Me Made May 2017 musings

So #MMMay17 has just wrapped up (literally, its 8.30pm on the 31st as I write), and I wanted to get down some thoughts about it before I forget. I didn’t make a formal pledge or anything like I have in the past, but I thought I would use the month as a chance to get some perspective on my handmade wardrobe, and try to figure out what I should be making for this winter (if anything). I easily managed to wear at least one handmade garment each day in May, which was a nice change from my last Me Made May, but given that I tend to sew mostly basic separates it wasn’t exactly surprising! This is what I wore last month:

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Looking at this collage, I can see that I definitely have favourite colours and silhouettes! Denim, stripes, grey and navy are definitely my neutrals, with reds, greens and mustard as accents. It has been unusually cold this May, with snow and freezing southerly gales, so I’ve been pretty rugged up. My hand knits got a really good workout, as did my Cascade duffle coat and Waver raincoat. I think my Driftless cardigan and Safran jeans were probably the MVP’s in my wardrobe this month (and most months), though I’ve certainly got good wear out of my Lark tee shirts too! I also used my Genoa tote bag nearly every day, though it didn’t make it into any of the pictures. I started the month putting a star emoji on the days where I wore all handmade garments, but I apparently gave up on that pretty early!

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Oslo Coat by Tessuti and Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Files

So I think I’m actually pretty well covered for winter clothes, but I do have a short list of things I think would fill the few holes that I’ve noticed. I could really do with another pair of jeans, so I’m going to finally pull finger and make some Ginger jeans. Hopefully I’ll get started on those during the long weekend we have coming up! I also have a few pieces of merino set aside for more long sleeved Lark tee shirts and maybe another toaster sweater, because I can never have too many knit tops. I wear my driftless cardi so much that I’m going to make another one in some wool ponte, which will get me closer to my goal of spending the winter swaddled in snuggy wool. Finally, I’ve decided I’d really like another warm coat, but in a neutral colour. I love my Cascade duffle coat, but a bright red coat can be a bit limiting sometimes! I’ve been wanting a charcoal or navy coat, and when Tessuti released the Oslo Coat pattern earlier this week I decided it was just what I was looking for. Emma (from Emma’s Atelier) and I are going to sew the Oslo up together, its always nice to have a sewing buddy! And I think that’s about it, which is pretty good. Hopefully I can get those things whipped up soon to keep me warm, so that I can get sewing the summery pieces I want to be able to take to the UK later in the year.

I’ve enjoyed Me Made May again this year, not only does it give me something to think about and to base my sewing plans on (rather than my usual ”ooh, shiny!” approach), but I really love seeing how people wear their hand made clothes in their everyday life rather than just how they’ve styled them for their blog posts. I always find myself reconsidering patterns that I’ve previously dismissed when I see them during MMMay! My to-sew list is unreasonably long these days…

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November Roundup

Holy crap, I can’t believe I only have one month left of my ‘make a thing a week for a year’ challenge! I also can’t believe its Summer tomorrow, and the start of the Christmas season. I’m looking forward to digging out my Christmas decorations and doing some Christmas baking (I love gingerbread and fruit mince pies, even though neither is particularly seasonally appropriate for the southern hemisphere…), but I’m really looking forward to more sunshine, warmer weather and summer fruit arriving in the shops and in my garden!

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This month has been a successful one, sewing-wise. My Grainline Scout and Alder are two of my favourite me-made items so far, and my Moneta has already had a fair bit of wear. I’m really glad I finished my Malu coat, even though it isn’t quite what I envisaged when I started it, so many months ago! I think that the projects this month have taught me a bit about compromise, and making the best of a situation. Sometimes that works out awesomely, like with the triangle cutout on my Scout tee, and sometimes its just the reality of the situation, as it was with my Malu. You can’t win them all, and at least I managed to get wearable garments out of each situation!

I haven’t got a huge amount to add this month, all of my projects used techniques I’ve used before, so there was nothing new to learn. I was much more confident putting the collar on my Alder shirtdress this time than when I made my Archer shirt all those months ago, and I’m really happy with how neat it looks. I’ve also learned a valuable lesson about picking knit fabrics. When I compare my first Moneta with my second, the recovery of the striped rayon knit is so much better than the merino I first picked, and has resulted in a much more wearable dress! The first one is so cozy and warm, but I think I might end up repurposing the fabric and making another one in a merino blend for next winter.

I did have some excitement this week, when I realised that my Sewaholic Belcarra blouse was featured on the Sewaholic blog! I couldn’t figure out what had happened overnight, my views were through the roof when I checked it on Thursday morning! I feel very flattered to be included amongst such interesting and talented seamstress/bloggers 🙂

October Round up

So I totally flaked and forgot to write up my monthly report on the 31st! Whoops. Here it is, two days late…

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October was another five make month, so I managed to finish…

A pair of Tessuti Suzy pants (though these were posted on the first, so were technically made in September. I’ll count them anyway!)
A new lining for my favourite RTW blazer
Another Sewaholic Renfrew
A petticoat for a vintage dress
A By Hand London Holly playsuit with the cross over Flora bodice

Quite a busy month really! I was also nominated for a Liebster Award, and took part in a Blog Hop. I don’t think I learned any new techniques, aside from the proper way to bag line a jacket, but I have branched out with attempts to modify and adapt patterns. I changed up the waistband on my Suzy Pants, hacked my Holly playsuit and Renfrew, and more or less made up the pattern and method for the petticoat and blazer lining. I’ve entered my playsuit in the By Hand London #patternhackathon competition on Instagram, just for fun! There are some pretty awesome things under that hashtag, go and check them out!

Finally, happy halloween to those of you who celebrate it! Its a bit of a non event in Wellington, but I used it as an excuse to make some gingerdead men 🙂

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September Round up

Daylight savings started last weekend! I’m kind of gutted to be getting up in the dark again, but its definitely worth it to have a few more hours of sunshine in the evening. It feels like we really are heading into summer now!
My spring sewing plans are in full swing, and I’ve made some things i’m really proud of, so its been a pretty good month really.

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This month I made my cats-in-bow ties Moss mini, a variation on a Sewaholic Renfrew Tee and a Sewaholic Belcarra, and finished my Miette Cardigan. I learned so many new techniques this month! How to put in a fly front zipper, how to sew french seams, how to KNIT. I’ve worn my Moss mini a few times, and get asked where i got it every time, so thats kinda exciting. I love it, its a really comfortable, easy skirt to wear, and it has cats on it, which makes me smile. My Renfrew has also gone into rotation with the rest of my tee shirts, but I haven’t worn the Belcarra, its not quite silk tee weather yet! I haven’t had a chance to wear my Miette out either, as one of my knots came undone and one of the sleeve cuffs started to unravel! Disaster! I caught it pretty early, and managed to pick up the dropped stitches using a darning needle, so I think it’ll be ok…obviously need to leave longer ends to weave in.

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This is my current stash of fabrics for spring sewing projects, all pre-washed and ready to go. The two striped pieces in the top corner are random lengths of silk chiffon which I dug out of the scrap bin at The Fabric Warehouse, I’m not sure what I’ll do with them but I couldn’t pass them up for $5 a pop. The grey and white cotton lawn next to them is for my Grainline Alder, all the way from Miss Matatabi in Japan (thanks to Bella from Bellbird for that dangerous recomendation). Then there is the black and white coated cotton for my Malu Coat, floral cotton lawn for a Sewaholic Hollyburn, a striped cotton for a BHL Flora, and a pink Lyocel knit, all from the Fabric Store. Finally, a navy polka dot poly blend for a BHL Holly from The Fabric Warehouse. Phew! I can’t wait to get stuck in, its such a shame that work and university take up so much of my sewing time…

I’ll finish up this post with a picture of some of the beautiful cherry blossom trees near my house, they’re so beautiful at the moment!

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August Roundup

Last day of winter! Yay! I’m sitting here typing this in brilliant sunshine, listening to one of our local Tui sing his wee heart out, and I’m feeling full of the joys of spring! (A tui is a NZ native bird, they have a very distinctive song. We’ve very lucky to have a number of them living in the trees in our neighbourhood!)
This month has been pretty busy, and I’ve only finished one garment for me! I did make two items for other people though, a Coppelia cardigan for my mum and a self drafted teeshirt for Monsieur.

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My button-back hemlock has had various outings this month, both over shirts and over tee shirts, so I’m very pleased with how that turned out! I’m also pretty pleased with my braided bead necklace, I like how it brightens up my outfits with mimimal fuss!

So, in short, this month has produced:
Two tops (Hemlock and self drafted tee)
One cardigan (Papercut Coppelia)
One accessory (braided beads necklace)

The self drafted tee shirt was the biggest challenge this month, it seriously had me stumped at various points. I’m pretty proud of how it worked out though, construction issues aside! The next one should be much more sturdy.

I have a big assignment due next Sunday, so my knitting has been looking very appealing this week. Funny how easy it is to find distractions when theres a deadline looming! I’ve nearly finished the bodice, then there will be the challenge of the sleeves…

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Seems a bit silly to be sitting in the sun knitting a pure wool cardigan, but Wellington is infinitely changeable, so you never know!

July roundup

I’m actually pretty impressed with how much I got done this month! Two of my posts contained double makes, with two Bronte tops, and two pairs of Anima pants. I also branched out into bag construction!

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I have to say, I love my Bronte tops! I wear them all the time (in fact, as I type this, I’m wearing them both and my Coppelia cardigan. Shut up, its cold.) and get lots of complements on them whenever I’m out and about. I’ll definitely be making some summer ones, maybe in a bamboo cotton if i can get my hands on any. I’ve also had a fair bit of wear out of my camisole, its really comfortable. Another pattern to go back in the ‘to make again’ pile! (The knickers are also really comfortable, if thats not TMI!)

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There are also my Anima pants. The black merino version have been worn quite a bit, but I’ve been too shy to wear the patterned ones out yet! Maybe next week I’ll get over it enough to wear them to the gym. My scrub hats get worn at every day, I have enough to wear one every day for a week.

So, this month I’ve added another 5 garments to my handmade wardrobe, not too bad really!

In short…
-two tops
-two pairs of pants
-the camisole set
-the waterproof tote bag
-the scrub hats

I’ve also learned a couple of new techniques, including sewing heavy, rigid fabric, putting buttonholes in knits (not as scary as i anticipated) and sewing with stretchy lace.

Next month is going to feature a few items I’m sewing for other people, mainly Monsieur and my mum. I’m kind of winging it for both garments, so we’ll see how that goes! Hopefully I won’t crash and burn…

May Round up

I know I say this at the end of every month, but i can’t believe how fast each month goes! How is it the end of May already? May has been a pretty big month for me, I’ve resigned from my job and got a new one at the private hospital up the road. I also had to make an emergency dash to the dentist, where they told me I need a root extraction, so the last two weeks have passed in a sort of painful blur. The pain in my mouth is being dulled with codine, the pain in my wallet is not so easy to get rid of! Better out than in though, I suppose!

This month I have continued my epic run of sewing knit garments, making:

-a Grainline Hemlock tee
-two Sewaholic Renfrews,
-a Colette Moneta dress
-two ‘self drafted’ tank dresses for my mum

My blue short sleeved Renfrew has probably had the most wear this month, but everything else has been worn for at least a day. The dresses for mum haven’t had an outing yet, she doesn’t head for the tropics until next month. They fit her though, despite my worries about the size of the arm holes! Must be because she is taller than me.

New skills I have learned from this months sewing include shirring knits with elastic. I didn’t realise that I had already done this on mum’s sundresses until I was making my Moneta! I’m also getting better with adjusting the bobbin tension when i use my twin needle, so my knit hems are getting smoother.

This month I also revamped my sewing space, and prettied up my blog page. I’m feeling pretty good about how my sewing skills are coming along, I feel like every garment I make is neater and better fitting than the last. I think I’m getting better at picking fabric for certain projects too (mistakes with my Moneta aside!). I really enjoyed seeing everyones MMM posts, and I think i’ll be ready to join in next year!

June is going to be another big month, between starting my new job and finishing my first trimester at uni. One more assignment to write! I’m also going to cat sit for mum for a week, so expect lots of photos of this fuzzy face…

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