18 May 2014

Me-Made-May'14 Week 3

ANd then there were some repeats. this week I really tried to bust out all of my me-Mades, but I just couldn't resist the comfort of my favourite pieces. 

Day 12: striped pencil skirt
Worn to: work in an office
Pattern: self drafted 
Thoughts: love this knit skirt. Easy to wear. After many hours of wear and if it's hot and I sweat the record isn't great and the back sags a little. Oops. 

Day 13: drape drape dress no photo
Worn to: work
Pattern: drape drape no.10
Thoughts: I forgot to take a photo. My bad. But this dress is amazingly comfortable. I still need to make it into a shirt. 

Day 14: test flora
Worn to: work
Pattern: Flora tank dress By Hand London
Thoughts: this was my test garment for the flora before I made my spring version with all the alterations. You can see even in this photo it's loose around the neck and across the chest. But that's ok,  the purple gabardine is lovely to wear and gives this skirt some serious volume. 

Day 15: knit sweater
Worn to: work
Pattern: Aspen Cardigan by Hot Patterns
Thoughts: the fit of this cardigan isn't great. It was supposed to stay open but it hangs down awkwardly so I pinned it across in a wrap which I prefer a lot more. I love this material but it is very stretchy so doesn't held it's shape well. 

Day 16: Knit concert tee
Worn to: work
Pattern: Summer concert tee by DixieDIY
Thoughts: amazing. Simply amazing. There isn't one thing I don't love about this shirt. it's a staple for me now. 

Day 17: White and comfy
Worn to: lounging in the house (thus the bare legs)
Pattern: Lola by Victory Patterns
Thoughts: such a great pattern, and with my added collar it is extra warm and cozy. It shrunk slightly in the wash so the length is now a tad on the short side, but if I wear yoga pants underneath its fine, ui just wouldn't feel comfortable wearing only tights any longer. 

Day 18: repeat offender from day 16
Worn to: work
Pattern: summer concert tee by DixieDIY
Thoughts: clearly I love this look as it's the second time I've worn it this week. Not one thing changed. Not even my skirt. So comfortable. I'll be making many more very soon. 

and that marks my third week of Me-Made-May. I've done well trying to grab all of my me-Mades, but I can't help but want to wear my favourites again and again. 
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16 May 2014

Casual Comfort in the my Concert Tee

And then there was a need for a casual shirt. The summer concert tee fit the bill to a tee (har har). This sweater knit and the pattern merged to make a beautiful beautiful garment. Gosh I love this shirt.

I realized after 15 days of me-made-May that I really have not sewn any separates. Only one Mable skirt. How is that possible considering I wear knit skirts every second day? I needed more tops. And I recently purchased a beautiful top from Anthropologie and I wanted to make a duplicate. The Concert Tee pattern is very similar to my sweater so I thought I'd make it up and then determine if it was worth the effort to pattern hack it into an exact replica of my RTW sweater. (Answer: It is, and I will be pattern hacking).

This pattern is a very simple one with only 4 pieces: front, back, sleeve, and collar. The biggest challenge for me was trying to decide where I wanted my pattern to go.This pattern is an excellent blend of baggy and loose, it fits me well across the neck, arms, and bust, and flows free below. The hi-low hem of the shirt is also great for extra pizzazz!

It look me less than 2 hours to make, with 1/2 hour of it dedicated to taping the PDF together. I love the instant gratification of PDF's but do I ever HATE taping them together. Ugh.

The only alteration I made was to raise the neckline as as not to disrupt the pattern. I also used clear elastic on every seam to stabilize the knit and hopefully add more life to my shirt as I wash and wear this shirt repeatedly!

 I decided that the pattern should be centered down both the front and back, bugger the side seams. But pattern placement is OH so VERY VERY important. It isn't TOO noticeable, at least, I hope it isn't, but does anybody else see my Star nipples and my V shaped butt crack in the back? Oops. Now that I pointed it out, that's all you can see isn't it? Shucks....


Pattern: Summer Concert Tee by Dixie DIY
Size: Large
Fabric: Sweater Knit (Purcahsed in Los Angeles)
Alteration: Raised the neckline by 1.5"
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11 May 2014

Me-Made-May'14 Week 2

Turns out that wearing me Mades everyday isn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I already do that because I'm so proud of my makes. Even the less than perfect ones. so let's take a look!

Day 5: Wool circle skirt 
Worn to: work in an office
Pattern: circle skirt
Thoughts: this skirt is fun but the wool coating that I used is so thick that it has some serious body to it. I also noticed that due to my posture the skirt hem hangs much lower in the front than in the back. I'll have to cut the front about 1" shorter to make it feel more proportional. I felt like I needed to pull the back of the skirt down all day as I felt the difference in hem lengths. 

Day 6: Mabel skirt
Worn to:
Pattern: Colette Mabel skirt
Thoughts: incredibly comfortable. This skirt is great. I do need to readjust the waistband as it's larger than is comfortable for me. But I like my waistbands to really hold everything in. I used black Ponte on the back and side panels and this cool zigzag Ponte I scored while in Los Angeles at the end if March. Great for work and it transitions well into the evening. 

Day 7: spring flora!
Worn to: work
Pattern: Flora Dress By Hand London
Thoughts: after altering the pattern pieces to all my adjustments I think this is the first dress that is almost perfect to my measurements. It also marks one if my first successes using a non-stretch fabric.  Love this dress. And everybody else compliments it too. 

Day 8: fail
Why? I was sick all day and I have yet to made myself any pj sets. 

Day 9: The perfect knit dress
Worn to:
Pattern: McCall's 5974
Thoughts: this dress is so comfortable. Yum. But after a day of wear I noticed that I'll need to go back and stabilize the neck and cross front pieces with clear elastic to make it a little more safe and help maintain it's shape all day. Otherwise this dress is still great for hiding my tummy yet being so stretchy and soft. 

Day 10: splotchy goodness
Worn to:
shopping and lunch
Pattern: vogue 1395
Thoughts: easy dress to wear. Fun colours. Cute back bodice ties that wrap around front. I'll have to super iron my neck line as the rolled hem I did is slightly wavey. great length. Finished and worn the same day! Unblogged.

Day 11: deep v drape drape
Worn to: fancy brunch (with a lace shirt underneath)
Pattern: drape drape no.5
Thoughts: although this dress certainly is revealing and unless I was going to the beach, I doubt I'd wear it just as is, but with a lace top underneath this dress is super comfortable. the back is super low though and the materials recovery isn't great so my unstabalized shoulder seams  stretch out as the day continues. 

Another week down and another week happy. I think I'll try to make another cardigan this week as I depend on the two black ones I purchased so much it would be wonderful to replace those with me Mades!

Hopefully I can get outside this week to photograph all my new makes! There's my belladone, Mabel, v1395.... Woots. 

Happy me-made-may'14 Mother's Day!! I'm the proud mommy to a wonderful pupster!

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08 May 2014

The tale of two Flora's

Day after day my Feedly was swamped with various versions of the new By Hand London girls Flora dress. The fabric patterns, the fit, the happiness it brought to everybody's face lured me. I couldn't resist and purchased my own copy (After much waffling only because those patterns are NOT cheap, especially to ship to Canada - yikes).

I received and within an hour had my size 14 traced out and ready for making. I grabbed a purple gabardine I had in my stash and got cracking. cut cut sew sew. Instructions were simple to follow. Lining went together perfectly. Inserted my first invisible zipper with my new invisible zipper foot for my machine (what a joy! I'm no longer scared of zippers!) from start the finish it took me under 5 hours. With the majority of time spent sewing the 12 total darts (too Many darts!!!).

I tried it on all excited. Wait, I'll back up. I measured the pattern and everything seemed fine in flat measurements and I don't toil so just got on with it. now, back to me trying it on all excited - zipped it up, ran to my full length mirror, slipping on hard wood underfoot, and stare at my new creation. But wait, why doesn't it look as nice sad everybody else's? This bodice is gaping. So is the back bodice around the neck. So are the under arms. What the!

So, turns out, this pattern isn't perfect for me. And my shoulders are too narrow for the standard pattern drafting. So the dress fits bad across the top. To solve this I ironed interfacing across the front neckline to stiffen the material and provide more support, but because of how wide the bodice is across my cheat, putting my arms down pushes the bodice inwards causing it to gape. sad. I should simply cut the bodice narrower, but that's so much work, and I still think this is wearable.....so I made a second flora!

let me break down my alterations I made to the pattern for my second flora!
- took a 1/2 inch wedge out of the bodice front and back in the middle of the neckline to reduce gaping issue
- cut out the arm hole and moved the entire piece 1 inch towards the centre (this narrows the front bodice while maintaining the bust and waist proportions)
- removed a 1/4 inch wedge from under the armpit to reduce gaping under the arms
- moved the front bust darts towards the centre front by 1/4 inch
- widened the front bust dart base by 1/8 inch tapering it the fit the original dart about half way up. (To reduce the fabric pooling just under my bust and at my waist) (alternatively I could have adjusted the bodice side shaping , but dart adjustments are easier for me)
- reduced the shoulder piece length by 1 inch

Phew. That sounds like a lot of alterations, and in fact my pattern pieces are looking really mangled (especially with the blue painters tape!) but hey - this flora turned out near perfect! And just LOOK at this print!! It SCREAMS spring! It's the first pattern that I made alterations to, on my second round, to produce a better fit. And you know what? It was totally worth my time!

and next time I'll stay stitch the bodice waist as it stretched and is a little loose. I might take in the sides another 1/4" each and sew the waist seam another 1/4" just across the stomach to reduce the slight drooping that's occurring. Little things.

Beautiful invisible zipper (Especially considering it is my FIRST invisible zipper with my zipper foot!). Front knife pleats and back pleats. So beautiful

This flora is my demand to the Canadian weather gods to give me spring!!

Pattern: By Hand London Flora dress - Variation 2: Tank
Size: 14
Fabric: purple gabardine & floral polyester

  • front dart placement and width
  • narrow shoulder adjustment
  • hollow upper chest adjustment
  • rounded upper back adjustment
  • gaping under arm adjustment
  • shortened shoulder strap
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04 May 2014

Me-Made-May'14 Week 1

Only 4 days In my first "week" of me made May ! 

Last year when I started reading sewing blogs and I came across the concept of me made may I was so ecstatic. I've secretly been waiting for May to come and sewing as much as possible in anticipation of participation! Come faster. I'm so happy it's here. And that I can participate! 

Day 1: Maroon baby doll dress
Wore to: Work in an office

One of my first makes and still one of my favourites. It's an Ottobre design and I'm smitten with their simple flattering patterns. I wear this at least once a week because it's so convenient to toss on and head out. No fuss. Just the type of dress I like to wear!

Day 2: blue Lekala sweater 
Wore to: Work in an office

My work is fairly casual, with my co-workers frequently wearing jeans, but that doesn't mean I can't wear business casual right? I actually don't own a pair of jeans, or pants that I like for that matter. Form fit knit skirts are my go-to, so I decided to make a sweater that can go with them easily but is still casual and comfortable. I wear this sweater a lot as I find it flattering and forgiving across my stomach in a tight skirt!

Day 3: Green Belladone
Wore to: Work in a bookstore / welcome home party at a friends place

I've made a lot last month that I haven't captured photos of yet. Posts are written, they are just unaccompanied, and who wants to read a post sans photos? Not this girl! But here's a sneak peek at my green belladone dress! I 100% copied the sample dress. It's a great casual dress with full coverage, but the back keeps it fun! 

Today I had to make my outfit work both at work with a dark clothing dress code as well as for a friends get together. I wanted to look both work appropriate and fun. This dress matched both criteria!

Ps. I also downloaded an app to make the collages. fancy for me!

Day 4: Green flower M6553
Wore to: Sunday shopping and dinner with friends

This dress is everything I want in a dress and is utterly comfortable with satin charmeuse. Again, it is easy to toss on and look nice without trying hard. The flowy nature is forgiving while the print is happy and distracts from my terrible hair!! I should have ironed the back better. Oops.  

Ps. See my new ballet flats! Super excited about how adorable they are! they make me feel like dancing through the streets cause they're so cute!

So one week in and I'm having a blast wearing all my hand Mades! All four of these makes are some of my favourite items and are in high rotation within my wardrobe. All fit well and are super comfortable!

As the next 3 weeks pass, and I wear more of the items I've made, I'll identify which items are uncomfortable with a days wear under my belt and make a list of alterations I should make to them. Hopefully any alterations I make will increase their wearability. I feel that if I've invested the time to create something, I should invest the time for adjustments to make it more appropriate (albeit poor fabric/pattern combo is not fixable).  

Happy first successful week of Me-Made-May'14

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