Monday, 28 April 2014

Pledging for Me Made May

I've been thinking a lot about my pledge for me Made May this year and how I can up my game from last year.  I didn't find it too hard, but I was actually on holiday for part of May, which of course makes photo taking a bit easier (and also the option is there for 2 outfits per day)!

Last year I went for 7 days a week, but a maximum of 2 days a week could be my Anise jacket.

I am giving myself a wildcard each week just in case I need it, but will try not to use them.  If I do I will try to wear thrifted or vintage items.

I am also planning to get through my mending pile - I have a few things which are perfectly wearable apart from a hole in the pocket, broken zip or torn lining, so I am going to mend those, and a thrifted skirt to shorten.

In terms of sewing plans, I am going to carry on with my existing plans, but I am going to try and make some me made knickers.  I have the free So Zo pattern printed and ready to go (to use up knit scraps) and I recently bought the gorgeous Measure Twice Cut Once Jane knickers to use up my leftover wovens!

So this year:

 'I, Joanne of Sew Little Time, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item each day for the duration of May 2014. I have 4 wildcards which I can use if I have to, but ideally will be vintage or thrifted items. I will also get through my mending/ alterations pile and make some knickers'

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Fella, this is a line i ain't biting. That's a bona fide offer. Well, with a little moonlight and roses...

So you know what this post is going to be about! Unless you have been living under a rock (or at least not keeping up with your sewing blog reading) you'll have heard about Sew Dolly Clackett organised by the fabulous Sarah from Rhinestones and Telephones. Sarah  had the great idea to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of the very lovely Roisin and Nic by making dresses in the style of Roisin herself. And let me tell you, that girl not only has great style and a presumably immense wardrobe/shoe storage area, she always gets a perfect fit and finish on her dresses. I've never seen her in one that looked less than perfect!

Anyway, enough gushing. What's the craic with this dress?

This is my second attempt at Christine Haynes Emery dress.  The first one was a total fitting fail that I blogged about here. So for this I went back to the drawing board, retraced the bodice and made another toile. I got some really helpful comments on my post before which helped improve this one. I lengthened the bodice by 2" and moved the darts down by 1". I did my usual 1/2" FBA.  One area that was a big problem in the previous version was the shoulder width. Based on measuring the previous one, I did a broad shoulder adjustment of 1" and a 5/8" square shoulder adjustment (which I often do).

I'm pleased with the fit. An extra 1" in bodice length wouldn't go amiss but it's pretty good as is!
I used the skirt (extra 2" length) and sleeve (widened by 1" to take account of shoulder adjustment and because it was a touch tight) that I had used before.

I am quite annoyed with the pics though - they were taken in a hurry before work this morning and the dress looks seriously wrinkly which it doesn't in real life.  Damn.

Now for the fabric. This was the hardest choice! How can you narrow down all the possibilities? Roisin says this is why she makes so many dresses! I wanted to reflect her style but also make something wearable for me, and much as I love her pin up girl dresses, they just aren't me! An idea had been brewing in my brain since I remembered asking roisin on twitter to recommend some fabric for a dress. She picked one of the prints from the Michael Miller Ahoy Matey collection for me, I think this one. So the nautical idea was there and a sale on nautical prints at sealed the deal!

This is another Michael Miller fabric called My Favourite Ship from the Out To Sea collection.  N absolutely loves it. Of course my dress needs a name, so I asked her and she has called it the Neverland Pirates dress (from the cartoon series Jake and the Neverland Pirates).

I finished this dress with moments to spare due to a nasty 24 hour bug I had over the Easter weekend (that's prime sewing time dammit!). The hem was done at 10pm the night before and I did consider machining down the lining by stitching in the ditch at the waistline.  But then I thought WWRD (What Would Roisin Do?), stuck on an episode of Elementary and hand sewed it down.

Roisin and Nic are such a lovely couple and I'm proud to count them as friends. Wishing them all the best in their future married life together! And I can't wait to see the wedding dress roisin is making!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Minerva Blogger Network - My Favourite Jacket!

This could be one of my most useful makes ever!

I have been holding out for the release of the Carmine Jacket from Cake Patterns since late last year when it was announced as part of the Red Velvet Collection.  It's no secret that I am a total Cake fangirl - I have made 2 Tiras, 2 Pavlova skirts, a long sleeved and short sleeved Pavlova wrap top, 3 Red Velvet dresses, 2 Cabarita tops, 2 Hummingbird skirts and 2 Hummingbird peplum tops.  Actually, am I out of fangirl and into stalker territory yet?

It seemed like a really useful little knit jacket (and is it any surprise I am planning another version already?)

The fabric is the Morgan crepe jersey that I have made 2 dresses from already (both Red Velvets which you can see here and here).  I really love this fabric and would recommend it for knit beginners - it's got a good amount of stretch but is stable and easy to work with, with no curling edges.  The crepe texture is really nice and there's a less textured side too (I always spend ages trying to choose which is the right side!).

The sizing follows Cake's usual method - choosing the bust size using high bust and working out the difference between high and full bust to work out the cup size (there are A-D lines on the pattern, but Steph has included directions for larger cup sizes).  It took me a while to get my head around the construction - there is a shrug piece which has underarm gussets, and a circular collar which makes the collar and the lower back of the jacket.  You cut the collar based on cup size too.

It went together really easily - I think this could be done (including the basted fitting of the shrug that Steph recommends) in about 2.5 hours.

I tried the stretch tricot stitch on my new machine for the first time.  I wasn't sure if this was the ubiquitous lightning bolt stitch that everyone recommends for sewing knits, but it worked really well.  Much more secure than my long narrow zig zag i have always used.  It's quite slow though - sewing round the outer edge of that huge collar piece took a while!  As the jersey was stable, I didn't use my walking foot.  And even my overlocker (or overlord as she is now known) played ball! You might want to add a tag at the back neckline - I had a small panic when trying on after I had added the button and buttonhole that I had totally messed with the fit, but then realised I had put it on upside down (doh!).

I added the button on quite low down to pull it in at the waist a bit, as I think this is more flattering on me, which gives a more dramatic collar.  Vicki from Minerva (the Buttonmaster General) helped me pick this fab burgundy "selfmade" button for it, but this is a great opportunity to showcase an excellent single button you might have in your button box.

This makes a great cardigan for this time of year, and it'll be a really useful jacket when the weather heats up a bit.

I have shown it here worn with a previous Minerva make - my Kelly skirt, but it goes just as well with jeans and dresses.

If you want to recreate this jacket, you can buy a kit here which includes 3m of the jersey (enough to cut the collar piece twice if you mess it up - ask me how I know!) and a "selfmade" button.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Minerva Crafts Meet-Up!

Have you heard about the fantastic event happening at the Minerva Craft Centre on Saturday 14th July?

Vicki and the Minerva team were voted Best Sewing Blog in the Sew Magazine awards and to celebrate have organised a great day of events, tutorials and talks from some of our favourite bloggers and pattern designers. 

You can meet me and lots of the other members of the Minerva Blogger Network including Clare, Amy, Marie, Nicole, Emmie, Kathryn and Katie, and I know some other great bloggers are planning to go including Claire, Alison and Sally.  And the lovely Velosewer a.k.a. Maria is coming all the way from Aus!

Come along, it's going to be so much fun!

Highlights are:

Karen from Did You make That doing a speech and Q&A
Claire-Louise from Thrifty Stitcher and Sewing Bee doing a workshop
Mystery contestants from the Sewing Bee (they have naughtily included a picture of Patrick, but I don't think he's stopping by unfortunately!)
A Day in the Life of the By Hand London girls
Lots of craft demonstrations and workshops

And of course there is the lure of the fantastic centre itself, which looks to be an Aladdin's cave of fabric and other craft supplies (I fully intend to come home with a few more hobbies and my bodyweight in fabric!).

All the details are here.

Minerva have helpfully suggested things for non-crafty partners/ friends to do in the area while you craft and chat to your heart's content!  You can find it here.

I hope you can make it - let me know if you are planning to come along!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wardrobe Architect Week 10 - The Capsule Palette

I have especially loved the colour challenges on Wardrobe Architect.  I find colour much easier to define than shape or silhouette.  The week's challenge was to narrow down our overall palettes into what we will focus on this season (Spring/ Summer for me).  You can read the post on the Colette blog here.

Based on my palettes, which I blogged about here and here, these are my chosen colours:


I have bought quite a few fabrics with navy backgrounds recently so this works really well!

Nearly Neutrals:

These are no brainers for me - I have lots of both in my wardrobe and the red fits in well with my recently completed Mad Men dress.  It made me feel so happy when I was making it too - proof that colour really does lift your mood!

Statement colours:

No surprises here for me - lots of blues and turquoises with purple thrown in to shake it up a bit!

So here's my Spring/ Summer Palette - I would say it's pretty true to my wardrobe and my usual palette for the summer.  I'm also glad to say that most of my stash fits in well with it!

Sorry about the terrible graphics!  I really need to improve in that area - can anyone recommend a course or some online tutorials for a non-arty person like me?  What software do you use?

Have you done a colour palette for the season? Link me up in the comments!