Me-Made-May update and new makes

Oh dear… I have been a very bad blogger. If you know me, this will be no surprise! I am not very good at sticking to any kind of schedule – I like to think it is just part of my creative nature!

Anyway, here I am with an update on MMM (not good) and two new sews (rather good).

I have totally failed at my Me-Made-May pledge to wear a handmade garment every day. I could sit and make excuses, but I didn’t really have much to choose from in the first place, so it wasn’t a sensible pledge to make.

But, I have turned it into a positive, and worked on two brand new garments which I have finished and worn!!! For me, this is a previously unknown level of productivity. Although there are little things I’d change about both items, I’m happy enough with them to wear them and plan to make some more versions with a few tweaks.

The first thing I made was a Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Mimosa blouse. I’d used this pattern once before with a cheap cotton, and never really worn the blouse much. When I lost weight I got rid of it, so I can’t compare it to my new version. I am a size smaller than last time I made it (yay!), but as it’s a digital pattern I just reprinted and cut the correct size out. I used some lovely Liberty Tana Lawn fabric that I picked up at Shepton Mallet antiques fair from a stall selling loads of vintage Liberty fabric. I’ve never sewn with Liberty fabrics before, I’m not really sure if the ditsy florals suit me, but this one is a gorgeous star print and it was love at first sight.

 

 

I bought 1.5m and have a little leftover, but only enough for lining a purse or making facings with so I’m glad I didn’t only buy 1m. The blouse went together quickly with no major issues: the instructions are a bit brief but there’s not too many parts so it was quite a quick sew. The fabric was a dream to work with, and I think it looks pretty good. I haven’t got around to taking pictures of it yet so I will add some when I do.

My second sew was a Colette Moneta dress. Even before I finished the blouse I was looking around for something else to make and went over the patterns I have bought but not used. I liked the idea of trying a knit garment and Moneta has great reviews so I hoped it would come out ok. I have only ever made two garments with stretch fabric, and never worn either. I think with both it was an issue of picking terrible patterns, but I find that independent pattern designers seem to produce better patterns with better support, so I decided to go for it.

I ordered some viscose jersey from Minerva Crafts and got cracking. For some reason I didn’t think about the placement of the pattern at all, and I wish I had so I could have had a stripe running up the middle of the bodice. I was trying to be thrifty with my pattern pieces so I could have leftovers for something else – I’m hoping to get a T shirt out of it as well. Cutting out went fine, but if I start working more with jersey I will try using a rotary cutter. I like the control I have with scissors but the fabric does want to shift about.

Construction went well, although I discovered that when I use my sewing machine with the lightening bolt stretch stitch the needle position moves to the left. I only discovered this after sewing the side seams of the skirt so I had to unpick them to get the correct seam allowance – I never want to unpick stretch stitch again. Most of the seams were done on the overlocker though which kept the inside neat and was really quick.

The next issue I had was the waistline elastic. I know lots of people have had issues with this, but I decided to do it exactly as described in the instructions. It was soon apparent that I needed to make four times as many marks as suggested and use loads of pins. When I managed to get it pinned it went through the machine fine. Joining the skirt to the bodice was easy, then I had to hem the neckline, sleeves and bottom.

I’d bought a twin needle for my sewing machine and set it up as per the instruction manual. I had a go on some fabric scraps. Then I googled. Then I fiddled with some of the tension dials. More googling. More adjustments. Even more googling. More adjustments. In the end I had to adjust the tension on the bobbin case to get anything that looked vaguely acceptable. The machine still skipped some stitches but it’s only obvious if you are looking for it. If I carry on working with knits I will have to save for a coverlock machine!

I wore the dress the day after it was finished, and love it! Here are some pictures I took while G was at nursery and T was napping:

       

 

Having worn the dress all day, I found that my bra straps keep showing at the shoulders, so I will need to look into making some changes before I make another one. I will also add an inch to the skirt length as I only did a half inch hem and the length was perfect. I would prefer to do a one inch hem next time as the pattern suggests. I’m also not overly happy with the neckline finish. I’ll do a bit of research and see if anyone has solved this problem. For this dress I will try threading some thin elastic through the neckline to draw it in a bit – technical fix!

I’ve already ordered some more fabric for my next make which will be some Seamwork Moji trousers with a rayon challis from Dragonfly fabrics:

     

I want to make a matching top – no idea what yet, maybe with some solid black to break it up a bit. I don’t think I can get these sewn during May as G is home from nursery on half term next week, but it’s lovely to be making so consistently again.

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