Wednesday, 30 April 2014

But this time it'll be different...

I'm doing Me Made May again this year - my 4th year in a row, thank you Zoe!  Every year I do a lot of thinking beforehand (will I? won't I?), then sign up at the last minute! This year I've signed up to wear at least one me made every day in May. And even though that's the same pledge as I made last year, I think it'll be a challenge!

Why will it be a challenge? You've got so many me made clothes!

Yes, I do have a lot of clothes that I've made for myself, but my wardrobe isn't as extensive as it appears. Over the last few months I've dropped a few sizes and a good part of my wardrobe is now simply too big on me. For example, I now have no me made pants or leggings that fit. On the plus side, I've rediscovered a couple of ancient makes that now fit me again - just - even if they're incredibly out of fashion.

And a couple of things that I made too tight now fit (yes Elisalex, you will be worn zipped up this year). Oh and did I mention I loathe alterations? Not even going to think about it!

But at least the photos aren't a challenge for you!

Hmm, actually they are. Last year my dear colleague Marylene took the majority of my MMM13 photos for me (here, and here), with another colleague, Helga, helping me with MMM13 and blog photos when Marylene was unavailable. And both of them made taking attractive photos look easy. This year both of my work photographers are on maternity leave (Marylene, Helga - help?).  I don't enjoy taking photos of myself, and I know I can't assume friends and family members will be willing to do it for me.

And it's fantastic to meet the whole community online!

Yes, it is! You'll get no argument from me there  - wonderful, interesting sewists all over the world! But do you know what that means? Late. Nights. On. The. Computer.  Last year I spent so many hours on Flickr every night and morning admiring everyone's efforts and it wasn't really fair on my family - plus I was utterly exhausted by the end of the month!

So here's my pledge, and here's how I'm planning to do it this year:

I, Gabrielle of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least 1 me made garment each day for the duration of May 2014. 

  • I'll try to stick to the stuff that fits and that's in current rotation. But I CAN wear stuff that doesn't fit if I'm running out of ideas or still feel half asleep when I get dressed.
  • Did I really pledge just 1 me made a day? Hmmm. I do have some jackets, so I think I should beef that up to 10 me mades a week for more of a challenge.
  • Fresh photos are not obligatory. Sorry! I know it's fascinating to get a glimpse of lives around the globe, and to see what the makes look like in the wild, but the photos are the main reason I nearly didn't sign up this year. So if it gets too hard, I will resort to existing photos to illustrate what I wore.
  • I'm not going to upload my photos to Flickr or Pinterest and check out everyone else's makes every day - I'm going to try to restrain myself to once or twice a week. 
And at the end I'm hoping to have a better idea of the gaps in my wardrobe, which will hopefully encourage me to sew that sort of garment (pants, hmm?) instead of new summer dresses when it's autumn.

Hope to see you there :)

- Gabrielle xx

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Inspector here was just warning me that I had to watch my step. You see, back in France, he's known as King of the Tango.

Isn't this week great - a week with public holidays on either end! It's also school holidays of course, so I've taken the whole week off to look after my little darlings (mostly). We've done heaps of pottering about at home, but today I took my youngest (or should that be younger?) out for a touristy excursion to the Sydney Opera House end of the city and Cockatoo Island.  I love being a tourist in my own city :).

The Cockatoo Island outing is one I've been promising for a few weeks, and the timing worked out well with the Sew Dolly Clackett challenge; dresses are due by c.o.b. today, so I wore the dress I'd finished literally 5 minutes before we had to dash out the door for the train this morning. There was crazy GBSB-style hemming involved: pedal to the medal!

Panther on the Island dress, front view

I wanted to use one of Roisin's favourite patterns (of course), and the one I've made before is By Hand London's Elisalex.  First time around I have to say the Elisalex bodice was not a great fit for me so I used my trusty Vogue 1193 DKNY dress pattern to adjust the bodice's princess seams, side seams, armhole shape and length. The Elisalex skirt is also waaaaay too long (and I'm 5'9") so I lopped off a few inches from the bottom (first time around I removed length from halfway down the skirt as I wanted to keep the lovely tulip shape, but this time around it's more a "fit and flare" dress).

Panther on the Island dress, side view

This is not my house, by the way, it's the Cockatoo Island Military Officer's Quarters (c.1845-57 ie very historic by Australian standards).

The first thing everyone notices about this dress is of course is the dress fabric, which is a Pink Panther quilting cotton.  I was a bit dubious about how this soft fabric would work as a dress, but being lined in a proper lining fabric seems to make all the difference in how the fabric wears, and it ironed very nicely. I wore this dress traipsing around the city and up and down Cockatoo Island all day and at the end of the day it's only looking wrinkled on the back from sitting in the train. The dress got a lot of stares through the day from teenagers, but absolutely no derision :).  So I guess the Pink Panther is either cool or very strange?

Panther on the Island dress, back view

My pattern matching was reasonably successful... except on the centre back, where years of "just in case it's too-tight" practice now has me sewing in invisible zips with a less than 1.5 cm seam allowance, even when I've cut the fabric pieces for pattern matching assuming the full 1.5 cm allowance. Oh well :(.

All in all, I have to say this is a really flattering silhouette, and wearing an interesting print dress is F.U.N. - I'm sorely tempted to make a few more of these dresses!

There's one more thing still to say... Roisin and Nic, I've never met you, but I just know I can trust the internet and twitterdom that you're lovely people, and I hope you have a FANTASTIC wedding and a very happy married life! Hip hip, hooray!

Now if you're still there, it's time for your close-ups:

Something so very, very painful, so hideous, your father will have no choice but to cooperate.




And that's all!

Thank you and goodnight :)

- Gabrielle x

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