Unfortunately, on day one I attended a funeral. I have no witty or funny commentary about this, wore my Simplicity peplum top.
Day two and Monday is back. I know it’s cliché to complain about Monday’s, but honestly, they are such a fucking bummer. I wore my first By Hand London Kim dress, because it was actually not freezing that day. Ohio is not doing me any favors, weather wise.
On day three I wore a Sewaholic Saltspring dress because it’s seriously comfortable and seriously spring-y. Also looked 12 years old, apparently. Angles are weird.
For day four I wore one of my favorite makes, McCall’s 6696. It’s got it’s problems (the back is too poofy, that button placket drives me bonkers), but it’s well sewn. It’s also my first attempt at stripe matching and I don’t think I did too horribly.
Day five and I wore a comfy knit anchor print dress. I don’t wear a ton of knits, but I love this dress. That fabric is the best knit fabric I’ve ever used. Maybe it’s too much red with the cardigan and the lipstick, but I just don’t care.
Day six was a bit of a sneak peek. I wore an unblogged Gertie pencil skirt, which I swear I’ll post about soon. I have two more waiting to bed worn!
It was fucking freezing on day seven. I had planned to wear a tank, but Ohio wasn’t having it. So I wore another Sewaholic Granville out to drinks. This weather is bullshit.
How are you doing with Me-Made-May? I’m starting to realize I’ve made way more items than I thought!
Week two of Me-Made-May is over, and I’m starting to feel weird about all the selfies. I’ve posted them before, of course, but man, this feels like an overload!! Next year, I’ll have to think of a better way to do it. Also, I promised some new garments last week. Unfortunately, my family suffered a loss last week, and I was in no mood to do blog photos. But soon, I really do promise!
We started the week with me attempting to fix the lawnmower. For such an activity, I wanted to wear something comfortable that I wasn’t in love with. Enter my sweet sweet mom jeans. The pattern is a Gertie for Butterick, and is clearly NOT the pattern for me!
Next, we’re back to another Monday. Blargh. Switched it up and did my first me-made-May car selfie. I wore my well beloved chambray shirt dress, but man, it was way too cold for it.
For day three, I tried to prepare for cold weather by wearing my favorite flannel. I was burning up all fucking day. I gotta start looking at the weather before I leave the house.
Day four was a Wednesday and I decided to wear something fun, like a dogs in bowties. Very fun, very comfy.
On day five, I missed work. I got a call from the momma, while I was getting dressed, saying that I needed to come the hospital immediately. Snapped a quick picture, the Audrey Hepburn skirt was the closest thing, so that’s what I wore.
Day six and I had burrito plans with some friends. This Octopus dress is one of my all time favorite makes, and I had a good hair day, so you even go to see my face. You can decide for yourself if that’s terrible or not.
Saturday, day seven, brought one helluva hangover. Feeling lazy and slovenly, I donned some self drafted, unblogged pajamas pants. While I still had no problem wearing me-made clothes everyday, Saturday did shine a glaring light on my lack of casual clothing. Looking at my makes, I clearly love fun dresses, and while I do tend to wear those, I don’t think it would hurt to stitch up a few comfy tees.
We’re already one week into Me-Made-May!!! I’ve been doing daily posts on Instagram, but I wanted to do a weekly post here, with links to the garment posts, in case any of you were curious about the patterns. Fellow sewists, I’ve really enjoyed seeing what you’ve made! Non-sewist friends, please stay with me through this month of selfies, I promise it will go away. A bit of warning: these pictures are not very good. You’re going to see a lot of low grade mirror selfies, and for that I’m sort of sorry. But let’s be honest, there was no fucking way I was going to do a photo shoot every morning.
Day one was a Sunday, which means ultra casual for me! Sundays are my only day off, so I really try to relax and enjoy them. On this particular day, I had to take a foster dog to the vet, so real clothes were necessary. I opted for my Gertie Wrap Top, high waisted jeans, and my favorite black chucks.
Day two brought us the Monday blahs. As much as I like my job, and I really do, Mondays are always a struggle. In an attempt to counteract that, I wore my fun bat blouse, pencil skirt, and tights. For work, I try to cover up all my tattoos, so expect to see long sleeves even if it’s 90 degrees!
On day three, I was completely exhausted. I’m a girl who needs a full 8 hours (or more) of sleep every night, and the night before I had only gotten three. THREE!!! So day three was a bit sloppy, with a messy pony, my Morris Blazer muslin, a plain tee, and some Dickie’s. Blargh.
For day four, I decided to give everyone a break from looking at my goofy mug. My lovely dress form is modeling a RTW red cardigan and my cherry print Colette Lily dress. A bit of a school teacher/librarian look, and I’m more than fine with that.
On day five I felt like being a little festive. I had lunch plans with some coworkers, so something fun and festive was in order. What could be more fun than my 30th birthday dress, the Gertie shelf bust dress, with a RTW cardigan and my standard black tights. No one can be sad is a sateen circle skirt!
Day six was casual Friday, and my wardrobe selection definitely reflected that. A sparkly gray sweater cardigan, black tank, and my beloved Levi’s were cozy enough for the shitty gloomy weather we’ve been having in Ohio. Really hoping for sunnier weather, but expect to see flannels soon.
Day seven and it’s finally Saturday!! During the daytime hours on Saturdays, I work at doggie adoption events and also have a second job doing admin work. But at night, I get to wear what I want. For this one I went to my favorite bar, the Drink Tavern, and I wore my refashioned Drink Tavern shirt (duh), an old band hoodie, Levi’s, and chucks. Pretty standard look for me, though my tee is usually not me-made.
I’ve always been a big fan of wearing things I’ve made, so this week didn’t seem like much of a challenge or anything out of the ordinary. Though you will probably see one of these cardigans/blazers again, I’m trying to pair them with a handmade different garment, wearing a new me-made item everyday. It will be interesting to see if it still doesn’t feel like a challenge by week four! Hopefully I’ve haven’t bombarded you all with too many selfies, new garments are coming later this week! Happy sewing 🙂
In my last post, you got to meet Albus, the most handsome of gentleman. Today, you get to meet Lily Rose, my pretty yet cranky lady dog. Actually, you’ve seen Lily before, but it’s been awhile, so I felt reintroductions were necessary. Have you ever seen two dogs this photogenic? No, no you have not.
So the dress. This dress is the Gertie-est of Gertie dresses. The fabric is from her line at Joann’s, and the pattern is a mashup from her latest book. It’s common knowledge that I have a thing about sateens, and what can I say, her patterns just call to me.
This dress came together in about 6 sleepy after work hours, though I had already made a quick muslin of the bodice. Being entirely honest, I didn’t follow the directions at all. I didn’t consciously decide to do this, just sort of started sewing, only realizing after that I hadn’t read any instructions. For the bodice (the strapless sweetheart), I added boning on all the seams of the lining, cutting them short in the boob area, to allow for cups. I should have added an additional piece according to the instructions, which I’m sure would have added more stability! For the cups, I did something truly white trash…I snipped the band off an old strapless bra and used the cups in the dress. Using the under wire as a guide, I sewed them to the lining also. In addition, I used horsehair braid around the top edge of the bodice, to help it hold it’s shape. To do that, I just stitched the bottom edge of the horsehair to the lining, and then understitched it along the top. I know that sounds like a lot, but as a strapless dress, I really wanted it to be solid.
The skirt was really fairly straightforward. It’s the three-quarter circle skirt, with the only modification I made being the addition of side seam pockets, because that’s what I do. I cut a straight 6 for this entire dress, which is my RTW size, also. The fit was pretty spot on, the only change I would make next time would be to shorten the skirt a bit. I just really don’t like below the knee skirts on me, but somehow, I always forget about this when cutting fabric. Makes me a bit of a dumbass, but at least it’s an easy fix.
The only major issue I had with this dress is entirely my own fault. Sewists, you should never rush an invisible zipper at 10:30pm, when your normal bedtime is 9:00. The zipper on this dress is FAR from invisible, and is for sure going to have to be redone. I always struggle with zippers, and I’m afraid this time was no exception. It really wouldn’t kill me to practice a bit.
Zippers aside, I’m really proud of this dress. That’s a lot of structural work for a six hour dress!!! Beyond that, the fabric is just fabulous. I feel like the dress belongs on the beach somewhere, with a pitcher of overly garnished margaritas. I do think I’ll wear it a lot, you’ll definitely be seeing it again during Me-Made-May. Let this serve as my declaration that ‘I, Ashley of Sewn by Ashley, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2016’.
Fellow sewist, I can’t wait to see what you make and how the challenge inspires you! For my part, I’m hoping it gets to mend or alter some of old makes, and get those suckers worn! You will be able to see daily posts about it on my Instagram, I’ll also be doing a weekly round up here. I hope I don’t bore everyone too much!! I’ll leave you with a few more photos, happy sewing 🙂
If you follow me at all, you know I’m obsessed with dogs, and especially my own, super handsome furry friends. The moment I saw this fabric online, there was no chance I was passing it up! It’s dogs in fucking bow ties, people, everyone needs this fabric! That said, it’s quilting cotton, albeit a lightweight cotton, so it’s not the most luxurious of fabrics…
While I love this print, I really didn’t want to do a full dress with it. I think it would be a bit overwhelming, and I like to use fabric with a teensy bit of give for bust areas. I have several yards of black stretch sateen laying around for my Halloween costume, so I opted to borrow a little from that. In my mind, the sheen would help keep the dress from looking like it was made from curtains, but still keep the focus on the cutesy print.
Keeping with that train of thought, I wanted to use a fairly simple pattern. It took me awhile to finally decide, but I settled on the By Hand London Kim dress. I’ve made it before, and really like the look of it. That said…last time I really struggled with the fabric. It wrinkled like mad, and just really did not press well. As a result, it just looks kinda sloppy, all the time. Frustrating, ya know? This effort was much better, with sateen and quilting cotton being some of the easiest fabrics to press. For this version, I shortened the straps a bit (could have shortened them more!), and didn’t take the bodice in. Previously, I had taken it in a bit, and I kinda wish I had again. I like a tight bodice, and I shouldn’t give into pressure to do things any other way! Lesson learned.
For the skirt, I went with a modified version of variation 2. I cut the pieces as instructed, but went with pleats instead of gathers, as is my preference. Just like with my last skirt, I used the bodice and my cutting mat grid as a guide. This time, my pleats are four squares (inches), with two inches separating them. No reasoning for that, just what I felt like doing, folks. I also added pockets, again using markings on the selvage as a guide. I know I should cut off the selvage, but…I like it.
I finished the zip right before photos, and totally didn’t realize how wonky it is. When I fix that, I will definitely tighten up the bodice a bit!! Also, I find that my shoulders always look wide in blog photos, but according to my measurements and the way every top has ever fit me, I don’t have even slightly wide shoulders. Has anyone else experienced this? How do you rectify it? Am I just standing weird again? HELP ME!!
Overall, I really like this dress. I know I say that in nearly every post, but I mean it. Plus, I’ve found that the By Hand London dress block fits my shape best, within minimal alterations. Perfect, right? If I can get by with wearing dog faces on my clothes at work, this will go into the weekly rotation, and I can’t think of higher praise than that! I’ll leave you with one more picture, because I have actual decent photos again. Happy sewing 🙂
Sometimes, I buy fabric on impulse with no actual plans for it, like every other sewist (sewer? seamstress?) that I know. I’m pretty sure I bought this lovely Audrey Hepburn fabric with my friend Shannon before she was pregnant with her first child…she’s now on number two. So yeah, it’s been awhile. So long, in fact, that I can now find no actual links to it, sorry friends! 🙁
For this particular fabric, I really struggled with finding something that wouldn’t require the beheading of Audrey. Not as easy as you’d think, folks. I considered a drindl skirt, but I’m really more of a pleats girl. I then thought about doing this lovely double pleated skirt from Gertie, but I didn’t have the required yardage for pattern matching. So I just thought, fuck it, I’ll make my own damn skirt pattern. I may have been a bit drunk when I decided this…
I cut the fabric from selvage to selvage, using the fabric pattern as a guide, so about 1 1/2 panels. I then measured my waist, divided by two, and made pleats in the fabric until it matched that measurement. Folks, I just used my cutting mat to measure out the pleats, nothing fancy. My pleats are about three inches/squares wide. I cut two wide waist bands, interfaced, and stitched those to the skirt. I threw on some pockets using text on the selvage as a guideline, and then added a short side zip above that. Completely just winging it.
The top is the wrap top from the above mentioned Butterick skirt/top combo pattern. This pattern is crazy easy to sew up, with an awesome sewalong from Gertie herself. I have to be honest, though, the cutting threw me for a loop! There are only two pieces, with the sleeves, front, and back being all together on one, and the ties being separate. Just trust in Gertie, though, it all comes together easily and quickly! I used black ponte for mine, which I think has a bit less stretch than intended. To compensate, I used my serger and a smaller seam allowance.
Next time, I would do a knit with more stretch and the proper seam allowance, I think it would me more favors in the boob area, you know? Overall, I’m pretty stoked on this project. Both components were finished in an obscenely small amount of time, and I will definitely be wearing them again! I’m currently searching for a print to for the double pleated skirt, so hopefully you’ll be seeing that soon. Happy sewing 🙂
Have I ever talked about my deep and long standing love of wrap tops? No? Well, I fucking love them. They are the most flattering bodice type I’ve worn, and I’ve tried everything! If you’re a repeat reader, you know I love a low cut top. So when I saw the By Hand London Flora Dress, it was almost as if they were in my head. A plunging neckline! A full, pleated skirt!! Swoon.
Now, the Flora dress comes with an absolutely love skirt, but I was determined to use this border print fabric. The Flora skirt has a curved hem, and that just wasn’t going to work here. I knew I wanted to keep it pleated, so I opted to use the Butterick B5317 by Maggy London as a template. I’ve made it before, so it seemed like a good starting point. It ended up being a bit big, so I ended up doing a few gathers to make it fit the bodice. This caused a weird bunching effect on the skirt back pieces, so I unpicked the pleats a bit. Also, since the skirt has pleats all around, that meant I had to switch to a side zip. I hate side zips, but what can you do? Oh! The skirt pattern also features pockets, and obviously, I had to leave those in!
To compensate for the change, I just stitched the back and one side in the same manner as the Kim Dress. To get the border print where I wanted it on the dress, I had to ignore the grainline suggestions when cutting my pieces. Luckily, this didn’t totally screw me. Whew!! Other than those things, I made no changes. I do, however, think I should have moved the bottom bust dart over just a tiny bit. If after a few washes it’s not too tight, I will size down future bodices just a hair. Otherwise, I would change nothing.
I’m actually pretty excited to sew this with it’s intended skirt, probably in a black sateen? I will definitely be making this again, probably several times! Happy sewing 🙂
Have you ever just completely lost your will to sew? You’re halfway through a garment and just can’t bring yourself to finish it? Let’s say that you have. What’s up with that!?!? I’d been wanting to sew this Morris Blazer for quite sometime, and it’s not particularly difficult sew, why get so blah about it? I’ll admit that it is a bit boring in plain gray, and I really don’t love sewing knits, but still!
I opted for plain gray for this, because I wanted to wear it to work. I cover up my arms everyday, so I needed something that would blend with multiple garments. Originally, I had planned to wear this to the Brian Fallon show I went to in Chicago, but I really dragged my feet and didn’t get it done. Instead, I wore the peplum top I made 23984783974 years ago. Btw, if you’re interested, I met a photograph who took fucking FABULOUS photos of that show, which you can see here.
Back to the blazer. Since I was afflicted with a terrible case of the sewing blahs, I kinda rushed this. And as the fabric is a gray ponte I got at Joann’s for a steal, I decided to just treat this like a muslin. Which, in a way, was fortunate, because I have a few changes to make. For starters, the shoulders are too wide and need to be taken in a bit, which I really need to remember to do on anything with sleeves. The sleeves are also too roomy for me and will have to be taken in. I’d add 1-2 inches to length overall, except for the sleeves, where I’ve already added 3 inches. I think it would be a bit sturdier if it was fully lined, and clearly, I need to do a better job sewing it. Those sleeve gathers are awful, and the top stitching is complete shit.
I don’t blame the pattern for any of the issues, it has definitely been a user error! And I’ll absolutely still wear it to work, of course. I really do wear all my me-mades, even if they’re kinda garbage. I have some fun things to sew soon, so hopefully I can kick the sewing blues. Also, I know I haven’t posted lately, but I swear I’ve been sewing. Check out this quick skirt I made for St. Patrick’s day, based on the By Hand London Kim dress!
It’s fun, right? Hopefully my next post brings us back to quirky fun sewing projects. Also, progress posts on my Halloween costume are coming soon, so that’s exciting. Happy sewing 🙂
I’ve been wanting to make more skirts lately, so when the opportunity to test the Nita wrap skirt for Sew DIY came up, it seemed like a no brainer. The pattern (when released), will come in three lengths, mini, midi, and maxi. In a move that was a surprise to precisely no one, I chose the mini. Midi lengths look awkward on me, and the mini seemed just long enough to wear at work, with tights. As for the maxi, that I’ll save for summer.
For maybe two years, I’ve had this navy poly satin sitting in my stash. A look back at my old Fabric.com orders tells me that it’s called Roselyn satin, though they have none remaining on their site. I really like this fabric, it’s more of a medium/heavy weight material, and therefore sews beautifully. I usually avoid satin, as I really hate flimsy, slippery fabric. Also, I felt like a sturdier material would give this a bit of a Clara Oswald feel. I have no idea why I think that, honestly.
Navy fabric is really hard to photograph when you’re no good at photography, btw. I feel like you can’t see any of the details or really anything at all. Very frustrating. I did try to edit them a bit to make it more visible, hopefully it worked. I really actually like the skirt!! I was just kind of winging it on the button placement, so that’s not as good as it could be. Based on my waist size, I cut a size 12, and opted to make the lined version. I used the same fabric for lining, as it’s a wrap and you can sometimes see the insides. I think I should have used a thinner fabric, it has a bit too much volume as is. I toyed with the idea of doing an unlined version, and finishing the insides with black bias tape. Totally should have done that!
I’m actually wearing this skirt right now, so I’m calling it a success. I’m not someone who needs things to be perfect, I just have to like it. Stay tuned for the pattern release, it should be coming soon!! Happy sewing 🙂
You know how sometimes you just get SO EXCITED to work on a project that you completely ignore all the warning signs? That’s what happened here. When I stumbled upon some Harry Potter fabric at Joann’s in December, I was crazy stoked. I have been looking for this stuff for years, so it was a big deal folks. As soon as I got home, I grabbed a pattern that I thought would work and immediately started.
The pattern I grabbed was Simplicity 1418, and I’ll be honest, I knew it was the wrong size when I cut it. Based on my bust alone, I should have been between a 14-16, the largest size I has was a 12. But hey, the big 4 always run a bit too big, right!? I could grade the seams and it would totally be okay, I said to myself. LIES!!! Who cares that the fabric is crummy quilting cotton, with absolutely no give. This would magically work.
This dress is WAY too tight. I’m an hourglass shape, but I somehow managed to make my bust look minuscule here. The shoulder pleats on the dress are truly lovely, but this ill-fitted one sits horribly and causes my shoulders to look extra wide. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I decided to forgo facings and fully lined the entire bodice, sleeves included.
Notice how I said I started this dress in December? Well, that’s when I finished it. Once I realized the travesty I’d created, I threw it in the corner and pouted for two months. Enter Sew Red-y’s Fail February. What a fun idea! If Rachel can show her fails, why couldn’t I? I’m still super stoked on the fabric, and hey, and least the length is right? Looking at it in a positive light, it’s a reminder of why it’s important to sew slowly. This dress could have been saved if I’d used my brain and grabbed a pattern that fits, maybe even a TNT. I should have tried it on more often during construction, I should have made a fucking muslin. All ridiculous beginner errors. But hey, it’s still a Harry Potter dress, and I did wear it (semi-comfortably) for an entire day. Plus, I’m losing weight, so who knows, it could fit in the coming months. Whatever happens, it’s just clothes, and at least I can get a laugh out of it. Happy sewing! 🙂