Wednesday, 30 March 2011

28 & 29 March: Still Going...

We're nearing the end of me made March, and I'm glad to say I'm still managing to find a few "new" me made things to wear!

This top is something I had thought was a UFO...  it's a test version of the Vogue 1120 DKNY dress made up as a top using a metallic gold fabric that I bought at one of those bargain bookshops that pop up for a few weeks then disappear. I had sewn up a belt to go with it, but was waiting on inspiration for the buckle or something, and also I'd been thinking I needed to sew some tiny vintage beads around the neckline to keep the pleats down.  I don't think I'm ever going to find time for beadwork, and in any event the pleats have settled down now - yay!

I think the top passed. This is no longer classified as a UFO.

Outfit notes: Skirt - bought about 5 years ago from Witchery, made from black ponte di roma fabric. My son's watch that he isn't interested in wearing. Black nine west flats as usual. Sprig from a lavender bush - me made (lol) in the course of hacking back some overgrown plants.


Yesterday was a bit chilly, and I wore a skirt that I think looks pretty unflattering on.  It's this grey linen tulip skirt with sash and slanted side pockets from a BurdaStyle magazine issue from last year - I forget which issue, but I think the skirt was paired with a pale lemon short sleeved blouse with two parallel lines of buttons down the front. It looked pretty cute on the model... of course.

Although I know this look is a bit drab it's the best I could come up with for the shape of the skirt. The black jumper (country road) has puffed elbow length sleeves and a scoop neckline - I thought the puffiness of the skirt needed to be balanced out by some kind of sleeve puffiness above. I wore the same as usual black flat nine west shoes. Habit!

These are end of the day photos - please excuse the crumples and weary face.


I made this skirt up in the size that corresponded to my measurements, but was disappointed to find a lot of ease seemed to have been included in the waist – I added extra folds (hidden near the side seams) to take up this excess width but am not very happy about it. Also the pleats on the back of the skirt make an exaggerated shape...  The fabric is a lovely heavy-ish pure linen from my ancient stash though. 

 Sometimes clothes look nicer flat on the grass.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

26 & 27 March: with a nip in the air...

My me made pool of clothes not yet worn in March is getting more limited, but on weekends there's no corporate dress code to consider so everything is possible!

The weather today was cool and damp, so I decided to wear this summery dress with a cosy cardigan. The dress is from Vogue 1179 DKNY, made in a good quality jersey from Tessuti fabrics, and the cardigan is an ancient one from Witchery.  I was barefoot most of the time, but when I did go out briefly I wore the shoes pictured (from Wittner). I used to wear this dress a lot until the combined effect of "sack" comments from my partner and a large rear-view in a lift mirror put my off it. I think I did a good job with the dress, but the design may accentuate certain curves seen from behind :-).


And here's a photo that shows the dress better - taken when I'd just finished it:

Yesterday was cooler, and I was out and about a bit going to the GP, the shops and a family dinner, so here's what I wore...

Trenery jeans and jumper, camper shoes, Witchery sunnies, me made t-shirt and bag.

I blogged about the t-shirt back in December; it's a hybrid made from V1013 and V1128 that looks like this up close:

The sleeve shape means it layers well over a close-fitting long sleeve t-shirt too.

The bag was  made using a small piece of loose woven cotton from No Chintz in Sydney, with a layer of wadding then some interfaced thin cotton.

The pattern came from Ric Rac's blog, but I had to make a shorter strap - not enough fabric.  It nearly matches my jumper - near enough was good enough for me!

PS I should mention my daughter also chose a bit of me made today: she's wearing a Gap skirt, a Bonds singlet and blouse made from cotton voile using a pattern from the Japanese book "Cute Clothes for Good Girls" (or something like that). The original in the book is shown in a heavy cream linen, with pocket flaps, but my version is good for summer - and for building ponds in the garden beds.

Hope you have a good week!

Friday, 25 March 2011

23 -25 March 2011: Sewing Sneaks into MMM

I know I'm getting slacker about uploading me made March photos to Flickr and about posting with details... the thing is, I just don't have much spare time, and I'm slow at reviewing photos (which are mostly dreadful and need firm cropping). On the days when I'm uploading/blogging I don't seem to get any sewing done!

I have a backlog - today and the previous two days - but that means I've also achieved some sewing :-).

I made a "draft" version of the skirt from V8718 last week, and this week made some pleasing progress on the matching V8718 jacket.

The fabric is a DKNY stretch linen (linen with lycra I believe) that I stumbled on and couldn't resist at The Fabric Store.

V8718 doesn't have you line the skirt but as the matching jacket is fully lined I think the skirt needs it - the photo on the left shows the skirt pre-lining, pre-taking it in a bit, pre-hand sewing etc. Different fabric stores gave me different advice on lining a stretch woven skirt... one said make the lining bigger than the skirt, another said d NOT make the lining bigger or it will make the skirt bumpy. I will try it out with a slightly too big lining and see how it looks...

And here's a jacket progress shot:

I guess you can't tell yet... I've also made the peplum but not yet attached it to the top part. I think the next steps are to make the lining version, make the collar, sew outer and lining together, and make the gathers in the sleeves.

So far I love the jacket - lots of cutting out (not fun) but the sewing part has been easy.  I haven't made any size adjustments (just a straight 14) so it may not fit perfectly, but I think it looks OK on my dressmaker's dummy.

And here are my MMM outfits:

Today, going to a childcare appointment and working from home: the yellow Burda skirt (issue 7/2009, pattern 111), again worn backwards, worn with a top from Trenery, and orange flatties (not shown):

This skirt is now officially in my wardrobe - a useful skirt.

Yesterday, a regular work day: a top from Vogue 2859 top (a 1935 pattern reissue) with a RTW skirt, the usual black flatties:

Not in.

This top slithered around on me all day, threatening to undo itself despite a knot. It only managed to do it once, luckily while I was still at home. I think I would be more confident wearing this over a dress though.

The day before yesterday, another regular work day: Vogue 1086 dress with slip that I wouldn't normally wear to work. Worn with turquoise frilly cardigan from Veronika Maine and camper shoes from a great sale a few years ago:

I love these shoes so much, and I think the cardigan improves on the dress, but the dress remains the sort of thing to wear when everything else is dirty (or when it's me made March).

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

21 - 22 March: Vogue-ing

This is what I wore today - as it looked by the end of the day:
* a new Vogue skirt (Vogue 1038 Donna Karan Collection), which I thought I'd finished late last night.  On getting dressed this morning the lining hem proved to need taking up more - so some rushed machine hemming happened before heading out. I used stash fabric for this - a loose weave fabric with what looks to me like a small herringbone pattern (please correct me if you know better). I love this pattern, but I am still making my skirts too big! I think I will have to re-measure myself. And maybe start factoring something else in... do waistbands grow a lot???
* my old faithful (well, a MMM repeat) Vogue 1128 Anne Klein top (originally posted here) 
* a much older (10 years? more?) RTW houndstooth jacket. A few weeks ago a woman in the supermarket queue commented on this jacket - she told me her grandma had just given her the exact same jacket as a hand-me-down, and now she'd seen it on me she was going to wear hers too. Except mine isn't vintage - perhaps just dowdy! I thought the two similar patterns, skirt and jacket, would be interesting together - not sure.
* nine west black flats

Here are a couple more photos from this afternoon, including genuine creases from a day in the office:


Yesterday I wore my black V1013 DKNY dress, which I showed in my inaugural post.  Here's what it looked like yesterday:

The fabric was a stash material - some kind of moire maybe? It's heavy and feels fantastic on.  I love the puff sleeves on this dress (which really challenged me at the time) and just the shape of the thing - and somehow in this dress I feel as though I'm wearing something vintage!  I wore this with a bizarre necklace with little feathers on it from Diva. And the same black Nine West flat shoes to and from work as today, changing into the same plain black heels at work. 

I've had to overexpose this photo so you can see the way the dress falls... black dress in the late afternoon of a rainy Autumn day - tricky!

Below are a close-up of a sleeve, a close-up on the dress form of the back opening, and a close-up of the front of the dress. In the dress-form photo you can see the fabric a bit better.

I can't think what I'm going to wear tomorrow!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

19 -20 March 2011: Wet, Grey and Blue

I'll try to keep the me made outfit info brief today.

Today: raining on and off. My son had a friend over in the afternoon, then my daughter helped me bake biscuits for her childcare. I wore a me made dress - Vogue 8486 with a bias-cut lining added, with my bright orange flats, footless tights and thin cardigan bought in a shop at Wynyard station (ie very cheap).

The fabric for the dress was from Tessuti - one of those back of the rack finds - a partially sheer stripey knit, and it needed lining due to those sheer areas.   More details are here.

My son wore a me made long sleeve jersey top that's good for this in-between weather - and if you're wondering, yes, all the stripes do match up, and my daughter wore my WORST surviving me-made outfit - a jersey dress and leggings.  It's survived because she loves it.  The dress was made straight from the envelope from an op shop pattern, and I was disappointed with the width and boxiness as well as with the fabric, which fades a bit more with every wash. The leggings were made without a pattern and don't fit well either.


Here she is after doing a comprehensive clean of the bathroom mirror - with toothpaste.  I know she was trying to be helpful but I did have to remove the toothpaste from the mirror...

I really hate this dress and I hate this fabric, but this is what she chose to wear!

Yesterday was a rainy day at home too. I tried to take the kids to the library but we found it had closed at lunchtime - what stupid hours - so we went to the bookshop and then out to lunch. The bookshop was fun but obviously you have to limit yourself there in a way that isn't necessary at the library...

This is a picture of the top I was wearing from back when I made it. It's pattern 108A from Burda magazine issue 2/2009 - obviously I added a ruffle, but I also added a wide band at the wrists and as I didn't have the full sleeve width I made the sleeves each in 2 pieces, with the extra seam running down the inner arm parallel to the original seam. 

Then here's my son's me made book bag, useful when you're returning lots of books to the library, and here's me as I was dressed today (Kmart gumboots, Witchery stretch cord jeans).

And my daughter was wearing me-made jersey shorts that you've seen before - they were obscured by her raincoat when we went out (yes, she looks to be doing a haka but I think she was trying a Strong Girl pose), but you can see them later in the afternoon when she was helping her dad make pizzas:

Saturday, 19 March 2011

18 March 2011: Brrrrrrrrr

Another overcast day, and after so much warmth it felt decidedly chilly when I got up so I cracked out a me made cosy knit that I usually layer in winter time.  I said in the photo description in the MMM Flickr group that this top was made from the same pattern as I used for the top I wore on day 2 of Me Made March, but it's not. It is a Burda mag pattern, but I'll have to look it up! Whichever pattern it was, I had to modify it to fit better - lengthened the sleeves and body, and also took in the pattern for the top part of the bodice to narrow the shoulders and neckline. I didn't take enough care with my changes and ended up making the sleeves a little higher cut and tighter under the arms than I would have liked, but it's not a problem on a cool day.

My outfit photo was again taken in haste (repent at leisure) and I didn't notice at the time that I needed to smooth the top down. I wouldn't intentionally wear it bunched up like this!

The outfit:
  • me-made Burda magazine (# TBC) top, made last year
  • Headquarters bias-cut sleeveless black long dress bought a long, long time ago
  • rectangle-toed velcro mary janes from 12+ years ago

I was very warm in this, in fact too warm by mid-afternoon (but as I write this in the late evening it's providing the perfect amount of cosiness).  At this time of year the 8am temperature is evidently a poor indication of the rest-of-day temperature.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

17 March 2011: Floral blouse from Burda magazine

This morning was pretty dark in our neck of the woods... my partner took my photo in the front garden at 7.45am, and pre-cropping and lightening this is how the photo looked. Not happy, Jan! It was even drizzling.

So I used the camera's timer thing for myself a little later when there was a little more light.  I don't have a tripod so using the timer involves an assemblage of chairs and small toys to prop the camera at approximately the right height and angle. Today I used a kid's chair on top of an outside table, with a permanent marker and a piece of plastic something-or-other holding the camera in place :-). And I had to lighten & brighten these photos (below) - you can see the sky behind me is just a mass of grey clouds.

 The outfit:
* floral blouse from pattern #125 of Burda magazine issue2/2009
* Witchery black ponte di roma skirt from a few years ago
* Country Road red jacket (also may be ponte di roma, but lined), also from a sale a few years ago

Burda described this blouse as having "Asian chic" but I disagree - I don't find it a particularly Asian style at all. They also said "This blouse with a plain shirt collar looks best when worn buttoned to the throat" - but I like it with just the top button undone, and I think it would probably sit more neatly with a second undone.

I didn't realise this jacket was looking so worn - it's just come back from the dry cleaners all nicely pressed, but there it is looking all crumply! Guess I need to push on and tackle jackets soon anyway...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

16 March 2011: TWO me made garments!

please take another, just in case ...
Trousers plus a top, with the trousers being my first MMM repeat I think, apart from my stripey bag. And no one at work said "did you make that?", which is a relief.  Mind you my colleagues are mostly guys and they don't tend to pass many comments... Perhaps it's fairer to say I didn't catch anyone staring at my hems or neckline or what have you - even on a long walk around town at lunch, and on public transport to and from work. 

These trousers are the only ones I've made that currently fit ie the first pair made in about 20 years, from Vogue 1098 Anne Klein, and the top is a shorter version of the dress from Vogue 1120 DKNY - so only a small amount of silk was required.  I guess you can tell I didn't iron this - but again, no one commented on it all day and I am an appalling ironer so I thought it best not to even try.  I think I usually get this top dry cleaned (!!shock).

The original posts linked above have more close-up pictures; in the interests of a short post I won't repeat them here - though I will show you why I keep standing in these silly hands on hips poses:

It seems to work for them! I wonder if stand like this for the family snaps too?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

15 March 2011: Welcome back, little jacket

This cute little jacket - the only jacket / coat I've ever made successfully - dates back to my previous sewing life of the late 1980s and early 1990s.  I believe I used a Burda Easy pattern, which I may still have floating about somewhere. The pattern is obviously inspired by the Chanel-style of jackets, but omitted all the Chanel-style details and complexities - as I recall it was rather straightforward. The body and sleeves of the jacket are made from a really lovely lightweight wool, the black trim is a wool crepe, and the whole thing is lined in regular black lining - not sure what sort.

This jacket was a bit on the small side when I made it, which is why I never attached buttons - and it still is, but interestingly it doesn't seem too small to wear, so I'm going to welcome it back to my wardrobe now. I am definitely a lot bigger than the matchstick with the wood shaved off that I used to be, so I'm not sure how it can still nearly fit. Jackets are a mystery to me even without this sort of trickery!

Here are some pics taken on the dummy this evening to show you what details there are:

front view
back view

side view

matching on sleeve and side seams

My daughter just scraped in as wearing something me made today - this skirt, which is barely *made* at all!  It's just a couple of rectangles of fabric sewn together, with an elastic waist and square patch pockets on the front (and not even hemmed).  It did look kind of cool while it fitted - but as you can see it's no longer a standalone skirt; she's definitely a kid that knows how to grow.

In her hands are lego and some fresh sticks to be used in a dam we started constructing in the garden on Sunday. By the end of today she had a large bag of sticks from the park, so I guess we'll be doing some more work on the dam tomorrow :-).
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