Monday, 18 May 2015

Me-Made-May'15 - Week 3

This week marked the halfway point for Me-Made-May and boy, am sure I glad to be on the downward slide of this challenge. The concept of wearing something me-made everyday is not that much of a challenge for me compared to taking photo evidence every day and trying to figure out new ways of wearing my me-mades without wearing the same outfit twice. The challenge has been made harder by the fact that I literally have no me-made pants or skirts that fit me at the moment! Theres only so many shirts that can be paired with a RTW mustard coloured mini skirt... Also I'm feeling a little less excited for this challenge now that I've worn almost all of my favorite clothes already and have another 15 long days of trying to be inventive with what remains of my me-made wardrobe.
Heres my round-up for Week 3:

Day 10 - By Hand London Georgia Dress and Schnittchen Coco Jacket
Day 11 - Sewaholic Davie Dress

Day 12 - By Hand London Elisalex Dress

Day 13- Vogue 8511

Day 14 - Papercut Patterns Ensis Tee and RTW Cue linen skirt

Day 15 - Colette Macaron Dress (photo taken a couple of months ago with my two gorgeous sisters in their bridesmaid Macaron dresses)

Day 16 - Papercut Patterns Undercover Sweatshirt and RTW black jeans

Me-Made-May'15 Week 2

Two weeks down, three weeks to go of Me-Made-May'15! This week has been relatively easy thanks to a combination of beautiful weather and a relatively full closet of me-mades. Nothing much to say here other than to say I am in desperate need of some Me-Made skirts and pants as the ones I do have no longer fit me.

I've also thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone elses Me-Made-May'15 outfits via Instagram! I've 'met' so many inspirational, tallented sewers and its always interesting to see how different people interpret different patterns.

Here's my roundup of Week 2:

Day 3 - By Hand London Anna Dress
Day 4 - Sewaholic Renfrew Shirt with RTW jeans
Day 5 - Sewaholic Davie Dress
Day 6 - Schnittchen Patterns Coco Jacket with RTW black dress
Day 7 - Deer and Doe Belladone Dress and Papercut Patterns Bellatrix Blazer
Day 7 - Back detail of my Deer and Doe Belladone Dress
Day 8 - Named Patterns Kanerva Blouse and thrifted RTW Cue linen skirt
Day 9 - Papercut Patterns Undercover Sweater, Sewaholic Thurlow Shorts and (not pictured) Sewaholic Renfrew t'shirt

Monday, 4 May 2015

Me-Made-May'15 Week 1

This years Me-Made-May caught me a little off guard, I wasn't expecting it to sneak up so suddenly! Admittedly, there's not a lot of prep work to be done other than remembering to wear a me-made piece of clothing everyday... and, of course, remembering to take an outfit photo EVERY SINGLE DAY! :-)

Considering I mostly wear clothing I've made, I've decided to push myself as I noticed as of late that I tend to wear only a small portion of my handmade wardrobe so I've decided to try for no repeat outfits for the entire month of May! Here's my pledge for this year:

'I, Miranda of She's Sew Chic, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear at least one piece of handmade clothing with no repeat outfits each day for the duration of May 2015'
I'll be posting my MMMay15 outfits on Instagram @shes_sew_chic and doing a weekly round-up here on my blog.

Here's my outfits for week 1:

Day 1 - Colette Laurel Dress

Day 2 - Butterick B5526 button up shirt with RTW black jeans

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Completed: A Modern Classic Coco Jacket

Hey guys, Its been ages since my last blog post back in early November and I have made so many garments since then! I've discovered I'm really hopeless when it comes to taking photos of my new clothes and actually posting them on the blog and with such a back log of projects some of them will be over six months old before I finally get around to posting them!

Bad blogging aside, I want to share with you my newest me-made. A classic Coco Jacket by Schnittchen in a modern, fluro pink, Aztec print fabric which is anything but classic. The pattern is starting to gain popularity in the blogsphere with the likes of House of Pinheiro and Ginger Makes recently posting their versions of the jacket.

I must admit I purchased this fabric with no real plan in mind, which is unusual for me. I thought of a couple of different jacket patterns but they were all too fussy with too many details and with the fabric already so bright and patterned it needed a relatively clean silhouette to really let the fabric do the talking. I don't remember how I stumbled upon the Coco Jacket pattern but I knew immediately it was 'The One'.
I was pleasantly surprised as to how well designed the Coco Jacket was. I'd never heard of Schnittchen before let alone sewn one of their patterns so I wasn't sure of the fit or length but I chose a size 38 and followed instructions, my only adjustment was using a 0.5cm seam on the arms as they were a bit too snug. Although its a boxy jacket the subtle shaping of the side and back seams mean its actually very flattering. Oh and being a German pattern company, the instructions are in German, however there is a photo tutorial in English which I found was very handy and I've heard English instructions are available somewhere on the website too.

The fabric, on the other hand, was a total nightmare to deal with. I had to remove my rings and file my nails before even touching the fabric as it was so prone to pulls and snags. That, and being a relatively loose woven meant it also frayed at the slightest touch. Even now I'm not sure how many wears it can take before some part of it starts splitting or fraying despite over locking all the seams. The lining wasn't much better as it practically disintegrating in my hands. I'd purchased the lining to match another jacket I'm working on but decided it was better suited to this jacket. One downside to the lovely bright fluro pink colour of the fabric is its near on impossible to find a complimentary colour for the lining, I tried so many different colours but ended up settling for a light lilac grey colour.

At the end of the day, even though I love the fabric, it turns out fluro pink isn't really one of my colours. Its a bit of a disappointment to find that after all the time and love I've spent on making this jacket its not something that looks flattering on me. However, despite that fact, I'm still planning to wear it at least for a couple of months before handing it over to someone else to have some fun with. Its been good for me, though, to step outside of my fabric comfort zone and try something else. Even though I've ended up with an essentially unflattering garment, the experience I've gained from it has been more than worth it.

Pattern: Coco Jacket by Schnittchen
Size: 38
Adjustments: 0.5cm seam for the sleeve seams
Fabric: Aztec Print in fluro pink from Spotlight

Monday, 17 November 2014

Completed: Swiss Dot Kanerva Blouse

Introducing my second Kanerva Blouse by Named Clothing Patterns! This time I used version #2 with a peplum and some silky swiss dot chiffon in a deep navy blue. I'd previously made this shirt in the size 6 in stretch knit and found it fit well, however, this time I was using a non-stretch woven so I chose to make it in size 10 instead to give me a little bit of extra room. The pattern actually calls for fabric with a little bit of stretch so the shirt can be pulled over the head without undoing the buttons but I still manage to do them up myself (and look hilariously uncoordinated in the process!)

I love how this shirt drapes! Its definitely hard work working with slippery, slinky fabrics like chiffon but the end result is very rewarding. I found the trick to make working with chiffon a little easier is to set the fabric out on a flat surface (I use my dining room table), straighten it out and spray it with a watered down starch solution. I find this helps keep the fabric more stable and on grain when cutting and sewing and makes life a lot easier! The starch easily washes out once the project is completed.

My original plan was to use a french seam on the majority of the seams, but in the end I just chose to overlock the edges. I was originally going to use an exposed metal zipper instead of buttons down the back but I eventually chose the buttons as the heavy metal zip would have caused the light weight fabric to pull under the weight of the zip. I'm still super keen to try an exposed zipper with this blouse, but with heavier fabric.

Other than that I made no other adjustments or alterations. I don't know why but I seem to be drawn to sewing anything that's NOT summer related at the moment, I mean, look at this shirt... its hardly summer appropriate in either colour or style and not really useful for when the weather over here hits 40deg. The way I'm going I'll have a kickass wardrobe by the time winter rolls around.

Pattern: Named Clothing Patterns Kanerva Blouse with peplum
Size: 10 - no adjustments
Fabric: Swiss Dot Chiffon from Textile Traders @ $9/m

Friday, 24 October 2014

Completed: Sewaholic Thurlow Shorts

I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of this blogging business! And now thanks to a tripod and a handy remote I can finally take photos of my finished garments without having to bully coerce family members into taking photos for me!!

Styled with a RTW white shirt

This isn't the first time I've made the Sewaholic Thurlow shorts but it is the first time I've ended up with something wearable! The first pair was destined for failure from the very beginning thanks to me choosing the completely wrong size (don't ask! I think I was having a fat day or something) and so as a result no matter how much altering and adjusting I did they just would not sit right... well I'm happy to report that (believe it or not) going down two sizes to a size 6 has produced a pair of shorts that fit perfectly with no adjustments WHATSOEVER!! Winning!!

Styled with my grey/black Grainline Scout Tee...

I used some medium weight cotton drill I purchased on sale from Spotlight. At first I was unsure as to if the patterned fabric would look OK as a pair of shorts considering they have so much going on already but then I figured that the pattern was random enough that I wouldn't need to worry about pattern matching and hey, it was on sale so worst case scenario they become my painting shorts or something. I'm glad I chose to use the fabric after all, the grey/brown/cream colours make it easy to pair things together and its something different than the other plain colours I have. Just looking at the photos now but I think the shorts will suit a slightly tighter tee as these shorts are very loose/flared around the leg and need a more fitted top to balance out the silhouette.

At first I was going to leave out the welt pockets as I wasn't sure if the combination of the print and welt seams would look to busy (totally not because I couldn't be bothered) but looking at it now I'm glad I chose to suck it up and do them. They give that RTW look plus its good practice for when I sew my Ralph Rucci coat welt pockets.

Spot the welt pockets... they blend in so well

Front - check out that pattern matching! Complete accident believe it or not!

Side view


The false cuff nicely topstitched
The guts, first time inserting the zip the 'proper' way and actually finishing off the buttons and buttonholes



A near perfect fit with no pulling or wrinkles around the crotch area
Same with the back, no lines or pulling even over the butt

I think these shorts are going to get a lot of wear over the next few months. I'm hoping to make another couple pairs in gunmetal grey, navy and maybe even a floral.

Pattern: Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers and Shorts
Fabric: Cotton Drill from Spotlight
Size 6 - no adjustments

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Completed: Named Patterns Kanerva Blouse

This is actually the second pattern I've used from Named Clothing SS14 collection, the first being my *as of yet unblogged* Jamie Jeans. There are a lot of things to love about this pattern company! I adore how they release the patterns in seasons just like a fashion label and the little details that make each piece something unique and special. As much as I love vintage style clothing it is refreshing to find a pattern company that specialises in classic modern silhouettes and everyday basics. They have also recently released some of their patterns in paper format which is nice for some of us who cant be bothered with taping a million pieces of paper together! And apparently, recently updated their instructions to a more user friendly format.

I chose to make the Kanerva Blouse for a number of reasons. I loved how it was a cropped top, perfect for wearing with high waisted skirts without the need for tucking them in. It makes for a different silhouette which I now find I actually prefer. The only downside is not being able to wear it with low waisted pants or jeans without looking like a 90s tramp.

I may or may not have *stuffed up* when choosing the right size. I went off the finished garment measurements as I wanted the shirt to fit snug but now looking at the photos it may be a tad too tight. It also may look like I copied the fabric choice with this pattern too, but in my defence, I had been meaning to make myself a boat neck stripe top out of my navy and white stripe knit (left over from this project) and this happened to be the perfect pattern.

The pattern calls for fabric with slight stretch to make it easier to pull the shirt over the head rather than perform a variety of yogaish poses to button up the back buttons. I decided to go for a knit which worked well, but, hindsight is a wonderful thing and now its occurred to me that I probably could have left out the front side and centre darts...doh!! I managed to line the stripes on the centre darts quite well (it took me a couple of goes) but I really think it would have looked better without them as it draws attention to my bust area.

In other news, it appears I have conquered the stripe!! This shirt almost kicked my butt *read: was almost sent to the WIP box, never to see the light of day* but I persevered and managed to get every seam *almost* perfectly lined up. I discovered that decisions you make in the cutting stage really can affect the final perfect stripe matched product so it really pays to give some forward thinking and a little bit of hand basting is sometimes preferable over pins.

Other than that I'm very happy with this pattern, its simple, classic shape yet still modern and stylish and by the look of it I'm going to get quite a bit of wear out of it this winter. I've yet to add a row of gold buttons down the back to add some visual interest.

The skirt is actually another Named Pattern! The Vanamo Skirt!! This is my second version of the skirt, the first is yet unfinished un-blogged but I'm hoping to pull my finger out and get it up on the blog soon.