Me Made May Round-Up Part One

Sorry for the radio silence around here recently, it’s been a crazy couple weeks finishing up the semester and supporting Mr Match with grad school milestones. Any available time I’ve had I’ve spent sewing and not updating the bloggity blog.

Here’s an update on how Me Made May is going. This is the first time I’ve participated and I’ve done better than I was planning wearing my me-mades. I’ve worn something handmade 15 out of 18 days though I’m missing one picture.

I’ve been learning very quickly, perhaps relearning because let’s be honest I knew all of this already, which items get the most use in my wardrobe. As much as I love making nice dresses, and as much as I enjoy wearing them, I don’t have as many occasions to wear them as I do dresses I want to make.

What I do go to every day is easy to wear shirts, jeans, and cardigans. My Ginger Jeans have been getting lots of wear, as have my tees and tanks. My more casual dresses have gotten some wear and I certainly want to make more Marianne dresses and Eucalypt dresses.

I think the even more important lesson I’m learning is about fabric choice and wardrobe planning. I’ve got a lot of great prints that had been part of my summer sewing plans but I’m realizing that I may want to rethink some of the those plans, simply based on what I am and am not pulling out of my closet and drawers.

I am hitting the point where I’m going to need to start repeating some things. I’ve still got a few items I haven’t worn though and a few items that I’m working on right now. I’d also been planning on making some Jamie Jeans during the sewalong over on Indie Sew. School work prevented me from participating in the sewalong but I’m looking forward to adding another pair of jeans to my wardrobe.

I’m also prioritizing sewing more tanks and tees. I’ve got a bunch of different patterns I want to try out which will hopefully help me pick out a couple patterns that will become TNTs. So far Me Made May has been a great learning experience and I’m loving getting to show off my handmade clothing a lot more frequently.

Here are links for all of the garments that I’ve written posts about:

I’ll be back in a couple days to show off some of the things I’ve been working on recently. Now that school’s over for the summer I’ve got a lot more time to work on sewing projects. Hopefully I’ll have some great wardrobe additions for the second half of Me Made May. If you’re participating in Me Made May, how’s it going?

-Hannah

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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

SSW Updates

I mentioned before that I was calling last week Selfish Sewing Week because I was on spring break and had a bunch more time to sew. I didn’t get quite as much done as I was hoping to but I made some pretty awesome progress on a few things.

The big accomplishment last week was that I got a muslin made of my Ginger Jeans. I’d been trying to figure out a mash up of the two versions, a lower waist with skinny legs. I think I’ve managed to try to do this the harder way by slimming out the legs on the version with the lower waist instead of lowering the waist on the version with the skinny legs. I made some pattern alterations ten days ago and then on Thursday I got it stitched up. I’d ended up taking off 3/4 of an inch on both sides of the leg, front and back, grading out to nothing a couple inches above the knee. I also took out two inches of length at the knee. I’d been sort of worried that the pattern pieces as I’d cut them out, in a size 8, just looked way too big. Fortunately I was pretty happy with my muslin.

I’d decided to make a real muslin instead of just basting together my real denim because other than my Hudson pants I’ve never made pants before. As I was trying to make a number of alterations, in ways that I’ve never done before, it seemed like it made sense to put in the small amount of time to do a muslin.

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I discovered that I most certainly took out too much width on the legs. I tried to hard to get that muslin on but couldn’t get it pulled up all the way. I looked pretty ridiculous trying to make that happen. I ended up just chopping off the pants at the knees and was able to get them on and get them all the way up. And guess what??

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They fit!! I’m going to add 3/8 of an inch back into the legs when I cut my denim. I’ll baste them though since I don’t know how the stretch in the denim will work itself out. I can’t wait to start working on these.

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I also made a muslin of the Felicity Dress bodice. I was a little concerned when I read that she drafts for a D cup, which I most certainly am not. But I think because the bodice has gathers instead of darts it works pretty well.

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I also finished off clipping threads and such on my Sutton Blouse and got the pleats hand-basted on my Natalie top. Hopefully I can finish Natalie off soon and it’ll be warm enough that I can take photos of those.

Finally, I got a quick make cut out over the weekend. I fell hard and fast for this reversible sweater knit at Joann’s last week. It’s not made of synthetics!! Rayon and cotton all the way. I’m cooking up something awesome, you’ll have to check back later to see how it worked out.

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Hoping to get a muslin for Minoru started soon. And I’ve got a couple small quilting things to finish up. Busy busy busy around here.

-Hannah

Project Plans

The Making Goals page on this site lists several dozen projects I’ve dreamed up in addition to lists of patterns I have and patterns I’d like to have. But there’s no real order to that list. It includes some actual planned projects (projects for which I have the pattern and the materials), some projects that were loosely dreamed up in the hopes of using fabric that I bought without any real plans, and some patterns that I have and really want to use but don’t have the materials to make yet. There’s a fourth category too, and one I’m just starting to explore, garments that I’ve seen, either in person, on TV or the internet, or in catalogues, that I want to recreate. This is new for me because it’s really just in the last few months that I’ve started to think about the garment I want to create and then the pattern I would use in that order as opposed to what can I make with this pattern. This is not to say that I’m about to branch out into making patterns, I’m not ready for that step, but I am thinking more about how to use the patterns that I have to create totally new garments.

This is all a very longwinded way of saying that, in addition to a catch-all list of everything I can imagine wanting to make, I think it will be useful to focus my sewing ambitions on a few particular goals. So here are the next four things I’m planning to work on, along with a rough timetable.

Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files

Ginger Jeans–I’ve got black Theory denim from Mood and purple topstitching thread set aside for this project. I’m planning a mashup of views A and B, low-rise with skinny legs.

Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic

Minoru Jacket–I couldn’t believe how much I liked this jacket when I saw Andrea’s version. I’ve ordered hunter green twill and a loud plaid for the lining. I’m planning on making the hooded version, omitting the inside pockets and adding either welt pockets or inseam ones.

Felicity Dress by Jennifer Lauren Vintage

Felicity Dress–As soon as I saw this dress I knew I wanted to make it for a wedding I’ll be attending this summer. I’ve ordered a white and medium purple seersucker and right now am planning to make the circle skirt version without any modifications.

Archer Button Up by Grainline Studio

Archer Button Up–This one I have less distinct plans for. I’ve been dreaming up all sorts of variations on the Archer. My first thought was a half button down, which apparently is called a popover? I guess that explains why I couldn’t find much info on transforming a button down into a half button down when I used the Google to search for tips. But magically today I came across this version from Dixie DIY, which is exactly what I was going for and she has some good links on how to pull it off. Jen at Grainline also has a tutorial on adding a placket to the Tiny Pocket Tank that I might use. My second thought was entirely based on seeing this version of the Archer on Four Square Walls, v-neck without sleeves and with a mandarin collar. Also, check out this version over at Design by Lindsay with the same modifications and elephant seersucker!! I knew I should’ve grabbed some of that fabric when I had the chance. So I have lots of ideas about ways to modify the Archer, but I haven’t ever made one straight from the pattern. I think my first step should be a muslin, possibly a wearable one, and then I can try out some of these ideas.

I’m planning to jump into muslins this week. I’ll make muslins for Minoru and Ginger and probably just a bodice muslin for Felicity. A wearable muslin for Archer will follow as well. Hopefully by the end of next week I can cut into my Ginger denim while I wait for fabric for Felicity and Minoru to arrive. Since I’m planning on a wearable muslin for Archer I’m going to work on the other projects first. Be back with progress photos soon I hope!

-Hannah