Monday, 3 June 2013

End of Me-Made-May 13

I have absolutely loved Me-Made-May-13 and I am so grateful to Zoe for organising this initiative.  I have found it encouraging and inspiring to see so many others make their own clothes- a huge range of locations too!  It gave me a sense of direction making my own clothes and althought the UK weather was rather chilly for much of May, I wore things that have been hiding neglected in my wardrobe and discovered again once more.  The self photography is challenging and everyone's least favourite aspect but I did give my daughter a chance to sharpen her photography skills whether she liked it or not.  
This outfit is a couple of favourites, old and new.
The skirt is Simplicity 2215, one of my favourite patterns ever, read more about it here.  The top is from Meg McElwee's Craftsy Sewing with Knits class and although a recent make, I wear this a lot.  
It was colder mid week so I wore a warmer corduroy skirt, Simplicity Amazing Fit 1717 with last years voile Tova- rather depressingly boots and socks had to come out for this day.  You might notice that Lottie doesn't like to miss a photo op.
On Thursday, sun shone so a return wear for vintage Simplicity 6789 wrap skirt.  This is skirt has had lots of wear already and it is only a few weeks old.  Although it is a vintage pattern, this one comes up a lot on Etsy and ebay.  The blouse is last years' 'Library' blouse (Christine Haynes pattern class on Craftsy).  I like the detail on this but it has always been big in the bust so I refitted the dart and made it a lot longer and also removed the bow.  The neck line is a 60s shape and is cute but not the most flattering cut for me.  The tucks are my favourite part of this top.  The bag is Me-Made too.
I finished Me-Made-May-13 with a new dress. 
This dress came about with a little detective work.   I found a homemade dress at a car boot sale last summer that was the perfect fit.  After hours, days, weeks  a little browse on Etsy, I found the pattern, Simplicity 6329 that matched the dress and in my size.  View1.  It is an economical pattern, omitting the ties meant I could fit it into 2 metres of fabric with a little to spare.  I knew a black floral worked so I chose a Shelburne Falls floral print bought from here.  I had some thrifted vintage cotton bias binding.  I find early 70s styles work well for me- fitted at the bust and flowing over the hips works well on my body shape.  I cut an inch longer than the original.

So far so good.  Fitted around the bust well, only a little extra fullness which is acceptable for me- if I fit too closely it can look a bit skinny.  I added a little button detail to highlight the bodice detail which is harder to see in darker fabric.  I took the sides in 1/2" each side.  
I took my time on the zip and consulted my sewing bible and followed every tedious stage of 'centred zip'.  It took a while but it did work.
You can see the 3 sewing stages here- hand basting, machine basting and then top sewing.  It was a pain to do but it is the best centred zip I have ever done and as this is a long and visible area all down the centre back, I wanted to nail it.  I did notice something else in this picture that I have learnt during May: I am round shouldered so my shoulders come forwards a little. I am stretching my back and shoulders a little more and trying to correct my posture (when I can be bothered).  It is something to consider for future pattern fitting.
All fine, fitted nicely- then I did the armholes, trimming and binding and found the sides were way to big and that I hadn't looked very objectively at the fitting stage.  So I pinned and took it in more graduating to the hip as you can see in the line of pins below (Me-Made PJ pants are in the pic too!).

I did end up with a perfect fit eventually.  A couple of lessons learnt.  If I had traced the pattern I could then have trimmed my pattern for next time- I will make this again.  As I used the master piece I took notes of all the changes in a book that I keep for this very purpose.  If you regularly  make clothes I would wholeheartedly recommend this- so helpful!
I fulfilled my original promise and wore Me-Made garments at least 3 days a week, often more.  I made more than my suggested 3 garments and there is more in the pipeline.  I chucked out old clothes that I no longer need to make space for new makes.  I put a lot more effort into my choices so my old faithful- a long denim skirt hardly got worn at all. My percentage of homemade clothing is a lot higher and now I feel more confident with sewing knits, I know that I will be making a lot of long sleeved and short sleeved Tee tops- these are the bedrock of my usual wardrobe.  I am planning another Bleuet dress- this time in Melody Miller 'Vinyl' floaty linen to wear at Fat Quarterly retreat and my original Bleuet is my top make for this month- I love it.  More PJ pants are needed to show construction details for teaching at Retreat.  And then I have a couple of quilts that need to be done so busy busy- I like being busy.
My other Me-Made posts can be found here:
The Flcikr group is full of inspiration if you need ideas for patterns and makes.
sib blog


  1. Lovely doggy, we have one the same :-) Great range of clothes! I love the skirt in the top photo.

  2. I love the dress. You did a great job and it looks great on you. I'm wondering if I should try that style dress. What would you say your body shape is?

  3. I've really enjoyed watching Me Made May - I hope it's repeated some time in the future! Your new dress is gorgeous!

  4. Amazing! I'm just jealous you can practically make a top out of a FQ!!!

  5. Kerry, I am so, so, soooo impressed with all your garment sewing -- but I think this matest dress may very well be my favourite!!!! Great fit, wonderful design, adorable fabric choice, I love it all! You look stunning! xxx

  6. Um, that would be "latest dress"...sorry!

  7. I'm expecting a me-made Kerry at retreat!

  8. REally love your stuff. The Dress is so sweet. That motivated me to start sewing clothes again :)

  9. Gosh, you have been busy! I'm looking forward to a fashion show of all these gorgeous makes at FQR Retreat

  10. So inspiring Kerry! Just love each piece. I admire your ability to select fabrics that work so well. ;)

  11. You had a super successful May! Alas, with the size of me, I'd need about twice your fabric budget o.O

  12. i also love them! great style!!!

  13. You've made so many lovely things Kerry! And your latest dress is just beautiful. You have the most fabulous wardrobe now!

  14. I really like your new dress, and that is such a good tip about making notes. I rely on what I write on the blog, but sometimes I go back and realise I haven't added all the little details that make the difference between the perfect fit and just OK. Another Bleuet? Ooh! :)


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