Author Archives: madebymitty

me made may 2019 – in conclusion

Me Made May is over for another year, and if I’m honest, I did sigh a little sigh of relief on the 1st of June. While I understand that the challenge is supposed to be fun and lighthearted, to me it is still a challenge, and something I want to do well in.

I didn’t think that sticking to my self-imposed rules was going to be too difficult, however, I still found it a little hard picking out what to wear some days. I think that is mostly down to not having enough me-made Winter items.

To recap, below is the challenge I set myself:

  1. Wear at least one me-made item per day
  2. Document, and assess any gaps in my handmade wardrobe
  3. Have the courage to let go of any me-mades that no longer fit (my style or waistline)

How about we see what I actually wore.

Day 1 - 6

TOP L – R: 01 Mandy Boat Tee, Knitted Socks; 02 Monroe TurtleNeck; 03 Elliot Sweater, Ginger Jeans BOTTOM L – R: 04 Kielo Wrap Dress, Self Drafted Vest; 05 White Russian Jumper, Ginger Jeans; 06 Molly Top

Day 7 - 12

TOP L – R: 07 New Look Jacket, Ginger Jeans; 08 Monroe TurtleNeck, Avery Leggings, Knitted Socks; 09 Mandy Boat Tee, Ginger Jeans BOTTOM L – R: 10 Elliot Sweater; 11 Ginger Jeans; 12 Self Drafted Vest

Day 13 - 18

TOP L – R: 13 Monroe TurtleNeck; 14 No Me Made; 15 Erin Skirt BOTTOM L – R: 16 Ruffle Sleeve Top; 17 Ruffle Sleeve Top, Ginger Jeans; 18 Self Drafted Box Pleat Skirt

Day 19 - 24

TOP L – R: 19 Kielo Wrap Dress; 20 Monroe TurtleNeck; 21 Molly Top BOTTOM L – R: 22 Monroe TurtleNeck, Ginger Jeans; 23 Mandy Boat Tee; 24 Avery Leggings

Day 25 - 31

TOP L – R: 25 Elliot Sweater, Ginger Jeans; 26 Berlin Jacket, Ginger Jeans; 27 White Russian Jumper BOTTOM L – R: 28 Kielo Wrap Dress, Berlin Jacket; 29 Elliot Sweater, Berlin Jacket; 30 Berlin Jacket, Ginger Jeans; 31 Ginger Jeans

There was only one day that I didn’t manage to wear any me-made, but I was sewing jeans that day.. so… does that make up for it?!

One thing I can see straight away, is that my style is very reflective of my life at the moment. I’m a stay at home mum, looking after my almost 2 year old. The times I go out are generally the weekends, so that’s when I tend to wear something that’s not just trackie pants and a t-shirt.

I thought it would be fun to document my colour pallet too, so I noted the number of times I wore a colour (me-made only) and plotted them in the graph below.

Colour Pie Chart

Thank goodness for that burst of burgundy there at the end! I know I have a lot of navy and grey in my wardrobe, so I’m not really surprised by the results. I might challenge myself to sew with some different colours over the warmer months. Also, stripes are totally a colour!

I really wanted to figure out what my Winter wardrobe was missing, and I think it’s pretty obvious. I would really like to fill the following gaps:

  1. Jeans! My one and only pair of Ginger Jeans certainly got a workout over May!
  2. More me made bottoms. I’d love a few pairs of True Bias Hudson Pants. Also, Lander Pants.
  3. Clearly, I’m all for knit jersey comfort, but I found myself wishing for tops that were a bit classier.
  4. Winter dresses, specifically Kielo Wrap Dresses. The one I have was such a pleasure to wear, I need more STAT.
  5. Jackets. It’s starting to get very cold here, I’d love another Berlin Jacket, but I also would like a Sapporo Coat, or a Haori Jacket.

Overall, I enjoyed the challenge of Me Made May. I tend to wear my makes often anyway, but certainly not every single day (I’m currently writing this in zero me-mades). Hopefully, by next year I will have a larger selection of items and colours to choose from. Best get sewing!

Here are the links to the patterns I’ve made:

Mandy Boat Tee / Monroe TurtleNeck / Elliot Sweater / Ginger Jeans / Kielo Wrap Dress / White Russian Jumper / Molly Top / New Look 6496 / Avery Leggings / Erin Skirt / Ruffle Sleeve Top / Berlin Jacket

Mitty x

berlin jacket

When I was planning my Make Nine list for 2019, I thought about what I might like to make for each season. I don’t have many me-made jackets, so it’s not surprising that two ended up on the list.

I’ve wanted a Tessuti Belin Jacket for a long time now, so I allocated this make for the month of May. My birthday is in May, so my gift this year was the boiled wool needed for the jacket.

MBM_Berlin 01

I decided on this beautiful scarlet hue. My wardrobe has a lot of navy/grey/black at the moment, so I really wanted something to inject a bit of colour in there.

MBM_Berlin 05

The boiled wool itself was a dream to sew with! I used my walking foot (as instructed) and the whole thing came together very quickly. I really love the overlapped seams and the patch pockets, they add a lovely visual detail to an otherwise simple jacket.

MBM_Berlin 04

The jacket certainly has that oversized, comfy feel, while still looking sleek and modern. The fact that there isn’t a collar means I can wear collared tops underneath, (see my Elliot Sweater) without having too much bulk around my neck.

MBM_Berlin 02

The jacket is unlined, so it certainly won’t hold up to the blue-mountains-middle-of-winter-weather, but it is perfect for those sunny, but chilly days.

MBM_Berlin 07

I ordered my fabric online, so when it arrived it came wrapped with a cute Tessuti ribbon. It’s not called for in the instructions but I used the ribbon to stabilise the shoulder seams. The last thing I want is my gorgeous jacket stretching out!

GARMENT DETAILS

MBM_Berlin 06

Happy Birthday To Me!

Mitty x

sewing for my sewing machine

I am very lucky to have a dedicated sewing space in my home. I have everything set up in the corner of our lounge room, and while I don’t have to pack everything away at the end of the day, I do like to keep the area looking as neat as possible.

MBM_Machine Cover 01

A while ago, I read a post from Closet Case Patterns about making dust covers for their sewing machines. My particular Janome came with a hardcover, but I really wanted something prettier! As you can see, I took a lot of inspiration from CC.

MBM_Machine Cover 02

A trip to Spotlight rewarded me with this duck cotton in a gorgeous Monstera Deliciosa print. It adds a lovely pop of fresh green colour to my sewing space.

MBM_Machine Cover 04

I didn’t use the free pattern offered by CC, I just drew around the hardcover I already had. It made for a perfectly fitting dust cover. As you can see, I also used piping on the edges, and I added pockets to the back.

MBM_Machine Cover 05

MBM_Machine Cover 06

The back pockets are perfect for storing the machine foot and power cord when I’m not using them. Again, totally inspired by CC, but it’s such a brilliant addition (who doesn’t love pockets?!).

MBM_Machine Cover 07

The cover doubles as a great place to show off my sewing pins! This cute ‘me made‘ enamel pin is from Joy at Pink Coat Club. I’ll have to grab a few more pins to add to my collection.

MBM_Machine Cover 08

This cover was a quick and rewarding project. I just wish I’d bought more fabric because my overlocker is crying out for a cover too!

Mitty x

loving elliot

Oh, the Elliot Sweater!

MBM_Elliot Grey 04

Yes, I already have one of these hanging in my wardrobe, but I did tell you that I was going to make more… I really wanted to see what it would look like made up in something that was a little bit sheer.

MBM_Elliot Grey 02

I found this grey linen blend interlock at Spotlight (not on sale, unlike all the other stretchy knit fabrics that day), and while I really do like the way it looks, this certainly isn’t a top for the middle of winter. I also have to wear a little singlet under it, just for a dash of modesty.

MBM_Elliot Grey 03

I’m loving the slouchy fit and long lines of the Elliot, but I was also keen to try out the cropped length.

MBM_Elliot Teal 01

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssss!

This is my favourite version! The crop hits at the perfect spot on my waist, allowing me to show off my high-rise Ginger Jeans.

MBM_Elliot Teal 02

I went for the shorter collar this time, and it’s just as nice as the tall one. You still get the look of a cowl-style collar, just without the bulk.

MBM_Elliot Teal 03

If you’re looking for a lovely, comfortable and cosy jumper for winter, I can highly recommend the Elliot. It’s such a quick sew, you’ll have three in your wardrobe before you know it!

GARMENT DETAILS

I think I’m comfortable with three Elliots… but, I suppose, never say never!

Mitty x

me made may 2019

MMM_2019Challenge: Me Made May 2019

Creator: So, Zo…

What it’s about: “Me-Made-May is a challenge designed to encourage people who make their own clothes to develop a better relationship with their handmade wardrobe. You set the specifics of your own challenge to make it suitable and useful for YOU” So, Zo…

 


 

The month of May seems to roll around very quickly. I start the year knowing I want to take part in this challenge, but I seem to blink and all of a sudden… well, here we are.

My practical handmade wardrobe is looking much healthier than it has in previous years, however I don’t feel like I have enough items to commit to more than one me-made per day.

So my pledge for May 2019 is:

  1. Wear at least one me-made item per day
  2. Document, and assess any gaps in my handmade wardrobe
  3. Have the courage to let go of any me-mades that no longer fit (my style or waistline)

I don’t think #1 will be too hard to stick to, although I do see my only pair of Ginger Jeans getting a lot of wear. I should probably make another pair, because lets face it, who has one pair of jeans in their wardrobe?

I’ll be documenting my wears over on my Instagram stories, and I’ll also have it saved to my highlights. I can already guess that a major gap in my wardrobe is going to be the lack of pants suitable for winter.

 I am very sentimental about the things I make, so #3 is going to be very difficult for me. I wanted to include it though, as a way to clear up some space in my wardrobe for items that I will actually wear. Anything that does leave my wardrobe won’t be thrown out though! I’ll be asking my friends and family if they would like to take the item off my hands.

Have you signed up for #memademay2019 ?

Mitty x

ginger jeans #1

The last pair of jeans I bought was from Uni Qlo back in 2015. After 4 years of constant wear, they are starting to show their age, by coming apart at the point of most stress.. my inner thigh. I’ll still wear the jeans around the house or in the garden, but I think I need to retire them from public outings.

I, like so many sewists, have wanted to make a pair of jeans for a long time, and my RTW pair dying was the push I needed. I turned to the most trusted and most tested jean pattern I know of; The Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns.

This pattern has been sitting in my stash for about 2 years now, and I’m so happy I finally got around to using it. I remembered that I had bought the zipper fly hardware kit from CC, so all I needed to get was the denim and the topstitching thread.

Heather from CC has a very in-depth blog post about sourcing denim, and on her recommendation, I looked for a denim that had a bit of polyester in it. I settled on a denim from M.Recht. It’s their “Stretch Denim Art: MRA001″, 10oz and 55” (140cm) wide. The composition is 68.5% cotton, 1.5% elastane and 30% polyester.

I pre-washed the denim, and saw a lot of dye come out (which is normal). The colour is still very blue, and I’m excited to see how is wears over the next 6 – 12 months.

MMM_Ginger 08

Based off the pattern measurements, I cut a 10 at the waist and graded to a 14 at the hip. After I basted the jeans together to test the fit, I shortened the crotch slightly, and the leg by 5cm. At this point I also tapered the ankle to a size 12, but I think I could even go down to a 10 here.

MMM_Ginger 05

MMM_Ginger 06

I had such a great time installing the fly front! Heather’s written instructions are so good, and just taking it step by step makes for a wonderful, professional finish.

MMM_Ginger 10

MMM_Ginger 03

I also had a great time designing my back pockets. First I drew out something with lots of curves, but I ended up liking a straighter design. I like it so much I might use it for all my jeans in the future (because we all know… there will be more jeans).

MMM_Ginger 04

I must admit, I did struggle getting a clean cap on my rivets. I had to trim down the post on all of my rivets, and I broke through the cap 6 times out of 7. Here you can see my first rivet (on the coin pocket) and the last (on the pocket). The key is to trim that sucker almost flush with the denim. It feels like there won’t be anything for the cap to grip onto, but it’s the only way to not bust through them. I’m certain I’ll do better on my next pair.

MMM_Ginger 09

My machine handled several layers of denim and topstitching wonderfully. I was nervous about bar-tacking the belt loops on, but I just went slowly and everything worked out really well (I also used Heather’s hack of gluing them on first). The only place I didn’t use the topstitching thread was for the button hole. I know from previous experience that my machine doesn’t like it, so I used a matching regular thread instead.

MMM_Ginger 11

I have to give a shout out to my wonderful Dad, who crafted this clapper for me out of a scrap of hardwood. This thing is heavy; those grooves in the sides really help when picking it up. I was shocked how well this worked to help flatten seams! After running the iron over a seam, you place this on top (I also added a generous amount of pressure), and leave it for a few seconds. Take it off, and you’re left with a beautiful, crisp, flat seam! I think it really elevated the finished look of my jeans.

GARMENT DETAILS:

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns
  • Style, size: High rise version with the skinny leg, size 10 at waist, 14 at hips and 12 at ankles
  • Fabric: Stretch denim from M.Recht, cotton lining from stash scraps
  • Notions:
    • Zipper fly hardware kit in Gold from Closet Case Patterns
    • Gütermann topstitch thread, colour 893
    • Gütermann general thread, navy 310
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Graded from a 10 at the waist, to a 14 at the hips, and down to a 12 at the ankles
    • Shortened crotch length by 3mm
    • Shortened leg length by 5cm (could possibly take off another 3cm)

MMM_Ginger 07

I know I say this about everything I sew, but I looooooove these! I am so impressed with the fit! I normally have a lot of trouble getting jeans to fit my thighs, but also fit the small of my back without leaving a huge gaping waistband. These are pretty close to perfection.

I already want to make about 3 more pairs!

Mitty x

40 year old skirt to jacket

About 8 years ago, my grandmother gave me a lovely, hand embroidered skirt. She told me that it was a gift from her friend in New Delhi, Swaran, and the skirt was at least 40 years old. As beautiful as it was, I never actually wore it.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 01

The style was simply a straight waistband with a gathered rectangle for the skirt, and a side closure. The fabric was a basic navy cotton, but the stand out feature (obviously) is all that beautiful, hand embroidery.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 02

I feel like the embroidery itself has been done in silk; it is very soft but the fibres aren’t spun together, so the fly-aways do tend to make it look a bit hairy. Just for added sparkle, there are little circular mirrors scattered among the embroidery!

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 05

I couldn’t have this glorious piece of work hiding in my stash anymore, so I decided to up-cycle it. Before I ripped any seams, I went over the embroidery and tidied up all the hairy bits by threading them to the back. Some bits that were too short to work with got a very careful trim. Then I unpicked the hem, waistband, and the single side seam.

I decided on a very simple, Channel-style jacket. I couldn’t have darts eating into the beautiful embroidery. I already had the perfect pattern in my library; New Look 6496.

At the start of the year I learnt a very hard lesson about not making a toile (the Tully pants that I made from some gorgeous Pitt Trading linen were way too small!). I didn’t want to repeat that disaster, so I happily made a quick toile to test the fit. The only alteration I made was to split the single-pieced sleeve into a two-piece sleeve.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 06

Once happy with the fit, I carefully placed the front panels, paying close attention to where those little mirrors lay. To help the silk threads stay in place (and to add a bit of structure) I used iron-on interfacing on the back side of all the pieces.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 04

Even with the stabilisation, the cotton fabric seemed quite thin, so I hunted through my stash for something to use as a warm inter-lining. I found some merino wool that I bought from The Fabric Store a few years ago. I had previously attempted to make a mens t-shirt from it, and failed miserably. I’m so glad I kept this failure, because there was just enough to cut up and use inside this jacket.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 07

I simply hand basted the merino wool to the cotton, to act as one piece. I also tacked it together in a few central places in case the merino wanted to sag inside the jacket.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 08

In the spirit of using as much of the original fabric as possible, I had to do a bit off-cut piecing together. You can see on the right hand side facing where I had to sew two bits together. I’m really not fussed by it, and I honestly think a few quirky seams adds to the character of the jacket.

With the jacket shell sewn together, all I had left to do was draft a lining (because it’s not included in the pattern). I followed this amazing tutorial by Jen from Grainline Studios. If you ever need to draft a lining, follow this tutorial! It’s so simply explained! However, I worked off the one piece sleeve for the lining, I didn’t have the brain power to figure out how to do a two piece sleeve lining.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 13

Pattern drafted, I fully expected to have to purchase some lining to finish this jacket. I’m so glad I looked through my scraps first, because I found just enough left over from a dress I made about 4 years ago. Again, I had to piece together a section for one sleeve, but I managed to cut the rest whole.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 14

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 12

Instead of bagging out the lining, I sewed it straight to the facing. I was unsure about the correct finished measurements and felt that this gave me more control. I took my time and used hand sewing techniques (blind stitch) to finish the bottom hem and sleeve hems.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 10

Finally, she was finished! I’m thrilled with the end result, I feel like I’ve given this textile a brand new life, with many years of wear to come.

I’ll leave you with some pictures we took down Katoomba’s Street Art Walk.

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 15

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 16

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 19

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 20

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 18

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 21

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 23

MMM_Skirt to Jacket 24

GARMENT DETAILS:

  • Pattern brand/name/number: New Look 6496
  • Style, size: View “A”, size 14
  • Fabric:
    • Outer shell – Navy cotton skirt with silk hand embroidery
    • Inter-lining – Merino wool from The Fabric Store
    • Lining – High quality poly lining left over from a previous project
  • Notions: Black iron-on interfacing from Spotlight
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Changed the one piece sleeve to a two piece sleeve for the shell
    • Drafted a lining pattern (with a single piece sleeve)

Mitty x