Me-Made-May: Nearly there!

It seemed easier to get good outfits together last week – the weather has been a little warmer, so I think that’s why!

Here’s a (rather long!) roundup:

Monday 18th May
Birdie Blouse (again!!)


Blogged here.

Tuesday 19th May
Nautical Shirtdress

Picture taken outside the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford
Picture taken outside the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford

Blogged here. I love this dress so much! I realised I don’t really like it with black tights, but it was either that or not wear it at all.

Wednesday 20th May
NEW: Grey A-Line skirt

Photo taken near Bury Knowle Park, Headington
Photo taken near Bury Knowle Park, Headington

This skirt is a bit of a saga, considering it’s such a simple make!

Two summers ago when I lived in Eindhoven, I was looking for a new skirt – I knew exactly what I was looking for, a plain, light grey A-line skirt! Sounds boring, but it’s the sort of thing that would be a perfect match for a lot of my summer blouses. Despite looking everywhere, I couldn’t find anything quite right. I gave up, and went to the local market where I used to buy all my fruit, veg and fabric. The stall had the perfect grey linen on a bolt end! It’s beautiful quality, and sewed up really nicely. (also, this skirt only took 85cm to make once I’d shortened it!!!)

Sassy ladies!
Sassy ladies!

The pattern is vintage New Look (Maudella) 6425, that I picked up in a charity shop for 50p. I made the version 5 (maroon, gathered front) a few years ago, so assumed that version 1 (blue) would also fit. WRONG. The extra ease in the previous version meant that it fit differently. Of course, I didn’t realise this until I had made up the skirt, topstitched the seams and added the waistband. I tried on my new skirt… and could barely do up the zip!

Luckily, I managed to let out the side seams by 3/8″ each, meaning that I could at least physically fit into the skirt! It’s a bit on the tight side, but I’m trying to eat really healthily at the moment, so it’s an extra incentive!

Grey linen fabric: £8.50
Pattern: 50p
Thread and zip: £3
TOTAL: £12

Thursday 20th
NEW: V8789 – pin dots version

Bury Knowle Park!
Bury Knowle Park!

This another version of V8789. This was supposed to be a super quick project, but ended up taking forever. I didn’t really enjoy making it because of that, but I do really like the finished dress!

The fabric is a gorgeous indigo – dyed voile with white pin dots, that I picked up from the remnants bin at Cloth House a few months ago. I actually got 4m – they weren’t really remnants, but were there because there was some pretty bad sun damage running across big areas of the fabric:

Damage on fabric
Damage on fabric.

I had to cut around the damage, but I did get the fabric for pretty cheap – it was reduced from around £14/m, and I could still use most of it. I’ve still got around a meter left, so might be able to squeeze something out!

As this dress has a v-neck front and back, I stitched a little ribbon in the back so I have an easier time in the mornings!

IMG_0069I finished the hem of the dress with the blind hem stitch on my machine – it came out really well!

Can you see the hem? The joys of a blind hem foot! Better than (my) hand sewing!
Can you see the hem? The joys of a blind hem foot! Better than (my) hand sewing, and it took all of 10 minutes. Sorry about the horrid lighting.

Indigo fabric 3m at £6/m: £18
Cotton lawn for lining: £8
Zip and thread: £3
TOTAL: £29

Friday 22nd May
Anchors Away! New Look 6208, made July 2014

DSCN4891Not much to say about this – I shortened the bodice by 1″, and took in the Centre Back by around 1″ on either side of the upper back, tapering to nothing at the waist. I also moved the zip from the side to the CB, so that I could easily make this alteration! Next time I would also take a wedge out of the centre front and maybe lower the neckline a little – as you can see it gapes a bit. It’s a really handy pattern, with a lot of potential!

2m nautical poplin from the Man at Huddersfield Market: £8
Zip and Thread: £3
Bias binding:£3
Pattern (on sale): £3
TOTAL: £17

Saturday 23rd May
Floral Cambie Dress
, made in Spring 2013

I spent Saturday afternoon at a lovely garden party for the 50th Anniversary of my college's MCR. Hence the glass of prosecco in my hand :)
I spent Saturday afternoon at a lovely garden party for the 50th Anniversary of my college’s MCR. Hence the glass of prosecco in my hand 🙂

I made this dress before I knew a lot (or anything) about the standard fitting alterations I should make! I had made the size 10 and this also turned out to be too big when I tried it on last summer. I decided I liked the dress enough to re-fit it, so spent the time taking it in at the waist, and reducing the length of the bodice by 1″. It’s a great dress, but I like to keep it for special occasions as I feel like it’s a little too Laura Ashley for every day!

Sewaholic Cambie Dress pattern: £12
3m cotton voile: £30
Zip and thread: £3
Lining, and lace for hem: £12
TOTAL: £57

Sunday 24th – Wednesday 27th May
The last few days I’ve been sat at home with a grotty cold, so haven’t really left the flat 😦 I’ve also been spending a lot of time in my tracksuit and a t-shirt, so haven’t been participating in MMM. Today, I was working from home and managed to go on a little walk this afternoon. No surprises – I wore my Liberty Lady Skater/ Moneta Mashup. Comfy and pulled together! I need to make another dozen of these!

Here is a photo to finish:

FullSizeRender-3The joys of secret pyjamas!


Me-Made-May: Are we there yet??

Hi everyone!
Just a quick roundup of what I’ve wore last week! Not gonna lie… I’m getting a wee bit bored of wearing me-mades! This has a lot less to do with what I’ve made, and more to do with where the gaps are – like trousers and shirts. It’s not helped by the fairly cool weather at the moment (In most of my pictures I’ve taken off additional layers so you can see my makes!). I’m waiting for a heatwave, then I will be super happy with all my dresses again! I’ve got a fab new dress that I’m determined not to waste on a rainy day… might get worn later this week if it warms up a bit!

Monday 12th May
Tulip Betty(ish) dress, made August 2014

Tulip Betty Dress
Tulip Betty Dress

This is the bodice of the Sew Over It Betty dress, with a gathered skirt as I only had 2m of fabric!

I did my first dressmaking class (since leaving school with a GCSE in textiles…) at Sew Over It back in 2012, and saw the beautiful Betty dress in the window. I kind of always had this as a benchmark of what I’d like to be able to do one day! I’m still to tackle the full version, but I know it’s definitely within my skillset to do 🙂

The back of this dress is really cute:


Sew Over It Betty Pattern: £13
2m tulip poplin from the Man at Huddersfield Open Market: £8
Zip & Thread: £3
TOTAL: £24

Tuesday 13th May
Colette Violet Blouse, made in Spring 2013

Colette Violet blouse
Colette Violet blouse

This was one of the first projects I tackled on my own… and I chose the slippiest viscose possible! This blouse was definitely a learning curve – this is the one that taught me the hard way that:

-Seams need to be finished appropriately (I didn’t know that much about this, and the seams are really fraying 😦 I should really go back and do this with my overlocker!)

-Not all fabric is easy to sew!!!

Still, I love it!

Colette Violet Pattern: £122m birdy print viscose: £20
Self Cover Buttons and thread: £5
TOTAL: £37

Wednesday 13th May
NEW: BHL Anna dress in viscose, made March 2015


I was actually planning to blog this sooner, but didn’t manage to get photos! I’ve made a couple of versions of this before, so it was all fairly quick. The main adjustment is shortening the hem by about 6″ (I’m short!), and taking the CB seam in by around 2″ at the zip. I hemmed it with bias binding using the blind hem foot. All seams are finished with the overlocker. This is another floppy viscose, so it underwent the gelatine treatment before sewing it.

Viscose fleck fabric 2.5m: £24
Zip and Thread: £3
TOTAL: £27
(Bias binding was left over from another project, and I usually count the pattern towards the first time I make something)

Thursday 14th May
Colette Sorbetto V2, made Summer 2014

Sorbetto 2
Sorbetto 2

Sorbetto 1 here. Not much to say about this! It’s a fairly handy wardrobe staple, that looks nice with a skirt or trousers! It also comes together really quickly. The fabric is a wide floral stripe from Goldhawk Rd (can’t remember which shop)

1m fabric: £6
Bias binding: £2

Friday 15th May
Circle Skirt and altered blouse

The skirt that started it all!
The skirt that started it all!

I love, love, love this outfit!

The skirt is the one I made at my first dressmaking class in 2012! And I still wear it now 🙂 It’s such a cheerful summer skirt!

The top is one I bought from Next a few years ago. I really liked it but never wore it as the sleeves were too tight across my shoulders. Also, it’s a very thin fabric, ideal for summer, but with long sleeves it was too much! But I didn’t want to wear it in the winter as it was too cold! So – I decided to chop the sleeves off! It took about an hour, and I really like the result. Here’s a before picture:

Before I chopped the sleeves.
Before I chopped the sleeves. (and got a haircut!)

Saturday 16th May
Vogue 8789, made July 2014

V8789 View A – and some experimentation with posing for the camera…

This was meant to be a ‘wearable muslin’ until I realised that 1) it fits really well, and 2) it’s pretty well finished! The fabric is some kind of polycotton, and I got it for supercheap at the market in Eindhoven, back when I lived there.

I made it pretty much out of the packet – I shortened the bodice by 1 1/2 inches, and fully lined it in white lawn as the blue fabric is fairly sheer, and has little holes in it (kind of like broderie anglaise but without the broderie?) I also made the skirt out of 2 rectangles of fabric, rather than the pattern pieces, as they were a little too big.

This pattern is designed for border patterns and stripes, and has pretty cool cut-on facings (until they flip out constantly so you have to sew them down…).

2m striped polycotton: £2 (well, 2 Euros, but near enough)
1.5m cotton lawn: £6.75
Zip and thread: £3
TOTAL: £11.75

Sunday 17th May
Liberty Lady Skater/ Moneta Mashup

Trying to make the photos a little more interesting...
Trying to make the photos a little more interesting…

Blogged here. I love this dress 😀 Although I did have to change into trousers for the bike ride I went on on Sunday afternoon, I wore this to brunch in the morning.

How is everyone else finding Me-Made-May – are you still enjoying the challenge or starting to get bored!?

Me-Made-May Volume II

Hi Everyone! Here’s a round up of this week’s outfits!

Tuesday 5th May
Refashioned gingham shirt made in Spring 2014

Front door shot!
Front door shot!

This is made out of a shirt I bought at a charity shop last year. Before I refashioned it, it looked like this:

DSCN4694I decided to leave the button placket, collar and yoke as they were,  chop off the sleeves, and take the sides in a bit. I used Simplicity 2154 to add in bust and front darts, leaving the back loose. DSCN4699I used bias binding to finish the armholes and hem. Unfortunately, my hand slipped while I was cutting out the pattern – resulting in this:

Disaster strikes!

Luckily this was easily remedied by some iron-on interfacing. I also moved the patch pocket to cover this up from the right side.


There are a few fitting issues, but I do love wearing this shirt! It will definitely do until I find the right gingham to make a complete replacement. One of the wonderful things about it is that it’s polycotton – I don’t usually like using man-made fibres, but there are certainly benefits. It doesn’t need ironing and dries quickly, so can be rotated frequently (as you’ll see below…)

XL Shirt from vintage shop: £5
Thread: £1.70
TOTAL: £6.70

Wednesday 6th May
Black floral Lady Skater
DSCN4865Blogged here. My flatmate kindly agreed to let me borrow his tripod for the month. I’m still getting to grips with taking photos of myself!

Thursday 7th May
Gingham blouse and navy pencil skirt (made August 2014)

I was in a rush so didn’t manage to get a good picture of the full length of the skirt. It hits just below the knee.

As I mentioned above… this blouse gets worn a lot!

The pencil skirt is from Gertie’s New Guide to Better Sewing, made in a dark navy twill from Cloth House. Despite the muslin fitting well, I think the lack of give in the skirt fabric means that it doesn’t fit brilliantly, making it look like I’ve got a bit more of a belly than I have! (Or maybe that’s just me being over-sensitive!) It’s also a pain to cycle in as it’s a pencil skirt. Because of this, I don’t wear it all that much. (plus, it needs a lot of ironing!)

I’d originally wanted the skirt to be black, but clearly didn’t look at the fabric carefully enough before I bought it! It’s a very dark navy, meaning I can’t wear it with black, or a lot of other navy clothes! All in all, this is not really a success. As I don’t wear pencil skirts too often (due to cycling everywhere, and because it looks best with heels), I probably won’t bother making this again for a while.

1m navy twill (Cloth House): £14Standard skirt zip: £1.50
Lining fabric: £6
TOTAL: £21.50

Friday 8th May
Birdy Blouse

Photo taken by my friend Tom outside the Pitt Rivers museum, Oxford
Photo taken by my friend Tom outside the Pitt Rivers museum, Oxford

 Blogged here.

This top is another that is in regular rotation! It dries super quickly, so is often used in an emergency when I need to do a wash 😉 Unfortunately, it does get rather static… doesn’t stop me wearing it though!

My friends Tom and Lauren came down to visit for the weekend, so they went to the museum while I was finishing work. Within 5 minutes of meeting up, I’d insisted that one of them take a photo of my outfit – thanks guys 🙂

Saturday 9th May
Floral Sorbetto

Christ Church Meadow, with view of Oxford behind. Thanks again to Tom for the photo!
Christ Church Meadow, with view of Oxford behind. Thanks again to Tom for the photo!

A repeat from last week! See here for more details on construction etc. At least you have the nice view in the background for variety! I took my friends on a tour of Oxford, including one of my favourite places to walk / jog – Christ Church Meadow. It’s so pretty! And has lovely views. We also climbed Carfax tower before having lunch, followed by excellent milkshakes at G&Ds (an ice-cream parlour that has become an Oxford institution).

Sunday 10th May

This morning I ran the Oxford Town & Gown 10km race, before cooking a massive brunch for visiting friends and family. I don’t have any me-made exercise gear, and since then I have been lounging around at home in jogging bottoms… so have excused myself from a photo today. Is it cheating on MMM if I don’t get properly dressed??

All in all, I’ve had a lovely weekend catching up with people! I’m hoping for some slightly warmer weather this week, so I can crack out some of my handmade summer dresses… as it is, I’ve been more in a mood to wear trousers/ jeans than black opaque tights. I’ll try to make more of an effort this week!

Me-Made-May: The story so far…

I decided that as it’s my first year as a blogger, I should definitely sign up for Me-Made-May 2015. I won’t be posting every day, but I’m hoping to do a weekly round-up – you’ll also get to see some new/ old makes that haven’t yet made it onto the blog! I pledged to wear at least one hand-made item per day during May – I’ve already had some major realisations about what I wear on a day-to-day basis (More on that another day!)

Friday 1st May
Simplicity 1609 – Made in Jan/ Feb 2014

Day 1: Me posing by someone’s scooter in the very glamorous John Radcliffe Hospital car park

This was inspired by Gertie’s many versions. It’s a rather tight fit, so I sewed it with 3/8” seam allowances for a little more room! Unfortunately, the fit was never quite right, and it’s since got worse (my back shape has changed from all the exercise I’ve been doing since then!). I was on the fence about it for a while, but I wasn’t really comfortable wearing it on Friday, so this one is going to go on to a new home. I do really like the shape though – it’s definitely going to be re-made at some point.

Changes I would make next time:
Take out 1” horizontally at waist.
Reduce 1.5” at upper centre back, and sway back adjustment. (You can now tell why there are no photos of the back of this dress…)

1.5m striped poly-wool blend, from a shop on Goldhawk Rd: £7.50
Invisible zip: £2
TOTAL: £9.50

Saturday 2nd May
NEW: Lady Skater/ Moneta Mash up!

Photo taken in a lovely little park in Bayswater - thanks to my friend Margaret for the photo!
Day 2: In a lovely little park in Bayswater – thanks to my friend Margaret for the photo!

I made this one just before going away with my family in Mid-April, and it’s been in constant rotation since then! I love it 😀

It’s made out of some scrummy Liberty viscose jersey, and I think it has around 8% stretch. I used the bodice of the Lady Skater, and the gathered skirt of the Colette Moneta.

Construction notes:
As this was such lovely fabric, that’s been in my stash for about 18 months (awaiting the perfect project!), I wanted to really make sure I did the best job possible! I basted all the seams together on my standard sewing machine, using a zig-zag stitch, then went over the seams on the overlocker to make sure they were nice and strong. I’m really pleased with how the binding has come out on this version – I topstitched it with a zig-zag, and I think it looks really neat! Definitely going to repeat that!

Reduced the waist length by another ½” from my previous version (so 1½” in total).
I cut a size 4, tapering to 5 at the bust. I took in the side seams about 1” from the bust tapering to ½” from the waist (this jersey was stretchier than the other fabrics I’ve used for this).
I made mid-length sleeves, as I wanted a t-shirt like effect. I left them fairly loose because of this.

Fabric: Liberty Mitsi viscose jersey, 1.6m @ £14/m: £21 (it was a bolt end, so I got a little extra!)
Elastic: £2
Cream overlocker thread: £2
TOTAL: £25

Sunday 3rd May
M6696 in Anchor print chambray

Photo taken in the gardens by the Imperial War Museum. Thanks to Rosie for this photo!
Day 3: In the gardens by the Imperial War Museum. Thanks to Rosie for this photo!

Blogged here. I’d been in London all weekend to visit my brother and catch up with some friends. On Sunday, I went to the Fashion on the Ration exhibition at the Imperial War Museum with my friend Rosie – it was a really interesting exhibition, so I’d definitely recommend visiting if you can!

Monday 4th May
Colette Sorbetto top made in July 2014

Photo taken in front of the Sheldonian theatre in Oxford. Thanks to Patience for the photo!
Day 4: In front of the Sheldonian theatre in Oxford. Thanks to Patience for the photo!

This was a really simple and satisfying make! I think I made the size 8, with no adjustments. Neckline and armholes are finished with bias binding. As it’s a fairly loose fit, there aren’t really any changes I would make if I made this again!

Isn’t the fabric lush? I’d seen it in Darn It & Stitch a few times, but resisted buying it (see… I can be restrained when I want to be!). After going in twice and seeing the last of it in a bundle, I caved and got it anyway. I squeezed the pattern onto the fabric, leaving barely any scraps!

0.85m Cotton lawn: £8
Pre-made bias binding: £2
TOTAL: £10

So far it’s been a fun challenge, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the month goes! Are you taking part in Me-Made-May?