Marianne Take Two

On the search for another fast project a couple weeks ago, I happened across a cotton spandex jersey that I got from Girl Charlee without having any real plans for it. It was hot here the week I made this and skirts and dresses were the best way to stay cool.

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I thought about trying out a new pattern but I was getting started later in the day and really wanted to finish whatever I decided to make in time to wear it for Me Made May the next day. My previous Marianne Dress (blogged here) only took a few hours so I knew this pattern was what I was looking for. I think from cutting out to clipping threads this whole thing took me three to four hours. Not bad!

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I made Version A of the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes. My only modifications were to skip the collar and to add slim bands to the cap sleeves instead of folding over the sleeves and hemming them. I figured out how long to make the sleeve bands by calculating what percentage of the neckline length the neck band piece was and then making the sleeve band length the same percentage of the armhole edge.

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I added the sleeve bands in exactly the same way as the neckband is added in the pattern. Easy peasy!

I decided to stitch down the hem of the dress without my double needle because I still don’t feel like I get the results I’d like from it. I know this means I just need to play with it a bit more but who wants to do that when there are so many other things to be sewing and I could just wish for a coverstitch machine instead.

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I was intending to just stitch the hem down once but when I was almost finished I noticed that I’d missed an inch or so of the hem in one spot. Rather than take out what I’d done (we were going for fast, lazy sewing project here!) I decided to just sew another line underneath. So it looks like I used a coverstitch machine or a twin needle but this was just two lines of stitching with my walking foot.

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Not much else to say. This is still a great pattern. I basically feel like I’m wearing pajamas all day when I wear it, and it only takes a few hours to sew. Doesn’t get much better than that!

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The other great thing about making this dress is that I now know how fantastic this basic cotton spandex jersey is. At $6.50 a yard this medium weight, 95% cotton 5% spandex blend seems very high quality for the money. It sews up very nicely and is about as easy to work with as knits can get. I’ll certainly be adding more to my sewing stash soon!

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Details:

Pattern: Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes

Fabric: Cotton/Spandex Jersey from Girl Charlee

-Hannah

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Me Made May Round-Up Part Two

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I’m feeling very proud of how well I did with Me Made May. I had two goals when I signed up, the more measurable goal was to wear a minimum of three me-mades each week. I achieved this goal easily, and then some!

I wore handmade clothing 27 out of 31 days (I didn’t get photographs on two of those). At least two of those four days that I didn’t wear something handmade I also just didn’t get dressed. I’m a lazy Sunday sort of person! I guess this just means I need some me made pajamas!! There were six garments that were repeated at least once but even with those repeats I managed to wear 20 unique handmade garments in May!

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

My other, less quantifiable, goal for Me Made May participation was to use the experience of trying to wear me-made for the month to clarify my sewing aspirations. I don’t have any enormous revelations here but I’ve certainly learned lots from the experience.

The first lesson is one I was expecting, and probably one that many of us have learned over and over again. DRESSES ARE FUN TO MAKE, BUT IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO WEAR ONE TO WORK EVERY DAY IT’S TIME TO STOP MAKING THEM!!

What is it about dresses? Sure they’re less work than making pants and a blazer but they’re not an insubstantial amount of work. Why are they so captivating? I’m a nanny so technically I can wear whatever I want to work but of course the goal is that I’m comfortable, not worried that anything that happens to my clothing is going to permanently harm it, and most of all that I can run after a three and a half year old in it. This doesn’t rule out dresses for me entirely but generally I need to stick with things that are really washable, roomy, and long enough that I can bend over easily. I have some dresses that fit the bill but for the most part separates just work better. I don’t need to swear off making dresses but should focus more attention on separates that I can wear day to day. Those are the things that I wore the most during May.

The second lesson, and one that I’m still learning, is that it’s ok if I don’t want to sew certain things, it’s ok if I like my Gap tanks and tees. I’m still in the process of figuring out which basics and wardrobe staples I want to spend time sewing and which I don’t. I’m really excited about the pair of jeans I made and I’m looking forward to making more of them. But I don’t want to make long sleeve t-shirts or knit tanks in basic colors. Making super basic items in the same fabrics I can purchase RTW items, not my cup of tea! I know it is for some people and I’m not swearing off making these things. If it’s what I or someone else really wants to make there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But sewing is an escape for me and deciding that I “should” be making basic tees when I could buy them (likely for less than the cost of the fabric I’d need to make them) takes away from sewing as a soothing activity for me.

My third lesson is really less of a lesson and more of a puzzle that I’m still trying to figure out. That puzzle is all about how I make my sewing plans, stick to them, and get through some of my massive stash of fabric. About six weeks ago I posted here about my summer sewing plans. It included eight garments in May, five garments and a bag in June and six garments in July. I actually sewed quite a bit in May. I made, from start to finish, six garments as well as working on but not yet completing three others. That’s a really productive month for me but unfortunately only one of my finished garments and one of in progress garments were on my list. I’m really happy with the garments I have made but there are also several things on my list for May that I was excited about and would still really like to make.

I think this means that I need to come up with a better system for planning. While I like the idea of having a long list of projects I’d like to get to at some point having three months of sewing all planned out has felt limiting. One thing that I can find a bit overwhelming about the online sewing community is that there are so many patterns coming out all the time and sometimes I just want to jump on the bandwagon and kiss my plans goodbye.

One idea that’s resurfaced several times as this topic has been percolating in my brain is to try to focus myself on really mini collections, the sort that would be perfect for a weekend getaway. I have several shorter trips planned in the next several months and focusing myself on three or four items to make for each of those instead of trying to have one massive plan for a whole season’s wardrobe seems easier. I’ll be back later this week to tell you about my first mini collection.

So there are my Me Made May thoughts. How did Me Made May go if you were participating? Do you plan out large numbers of projects or just sew whatever is on your mind?

-Hannah

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

Lane Raglan Hack

I’ve been totally consumed for the last two weeks writing a term paper and haven’t had a single minute for sewing. It’s been killing me! I’ve always known that sewing time was a huge mood boost but hadn’t ever experienced being this bummed out by not sewing. I still have another term paper and finals but I was able to take some time yesterday to whip up a great light sweatshirt Lane Raglan hack.

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I got the Lane Raglan as part of the Indiesew Fall Collection but hadn’t used the pattern yet. I know that ideally I should be making a pattern as is before hacking at it but I guess I’ve always been a bit of a rule breaker! This is also a very low key hack.

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I’ve been seeing lots of funnel neck sweatshirts recently, and then last week I saw one on someone and realized I could just make one. I think I’m still new enough to the idea of sewing my own wardrobe that i sometimes forget how simple some things are and that I’m totally capable of making them myself.

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As I was finishing my paper on Wednesday I was trying to figure out what sewing project to work on as a reward for my hard work. I knew I didn’t want to start one of my longer projects, I needed some instant gratification. But I wanted to work on something I was excited to wear. I remembered my desire for a funnel neck sweatshirt, and this french terry I got from Girl Charlee a couple weeks ago. BINGO!

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This was a very simple make. Pattern taped together and cut out to finished garment in four hours!!

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To add the funnel neck I started by lowering the neckline by an inch at the CF. I saw that tip on this tutorial when I did a quick search for funnel neck hacks. It helps to keep this from being a turtleneck. I measured down an inch and graded that out to nothing about an inch onto the sleeve, ending before the shoulder notch.

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I measured the new neckline removing the seam allowance from that number. For me that was a 29″ neckline – eight 1/4″ seam allowances for a total of a 27″ neckline. I measured up, somewhat arbitrarily, from where I though the new neckline would hit to where I wanted the funnel neck to end up. That was 7″. I doubled that because I wanted the funnel neck to be self-lined and added 1/2″ for two seam allowances for a total of 15.5″. I did not add a seam allowance tot he 27″ for the funnel neck width. I knew I wanted to make it need to stretch a bit when sewing it to the neckline of the shirt so it wouldn’t be ripply. I was expecting to make it narrower but it fit into the neckline perfectly.

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Before sewing the funnel neck to the neckline I added two buttonholes. Then I sewed it on just like it was the regular neckband from the pattern. After I’d put everything else together I sewed a line about 1.5″ down from the top of the funnel neck for a drawstring channel. Then I fed a drawstring though and I was done!

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I’m super happy with this one. I will definitely be making another at some point. I’ll probably slim the sleeves a little next time and have the funnel neck narrow a bit toward the top.

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What a fantastic start to Me Made May! I need to focus for a little longer on school work but I’ll be back later this weekend to take stock of my me-mades in preparation for the rest of the month.

-Hannah

 

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!!