My personal Me Made May 2019 Challenge

This year I’ll be taking part in Me Made May for the fourth year running.

Me Made May 2019 button

Last year’s participation was sporadic (or at least, the documentation was) because little Lauren arrived on the 6th of May. This year, though, I reckon I can manage to get outfit pictures every day. I know that’s not mandatory, but I do love seeing all the pics at the end and I think they’ll really help me with this year’s personal challenge. Here’s what I’m going for:

‘I, Anna-Jo, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment every day during May 2019. Furthermore, I will endeavour to wear each item in at least three different combinations to give different looks and silhouettes. I will also be making up a list of key items I could sew that would enable me to make more successful outfits from my me-mades.’ 

My main goal is to get more outfit ideas as well as to be able to plan my sewing to make my wardrobe work better. I’m definitely developing a more cohesive style and smaller, but more curated, wardrobe, which makes me  happy.

As well as the above I’m going to use Me Made May to encourage me to finish my current knitting project, Andi Satterlund’s Waters Tee. I’ve finished the hip increases so only have a few rows, the cuffs and all those ends to weave away… I’d really like it if I could be wearing it by the end of the month, but weaving away the ends is going to be a killer!

Finally, I want to make time to go through all my mending and alterations pile. This has got out of hand as family members keep giving me their old clothes saying I could make something out of them. I need to go through everything and work out if I’m going to spend the time to repair/alter it, or harvest the fabric, or send it to a charity shop, or if in fact all it’s good for is cleaning rags. Hopefully there are a few me-mades I can get back into rotation with some alterations.

Then I need to put in place a robust system so I don’t end up drowning in a pile of old clothes again. This isn’t the first time it’s happened!

Anyone else doing Me Made May? What are your goals? Please link to any posts about them so I can take a gander 🙂

Also, anyone else find they keep being given old clothes by friends and family? What do you do with them?

 

The Hoodless Hoodie – my latest Minerva Blogger Network make (Burda Style 6847)

My latest make, Burda Style 6847 (affiliate link) is now up on the Minerva Blogger Network. It’s a casual sweatshirt jacket, and it’s probably one of my favourite makes ever! You can find out all the details of sewing it up over on the Minerva Blog.

Burda 6847 knit jacket

I first saw this pattern on Dr T’s blog when she posted a huge list of patterns suitable for the Dramatic Classic Kibbe type. Without wanting to go into all the theory behind Kibbe and why I think I’m a Dramatic Classic (that’s for another post, at some point soon), the key things Kibbe says about jackets for this type is that they “should be crisp and tailored, with sharp shoulders and elongated line. If unconstructed, they should be very narrow and fall below the break of the hip.” Continue reading “The Hoodless Hoodie – my latest Minerva Blogger Network make (Burda Style 6847)”

Make Nine 2019

Although I didn’t manage to make much on my Make Nine list for 2018, I found it a really helpful planning prompt and did really well with it the year before, so I’m going with it again this year. Which is already three months gone. Ah well. That’s one garment a month for the rest of the year. I reckon I can do that!

Pinafore Dress:

Continue reading “Make Nine 2019”

My #2018MakeNine – how did I do?

Okay, this is a bit late in the year (what, it’s April already?!), but hey, better late than never. So, how did I do with my 2018 Make Nine plans?

Honestly? I didn’t do well with them, but I can see now that they were way too ambitious with another baby in the picture. Here’s the final grid:

Make Nine 2018 results

Yep, I made the Jalie 3131 nursing bra (as yet unblogged) which was a huge success as it’s really comfortable and I wear it loads, although I freely admit it’s probably not the most flattering silhouette, having a sports bra flattening kind of effect.

I also made (and blogged here!) the dressing gown, eventually going with a Vogue pattern (V8888) that was very like the Suki in terms of design, but had the advantage of coming in paper as I really didn’t need to be assembling such a huge pdf.

Other than that I have started and am about 3/4 of the way through my knitted top. I eventually went with Andi Satterlunds Waters top, knitting it in a fine linen yarn in deep plum and cream. I’m hoping to have it finished soon as I’m on the hip increase section (it’s top down), although I’m really not looking forward to weaving in all those ends!

So, that’s only (almost) three of my patterns made, but I’m good with that. I made other stuff too. Some of it might even get blogged soon. Watch this space!

Coming up next: my Make Nine plans for 2019…

The Knot Your Average Top

Okay, this is the last of my catch-up links to Minerva projects I’ve made over the last few months. Phew, now I can start writing posts about all the other things I’ve made and haven’t yet blogged!

Knot Your Average Shirt 5 out of 4 patterns

This is the Knot Your Average Shirt and Dress from 5 out of 4 Patterns and I first made it as a dress a couple of years ago as it’s one of those cunning concealed breastfeeding access patterns. You can find my full Minerva write-up of this top version here: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blog/projects/knot-your-average-shirt

I really love wearing this top and I think that’s down to two main reasons. Firstly, the fabric is incredibly soft and drapey, and it feels wonderful against my skin. Secondly, it’s a simple enough style in a neutral colour that goes with most of my wardrobe. The twist at the front adds just enough detail to elevate it above a simple black tee, but it’s as versatile as one.

My only regret with this one is that I didn’t go ahead and put clear elastic all along the neckline, as the viscose does grow slightly with wear. It’s not enough to cause a wardrobe malfunction, but it can show a little bit of bra at the centre front if I’m not careful. Mind you, nursing bras do come up high at the centre front, so it probably wouldn’t be a problem if I wasn’t still wearing these beasts.

Anyway, that’s one more wardrobe success for me, which is great. I’m definitely getting better at this “making stuff I want to wear” lark. About bloody time, really. I’ve been sewing clothes for ten years now!

Coming up on the blog next week (hopefully) — I want to catch up on some of the new year type posts I meant to do in January, but was way too busy with Daisy’s operation and its aftermath. So there will be a belated Make Nine, along with some year end round ups and a couple of challenges I’ll be attempting this year. Yay!

See you again soon

xx

The Spotty Cowl Top

Daydream Patterns Sophia nursing top

This is one of those “whoops, I thought I’d already posted this” posts! Yep, finally sharing February’s Minerva Blogger Network post over here. You can find it at: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-spotty-cowl-top

I have to admit, this is not one of my most successful makes and it’s currently in my wadder pile, hopefully to be harvested for fabric to make something more “me”. It’s not the fault of the pattern, which was really well written and fun to make. It’s not the fault of the fabric, which although a polyester (boo!) jersey is really comfortable and pleasant to wear.

It’s just… not me. I’m starting to realise this is one of the pitfalls of trying out new styles when making your own clothing. With RTW you can try it on in the shop and have a good peer at yourself in the mirror, before deciding it doesn’t suit you. With sewing you generally have to wait until you’ve basted the side seams before you realise that it makes you look like an out of style pregnant hippo. Not that this top does that. But I don’t think it’s terribly flattering on me.

In the final analysis, I think a plain fabric would have worked better, and the neckline is too high for my liking. Also, the whole top is a bit shapeless at the front. Ideal for disguising post-childbirth tummies (this has a cunning–and optional–hidden breastfeeding access design), but not so good now I’m mostly slimmed down again.

So, going forward I’m going to do my best to avoid future wadders by sticking to patterns I know work for me (hello, Cleo dresses!), or styles that I’m pretty sure will work. It might not result in the most adventurous sewing for me, but I figure I can get my fix of adventure by sewing more for the kids. I’ll have more about my personal Ottobre Sewing Magazine kids pattern challenge soon. When I get a moment to write a blog post…

Right, this afternoon I’m going to try to finish a top (black and silver stripy fabric, but taking a bit of a risk with a boat neck), and then maybe embroider or crochet a cactus. Yes, I’ve decided to take part in #The100DayProject in an attempt to get me going on some purely fun crafts again. I’m going to stick to cacti and succulents for motifs as I love them, but will have a go at making them in various different media. I reckon I’ll dust off my crochet, feltmaking and embroidery skills, as well as having a go at machine embroidery and applique. And when I’ve had enough of the textiles I might do some watercolours and drawings. Maybe even a lino cut. Who knows?

I’m hoping that by the end of the 100 days I’ll have a collection of little decorative items and pictures for making gifts and cards. And perhaps a few things for myself too. I’ve fancied a cactus pincushion for years now! Check out my Pinterest boards if you’re interested in seeing some of the things I’ve been contemplating.

See you in a couple of days with one more catch-up post for my Minerva makes.

xx

The In the Navy Bodysuit

Just popping in to share my latest Minerva Blogger Network make, the Megan Nielsen Patterns Rowan bodysuit in a lovely navy viscose jersey. You can find all the sewing details on the Blogger Network here:

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-in-the-navy-bodysuit

Megan Nielsen Rowan bodysuit in navy viscose #1

I have to admit, I was so excited about sewing a bodysuit for the first time (I’ve been thinking about making one for a couple of years now) that it wasn’t until I was almost finished that I thought, “hang on a minute, this isn’t breastfeeding friendly!” Whoops!

Still, it’s not such a problem as Lauren only feeds a couple of times during the day now. That little girl loves her food, and would rather munch down on jacket potatoes, stew, chicken korma, and just about anything else she can get her hands on. No boring baby mush in this house!

I’m thinking I need more bodysuits in my wardrobe. I want to make more skirts/trousers with a slightly dropped waistline and I need to make sure that anything tucked in stays tucked. Generally I don’t tuck in tops and just wear them hanging over the top of the bottoms, but I’d like to try this different silhouette as I think it’s flattering. Admittedly, most of my current skirts and trousers are high waisted, but going forward I’ll be sewing some a couple of inches below my natural waist.

This Rowan top is really lightweight and probably best worn as a base layer as it shows every lump and bump. The fabric is also just transparent enough to give a hint of my bra, so I reckon I’ll be making a skin-toned bra at some point soon.

However, those slight issues aside, this Rowan bodysuit is super comfortable, I really enjoyed the challenge of making it, and I can see it making the base of lots of pattern hacks with other knit tops. Yay!

I still have a couple of recent Minerva blogs to link, so expect to see them popping up this next week. Until then, happy sewing everyone 😀

xx

The Plum Pudding Cardigan

I’m finally linking the blog I wrote for the Minerva Blogger Network back in December–oops! It’s another Jalie cardigan (I’ve made two of their Drop Pocket cardigans blogged here and here) and another real winner. I love the shape of the front at the hem and those long, statement pleats down each side. My only gripe? No pockets!

I have some serious love for this cardigan. It accompanied me to the hospital back in January when I had to pack a capsule wardrobe to last two weeks while Daisy had her surgery. I can honestly say it goes with practically everything in my wardrobe, and I always feel stylish and put together when wearing it. The fabric is warm while still being fairly lightweight, and although it is now pilling a bit, it’s nothing my lint shaver can’t handle.

You can find the full post over on the Minerva site here: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-plum-pudding-cardigan

Okay, that’s all for now. I’ll be back with another backlog (back-blog?) clearing post in a few days.

Adios, amigos!

The Mother and Daughter Leggings

Why hello, my dear, neglected blog! I’m sorry I’ve not been posting, but life has been somewhat crazy around these parts and finding a few peaceful minutes to sit at the computer has been as rare as getting a decent night’s sleep.

First there was the annual craziness that is Christmas, and making it special for three children. Yeah, I’m only now starting to really appreciate all the hard work my mum put in when me and my two sisters were little.

Then on Christmas Eve we got a call from the Children’s Hospital saying that they’d had a cancellation, so Daisy could come in for surgery on the day after Boxing Day. As we’d had her surgery cancelled in early December (after spending two days in hospital waiting) down to a lack of ICU beds, we decided to take up the offer and just get it over with. It meant going into hospital on Boxing Day, and spending over two weeks living in a little room at the parent’s accomodation. Not the best two weeks of my life, but it’s over now and she’s fully recovered, with a brand new metal valve in her heart which should last her for the rest of her life.

Here’s a pic of Daisy recovering in hospital (with the hospital dog!) wearing the last make I blogged here:

Since then we’ve dealt with swine flu, various coughs and colds, and I’m now starting to feel like life is settling down again. Till the next bout of madness….

Anyway, I’ve been sewing a bit, and even managed a few blogs over on the Minerva site. I’ll be linking them all over the next few days and then start playing catch up with some of my unblogged makes from last year.

First up, here’s some Jalie Clara leggings I made for me and Daisy (pictured at the top of this post):

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-mother-and-daughter-leggings

I’ll admit, they haven’t had all that much wear since I made them, but that’s because I realised after a few wears that with fabric this stretchy, I probably should have made each of us the next size down. They are currently on the alterations pile, waiting for me to have the energy and inclination to deal with them. Not sure why I hate alterations so much, but I’m making more of an effort to power through them between other, longer projects.

I was going to write more but I now have a tired, crying baby on my lap so I think I’ll just have to accept that posts will be less than perfect, and press publish.

Ciao for now!