Me Made May 2016 – I'm finally taking part!

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 ‘I, Anna-Jo, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment or accessory each day for the duration of May 2016.  I also pledge to take photos of each outfit and post them on my blog as weekly roundups.’

So, after a couple of years of wishing I had enough everyday me-made clothing to take part in Me Made May, I’m finally giving it a go. I’m hoping that wearing something handmade every day will prove an enjoyable challenge, and am anticipating the following results:

  • Getting a better idea of how to creatively style my existing clothes, both handmade and RTW, using accessories and new combinations. And lots of scarves, probably.
  • Getting up to speed with using the DSLR, tripod, and my new garden (moving house on Wednesday–eek!) to take my own outfit pics.
  • Using the photographs to help make some tough decisions about which clothes are unflattering and ready to be donated/refashioned.
  • Coming up with a summer sewing plan to plug any wardrobe gaps I notice during the month. Practical sewing, not party sewing!

At the moment I’m using the prospect of MMMay to spur me on to finish my long-hibernating brown knitted cardigan, and to get going on a few simple makes I know I could do with. First up are a grey Plantain tee and a brown corduroy Osaka skirt. All fabrics from my stash. Now if only I could spend the next hour sewing, but I suppose I’d better get packing for the move… *Sigh*

*Stares longingly at sewing machine*

*Glares at stack of flatpacked cardboard boxes*

Anyone else out there ready to take up the #MMMay16 challenge?

Dad's nightshirt – Kwik Sew 2650

A Wee Willie Winkie style nightshirt for my dad.

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Headless shot of a very ill Andy doing some last-minute modelling for me.

This is a nightshirt I made for my dad for his birthday in January, following repeated requests for another one. Apparently long nightshirts for men are impossible to buy, and my dad likes them really long. He’s six foot, so I had to add another six inches to the length to get it where he wanted it.  I made the first version of it in a gorgeous tartan doublecloth about seven years ago when I was just getting started with garment sewing, and I remember it being fairly straightforward, so a likely candidate for a gift with my limited sewing time.

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And here’s the back. Not going to get cold legs in this. Especially not over trousers…

Continue reading “Dad's nightshirt – Kwik Sew 2650”

Pencil skirts galore!

My quest to find the perfectly fitted knit fabric pencil skirt…

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Skirt #2, complete with boots that really don’t go with the rest of the outfit. Ah well. Them’s the breaks when you don’t have a full length mirror by the front door.

This post is a tale of two skirts, in my quest to get a perfectly fitted and comfortable knit pencil skirt. A pencil skirt might not seem all that practical when looking after a toddler, but I much prefer a straight or pegged style to a full skirt. And provided it’s short and stretchy enough, with thick tights or leggings underneath it can be a really versatile item of clothing perfectly suited to getting down on the floor and playing.

The first version I made was using some plain black ponte from Minerva. I used the free pattern at So Sew Easy as I liked the look of the four panels and topstitched seam lines, although I knew these wouldn’t be so obvious in just black.

It was a qualified success. I loved how easy it was to sew and think I did a really good job on the topstitching and twin needle hemming, but it really didn’t fit well as you can see by all the pull lines in the photos (taken back in the summer). I think this was down to me getting really confused about what size to cut. I measured the pattern pieces but the one suggested by my measurements looked like it would be huge, so I cut down a couple of sizes to one with a small amount of negative ease. What I didn’t realise until after sewing it was that ponte should be treated more like a stretch woven, with a minimum of no ease rather than negative ease. Continue reading “Pencil skirts galore!”