Things I have discovered during Me Made May 15 Week 1

Hello all, I hope you are set for a FAB weekend?  It is a bit windy here but I have shedloads of marking to do so the weather is fairly irrelevant.  So, my first time of joining in with MMM15 – as I only started sewing in April 2014 it is quite exciting for me to be able to join in.

Day 1 Wearing my Colette patterns Dahlia – this dress was such a struggle to make (details here) – I had so many problems with the neckline.  There is an inverted pleat at the back scooping up four inches of surplus fabric (which is why I am wearing a cardigan).  The first thing I’ve realised during MMM15 is that it is quite tricky finding someone to take photos for you/of you without feeling deeply embarrassed.  Friday was the last day for our Y11s so we were outside having a class photo and I got one of the students to take this – I hadn’t realised at all that I was being photo-bombed till the girls all started shrieking with laughter. I do like the Dahlia but have yet to brave making another.

Being photo-bombed

Being photo-bombed

Day 2 – this is part of my Saturday routine.  I do the shopping (you can see it on the floor next to me) then I finish up by popping into a local coffee shop for a latte – it is here I usually catch up on blogs.  This is another thing I have discovered – MMY15 is an absolute time thief.  I am only doing Instagram (I did think about Flickr and Pinterest but thank goodness I abandoned those) but it is taking all my time to keep up with everyone – I actually feel anxious that I might miss something!  I have seen some lovely makes over the past week and found some new blogs to follow which is really good.  Here I a wearing one of my early Sorbettos  – made with leftovers from the dress I made for the work sewing bee.

At GROUNDS our local, independent coffee shop

At GROUNDS our local, independent coffee shop

Day 3 – I was pottering about at home trying to finish my Gabriola and popped down to my friend Ali’s for her help with fitting.  She was busily adding the finishing touches to her FAB Map Dress (a collar which was apparently later discarded). I am wearing my Tilly and the Buttons Francoise which was my Christmas Day dress (another neckline problem for me). What is so odd about this dress is that it looks as if it should be fairly formal/uncomfortable being made in wool but it’s not at all – I am wearing it as a comfy, slob about in, sweater dress.  And here is another thing I have discovered – all my garments are too big for me.  I clearly do not measure myself properly.

Map dress credit to my friend Ali

Map dress credit to my friend Ali

Day 4 – Bank Holiday Monday and a glorious day for a walk.  We went off in search of bluebells as I had just finished my Gabriola and thought it would make a great location shot – it was quite fun lurking behind a tree to whip off my Sew Over it Ultimate trousers and change into skirt and heels. Before we came to the bluebells we passed these gorgeous fields of Rapeseed  – I saw three other MMM15 participants on Instagram similarly photographed.

Gorgeous fields of Rape

Gorgeous fields of Rape

Day 5 – back to work and here I am in one of my Y13 lessons.  You can hardly see it in the photo but I made the shirt at a workshop at Sew Pretty and it is covered in little bumble bees.  I would say this is my most frequently worn garment – not sure why I haven’t tacked another shirt yet – I certainly have bought patterns.  I think it is to do with a fear of  buttonholes.

This is how I spend my days

This is how I spend my days

Day 6 – I look a bit of a mess here.  The skirt is new from Seasalt and even when I bought it I was thinking I could easily make that but I was really drawn to the fabric and then struggled to team it with anything.  My Me Made item here is the cardigan which has a cable edge and a single button.  I was a knitter before I was a sewer but not a very advanced one and I had never heard of blocking until I started reading blogs.  I have really enjoyed seeing all of the sophisticated knits being proudly worn for MMM15.

back to the tree shot

back to the tree shot

Day 7 – Election day.  I was waiting outside before the Polling Station opened and asked the guy next to me in the queue if he would take my photo.  I explained it was for my blog and he asked what I blogged about – he certainly was not anticipating my answer! I am wearing another Sorbetto made in a fabric with beautiful garden birds on it.  One of my students said I looked very “FatFace” which I take as a compliment.  I posted this pic on my Facebook and a number of people asked if I was standing – I guess it does look like it.  Anyway, not so smiley the next day as my team didn’t win.

Election Day!

Election Day!

Day 8 – I realise now that the scarf doesn’t go! This is my Tilly and the Buttons Delphine.  I have made two now and I have to say – very functional work wear.

At the Juniors

At the Juniors

Day 9  – and so to today!  I am home alone which led me to take my first ever mirror selfie.  I am wearing my Deer and Doe Sureau which is clearly far too big for me: a shame because I love the denim and antique brassy buttons. I’ve taken far longer over this blog post than I intended – clearly operating as a displacement activity for what is waiting for me!

First ever mirror shot

First ever mirror shot

Bonus  – here is the Gabriola I wore on BH Monday (but only briefly to get blog photos)

blog photo shoot!

blog photo shoot!

Thank you for reading, if you managed to get this far! I hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying MMM15 if you are playing along.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

The reason why I will not be sewing this weekend

The reason why I will not be sewing this weekend

 

Sureau Sunday Special

Hello, I hope your return to work has been good? Mine has been busy and the kids are exhausted (having had two weeks of not getting up until midday, the shock of having to get up at 7am has clearly taken its toll – them not me, I am an early riser).

I had said in a previous post that I thought denim was a little beyond my capabilities at this stage but look … I surprised myself!

imageI made my second Sureau and I absolutely love it – it is very much me.  I bought the fabric just before the return to school in Ditto fabrics along with top stitch thread and denim needles – all a first for me.  I had made a SBA first time around but looking at these photos, I think I needed to actually make a smaller size and then do a SBA on top.  I have no idea which size I cut before because I traced the pattern and then did not mark on it the size but I am sure I would have graduated out at the hips because, well, I am that sort of girl.

imageThe gathers on the skirt were OK but I have been reading on other blogs there are myriad ways of doing them so perhaps I will experiment more next time – I do have a big gathering project coming up with the BHL Kim dress I bought this week for my niece’s wedding – get me – this fledgling seamstress who would immediately have run out to buy a whole new outfit upon receipt of a wedding invitation now goes on line to buy a pattern and fabric instead.

imageI was actually very inventive for me – I have rarely gone “off piste” before. I chose a contrast facing (I had so much fabric left over from my dreaded Dahlia, I have already made a Sorbetto, used it for this and still have some left) and used it for the bias binding on the sleeves.  Also, because I made the sleeveless version I thought that the shoulders looked too wide  – well they were because it was literally the dress without putting the sleeves in – so I hacked an inch and half off from the shoulder graduating to nothing underneath the arm.

imageI love, love, LOVE topstitching – I think it is my favourite technique.  I was quite fascinated to see how the thicker thread worked with the ordinary thread and was anticipating (in my usual panic panic way) that it would all go horribly wrong; it turned out fine.  I think having the right tools for the job really helped.

imageI guess this photo is technically an out-take – it’s me trying to flatten out the gathers over my boobs – just look at that bamboo in the garden – it is taking over.

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Well that’s my first make of 2015 done and I am really pleased – I don’t often say that.  I know that there are SO many things which could be better but I do feel more confident.  I have also been busying on the planning front having bought four new patterns this week: BHL Kim; Sewaholic Oakbridge Blouse and the Granville Shirt and, inexplicably, the Katie and Laney Tap Shorts – this is what comes from being an avid follower of Elizabeth who lives in far sunnier climes.

Other things that have occupied me this week in my little kaleidoscope world are job-hunting and Broadchurch.  I have re-watched the whole of series one this weekend as, annoyingly, at the start of series two on Monday, I couldn’t remember the intricacies of all the various character relationships.  It lost nothing by being a second viewing and the fact that I knew who did it.

Broadchurch 3Have a good week,

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

 

 

 

 

 

Sureau kicks off the new season

I am ridiculously proud of this dress – a colleague actually asked me “Is your dress from White Stuff?” However, looking at the photos (courtesy of one of my Y10 – I really am going to have to investigate the decent camera and tripod option) it does appear to be a little bit baggy across the top.

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This is my first Deer and Doe pattern and the Sureau was really lovely to sew. I particularly like the false placket (five months ago I didn’t even know what a placket was). By the way, do you like my necklace? It is a treasured possession of mine. It belonged to my mum – there is a matching bracelet. It was given to her in the early 1950s and apparently came from Austria.

image  I followed the really helpful Sew-a-long on :: paunnet :: including clear instructions for a SBA – it’s apparent from the photos that I could have taken off even more but I was obviously in denial about quite how small my bust is!

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I was also pleased to have learned how to insert a side zip. It is incredibly satisfying to learn new things and whilst I haven’t been sewing for long I can see that there are so many techniques to learn and the perfect that I am going to be happily ensconced at my machine for hours.

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The obligatory back shot – the dress is quite rumpled because I had been perched atop my desk for most of the morning. Sorry about the uninspiring background i.e. the flats which overlook the school – we do have lovely grounds but both I and my willing photographer felt a little self-conscious so snuck around the back of a teaching block to take these shots.

Well, I love this dress and plan to make a couple more.  It is wonderfully comfortable and will lend itself to layering as the season rolls on.  I am going to try and find some needle cord for the next one – any fabric suggestions for me? Enjoy the day – hopefully another one of those gorgeous late summer days that make you feel you have to savour every moment.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x