Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Me Made May 2013 week 3


15. Magenta merino cropped briar (unblogged)  16. Cropped Briar  17.  self-drafted merino cowl neck top , Minoru jacket 18. Burdastyle bag 19. self-drafted merino top, simple belt made with fabric remnant (not blogged)  20. Gingham schoolhouse tunic  21.  Magenta merino cropped briar (unblogged), Cap sleeve TovaBlack Spinal trousers and no-sew scarf 

Here's week 3 of the challenge. What I found in week 3 was that:

- I infatuated with my Briars (days 15, 16 & 21), and so they are in high rotation (the lovely pattern designer Megan Nielsen even commented on my frequent wearing of them on my Flickr page - slightly embarrassed ;-)

- Its been so lovely to get out and wear the Minoru jacket (day 17) that I made last winter. This is probably my proudest sewing achievement and I love wearing it.

- my workhorse merino tops (days 17 & 19) are great fall backs when I'm not feeling inspired or when I'm feeling chilly. The cowl neck top is particularly snuggly.

- Day 18 was pretty much a fail, but I did use the bag that I made from the Burdastyle Handbook. I'm not into changing bags regularly: I tend to make one, use it til it dies then make another. So this one gets used every single day at the moment.

- There are quite a few garments in my wardrobe that I'm just not  into anymore (or maybe just at the moment?). It feels like a shame and a waste, but then I take comfort in the fact that some pieces, like the Black Spinal trousers and Schoolhouse tunic, have been worn over and over.

- Day 21 was all me-made except my boots and underwear - yay! It was a bit of a crazy outfit but I still felt good in it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Me Made May 2013 week 2

Me made May 2013 week 2
8. Cropped Briar, 2 piece t-shirt 9. Self-drafted stripey 3/4 sleeve jersey top, Simplicity 2226 skirt  10. Sleeveless Tova  11. Cap sleeve Tova & no-sew scarf  12.  Wiksten Tankno-sew scarf  13. Cropped Briar, 2 piece t-shirt (again!) 14. Sweater slippers

I'm way behind on posting my pics for MMM week 2 (it's almost time for week 3!) but here they are anyway.

What I've noticed in week 2:
- Still not doing well on the skirt/dress front - I only made the effort on one day... oh well! Need to make the Moss Mini but don't have time at the moment :-(
- There's a lot of blue and pink going on, not sure why
- It's getting hard to remember to photograph myself each day but less hard to reach for handmade first. On day 14 I completely forgot to take a pic. It was a pretty boring outfit anyway, so I thought I'd show my latest Sweater slippers (this pair unblogged, see here for previous pair) which I do wear every single day... for hours at a time sometimes. Yep, I love them :-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Things for Baby Boys (A Virtual Baby Shower) - Nappy bag

Do you know the lovely Abby from Things for Boys? Her second little boy is due soon, and a group of her online buddies are throwing her a virtual baby shower. Laura from Craftstorming had the idea  that we each made something for Abby, Ros from Sew Delicious delivered them to her and then we each posted a tutorial for our project on our blogs. Fab idea, huh?!  Here's what we made:
1: Baby Change Mats by Ros from Sew Delicious
2: Flat Teddy by Narelle from Cook Clean Craft
3: Handmade Baby Boy Shoes by Janelle from Emmaline Bags
4: Baby Hats by Jenny from Mend and Make New
5: Upcycled Cashmere Baby Pants by Dara from Coffee and Lilacs
6: Nappy/baby bag by Jo from bubala
7: Little Kid Kimono Set by Laura at Craftstorming
I decided to make Abby a nappy bag. As I've mentioned before here I feel pretty well qualified to say  I know what makes a good one as I have made so many both for myself and for gifts over the past 5 years or so!

I chose a blue/grey striped fabric from Ikea for Abby's bag, then personalised it by screen printing on a bit of colour. As I thought the fabric had a slightly nautical look I decided on some yellow triangles, which would be on trend and also reminiscent of the nautical theme. The inside lining is a nice clean white - there's nothing worse than not being able to find things in a dark coloured lining!
For me an adjustable strap (to wear over the shoulder or across the body messenger style) is essential in a nappy bag, as are plenty of internal pockets, and specifically pockets for pens, phone, nappies and wipes. The bag needs to be large enough to stuff a heap of baby things in but not so big as to be cumbersome. And for me it shouldn't look too baby-ish... you generally don't want to be dragging blue teddy bears around town, even if you do have one inside!
I hope Abby likes it and gets lots of use from it! If you'd like to make one of your own the tutorial is after the jump.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Little girl merino wool cardigans

I've realised lately that some of my sewing endevours seem to be emotionally driven. A recent example: my big girl was due to go on a sleepover party. I'm happy for her that she enjoys going to sleepovers, but I have to admit that I don't much like having her away from me overnight... it just makes me feel slightly anxious. I know that one day the ties will need to be cut, but for now stretching them can be a little hard for a sook like me.  So... with just hours until she left I decided that my girl might get cold and that she definitely needed a new cardigan to take with her. It was a race against time, but I thought I might just be able to do it. Of course what I was doing was distracting myself and also making something from me for her to take with her.

Merino cardigan 1
I'd recently bought a metre of beautiful fuchsia coloured merino wool from The Fabric Store to make myself another Briar, and as it was very wide I figured I could also get a cardigan for my girl from it. The wool would be super warm (she feels the cold) but lightweight and easy to stow away in her bag when not in use.

When I'd finished it she loved the cardigan, the sewing had distracted me and I'd got to use more of the merino wool. Win! Of course her little sister then wanted one :-) Luckily I happened to have a small amount of another merino wool in the stash, this one a deep orange colour. This time around I was not under so much time pressure and got to do a better job.

Merino cardigans
I used the popular Flashback Skinny Tee pattern as a base shape to adapt. First I slashed the front pattern piece down the centre, then rounded the corners off. I wanted a clean, simple look so bound the edges in the same fabric. I had intended to add a button closure but as they sat so well I didn't bother.

Merino cardigan 2
These were such a satisfying sew (aside from the emotional stuff ;-), pretty easy to sew and quite quick too. And I can't rave enough about merino wool and how much I love to use it: it cuts well, sews well, is warm and soft and lovely to wear.

Merino cardigan

Here's my little girl wearing her cardigan on Mothers Day, doing some dance moves for the camera ;-)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Me Made May week 1

1. Tova  2. Colour blocked Briar  3. Wiksten tank & no-sew scarf  4. Cropped Briar, 2 piece t-shirt, no-sew scarf  5. self-drafted merino top, nani iro fabric scarf  6. self-drafted merino cowl neck top  7. Simplicity 3835 tunic & jersey infinity scarf

I'm through the first week of Me Made May 2013 and have observed a few things:

- It's quite confronting having to take a photo of myself each day! But I feel if I'm going to do the challenge then I should document it.

- Mostly I reach for something handmade each day regardless of the challenge. It was day 5 when I would not have chosen handmade without the prompt of the challenge.

- Some of my handmades are getting tatty (day 7's tunic) and I really should throw them out, but I think it's going to be harder to do than with RTW clothes!

- I'm not into dresses and skirts at the moment. I think it's the cooler weather and my lack of imagination. Hence all the boring jeans. To remedy this I shall strive to finish off the denim Belladone I've had on the go for weeks and also maybe make a Moss Mini Skirt - the pattern has been sitting in my stash for a while now.

- being a stay at home mum at the moment there's not a lot of need to dress up, which I miss, but I would equally feel silly wearing anything elaborate or restrictive while chasing around after kids. Or it could be that I'm just lazy ;-)

- From the pics it looks like all I sew are tops! I'm sure this is not the case? See the point above re skirts, and also maybe I should get that Thurlow pattern out, gather my courage up and give it a go.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hack-up colour blocked Briar

I've been making more Briar tops. The first one is in high rotation which has got to be a sign of a good pattern, I think! First I made my mum one for her birthday recently in a lovely deep orangey/red. The fabric is quite thin but has some merino wool content and a lovely drape. I took a chance and guessed at her size and the length, and she tells me it fits - yay!

I also made myself another, this time the longer length, with a pinkish jersey type of fabric from my stash. I think it's all synthetic - need to remember to wear deodorant with this one, which is a sure sign it's synthetic in my experience!! (sorry if that was too much detail ;-)


Anyway, it came together OK but I wore it a couple of times and it just wasn't working for me... maybe the drape of the fabric is wrong for the length or something but it just didn't sit right. See in the pic above I'm trying to distract myself from this by adding one of my pretty Elk beaded necklaces ;-)

So yesterday I hacked into it and added a panel of colour to the base. I could have just left it as a cropped length version, but I was curious to see how my mental vision would work out. I used a piece of equally weird fabric from the stash, but in a very pretty deep blue/purple colour.

Colour blocked Briar

It doesn't photograph so well, but it's sitting much better now and I'm much happier with it. You can see below that it's lost the weird thing going on from the back and is just not so ho-hum anymore. It's a bit dodgy and wonky, and that fabric really isn't great, so I'm treating this as a wearable muslin and will definitely make another in nice fabric next.

Colour blocked Briar

It was really easy to make this adjustment, I just cut off the bottom section of the top at crop length (taken from the original pattern), then made new pattern pieces for the back and front by tracing from the pattern the gap between the cropped and long versions (see pics below). Then I sewed these pieces on and re-sewed the side seams. Megan has some great posts on her blog about how you can alter the Briar pattern to get different looks. I'd love to try the elbow patches next.

IMG_2174 IMG_2175

I love a good hack-up, so cathartic :-) Do you like hacking up?

Belatedly linking up with My Creative Space today. Click here for lots of inspiration.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Me Made May 2013

I first heard about 'Me Made May' last year around the time that my friend Deb suggested that I might like to take part (thanks Deb!), and this year I've decided I have enough handmade garments that I think I can just do it, and it might make me finally complete some of those unfinished projects lurking in the sewing pile... so I'm diving in.


For those unfamiliar with it, MMMay is a challenge whereby the sewer/sewist pledges to regularly wear their handmade garments for the month. The terms are decided by them. Here's my pledge:

I, Jo of bubala, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade clothing item each day for the duration of May 2013.

I'm not exactly sure how I will document what I wear yet, but am thinking I'll try to post a daily pic on my Instagram feed and then do a round-up here once a week-ish.

PS. You can see today's handmade over on the right there in the Instagram feed box - my black & Japanese print voile Tova. I'm feeling confident about the challenge today as I woke and dressed before remembering that it was May 1, and  already had handmade on without thinking about it, yay! Now lets see how I go in a few days time ;-)
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