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Me-Made-May: The last week and a half

I’m sure most people are sick of seeing daily outfit posts by now, but after catching up on sleep, I thought it was time to document what got worn on the last few days of Me-Made-May – and finish what I started.

Day 22

Top: Self-drafted linen top inspired by this one on Pinterest

Skirt: Burdastyle A-line skirt

I finished this skirt quite a few years ago, and did not wear it until one of the Me-Made-Mays when I had absolutely nothing else to wear. These days I am obsessed with it. I still don’t wear it daily, but whenever I do, I feel amazing in it.

Day 23

Top: Self-drafted, tablecloth-turned-peasant-blouse

Trousers: Self-drafted trousers, inspired by a Delpozo pair

I wore the trousers again which seemed too tight to even sit down in when I finished them. I still need to be careful with big lunches, but I think I’m finally in love.

Day 24

Dress: Self-drafted, self-designed

On this particular Wednesday I was interviewing for a studio space at a very exciting new project that is opening up where I live. If I got the studio I could be part of a community of entrepreneurs and would finally have a dedicated place to make dresses just like this. Soooo… fingers crossed! 😊

Day 25

Dress: Modified Burdastyle slip dress

I wore this dress to work as it was super hot and I was running late, and while it did keep me cool while sitting at my desk, I felt the need to cover up every time I left our office, so in the future I will probably leave it for after hours.

Day 26

Dress: Another self-drafted, self-designed dress

This was my last day at work before leaving for holiday, and it happened to be another beautiful and sunny day, so I opted for this backless dress. I think I need to sew a lightweight jacket, or kimono so that I can wear these dresses to work without being scandalous. 😉

Day 27

Dress: Self-drafted dress

On our first day of holiday I wore this dress that I made with this exact beach in mind. It was a super quick make, but there is just something I don’t like about it. I don’t know if it’s the length, or the colour, but something just doesn’t feel like ‘me’ about it.

Day 28

Dress: Self-drafted Little White Dress

That’s me and my mom. I was wearing my me-made tablecloth dress after a swim. The good thing about being able to sew is that you don’t freak out when the strap on your favourite dress breaks. Especially because you knew it wasn’t​ attached properly in the first place, since you were rushing to get it done for a previous holiday…🙃

Day 29

Dress: As above

Wearing the same dress as before, this time in a very different climate.

Day 30

Bikini top: Kind of self-drafted, mixing up several patterns and instructions

Bikini Bottom: Self-drafted

After discovering the markets in town in 37°C, I could not wait to finally get into the crochet bikini top that I made en-route to Mexico, and the me-made high-waisted bikini bottoms. The crochet top is not the most comfortable of garments, but I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Day 30

Dress: Self-drafted, self-designed

I was wearing another one of my me-made, me-designed dresses for the last day of Me-Made-May on the shores of Las Coloradas, the salt lakes that were supposed to look as pink as my dress and the flamingos opposite the lakes… Well, they did not quite live up to my expectations, but the crocodile spotting more than made up for it.

Aaaand it’s a wrap!

 

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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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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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The Refashioners 2016

Another year, another project done for The Refashioners challenge at Portia Lawrie’s website, the Makery. Last year I turned a shirt into a summer dress, this time around the item to be given a new life was a pair of jeans.

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I got mine from my favourite virtual charity shop: eBay. It was a large men’s, non-stretch, unbranded pair of blue jeans, and I think I paid about £5 for it (including delivery). I had no idea what to turn it into, all I knew was that making trousers would have been too easy and that I didn’t need another denim jacket, since I love the one I already own. So I decided to turn it into a dress that isn’t too tacky – not too sure if I managed to achieve this… 😀

I started looking for something structured and minimalistic, so I searched for dresses made of leather, but couldn’t really find anything interesting. While I was researching ideas for the tablecloth dress, I stumbled upon a beautiful Delpozo number and I knew straight away that I found what I was after.

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With my new found courage for pattern drafting, I made one for it in no time. After adding a bit of boning, I managed to resolve the issue with the gaping of the under-bust area, that must have been avoided by using pre-shaped foams in the original dress. I am pretty sure that I was supposed to add boning to the side seams, but to be super honest I was too lazy to go back and do it (again).

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The bodice was relatively easy to put together after having a go at it while making up the toille, but I did not have any plans for the skirt. I just attached it with some pleats in place to match the waistline, and then worked it out from there. Unfortunately I did not have enough fabric for the style I would normally wear (A-line or a circle skirt), so I went with a pencil skirt – that not only makes cycling fairly difficult, it also makes the dress look more formal than intended.

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I did not realize that I created a horrible little pouch on the front of the skirt by turning the pleats into impromptu (and way too long) darts in the last-minute, so please excuse that mess.

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I am pretty happy with the fit on the back though. The pockets have been slightly moved, darts hidden behind them, and an invisible zipper inserted. I was going to use a golden exposed zip all the way down the back, but I had to admit to myself that the invisible zipper looked a tad bit more classy than the shiny one. In order to try out the two different looks, I inserted both zips twice, then when I decided to stay with the invisible one, it broke while trying it on. Realizing that I can’t fix it, and therefore I will have to buy and insert a new one was one of the less relaxing moments of sewing, to put it mildly… 🙂

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Do you know that feeling when you are cooking a very fancy, very complicated dinner, and when you sit down to eat after hours of sweating over it, you just don’t feel hungry anymore. No? Well, that’s how I feel about this dress anyway. 🙂

While I am quite happy about how that sad pair of jeans got transformed, and about the relative success of my pattern cutting, I doubt that I will wear this dress a lot next summer. I will either change the skirt totally, turn it into something else, or give it away…

Do check out the other entries too, they are pretty mind-blowing! And again, thanks for the photos Robbie!

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Kimono dress it is!

My name is Etemi, and I am addicted to buying fabric remnants. I guess the first step on the road to healing is admitting that you have a problem, right? :) So there is this shop where I buy fabric most of the time, called Rolls and Rems, and they have this box right in front of the door. It’s an evil trap, and works brilliantly, as for the second time this Saturday, I went in to buy something specific, couldn’t find it, but came home with two pieces of remnants. A few weeks ago I spent my last couple of pounds on the silky fabric from the previous post and about 2 metres of white crepe. I’m not sure what works on me, not having to make the big decision of getting some fabric cut, or that it’s an exclusive offer as it is cheaper than normally or that it’s the last chance to buy it, but it sure does, every single time. So here is the progress on the printed silk from the previous post that I scored for about £5.

First I wanted to make a maxi dress out of it, but I wear maxi dresses for comfort, which could hardly be achieved with this material and print. So I looked further and found this Issa dress.TheSecretCostumier - Issa KimonoIn order to make something similar, I started looking for tutorials on how to make a proper kimono, and found this image below. It’s a photo from Vogue, July 1970 of Candice Bergen in a  cut panne velvet kimono dress designed by Bill Blass.“A dress for utterly luxurious evenings at home, wrapped with a high obi sash, long sleeves slipping, dipping from the arm like folding wings,” was Vogue’s description. TheSecretCostumier - Bill Blass KimonoI like the Issa dress, but this is just stunning. I found the Kimono drafting instructions I needed -and would highly recommend. on Taeliac’s site, and off I went to cut the fabric. So  the top is going to look like a kimono, with the sleeves and standing collar, and it will end in a knee length skirt with a non-removable belt just under the bust.

I am not sure if it is real silk, since I did not buy it off the roll, but the fabric is a nightmare to cut and pin and sew. Since it slides easily, I pinned every 2 centimetres at first, but if a pin is not sharp enough, it tends to pull the thread from it, you see. I’ve only realized that I could have matched the pattern while cutting it out, after I’ve sewn it together. I’ve attempted to match it afterwards, but next time the back pieces will be cut from one piece for sure.TheSecretCostumier - Kimono in progress sewing TheSecretCostumier - Kimono in progressAfter wrestling with the dress for about 4 hours, and unpicking two 40 cm long seams 7(!!!) times, I can’t even be bothered any more, when I see a loose thread from the fabric. Since I don’t have a pattern for the bottom half of the skirt I am pretty much improvising on the go, and luckily it’s been working (slowly) so far. I’m doing French seams wherever I can, and hand-stitched the collar, which was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I’m just about to attach the back panel of the skirt, then I need to finish up the sleeves, insert the invisible zip, sew the side seams and hem the fabulously-looking-but-where-will-it-be-worn dress. It really is almost finished. ;)

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The secrets of teleporting

I woke up this morning suspecting a new kind of illness attacking my body. My whole face seemed different. My eyes were puffy and I looked like a well fed 12 year old. Then it just hit me. I’m in Lund, a tiny university town in South West Sweden, and I’ve slept more than I’ve slept all through this year. So this is not me being sick, it’s just my relaxed face apparently, the one I probably haven’t seen since I was 12. This is how you travel through space AND time I guess.

I have 3 more days to take a peek into Lund, Malmö and Copenhagen. Everything I thought I knew about Sweden has already been somehow proven wrong and right at the same time, so I’m definitely not done forming an opinion about it. One thing I sort of can confirm, it’s not that as expensive as the legend has it. At least compared to London, of course…

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