Sunday, 5 May 2013

Me Made May 13 Begins

 The lovely thing about an online initiative like Me Made May  is how it kick starts or reboots your interest in something.  Looking long and hard at my wardrobe has made me think more about my dressmaking- what I make, what I make it from, when I wear it etc.  I have started a whole load of new dressmaking projects since starting on Me Made May that I have been meaning to start and haven't had either the time or sufficient inclination.  On Thursday I had a day off due to local elections taking place in my work place.  The weather was beautiful, D was working from home so we had lunch together outside in town and in the sun.  Such an occasion called for a dress.
I made this last year, partly to wear for a wedding.  The pattern is a favourite of many sewing bloggers, Simplicity 2215, Cynthia Rowley.  I have made the skirt and the dress without pattern alteration, size 10 and both items are a lovely relaxed fit.    The pleats are irregular, the pockets are well deisgned with a side zip include and I forgot how comfortable this dress is to wear.  The fabric is Lotta Jansdotta's 1st Windham collection and the pattern is called Moira.  Quilting cotton doesn't always work for garments, especially tops but it was great for this dress and the skirt made from the same pattern.
On Friday, after work I wore my recently made Banksia top.
This pattern comes with a tonne of help from the designer and I found Megan helped me on Instagram too when I was going through fitting issues. The pattern is printed on thick paper which makes tracing a lot easier and a more pleasurable experience.  I drafted size XS but I am a very small cup size so I had to pinch out a lot of bust fullness and redraft- you can see the change below.  Swedish tracing paper is my favourite 'paper' for pattern redrafts and tracing.  Not easy to get hold of in the UK but worth investing in.
 The sleeves ended up being way too tight in the armscye so for this version I went sleeveless and will redraft for the next sleeved Banksia.  This pattern comes with a lot of variations on Megan's blog and ultimately the cut reflects that it can be made sleeveless and I think the armhole is tighter because of this  It will be worth the extra fitting as I was happy with the collar, placket and sides.  Here are my alterations:
  1. Trimmed the collar down all round by around 1"
  2. Bust dart lengthened and widened by fitting on myself.
  3. Only half of each placket interfaced.
  4. No interfacing in the collar.
  5. Length is quite short- I am quite short in the body too but many would need to add another inch.
    A dab of fray stoppa or fray check on the fabric between the buttonholes before you cut helps neaten the loose ends.
    Next a pattern I've been waiting to make for ages, Simplicity 6789 vintage 1974.  Wrap round skirt with pockets and button detail.  An easy make.  I chose a yarn dyed poplin and found a great lightweight cotton lawn interfacing here which is a pleasure to use and doesn't bobble and blister!  It was very lightweight for this but it works for me.
I wore it down the beach today- a little breezy for a wrap round, even though this has a lot of fabric round the back I did have to hold it down when walking around close to the sea, sparing everyone flashes of my lily white booty.
I skipped buttonholes and used poppers under the two fastening buttons.
The sides of the waistband dip down adding extra shaping and I added topstitching to turn the seam edges in on the inside of all the side/front seams and add more detail on what is a simple skirt in a simple fabric.
I made medium size 12-14 (vintage sizing is always small so I think this is more of a 10-12 in today's sizing.  It is an easy fit but I would rather have that than tight and I like my skirts to sit below my natural waist.  The top is from a brilliant Craftsy class that I would wholeheartedly recommend, Sewing with Knits by Meg McElwee.  If you sign up for Craftsy emails they regularly send offers and this class includes 5 knit patterns.  I found the fit was perfect for me, size XS, I am very small on my top half (size 8-10).  The fabric is a beautiful viscose Liberty jersey sent to me by the lovely Leila.  I have been making some more jersey tops so I will do a post sharing a few things that I found to take the fear away.  Once you get started, sewing knits is so quick and I find a lot less to worry about in terms of fit. 
And in the world of other sewing, I have been working on a Liberty/Oakshott Impressions Diamond Ring Quilt- a slow but steady project- more of that another post.
And another Maggie bunny as a birthday gift for my granny, very well received!
sib blog


  1. Tee hee hee, lilly white booty... Still, the outfit looks great, even if it has revealing properties ;o)

  2. Beautiful clothes, I love every thing and ohhhhh that dress! You look beau-ti-ful!!!
    Such a fabulous seamtress you are!

  3. You have reminded me of a similar vintage skirt pattern I have in my stash - it may be time to crack it open and get sewing! :)
    And thank you for the thumbs up on the Craftsy course - 5 patterns included? Fab!

  4. You make the most gorgeous things - clothes, rabbits, quilts...everything!

  5. I just bought fabric to make the Simplicity 2215 dress - do you think it would be possible to eliminate the zipper since the dress buttons down the front? I am just being lazy and wondering what I can get away with!


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