Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Bailing out

It's official guys. I bailed out of Me Made May. Sorry Zoe! I stopped taking photos every day, then altogether.

By the second half of the month I started feeling a bit blah about the whole thing, and in fact a bit blah in general. You know those weeks where you just get in a bit of a slump and it doesn't feel worth making the effort? Yeah. That lasted two weeks. I got behind on housework (not that I do much anyways, ha), haven't done any proper sewing in two weeks, and spent the days snuggled under a quilt on the sofa with Little One watching films. I probably have been keeping up with my five-days challenge, but I haven't been counting.

On the upside, May has yielded me my new favourite pair of pants, the black denim Butterick 5895, which I'll blog soon. Oh, and I'll hopefully be returning to my lingerie sewing series soon with a free pattern and some tutorials for you all! Just as soon as my dining room table isn't littered with oily motorbike bits, that is. Whenever that might be...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

MMM '13, Day 13: Leopard print and new shoes

Every girl needs a bit of leopard print in her life. Luckily, I've gone a bit mad with it lately!

I made this dress a couple of weeks ago from the pattern supplement in one of my French magazines; Votre Mode from May 1956. You can see pages from this magazine here.

Votre Mode French fashion magazine, 10 Mai 1956

Featuring on the cover, the pattern is a classic '50s shirtwaist. The pattern is given for the upper half of the dress (with the option to lengthen it into a blouse). The skirt is cut as rectangles and gathered or pleated into the waist seam; I did a gathered skirt this time. I think one thing to note is that the collar is much wider than in either the illustrations or the photo. I think I'll trim it down on my next version; it's a bit excessive.

I used the leopard print cotton poplin I bought just after Christmas, and the large ones of those swirl buttons. I used the sleeves from Gertie's shirtwaist dress. This pattern has two sleeve options: straight fitted or puff. I wanted a puff sleeve, but the one with the pattern (on the cover) is hugely puffy, so a little too much volume for a day dress.

The dress buttons to the waist and has a lapped side zip. I also added side seam pockets to the skirt, so the zip continues down behind the pocket on this dress.

I also got new shoes! It's been years since I had any summer shoes that really worked for me, other than the flat ballet slipper type. I don't do heels well, and a half-size difference between my feet means that a strap of some sort or a high vamp is a must or the shoe falls off the smaller foot! I spotted these when I was doing the food shopping a couple of weeks ago and loved them. I was waiting until I could afford them, but Boyfriend's mum decided to treat me instead. So now I have a lovely pair of summer wedges with a nice '40s feel.

Plus, they happen to match the dress!

Outfit Details


Dress: Leopard print cotton, Votre Mode 10 Mai 1956

Knickers: Blue viscose jersey midis

Worn With:

Belt: New Look

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mini MMM '13: Week 2

Time for Little One's outfit post!

Only one me-made again this week.

Day 10

Today was a new T-shirt, from New Look 6016. I needed a new basics pattern for her with a simple t-shirt and leggings included, and this one comes with a cute pinafore dress too. As often as I've tried rubbing off patterns from existing things for her, they never seem to fit right, so it's just as easy to buy one (especially when they are on offer!)

Today's pose: Panda and Rudolph, and a pouty face.

I made it with short sleeves, from a floral print viscose jersey remnant. I trimmed the sleeves with some dark pink stretch lace.

Nothing much else to tell really. There's only so much you can say about a t-shirt!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

MMM '13: Week 2 Roundup

It's been a kind of hit and miss this week with the Me Made May challenge. I've managed my five days target, but barely, and I've been very bad at taking photos. Ah well. These are the outfits I managed to capture!

Day 7

As you saw already, I kicked off the week with my new pinstripe capris made from Butterick 5895. Check out the post on them here for full outfit details. I'll be starting my second pair later today, so watch this space for new jeans!

Later in the day I got too damn hot- it was our first properly sunny hot day of the year! I changed into my red check shirtwaist dress.

Day 8

Such a contrast in weather to the previous day, which seems to be happening a lot recently, so I went back to my old faithful wide leg jeans, and a long sleeved t-shirt I just finished for a comfy outfit. The fabric for this shirt is weird. The white spots are printed on, like a t-shirt graphic, so they are pretty solid. It makes it handle almost like a sequinned costume fabric! It feels lovely on though, and I love the super-long sleeves of this pattern. I often find myself pulling long sleeves down over my hands, which this is perfect for.

The pattern is one from the stash: Burda 8219. It has kimono sleeves with a seam along the top, running along the shoulder down the length of the sleeve. I omitted the keyhole at the centre, simply cutting the lower front to a point instead and sewing a full seam across.

I think these jeans are in desperate need of something doing with them. They've got a little... scruffy. And I think the amount the fabric shrank in the pre-washes might have relaxed out again because they're so incredibly baggy!


Viscose jersey kimono tee: Burda 8219

Black/pink spot high waisted knickers

Wide-leg jeans, Simplicity 3688

Day 10

Day 9 wasn't worth a photo. Those damn jeans again with a black t-shirt. I was painting in the bathroom, so it wasn't worth putting anything decent on!

So, straight to day 10. My Butterick capris again, with my Sun-Ray Ribbing jumper. Yes, short pants and a jumper! I don't really feel the cold on my legs, but I do on my shoulders. 

This week's Friday photo theme on the Flickr group was "Your creating space". As it was a theme I'd voted for I figured I'd better have a quick tidy up to take my photo in the sewing corner! Excuse the clothes drying on the radiator. And the bare feet.

I don't know if I've ever shown you my sewing machine before. It's a Singer 348 from the '60s, and was my Nanna's. She is my first baby, and forbidden territory to everyone else. 

Day 11

One of the days I forgot to take photos, even though I wore 3 me mades! We went to visit boyfriend's parents so I wore my red pencil skirt (which appeared in last years MMM here), and a red and black tartan blouse I have yet to blog. No doubt I'll wear it again before the month is out though.

As for today, Day 12, me and Little One are having a pyjama day. It's Sunday. That's allowed. That's what I'm telling myself at least, ha!

FPF: Cap Sleeve Classic

Again, sorry for skipping a free pattern weekend back there! Life does get in the way sometimes, heh.

This weeks free pattern is for a beautifully simple short sleeved V-neck jumper. This style is, as the name suggests, a versatile classic. It comes in sizes 34, 36 and 38 inch bust, and is knitted in 3 ply weight yarn. The tension is 7.5 stitches ans 9.5 rows per inch, and uses size 12 and 10 needles (old UK sizes).

I'm trying out PDF files for my patterns. The link below the image should take you to the Google Docs page where you can view the pattern. Hopefully this should make it easier on you all for patterns with multiple pages; you can download a single file rather than having three or four image files that make up the pattern. Let me know if this works ok for you!

1950s P&B Cap sleeve classic jumper, sweater, knitting pattern

Now that we finally have a scanner I should be more inclined to keep up with pattern posts!

Please let me know if you have any problems with the pattern links- it's my first time using GoogleDocs!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Butterick 5895 Pants: MMM '13 Day 7

As I mentioned in my recent sewing plans post, one of my new patterns is Butterick 5895. This is one of Gertie's newest patterns for Butterick released for summer. The cropped trousers have a nicely vintage high waistline, with side front pockets and fasten up the back with a zip.

I went stash-diving and pulled out a length of pinstripe stretch cotton sateen that's been lurking for a good 5 years. I think I originally planned to make a blazer-type jacket from it but never did. I used a small bit for a bolero last year, but had just enough left to squeeze this pattern out. It wasn't looking like getting used for anything else, so not the end of the world if it turned out they didn't fit.

 Sorry about the image quality. I promise I'll make the effort and use the good camera for the rest of the month!

No such worries though! After a quick tweak of the back darts to fit into my hollow back, these fit nearly perfectly straight out of the packet! I cut the size 20 to account for my wide hips and thighs and got a pretty good snug fit. I like this style to be very fitted on the legs. I need to take a small amount in on the centre front seam below my tummy to eliminate a few drag lines there (a sort of reversed full-abdomen adjustment) but only a half inch.

Pretty happy with the fit of the back after taking those darts in a little. Also, I did my first invisible zip in about three years on this pair (mostly because it was the only short black zip to hand) and I think I got it as near perfect as I ever could! *happydance*

A little leopardy surprise in the pockets.

I think I found a new pattern love! My black denim is already on the way for another pair, which you'll doubtless see within a week. And no, this blouse isn't from the pattern, but shop-bought. Evidently it was in my subconscious when I got dressed this morning though!

Fabric: Cotton lycra sateen, leopard print cotton poplin (pockets)

Pattern: Butterick 5895, view B

Notions: 8" Invisible zip, Trouser hook and bar, Thread, Fusible interfacing

Worn with:

Cream vest: New look

Cherry print tie-front blouse: Internacionale

P.S. Apologies if you read this post with no photos. A certain small somebody hit the publish button while I was out of the room!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Mini MMM'13: Week 1

Along with my own outfits for Me Made May, I also intend to document what Little One wears through the month, though not with any target in mind like with my own. I haven't been sewing for her as much recently and I'd like to change that this month!

This is the first of my new makes for her: a peasant dress!

peasant dress, cotton double gauze

I used the bodice of a dress pattern that I know fits as a base and adapted it into a raglan shape and drafted a sleeve to match. The front and back are single pieces (no waist seam) in a wide A-line shape with extra width added for the gathered effect. It has elastic at the neckline, sleeve hems and at the waistline and just pulls on.

The fabric is a lovely cotton double gauze in a bright minty green with hearts. I think I got a bit of a bargain on this fabric. It was bough for a pound a metre from one of my usual places, thinking it was just a normal cotton print. It wasn't until I came to actually pin a seam together that I noticed it was double gauze! (When you shop in that particular place, you judge by the look of the thing, grab what you can and hold onto it for dear life before another fabric vulture swoops in to take it from under you: figure out what it's made from when you get home!) I think I might see if they have any left on my next trip; it's lovely stuff.

peasant dress, cotton double gauze

As you can see, someone's taken to posing for photos!

Pattern: Self-drafted peasant dress
Fabric: Cotton double gauze
Notions: About a yard of elastic, thread from stash

Total cost: About £1.20!

MMM'13: Week 1 round-up

So, this first week I've stuck to my target fairly well. I've worn me-mades for four days out of the five we've had. It's remembering to take photos that's the issue this far!

Day 1:

As I showed you in my previous post, I wore three me-mades on Day 1.


Cream petticoat

Also worn:
Belt: New Look
Boots: My ever trusty Doc Martens

Day 3 and 4:

No photos here as my outfits were nothing special. Day 3 was spent assembling a new bed for Little One, followed by tidying and rearranging the room around this new lump of furniture. Day 4 was a trip to the soft play centre followed by lunch out as a treat for her- she's really missed her daddy this week! As a result I wore my Simplicity 3688 jeans both days with a camisole top thrown on. DIYing and running round after an excited child are both warm work!

Day 5:

Today's outfit consists of my burgundy and black check wool suspender skirt and half-slip, with a three-quarter sleeve black tee. It's a bit of a murky day today, so the photo's a bit grainy. Sorry about that!

suspender half circle skirt


Herringbone viscose half-slip

Also worn:
Black 3/4 sleeve tee: Matalan

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Spring stripes: MMM '13, Day 1

Following on the floral theme from my recent fabrics post, I have begun to indulge my need for florals. I think my first day of Me-Made-May is as good a time as any to break out the flowers!

One of the fabrics I picked up is this gingham and small floral stripe. You may well have seen this fabric around; it seems to be standard stock for fabric shops in the UK over the last few months. This particular colourway has black checks and vivid pink flowers.

Butterick 4993 blouse

The pattern is Butterick 4993, a late 1940s blouse pattern with dropped kimono sleeves. I've used this pattern a couple of times before, most recently for the bodice of my chambray shirt dress. It's beautifully easy to make up and only took me a couple of hours. The fact that it only has four pattern pieces helps, of course!

Butterick 4993 blouse, circle skirt

I used those buttons again! I love them; perfect for vintage styles. I think I need to buy more of these!

Outfit details:

Skirt:  Self-drafted circle skirt, black stretch cotton.

Blouse:  Butterick 4993, gingham floral cotton

Petticoat:  Border embroidered cream polycotton

Belt: New Look

Three me-mades on day one. Let's see how long I can keep that up haha!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Spring Sewing Plans

Now that the weather has finally perked up, it's time to start Spring sewing, and sewing for a new season starts with new patterns! I've got a few new lovelies to work with this season.

First up is something I'm quite badly in need of: a short coat! I scored this little beauty on eBay for a couple of pounds: Vogue 7146. It seems this pattern is a little more rare than some: I could only find one other mention of it online, and it wasn't on the Vintage Patterns Wiki! So I created a page for it here.

Vogue jacket 7146

It's also my first ever Vogue pattern, new or vintage, which for some reason I find stupidly exciting. I plan on making it up in a red and black checked wool, probably this wool/poly boucle from eBay:

Another gap in my wardrobe is basic button-down blouses, particularly with longer sleeves. This Wheldons pattern came from the same seller as the Vogue jacket. It has three-quarter length sleeves and a classically '50s smooth winged collar. I've been lusting after a black and white gingham shirt, so I think that may be it's first incarnation!

Weldons blouse pattern 2825

I'm very excited about this next pattern too: Butterick 5895, one of Gertie's newest patterns. I've always worn cropped jeans in summer until my last pair dropped to bits last year. This pattern has the high waist I've come to like as I've been wearing more vintage styles. The blouse is a style I like too- I have two shop bought tie-front blouses that I wear regularly, so that will be a good staple pattern for my summer wardrobe. A big thank you to my sister Kally of Millinery and Musings for getting me this pattern as part of an offer from

Butterick B5895

I'm working on a pair at the minute to test the fit, which I'll blog soon! A plain black denim pair will be the first proper pair from this pattern, but I'm tempted by this red snake-print cotton drill. Mmm... trashy!

Last up is a new dress pattern, Simplicity 2444. I treated myself to a copy of Sew magazine which this came free with. I love the unusual dart placement and bow collar of this pattern. Again, I'm already working on my first version of this.

Simplicity 2444

And thanks to taking part in Me-Made-May you will actually see some of the results of my planning. I'm aware I write an awful lot of "I'm going to make..." posts then never show you all the results. I'm trying to change that. Honest!