Made By Me: Zeyphr

I had been looking for a decent empire waist pattern for a while.  I wanted to draft my own at first, but since the best way to learn is to do, I kept searching for the pattern.

Browsing through the sewing community I spotted this dress from Atelier Scammet.  What I love about their patterns is how neat they look.  And the fact they do beautiful maternity patterns too is amazing ( a market that is catered for well in the Me made community) Check them out.

So How did It Sew?

Date Completed:  10th May 2017

Having invested heavily in a lot of black soft touch from my cheap shop it was the natural choice of a good basic.  And as you can see, it has fitted into my goth summer wardrobe perfectly;  I look like I am off to a coven meeting.  I decided  that although I loved the trim on the cuff detail, for my version I didn’t do that as I needed it to be as plain and basic as possible, and added some cute dome black buttons that I had spare.

I was surprised it was such a great fit, one thing that is always a worry is the boobs, yet the range of sizes fitted me perfectly.

This is one of many basic black items I seem to be making lately.  Keep an eye out for the rest.

My Pattern: Long Summer Kimono

A lot of my makes are inspired by the fabric on which i stumble upon, even if i have a small seed of an idea forming, it usually takes the right fabric to make it so.  This is definitely one of those i stumbled across and fell in love with as it spoke ‘kimono’ to me.

I found this beautiful light chiffon fabric in my fabric shop.  It was two stripes of blue/green pattern on a nude background… the nude was on wither side and through the middle.

I felt this was a very fashion forward fabric.  It could easily be seen in a Topshop or H&M as apposed to a me made.

I had bought quite a few chiffon type fabrics as i really want to make more kimonos, they are something i live in during the hot summer months.

Since I was off to a festival that weekend i really wanted a full length cover up.

So How Did It Sew?

Date Completed: 2nd June 2017

I worked with the fabric on this make.  I removed the peach/nude part and got my width for the bulk with that, sewing the pattern together down what was to be the centre back.  This gave it slightly more structure than just being wrapped in a bulk of fabric, which is something I was aware of it becoming whilst I made this.  It has splits up the side to give it more flow and not just bunch round to the back.

I tapered down the collar, and did a simple folded seam all over, first with the over locker then tucked in with a straight stitch.  I chose the black thread as I liked the contrast with the bits of yellow, white would have looked washed out or dirty.

I really enjoyed just going with the flow of this fabric, and literally laying on it or holding it up against me for measurements.  Its really liberating, but I think you get the best out of the material that way, especially one with such a dominant design.

I ended up wearing it to a day festival, and I loved it.  When you wear a statement pieces like this, you get the luxury of everything else being plain to make it stand out.  Here it is in action:

More to come, I am bound to live in this the whole hot summer!

Made By Me: 90’s Daisy Swing Dress

I have probably mentioned before my love of Motel Rocks –  I based one of my favourite makes on their style;  The Cross Swing Dress.  Using this same pattern I had drafted, I decided to do something I don’t tend to do… like ever….and that was to shorten the sleeves.

This was mainly inspired by the gorgeous fabric I picked up.  It is very light and has a slight stretch.  The pattern is printed on one side and is light on the other.

So How Did it Sew?

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Date Completed: 30th May 2017

I feel this Daisy pattern pops up in a lot in the 90s inspired fashion at the moment.  I did want to add daisy buttons. But I felt that might be daisy overkill and I risk looking like an overgrown toddler.

I love the fit, I did add some darts in the back so it wasn’t as oversized and gave some shape.  The only issue is due to the material being so light, it likes to catch a breeze, definitely one to be wearing with shorts underneath.  I have considered taking in the sides a bit to combat this, but I really don’t want to take too much away from its swing ascetic.

I dressed the look up with my grunge makeup, boots and hat.  I will probably wear this with some form of choker IRL.  The Tights are super cute from Boohoo Plus/Curve.

As for the shorts sleeves, I can honestly say I don’t mind them, in fact I find them more flattering than if I had just done long sleeves as I usually gravitate too.  Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with my arms.

I have a scrap of this left over, I am tempted to make some more cute things with it… and yes maybe with daisy buttons!

 

Made by Me: Polka Dot Dress

I nabbed this thin woven Polka dot from my cheap shop.  I fell for the type of polka dot instantly, it just felt so 80s to me;  Big black dots, spaced well apart, combine with the lightness of material, i felt it was say ‘batwing’ to me.

When I got it home, I instantly regretted only getting three metres of the stuff.  I should have doubled the length as I ended up wanting to use it for a Wear Lemonade Dita, which needs about 5-6 metres depending on pattern repeat.  The last Dita I made was too heavy with the choice of fabric being a slightly thick Jersey, so I am desperate to get a decent summer version.

I did pop back to the store for some extra, but it was in vain; They have a very high turnover and it was gone.  This left me in a slight predicament, But at least I had a general Idea of shape and style I wanted for the fabric.

After a few sketched ans some internet Inspo, I decided to just go for it and do something I have never done before:  I worked straight into the fabric, literally just cut out a dress shape and just sewed it up!

So How Did It Sew?

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I was so shocked at how stupidly simple it was, then questioned why I had never attempted something like this before.  All I did was have a few rough measurements, add some where i wanted to insert a waist, and shortened the neck at the front.

For the waist I measured out some elastic and just sewed it into the fabric.   I had considered some elastic casing, or drawstring inside.  But the lazy in me come out.  I will add that adding this after the dress is constructed is a bugger to get straight, even though its quick, its not without its difficulties of stretching and pinning.  In fact its very awkward on the machine and I ended up holding the elastic taunt with my mouth as I sewed!

Since I felt I hadn’t done much to the dress, I decided to add a belt and some loops, the rest of the garment was just hemming.  I chose black over white thread to add an accent, as with the elastic.

I honestly can’t recommend giving something like this a go yourself.  Going back to basics is a learning curve in itself, plus for very little effort I now have something I would consider a vintage replica dress.

Pattern Repeat: Helmi Hack

After purchasing the Suzy Mag Issue Two (I am so upset I got to the party late and didn’t get an Issue one) I have been very much inspired to attempt the Helmi again.

Sometimes you just need to be reminded that you have/love a pattern.  This is one of the reasons I love the online sewing community So (…Sew?) Much.  Its so inspirational with everyone bringing their ideas to the table.

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Picture from Suzy Mag Issue Two (see link at bottom for details)

The picture that struck me most was the long sleeve Helmi Hack in a gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn.  Now, I am not one for having a Liberty Lawn just laying around, but I did have this beautiful Tropical Print in my stash.  It seemed a good substitute, yet in keeping with the original fabric tones and concept.  I had bought it purely as I loved the fabric, and had NO idea what to use it for… it was one of those can’t leave behind  purchases!

My Previous Named Clothing Helmi I had worn a lot, but could definitely use an updated version of, but not a complete replacement.  It’s one thing I love about sewing; just with a different fabric or slight pattern hack, or another collar/sleeve option and you have a completely different garment.

So How Did It Sew?

Date Completed: 8th May 2017

It was a lot more work than my first attempt, this was mainly due to the added hacks taking up a lot of thinking and planning time overall.  One issue I had was not knowing what Suzy mag had done on the back:  They said ‘optional storm flaps’.  In the actual Helmi pattern it is made almost as a waistcoat added into the garment.  After some internal debate, I decided that I was going to ignore the back of the storm flap part and just sew the front into the side seams.  I came to this conclusion mainly because if you look at the pattern, this back piece looks better/is designed for the shirt, as there is no waist seam as with the dress.  I didn’t want the flap, then the indent of the waist so close to look odd.  It made it a bit more fiddly, but I personally think it was the right step.

I didn’t really go for pattern matching, especially on the side seams.  I felt the Tropical pattern was at that size and fullness that I could pull off not matching it perfect.  Although, I did make sure the front flaps and collar were symmetrical, as well as both the arms being the same.

As suggested by the mag, a long sleeve hack is really simple to do.  I feel I have mastered a new talent of the sleeve placket now,  I drafted it from scratch and the extra care on this really makes this piece.

I love this dress – one thing I require for my summer wardrobe is light long sleeves (that can also be rolled up) One of the reasons I began this sewing journey was because I was unable to find specific things like this to buy in shops.

I can’t wait to wear this in regular circulation in my wardrobe, especially on holiday.

Also, check out Suzy Mag if you haven’t already.  It really is the best sewing mag out there, its so fresh and original, and full of inspirational articles.

My Pattern: Grunge Tea Dress

One thing as a plus size woman that I struggle to get is a good dress.  I always feel that i look frumpy or that I shop in Dorothy Perkins and am a lot older than my years!  The fashion shops are filled with cute little dresses for the nymphs and waifs and teeny breasted women… The plus size is sort of forgotten about.

One thing I miss from my 90’s fashion ( I say miss as I can remember it first time round I am that old!) is a good grungy tea dress. Reference Courtney Love,  because she is the Queen of Grunge:

So with very little luck on the high street and thrifting, I set about a plan to make one.

It started with an Idea, which was catapulted forwards once I found the most perfect fabric.  I had done some rough sketches of how I wanted the dress to look, and tackled practicalities of making it in my sketch book.  I then took my first trip down to Maggie’s fabrics in Lewisham, where I got a decent long length of this beautiful ditsy print on a khaki background.  Just a note I got A LOT of good fabrics for a very good price from them, I just really need to get my ass back there and have another nosy!

So How did it Sew?

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Date Completed:  

As you can see, the olive ditsy print is perfect.  I have paired it with Bold red lips, distressed High Tops and Large fishnets (honestly, those fishnets are so fiddly to get on but I just love the look) and of course, the crazy washed out hair.

The pattern was a simple bodice that I cut in four and fanned out the bottom to get a good flare.  Here is the diagram I worked from that explains it a little better:

The sleeves I had to have a think on, and in the end I went for a ruched elastic shape that really suited this type of dress.  I was worried that I had cut it too big, so I included a belt at the back to hold it all in, only on the middle panels.  Its a nice cute touch but I needn’t worry, the fit was perfect and the flare was so flattering.

The one big mistake I made was cutting the V at the front too low.  I fiddled around with how to hem it neatly, and ended up chopping a bit too much off.  I am not too disappointed as i will wear this with a lacey vest, which I think adds to the grunge ascetic. But on the next attempt, I will measure it out better.   Another thing I want to add on my next one; I will have a continuous row of buttons.  In a rush of wanting it finished I settled on some natural abalone type buttons, instead of waiting and ordering a lot of smaller ones, and spaced them out.  A full solid row would suit this better.

Hopefully,I will be able to perfect it and this is a dress I would really like to make into a pdf for you guys to down load.

 

 

 

Made by Me: Kalle Shirt Dress Pattern

Sometimes when a pattern drops, and everyone is making it, its hard to resist.  Especially when you had been looking for a decent basic shirt/shirt dress like the Kalle from Closet case.  Also, as a side note, check out how beautiful the model is they use… and each version photographed is EXACTLY a version I would sew and wear myself!

In an attempt to stash bust, I opted for a nude/beige Peach skin I had failed to use on an oversized shirt a while back.  It seemed like the perfect choice, soft and structured, yet light for summer.

I went for the PDF on this one as I wanted it instantly, and its simple to put together.  I like the small triangles and an outline.  The instructions are clear and concise.  I love the interchangeable options of the patterns itself: long/short sleeves, various collars and different button plackets all make you want to make more than just the one option.  And with so much choice, each make can have something different.

So How Did it Sew?

On my make, I opted for the long length, plain button placket with a grandad collar.  I plan to wear it open at the collar.

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Date Completed: 30th April 2017

A massive plus point for this patterns is the size variation, I made a 20 but honestly, could probably go down a couple of sizes and it still be oversized.  Comfortable as well as more fitted, but I love this look, its just so simple.  I especially love the bottom Hem, something so simple can make a shirt look structured and so much more.

Altogether, this was a pretty easy sew, the only issue I had was loosing my place in the pattern: with so many different option pieces, if you take your eyes off the section, you can easily loose it.  But this can also be seen as a me issue with my crazy brain, Yes you can follow the pictures, but maybe being broken up into sections would help more.

One thing  I would love to do is try to hack this in some way, maybe with a long sleeve of sorts, possibly with a button loop to take it to a shorter sleeve.  This idea seed needs time to grow.

Overall this is now one of my fave shirts, as I get so many complements about it whilst wearing it.  Definitely a wardrobe staple.