Thursday, 31 May 2012

Me-Made-May'12: Week Four/Five

Blimey! May's been a long month hasn't it!?! But the glorious weather that has unusually graced us for an entire week has made participating in Me-Made-May much more fun. So I tried my hardest to outdo myself for the last leg of this challenge and have ended up with six outfits to share with you. 










Tuesday 22 May

Top - Urban Outfitters
Shoes- Primark

This was the first summery day in May and I think I chose the perfect outfit for it. My skirt was heavy enough to keep me warm until the cool morning wore off, but boy did it feel great to be bare-legged, despite the pasty legs! And how cute is my top...I love it so!























Wednesday 23 May

Me-made – Sorbetto
Skirt, Cardigan & Belt - Primark
Shoes - Office

The weather got even warmer and called for a cool Sorbetto. I've never worn this outfit before, but I seriously love the colour combination and it's a new favourite (weather permitting of course)!























Thursday 24 May

Me-made Tiny Pocket Tank
Jeans - ASOS
Shoes - Primark

Not a lot to say about this outfit other than it's so comfortable - I love a loose top on a hot day!


























Friday 25 May

Me-made – Jersey Tee & Aubergine Ginger 
Belt - Primark
Shoes - Office

Again, another new-to-me outfit. It's not something I would usually put together, but I do think it works and I'm delighted that Me-Made-May has led to new discoveries!























Wednesday 30 May

Me-made Sorbetto
Jeans - ASOS
Shoes - New Look

I had a day off work and this was a perfect outfit for lounging and doing a spot of sewing in - the jeans are super stretchy you see ;o)












Thursday 31 May

Me-made Floral Renfrew
Skirt - Topshop
Shoes- Primark

Aaaaand, we're back to tights weather again...I hope this isn't 'so long' summer! Either way this is a comfy, casual outfit which shows off my stripey Renfrew band. Whoop!

















So my first Me-Made-May has been a bit of a personal victory for me. As Zoe explains it the premise of the challenge is different for everyone, but for me I wanted to a) see if I could actually do it and b) identify gaps in my me-made wardrobe. I managed to fulfill both of these and I'm happy to report that I even out-pledged myself by managing more outfits than I thought possible!

What has Me-Made-May'12 taught me: 

  • Just like the OWOP challenge, Me-Made-May has highlighted my lack of accessorising and hair styling. I'm now beginning to think that this won't ever change, but none of us are perfect so I think I can live with it!
  • I don't wear my me-mades as often as I should as I struggle to get the fit spot on. So I think I need to concentrate way more quality over quantity in the future.
  • I have big, gaping wardrobe gaps people! I tend to live in dresses, yet I hardly have any me-made dresses that I like enough to wear. I'm hoping I can spend the next half of the year rectifying this. I also lack well-fitting skirts, but I think this has more to do with my 'difficult' body shape than the patterns I've tried. So there's no quick fix here!
  • The month has been great for experimenting with outfit combinations and getting a bit creative. I've loved some of the discoveries I've made!
  • Although photographing yourself on a regular basis feels very narcissistic, it's definitely taught me to relax a bit more in front of the camera and not to care about looking picture perfect.

Overall, this has been a positive and enjoyable experience, especially feeling part of a bigger community and connecting with so many other participants. Thank you so much Zoe for hosting such an inspired challenge, I really can't wait to take it up a notch next year! 


*****

Me-Made-May'12 - Week Three

Me-Made-May'12 - Week Two

Me-Made-May'12 - Week One

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Tiny Pocket Tank – sans tiny pocket

I have another quick and dirty make to share with you all today! I promise I will sew something more challenging soon, but after the success of my Scout Woven Tee I just had to try another grainline studio pattern, the Tiny Pocket Tank. The weather’s been so warm this week that summery makes are just the ticket...especially bright and loose-fitting ones!

This tank looks sweet both tucked into my aubergine Ginger or left free over jeans.

 
There’s not an awful lot to say about the construction of this pattern, as it’s so easy. I cut out a size 6 all over and it fits perfectly - next time I make the Scout Woven Tee I’ll do the same for a slightly more fitted look. I made this from jersey material (now there’s a surprise) and I used Sewaholic’s Renfrew method for binding the neck and armholes which always guarantees a professional-looking finish. I omitted the tiny pocket, because although it’s very teeny tiny and sweet, it would only draw more unwanted attention to my not so teeny tiny bust. Next time I may even make the front neckline just a smidge higher too.


 I finished the neck, armholes and hem with shocking pink thread, which looks pretty cool.


I had very little fabric to work with so I pieced the back by cutting it on the bias – seems to have worked ok thankfully.


I love this summery top so much, that I’m entering it into the Pink Challenge, hosted by Vivika who blogs in Greek over at The Wandering Deer. To enter you just need to submit anything pink you’ve made (it doesn’t have to be sewn, it can be anything at all) via email to vivika87@gmail.com by 31 May.

Tilly’s recent post on French sewing blogs
actually reminded me of how I stumbled across Vivika's blog in the first place. Back in January, a similar post on foreign blogs by Lazy Stitching introduced me to a brilliantly Greek blog – Madame Pelagie - which then led me to The Wandering Deer. Isn’t that weird and wonderful? Being from Cyprus I’m fluent in Greek, but having moved to England when I was just 13yrs old means that I’m not familiar with a lot of sewing terms in the Greek language. Discovering these blogs has not only brought me up to date in terms of language, but it has also instilled me with an unexpected sense of belonging.

Anyway, the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed something new about my photos...in the background. I came home from work on Wednesday to a surprise makeover of our balcony - complete with furniture and plants - orchestrated by my lovely boyfriend. Although It does limit my photo-taking space, it's now such a lovely area and perfect for this glorious weather we're experiencing. The boy done good!



Thursday, 24 May 2012

Tracing vs. cutting - another dimension to the debate?

I think we’re all familiar with the age-old debate: tracing vs. cutting? In very broad terms those who trace are star pupils who view the cutters as sacrilegious and those who cut are rebels who view the tracers as time-wasters. Am I roughly right?

I actually don’t fit into either category and at the risk of being scorned by both camps, I’ve been wondering lately if I should share my rather middle of the road approach. And I decided it would be worth it just to a) maybe present an alternative for stitchers out there and b) find out if there are any other folders about.

You see, I’m definitely not brave enough to cut my pattern pieces out (what if I make a terrible mistake!?!), but I’m far too lazy to trace every darned pattern piece (seriously, who has the time!?!). So instead I fold...I’m a folder – which sums up my middle of the road approach to many things quite nicely really!

It's simple! I snip the edges of my pattern pieces down to the size I think I want.


And then I fold my pattern pieces back.


Voila! As you can see I've only demonstrated the side here...


The beauty of the folding ‘method’ is that it saves loads of time, yet I still have all sizes intact in case I want to make the pattern for someone else or in case I ever need to make adjustments for myself. It can be applied to most pattern pieces, although occasionally there are the odd fiddly/smaller pieces that do need tracing. Best of all, if your pattern piece isn’t particularly ‘curvy’, you can get away without snipping at all and just plain old folding!

So, what do you think? Have I opened your eyes to something new or would you not be caught dead folding your pattern pieces? This could of course be old-hat and I’m just late to the party...that would be so typical!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Me-Made-May'12: Week Three

Holy macaroni, how are we approaching the end of May so fast!?! I must say that I'm really getting into Me-Made-May and I have high hopes for next year! For now, I'm pleased that I managed another four days this week...











Wednesday 16 May

Me-made – Western Ginger
Top - H&M
Shoes - Primark

Have I told you how much I love my denim Ginger? I especially love it with this blouse!




























Thursday 17 May

Me-made – Re-fashioned Pendrell
Jeans - ASOS
Shoes - Topshop

I think my Pendrell has shrunk a little in the wash, making the fit perfect...how jammy is that!?! It's such a smart little pattern!



























Friday 18 May

Me-made – Nautical Collar
Dress - Primark
Belt - Vintage
Shoes - Office

So I like detachable collars, sue me! I felt a bit like I was in fancy dress, but life goes on!





























Saturday 19 May

Me-made – Mad Men Dress
Coat - Dahlia
Shoes - Primark

This was a most awesome day as I got to meet up with Winnie and Catherine! It was a good call wearing this dress, as both my partners in (fabric shopping) crime were rocking their very own spectacular makes!
















*****

Me-Made-May'12 - Week Four/Five

Me-Made-May'12 - Week Two

Me-Made-May'12 - Week One

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Intimate blogger hook-up

Today has simply been ace! I had the pleasure of meeting up in Birmingham with two lovely stitching bloggers – Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time and Catherine from The Makings of an Urban Rustic. I've been a huge fan of Winnie's makes and blog for a while so it was no surprise at all to find out that she's as fun and fabulous as she comes across online. And I'm so happy to have met Catherine who has a seriously good eye for top fabric and whose knitting has blown me away!

Not even the miserable weather could dampen our spirits (pun intended), we had an absolute blast terrorising the stall holders at the Rag Market.

There were trimmings...boy were there trimmings!




And ridiculous amounts of cheap fabric - look how excited Winnie and Catherine are!


A few hours later we needed to recharge our batteries with delicious drink, food and chatter.



We also used our hard-earned break as a chance to swap some bits and I came away with these lovelies. Thank you ladies!


Re-energised, we went back for more and accidentally discovered one of the best fabric shops ever - the Fancy Silk Store! Don't let the name fool you, this shop stocks pretty much everything and at very reasonable prices! 


Winnie contemplating some pretty peacock print...and yes, she got some in the end!


I, of course, didn't come home empty handed. I indulged in yet some more jersey...


...some crepe and viscose...


...and a sweet little collar!


I also left with some divine inspiration! This cute child's dress left me desperate for one in my size, so I've decided to recreate it for myself this summer. I can't imagine it will be hard to draft, in fact I have a couple of patterns that should be easy enough to adapt...wish me luck!


Thank you ladies for a delightful day! It was excellent meeting you both and I really enjoyed getting to know a bit about you both. Here's hoping we get to do it again soon!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Winners of heinously overdue giveaway announced!

Hello friends and thank you all so much for entering last week's giveaway! I was blown away by the interest shown and I'm just so sad that I can't offer each and every one of you a gift...although I'm sure my posts are a gift in themselves. Haha, just kidding ;o)

Anyway, without further ado, it is my pleasure to announce the two lucky ladies today:

The sewing loot goes to Helen's Sewing Adventures - a blogger who apparently resides in the Midlands like myself...what were the chances!?! Congratulations Helen! Can you please leave your email address in the comments so I can get in touch?


And the vintage knitting book goes to Heather Lou of Closet Case Files - a blog I have only recently discovered, but that is truly awesome! I also love the comment that she left me, "I will knit the hell out of some of those babies, should I be lucky enough to win". I'll be emailing you soon for your postal address Heather Lou!

Happy Friday all, have a great weekend!