Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Cabernet Cardigan: Round #3


Here we are! My third (but probably not final) stab at the SBCC Cabernet cardigan pattern. As my #MMMay16 challenge documentation pictures will confirm, I have rarely taken it off since its completion. 

(image source: SBCC Patterns)

Pattern: 

As you can see from the image above, my #3 Cabernet cardi doesn't really resemble the original pattern. To recap: for my second version of this pattern, I started with a size smaller than my measurements would suggest, lengthened the sleeves, straightened the side seams and made the neckband/button stand narrower. On top of those changes, for this version I also made the neckband narrower still, shortened the length of the cardi by 4cm and reshaped the front edges slightly, which included making them 2cm narrower on each side. I'm suuuuuper happy with the look of this cardi now! It's got the proportions of my beloved secondhand fine knit mustard cardi which will soon be too ratty and misshaped to wear. 


Fabric:

I 'bought' this mustard double knit from Fabric Godmother in exchange for helping out at their recent open day. It's not from their range of deliciously soft Ponte de Roma's (one of which I used for the navy version), it's not quite as soft as those and is more like the turquoise double knit I made my first version from but a bit thicker. It was still fantastic to work with and great to wear. The colour is the precise shade of mustard/old gold that I adore. 


Thoughts:

Ah! I'm so happy to have made this garment. As an almost-exact replica of something already in my wardrobe, I knew that it would fit in, and as I mentioned above, hardly a day has gone by that I haven't worn it since it was finished. 

When I first finished it, however, I was being a bit critical and felt that I still had some work to do with the shape and/or width of the front sections. But the more I wear it and the more images of it I see, the less I feel that there is an issue there that needs to be addressed. 

I think my current cardi selection is perfectly sufficient for now, but I can see one or two more versions of this pattern in my future. Possibly a black one using some of the super soft Fabric Godmother ponte if it's the same stuff as the navy. And I'm sorely tempted by a crazy trompe l'oeil effect one using this crochet print double knit from Ditto fabrics. That fabric is totally not my style, but I think it'd be so funny to make a cardi from it. What I would really like is to make it from a really warm cut-and-sew knit fabric, if I ever find some. Many moons ago I found some wooly (albeit synthetic) knit fabric that I used to make this jumper that I wore to death. It was a really warm garment, and I'd love to find something with good heat-trapping abilities to make a cardigan from. Has anyone seen anything that they think might fit the bill?


Cost:

Pattern: PDF $12 (£8.37) from here. I've used it three times now so I'm counting my pattern cost as £2.80 for this project
Fabric: £14 per metre from here. I used 1.5m for this project so my fabric cost is £21
Buttons: £0. Given to me by Textile Garden, which are these that can be found here.
Total: £23.80

I often think of garments I've made or footwear I've bought in terms of 'pounds per wear'; how does the price spent on the item (or materials for the item) relate to the amount of use that item gets. To me, it doesn't matter if it cost a lot initially if it gets many more wears than the amount it cost. I think it'll take a very short amount of time for this cardi to have justified that cost!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Indie Stitches #MMMay16 Giveaway!


Shall we have one more celebratory #MMMay16 giveaway?! Yes, let's! This week Jen is hosting the final giveaway in which #MMMay16 participants can win their choice of PDF sewing pattern from the range stocked by Australian-based Indie Stitches. It's super simple to enter, so if you are a participant, head over here to through your hat into the ring. 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

My Me-Made-May'16: Week 3

Week THREE?! How did that happen? Does anyone else feel this month is flying by in a flash? I've barely had a chance to snoop through the Flickr group or through the #MMMay16 hashtag on IG. Anyways, at least both of those will remain as a permanent record of the challenge to be enjoyed at a later date when (if) life calms down. On with the documentation...



Day 15

Dolores's mum-mades:
Leggings

I totally forgot to take a photo of myself but I wore exactly the same as Day 11



Day 16:

Me-mades: 

Dolores's mum-made:



Day 17 (catching up on the first episode of GBSB):

Me-mades:
Maternity leggings (as yet unblogged)

Dolores's mum-made:



Day 18:

Me-mades:

Dolores's mum-mades:
Leggings



Day 19 (with my friend Mima, who was wearing a cardi that she had darned, so I felt she should be included in the documentation pic):

Me-mades:
Mustard Cabernet cardi (as yet unblogged)

Dolores's mum-made:



Day 20:

Me-mades:
Mustard Cabernet cardi (as yet unblogged)
Maternity leggings (as yet unblogged)

Dolores's mum-made:
Leggings



Day 21:

Me-mades:
Mustard Cabernet cardi (as yet unblogged)



Dolores's mum-made:
Paris jersey dress

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Kid's Sewing Strategies: Revised


Over the last couple of weeks I've been giving a lot of thought to kid's clothes sewing plans. I mean, even more than usual. So, we found out that the baby I'm currently brewing is a boy. It was a bit of a surprise at first, in a kind of 'But we make girls, don't we?' kind of way. Pat got over the shock within an hour, it took me about two days. Now I'm totally down with it and excited to make a mini-dude wardrobe, it's going to be ace!

(image source: Brindille and Twig)

This news also seems to be helping me accept Dolores's increasing desire to wear only dresses (preferably pink sparkly ones). I can't get behind the pink-sparkly part, but instead of trying to distract her in the morning whilst I attempt to sneak her into a pair of jeans and a cute sweatshirt or T-shirt, I've been indulging her requests to wear dresses (or flow-y tunic tops which she also describes as 'dresses') as far as the weather, the day's activities and the laundry cycle will permit. Simply put: now that I'm having a boy, I not lamenting the lack of fun sweatshirts, joggers and anchor print stuff making an appearance on Dolores!


(image source: Sloppop Yeah)

I was surprised that she has developed such a strong sense of how she wants to dress at only two and a half. I most certainly don't want to squash her developing sense of self, but I thought I might have a bit more sartorial freedom for a little while longer! Equally, I've been slightly alarmed by how naturally she has started gravitating towards the colour pink, princesses, fairies, ballet dancing and other intensely stereotypical 'girly' imagery and activities. I met a lady at a sewing class I was teaching a couple of weeks ago whose four year old would literally only wear dresses. (Currently at least) I can convince Dolores to wear leggings and T-shirts underneath her beloved dresses, but I think I'm going to have to make her a slightly larger selection than she currently owns.
(image source: Toby Tiger)

But back to the boy's stuff. Boy's clothing had always been a pretty abstract concept to me, not something I've given much thought. I've dabbled by making my friends' little boys the odd pair of trousers or shorts, but I'd never thought beyond the occasional stand-alone item. Boys clothes in the shops usually seem sooooo boring. So much navy blue with perhaps a dinosaur, car or (in the summer) sea creature printed somewhere. Little bird clothing seems to be one of the few exceptions, on the UK high street at least. And as I found when researching independent children's sewing pattern companies, despite there being some fantastic ranges for making boy's clothes out there, in terms of quantity, there are far fewer sewing patterns out there for boys than for girls. This is, of course no surprise. The range of types, styles, colours, fabrics and detailing of clothing that is 'acceptable' for boys is far smaller than for girls. However, within the boundaries required to prevent getting asked 'How old is she?' too many times each day, I plan to have masses of fun creating awesome, colourful, comfortable and joyful clothing for my little boy. The images illustrating this post are my current inspiration points for mini-dude clothes sewing.

(image source: C bien fee!)

My feelings towards new clothing for children remain the same, perhaps are even stronger, three years on. Thankfully, about 40% of the clothes Dolores wore when she was tiny was either unisex or once were bought from the boy's section. Plus, an enormous amount of recent hand-me-downs means 'Squiggler' (working-title) should need very little for the first year. Which is useful, because clothes start to fit the child for more than five minutes the older they get, so any sewing efforts for a year+ will be enjoyed for longer! Fabric-wise, I'll hunt through the non-girly sections of my stash that Dolores would now refuse to wear. Plus, I was sent an amazingly generous package from Josie at Fabric Godmother (pictured at the top of this post) when she heard that I was having a boy. The length of fabulous orange-y leopard print twill is for making something for Dolores so that she won't get jealous!

kid's clothes week

Just as all these discoveries and ideas have been taking place, Kid's Clothes Week has popped up announcing their latest challenge at just the right time. This time the theme is 'The Future', and although it isn't compulsory that you incorporate it in any way (the only stipulation is that you sew kid's clothes for at least one hour each day for a week), I will be using the challenge to sew stuff for my future-son! If you sew for kids, are you taking part this season? Any ideas yet?!

(image source: Molly Goodall)

(image source: Zulily)



(image source: Petit and Small)

(image source: Instagram user @tomboy_in_a_dress)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Jennifer Lauren Handmade and So Zo #MMMay16 Giveaway!

**THANKS EVERYONE WHO ENTERED, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS KAMILA!!!**


Ok Me-Made-Mayers! It's time to celebrate all your efforts further still with another of our weekly giveaways. This week, us organisers (myself and Jen) have come together to provide the prizes: a bumper collection of PDF sewing patterns. 



Jen of Jennifer Lauren Handmade (formerly Jennifer Lauren Vintage) is offering two sewing patterns OF YOUR CHOICE from her awesome range. Oh my goodness, there are so many beauties to choose from. How about her beautiful newly released Hunter tank pattern (pictured above)? Or the button lovers favourite, the Cressida skirt pattern (pictured below)? Or any of the other amazing options...



So what am I bringing to the table? Well I don't currently have a sufficient quantity of patterns to offer a choice, so I'm simply offering up both my two sewing patterns! There's the Dolores batwing pattern (pictured below) and the Anya shoulder bag pattern (pictured lower down in this post). 


To enter, all you have to do is answer a quick question: what's the next sewing technique you want to master? Leave your answer in a comment at the bottom of this post, and remember to include your email address if I can't easily find it within two clicks of my mouse.

Every time I host a giveaway, I end up having to redraw the winner because someone didn't leave a way for me to contact them. If you win but there's no email address, then there's no way to get the sewing patterns to you.



Your email address will not be used for any purpose other than contacting you if you are the winner. Please remember that the giveaway is open to participants of Me-Made-May only. Leave your comment by midnight GMT Saturday 21st May 2016. I will pick a winner by random number generator the following day and contact them soon after.

Good luck!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

My Me-Made-May'16: Week 2

( I should explain that the dress has zebra buttons at the back, and the T-shirt has little zebras all over it. Can you guess the theme for Day 8's outfit?)

Wow! Week 2 is over, this challenge is flying by, as far as I'm concerned. How has it been for you? The weather has been really lovely this week, which has definitely made getting dressed a bit easier and more fun. Most of my maternity clothing is still with my sister-in-law (who had her third little boy this week!), so I'm making do with a limited selection of warm-weather appropriate things. If it stays this sunny, I'm going to have to whip up a T-shirt or two...



Day 8:

Me-mades:
Navy Cabernet cardigan (not seen here)

Dolores's mum-mades (see photo at the top of the post):
Zebra print leggings



Day 9:

Me-mades:

Dolores's mum-made:
Black leggings



Day 10:

Me-mades:

Dolores's mum-made:



Day 11: 

Me-mades:

Dolores's mum-made:



Day 12: 

Me-mades:

Dolores's mum-mades:
Later on... vintage beach towel poncho (as yet unblogged)



Day 13:

Me-mades:
Pants
PLUS! Newly self-stitched maternity leggings (as yet unblogged)

Dolores's mum-made:
Paris jersey dress



Day 14:

Me-mades:

Dolores's mum-mades:

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Cabernet Cardigan: Round #2


After getting a taste of near-victory with my first attempt at the SBCC Patterns Cabernet cardigan, I was chomping at the bit to have another bash. Little time was wasted...

Pattern:

As I mentioned at the end of the Round #1 post, I already had an idea of what changes I'd need to make to improve the fit and proportions of this pattern for me. This time, I started off with the Small size, rather than the Medium. Next, I straightened the side seams like I did with my first version (and shortened the hem band to correspond with the subsequent change to the width). This time I remembered to lengthen to sleeves slightly, and finally I narrowed the button stand/neckband by 1cm. I was concerned that the slimmer neckband would create problems when applying the buttonholes, so I switched up the order of construction and made the buttonholes before stitching the neckband to the rest of the cardigan, instead of making them at the end. 


Fabric:

Last month I helped out at the Fabric Godmother open day, and for my troubles I was able to choose some fabric. I knew that this was going to be the arrangement in advance so I spent a long time gazing at their website making my choices ahead of time! All but one of my choices were therefore very sensible, and I was able to avoid getting wooed by some intensely pretty prints that wouldn't fill any of my current wardrobe gaps or help me on my way with my Spring/preggers sewing plans. I picked pieces that will blend well into the colour palette of my current clothing selection, plus can be made into garments that are suitable to be worn in multiple seasons. Phew!

I've actually bought and sewn this navy Ponte de Roma in the past, when my best friend commissioned me to make her a Bronte Top, so I knew just how lovely and soft it is. In fact, I'd say it's the nicest Ponte I've ever owned and sewn with, and I think it's the perfect biro-ink shade of dark blue. After multiple wearings, there has been a little pilling, but only what you'd expect from a well-loved item. 


Thoughts:

I'm sooooo happy with this version! I'd say it's 95% there. The fit is much closer to what I was aiming for. My mid-pregnancy body is making this version look a bit frumpy still, but on the dress form I think you can get a better idea of the amount of volume there is now. I really like the slimmer button stand. I don't intend to wear this cardigan buttoned up (well, maybe just the top one to keep it together when it's worn underneath a coat), but I added the buttons and buttonholes to make it look like a 'normal' cardi! 


Cost: 

Pattern: PDF $12 (£8.37) from here. I've used it twice now so I'm counting my pattern cost as £4.20 for this project
Fabric: £14 per metre from here. I used 1.5m for this project so my fabric cost is £21
Buttons: £0. From stash and I doubt I bought them myself initially anyway
Total: £25.20

I'm so pleased with this cardigan, I have worn it almost every day since I completed it, therefore I'm happy with the cost. As soon as I use the pattern again, it'll work out cheaper still! 

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