Me Made May 16: I did. Did you?

Hello (sheepish whisper). It’s been quite a while. i honestly didn’t know if I’d come back to writing this blog. Which is a shame. It was an absolute lifeline when I was at home in London with two very small children. Being in touch with the sewing community kept me on the right side of sane. Just. A year into life in Malaysia and with a full-time job, I have a lot less desire to spend my evenings in front of a computer screen, but I am still sewing and I do stay in touch with my favourite bloggers even if it tends to be on Instagram!

I answered the call to Me Made May with a pledge to wear something handmade every day, which I more or less do most of the time these days. I got to the end of the month with no repeat outfits and learned a couple of things to boot.

Although I wear my handmade clothes almost every day, I really missed my favourite Muji linen dresses. They are so comfy and loose-fitting but after this week’s new Inari Tee Dress even they may become obsolete. FYI: I think this just may be the most versatile and flattering dress ever!

Over the course of this year I have been consciously making clothes in solid dark colours and in jersey to redress the balance of my wardrobe and to reflect my fashion preferences. MMM was reminder that my early handmade clothes were often inspired by my love of colour and print. As I reached for my favourite black Moneta, I realised I wanted to look more sleek and elegant than ‘colourful art teacher’ chic. We all had one, didn’t we?! There’s still a fair bit of colour in these photos, but some solids too.

The month also revealed my pattern company loyalties. When I like something, I want it in every colour and texture. Chances are I will buy all of your patterns. Witness my numerous Colette Patterns outfits (Wren, Moneta, Laurel), and multiple Tilly and the Buttons numbers (Mathilde, Agnes, Bettine), not to mention ALL the Grainline Studio patterns! There was a profusion of indie patterns, and according to these photos, only a couple of big pattern companies (the floral scuba McCalls M6886, Simplicity 2444, and the Big Purple One – Simplicity 2406).

Being ‘coerced’ into wearing all the handmade clothes I could lay my hands on meant that I rediscovered a few gems that have been languishing at the back of the wardrobe. I kicked off Day 1 with my first ever Tilly Mathilde (not pictured here). It was like a reunion with a dear friend. Why was I not wearing this every week like I used to? Is there such a thing as too many handmade clothes??

The daily selfie-taking did me in eventually. The light in the tropics is unforgiving and harsh. If I didn’t get my photo taken pre-school run it wasn’t possible. Lord knows there’s enough pressure in my life getting myself and two small people out of the house by 7.45am without a blog-worthy photo shoot thrown into the mix. My five year old did me proud and snapped a few of these – clever girl. The downside is that her school photo came this week. There she is with hand on hip and giving good ‘right leg’ while the other kids stand up straight. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…!

I’ll sign off (for another 3 months!) with one of my two new garments from May – a black Colette Wren (the other was the Grainline Alder at the top of this post). It’s a winner and ticks all the boxes for dark, solid colours in a flattering, work-friendly jersey dress. It’s been lovely to catch up. Take care all. x

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Bonnies by the Bunch!

Hey there! How have you been? Getting withdrawal symptoms after the end of series 3 GBSB?! Sewing has forced it’s way up to the top of my to-do list this week –  a cheeky day off work spent on Goldhawk Road, the cutting out of my long-awaited Grainline Archer, and part 1 of the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers class. Part two is next week, and i literally cannot wait to finish my lurid red floral party pants. I’ve tried on one leg so far (admittedly not the best way to gauge fit) and I think there’s more work to be done to avoid the ‘jodhpur’ look.

lace bonnieBut, for your sewing pleasure today, I bring you a pair of Bonnies! I wrote plenty here of how much I loved this pattern by Bluegingerdoll. My beloved snakeskin version has become a wardrobe staple. I bought another metre of ponte roma from eBay, ensuring that the colour would work with my white-threaded overlocker (note to self: I really need to force myself to learn to re-thread this thing!).

This time around I added 1.5″ to the bodice length to cover a little more of my modesty. It retains the cropped look, but I still have to wear a vest under it. I loved it so much that I made another lengthened one from some gorgeous striped cotton knit from The Cloth House purchased with more birthday vouchers. Gosh, I was spoiled this year! Of all the things I have made this year, I am most pleased with my Bonnies.

Bluegingerdoll BonnieI am most definitely a repeat sewist – if I like it, I make it over and over again. Along with three Bonnies I’ve made four Monetas (spots, pink, snake, black) and three Mathildes (butterflies, chambray, Liberty lawn). Are you a thrifty sewist, making the most of your favourite patterns, or are you seduced by new patterns? What are your favourite go-to patterns to revamp?

kanervaI’ll leave you with one of my one-offs: the Named Patterns Kanerva top that nearly didn’t fit! Happy weekend!

Violet and Bonnie do Snakeskin Together

Crumbs! I’m in a deadly stranglehold grip of python print! I really can’t get enough of this fabric. As I mentioned before, it’s an eBay steal at £3.49 per metre for your finest synthetic ponte knit. It seems to be out of stock now, but there’s a gorgeous charcoal version here. I learned a valuable lesson with this stuff. I usually buy my fabrics by feel of hand, and rarely buy anything synthetic. This means that I tend to discount fabrics even if I really like the print. Of late, I have been increasingly envious of certain bloggers’ fabulous knit prints, and wondered why I have found it so hard to come up with something equally fabulous. So I decided to experiment by buying online so the catchy/scratchy hand-feel doesn’t put me off. Result!

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie & VioletAs you may recall, I had fallen hard and fast for my python print Bonnie. So much so that I rushed headlong into a Bluegingerdoll Violet dress version, making a beeline for the pencil skirt. So far, so good. Only thing was, I didn’t really like the bodice. Worn with the pencil skirt pinned in place, I didn’t find the fit very flattering.  Had I opted for the flared skirt I’m sure it would have been a different story.

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie & VioletSo enamoured of my Bonnie was I, that I fancied a mate for her. I was equally smitten with my new python pencil skirt, sans Violet bodice! I tried the pair on together and fell in love with this double act.  The looser fit of the Bonnie top with it’s gathered sleeveheads, plus the wide waistband was more flattering to my curves. I’m not the only one to have mixed and matched Bluegingerdoll patterns. Here’s a gorgeous version of a ‘FrankenBonnie’ by Idle Fancy. There’s something very liberating about taking the best parts of favourite patterns and remodelling them. This is a first for me. My growing sense of confidence with the overlocker is starting to pay off.

I had decided not to add a waistband to my new skirt, but added stretchy clear plastic tape to stabilise it while I made my mind up. I wore the skirt with a plain black jumper and loved it! How was I to get the best of both worlds for my snakeskin separates? I just couldn’t bear to attach them both permanently. So, the version you can see has the Violet skirt safety pinned to the underside of the Bonnie waistband. I can still detach the pair when double python just seems too much. But for now, they’re inseparable!