Honeycomb and Me Made May confessions

Hi everyone,

I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve really tailed off at the end of Me Made May. It’s the end of another busy half term, I wasn’t too well at weekend (my most hated online moan but it’s true!) and I think I’m just in need of a little online switch off.

I have used that time to get stuck in with my sewing machine and I’ve been making lots of holiday makes (not the easiest to model). I thought I was losing my sewjo a little, which wasn’t helped by the most recent make I’m about to share but I think I’m back on my game!

Anyway, I’m not usually overly enamoured by Cocowawa patterns, I feel they are definitely made for a slimmer frame but I thought the tie sides of the most recent Honeycomb dress would flatter me so I wanted to give it a go. I will just have one more moan though (sorry, last one I promise) – I was really disappointed to find that most of the pattern testers for this were significantly smaller than the size 20 the pattern claims to go up to… which doesn’t seem very inclusive.

Anyway, undeterred, I carried on with it. I made a few changes, obviously I made the chest pieces bigger (possibly should have been even bigger and also longer as you will see), I also omitted the collar and created a bias binding instead and I lengthened it to create a maxi. Also, contrary to my instincts, I made it sleeveless, in acceptance that not all of my summer clothes can have sleeves.

I used the lovely birdy viscose from Adam Ross fabrics. Whilst, I’m really happy with the neat finish on my dress and I’m loving the self covered buttons, I’m just not sure it is quite me. What does everyone think? I’m wondering if it’s the sleeves, the fit on the chest or the colour. I may dye it. Any thoughts?

In the meantime, I’m making a very promising Datura hack dress which should be lovely.

Me Made May Week 3

Day 1 – I made another shortened version of the Florence Dress last year, which has been a nightmare to photograph – it just seems that it has never worked out. I made it using a bed sheet so it gives it more structure, which is great for work. I do think the pattern lends itself to floaty fabrics more though.

Day 2 – Today I wore my gingham hacked Orla Dress, I love wearing this dress, it’s such a cool and relaxed style and after making a few, I’m really happy with the fit of these. It’s a free pattern by French Navy Now and I really recommend it.

Day 3 – I wore a previously unblogged, simple gathered skirt. This is my favourite way to make self-drafted skirt as you can add lots of volume and swish to a skirt. I am currently writing a tutorial for Sew Me Sunshine using their beautiful crepe on how to create your own.

Day 4 – This is my first repeat and I wore my Emma brushed jersey Moneta dress. This is my most recent Moneta and every time I make one, I’m reminded why this pattern is my favourite – it’s super flattering and comfy. I haven’t blogged this one, as there are only so many Monetas a girl can blog!

Day 5 – This was a slightly different make for me, I decided to test my hand embroidery skills slightly. Bees seem to be everywhere at the minute so I downloaded myself a Bee Happy template and embroidered it on to a ready to wear T-shirt. I tucked this in to a self-drafted skirt and it was a perfect, cheerful outfit for a Royal Wedding Street Party!

Day 6 – Another day, another Orla hack. This is a long sleeved version. I used to Orla bodice as a block and extended it and lowered the neckline and created two ties for a tie back detail. I forgot to take pictures so I pinched a couple from my holiday last year (I wish I could go back!)

Day 7 – I wore RTW to work. If I’m completely honest, my work wardrobe is definitely not 100% me made and as the last week of term approaches I’m struggling to wear me made everyday. I had family round for tea though and slipped on my original galaxy moneta.

Thoughts for this week: I don’t automatically wear Me Made every day, which is OK because I don’t want to get rid of anything just because, but there’s definitely still room for more me mades in my wardrobe. (yay!)

I need to make more work basics, which are smart and appropriate.

Me Made May Week 2

Day 1 – I wore my Sew Over It Nancy Dress which I made last year and although I wasn’t entirely convinced with the shape, I still wear it often as its bright and fun and cheers me up (that and I needed a bit of a looser shape after an indulgent bank holiday weekend!)

Day 2- I wore my much worn Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. This was my first make in Ponte Roma and it has really stood the test if time.

Day 3 – Having felt a bit sluggish this week I decided to brighten myself up a little so I wore a green RTW t-shirt with a self-drafted skirt. The fabric is a vintage buy from my favourite shop up in Northumberland.

Day 4 – This is where Me Made May has stepped my game up a little and made me dive in my wardrobe. The is the Rebecca Page Arabella Skirt skit which I made last year and i have to admit, I haven’t worn it since. I love this retro tapes fabric from Flamingo fabrics and I really don’t know why I haven’t worn it much. Teamed with a RTW white blouse it was perfect for work and added a bit of colour to my day. This one is definitely being brought to the front of the wardrobe now!

Day 5- I wore two outfits today. I wore my hacked Datura blouse with RTW jeans to have my hair cut. (I haven’t blogged this but I love it!)

I then wore my Joni dress out for tea for my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday meal. I absolutely love this dress!!

Day 6- my husband and I had a drive out and I wore my super comfy Peak T-shirt which I made from Wendy Ward’s book Sewing with Knitted Fabrics for Minerva Crafts.

Day 7 – today I thought outside the box and wore my Style Arc Italia Shirt Dress which I made for Sew Me Sunshine, tucked in to a plan black self-drafted circle skirt.

Thoughts for this week:

  • I am still very much in need of blouses for work.
  • I wear too much blue!

Joni Dress

Hi everyone,

Thanks for votyung earlier last month for my make for The Monthly Stitch. It’s complete and my post is also over on their blog.

I approached the Joni with some trepidation as it has a twist at the front, which looks quite complex… I love makes like this though, when you feel like sewing magic has happened! The instructions made it seem super easy and it came together really well. You attach the pieces at the shoulder, then turn one of the pieces fully and then sew up the front. It truly is sewing magic. I haven’t got masses of experience working with Jersey but I found this worked out really well.

I find it sits higher than the picture as suggest but looking at others, I think this is about right even though I usually have to FBA.

The fit of the skirt is quite flared and because the bodice finishes quite high, it makes for a really flattering fit and everyone I’ve seen in it looks great! I’m really pleased with mine.

This is a really satisfying pattern, which has something a bit different but still comes together really quickly. I love attaching sleeves on the flat! Best, quickest sewing ever!

You will notice that I didn’t ask voters to chose the fabric for this one and that’s because I just had to use this amazing Parrot Jersey from Sew Me Sunshine for it and I’m so glad I did. It’s so different and bright and I absolutely love it!

I wore it for a family meal and felt really bright and cheerful in it.

Me Made May 2018 Week 1

Hi everyone,

It’s going well so far and I’m posting daily over on Instagram. I did Me Made May last year and was surprised how much I actually managed to wear me made garments. I loved how much it helped me to think. However, I’ve learnt so much in a year and many of those garments are just not the same quality as I produce now. So… If I pull it out and pull a face, it’s either being donated, being mended or going in the fabric bin. I’m hoping it’ll help me to re-assess and get a bit more clarity in my wardrobe. So, let’s have a look.

Day 1. I wore my Sew Over It Ella Blouse in a chiffon which I bought from my local market. The was the second time I made the blouse and I hacked it to use ribbons instead of the ties. The facing on my first one (see here) never quite sat right and it is a little tight on my arms so that is being removed from the wardrobe! This one is staying though!

Day 2. I wore my Paisley Moneta, anyone who knows me, knows I love a good Moneta and this one, which I ran together before my holiday last year. I always get lots of compliments when I wear it.

Day 3- After being suitably inspired and having found I was slightly ahead with my uni work, I ran together another Moneta, this time in this beautiful fabric of my name (Emma brushed Jersey) from Sew Me Sunshine. I added pockets and lengthened it. I also attempted to add a collar to find I hated it and I unpicked it!

Day 4- I am determined that it will be sunny so I wore my Frankendress which I made last year by hacking New Look 6483 t-shirt and the skirt from 6723. I widened the sleeves and pleated the skirt. I wear this a lot.

Day 5- I wore my new Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers. They are perfect weekend wear and perfect for English summers, which never quite justify shorts for me! I wore these with a RTW t-shirt, something I seriously need to fix, as I discussed in my last Sewcialists post.

Day 6- I wore my Sew Over It Florence Dress which I made last year for breakfast with my hubby. It’s such a cool and super easy style to wear.

Day 7- hooray for sunny Bank Holiday weekends! I wore my Vanessa Pouzet Wanted Tee (which I have previously made a tutorial for if anyone needs a hand with that neckline!) This one I Refashioned out of a men’s polo t-shirt. I paired this (as I usually do) with my Sew This Pattern Velo Cullotes in peachskin from Sewisfaction. This outfit won a prize during last year’s Indie pattern month and I love it!

Thoughts for this week are that, I aparantly like Sew Over It patterns more than I realised and my summer wardrobe is looking a lot healthier than I thought!

I need to work on getting some camis made, as I’m my desperation to cover my arms, I’ve been left a little hot at times this week!

Me Made May 2018

I, Emma of Emma and her Machine vow to wear hand made clothes every day of Me Made May. Simple but thought provoking for me.

I’m hoping it will help me see what garments I’m definitely not wearing and clear out my wardrobe a bit.

Last year was my first year and I really didn’t know how much of a benefit it would be to me. It really helps to inspire and to direct my wardrobe in to the kind of clothes I need. It’s like a wardrobe audit!

Last year pointed out that I need basics, weekend tops and Pyjamas in my life. I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

See you there!

Me Made May Final Week

Day Twenty-seven: finally, my half term holiday arrived. I was so ready for this break. Me and my husband set off early and make good time to get to sunny Bamburgh. Whilst it was nice, we had a potter round and I wore my new Mccalls m6927 with RTW shorts. I’ll blog about this one soon because it’s definitely got potential to be a favourite!

Day twenty-eight: this one is a bit of a spoiler because it’s another Mccalls M6927. (told you it was going to be a favourite) but it’s a review of a fabric Bundle for Minerva Crafts so I can’t share too much here. I can easily make up for it with pictures of the Vintage Sewing Machine that my husband bought me from the Bamburgh fair. The wheel spins but the foot doesn’t work… I don’t care though, it’s so pretty and I can’t wait to put it in my sewing space! We had such an amazing morning and got ourselves a new wall clock and a ceramic olive dish too! 

Day twenty-nine: I wore my latest and probably one of my favourite makes. My Liberty Tana Lawn Dragonista Ultimate Shift Top which I hacked to have plackets down the back. 

We had a lovely day out in Alnwick and to the Village Tea Rooms and Emporium, which I can’t not visit! I got some gorgeous fabrics. The top one is a gorgeous children’s interior fabric destined for cushions as a gift. Bottom left is a Pierre Frey from 2013 which I absolutely fell in love with even though I don’t have any plans for it yet and the bottom right is Emily Burningham Cotton Lawn ‘Cranes Book III’ I’m hoping to make a blouse from this one. They’re all such high quality. I can’t wait to use them!

Day thirty: me and Kyle went to our favourite restaurant and I wore my New Liberty Threadcount 1501 which was free with Love Sewing Magazine and you can still download for free if you click the link. I made version B which was the block option in a cornflower blue cotton and liberty fabric blocks for the skirt. I’ll blog this next week so look out for it because it really is a beauty (even if I say do myself!) 

Day thirty-one: I wore my Mccalls M6927 again for the journey home. I was very sad to be leaving and I’m surprised at how sad I feel that Me Made May is over. Though I’m not sure I’ll miss early morning photos! 

To summarise: My Me Made May pledge was to wear something I had made everyday and see the gaps in my wardrobe. I was very nearly successful, with a few sick days highlighting that I have no PJs made for myself even though half my family have PJs I’ve made. Many repeats of the same casual tops and an overuse of dresses for work has highlighted that I need more blouses. So that’s my plan for now and hopefully come next year I will see a huge difference! 

I have also been able to donate some of my more dowdy and dull RTW work clothes as I much prefer my brighter me-mades! 

Lastly, I recently wrote about a craft swap with the lovely Charlotte of Chasjos from France. She writes a blog about the wooden jewellery she makes. Here’s a reminder of the amazing Mermaid piece she made. 

Anyway, I made her a Moneta in return (I’m sure you are all surprised) because I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about the fit too much. I even broke out my high school French (checked by the French teachers at work) to write a note for her. I’ve still got it!  It arrived with Charlotte last week and she’s since wrote a post about it. The dress look fabulous on her and is a great fit. I’ll definitely be getting involved in one of her swaps again! 

Me Made May Week 4

Day twenty-two: I revisited the Self-/drafted Skirt I made using vintage Fabric from The Village Tea Rooms and Emporium in Northumberland. And… I’m going back there next week! Yay! I’ve worn this before, I find it really bright and cheerful! It’s great because I can pick out colours and wear it with lots of different tops. This time, it was worn with RTW red pussybow blouse. Me Made May has definitely highlighted my need for more tops so I’m actually cutting out the Simple Sew Pussy bow Blouse at the minute.

Day twenty-three: I was sick. 😦 I literally never get sick. I hate being sick. I dragged myself up for work but there was no outfit consideration or photos going on this day!

Day twenty-four: Another sick Day, as discussed on Week One  I don’t even have any PJ or casual pants to feel unwell in so no sharing at all I’m afraid. However, I was able to share this picture on Instagram…

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My husband drove past Abakhan in Mostyn whilst he was out for work and picked up some goodies for me; 3 metres of a beautiful red fabric with a white bird pattern on it. 4 whole metres of this red floral fabric (both on the left) and some £1 bundles (on the right) which have got me thinking. So I felt lots better, obviously! He’s so lovely and obviously knows the way top my heart!

Day Twenty-five: I wore my classic black, customised dress today. A comfy throw on for getting over my sick bug! I refashioned an old skirt to applique these circles on.

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Day Twenty-Six: A beautiful bright day for the last day of term meant that I wanted to feel bright so I wore my New Look Frankendress with bare legs (rarely seen in these parts) and nude flats. Excuse the selfies… I’ve not had much time for photo taking this week!

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As I’ve been so busy/sick this week I haven’t had much time in my sewing room. but I am happy to share some crochet progress. I’m making the Virus Shawl using this fabulous tutorial on Youtube. I’m not so keen on the name but loving the style. I’m making it in this brilliantly coloured yarn called Cygnet Boho Spirit from amazon. It’s so bright. I’m loving crochet, I can see why so many people are addicted to it, it’s so relaxing.

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That’s my work week over with. I’ll include the rest of the weekend in my final Me Made May blog post as we go to Northumberland tomorrow so they’ll be lots of photo taking/ posing opportunities!

 

 

Me Made May Week 3

Me Me Made May week hasn’t gone as well as my previous weeks. i have spent the week at my Sister-in-law’s to dog sit and as a result I haven’t had the same access to my wardrobe as I usually have. It also means that my tripos has been M.I.A. Plus (whilst I’m making my excuses) the weather has not been very inspiring this week but I’ll take you through it anyway…

Day Fifteen: I wore my Vintage Paisley Dress with a Black Cardigan. I love this dress, it is simple and has a nice fit. I was really pleased I used a Vintage Butterick Pattern to showcase this fabulous fabric…

Day Sixteen: I’ve been struggling this week to maintain my ‘No Black Tights’ Rule because of all the rain but I persevered and re-wore my Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. this time with a purple vest (the only one I had packed) and my trusty black best and cardigan.

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Day Seventeen: Is when it all went wrong. I really wanted to wear trousers and this challenge is quickly highlighting that I don’t have any me-made trousers and I don’t have many blouses beyond those I can tuck in to skirts… So, reader, I Cheated and wore RTW grey trousers and a White Blouse. It was strange because lots of the students at work knew straight away that I hadn’t made what I was wearing because it wasn’t as bright as I usually am!! You will have to make do with a picture of the crochet I have been working on whilst I’ve been able from my Sewing Machine… It will be a blanket (obviously it is a Work in Progress!)

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Day Eighteen: I wore what I thought was a bit of a cheat but the Instagram world told me that it wasn’t! I wore a Black RTW dress for Marks and Spencers, which is really classic I has a great fit. I got it from Ebay a few years ago. I appliques 4 circles on to the left hand side of it after seeing something similar on Pinterest. I got the fabric from an old skirt, which had ripped. I wear it a lot because it is easy wearing and someone usually comment that it is unusual!

Day Nineteen: I wore my Frankendress which was a hack of New Look 6483 and New Look 6723. The top pattern is one my my favourites for making casual t-shirts and I used the skirt from the dress pattern. I was seriously proud of my pattern matching with this one! It’s a really easy, bright and spring-y dress.

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Day Twenty: I went to a local cake and craft fair with my niece and did some fabric shopping too of course. I wore my new Liberty Ultimate Shift Dress which I made the top version of and hacked to add plackets at the back. It’s my new favourite top and it’s definitely started me on a roll of making tops. 

Day Twenty Two: I’ve really started to struggle for ‘throw on’ garments so I admit I just wore a RTW white t-shirt and denim shorts. We were moving our stuff back home after a week spent looking after Theo (how gorgeous) so I needed something throw-onable! 

I did, however, get back in to the sewing Room and finished my Threadcount 1501 Liberty Block Dress! Here’s a sneak peek! Blog soon! 

The Top of my Dreams

You know that feeling when you have something in you mind that you really want and then you get it?! That is exactly what happened to me with this one. I saw Liberty’s Dragonista fabric on sale at £9.99 per metre at Abakhan before Christmas and didn’t buy it straight away! It turned out to be a BIG mistake because it sold out. Since then I’ve been searching for it everywhere, not quite willing to pay lots for it but wanting it REALLY BADLY. Then… Imagine my joy, reader, when it came back on Sale again! Hooray!

Image result for liberty dragonista

I got some straight away and determined not to let it sit in my stash I decided to make a top with it straight away. I pictured a relaxed button back blouse with three quarter sleeves and a good fit. I wanted it pretty simple to show off the fabric. In the end I decided on a little bit of a hack of the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress, which I am a little bit addicted too!

I added an inch and a half on to each of the back pieces so I could make a placket. I cut a piece of interfacing for each side and did a double fold to make the button placket and sewed the rest up as usual. I did the whole thing with a french seam so I am more than happy to show off the insides! 

The fabric was a dream to work with, I can see why people rave about Tana Lawn.

Instead of the facing, I used a blue bias binding and then, because I had just ordered a mechanism for poppers, I decided to use blue poppers all the way down the back instead of buttons, which I think look quite cool and it meant it was quicker too!

When I tried it on I was so chuffed.. it was exactly what I imagined, which is the best feeling EVER and it is just what I need in my attempts to make more separates. I absolutely love it and I’m so glad that this amazing fabric has been used in this way. I have a tiny bit left over too so I’ll have to get thinking how I can use it!

Me Made May Week 2

Day Eight:

I wore a self-drafted skirt (to be honest most of my skirts are self-drafted because I find that you can make a skirt however you want it then) I put this together using Vintage fabric from my visit to the Village Tea Rooms and Emporium back in February. I made it to go out for my Mother-in-law’s 60th on a bit of a whim. I love it for how bright it is and you may see this recycled next week with a different top but for now I’ve style it with my favourite RTW black top which I would love to be able to replicate because its getting old and isn’t going to last much longer I feel. Any tips would be appreciated on this one!

Day nine: Today was a bit of a fed up day, in a bid to feel a bit brighter I wore a white RTW blouse which my husband bought me for a job interview and has a lovely fit. The Skirt is one I refashioned last year after making New Look 6020 which was my first ever sewing pattern, bought by my Mum. It wasn’t quite right around my chest and didn’t have sleeves so I unpicked it, drafted a waistband and make it in to a skirt. It’s a bit clingy though, I have fabric and a pattern with the intention of making a slip… maybe I could do with getting round to it!

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Day Ten: I wore my Tilly and the Buttons Zadie Dress which is one of my most recent makes. I don’t love this one… I think it’s because I had so many problems with the construction… more on this here. Every time I wear it people say how nice it is and when I look at pictures I’m always pleased with it but there’s something in the back of my head which says it’s not my favourite! does anyone else get that? I made it out of Scuba from Fabric Styles who I did a video for if you haven’t seen it already.

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Day Eleven:

I wore my plain Moneta, which is a light purple/grey type of colour. The changes I made with this one was to shorten it slightly (not sure if I regret that) and to do a neckband instead of turning the fabric over. I absolutely love the Moneta pattern, as I’m sure you know… I appear to have a bit of a reputation for them! I have another two on my to-do list; A navy one with a contrast skirt and a stripe one. I just love the pattern and think it lends itself to my shape. It’s easy to do and a good way to practice sewing with stretch. I wasn’t sure if it was smart enough for work but I went with it anyway and was super comfy all day long!!

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Day Twelve: Today I wore my Cotton and Chalk Katie Dress which I made some time a go. I have a fashion rule (I don’t have many of these) that I only wear black tights in months with an R in them so I have been wearing nude tights… today was the first time I went bare legged, and, of course, it rained! Anyway This dress is in a ponte, which meant I didn’t put a zip in it, it’s super comfy and practical. It was another Cotton and chalk pattern that I really struggled to fit because it has so much ease!

Day Thirteen:

For a chilled Saturday I wore my Cotton and Chalk Sunday Set. I love this pattern, I find all the Cotton and Chalk ones to have lots of ease but this one is perfect! I wear it all the time. I’ve since tried the trouser version of it but I wasn’t so sure. I wore it with a RTW Navy Body. 

Day Fourteen:

I wore my trusty elephant print Moneta  for a casual Sunday. As you know this pattern is one of my favourites and I love how easy it is to throw on! I’ve had a change of scenery this weekend as I’m looking after the lovely Theo for a week for my Sister-in-law. 

I have worn a cardigan with nearly everything I have worn this week and I think I seriously need to have a think about making my own… Maybe my new-found skills in crochet could help me with that…

I also definitely need more blouses and tops and I’m currently working on it! 

Shift Dress Addiction

Sorry to be predictable but I’m in love (again). The shift dress, in theory, goes against everything which suits my style… I need garments which give me a waist and nip me in a bit so shift dresses aren’t my usual style as they don’t have a great deal of shape in them.

However, The Ultimate Shift Dress from Sew Over It seems to have won me over. I made one for my Mum for Christmas as I knew it would suit her shape. She loves it and I think it is really elegant. It lent itself really well to a thick fabric, which was almost an upholstery fabric.

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I then tried one for myself on a whim, I suspected I would need a FBA with this one because of the shape so I looked up how to do it. It was the first time I had ever made any changes like this and it worked a treat! I definitely needed it and I also had to make the sleeves bigger by an inch to accommodate it.

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I made it using an embroidered denim and I love it. I feel like the fit is really good and it doesn’t matter that it has a straight shape as I have lots of belts!

I went on to make a shorter version in a tartan as I wanted something a bit more casual to wear. I shortened it and added little splits at the sides to made it more like a tunic. Unusually, I made it sleeveless but I’m still happy with it. I used a vintage bias binding instead of the facings for this one. The FBA has worked a treat and I know that this can be a go to pattern now. I wore it on the first Sunday of Me Made May. Whilst I love them both, they are not very summery so I need to have a look at different styles.

With summer wardrobes in mine I’ve used the pattern to cut the top version out of this fabulous Liberty fabric called Dragonista, which I have been lusting over for ages. I’m so happy I have some! I want some more tops and blouses, on the back of me Me Made May pledge so this is one step towards it. I have hacked it slightly so look out for more on that too… I’m also going to try it in a scuba, as I love the scuba I used for my Zadie dress so much that I’m keen to use some more and I suspect the Shift Dress will work well with this fabric too!

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