Well #mmmay17 has certainly kicked off with a bang this week for all taking part! As this is my first time, I was keen to ensure I kept to my pledge and also to follow up each week with a ’roundup’ to evaluate what I’ve achieved or learnt from the process. Here is my first weeks instalment.
If you follow me on Instagram, you will see that not only did I wear ‘me made’ clothes for my pledged three days of the first week, but also managed to post a bonus day:
As you know I decided to be cautious on committing too many days due to being in the early stages of growing my handmade wardrobe. I was really chuffed to have the confidence to go for a fourth day, which surprised me. Not sure this will happen every week though.
From the top left, I pulled out my Deer and Doe Bruyere Shirt, made with a beautiful grey (with flex of white) cotton chambray fabric from Guthrie & Ghani. I made this a couple of years back and was the first proper shirt I’d ever made. I don’t have a post on this but will tell you that the pattern instructions are so well written, that I found this came together beautifully – even though it has more pattern pieces than I’ve ever dealt with in my life! Sizing was spot on and due to my pear bottom, I needed to grade up on the bottom flare piece from the waist, to ensure it fell nicely over my hips and didn’t cling. I learnt new skills from making this (collars, cuffs, multiple buttonholes, plackets, fit and shape) and it gave me a huge amount of confidence as I really love every aspect of this shirt/tunic. Sadly, I have had this hiding in my wardrobe for the past three months as red hair dye got on the shirt accidentally at the hairdressers (I think water dripped from the towel) and even after using fabric dye (grey) to get rid of the marks, they still remain in full view on the right front (see pic below), on the left sleeve and a little on the back.
Not easy to cover up sadly. As such, I wanted this to be my first outfit to make an appearance on me-made-may-17, as I really don’t want to get rid of this gorgeous top, so I asked the lovely IG community for help. I was astounded by the response and suggestions to bring this shirt back in to my regular wardrobe. The sewing and craft community truly are an amazingly talented and generous group of people. Suggestions of embroidery, lace and applique to cover the stains came flooding in and all these I am considering carefully. First I am going to try Andrew @bustersew‘s suggestion of doubling up the dye quantity and increasing the salt to see if that works in the end. I shall keep you up to date on progress as soon as I get the dye. Finger’s crossed it works! For now here is a few pictures of what the shirt looked like pre-stain:
My second me-made outfit of the week (bottom left), was my lovely comfy cowl neck renfrew top, made with a gorgeous fleece backed jersey from Gurthrie and Ghani again! Full details of this make are on the blog here. I wear this a lot at home for casual days and sewing days. It’s an easy throw on top and keeps me cosy when there is a chill in the air.
For the third outfit of the week (top right), I pulled out my Deer and Doe Aubepine dress, made with this beautiful rust/orange, with flex of navy and white, cotton lawn from………………yes you’ve guessed it – Guthrie and Ghani! I don’t think it’s available anymore as I can’t find it on their website. I’ve never worn this colour before and when I picked this out on a visit to their shop two years ago, I knew it would look great with the Aubepine pattern. Once again no blog post on this as made pre-blog. However, once again instructions are superb and sizing spot on. As it’s an empire line dress, no adjustment was necessary for me as the bust size I needed created a beautiful fit on the neck, shoulders and chest, and gave plenty of room below the empire line to fall over tum , hips and bum. Super flattering for all shapes and sizes and avoids the whole ‘pregnancy look’ you find with some empire dresses. The dress is fully lined and has beautiful tucks on the chest and sleeves to add interest, which were both firsts for me at the time. The instructions gave a proper hand hold to these procedures and I finished the dress once again more confident and more experienced.
For the bonus round (bottom right), rather impromptu, I pulled out my cream silk cami, full post on this and the other one I made here. Now this didn’t fit me after making it due to sizing and none fitting issues and I had been feeling rather sad that I made such beautiful cami’s that I couldn’t wear and were sitting in my wardrobe gathering dust. The me-made challenge brought them to my attention to decide what I was going to do with them (gift them to family or friends, try and adjust them somehow or give to charity). I thought I should try one on, just in case. Guess what?………It fit! I know I haven’t lost weight (I don’t think so anyway), so I’m unsure of this miraculous turn of events. Even so, I now have another top I could wear and decided to pull out my ‘go-to’ summer cover-up – my navy print kimono, made from a scarf no less, to wear over it! I love the drape and style of this kimono and it was really easy to sew together. I will try and do a tutorial this month for you on how to make one, but you can find these on YouTube if you can’t wait until then.
Feeling really happy that I extended my pledge on my me-made outfits this week, I turned my attention to the next part of my pledge, to sew one item on my to-do list each week. So far, I have failed on this. I have a reason though. I had adjusted my toile for the Sew Over It Anderson Blouse pattern this week and was all set to cut out and make it by now however, the fabric I bought from them for it (a gorgeous mustard luxury crepe), was riddled with thread faults through the whole two meters! I hadn’t check the fabric until I started to iron it on Wednesday. I was hugely disappointed however, Sew Over It were extremely apologetic and assured me this was a one-off oversight and I am sending it back for a replacement two meters. Hopefully I will be able to finish the blouse next week and perhaps finish another make to bring me up to date on my making pledge.
After this mostly productive start to the me-made-may challenge, what have I learnt so far?….
- I shouldn’t forget about all the lovely handmade clothes I already have and still love. These need to be worn more and in terms of my shirt/tunic, repaired to continue the enjoyment of wearing them.
- I need more ‘casual bottoms’!! Handmade jeans are becoming more and more necessary in my wardrobe staples, along with making my own leggings for normal wear and for my dance and yoga classes.
- I should make more of the patterns I know I already love and focus on patterns that suit my style from pattern companies that I trust on sizing, quality of design and instruction.
- I need to focus on what is right for me and my to-do-list and stop being distracted by every new pattern I see on IG. The community makes are amazing but I need to learn to appreciate those without being distracted from what I want to achieve myself and learn to take my time and enjoy my sewing journey.
- This community of sewers, knitters, crafters etc are an amazing, inspiring and supportive bunch of people and I am so lucky to be part of it. You guys are awesome.
Going forward in to week two, I am already thinking about what I want to wear, what I need and what doesn’t factor in my style anymore. If you are taking part in this challenge, what have you learnt so far this week? If you aren’t taking part, I would also love to hear your thoughts on how you organise your wardrobe. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the weekend.