Friday, 31 May 2019

May in Review

Sewing wise, May was all about tops.  

I did end up finishing up a project, the flannel pajama top, I cut out approximately six months ago and then some items that have been on my want-to-make list.  Basic pieces, nothing fancy compared to other sewing blogs highlighting all the prom, formal and wedding wear this month.  My life is not that fancy.  

Me-Made-May 2019

Another year of Me-Made-May activities have come to an end.   I started the month with taking flat-lay photos and reflecting on my fabric choices.  And even though I stopped taking photos half way through, I made a few observations.  
  1. Taking me-made photos every day can get quite tiresome.  
  2. Especially if there are outfit changes.  
  3. Or coffee stains after getting dressed.  
  4. I prefer natural fabrics like wool, silk, cotton and linen.  
  5. Sometimes man-made fibres enter my wardrobe but they are not the fabrics that I find most comfortable or that they make me feel amazing wearing them.  Sadly, they creep into fabrics as blends.   
  6. It didn't feel like I was wearing newer makes.  
  7. I then realized that over the past year more than fifty percent of the garments I made were gifted to others.  
  8. My sewing behaviour has changed in that I seem to find mending more rewarding than I did in the past. 
  9. Say what?  
  10. Yup, I said it.  Perhaps, it's the realization that good quality fabrics are becoming harder to come by? 
  11. I kept my fabric shopping hobby addiction under control.  
  12. Could be that I haven't been able to find natural fibre fabrics that have sparked overwhelming joy?  
  13. Or that I can't get over the $50+ / metre price tag of 100% linen.  
  14. That's Canadian dollars.  
  15. Yikes!   
In the end, Me-Made-May emphasized that I wear me-made items everyday in some form or another and that at least 50% of my clothing choices fall under this category. 

What's Next?  

I'm thinking about stitching up some shirtdresses.  

And this vintage Betty Jackson shirtdress came into the collection as well.  

First, I need to get this project done.  It's all cut out and ready to sew.  

I still haven't got around to sewing a pair of jeans that I've been talking about sewing.  I don't see that happening this month.  Instead, I have plans for more gift sewing and I would really like to sew a sleeve cover for my laptop.  It all seems so ambitious.  Time will tell how much I actually get done.  How about you, any upcoming sewing plans?  

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 24 May 2019


I cut out the pattern for this flannel pajama shirt the same time that I cut out this project. Nearly six months later, I present the remaining piece to this set.  

Just in time for the upcoming air-conditioner season.  Butterick 6296 is a pattern I've sewn before.

And it is an exact copy. I made sure to add the deep back neck facing that was featured in a Vogue article by Kathryn Brenne. It's one of my favourite features of this pajama top. That and the plaid wearing moose print. I think this print is just adorable. I couldn't wait to put them on, I'm wearing them now.  

The Stats

Fabric:  2 metres 

Interfacing:  1 metre

Buttons:  4 - 5/8" vintage suit buttons

PatternButterick 6296

Additional Supplies and Tools:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, thread clippers, pin cushions, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, regular sewing machine foot, sewing machine, threads, screwdriver, seam ripper, and a chai tea latte.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Day 13 & 14: Me-Made-May '19

It's not even half way through Me-Made-May and yesterday I was willing to give up on the flat-lay photo aspect of this challenge. Some days are busy and it's just grab a pair of black pants (OOP Vogue 1325) and a t-shirt (OOP Vogue 1306). It doesn't make for a scenic flat-lay photo even if I had the time.

Day 13's Me-Made count:  57% me-made, 4 garments out of seven.

Today's outfit is a little more colourful.  And the daily count will look more like this:  67% me-made, 4 garments out of six.    

And something different.

I made this dress almost two years ago. It is made in 100% silk fabric that I found in the home décor department at my local fabric store. I'm been caring for it in the washing machine and it has held up well. The pattern is Tessuti's Eva dress and I love that it's easy to wear (pullover) and it has pockets. I've made a few versions of this dress but right now there are only two copies in my closet.

This one only comes out in the spring, not so much because of the colour. I have no problem wearing yellow in the winter. It's just not the most appropriate cold weather item.  

In my humble opinion, this is the perfect spring time dress.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Day 12: Me-Made-May '19

First up, I was able to finish a mending project today and add my wool and cashmere pants (OOP Vogue 1325) back into the wardrobe. It had a broken zipper, but no more.  

There was a quote that appeared in Sew News a couple months earlier that resonates with me, 
[r]epairing doesn't mean we can't afford to buy something new; it means we can't afford something being thrown away. ~ Fashion Revolution
This quote reminded me of a young person noticed that I had mended an item I was wearing and asked if I couldn't afford new clothes. It was heartbreaking that it would be a question asked as it signaled how fast and disposable clothing has been normalized in such a young mind. Needless to say, I'm proud of rescued items and I did something against fast fashion. And I'm sure these pants will show up in future me-made posts for years to come. 

Talking about Me-Made-May. Today's count was 40% or four out of ten items.  

I wore this shirt, McCall's 7904, for the first time today. The navy skirt, OOP Vogue 1247 was previously blogged about for Me-Made-May '19 here. Other me-made items consisted of sleepwear, Butterick 6296 and Vogue 9217.  The rest of my garments were ready-to-wear items.   

Happy Sewing (and mending)!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Day 11: Me-Made-May '19

It's hard to believe that we're already at day 11. I'm losing steam when it comes to photographing and examining what I've been wearing. Today was a housework and yard work kind of day. Nothing too exciting to write about. I just wore mostly repeat items.  

Instead, I was thinking about my pledge.  
I endeavour to wear my me-made wardrobe, stop buying fabric, sew from my stash and be mindful that sustainable fashion is enjoying what is in my closet.  Oh, one more thing: embrace the art of mending the previously loved items that are waiting to be put back into wardrobe rotation during May 2019.

The "embrace the art of mending" part of this month has been the most difficult part of this challenge. But I have to admit that well-made clothes that fit don't go out of style. And that is how I feel about these pants. They are just shy of six years old but you wouldn't know it by looking at the fabric. The wool cashmere blend has held up over these years and through a lot of wear.  It was a broken zipper that brought these to the mending pile months ago. And I'm finally getting around to them and only because I made it part of my Me-Made-May pledge. I'm glad I did, it will be nice to have these as an option once again. I hope to have this mending project done by the end of the weekend.  

Happy Sewing!

Friday, 10 May 2019

McCall's 6548: Hockey Shirt

Fabricland came out with a line of NHL hockey fabrics in the recent months and well since I live in a town crazy for the sport is it any surprise that I would actually jump in?  

Fabricland offers flannel, quilting cottons and fleece with various NHL logos printed on them and I opted for a small length of the quilting cotton. At this price, a pair of flannel pajamas are out of the question (Fabricland's membership discounts do not apply to these fabrics). But I did think the fabric is too much fun not to make a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special. I made this with McCall's 6548 and love in my heart.  

The Fabric

In addition to the details above, this fabric had a high percentage of shrinkage. Seriously. I certainly didn't expect the amount that occurred. I feared that there wouldn't be enough in the cut and that I would have to find a contrast fabric for the sleeves. It took some time to figure out a suitable pattern placement to get the pattern pieces to fit. And there was a print direction to work around.  I'm happy with how the lines match up at the centre front and I wish there was enough room to place the pieces to allow for side seam matching as well. But overall, I'm just pleased I was able to get this all cut out. Something to keep in mind if you plan to pick up this fabric.  

The fabric was pretreated with a machine wash and tumble through the dryer. Then it was steamed pressed. I'm really hoping [fingers crossed] that all the shrinkage is done because I'm really happy with how this turned out.  

The Pattern

I usually check Pattern Review and online to see if others have made a new-to-me pattern before I start a project and many reviews noted that the tops were on the short side. With this information, I added an additional inch to the length. Better safe that sorry, besides I could always shorten it.

McCall's 6548 is an easy make, I made most of it in an evening. This is a perfect project for beginners. I really like that the facing is attached to the front.  It makes for quick sewing. Also like the flat method used for the sleeve but didn't understand why they suggest basting before sewing. It really is an unnecessary step as the pattern pieces are well drafted and fit together easily without fussing with cap ease. Instead of the self facing method listed for finishing the collar, I finished the edge by trimming, serging and sewing seam binding in place. 

The Stats

Fabric:  0.7 metres 

Buttons:  5 - 7/16" vintage Countess buttons

PatternMcCall's 6548

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, tailor's chalk, scissors, measuring gauge, measuring tape, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, seam ripper, screwdriver, iron, ironing board, tailor's block, buttonhole cutter, clapper, hand sewing needle, serger, threads, and pin cushion.  

Happy Sewing!  

Day 10: Me-Made-May '19

If I could have stayed in my pajamas all day, I would.  I didn't get a good flat-lay photo of today's wears. So here's a quick recap, 57% me-made, 4 out of 7 items.  

Another raw silk top, McCall's 7630, this one in yellow. I really like that this is made out of a natural fibre and it's a really comfortable fabric to wear. 

Today for some reason it was feeling a bit too short. Maybe I wasn't feeling my most fit and just wanted something with more coverage.  Like pajamas.  

The wool skirt, Vogue 1567, provided more coverage and I would have felt comfortable in it if it weren't for the static cling that was going on. It's the first time wearing this skirt that I wish I had a slip.  

Yup some days you just wish you could stay in your pajamas.  That about sums up day 10.  

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Day 9: Me-Made-May '19

Fifty-six percent me-made items were worn today (5 out of 9).  

The skirt was recently modified from it's original state as a dress (Burda Style 6321). Sometimes sewing projects don't work out as expected. I really like the fabric and wanted to try to save it. It's a cotton sateen with a bit of stretch.  And the colour just makes me so happy.  Frank is right about orange. And today was a day that I really wanted some colour.  

This shirt (Vogue 1503) is one of my favourite makes. It's made out of a mystery fabric that was labelled as a wool at the fabric store but it doesn't wear like a wool. I'm not quite sure what it is really.  

Other me-made clothing worn today were knickers (Simplicity 8228), cork handbag (McCall's 7851), flannel pajama bottons (Vogue 9217) and t-shirt (OOP Vogue 9028).  And RTW items were a sweater and other undergarments

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Day 8: Me-Made-May '19

AaaaCHOO! It's a really bad allergy day.

Front wrap shirt dress, Simplicity 8687

And today I feel like a prisoner to my allergies, somehow stripes seem appropriate. It all started with whipping up allergens while cutting the grass. For that I wore a pair of RTW jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt, gardening gloves, undergarments and socks. Besides the dress (Simplicity 8687) there were me-made knickers and my nightgown to add to the daily count. That makes 33% me-made items or 3 out of 9 pieces.  


Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Hybrid Shirt: McCall's 7904

I've been on the hunt for a comfortable white shirt for quite some time. It's been challenging getting to this point because of my specific wants and needs for this item. Of course, fit is key and finding a shirt pattern that fits has been almost as difficult as fitting pants. When you're short petite there is always some adjustments to be made.

My "perfect shirt" criteria
  1.  It must have a collar band and collar.
  2.  Sleeve placket and pleats.  No gathers at the cuff.  
  3.  A long sleeve that fits my petite arms without having to push or roll them up.  
  4.  No cheaping out on the quantity of buttons.  
  5.  No dropped shoulders.
  6.  No chest pockets.
  7.  No pulling across the mid-section and hip area while still fitting in the bust.  
  8.  Made out of white cotton or linen fabric.  
And I now have my perfect shirt.  

The Pattern(s)

I found McCall's 7904 to be an intriguing option with the loose-fitting description and I did like that it offered hemline variations. I was, however, looking for a pattern for a basic white shirt that would provide enough ease around my mid-section so I didn't play around with one of the asymmetrical hemlines this time around. I also liked the tissue fitting method advertised on the pattern envelope. This is a great pattern for anyone who may need pattern adjustments before cutting out their fashion fabric. There are pattern markings to make a sway back adjustment, something that I've never seen on a commercial pattern before. It even has markings if you need to do broad shoulder or bust adjustments to the pattern. And I really enjoyed the pro tips offered in the instructions. Even though this pattern is rated average, I would recommend it for a beginner skill level since the instructions are thoughtfully written.  

Vogue 1503 sleeve pattern. 

I wasn't sold on the design of the sleeves though. I'm not a fan of a gathered sleeve into the cuff and after sewing Vogue 9329, I didn't want to sew another back sleeve seam detail. Instead, I swapped sleeve and cuff pattern pieces with Vogue 1503 and sewed a sleeve placket with sleeve pleats. So this is what makes it my hybrid shirt made using pattern pieces from McCall's 7904 and Vogue 1503.

The Fabric

This is a cotton fabric with some stretch and it was the last of the bolt found at Northwest Fabrics. The fabric was pretreated with a machine wash and tumble through the dryer. I don't think I will be putting the finished shirt in the dryer in the future though. I think I will just let it hang dry and give it a press. It handled pressing at the cotton setting without any issues.  

The Stats

Fabric:  2 metres 

Interfacing:  1.6 metres (fusible interfacing)

Buttons:  11 

PatternsMcCall's 7904 and Vogue 1503

Tools & Additional Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, thread clippers, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, buttonhole cutter, tailor's wax, serger, coverstitch needle, tweezers, screwdriver, hand sewing needle and tea.  

Happy Sewing!

Day 7: Me-Made-May '19

It finally feels like spring!  Break out the floral dress.

Today's statistics:  50% me-made, four out of eight items.

This floral print dress is made with Tessuti Pattern's Eva dress pattern and a 100% cotton fabric. It's been in the wardrobe for almost two years. And there is nothing to complain about here, it has been worn a lot and it has held up well. I don't even think it has made it to the mending pile yet.  

All of the other me-made items were previously mentioned in previous me-made posts. These include the cork handbag (McCall's 7851), cotton knit knickers (Simplicity 8229) and my nightgown (Butterick 5667).  Ready-to-wear items were other undergarments, cotton cardigan and a denim jacket. 

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 6 May 2019

Day 6: Me-Made-May '19

I refuse to wear a winter jacket even though the morning temperature dipped to zero. Yikes! Today's me-made fashions were based on the cold, refusing to put on a winter jacket and comfort.  

Sixty-seven percent (6 out of 9)of my clothing choices were made by me.  

The top, Simplicity 8529, and the long cardigan, Butterick 6495, are fairly recent makes. Both items were made in the recent months. This is a case of being inspired by the fabric. It originates from Spain, according to the label its fibre content consists of 78% cotton, 22% polyester and 8% spandex. 

Although, I am trying to stay away from man-made fibres I did pick this one up because I found it originally labelled as a cotton. It wasn't until I later came across the near empty bolt on another visit to the store that I found the full fibre content labelled in on the side of the cardboard. This is one thing that I wish fabric stores were more diligent on, providing accurate details. Sometimes you really don't know what you picking up.  
The skirt (OOP Butterick 5790) was worn on day one of Me-Made May. Other previously mentioned me-made items worn on day six of Me-Made-May include cotton undies (Simplicity 8229), and the pajama set (Butterick 6296 and Vogue 9217).  

 Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Day 5: Me-Made-May '19

It was a rough morning and my typical Sunday routine is throw out of the window. I'm dealing with a cold and staying indoors. But I did manage to get dressed.  

Seventy per cent (7 of 10 items) of today wardrobe choices were me-made.

It's hard to believe that this skirt, OOP Vogue 9060, will be five years old this fall. The pattern for this skirt is still available on the Vogue website in the out of print category so if you want to pick it up I would suggest doing so soon. I've also used this pattern to create dresses and I have to say it's been worth every penny.  

I made this skirt prior to my decision to move away from man-made fabrics. It was the textured floral design on the fabric that drew me in and I have to admit that it's one comfortable skirt. And it has held up well over the years. This skirt has been worn often and I haven't become tired of it. I don't foresee that happening anytime soon. 

This top, McCall's 7360, is a more recent addition.  It's less than a year old.  I haven't worn it a great deal mostly because it's more of a warm weather top with the mid-length sleeves and made out of raw silk. Plus that loose short hemline is not the best choice for those cold winter days when the wind tends to blow some chilliness into any openings in one's clothing.  

Raw silk does need care as it can be prone to damage. It is not a fabric that handles direct sunlight well and stains may be difficult to remove without damaging the fibres. Despites these risks, I made a pullover top that maybe a coffee drinker shouldn't be wearing.    

The reminder of the items worn today were me-made-knickers (Simplicity 8229), pajama set (Butterick 6296 and Vogue 9217) and my terry robe (OOP Simplicity 7417).  Ready-to-wear items were additional undergarments, socks, and a cardigan sweater.  

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Day 4: Me-Made-May '19

Gotta love Saturdays, those days you can dress in whatever makes you feel comfortable even if your sewing is not perfect. And wow, some of these items have been in the wardrobe for quite some time.  

Sixty percent of my clothes worn today were me-made. Six out of ten items were made by moi.  

Okay, would you believe that this shirt is, at least, twelve years old? It was made with OOP Vogue 2789, an Anne Klein design from 2004.  It's not my greatest sewing effort as there are some visible sewing mistakes. And it has gone through some transformation over the years as my body has changed shapes. Eight years ago, the pintucks were removed in hopes to provide more ease before defeat was admitted and side inserts were added. I didn't have fabric remnants so I used a contrasting black fabric. It's perfect for puttering around and getting housework done.  

The skirt is another item that has been in the wardrobe for awhile and has visited the mending pile more than a few times. It was made with OOP McCall's 7870, circa 1995.  I made it about four and a half years ago and I wear it a lot.  So much so, that the double kick pleat every now and then requires a bit of tender loving care at the top of the kick pleat.  It's worth it, I still like wearing this skirt. 

The knickers and sleepwear were previously blogged about. Different colour of knickers but still made from Simplicity 8229. They are the latest unblogged pair, made only a few months ago. Pajama set mentioned here and the terry robe mentioned here.  Ready-to-wear items include the remainder of the undergarments, tights, a sweater and socks.  

Happy Sewing!

Friday, 3 May 2019

Day 3: Me-Made-May '19

I knew the rain was coming, I could feel it in my aching bones and Voltaren rubbed skin.  With the excitement of a small child wanting to play in the rain, I planned my wardrobe choices around my Hunter boots.  

Eighty percent of today's clothes are me-made!  

This infinity scarf is a 100% silk. It was added into my wardrobe about a year and a half ago and it is one of my favourite accessories and I wear it more like jewelery.  It is all about the fabric for this item.  

But did you know that silk fabric has natural fire retardant and antibacterial properties?  I personally feel good about sewing with silk fabric because it's a natural fibre but not all share my enthusiasm for silk.  

British online fashion retailer ASOS has joined a growing number of companies that have ban several natural fibre fabrics, including silk, in their line of clothing.  Indian silk production has been noted by Human Rights Watch in 2003 for the abuse of child slaves.  And PETA has lead a campaign to end silk production citing the pain experienced by silk worms in the harvest of the luxurious fibres.  Am I wrong to admire this fabric as a wonderful gift from nature?  

I guess you can say that this top, OOP Vogue 1306, has been hanging around for years.  In an unfinished state, originally cut in 2012, this Rebecca Taylor design wasn't finished until six years later. 

It's a medium weight cotton knit and I feel good about this fabric even though I have to again admit I don't know anything about the supply chain management around the textile industry. I do know that I feel better about fabrics and garments that have a natural fibre content. It saddens me to hear marketing campaigns against them and I do realize that there is so much to learn about how are fabrics are made and where they come from.   

This Rachel Comey skirt, OOP Vogue 1247, is made in one of my favourite fabrics to sew, cotton sateen. It's about a year and a half old and it has seen a steady rotation in the wardrobe.  It actually replaces a navy version that I originally made in 2012.   

It's the smooth surface the satin weave produces that makes this one of my favourite fabrics to sew with and to wear.  

Only my remaining under-garments and jean jacket were ready-to-wear. But wait there's more...  

Sleepwear was also me-made!  I made a cotton pajama set back in 2017 when I combined Butterick 6296 for the pajama shirt and Vogue 9217 for the pajama bottoms. And of course the cotton robe that was shown earlier this week. The pajama bottoms have already made it to the mending pile to repair a ripped side leg seam. Although, I don't enjoy mending, I do like wearing this set of jammies. 

Researching and reading about human rights issues and the environmental impact of the textile industry really has changed my view on mending.  Repairing and caring for garments as more than an austerity measure, it's an act of kindness to the environment.  

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Day 2: Me-Made-May '19

Today, Thursday, May 2, 2019, is a chilly start to the day.  The fog looked beautiful from the warmth of the indoors but the zero temperature called for some strategy. With the temperatures expected to hit double digits layers is the key to dressing.

Fifty-five percent of my garments (includes the handbag) were me-made.  A total of six pieces (out of eleven).

I pulled out these wool pants, OOP Vogue 1325, created almost five years ago!  They still look new.  It's made with 100% British wool and I couldn't be more thrilled with how well these pants have held up over the years. If I could afford to have a complete wardrobe made out of wool I would and these pants work for all seasons.  

I could sing the praises for wool fabric All. Day. Long. Wool has anti-bacterial properties that means it requires less frequent washing and at a lower temperature.  Win. Win, when it comes to the impact on the environment and exending it's life span. 

This sweater, Simplicity 8529, is a recent addition to the wardrobe.  I made this one five months ago when I realized that I didn't have enough fabric to make Vogue 9330.  I have no idea what the fibre content of this fabric is made up of except it was found on the wool table of the local fabric store. And the table was filled with wool like bolts as well. I believe this is a faux wool because it didn't shrink a fraction of a millimetre. But it's warm and it's not pilling like a polyester. Actually, it hasn't pilled at all.  [knock on wood]  Hmmm, I'm stumped on this one.  

All I know is that it's warm and cozy and perfect for the morning chill that I had to walk into. 

My handbag is me-made!  I don't typically sew accessories but when I found out that a local fabric store was carrying cork fabric I was intrigued.  The handbag is made with McCall's 7851 and it's just a couple months old.

Just like wool I can sing the praises of cork fabric All. Day. Long!  This fabric scores high on the sustainability metre and is created with cork bark.  The best part is how light-weight this bag is and it just a little bit of extra kindness to my back.  The lining fabric is a 100% cotton canvas and the handles are suede.  All natural fabrics.  

And cotton undies for added comfort.  These are made with Simplicity 8229 back in 2017.  And they have held up well considering that they are almost two year old.  I'm really happy with this fabric choice and I do plan on revisiting this project soon.  

My sleepwear is the same as yesterday except for a change of undies and socks. If I could only have stayed in my pajamas all day I would have been happy. But life happens and sometimes it's frowned upon to go venture out in pjs.  

There were some ready-to-wear pieces that were thrown into the mix (socks, undergarments and a suede jacket).  I should have grabbed a pair of gloves this morning but I didn't expect it to be that nippy outside.  

Reflecting on my clothing choices I feel good about all of these pieces.  For the most part, I was mindful of the fabric choices that I made and it worked out. They have paid for themselves in the end and still look good. They are all pieces that I want to wear regardless of their age and how long they have been in the wardrobe.  

Happy Sewing!


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