Me Made May…I’m going for it!

I didn’t think it was going to make sense to give it a try this year because I still don’t have a particularly large handmade wardrobe. But I’m planning to use this experience to focus on what garments I get the most excited to wear (and what I’m not wearing) so that I can better plan my future making goals. So….

I, Hannah of Match Makes, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavor to wear a handmade garment at least three times a week for the duration of May 2015! I will do my best to use Instagram daily when wearing me-made, and will do weekly round ups here of my me-made outfit days. I will not go crazy between now and May 1st trying to make ALL the new garments!

Wish me luck!!

 

Felicity Dress

When the Felicity Dress pattern was released by Jennifer Lauren Vintage in February I snapped it up right away. I think perhaps this was partly a desperate, “if I start making spring and summer clothes this blizzard will stop,” moment. But I was also really attracted by the gathered neckline and the swingy skirt. While I haven’t been a circle skirt kind of lady in my adulthood, there’s really something about being able to spin in such a delightfully ripply circle that feels so playful and fun and childlike in the best possible way.

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I apparently can’t spin quite as much as I could as a child, I spent the next five minutes after this photo gripping Mr Match’s arm and trying not to throw up. Whoops!

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I’d originally planned to make this dress during the sew-along and hoped to have it done for a wedding we were planning to attend this summer. But it was such a quick sew that it only took me a weekend. I made View 1 without any alterations.

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I ended up slip-stitching the neckline and armhole binding on the inside. I wasn’t sure at first that I would do it this way but as I was turning it under I was just loving how clean the binding looked on the outside and didn’t want to risk ruining it with top-stitching so I went for the slip-stitching. It took a little while but really not that long and totally worth it for high-quality finish.

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I made up a muslin of the bodice and was happy with a straight size 8. It turned out that the seersucker didn’t gather quite as easily as the muslin, not much of a surprise there, so I ended up adding a tuck on either side of the neckline to pull it flatter against my chest. I think the tucks helped enormously. I probably should’ve used Jennifer’s instructions for a smaller bust adjustment, she drafts her patterns for a D-cup which I’m definitely not. But that post hadn’t come out by the time I was working on this and I think I made it work. The gathers are pretty forgiving although I think if you have an A or B-cup a small bust adjustment would be necessary unless your fabric is light enough that it really gathers well.

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The pockets on this turned out really well. I’m a firm believer in pockets in dresses. I put them in the very first dress that I made and they’re just not that hard to do so I can’t imagine making a dress without pockets unless it really doesn’t work with the fabric. Even my wedding dress had pockets, major selling point! I think it’s possible that I didn’t cut the fabric on the right direction for the pockets, it certainly doesn’t match the direction of the skirt fabric. But I think it works. The nice thing about the narrowness of these seersucker stripes is that it looks great when they match up but it also doesn’t detract from the look if they don’t match up.

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I’d never put in a lapped zipper before making this dress. When I was first looking through the pattern I couldn’t make sense of the zipper directions for the life of me. As usual, at least for me, as soon as I actually had the fabric cut out and was working on that part it made total sense.

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All in all a really satisfying make. The pattern comes together easily and the sewing is quick work. I got to wear it for Easter dinner last weekend. It layered well with a cardigan, blazer, tights and boots. Oh New England, will you ever warm up again!! Can’t wait to wear this in real spring/summer weather. The seersucker I used is so yummy and will make for such a nice dress in the hot humid summers we get here in Boston. I’m looking forward to making another one soon!

Details:

Pattern: Felicity Dress by Jennifer Lauren Vintage

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Seersucker in Lupine from fabric.com

-Hannah

New Pursuits

I missed an internet highlights post last week because I’ve been off work, hanging out at home. And believe it or not, I’ve been spending more time getting some sewing done than I have been looking at sewing or making that I could be doing. Shocking? Yes. But bound to happen some day. I’ll be back in the next couple days with pictures and info about some of the other projects I’ve been working on. I think I’m just about done with my Natalie…finally. I still need to write up the Sutton blouse I finished weeks ago. I’ve almost finished a Julia cardigan and gotten started on a wearable muslin of a popover version of Archer. And I’ll have a whole post and review of the Felicity dress pattern. Whew!! That’s a lot of sewing progress!

But for now, here are the newer things I’m thinking about. I was poking around on instagram and came across Dropcloth Samplers and had to immediately snatch up one of the Original Samplers off of Etsy. Look at this thing, it’s beautiful!

The Original Sampler from Dropcloth Sampler

So that’s on it’s way. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to grab some embroidery thread and a hoop before it arrives because I really want to start on this. There are so many things about sewing that I absolutely love but one thing that has really bugged me about making the switch over from knitting to sewing is that I can’t bring my sewing machine everywhere. (I know I could just keep up some knitting projects so I have something portable. I can’t seem to keep both going at the same time though.) For some reason I’ve felt entirely disinterested in embroidery until very recently, even though it’s something I’ve done previously.

When I first learned to sew, back when I was a kid and spent a lot of time with my grandmother, embroidery was generally my sewing project of choice. My grandmother spent her time between high school and when she got married going to trade school and working in downtown Boston as a seamstress, working on wedding dresses. She continued after she got married making some of her own clothes, doing alterations for the family, quilting, embroidering, etc. She taught me, very early, with that crazy plastic grid canvas. At some point she moved me over from that lovely combo of acrylic yarn/plastic darning needle/plastic canvas to real embroidery. I’m not sure that I finished very many projects but I definitely started lots of things (and man did I love collecting ALL THE EMBROIDERY FLOSS!!)

This hobby fell by the wayside but I’m super excited to be giving it another try.

The other thing I’ve got floating around is an interest in pattern drafting. I know, I know. When I started this blog I said I wasn’t interested in making my own patterns. And now I’ve only been at this blog thingy for six weeks and I’ve already changed my mind. I’m not preparing to throw my patterns away and say I’m only making self-drafted things from now on. No way. But I came across this class over on Creativebug and I’ve started watching. I’m pretty excited about at least creating some basic forms and using them to help me alter the patterns I’ve already purchased, if only to work on really fitting them well. I’m not going to suggest that there’s no way I couldn’t come up with some new pattern shapes to offer the world but right now I’m feeling like indie sewing pattern world is serving me very well. I’m mostly interested in learning how patterns come together so that I can alter the patterns I’ve got in a more professional, and effective, way.

So those are my new ways to pass the time. I’ve got a couple more spring projects to finish up. Maybe spring is refusing to arrive in Boston because I haven’t finished my Ginger jeans. Guess I should get on that. I’ve already started planning my summer sewing list, I’ll let you know those details soon!!

-Hannah