Thursday, 15 June 2017

Melilot Shirt by Deer & Doe

Pattern: Melilot by Deer and Doe
Fabric used: Lightweight Chambray Shirting from Minerva Crafts 
and some Liberty of London trims.
Size Made: 46

For a very long time now I have been putting this pattern in my basket and taking it out again all with the thought that I didn't need it. Well Me Made May practically killed all my resolve and I eventually bought it! 

The one thing about making an effort to wear all your handmade wardrobe is that all the gaps suddenly jump out at you. I really did need a short sleeved shirt. Something casual yet with nice tailored lines. This fit the bill.

It has a dropped shoulder, so no seams around that area, making it extra comfortable to wear. The cuffs add a polished touch and because of the curve of the underarm, they tuck in nicely to the side seams. I noticed that my Deer and Doe Arum dress has this same short underarm curve and I like it.

The darts hit at just the right place for me, no adjustments necessary. I went for the larger bust size of 41" rather than the 39.5" that I could have traced off, purely because I didn't want it to be too tight. A couple of my bras have foam cups and thinking about that I decided to go for the extra ease.

The pockets are lined! I know, it took me by surprise too! And while they are finished beautifully inside, I wasn't careful enough to avoid a little peek of it showing as you look at it side on. But I did use some Liberty Lawn so all's well that ends well. 

I used my Liberty fabric on the collar stand facing and the under collar too. My daughter chose the buttons seeing as I have a terrible crisis every time I come to choose buttons for a shirt. She chose these smokey grey coloured ones which I love the look of. Good girl!

A few years ago, I really didn't like collared shirts. I used to go for the mandarin collars every time because I think the full collars reminded me of school/work uniform. However, since then I have had a change of heart and now enjoy wearing them. This collar went on smoothly. I seem to be getting better at wearing them and sewing them!

This pattern turned out to be very economical. I ordered a meter of fabric alongside my pattern. It was a 58" wide piece and so I hoped that I could squeeze the whole thing onto my meter. (The pattern specs recommend 1.20m for a 60" wide fabric) I knew my facings were to be cut out of something else. Keeping my fingers crossed paid off...

Phew! Bear in mind that this is the largest size as well. It only just fit! The only other bits I needed to cut were the pocket linings, collar stand facing and under collar. All which came out of my Liberty piece. 

The construction went very smoothly. All the seams are French seams and the bottom hems are completed before you stitch the side seams. The curve is quite sharp at the side edges and a narrow 1/4" hem is required. Bearing this in mind, I overlocked my raw edges first.

This gave me a nice flexible line for turning up the narrow hem. You fold it up twice and stitch it down. I found that overlocking it first meant that it was less fiddly and I didn't burn my fingers with the steam from the iron!

I adore this shirt. I just want to make more of them. The lines of the pattern are beautiful and my husband said it was a great cut on me. So that means it is a winner!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Me Made May 2017

So, this year I joined the selfie frenzy that is Me Made May. This is a challenge to wear something handmade every day for the duration of May. More details can be found here on the So, Zo blog.

My initial thoughts were that I would struggle to fill an entire month with items from my wardrobe that were crafted my me. I mean, for my children, that would be no biggie. They nearly always wear something mummy-made. I have only made a scattering of clothes for me over the years. But I was determined to join in!

Here is how I got on, in a handy little collage....

Seeing everything I wore over a month in one place is like some fascinating social experiment for me! Some things are immediately obvious. I like wearing blue, for example. Lets be honest, if I ever browse the colourways of a selection of fabrics, I will nearly always go for the blues, greens, greys and whites. It's just my thing.

I made some discoveries along the way, which are going to be really useful in my future sewing plans. There are items I don't have. Items I wish were handmade. 

I drew up a list:
  • Jeans
  • Cardigans
  • Leggings
  • Basic Tanks in solid colours
  • Joggers
  • Everyday pants, capri length or ankle length

If I concentrate on the above list, I would stretch my handmade wardrobe further and enjoy wearing it. I found I got frustrated at the lack of something to wear over my dresses. Or not having something nicer to put on other than my crappy old jeans (which don't fit nicely anyway).

A lot of my clothes are from Grainline Studio, Liesl & Co, Lisette, Colette Patterns. There is a scattering of the big 4 and some Jalie and Ottobre Design in the mix too. I have a lot of patterns in my stash that I have never used and ones that get made repeatedly.

I discovered new Instagram accounts, people who make the most beautiful things. Thank you to everyone who used the #mmmay17 tag and who filled my feed with the most inspirational creations. Thank you to all those who liked or commented on my photos. Apologies for the awkward selfies. One thing I didn't enjoy about the challenge!

To reflect, I am so glad I joined in. I have watched from the sidelines for a couple of years, but actually pushing myself to join in has been very rewarding.

Now today I turn my attention to my non handmades and rebel today by kitting myself out in things made in a factory! Just because...