Saturday, 25 June 2011

Summer Essentials Sewalong Planning

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for several weeks. I thought I must post it or summer will be over.
I am behind in planning my summer essentials sew along. Though I have been planning away in my head. The list divides between those items I already have fabric and pattern for, and those which I only have patterns for and no fabric.

Sun dress:

I have already made this dress using Amy Butler's Anna Tunic pattern.

Tees, tunic and blouses:

I have a big gap for white tops in my wardrobe. I am half way through making a Simplicity 2259 top in white with a placket and box pleating.

I also plan a pinky-rust top with giant sunflowers on it from this cotton lawn bought on ebay.

Clamdiggers and co

I have some dark blue cotton and there is just enough for a pair of cropped trousers. I want to make something that will be versatile and go with my many patterned tops. As I already own it, I am using the Lisette for Simplicity 2259Portfolio trouser pattern. Just to see what it is like. ISweet and sassy skirts

I have made my pink pillowcase skirt but am also hoping to make a skirt from my duvet cover fabric pictured above. I have changed my mind many times about what skirt to sew. I was thinking of a reversible wrap skirt with green and white polka dots on the reverse. Then I found this skirt pdf pattern from Anna Maria Horner. Once I read through the instructions I realised I needed lining fabric. Obviously it is meant to be that I make this skirt as I then went into the local charity shop and found a large piece of green, white and navy stripey lining fabric! For £2.


Maybe because the weather isn't warm, but I keep wanting to have a loose-ish pullover top, maybe a hoodie, probably with pockets. I need to go on a fabric hunt for this. I was thinking of using a pattern from the Sew-U Home Stretch book.

Another dress: I have some that I really want to try out - the traveller dress by Lisette for Simplicity. I just don't have any fabric.

So that is:
white top - started

sunflower top - started
pair blue cropped trousers - started

pink scalloped skirt - completed

floral skirt - pattern and fabric

traveller dress - pattern only

sundress - completed

Cover-up Hoodie- no fabric

I could carry on planning fir ever, but am going to stop myself here. I am not sure if this is too much already.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Days 22 - 24

Here we are again, a quick catch up before I go to "Healthy Tots" group (yes, what an awful name) in the local library. It is a strange mix of library, planting seeds and eating foods with an obligatory story or two and sing song. Bonus is Little I loves it. I quite like the vicarious thrill of small children playing with potting compost and eating a library! Could we sow seeds in the carpet?? Anarchy beckons

Day 22 - I had to go on a visit to a farm today. T's school are lucky enough to do lessons at an organic farm and today parents were invited for the afternoon. We went on a plant hunt, did a quiz, and then had to dissect and label a poppy. We came home with a bag of broad beans that T's class had sowed and harvested. I had to wear something sensixble for walking across the fields

Me Made Nautical stripey tee based on a pattern from the Sew U Home Stretch book. Refashioned glittery red cardigan made from a sweater.

Day 23 - tidying up, this was my chant as I picked up small things from T's bedroom floor "lego, lego, playmobil, lego, cereal, meccano....playmobil, lego, lego" Sound familiar?

Sorry for the blurry photo, I am not sure why that happened.

Me Made trousers from Built by Wendy book, Simplicity 2245 Portfolio top.

Day 24: Me made dress using the dirndl block from Built By Wendy Dresses book. I found the fabric in a charity shop last summer. This dress has french seams on the skirt, so it looks nice on the inside too. I cheated a bit and made a snap fastener at the back instead of a zip.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

More MMJ - 18, 19, 20 and 21

The days just seem to go by so fast with MMJ posts to catch up with. Thank you to those of you who commented with your thoughts on MMJ and blog posts. It was fascinating to read them.

Day 18
Up and out early to take Little I and T to tennis club. This will be funny to anyone who knows me in real life as I am a very unsporty person with great uncoordination and yet here I am - tennis mum. Who would have thought it?

In the afternoon it was T's school summer fete and funny weather. I wore Simplicity 2259 - this was the first one I made and I wear it a lot. It is quite a light fine cotton. As it was chilly I wore charity shop gap jeans and boots. I needed to wear something with lots of pockets for holding the kid's coins at the fete. The fete was good fun the bouncy castle was bouncy, the cake stall was full of fairy cakes with sprinkles on top, and I found a great bargain of a set of wooden painted coat pegs on a board for 20p. I will be putting it up in our new house to encourage coat hanging up.

Day 19 - Sunday

This is the only day of the week when I don't have to get up and be somewhere early! I was so tired. I snuck back into bed three times but Little I and T kept finding me. Honestly - these children - I mean they wanting feeding and everything!

I wore a stripey pink and white t shirt made using the Sew U Homestretch

t shirt pattern. I gave this shirt a scoop neck and three quarter length sleeves. I don't think it is particularly flattering on me but it is comfy and good under other things! However, I thought it would look nice with this

old pink cardigan and the photos showed me it looks not so great! The t shirt sleeve bunches up under the cardigan. Bleurgh.

Day 20

Not a great photo to show detail of my top. But look I am shockingly out of my house! It is an Amy Butler Anna Tunic. This was the first Anna tunic I made and the neckline is a bit high. I have made two more since then and have lowered the neckline on them both.

Here is an old photo showing the tunic slightly better. I love this pattern. It is really easy to follow and can be made to different lengths to give different results. I didn't line this tunic as per the instructions but just bias bound the armholes instead.

Day 21

Me Made Simplicity 2259 floral top and Me Made skirt from Built by Wendy
I hope this outfit would in magazinespeak be subtle muted neutrals, not dull and boring.

Little I was determined to join in. Please note the shoes...they are ebay Keds bought at easter but I hadn't blogged them yet. They are quite comfortable, with a quilted inner sole and have lovely spotty trim and spotty wedges. And even better they were only £5! They have hardly been worn. I love them as I like wedges, and I like spots. I tend to fall over in heels. (Even without any alcohol)

Friday, 17 June 2011

More MMJ and a sneak peek

A sneek peak at what is on the ironing board, in-progress today. For once it is not a Simplicity 2259.

Now, Me Made June, and I have more updates - does anyone read these? I hope so. I have come across comments on other blogs complaining that MMJ posts are boring and filling up blogs. What do you think?

Day 15 - Me Made tate skirt, me made Simplicity 2599 top. Both these have been worn before this month but not together. I like how these me-made months make me think about how to combine my me-mades in different ways. A great outfit for me as it is practical and easy to move around in, the skirt has big roomy pockets.

Day 16 - Portfolio dress - Sew Lisette for Simplicity 2245

Such a comfortable dress. I can see myself wearing this in the winter too with boots and tights.
Day 17
The mini challenge today was a photo with a loved one, so here we are in our florals.
Me - Simplicity 3835 made from a curtain I found in a charity shop.

Little I in Simplicity 8495 also found in a charity shop. The fabric was a piece of cotton lawn bought from an old lady at a church fete. (A rare occurance to find fabric at a church fete!) I graded the pattern top make it bigger for her. I love this pattern and keep meaning to make more versions of it.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Vintage Dress Giveaway - Stash Bustin

Did that title grab your attention? I hope so. I am having a giveaway. Some of you may remember that we are involved in The Longest Most Drawn Out House Move in History (that's TLMDOHMIH). A recent inside shot of the kitchen...

As you can see not quite ready for habitation (no doors, no windows...half tiled roof) but a benefit of this slow-moving (as in slow food, slow fashion) is that I can do slow sorting of what we want to take. We have started with the garage and understairs cupboard. This has coincided nicely for me as I wanted to do a giveaway. So, there are two items salvaged from the understairs stash. They are suitable for a refashion project.

First is this dress I bought at a nearly new sale in February. It looks like it was homemade. It measures 22" from underarm to underarm when lying flat. It is approximately 40" from shoulder seam to hem. It has a back zip, waist darts in front and back and bust darts. It is pale green and white. It has the little loop detail on the front that you can see in the picture. I guess it is a polyester fabric.

Second is this 1970s tunic/ top. It has a zip up the back and white piping round the neck and sleeve edges. It feels like a cotton with a slightly silky smooth finish. It is small. It measures 18" from underarm to underarm and is 31" long. As you can see it is not hemmed at the bottom or onthe sleeves. It came from the collection of a friend of my mum's who used to do dressmaking in the 1960s and 70s and then became a quilter. Some of the clothes in her stash have obviously been chopped up for patchwork. I am not sure if that is what happened to this top or if sshe simply never finished it.

It is really pretty but miles too small for me.

I would like to send them out separately to two different people.

So, if you are interested in either item, please leave a comment saying which one, with email details. It would be interesting to hear what you would do with the clothes. I am happy to post them worldwide. I will leave this open till 24th June. If you link to this on your own blog let me know and I will give you an extra "ticket" in the draw!

PS: If you have trouble leaving a comment, just email me and leave your comment that way.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

12th, 13th, 14th June

ON Saturday I wore my 2259 brown floral top but didn't get a photo. We spent most of the day in the woods with some friends and their new dog. He is from a rescue kennel and is thought to be a corgi crossed with a collie. Imagine that... he is corgi size but with a long sweepy tail.

12th June by Minnado
Sunday - Day 12 - so cold and raining all day. I hadn't expected to wear this tunic in June as it is a wool mix and usually for winter/autumn but I did. It is made from Amy Butler's Anna Tunic pattern with added patch pockets. I love wearing it as it is so comfy but I think (and hope) not too frumpy. There are still rain spatters down the front in this picture. Later on I did something so very stupid...I got a big blob of pva glue inthe middle of the front of the tunic.
Day 13 - I wore my me-made nautical t shirt from Sew U home Stretch but sorry no photo again. It was a busy day, in the morning I took Little I to the theatre to see the stage version of The Tiger who came to Tea
A great show to take little kids to, I recommend it if you get a chance.
Anyway, enough digression, back to me mades,

Day 14

Self drafted skirt from furnishing fabric with home made bias trim. Little I had grabbed it in this photo and was pulling the skirt at an awkward angle. There is a better picture of the skirt here

Verdict: A happy skirt but one that creases a lot and could do with either lining or a half slip underneath.

I have a glamorous day not really... I have to clean out our sand table as we forgot to put the lid on it and next door's cat has peed in the playsand. How nice is that? I hope you are doing something more fun with your day? Can anyone top cleaning neighbour's cat pee in the "howdidmylifecometothis" stakes?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

MMJ catch up and assorted notions

I need to catch up on MMJ but first here's a couple of pictures from life this week.
It was a very rainy sunday here today so Little I and I made this camera. Here is the link for instructions by Jessica Wilson.

She also blogs here at scrumdillydo where you will find lots more ideas. Our camera is not as beautiful as Jessica's but Little I wanted to be in charge of the making and design.

My latest ebay purchase, this collection of Coates cotton for £1.64.

They are lying on some dark blue fabric that I am currently sewing up into the Portfolio trousers from the Lisette for Simplicity 2245 pattern, part of my Summer Essentials Sewalong plan, which I really need to blog in detail.
Kiki doll from Clothkits. I sewed this doll for Little I's birthday at the end of April. I bought the pattern on sale last autumn meaning to sew her up for Christmas but ran out of time!

Day 10 -

Me Made dress from Simplicity 3964 - Built by Wendy for Simplicity. It was cold so I wore this with leggings.

Verdict - a great dress - comfortable. But one of those could-be maternity dresses. I have lost the self fabric belt that goes with it. If I made it again I would make it a tiny bit longer though. It creases a lot by the end of the day.

I love this dress but when it is hot weather I have to wear a half slip under it as the skirt is a bit transparent. I made a slip last summer for it and then promptly lost it. I think it may have accidentally gone in a bag to the fabric bins as I cannot find it anywhere. I hate it when I do stupid things like that. It is usually due to too much rushing around.
So now I have make another slip and annoyingly have no suitable fabric in my stash.

Day 11 - Me Made top from Simplicity 3835

Verdict - it is hard work trying to ride a bike that is too small for you!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

7th June and 8th June

Day 7:
Me Made Simplicity 2599 top, tate skirt - an outfit I am comfortable wearing. It got too cold by lunch time though and I had to swap my skirt for some trousers. The top is so nice to wear as it is made from some cotton lawn, really light and lovely, originally blogged here.
Verdict: I could wear this every day. (Though that could get boring and a bit smelly) I find it almost impossible to be sad in this top.

Day 8:

I am trying to wear some of my unworn me-mades that languish in the back of the wardrobe. Me Made stripey vest blogged here and refashioned denim dress. Scarf made by my mum about ten years ago. I have never worn this dress. I bought it last summer in a charity shop and shortened it and made patch pockets for the front. Every time I try it on I am worried the poppers will pop open as I wear it. It is so cold that I put jeans and boots on underneath. But that may change if I get warmed up!

Verdict: The vest is a great staple, especially for wearing underneath other items. The denim dress? Unsure, ask me later.

Monday, 6 June 2011

5th and 6th June - Simplicity 2245

Day 5 - ugh - I felt so ill all day. I fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon on the carpet outside the bathroom. Not good. I had a carpet pattern on my cheek when I got up. I wore Lisette for Simplicity 2245 top made from stash.

Verdict: Lovely top, very wearable. A straightforward pattern to make.

Moving swiftly on, Day 6 Feeling much better.

Lisette for Simplicity 2245 dress made in denim. I made this while I was offline in May. I was given some money for my birthday so like any self respecting sewer I spent some of it on fabric. The pockets of this dress are lined in a scrap fabric from my stash. You can see in the photo that this denim does wrinkle a bit as I go through the day but nevertheless I love wearing this dress. It is so comfy to wear and was simple and straightforward to make.

I went down a size when making it as my last one was a bit too roomy. I also gave it short sleeves as the three quarter length ones on the pcket photo just look wrong on me. I don't know what it is but they do.

A great dress, useful pockets.

I bought the denim from doughtysonline - and would like to say what fab service they offer. Half an hour after placing my order I had a phone call to say the denim I had ordered was out of stock but would I like another in a slightly darker shade! I said yes and it arrived the next day.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Me Made June, Days 1 -3

So first three days of Me Made June have passed already. It's half term here and it has been hard to find time for blogging. I hope to catch up next week. In doing the Me Made June challenge I want to try and test out my me made clothes this month and look critically at what does and doesn't work.

An over exposed pic but the only one that shows the length of this dress - see Day 2 for details.
Day One:
Simplicity 2599 top and Tate skirt, sewn from Sew Hip Magazine.

Look - an Action Shot

I made this top at the beginning of May from a brown floral print cotton that came out of my Devon binbags. I have not blogged about it yet, I will try and do that once half term is over. (I do like spending time with my kids honest) The skirt is one I wear a lot. It has big pockets which I love but when I look at it in photos it seems a bit too wide. Especially with this top. But, this was a great outfit for the purpose of a day mucking about with mud, walking the woods. The big pockets are great for car keys and holding the stone collection we always gather in the woods.

Verdict: Yay..goodie goodstein outfit.

Day Two

Hmmm..... where to begin? This dress was refashioned from two t shirts. I based it on the Home Stretch Sew U pattern. It was easy to make but after wearing it I have realised it needs a few tweaks:

  • It is too long. That should be straightforward to fix.

  • When I made it, I took the bodice sides in, copying the bodice shape from Sew U but it still kind of bags out around the bust making me look bigger-chested and much saggier than I really am. This is not a look I am keen on!

  • The dress is very dark navy, I think it could be good for winter or season changes.

    My main problem with this dress was the fact that I was really aware of my rounded tummy while wearing it! Especially when out in a museum and I took my daughter to a special child and parent toilet with a child height mirror. A child height mirror which started at an adult's waist and went to about mid calf. Ugh, what a perspective. I am considering the possibility of magic knickers now. (And exercise, less cake, etc, etc) If you were to look back at my me made clothes in this blog you may notice that I tend to always sew and wear things that cover my stomach area. Wearing this dress really did challenge my own neuroses. No one else noticed or cared. (Or if they did they are English and therefore probably wouldn't say anything anyway).

    So Day Two was definitely a learning experience. On a positive note the dress was really comfortable to wear and felt lovely.

Verdict: Just don't know...seemed good in my head and on the hanger, not so sure in real life.

Day 3:

Refashioned skirt.

I am glad that Claudine in the flickr discussions suggested a spinning pose for today as it meant I wore this skirt solely for its spin potential. I remade it about 6 weeks ago and hadn't worn it. It is fuller than I usually wear a skirt but I really liked it. The photo below shows what it was like originally. It was too long and too narrow for me. (It also came out of my binbags of fabric) It is a beautiful cotton fabric which I loved. It reminds me of lying down and looking up through a tree on a sunny day.

I cut it where it got wider and made a new waistband and side fastening. I was able to keep the hem and side seams.

Verdict? I like it. I just need to find suitable tops for it. I think it could look sweet with a retro style cardigan and blouse...
Off to do some sit ups now...just to bed really.