Made by Me!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Self Drafted Pencil Skirt

This has been a long time in the making, sitting on my sewing table being sewn little by little in the last month in between a hectic work and social life, and then it took me an age to get around to blogging about it so apologies for that. It was my final handmade outfit made almost but not quite in time for Me Made May. I wore it to a lovely wedding in the Isle of Wight this weekend so excuse the slightly bedraggled me in most of these pictures, I had very little sleep this weekend.

This skirt is a simple pencil skirt, made from fabric in my stash and drafted from my personal skirt block – nothing fancy but just what I needed in my wardrobe. I love the colour of this fabric, and the batik print. It makes me feel like holidays are on the horizon.

I have so much of this fabric in my stash, having bought it to make the By Hand London jumpsuit then quickly deciding the pattern wasn’t for me. I am trying to be more thoughtful with my fabric purchases now, buy when there is a need and desire to sew something specific, not in the hope I will find something to make from it, and most importantly definitely don’t buy for something I am not even sure about making (I include patterns in this too – I have a number of patterns that I realise I am never going to use. I may love the designs but they just don’t suit me which is a total pain and waste of money). I still do this ‘of the moment purchasing’ occasionally but I can honestly say I am getting better at it.

I decided to line the skirt with black lining to make it more comfortable although really in retrospect I should have chosen a lighter colour as I am sure you can see it peaking through at times, but again I was busting my stash (and saving my wallet). I always think a lined item feels more finished and helps to stop the fabric rucking and wrinkling as much. Plus I couldn’t be bothered to change the serger thread so I have white seams on the interior of an orangey skirt. Best to cover them really! I made a facing for the inside of the skirt with the lining attached to this. I sewed them together in a roundabout, clunky way – not ideal but I got there in the end. I made up the skirt lining as per the outer skirt and then made the facing. I then measured the facing and cut the unnecessary fabric off the top of the lining. Worked well but it’s a rather long winded (and wasteful) way of doing it. I just didn’t have any paper to cut out a separate lining pattern so just improvised in my own special way!

I realised at the zip stage that I didn’t have one of the right length in my sewing box. No problem. After a quick google and a few over, over stitches 9 inches down the longest zip known to man I had shortened my first zip. I actually can’t believe I haven’t done this before, I usually just wait to buy one, but it’s so easy!

So what do you think? I really like this skirt. Its so simple but I believe in sometimes just letting the fabric do the talking!!

I think I will knock a couple more of these lovely skirts up in plain colours, maybe move the darts and make it a little more interesting. I know I can do a bit of pattern manipulation if I try…. I must not be scared!! Happy Sewing everyone!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

My Me Made May 2015

This year I have finally participated in Me Made May, although I admit in a less engaged way than I had originally planned. When I made my resolutions for this year I was adamant that I wanted to get more involved in the blogging world but having had time at the end of last year to devote to sewing and the blogosphere in general that was easy, now with a full on knackering commute and work schedule this year, my resolutions are slipping slightly in more ways than one! I joined the Me Made May movement a little into May, having forgotten it was May already…how is it already June?? Time is FLYING!! I pledged to wear three items of handmade clothing per week. I started off feeling a little restricted in my attire choices from the off, I think from my recent posts you will see I really am rethinking my wardrobe and sewing choices as well as feeling most of my favourite Me Made items were summer clothes (and we lacked good May weather here in the UK). All in all this meant a slightly precarious month of May trying to find a way to wear more of my handmade items and not totally achieving it. I kind of failed to wear three items a week, it was more like two, meaning I didn’t really achieve my goal. However I don’t feel like it’s a fail, more a real confirmation that I have a whole load of holes in my wardrobe which need plugging. The items I wore the most and in rotation during the period of May were my Erin culottes, my Wiksten Tova (I just love this top!!), my Wiksten tank, (both made prior to the blog) my White Russian sweatshirt and my Papercut Patterns Rigel bomber, which is far too warm to wear now so I am glad I could wear that during May before packing it away until Autumn. I have taken photos of my various outfits but I won’t bore you with repeats. Here they are below.



I really enjoyed the challenge of Me Made May and it definitely got me thinking about what I should wear every day – trying to make a more conscious effort to go for my handmade rather than shop bought items was an interesting process and a frustrating one when I couldn’t find what I wanted in my handmade wardrobe. I know some people have so much handmade stuff that its super easy for them to dress entirely in their own creations every day but I know that isn’t my situation. I guess if it becomes that easy to do the challenge it isn’t really for you anyway. I want to work towards a more thorough wardrobe for the rest of this year and maybe by May 2016 I will be able to participate with more of a sense of purpose, being able to actually show off more of my handmade items.

The real thing Me Made May highlighted for me is that I wear only a small section of my handmade wardrobe and whilst I know as mentioned above, that some of this is because I seemed to just make a whole load of summery things last year, I feel a little ashamed of this. I know it’s not a new revelation but it still stings to realise something you spend so much time doing isn’t really yielding the results it should. I really need the seasons to be reflected in my wardrobe, more staples, and as mentioned in my previous post more plain items to go with other things. I will try and learn from this experience and carry forward my plan to create a more versatile wardrobe over the coming months! Bring on Me Made May 2016!!

Did you participate in Me Made May? Did you achieve your goal, not quite make it or break through and wear much more than you originally pledged? It would be great to hear your experiences.