Sunday, 24 May 2015

Me Made May'15: Days 12-22

This is my second (of three) Me Made May'15 posts. I'll keep it brief. Excuse the phone photo's. Tim takes most of the shots on the way out the door in a mad rush. I'm grateful he makes the time to do it at all, after already asking him to wait for me to finish getting ready so we can train to work together. Thanks, Tim!

Day 12 Tuesday: Silk tate top dress and grey merino bonnie jumper.

Day 13 Wednesday: Long sleeved sewaholic renfrew top (unseen), sleeveless gingham grainline studio archer shirt, iconic patterns colour blocked jackie coat.

Day 14 Thursday: Grey hollyburn skirt with pink merino coppelia cardi.

Day 15 Friday: Denim moss skirt with unseen grey plantain top and a favourite RTW jumper.

Day16 Saturday: Morning bike ride wearing a grey hot cocoa jumper. The rest of the day I wore jeans with a white long sleeve renfrew and navy merino coppelia cardi.

Day 17 Sunday: Wore the just release released megan nielsen brumby skirt and maker tee. I pattern tested the skirt and wear it all the time - I'll blog about it soon.

Day 18 Monday: Blue rose S1419 dress with navy cerino coppelia cardi.

Day 19 Tuesday: Named nascha miniskirt and colour blocked jackie coat.

Day 20 Wednesday: Navy popover alder shirtdress with stripey bonnie top.

Day 21 Thursday: Megan Nielsen tania culottes with long sleeve black sewaholic renfrew top and opshopped Vest.

Day 22 Friday: A day with my sister and niece means my denim moss skirt with RTW top and kitty jumper. 

Reflections: I love my wardrobe! I haven't many casual me made winter tops and jumpers though. I could really do with more and not just basic layers for under other tops or dresses. Not long now until we'll be escaping the need for layers when we jet off to Vietnam - Woo hoo! I wore 18 different garments during days 12-22, which makes 33 unique garments for May so far. The last few days will probably include many more repeats of my favorites.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Blue Merino Coppelia Cardi

My pink and black Papercut Patterns Coppelia Cardigans have got to be some of the most worn garments in my cupboard. I wear cropped cardigans a lot and their neutral tones are perfect for just about every occasion. Unfortunately my pink merino cardi has a few holes (which I'll sew up) and the cheap black fabric has pilled.

I bought some ribbed navy merino from The Cloth Shop with plans to sew another Coppelia in the hopes that more will mean extending the life of all of them. This fabric is a gorgeous colour, lightweight and stretchy. In fact it may be a little too stretchy, lacking the recovery needed for a tight fitting wrap around cardi. I'm just going to have to be extra careful not to stretch it out.

I once again made a size XS upped bodice/Sm waist. While it is cropped, this pattern still uses up quite a bit of fabric with the long wrap around ties and front bodice ribbing.  

I made the cardi almost completely on my overlocker. I following the instructions with two exceptions: 1) I didn't leave a space in the bodice side seams to pull the wrap ties through as I never use the hole on my pink cardi. 2) I attached the hem wrap ties differently so as to avoid having to use the sewing machine as much as possible. I pinned and sewed the ties wrong sides out after folding the cardi inside the ties as much as possible. I left a small gap at the centre back to pull the cardi right side out and attached this section using the sewing machine. It's a bit difficult to explain, but Sophie has a photo tutorial which shows something very similar (steps 6,7,8).

Nothing more to say, other than that I'm glad to add another Coppelia Cardy to my wardrobe and there's always room for more. I couldn't be more in love with this pattern and absolutely recommend it to others who like cropped cardigans. 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Me Made May'15: Days 1-11

A quick post about Me Made May'15. Last year, my goal was to wear one me made garment everyday day. This year I've made the same goal. I probably could have upped my game this year and promised to wear two garments per day (as most days I do anyway), but I'd rather not have a month of morning freak outs about what to wear. Also, I'm sick of feeling guilty about not wanting to have a completely me made wardrobe. I love mixing my hand made items with old and new bought clothing and my opshopped pieces.

1) wear at least one item of hand made clothing each day for the duration of May 2015
2) Document my daily outfits on instagram and post a 3 round ups on this blog

Day 1 - Friday: Black merino long sleeve Renfrew top with spotted chambray Alder Shirtdress

Day 2: Liberty needle cord Moss mini skirt with modified Alder Shirt (not dress). A Grainline Studio kind of day.

Day 3: Marilla Walker Ilsley skirt with Megan Nielsen Maker Tee

Day 4: Black polka dotted Aline Libby Skirt and Iconic Patterns colour blocked Jackie coat

Day 5:  Black Simplicity 2154 Pussy Bow blouse with modified Vogue 1247 skirt. Not photographed: Colour blocked Jackie Coat

Day 6  Wednesday: Silk gathered skirt. This skirt is a little big in the waistband but fits well in winter over tights, singlet and a long sleeve.

Day 7 Thursday: Vogue 8901 dress over a black long sleeve Renfrew top with my colour blocked Jackie coat.

Day 8 Friday: Floral Papercut Patterns Rigel bomber jacket over my exercise gear.

Day 9 Saturday: Chambray Marilla Walker Ilsley skirt with my black Papercut Patterns Coppelia Cardy.

Day 10 Sunday: Liberty Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress with my newly refashioned merino Bonnie Jumper.

Day 11 Monday: Teach me Fashion black knit Draped Skirt, K and L Geometry top, Simplicity 1419 Japanese cotton blazer and my colour blocked Jackie coat.

Reflections:  I wore 18 different me-made garments over the last 11 days. I need to sew some pants and iron some blouses. But, day to day, I love wearing skirts and dresses most. Coloured tights would make my outfits a bit more interesting, but I never feel comfortable in them. I would love to aim to sew one pair of pants by the end of the year.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Refashioned Merino Bonnie Jumper

Tim wears these Country Road Merino jumpers over work shirts in various neutral colours. He has a stack of them and I regularly sew up holes in the elbows for him. The fabric is great quality but quite thin. His dark grey jumper had a hole in the elbow but also around the neckline so he decided to replace it and I claimed the holey jumper for myself!

I used the Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Jumper pattern to refashion a cropped, long sleeve high neck jumper from the old Vneck jumper. I was able to cut around the neckline holes but I did darn up the elbow hole. I also reinforced the holey area with some black lightweight interfacing.

I cut the pattern pieces so the old ribbed bodice and sleeve hem could be selvedge. I took 1" of the bodice pattern as I like the Bonnie jumper a little more cropped and then aligned the bottom of the bodice pattern pieces (where you'd attach the ribbing/waistband) just above the ribbed hem. Because a cropped jumper uses a lot less fabric than a mens jumper I was also able to cut a strip of fabric to use as the neckline band.

I've made the Bonnie top before, cutting a size 10 grading to a 12 at the waist. This time I cut a straight 10. I loved my first sewn bonnie top but the low neckline makes it less versatile over different style dresses and shirts. I wanted this version to have the high neck so it didn't matter what I was wearing it over. I used Version A for the neckline and bodice length but view C sleeves.  I was able to sew the jumper completely on my overlocker. Not having to hem the sleeves and waistband made this a super quick project.

I really like the fit of this jumper and the cropped length is perfect. However, I find the back neckline sits a little low and I couldn't tell which bodice piece was front and which was back. I sewed the old country road tag into the back neckline to help. I'm going to get plenty of wear out of this jumper and I'm hoping to claim a few more of Tim's jumpers in the future.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Modified V1247 Skirt

I've made the high waisted mini a line skirt included in V1247 four times before. Two for myself and two for a friend. Throughout these renditions I have followed the instructions exactly, and then added length to the skirt, added length to the back zipper lap, removed pockets, bound all seams and serged all seams.

I love the shape of the pattern and the sweet front pockets, but for this fabric I didnt want to worry about pattern matching across the pockets. Instead, I overlapped the front and back top and bottom pattern pieces on the fabric as if there were only two pattern pieces rather than four. This makes for a much simpler skirt design and construction process. I pattern matched the skirt at the side seams and centre back.

I also added 2 inches to the length of the hem and an inch to the lapped zipper. I sewed up the seams with 1/2" seam allowances for a little extra ease to allow for tights, layering and adding a lining. I used leftover navy poly lining and recut the two main skirt pattern pieces. I sewed up the lining and attached it to the inside of waistband (facing). I hand stitched the lining centre back to the zipper. I machine stitched a narrow hem on the lining, but hand stitched the hem of the skirt.

The fit of the skirt is excellent, but form fitting enough to feel uncomfortable after a big eating weekend. It's a size 12 (with extra S/A), which is the largest size in the AA pattern envelope. I plan to make this pattern up again and again. Maybe not having to buy the larger pattern envelope is enough incentive to have less big eating weekends. Probably not. 

I love the the final skirt. It's a great length for a winter skirt, warm, and the lining helps with how the skirt sits over tights. This skirt will certainly brighten up my outfit amongst the usual black business attire that us Melbournians love so much. Although, as you can see, everything else I'm wearing is black black black. 

Thanks to Jess for taking work break photos. 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Marilla Walker Ilsley Skirt

Tim and I are heading to Vietnam next month (!) so I've been sewing a few light throw on summer garments to pack. The weather will be hot and humid with plenty of rain. This means lots of cotton, linen, rayon flowy garments. I have a couple of lightweight cotton skirts but they mostly have structured waistbands which could get a bit restrictive and sticky in the heat. I thought the free Marrila Walker Ilsley skirt might fill a holiday wardrobe gap. It's a comfy skirt thats easy to throw on over bathers or with a t-shirt.

I'm also aiming to pack really lightly, so I want everything I take to be able to be worn with multiple other garments, but most of my current summer skirts have floral patterns that clash with certain Tees and floral tops. Enter blue chambray from The Cloth Shop. The same stuff I used for my sisters Miette wrap skirt. It's very lightweight and easy to wear. I used a contrast light brown thread for all topstitching. Actually, I used about three shades of similar light browns. I kept running out of bobbin and spool thread. Can you tell? 

I sewed the skirt up in a size 4. The skirt pattern includes 6 pieces, no closures, front pockets, a gathered waist with an elasticised waistband. The pattern instructs you to use a thick 5cm wide piece of elastic, but since I didn't have any I chose to use three lengths of 1.25cm elastic and sew three 1.5cm wide casings.

The instructions don't include any diagrams but they are well written and easy to follow. Which is more than you can ask for when using a free pattern - Thanks Marilla! Seam allowance instructions for french seaming are included which results in a lovely clean finish.

I like the final skirt, but I don't love it. I really like the curved hem and the pockets. But there's a poof of fabric above my butt and I think I could do with more room back there. Perhaps a bigger size would have been better. Also, I would love the pockets to be slightly deeper - my phone pokes out the top. However, these are easy changes to make and I think it's going to a great holiday skirt. Easy to wear, goes with everything, dries quickly.

Also the skirt doesn't look half bad with tights and a cardigan so it's a versatile too. Today, I'm wearing it with my Megan Nielsen Maker Tee. I love everything about this tee- it supports a good cause, is made from organic cotton, fits great and is super cute. I received the tee as a thank you for pattern testing the Brumby Skirt. I cannot wait for it's release so I can blog about it. That skirt has been getting A LOT of wear. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Jess' Nascha Mini Skirt

I recently made up the Named Patterns Nascha Mini skirt for myself as a trial version. For a full pattern review check this post. I made this version for a friend who has been a wonderful support during my never ending (just kidding, or am I?) PhD candidature. It was a slightly late birthday present for which she chose the pattern and fabric.

I made up a size 36. Jess' measurements put her in between two sizes, but I checked out the finished measurements and picked the smaller size based on her preference for fitted clothes. Jess picked a tartan wool blend from Clegs and a navy lining. I spent some time getting the tartan to match up on the centre front/back and sides. I did a pretty good job horizontally but I fudged it vertically. 

After making up the skirt once before the instructions were SO much easier to follow. I'm so glad I made up a trial version for myself, I felt much more confident inserting the exposed zipper and lining. 

The fit is pretty spot on. I did one fitting with Jess, but no changes were required! Woohoo! And  doesn't she look lovely in her new skirt? Thankfully, the skirt seems to be very well received. Happy Belated birthday Jess! 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Relaxed Plantain

Happy Easter and long weekend! This weekend couldn't come soon enough -it's only a few months post Christmas but I absolutely needed the break. I'm still lacking motivation to sew, so I thought I'd post about a boring basic I made a few weeks back.

This is my first version of the free Deer & Doe Plantain T-shirt which has multiple sleeve length options, a deep scoop neck and is flared at the hips (although, you probably already know this as there are many many versions on the web). I cut a size 38, short sleeved, in some cheap crinkley lightweight jersey from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I used this same fabric to make the free Skirt As Top Scoop Tee in 2013 and it wore pretty badly, but it's fine for a pattern test. 

The pattern comes together really very easily. If you've made a knit top before then there is no need to use the instructions. I made the top completely on my overlocker except for twin needle stitching the hem. For the sleeves I turned the cuffs over twice wrong side out and tacked the cuff up in two places. My sewing machine is really unpredictable with knits so any time I can avoid using I will!

The size 38 fit a little big. I took the side seams in 1/4" but it's still quite spacious. I need to go down a size in the future. I also think the top would be slightly more flattering on me if I brought in the hips just slightly and heightened the scoop neck. However, the pattern is a fantastic basic to start from.

I plan to make some long sleeved versions, along with some renfrews, for winter. With these two basic patterns I'm set for winter basic tops which I pair with sleeveless dresses and tops. My other winter basic is tights. I'd love to try my hand at making my own tights but given my lack of sewing time and inspiration I might just stick with pretty dresses, skirts and tops, and buy my basics. 

Now that I know that I can make pretty much all on my clothes I really struggle to justify buying clothes - especially basics. Do others have this same problem? How do you justify buying clothes instead of making them?