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Me Made May 2017 round up.

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Well as expected I didn’t do a summary for weeks 2, 3 and 4 but I did get photos every day and I finally joined Instagram to post them.

 

My most worn items were my jeans (no surprise there) and my new lekala skirt:

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It is a Lekala 5736 – skirt with yoke.  I did need to do a few adjustments, mostly to the waist.  I think I added a couple of cm to my measurements to allow for ease and I shouldn’t have bothered.  It is made in a stretch denim and it is the most comfortable skirt I own.  I is also a good neutral so goes with pretty much all my tops and T shirts.

Overall I am very pleased with my Me Made May this year.  I had no problems at all wearing one me made item a day, and may days wore 2 or 3 me mades.  My homemade wardrobe has come a long way in the past 2 years, not only in the number of pieces but also as a coherent whole.  I feel I have got my colours and shapes in hand now, so when I make something I enjoy wearing it.  I still hate taking selfies though.

Thanks to SoZo for organising me made may.

Me Made May 2017 week 1

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Week one is over and I have worn my home-made clothes every day.  The last time I did me made may was in 2015 when I pledged 5 days a week of home-made clothes.  I have made a lot of progress with my home-made wardrobe since then.  My pledge is now to wear some me made every day, but many days I am wearing only me mades.

I have managed to keep up with the photos, on all but day 2.

Day 2: Gold coloured jeans (me made), flowery blouse (me made) and blue cardigan (me made).  No photo, but I like this outfit so I may well wear it again later in the month.

Day 3.WP_20170503_18_00_15_Pro

Galaxy patterned tunic sweatshirt (self drafted) with altered black cords.

This was a day at home and I was going for warm and comfortable rather than stylish.  Selfies in the bedroom mirror obviously don’t work well so I’ll stick to the downstairs mirror from now on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 4

Me made jeans with turquoise sweatshirt.

I love my jeans and wear them all the time.  This sweatshirt isn’t really warm enough for winter so it doesn’t get worn as much as it should.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5mmm17 day 5

Jeans again, this time with another blue sweatshirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WP_20170505_001Day 6

Jeans again.  This time with a blue striped cardigan (self drafted).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7

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Election day in France so dinner with friends whilst waiting for the results.

Dress is simplicity 3775.  I’ve made this 3 times now, it is such a comfortable dress to wear.

Fortunately the result was the right one and France is now on track for a brighter future.

 

Me Made May and Lekala 4315

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So May is upon us which in the sewing community means Me Made May.  I haven’t done it for a couple of years, partly time constraints, partly because I hate taking photos of myself, and partly because my wardrobe options were limited.

At least the last of these reasons is no longer valid so I am going to try this year.  

‘I, Frenchfancy of frenchfancymakes.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear at least one me made item each day for the duration of May 2017’  And I will try and take photos (but no promises there.

So to start with on this the 1st day of May I am wearing Lekala 4315

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I made this a couple of years ago.  I don’t wear it very often because the thick ponte it is made of is too thick in summer, and the short sleeves make it not perfect for winter.  Added to that I never quite know what to wear it with.

It is very comfortable though, and it is chilly for the time of year so this fits the bill for today.

Lekala 4315

It is an easy make, I did it all on the serger.  I like the collar detail, in fact I’m not sure why I haven’t made another one.

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There seem to be a few drag lines at the back, but that may just be how I’m standing.

I’m not promising detailed posts for all of May, in fact knowing me my next post will be in May 2018!

Enregistrer

Lekala 4633 – Sleeveless Blouse

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This is a simple little blouse with a fake collar and no fastenings.  It has bust darts and a centre back seam for shaping.

The arm holes are finished with bias binding and the plackets for the collar are slip stiched to the main body to stop them turning up.

As it is a Lekala pattern it is made to my measurements.  The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to drop the bust point down by 1.5cm.  This is a common fix that I have to do with all patterns.  The only other problem I had was that the placket was not as long as the main body.  I just shortened the body but next time I will lenthen the placket.

IMG_5318Overall I am very please with the fit.  It is an easy and comfortable top to wear and will make a very useful addition to my summer wardrobe.

I have already made another in a khaki but haven’t worn it yet.

My Winter Uniform

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In an effort to try and look more put together (I hesitate to use the word stylish) I have been trying to avoid the typical winter wardrobe of jeans and hoodie.  The trouble is that jeans and a hoodie suits my casual fairly labour intensive lifestyle.  So I have tried to come up with al alternative that is more suited to a mother in her middle forties.  Being large of bust it needed to be fitted (otherwise I look 5 months pregnant).  I never use the hood on a hoodie so no need for that.  I wanted a longer line top, not necessarily too thick as it doesn’t get really cold here, if I am going out I always wear a coat and I can always layer.

I self drafted the top, it has princess shoulder seams and pockets!  I call it a sweatshirt tunic but I’m not really sure what it is.

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The fabric is a sort of ponte I picked up at a stall in Nottingham last time I was in the UK.  It wasn’t super cheap – about £15/m and I bought 1.5 m.  I bought it to make a blazer but then realised that my lifestyle simply doesn’t lend its self to a blazer.

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There are no seams at the back, but I think a centre back seam and some shaping would be an improvement.

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The whole thing was sewn on the serger, and once I got the pattern drafting sorted, took no time at all.  My main reservations are with the shoulder princess seams which seem to make my shoulder look square, so the next one will have armhole princess seams.

Instead of jeans I am wearing cords.  This is the second pair of cord jeans I have made.  The pattern is the same as the previous pair here .  The fabric is a stretch cord I bought from a local fabric shop.  It feels great and is super comfortable but has poor recovery.  These fit really well at the start of the day but by the end of the day are starting to sag.  Day two requires a belt to stop them falling down.

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I got my pocket placement right this time though.

This is now my go to oufit for the season.  I have no doubt that it isn’t the height of fashion but it fits, it is comfortable, it doesn’t look scruffy and I can work in it.

I have since made 2 more tops, and have a couple of pairs of cords I have altered so I truely have a uniform.

 

Corduroy Jeans and a Top

White Corduroy Jeans

My blouse wasn’t good enough to get through to the second round of the sewing bee contest.  I don’t know why, we didn’t get any feedback, but there were some really great entries.  I wasn’t too disappointed especially when they announced the second round was embellishing fabrics, which is definitely not my forte.

Anyway I decided I needed a new challenge so I got out the jeans pattern I bought sometime ago and never had the courage to try.  The pattern is McCall’s 5894 described as “the perfect jean”.  Certainly a promising title.

I didn’t have any denim but I did have this white stretch corduroy.  I love corduroy trousers, I think they are so much more comfortable than jeans, and warmer too.  The trouble is I’m not really a white trousers sort of girl.  But the cord is the right weight and I figured if they came out well I could always dye them.

Corduroy jeansThe pattern has you pin together the tissue to see if it fits before cutting the fabric.  I sit between a 14 and a 16 on the McCalls sizing chart.  I know they normally come up big so I cut the tissue at 14 and pinned it together.  Let me tell you, pinned tissue paper is not the easiest thing to manhandle.  I managed to get one leg in, and it looked ok, but I really couldn’t tell much about the difficult crotch area.  So I cut out the fabric and basted it together.  I could have made a muslin, but I don’t have any spare stretch material hanging around and I didn’t want to waste the corduroy if I could help it.

On trying on it became evident that all was not right.  It was MUCH too big.  All over, but particularly in the centre back.  Once I had pinned and re-basted then transfered the markings back to the tissue I was down to a size 8 in many places (and even smaller in the centre back).  The exception was the depth of the crotch curve which stayed at the 14 line.

Since doing this I have found this great video   on fitting jeans.  I wish I had seen it before I cut my fabric, and I will definitely be following the advice there next time.

Jeans side view

Once I got everything fitted the jeans came together pretty easily.  The trickiest bit is the fly front.  I’ve done them before on skirts using the Hot patterns zipper fly front tutorial  but I had problems with these jeans because the fly bit was sewn on, and therefore the extra bit of material was only on one side.  To do the hot patterns method you really need a bit of extra fabric on the other side.  Next time I make these I will cut-on the fly extension to both sides so it looks like the one in the video. (I’m not explaining very well but if you watch the video you will see that the fly bit comes out on both sides of the centre front – the jeans pattern does not have this).

The top stitching when much better than I expected, I read somewhere that you could need as much as 3 spools of top stitching thread, I bought 2 (and it wasn’t even described as top stitching thread, just heavy duty strong thread) and only used 1 (the spool is now empty though).

Front of Jeans

The belt loops were a bit tricky because you are sewing through so many layers of thick fabric (I think I counted 8 layers).  I put a folded bit of fabric under my machine foot to keep it level and used the hand crank rather than the pedal (gave me a blister on my hand but it was worth it).  I went forwards, backwards then forwards again.  Only about 5 stitches for each pass so I wanted to make sure they were secure.

Fit wise I’m pretty happy.  There are some wrinkles front and back but they are no worse than I have on my RTW trousers.

More importantly these are THE MOST COMFORTABLE TROUSERS I own.  I tried them on once I’d finished the hem just to make sure, and kept them on all day.  I swear they are more comfortable than my pyjamas.

Jean PocketsThe only real bummer (if you will excuse the pun) is the pockets and their placement.  The pattern has you sew the pockets on to each individual trouser leg before sewing the centre back seam.  I assure you I carefully matched up all the squares but once together the pockets are all over the place.  Added to that they are much too big.

Next time I make jeans (and there definitely will be a next time) I will sew the centre back together then place the pockets.

TNT Top

The top is from my TNT top pattern based on the Deer and Doe Plantain T modified to my preferred fit.  I’ve made loads of these now.  They are absolutely my favourite T-shirts, I will always chose one over any other in my wardrobe (as long as they are clean).  I only have a couple of long sleeved versions so I desperately needed another now Autumn is here.  It comes together very quickly on the serger, this one took me about an hour including cutting out.  Speaking of cutting out I got a couple of A1 sized cutting mats for my birthday which have completely changed the cutting out process.  The used to be a chore, with just one A3 mat being moved under the pattern as I cut.  Now I put the 2 big mats on the kitchen table and lay the whole thing out and cut in one go.  It is a revelation.

The fabric by the way is a viscose knit I got from our local fabric factory outlet shop (Telor Tissus in Fontenay le Comte if you are ever in the area).  I probably paid about 8€ a metre and I used about 1.5m.

I really like my new outfit, and I might even keep the jeans white, they are growing on me.  And if I want another colour I can always make another pair!

Fitted silk blouse for Sewing bee contest

Fitted Blouse - Front

This is my entry into the Pattern Review Sewing Bee contest.  The challenge was to make a fitted blouse with closures.  The pattern is a cross between Lekala 4115 (a shirt dress) and Lekala 4439 (a blouse)

 

Fitted Blouse - Back

The fabric is a Liberty silk that I bought in Goldhawk road last year.  I only had a meter so it was a bit tight to make a sleeved blouse.

Fitted Blouse - Buttons

I have never sewn with silk before so that was one of my biggest challenges.

Fitted Blouse - Hairline seams

All the inside seams are hairline seams which gives the neatest finish.  The hems are baby hems.