Finished object, Me-made, Sewing

And suddenly, it’s spring!

No, I’m not quite sure how that happened either. The last few weeks I’ve been having fun with a little secret project involving a large amount of luscious silk (I’ll post as soon as I have the photos), working too much and cutting most of my hair off. But Spring is here – you can smell the jasmine on the wind everywhere.

Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity - July 2014

This project is such a long time in the making: I started this dress to wear for my brother’s wedding. Well, that was over 2 years ago, and this sat unfinished, only needing a hem and a zip for all that time. No idea why. A couple of months back in a fit of tidying fervour I picked it up again and finally finished it in about an hour. One of those cases when you have no idea why you put it off for so long.

Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity - July 2014

This is Simplicity 1873, A Cynthia Rowley pattern, which has a really cool irregular pleat thing happening in the skirt, and flattering bodice. I made view C, without the waist tabs and I think it is super cute.

Of course, the fabric is a large part of the appeal. This is a Nani Iro print from a couple of years back, and it is just amazing to sew with. It just glides through your sewing machine and presses beautifully, and the designs are glorious. This is the cotton/linen blend (from memory) and I have to admit I went out and bought another couple of metres right after I cut this out because I couldn’t bear not having it my stash!

Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity - July 2014

To make up for the beautiful outer I decided to even it out by lining the bodice in the more horrifically slippery and terrible fabric ever – I think it was cupro and it frayed like the proverbial and warped all over the place. When I finally picked this up again to finish I had to undo all the darts in it to get it to fit inside the bodice. No idea why. Possibly burying it in piles of stuff for 2 years doesn’t do good things for retaining an accurate shape?

Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity - July 2014

Because I did the bulk of sewing such a long time ago, I’m not sure i can accurately give much comment on the pattern, but here’s the best I can do:

Pros: This is a really cute design and the pleats give it a nice point of difference from your standard fit and flare dress.
Cons: The skirt is really long when you are putting it together, and the pleating can be really quite confusing if you haven’t marked it properly (including the direction you are folding it).

I didn’t do any fit adjustments at all and I’m happy with how it all sits. It is a little short but I am caring less and less about that as I get older. I’ve got another of these cut out already – and this time I hope it won’t take me so long to finish it!

Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity - July 2014

The details:

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Finished object, Me-made, Sewing

Hudson fever

How good are comfy pants? Comfy  pants made of stretchy, warm merino? (Answer: so good)

Enter: Hudson Pants…

Hudson Pants - July 2014

I’ve been wearing these a lot. I look forward to getting home so I can put them on. I am not really okay with wearing pants like this out of the house (any elastic waist pants make me feel slightly kid-like) but these are way more stylish and really comfortable. I won’t lie, I’ve been wearing these as pyjamas every single night (a really good thing if, like me, you apparently try and run marathons in your sleep).

Hudson Pants - July 2014

So, the details: I made these in a size 6 to start (for my second and third pair I shaved a wee bit off the waist as they felt a little big) but the sizing seems pretty accurate. The instructions were good – clear and concise, with step by step illustrations, and I think this would be a pretty good project for people starting to sew with knits. The PDF pattern lined up nicely which is actually fairly rare I find (I don’t think paper warpage or not having the correct settings explains a lot of the inaccuracies I see in pdf patterns – and granted, yes maybe this seems like an easily fixed issue to me who has access to all the nice design programs, but still…). I like the fit of the legs – not too baggy (which is the reason I picked these over the Papercut Animas) and I think they look pretty good. As a bonus, they don’t use up much fabric – I got these out of just less than a metre of fabric.

Hudson Pants - July 2014

Your height will make a difference to how they sit – I think they are drafted for someone around 5’5″ and I’m around 5’6″ which means they are more close fitting than if you were shorter. Lovely Lizzie’s post about her version (same fabric, from the same fabric store trip: Hudson twinsies!) gives you an idea of how the fit changes if you are a different height.

So far, you might have noticed I’ve mentioned 3 pairs of pants, but I’ve only shown you two…

Well, this is also a cautionary tale: a tale of ignoring the recommendations and not really thinking things through. May I present to you my third pair of Hudsons, or, the most expensive and ugly pair of pyjamas ever.

Hudson Pants - July 2014

It is amazing how much better they look in photos. ‘They’re… interesting’ is the general theme of the comments I’ve received when wearing them, which I’m not taking as a good sign.

Let’s go through all the reasons these pants were a bad idea:

  1. Making decisions when I had the flu
  2. Making decisions about very expensive fabric when I had the flu
  3. Neglecting to take account of the qualities of said fabric when I had the flu
  4. Ignoring husband’s funny looks while telling him about the decisions I had made while I had the flu
  5. Persisting long past the point where I knew I was Doing The Wrong Thing (while I had the flu)
  6. Getting out of bed while I had the flu

I bought this amazingly soft and lovely (and $$$$) Liberty cotton fleece (yes, I know, and yes it is a real thing) last year with grand intentions: an awesome bomber jacket, or moto jacket or maybe even both. I had done that thing where I had just uncovered it in my stash and wanted to do something with it RIGHT NOW but trying to work out a new pattern wasn’t really appealing when I was feeling so blurghy so I thought: ‘Excellent! More Hudsons! I love Hudsons!’. Which would have been fine if a) I liked wearing floral patterned pants (I don’t) and b) there was any actual stretchiness in the fleece (there isn’t).

Cue epic fail. I had to hack off the ankle cuffs and replace them with black merino because I couldn’t get them over my feet, and the knees will bag out at the slightest provocation. I had to retro-fit black merino detailing on the pockets after the legs were sewn up so the cuffs didn’t look out of place, and I did a really dodgy job of the elastic. Basically I did that thing that I think a lot of sewists do on occasion: persist halfheartedly because ‘maybe they’ll turn out great in the end’.

Nope.

But… all is not lost. They are INSANELY warm and they are on their way to my sister who may possibly appreciate their epic craziness. And I still have enough fabric left (I hope) to make an awesome jacket.

The moral of this story? The Hudson Pants are great. But don’t try and make them when sick. Stick to watching Jane Austen movies and eating junk food instead.

The details:

And: bonus thoughts that have nothing to do with Hudson Pants…

I’m feeling a little weird about blogging at the moment. I do love being part of the blogging community and the people I’ve met through sewing blogs. But the other day I discovered one particular website/forum (I’m guessing a lot of you would know the one I mean, and if you don’t I don’t want to be driving traffic there if I can) which brought home the risk you take when you put yourself out there. I found it really unnerving. One the one hand, I don’t think blogging should be exempt from mockery (very #firstworldproblems), and I certainly think that some blogs can be bad for your mental health in the same way that glamour mags are, and I am very aware that ‘being nice’ is often just a method used to silence people, especially women. But there’s a line where I feel like the boundary between criticism/discussion* blurs to nastiness and a lot of what I read felt that it went to a darker place. I don’t know what the answer is, but it was kinda eye-opening and I don’t know how I feel about it. So: weird.

*I really do think that the current discussion and debate going on in the sewing blogosphere is really important (the whole pattern testing/disclosure issue that has been talked about ad nauseum over the last couple of months – if you’ve had enough feel free to skip this). My 2 cents: I work in marketing, and I see the sort of ‘blog exposure’ that is starting to be sold as a form of advertising there. So I feel like blogging in general is finally having to come to terms with issues about transparency and disclosure – no longer can we think of blogs as having no impact when they are actually used by people to make purchasing decisions. I do feel like openness is going to be really important to maintain blogging’s integrity – and if that means people should be declaring when they’ve received things for free (like patterns to test, or free fabric or whatever), or have a relationship to a business I am 100% behind it. (I also think that if you are running a business then you should be paying your pattern testers, in the same way you pay your accountant because skills should be valued, but that’s a whole other [endless] discussion.)

Okay, I’ll shut up now.

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Finished object, Me-made, Sewing

I ate’nt dead*

Oops. Once again, I didn’t mean to disappear! A busy schedule has meant that my photographer has been otherwise occupied on the weekends, not to mention that it seems my camera battery is not long for this world.  A remote and a new battery are definitely on my to-do list! (These photos are a mix of DSLR and iPhone, so apologies in advance for the mismatched colour and quality!)

Robson Coat - July 2014

But enough excuses… This coat has been in progress for such a long time. I went out and got the Robson Coat pattern as soon as it was released, started it with the best of intentions and then promptly ran out of winter. It has sat in the UFO pile (along with a lot of other things) giving me the side eye ever since, until Brisbane finally decided it might try this winter thing out again a few weeks ago.

And yes, everyone who likes to tell me that winter in Brisbane is not really winter, I know. This sub-tropical weakling can’t cope when the mercury drops below 20C, but in my defence, yesterday morning was the coldest it has been in Brisbane for 103 years. There was almost frost and everything :P

Robson Coat - July 2014

I went a bit rogue on this pattern really. Size-wise, I went with a 6 at the bust blending through to a 0 at the waist and hips, partly because I am not the pear-shaped person this pattern is designed for, and also because I wanted this to be reasonably fitted. I made it shorter, because I don’t really need a long coat, and after reading a few reviews I also moved up the pockets a little. I’d move them up even further next time I make it as they still feel a little low to me (and I am planning quite a few more of this pattern because… well, I like coats. A lot.) I swapped out the tie belt for a buckle belt as well, as I think they look smarter.

Robson Coat - July 2014

Another major change I made was to ignore the fabric recommendations: I went with a medium/heavy wool coating which is lovely and SUPER warm, but did mean I had to hand wheel the entire topstitched section along the collar because my machine was not having a bar of it. Despite its bulk, the coating was far too drapey for this pattern as well, which I didn’t realise until I had sewed the body together, so I had to retrofit in a whole lot of interfacing to get it to sit right (I forgot to do the storm flaps, which is why they are flopping all over the place in these photos). As you can imagine, this made the inside a red-hot mess so I decided that I would have to line it.

Robson Coat - July 2014

I am so happy with the look of the lining though – silk is always nice and luxurious and it is a nice pop of colour on the inside. After talking to other people who made this as well I’m quite happy that I didn’t have to sew in 50 thousand miles of binding! If I lined again I would add in some extra room in the lining for the sleeves, because (at least in this make) there is a lot of strain at the elbows and it is definitely damaging the fabric there.

Robson Coat - July 2014

One small problem I haven’t solved yet is finding some matching buttons for the shoulder tabs – I was one short (so frustrating!) and I really, really wanted to use these buttons (lion heads!). I’ve been hunting through etsy and ebay without luck so far, and given I got them off the sale table I don’t think I can get any more from where I bought them. The shoulder tabs are hidden under the collar so I’m not super worried about it but it would be nice to finish it properly. For the moment it can be our little secret.

Robson Coat - July 2014

One thing I do want to point out to anyone who wants to make this coat – buy LOTS of thread. More than you think. The combination of triple stitch and so much topstitching (and honestly, unpicking) meant I finished this with 6cm to spare (I think I had about 4 rolls, so 1000m). The backs of the buttonholes are done in black because I had nothing left (the buttonholes are a mess anyway, my machine was really over the layers and just massacred them). There is nothing quite as stressful as watching your thread run down and doing all those mental calculations as to whether you’re going to make it.

But it is a lovely coat, and the pattern is great. I’ve always been happy with the quality of Sewaholic patterns and the instructions and this is no exception. Tasia has a way of stepping you through quite involved makes so it all feels easy. The finished result looks smart and I have been wearing it a lot. I’ll certainly be making this again soon (in the Orla Kiely waterproof fabric I got the other day perhaps…)

Bonus photos: looks good with jeans too.

Robson Coat - July 2014

The details:

* Granny Weatherwax is my guide in all things, and I thought it was fitting to have a Pratchett reference as a footnote.

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Finished object, Me-made, Sewing

Jaywalkin’

So, I’m not one for competitions. They tend to stress me out, and that’s the exact opposite of what I want or need in a hobby. So when I read about Tessuti Fabric’s Jaywalk competition, I thought that it was a good opportunity to get some fabric I had been eyeing off super cheap and that I wouldn’t necessarily worry about entering. I got some in both colour ways and figured I could use the light version to make up a Moneta dress, and the black looked like a perfect fabric to knock off this dress that I pinned an age ago. No stress. Just simple, wearable sewing.

Long story short: one Sunday afternoon later I had my super cute little stripey dress. Me Made May taught me that I love wearing knit dresses on the weekend and I needed some more: job done. A few days later I was telling The Mister about all the cool things that had been entered into the comp so far and how my dress was far too simple for competitions. His response: “screw it, just do it, because what’s to lose?”. At this point I may have mentioned something about my derpy photos and the internet, but sometimes my husband is more stubborn than me, and so a competition entry it is.

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

So here it is. Let’s call it my hidden pocket knit dress. Can you see them?

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

And there they are.

This make is a mash up between my Renfrew tee dress, with the pocket structure from Vogue 1247 (which I sure as hell am getting my money’s worth from). I spent an inordinate amount of time making sure the pockets were properly hidden in the black stripe and I’m pretty happy with the result. To stop them flipping about I lined the front with some swimsuit lining and also added in some fusible interfacing along the tops to keep them from sagging down. In wearing it so far that has worked to keep them where they are supposed to be. Once the pockets were in, the whole thing could just be sewn up like a t-shirt, and I did my normal method which is basically as per the Renfrew instructions (I think the double handling of machining than overlocking means it is all super durable and I like my clothes to last).

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

No head in this picture because apparently a recipe for looking very unhappy is to eat a giant pasta lunch and then try and suck in your food belly for photos. Eh, pasta is SO WORTH IT.

BUT I am pretty happy with my stripe matching down the sides, it took a bit of wrangling (and unpicking a lot of lightning stitch) but I got there in the end with only a few stripes out by a tiny bit. In the spirit of stress-free sewing, I’ve decided I don’t care because unless you are sitting there obsessively checking my side seams it is not noticeable, and fifty-thousand times better than what I could buy in a shop.

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

The dress still felt like it needed a little something something, so I added in a fake button placket (?) on the shoulders, and I think it turned out pretty cute. Expect to see this detail on some t-shirts very soon.

Don’t think I can add much more to this: stripey dresses are pretty much always a good thing in my books. But it feels good to get something off my Pinterest to do list (only 600+ things to go!) – how many of you find Pinterest to be both a blessing and a curse?

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

Outfit details:

  • Dress mash up of the Sewaholic Renfrew and Vogue 1247
  • Fabric: Jaywalk in Black/Natural from Tessuti, swimsuit lining from stash (i.e., no idea)
  • Buttons from Spotlight
  • Voodoo wool tights
  • Jane Debster boots
  • Lean courtesy of sloping driveway
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Blogs

A very late Liebster

Liebster Award

 

I am so late with this but the lovely Emily from Dressing the Role nominated me for a Liebster Award last month. Don’t let my tardiness be mistaken for apathy – I’m dead chuffed (I hope that means the same thing other places than Australia…). You may have seen this award around the blogosphere – it is a really nice way to recognise smaller blogs (less than 200 followers) and find some new-to-you blogs to read (ALWAYS a great thing as far as I’m concerned), as well as find out a bit about fellow sewists. I’ve been given 11 questions to answer, and then I put together my own Q&A for 11 other bloggers that I’ll pass the award on to.

First up: the questions!


1. When did you start sewing?

I don’t remember exactly when I first started sewing, but when I was a little kid in primary school (maybe age 10?) I sewed soft toys for my friends, and I did a little in high school as well as part of our home ec classes. I dipped in and out of sewing after that, made a couple of things for weddings or my sister’s formal (prom) dress (can’t believe she let me do that!), but only seriously took up sewing again 5 years ago. And since then, I’ve been sewing with a vengeance!

2. What is your favorite pattern?

If my Me-Made-May is accurate, I think it must be the Sewaholic Renfrew – I must have made this about 30 times.  But I’m guessing I’m not alone here, but my favourite pattern is always the next one I’m going to make!

3. Do you have your own sewing space?

I have hijacked a section of our living room for my sewing space (I do have a study where I was supposed to set up, but I got creeped out sitting up there by myself) which means I can have company as I sew, or I can watch TV or DVDs. Of course, my fabric stash has started breeding and encroaching out of this space onto lounge chairs and tables, and my poor husband hasn’t seen the top of the dining table for 6 months. Someone tell me this is normal!

4. Do you do other types of crafting (knitting, crocheting, card making, etc)?

I like to dabble in lots of crafty pursuits: I do a bit of painting and illustrating and hopefully soon some screen printing (doing a course, woooo!). I’m also the world’s slowest knitter. Like 30cm of scarf after 2 years slow.

5. How do you balance sewing with work and family?

I work long hours a lot of the time which does curtail greatly on sewing time, as well as drain my energy levels (but does pay for fabric, and my house I suppose :P) but I’m lucky to have a pretty undemanding husband and furry children. The Mister is quite happy to indulge his gaming hobby as much as I will let him get away with, which means he is pretty tolerant of sewing dominating my time, and we can both pretend to ignore the messy house.

6. What are some of your sewing strengths?

I’m going to go with two answers here – firstly being a bit of perfectionist means I will unpick and unpick until I get something right (with much swearing however) and secondly, my stubbornness means I will often bite off more than I can chew. I feel that constantly challenging yourself is the best way to become better at whatever it is that you want to do.

7. What are some of your sewing goals – new skills, different patterns, etc?

I want to keep trying to challenge myself, so I think that some of the next things I want to tackle are pattern drafting and also a really elaborate boned dress. Also, jeans, and making a pair that fit as nicely as bought ones.

8. Do you tend to sew with a plan, or do you wait until inspiration hits you and run with it?

I keep lots and lots of lists, especially now Pinterest is around, because there is just so much inspiration and I want to make everything all at once. My theory is, that if I can’t work out what to do I just have to pick something off the list. But saying that, I usually get struck by something and just go with it.

9. How often do you sew, and for how long?

I will get withdrawal pangs if I don’t get to touch my sewing machine for more than a week, but I at least try to get a couple of hours over a few week nights, and an afternoon (4-5 hours) on the weekend if I can get it. But like most things, it is often feast or famine – I spent last Sunday sewing, but it was the first time in weeks.

10. What project are you the most proud of?

Always the next one! But I am proud that I just made jeans (soon to be blogged, I promise). I’d been putting it off because I thought it would be too hard, but it wasn’t actually that bad (thank goodness for Grainline’s fly tutorials!). Hopefully soon I can perfect them and get them fitting right.

11. What project are you least happy with?

I am always unhappy if I cut too many corners or do a lazy job on something. If I know I can do better, I will be upset at myself.


And now for the funnest bit – nominating some new blogs. Now, with this, I had no idea how to find out how many followers a blog has, so I have gone for some great new-to-me blogs that I’ve discovered in the last few months. I feel bad because I am the world’s worst commenter, so this is a great chance to let people know that I read and appreciate their posts. There won’t be 11 though, because I am feeling rebellious against arbitrary numbers…

First up: Trial and Erika, who hasn’t been blogging for a long time but has super awesome style and a great writing voice.

Zoe Livana Handmade: another lady with awesome style. Check out this awesome Belladone!

A Handmade Wardrobe: Chantal makes some *beautiful* things, and also has made shoes! Shoes! I’m so impressed.

Sweet Alchemy: I am jealous of people who can knit as well as sew, what can I say? :) So many lovely sweaters!

Seems Right to Me: Look at this coat. Need I say more?

And last, but certainly not least, Lady Stitcher. So many patterns have moved up my sewing list because of her great bold colourful styling, and also: fox skirt. Foxes are awesome.

Okay, here are your questions!

1. What’s your earliest sewing memory?

2. Where do you get your sewing inspiration from?

3. What do you watch/listen to while you sew?

4. Do you snack and sew?

5. What’s the latest you’ve stayed up just to finish a sewing project (or what other crazy sewing deadline have you had)? Just one more hem….

6. An important one: cat or dog? (Or, if you are feeling rebellious: tortoise, or snail, or moose…)

7. What’s the make you’re most proud of?

8. Sewing for others – yes or no?

9. Pattern first, or fabric?

10. How do you get yourself out of a sewing rut?

11. If you could sew one thing, where money, skill and time were not limited, what would it be?

The End!

(Thanks so much again for the nomination Emily!)

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Finished object, Me-made, Sewing

A feathery Meissa

Perhaps there is some sort of sewing collective consciousness? How else to explain that the lovely Amy from Sew Amy Sew beat me to posting her fantastic Liberty Meissa blouse by just a few days? I feel like such a copycat now, but as the weekend was full of Mother’s Day celebrations and Eurovision (magnificent Conchita!) I haven’t had a chance to photograph anything else. Such is life and all that.

Feather Meissa – Apr 2014

What to say? This was one of those impulse sewing things – I had a hankering to make a shirt and I wasn’t sure this feathery Liberty print was quite suited to a Grainline Archer. I’m not entirely comfortable wearing large scale prints like this, and I thought the extra detailing in Papercut’s Meissa blouse might help stop it from wearing me (as opposed to the other way around), and besides, I was feeling bad that I hadn’t sewn up anything by Papercut yet.

Feather Meissa – Apr 2014

To help moderate the print even more, I took inspiration from something I have been itching to do since I saw something similar on my husband’s shirts (which I was reminded of because of Lauren’s equally lovely version), and used grosgrain ribbon as a detail behind the buttons and in the cuffs. I would have run it around the inside of the collar stand as well except I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to wrangle the curve at the end. I also topstitched in navy but you can’t really see it at all (oh well).

I made an XS and I’m pretty happy with the fit. As others who’ve made it attest, it has a special type of sleeve placket situation happening that makes it virtually impossible to scrunch up the sleeves, and given I will never wear a shirt without scrunched sleeves, I added in a placket as per the Grainline Archer (I would’ve attempted a tower placket for the first time, but I had barely any scraps left after over-enthusiastically cutting out a Datura from the remains of the fabric). I would recommend doing this BEFORE you set in the sleeves, because if you forget (*ahem*) then it is a massive pain. Massive. And yeah, you have to remember that this will change the size of your cuffs as well. Ask me how I know all this? Let’s just say fixing the sleeves was somewhat of a scramble and involved cursing and sulking.

If I did make it again in another similar fabric (and I take this small moment to attest to how lovely to sew with Liberty is, each and every time) I would make a few changes to the way the gathering sits – as drafted, the gathering I feel starts a little too close to the underarms, so it can look a little funny in fabric that has this kind of ‘body’. It would be an easy fix, just to compact the area the gathering occurs in. In a slinkier fabric, I think you would not have the same problem (and it would look fantastic).

Feather Meissa – Apr 2014

While I’m pretty happy with the look of the final shirt, and I will be making another Meissa, I’m not 100% sold on how well this version fits into my wardrobe. This could just be that the shirt looks too summery for me to judge properly while I get deeper into my winter black and grey fest, so I’m going to put it away for 6 months and see how I feel at the end.

Details:

And… I haven’t forgotten the Liebster either – I will respond very soon I promise – just want to give it the attention it deserves!

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Finished object, Me-made, Sewing

An ode to black

I wonder if you’ll indulge me in a little rant here?

I read a post the other day talking about someone’s experience at one of the big US sewing conference things, where a speaker gave advice along the lines that black should never be worn at all by anybody.

What the?

Quite apart from the fact that I think there is no call for anyone to tell anyone else how they should dress – DRESS HOWEVER YOU LIKE PEOPLE (I call this the Tilda Swinton principle, because, well, Tilda Swinton is THE BOSS) – black is fantastic. It can be dramatic or fade into the background. It is versatile. It goes with pretty much everything. It makes other colours pop. If you have an office tan like me it is the difference between ‘porcelain’ and ‘pasty’. Black is the best. Besides, I’m a designer by day therefore wearing black is practically mandatory.

Maybe this waxing lyrical is all a little overkill, but honestly, life is too short to have people arbitrarily blanket statement out an entire colour. Rules, schmules. If you like black, wear it. If you don’t, then don’t. </rant>

Black Renreau – Apr 2014

In case you hadn’t guessed, I like black. I am gleefully planning a mostly monochrome winter wardrobe as we speak. This dress is one of the first items from that plan. I have been in desperate need of some comfy-yet-pulled-together items and a knit dress seemed to fit the bill perfectly. You are spoilt for choice for knit dresses these days (the Lady Skater or Colette’s new Moneta amongst many examples*) but being too lazy to paste together PDF pages I went with a mashup of my tried and true Sewaholic Renfrew, the neckline of the Plantain and the gathered skirt from Deer & Doe’s Sureau dress. I can’t take credit for this combination – Deer & Doe’s Eléonore made a similar thing here and she and I seem to have the same issue whereby an a-line skirt on a knit dress isn’t quite flattering.

Black Renreau – Apr 2014

This is a pretty easy thing to put together if you are comfortable with knits. I used a quite solid merino (with a touch of elastane), almost a double knit I’d say, which was super easy to handle, and is nicely warm. To make the skirt section have more body I added around 20cm of width, and I gathered it on some elastic to keep the weight off the top. I use Sewaholic’s method of treating knits like wovens, in that I always sew my seams twice, first with the sewing machine and then the overlocker, because I’ve found it makes things last longer and helps with keeping everything lined up. This takes a little longer, but with practice I find that I can make something like this in an hour and a half. I don’t even bother with a twin needle hem, because my stretch stitch is small enough that it looks fine as a finish (also, I am lazy).

Black Renreau – Apr 2014

I love this dress. I’ve already made up another variation just because it feels like otherwise I’ll wear it out too quickly. Can we have three cheers for lovely dresses that feel like pajamas?

Outfit details:

(*There are so many very, very similar versions out there. I am actually quite surprised that so many companies are bringing out what is essentially the same dress but all power to them. I should note I have bought the Lady Skater and the Moneta for no apparent reason other than, quite frankly, that I’m a sucker for new product. I’m sure they will be lovely when I make them but I really didn’t need either of them because I could just make the same thing with what I already own. But anyway, I do like supporting indie designers so…)

While I’m here, a little housekeeping…

It’s that time of year again: Me Made May. I’ve always watched with interest over the last few years but have never taken part before. But this year, I think it is time to take the plunge! Realistically I think the best way to handle it is to do a couple of round up posts so I’m not bombarding people, and I’ll probably Instagram my outfit every day.

I do wear something I have made most days, so in that sense it isn’t as much of a challenge as is intended, but the challenge for me will be a)taking photos and b)finding out what it is that I actually wear, and what I don’t, and why. It will actually be really interesting to record this data and I’m hoping that it will give me a clearer picture of what I actually need in a wardrobe.

So, without further ado:
I, Amy of What Miss Amy Did Next, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear one me made item each day for the duration of May 2014.

Also, The lovely Emily of Dressing the Role has nominated me for a Liebster Award (I’m so excited!). I think I will save that for another post as this one is pretty long now, but I’m looking forward to answering the questions. Thanks so much Emily!

I think that’s enough blabbering for one day! Off to watch Orphan Black

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