MMJ, the end… phew!

Me Made June 2011 is now officially over. I’m going to be honest with you, this has  been harder than I thought it would be. While I do wear most of the items that I make, I clearly don’t make enough winter items or things to wear with jeans. The reality of my life, is that jeans are a wardrobe staple when hanging out with the kids. I did try to make a couple of tee’s this MMJ, but failed and I’m willing to put the desire to make t-shirts behind me for a while and concentrate on other things I’d like to make. After the two failed t-shirts I actually hit the shops for the first time in months and purchased some new tops, so there’s no need to make anything in that department for a while.

I have just four more outfits to show you and like other MMJ posts, I have failed somewhat in wearing and recording my wardrobe.

Yesterday, 30 June – Sewing day!

I thought I’d go out with a bang on the last day of MMJ and wore my new wrap dress, blogged yesterday and I’ve recycled a photo from yesterday. I spent most of the day at home, so didn’t test the new dress in public, but I did spend a portion of the day sewing and was about to maneuver around my sewing space cutting, pressing and sewing in comfort, without any wardrobe malfunctions. I really love this dress and can’t wait to make another sleeveless version in summer.

Wednesday, 29 June

Just a simple outfit that you’ve seen in MMJ before. Me Made denim beignet skirt blogged here and I can see a me made hair clip there too, details from here.

Tuesday 28 June

Another repeat outfit, the blanket tova which is super cosy on cold days. Details blogged here.

Monday, 27 June – No handmade, no photo! The days where I have the kids all day, plus lots of errands to run are always more difficult.

Again, I’ve failed a day, but I’m cool with that.

Look MMJ has been hard, but it has been a good experience. I’d love to say that I’ve resolved to think about what I need to make before I make things, but sewing is my hobby and it’s meant to be enjoyable. While I love to make things that we really need and save some money, I still love to make things just for the hell of it, you know, to learn and to be challenged. Sometimes that means that this things I make don’t get worn very much, but I’m OK with that.

Tis all for now. Happy sewing!

Vintage Simplicity 5034

One dress down, four more to go. I did have a head start on this dress though. I’m extremely happy with how this dress turned out and I just love the Liberty fabric!

Just to remind you of the pattern this is the envelop and the description of the design: “Simplicity 5034; ca. early 1960s; Misses’ Wrap-Around Dress in Two Lengths: Dress laps at the back forming V-shaped neckline. Front neckline is rounded and slightly lowered. Bodice is fitted. At waistline, tie ends are sewn to back opening edges and tie in a bow at front. Inverted pleats conceal side pockets. “

The pattern has some lovely details which I think make it extra special, unfortunately they do get a little lost in this fabric. The skirt is formed with a series of pleats, some over others, to create this lovely soft pleated look. I think it is a particularly wearable skirt style, not too full and not slim, just perfect!

There are also pockets, which are created with a butterfly-like pattern piece that was stitched to the middle of one of the skirt panels, not the side seam. They actually sit a little further back from the side of the dress, which I guess helps prevent the pockets creating extra bulk to the hip area. Then a couple more pleats hide the pocket.

The back wrap sits quite nicely and only gapes if I stand with over-corrected posture, which I guess I’ll try not to do.

Modifications I made to the pattern:

  • slightly lowered the centre of the front neck. It makes me feel too constrained when a neckline sits above my collarbone
  • shortened the dress by quite a few inches
  • reduced the bust darts slightly and graded up the waist for fitting purposes
  • I used a contrast fabric for the waist tie. I really think this fabric needed to be broken up a bit and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a bit of a fan or contrast waist detail, just to try to create a waist where no waist exists. The sash was made with cotton sateen, which I found at Lincraft, but only after trawling through all the ribbon and fabric at Spotlight and Tessuti first. I think I would have preferred a grosgrain ribbon tie, but this is nice.
  • I top stitched the whole bodice as I did have a bit of trouble with the facings popping out, even after under stitching. I’m happy to do this though, as it isn’t terribly noticeable and it does provide a little extra wearing security in relation to the facings. I think next time I make this I’ll fully line the bodice.
  • I also modified the sleeves. The pattern includes quite long and fitted sleeves, which were impractical, so I slashed the sleeves of my muslin and re-cut the pattern to accommodate the extra ease. I had a few problems easing in the sleeves. I ran two rows of gathering and tried twice, but still ended up with a slightly gathered sleeve cap. I thought I was a bit of an expert at setting in sleeves, especially after all the Tova dresses I’ve been making, but this one got me. It looks nice though and they are even, so they now are gathered cap sleeves.

The fabric is Liberty tana lawn called Tatum and it was delightful to sew with. I really adore this dress and aim for make at least one other for summer. The only thing I need to do is learn how to tie a nice bow for the front ties. I tried at least 20 times before taking these photos – any tips??

Happy sewing!

The ever-growing ‘to sew’ list

I realised just this week, that I have only five more weeks of uni holidays. That’s five weeks of a few extra daycare days, some of which I’ll have to myself, some to work and others for family commitments, but still more time than normal to tackle sewing projects.

While I’ve been on holidays, my sewing list has grown exponentially. Like quadrupled! So, in order to maximise my output during these weeks, I think I’m going to set myself a bloggy challenge.  I’m going to sew at least one dress per week for the next five weeks. Exciting right?? I’m one of those goal oriented people, once I’m aiming for something, things get done, so this is the best idea for using some of my recent fabric purchases.

I should note that this personal challenge also includes finishing up all the UFOs that I noted in this post, except the silk skirt, that one will be put in the wardrobe until I think it’s worth it.

So my sewing list for the next few weeks includes:

1. Vintage Simplicity 5034 Back Wrap Dress

I’ve had a head start on this frock, as I started it a little over a week ago, so I may actually make a 6th item during my last few weeks of holidays to make up for it. The project stalled as I was unhappy with the sleeves and the darts weren’t working so great. Since then I’ve fixed the bodice darts (it was my fiddling with them that ruined them) and the sleeves now work. Hopefully this will be finished tomorrow.

2. Vintage 1970’s Simplicity 7882

I intend on making this frock out of double gauze from Nani Iro, which is pictured. Clearly this is a summer frock, but I think I should still be able to wear it with a slip and tights when cold, so it seems OK to be on my current ‘to do’ list.

3. Vintage Simplicity 3523

I’m so in love with the slim line frock style in this pattern. The dress has princess seams, kimono sleeves and a cute front pocket. I have purchased this lovely Japanese cotton for the dress from Tessuti and while it’s quite textured and a little heavier than I would have liked, I think it will still work. I like the idea of vintage style dresses in modern fabric, just like this one I made earlier this year. I’m really looking forward to making this dress in particular, so might make a toile this week.

4. Vogue 8728 – vintage re-issue

I haven’t always planned to make this dress, but I think this pattern is nice. I also know that I won’t have as much anxiety cutting in to this fabric as I didn’t pay excessively for. I need to wait for this pattern to be delivered though, so this dress probably won’t make it off the production line for a few weeks.

5. Vogue 8469

I think this will make a good work dress. I have a big prac teaching block coming up at the end of the year, so need to make sure there are nice, easy to wear and care for clothes in my wardrobe. Seriously, how on earth will I get all three kids fed and dressed with lunches packed each day before 8am?? The fabric pictured is a lovely stretch cotton sateen, from Tessuti. As I need to wait for this pattern to arrive, this may not begin for a few weeks.

Other items that I’d like to fit in during this time, but it’s not likely:

6. Knock-off Emerson Made jeans.

I now have denim, so once I get time, I can begin trying to make these.

7. Tea dress

Simplicity 2180, sleeveless with a full back, reminds me of this stunning dress style by SoHo Made on Etsy. I think it would look lovely made up in this Japanese dobby cotton by Nani Iro, which you can get from Matabi. Clearly though, this would be a summer frock and not very work-friendly, so it would be silly to commit to making this right now.

8. A cape for me

I’ve been thinking about making a cape for a while. I have the above pictured wool in my stash, which I purchased last year from My Hung. I have been searching the Internet for a cape pattern which I can modernise, so I don’t feel too odd wearing a cape, but nothing yet. I do own a cape pattern that was given to me, but it’s from 1981 and that’s just too hard to make cool, unless you are 17 or something. Tessuti released their New York cape pattern last week and I like the styling, but am not sure about the binding.  Do you have any suggestions for a cape pattern? What do you think about capes on adults, are they cool or not-cool?

9. The UFO gift for a friend.

I mentioned this frock in this post. It must get made for this particular friend before her belly grows so much she can’t wear it.

10. Jacket for Adele

I’ve had this pattern and fabric for over a year now. I should make this for her before winter ends right??

So there it is, my sewing wish to-do list. I think it’s ambitious for the time that I have, but now that it’s here, hopefully it will get done. At a minimum, I will sew at least 5 frocks over the next five weeks. Hopefully the next time I’m back here I’ll have the first dress to show you.

Happy sewing!

Another Tova and MMJ Catch Up

So I’ve crammed some time at the machine to make another Tova. Seriously, I love this pattern. Even though it’s just a loose fitting tunic or top, there’s something about the way that the fabric drapes from the front yokes that makes it quite flattering, almost giving a little definition to the waist without being fitted.

This one is made from Japanese cotton with a woven check. I picked this fabric up from the Quilt show last week, so naturally it wasn’t cheap. In defence of this purchase and the cost, I know this Tova will be an easy go-to outfit.

I cut the front yoke on the bias for a little interest. I’m very pleased with how well this tunic turned out and I was able to sew it up during two nap breaks – so less than 3 hours over two days.

I also cut the sleeve bands on the bias. I wore this dress yesterday to the park with the family for a BBQ and it was easy to wear and comfortable enough to sit and run and have fun.

Now to Me Made June. Look I’m going to be honest, I’m losing momentum with this. While I would love to wear handmade every day, it’s not always practical and I feel like I’m wearing the same outfits over and over again. I think this type of challenge would be far easier in Summer, as most of my sewing is for warmer weather. I’m also struggling to take photos every day. Sometimes the kids don’t allow me the time to sneak upstairs for a pic and sometimes I don’t do my hair or make up, and I’m really not cool with posting completely unstyled photos on my blog.

Anyway, I’ll persevere. I’m almost at the end.

Sunday 26 June – BBQ at the park with the family

New Tova in Japanese cotton, as described above

Saturday 25 June – Play date at the park with friends

New denim Beignet skirt. I haven’t blogged my pattern review of this skirt as I’m not 100% happy with it. I started making it a couple of months ago when Rachel bought the pattern. I chose a size based on my waist size, then quickly realised it was going to be too big everywhere else. So it sat and collected dust for a while.

Thanks to last weeks UFO post, I finally forced myself to finish it. I had to re-shape the hips and reduce the size of the front panels. I also shifted the buttons as far as I could to get a better fit. I think I’ve also lost some weight in the last couple of months which didn’t help my fitting concerns. As I had already given the pattern back to Rach, I guessed the number of buttons and made my own belt carriers without the instructions.

It’s a wearable skirt, but I definitely made the wrong size and didn’t pay enough attention to detail to make it an awesome skirt. Maybe next time.

Friday 24 June – No photo! No handmade. It was just too hard today after a  bad night with Adele.

Thursday 23 June – Quilt Show

Comfort was critical today as I knew I’d be walking all day. I accessorized my outfit with my Queen Anne’s Lace scarf, blogged here. (Look at that mess behind me!)

Wednesday 22 June – UFO day

Flannel Tova. This is super warm and easy to wear. Details blogged here.

Tuesday 21 June – Coffee with friends and a little fabric shopping

Denim skirt blogged here. Styled the same as here. This is such an easy outfit to wear. I’ll post later about my fabric acquisitions!