No longer feeling Blue (featuring the 20p Tee)

As I mentioned in my last post, the past few weeks have been hectic and I haven’t had the time or energy for crafting for almost a month. Eeek, that is a long time. I eased myself back into sewing with some projects I had cut and prepped during the May half-term; I spent a whole day just cutting out multiple patterns and working my way through my pile of fabric ear-marked for spring/summer.

back to blue

Can you see a pattern in my makes? Fortunately I was wearing an all white and navy outfit on Friday and got told it really suited me. I had started sewing the bunny fabric ages ago, but in the light of day realised my thread was not navy. It took me a while to get some navy thread, but once I had it threaded then I decided to do all my navy sewing at once. The bunnies deserve a proper photo-shoot, but the weather today was perfect for wearing the middle garment – a spotty portrait blouse.

This is my third Gertie Portrait Blouse (#1 and #2 is unblogged) and the bust darts are almost “perfect” now so this was a quick and easy make that only took a couple of hours this morning (2 episodes of Fraser and some Sunday Brunch).

1

The fabric was snatched up at the epic blogger meet-up and swap but I have no idea who donated it. Thank you, mystery sewcialist! It is pretty sturdy so I am imagining it is pure/high cotton content, and is navy with lots of white spots, so is slightly different from polka-dots! I finished the neckline and sleeves/armholes with some white bias-binding I got at the Peter Jensen sale for £1 (not even 1/5 through it, so I reckon this top cost me 20p! bargain!)

3

I kept the fitting loose on this top as I was feeling the need for a loose and light-weight top in all this heat (yes, I am one of those people who complains that 26ºC is only just bearable!) but the waist pleats/darts give it just enough shaping to feel flattering. I haven’t needed a zip on any of my Portrait blouses so I guess there is room for more shaping, but I felt comfy on my afternoon trip to the park.

2

It appears the quality of self-portraits on my phone is seriously grainy, but it was too hot to bother carrying my big camera around with me. I spent most of my time in the park taking very obvious self-portraits but nobody seemed to notice in tourist-central. The picture above was taken with my phone leaning on a barrier which was a bold move for me – maybe it was easier when wearing shades and a big, floppy hat (I love this hat so much!).

4

Despite the above look on my face (trying to look normal, while taking posed self-portraits) I enjoyed my afternoon in the sun, and it felt so good to get some sewing done. I didn’t realise the impact no crafting had had on my head until I worked out exactly how long ago it was since I’d last done some sewing. When life gets manic I think I need to prioritise craft instead of abandoning it in favour of work.

I am already in love with make #3 (polka dots + rick rack = amazing!) but the invisible zip I attached got caught on something and broke 😦 I must get another one this week as I need to finish the dress for Saturday so the make can meet it’s muse!

p.s. This weekend was definitely Indie Pattern Weekend for me; Colette Patterns, Gertie (does her book count?) and Sewaholic all sewn.

p.p.s. Google Reader dies tonight so make sure you are following me on another reader. I’ve added a Bloglovin’ button to the sidebar as apparently views in Bloglovin will show up in my stats…

Back to business

Apologies for the blog silence lately, things have been hectic in real life; big presentation, end of year school report writing, lesson observations, school summer fete and visiting family = no free time to sew or blog. I even missed my 2 year bloggerversary as I’ve been so busy. Plus physio says I have to rest my wrist and I caught a cold.

However things are finally looking up. All my reports are finished, lesson observation went well and there is a full free day of the weekend available for sewing and crafting. Hooray! To cheer myself up midweek I bought some pretty flowers and got home to find the latest issue of Threads in my postbox.
image
Hopefully I’ll have a finished project or two finished this weekend…

Black and White and Red All Over Quilt (part 2)

Next up in the Block of the Month 2012 Course were the half-square triangles.

I was really apprehensive about cutting out so many triangles, but the method taught was to cut squares and sew them either side of the diagonal; two half-square triangles made at a time, with no bias-edges to deal with.

First was the Chunky Chevron block. I love the bold design and think it could look great as a full quilt, showcasing some great prints.

Craftsy BOM 010bChunky Chevron

Balkan Puzzle BlockBalkan Puzzle Block

For the Balkan Puzzle Block I decided not to use plain white background fabric, and instead chose white with dots. Hmmm… was it a good idea? I can’t decide whether it is too busy or if it will look good with all the other blocks. I love polka-dots but maybe this was too much! What do you think?

Other posts in the series:
Part 1 – Slashed Blocks 

Black and White and Red All Over Quilt (part 1)

What is black and white and red all over? Nope, it isn’t a newspaper, a penguin covered in ketchup, or any other classic joke punchlines… it will be my next quilt!

I signed up to the free Craftsy Block of the Month series and decided to go for the 2012 BOM instead of the current 2013 course. I had searched for images of both quilts and really preferred the 2012 design; the uniformly sized blocks should provide some structure  and calm to busy prints (and I don’t have to wait until the end of the year to complete it).

PicMonkey Collage

I started this a couple of months ago, and recently returned to it as a quick project after my couture jacket; some of the pairs of blocks can be cut and sewn in an evening.

The first blocks I made were two slashed blocks:

Craftsy BOM 008bThe Asterisk Block

Craftsy BOM 009bThe Wonky Pound Sign (or #hash-tag)

These two blocks were really quick and easy to make, with minimal measuring and cutting, and I think just using 2 fabrics will really make an impact in the final quilt. To make these blocks you start with a square and strips of contrast fabric, slash the block into two, join with a strip along the join, and repeat. Easy-peasy.

Stay tuned for more BOM updates over the next few weeks, while I take a rest from intense sewing!

 

Reflections on Me Made May 2013

Me Made June 2011 was one of the reasons I started this little crafty blog, however last year I didn’t join in for whatever reason. This year my pledge was:

I, Alison of anotherlittlecraftycreation , sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13.
I endeavour to wear all me-made garments (excluding bras, socks, tights and sports wear) each day for the duration of May 2013. I am allowed to wear RTW knitwear no more than 3 times a week.

Despite having not purchased any RTW clothes for over a year and a half (except a Christmas jumper that would have taken me a decade to knit!) I was apprehensive about how well I could meet this challenge. I may not have purchased new clothes but I have some old favourites that I live in. To make things easier in the mornings, at the end of April I vaccum-packed* all my RTW clothes away under my bed so my wardrobe was just me-mades.

The weather was very changeable, as I suppose is to be expected in Britain, so you can tell when it got cold and rainy in the picture below. I can’t believe I started the month with post-work ice-lollies in the park!

MMMay 2013

 

 

Here are my thoughts on the month: (this is longer than I intended it to be, sorry!)

  • There are two clear winners in the most-worn sewn-garment category (excluding my Minoru raincoat which was almost worn daily due to the weather); my blue Jeanius jeans and my new black linen trousers. I’m not hugely surprised by this since the weather has been pretty gloomy (not cold enough for boots, but too cold for skirts) and they allowed me to wear my printed tops.
  • I’m not sure if I would have coped if I hadn’t made the emergency black trousers! I like sewing exciting patterned garments, but actually I need to sew some boring basics to go with them. I find it really hard to choose plain fabrics when I am shopping as my eye gets distracted by all the lovely prints, but obviously I need something neutral to pair with the prints.
  • My (unblogged) red ruched top, and my 1-hour striped t-shirt got a lot of wear; plain colours and patterns that were easy to wear and went with lots of options. I have already cut out some boring simple and versatile tops for the summer.
  • When the weather was nice I loved wearing dresses! I don’t feel comfortable in skin-coloured tights, so in an ideal world I would go from wearing wooly tights and boots straight to sandals, hence the couple of weeks of trousers.
  • I have analysed what I wore each day and made some lovely pie-charts!outfit typesOver the whole month there was a lean towards trouser-based outfits, but this was massively skewed by weekend and holiday wearing of jeans. I wore lots of dresses to work, probably because they are so easy to throw on with a cardigan in the summer, with minimal thought or planning; I really like the pictures on the days when I was wearing dresses so I think I should follow Dolly Clackett‘s example and dress up more during my leisure time (she always wears gorgeous dresses, whatever she is doing, and has been my favourite MeMadeMay-er to watch)
  • I planned to allow myself to wear RTW cardigans but ended up not having to. I wore my Miette and Basic Bella cardigans most days, rediscovered a purple shrug I had made to wear to a wedding, and then made a black cardigan.
  • The colours I wore in May were different from what I usually wear. Due to mainly wearing red and turquoise cardigans, my outfits contained much more blue than usual; Normally I wear a pink or purple M&S cardigan to brighten up an outfit and have accessories to match, but not wearing them in May created some other wardrobe orphans. I do really like red and navy as a combination, so will have to make an effort to wear more of it.
  • You have to do washing regularly if you only have 8 pairs of underpants. I know readers who are parents will find it hard to believe, but living on my own I can last over a week before I fill a wash. Today I am finding RTW pants just aren’t as comfy, so I have cleared out my underwear drawers  and have some jersey scraps to make some more custom-made pairs.
  • I am almost at the stage where I can have a fully me-made wardrobe! I have tried to go clothes shopping, but I am not satisfied with the fit/construction/design of anything anymore. Yesterday I unpacked my RTW clothes and thought carefully about what clothes I had missed wearing. Anything I didn’t desperately want to wear went in a bag to go to Oxfam. I filled a blue IKEA bag with unwanted clothes; some were RTW and some were my old creations that I just don’t wear anymore. donations Seriously full bag, my shoulder hurts today from carrying it down the road.

I really didn’t expect my thoughts to be so numerous, so apologies for all the random ramblings and thanks for reading this far. If you took part in Me Made May, is there anything you have learned about yourself and your wardrobe?

*I cannot recommend vaccum-packing enough, especially for those who live in tiny flats. I have half my wardrobe (summer or winter) put away and it really makes a difference space-wise. Plus it is super fun to vacuum-pack a double winter duvet away into a tiny little space! My brother may disagree with this, after I condensed most of my wardrobe into one giant suitcase when I moved; I didn’t realise how heavy it was (solid clothes, no air) until he carried it up three flights of stairs!

Me Made May 2013 – Week 5

Here is Me Made May Week 5…

Week 5

Day 27
Refashioned maxi-skirt (pre-blog)
Grey striped kimono tee (unblogged)
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan

Day 28
Black Jeanius Jeans (unblogged)
Floral jersey top
Minoru raincoat

Day 29
Blue Jeanius Jeans
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Minoru raincoat

Day 30
Blue Jeanius Jeans
Stripy-yoke long-sleeved top (unblogged)
Minoru raincoat

Day 31
United Stashes of Awesome Skirt
Red Ruched Burda Top (unblogged)
NO JACKET! I left the house in just a top!

This week was even less inspiring than last week. It is half-term so spent most of the week lazing around at home working, sewing or just chilling, so not hugely exciting outfits for popping to the shops. Monday was glorious sunshine so I took my hand-sewing to the park to make the most of it, and it is a good job I did because the weather has been horrid since (hence all the pictures featuring my Minoru this week!). Tuesday was pouring with rain but I had to pop out to do errands, and made an exciting discovery on the way home which I will tell you all about in due course (I am waiting for some supplies to get delivered…)

I am analysing my month and will have my reflections on the challenge soon, maybe with some snazzy graphs and charts. Have any of my lovely readers been taking part in Me Made May this year? What are your thoughts now it is over?

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.