It's June 1st already - where is 2018 going?
I have spent a happy month quietly taking part in Me Made May, the annual love fest for handmade clothes. The idea is simply that participants around the world just declare that they want to take part and set themselves a challenge for the month. It's often a challenge to wear a me-made item every day and many people post their wears on Instagram every day under the hashtag mmmay18 or memademay18 so there's some fabulous inspiration there if you fancy a browse
My personal challenge for the month was about really taking some time out to work on my technical dressmaking skills and to create clothes that fit and/or flatter my new body shape (anti-cancer hormone therapy meds are not kind to the figure...). Some of my new makes were favourites right off the sewing machine, some were maybes/good learning experiences and some went straight to the rag weight bag for the charity shop! Here are some of the makes that survived the cutting room floor:
First up are the dungaree dresses - my absolute fave makes! Regardless of how flattering this shape is or not, these are so comfy and versatile that I can see them being wardrobe favourites for ages.
The first one is an upcycled make - I had a wool-mix maxi skirt that I'd bought from the local charity shop and cut it slightly to make this dungaree dress. I used a red ribbon that had come wrapped around a gift pack of pjs for the shoulder straps, using the belt loops in the original skirt for the loops, and used the small amount of scrap fabric to make a cute pocket. An almost zero-waste make!
The second is a cotton dungaree dress for the summer. It uses the same basic pattern but is less flared and has small side seam slits at the hem due to the narrower fabric width. It also has side seam pockets instead of a front pocket and I made loops and shoulder straps from some extra yardage.
Next up are a few re-models/recycles. These are experimental - I take a garment that I won't wear anyway for some reason and play with it to see what can be done.
The first is a plain white cotton t-shirt that had become grey and tired and had a small but very noticeable stain on the front. I dyed it with tea-bags to start with - nice colour but made the stain even more prominent and showed up a few more! So then I splashed bleach over it to brighten the stained areas, with a few extra splashes for added balance. Love the effect now. It's not a great colour next to my face but definitely worth trying again maybe for a skirt, a mixed fabric dress or even just for bags.
Now comes a linen top that came from Kew. Nice linen fabric, very cool in summer and a colour way that goes with lots of things. But the top had gathers on the shoulder fronts and under the bust that made it look really blousy and maternity-like - not a good look... So I took out all the shirring elastic in the gathers, cut a couple of inches off the sides with a bit of extra waist shaping and then added an invisible zip in the side seam. Result is not great (I should have taken more off the front than the back to make the armhole a better shape I think) but definitely more wearable that it was.
And finally, the Schoolhouse Tunic that started the whole month off for me? Still a wip for now! I spent ages learning how to do a FBA (full bust adjustment) in different ways for different fit effects and now the top part fits very well but when I sew it to the bottom half of the tunic, it's still really too wide to be flattering... I'm completely dithering over whether to leave it as it or dart and shape it some more, which will mean inserting an invisible side seam zip.... Maybe next month....
I've really enjoyed my playtime this May and more sewing is definitely on the cards. To keep up with my further adventures with a sewing machine, do follow me on Instagram or Facebook.