Thursday, 30 April 2015


Incredibly it is the last day of April, therefore tomorrow is the 1st of May and another MeMadeMay challenge.  It seems to have come up rather suddenly this year for me, but I aim to take part and this is my pledge:

I, Jen of sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15.  I endeavour to wear me-made items each day for the duration of May.  My main task will be to decide on a capsule wardrobe for the summer months

Last year I shared my experience of my summer ten item wardrobe and in the autumn I extended that to the project 333, so I have a total of 33 items in a three month period.  I did this from September through to the present and it has been an amazing experience.  I have been amazed at how little you really need.  Whenever I started this journey of downsizing I couldn't believe that Courtney had so little (sometimes less than 33 items) but having been through it twice now, I totally get it.

I am still purging clothes and recently got rid of some of my very first makes.  I loved them at the time, they got great wear and now they are being sent to another place.  They were invaluable to me as they were my learning curve for sewing, so they have served their purpose.

To the charity shop, out with the old, in with the new!

Merchant and Mills dress shirt, said Bye Bye to. Made 3 years ago.

This one has also gone, might make a new one though.
So yea, lots of stuff has gone.  Styles change, we change, clothes get worn but that's ok.

So let's see what MeMadeMay brings forth.  If you would like to part you can sign up here.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Stretch stitch frustrations.

Unfortunately no finished articles for a while.  I've been working on the Thread theory pattern, the Camas blouse, but right at the final hurdle I made a faux pas.  Even though the pattern clearly stated you stitch the placket on in a certain way, I sewed it on the opposite way!  Grrr.

If you were to sew a placket on the wrong way, you would use the smallest possible stretch stitch on your sewing machine, wouldn't you?!  Let's just say, there has been some very slow, tedious seam ripping this week-end.  Will it ever turn into a Camas blouse, not sure at the moment.

I decided then that it was time to do a different kind of sowing.  We aim to be a little bit self-sufficient in our house and have had a few successful years of vegetable growing.  I couldn't do it without my man though, who does the hardcore stuff like digging, ground preparation and general lugging around.  Things are very late at starting this year, however, as said man had a rather nasty accident with a circular saw in the New Year.  Thankfully he is recovering - I then 'decided' to cut my finger with the sharpest knife in the house whilst opening a bag of oven chips (not advisable) plus I injured my shoulder (tendonitis - not related to the oven chip opening).

Anyway, things mightn't be quite as productive this year, but we're not going to beat ourselves up over it!

The remains of last seasons chard.

Salad sown in guttering.
Well, might a bit later than usual, but at least we've made a start.

Hopefully I'll have a finished garment next time! That's if my eyes haven't fallen out!

Friday, 3 April 2015

Spring colours & an Oakridge blouse.

There is a little hint that spring might actually be here, in that the daffodils and primroses are out, the gorse hedges are in full bloom (just in time for dyeing your boiled eggs for rolling down the hill), the clocks have gone forward an hour and there are little lambs in the nearby fields bleating their hearts out.

I reckon that's my cue for getting the brighter, lighter fabrics out of the stash and get cutting.  I have had some lovely rayon challis stashed from last year and I thought it was time to use it.  I had already used the butterfly one for my Cappuccino top in the autumn and it's lovely fabric, washes and wears well.

So this fabric is from the same Anna Maria Horner collection, Field Study and this one is Coordinates in Cyprus, a lovely turquoise and off-white combination.  The pattern I went for is the Sewaholic Oakridge blouse, I have been hankering after a pussy bow-type blouse, but couldn't decide which one to go for.  A lot of them are quite vintagey looking and I'm not into that look per se, so whenever the Oakridge pattern was released I really liked it.

There are two versions of this fitted blouse, one a collarless version and the other with a pussy bow collar, a button placket and a shaped hemline.  For me the trickiest part was really in the cutting out and the pattern matching.  I took great pains to get it right as with this pattern I thought it would be really obvious if it was wonky.

As with any of the Sewaholic patterns that I have tried, the instructions were great, there were no real tricky bits, I just took my time and with my new Janome sewing machine, I think I have got over my phobia of buttonholes.  I made the size 16 with no adjustments, but I think next time I would take it in to a 14 from the waist down as it's a bit baggy in the hips.  I also (thankfully) took 2 inches off the sleeve length and they just hit my wrist which is fine.  I think the overall length is fine too.

I am pleased with the way it has turned out, the fabric is really lovely to wear and I would love to try the collarless version too.  Happy Easter.