but this one is perfect for me. it is is just the thing to take you from work to school run and back again!
I have had two delicious weeks off and I honestly haven't been very productive. I have signed up for #mmmay16 and said that I will wear something handmade for every week day during May. Then I chucked out lots of stuff including things I have made. Which means if I don't get some serious making done, it might end up as a reenactment of the Emperors new clothes- Gulp!
So first the fiasco, as soon as I finished my last Viola skirt I cut out another one and then just left it in a heap in the corner of my dining room. Unfortunately when I got it back out this week I realised I had made a seriously rookie mistake. I had cut out a long and short front in one fabric and a short and a long back in the other. I managed to save the short skirt by recutting the back
but I have wrecked the longer skirt as not only did I have to recut it to the shorter length but I think I then also ended up cutting them both as fronts again as I cannot get the yoke to fit. What an idiot! 😞 hopefully I can buy another fabric at some point. For now though it is in the naughty corner.
Anyway the next project was this little bodice from the sewing bee book.
I don't actually own this book, I borrowed it from a friend but I actually think I might buy it as it has loads of cute patterns. I had the fabric in stash (it had been going to be an arielle skirt but it never happened).
I cut it all out and started putting together before I realised there might be a problem with the zip. I went to my local shop.
They didn't sell open 8"zips if any description. Online also seemed that most places didn't stock that size. I found one in eBay, navy, gold teeth,open,perfect! It arrived and it wasn't open, back to eBay I got a black one with silver teeth. I wasn't certain initially, but O loves it and I am happy with the end result. I pruned the seams in the size 8 and I think it worked really well at the front.
I could of gone in more at the back what do you think?
A few weeks back all of my favourite blogs were filled with the test makes of then new shirt by Hand Made of London -Sarah. Now I had never actually printed out a pattern before and tbh I found the idea a bit off putting, but I figured I would give it a go. It is quite easy you pay your money and soon an email is sent with pdf attachments and instructions on how to print the pattern together.
That was when the fun started.. My printer had a complete meltdown at the idea of printing 49 pages and gave up the ghost half way through. Also in fairness I felt my life was actually too short to spend time collaging bits of paper together, So I decided to get a professional printer to print it out for me. Expensive!!!! The printing the postage and the Vat ( yes they do charge Vat on PDF) added another £11.00 to the cost of the pattern. Making it the most expensive sewing pattern I have ever used. So would I be tempted to use a download pattern again? Unless I can find a printer cheaper , probably not!
So onto the pattern, The illustrations of the model are amazing. But the illustrations in the pattern are a bit basic There are also some really bizarre instructions. I am still not sure how rolling the garment into a sausage is really going to help you finish off the top of the back placket. I didn't need to, I just lay the shirt flat and tipped the loose placket piece over from back to the front pining as I went easy! I ended up having to take out the sleeves once as I felt they were probably the wrong way around as I missed the back notches and thought they were part of the gather in the sleeve head.
As I have started writing this I have found that they actually have a sewalong here With lots of useful tips , I would of found those useful and if I was doing it again( which I probably will) I will be reading them closely.
I made the UK 10 and would say it is a pretty good fit. Although again if I was doing again I would change a few things. The neckline is a little high, it rests on the hollow of my neck which feels a little restrictive so I am unlikely to ever wear the top button done up. The cuffs are a little too small, they work with poppers( nothing like a popper to make it look handmade) but another inch and they could of had button holes which would have been amazing. I did think I would also make the placket in the size 12 with the rest of the shirt in the 10 as although it fits really well I felt like my movement was slightly restricted, but after wearing it for a day I am happy with it as is.I know others have said that the arm syth is a little tight but for me it is perfect as is.
As for my shirt what do you think of the fabric? I think I have been watching way too many 70's Dramas; Vinyl definitely has a lot to answer for! I bought it on my local market for £3.60 a metre. My girls have both said ugh! Or in the case of O "well it suits you...." Or E "it might be ok in another fabric".Oh dear Very damming!
I decided on French seams through out but after I end up having to take the sleeves out ( because I think they were backwards) I just finished them off with an over casting stitch. I think that overall this will probably end up being worn with jeans, rather than to work due to the back restriction and also because I think twirling might be frowned at work :) I do love the buttons though definitely perfect for my inner disco queen.
The photos were taken earlier down by the canal where we spotted this little fella glorious hey?
All over FB blogdom there are idyllic pictures and posts about serene Mothers Day Moments. So I hope you like the picture of the lovely flowers that I received. But that is pretty much as serene as it gets! Yesterday was DH's birthday so we had said that we wouldn't do mothers day as it was going to be too much. So, because yesterday we were celebrating, today has been spent rushing around, ironing, washing and moving furniture around as next weekend we have house guests.
It is amazing how much you want something when you can't have it and honestly I would have killed for a couple of hours sewing time! I did cut out another Viola in the week and I have managed a couple of rows of knitting on my stonecutter sweater which was started way back in December which doesn't seem to be growing at all. So instead I thought I would show you a pair of PJ's that I made a few months back.
I had really wanted the Sew Me Something Rosalinds PJ's after seeing all of the gorgeous ones on Poppy in Stitches blog but I was too impatient to wait for the pattern to arrive as I needed to make PJ's immediately. You know that feeling!
So instead I used McCalls M5992 which I picked up along with the checked cotton at my local fabric shop. Ok they probably aren't as stylish as the Rosalind's ,which let's face it are gorgeous. I just love the turn ups! And definitely I still want to make at some point but I think these are fairly sweet. For lounging around in.
All of Sew me something's patterns are named for Shakespeare's heroines. Voila is no exception, though unlike Shakespeare's Viola, this one never wears trousers!
As I said, on Friday, Sarah and I picked up the pattern and fabric at the Harrogate show.
I decided to use the fabric I had bought, but Sarah decided to use some really pretty fabric her she was given for Christmas. My fabric was some kind of fluke, I loved the outer fabric but the co-ordinating fabric that I liked, there just wasn't enough of! So I walked away the chance of being to match with something else seemed unlikely, then I saw the grey at another stall an amazing, perfect match!
I decided to go a size smaller than I did with Kate , I also decided to ignore all of the pattern markings as I like traditional ones :)I was glad that I had, as they were marked up incorrectly and Sarah spent quite a bit of time unpicking! Tip The back is bigger than the front. That is all you need to know!
However the this is a lovely skirt, with straight forward instructions and the two of us cracked them in super quick time! I loved the bias binding on the skirt so cute and so simple to do. I left it off the inner skirt, because as it was the same colour I didn't think it would add much, If I could of made it in a contrast I would of.
I worried that joining the two skirts together might of been ardours and stressful- it wasn't. The pattern told you wear to pivot and even though I hadn't added any markings, It was easy to do. It was really exciting when you went from two unfinished items to a really stylish, double sided, skirt. Woo hoo!
I had thought about covering buttons but realised that the skirts would be more comfortable with buttons that sat flat to the skirt. Anyway yesterday I popped to town just to see if I could find any buttons that might be ok. I didn't really have much faith that I would, but look at these babies? Totally perfect!
It is amazing how different our two skirts look. I love mine she is almost sombre, dark and perfect for work both in the winter and summer and I love Sarah's,
she reminds me of the seaside and promenading up and down the pier. Inspired by what we had made I went stash diving and came up with these.
The brown and aqua pieces I bought in Canada several years ago. I only have a metre of each don't have enough to make either layer and the red needed a friend, but a little trip to the doughty's road show yesterday I now see two more Viola in my future ( or maybe that is four).
Sadly that is the end of my lovely week off. I have made a dent in my fabric stash and tried out some new patterns. I have produced some lovely new pieces for my Wardrobe and E's. I have spent time wandering around blog land I am feeling inspired to try some new patterns and buy some new fabric. All ideas for another day.