My Me Made May 2018

This was my first time taking part in the Me Made May Challenge, when I heard about it I was quick to sign up with little thought of how un-prepared I actually was.

I first started sewing just over 12 months ago and although I have sewn quite a few items this challenge has made me realise that I don’t have many co – ordinating outfits.

One of my downfalls is that in hindsight I have sewn very few different patterns. I have 6 delphine skirts but only 2 have been wearable throughout May, the others are either not suitable for this time of year or I have no summer tops that go with them. I also have several Coco and Molly tops but again they are either colder weather tops or lacking co – ordinating bottoms.

I definitely need to make some trousers, they are an item I wear all the time but also something I have not yet attempted – I have just bought the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers pattern so will hopefully attempt this soon.

Something else that this challenge has bought to light is that I am lacking plain items, I am guilty of buying lots of quirky patterned fabric or spots and stripes but really need some plain tops and bottoms to go with all the colourful fabrics I seem unable to resist.

I have struggled with the challenge but am also glad that I took part because it has highlighted the gaps in my sewing if I want to achieve a totally me made wardrobe. It has also shown me that I need to challenge myself a little more with some different patterns rather than repeating the same ones multiple times.

Hopefully next year I will be able to take part with more variety in the outfits I wear and less ready to wear coordinates.

I would love to know how other people found the challenge so please drop me a comment if you took part.

Joni Dress Mishap!

Like a fair majority of the sewing community I am a huge fan of Tilly and the Buttons, it was her ‘Love at First Stitch’ book that started me off on my sewing journey last year so when I heard her new book ‘Stretch’ was coming out I pre-ordered it and eagerly awaited its arrival, there are some lovely patterns in there, the Joni dress is actually one that I overlooked at first, nice as it is I wasn’t sure it was really my style but after seeing all the fabulous versions on Instagram I decided to give it a go.

I spent a day before a weekend away tracing all the pattern pieces and carefully cutting them out. I cut a size 4 my usual size for Tilly patterns and I already had some lovely polķadot viscose jersey in my stash from the Sewing Show earlier this year that I had been saving for that special project.

Refreshed after my weekend away I decided to spend a sunny Monday afternoon working on the dress.

I carefully cut around all the pattern pieces after deciding how best to lay them out on the fabric for minimal waste. At the time of cutting I did think the skirt waistline looked a little on the small side but I carried on regardless😢

It took be a couple of hours to sew the bodice together, there are techniques I haven’t used before – mainly adding the twist to the neckline and I wanted to take my time and get it right. The instructions are very good and I was pleased with the outcome. I have also gone for the flared sleeves which required a re-drafting of the original sleeve pattern, this is carefully explained and illustrated in the book and I think they make the dress look that extra bit special. Once the sleeves where added it was a case of sewing up the side seams. I then tried on the bodice for size and was really pleased with how it was looking.

Next up was sewing the front and back skirt pieces together, this is where my big mistake became very apparent! It was fairly obviously from just looking that the bodice waistline was much bigger than the skirt waistline😞 At first I couldn’t understand where I had gone wrong and wondered if I had cut out the wrong size? I took the pattern piece from the back of the book and opened it out to look again. This is when I realised my big mistake. When tracing the skirt pattern ( It is 1 piece for both front and back) I had left an edge of the pattern turned over which was 3 inches of the skirt which is ‘cut on fold’.

All in I was 12 inches short on the waistline which is a pretty big error to make (how did I not realize!) I had hardly any fabric left having only had 2 metres to start with ( the pattern suggests 2.3m) and having used extra for the flared sleeves.

After much frustration and almost throwing the whole project away I finally figured that I had just enough fabric to cut 1 skirt piece out but I would need to reduce the fullness of the piece to fit the fabric. I re-cut the skirt pattern piece to the right size and re-cut the fabric as best I could with the reduced fullness and a little bit shorter on the length.

I used this new piece for the front of the skirt and used the 2 originally pieces for the back so I now have a seam running down the centre back but amazingly it has worked and I have to say I am really pleased with how it looks. I don’t think the error is noticeable – the skirt section actually has more fabric at the back than at the front but unless I point it out I really don’t think anyone will know that it isn’t exactly as it should be. I actually love this dress style and will definitely be making another (correctly cut next time).

Lessons learnt:

Definitely measure twice, cut once and if it doesn’t look right then it probably isn’t so always re-check if in doubt.

If mistakes are made then they can usually be corrected with a little thought, more fabric and some artistic licence.

Sometimes different styles will suit me so I should try and be a little more adventurous in my sewing rather than just sticking to a few tried and tested patterns.

Has anyone else made any silly sewing mistakes, if so did you manage to save the project?

The Joni Dress along with some other fabulous patterns can be found at the link below, for anyone wanting to have a go at sewing with stretch material I would highly recommend.

STRETCH! MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE SEWING WITH KNIT FABRICS

Making Molly

Everyone needs a go to pattern in their collection and for me it is the Molly Top. The pattern is from Sew Over It and is from The Capsule Wardrobe Book. It comes with both a top and dress version with the option of short or long sleeves.

I made a couple of tunics last year which where great through the colder months but with the warmer weather finally on its way I have been looking at tee-shirts, something that can be worn with shorts or cropped jeans for the casual everyday look and this pattern is perfect. My first make was a navy/white stripe top and I was so pleased with it I knew I would make more. I picked up the fabric from a recent visit to Doughty’s in Hereford.

https://www.doughtysonline.co.uk/dress-and-craft-fabric/

Another great thing about the pattern is that is uses very little fabric, I have been stash busting some of my left-overs. The mustard/white stripe was a remnant from 3 metres of fabric I won earlier in the year in a competition on Fabcebook.

Next up was another remnant make. I recently purchased 2 metres of cute kitty fabric from Like Sew Amazing to make a Bettine Dress (details in my previous blog) and had enough fabric left over to squeeze out a Molly Top.☺️

https://likesewamazing.com/

My final Molly make was this cute striped fabric with the Slouth print from Bob Bob Bobbin, as you can probably guess a have a bit of a weakness for striped or querky fabrics so this ticked both boxes and I couldn’t resist sending for it. I only purchased a metre which was plenty.

https://bobbobbobbin.co.uk

What is your favourite pattern for stash busting? I am always looking for ideas to use up those left over pieces of fabric that lie neglected in the corner.

The pattern can be found at Sew Over It, link below:

https://sewoverit.co.uk/product/capsule-wardrobe-city-break-ebook/

Bettine again – Crazy Cats

I was a little late to the Bettine dress party but I am certainly catching up. Having only made my first Bettine last month I have just finished dress number 3😀

I have already spoken about my first make, the 2nd Bettine was made in a cotton fabric which I bought on a recent visit to Doughty’s in Hereford ( I will insert a picture below) and my lastest is another gorgeous jersey fabric. I have a love for all things cat related so when I spotted this beautiful and fun cat print at Like Sew Amazing I just couldn’t resist. This is a new fabric shop only opened last month by Sarah McKenna, for those of you who are unfamiliar with her then do check out her Instagram account and her blog where she does some great pattern reviews.

Cotton Bettine:

Cute Jersey Bettine:

There are some lovely fabrics over on her site and I was really pleased with this jersey which is a great quality and a good structure to work with, even better was the fact that with a little planning with the cutting out I had enough fabric for a Sew Over It Molly top – 2 outfits out of 2 metres of fabric is pretty good going so win win.

I think this is now the favourite of my everyday dresses, who can resist a cute cat print, I definitely can’t🐈🐈

You can find the fabric at the link below:

https://likesewamazing.com/product/navy-cute-kitty-jersey/

Sew Over It Lulu Dress

After spending last week trying to make a dress from the La Maison Victor magazine (project currently abandoned) I needed something with easier to follow instructions.

I have made a few Sew Over It patterns and find them to be very easy to follow so decided on the Lulu dress.

The fabric was from Minerva Crafts, I purchased it just after Christmas in the sales, I think it was £2.99 per metre so the overall cost was £6 The instructions state 2.2 metres but I managed with 2 metres.

I cut out a size 12 but found that I did need to take it in at the side seams so will use a 10 next time. I also found it a little loose around the back, I realise the style isn’t supposed to be fitted but thought it hung on the back too loosely so decided to add a couple of darts. Really pleased with the fit now and will certainly use the pattern again.

I did have to Google how to do the loop for the button (not something I have done before although it is very simple) but other than that a great pattern that can be put together very easily. I wish all pattern companies did there instructions so well, I am fairly new to sewing (about a year in now) and struggle with some pattern company patterns. Thank goodness for all the great Indie patterns😀

I have put a link to the pattern below:

https://sewoverit.co.uk/product/lulu-dress-pdf-sewing-pattern/

This is the video instructions for the button loop: