Suki Robe Trio

Hello! It's been a while since I last blogged - I got married!

How coincidental that this post is about what I made for me and my bridesmaids... I really wanted to make them a little gift box with something special inside as a thanks for being great gals and what better way to spend the morning getting ready together, than in Suki Robes!

This would have been far better executed had I not found this pattern only two weeks before the event, but hey, I like a challenge. By far the most difficult part was finding bright tropical fabric!! Perhaps I was just a tad too early in the season for viscose with palm print but I couldn't find it anywhere.

I finally found some fabrics on Minerva Crafts which I thought my ladies would like. One is a Derbyshire/Spanish lovely with a plant obsession so I chose the leafy print viscose for her. Sadly when it arrived it was not as brightly coloured as expected but I had to press ahead. I think she like it regardless :)

My other bridesmaid is a lovely English Rose who has just had the cutest baby, so floral viscose seemed to call out.

I also had some bird print cotton lawn in my stash from Fabric Godmother, so I used that because....birds.

This pattern from Helen's Closet is a robe with alllllll the bells and whistles. All of them. Possibly too many of them?! We have side belt loops, hanging loops, inner ties, inseam pockets, fixed tie belts. THE LOT. (I would omit the side belt loops next time - as the belt is already attached I didn't find them necessary)

I made 3 different sizes and from what I gather they all fit everyone so the sizing is great. Mine was a Large and I can say it was fine although even an XL would work a treat. It is a robe after all so quite forgiving!

I went for the option of having the contrast band all around the front rather than doing the original design. It's a simple hack to just extend the front contrast band and there's a tutorial here.

The inner ties are a brilliant feature, bit of extra security preventing exposure always a winner.

Not going to lie, I struggled with the position of the side belt loops, and the position of the back belt and pockets generally. I found the pattern had the pockets too high and belt and loops too low. The only way I could do this was to actually put the robe on and pin in place. Sorry guys - I've worn your robe in the name of creativity. 

 By the second robe I ignored the instructions and made it my own way. The instructions are so labour intensive, having you over lock all pieces first, then doing seams and pockets separately.No mate. Not for me. Whizz it up the sides on the over locker. I haven't got all day.

This robe is an absolute dream for the hot humid weather at the moment. So light and breezy to waft about the house in.

My favourite features are the sleeves which fall at just the most beautiful length and don't get in the way of anything, and the fact the belt is attached so you don't lose it!

I would definitely like to make more of these and think they would make excellent gifts for people you care about as you can pretty much guess the sizing and the end result is lovely. It's Suki Love.

Massive shout out to Winston Sanders for capturing our day beautifully, and getting this little guy in shot!

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May Make Do and Mend

So here we are at the beginning of June already! HOW?!?!

As Me Made May is now over I thought I'd just do a very quick round up of how it went.

Not well.

Told you it was a quick round up.

Actually that's not entirely true, but about half way through the month I stopped actively picking me-mades to wear as pledged and just grabbed what I usually would have done. Which by pure chance included me-mades without me actually realizing, which was nice when half way through the day I'd suddenly remember I'd made my trousers or something.

So what I actually learnt is that I'm a lazy dresser who does not make a great deal of effort on a daily basis! But I'm ok with that, and so the whole point of Me Made May was to establish that fact and make things accordingly.

Things I did learn however were:
  • I do not wear skirts. Ever it seems. 
  • I do not like feeling too 'dolled up' or uncomfortable 
  • I live in comfortable trousers and a tee for working at home - I find it pointless to dress up if I'm home alone all day
  • I wear very few clothes! I don't mean I roam about naked all the time - I just repeat outfits a lot
  • Lounge wear is my friend and I have lots of it (it seems daft to make more for the sake of it when I already have sufficient RTW)
  • Gym tops are a necessity I don't have which is highly frustrating
  • I love texture - that was new to me. My blue trousers above are textured and I've fallen hard for double gauze of late. I suppose it makes the basics more interesting 
  • Casual dresses such as the shirt dress are my God for feeling relaxed but a bit 'done up'
What should I be sewing?
  • Gym wear
  • Ponte trousers
  •  ALL the shirt dresses
What should I be doing?
  • Getting out more by the sounds of it
What have I been doing?
  • Making these Derwent bad boys from Wendy Ward 'Sewing with knitted Fabrics' book. Trousers you can work/lounge AND pop to the shops in. Win!
  •  Having a clear out and fixing stuff!
 So May was that time of year when you get your sunny day gear out and nothing fits. A lot got donated and recycled however not being defeated this year I went on a Make Do and Mend rampage.

 Old tops got cut up and widened, long sleeves got chopped to short sleeves and the best thing of all I discovered you can widen tight sleeves and alleviate bicep restraint on RTW by making an 'arm gusset'. That word again. Sigh. But yay it meant I saved a few dresses from the recycle pile.

I still have a pair of jeggings to widen by popping a stripe down the side seams. Fingers crossed it works.

How was your May?

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I AM Lucienne

I AM Lucienne. Or am I?

This is not my greatest piece of work as it was a bit rushed however this Lucienne pattern by I AM is pretty glorious. If you're after a simple yet chic, in that oh-so-French kinda way that they do, I AM has you covered.

The pattern is described as a 'vaporous and relaxed shirt' which I think is a better way of saying 'wafty'. It's certainly relaxed that is for sure and there is some serious room to manoeuvre in there.

The pattern put me at the largest size of 46 and therefore 46 I did go. I mean it is huge, but I think it's supposed to be. It's also described as perfect for a holiday in the sun and I'm pretty sure this breezy little number fits the bill.

The size was a little too large for me though and I admit I did nip out about 2 inches on either side to just bring it closer to my body a bit. I left the sleeves alone though. It's got a bit of a kimono vibe about it and the side vents are a really nice touch.

I was whisked away for a surprise hen do the other week and told to wear something galactic. I had the leggings so I needed a top! Enter some buttons from the stash...

I was after a pattern that I could whip up quickly and this was ideal. Although it's a shirt - the sleeves are rectangles and are inserted in flat. The whole thing is essentially a series of rectangles and squares which makes it very beginner friendly.

Even the collar is not so much a 'collar' in the strictest sense. It's a collar piece that's just sewn on. If I made it next time I would bind the neckline seam as if you're wearing the shirt open, the seams are exposed. To be fair the pattern does say to bind if you're going for a more professional look. I did not have time on my side and I had also run out of black thread!

If you intend to wear it buttoned up it's not so much an issue. I'm not a buttoned up kinda person though.

I used fabric from the stash which is a black double guaze. I've never sewn with this before but I'm a convert! I love the texture of it, it's soft, opaque and drapes really well. I'll definitely be using it again for summer projects for it's easy-breezy breathable quality.

Lucienne served her purpose really well and she will certainly get more wear as it's definitely fitting my throw on-and-go requirements. A great basic but not so basic addition to my Me Made wardrobe and for days when it's so hot you can't bear anything touching your skin - this wins.

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Bright and Basic InstincT

Oh yes, it's another t-shirt. It seems not only am I on some sort of leggings mission, I'm also trying to find the holy-grail of T-shirts.

This little beauty is another freebie designed by Sasha of Seconda Piano. Possibly the most stylish person on Earth.

After the Stellan Tee didn't quite hit the mark for me (no reflection on the pattern or maker, just not the shape for me), Sewrendipity kindly pointed me in the direction of another trendy tee that might fit the bill. Enter the Basic InstincT.  I'll let you go read her blog for details of why it is so named!

Size and shaping-wise this was a must better match for me than the Stellan Tee. I had concerns that the fit would be off again, as Sasha and other makers are all very slender. However to my surprise the XL - the largest size it goes up to - was spot on. I didn't make any alterations to the pattern at all as I wanted to see what it was like 'fresh out of the box' as it were.

I like this one. There is enough drape at the waist to be flattering and the rounded shoulder caps sit nicely where they should. The sleeves are a good width, not skin tight, very comfortable. This tee still has that boxy, high-neck modern silhouette but is a nice standard length tee.

This amazing fabric is from Textile Express - now this is a leopard print I can get on board with.  Good quality cotton jersey. Loving the bright colour combos of this print. Certainly less wintry that is for sure.

I've been sporting this tee with my 'me-made' necklace from Pink Coat Club. Mini details that I'm sure only fellow sewists will appreciate is the two tone top stitching. Small things.

A sign of a good me-made is when it gets worn immediately I think. This came straight off the sewing machine and on to me, where it has stayed for a quite a few wears so far!

It's also that lovely time of year when the tortoises get back out enjoying the garden, and little Clyde likes to make an appearance photo-bombing my pics. He's so curious about everything, as soon as something is happening outside he races over to have a look.

I'm calling this a T-win. The quest is not yet over however, I intend to have a go at the Wendy Ward Peak Tee and a further crack at the Union Street.  Then perhaps it's time to call it and declare a TNT.

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My First Me Made May

Me Made May has been going on for 10 YEARS!

Set up by So Zo, ...  it is a maker challenge that really let's you get to grips with your handmade clothes. I've seen so many people take part in this over the years, posting amazing pictures of their creations and I always thought I couldn't participate as I just didn't have or wear all that much handmade clothing. (Ridiculous considering how much I've made - most of which has been donated/recycled.)

Necklace from Pink Coat Club

As it turns out - you don't need a whole wardrobe of me-mades and you don't even have to picture each day. This was a revelation to me. The whole premise is you just create your own pledge and "follow it throughout May. Hopefully, by the end of the month, you will have learnt a whole load about yourself, your style, how you feel about your wardrobe, and how best to spend your clothes-making time going forwards."

My style has been having an overhaul lately, I love a bit of Kondo (yes, before it became popular!) and have started to properly identify with what my new lifestyle (even 2 years since it changed) now requires. The whole 'fast fashion' issue has got to me and I've been giving good though these days to what and where I buy and what natural fibers can be used and recycled. I've also just started reading The Curated Closet aswell so Me Made May seems to have come up nicely and compliments this journey well.

I figured this year was the year I'd give it a go and made my pledge...

"I, Emma (Crafty Clyde), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to try and wear me me-mades where possible and attempt to style them, to help me to identify what I like to wear, what I don’t, and identify the me-mades I actually need to make on my quest for a handmade wardrobe during May 2019'"

I know full well I won't be able to wear me-made everyday however I'm looking forward to the experiment and identification of gaps in my sewing :)

And of course I bought the badge...(love how they chose the Pantone colour of the year for this). It's also very cool that 20% goes to Labour Behind The Label, an organization working to ensure worker safety, living wages and  improve conditions for workers in the global garment industry.

Are you participating this year?

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La Rana Che Sogna - Willamette Shirt

It's been a while since we've had a bit of weird on here...Today I present to you 'La Rana Che Sogna' (The Dreaming Frog) in shirt format.

Taken from the depths of my peculiar brain, this particular scene kept flashing into my mind for a long time. A frog daydreaming beautifully under the stars contemplating the universe. Bit deep?

I like frogs and I like space. That's better. Keep it real.

Well in order to do the frog justice and get it out of my system - off it hopped onto a shirt.

First let's start with how difficult it is to photograph anything black!! I was hoping to show off the lovely features of this  Hey June - Willamette Shirt pattern but the camera and crappy lighting had other ideas. Here's the line drawing:

The style of this shirt appealed to me as I love a collared top, but it's got that lovely casual vibe to it with the kimono sleeve shape and cuffed edges. I went for a mash-up of View A (without the contrast bottom half) and View B with the pockets.

Surprisingly there's not a button in sight on this pattern and it's a popover! The facing/placket gets sewn together at the centre front and falls open to create the lapels. I did close it up a bit higher than indicated as if I'd have bent down enough the whole thing would have just slipped over my head. Not what you need when out and about.

You could easily put buttons on this though as a preference as the framework is right there to just whack in some button holes where needed. 

I cut a 12/14 and as I was making it, it looked HUGE. I pressed on regardless to see how it would sit once the facings and seams had been done and it just pulled together at the last minute, size wise. As you can see although it's a loose shirt it has that 'semi-fitted' feel. I may potentially lengthen it a tad next time as it comes up a little short on me, but no so much to be bothersome. (:: I think that's the only time I have ever said 'bothersome' in my life:)

The fabric I used here is a black tencel from Fabric Magpie (PLEASE get some more in stock Boz!) and it is glorious to sew with. It's thicker than viscose but still has a drape and ease about it aswell as being airy to wear.

Unfortunately I overworked the placket and collars which gave me some ugly wrinkling but I'm hoping a good steam will sort that out next wash. The shirt has a yoke back which uses a burrito-method-on-crack as it also rolls up all the shirt and facings together. I did it wrong a couple of times as it was just a big black bundle and no way of knowing which way was up!!

There's barely any over locking with this either so a good project for a class/meet-up (Sewing Weekender I'm looking at you) or if you don't have an overlocker at all. All the hems are rolled or seams enclosed or french which all feels very fancy.

I already have another version of this shirt in the queue - will go for a more bright summery fabric and some buttons this time. (I do love a good button). And significantly less frog.

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