Thursday, May 29, 2014

MMM findings: trousers needed!

Well, I had good intentions for posting here weekly on my Me Made May progress, but in the end it all seemed too hard and too time consuming (I blame Instagram for making me blog-lazy ;-) So if you're interested please have a look over to the right there at my instagram feed to see what I've been wearing.

The month is almost over now, and as with last year it's been fun (mostly!) and revealing too. My findings:

1. As the weather has been so pleasently warm aside from the first week, I've had plenty of wear from my light short sleeved tops. Next summer I must make some more, they're so easy and wearable.

2. May is a bad month for dress wearing for me. I guess it's just because the weather is too cool for summery dresses but not cold enough for thick tights (which I love). And I've also lost my enthusiasm for my knee high boots, though my Fly London ankle boots are getting loved to death at the moment ;-) On day 16 I loved wearing my Moss Mini with opaques, and my denim Simplicity 2226 got a look in on day 20, but apart from that the only other dress that got a look in was a self drafted dress worn for a night out on day 24. So...

3. More pants needed! I basically live in jeans most of the time. My lifestyle at this time in my life requires very casual clothes. I did wear my Tamanegi-kobo Black Spinel trousers several times (unblogged), but apart from that it was all RTW on the jeans front. I've resisted trying to sew jeans in the past but I'm coming around to the idea, especially after seeing other lovely versions around the blogs.

Top contenders on the pattern front are:

Named Jamie Jeans. They seem to have a cult following... must be a good pattern!

Burdastyle Floral skinny jeans (but not in floral), I've also seen some lovely versions of these around (though can't say I'd be thrilled to tackle another pattern without seam allowances again in the near future. Grrr)

Burdastyle Anita jeans. Nice. And look, seam allowances INCLUDED!

and I also like the Named Alpi Chinos for their classic styling

Any recommendations welcome!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tova with modifications

I've had a design for a blouse in mind for ages... loose but flattering, with gathers, cap sleeves, a gently curved hem and some interesting details. When I couldn't find a pattern like it I decided to give it a go myself.

The closest design I could think of was the Wiksten Tova so I started with that and modified it.

Firstly I modified the sleeves, as I did on this one to be capped, then did a circular cut-out, binding around it and tieing a bow.

Then for the back I seperated the pattern horizontally along the shoulders so that it made a yoke, added width to the lower piece and gathered it in the centre.

I also modified the collar to be smaller, cropped a few inches off the hem of the pattern and the curved the sides, making the back slightly lower than the front.

The fabric is one of the lovely Japanese lawns from Spotlight that I've been enjoying using lately. It's really soft to wear and washes well too. I love the cute design, and the dusty pink with the little splashes of blue on the birds is really sweet.

In hindsight I don't think I needed the gathers at the back, they make it a bit pouffy. But overall I'm pretty happy with this top. It's easy to wear and a nice change from t-shirts. And the loose fit and drape go well with skinny jeans.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Melly Sews Hi Lo Top and MMM'14

On the last day of April I decided I'd sign up for Me Made May again this year. Last year was my first year and I really enjoyed it, much more than I thought I would. I found that I hardly had to think about reaching for me-made as it's automatic and also it identified the gaps in my wardrobe. Plus, there's of course the great big bonus that I get to connect with lots and lots of lovely like-minded sewing fanatics all over the world, yay!

So here's my pledge:

 'I, Jo of Bubala sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one item made by me each day and once a week a whole outfit (excluding underwear, shoes and socks) for the duration of May 2014'

I will posting a pic each day on my Instagram feed then hopefully do a round-up here after each week has passed. Anyone who's done MMM before will know that the photo taking is the hardest part!

I wore this top on day 2 and thought it was time I blogged about it before it falls apart through over-wear :-) I made this a couple of months ago and it's been in regular rotation ever since.

The pattern is the lovely free 'Hi Lo top' by Melly Sews. From the moment I saw this pattern I thought I'd love it, so I downloaded and printed it and waited for the right fabric to jump out at me :-) The pattern comes in only one size, but I think it would be reasonably easy to change a bit. I'm about a size 10/12 Australian (bust 34") and it fits well.

I love the overall shape of this top and it's been perfect for our autumn weather when you need a little extra coverage. One change I made to the pattern was to add a casing to the sleeves and thread elastic through. I have done this with other tops and it's worked well. I don't particularly like sleeves just hanging and find the elastic comfortable.

The other change I made was to add some pin tucks to the front. I love the look of pin tucks and hadn't tried them before so thought this would be a good pattern to try them on.

I used this tutorial, applying the pintucks to my flat (uncut) piece of fabric. I then placed the bodice pattern piece on the fabric so that the pintucks are in the upper centre of the piece. I then cut out the other pattern pieces and sewed them together as usual, applying the binding to the neckline as usual, which covers the raw ends of the pintucks. I choose to do 7 pintucks (my lucky number ;-) and just eyeballed how long I wanted them. As I'd done the pintucks before cutting out the pattern I didn't add any width to compensate for the width they take up, but if you were to cut them out first I'd consider adding a bit (about 1.5 cm in this case as each pintuck is about 2mm). Though, having said that, these pintucks are so tiny that if you had a loose fitting top you wouldn't necessarily need to bother. It looks like mine are straining a bit in the pic above but it's just that I'm stretching my arm out to take the selfie :-) I had so much fun doing the pintucks and will definitely be adding them to other garments in future!

The fabric I used was a Japanese lawn from Spotlight that I bought on sale and stashed away for the perfect project. I have used several of their lawns now and find them really comfortable to wear, quite strong but with a lovely drape. They also wash really well. I find it so annoying when fabrics suffer greatly from laundering. I do seem to find that Japanese made fabrics are superior to others. Gross generalisation but that's my finding so far. Do you agree?
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