Thursday, 30 May 2013

Me Made May - the holiday edition!

Well I seem to have lost a couple of days of photos, probably on another memory card floating around the house somewhere!

They were immediately pre-holiday and I have no idea what I wore altho I think kimono tees were definitely in there somewhere!

Here's the pics for the first part of the holiday:

17th May - no pic of this day as we flew and got up at 3am!  You don't need to see my baggy eyes!  But I wore my Deco cardie on the plane
18th May - Burda knit dress
19th May - Debuted as yet unblogged (but fabulously photographed by hubby!) red denim Pavlova skirt and navy Pavlova top
20th May - another not yet blogged one - Sinbad & Sailor Magpie dress.  Don't have a good front pic of this as I slimmed the skirt after taking original pics.  We need good enough weather for me to get it out again!
21st May - strpied BurdaStyle Handbook dress
22nd May - Red Pavlova top

And the second:

23rd May - striped Kimono Tee under my Anise jacket (in case you can't tell from the state of my hair it was seriously windy!)
24th May - Birdie Hazel
25th May - navy knit Burda dress again!
26th May - travelling home so no pic, but I wore Deco cardie, Anise jacket and grey marl kimono tee
27th May - rose print kimono tee

I love holiday Me Made May - it makes the pics so much easier (and you tend to have 2 outfit changes in a day so twice the chance to get in a me made!)

Only one more day to go and a couple more pics to blog, so I'll post a final round up and what I've learnt this weekend.  Then I can get blogging on the backlog of garments (oh yes, and actually do some more sewing!).

Monday, 13 May 2013

Me Made May week 2

Here's what I wore:

7th May - navy spotted Peony
8th May - Gertie Portrait blouse (still to be blogged)
9th May - purple Tiramisu
10th May - double whammy - grey marl Kimono tee and Deco Cardigan
11th May (no picture) - blue marl Kimono tee
12th May - blue birdie Sorbetto (which you can just about see!), Anise jacket
13th May - Alma blouse

Almost half way through May, it still seems to be going well and I'm currently planning my holiday packing to include lots of me-mades!  We leave on Friday - woohoo!

I am noticing a definite colour trend in my me mades - lots of blue, purple and burgundy!

How is your Me Made May going?  Are you enjoying it?  Has it changed your future sewing plans?

Friday, 10 May 2013

Finally, a Burda Success!

For the past few weeks I've been in a weird sewing place - somewhere between Me Made May panic and holiday sewing (we are going to Sicily in mid-May - so some of my Me Made May photos will hopefully look more exotic than my back garden/ dining room!).

But I think this dress will hopefully cover me for both.

Despite having terrible reviews from most bloggers, I actually quite like April's Burda -- it's the first one I've bought for ages! 
Source: Ooobop

In addition to the cover dress - vaguely Laurel-esque?  Ok without the huge sew-on gemstones.  I have plans for this pattern, hopefully you'll be seeing it soon, acceptable muslin permitting! - I liked this pattern:

Source:  BurdaStyle (who make it very difficult to link directly!)

I wasn't so keen on the shiny fabric but thought it could make a good basic knit dress for holiday and at home.  I had some nice navy viscose knit fabric from World Fabrics (their website isn't great, but good prices, speedy delivery and the quality seems good from what I have seen so far!).

In terms of pattern modifcations, no way was I doing welt pockets in a simple knit dress so I left them out.  The pattern includes a belt but I don't love self fabric belts for this sort of dress and thought I'd be more likely to style it with a leather belt as per the picture.

Spotted anyone?
The pattern was nice and long so no length adjustments needed.  I did take it in at the sides slightly to give it a bit more of a waist and make it more fitted around the bust.  This was really due to my fabric choice rather than the pattern as the original size would have made it too bunchy around the waist to wear with a belt.  My only annoyance was that I didn't follow my sewing spidey sense and ditch the fiddly little neckband pieces.  I wasn't clear how much seam allowance to add and it was hard to attach them over the top of the pleats at the front neckline, meaning a bit of unpicking.  But again could have been due to my fabric choice being thicker than theirs.  I should have gone with my idea of cutting a wide bias strip (or I guess i could have just cut a straight grain piece since I was using stretch fabric!), which would have been much easier.  Still, live and learn!

It's not exciting but I like it a lot - it's simple and I reckon it will get worn a lot this summer.  Now I just need to find the perfect tan sandals to wear with it!


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The finishing finishes me off...

I always find I have difficulties getting garments finished.  By the time you get to the final stages, the interesting sewing is done and you're left with boring hemming, and I did exactly the same with this cardigan.

I posted previously that I was working on the Kate Davies Deco cardigan.

After seeing Kerry's Manu cardigan I checked out Kate Davies designs and totally fell in love with this design.  The lines are inspired by art deco buildings and 1920s artwork.

I had the perfect buttons already in my stash and chose the wool to go with them - Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Maritime.

This was to be a portable project to do over Christmas when we were away from home (and away from the sewing machine!), and also to do on the train.  However as it is knitted in one piece, it soon got too big to carry about every day for my commute.

Although I have been knitting since I was 7 (my gran taught me and my mum also knits) this was my first adult garment.  I knitted when I was pregnant - a couple of blankets, hats and cardigans (I love baby size things - they knit up so fast!) and have done a few since then but I'm only just now learning properly about tension, and how much difference my tight knitting makes to the fit.  Yes, I know I should have realised before - but this was my first tension square!

I needed to use 3.25mm (the pattern calls for 3mm) needles to get the right tension and I added 2" extra into the body above the waist shaping and before the pattern started, and the same onto the sleeves.

I learnt so many new techniques on this project - You Tube is an amazing resource for knitting, crochet and sewing how tos!  I learnt how to knit the sleeves directly onto the garment using short row shaping and the wrap and turn method , and a three needle bind off amongst other things.  I must admit I didn't buy an extra 2 sets of circular needles to pick up around the armholes - at £6 a pair that would have been a hefty investment, especially since one was in the size I was already using.  I borrowed DPNs from my sister in law and used them instead.  The pattern method meant no sewing up at the end, just weaving the ends in.  I had also learnt to join the ends together as I knitted after reading a post on Karen's blog about it - I didn't even know this existed, so thanks Karen!  Fewer ends to weave in is good.  I also learnt to use the Magic Loop for knitting the sleeves in the round (thanks again You Tube!).  Links to all You Tube tutorials are above.

I finished in in February, and blocked it (another new technique to me!).  I was slightly concerned on the size pre-blocking as it seemed small, but came out fine. 

And then it just needed button bands, snaps and buttons.  It waited.  And waited.  Until the Sewing Bee came on TV and I needed a hand sewing project to do while watching!  And of course it was finished in an evening.  I used raspberry pink grosgrain ribbon - I love the flash of the contrast colour inside!  And the buttons are just perfect in colour and style for the design.

Sorry for the stroppy face - no idea why!  I am very pleased with it!

Very pleased with it and you'll definitely be seeing it duirng Me Made May!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Me Made May week 1

I think I said before I'm not putting up daily outfit pics - if you are anything like me, you probably follow hundreds of blogs and it gets impossible to look at all the Me Made May pics.  I am loving the Flickr group though - it's great pattern inspiration!

Here's week 1 for me:

May 1st - Red Pavlova top
May 2nd - Rose print Kimono Tee
May 3rd - Mad Men dress
May 6th - Burdastyle Handbook dress

I did fail on 2 days in terms of getting pics taken.  I had a streaming cold and hubby went off on his mountain bike with the camera.  The challenge of camera phone plus a 4 year old proved too much for me!  I did wear me-mades on the 2 days I didn't get pictures.  One was my Burda tee, and the other was my striped Kimono tee (as usual when I am feeling ill, I revert to jeans and tees!).

I have lots of recent finished items, so am trying to get them blogged before you see them in my MMM pics!

Hope you are enjoying it too if you are taking part.