Monthly Archives: May 2015

My first Me Made May – a brief recap

I know there are mixed feelings out there about Me Made May, but I was kind of excited to participate in it for the first time this year, because this is the first year I’ve felt like I actually have enough self made garments to make it plausible.

That said, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do daily photos, but since the point of MMM is not necessarily to share your daily outfits, but to challenge yourself and learn something, I did want to find a way to make it worthwhile. So I decided to keep a journal, noting what I wore, and what (if any) lessons I learned along the way.

The lessons I learned were interesting. Early on I realized I wasn’t going to be able to put together an interesting variety of cute outfits like many bloggers do. I simply don’t make certain aspects of my wardrobe. Like t-shirts. I wear them all the time, with everything, but I don’t make them. Why? It begged the question: is having self-made items the important part for me?

The honest answer is that I didn’t get into sewing because making is the important part. I got into sewing because first and foremost, I was tired of never being able to feel good in my clothes. I could never find anything that fit me properly, in fabrics and styles that felt like me. I also make for the joy of learning, and I’ve found myself being stuck in a bit of a planning rut at times, following a list I made instead of making what feels right. I’ve begun to change that, and follow my instincts instead, which is working out quite well 🙂

Ultimately, knowing it’s handmade is a bonus for me, not the main goal, so if areas of my wardrobe are not covered, it’s not a big deal (ie: tees, workout wear, lounge wear, bras & undies). That said, with thought and attention, I’m beginning to notice where these “missing” areas could use improvement, i.e.: the length in my pj pants (which, like trousers, in RTW, are always at least 3″ too short LOL)

I had pledged to wear at least one self made item per day. Except for two days in the beginning, I was able to achieve this. That said, there were a LOT of repeats. I mean, a LOT. As in, if it wasn’t for those PJ’s I made, I would have only made it about half the time. The rest of the time saw me choosing comfortable, easy basics and separates most of the time. Other than my PJ’s I wore my Alexandria trousers to death (I even inspired a woman at the fabric store to make a similar pair!! LOL)

Inspired for my obvious need for easy-to-wear basics, I also managed to sew a couple new things while I was over-wearing my favourites LOL. I made a pair of black linen trousers (unblogged), a white acetate cami (self drafted, shown below) and another Mission Maxi from some delicious bamboo knit (my beloved black one needs a break after being over-worn every summer for the past three years LOL.)

Mission Maxi in stripy bamboo jersey

Mission Maxi in stripy bamboo jersey

stripe matching win! not so easy in jersey :P

stripe matching (almost) win! Not so easy in jersey 😛

self-drafted cami in white acetate

self-drafted cami in white acetate

getting better at the narrow hem!

getting better at the narrow hem!

So I feel like it was worth my while to participate in Me Made May. It challenged me to put some extra thought into why I make things, and what I should focus my attention (and precious time) on, going forward. I have also learned to let go of my very rigid and structured way of planning things, and allow myself to make what I FEEL like making, because ultimately, those are the things I enjoy both making AND wearing… and really, in the end, if it’s not enjoyable, what’s the point? 🙂

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Black Sheep PJ’s for Mum’s Day

My beautiful mum loves sheep, and she has always said she is the black sheep of her family… and while our family was considerably smaller, I grew up feeling the same way. My mum taught me it was ok to be different, and sometimes even a good thing; as long as your values are solid, which because of her, they are 🙂

So for Mother’s Day this year I was inspired by this fabric from Blackbird – it’s a Japanese cotton with little sheeps all over it – I thought, what if I made her some pj pants, and coloured in just one little sheep to represent her black sheep persona? 🙂

And what if, I made myself a matching pair so we could be black sheep together as mum and daughter?

So with this idea germinated I went forth and did just that 🙂

(pic of me in mine… no pic of mummy in hers, but she was pleased with them nonetheless)

sheeps

Closeup of the two black sheeps:

black sheep

I did some test sheep first, to decide what medium to use to colour them in, and did a wash test to determine which would wash the best. I chose to use acrylic because it gave a kind of wooly look once it had been washed:

washed-sheep

And just because it’s been a trend lately, I’ll include another pic of Lola:

lola-in-a-box


It’s Elementary, My Dear

So no big deal, I just sewed a bra & stuff 😉

  

Yes, this is the oh-so famous Watson by Amy of Cloth Habit 🙂

Because of my love of corsetry, I have been tempted to try sewing lingerie for awhile but nothing has motivated me enough to actually DO it (I hate sewing knits lol) until I saw this pattern. They just don’t make soft cup bras for large cup sizes, so I was really intrigued to see how the fit & support worked; at least for lounge purposes.

According to pattern I’m a 36F, but there were no pattern pieces for that so since my RTW size is 36DD I cut a 36E.

It is still a little big: there are some vertical drag lines at the top of the cup (which you can see more on me than on Patience); a little gaping under the arm & the top of the cup sits a little too high: all indications I need to go down a size, according to the sewalong – so next time I’ll try a 36D.

Construction was pretty straightforward: the instructions are thorough, illustrations were spot on, and really clear & helpful. However (as a noob) I was still a bit confused on the strap construction. My straps ended up too long, for one thing: there is a guideline for length at the beginning but no provision for adjusting later if you’re like me & do something wrong lol: I inserted it through the slider wrong like a dope, so I just went back & fixed it after I smartened up 😉

Also, the outside gives a nice finish with the topstitching but there is no accommodation for inside seam finishing in the pattern so my insides look a bit messy; no biggie but I might serge my edges before construction next time.

As a side note, I later discovered quite a bit of extra info was all covered in excellent detail on the sewalong including fit adjustments & more details on construction. Very helpful & answered some of my lingering questions after I’d finished 🙂

I did find when attaching the cups to the cradle that I had 1 cm extra on the cups at the side seams; I ripped out & inserted the first cup twice, ensured the center notches were matched, and I still had this on both sides so not sure if the pattern has an error? I trimmed them off flush with the band & it worked fine 🙂

The nitty gritty: it’s comfortable – much more so than an underwire bra lol. Support for large cup size is not bad! – definitely less than what an underwire bra gives, but more than braless lol; it gives a more natural silhouette – kind of “support lite” – definitely nice for lounging & looks seamless under tshirts.

The back sits quite low and the front is a nice deep V, which i quite like; would be great option for a lower cut dress in front or back; something I’ve never even considered as a larger cup size since the only other option is braless and that’s not an option at all lol.

One last thing: my supplies 😉 I want to shout out to Caroline from Blackbird Fabrics – I purchased one of her kits to make this one & not only was it lovely & of great quality, she is just a peach to deal with 🙂 I love being able to support a local company and my credit card hasn’t cooled off since my first purchase there lol 😉

In conclusion: my first foray into bra making was pretty successful! I learned a lot and am looking forward to perfecting my fit (I’ve started critiquing my RTW bra fit now too lol) 🙂 I also really loved that it was so space friendly: tiny pieces mean less fabric consumption too, and there was still enough room for Lola to share my sewing table ^_^