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First ever contest

As expected, nothing on the blog for the past 3 months.  June, July and August are too busy with work to blog, but I have done some sewing.  I will try and blog during september but lets face it – no promises.

I have however just entered my first contest – the sewing pattern review sewing bee 2015.  I’ll probably get knocked out in the first round but it will be fun.


Me Made May Weeks 2-4

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MMM15 day 10 mmm15 day 11  mmm15 day 14     WP_20150512_19_11_44_Pro  WP_20150516_15_36_23_Pro WP_20150518_13_41_09_Pro WP_20150521_20_53_37_Pro WP_20150522_17_20_02_Pro WP_20150523_18_00_25_Pro WP_20150524_20_32_05_Prommm15 day 28mmm15 day 29mmm15 Day 30mmm15 day 31

Day 10 – Lekala 5094 shirt

Day 11 – Self drafted jersey skirt

Day 12 – New look 6097

Day 13 – No Me Mades

Day 14 – Simplicity 2188 top

Day 15 – No photo repeat of day 4

Day 16 – Dress from top pattern McCalls 6796

Day 17 – Riding all day – no me mades

Day 18 – Trousers – McCalls 6711

Day 19 – No Me mades

Day 20 – Self Dafted T-shirt same as day 7

Day 21 – Same as day 20 ( worn for 2 hours each day)

Day 22 – No Me mades

Day 23 – Simplicity 3775

Day 24 – New look 6097

Day 25 – Another Simplicity 3775

Day 26 – workiing in garden, no me mades.

Day 27 – Burda Style airy blouse

Day 28 – Top Simplicity 2188

Day 29 – No photo – Top – New Look 6107

Day 30 – Another Lekala 5094 shirt  (this is the first one I made and the bust darts are in the wrong place)

Day 31 – Lazy day at home – self drafted skirt (un-ironed!)

Overall I’m really pleased with my me made wardrobe.  I’ve only been back sewing garments for about 15 months (and nothing I made for the first couple of months was wearable) yet a good part of the clothes I wear regularly are homemade.  I managed to beat my pledge of 5 days a week and I did pretty well at photographing everthing (despite hating mirror selfies).

I’m still a long way from being able to do a month with only hand made garments though.  I need more trousers, more skirts, and some top layers.  And I need to iron my clothes more!

Me Made May Week 1

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So end of week one of Me Made May and I’ve managed to keep to my pledge, in fact I managed 6 days rather than 5.

MMM15 day 1

Day 1 – Striped long sleeve T (I love this top – Youngest daughter has a matching dress)

MMM15 day 2

Day 2 – Another long sleeved T, the material isn’t as nice on this one though.

Day 3 – We were at a riding competition all day in the rain, no me mades.

mmm15 day 4

Day 4 – Short sleeved T – this is the first T shirt I ever made, before I got the serger.

MMM15 day 6

Day 5 – Newly finished skirt.  Fly front A-line with a box pleat.  Copied from my favourite RTW.

mmm15 day 5

Day 6 – Ponte dress made from Lekala 4315

MMM15 day 7

Day 7 – Newly finished T shirt.  This is definitely going to become a favourite.

Overall I am very pleased with how many of my home made clothes are in regular rotation.  Many of this weeks were Tees but that is what I wear day to day, and my home made tees are my favourites because they FIT.

There should be no problem finishing the month, especially as the sun is going to come out so dresses are back on the menu.

Me Made May

This is the month I’ve been waiting for.  I got back into garment sewing just over a year ago.  So last year when I heard about Me Made May – the pledge many home sewers make to wear as many handmade items as possible during the month of May – I watched from the sidelines.  I only had about 5 handmade pieces in my wardrobe, and 4 of those were waders, so wearing only handmade items for a whole month just wasn’t possible.

But that was last year.  Now I have started to put together a handmade wardrobe and feel ready to participate.  I’m still not sure I can do every day, but I’m close.

One other problem I have, and one of the reasons the blog is so slow, is taking photographs so I am also going to try to photograph my outfits.  Note I say try, I have no idea how I’ll manage that one.

So here is my pledge:

I, Frenchfancy, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear one handmade or refashioned-by-me item each day for five days a week for the duration of May 2015  I also pledge to photograph my outfits and do a blog post each week.

Two Tops

I’ve made 2 new summer tops.  Woven rather than jersey to try and be a bit more stylish than just a t-shirt.

The first started life as New Look 6107 but is barely recognisable as such.

New look 6107 with mods

I started off by adding a full bust adjustment (FBA) which meant adding a dart to the side seam.  I didn’t really want a dart so I pivoted the dart up to the shoulder using this useful tutorial and added it in to the gathered section at the yoke.  I also took out some of the extra width below the bust by enlarging the fish eye darts and trimming the side seams a little.

new look 6107 without closure

Then I decided I didn’t really want this to be a button up top, so I cut the front on the fold.  I can get it on over my head, but I do need to squash the girls down a little to put it on.

The fabric is a remnant I got on a trip to the UK about 6 months ago.  I’ve no idea what it is but it drapes beautifully.  I think it is either viscose or a silk/cotton blend.  I haven’t done a flame test but it took a very hot iron with no smell so I’m sure it isn’t a poly.

Back top

I like the fit and I will make another now I’ve done all the hard work pattern drafting, but next time I think I will make the fish eye darts a little smaller, and perhaps drop the yoke a little further as I have a bit of excess fabric below the gathers.

The next top is from simplicity 2188 

Simplicity 2188Again I did an FBA but this time I left the side dart in.  I’m pretty sure this is a viscose, from the local fabric store.

simplicity 2188 with bias

The other major change I made to this top is to eliminate the facing.  I’ve made this top before and the facing bugs me.  It doesn’t seem to lie straight.  In this version I used bias binding for the arm holes and neck line.  I chose to keep the bias visible rather than turning it to the inside and I deliberately chose part of the pattern with a gold colour for the neck line, which I really like.

new top

I’m pleased with both of these tops and I’m pretty sure they will be in regular use.  The only downside is that unlike t-shirts they do need ironing.

First Communion Dress

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Lekala 7087

Strictly speaking this is a baptism and first communion dress.  The baptism was last night.

The pattern I used is Lekala 7087

It is a simple bodice with princess seams and a flared skirt.  No gathers or pleats.  The dress is designed to have a chiffon overlay.  I just used the underskirt as a lining and the overskirt is in the same fabric as the bodice.

The fabric is linen/viscose blend which is completely delightful.  I think it might be the nicest fabric I’ve ever sewn with.  I will certainly be looking out for this blend in the future.  I got it mail order from a shop in Paris for the bargain price of 10€ for 3m (plus postage) .  See

lekala 7087 details

As this was a lekala pattern it is made to measure.  I made no fitting adjustments, though I did lengthen it by 10cm as it was a little too short for what I wanted.

Construction was straightforward.  The only slightly tricky bit was the bias binding at the neck and armholes as I used satin binding which was a little tricky to work with.  I hand stitched an invisible hem as I felt this fabric deserved that sort of treatment.

confirmation dress

I am very proud of this dress and my daughter loves it too (sorry we didn’t get any photos without the cardigan).  Once the first communion is over I am considering dying it pink (or maybe yellow) so she can get some more use out of it before she out grows it.  Not sure how the binding will take the dye but it might look nice with white binding on a pink dress.

New dressing gown

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My old one was looking decidedly scruffy (bought 15 years ago from Primark so not surprising)  I spend a lot of time in pyjamas so it made sense to make something I would like and wear.  The pattern is Lekala 5237, with the collar replaced by a band.  I shortened it as I didn’t want a floor length robe (and I didn’t have enough material).

The fabric is some sort of heavy weight jersey.  I think it is a poly, but it is really soft and has a lovely weight to it. It doesn’t crease at all.

The Lekala pattern is supposed to be made to my measurements, but it is huge.  I guess that is the design, but still.  I gathered the back somewhat and attached the belt to hide the gathers – I hate putting on a robe and then finding the belt missing.

The trousers are simplicity 2289.  Next time I will give a bit more room for my rear.

All in all comfy and more stylish than my old lounge wear.