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Me-Made-May: Week Three

I feel like all I do during Me-Made-May is thinking about how fast time goes by and struggling to dress weather appropriately. 🙂 But seriously, 1 week to go and I’ll be able to wear all my me-mades PLUS all the RTW that I’ve owned and loved for many years now! Let’s not get so ahead of us though, this is what got worn this week:

Day 15

I wore my Chanel inspired suit with the linen top I love so much these days, because it was rainy and grey and horrible. I finished the skirt over the weekend, and what I thought would take about 20 minutes (hemming and hand finishing the lining around the zip), ended up taking about 3 hours. Of course everything went wrong that could go wrong, but after spending weeks on the jacket, I just couldn’t care less…

Day 16 

After the rainy Monday, we had tropical heat in London (21°C, but very humid!😉) on Tuesday, so I dressed accordingly. I wore my refashioned tablecloth top with the me-made culottes.

Day 17

Excuse my wrinkled appearance, I actually ironed this shirt before taking a photo, so I’m not sure what happened. Anyway, as for the clothes, the idea was to wear something warm and comfy, as I prepared for my second day of cycling home in the pouring rain, and this worked well for that!

Day 18

  • Camisole: Copy of a RTW
  • Skirt: Same as above
  • Jumper: RTW from Zara

By Thursday I was so uninspired by the rainy weather, that I just threw on whatever I could find. I had an uneventful day to go well with my unexciting choice of clothing.

Day 19

I wore the self drafted skirt, the RTW copy camisole and the me-made Chanelesque jacket, which I never in a million years would have thought I would wear this often. Confession time: I did not get to wear these furry sandals, because: rain. 😒

Day 20

I went fabric shopping, popped into work for a few hours and ended Saturday with my first time at bingo! I rarely wear this top, as it’s a bit short and I remembered that the top was a bit too high on the neck, but I actually had fun wearing this outfit and it was not uncomfortable at all.

Day 21

I’ve been sewing for 16 hours on Sunday, so I made an effort and chose to wear me-made lounge wear. I wear the top a lot, mostly under jumpers, but these French knickers only come out during Me-Made-Mays to be honest. I’ve had some leftover​ fabric from the top and I wanted to try lace insertion, that’s how they were born, but unfortunately it’s falling apart, so the idea is to wear it around the house until it literally falls off of me one day so that I can chuck it out without feeling guilty for wasting fabric/feeding the landfills.

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Me-Made-May 2017: Week two

I enjoyed the second week of Me-Made-May a lot more than the first one, mostly because the slightly better weather gave me an opportunity to wear things I finished a few weeks ago, but were meant to be worn when it’s warm outside. I also managed to take photos of outfits over the weekend, so I didn’t have to worry about getting home before it gets dark, or about deciding what to wear in the morning.

Day 8

I have only worn these trousers on the day when we took photos of them, so it was interesting to see how they work in real life. I drafted them as my final project at the Morley basic pattern cutting course, and I found them rather stiff and tight when I finished them. I still think I probably took out all the wearing ease at drafting, so they are my least comfortable trousers, but they do look fun!

Day 9 

I wore my very summery tablecloth dress because there was a chance of sunshine and I wanted to be comfortable. I think I looked as careless as I felt, which may not be the best thing, but I am a firm believer in that if you feel good in your clothes, you will look good too.

Day 10

The culottes are the same ones I have been wearing almost every day this month (or at least it feels like that…), and the shirt is something I rarely wear these days. This shirt is one of the first things I’ve ever made and I used some pretty poor quality, loosely woven fabric, so it’s currently dying a slow death.

Day 11

I made this dress for an upcoming holiday, with strolls on a beach in mind, so it’s not quite appropriate for a London school office job. Especially because I can’t really put on a jumper over it, due to all those frills, but I did like wearing it with this jacket.

Day 12 & 13

I loved this outfit so much, I wore it twice in a row. 😀 Luckily this synthetic fabric dried super quick, and hopefully I didn’t damage my sister’s sweater from putting it on while it was still wet, but I felt so good wearing it on Friday that I just decided to repeat it for a pretty special meeting on Saturday.

Day 14

On the last day of the week it was super hot in the apartment so I dug out these cut-offs. I bought the trousers for £1 at a vintage pound sale, and they were perfect at the waist, but they were too small on my bum, so I decided to cut the crotch bit open (where the front and back meets) and inserted a piece of fabric to make it bigger. I would not normally wear them in public, but they were great for a long day of sewing, baking and pattern drafting.

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Me-Made-May 2017, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2017: Week one

The first week of the Me-Made-May challenge is over, so I thought I would take a long hard look at how it went.

Day 1

  • Leggings: Self-drafted
  • Jumper: I knitted this mostly following this pattern

I spent the day at home, sewing for over 8 hours, so I had to make an effort to actually get out of my pyjamas and into something me-made yet very comfortable. The only item I have that fits that bill at the moment are these leggings, that I sewed up because I felt guilty for buying 3 meters of this fabric from the remnant box and not wanting to do anything with it.

As for the jumper, this is the only garment I have ever knitted, but I wasn’t very happy with the result when I (kind of) finished it (=see yarn hanging down at the hem 🙂 ), so I decided I will only wear it at home until I get around fixing the issues.

Day 2 

I really liked wearing this outfit, but cycling in these trousers is a nightmare and every time I go somewhere I return with more oil stains. 😦

Day 3

These culottes are fresh off the sewing machine. I am very happy about how they turned out, the only problem is that the zip is too short (long story…), so getting in and out of it is a challenge. 😀

Day 4

Even though it’s May, it’s fairly cold these days in London, so I went for maximum comfort. I honestly didn’t realise how frumpy I looked until I got home and took a photo. To be fair, I did fall asleep at 7 pm, right after this photo was taken, so for an exhausting day like that, this outfit was just fine.

Day 5

I have only just noticed that I wore the same colour combination on Day 3 too. One could think I have a thing for wearing navy and ochre together, but weirdly enough I have never worn this skirt and jumper together.

Day 6

I visited my best friend in Brighton wearing this, and the weather was so nice I actually had to take the tights off from under the culottes. I really love how these new trousers work with my older pieces.

Day 7

On the last day of the week I was actually wearing the previous outfit, but we did go out until early morning and I was wearing this. This is a tried and tested combination, with the option to go all sexy and backless if I feel very hot from all that dancing and wear the dress without the top. I have yet to do that, but I like having the option. 😉

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I, Etemi of The Secret Costumier, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to only wear me-made garments for the duration of May 2017 (except for knickers, knitted jumpers and shoes).

I also pledge to do something dressmaking related each day (sewing/pattern drafting/crochet/embroidery/etc.)’

So it’s May again, which means I am taking part in the Me-Made-May challenge once again. Last year I managed to wear only me-mades for the whole month with the exception of bras, knickers, knitted jumpers and shoes. This year I’ll be wearing my me-made bras and I think the biggest challenge will be to mix my recently finished garments with the old ones, and to have some fun dressing up.

I feel like these days my main goal is to not leave the house naked, which, to be fair, also means that I am comfortable enough with the options I have, so I don’t have those “I’ve got nothing to wear” moments in the morning anymore, but I could definitely move towards wearing clothes that make me feel confident, instead of those that make me feel comfortable. I will be sharing daily pictures on Instagram and weekly summaries here.

Are you taking part in Me-Made-May? Do you feel like you need to raise the bar somehow if you have taken part before/wear me-mades most days anyway?

Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2017

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Last year I signed up for a bra making course. I have been collecting inspiration for a few years now, and finally I got to learn the ins and outs of sewing well-fitting and good-looking lingerie. I mostly wear bralettes and non-wired bras, so I wasn’t very keen on the idea of making an underwire bra, but by the time my toile was done I was super excited.

I decided to use some vintage lace I bought in Brighton, and I underlined it with some brown mesh that matches my skin tone. The elastic is the only one they had at the fabric shop when I was gathering notions, and although had there been more options available, I would have definitely not picked this one, I think it works pretty well with this lace.

Needless to say I fell in love with the bra making process. You get to use up your prettiest fabric scraps, the seam lines are short (which makes it a relatively quick project), the possibilities are endless, and you end up with something very rare: a perfectly fitting bra for a very little amount of money. 🙂

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Oh la la, I made a bra!

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From scratch

The Vogue dress

Either out of laziness or because I’m too impatient, but I hardly ever try new patterns these days. I made an exception recently with the Vogue 1341 and I am pretty glad I did!

I bought this pattern a few years ago and have been looking for the right fabric every time I entered a fabric shop. I finally found a fairly big piece of this mauve/deep purple fabric in a charity shop, on sale for £2, so even though the only colour out there that I really don’t like is purple, I still went for it.

 At home I realised that it’s a bit less than the length I needed, but by ignoring the grain lines on the sleeves, and cutting one of the sleeves out of two pieces, I managed to make the dress out of it.

It’s probably the most challenging, yet fun pattern I have ever worked with. The front and most of the back of the dress are made up of one pattern piece that has darts and pleats to control the drapes. Once the sleeves are set in, they make up parts of the back.

I was supposed to insert a zip into the back seam, but even after taking in a lot from both the front and back seams, it was loose and stretchy enough for me to just pull it on over my head, so I decided not to. There is still some excess fabric at the lower back, but It doesn’t bother me much, and since the back and the front are the same piece, taking in more fabric at that back seam could have an effect on the drapes on the front too.

Once the dress was sewn up, it didn’t quite look like it did on the photo. The folds were not exactly where they were supposed to be, and the draping seemed way less dramatic. I saw very few dresses made up on other blogs, but I remember one where the lady decided not to insert the lining and just wore a slip underneath. I was quite reluctant to make the lining too, but as soon as I sewed the lining and the dress together where the seam line is in the front, everything fell into place and it looked just like the red dress on the photo. I think it’s an amazing little trick, but there should be a note to let sewists know that lining the dress is not optional, it’s the key to get the design! 🙂

I really love this dress, it came together in a night, but right now I am really struggling to find a place, or the right occasion to wear it to, mostly because the shoes that would go with it aren’t really meant for daily wear, and at this point of my life I am not willing to sacrifice comfort for style, so for now it stays in the safety of my wardrobe. 😉

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To fulfil one of my New Year’s resolutions for last year, I decided to make a quilt as a Christmas gift for my boyfriend. (Now if you think that’s a rubbish gift, I’ll have you know that I thought that too a few times while I was in the middle of sewing it… 🙂 ) Knowing that it would be made for a guy and stumbling upon a box of good quality merino & other wool suiting fabric off-cuts in a Goldhawk Road fabric shop solved the fabric selection problem. I took home 7 pieces of fabric for a mere £10, while saving them from ending up in the landfill.

Inspired by the lack of time and my new-found love for modern, contemporary art-like quilts, I arranged the fabric pieces randomly, adding a bit of red to make it more interesting. And by randomly, I mean I measured each piece and mapped out how they could be cut up and sewn back together in a way that allowed me to cover the desired size.

I attempted to quilt it using straight lines, following the seam lines and running parallel to them, but this quilt is massive and the straight lines turned into wonky ones, so I decided to just let it go and make it look like it was all totally intentional.

Luckily the receiver really appreciated my gift (even though I did not have time to finish the binding to this day…), and I am quite happy with how it turned out too, even if I am definitely not tempted to make another one in the near future. 😉

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My first quilt

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