Chic Cocktail Party

I hope lots of you will have heard of the lovely Sally of Charity Shop Chic‘s new and exciting pattern line Capital Chic Patterns. Sally has designed lots of modern garments for work and post-work cocktails. She has become a good friend this past year but had been working in secret on her pattern lines, with me unsuspecting that every time we met up she was wearing/testing a new design!

Sally offered me a free pattern to try (I’ll try my best to be objective in my review here) but sadly I’m just outside of her sizes. But that month’s Threads magazine had an article on grading so I thought I’d give it a go on some of her simpler patterns; I didn’t use the techniques in Threads but instead came up with my own easier method, which you can read about in my tutorial on Capital Chic Bellini Sew-along on Friday!
open collar

I made the Bellini blouse in a cotton lawn with a subtle contrast lace collar. It was the heat of summer and I knew I wanted a cool cotton blouse. I had the lace in my stash and went on a mission to find plain black fabric for the top, and then ran out as the pattern alterations meant my patterns were too wide to fit the fabric!

After enlarging the pattern to my high bust size I did my usual FBA, creating a horizontal bust dart, but looking at the pictures I probably need to ass a smidge more. When trying on the blouse the loose fit style was much too loose for me, so I took in very generous amounts at the side seams. The sleeves were also a bit snug, so I enlarged these a tiny bit and just sewed a rolled hem instead of binding. I’ve never sewn a rolled hem before but the instructions in the pattern were very clear and easy to follow. This made a really comfy shirt, with the perfect mix of smart and casual, but on future versions I’d have more buttons closer together (and not wear I tuck it in).blouse

I also made the Champagne skirt, in a textured digital floral print I picked up from the infamous Man Outside Sainsburys in Walthamstow market earlier in the year. It was my intention to enter it for Oonapalooza but I never got around to blogging it. I spent ages laying out the fabric before cutting it to get the best pattern matching, and I’m pretty pleased with the final result.champagne

I enlarged the pattern using the same tracing methods, including the flounce hem, and all pieces matched up after sewing; I didn’t mark the darts as I graded up, and instead just added them when I tried on the skirt. I fully lined the skirt, including the flounce, and attached them inside out at the hem, and used an exposed lace zipper on the back. I don’t normally wear fitted skirts so I had to think about how I was sitting and walking; this skirt is definitely not work-wear for me, but might be better in a stretch fabric.zipper

The Portrait of a Stranger Blouse

In the first installment of “garments I’ve made ages ago but have been wearing too frequently to take pictures” is this voile blouse, which is really cool and comfy in this hot weather. It is Gertie’s Portrait Blouse (as made here and here) so other than moving the tucks so that the print matches up, there is nothing new to say about the pattern. Except that the fabric was a present from Gillian all the way in Canada!!!portrait back

Gillian and I are almost the same person on different sides of the ocean; we are both teachers of little kids, we both love polka dots and we both have similar colour palettes. When I posted pictures of my Aubergine Hummingbird skirt, Gillian loved the colour and since I had plenty I offered to send her some. In return Gillian showed me pictures of her stash, but it was all pretty and I couldn’t decide so I asked her to send me a surprise. She sent me this lovely, soft, buttery voile that is so easy and cool to wear. I made this blouse and I’ve worn it at least once a week since making it.

portrait front

 

This is definitely my most worn top of the summer and the colour fits in so well with my wardrobe. Thanks Gillian!

#100happydays (part 2)

 

I have definitely got some of my sewing mojo back this half-term, but sadly the weather has been rather gloomy so I have lots of projects waiting to be photographed. If the weather doesn’t improve soon I’ll just have to take less-than-perfect pictures so I can show you pretty dresses.

I’m over half-way through my #100happydays project (this post is rather late coming as I am now on day 66) but it was really nice to look back through the month/term as it was a rather busy time.100 happy days 26-50I am quite surprised there were only 4 days of chicks, but you can see a couple of crafty projects I have been working on/was buying supplies for!

 

Top 5 of 2013

 

It is time for my Top 5 of 2013 (as organised by the lovely Gillian. I can’t believe this time last year I didn’t know her!). I have to review my Sewlutions tomorrow for the Mistress of the Jar, so I’m going to pack a lot in this post…

Lets start with the misses2013 misses

  • I learned so much making my Couture Jacket and am really pleased with the construction and techniques I used. But I’ve only worn it a couple of times. I’m hoping it is because the typical British spring went from freezing to boiling in a week, so fingers-crossed I enjoy wearing it this spring.
  • My Dotty Dolly Cambie dress remains unblogged 😦 I was so excited making it – polka dots, a Cambie dress, ric-rac…. all the ingredients for a perfect dress. But wearing it didn’t feel perfect. I think I prefer the gathered skirt to the a-line version I did here, and the fabric for my floral Cambie flows better. Again. I will try it again in spring as it was finished just as the heatwave started, and all the lining was a bit too sticky.
  • Inspired by meetings with Charity Shop Chic I got some items to refashion. Have you seen them yet? Nope. Because there was a lot of brain power involved in fitting my pattern pieces onto refashioned parts of garments. I will definitely put these to the top of my to-sew pile as one is fuscia silk and the other is red wool.
  • My red Basic Bella cardigan has been worn frequently these past few months and is a great chunky cardigan for a chilly day. But it is chunky. The cotton blend yarn stretches (not enough research done) and I made it fit my measurements, not incorporating negative/zero ease for a close fit (beginner knitter’s mistake) so overall it is rather baggy and can look a bit sloppy. It is still great to wear, but it has to go in the miss category since it was one of the causes of my bad wrists 😦
  • Finally my first Anna dress. Its not a total disaster, and most of the lovely comments suggested chopping the sleeves off (a job that can wait until it gets a bit warmer!), but I felt disappointed with it after all the Anna love around the blogosphere.

Hits 2013

 

 

I had a lot of trouble choosing my hits as I’ve made so many nice things this year; I feel my sewing has improved and I have a better sense of what suits me now, so there were less disasters.

  • I love my stripy Tiramisu dress and it was a great introduction to Cake Patterns. Steph’s drafting and custom fit instructions are great, and so it was easy to get a fit and finish I was happy with. I wore this loads over the summer – perfect for pulling on with sandals – even though it is still un-hemmed! oops! I made a long sleeve version which was also great, so this pattern will be staying in my collection.
  • My Polka-dot Portrait Blouse was a simple cotton tee but it was perfect over the summer. Loose enough to stay cool, but with enough subtle shaping. I lived in this with my cropped jeans, which was quite a revelation for a stretch t-shirt girl.
  • I made a quilt!! What more do I need to say?! I learned so much, caught the patchwork and quilting bug, and now can stay cozy while lounging on the sofa.
  • My floral Cambie was another great dress that worked for all occasions; school, weddings and lazy weekends. I feel so good in it as there is the right balance between style and comfort, the fabric is soft and scrummy, and I did some good pattern alterations to get the perfect fit (and at a meet-up someone was wearing a Cambie they had altered using my tutorial!)
  • Finally, since it is the only garment in season at the moment, is my Liberty Hawthorn. I wasn’t convinced about the pattern until I saw all the versions popping up on people’s blogs. This is the fourth fabric version of this, after lots of muslin-ing to get the bodice darts to fit once I’d done a big FBA, so I’m proud of all the work that went into making it. Again, I feel really good in it – not showy, but just quietly confident, like a stylish grown-up in it.

Reflections:

  • Do you notice anything about all my hit garments? A Cake pattern, a Gertie pattern, a Sewaholic pattern and a Colette pattern. I didn’t realise until writing this, but all my hits have been from independent pattern designers (my By Hand London blazer was almost in the top 5). This isn’t deliberate but I think it reflects my sewing process. Since blogging and reading other bloggers I have discovered new companies I’d never heard of. And since these companies all blog, I get to see inside the patterns and get more inspiration than is on the pattern envelope. To be honest, I’m not sure what the last Big 4 pattern I used was…
  • Three out of four hit garments are dresses! I feel good when I’m wearing a well fitted dress, and it is less hassle getting dressed in the morning. Yet I feel like dresses are impractical and don’t sew that many. This must change!
  • I like learning and I want to expand my skills. This year I learned some couture skills, I learned to patchwork blocks and how to free-motion quilt, I learnt how to add darts to knitting (yes, bust darts on my knitted cardigan coming soon once it is dried. Blocking takes so long in winter!) and I learnt more about photography and taking better pictures. As we say in school, I have a growth mind-set towards my sewing learning.
  • Sewing is more fun when you can share with people who understand you. I love, love, LOVE my new Sewcialist and Spoolette friends here on the blog, on twitter and instagram and now in real life thanks to lots of meet-ups 🙂 It is so great having people who understand your passion for creating and who can offer advice from experience, but most of the time we meet we don’t talk about sewing; there is almost an unspoken attitude towards life that we all share, despite being totally different and having different other interests, which means we can get on so well.
  • I’m pretty awesome. This isn’t said in an arrogant way, but in a “I have previously had such low self-confidence but I’m actually starting to believe I’m good” sort of way.
  • I need to craft; it is not just a hobby anymore, it is part of my life. When my wrists were bad and I had to rest, I had no idea what to do with myself. I felt twitchy and on edge for weeks as I hadn’t made anything for ages, and this in turn made me feel really low (in combination with the pain and frustration).

Inspirations:

  • All my sewing and crafting inspiration comes from the sewcialists and spoolettes and all the great blogs I read. If I had to pick my main inspirations, they would be:
    Jo  (Sew Little Time) because I think we sew quite a lot of similar things and are similar height so I can trust her makes will also look good on me.
    Struggle Sews A Straight Seam because her blog makes me smile so much, and she has a great approach to sewing wearable garments.
    Gillian (Crafting A Rainbow) because we are like the same person on different continents; both teach little kiddies, both love bright colours and sewing wearable jersey. And Gillian is always behind a twitter plan!
    Amy (Almond Rock) as she makes such cute tops with great fabric. And she turned her blog into self-hosted (I may need her help soon since I’ve nearly reached my storage limit on wordpress, eek!)
    Roisin (Dolly Clackett) for all her amazing and FUN dresses (and she is such a lovely friend).

Goals:

  • Make more dresses. I feel great in dresses, so I should make more.
  • Wear an entirely me-made outfit at least once. The only RTW items I have to buy at the moment are bras and socks. I have some sock-weight yarn and I’ve signed up to a bra-making course at Morley College (its not for a style I really wear, since that sold out last term, but should teach me the fundamental aspects I hope)
  • Keep improving and learning new techniques, and keep challenging myself in my crafting. (Was that in school speak too much?!)
  • Make more effort to join in online; open-ended sew-alongs, challenges, commenting on blogs and sharing reviews and projects online.
  • Most importantly, I will enjoy my crafting and take my time to savour all the details. I rushed my knitting and learnt the hard way that I need to enjoy crafting in (slight) moderation, otherwise I may not be able to craft at all.

As a thank you for reading all that reflection, here are some pictures of some of my projects that didn’t make the top 5 hits… To see them in more detail, click on the newly organised pages at the top of the blog 🙂

2013

B-b-b-bowling!

Last weekend was fab. It was the long-awaited Spoolettes Bowling Night!

A long time ago, at the beginning of the summer, there was talk among some sewing gals about making our own bowling shirts for a trip to the bowling alley. Many many emails were sent and eventually we arranged a date that the majority of the Spoolettes could do (if you want to know what a Spoolette is, read Claire’s blog here)

Everyone looked amazing and had responded to the design challenge reflecting their own style; there were vintage-style shirts, quirky fabric choices, a couple of bowling dresses and lots of amazing hand-embroidery (putting my machine embroidery to shame). As with any blogger meet-up there were lots of cameras everywhere you looked, so check out more photos on the blogs of Claire, Nicole, Fiona, Sally, Janene.

b b b b bowling! d

b b b b bowling! bb b b b bowling! cb b b b bowling! a

My shirt was a modified Hawthorn blouse (have I shown you my Hawthorn blouse and dress yet? oops!). This was my second Hawthorn creation and I used the bowling shirt to test out some modifications (more on the fitting in a later post, I promise!)

I cut divided the pattern to create a contrast stripe down the front and back centres, and made the collar and sleeves in contrast black fabric. This was easier than I expected; measure and mark distance, draw seam allowance on either side of the line, and fold back to cut out fabric.

hummingbird skirt cDespite not trying too hard, I actually did some pretty awesome stripe-matching! (see the chevrons below) And look, I’m not standing in a hallway! I think I’ve found a good photo-shoot location in my new flat, but it relies on nice sunlight which has been lacking today. (I got dressed ready to get some pics of my Hummingbird skirt I’m wearing without the bowling shirt, but the sun had gone by 3.30pm 😦hummingbird skirt aI cut out some felt shapes and free machine embroidered them onto a scrap of fabric to create a logo. My machine did not like what I was doing at all, but its not bad for a first attempt at machine embroidery (though I definitely need some stabiliser before I do much more).

hummingbird skirt b

It was such a fun night, I can’t wait for the next Spoolette adventure!

Pink Polka-dot Hummingbird

I bought this fabric in July on a trip with Jo (I was looking for plain jersey, which hot pink dots definitely is!) and had decided it would be perfect for a Cake Hummingbird top, without even owning the pattern. Then when I got the pattern I was being extra good about resting my wrists and so it sat around for a few weeks.

2

When my wrists felt up to crafting I wanted an easy project to ease myself into. I also didn’t want to waste crafting time tracing/cutting out lots of pattern pieces, so I decided to try the peplum of the Hummingbird top with my fail-safe jersey bodice. I cut the peplum piece and my normal top pieces, stopping just below the waistline and simply sewed them together at the waist. Simple.4The most time-consuming parts of this make were the neck and sleeve bindings (my new favourite method of finishing knits -look how flat it sits in the picture below!) and trying to work out the best height to join the peplum. When I tried it on it sat a bit low so, instead of unpicking all the lightning stitches, I created a bigger seam-allowance; next time I need to sew it just a teeny bit lower so I can keep the original length of the peplum, as it looks a touch too short in some of these pics.
3

I really love this top! It is so fun to wear, and looks just a little bit more interesting than just a normal t-shirt. It does feel a bit weird when wearing it as it sometimes feels like I’m wearing a crop-top when the breeze blows the peplum away from my body! Will definitely be making more of these in the future, and maybe with the original bodice!1

These pictures were taken at the end of the summer holidays but I waited to post them as I wanted my 200th post to be special and sentimental; I think the length of my fringe here clearly shows they were taken before my back-to-school haircut!

I still have a few more summer makes to show you (and one that needs a bit of a tweak) but tomorrow is the start of the By Hand London Anna Sew-along and I am looking forward to joining in with a sew-along in real time.

Autumn Sewing Plans

sewing plans

I have a couple of finished garments to show you, but before I show you all my sewing I though I should share my plans for autumn back-to-school sewing. At the beginning of the summer, while bored from my break from sewing (saw the physio this week and the rest has helped) I decided to draw all the things I was planning to make. Last year I made a personalised croquis* using the instructions in the Colette Sewing Handbook and I printed some out to doodle my wardrobe plans. I’m not normally one for planning my sewing, as you’ve probably worked out by now, but I was preparing for a blogging meet-up shopping-trip and had time on my hands.

blazer

  • A By Hand London Victoria Blazer. I have already shown you the blazer I made, which turned out pretty similar to the original idea; plain dark jacket with contrast (spotty) lapels.
  • A dark grey or black Hummingbird skirt. Last autumn/winter I lived in my black cord skirt, so another plain dark skirt is a basic wardrobe necessity.
  • A “plain” t-shirt to go with my patterned skirts. This was the plainest jersey I could buy; I am attracted to fun prints in fabric shops, but there is a space in my me-made wardrobe for plainer tops to wear with the snazzy prints! I’ll use my jersey t-shirt block for this, with self drafted cap-sleeves.

aubergine skirt

  • Last year I bought LOTS of aubergine-coloured corduroy and I haven’t made any clothes with it yet! I love cord skirts in winter, so am going to use it to make a Hummingbird skirt.
  • My wardrobe needs a plain navy top or t-shirt to match with my navy skirts. Still haven’t bought fabric for it yet.

hawthorn

  • I love the new Colette Patterns Hawthorn shirt dress; it is cute without being too vintage or girly looking. In my head I imagined a dark purple fabric with a subtle print, with a plain collar and cuffs. Whether this fabric exists in real life is still under investigation…

blouse

  • I’m pretty sure there will have to be a few adjustments made, plus my first time making sleeve plackets, so I thought I should plan to make a wearable muslin of the Hawthorn blouse; If it is in a busy print it should disguise any mistakes I make.

elisalex

  • I got this turquoise dotty fabric from Paris as a birthday present, and thought it could be a great first go at an Elisalex dress bodice, with a Cambie-style gathered skirt. I have seen so many lovely Elisalexes and variations, that I had to give in and get the pattern too.

tiramisu

  • I love my Tiramisu dresses and really want a long-sleeved cosy one for the winter, in a heavy ponté jersey. Not black, so maybe dark purple/plum or maybe a deep red or pink…

peplum

  • When fabric shopping with Jo from SewLittleTime I bought some pink polka-dot jersey that we thought would be great for a Hummingbird peplum top. I didn’t even own the pattern, but Jo had the measurements written down so I bought some fabric in the hope of owning the pattern.
  • My second self-drafted pair of jeans were a much better fit, but the knees are already starting to fade from so much wear. Time for a new pair of jeans, in a dark almost-black colour.

So those were my plans at the beginning of the summer – stay tuned to see which plans stayed the same and which ones changed! Is anybody else getting excited about autumn sewing (despite it still being summer!)? What are you planning to sew?

 

*The croquis was made by taking an accurate (and unflattering) photo of myself in underwear and then tracing over it, to get an accurate outline of my body. I used an edge-detector tool on the computer to generate my outline and printed it in pale grey. The final image shows what I actually look like, and not what I think I look like, so my sketches of my designs look more realistic.

 

 

Printed Picnic Skirt

birthday

Yesterday was my birthday which means a new outfit! The purple t-shirt is my go-to jersey block with self-drafted cap sleeves, which probably deserves a how-to post at some point; it had been cut out last half-term break in a mammoth cutting session, so took under an hour to whip up.circle skirt

More exciting is the skirt! I got the floral denim at the big blogger meet-up (along with Shivani) and thought I really should make use of it before the next shopping trip this weekend. I’ll be honest with you, I wanted an easy make and didn’t want to faff around with fitting in the hot weather so decided to try a circle skirt (after loving the swooshiness of the Tiramisu dresses). To make things even easier, I googled and found an amazing spreadsheet that does all the maths to calculate the radius needed to get a circle to fit.

button

I folded the fabric into quarters (again because this was the easiest option) and used string and a chalk pencil to draw two curved lines at the distances specified by the spreadsheet. Simple. Except once I cut it out I realised I had no seams for a zip! I cut a seam, added an invisible zip, and then folded a long strip to be a waistband. The top of the waistband was finished with a purple dome button, chosen by twitter sewcialists.

The drafting, cutting and sewing (including finishing seams with bias-binding) took under an hour. What took longer, much longer, was the hem. I let the skirt hang for a day and then sewed a million metres (approx) of binding to the hem, stretching it into a curve before sewing (sewing the long edge of the binding to the skirt); then I turned the bias-binding under and hemmed the skirt with no ripples or wobbles. The hem and waistband were both top-stitched in light aqua that matched the leaves in the print.

circle skirt

I love the swishiness of this skirt, but perhaps the denim was too heavy for a full circle skirt; it isn’t quite as sleek at the waist as I would have hoped, but maybe that is because I like my waist lower on skirts than on dresses. Still, it was great for twirling!
sparkleWhat a full-circle skirt is not so great for is picnicking and pedalo-ing on a windy day – there were a few Marilyn moments! oops!

Tomorrow I will have recipes for some of the yummy picnic treats we ate in the park…

 

 

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…

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!