Thursday, 1 May 2014

Me Made May 14

May is a great month for dress making: the weather is getting warmer without the endless need for coats, cardigans and boots (although they are still close by, just in case) and it is Me Made May month. This is Zoe's- 'So Zo What Do you Know?' wonderful initiative and is a chance to be inspired by a whole range of clothes' sewers from beginners to highly skilled.  Follow the hash tags #mmmay14 #memademay14 on Instagram and Twitter  and look out on blogs.

I have been dress making for the last week and I am nearly finished.  Oakshott Fabrics have released a new fabric range- 'Calluna Herringbones' two tone shot cottons which are lightweight but a little heavier than the usual Colourshott, Lipari and Impressions.  I am using Calluna 01.  The fabric is incredible soft with a matt finish rather than shimmery and each side is a different tone which gives great contrast potential. It is particularly nice to use for clothing and I am making a Pauline Alice pattern, the Cami dress to showcase the drape and the contrast possibilities.   I have been sharing my progress on Instagram.  the dress has been sewed on my Singer Featherweight as the Janome is having a service.  I haven't made a full garment on the Featherweight before and I am loving the experience. It is a very responsive and intimate machine and the stitching is beautiful. 
Next on my list is something from a new pattern book, 'Grains de Couture' by Ivanne Soufflet.  I found this rather randomly and follow Ivanne's blog and its inspiring visuals- French dressmaking seems to have such wonderful attention to details, and a lot of Liberty lawn too!  The book is lavish, beautiful presentation and all in French so it is a rather challenging puzzle.  It is a large hardback book with enormous pictures.  Each garment has variations and there is a detailed 'how to' section at the back which each pattern refers too for the essential garment processes.

There are men's garments too and I may be tempted by them but my real motivation is the women's wear.  I would like to make a coat for Me Made May and the trench (top right) is my plan.  Here is my pledge- it also references my Gertie slip plans which are waiting for the return of the Janome and its zig zag stitch.  

Although dressmaking was my first real love in sewing, I feel more a part of the quilting community than the dressmaking one but Me Made May is an especially welcoming experience.  Online, dressmaking can sometimes feel like a rather young sewer's experience and I can only imagine my 20 something self producing dress after dress and loving the endless information and help online.  Now as a 40 something, I have the same feelings but my occasions for dresses are fewer and the reality of a day job wearing a company t-shirt and jazz pants for many hours each week do rather take over and I sew more separates as I know that is what I wear the most.  I am suckered in by dress patterns though and I am guessing there may be another dress made along with the coat, slip and some knicks- ambitious plans as usual.  I have a rather elastic attitude towards time and what I think I can achieve in it.  If you haven't taken part before, step on with a gentle pledge and enjoy the ride. 

sib blog


  1. I can't wait to see this dress finished - it's going to look wonderful on you! Good luck fulfilling your pledge - I won't hold you to photos of you modelling your 'me-made' knickers!

  2. OK so now you are sewing coats and things in French - you can officially do anything!

  3. Your garment-making skills are outstanding! I'm kinda done with garment making, although I might consider making something for my granddaughter. I used to sew all my own clothes but no longer care to do that. You do such beautiful work!

  4. I am suckered in by dress patterns too. Even though, I wear separates. All the time.
    Love the french trench pattern with its pocket details.

  5. Hi Kerry…. I've just bought this book too (2 weeks ago) and I'm french… so if you need help to translate something, just ring the bell, it would be a pleasure to give you a little help, my english is not prefect but I'm sure I can deal with ;-)
    And you know what… just because of you, I've bought the Gabriola skirt and the Bleuet dress pattern! lol
    Have a nice day

  6. I've loved reading this - and love the idea of that fabric youre using for the Cami dress! Delight under the needle & then to be worn :-)
    I have heard about that book too- so lovely to see some of the inspiring pictures. Enjoy MMMay14 :-)

  7. I just discovered your blog and love it - and wanted to pass on the name of another French book I just bought - once we both love Ivanne Soufflet's book, I'm sure you'll like it too! L'atelier couture de Bblousette rose.

    I've bought a couple of her patterns on line - she's in Belgium - and this looks fab.

    1. Thankyou so much Francesca, I really like the look of it!


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