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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Wren

Happy New Year in the Gregorian and Chinese lunar calendars! I started the New Year with a diet – a smart phone diet! And as with most diets, once you get over the worst bit it becomes a little bit life changing!

I’d noticed that I was spending increasing amounts of time enthralled with your amazing sewing blogs and visually tantalizing Instagram feeds. It was time to give it a rest and rejoin the real world!
I’ve enjoyed taking time out and regaining some reading and sewing time, but now I want to share with you my new Colette Patterns Wren dress. I’m really pleased with it after the alterations I made. The fabric is a gorgeous and light viscose knit that feels like it’s floating on your skin. In order to get a perfect fit I read and re-read Thimberlina’s detailed description of her alterations.┬áThank goodness for other bloggers doing the hard yards! I mocked up a bodice and found that not only was it too short, but there was not enough coverage across the wrap, so I lengthened the whole bodice by 1″ and extended the front wrap panels by 1/2″ at the top, grading out to 1″ at the bottom which resulted in a much more substantial overlap. It worked! To stabilize the neckline I added clear plastic tape around the whole of the front and around the neck. This has given me much needed bust-security and so far there hasn’t been so much as a flash of bra!

My final tweak was to swap out the original skirt for version B. I thought it looked a bit full for my taste, so added a Moneta skirt instead. What do you think?