Me Made May 2014- Round up


Well, we have reached the end of Me Made May 2014.    I apologise for the infrequency of my Instagram/Twitter pics- I have a hectic life and many hats to wear and unfortunately the ‘Blogger’ hat sometimes slips.  You may remember my pledge  for my very first Me Made May was to wear homemade garments on at last four days a week.   My modest pledge was mainly motivated by the fact that, at the time, I only had 27 wearable garments in my hand-crafted wardrobe.   However, I excelled myself.   See below a collage of my different outfits during the month.

As I’ve only been sewing for just over a year and had a limited wardrobe to choose from I knew I’d find gaps to fill with handmade lovelies.   I was really pleased, though, to only have one or two days in the whole month when I didn’t wear something I’d made.   Here’s what I learnt from this month.

  • Trousers: For many years I’ve pretty much lived in RTW trousers or jeans.   There is a great lack of handmade trousers I can call on.   I’ve got the royal blue burda pair and an un-blogged wide leg pair hacked from the Kasia pattern, again from Burda.   Both of these projects weren’t entirely succussful and I don’t even wear the Kasia ones as they were hacked in the early days of my sewing and aren’t especially comfortable or well-drafted.   However, I have discovered that I like wearing skirts and dresses.   I’ve been a bit of a tom boy most of my life and so girliness is a bit alien to me but I like it.   I don’t think I can go completely without trousers though, so I need to get me making some more.


  • T-Shirts: Most outfits I like to wear a comfy, slim fit t-shirt.   My work dress code is business casual and so a lovely handmade skirt with a t-shirt is everyday wear for me.   I have a few Plantain t-shirts but they’re long or 3/4 length sleeves so I need some more short sleeved tees for summer.   Luckily for me, it just so happens that I’ve recently been a ‘print at home’ tester for an Independent pattern company soon to release a tee pattern, so I’m going to be making up a few of those.


  • Cardi’s/Coverups: With the British weather you need layers to be able to whip off quickly during the five minutes of sun before you have to throw it back on when the clouds come over again.   I have one handmade scarf neck cardi which I love but it’s massive and yellow, and when I wear it with jeans I’ve been informed I look like a minion from Despicable Me.   I would like some cropped cardigans to go with the high-waisted items I own, for the vintage look.   But I’m a rubbish knitter, I had to give up when a problem with my neck was making my hands go numb whilst I knit.   So I shall have to investigate other options.   Maybe expand my drafting skills.

Having said all of that the next two projects I have lined up for myself are dresses but there is a t-shirt in amongst the mix too. How about you guys?   What did you learn this Me Made May?   I’ll leave you with my favourite selfie pic from this year’s selection.   Really shows my love of colour.


Getting my Sewjo back

Hello all. Apologies for the radio silence- there’s been lots of reasons for it the main one really I guess is that I suffer from Depression and, since I’ve had kids, once a month Mother Nature gives me and emotional punch in the face. I’ve had failed projects and had to make relly tough decisions at work, so generally only stuff to grumble about. As I don’t want to be miserble in the blog I’ve just avoided writing for the past week or so. But I am here now!

So, It’s May, which means Me Made May ’14. This year is my first time for Me Made May, the brainchild of Zoe over as So Zo, and my challenge, as you may remember, was to wear four me made items a week during the month of May. Now that might not sound like a lot but bear in mind that I’ve only been sewing for a year and some of my earlier garments have shocking mistakes and incredibly wonky stitching in places. I was looking at my wardrobe this evening and feeling despondent. I think I counted 27 different, wearable me made items in the wardrobe so I should just about squeeze through my pledge

I guess there are three elements to my problem a) fledgling fitting skills (which have been put seriously to the test this week in a WIP I’ve tweeted about but yet to blog) b) working with effectively a budget of nil; I can’t afford the beautiful fabrics and patterns- opting for #charityshopbargains, free patterns and questionable drafting skills and finally c) blog envy! I follow so many (95 at last count) amazingly talented sewers and the green eyed monster comes out when I see Dolly Clackett’s latest ‘home sewing is easy’ dress, all the gorgeous CoCo’s and Oona’s technicolor marvels.

But, I don’t want to be down about it and I’m going to use Me Made May to try and re-engage with my makes.   I’ve  also been feeling dispondent due to that aforementionned failed WIP.   You may have seen my perforated pointy boobies on Twitter.   I was trying to make this dress using probably the wrong fabric and couldn’t stop my bust darts being super pointy.   After a million muslins…

… I gave up, threw the WIP back into the box and sulked for several days.   I’m now planning to rescue it but just using the skirt pieces and make a button front skirt, but I’ve yet to motivate myself to start it.  What I have been doing to get my Sewjo back is this.

A recycled jeans rug.   I have two small children and did have a red shagpile rug but this had been ruined by the kids dropping Mini Babybel wax, stickers, sweets and other small children into the rug never to been seen again.   In short we were in desperate need of a new rug.   Thankfully Tobi has lost lots of weight recently so there were 6 pairs of jeans in my refashion pile.   A lot of cutting and seaming later and I have a beautiful new and free rug which is washable and hard wearing, perfect when you have a three and four year old running round.

I only used the legs of the jeans for this project, i was thinking of sewing the back pockets on randomly but I liked how it looked without and didn’t want to detract from the different colours of the denim.   All I did was cut the legs into strips about 3″ wide then sewed them into strips and then joined the strips together to form one big sheet.   Unfortunately the big sheet ended up wonky.

Must have stretched one side more than the other.   I didn’t have a big enough template to cut a rectangle from so I cunningly used my coffee table and measured equally along the edges to the size I wanted.

I backed the rug with a blue spotty canvas which came from Big Nana’s stash and i had no idea what to do with it.   Just got to show you the insides- so many seam allowanes!

I bought some mustard colour top stitch thread and topstitched round the outside to keep in fairly flat and stitch up the hole I used to turn it right way round.   I pretty much love this rug and is cost me exactly £1.60- the cost of one 30m reel of Gutterman topstitch thread from my local teeny tiny haberdashery and craft shop (Pennies in Andover if anyone’s interested).


So there’s lots of positives with this project.

1) It was practically free

2) Washable and hard wearing

3) Got me back behind the sewing machine after the epic strop over pointy boobiliciousness.


I will get back to garment sewing and I have actually just order my first ever independent pattern, The Emery Dress, from Christine Haynes.   I’m fed up of struggling with free patterns and this dress fits all my requirements, including the all elusive sleeves- am I the only woman in the world that wants to hide her horrible bingo wings?   Just got to work out how to fit t my weird body shape- I’ve discovered my bust measurement is now the same as my waist- how does that work, I’m a sausage from the waist up.

Anyway, thanks to all whom gave me advice on the pointy boobs on Twitter and I look forward to showing you the skirt soon.   Keep up with me on Twitter and Flickr to see my photos (more or less daily) for me-made may 2014.

See ya next time dudes.


Me Made May 2014 Pledge



When I started my sewing journey this time last year, I was just in time to see the fun being had for Me Made May 2013.   If you don’t know what that is head over to ‘So, Zo’ to see what it’s all about.   It’s basically a month to give our handmade wardrobe a proper showing off to the world, to reconnect with our creations and fall in love all over again.   Some people pledge to wear a me made creation every day, or specifically stick to a colour palette etc.   I certainly had not been sewing for long enough last year to be able to take part in this but I know have a fairly healthy amount of handmade clothes in my wardrobe that I wont have to go naked for the majority of the month.   So this year, I’m going to take part.

‘I, Louise Tomlinson-Sylvest of Sewcial Warrior, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear my handmade creations at least four days a week  for the duration of May 2014’

I’ve been a bit conservative only going for four days a week, but a lot of my home-made items are more formal, for work, and I don’t really want to pledge to wear me made every day and find that I’m wandering round at the weekend trying to go to the park with my kids in a super snug pencil skirt- not very practical.   If I can manage more than four days a week I will.   I’m going to try to document my outfits throughout the month, probably on Instagram, and will post a round-up at the end of the month.

I’m really looking forward to this month.   I’m not going to panic sew in the lead up t Me Made May but there are a few items I have planned that I’m actually lacking in my wardrobe so will hopefully help me boost my ability to wear the majority hand-made through the month.

Enjoy everyone.