Saturday, 31 May 2014

MMM'14 Week 5: The Finale.

Today brings us to the end of Me Made May 2014! I've had a great time wearing me made all month. It was surprisingly easy. The hardest part was taking daily selfies, especially when I had a cold. I loved checking out participators MMM outfits on Instagram each day; their encouragement kept me going with my own pledge. This week I wore:

Day 26: Sick day. At home, wearing my Merino faux wrap Coppelia Jumper with RTW PJ Pants and long sleeve.

Day 27:  Back at work wearing my modified Colette Pattern Hawthorn Blouse with Pink wrap Coppelia Cardy and RTW work pants.

Day 28: Wearing my faux wrap Coppelia Jumper again with RTW shirt and skirt.

Day 29: Papercut Patterns Ensis Tee with opshop skirt. This was my 6th day of wearing Papercut Patterns in a row!!

Day 30:  At home on a dreary day so I cracked out my bright blue Miette Wrap skirt and red and white Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee.  Evening costume change into my Happy Emery Day Dress.

Day 31:  An easy outfit on the final day. My trusty and well worn Denim Moss skirt, striped scoop neck tee , with RTW kitty jumper.

Reflections on goal 1 wear 1 me-made garment everyday: Goal achieved. I wore a heap of my me-mades - 31 in total. A couple of these garments got repeated. The clear winner was my Denim Moss Skirt which I wore 7 times!! While I wore many repeats there were some items in my me-made wardrobe that I didn't wear at all: 
-  6 dresses: of these four weren't event/weather appropriate. I could have easily worn my two Saltspring dresses with tights but I've come to realise they don't suit me at all. Time for the opshop. 
- 1 Pair of shorts: didn't wear for obvious reasons. 
- 3 skirts: I didn't wear either my first Brown Moss Skirt or Hollyburn skirt (both unblogged) as the fabric choices for each were just ugly. These will be going in the opshop bag too. 
- 5 blouses: These weren't worn simply due to weather appropriateness. 

Reflections on Goal 2 sew at least two layering knit/stretch garments: Goal achieved. Goal overachieved!! This month I sewed 8 knit garments: 
- 1 dress: Eva Dress
- 3 tee's: Mandy Boat Tee, Ensis long sleeve Tee, and unblogged SBCC Tonic Tee
- 3 jumpers/cardy's: Coppelia Cardy and Jumper, Ensis Tee Jumper
- 1 pair of leggings: Unblogged Espresso Leggings.
Since buying my overlocker my attitude towards sewing knits has totally changed. It's so much quicker to whip up leggings, t-shirts, jumpers than it is to sew a dress with all its finishings and closures. I'm on a bit of a knit honeymoon at the moment but I'm sure I'll come back to woven fabrics very soon. 

Goodbye Me-Made-May, until next year!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

(More!) Papercut Paterns: Ensis Tee

I just can't get enough Papercut Patterns! You're probably bored silly of my Ensis Tee's and Coppelia Cardigans. I decided I'd post about the Ensis Tee again as this version turned out so dramatically different to my first.

Ensis Tee

This time I made variation 2 (curved hem) but added the sleeve cuffs from variation one. Again I cut a straight XS with no changes to the pattern and once again it sewed up like a dream on my overlocker. The fabric I used was the left over pink lightweight merino from my wrap coppelia cardy and matching blue merino. This fabric is almost as stretchy (imo) as what I used for my first Ensis Tee. However the fabric I used for the first is thinly ribbed, heavier weight and is much slouchier (technical term), it kind of wants to stretch just due to its own weight. While the pink and blue lightweight merino has great recovery.

Ensis Tee

It might be difficult to see but my first Ensis Tee fits like a jumper should, with plenty of room for layers underneath. While my new Ensis fits much more like a long sleeve Tee. Something I would wear as a layer rather than an outer garment.

Ensis Tee

I love this version just as much as my first, but think it's amazing that a single pattern with just a change in fabric can create two garments which form very different parts of my wardrobe.

Thanks very much to Jess for taking some quick photos during a work break.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Papercut Patterns: Coppelia Cardy Version 2

After making up my beloved my Pink ballet wrap Pappercut Patterns Coppelia Cardigan I jumped straight into making the newly released longer faux wrap version.
 Pappercut Pattern Coppelia Cardy
I had ample wrap overlap in my first version so decided to grade my pattern pieces back down to a straight XS. I used the left over grey merino from my Ensis Tee. Once again  I sewed the pattern with only (almost) my overlocker and once again it came together like a dream. It was a super quick make, perhaps even quicker than the wrap version as the bottom cuff goes on a bit simpler. Just one thing slowed me down.
Pappercut Pattern Coppelia Cardy

After sewing up the side seams and trying on I noticed the front wrap pieces were WAY too roomy. They sort of draped down across my chest rather than fitting around my chest. I'd already overlocked the edges - ugh! I sort seam ripped sort of cut open the seams from the bottom to just above where the wrap pieces finish (about waist height). I pulled the front bodice pieces tight, only at the short wrap sides, not at the long side, and basted the sides to see if the fit was better. As you can see in the above photo I graded the shorter wrap side out by about 1/2" at the bottom to about 1.5" at the top of the wrap. This is after already loosing some width from overlocking and seam ripping. After deciding I was happy on the fit I cut off the excess fabric and overlocked the side seams once more.

Pappercut Pattern Coppelia Cardy
I like the resulting fit, but it is still quite slouchy. I don't mind in this instance as my merino is quite drapey and slouchy itself. Next time I will probably cut the pattern pieces down before cutting into my fabric. I definitely recommend basting the side seams (at least from the waist down) and checking the front bodice fit before stitching/overlocking.

Pappercut Pattern Coppelia Cardy
I'm super happy with this jumper and I know I'll get a heap of wear out of it. Today is my third day in a row wearing coppelia cardy's. I especially love how not-homemade the wrap collar, hem and cuffs look and feel. Also, I'm going to state the obvious and say that sewing with Merino has been seriously delightful. And wearing it even better! I can see myself regularly buying up a few different shades when ever I need/want a new jumper or cardy.

Pappercut Pattern Coppelia Cardy
Thanks to Tim for quickly taking these photo before work. Please excuse my translucent face caused by morning light.

Monday, 26 May 2014

MMM'14 Week 4

Week 4 is done, so just one more week to go before the end Me Made May 2014. I've definitely become less inventive with my outfits and also less concerned with my photos. I've had a bad cold this so lots of headless shots too.

Day 19: Blue and white gingham Sorbetto (one of my first ever makes) with my black textured Teach me Fashion Drape Skirt.

Day 20: Sorbertto with sleeves and modified curved hem. RTW Skirt
Day 21: Brand spanking new Papercut Patterns Coppelia Cardy. RTW dress. This outfit made me super happy.
Day 22: Pink Floral Peppermint Mag Wrap Dress with RTW layers.

 Day 23: At home with the beginning of a bad head cold. Unblogged Grey Espresso Leggings with RTW long sleeve and Cardy.


Day 24: wearing my new Papercut Patterns Ensis Tee with the again repeated Denim Moss skirt.

Day 25: This is a total outfit repeat! Denim Moss skirt and Pink Floral Rigel Bomber.

Reflections: What a week of Papercut Patterns its been! I wore four me-made knit garments, three of which I've made this month. I think we can say I totally killed my second Me Made May goal of sewing two knit/stretch layering garments. Also, long live my Denim Moss skirt.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Papercut Patterns: Ensis Tee

After declaring my love for Papercut Patterns in general, and the Coppelia Cardy specifically, I jumped straight in to the Ensis Tee.

Ensis Tee

I cut a straight size XS in variation 1. I used a grey Merino for the bottom half and a bright purple for the top half. Both picked up in the Fabric Store sale. The purple has a slightly softer drape and is a bit stretchier.

Ensis Tee

I followed the instructions to a tee (except for using my overlocker instead of the sewing machine) and they were perfection. This is a ridiculously simple make, with so much potential for hacking, style and colour variations.

Ensis Tee

Really not much more to say about this one. I love how it turned out and I can see myself making a hole heaps of these jumpers. I'm really glad I made the straight XS. The S would have just been to roomy. My only complaint is that the purple stretches out of shape really quickly so I probably should have reinforced the shoulders with some clear elastic of stabilzer. I have a heap of the purple left so I'll be sure to remember this when I next use it.  I cut another Ensis and Coppelia this arvo in the other variations and I cant wait to get a chance to sew them up.  

Ensis Tee

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Papercut Patterns: Coppelia Cardigan

I'm still riding the knits wave, and I'm loving it more and more! A noticeable gap in my wardrobe (me-made or bought) is cardigans and jumpers. I've been eyeing off Papercut Patterns Coppelia Cardigan and Ensis Tee for ages and then the stars aligned. Papercut Patterns released a PDF version of the Coppelia Cardy, meaning I didn't have to wait for the posty and the pattern was considerably cheaper! In addition, The Fabric Store had a massive $20 Merino wool sale; I bought 7 metres. I also splurged and bought the Ensis Tee pattern in store so I didn't have to wait for the posty to deliver from NZ. It was also $1 cheaper  in store and I needed all the help I could get after buying 7 metres of Merino.

Coppelia Cardigan

I got straight into making a Coppelia cardy (version 1) from a light pink light weight Merino. Many have mentioned the looser fit of Papercut Patterns so I erred on the side of tight. I graded between and XS at the chest and shoulders and a S at the waist.

Coppelia Cardigan

There really isn't much to say about this make, the cardy came together incredibly quickly and without issue. I sewed all seams using my overlocker except for some top stitching on the bottom wrap tie. The instructions are spot on and the diagrams perfect. My experience of sewing with Papercut Patterns here and with my Rigel Bomber Jackets (1, 2) has been lovely. I cant recommended these patterns enough and I can't wait to get my hands on more of them.

Coppelia Cardigan

I love how my cardy turned out. It's perfect for wearing with my fit and flare dresses and high waisted skirts. Also, I think the fit is absolutely spot on! It's also incredibly warm, soft and comfortable. What more could you ask for?

Coppelia Cardigan

Pappercut have also just revised the pattern to include a second variation which is a longer jumper with a faux front wrap. I cant wait to dip into my Merino again to make up this jumper version along with a few Ensis Tee's. I'll be back with more knit makes soon. I  have a few woven plans as well, but the satisfaction you get from a quick knit make is winning me over at the moment. Not to mention the gaps these makes are filling in my wardrobe.  Is anyone else going on a knit bender?

Coppelia Cardigan


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Pattern Testing: See Kate Sew Callie Top

Kate, of See Kate Sew has just released a collection of new patterns. The Garden Party Lookbook includes 6 woven or knit dresses and blouses. The patterns are perfect for spring, but with the right fabric they could be very versatile. I put my hand up to pattern test the Callie Top in size small.  

See KAte Sew Callie Top

Callie is a loose fitting boxy blouse with a button down back, bias bound neckline and, best of all, a shoulder and sleeve frill. 

See Kate Sew Callie Top

I made my Callie in a soft cotton blend floral that I picked up from the North Melbourne Market. The yellow binding used for the neckline and the button both came from an opshop. Excuse more indoor photos, it's getting trickier and trickier to find time for outdoor shots when the sun is up and Tim is available to take them.

See Kate Sew Callie Top

I made my top from pattern/instructions pre final changes were made so it might look a little different to the final pattern. My opinions of the pattern are based on my own version. I adore the button down back and the frills! I especially love the shoulder frill which leads into a dart. It was really fun learning this new technique for darts and I love how it turned out. The length was spot on for me too!

See Kate Sew Callie Top

I find my final top just a little too big and boxy for me. Next time I make this top I'll  probably size down but increase the armscye depth. In the mean time I think it looks better tucked in to my high waisted jeans or skirts. When the warmer weather comes back around I'm sure I'll appreciate a looser fitting top to slouch around in.

See Kate Sew Callie Top

I really enjoy pattern testing and I've done a heap of it lately. For me there are so many pro's to pattern testing. You get to have a sneak peak of a pattern before the rest of the world. I'm quite competitive so I like sew to a deadline. I love to help and I find reviewing instructions super fun (Yes, I'm a nerd). You get to have a chat and connect with the pattern designers, and perhaps the other pattern testers. You get a little insight in to the world of pattern design. I like to use mostly stash fabric and notions for pattern testing so it helps create room and save money. It's a win-win-win situation and I look forward to doing more.

Monday, 19 May 2014

MMM'14 Week 3

Week three of Me Made May is over and I'm starting to get a little tired of trying to find unworn Me Made garments and taking photos. If you're just as bored of seeing Me Made May 14 blog posts feel free to skip this one! I'll keep it brief. 

Day 12: Wore my Gertie's Bow Tie Blouse with an opshopped pencil skirt and other RTW. Need to make more of these tops. Perhaps in some solid colours. 

Day 13: Double me-made. My Wearable Muslin Hawthorne Blouse with a Teach Me Fashion Draped Skirt. Opshopped blazer. 

Day 14: I was running late on Wednesday so I reached for my Denim Moss Skirt and paired it the RTW layers. 

Day 15: Finished off my Mandy Boat Tee that morning so it was an obvious choice, paired with Jeans(!). My first jeans wear on the month!

Day 16:  Paired my just made red Double Drape Teach Me Fashion skirt with RTW layers.

Day 17: Saturday was windy, so my Megan Nielsen Cascade Skirt (aka my butt cape) really wasn't the best chioce. I paired it with RTW layers and my denim opshoped blazer. 

Day 18: A headless kind of day. My favourite Liberty Needlecord Moss Mini with RTW layers and opshopped blazer. 

Reflections: Once again, skirts ruled my wardrobe with the occasional blouse thrown in. Given how often I wear skirts and dresses I really should invest in some coloured tights. It's nice to have some knit me-mades in the mix now that I'm giving my overlocker a work-over. I have grown particularly fond on my Drape skirts.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Double Draped Skirt: Teach Me Fashion

Ever since I made my second Teach me fashion Draped skirt (the one that fits!), I couldn't stop thinking about a simple pattern hack to make a double drape skirt so that the centre front hems cross over. These asymmetrical skirts are quite popular at the moment and I think they're super fun.

Teach me Fashion Draped Skirt

The original pattern is made up of 4 pieces: back and front pieces which are shapely rectangles, a waistband, and the draped front piece which is asymmetrical and includes 4 pleats. Both the front and back hem are straight and symmetrical, with the asymmetrical front drape piece layered on top. For this double drape version I simply cut two front drape pieces, but no front rectangle piece.

Teach me Fashion Draped Skirt

I still made up the skirt following the general order of instructions: make pleats (but on two front drape pieces), hem front drape pieces (two) and back piece, baste front pieces together, sew sideseams, make and attach waistband.
Draped Skirt

I made up a size medium out of a red ponte-like fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics. The stretch content in this fabric must be slightly less than my black textured version. It seems my thighs are trying to Hulk out of the skirt. I feel a little self-conscious in it but I love the front so much I'm just going with it anyway. I overlocked all the seams and only used the sewing machine to baste the pleats and front together and to hem the skirt using a twin needle. This skirt came together in about an hour.

Teach me Fashion Draped Skirt

Excuse the scary butt shot, but I thought it only fair to include a true representation of the fit. In hindsight, another option to make this skirt would be to cut one front draped piece normally (this will be the top drape) and then fold out the pleats in the paper pattern before cutting out the second draped piece (this would form the under drape piece). This would still allow for the asymertical centre front and side drape but wouldn't add excess bulk in the side seam with the hidden pleats. I'll know this for next time. This is a really fun skirt and I think my wardrobe could benefit from owning it in a few different colours. In the future I might just loosen the S/A a bit, or buy green fabric and pretend to be Mrs Hulk.

*Teach Me Fashion generously offered me the Draped Skirt Pattern for free. Of course, all opinions are my own.*

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Tessuti: Mandy Boat Tee

Sewing knit basics was part of my Me-Made-May'14 pledge and I've been really enjoying getting back to basics while learning how to sew with knits and use my overlocker. Because I've only really sewn with woven fabrics previously I don't own any knit patterns. Enter free knit patterns!

Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

The Cloth Shop has a really great range of good quality knit fabrics (and it's a short walk from my house!). I bought this beautiful red and white striped jersey recently with a top in mind. In the end I decided to try out the free Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee pattern. 

Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

This pattern is one size fits all. It's designed to be boxy and floaty in the torso and firm on the sleeves. I knew I'd find it just a touch too long and too boxy. I adjusted the pattern by removing 5cm from the length and 2cm from the body width front and back (this equated to 4cm front and back). The fit is still loose and boxy but I don't feel like I'm drowning in it.

Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

The instructions provided are incredibly detailed with clear photographs of every step. I wouldn't normally expect so much from a free pattern so it was a nice surprise to be hand held through the whole make. I followed the instructions exactly.

Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

Mandy took approx 1.5 hours to put together as I took it quite slow. I can see myself make a few more in different stripe and colour blocked variations.  I really like the fit. The sleeves are reasonably firm, perhaps a little too firm. I'll see how it wears over the day. You can see in the photo below that I almost pattern matched the stripes. I didn't put to much effort in to this so I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

I finished the top this morning and wore it to my sister's for morning tea. She kindly took some photos while battling the crazy wind and my niece sneakingly running towards the road.

Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee