Category Archives: Uncategorized

alter it august 2019

I’ve had this dress for at least 8 years now, maybe more. I was working in a dress shop in my home town when I bought it, and I don’t remember it fitting as badly then as it does now. It may look like it fits, but I promise you, it flattens my boobs to the point that it’s almost painful to wear.

MBM_AIA19 Before 02

Yes, adorable, I agree, but I can’t wear it for more than a few minutes at a time. Why do I still have it then? I always thought I could cut it up into something new, but clearly never got around to it. Then I came across the sewing challenge “Alter It August” hosted by SewNorth.

MBM_AIA19 Before 01

The challenge is quite simple; look in your wardrobe for something that doesn’t get worn, that you can change/mend/up-cycle into something that you will wear. This dress was the perfect candidate.

MBM_AIA 01

Initially I had hoped to get a skirt, a cami and a hair tie out of this dress, but once I started cutting it apart I quickly realised that was not going to happen.

MBM_AIA 02

The skirt is very basic, gathered onto a straight waistband, with an invisible zipper at the back. I used the mighty long ties from the original dress and cut them down to be a bit shorter. I sewed these into the waistband side seams so I can tie them together at the front or back of the skirt.

MBM_AIA 03

With the last scrappy bits of the ties, I pieced them together and made a headscarf. It isn’t very straight (or neat), but you can’t tell when it’s tied up in my hair. It gives me major Minnie Mouse vibes.

MBM_AIA 04

I’m very happy with the end result, and I promise that this skirt will get much more wear than the original dress ever did. What to alter next?!

Mitty x

winslow culottes – a wearable toile

One of my first jobs was working at Baker’s Delight, a classic-style bakery franchise. The uniform included culottes. They were absolutely hideous, I hated wearing them, but I did because it got rather hot behind the counter.

Never (!) did I think I would want to sew, let alone wear, a pair of culottes. Then, Helen from Helen’s Closet released the Winslows.

MBM_Winslow 06

I LOVE THEM.

These are the floatiest, most stylish culottes I have ever seen or worn. I think the simple inverted box pleats work so well with a fussy print like this.

MBM_Winslow 03

Clearly I am having too much fun in these! I honestly couldn’t help but swish around.

MBM_Winslow 05

Oh yes, this baby has pockets too! I’m not sure I’ll be putting much in them though, this rayon fabric is very soft and I think anything too heavy would distort the silhouette. However, it is lovely to have them there to slip my hands into.

MBM_Winslow 02

These were always intended as a toile for my Frocktails outfit, but I am so pleased with how they turned out that I’m sure they will get a good workout over Spring/Summer.

GARMENT DETAILS:

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Winslow Culottes by Helen’s Closet
  • Style, size: Midi length, size 12
  • Fabric: 100% rayon “Night Garden” (that’s been sitting in my stash for about 5 years) from Spotlight
  • Notions: Iron on fusing, invisible zipper, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Ended up taking 4cm out of the waistband (1 cm from the back, and 1/2cm from the side seams, which I created). To fit the pants into the waistband, I took them in by 1/2cm at both side seams, the front seam and the back seam. I could probably just make a straight size 10 next time.
    • 4cm off the hem length.

MBM_Winslow 01

These culottes ticked so many boxes for me, I got to use fabric from my stash, I perfected the fit, and I completed another project from my Make Nine 2019 list. Happy days!

Mitty x

 

stellan tee x 4

Please don’t judge me for the amount of pictures of myself in this post! Hahah!

I love wearing a good T-shirt, the right style can be very flattering and chic. There are so many T-shirt patterns available, but I hadn’t really found ‘THE’ pattern that ticked all my boxes, until now!

MBM_Stellan Green 01

Hello Stellan! This is a free pattern by French Navy and it has proven itself as my go-to, always reliable T-shirt pattern.

MBM_Stellan Green 02

Sarah-May (the pattern designer) describes it as “boxy, but still slim, with a high neckline and long sleeves”. I know it’s just a T-shirt, but every element is perfect and well plotted.

MBM_Stellan White V1 01

I love it so much, I made 4 versions in a week! Each has a slightly different finish to the sleeve hem, which I will detail towards the end of this post.

MBM_Stellan White V1 02

The hem shape on this pattern is lovely, it’s slightly curved, coming up a bit higher at the hips, but not so much that it is difficult to turn up.

MBM_Stellan Maroon 02

MBM_Stellan Maroon 01

While it looks great sewn up in a jersey with a bit of structure, I also love how it looks in something with a bit more drape. This maroon version is made from Merino Wool jersey, and it’s just beautiful to wear.

MBM_Stellan V2 02

MBM_Stellan White V2 01

Yes, I made two white T-shirts! But as you can see, this version is much softer than the first. This jersey is lightweight, perfect for tucking into high waisted jeans.

So what fabrics did I use, and what are the different sleeve hem finishes? Let’s get into that.

MBM_Stellan Green 04

MBM_Stellan White V1 04

MBM_Stellan Maroon 04

MBM_Stellan White V2 04

  • Fabric: 100% cotton jersey, “Pillow White” #2299 (no longer available) from The Remnant Warehouse
  • Sleeve finish: Cut and left raw

GARMENT DETAILS:

  • Pattern brand/name/number: The Stellan Tee by French Navy
  • Style, size: Size M
  • Fabric: As listed above
  • Notions: Matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations: None to the actual pattern, just the different sleeve finishes

I am so glad that I’ve found ‘THE’ T-shirt pattern, I think it’s just perfect, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have another version cut out ready to sew up!

Thanks if you made it to the end of this post!

Mitty x

 

ginger jeans #2

I love wearing jeans, and after I had finished my first pair of me-made jeans, I knew I wanted a second.

I had 2 meters of denim left from my first pair, so I decided to bleach it for a lighter colour. I must say, this wasn’t the easiest of tasks. The only way I could tackle it was in our very small bath.

MBM_Bleach bath

As you can see, the denim was no where near laying flat. For the first 10 minutes I moved the denim around non-stop. After that, I would swish it and flip it every 15 minutes. I did this for 2 hours (setting a timer so I didn’t miss a flip).

MBM_Bleach Before and After

Before and after the bleach bath

It was a long (and smelly) process, but I am so happy with the result. There are a few small bleach lines and lighter patches, but it is as even as I could possibly get it.

If you want to try bleaching denim, True Bias has a wonderful tutorial which I referenced quite a lot.

With my denim lightened, I got onto making the jeans. Again, I used a hardware kit from Closet Case, but this time I picked the copper colour. My topstitching thread was pink, to match.

MBM_Ginger Jeans 05

My first pair turned out to be a pretty good fit, but I did make a few changes with this pair. I took the ankles down to a size 10, but I also shaped the leg to hug my knee. I’m not sure if it’s because the denim is softer after the bleach, but I found that there was a lot more room around the knee this time.

MBM_Ginger Jeans 07

I really love the fit of this pair. I won’t transfer the alteration to my pattern, I think I’ll just have to judge each new pair as I make them.

MBM_Ginger Jeans 03

I added a little faux leather patch to the waistband which I think looks great! I might go back and add one to my original pair.

MBM_Ginger Jeans 04

I used the same pocket topstitching design from my first pair, but I added another line. I really like the way it looks.

MBM_Ginger Jeans 06

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 10 at ankles
  • Fabric: Stretch denim from M.Recht which I bleached, cotton lining from stash scraps
  • Notions:
    • Zipper fly hardware kit in Copper from Closet Case Patterns
    • Gütermann topstitch thread, colour 473
    • Gütermann general thread, colour 311
  • Modification/alterations:
    • Shaped the leg to hug my knees
    • Added a faux leather patch to waistband

MBM_Ginger Jeans 08

The finishing touch was to stitch the make-date on the inside of the fly shield. It’s a cute little detail which makes me smile every time I see it.

Mitty x

 

refashion – berlin jacket

My goodness… a virus has smashed its way through our family like an out of control freight train. Caring for a sick toddler, who is also teething, coupled with my husband and I being sick, really hasn’t left me with the time (or energy) to sew.

Luckily, I finished something off before the train hit.

MBM_Shawl

I bought this shawl/blanket from Uni Qlo about 2 years ago. It is very soft and surprisingly warm. However, it is a little awkward to wear, I found myself always having to adjust it. Somedays I wouldn’t even reach for it, knowing I’d be tugging at it all day.

I’d recently finished my first Berlin Jacket. I love the cut of this jacket so much, I thought it would be a great pattern to use to turn this shawl into something I was sure to wear.

 

MBM_Crop Berlin 02

It is obviously a much more cropped version of the original, but I really like how it turned out. The border design and tassels worked so perfectly with the straight lines of the Berlin pattern.

MBM_Crop Berlin 04

Construction wise, I didn’t really change much. I had to zigzag the raw edges because even though this fabric seemed to be a knit, it did start to fray after a bit of handling.

MBM_Crop Berlin 03

Sadly, I had to leave the pockets off. I really wanted them on there, but because the length is so cropped, the opening to the pockets would have been up around my underarms.

The pattern instructs to sew the sleeve cuffs on so they can be worn flipped out. I decided to just leave them on the inside, so it didn’t mess with the border design.

MBM_Crop Berlin 05

It is now much easier to wear, and I think it still has that shawl/blanket vibe going on!

GARMENT DETAILS:

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Berlin Jacket by Tessuti
  • Style/size: Size M
  • Fabric: A shawl purchased from Uni Qlo (they don’t seem to have anything similar in store at the moment)
  • Notions: Thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • I cropped the length to fit the amount of fabric I had to work with
    • Left off the pockets
    • Sewed the sleeve cuffs to the inside, not to be flipped out
    • Zigzag stitched over the raw edges before joining the seams to prevent fraying

MBM_Crop Berlin 01

I love being able to breath new life into something I already own, instead of letting it go to waste. My “new” jacket fits perfectly in my wardrobe, and it almost feels like I made it for free!

Mitty x

 

 

foxy ginger jeans

Isn’t it amazing how inspiring your me-mades are? My Mum doesn’t wear jeans often, in fact, I think she only owns one pair. However, after seeing my newly made Ginger Jeans, she was more than keen to sew some up for herself.

MBM_Fox 02

We decided to have a jeans-making-party that lasted a few days. Cups of tea, treats, tunes, and sewing… I’m very lucky to be able to share this with my Mum.

MBM_Fox 04

Mum doesn’t like wearing skinny legged anything, so she made the stovepipe version. Perfect for teaming with little boots.

MBM_Fox 03

We found the initial fit quite good, but we did have to take a big curved chunk out of the back leg inseam, as there was way too much fabric there. I think we got the fit as close as possible without having to re-cut the back leg.

MBM_Fox 05

You may have noticed this little guy on the back pockets! This took some very careful and slow topstitching, and the design is directly inspired by…

MBM_Fox 06

The lining! Heather Lou (creator of the Ginger Jeans) suggests going all out with your lining fabric, and we did just that!

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns
  • Style, size: High-rise with stovepipe leg, 10 at waist graded to 12 at hips
  • Fabric:
  • Notions:
    • Zipper fly jean making kit from Closet Case Patterns in Silver
    • Gütermann topstitch thread, colour 40
    • Gütermann general thread in black
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Size 10 at the waist, graded to 12 at hips
    • 1cm out of the yoke at waistband edge
    • Took a sizeable curved chunk off the back leg inseam
    • Shortened leg length by 6cm

MBM_Fox 01

Mum is so happy with her new jeans, she’s already started on her second pair (a baby pink pair!!). It’s safe to say, she’s caught the bug!

Mitty x

PS: My goodness, how hard is black to photograph..?!

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